Sunday, 16 January 2011

The demise of Tom Tom, a good friend

In November 2006, after installing sliding doors for my brother, on returning home I received a Tom Tom car navigation GPS: an unexpected gift.
The sliding doors - note the wine rack - just the tip of the iceberg. The doors at this point had yet to receive the pelmet.

Although I do not travel extensively around the country I have used TomTom more than I anticipated, and now regard it (her) with affection.Yesterday I  fired up my friend to navigate to an address in Barrow-in-Furness (don’t go there unless you have to). Tom Tom remained dormant.
After searching the Internet I guessed a new battery may restore life, but also learned that a special tool is required to open her up.
At Sunday opening time (10:00am), I was at Halfords in Kendal. The  sales chap asked me how long I had owned Tom Tom. When I said “three or four years” he said he had learned from the manufacturer, to his own surprise, that this was, disappointingly, the predicted lifespan. He said, apologetically, I may send it back for repair but the cost would be high.
I ended up buying a new” Garmin nüvi 1300”. I recently commented on the name Neutrino given to my new RAB sleeping bag, so what about this one -”nüvi” I mean? Google informs me that Garmin is, drearily, a composite of parts of the two surnames of the company’s founders, but Google fails on”nüvi”; I suspect it is a made up name, but if so what are the connotations, or what is it saying?
Selling a gadget like this for around £100 without informing buyers that its expected lifespan is so short seems like criminal deception to me.
The old friend and her replacement

1 comment:

Barrett Bonden said...

I too looked up nüvi, imagining the umlaut might make things easier. But no go. Just a marketing ploy - meaningless but possibly memorable.

I think it is possible to address a satnav as a person since that's how one reacts during the early weeks ("By not taking the next right, as she suggests, I run the risk of irritating her.") Eventually this tendency dies away to be resurrected when a new passenger behaves in exactly the same way. By then the reaction has become remarkably irritating.

I always have mine switched to the woman's voice. Can't stand having a chap boss me about.