Thursday, September 20, 2012

Garmin Grumbles

I am sure that like me, you can all think of a better way to spend the better part of a day than on the phone with Customer Support. Well, that is what I did today!

I plugged my Garmin into the computer and it told me there were map updates available. I hit the download button and was told I did not have enough room to store the maps. My 1350 model Garmin has limited internal memory of 2GB and I require the full North American maps including Canada, USA and Mexico. This is a huge file that takes up almost 1.8GB. This has always been a problem so quite a while ago I added a 4GB micro SD card. This gave me room for the maps and everything worked. Until today. I tried restarting everything but still got the same message. The SD card did not have enough room and refused to download the maps, even though I could look at the card in Windows Explorer and see that it had almost three GB free, more than enough room.

I called Customer Support and got a real person within ten or fifteen minutes. She had me re-do everything I had already done and and then suggested I format the SD card! I reminded her that would delete the maps I already had but she assured me they would get it working. Well, it didn't. It told me I did not have enough room. After telling me there was a known issue of their system failing to calculate free space on the SD card. She then kicked me up a level to "Software" Customer Support.

Once there a nice woman took over control of my computer and finally got the maps downloading before she logged off. The process took an hour and you guessed it. It told me my SD card did not have enough room. Another call to CS and and after getting her to kick me up a level without doing all the tests again, I got another software expert. He could not fix the problem but was able to manually move the files onto the card and to rename the files so the Garmin would recognize them.

It is working but they think I might have the same problem next time as well. He installed a program that is supposed to make it easier. We shall see!

Garmin Customer Support was very good. They were friendly and helpful, staying on the line until I was happy. As a bonus, they were all in the USA!


  1. I have a Garmin 3760T with lifetime map updates - It seems to update the maps when in the car. I have never needed to connect to the computer (I did just after original purchase).

    Expensive (at around 400usd)Beyond this it is a fine tool. I really like the traffic ahead warning system and the wealth of information that comes out of that little box.

    Good to know customer support is state side with people you can understand.

  2. Croft - thanks for the PM advising me about the need to get map updates via the Internet - I was about two updates behind; and now have a program installed that will advise me about update availability.

    Your prodding was instrumental to this all happening.