I love my TomTom Go 740. Really, I do. I buy all the extra live services and map updates for it, I use it every morning on the way to work to route me around the nightmare car park that the M4 in South Wales can be. I use it when I drive to London with business, both to find my destination and to route around traffic. I use it with St John Ambulance and Mountain Rescue to find out where I need to go. I use their route finder on the website. I use it to help me keep to the speed limit. In the year and a bit that I’ve owned it, it’s taken me to Italy and back and to Edinburgh and back, countless trips around south Wales, London, Nottingham and other places. I use the Google search functionality extensively on it (“Where’s my nearest Starbucks?” is a frequent question) and it rocks.
So, why am I so annoyed?
I’ve had a few problems with my TomTom – I’m probably what you’d consider a “power user” – I know what I’m doing when it comes to technology, I have some pretty demanding requirements. I push the limits. I have extra Point of Interest (POI) databases on my satnav showing me things like supermarkets and banks. I store my frequently used locations and I use voice control. So when things go wrong, I’m straight onto their support guys. And this, I find, is where it goes wrong.
The support people I talk to are lovely and polite, but I get a markedly different experience depending on how I raise my issue. The typical experience is this:
I have a problem, I raise a ticket on their website. After browsing the possible answers, it gets submitted. I get a response after 2 days telling me to factory reset my TomTom. This hasn’t, to date, fixed any of my problems. The ticket goes back to TomTom. I wait a while. Eventually, I either get an answer which requires a bit more conversation, or I take the second route – calling them.
I’ve spoke to TomTom on the phone a few times. Almost without fail, the people I speak to are knowledgeable, friendly, competent and are able to resolve my queries there and then. I spend 5 minutes on the phone and my problems are fixed. This morning, one 5 minute call had my issue fixed whilst on the phone when a ticket I’d opened two weeks ago was still languishing in the lost no-man’s-land of “escalation”.
This all begs the question, why should I raise tickets through the web interface? I get a significantly better experience by calling them, yet it’s in their interest to make me use the website because it’s cheaper for them.
From my perspective, this is a failure – it’s a service management failure. My biggest complaint about TomTom is that despite having the best product on the market by a significant factor, their service management lets them down. It has improved – the technical service is a lot better now, but the customer service still appears to be lacking.
So, TomTom, sort your service management out. Customers will only put up with a good product and a poor service for a while…