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Magellan, Are You Listening? A Social Media Experiment

April 18th, 2014 by Michael Dyet

Hmmm, is Red Green more customer service friendly than Magellan?

I have a Magellan GPS in my car. My regular usage of it has worn out the suction cup on the window/dash mount for the device. A simple problem to remedy? You would think so.

I go onto the Magellan website and locate the item at a price of $24.99. I put it in my virtual shopping cart. The shipping price displays as $7, which seems reasonable, so I click through. But in the final confirmation screen the shipping method defaults to Fedex Priority at a cost of $25. Do they really think I will pay $25 to ship a $24.99 item?

I patiently click on the “Change Order” button. But shipping method is not one of things I can change. Probably my fault, I decide. I likely clicked on the wrong box a step or two earlier. So I cancel the order and repeat the process. Same scenario – $7 standard shipping changes to $25 priority shipping with no way to change it. I am now mildly irritated.

I decide that I will have to resort to the old school telephone call. I access the “Contact Us” page and find a toll free customer service number. But it explicitly states that this number is for warranty inquiries only. Any other inquiry can only be made by e-mail or their online chat forum.

The implicit message is: We really don’t want to talk to you unless we absolutely have to. Now I am pissed off and in no mood to “chat”. So I resort to the e-mail option where several fill-in-the-category boxes confront me. Issue type: Request for replacement accessory. Subject: Windshield Mount. So far, so good.

The Product box has a drop-down menu. I select Accessory and move on to the Product Model box. But there is no drop-down menu for Product Model when the Product is Accessory. So I skip that box, type my message and click Send. A message pops up indicating that I must select a Product Model. This is going south fast.

I repeat the whole process with the same result. Now I am righteously indignant. How does this expletive deleted company stay in business with crappy customer service like this?

Eventually I cool down and decide that trying to do business with Magellan is probably bad for my health. Better to channel my inner Red Green and simply duct-tape the mount I have to the dash. Problem solved.

But then I have a moment of inspiration. This is an opportunity for a social media experiment. Astute companies use social media monitoring tools to scan for mentions of their brand in the online realm. So I am testing to see if Magellan is listening.

I know that the more often I use the company name the more likely it is that the monitoring tools will pick up the reference. So I’ll go the extra mile to help them:

Magellan customer service sucks. Magellan customer service sucks. Magellan customer service sucks. Magellan customer service sucks. Magellan customer service sucks.

Now I have mentioned Magellan nine times (well, that makes ten).So let’s see if Magellan (eleven times) is listening. If they are listening and read this post, which also appears on several social network sites, my request is: Send me the windshield/dash mount free of charge for the aggravation I have experienced. I’ll even provide the part number: AN0303SWXXX.

If Magellan (twelve times) is not listening, then I declare them to be a glaring metaphor for severely customer serviced impaired with a goodwill value lower than the price of a roll of duct tape.

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of “Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel” – double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at or the novel online companion at

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