Garmin – Should I just leave her or try to re-Connect?

I didn't want it to come to this. The honeymoon with my Edge 305 and the MotionBased subscription service ended months ago. These days we're both just going through the motions and the lies and recriminations are starting to pile up. She's always been temperamental. Lord knows I've tried to provide a receptive environment, one that listened to her intermittent signals and tolerated her secrets. It's just not natural to expect a man to have only ONE USB partner, is it?

At times it didn't matter what I did, the only thing that satisfied her was to stop everything I was doing, and give her my undivided attention. Her witless friend from the Training Center kept popping in at the most inopportune moments anytime I wanted to talk to her Agent alone. Sometimes she'd just clam up completely and I'd have to press all the right buttons to get her to communicate. If only she was by Polar this might be easier.

Eventually she'd blurt out some XMLpletives and then lie there with that horrible blank look, while I tried to pick up the pieces. I looked for solace online; I'm not too proud to admit, I paid for it. The service was cheap and I was just happy for some company. I didn't spend a lot of time there, I just wanted to get in, and get out but it gave me little satisfaction or release.

The service was slow, there were no shortcuts and at times it was downright painful. They were just going through the same Baseless Motions, promising they loved me, but with every vacant interaction I knew they didn't care about anything but my money. They never remembered any of the things I liked to do. Each time, it was the same robotic, repetitive process. I tried to Digest it all but couldn't.

It gets worse, my Edge is sick, she's lost some of her pixels and I can barely make out what she's saying. Her family, the Garmins, recently asked me to stick around for another year – think of the data, but I don't know if it's worth it. They've promised to help us make a new start, to re-Connect, but I just don't understand the Plus and minus of it all anymore. Sometimes it's just better to walk away.

It's sad when relationships end, sadder still when you've travelled many miles together. MapmyWords.

Humor aside, I really don't know what to do about Garmin's new Connect service. MotionBased development in 2007 has been glacially slow, and customers get no direct communication. It's left to us to search through the forum or blog for scraps of information. Garmin has some good products, but their web services are hamstrung by poor usability and they've got some serious customer-relationship issues.

7 Responses to Garmin – Should I just leave her or try to re-Connect?

  1. sam says:

    i’m actually pretty excited about Connect. From the existing site, it definitely looks to be “web 2.0″ and will hopefully expand upon motionbased and the things that it was missing. it would be nice if there was a beta program or some way for us existing users to see it.

  2. A beta program is a great idea… I just see no reason why it should be so difficult to evaluate the “What” and “When” of Connect and Connect Plus. It’s so easy to put out a periodic online newsletter. Saris and Competitive Cyclist are two good examples of cycling companies that make regular communication with customers a priority.

    When the only thing you get from a company is “our auto renewal of your subscription failed to process” it does make you wonder. Glad you see cause for optimism.

  3. wes says:

    Are you using the Garmin software on a mac or a pc? I gave up on Motionbased pretty quickly when I realized it doesn’t support files without gps data. I’m using the thing on my trainer through the Winter with the speed/cadence sensor, but apparently Motionbased doesn’t like that. I did a little searching and it seemed like other people wanted it as well, but as you said, the development seems to be moving at a snail’s pace.

    However, I’ve been fairly happy with the unit itself. In fact, it was only today that I noticed any weirdness when my speed was flipping from 32kph to 16kph… clearly it was occasionally missing a rotation of the wheel. But, I also just reinstalled the magnet on my wheel, so perhaps I have the alignment off slightly or something.

    Anyway long story longer, I’m using a Mac and apparently Training Center is actually worse in MacOS than it is in Windows. But, as per usual there’s someone out there in the Mac community with the motivation and skills to code something better than the manufacturer; in this case that’s a program called Ascent. So basically I’m using Training Center just to set up structured workouts, and then I’m using Ascent to view/track/etc all the recorded data.

    Of course, if you’re using a windows machine that doesn’t really help you.

  4. Wes,

    I’m on the PC. I’d love to have the ability to add non-GPS activities to the log, including the odd ride where the Edge 305 has a problem recording. Apparently it’s on the development schedule, but there’s been no concrete evidence it’s forthcoming anytime soon.

    I’d be happy if some of the nagging usability problems that compromise the site were addressed. Since my post, I’ve been reassured by Garmin support that Connect will be worth the wait. I hope it is, because if it’s not substantially better than MB right out the gate I’ll be looking around for an alternative like Ascent.

  5. Kieron says:

    Hi Velodramatic,

    Fantastic post – you describe perfectly the heartache of a long term relationship with an faithful training partner whose all too frequent failings can no longer be ignored.

    “Upload your workout data to MotionBased.com, Garmin’s web-based application that provides in-depth analysis of your workouts, online mapping and route sharing that will take your training to the next level,” says Garmin.

    I’m sure I would – if only MotionBased.com were available on a regular basis and I had the patience to wait longer for the data upload than I’d just spent training. I’m a particularly slow distance runner, so that can be a very long time with numerous connects, reconnects, failed uploads and “refresh to view your inbox for new activities” (which are still being processed – “please browse the MotionBased website”).

    I love the idea of a Forerunner 405 and Garmin Connect to replace my inadequate 305 and the hopelessly abandoned MotionBased website, but I think it might be more appropriate to accept that this is another Garmin fantasy bound to disappoint if it were ever made real.

    Kieron

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