Don't Buy A Droid If You Plan To Actually Use The GPS

GPS functionality is an important selling point of smartphones. Brandon writes that he wanted to do more with his Droid’s GPS than check in to Foursquare: he wanted the device to shout turn-by-turn directions at him. When his phone’s GPS stopped working well enough for navigation, he went to Verizon for a replacement. That phone’s GPS didn’t work very well, either, so he sought another replacement. Then, another. Finally, a Verizon employee wondered: why doesn’t Brandon just go buy a standalone GPS if this is so important? Why, indeed?

He writes:

I bought a Moto Droid from Verizon in August 2009. It lasted for 11 months before I started to have a GPS reception issues. It wouldn’t lock onto the Satellite signal, making turn-by-turn navigation impossible, a main selling point of the phone at the time and one of the reasons I bought it.

Verizon sent me a replacement, but after a few weeks it two started to have the same GPS issues. I took it to a VZW store and they immeditaly offered to send me a second replacement.

When I received the second replacement its GPS did NOT work at all straight out of the box. I then went to my local VZW store where I spent 1.5 hours with the staff and “tier three” customer support on the phone trying to explain to them what was going on.

A store employee told me if the GPS functionality was that important to me then “you should by a stand alone GPS unit.” I asked him to buy it for me then, and he said “why would I do that, that doesn’t make any sense.”

The store employees then put me on the phone with “tier three” customer support. After at least 20 minutes of the “tier three” guy “researching” the GPS issue he told me “as far as Verizon is concerned, your phone is working.” Even though a store employees phone and another random customer’s (who happened to be standing next to me with his shattered screen moto droid) worked perfectly.

Eventually he put on his supervisor, [redacted] in the Albuquerque, NM call center. I then had to explain to her the difference between cell tower triangulation and GPS and why triangulation wouldnt work for turn-by-turn directions!

She eventually agreed to send me a third replacement phone, my fourth over all. This third replacement phone is now having GPS issues.

All the phones Verizon has sent me have come with “Refurbished” stickers on them.

Thanks for any help you can provide!

Brandon has contacted, but not received responses from, various executive customer service and PR contacts. He could try some of the e-mails on this classic Consumerist post, but many of them might now be out of date. Any ideas, Droid fans in the audience? Or should he just give up and buy a standalone GPS already?

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