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TomTom refused to provide a refund for a defective product

jirik 0 Points
edited November -1 in GPS Discussions
We found road classification in the TomTom map of Thailand to be outright wrong. The map often does not know the difference between large roads and tiny or even unpaved ones. Therefore, in many cases, the proposed route is completely unusable – leading along tiny unpaved roads even if there are major roads nearby. Following TomTom’s navigation wasted us many hours on our trip. At the end we put away TomTom’s navigation and used our road atlas that we fortunately brought with us.

When we contacted TomTom’s customer support and requested a refund for the defective and unusable TomTom map, we received automatically generated canned responses that repeatedly did not address the issue we reported. Every response was peppered with phrases like: “It is disheartening to know that we failed to give you an exhilarating experience with TomTom. Furthermore, we want to thank you for the patience and co-operation you have shown.”

When we called 866-486-6866 and talked with Jonathan (employee id GAJO0511), he suggested that we were to fix the defective TomTom map ourselves and refused to give a refund because we already downloaded the map and it has been more than 14 days ago. How can anybody know that the map is defective without downloading and using it, and how can the map be returned within 14 days when someone is on a 3 week vacation in a distant country?

TomTom never provided a refund for their defective and unusable product.


  • dhn 335 Points
    I know you have been dealing with TT employees at the discussion forum of TomTom.

    However, I've raised your concern (and request for a refund) with a contact I have at TomTom. No promises of course but we'll see if anything further can be done.

    Well, unfortunately my contact says nothing more can be done from the contact's end. The situation has been forwarded twice. Obviously, without success.

    I'd call CS again and try for a second level support or supervisor. You might get lucky and reach somebody who has more initiative than just somebody spouting the party line from a script.
  • jirik 0 Points
    Thanks dhn for your effort. When I asked TomTom customer support employee Jonathan (employee id GAJO0511) to talk with his manager, he responded he was a manager and there was nobody above him I could contact. I will try to call again but expect the same canned responses.

    The way TomTom treats their clients is beyond comprehension. It will eventually backfire and damage TomTom reputation and customer loyalty.
  • sussamb 798 Points
    Playing devils advocate, TT's view might be that you've used it during your holiday and are now simply trying to get your money back as you realise you'll never need it again :?
  • jirik 0 Points
    Good point, sussamb. The wrong road classification can be easily checked and verified, though. We drove from Phuket to Bangkok and were experiencing wrong road classification all the way, including around Hua Hin and Bangkok.
  • Tim 1479 Points
    While it is a TomTom issue for your specifically, this isn't unique to them. Getting a refund on a map purchase from any GPS company is almost unheard of. They don't guarantee any map quality because much of the time they are purchasing the maps from other sources, and it is impossible to create a perfect/current map of anywhere.

    In many places the maps are great... almost difficult to find any errors. In other areas especially outside of the USA and Western Europe map quality can be hit or miss. Even within a country you can find places mapped well and other places mapped very poorly.

    It is very labor intensive and costly to verify every road across the globe. I'm not saying that is a valid excuse for poor map quality... but it is reality.

    Heck even here in the USA I can find streets appearing on the map that haven't existed in several decades, and likewise streets that have existed for several decades that are not on the map. Similarly there is a 10 mile stretch of road nearby me where the speed classification estimates travel at about 6mph. (I'm not joking.) The average driver probably drives that road at 35-45mph.

    But as noted the reason refunds are not given on maps is the same reason why many retailers closely scrutinize returns of GPS devices and charge restocking fees... too many consumers who buy a map or a GPS for their vacation and then want to return it after.

    But my big point here is simply that all GPS companies have similar "no return" policies on maps for the reasons we've all been talking about here.

    I should mention too that this thread gets close to our Policies on company issues, although I'm not closing it since it has steered more towards "why" the policy exists (like it or not) and is somewhat of a review of the map quality in that area. But let's keep the conversation there.
  • sviking 141 Points
    Dispute the charge on your credit card.
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