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Schroder
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PostWed Mar 06, 2019 8:37 am 
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SPOT failed when this guy finally had to use it:
NAS Whidbey helicopter crew rescues two men in separate snowmobile crashes

and for those on Facebook, here's his own story:

Quote:
I hit the SOS button on my SPOT. To my horror the button did nothing after repeated attempts. Then even crazier my friends #spotgen3 wouldnít activate the SOS either. Both units were blinking green, were blinking all the correct lights in the start up self test.
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Foist
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PostWed Mar 06, 2019 10:26 am 
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SPOT is a ripoff.
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Navy salad
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PostWed Mar 06, 2019 11:41 am 
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Foist wrote:
SPOT is a ripoff

So this is common?
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hbb
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PostWed Mar 06, 2019 11:55 am 
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I don't understand why you would try to summon help with a satellite messenger if you are in cell phone range. What as I missing?
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Foist
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PostWed Mar 06, 2019 12:06 pm 
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There is a monthly subscription, and PLBs don't require that.  And we did have a SPOT at one time, took on a trip in Alaska, and it was supposed to send "OK" messages on a regular basis and they just didn't go through.  I understand this is common.  The PLB I have now does not have the "OK" message capability, but at least they don't charge a subscription fee.
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Jeff
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PostWed Mar 06, 2019 4:00 pm 
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Spot and inreach are great if you are more interested in sending text messages, but in an emergency I will take a PLB every time.
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filbert
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PostSat Mar 09, 2019 10:23 pm 
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Do you have some statistics that show relative connection success rates?  Yes, I know the PLB
has a more powerful transmitter.  Some people insist that the bidirectional communications
capability is worth the extra cost/subscription.

{I have a PLB with aging battery, considering the InReach mini}.

--------------
With every passing hour our solar system comes forty-three thousand miles closer to globular cluster M13 in the constellation Hercules, and still there are some misfits who continue to insist that there is no such thing as progress.
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Schroder
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PostSun Mar 10, 2019 10:07 am 
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Here's the full statement with the updates from the Facebook page.  Apparently one had failed and the others subscription had expired without the user's awareness

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*** Update3****I think it only fair that SPOT has a voice in this too as they are sincerely trying to correct this issue. So I have agreed to post their official statement. I didnít intend for this to go viral and have so much responsibility from it. I do want to make sure that everyone can rely on their life saving equipment. Thatís is why I initially posted this. To see the official statement please scroll to the bottom of the post.

Thanks and be safe everyone,
Kirk

SPOT LLC #spotsaveslives did NOT save my life. It in fact it failed me at the most critical moment. U.S. Navy did however come to the rescue. Hereís a little update to the story that KIRO 7 News ran on my Mt Baker rescue. I had just suffered a horrendous compound fracture of the lower leg way out in the Mt Baker Wilderness. In a location and terrain that necessitated a quick rescue to save my leg and my life. I hit the SOS button on my SPOT. To my horror the button did nothing after repeated attempts. Then even crazier my friends #spotgen3 wouldnít activate the SOS either. Both units were blinking green, were blinking all the correct lights in the start up self test. I have been running SPOT devices in my #airplane and all my #backcountry, #floatplane, and #snowmobile adventures for at least a decade. I have persuaded many friends to buy the device over the years. This however was the first time I needed it. Part of me is glad it happened. Because during all those preflight and pre-ride discussion where Iíve looked people straight in the eye and said this is your best way to rescue. Iím out of the hospital and well enough now to call SPOT and get their take on it. Tech support had me go through various tests. Then had me test the ďhelp/sosĒ functions. NOPE. Still doesnít work. Nothing lights up. Just the blinking green light at the power icon. So they have me try the ďokĒ button. Yep. Still works normally. Now hereís my biggest concern. How many units are like mine and my friendís @krispelan ? How many still work in track and ok lulling you into a false sense that the unit will work when you need the SOS or HELP function? Scary to say the least. So if you have one of these devices I suggest you call SPOT LLC and have them test your unit. I requested a credit towards #spotx in lieu of a new #spotgen3 replacement they offered because I donít trust the hardware. He told me to sell it on ebay🤷‍♂️🤦‍♂️. Ok right... Iíve given you my trust and money all these years and I finally need your services. The least you could do is upgrade credit me to a two way comm unit so that I know itís working. At least Iím told my GEOS rescue insurance should still apply. What would you do?

#KIRO7Seattle story

https://www.kiro7.com/Ö/nas-whidbey-helicopter-crÖ/923142305

Update: Thank you so much for sharing this story. I hope it saves someoneís life. I just received a call from a high manager at SPOT after this went viral. Sad that it took that for someone in the company to think this was serious. Weíll see what they do to make it right and assure us that their products are reliable. Iíll keep you posted 🙏

Update #2: SPOT management just called me again(the morning after this went viral) They are very apologetic and sound very sincere in there concern about what happened to us. I think itís sincere but also a bit of damage control. They tell me that this is a ďone offĒ that this unit worked(or rather didnít work) in the manor described. They are taking both of our Gen3 SPOT devices to see what happened. In addition they are sending me the new SPOTX that offers texting so that I can verify that itís indeed working. In addition they are giving me a free one year extension on my plan. They say itís the least they can do. So for now I will accept the SPOTX and subscription and try it out for the next 17 months. I will however be supplementing it with another device and an Eprib. So long story short I think I got a bad manager the first time I called. He didnít seem to care about the gravity of the situation. Didnít even ask for the defective unit to test it. And of course even worse telling me to sell replacement SPOT product on Ebay to buy another SPOT product. He really acted like a blocking agent rather than a problem solver. However now the upper management is trying to make it right and show us how serious they consider these devices to be to us. They tell me they are going to use this as a training tool for their employees. Iím still apprehensive to trusting a gen3 after what happened. If you have one in my opinion Iíd get it checked even if itís still working in the ďOKĒ function it may not be working in the SOS function as mine did. I thought it only fair that SPOT had a voice in this too thatís why Iím giving these updates. They tell me they have over 6000 rescues. My goal is to inform others because of the life saving nature of the device.

***From SPOT:*****************************

ďSPOT LLC takes this incident very seriously. Mr. LeDoux is sending us his device and we will be conducting a full assessment of it. We have confirmed that the second device in question was previously deactivated at the customerís request. SPOT products are used daily to initiate emergency communications, many resulting in life-saving rescues. Over the past 10 years, SPOT devices have initiated over 6,000 rescues worldwide. We have hundreds of thousands of subscribers that depend on SPOT service and they can rest assured that it remains as reliable as ever. If any customers have questions or concerns about their SPOT device, please contact our customer service team at 1(866)651-7768.Ē
**********************************************
^^^In reference to Krisí SPOT its a good idea to double check your subscription. Kris was unaware for various reasons that his had expired until SPOT investigated this incident.

On another note please stop sending me friend requests and solicitation for interviews, etc... Iím just trying to recover...

🙏Kirk
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Foist
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PostSun Mar 10, 2019 10:14 am 
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That just underscores why it's a bad idea to get a plb requiring a subscription.
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reststep
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PostSun Mar 10, 2019 1:22 pm 
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How do you know your plb works? Is there a way to test it?

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"The mountains are calling and I must go." - John Muir
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Foist
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PostSun Mar 10, 2019 1:30 pm 
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Yes.
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Cyclopath
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PostSun Mar 10, 2019 5:11 pm 
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filbert wrote:
{I have a PLB with aging battery, considering the InReach mini}.

I'm in exactly the same boat.

It sounds like the two units malfunctioned?  I hope they have to relay an SOS whether your subscription is current or not?
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Tom
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PostSun Mar 10, 2019 6:29 pm 
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Only one malfunctioned.  The other one didn't have a subscription.  But I agree, they should send SOS regardless of subscription.
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runup
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PostTue Mar 12, 2019 7:22 pm 
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In my experience, automatic renewal is in the SPOT subscription when you activate the device.  It renews automatically unless you proactively cancel before the renewal date (similar to a monitoring service for a home security system or a Life Alert type device).


I understand the benevolent intention, but I donít believe that rescues should be triggered by devices that have been proactively canceled by a subscriber.  If non-subscribers could rely on being rescued through a device they have deactivated, eventually no one would bother to pay for a subscription to maintain and operate the monitoring system.
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Schroder
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PostWed Mar 13, 2019 9:01 am 
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runup wrote:
If non-subscribers could rely on being rescued through a device they have deactivated, eventually no one would bother to pay for a subscription to maintain and operate the monitoring system.

I disagree. Most people go to SPOT for its messaging capabilities and that's where their operating costs are.  If you only want a rescue beacon, a PLB is the obvious way to go, but I agree that the rescue function should always work.
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