Ben Laurie blathering

Marketing Doublespeak From TomTom

I’m having a bit of a run-in with TomTom at the moment. The details are boring, but the short version is I bought a second device, for the car, registered it at their site, and as a result de-registered my existing GPS and associated the add-ons I’d bought for it with the new one. This would be OK except that they are now refusing to let me change it back!

If I want to escalate my complaint about this, here’s what I have to do. What you have to love about this is

TomTom wants to do the following:

  • Make it easy for you to raise your feedback

If you are not satisfied with any aspect of our service or products, tell us about your concerns by writing us a letter.

Our address is:

TomTom Sales BV
Customer Support – Customer Relations Department
Rembrandtplein 35
1017 CT Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Isn’t that awesome? We want to make it easy, so schlep down to your post office and figure out international postage – that’s so much better than this new-fangled email thing.

Of course, they don’t really want to make it easy – then they might have to investigate some minor complaints, and that would be a waste of their fine minds. They want me to be seriously pissed off before I bother them. And I am, but, thanks to the blogosphere, I can take my complaint to the people that matter: their customers.


  1. Hey look on the bright side, at least they didn’t ship you malware on it 🙂

    You’re right though, for a technology company their feedback process is a joke…

    I bet you’re not the only person with more than one device

    Comment by Nik — 25 Sep 2007 @ 8:35

  2. I have to agree TomTom support is total crap, when I replace my device it will be anything but a TomTom.

    Comment by Roger — 29 Nov 2008 @ 21:52

  3. As soon as I will have a little time, I will design a web page for the sole purpose to discourage anybody to buy a TomTom device. The problem I have encountered cost me hours of futile corresponding with TomTom customer service agent, and in the end has nothing changed. My feeling is that TomTom wants me to buy a new device instead, but I will throw away the one I have than ever buy another TomTom:

    Here is my story in brief: I do own a Mio C720 GPS, which works fine, except that it does not contain a map for Russia, and I couldn’t locate any store where I could have bought one from, so instead in Lithuania I stopped somewhere and I have purchased a TomTom ONE XL that did have Russia. The unit contained an SD card as well, and the maps on the device contained about some 30-31 countries, including countries in Eastern and Western countries. For after returning from Moscow to Vienna, Austria, I have used the device in Western Europe as well, and it performed ok. A few weeks ago, I have decided to update my maps. I connected my device to the computer and HOME brought up a list of selection I had to choose from. Not having been sure what regions of maps my device had, I selected Western and Central Europe as an option. I made the download and update to my ONE XL, but it stop functioning, giving me a notice that this map doesn’t work on my device. The big mistake I have made before starting to update my maps, that I did not back up my unit to the computer. The reason for this was that I knew I have a CD disk on the original box that I have never even opened, and naturally assumed that the CD disk contains the original maps on my device, just like my Mio GPS has it, or any computer on which soft wares are installed. So, I thought, no problem, I will just erase the non-functioning maps on my device and will reinstall the original maps from the CD come withe my unit. Then came the big disappointment, the disk I thought contains the original maps on my unit, was in reality a copy of TomTom HOME copy to access TomTom services.

    Now I had to contact TomTom about the problem, and the correspondence I had to make in the following weeks with customer agents would be enough to write a book. In the process, I was accused of lying because the SD card could not have come with my ONE XL, and just unbelievable stupidity of doing things, because I should have known, etc. In the end, as a courtesy, said TomTom, I was allowed to download maps of Eastern Europe. Of course, this map only contained just some 9 countries, and worse, half of the streets in Vienna, were not even on it. When I have complained, I was told that the reason for this is that streets are repaired or closed. I wrote to the agent that I am living on the street, and it is and was here for the last 20 years. For this was no explanation. After numerous exchanges, I was allowed to download the maps of Western Europe as well. Of course, now I can not plot a route from Eastern Europe to Western Europe, because the process would require me to manually switch maps, that CANNOT BE DONE in my case.

    People out there, please listen to my heeds, DO NOT BUY any TomTom device, for you will get shit for service and you cannot even find a place where you could take your unit. Everything must be done through a computer. But what if you don’t have sufficient knowledge of computers, or don’t have one period? TomTom don’t give a shit what you do after you had bought their unit. Even updating the maps on your device will cost you money, and a lot. There are many other brand names who sell GPS and they back it up with good service, and free maps updates. So DO YOUR HOME WORK, and just ignore TomTom devices. Good luck to you all!

    Comment by Steve Kele — 17 Dec 2008 @ 12:41

  4. TomTom customer support and feedback is useless. I tried to buy a map update of them and the credit card verfication at their end failed. My bank was willing to provide clearance by fax for the payment, but TomTom flatly said: “Not interested. Get another credit card”. Thats just great. Get someone elses business and I get a NavMan instead next time. Apparently TomTom does not need my money. I can see why people turn to other ‘support’ for their TomTom devices. I see TomTom will probably disappear over their support in the long run. And the box has quite a few glitches, especially with map switching and restart. A bit sad, was nice technology. But I would not recommend TomTom to anyone any more.

    Comment by Jörn Guy Süß — 15 Jan 2009 @ 21:01

  5. What a pile of crap… don’t use tomtom. I have two, and lost a map on one. No backup (lost over the last 3 years)

    No they won’t help me/let me download again. My fault they said, if I have no backup, have to buy new maps!

    I re-install Home software on a new PC. Then, because their pile of crap software “Home” won’t allow my account with TomTom to be used for more than one device. So I create a new email address. It ends “” but now I am the tosser because I enter “.com” in the Home software. Oh well, never mind, I don’t want their marketing email shite…

    They are such tossers. I buy a new map. Now I’m really the tosser too, beacuse I did not log into the TomTom account on the web I used the one all ready logged in… Arse. Now the map is paid for and on the wrong account. And the idiot TomTom people restrict how often you can change the device between accounts in their shite Home software!!!! Arses. Complete ARSES.

    And they wonder why people download Torrents of TomTom maps, key generators etc… they are so messed up and so backward. Agree 200% with others, do NOT buy a TomTom!!!

    Comment by Paul — 10 Dec 2009 @ 19:54

  6. Oh nearly forgot… Their website is shite too. After I bought the map I tried to review the order and make sure it went through ok. You would not believe it… website down straight after I paid!!!!

    Seriously. I even checked on “” and it was down, broken. Just like their damn necks ought to be some times.

    Comment by Paul — 10 Dec 2009 @ 19:57

  7. Just a suggestion – leave a one star review of your product on Amazon, surely their biggest retailer. You only need an Amazon account. You don’t have to have brought the product through them. Of course for legal reasons it should be strictly factual. The back-up, instructions etc are legally part of the product, so you can mention this.

    Comment by Hobberdydick — 17 Dec 2009 @ 21:20

  8. Tomtom. ditto for everything mentioned. tried d/loading the latest s/ware only for it to crash. I want an RMA number, an address and I’m willing to pay. All they do is give advice on how to reload my s/ware. It doesn’t work.
    Let me give you some money!!
    What is there problem. Their units are good, but I’m looking for customer service. reccomendations?

    Comment by julian london boy — 19 Dec 2009 @ 1:19

  9. Have to agree with all of the above, got a 510 (ok, i’ve had it for a while now), had a snooper GPS camera detector, was going to replace the snooper with the Tom Tom but it was so dire had to run 2 together as the Tom Tom camera info was either ok, wrong, or nearly right, the snoop was right, and with a lot of accuracy all of the time. Trying to buy, yes buy, traffic and camera updates, website won’t process sales info, the web site is poorly labelled and although improved, isn’t good enough. Catchy name, but the product/support isn’t good enough, would not buy again or recommend.

    Comment by steve london — 23 Dec 2009 @ 22:49

  10. I bought a widescreen earlier this year, 2010. Recently tried to update it. It locked up and said that the device needed to be “activated”. Even told me that the map I had downloaded was not valid on that TomTom. I did not keep the activation code but I must have activated the TOMTOM when I got it or it would not have worked, and neither would I have been able to connect to the website for the failed up date. Now days later and after 4 emails they want to see my proof of purchase to ensure that it is still under warranty. I do not have it, and neither am I claiming under warranty. There is nothing, as far as I am aware, wrong with the TOMTOM. It worked perfectly before I connected it for the update. What do I do now? To whom does one conmplain?

    Comment by Roger — 18 Aug 2010 @ 22:52

  11. Similar problem to “Roger – 18 Aug 2010”. Bought a downloadable map. Tried for many hours and failed to download. Meanwhile, TomTom has taken my money and claim that map has been activated. Problem is I do not have the map and I am now £50 out of pocket.
    LAST CORRESPONDENCE FROM ME:(The reference 4b etc is to their own terms & conditions)
    Customer XXX 31/08/2010 09.49 PM
    Again, I refer you to 4b. Risk of loss or damage passes to the customer on delivery: You have not delivered the product as I do not have the map downloaded on my laptop. A search on my computer for the activation file mentioned in your email returns this result – see attached file (Doc2.doc). You will note that the file is not present. The product is not in my possession. Therfore, see 4d which says you will cancel and issue a refund. How do you expect me to pay for something I do not have?!

    You also indicated that the activation file is the last part of any map download. I need evidence of this, and as requested in my original mail I need:

    – evidence that the product has been activated
    – your activation procedure manual
    – software log which indicates at which juncture the map is activated by the customer

    So far, you have failed to provide me with any of the above.

    You have spuriously made reference to 5b to justify your argument. However, read it again and you will see it is about the “commencement” of the service. This is effectively, to establish a contract for services. It does not justify non-performance by you (failure to deliver). Such an event makes the contract VOIDABLE by me ie. I can cancel (and seek a refund), or alternatively request another product for same value etc – very similar to what you have offered me: You have effectively conceded that you have not performed, and are trying to make amends by offering alternative product(s) under that same contract. My response is simple: I don’t want it, I do not ned it; I just want a refund!

    I request that you escalate this to someone who can really understand this situation. Meanwhile, I need you to provide the data I have requested.

    Please note you have 3 days to respond.


    Thank you for your response. I had escalated your request for a refund as per your original request of me and made no guarantees as to the result of that request. Having since spoken with the supervisor who declined the refund request he has made it very clear to me that I am correct in offering you the information that I have so far. Your interpretation of the terms do not match with our own and do not apply in this situation. I appreciate you are frustrated by the situation and again I can offer the option of swapping the purchase for something of equivalent pricing. A full refund will not be approved in this circumstance.

    If you are unhappy with the way your case is being handled or with our policies it would be appreciated if you could communicate this to our Customer Relations Department.

    You can send a letter to the address below:

    TomTom Sales BV
    Customer Support – Customer Relations Department
    Rembrandtplein 35
    1017 CT Amsterdam
    The Netherlands

    The letter should contain the following:

    • Detailed description of your feedback
    • Your full name
    • Your address
    • Your email address (the one registered with us)
    • A contact telephone number where you are available during the day
    • The details of your TomTom product including product code and serial number (if possible)
    • Any reference numbers (case numbers, RMA numbers etc)


    Comment by Ben — 2 Sep 2010 @ 22:03

  12. I have been trying for 6 months to have Tom Tom correct a glaring map error in their Australia map. The Bruce Highway in Queensland heading towards Brisbane where the Bruce Highway meets the Gateway Motorway and the Gumpie Arterial, the map & voiceover advises to take exit left for the Gympie Arterial & right for the Gateway Motorway when the correct exits are in fact the reverse. I have no problems as I am familiar with the roads BUT what about tourists and others not so familiar. In 6 months all I get from Tom Tom is that they have advised their map co-ordinator Sensis? 6 months to update an error – THAT’S NOT SERVICE. Then they have the gall to send me satisfaction surveys. I have made these as blunt as possible without extreme rudeness but as expected not a bit of followup. Hollow “feel good” paraphernalia from a lack lustre company.

    Comment by Stan Prickett — 24 Apr 2011 @ 22:25

  13. I’m having some real problems linking a TomTom Via Live with my compatible iPhone. The response from TomTOm is hopeless – either they don’t have a clue or they don’t believe in customer service!!

    Comment by David — 13 Nov 2011 @ 20:19

  14. I am incensed with Tom Tom. I bought a Via 120 Live unit and it has worked fine in the UK. I needed to drive to Germany on business and so set up a Tom Tom Home account (Their website is confusing and poorly laid out – it makes barely any pretense at customer support)and looked up map downloads. I found a map that covers all of Europe and although it was priced at a hefty £49 I thought I would go for it as it meets all my future needs. The website asked me which unit I have as part of my purchase so I enter the model number of my Tom Tom unit. The system then allows me to buy and download a map that will not fit onto my Via 120 live unit.

    OK I figure all I need to do is add some more memory to the unit via the Micro SD card slot in the bottom of the Tom Tom unit. So being the gullible idiot that Tom Tom assumed I am, I spend £30 on a Micro SD card for my unit. When I fit the SD card to my surprise it is not recognized as increasing the memory on my unit. After several wasted hours and frustration I log onto a blog and find out that Tom Tom although helpfully fitting an SD card slot to the VIA 120 Live unit does not activate it in the software!

    So in summary Tom Tom happily sold me a map that they knew there was no possible way I could use on my Via 120 Live and then proceeded to sell me an SD card that would not work with my unit. I call that misrepresentation and I for one am going to take this issue up with whatever consumer rights organisations I can find to listen.

    Don’t buy a Tom Tom

    Comment by Roy Peers-Smith — 29 Nov 2011 @ 11:17

  15. I hate that company. Once you purchased one of the GPS, you are stuck with it. They can’t even make a website that works, so forget the GPS devices. I tried, at least a dozen times to purchase a new map on their site and that stupid thing kept turning and turning and nothing worked. I HATE TOM TOM PEOPLE DON’T BUY THAT SHIT IT WILL ONLY RUN ON YOU BOYCOTT TOM TOM

    Comment by Richard — 26 Jun 2012 @ 2:07

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