TomTom Rider 550, newbies first impressions.

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by DesmoDog, Jun 29, 2020.

  1. DesmoDog

    DesmoDog Desmo was my dog. RIP big guy.

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    I ordered a TomTom 550 on Saturday afternoon from Amazon, and it showed up Monday around noon. I don't have a Prime account. I didn't pay for expedited shipping. Estimate for arrival was Thursday when I ordered it, but here it is. My wife has a Prime account, but I didn't use her account to order it, so... I dunno. I'm not complaining.

    Well, I'm not complaining about THAT anyway.

    On to the 550 itself.

    Power it up. Start the set up steps. Get to where you're supposed to log in to your TomTom account. I don't have one. No problem, click on "Create Account". Type in all the info. Holy crap this screen is sensitive. Finish typing in all the info. Submit. Rejected. "ACCOUNT CREATION FAILED" is the sum total of the feedback I got. Tried again, same result. Tried on a Mac with Safari. Same result. Mac running Chrome. Same result. Windoze running who cares, same result. Multiple retries of multiple platforms using different email accounts and passwords. Same result.

    Alrighty then. Off to TomTom Support. Step one to contact TomTom support via their website: Sign in to your account. You know, the one I can't create? Yeah, that one. I haven't had this much fun with customer support since years ago when I called a lofty financial institution to tell them they had my address wrong, and after much too long on the phone they oh so pleasantly informed me they'd send me the form to correct it. "I see. And do you by chance recall what the issue was that started this call? Perhaps you could go off script just this once and fix the issue without sending out a form?" That was a LONG time ago...

    Anyway, more time spent trying to find an email address for support. Nope. Doesn't exist. It's not that I didn't find anything, it's that I found the email does not exist, as in, people reporting the email does not exist.

    I think I saw a phone number somehwere. Great. I'm on the phone most of the time with my real job (I'm on the ohone right now actually) and can't call them not knowing if this will take a minute or an hour.

    SO - Amazon ships things fast

    TomTom intial impression? Not at ALL impressed.

    Feel free to discuss.
    #1
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  2. DesmoDog

    DesmoDog Desmo was my dog. RIP big guy.

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    Update

    I called the support number I found just to see what I'm getting into. The recorded message gave me a web address to go to.

    It's the same page that wants you to sign in before contacting support.

    Thanks for coming.
    #2
  3. DesmoDog

    DesmoDog Desmo was my dog. RIP big guy.

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    And the ONE email address I can find for TomTom is their PR department. And right below the address the specifically state you can not contact support through that email

    Nice. I've had this for three hours and I already want to send it back.
    #3
  4. flamingm0e

    flamingm0e Long timer

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    #4
  5. EmmEff

    EmmEff Long timer

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    Vote with your wallet- send it back!

    TomTom has never been a player, in my opinion, at least in North America. People seem to buy them to avoid Garmin but then end up without third-party support of maps, POI databases, loadable routes/tracks, etc. My only experience with TomTom has been with an ancient car navi model from about 10 years ago and it worked fine for what it was, but the same generation Garmin just worked better.
    #5
  6. flamingm0e

    flamingm0e Long timer

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    I use Android devices as dedicated GPS units in all my vehicles. It's WAY cheaper than an actual "TomTom/Garmin" device for each vehicle.

    I bought a yearly subscription to TomTom Go because we wanted our teenage son (who is new to driving) to have some pre-configured turn-by-turn routes to help him learn his way around. We login to the TomTom MyDrive website, create the route, and it syncs to all the devices.

    I have a cheap Android head unit in my 4Runner, and was having a problem getting the 3D map view to work properly (it would show a line where I was supposed to go, but it would never show me any other roads/pois/etc. Contacted support. I mean, hey, I pay for the product, I expect a little support.

    After back and forth with them for a month, with NO resolution, I started doing the research. Turns out, they refuse to support Android head units, and the stupid support monkey couldn't just tell me that to begin with. That combined with their push for a new version that doesn't support the sync capabilities that I purchased it for means I will no longer pay for my subscription when this period is up.

    For turn by turn nav, I will move to Sygic or Magic Earth.
    #6
  7. DesmoDog

    DesmoDog Desmo was my dog. RIP big guy.

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    I've toned down my rants and thrown a couple Hail Mary's into the depths of the interwebs... if nothing works by sometime tomorrow I'll box it up and send it back I guess.

    I am amazed a company would make it this hard to contact their support team. Truly amazed.
    #7
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  8. flamingm0e

    flamingm0e Long timer

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    When you actually talk to their support team, you'll find out why.
    #8
  9. DesmoDog

    DesmoDog Desmo was my dog. RIP big guy.

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    I must be a sucker for punishment, that made me laugh.

    I'm pretty sure it was a "i've gotta laugh or I'll cry" kind of giggle though.
    #9
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  10. Mumbles24

    Mumbles24 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Sorry for your experience! Thank you for sharing it with those of us contemplating our navigation system options.
    #10
  11. DesmoDog

    DesmoDog Desmo was my dog. RIP big guy.

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    Ok, another update. It was suggested I try to register using the MyDrive app. When I went to do that, the app said an account already exists for that email, but the password I had been trying to set didn't work when I tried to sign in with it. Then, when I tried to reset the password within the app, it sent me back to the website on safari, and I quickly got a "Password failed to reset" message.

    Arg.

    Alright. So back to the app. Create new account, using a different email address. I'm not going to get TOO excited quite yet, but it looks like that worked.


    Stay tuned for more exciting episodes as I try to progress further down the road of GPS set up. Yeah, I know now there are easier/cheaper ways, but I rode Ducatis for 25 years so it should be obvious I'm a little "touched" when it comes to logic. But there's hope, this is going on the first new bike I've ever owned that isn't a Ducati! Yep, I finally got over it and bought something different. I went mainstream and bought a Moto Guzzi!
    #11
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  12. DesmoDog

    DesmoDog Desmo was my dog. RIP big guy.

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    Morning update:

    I _WAS_ able to create an account and get into the "MyDrive" stuff by working through the app rather than using the website. So, the GPS is updated and shows up on my profile and I'm now at the point of trying to figure out how to make everything play nice together (Phone, GPS, Sena Headset). I gave it a brief try and got the music from my phone to play through the helmet and then heard a voice from the GPS through the helmet, so there's hope. But, nothing from the phone was showing up on the GPS screen like I thought it was supposed to so maybe I'm not there yet? Remains to be seen.

    Anyway, One of the "Hail Mary's" I talked about was sending a message to TomTom on Facebook. I described the issue I was having creating an account, and how support could not be reached without an account, etc. This morning I got up to find a reply awaiting me. The reply gave some instructions on what to type where on the webage (I never tried to see if it would work) but also listed Facebook and Twitter links as ways to contact them. To be fair, the icons for these are all on the bottom of the webpage I love so dearly. Of course they listed Facebook in a Facebook message but let's leave that.

    I'm reading this thinking, ok... there is at least SOMETHING a guy can do to contact them... and then I got to the last part of their reply. The last suggestion begins with this: "Have you tried creating an account via our website?"

    I shit you not.
    #12
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  13. flamingm0e

    flamingm0e Long timer

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    I'm telling you. They are seriously inept
    #13
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  14. DesmoDog

    DesmoDog Desmo was my dog. RIP big guy.

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    Today's Update.

    I've created an account, updated the maps, played around with creating routes. Imported some files. Recorded a track. It seems to synch to my Sena gizmo just fine, plays well with the music I have going. Basically it seems to be doing what I expected it would. I was a little worried the first time it announced anything on my helmet because the audio quality was crap, but when I was out riding and it was announcing directions it sounded fine, so I'm not sure what the issue was that one time. I'm not so sure it wasn't the Sena unit screwing up to be honest. I've never been all that impressed with it's sound quality, one of the speakers has never sounded quite right to me. I saw that they have introduced upgraded speakers for them, but of course my model wasn't listed as compatible. The new model they have out is supposed to be a big improvement but my toy fund isn't big enough to spring for it. Maybe when I replace my helmet... the Sena I have is specific to that helmet anyway so won't fit a different brand. Didn't really think that through when I bought it I guess.

    One surprise - when I was trying to pair the GPS to my helmet I was just guessing how to make my helmet discoverable. Somehow I got the Sena to start playing FM radio. I'm sure I knew it could do that at one point but had since forgotten. I have no idea how I made it do that so couldn't repeat it if I wanted to but still. I can't remember the last time I listened to radio so it's a moot point but I had to laugh when I figured out what was happening.

    When did I hit that age where I stopped knowing/caring what all my electronic gizmos were capable of??? The flip side of that is, when I'm trying to figure something out I get nice surprises and think "Cool, I didn't know it did that".
    #14
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  15. Hopin

    Hopin Been here awhile

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    I'm very seriously about to pull the trigger on one of the 550 units. How's it working, do you still have it? I'm a mostly on road rider looking into a dedicated gps unit.
    #15
  16. EmmEff

    EmmEff Long timer

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    @Hopin Make sure the maps are good for the areas you intend to ride in. In my area, the maps are mostly incomplete anywhere outside of urban centers. I imported a route in the web interface only to find that it couldn't route most of it because there were no roads on their maps.
    #16
  17. Hopin

    Hopin Been here awhile

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    I've had it about two weeks now. So far I'm impressed. It's paired with my note 10 and my Sena. It has a little learning curve but is quite user friendly in my opinion. Time will tell, but so far, so good!
    #17
  18. IBA270

    IBA270 Adventurer Supporter

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    Same here. I vaguely recall an issue in trying to set up the account. It did have something to do with an incompatible browser I think. Once corrected, I hooked up to wifi and Bo's your uncle. I've been very pleased.
    #18