Tuesday 20 January 2009

LoveHate Technology

I love technology but technology seems to want to kick my arse whenever I get near it.

Take my relationship with TomTom: almost everytime I try to rely on it, it let's me down. I spend ages with back and forth emails to TomTom support trying to get the damn thing to work. Eventually I gave up and told them I wanted to send it back for repair. I'd only used it about 2 dozen times in its lifetime.

TomTom received my SatNav (in Glenrothes!) but then I heard nothing from them again. I asked them the other day what was going on and they replied that they had meant to tell me they were going to charge me for an out-of-warranty repair, but seeing as they had forgotten to they would do it for free. Nice one! Actually, they sent me a brand new unit!. Result! Shame I don't actually have a bike anymore, but I have bought the car adaptor kit for it.

I test it on the way home from work and it is fine. Then when I plug it in to the computer and it says it needs to do an update. Okey-dokey I let it update away, thinking taht with a clean new unit everything will be ok.

Then this morning I have to drive from Oxford to Wimbledon for an appointment about my knee. I decide that this time I can rely on TomTom to guide me there. Except now the damn thing won't turn the GPS on! I drive all the way down the M40 with it unable to find any satellites ("Poor GPS signal. Are you indoors?" No, I'm flippin' not!). Eventually on the M4 I pull into the services, where lovely Anita from WH Smith gives me her name badge to reset the TomTom (from now on I will always carry a paperclip in the car!). After two goes I give up and walk back to the car - lo and behold it gets a lock!

Thankfully it now manages to guide me to the clinic with only 15min to spare.

Then I use it again afterwards and it manages to guide me to Chiswick where I meet Robbie for lunch. Then, when I try to use it to get out of London, it fails again. Cue phone call to Robbie asking if I can pop in to his school to nick a paperclip. I will forever be grateful to the acting urchins on Chiswick for donating a paperclip to me.

Without TomTom I would not have found the clinic, nor Robbie's school. I am now going to have to get back on to TomTom support to report this latest problem, and I am sure they will have me plugging the damn thing in to the computer to roll-back the upgrade. Fantastic!

TomToms should come with a paperclip as standard.

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