Before my trip to Texas, I reported that I sent my three year old Polar S-710 in for battery service. I received the receiver and a new T61-Coded transmitter back from Polar this afternoon, via UPS.
During email correspondence about the Joel McNamara's review of the Garmin Forerunner 201, Joel asked me to report on the experience of having a Polar heart rate monitor serviced by Polar USA. He said:
I was wondering if you'd gotten your s710 back from Polar yet. I've always managed to either break or squeeze the last remnants of life out of my monitors, and have yet to do the battery replacement thing. I'm definitely interested in reading about your experiences, since the whole process is kind of a mystery to many Polar owners.
Fair enough. I'm providing all of the details. Read on if you are interested....
I followed the service instructions on Polar USA's website. I printed out a service repair form which asked me for the following information:
- name and address,
- telephone number,
- email address,
- model number,
- receiver serial number,
- transmitter manufacture date (I couldn't read that, despite the instructions),
- package contents and pre-service check list,
- explanation of the exact problem with the Polar Heart Rate Monitor, and
- credit card information for pre-authorized payment.
I packed the receiver, transmitter, and a strap in a box and sent it to Polar USA in Lake Success, NY, a town on Long Island very close to New York City. The instructions recommended that I use a shipping service that is insurable and traceable, so I sent the package by USPS First Class Mail with package Delivery Confirmation. I insured the package for $250, which cost less than $4.00.
I mailed the package on February 10. It got to Polar's service center on Long Island on February 12. It sat there unopened until February 20. When I got back from Texas, I called the Polar Service Center and learned that they were experiencing a one week backlog due to seasonal factors (lots of people send their HRMs in for service at the beginning of the Spring running and cycling seasons).
The unit was looked at on February 23, the next business day. I was called by a service technician who told me that my receiver battery was dead and that my coded transmitter would need to be replaced. I called back on the 24th and verbally approved the repair which would end up costing $52.49, although I had already authorized them to charge me up to $59 for the repair as they recommended. Not sure about why they required me to call them back on this, but it didn't delay things much.
Polar completed the repair and shipped it back to me on February 24 via UPS 3 Day Select. Since I am in the immediate vicinity of New York, I got the package the next day.
Here's what the repair slip says:
Owner and Product Information:
Aiello David E
- Polar S710 receiver #F139700902576 : 200 - Battery weak or flat
- T61 transmitter # 137 : 194 - Transmitter range failed
- Elastic strap M # :
Battery Replacement, $10.00
Transmitter Coded T61, $34.99
- Battery CR2032
- Checked / repl gasket
- Tested for mech. damage
- Functionality test
- Water resistance test
- Repl batt and adjust contacts
Shipping and handling: $7.50
So the repair took 15 days, door-to-door. This is perfectly acceptable to me, considering that Polar has only two authorized service centers listed on its website at this time. I definitely care about water resistance, so I wanted the receiver serviced according to Polar's specs. I also benefitted from the integrated test of the S-710 and the T61 because the technician identified the degradation of the transmitter's range, and recommended replacement.
All in all, I am very satisfied with this process. The cost was less than I had expected, I got the unit back in an acceptable timeframe, and I'll probably get another two or three years of use out of it.
Update on January 2, 2005: Operation Gadget reader David James reported that his Polar S-710 required a CR2354, not a CR2032. I reported that my Polar S-710 takes a CR2032 because that is what Polar USA's repair slip literally said. My conclusion after exchanging emails with David is that there must be slight differences between models of Polar S-710 heart rate monitors produced at different times. I still recommend that readers use an authorized service center for battery replacements because service includes battery replacement, resealing, and water resistance testing. [ Thanks, David. ]