Polar HR Monitors -- Giant Fraud

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Dave25C, Jan 21, 2005.

  1. Dave25C

    Dave25C New Member

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    If you're thinking of buying a Polar HR monitor, Don't. For one thing, if your experience is like mine, the battery will fail within six months or so. Then, you'll discover that you have to send the device all the way to Massachusetts just to change the battery, and they'll take over a month to even let you know what the charges are ($12.50 including shipping). And, of course they'll use the opportunity to try to sell you "the newer model."

    I've never seen any consumer product that had to go back to the manufacturer just to change the battery. Their excuse is that it makes it waterproof again. Candidly, I think that's garbage. Why could all the other makers do the same thing, and make battery change consumer friendly while retaining waterproof. Several of my watches are just like that.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

    Dave Clark
    <[email protected]>
     
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  2. shill

    shill New Member

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    My 2 cents worth. Having a Polar 10 months out of the year is better than 0 months out of the year. I think they have a great product. I have only had my Polar HRM for 3 months, so I have not experienced the same problems. But if and when I have to send it in, I won't quit using mine when it returns for fear of running the battery out.







     
  3. jerryz

    jerryz New Member

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    You can do it yourself. I did my own. There's a rubber seal and if you are careful not to tear it the watch will be waterproof when you are done. THe watches are very dependable. Sounds like you had an unusual experience.
     
  4. Weisse Luft

    Weisse Luft New Member

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    The problem with changing the battery yourself is most ham-fisted non-jewlers do not have the correct tools and do not realize there is a layer of gunk that builds up next to the seal. This gunk must be cleaned off, otherwise the seal is less than reliable. Not any screwdriver will work and ham fists often break the things or at least mangle the screws.

    It would help if you bought a jewler's magnifier, the correct screwdriver and a new gasket. Clean the monitor well before opening, clean it well after getting the back and seal off and inspect carefully. Do not touch the battery with your bare hands, oils and dirt will compromise the connection. Same goes for any internal part.

    With that said, it can be done.
     
  5. jerryz

    jerryz New Member

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    Good points. I guess I didn't think about because I had the right screwdriver and had to take mine apart well before the battery died when I was trying to clean a sticky red button. Actually the rubber seal is quite robust and can take some abuse. You won't break it with reasonable care and your watch will remain watertight (at least mine has) if you proceed with caution. The ham fist part was good though. It's definitly not a case of "get a bigger hammer.":rolleyes:
     
  6. tanggoman

    tanggoman New Member

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    I've had mine close to 2years now and still no problems like you mentioned.
     
  7. Insight Driver

    Insight Driver New Member

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    I also have a mid-range monitor and my battery is still good going on one year so far with nearly daily use. I would not bother to send my monitor in for a battery change. It's got a watch-style back to it so I would take it apart myself. I agree that Polar sucks that way for they could let any jeweler or battery retailer do the work but don't say that in their literature. That said, I am sure they have good reason for I have worked in service and repair and seen a lot of stuff come back that obviously was screwed up by someone who did not know what they were doing when they broke it.
     
  8. zerokoo0l

    zerokoo0l New Member

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    I have a Polar 720. At the begining of last summer I had the "brilliant" idea of Nairing my legs (I will not repeat the episode). I got Nair in the watch and it ceased to work. I took the watch back to the LBS where I purchased it and explained the mishap. When they were looking at the watch they noticed that the crystal did not seem to be right and that may have been the reason the Nair entered in. They offered to send the watch back to Polar explaining that there may (probably) be a hefty charge to fix it but it was worth sending it in. About 6 weeks later in my mailbox was a package from Polar. A brand new 720 provided under warranty. I actually called to thank them and was told that the product is a quality product and the crystal should not have been broken under normal use, that the watch had no signs of abuse and that the Nair should not have entered the watch if the crystal wasnt cracked. I have no complaints, only praises and the fact that they prefer to do the battery change themselves would feel comfortable sending the watch back knowing that this is the level of pride and service they offer.
     
  9. Dave25C

    Dave25C New Member

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    This has been an interesting discussion. The fact remains that it was only upon the device failing that I learned for the first time that it must be sent back to the factory for a mere battery change. Now I know, of course, so I'll be forewarned and probably just change it myself -- trying to avoid my ham fists.

    Would any of you tolerate that with other parts of your bicycle? For example, the tube or tire or brake pads or cables or anything else? Would you tolerate that with your automobile, namely, that you had to take the car somewhere and leave it for a month? Just for a new battery, and the salesman did not tell you of that restriction when it was sold to you? Years ago car manufacturers used to tell you that unless you had the care serviced and repaired at a dealer, you'd void the warranty. Regulatory authorities got after the manufacturers (there are serious anti-trust problems involved), and such restrictions are not any longer in place. You can take your new car to Jiffy Lube for an oil & filter change without voiding the new car warranty. Why should a bicycle HR monitor manufacturer be any different?
     
  10. Miss Meow

    Miss Meow New Member

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    Dave, six months sounds like a short time for the battery to last. Are you wiping and thoroughly drying the chest band when you finish training? Sweat/dampness can make the connection stay 'live' and drain the battery.

    We have to send our HRMs interstate for battery changing too as I'm too chicken to try it myself. I try to schedule it for a rest week so it's not a hassle. Our Polar distributor has been nothing but fast and completely professional so I don't mind.
     
  11. 531Aussie

    531Aussie Well-Known Member

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    I agree that you've probably had an unusual experience.

    I've used my Polar A3 almost every day for 2 years, and it's still going.
     
  12. Powerful Pete

    Powerful Pete New Member

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    Yes, I would go with the majority and state that you got a lemon. I have a Polar S-150 (I think) which has been subject to heavy use (spinning/rowing classes every day plus riding) for over a year with no sign of battery trouble.

    I have also only heard great things about Polar's warranty and customer service (which is rare here in Italy) so I will stick with them until experience proves me wrong.
     
  13. Meek One

    Meek One New Member

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    Had my 725 for a month now and loving it...
     
  14. RC2

    RC2 New Member

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    I've had an S520 since last april. Although I like it a lot, the crystal cracked a month ago (under 'normal' use) and the chest strap HRM battery just ran out, so I've got some mailing to do. Have to admit that's pretty annoying. Why can't I be trusted to change a battery?
     
  15. tourdelivermore

    tourdelivermore New Member

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    I have had a polar s720 for two years. Last fall, I sent the HRM to Ann Arbor, MI to replace battery and crystal. They received the HRM, but lost it somewhere in their shop. They happily replaced it with a brand new unit. Excellent service.

    Also, I have used email tech support with the site from Finland...they always reply next day...great support.

    Polar has a great product and support.
     
  16. cyclepath

    cyclepath New Member

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    Has anyone replaced the batteries in the cadence or speed sensors? I just purchased a s625x for cycling\running and was wondering what kind of life people have had from the wireless sensor units. I tried to unscrew one to take a look inside but my jewelers screwdriver did not seem to fit properly so I stopped before I stripped the screw.
     
  17. Bill_Sev

    Bill_Sev New Member

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    Replacing the battery in the cadence sensor is really easy.....It's just a CR2032 but you denifately need the right screw driver......Oh yeah don't drop the cadence sensor because the antenna breaks really easy!
     
  18. mrowkoob

    mrowkoob New Member

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    On my 3rd year as a 710 owner. Had some problems with my first 710 which polar replaced in 36 Hours, along with a written apology and some free gifts. I´ve had my current 710 for about three years and it has been running flawlessly. One battery change after about 2 years of use and about 1200 hours of use active training... sent the watch wednesday got it back friday same week. I´ll give Polar top grades for the best consumer service I´ve ever received. That said I dont live in the US and the service was ofcourse given by the local Polar importer here in Denmark. Oh yeah I change the batterys on the sensors by myself. If I were you I would write Polar in Finland where they are made and complain about the service coming from Milwaukee. The Finns seem to be pretty conscious about providing a good service.
     
  19. kburnett

    kburnett New Member

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    I can't attest to the battery issue but it would not suprise me. As poorly designed as the Polar interfaces and accessories are (and overpriced to boot) I would not be suprised to learn that something as simple as a battery change would be made more complicated than it really could or should be.

    I can't wait to get rid of my S625X and all it's clunky components. And hopefully I can do that before the battery dies.
     
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