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Old 11-01-2018, 14:27   #31
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Re: WARNING: FAKE Garmin BlueChart g2 Vision Charts

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With Garmin's shift from Bluechart Mobile to ActiveCaptain App, I tried to upload my Vision HD charts to Garmin Express, so that I could then download to the AC App (I couldn't transfer the files directly from the MFD to the AC App, because it's an older model MFD (741xs) not fully supported by AC App).

Anyway, I was unable to get Garmin Express to recognize the chart card, even after exchanging emails with Garmin technical support. When I asked whether my problems might be related to a counterfeit card, the Garmin guy basically said that could certainly be the problem, and that the best way to know if I had a counterfeit chart card was if I paid less than MSRP (which I did).

Makes me wonder if any of the Vision HD charts for sale on eBay are legitimate. Unless you buy direct from Garmin (or perhaps one of their approved vendors, who probably all charge MSRP), it seems risky.
Always risky.
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Old 11-01-2018, 14:40   #32
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Re: WARNING: FAKE Garmin BlueChart g2 Vision Charts

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Originally Posted by Rusty123 View Post
With Garmin's shift from Bluechart Mobile to ActiveCaptain App, I tried to upload my Vision HD charts to Garmin Express, so that I could then download to the AC App (I couldn't transfer the files directly from the MFD to the AC App, because it's an older model MFD (741xs) not fully supported by AC App).

Anyway, I was unable to get Garmin Express to recognize the chart card, even after exchanging emails with Garmin technical support. When I asked whether my problems might be related to a counterfeit card, the Garmin guy basically said that could certainly be the problem, and that the best way to know if I had a counterfeit chart card was if I paid less than MSRP (which I did).

Makes me wonder if any of the Vision HD charts for sale on eBay are legitimate. Unless you buy direct from Garmin (or perhaps one of their approved vendors, who probably all charge MSRP), it seems risky.
I have purchased Garmin chips directly from West Marine at a significant discount to MSRP. Willing to bet that that was absolutely legit.

I do believe that claim by Garmin that anything less could be counterfeit is smoke and mirrors.

As far as eBay, I have seen some at ridiculous prices that were clearly counterfeit copies but I think the majority of the chips are legal. However I have no idea how to tell the difference. I would base my opinion on the source. If obviously a business with other products for sale I would give it some credibility. If the seller is offering nothing but some very low priced chart chips shipping from Nigeria then Caveat Emptor.
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Old 11-01-2018, 14:47   #33
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Re: WARNING: FAKE Garmin BlueChart g2 Vision Charts

This claim by Garmin that any purchase at below MSRP is fraudulent got me thinking - is there any violation of monopoly/price gouging laws? I mean when in any other industry such a claim was made without some state's AG going bonkers? Would be interesting to hear from consumer side attorneys.
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Old 13-01-2018, 10:01   #34
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Re: WARNING: FAKE Garmin BlueChart g2 Vision Charts

Maybe the problem some people are having migrating thier cards to the new Garmin paradigm is directly related to the price they paid for the card and has nothing to do with Garmin.......I've had no problem with my cards in my upgraded system and it seems others are in the same boat.......
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Old 13-01-2018, 20:35   #35
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WARNING: FAKE Garmin BlueChart g2 Vision Charts

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Originally Posted by nwdiver
Maybe the problem some people are having migrating thier cards to the new Garmin paradigm is directly related to the price they paid for the card and has nothing to do with Garmin.......I've had no problem with my cards in my upgraded system and it seems others are in the same boat.......


I’m not sure what problems others are encountering. But in my case, Garmin Express (PC program) wouldn’t recognize my Vision maps no matter what I tried, even with Garmin CS assistance. No error messages, just nothing. The strange thing is, the card works flawlessly in the MFD. I actually wish Garmin would implement a type of anti-piracy that would render a counterfeit card inoperable in the MFD, rather than finding out months or years later. Had I known it was counterfeit when I purchased it, I might have been able to return it (or at least raised hell about it).

However, I think Garmin’s current vision is that users will pair their MFD with a portable device running ActiveCaptain App from the get go, loading the same charts on each. So a counterfeit chart will probably become apparent much sooner.
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Old 13-01-2018, 22:59   #36
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Re: WARNING: FAKE Garmin BlueChart g2 Vision Charts

Thanks for the heads up. I bought a Garmin blue chart on Amazon 3 months ago for a very good price.
Will plunk it in the PC tomorrow and see what thedeal is...
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Old 14-01-2018, 02:50   #37
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Re: WARNING: FAKE Garmin BlueChart g2 Vision Charts

I also bought a pirated upgrade chip for my Garmin Map750S. It was cheap and the packaging was substandard. Other than that it works fine.
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Old 14-01-2018, 18:24   #38
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Re: WARNING: FAKE Garmin BlueChart g2 Vision Charts

Now plugged my Amazon $79.95 Vision card to the PC.
Don’t see the yellow bar and can safely conclude it is fake.
The seller said it was real and it has the Garmin case, fooled me..
It does the job, I get my fancy Vision stuff on the screen when running.
Do I understand it correctly that the only drawback to a fake SD Vision card is that it will not take Garmin updates?
The base BlueChart g2 will however update just fine, did it now, 15-20 minutes downloading and I got the latest software for my 1040xs.

Not sure it is worth the trouble returning the Vision card to Amazon, getting my money back, then chasing down the real thing just to get updated pretty pictures of some marina I am not going to visit anyways. Garmin wants $449 for the SD Vision card, VUS513L. Seen it for $330 from other vendors.
Will think about it..
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Old 18-01-2018, 15:19   #39
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Re: WARNING: FAKE Garmin BlueChart g2 Vision Charts

Contacted the Amazon seller. He agreed to refund me immediately and blamed the pirate copy on his supplier.
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Old 04-02-2018, 09:05   #40
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Re: WARNING: FAKE Garmin BlueChart g2 Vision Charts

I had an interesting email discussion with an eBay vendor of Garmin chart cards. He said that the cheap cards (usually around $50 - $75) are legitimate, but they are "used", in the sense that they were previously linked (or locked) to an MFD. Once linked, while they can be read in other MFD's, they cannot be updated or transferred to a software program like Garmin Express, other than by the original owner. This also means that they won't work with Garmin's new ActiveCaptain system, which allows/forces you to use the same charts on your tablet as on your MFD.

In other words, if you need/want full functionality of the card, including the ability to update the data or use the charts on your tablet with Garmin ActiveCaptain, you have to buy a new card (generally sold at or near MSRP). If you just want to run the charts on your MFD with no ability to update, a used (cheap) card is adequate.
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Old 10-02-2018, 17:43   #41
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Re: WARNING: FAKE Garmin BlueChart g2 Vision Charts

This is somewhat related. I bought a used Garmin 741xs on ebay about a year and a half ago. Recently I wanted to update the built in chart. I was having trouble because it was registered at Garmin in someone else's name. I talked to Garmin to see if something could be done and they told me that the unit had been reported stolen. No luck in contacting the ebay seller.
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Old 10-02-2018, 19:02   #42
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Re: WARNING: FAKE Garmin BlueChart g2 Vision Charts

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Originally Posted by fritzdfk View Post
This is somewhat related. I bought a used Garmin 741xs on ebay about a year and a half ago. Recently I wanted to update the built in chart. I was having trouble because it was registered at Garmin in someone else's name. I talked to Garmin to see if something could be done and they told me that the unit had been reported stolen. No luck in contacting the ebay seller.
That is unfortunate. Try contacting eBay customer service or support. I have had very good luck with them intervening a couple of times when the vendor wouldn't make good on a defective item.
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Old 11-02-2018, 10:19   #43
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Re: WARNING: FAKE Garmin BlueChart g2 Vision Charts

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That is unfortunate. Try contacting eBay customer service or support. I have had very good luck with them intervening a couple of times when the vendor wouldn't make good on a defective item.
As the transaction was 1.5-2 years ago I have tried but not succeeded in contacting ebay about it. Their system only lets you choose certain ways to contact them and part of it is choosing specific seller/item and only recent are listed. I went round and round for a while with no luck.
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Old 11-02-2018, 10:28   #44
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Re: WARNING: FAKE Garmin BlueChart g2 Vision Charts

Contact ebay. if you aimlessly drill down the help menus, you can find an option to have them call you, on the phone. Let them know the seller has sold you stolen goods, they should be ale to freeze that account. If you paid by PayPal, contact them as well, they can go after the money. And somewhere in there...it is technically a federal matter now (FBI) involving interstate shipment of stolen goods. The US Postal Inspectors may also be of aid, if it was shipped by post.

There are all sorts of ways to reach out and try to get your money back and penalize the seller. Or you can decide life is too short and you'd rather spend the time sailing--but that leaves the crook out there to victimize us all again.

ebay should have a criminal complaint division that can be of some use. Whether that exists...may vary from time to time. But you may be entitled to a refund under THEIR guarantee, since the merchandise is not what it was represented as. (Legitimate.)
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Old 12-02-2018, 08:11   #45
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Re: WARNING: FAKE Garmin BlueChart g2 Vision Charts

As another data point - I purchased a new chart card from “The GPS Store” (at a pretty hefty discount from MSRP, but still much more than the eBay “pre-owned” cards). It was recognized by Garmin Express as soon as I plugged it into my computer, giving me the option of downloading the charts to my computer, iPad (via Garmin ActiveCaptain), or to my MFD (had I not purchased an actual card).

So basically, it looks like when you buy a “new” card (or download from Garmin’s website), you get two things - the actual charts, plus the software licensing which enables chart updates, interaction with computer and iPad apps, etc. The charts themselves can be resold (on eBay, etc.), but the licensing cannot (it’s locked to the original user).
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