Bought Garmin's SP330c 16 months ago. Warrantied for 1 year. Worked great. Ordered 2008 update ($75 with shipping), then the SP 330c quit on me. Goes on only when on external power, but will not acquire satellites. Does not charge under any method (usb or 12v.) Canceled the 2008 update immediately.
Tech Support tells me to send it to the factory for repair, and to register it. This will cost me $225, just for repair, plus round trip shipping and handling, easily another $25. And the 2008 update would have put the cost to restore it to well over $300, more than I paid for the %#$ thing!!! This is obscene, especially if the problem is just a battery replacement. Also I registered the product when I bought it, but the tech says she cannot "see" it on Garmin's site, so I faxed a PrintScreen copy to her. So far, no reply.
I located a site that sells batteries for the SP330c, which is mdsbattery dot com, and have bought a new battery, delivered, for less than $22. I will not solder the connection for the new battery, but will strip and twist the wires together, and apply two coats of liquid electrical tape, or join the connections with Arctic's thermal ahsesive (a silver epoxy) and cover that with liquid electrical tape.
I will not buy another Garmin product again. That battery does not have to be replaced at the factory; a snap or plug connection would have made it a simple diy job, but they designed it to make more money by screwing the customer.
I agree with you. I'll be doing the same when my Nuvi 350's battery bites the dust.
I called Garmin to check what happens when the battery died... was told have to send it in, estimate was $150-250 to replace battery. I asked why so much and was told they refurbish the unit. I asked why refurbish when I only need a battery.. was told company policy. I told them their company policy stinks.
How about posting the site for the batteries?
You can buy a NEW C330 for less than $200 which will have at least V8 mapping software and be eligible for free 2008NT mapping software. I have seen it at these prices at Wal-Mart and Circuit City lately ! I'm sure some on-line places are equally as inexpensive !
How about posting the site for the batteries?
Here is a node of previous comments. I also agree that the price is a little high - but I will bet that you do not get the same unit back that you send in.
I am technician and am in customer service. One reason that they probably designed the unit the way they did is 1) so that the battery would never become unhooked if dropped etc and 2) not everyone can solder without frying a circuit board. I have seen everything under the sun be done in the field to try and "fix" something.
Everything is throw away anymore with electronics. The life cycle is too short to do it any other way. One of our venders for our CCTV equipment said that for some of the new TV's today there are NO replacement parts period. There is nothing they can repair. This is on a $3500 item.
I guess that is why the new GPS units are so cheap, and they are trying to make it back in the parts and repair business.
In my like of work that is where the profit is.
I think you are just seeing the difference between Production Line assembly costs, and manual repair. The latter costs much more in (skilled) people's time.
"Um - what are the symptoms?...doesn't run on battery and won't acquire satellites on external power..." Doesn't sound like a quick soldering job to me!
It does sound like more than a battery problem, but on the other hand, it is worth $22 to find out.
Certainly not worth $225 plus shipping and handling both ways to repair a unit that can be bought new for the same price, and probably with the $75 updated software already in it.
I'll post back here after I try the new battery. I will not be soldering the wires; I will twist them, and apply a drop of Arctic thermal adhesive (which I already have in the fridge), a silver impregnated epoxy, and cover the joints with several coats of liquid electrical tape, which I also have. The "also haves" means no additional costs. So it is still a $22 buck crap shoot.
it is in my original post as mdsbattery dot com. was not sure we could post other sites' URLs here, such as mdsbattery.com but I guess that it is ok.
Repair for $225 plus shipping and handling both ways? WalMart is selling this unit new for $128 and Amazon for $169! I wonder how many people fall for the $225 battery BS? A screw job even if it is also refurbished, according to Garmin policy.
Got the new battery from MDSbattery.com; took a while because they are in England. Excellent price of just under $22 delivered, considering the worthlessness of our dollar in Europe.
Installed the battery as I described in this thread, and charged it. IT WORKS. Tested the old battery before discarding it, and it is completely DEAD. It now turns on and off with just the battery, which it would not do before, however, it still does not locate satellites. I have bought an external antenna for this unit on ebay, at less than $20 delivered. I will also retest the unit at full battery charge. Will post the results (full charge and antenna usage) back here.
Caveat: I don't know anything specific about the C330. But if all else fails, before you completely give up on the unit, try resetting it. In some electronic devices, in addition to the "soft" reset that is done by pushing a reset button (or something similarly easy to do) there can be a "hard" reset that may have to be accessed through a diagnostic or service menu, that in turn takes some complicated series of steps to get to. This link: http://www.tech-recipes.com/hardware_tips1385.html
describes such a procedure. It will wipe out all of your custom info in the unit, so back it all up if you decide to try it. And it may not even fix your problem, but with an unusable GPS it may be worth a try before you trash it.
I replaced this battery about 2 months ago on my C330. As I remember, it was a little stronger battery that I did it with, lasts about 8hrs now. Got it from eBay using the numbers for about $15. If you have ever sodered anything, it is pretty straight forward and a "google" search of battery replacement on a C320 will get you a few nice articles on it. Took about 10 minutes once I had the battery. Better than sending it to Garmin for $250 on something that is out of wart already.
See the thread linked below. Towards the bottom, I posted a link (with pics) on changing the battery.
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