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 The Map Upgrade Issue for Out of Date, New TomToms
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GrumpyOldMan

United Kingdom
2 Posts

Posted - 06 janv. 2006 :  11:05:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was a TomTom Go 700 Novice, as of Christmas Day. Since then I seem to have gone through a rapid, steep and (on occasions) highly frustrating learning curve; with regard to TomTom map versions and the issue of how to obtain up to date map data for a new device that is out of date. I hope that some of the information that I have picked up during this painful exercise may be of use to those of you who are experiencing a similar predicament. Apologies if you find it too verbose.

1) TomTom Replacement Policy For Newly Purchased, Out-Of-Date Devices
If you bought a Tom Tom Go 700 with the Western-Europe_Map v568 after November 20th, 2005 then, from my experience, TomTom will offer to replace your device for another one that includes the latest software and map data. I was not led to believe by them that any charge would be made for this service. This policy was in effect as at 4th January, 2006, although I have seen no information to suggest how long it will remain in place. I would guess that the same policy might apply to other out of date map versions and/or models, but this theory would need to be tested out in practice.

2) Flexibility of Criteria for TomTom Swap Out Offer
TomTom did not offer me any flexibility. My Go 700 was purchased just before their 20th November deadline, by an overenthusiastic relative on an early Christmas shopping spree. TomTom were not sympathetic to the fact that the device was unpackaged for the first time on Christmas Day. The purchase date was the critical factor in their eyes. So much for 'Goodwill Towards All Men'!

3) Advice From Citizens Advice Bureau - A Potentially Reasonable Case For 'Unfit for Purpose'
I contacted the Citizens Advice Bureau and described my dilemma. I emphasised that no 'meaningful information' appears to be provided by either the retailers, or from information provided on TomTom packing, to indicate how current (or out of date) the installed maps are. Given the fact that the maps in Wester_Europe_Map v568 were out of date by two years and that one of the missing major routes was fundamental to the location of my home address and my travel habits, Citizens Advice suggested that I had a reasonable case for claiming that the product was 'Unfit For Purpose'. They then also suggested that I should contact 'Consumer Direct' for additional help. This morning I received some supporting documentation from Citizens Advice, detailing relevant Acts of Parliament; relating to consumer rights.

4) Advice from Consumer Direct
I repeated the story to Consumer Direct who have decided to raise the matter with the Office of Fair Trading. What interests them also is the lack of information provided about the maps at the time of purchase. I am currently awaiting contact from the Office of Fair Trading. The most important advice that Consumer Direct gave me was to remind me that the contract of sale was between my relative and the retailer, not with TomTom. They advised me to prepare a letter of complaint to the retailer (on behalf of my relative)and post it off, using recorded delivery, as soon as possible.

5) Problem Resolved By Very Co-operative Retailer
Many of you reading this may be wondering why I did not contact the retailer right at the very outset. The reason for this was that I quite frequently buy PC related hardware and I have become accustomed to registering a new product and then immediately downloading and installing the latest drivers and software etc. When I originally set out to resolve this TomTom issue, it never crossed my mind that I would not be able to obtain the upgrade that I needed direct from the TomTom Website Downloads area. When I couldn't find it, what followed thereafter was a protracted exchange of correspondence with TomTom support (mainly on my part); that got me nowhere.
When I finally contacted the retailer to get a contact name and address to write to, they wanted to understand what my problem was. After I explained, they voluntarily offered to exchange the device, on the off chance that their current stock was of a newer version. As it turned out, it was, but I think it was more by luck than judgement. The replacement device has Western_European_Map v606 installed, which includes the critical route (to me) that was missing from v568.

Conclusions
I count myself very lucky that I achieved a satisfactory resolution to my problem. I realise that not all retailers may be so accommodating towards their customers under similar circumstances.

What I do not understand is why TomTom do not adopt a system that requires their products to be activated, similar to Microsoft XP. The TomTom range could be designed to operate normally for 30 days, during which time product activation should be carried out by the user; either online, or via a TomTom call centre. Once activated, new customers could be given 30 days, or perhaps 90 days, to download and install the latest maps. Thereafter, map upgrades would be chargeable. If TomTom were to do this, they would not have to be so cagey about what map versions are installed on the new devices within their boxes, or in providing detailed map version and release date information on their website.

I hope that anyone who has a new TomTom device with out of date maps installed will pursue it with TomTom. All said and done, it is not really the fault of the retailers. I also believe it would be advantageous for those people to contact Consumer Direct as well, to reinforce the complaint about the lack of map version information that is provided by TomTom, either on their packaging or on their website. Consumer Direct's contact details can be found at http://www.consumerdirect.gov.uk/. As far as I can see, the only way this ludicrous situation will be resolved properly will be through different people exerting continued pressure on TomTom to do something about it.

No one would dream of walking into a book shop or petrol station and part with good money for a road atlas that doesn't indicate upon it how old the maps are within; would they?

GrumpyOldMan

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GrumpyOldMan

United Kingdom
2 Posts

Posted - 09 janv. 2006 :  12:25:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Further to my original post, the Trading Standards representative for my region contacted me this morning. They agree with my complaint about no meaningful information being provided by the retailers or on the TomTom boxes to indicate how old the map data is on the device inside.

The case is apparently now being escalated to the relevant Trading Standards enforcement department. I still think it is worth other people registering similar complaints with Consumer Direct. The more noise there is on a subject, the more likely that something will be done to improve the situation.


GrumpyOldMan
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