So, I looked at the alternatives. I phoned Garmin up and they couldn’t tell me simple things like how much it would cost for their subscriptions for traffic and their ‘live’ services. By live services that means you need to have a mobile phone running their app on it so that the navigation device can connect to the internet for information - not like the TomTom that has it’s own SIM built in and just does it. Garmin used to have a navigation device that used it’s own SIM but they are now discontinued, and while the support guy said he thought the services would still be available for a while to come, he could not give me a date when they would be switched off and unsupported. Also I spent ages and ages on the phone to them for the privilege of not getting the info I needed.
I’ve tried a couple of the Smartphone apps and I’m still not happy with their performance so it looks like TomTom is still leading the market in a number of areas.
After a relatively small amount of complaining to them, they agreed to take back my faulty satnav under warranty, and yesterday a shiny new replacement arrived in the post. So it looks as though at times they do actually appreciate customer loyalty and it also looks like I will still be a customer for a time to come.
They seem to think they can get away with providing shoddy products or poor customer service. TomTom is the latest on my list of many. I’ve been a loyal customer since 2003 but that doesn’t seem to matter when their top of the range device (1005 Live) only lasts 15 months and they want £90 to fix it.
Ok, but devices break Andy I hear you say, and I understand that, but 15 months ? also there was a massive outage in their live services last year and the device never did calculate traffic delays correctly when I bought it. They kindly gave me an extra 12 months live services for that issue.. not that I’ll be able to take advantage of that compensation unless I pay them £90!!
Don’t even get me started on the quality of the batteries they use in these devices. Once you’ve had the thing a year or so they no longer seem to last.
So, what are the alternatives ? well as much as mobile phone navigation is convenient, I’ve never found them to be as good as a dedicated device so i think the only real contender is Garmin. Something I’ll now have to take seriously as it seems a like a 10 year customer isn’t worth £90
I think a better description would be “Burst Your Bubble”, despite the numerous calls I’ve had from customer services in 5 weeks I have yet to receive a proper schedule with the correct dates on it. You would honestly think that in this day and age that companies would be a little more interested in business, but it seems that Protect Your Bubble obviously have enough customers and don’t want any more. Even worse, they are alienating the customers that they already have.
The only saving grace I can see is that so far I have not had to put any kind of claim in yet.. I dread to think how bad that would be if I actually wanted to get some money out of them. For sure you can bet that they wouldn’t want to wait 5 weeks for me to put the paperwork in, in fact I’m reasonably sure that their paperwork gives cut off times for contacting the police and filing claims etc.
Well it’s now got the point where I’ve decided that PYB can shove their policy right where the sun doesn’t shine, I’ll go and find a company that actually wants some business. The only outstanding action for me (and them) is that there is the matter of the January payment that they took out of my account with no policy in force. They need to be returning that ASAP or it looks like I’ll be heading to small claims court.
My story starts in 2011. I was looking at the insurance I had with Protect Your Bubble (PYB) only to discover it had expired about a month earlier. They had sent me no reminder letters or emails so I gave them a call. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever tried calling them, but you cannot speak to anybody who actually knows anything, and emailing their customer services takes on average 3 days to get a response. So needless to say this was going to take a while…
The people I first spoke to said “Oh, your policy was taken out before the company changed underwriters, your policy is with Supercover, you need to call them”. I called them.. what they said initially was that I couldn’t renew my policy, they pretty much were not interested in my business. So I rang PYB back and told them this, eventually after a couple of phone calls, it was decided I would get a new policy through PYB with the new underwriters. Now for my next issue, because my cover had expired and one of my items was over 12 months old, I wasn’t allowed to cover it on the new policy. Eventually after I started being sarcastic on their facebook page and twitter, I got a call from a guy at Assurant (The parent company). He promised to sort everything out for me. I think all told it was almost a month to get my cover sorted out!
Skip to 2012…
I had another policy with PYB to cover a different item, but when that came around to renew I had already taken cover elsewhere so I asked them to cancel my policy. Now.. what they did was cancel that policy and marked my first policy as not to renew. Needless to say I’m in the middle of another battle with PYB, and guess what, some of my items were over 12 months old. It’s like I’m living the same nightmare all over again..
PYB have now sent through a set of paperwork showing all the items I want covered, but my brand new policy says my monthly direct debit is £0 and that my policy runs 2011-2012 so it’s already expired! Strangely although my policy had expired they still managed to take a payment in 2013.. now it could be me, but isn’t that fraudulent ?
You wouldn’t think it would be so difficult to give business to a company would you ?!
My next step is Trading Standards and Watchdog. Watch this space to see what happens as I’ve emailed the CEO of assurant to tear him a new one about the conduct and ineptness of his customer service staff :)