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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Negative Lowrance experience #13756428 11/04/20 03:06 PM
Joined: Sep 2003
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rkd Offline OP
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Not meant to open the flood gates on replies (positive or negative) but thought I'd post a quick experience with Lowrance. Maybe I can set expectations for anyone who is experiencing issues with their Lowrance graphs. Two Gen 3 units went out on me recently. Both right at 3 years which is, of course, one year past warranty.

First issue-HDS Gen 3 (bow unit) filled with water. Called Lowrance customer service and had to ship to Lowrance for repair. (on my dime so around $25) While on phone with customer service scheduling the repair, I had to commit to either buying a replacement unit OR upgrading to a Live model at a very fair discount. I didn't know anything about the Live units and would have preferred to do some research first but they would only allow for a decision then and there over the phone before proceeding. I didn't like being required to make a $1K decision on the spur of the moment but in the end, I got a new Live unit at a good discount. They paid for shipping new unit to my house so that was a wash. Turn around time was about 4-5 weeks so that's reasonable in my opinion. For what it's worth, I've owned Lowrance for 15+ years and never had issues. Maybe I've been lucky but a high end unit filling with water after only 3 years isn't impressive.

Second issue-HDS Gen 3 (dash unit) back light stopped working. Met Lowrance rep at Bass Pro (on a positive, he was VERY helpful) but he couldn't fix the problem so now I'm on the phone with Lowrance customer service yet again. Same routine. This time I can't afford the upgrade so I just want this unit repaired or replaced with the same model. A repair is around $200 OR a replacement is $700. I had to give them my credit card over the phone and they automatically charged me the $700 JUST IN CASE the unit can't be repaired. This is before I had even mailed the broken unit to them. I called and complained and they said they would refund me the difference if the original unit could be repaired. At this point, what do you think my chances are of getting my original graph fixed?? $700 later I am now waiting for a new unit to be mailed to me. I really thought a back-light issue could be fixed by the experts. In contrast, I did not expect a water logged unit to get fixed.

I was a loyal Lowrance user for many years. The new Live unit is great. Heck, the Gen 3 HDS units were great until they broke. I am not sure I can afford to replace these high end units every three years. Quality doesn't seem to be what it used to be. Customer service was average at best. The rep (Rob) I spoke with at Bass Pro was very positive. He helped me over the phone several times and I appreciate his time.

Moritz Chevrolet - 9101 Camp Bowie W Blvd, Fort Worth, TX - Monte Coon (817) 696-2003
Re: Negative Lowrance experience [Re: rkd] #13756495 11/04/20 03:55 PM
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James Biggs Online Content
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I love my Lowrance & Garmin units. You couldn’t pay me to switch to birds.(even though they have a pretty picture)

Re: Negative Lowrance experience [Re: rkd] #13756515 11/04/20 04:06 PM
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WALLS Online Content
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Lowrance customer service has not been great in many, many years. I'm genuinely sorry to hear of your experiences but there are many options out there now. Sell the replacement units and go a different direction.

Re: Negative Lowrance experience [Re: rkd] #13756553 11/04/20 04:35 PM
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rkd Offline OP
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James-I know you're a big fan of Lowrance. I had you take me out on one of the local lakes a few months ago and you were very complimentary of the Lowrance. Glad to see I had them on my boat. Your on-the-water education on the units was outstanding and much appreciated. The funny thing was the touch screen feature on my bow HDS had stopped working, (I didn't even mention that issue in my OP but yes, it was yet another malfunction), and it was funny watching you manually scroll through the screens and manually enter waypoints, etc. It was like you had gone back to the dark ages! I've never had a touch screen before so the malfunction didn't really effect me as much as it did you. These new units will spoil you!!

Re: Negative Lowrance experience [Re: rkd] #13756566 11/04/20 04:51 PM
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Gruber Offline
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I would rather fish than watch tv! Too big boats run and gun, too many gadgets, i keep it simple and just fish! More time fishing means more fish means mor fun

Re: Negative Lowrance experience [Re: rkd] #13756570 11/04/20 04:54 PM
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James Biggs Online Content
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Originally Posted by rkd
James-I know you're a big fan of Lowrance. I had you take me out on one of the local lakes a few months ago and you were very complimentary of the Lowrance. Glad to see I had them on my boat. Your on-the-water education on the units was outstanding and much appreciated. The funny thing was the touch screen feature on my bow HDS had stopped working, (I didn't even mention that issue in my OP but yes, it was yet another malfunction), and it was funny watching you manually scroll through the screens and manually enter waypoints, etc. It was like you had gone back to the dark ages! I've never had a touch screen before so the malfunction didn't really effect me as much as it did you. These new units will spoil you!!


Haha yeah touch screen is a big time saver for sure!

Re: Negative Lowrance experience [Re: rkd] #13756621 11/04/20 05:25 PM
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PhishWhisperer Offline
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I have had 8 high-end digital Lowrance units over the past couple of decades. They ALL leaked! According to Lowrance, "Our units are water-resistant, not water-proof." For a machine that will certainly be used in the rain, why not make them WATER-PROOF? I have an underwater video housing that is water proof to 130 feet.

Re: Negative Lowrance experience [Re: rkd] #13756639 11/04/20 05:36 PM
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Cuervo Jones Online Content
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Never had any problems with Lowrance and I’ve been using various models since 1988. Complaining on a public forum is cathartic, but probably not going to help anybody.


“Slide”
Re: Negative Lowrance experience [Re: Cuervo Jones] #13756732 11/04/20 06:39 PM
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Txduckhunter Offline
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Originally Posted by Cuervo Jones
Never had any problems with Lowrance and I’ve been using various models since 1988. Complaining on a public forum is cathartic, but probably not going to help anybody.


perhaps it might keep someone from making the same mistake/problem he has..

Plan on going to all Birds in the near future, done with Lowrance

Re: Negative Lowrance experience [Re: rkd] #13756736 11/04/20 06:41 PM
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603Country Offline
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I’ve had issues with Lowrance Hook2-5 units. I had them left on the console and bow when we went to Garmin. I don’t even turn on the Lowrance units any more. Of course, they aren’t top of the line, but still.

Re: Negative Lowrance experience [Re: rkd] #13756744 11/04/20 06:50 PM
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David Welcher Offline
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I've been harping on this high quality brand for years, and I get all kinds of haters, bashing me on how it's my fault because I buy cheap stuff. I'll never ever purchase another Lowrance product in my lifetime.

Re: Negative Lowrance experience [Re: rkd] #13756756 11/04/20 06:56 PM
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HDVS Offline
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Both of my 12 live's have had the back light go out in them! Took 5 weeks on the first one plus my shipping and $65 insurance. They told me they had to go to California and then to Mexico and then back to me! Guess I am going to have to go thru it again with the other one now! These will be my last Lowrance products! I love them but have had issues for 20 yrs with them!

Re: Negative Lowrance experience [Re: rkd] #13756881 11/04/20 08:40 PM
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B. Dill Offline
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All of them should be better. Every unit I have had, regardless of brand, had issues. Picture freezes, unit restarts, temp stops working, heading sensor works one day doesn't the next. Can't count how many times something stops working then power off and on and suddenly it works. Wont read SD card... try again...reads the SD card.

They release a model. It's $3,000.00. 9 months later they're blowing them out for $1000 and the new model is $3500 and can't get $500 for the old one.

It's all bull [censored].

Last edited by B. Dill; 11/04/20 08:44 PM.
Re: Negative Lowrance experience [Re: rkd] #13757351 11/05/20 03:03 AM
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BigVes Offline
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I’ve only had 1 issue with a Lowrance graph and that’s all I’ve ever ran bc I like the user friendly interface. I will admit their customer service is very poor. Only way to get anything accomplished is to ask for a supervisor so they transfer you to an actual customer service person with decision making power at their headquarters.


Adam Vesely
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www.RayHubbardBassClub.com
PB 10.94lbs Lake Ray Hubbard 4.7.19
Re: Negative Lowrance experience [Re: rkd] #13757529 11/05/20 12:06 PM
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tmd11111 Online Content
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I guess I'm one of the fortunate few. Been running nothing but Lowrance for 30 years and never had one fail. I did recently get a HB Helix to connect to my Ulterra a few months ago. So far its been a love / hate relationship with it. Nice picture but not near as user friendly.

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