When GPS Suction Cup Won't Suck, TomTom's Customer Service Does

To be fair, it’s not that the customer service agents that Dave spoke to at TomTom were unfriendly. It’s just that their RMA process is needlessly complicated. He received a defective suction cup thingy with his GPS unit, and called up the company so they could send him a new one. He spent more than an hour on the phone with various customer service reps to get a replacement. How much did TomTom spend paying their employees to verify that Dave was, indeed, eligible to receive a small piece of plastic that’s not very useful when one doesn’t already own a TomTom GPS?

I recently purchased a TomTom GPS navigation system for my car. It was a clearance model so I got a good deal on it, but it was new and sealed in the box. Upon opening the box and trying to mount the GPS to my windshield I discovered the suction cup mount for the GPS was defective. Not a big deal I figured, I’ll call the number in the box. You know the one, the one on the packaging you find in all electronics begging you not to return the unit, but to instead call their customer service number.

And that’s where my frustration really begins. After a long time on hold I finally reached Customer Service. The CSR was friendly enough, but based on my serial number he wasn’t going to replace my unit until I provided a copy of my receipt. I had to set up an account for their online support, and was told to scan my receipt and call back with instructions. When I called back two days later it took almost a full half hour. They wanted me to fax the receipt, not email it. I don’t have a fax. Their CSR’s don’t have an email address to give out. Finally they figured out a way for me to attach the receipt online through their webpage by opening up the details of my complaint. I was then transfered to another department to actually process the RMA. All told we’re talking about over an hour of my time spent trying to get TomTom to replace a piece of plastic with a suction cup attached.

I understand a defective suction cup is going to happen. Where TomTom loses me is that it shouldn’t take multiple phone calls and well over an hour of my time to get it replaced. Most companies you’d think would gladly replace this no questions asked.