almost glad to hear this story from Stuart. I had a Magellan which was always
very slow to get a fix and which finally stopped working altogether. It became a
joke in the field. I switched to a Garmin GPS II Plus. This works
infinitely better. It did at one time develop an internal battery problem which
was fixed at no cost by a Garmin rep here in Adelaide - they knew of the fault
and were repairing them for free as people brought them in. This struck me as
them standing behind their product very satisfactorily. It's worked
perfectly ever since.
The old Magellan hit the bottom of my Sulo bin with a satisfying
and resounding thud.
already responded privately to Martin's request for info.
I don't want to miss the
opportunity to retell my sorry story with Magellan. I have now bought a
Garmin and am getting used to the little differences between the
This is what I wrote in August last year:
Just a quick cautionary word about my recent dealings with
Magellan. I attempted to download a firmware update for my GPS320 a week
or so ago. The download stopped halfway through and I was unable to get
my GPS to come out of Software Upload Mode. I rang Magellan in WA and
they suggested I send it into them.
Today I was rung by
them to say that the unit was "rooted" (their word not mine). I could
pay $200 odd dollars for a replacement/repair or they would return it to
me. I told them that I was not happy with this, but even after speaking
to the service manager, (Mr Kevin James), I could not get any help.
Their position is that:
a: I downloaded the software from
a site that was not theirs, however the site was: http://www.magellangps.com/en/support/products/upgrades/upgrade_gps320.asp
which to my mind is most certainly a Magellan site. However they claim
that these downloads are no longer available and not accessible via
conventional means, although I found it through a conventional search of
b: They cannot be held responsible for their
software because of the vagaries of the internet. Therefore I did
this at my own risk, and it was me that "stuffed" my GPS.
My discussion with Mr James ended quite rudely, after he called
me a “bleeding heart", told me that he was sick of the discussion and finally
offering me an ultimatum about whether or not I wanted to pay the $200.
When I said "No" he said "Well, I'll send it back to you" and promptly hung
up! I am very disappointed with the attitude and after sales service of
the Magellan Company.
Recently many people have remarked on the
quality of Garmin GPS products and many people seem to be far more impressed
with their products that with Magellan products. I don't know if Garmin's
after sales service is better than Magellan's, but I am now in the
market for a new GPS and I don't think I'll be returning to Magellan.
It's a real shame as this was a present from my wife, who spent too much money
on the present, when we couldn't really afford it, I have payed their, in my
opinion, exorbitant prices for various accessories which will now go to waste
(or a good home! Let me know if anyone wants a car adaptor and computer
lead for said GPS, free to a good home), and I had been a real advocate of
their products until this day.
At 08:56 AM 19/09/2005, you wrote:
On some recent group
birding trips I have had a number of people inquire about my mobile
telephone-sized Global Positioning System (GPS) and hence am interested in
people's experiences with hand held GPSs as part of their birding
Since purchasing my Garmin Geko 201 a
year ago, I've now found it to be valuable addition to my fauna survey work
and wondered what other peoples findings were.
I've noticed that Birds Australia, Bird Observers Club of Australia,
outdoors shops, marine outlets, map shops and dedicated GPS retailers all
tend to sell just a single brand of GPS (Magellan, Garmin, Leica etc) which
of course effects the availability of GPS to birdos.
As I'm planning on advising the Bird Observers Club of Australia on
some education material regarding GPS purchase and use etc I am keen to hear
answers to the following:
1. Which MAKE and
MODEL GPS? - Which GPS did you buy
2. What type of
retailer did you purchase your GPS from?
3. How much
did you pay?
4. Given that it is for birding, why
did you buy that particular make and model? (compact?, cheap?, easy to use,
only one available?..)
5. Is it EASY to use? (yes/no
6. In your opinion, what are the good
points/features for this make/model?
7. Are there
any problems or difficulties with the unit? (battery usage, complex to
understand, hard to read screen, inadequate instructions...?)
8. Do you just use your GPS for determining grid and
locality references for atlassing and bird censusing or do you also download
data gathered into you pc for home or work?
you recommend your GPS to others?
10. Comments - any
By mid October I'll endeavour to
collate the responses and post a summary to the list
Please post to me directly.
(I have no connection with any GPS
retailers or manufacturers but am just a birdo who uses GPS)
Threatened Species & Communities Section
Department of Sustainability and
2/8 Nicholson St. (PO Box
500), East Melbourne 3002
Tel: 9637 9869
Interstate 03 International 613)
Stuart J. N. Cooney
Candidate—Hooded Parrot Ecology
School of Botany and Zoology
Australian National University
Canberra, ACT, 0200, Australia
Fax: +61-2-6125 5573