A number of owners of the original Tacx Neo smart trainer have complained that new parent company Garmin will not provide support once the unit is out of warranty. One has told road.cc of his frustration at being left with “a very expensive paperweight” after downloading the latest firmware into an otherwise mint condition unit.
Mark Jones bought a Tacx Neo from a small independent retailer in October 2015.
“It’s not had a lot of use since then, as I bought an Atom two years ago and use that,” he told us. “Having something already set up was easier on my motivation than setting it up each time in a flat.
“So the unit has been in its original box in the bedroom most of the last two to three years, so it’s in mint condition.
“As I wasn't using it, I was thinking of selling it and plugged it in to test it was all okay and to download the latest firmware.
“That loaded correctly and it connected to the app, but it wasn’t registering any power, and I had two flashing lights.”
Tacx was taken over by Garmin in February of last year. Jones phoned product support about the issue and they explained the unit had failed and would need to be replaced, asking for proof of purchase and contact details.
Jones provided this information and after a couple of emails was told that the item was out of warranty and as it was a Tacx Neo 1, “they were not willing to provide any support, repair, replacement or any dialogue as to what was wrong with the unit.
“I was also notified that if I didn’t like the decision to take it up with the retailer under the consumer rights act 2015, as it wasn’t Garmin's problem any more.”
Jones said all he was offered was a 20 per cent discount off a new trainer.
Posts on a Tacx Neo owners’ forum on Facebook outline a number of similar stories from other users.
While also stating that Garmin had offered to review how specific cases were handled, the owners’ forum administrator summed up the firm’s position as: “Once your unit is out of warranty – too bad. They will offer you a discount for an upgrade, but no support.”
A post from Tacx responding to the thread states: “Just for your info that this topic is being followed and that from a support perspective Tacx/Garmin will share some more information on out of warranty items in the near future to be more transparent of how this is handled.”
A Garmin spokesperson told road.cc: “We are aware of the comments on social media and are investigating the claims. We value all of our customers and are exploring ways to resolve similar inquiries going forward.”
Jones says the fault on his trainer is not wear and tear. “The unit has failed. It appears to be a fault they know about as they have an immediate replacement policy for Tacx 2 customers with this software fault. I’ll have to bin it or give it to someone for spares as it’s of no use as a trainer.”
Jones says he is, “well and truly hacked off with Garmin and won’t be buying another Garmin device ever.”