Customer care via Twitter

Today I got very fast customer response from Polar using Twitter. I have to say ttwiit1hat I´m very pleased on fast answers and to a promise that they will pass on my feedback to their product management.

This case just underlines the fact that a global customer brand, like Polar, cannot underestimate the power of social media as a customer feedback and service channel. Social media is fast, interactive and public channel to have a dialog with customers. In my opinion Polar did good today on Twitter.

This whole episode begun earlier today when I noticed Polar´s status update on FB about new features on their RC3 GPS HRM. It has a GPS based altitude data which cannot be found on RCX5.twiit2

I asked on Twitter if they are planning to do a firmware update for RCX5 (using G5 GPS) to get this altitude information available as well. Of course you can find location based altitude data when you upload your trainings to polarpersonaltrainer.com. But this really isn´t what I need.

Unfortunately the answer was that an update is not in a pipeline.

As a cyclist I want to get cumulative climb data from each ride, per week, per month, per year etc. This is something RCX5 does not provide.

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What to say about Polar?

No connection between RCX5 and G5 GPS sensor.

A year ago I needed a new heart rate monitor. Polar introduced a new interesting productand and I instantly knew that´s the HRM I wanted. I bought Polar RCX5 and I was happy with my purchase.

I made my decision between RCX5 and Garmin Edge 800. They are not competing products, but I thought that RCX5 paired with G5 GPS would be more flexible choice for my purposes. I needed a wrist top computer rather than a bike mounted navigator. I´m doing a lot of other exercises than cycling, and that in mind I chose Polar.

I started to use my RCX5 with WearLink + Hybrid transmitter issued within the package. I was happy with the product and I told everybody how good it was. After a month or two I bought a G5 GPS sensor to track my runs. That was great, because I really wanted to know my speed and the exact distance I was running.

After three months of intensive use the problems started. My measured heart rate was bouncing from zero to 220. Sometimes I didn´t get any connection from the Hybrid transmitter. I tried to change the battery with no help.

RCX5 with WearLink + Hybrid transmitter was sent to Polar for maintenance. After a week I got it back with a brand new WearLink and everything was great. The problem was “corrosion” in the transmitter electrodes.

Intensive training for another three months and there was this same problem again. Now Polar sent me a new model of WearLink and new instructions to keep it clean. With the new WearLink you only have to rinse it and hang it to dry after use. You are not aloud to wash it in a washing machine anymore.

Everything has been good after receiving the new Wearlink. I also bought CS Cadence sensor (W.I.N.D) to gain more data of my cycling exercises and summer rides were just fantastic this year.

Couple of weeks ago my RCX5 needed a battery change. I went to an authorized Polar dealer in Helsinki to get battery change done professionally. After a couple of minutes I was told that my RCX5 has to be shipped to Polar. Again? That´s the third time! I was getting frustrated.

It took more than a week before I got my HRM back. And what I got was a brand new RCX5. Polar had replaced my old one because of some software problems and broken battery lid. OK, I thought, now I only have to do some reprogramming and I´m good to go!

How wrong I was 😦

First I couldn´t pair the new RCX5 with my G5 GPS. Now I´m unable to sync with polarpersonaltrainer.com with WebSync (Yes, I´ve uninstalled WebSync and reinstalled it). I Haven´t tried does this RCX5 link with my cadence sensor but that´s really not an issue…

It´s a pity, since as a Finn I like to support Finnish companies and buy Finnish products. I have also been interested in purchasing Polar CS500+ because I would like to have elevation information as well.

I don´t know what to do anymore. If I could rethink my purchase, I think I would buy a basic HRM for my exercises and Garmin Edge 800 for cycling purposes. Now I only have this RCX5 which is not performing like it is supposed to: Can´t upload my training data and can´t use the GPS…

Yesterday and today I sent email to Polar customer service and I have been Tweeting about this problem of mine. Let´s see if anything happens…