Saturday, 8 March 2008

An Open Letter to the TomTom Board of Directors...

Dear TomTom Board of Directors,

Nice going, folks: Your execrable, scatologically-laden, intransigent, lacklustre, and frankly fluid-poor attitude to your customer base is even more arrogant than Microsoft, and that takes one hell of a of of work to achieve, as I'm sure you will readily agree. There ought to be an industry award for such an achievement.

In any event, I'm a man of my word. You have had eighteen months to fix your ways and actively support your last PPC/Smartphone product, as other GPS Navigation software producers have remarkably noticeably been doing for theirs. You did not.

I personally gave you, in this very place, until the end of CeBIT 2008 to make any form of statement regarding the PPC and/or Smartphone versions of your navigation software (at this time of writing, at version 6), and yet you continue to neglect to inform your customers why you were and continue to fail to support said product range.

18 months is long enough a piece of time-based rope with which to hang yourselves. As customer service and Press Relations exercises go, that's one monumentally massive failure to communicate, and that's putting things rather mildly.

As a result of your complete and utter failure in this regard, and as strongly pointed out in my earlier post in this very place, I will no longer purchase your products, and will, come the time to replace or upgrade my current satnav (TomTom version 6 for PPC), furnish one of TomTom's several competitors with my custom instead.

"No loss, there are plenty more suckers out there who'll part with their cash to us", you might say: I beg to differ. Word of mouth alone is a powerful marketing weapon. Rest sincerely and firmly assured: I will be using my mouth against your products to anyone who'll listen. That, by the way, stands to be quite a lot of people. I'm no slouch in the friends department. Viral negative marketing (of which this open letter is an example) is even more powerful. You'd be amazed at the numbers of people who read other people's blogs.

So, you have achieved something of note, after all. From being a loyal customer ready to plug your products to all and sundry, I am now diametrically positioned the other way: I will actively steer potential customers away from your products now, and for the foreseeable future.

Nice job, guys: It takes a really special talent to hack off a loyal customer like that.

Yours sincerely,

Roger [DELETED for privacy]
Formerly loyal TomTom customer.

PS: I doubt I'm the only former TomTom customer who feels this way. I am however, I suspect the first to put it into quite the scathing and sarcastic words that you see above. Look to your share price, ladies and gents. I suspect it might take a hit in a while from lack of sales.

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