Sharcnet-USA - GPS repair refused

Posted on Monday, April 22nd, 2013 at 10:01am CDT by Cheryl S.

Product: Garmin GPS

Company: Sharcnet-USA

Location: BROWNSTOWN, 48183, US


Category: Consumer Electronics

I sent my Garmin in for repair and because I did not tell them how it broke, it was returned with out repair. I did not have the charger, so I could not send it with the unit. They are very rude and unreliable. They had my unit for two weeks before even looking at it. I would advise everyone to not use their service for anything. Before you waste your time, take time to read all the complaints they have received.


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Business Reply  SHARCNET USA, 2013-06-03, 06:00PM CDT

Please note that this board will not allow us to add spaces between paragraphs.

The customer has made several conflicting statements. Please read our email to the customer and then read her response back to us. Which do you think is really rude?

HISTORY: Customer sent her Nuvi 1350 GPS by first-class mail to us with a shattered USB port (very uncommon). In our quote, we asked the customer to send her GPS charger as well because in some cases, the charger may have an intermittent wire or damaged plug which can affect the operation of the GPS. A charger plug can be damaged if the GPS fell from the window and suffered an impact, distorting the housing. Trying to plug a damaged charger plug into a USB port WILL damage the USB jack, including a replaced USB jack. Using the wrong charger with the wrong charging plug, can not only damage the USB jack but also damage the electronics.


"Hi Cheryl,

We are working on your unit. Can you tell us how the USB was broken? The (2) mounting legs of the connector are loose on the board but the (5) pins for data and power are still secured to the board.

We typically don't see damage to the connector like that with the pins still intact on the board.

Was the correct charger plugged into the unit? What type of charger was used?

COMMENTS: The entire black plastic inner shell which holds all (5) of the data/power pins had been broken off and was missing - possibly still stuck into the charging plug. Inserting this plug into a replaced USB jack WILL damage the new jack.


"I must say I am disappointed that you are just now getting to my unit. I assumed you would replace the part and return it to me. I use the charger that came with it. What difference does it make how it broke? Can you replace the part as your web page says you can?

please fix it as soon as possible and return it. I have already paid for the repair via paypal. You should add to your web page that it will take a month to repair. People may reconsider using your service if they know how long it takes."

COMMENTS: The customer did not send us the charger as we requested, so that we could test both pieces (at no charge) and to make sure both were operating properly. If we discovered that the charger plug was defective, we would notify the customer that they needed to purchase a new charger. Please note what the customer said: "I use the charger that came with it." If that was true, then why not send it? Now the customer says in her complaint: "I did not have the charger, so I could not send it with the unit". Our question is: How do you expect to use the unit without the charger? Rather than work with us to prevent a possible repeat of the original problem, the customer chose to be evasive and argumentative with us.


"Hi Cheryl,

It makes a HUGE difference how it broke.

We requested that you send us the charger, so that we could inspect it and test it along with your unit. You did not send us the charger as we requested. See email below where we stated:

"Please note that sometimes this is a charging problem caused by a broken/intermittent wire in the charger. We would prefer that you send the charger as well, so that we can test the entire system."

We have seen chargers where the plug has been damaged, which can damage the jack. We have also seen incompatible chargers being used which can damage the internal electronics.

I would ask that you put yourself into our position, where we repair a unit and if there is a problem with the charger that damages the jack again, the customer would expect us to repair the unit again at our expense.

I am sorry that you are dissatisfied with our service but again, we asked for you to send us the charger, which you didn't."

Since we don't have the charger to verify its condition, we can not guarantee our repair. Therefore, we will send your unit back to you and give you a full refund via PayPal."

COMMENTS: Not only did we fully refund her money through PayPal, but we also sent her an additional payment to cover the shipping she paid ($3.99 USD) in shipping the unit to us.

If the charger plug was damaged or if the charger was the wrong type, plugging the charger into the new USB jack would damage the new jack as well. We sent the customer a follow-up email with a tracking number for her unit.

Along with her unit, we sent back internal pictures to show the damage and again to explain why it was important to send us the charger as well. Here is the text from that letter:

"Dear Ms. (last name witheld),

We are returning your Nuvi un-repaired for the following reason(s):

Within our quote to you, we requested that you send us the charger as well, so that we could test both the charger and the unit as a complete system. This is to make sure that both units are working properly.

We have seen broken/intermittent wires and damaged plug housings on chargers, which can cause intermittent/improper operation of the GPS as well as damage the USB receptacle.

If a unit falls from the windshield, the outer metal housing of the charger plug could be bent enough to prevent the plug from inserting properly into the GPS, causing damage to the USB receptacle. The use of a charger with the wrong type of mating plug can also damage the USB receptacle.

We were trying to be thorough in determining the cause of the UBS damage on your unit, so that you would not see this problem occur again with your repaired unit. Since we didn?t have your charger, we can not be confident that the problem would not occur again and therefore we are unable to guarantee the repair of your unit.

We were not attempting to put any blame on anyone for the USB damage to your unit. We were simply trying to obtain additional information to determine how it happened to prevent it from happening again. Without the charger, we were unable to do this.

You sent the unit to us via U.S. First Class Mail, which is a slower service for packages than Priority Mail. We work on the units in the order that they are received. This is a busy time for us, as people are pre-planning for their vacations. We offer an expedited service on our quote request page for which you declined.

We are sorry that you were unhappy with our service, however we try to be extremely thorough with our repairs, so that our customers are fully satisfied with the repair and that they have years of trouble-free service with their GPS.

We have fully refunded your PayPal payment in the amount of $46.56 USD for the repair as well as the $3.99 USD that you paid to ship your unit to us. We have taken a loss in the shipping and our time in taking your unit apart for evaluation.

We have issued you a full refund through PayPal"

COMMENTS: As you can see, we were trying to help the customer, so that this problem would not happen again. We charge $35.00 USD to repair this problem. The factory charges $99.00 USD and replaces the customers unit with a refurbished unit with all favorites erased. Our customers receive their own unit back with all favorites intact. We asked the customer for more information but they were not cooperative and quite frankly, became hostile towards us.

ADDITIONAL CONFLICTING STATEMENT: Customer states: "Before you waste your time, take time to read all the complaints they have received."

COMMENTS: Where are all of these complaints? We know of only "one" other and by the comments posted by others, they agree that the customer was at fault. We suggest that you try reading these comments:

Respectfully answered,


Business Reply  SHARCNET USA, 2013-06-03, 06:05PM CDT

Supporting Pictures:

This picture is of a normal mini-USB jack on a Garmin Nuvi product:

This is a picture of the customers unit. Notice that the entire black plastic inner shell that holds the gold pins is missing. Possibly still stuck in the charger plug. This is why we requested the customer to send the charger along with her GPS. The customer did not send it.

This is also a picture of the customers unit, taken of the other side of the mini-USB jack. Notice that the first pin on the left is severed and is unlike the remaining 4 pins.

Typically on mini-USB failures, the mounting legs and the 5 data/power pins break free from the printed circuit board. Repairing the jack usually requires resoldering the connections and reinforcing the jack.

Clearly the customers mini-USB jack needed to be replaced as it was damaged, however we really needed to inspect the charger to make sure it too wasn't damaged, which could have damaged the replacement jack again.

Without having the charger to verify its condition, we could not guarantee that the replacement jack would not be damaged as well. When we inquired about the unit to the customer, rather than work with us to resolve her problem, she chose to be uncooperative.

We therefore sent her unit back to her and gave her a full refund AND covered the cost of her shipping the unit to us.

We praise our customers in their willingness to work with us and to follow our recommendations, so that their unit is repaired correctly and provides years of trouble-free service. Unfortunately, this was a situation where the customer created the conflict by not sending the charger as we had requested.

Business Reply  SHARCNET USA, 2013-06-03, 05:59PM CDT

Shipping follow-up:

Customer states in her first email to us that: "You should add to your web page that it will take a month to repair. People may reconsider using your service if they know how long it takes."

In her complaint, she states: "They had my unit for two weeks before even looking at it."

The customer shipped her unit to us by US First Class Mail, (which is cheaper and slower than priority) on March 30th, 2013. Customer was notified on our quote request page that we offer an expedited service for overnight repair at an additional $15.00 USD for which the customer declined.

Shipment Dates Verified by the USPS:,&qtc_senddate1=&qtc_zipcode1=

Postage label picture:

So, initially we were told by the customer that we had her unit for a month, and then in the complaint, it was reduced to 2-weeks.

The unit arrived to us on April 4th, 2013, to which we sent her an email on the very same day, that we had received it.

The unit was entered into our repair schedule. We work on units in the order that they are received. We had the customer's unit 11 business days before we contacted her about her unit.

The entire situation could have been avoided had the customer followed through with our request to include the charger for evaluation. Her repaired unit would have been on its way back to her by now.

SHARCNET USA, 2013-04-22, 02:34PM CDT

Customer's Acknowledgement:

On the quote/repair request form, the customer check-marked and acknowledged the following:

"I also understand that if my unit is found to not be repairable, that I will be given a

full refund minus a minimum charge to cover the return shipping of my unit back to me"

The form can not be submitted without agreeing to the above terms.

However, we waived withholding the return shipping fee. We could not repair the unit because the customer didn't send us the charger as requested to do so.

SHARCNET USA, 2013-04-23, 10:42AM CDT

Shipping follow-up:

The customer has received their unit back, which is confirmed on the USPS website.!input?tLabels=9500110845093110574522


First-Class Mail?


April 22, 2013, 12:28 pm


Expected Delivery By:

April 23, 2013

USPS Tracking / Delivery Confirmation?

Arrival at Post Office

April 22, 2013, 6:14 am


Processed through USPS Sort Facility

April 21, 2013, 12:50 pm


Depart USPS Sort Facility

April 21, 2013


Processed at USPS Origin Sort Facility

April 20, 2013, 8:42 pm


Dispatched to Sort Facility

April 20, 2013, 5:12 pm



April 20, 2013, 3:57 pm


Customer stated in her complaint: "They are very rude and unreliable." We tried several times to explain to the customer why we needed the charger. We have seen broken chargers before. The charger is a part of the charging process. If the charger has been damaged, it could have broken the repaired unit. We were trying to be thorough and make sure both the GPS and charger were OK.

In her email to us, at first, she says she has the charger and is using it with the unit, then in her complaint, she claims that she doesn't have it, as a defense as to why she didn't send it. Which is the truth?

We are extremely reliable, however in this case, as you will see, it was the customer that was rude and uncooperative. It is really unfortunate because we asked for the charger, prior to her shipping her GPS to us. She never indicated that she wouldn't be sending it. The customer never said anything to us that she didn't have it. She said, "I use the charger that came with it." (present tense).

If we had the charger, the unit would have been repaired, the charger tested and the customer would have (2) working and verified parts. If we found the charger to be defective, we would have notified the customer and they could either purchase a new charger from us or from another source.

Summary: We sent the customer's unit back to her at OUR expense AND refunded her for her shipping costs to us. According to the terms she agreed to, we didn't have to do that and we could have given her a refund minus the shipping cost - especially since it was the customer who created the conflict by not following through with our request to send the charger along with the GPS. The customer was issued a FULL refund via PayPal.

SHARCNET USA, 2013-04-27, 12:24AM CDT

Reason why sending the charger is important:

Just this week, we received a Nuvi 1450 from a customer with a charging problem. We requested that the customer send the charger as well as the GPS. The customer willingly complied.

We found that the USB receptacle on the GPS had broken away from the printed circuit board. We resoldered the connector and added mechanical reinforcement to the connector. We then tested the unit using our test Garmin GTM-25 traffic receiver charger. The GPS worked perfectly and charged properly.

We now tested the GPS using the customer's Garmin GTM-25 traffic receiver/charger. As soon as we plugged in the customer's charger, the unit immediately went into PC data mode with a green progress bar moving from left to right and then a PC to GPS icon appeared on the screen. This is the same results as when the GPS is connected to a PC.

We inspected the charger and found that the customer must have thought that the charger plug was defective, so they cut the charger cord with plug off and spliced another plug from another charger. The problem however, was with the GPS, not the charger. They ruined a perfectly good charger.

See a picture here:

The standard plug on a Garmin GTM-25 traffic receiver/charger is a right-angle USB plug. The spliced plug on the customer's charger was straight. The difference in style of plug is not really important but what the customer didn't realize is that the Garmin plug has an internal resistor across two pins. The spliced plug didn't have the resistor, therefore the GPS thought it was connected to a PC when using the customer's spliced charger.

This is why some aftermarket chargers are not 100% Garmin compatible. They don't have the internal resistor.

So, if we didn't have the customer's charger, we would have repaired the GPS and sent it back to the customer who would have used their spliced charger and discovered that their GPS would not work. Guess what? They would have alleged that we hadn't repaired their GPS correctly and expected us to repair it again.

This is why we request for customers to send their charger along with their GPS. The customer (Cheryl S.) who filed the complaint above didn't send us the charger and became hostile and evasive when we asked a couple follow-up questions. When a customer reacts this way and is uncooperative, we have no other choice but to send their unit back and refund their money.

SHARCNET USA, 2013-05-04, 09:40PM CDT

5/4/2013 - We just repaired another Nuvi 1450 with a loose USB receptacle. The customer sent their charger as we requested. We found that their charger had an intermittent wire near the plug, which caused the unit to go in and out of charge mode and popped up with a shutdown window. Just another example of why it is important to send the charger with the unit.

It is really unfortunate that the customer who filed this complaint didn't follow our instructions and cooperate with us. She could have had her unit repaired and back in service.

SHARCNET USA, 2013-06-04, 03:53PM CDT

The customer posted another complaint on another website, Customer now claims that she didn't send the charger because it was "stolen". It seems the customer has once again changed her story. In our years of electronics experience, it is the GPS that is stolen from a vehicle, possibly the charger too... not just the charger. You know, the truth is always the best policy.

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