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TomTom GO 1000 LIVE – When customer beta testing goes too far

So TomTom has a new car GPS out, the TomTom GO 1000 LIVE. I already used one or two of the LIVE devices, and the HD traffic is very valuable when you spend as much time on the roads as I do. The new model has a few enhancements that intrigued me:

– capacitive display that is works extremely well, even in daylight conditions
– a much faster processor
– better build quality
– new improved software version

I’ve used it for a day now, and it’s going back to the dealer.

I mean, I’m a geek, and I’m used to software that is updated frequently, and I can even live with a few bugs. But with the GO 1000 LIVE it seems TomTom decided to take another shortcut – let’s ship it way before time.

The GPS comes with 2 years free LIVE services, which makes it a good deal at the current price of around 300 Euros. TomTom also sells additional bits (maps, voices, Points of interest) which are linked to your account and can be loaded onto the device.

Here’s where the trouble starts – the new GO 1000 no longer allows you to mount as a USB mass storage device and copy your data over! It will only connect through TomTom’s special software, which means only content available online from TomTom can be put onto the device. This is a major issue for me, as I have been maintaining a huge database of POI for years now, which I would like to use. TomTom support reportedly stated that this might eventually be possible “at a later time” but would not be a priority.

OK, fine – how about the “official” POI and voices I bought? Let’s quickly register the GO 1000 to my account and get those, shall we? This is where you’ll find out that you might first have to open a support message to have someone remove your old GPS from your account (TomTom obviously doesn’t want you to buy more than one product from them). Then you try to link the GO 1000 to your account – and get a strange http 400 error telling you this is not possible. Again, somebody from support hinted that this should be possible end of November.

Are you kidding me? Will you please make sure you have your stuff ready before you ship?

This is the most disappointing TomTom experience ever (and believe me, I’ve had a few…). It seems they’re trying hard to come up with their own version of lock-in and App Store, but fail at the basics already. Before they find a way to manage multiple devices in one account that I can change without working with support for a week, and support your own POI import, I’m not buying another TomTom. This is totally not customer oriented.

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