Why can’t you add maps to a TomTom Start 20? And is TomTom customer services any good?

So, we had our fantastic TomTom OneXL sat nav stolen a few months ago.  It was sad, as it has travelled the world with us, but really was our own fault, as the car had been left unlocked, because we were distracted by the then still  relatively novel distraction of trying to get a baby safely out of it!

Following a quick bit of research, and positive recommendations from friends, we discovered the TomTom Start 20 as a reasonably priced upgrade to what we had before.

It works very nicely, has a built in screen mount, is faster, and has lots of other features to recommend it.

What we didn’t expect to discover was that you can not add new maps to it.  It would seem that the slot where you can add more memory and store new maps, does not yet work, and that TomTom plan to rectify this ‘at some point in the future’.

This is actually quite frustrating, as we had a US map installed for years, enabling us to use our sat nav in the States every summer and winter since we bought it, and it had cut down on all sorts of hassle when driving in America.

To add insult to injury, TomTom had been emailing us for weeks, “Don’t miss out on the TomTom super sale!”, to say that there was a 30% discount right now for adding maps to your satnav.

We are heading to America again soon, and the inability to add maps seemed a very retrograde step, so I wrote to TomTom to ask whether they would discount the TomTom USA for iPhone, or give us a free US map later if we bought the USA TomTom version, to get us through the difficulty, or in some other way compensate for marketing a sub-standard product.

I was really surprised at the response. It was a form letter, effectively, saying that the feature we wanted was unavailable; they gave no indication when the feature would be added, TomTom further declined to offer a US map by way of compensation, and did not offer any other concession for the annoyance of not being able to add a new map.

So I emailed the CEO of TomTom, as I think people at the top of an organisation are often unaware of what goes on further down the hierarchy, and explained that following this pretty poor customer service, we’d think again about buying another TomTom in future.

Following success in the past through Tweeting customer services people, I also started Tweeting the UK TomTom Twitter account.  A helpful person kept replying that she felt our pain, but didn’t seem to have the power to do anything about it!

I thought when I started writing this post that there had been no response still, five days on, to my note to the boss.  But having just logged in, it turns out that TomTom has subsequently taken the message I’d sent to the CEO, and slotted it into our email chain in their customer service system.  And someone from the firm is going to call on Monday to discuss further.

It will be interesting to see what sort of response I get.  In the meantime, I wonder whether anyone else has bought one of these TomToms, and been disappointed that they were unable to add maps?

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