Yesterday I gave SPOT a call to check the status of their SPOT 2, the SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger (their number is 866-651-7768). I called about a month ago and they said to try back in a few weeks regarding the availability of their SPOT 2 model. It has recently been recalled, and they have asked retailers to stop selling the units at this time. Apparently you can still buy them from some retailers, but SPOT is not allowing them to be registered until the problem is fixed.
It sounded like the problem is still not completely worked out; the person I spoke to said to call back again in early March. She seemed to think that everything should be worked out by then, and that the unit would again be available for sale and registration.
The SPOT website states that replacement units for those who have returned theirs due to the recall will be shipped beginning 18 February. So this is a good sign at least. Maybe the units will be back on the market as soon as they say.
For those unfamiliar with the recall, their website states:
Updated Important Notice: If you have a SPOT 2 unit with an ESN number equal to or less than 0-8053925, please complete the simple Product Return Form below to return your SPOT 2 unit for replacement. All units need to be returned for replacement and to be eligible you need to fill out the form below before March 31st, 2010.
You can read more about the recall, and find the form, at FindmeSPOT.com.
The SPOT and the PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) are two very different devices with somewhat different applications. Be sure you know what each does and choose the one that is right for you. I personally plan to buy a SPOT and try it out, but will most likely end up with a PLB in the future as well. As a final note, ACR now offers an optional message service on their 406 MHz PLB’s, giving you a true PLB with the ability to communicate “okay messages” from the bush. For those unfamiliar with the SPOT device or PLB’s, which SPOT is not, see our recent blog posts on the subject or visit the Desert Explorer website.