After getting my new TomTom device last year, I ended up starting a post about the shoddy TomTom support. For whatever reason (it was a LONG post) I never published it.
The jist of it was that I had various problems due to having another device previously, and TomTom Home seemed to take exception to this. In the end, however, it was resolved, but I was left more than unimpressed with the quality of support offered by TomTom.
However, recent events have meant that I now wish to revisit this concern.
I pay for their Live subscription service which means, amongst other things, that I get live traffic updates. I don’t use the TomTom much, but when I do I find it re-assuring to know it will try and steer me around hold-ups or, at the very least, tell me that any hold-ups are still the best route to go.
Unfortunately, every time I’ve gone anywhere recently where I’ve used it, I’ve found the Live services not responding – often now working until a good proportion into my journey.
Around the 20th July a new version of the TomTom application (the one that runs on the SatNav itself) was released. The night before leaving for holiday (on the 29th) I did a full update of my TomTom via the TomTom Home PC software – this includes updating the application. All was fine – indeed the new version looked really good and I was looking forward to trying it out during the coming week. Well, that was until I tried to access the Live services. I started getting an error code 1008, and it stated that there was something wrong with the (non-accessible) SIM card.
I did a Google search and found that others were experiencing the same issue. Eventually, I found one forum providing a link to a FAQ on the TomTom site. And there it was – admitting that their new application broke the live services. The resolution – delete the software and let Home re-install the old one (for some reason it installs the older version first and then tried to put the new version on top – they advise you to not allow that second update!).
Just 4 problems here…
- What the hell is this doing on an obscure page of the TomTom site? On the main support page there is a box-out on the right pointing to it, but TomTom send me enough mails trying to sell me stuff – why haven’t they emailed me to warn me about this?
- The application is still available to download. Why?
- The FAQ page in question – get this – is wrong! It explains how to back out the software but it refers to buttons incorrectly and is generally badly explained.
- It’s now over 20 days since the application was released and there’s been no update.
On what planet do you have to be to think that this is acceptable? Push out a software update that breaks a subscription service – don’t tell anyone, just put a badly written page on your list of FAQs – and leave it for more to download.
Anyway, after much gnashing of teeth, and working late before a long drive I got my TomTom working again. Sadly, the server problem reared its head the next day. As did a new problem during the rest of the week – a regular hanging and self-rebooting.
And, in case you didn’t think it could get any worse, I found that the amazing “HD Traffic” service was not informing me of genuine hold-ups but did regularly tell me about some that didn’t exist.
If I hadn’t invested so much in the device and a years up-front subscription, my TomTom would be heading towards the bin. Considering the looming competition from phones with cheap, or even free, SatNav built in you’d think that TomTom would be trying a lot, lot harder to ensure that have some kind of USP. Sadly, they’re not.
Just a few short hours after publishing the above, I started up my TomTom as I’m going out tonight and needed to find directions. I attempted to use the Google search facility but was met with a screen attempting to get me to buy more subscription to the live service. There were two options – “Yes”, which obviously I wouldn’t have pressed and “No”. Sadly, “No” sent you back to the map without performing the search that I originally requested. Indeed, looking up the weather or any other Live service, caused exactly the same to occur. Basically, they were now screwing up my Live subscription access so that they could shove an advert down my throat.
Eventually, that went. Unfortunately, any attempt to do a search now is met with the error screen…
Something went wrong. If this keeps on hanging, please check with TomTom HOME is there is a newer application version available.
Of course, a new application is available, but I’m certainly not planning to install it. So now, the search feature appears broken. I’ll give it a few days and try again…