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Old 17-08-2017, 11:17   #1
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WARNING: FAKE Garmin BlueChart g2 Vision Charts

Hi Everyone,

We have a Garmin GPSMAP 740S chartplotter. Before we left the US in August 2015, we purchased a Garmin BlueChart g2Vision SD card for California-Mexico from Amazon.com.

Because of licensing restrictions (I think?), I was not able to update the SD card (which is free by using Garmin Express) while in Mexico for the last two years. So, while we are back in the US visiting the family, I took the opportunity to get our card updated.

After two phone calls and several emails to Garmin, we learned that we purchased a FRAUDULENT copy from vendor "WorldShop" on Amazon. Apparently, not all sellers on Amazon are legit and ethical. (Imagine that.)

The fake 2015 SD card appeared to work in our chart plotter just fine. The electronic charts were spot on in most areas - matching shorelines, depth, and warnings. There were two anchorages (Bahia San Evaristo and Punta Chivato) that the google maps overlay didn't match the chart. But, there is no way to update it and get the latest changes, effectively making the charts obsolete.

Looking at the packaging, there was no way to tell it wasn't an authentic product. But the price was obviously too good to be true. (See attached photo.) Garmin said that if the price is lower than the MSRP (in this case about $320 USD) that it's fake. But that also doesn't stop someone from selling a fake at that price.

You can tell an authentic SD card from a fake SD card by viewing the files on the SD card with your computer. See "Comparison" attached. Some file(s) are missing on the fake cards.

Garmin recommended buy from authorized Garmin dealers (a list of brick and mortar retailers is on Garmin.com) or directly through Garmin's website. They do NOT have a list of authorized ONLINE retailers at this point.

We don't have any recourse through Amazon because the SD card was purchased two years ago.

And, according to Garmin, we still won't be able to update the new, real SD card while in Mexico unless we sent it back to the US. So there's that...

Other than this hiccup, we really like our Garmin products. They have been really reliable and are very user friendly. And the accuracy of the charts is truly amazing. We can't imagine cruising in unknown (to us) waters without it.

Hope this helps someone else.

Cheers.
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Old 18-08-2017, 07:28   #2
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Re: WARNING: FAKE Garmin BlueChart g2 Vision Charts

WOW - sorry to hear that happened to you but I am VERY grateful you brought it to everyone's attention! I think you can contact Amazon and seek renumeration!
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Old 18-08-2017, 08:23   #3
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Re: WARNING: FAKE Garmin BlueChart g2 Vision Charts

It sucks when you're deceived on something like this. Thanks for sharing the story and alerting others to the possibility.
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Old 18-08-2017, 08:56   #4
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Re: WARNING: FAKE Garmin BlueChart g2 Vision Charts

Many thanks for this timely post as I was just about to order a new chip on Amazon. The price and graphic did not look right so I was simmering. Will seek a different venue for the purchase.
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Old 18-08-2017, 09:13   #5
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Re: WARNING: FAKE Garmin BlueChart g2 Vision Charts

Unfortunately, software pirating is fairly common these days and much of it is done overseas where the USA can do nothing about it. There's a lot of profit in selling pirated software for a couple hundred dollars when you didn't have to pay people to write it.

Thanks for the warning.
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Old 18-08-2017, 09:19   #6
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Re: WARNING: FAKE Garmin BlueChart g2 Vision Charts

When it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
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Old 18-08-2017, 09:42   #7
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Re: WARNING: FAKE Garmin BlueChart g2 Vision Charts

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
Unfortunately, software pirating is fairly common these days and much of it is done overseas where the USA can do nothing about it. There's a lot of profit in selling pirated software for a couple hundred dollars when you didn't have to pay people to write it.

Thanks for the warning.

+100 -- thanks indeed !!

Under the wrong circumstances this could lead to a product liability tragedy.

If Amazon has multiple occurrences of these transactions in the USA there may be grounds for a class action.

I suspect Amazon has a duty to inform everyone who received a fraudulent chip before someone gets injured or worse.

Amazon's general counsel should clean up this preventable mess.
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Old 18-08-2017, 09:50   #8
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Re: WARNING: FAKE Garmin BlueChart g2 Vision Charts

As they are still a seller on Amazon, I'd definitely contact Amazon about it.
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Old 18-08-2017, 11:33   #9
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Re: WARNING: FAKE Garmin BlueChart g2 Vision Charts

Any helpful tips on how to contact Amazon through their website would be appreciated. After logging in to my account, I have been unable find this information.

I am unable to leave a comment or file an "A to Z Claim" on the SD card purchased. Perhaps because it was so long ago. Suggestions?

Thanks!
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Old 18-08-2017, 11:42   #10
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Re: WARNING: FAKE Garmin BlueChart g2 Vision Charts

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Suggestions?



Thanks!


888-280-4331
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Old 18-08-2017, 12:03   #11
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Re: WARNING: FAKE Garmin BlueChart g2 Vision Charts

Thanks, Second Base!

I was connected to an Amazon rep in less than 30 seconds and she refunded the entire purchase price to an Amazon gift card.

She asked that I hold on to my emails from Garmin and the comparison of the fake and real cards in case I was contacted by an investigator at Amazon.

She also said that the seller was no longer active on Amazon.

This is why I love Cruiser's Forum! Thanks so much!

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Old 18-08-2017, 12:14   #12
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Re: WARNING: FAKE Garmin BlueChart g2 Vision Charts

I wonder if the fake charts are more accurate than the chip I got directly from Garmin.......Click image for larger version

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Old 18-08-2017, 12:34   #13
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Re: WARNING: FAKE Garmin BlueChart g2 Vision Charts

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Originally Posted by Sailor647 View Post
Thanks, Second Base!

I was connected to an Amazon rep in less than 30 seconds and she refunded the entire purchase price to an Amazon gift card.

She asked that I hold on to my emails from Garmin and the comparison of the fake and real cards in case I was contacted by an investigator at Amazon.

She also said that the seller was no longer active on Amazon.

This is why I love Cruiser's Forum! Thanks so much!

They sure make you search for the phone number, but their response to complaints has always impressed me. They would rather return money than lose customers. That's a concept many have a hard time learning, especially new online businesses. When they do have customers who abuse their leniency, they do take action.
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Old 18-08-2017, 15:02   #14
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Re: WARNING: FAKE Garmin BlueChart g2 Vision Charts

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I wonder if the fake charts are more accurate than the chip I got directly from Garmin.......Attachment 154356
When was the last time you updated it? That seems to make quite a difference.

A fellow cruiser updated his authentic Garmin chart and was amazed at the new improved level of accuracy. Apparently his chart was several years old and he didn't know about the free updates for marine charts.

If our new authentic chart is not as good or better than our old fake chart, I will be sure to follow up on this post when we get back to Mexico - and let everyone know.

Cheers.
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Old 18-08-2017, 15:17   #15
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Re: WARNING: FAKE Garmin BlueChart g2 Vision Charts

Go to the bottom of an Amazon page, on the right side under LET US HELP YOU click on HELP near the very bottom. Scroll down all the way, this time on the LEFT side select NEED MORE HELP? and the right column will include the CONTACT US link.

If you wade through that link, you get a chance to OVERWRITE THEIR MESSAGE and send them an email about anything. Or, you can have them call you to resolve issues. The call-backs are usually prompt and work surprisingly well.

If you tell them a merchant (if you can, check if they are still on Amazon) sold you counterfeit goods, Amazon is very good about reimbursing your purchase AND banning the merchant.

As you may have heard, they recently (and unilaterally, on their own) contacted possibly millions of customers and said "We could not confirm that your eclipse glasses were genuine, please throw them out. We have already issued a full refund."

Sometimes Amazon really behaves like a Person In Need of Supervision. Sometimes, they actually make things right. But, usually you have to remind them about that.

They have massive problems with counterfeits, frauds, scams. They try to avoid all publicity about how extensive the problems are.
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