Design faults to make you spend again

Poor quality

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19/10/2013 at 14:31

  I have a Timex Ironman Sleek150-lap Tapscreen watch. Cost £100 three years ago. The one year warranty is specific about what is and is not included. The strap is not included but if a new one is required Timex may charge the customer.

Two weeks ago I noticed that the plastic wrist strap was partially torn from the edge to one of the holes for the buckle. The jeweller sent it to Timex who said it could not be repaired but Timex would sell me a new one for £20 off the current price for same model. I said no thanks.

Apparently the reason that it cannot be repaired is that it is a strap moulded around the watch face. To my mind that contradicts the warranty specific to the watch which states a new strap would be at the customer's expense. However many "sports watches" nowadays have moulded straps, surely the watch does not become obsolete for want of a new strap?

It does cross my mind that a new strap and labour may cost as much as a new watch. If so, that in itself would be a poor design for any watch or suggest that the watch is cheap.

I may try melting the plastic to repair the tear and let it go once the battery runs out.

19/10/2013 at 15:00

I have to say I had the same experience. The strap fell apart and had to buy a new watch. Well, I say HAD to but TBH I was never that satisfied with the watch. The TAP element was next to useless so it was never worth the hundred pounds I paid for it. I replaced it with a Soleus watch which had beauty in it's simpicity. It was like the old Nike Triax watches were 10 years ago. A bargain for 35 pounds. Enough features to keep a runner happy.

19/10/2013 at 15:42

I had an older Timex Ironman watch and the guy in Timpsons put some pins across where the plastic strap metthe watch and sold me a velcro strap for a couple of quid, would thst work?

 

19/10/2013 at 21:17

Thanks for your comments. I am very disappointed with Timex as the warranty does suggest that a repair is available. All they want is another payment for same model that they admit cannot be repaired! 

I had thought of using staples (but they might rust) and using a different hole in the strap. The watch still has life as a new battery was fitted last year.

Ha, ha, yes the TAP (soft/medium/hard) screen was fun all it needed was a bump to  re-arrange my times mid race! Eventually I only used it for training but the watch face is huge and very easy to read in all conditions.

19/10/2013 at 21:33

The Timpsons guy in Brighton is pretty shit hot I must say

21/10/2013 at 10:52

Those soft rubber straps aren't fit for purpose.

I had an electronic watch where I had to post it back every year to get the strap replaced. It cost me something like £15 a time.

Unfortunately watch vendors have a vested interest in including a weak component that will fail. Either they profit from replacing the strap, or they get to sell you a new watch earlier than they otherwise would.

If you are buying a watch/heart rate monitor, it's worth looking at it first and checking if the strap's going to be up to the job before you buy.

If you have a soft rubber strap on your watch, try to bend it as little as possible. Otherwise you may be weakening it gradually.

 

21/10/2013 at 11:01

With the rate of technology progress these days and people upgrading their phones every time they're due a contract renewal, I wonder whether equipment manufacturers rather cynically take into account that people just accept product life spans being shorter these days.  ("They don't make them like they used to"... do I sound like an old man or what?!)

I'm equally unimpressed with my 300 quid+ Garmin 610 strap.  (Good job it was a present...)  Not even 18 months old and currently being held together with electrical tape to stop the pin coming out. 

Erc
21/10/2013 at 11:01

I had exactly the same happen, didn't want a new watch but was forced to get one.  Needless to say I didn't buy another Timex.

21/10/2013 at 11:30
PhilPub wrote (see)

With the rate of technology progress these days and people upgrading their phones every time they're due a contract renewal, I wonder whether equipment manufacturers rather cynically take into account that people just accept product life spans being shorter these days.  ("They don't make them like they used to"... do I sound like an old man or what?!)

I'm equally unimpressed with my 300 quid+ Garmin 610 strap.  (Good job it was a present...)  Not even 18 months old and currently being held together with electrical tape to stop the pin coming out. 

Talk of product renewal, ah, the old Garmin 610 - I remember those, in the days before the 620. Seriously though, I can't see myself being an early adopter of the 620. The 610 was their top end running watch and having the strap pin constantly work its way out was a pain.

They seem to have resolved this, as I sent it back at the end of the warranty period as the watch back was rusting and paint peeling, and also had a very dodgy lap button. The new 610 I have is much better, but as an experience, I won't consider something like a 620 until a few '000 runners have worked out the bugs and faults for Garmin. 

Edited: 21/10/2013 at 11:31
21/10/2013 at 11:42
Also-ran wrote (see)
 

They seem to have resolved this, as I sent it back at the end of the warranty period as the watch back was rusting and paint peeling, and also had a very dodgy lap button.  

When you say dodgy, do you mean not actually registering that you've pressed it for a good couple of seconds, thereby making it a PITA to use on interval sessions, wondering whether or not you've pressed it properly?

I'm being lazy and should probably look this up, but what do you think would be the chances of me having a good whinge about the watch's inadequacies - beyond a 12 month period - and getting a new one out of them?!

Edited: 21/10/2013 at 11:44
21/10/2013 at 11:53

The buckle of the strap on my Garmin 405 tore away from the strap.  Same thing happened to my friend's 405.

I fixed mine with a couple of very small cable ties.

I've always hated that strap, but was too mean to pay £20 for a velcro one to replace it!  The battery is going now, so when it fianally dies I'll get something different.  

I have had about four years of regular use out of it.

 

21/10/2013 at 12:19

PP - My lap button would beep but not register the lap, so I try again, and again ... The new one was perfect until I had a battle with a gel and things haven't been 100% perfect with the lap button recently.

I'm not sure whay joy you would get through a whinge. They may have a deal on replacing with a reconditioned watch.

I had a whinge about a footpod and got nowhere with them. It lasted less time than the battery, about 14 months. The option they offered was to buy a new one at full cost.

I'm liking all these home diy jobs on watch straps

21/10/2013 at 12:43

On a more positive note, my Nike Triax C8 which I've had for about 6ish years is still going strong. The HRM strap did give up earlier this year and I chose to buy a new watch but the Nike is still working well. On a less positive note, a watch I bought in January (I won't mention the brand but it is a very well known Swiss maker which cost a fairly significant 4 figure sum) is back being assessed as the strap started to come apart. Just the loops but even so, I expected it to last a bit more than 8 months! Still waiting to see if they'll replace it or say it's wear and tear. Dread to think how much it'll cost to replace if they won't cover it. Not a happy bunny..

22/10/2013 at 09:06

for those with broken plastic straps get hold of some Sugru - http://sugru.com/ - it's a putty that hardens on exposure and can be used to repair or amend all sorts of things - plastic, metal, wood etc.  

I've used it for odd jobs around the house and it works fine.  be patient and let the putty set fully before using the object.  

22/10/2013 at 09:20

Corr!  I think I need some Sugru in my life. "It makes everything Lego compatible."

22/10/2013 at 09:40

tell you what Phil - once you get some Sugru you'll be looking at all sorts of ways of using it. it's really quite a canny little product 

cougie    pirate
22/10/2013 at 09:43
I've had some for months but I'm loathe to use it. Searching for a sugru worthy problem !
22/10/2013 at 17:08

This is why I always buy a cheap £8 Casio digital watch. It has a stop watch on it, but if the strap breaks you can get a new strap for a couple of quid, or get a new watch. They tend to last me a couple of years anyway.

23/10/2013 at 18:20

And you wonder why you don't have a girlfriend?

24/10/2013 at 12:16

With apologies to Karen Samuel's "Talent or Beauty" thread:-

I know that I have design faults in the areas of both talent and beauty unfortunately I did not come with a warranty and the maker doesn't reply! Clearly beyond repair.

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