You might have ripped the wrapping paper off a shiny new GPS unit earlier this week, but should you keep it? A well-meaning loved one might have bought you a new one this week, but that doesn’t mean that they chose the best one for your needs or that you should keep it. How do you know whether the unit you have is the best for you? If only there were an entity out there that tested different models side-by-side and published the results…Oh, right, that would be our elder sister publication, Consumer Reports! [More]
Kristan, like many sensible and awesome people, was excited when GPS maker TomTom produced a limited edition unit for fans of the BBC program “Top Gear.” The biggest draw: the recorded voice of Jeremy Clarkson, the show’s lead presenter and an internationally beloved contrarian jerk. Clarkson’s voice isn’t available for separate purchase from TomTom, at least for American consumers. Oh, no. We have to shell out $269 for this spiffy satnav, and that’s what Kristan did. It turned out that the unit….wasn’t all that great. But the final insult came when it failed, and TomTom sent a warranty replacement of an inferior unit that contained no Top Gear content and required an additional $60 fee to reactivate the GO LIVE that Kristan had already paid for.
Angry TomTom customers have been writing to us all day today to complain that the GPS maker had canceled orders they placed last week on the company’s website.
After about six months of use and while it was still under warranty, the TomTom iPhone Car Kit Mark purchased failed. The onboard GPS booster and Bluetooth that are the entire point of the device stopped working. Some highlights of Mark’s struggle with the company: TomTom initially wouldn’t replace it, claiming that the warranty was void since they no longer make the product. Then they sent Mark what was clearly another customer’s return–a scratched-up unit without power cords. They claimed that they couldn’t send a power cord because Apple makes the cable. Because Apple manufactures black car-to-mini-USB cables.
GPS-maker TomTom has had to apologize for selling speeding data gathered from consumers’ navigation devices to Dutch police, who used the info to set speed traps for drivers. The Amsterdam-based company says that it didn’t know that the cops would use the information for law enforcement, and that no personal information tied to specific drivers was shared with police.
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?