Reviews you can use: “Why TomTom Sucks”

It’s so nice when a product reviewer gives you a sweeping discouragement against an entire brand, like Wilson Rothman has done as he sticks a finger in GPS maker TomTom’s eye, listing everything he’s ever hated about their products—and still hates, because they’ve never fixed the issues.

No sarcastic here. Above the fields of myopic product reviews from thumbwrestling gadget hacks, these are the sort of statements that filter up to the consuming masses: TomTom sucks; just buy a Garmin. That’s powerful mojo, as the phone call that Wilson is surely receiving from the TomTom PR stoolie right now will attest.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Reviews you can use: “Why TomTom Sucks”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I can only turn on my TomTom GO910 after a soft reset. Then it will flash back & forth from the shut down screen for 2 minutes before shutting off not to be turned back on. WOW! Only thing I did different last week was install update Home software…

  2. PatGund says:

    Quite happy with my TomTom actually. Maybe the reviewer should read the manual next time rather than complaining.

  3. strider_mt2k says:

    Probably off his meds.

  4. Norm says:

    After owning a Garmin for a year, TomTom DOES indeed suck. If you’ve never owned a Garmin, you will NEVER understand. In this case, ignorance is indeed bliss! All the things that a Garmin GPS will do correctly, somehow a TomTom will NOT.

    Error after error, taking me to the wrong location, auto-zooming automatically, spelling errors, name errors, very limited POI database, poor detail on maps, incorrect route determination… the list goes on! Garmin has virtually none of these problems!

  5. Adrian says:

    I received the TomTom as a gift and it’s been horrible. Perhaps it’s because I live in the US, but the maps are nearly ALWAYS wrong. I used it 10 times and it was fundamentally wrong (such as taking a right when you need a left) 8 of 10 of the trips. That’s right, 80% of the time, it wanted to go the wrong way and never got us to the destination we needed to go. I updated new maps when I got it, so it wasn’t outdated maps, nor was I going in rare and unusual corners of the earth where this would be a little more forgiving. More like the suburbs where everything is on a freakin’ grid. Then, when we Google mapped from a Blackberry, it was always right. As far as I’m concerned, the CrapCrap isn’t worth the plastic it took to make it. It’s one job is to get you to places accurately and it fails completely in that job. Garbage.

  6. Capvermell says:

    My first experience of using Satnav was last Autumn when I drove 6,000 miles across the USA with a Garmin Streetpilot that just did navigation and POIs. Now I have owned a TomTom 940 for a couple of months and done one long trip from the South East of England to the top of Shetland Islands and also a couple of thousand miles on local South East roads.

    The Streetpilot was an old model and National who rented the car had not updated the database for two years so many POIs for petrol stations were wrong and I also got sick of the fact that whenever you missed a turn on a route that the Garmin would endlessly say “Recalculating, Recalculating” rather than just coping with where you are without panicing as the 940 manages to do.

    Having only got the 940 in June my only complaint regarding the HD Traffic service is that some jams on A roads that are important roads (A24 in to Brighton after the dual carriageway finishes on a Saturday afternoon in particular that was nose to tail for several miles that TomTom HD Traffic knew nothing about) are not reported but all the jams that have been reported have related to real slow traffic on the ground. If anything TomTom has somewhat understated the delays on motorways rather than ever overstating them in my experience. Also it failed to divert me off the M40 at J5 around a road smash delay that it did show as existing but where it did not for some reason think the easy diversion to J4 on local roads was more efficient than sitting in traffic at 5mph for 3 to 4 miles.

    However obvious stupid things not available on the unit that should be is for instance no ability to set a warning at a speed of your choice for going over that speed in every single type of speed limit level, no ability to track average speed or total distance on the unit from a point at which you ask it to track that info (basic stuff that is easy to do) being warned of permanent GATSOs facing the opposite way from the way you are travelling (these GATSOs are not reversible) and the warning display symbol for speed cams and red light cams being ludicrously small so they do not get your attention and you cannot even easily see the speed the cam in question is monitoring.

    In addition TomTom’s Hotel POI database is woefully deficient as in the Orkney and Shetland Islands it had no B&Bs or hotels at all. Fortunately on the 940 the addition of the Google Live search overcame this as the Google search for acommodation brought up loads of local places in those places where there was a GPRS signal (very patchy outside the main town on Orkney and Shetland). However I note that Google Search seems to always try and use normal 01/02 phone numbers and not 084/7 numbers for places it finds wherever possible and this is to be commended.

    The biggest disappointment is the heavily touted feature for users of these units to warn each other of live mobile camera fans. This heavily promoted feature is a complete lie and/or simply useless because if any live camera van reports are ever sent out to other unit users (which I highly doubt) the report is not given with a much bigger screen warning and completely different and louder sound from regular mobile camera van locations that TomTom has in its database but will usually be unmanned when you pass. For the heavily marketed feature to be any use then huge alarm bells and flashing warnings need to show on your unit when you are approaching a recently reported live mobile cam location. However as TomTom doesn’t have loads of the regular mobile cam locations in its database you are likely to get done anyway at even the well known often manned mobile cam venues and never mind those where the Police have set up somewhere new and another user tries to send you a warning. TomTom claim to take RoadAngel camera data but they still report a cam facing the wrong way from your direction of travel and don’t show you a large clear symbol of the camera type upcoming or the limit there and nor can you set the TomTom to warn you if you are above a speed you have chosen as safe to pass cams of this speed limit level.

    In short TomTom seem to show a total lack of attention to detail and clearly ignore almsot all user feedback as otherwise why would obvious things like cam warnings not being prominent enough or total journey length or average speed still still not be available on even their top end units. These features are not hard to add and the existing unit hardware can support them.

    The actual navigation I found largely accurate with IQ routes picking generally the most logical and quickest journeys and only diverting round severe traffic. However TomTom seems poor with road junction priorities at minor junctions and on windy country lanes it regularly tells you to bear right or turn right when there is no road junction while not telling you about a road junction that involves going straight on but where you have to give way to a road from the right that has priority over your road.

    A final bugbear is motorway junctions where the unit always tells you to bear right instead of going straight on at junctions where you are simply following the motorway on in straight line. Only at junctions where there is a junction with another motorway does the TomTom tell you to go straight ahead if you are not turning off the road at a junction.

    Oh and finally Lane Assist is a worthless pile of pants as there is no consistency to which major junctions do and don’t have Lane Assist diagrams and the overhead gantry signs shown by TomTom on the Satnav never agree with the actual signs on the road with TomTom always only showing a single destination on each of its signs compared to usually multiples other towns and places and road numbers on the actual gantry signs.

    TomTom is clearly a company where starry eyed marketing men largely believe their own PR and the technical guys are not allowed to fix the things that are actually wrong because of the usual marketing man idea that not too many customers seem to be complaining about the current rubbish so why should we bother fixing it.

  7. S. Shahabi says:

    I have actually read the manual and called them on the phone. They still refused to help me.

    The manual says they will do map updates. But it will not. I called them about this & they said that they will not do updates for refurbished units.
    Even though the instructions says they would.

    I am not happy with them & will be returning unit to the store.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Reviewer is American.

    TomTom offers better European support.

    End of story.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

 

More BB

Boing Boing Video

Flickr Pool

Digg

Wikipedia

Advertise

Displays ads via FM Tech

RSS and Email

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution. Boing Boing is a trademark of Happy Mutants LLC in the United States and other countries.

FM Tech