August 02, 2006

TomTom Mobile 5 Windows Mobile 5 Smartphone

For anyone who is considering spending money with TomTom – this is what to expect. I've reordered it so it reads chronologically – it's an amazing example of appauling customer service. Put your comments at the end; let's have a public record of TomTom's customer service and examples of why they should get their act together. Use the Internet to fight back!

Customer 08/07/2006 12.26 PM

I upgraded my vodafone v1240 (aka SP5 aka qtek 8310) ROM to support A2DP today. Last week, when I got this phone, I created a new product code for my software as I was moving from an Orange C550. However today, the device code is now different and is * *.

Could you please supply me with a new activation code for my updated device, and feel free to remove last week's one as I no longer need it.

Many thanks.

Response 10/07/2006 03.21 PM

Dear Mr Gibson,

Thank you for contacting TomTom Customer Support.

Could you send us a copy of your proof of repair/exchange/purchase?

Fax it to 0031 20 850 1072

include: your product code, device code and email address. and the incident #060708–000579

or attach it to this email with the above information and reply.

to reply to this email:
log onto your account on the tomtom web site
click on the support tab at the top
click on my questions
find this email
click on update

With best regards,

The TomTom Customer Support Team

Auto–response 08/07/2006 12.26 PM
Title: Update May 2006 – TomTom ONE 5.450
Link: link

Title: My activation code no longer works on my repaired PocketPC.
Link: link

Title: How do I install downloadable maps?
Link: link

Title: After installing a map from “Maps of Western Europe” I cannot activate my product.
Link: link

Title: How can I install Maps of Western Europe for TomTom MOBILE 5?
Link: link

Customer 19/07/2006 10.40 AM

What proof exactly are you after? For the phone or tomtom? I can send you a copy of my contract indicating I purchased the v1240 from vodafone, but this does not show that I upgraded the firmware. I cannot see how I can prove (other than the older device code vs the new one, which I thought would be enough) that I've done this.
Please get back to me with further details.

Many thanks

Customer 19/07/2006 11.29 AM

Please find the attached invoice for my purchase of Tomtom mobile [pdf].

Does this help?

Response 19/07/2006 12.47 PM

Dear Mr Gibson,

Thank you for contacting TomTom Customer Support.

My apologies for the misunderstanding and any inconvenience. I was looking for the proof of purchase for your new phone. As the license agreement allows the software to be active on only one device we would ask just to see the receipt and will activate your maps on the new device.

With best regards,

The TomTom Customer Support Team

Customer 24/07/2006 08.08 PM

Please find attached a copy of my purchase receipt, which should be sufficient to demonstrate my ownership.

Response 26/07/2006 04.10 PM

Dear Mr Gibson,

Thank you for contacting TomTom Customer Support.

I sent your incident to my 2nd liine colleague. I have now recieved the reply.

I was told that the device code should not change as you are describing.

Was the update you used the latest updatr for your Mobile?

Did you use an unlock application?

If so if you run the unlock application again it should return the device code to what it was and your activation code should work.

I regret that we are unable to supply a new actvation code.

With best regards,

The TomTom Customer Support Team

Customer 26/07/2006 05.34 PM

I have supplied both my proof of phone purchase AND my receipt for purchasing TomTom. When I got the new phone I requested a new device code for my new phone, installed TomTom and I was happy. Then I upgraded it:

I went to the following vodafone website:
and applied the latest patch.

Now the device code is different. I do not know why this is the case, but you can tell your colleague to try it him/herself to see that it does result in a different code – it is not just a 'patch' but an entire reflash of the phone and is roughly 35MB.

I am annoyed that you have suggested I have attempted to unlock / modify the phone and doubly so with the inference "I was told that the device code should not change as you are describing" is essentially questioning my integrity. The phone is completely vanilla, I haven't even installed any additional programs onto it.

I have been very co–operative with TomTom, I have gone to great trouble to supply more information than you have requested to conclusively prove that I own both my phone and your software. You have then come back to me, after requesting this information, to tell me that actually you won't help me on the basis you do not believe me.

May I suggest your colleague checks his/her facts before suggesting the consumer is at fault – the TomTom team would not benefit from alienating its paying customers.

Frankly I expect better customer service than this. You should escalate this message to your colleague and your colleague's manager, as I certainly do not consider this matter resolved or closed.

Response 28/07/2006 03.58 PM

Dear Mr Gibson,

Thank you for contacting TomTom Customer Support.

I regret to inform you as your phone is not on our compatibility list we will be unable to reactivate your product. If you were to purchase a phone from the belo list and send us a copy of the proof of purchase we can actiavte your product. I hope this anseres your question.

With best regards,

The TomTom Customer Support Team

Customer 28/07/2006 06.33 PM

The vodafone V1240 is identical to the QTEC 8310 / sp5m:

It is literally a rebranded vodafone version. Vodafone in switzerland are swisscom. They call this phone the v1240 also for this reason. If you looked at my receipt it clearly states QTEK V1240 on it. This is the same phone.

The list below (which you didn't attach for me) mentions them ALL:
Microsoft Smartphone

* Imate

SP3, SP3i, SP5, SP5m <—–

* Motorola

MPX 220

* O2

XDA Phone

* Orange

SPV C500, SPV C550, SPV C600, SPV E200

* Qtek

8010, 8020, 8060, 8080, 8100, 8300, 8310 <—–

* Swisscom

Mobile Assistant XPA v1240 <—–

* T–Mobile

SDA, SDA Music, SDA2

Please reactivate my product, I have demonstrated for you that I own a TomTom supported device and have proof of ownership.

Response 31/07/2006 01.49 PM

Dear Mr Gibson,

Thank you for contacting TomTom Customer Support.

I sent your query to my colleague. Your phone and the other phones listed have different ROM/firmware and have been tested and approved. I regret that your phone is not compatible. I hope this answers your question.


With best regards,

The TomTom Customer Support Team

Customer 31/07/2006 03.50 PM

I'm afraid it doesn't. I am not after technical support, I simply wish to use the software I have purchased from you with my new device. Had I not requested a new device activation code before I flashed my device there would have been no problem; all I am asking for is a new device activation code. I have not been bound by any Terms and Conditions which allow you to refuse me access to my own purchase on the basis you do not support my device (which is frankly a tenuous suggestion on the basis I have upgraded my supported phone with an official firmware upgrade), merely that you claim to reserve the right to refuse me access to support regarding the operation of the software on it; I am not seeking a device specific resolution but simply a new device activation code. You would not be able to demonstrate any good reason to prevent me receiving this information.

All I am asking for is a new code. If you allow me another chance to enter one on the website this problem would be resolved (you can remove the old one I don't need it). If you still insist on refusing me assistance I have no further avenue but to notify you that I have given you reasonable opportunity to resolve my complaint and if this matter is not satisfactorily resolved within 7 days I will have no alternative but to escalate this issue to my local Small Claims Court via Trading Standards.

Please print this thread out and forward it to:
TomTom Sales BV
Customer Support – customer relations department
Rembrandtplein 35
1017 CT Amsterdam
The Netherlands

as I wish to instigate your Complaint Procedures.

Martin Gibson

Customer 31/07/2006 04.36 PM

May I also add that you have not provided any information as to the firmwares you support but merely the devices. Suggesting that my device is unsupported on the basis of unpublished firmware/ROM information (as of the date of writing) is unacceptable. You have no enforceable reason not to supply me with a new activation code.

Response 31/07/2006 05.46 PM

Dear Mr Gibson,

Thank you for contacting TomTom Customer Support.

The tomtom license agreement states that you can load your software on one device only, we at tomtom are willing to transfer your product from one device to any other compatibable device with the reception of a copy of the proof of purchase dated after the last activation.

Tomtom complies with all EU trading rules and regulations.

Mobile 5 compatibility list

If you are not satisfied by this please consult the below link;

With best regards,

The TomTom Customer Support Team

Customer 31/07/2006 06.45 PM

"The tomtom license agreement states that you can load your software on one device only, we at tomtom are willing to transfer your product from one device to any other compatibable device with the reception of a copy of the proof of purchase dated after the last activation."

I have given you this proof. I have explained quite clearly why I require a new activation code. I have demonstrated to you that my device is compatible. If you read that EULA (which doesn't apply to me as I did not purchase after '1st January 2006' nor 'before 1st January 2005' and thus cannot be bound by an invalid document especially as it doesn't even enforce what you are talking about) you shall see there is no mention of compatible devices as a restriction on reissue anywhere. You have no legal grounds on which to refuse me a device code; regardless of compatible or not as this restriction is not even mentioned.

Furthermore there is no mention on the firmware affecting the compatability of a device. READ the information here, READ the links you sent me so you can see that a) they don't apply to me and b) I've already pasted that list of devices below to demonstrate the fact you do not talk of the firmware/ROM but only the device (of which I own a Swisscom v1240 and have a receipt for, which you have)

"Tomtom complies with all EU trading rules and regulations.
Does not apply; look at the link and READ it.

"Mobile 5 compatibility list
We've been here before. See below thread.

"If you are not satisfied by this please consult the below link;
I have asked you to do this for me. Instead you chose not to.

You have gone round and round in circles. I have in writing here that you will activate my new device. Then I have in writing that you cannot, on spurious grounds. I am amazed that as a paying customer you didn't simply give me the benefit of the doubt but you are seemingly determined to fail to assist me.

I am tired of this argument. I am a busy person and as TomTom have absolutely no legal grounds on which to be treating me this way I shall quite simply take you to court for a) the cost of a new device code b) the cost of wasting my time; I work for an Investment Bank c) distress caused.

This matter is not closed.

- 20 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

[Skip to the latest comment]
  1. I feel your pain. I am on the phone to NTL trying to cancel my account right now. I waited half an hour and then they hung up without my getting through to anyone. Trying again now. Being charged 5p a minute the whole time. Fuck this shit.

    02 Aug 2006, 13:51

  2. Sometimes, I wonder if these mails are computer generated… I had a bash with Tescos a year or so back over their on–line shopping: the last missive I got from them was along the lines of 'go on, please spend some more of your money with us: that will make everything fine, we promise' so I asked them to stop harrassing me with obviously cut and pasted messages and just answer my original question… didn't get a response to that one, funnily enough.

    03 Aug 2006, 10:39

  3. Russell Brand

    ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm yep, i agree this is a most interesting entry about the trails and error of life as we know it since we entered the world of mobile phones. Perhaps you should try landline?

    The Swines

    12 Aug 2006, 00:43

  4. Richard Sprint

    I should email you copies of the exact same conversation i had with tomtom regarding the same problem I had to buy the software agin in the end and sell the old one on with the old phone as the old code was still valid with the old phone.

    tomtom need to find a new way to generate device codes.

    15 Aug 2006, 07:33

  5. P Bowden

    Using a credit card, I purchased a TomTom product – 910 GO satnav – on 25 July 06 from Carrefour in Toulon, France, for 699 euros. After 4 days of working perfectly, I next tried it 13 days after purchase, when it 'froze' on and the screen began to heat up alarmingly. Tomtom's UK helpline convinced me (how gullible I was!) that the unit was perfectly OK – not of unsaleable quality as I was maintaining – this was a known problem and not a serious one and all I needed to do was 'reset' it, using a bent paper clip(!) As this worked at the time, I put it away…. Between 9 and 11 August, I made 15–20 attempts to use the unit and it NEVER worked; faults included freezing on (and off) and failing to detect satellite signal. Carrefour declined any responsibility, saying that liability was with TomTom after an initial two weeks (expired). Tomtom were entirely unwilling to replace the unit and would only repair, so I duly (but v reluctantly) sent it off to the Netherlands, whence it returned on 26 August WITH EXACTLY THE SAME FAULT – it froze immediately when switched on. Tomtom Customer Service would not (a) apologise (b) consider replacing the unit (c) put me through to anyone senior to deal with my complaint. They offered only to 'repair' it again and agreed that, if it came back in the same unuseable state, I would be looking at the unit ping–ponging back and forth between the UK and the Netherlands repair centre and would be likely to be deprived of its use for an indefinite (infinite?) period…
    Consulted and rang them on 08454040506. ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT: detailed, comprehensive and authoritative advice and a determination to help me through to a satisfactory resolution of the problem. Advised me that my credit card provider was liable, despite its attempts (in response to my letters and several phone calls with very senior members of staff) to wriggle out of it, on various grounds. In the face of their prevarications, consumer direct gave me full details of the legal position and told me to ring the credit card provider (a major bank) and demand reimbursement within seven days or institute a claim in the Small Claims Court. Result: they undertook to reimburse me in full within 2 minutes of my phone call.
    When TomTom products work, they are brilliant. But the Customer Service is execrable – the worst I have encountered in a long time. I hope that (although it's not exactly on topic) this acts as a warning to potential TomTom purchasers and might contain helpful ideas to anyone who does go ahead and purchase (use a credit card! get advice from consumer direct!)

    28 Aug 2006, 11:12

  6. Simon

    Dear all,

    I read above that all of you are having many different problems with different suppliers and their customers services.

    With this in mind, and also as i have in the past had many problems corrected by suppliers can i make a suggestion to you all.

    1. when you speak with any customer services, always log when you have made the call (date & time), also either the full name of the person you are talking to or their extention.

    2. find the companies corporate website

    3. locate the board of directors

    4. contact a personal assistant to one of the directors

    5. tell them of your issues

    6. You problems will get resolved

    hope you all get your problems resolved

    finally with regards to call charges – no supplier beats – try i guarentee you will save money on call charges

    29 Aug 2006, 14:03

  7. Brain Washington

    These customer complaints represent 0.5% of all our SATISFIED CUSTOMERS. Most of these complaints hold no merit and are the customers fault.

    Stop trying to bootleg our products by trying to request new activation codes.

    Tomtom Customer Service is commited to the request of our REAL customers.


    01 Sep 2006, 04:52

  8. Peter Wilcox

    Is the last comment for real? Sounds a lot like a wind up.
    Customer’s are liars are they? Or thieves? This guy suggests both, and without any info to act on.

    04 Sep 2006, 18:05

  9. antointhe

    0.5% risk is too high for me. Thankfully i didnt get a tom tom last year when I was in the market for a nav system.

    I shall pass on what I have seen here to my peoples and tell them to avoid them like the plague.

    Having being a victim of poor service with a few ppl, I am of the opinion that bad service is a nightmare that you should avoid at all costs.

    Thanks for the blog guys!

    16 Sep 2006, 14:34

  10. stuart

    Had I known that TomTom was a Dutch company I would have never bought my 710. There is no Dutch translation of customer service and Dutch people think mistakes are things only other people make. To give you a measure of what you’re up against, Dutch consumer law permits the manufacturer of a defective product two attempts to repair it before they have to consider a replacement, this is in addition to the original delivery of a non-working product. My TomTom was sent for repair since it would only find a GPS signal 50% of the time (keep in mind that I live in the Netherlands and there are often no trees, buildings or hills for 20 km in every direction). When it came back the only difference is that it nevers finds a GPS signal so they get another chance to do nothing. I will never buy from them again.

    15 Nov 2006, 22:18

  11. Andrew

    Great blog and great comments.

    I’ve been eying up a TomTom for a month or two now. I was hopng a generous Santa Clause might come up with the goods.

    Instead, thanks to this blog, I will go tell him what he can do with his TomTom.

    Road Angel here I come.

    17 Nov 2006, 13:30

  12. Simon

    I’ve just been stiffed by TomTom as well. Having used TomTom Navigator 5 on my Orange SPV M2000 for over a year I decided to take up their “offer” of western European maps and an upgrade to Navigator 6.6. So I pay the money, go to TomTom Plus and download what it tells me to. I ran the installer, followed the instructions on the PDA and realised I still had Navigator 5. I phoned them up and asked for the version 6 that I had paid for. They told me that as I had activated the V.5 maps I was not entitled to a refund or replacement v6, and would have to buy it again. I pointed out that I ordered, followed instructions and it was them that delivered the wrong software. No dice. They basically told me to s*d off. Great.

    So, stear clear of those crooks, is my advice.

    13 Dec 2006, 16:54

  13. Sid

    Wow! I was in the market for a TomTom and just reading this makes me want to avoid them and in fact promote their competitor. If I’ve paid for something it BETTER work as it ought to. TomTom actually suggesting that the customer is pirating their software? These people are such losers … I wonder if they know how to spell business …

    Thank god our company puts GPS chips in our phones – we’ll rock your world.

    18 Dec 2006, 07:57

  14. robert

    i was just about to purchase tom tom software for my vodafone 1240 when i came across this information accidentally.

    i shall be looking at alternatives . i will not be purchasing tom tom for this phone.

    i use a stand alone tom tom device regularly and find it to be a great product.

    i hope tom tom reps read this and realise they are losing business in the phone market.

    thanks for the blog

    13 Jan 2007, 01:45

  15. mikey

    Dont be silly, download it from bit torrent and stick it to the unhelpful tossas!!

    14 Feb 2007, 11:40

  16. Kim

    I bought a new Go 910, with out of date maps. At I find I am eligible for a free update. Great!

    I attempt to download the update (1.4GB) over an 80 kbps link, TomTom Home software, after 350MB, fails to maintain the download. Start over. Resume download? NO! Let’s start from the beginning. Try three times. Same result.

    Three phone calls to TomTom customer support. “We do have a DVD, customer service will call you tomorrow.” (Didn’t) “We don’t know if we have a DVD. Customer service will respond.” (Sorry, no DVD is available.)

    So, no DVD, right? But there’s such a nice pic of the DVD here:

    Get RMA. Return device. Never ever ever buy TomTom. The device might be the greatest, but the customer support is horrible and with the crummy maps and no prospect of updates, the device is useless.

    30 May 2007, 14:42

  17. Kevin

    I agree. tom tom are shit. DONT BUY IT. Buy something else. If you buy it be prepared to throw it away rather than get an update.
    Get this message out to everyone TOM TOM Customer service is crap TOM TOM Customer Service are slow rude and arrogant.

    12 Jun 2007, 21:15

  18. bzzlink

    I had the same problem, resolved it by calling them up and asking rather harshly why they wanted to punich a paying customer. After some back and forth I got a new device code. The next time I got a new phone I didn’t bother calling them, just got the software and maps I needed off of bittorrent sites. Had they behaved better I would have bought the western europe maps when I needed them.

    17 Jun 2007, 02:41

  19. spikyB

    Hey brother next time don’t pay for tomtom , get it cracked simple right ?

    03 Jul 2007, 22:21

  20. Hans

    Stuarts comments about dutch law are not entirely correct. In Holland you are entitled to a replacement of a product if i’s defective at purchase time, or if the product is not living up to the expectation that it according to product specification should deliver. If purchase over the web you can even return it in the origial package and you will be entitled for a full refund. Also the company who you have purchased the product from should deliver you the waranty and not the supplier of the product itself. Check your sources before you comment.

    What happend with the conflict in the end ?

    15 Aug 2007, 12:17

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