On March 25, 2015, TomTom announced that it was replacing all (android) TomTom applications with a single app called TomTom GO Mobile. The main “problem” with previous TomTom applications were that there was a separate app for each region, or maps, and you purchased them all separately.
TomTom GO Mobile creates a single central app that can download any map worldwide. And it comes with free lifetime maps. It provides the first 50 miles free each month and heavier users can take out a subscription for unlimited driving.
This is good right? Sounds good on paper, but there is a catch. A huge catch, and one anyone who paid for previous versions of the software are now becoming all too painfully aware.
The feature list of the new app contains:
– Lifetime World Maps: Always drive with the latest maps for over 100 countries**
** You can download 4 or more full updates every year for the life of your app.
TomTom reserves its right to unilaterally withdraw and/or to amend this offer and/or to amend the terms and conditions.
So basically, TomTom can, and will, stick it to you when they feel like it. Read on for how this launch is doing exactly this to, at least, all existing Android customers.
18 months ago I bought TomTom U.S. & Canada for $40 because I frequently visit the states and that’s the only place I really need navigation assistance. At time of writing the feature list for the app still contains the promise:
›› FREE Lifetime Maps. Download 4 or more full updates every year for the life of your app.
Also note that there are no ** caveats to that.
I took TomTom at their word. I believed them. Yes, I’m a dumbass and got suckered.
So TomTom has a web page that isn’t linked to from their app page, that defines “life of your app”: (emphasis, mine)
What are Lifetime Maps?Updated: 19/11/2014 03.36 PM
If you buy a navigation device or smartphone app which includes Lifetime Maps, you can download 4 or more full updates of your map every year for the lifetime* of your product.
Lifetime Maps are available without additional charge and for as long as the product is supported.
The map updates are the full updates for the map that is pre-installed on your device or that is installed on your smartphone app. The geographical coverage and feature support in the map will continue to match the original version, as long as the original is commercially available.
You will receive all available updates to road network, addresses and Points of Interest in these releases.
*Lifetime – this is the useful life of the device, which means the period of time that TomTom continues to support your device with software updates, services, content or accessories. A device will have reached the end of its life when none of these are available any more. The useful life of the smartphone app means the period of time that TomTom continues to support the app with updates.
So, to cut a long story short, all TomTom has to do is replace the app you paid good money for with a different app and your “lifetime” maps disappear.
TomTom has announced that existing TomTom apps will get map updates until October 2015, after which they will cease.
So in total, my $40 bought me 2 years and 2 months of TomTom. Not exactly a “lifetime” by any standard.
TomTom’s attempt to appease customers is to offer a 3 year subscription upgrade for 50p, instead of the usual £34.99 – so in 3 years time I can expect to pay at least £34.99 ($50) every 3 years for updates.
Nice scam TomTom. If this isn’t a “bait and switch” I don’t know what is.
A disappointed customer.