A Litany of InReach Mini Woes: MAJOR LIMITATION!!

Apologies for the caps and exclamation points, but I think this is >>really<< important.

I've been having a ton of problems getting my Mini to send text messages reliably. I just heard from a tech support person that there is a known problem with AT&T rejecting text messages that include the map/location link which the Mini sends along with the text messages. The net result? The message vanishes into hyperspace, and no indication of a problem ever gets back to the Mini.

This is a huge deal, IMHO, and not just because AT&T happens to be my cell phone provider. Many people use AT&T...and there is no indication, anywhere that I found online, that the Mini does not work "reliably" with AT&T. Frankly, had I known this I would never have purchased the Mini, because I'm not about to switch cell phone providers just to humor a piece of add-on hardware.

Tech support did tell me that you can send messages to an email address, and those work "without issue" (no offense, but at this point given all the other glitches, problems, etc., I've run into with Garmin and the Mini I'm not sure I trust anything they say). I've sent one message via email, which got through, and will try some more to see how "reliable" this work around is.

Interestingly, the Earthmate app is configured >>not<< to include "include location" when sending messages...yet that one successful email included a link to my location (which is also apparently the link you have to use to send a reply to my Mini) anyway. Documentation not consistent with actual operation; par for the course.
Parents
  • While I understand your frustration and the importance of the functionality, the issue with AT&T and SMS messages is outside of Garmin's control. This is not the first time that unilateral changes on the AT&T side have adversely affected inReach SMS functionality for AT&T customers. Note that this impacts all inReach devices, not just the Mini.


    We'll have to agree to disagree about that characterization, twolpert. Given that I (and I suspect many others) purchased the InReach in order to have a (reasonably) reliable off-the-grid locator/communication capability, inconsistent, unpredictable or erratic delivery is very much a Garmin issue.

    Think of it this way: if I told every potential InReach customer that there was never more than a 25% chance that any given message would get through -- and that there would be no indication that delivery had failed -- what would happen to the product's sales potential?

    My guess is it would drop significantly. Not totally eliminated, granted. But sharply reduced.

    Now, the actual situation is not that dire. The outages -- and the fact that they have happened more than once means the probability they can happen again is non-trivial -- only happen occasionally. But because no one knows what specific pattern of data, network interaction, whatever, causes them, they aren't predictable. Which means a reasonable person would have to assume they can happen at any time...also limiting the market potential for the device.

    Granted, since this problem (so far as I know) has only ever occurred with the AT&T network, Garmin could simply advertise that the InReach isn't compatible with the AT&T network. But that, of course, would also limit the device's market potential.

    Speaking as a retired public company chief financial officer, all of this adds up to a problem. For Garmin.

    Whether it's worth them spending the time and effort to resolve this once and for all is a different question. Personally, if I was a C level exec at Garmin I'd arrange with my chief technical officer colleague to lock some of our senior engineering team members in a room with their counterparts at AT&T and tell them they don't get to go home until they determine precisely what the cause of the problem is :). Which would then open the door to resolving it.
Reply
  • While I understand your frustration and the importance of the functionality, the issue with AT&T and SMS messages is outside of Garmin's control. This is not the first time that unilateral changes on the AT&T side have adversely affected inReach SMS functionality for AT&T customers. Note that this impacts all inReach devices, not just the Mini.


    We'll have to agree to disagree about that characterization, twolpert. Given that I (and I suspect many others) purchased the InReach in order to have a (reasonably) reliable off-the-grid locator/communication capability, inconsistent, unpredictable or erratic delivery is very much a Garmin issue.

    Think of it this way: if I told every potential InReach customer that there was never more than a 25% chance that any given message would get through -- and that there would be no indication that delivery had failed -- what would happen to the product's sales potential?

    My guess is it would drop significantly. Not totally eliminated, granted. But sharply reduced.

    Now, the actual situation is not that dire. The outages -- and the fact that they have happened more than once means the probability they can happen again is non-trivial -- only happen occasionally. But because no one knows what specific pattern of data, network interaction, whatever, causes them, they aren't predictable. Which means a reasonable person would have to assume they can happen at any time...also limiting the market potential for the device.

    Granted, since this problem (so far as I know) has only ever occurred with the AT&T network, Garmin could simply advertise that the InReach isn't compatible with the AT&T network. But that, of course, would also limit the device's market potential.

    Speaking as a retired public company chief financial officer, all of this adds up to a problem. For Garmin.

    Whether it's worth them spending the time and effort to resolve this once and for all is a different question. Personally, if I was a C level exec at Garmin I'd arrange with my chief technical officer colleague to lock some of our senior engineering team members in a room with their counterparts at AT&T and tell them they don't get to go home until they determine precisely what the cause of the problem is :). Which would then open the door to resolving it.
Children
No Data