For those of you who followed my misadventures with the Wahoo Elemnt GPS bike computer, and the efforts to get help from Wahoo's support staff, this is a follow-up detailing the continued frustration, the hair-pulling (mine), and the ultimate success in returning it to working order. I included the first e-mail exchange in a previous blog. I was less than satisfied. After this exchange, and I expect Wahoo's awareness that I was reviewing their device on this site, I received another e-mail from another Wahoo support person called Chris. While nothing Chris suggested fixed the computer, he was at least willing to try.
So last night, a very unpleasant night for my wife and cat, I sat down to systematically try the things that were suggested. Now I admit that my method for dealing with technology, or any problem for that matter, might be described as full body armor, loaded for bear. It is not pretty, nor comfortable for anyone watching. Noting the postive aspect of this problem, I am tenacious, and will overcome just about any obstacle placed in my way. Forgive me world, it is just a part of who I am.
Once I realized that the Wahoo suggestions were not going to work, I set about solving the problem in my own "tried and true" method, which consists of replacing one part after another till the problem is solved. This is the method I learned in Viet Nam for fixing a radio that did not work.
The efficiency and power, the means by which this device both records data, and navigates is by pairing the GPS device with the abilities of a smart phone. I first assumed that there was something wrong with the Elemnt itself, and so un-paired then re-paired the device to the phone. This did not change anything. I then deactivated the Wahoo app that had been downloaded to the phone, and uploaded a new one. This appeared to work, and the Elemnt began to sync with the phone. However, there was now a backlog of "waiting to sync" data. The phone was doing it's best to sync this data, but it appeared that it would have taken many hours to do this, and I would have had to monitor every minute of this process.
The solution turned out to be doing a "factory reset" against the many objections of the Wahoo device, the flashing red lights, and the many questions as to whether I was aware and sure of what I was doing. It also assured me that I would lose all data. But this was just what I wanted to stop the endless syncing. It worked. So the good news, the device is now working as it did when I first purchased it.
So the only conclusion I can draw is that the device works effectively until it doesn't, and then the trouble shooting support is less than effective. I have an expectation that anything I buy should work, and if it does not, there will be a way to fix it. This is understandable. I like the old saying "the customer is always right." But there is an aspect of this process that is going unsaid. We see this technology, not only GPS devices, but our phones as the latest and oh so especially the greatest. Perhaps they are not. We are so intimidated by those techies who seem to know everything about this technology. Perhaps they do not. Maybe they come from a world that just keeps replacing devices so that they never get the chance to break down. I come from a generation that used things as long as they were working, and then tried to fix them. Just another difference in generations and others.
The end result: the Wahoo Elemnt is working, and I have probably taken a year off the end of my life, and maybe more off the end of my wife and cat's. I hope a lesson has been learned.