Well, I e-mailed GME and this is what happened (all e-mails so far) note the inverted sequence... ie, read from the bottom up. Sorry 'bout that!
I'd be interested in what others think of the idea that an EPIRB
"expires" after six years. Seems odd to me... why, it doesn't even have a SIM card in it!
EPIRBs have a finite lifespan. That is, once the expiry date that is laser etched into the beacon is reached, it must be serviced or replaced. It is no longer considered in service
. With this in mind, GME EPIRBs have 6.5 years of battery
life when they leave our factory. The extra half year is intended to account for the time taken in transport to the store, and then time before it is sold to a consumer, leaving the consumer with the full expected 6 year product life.
GME does not perform battery
replacement, however we do offer an exchange program whereby EPIRBs that are approaching the end of their battery life can be swapped for an exchange unit for a fee. Alternatively users can purchase
a new EPIRB
from their preferred marine
The MT600 which you have been offered is a new model which is about to be launched. The offer of $120 is lower than the cost of an Exchange Unit, and will give you the benefit of new technology and a 10 year battery life.
From: James Cate 
Sent: Wednesday, 23 July 2014 4:45 PM
Subject: Re: EPIRB recall
Brad, thanks for the prompt response. However, I am confused by your statement that my EPIRB has "expired". Yes, the battery replacement date was indeed October 2013, but I was waiting until ready to depart for New Caledonia
. The boat was not in offshore
usage during the interim. None the less, if I now replace the battery I can not understand how the unit is "expired", nor how that excludes it from your recall program. Many of the EPIRBs from the subject period are older than mine.
Finally, when I go to your website, I find no model MT 600 listed. What exactly are you proposing to sell me at your quoted price
of 120 dollars (Australian?)
From: Recall <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: James Cate ; Recall <email@example.com>
Sent: Wednesday, 23 July 2014 4:18 PM
Subject: RE: EPIRB recall
Unfortunately your EPIRB has expired, meaning it is no longer compliant. It was due to have been exchanged or replaced before October 2013.
As an act of good will, GME would like to offer you a brand new EPIRB at half of the Recommended Retail Price
, $120inc GST. This latest model EPIRB is the MT600 which features a full 10 year battery life, plus numerous technological advances.
In order to receive this offer, we require your expired EPIRB to be returned. Please package your EPIRB appropriately (bubble wrap and a sturdy box) and return it along with your full contact details to:
17 Gibbon Road
Winston Hills NSW 2153
Upon receipt of your expired EPIRB, a GME representative will contact you to finalise the transaction.
From: James Cate 
Sent: Tuesday, 22 July 2014 5:12 PM
Subject: EPIRB recall
I have a model mt-400, s/n 70426415. This appears to fall within the recall s/n range, so please advise me re replacement. We are currently northbound on the East Coast
, Port Stephens at the moment, with a planned stopover on the Clarence in a few days, then on to the Gold Coast/Southport area. We will be sailing to New Caledonia
after that, and surely need to replace the unit before departure.
Thanks for your help.
James Cate s/v Insatiable II