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Cheaper sat nav DVDs


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#1 Rob-NW

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 09:18 AM

This follows on from comments I have made in the thread titled "Latest sat nav maps?" but I thought it would be worth starting a new thread as it has moved away from the original subject a little. I hope nobody minds a long story but I hope it is worth it in the end!

I was getting fed up with the ridiculous cost of the map updates for the DVD sat nav in my Mondeo and the confusing responses I got back from Ford and Bosch customer services - both seemed to think that the map updates were nothing to do with them!

I sent an email to the Managing Director of Ford UK (Mark Ovenden) saying that I thought the cost of over £300 for a map update was unreasonable as I could buy a new top of the range sat nav complete with the latest maps for that price and suggesting that they would sell more updates if they reduced the price. I was amazed to receive a phone call back the same day from one of his executive assistants promising to look into the matter. A few days later I received a letter from Ford saying that the pricing was not set by them but was defined by Bosch.

So I emailed the UK Managing Director for Bosch who evenutually passed me on to the person in Bosch (USA) who is responsible for the deal with Ford. I was told that the maps are actually produced by TomTom and that Bosch do not set the pricing but it is agreed between TomTom and Ford. However, he did point me to a site (see this link: http://mapsby.tomtom...-nx-2011-pr7987) which showed the map updates on sale for £169. Still expensive but much cheaper than the Ford price. Unfortunately, when you follow the "buy" link it just directs you to a Ford dealer who still wants to charge the Ford price of over £300!

So I wrote again to Mark Ovenden at Ford UK to say that if TomTom was setting the price then Ford seemed to be adding a huge mark up. Again, I received a very quick response from his executive assistant agreeing to investigate. A couple of days later I received another phone call from her saying that although the sat nav map updates had to be bought from Ford dealers the dealers were allowed to order them direct from TomTom and then sell them at the lower price and she agreed to write to Ford dealers reminding them of this. So if anyone wants to buy an upgrade for £169 instead of over £300 then speak to your Ford dealer and if they don't know about ordering from TomTom tell them to raise it through their normal Ford contact who will tell them that it is OK to order direct from TomTom.

I also raised with Ford the longer term issue of the pricing of £169 still being unreasonably high. Amusingly, one comment I received back was that the price was set with regard to the number of copies sold! I suggested that a lower price of perhaps around £50 - £60 might lead to much higher sales! I also suggested that they consider an annual subscription at a reasonable level. They agreed to look into the possibility of this.

While all this was going on I have also been in correspondence with TomTom through two routes. One was via the US Bosch person who put me in email contact with the person in TomTom who is responsible for sales to Ford. He has confirmed that TomTom cannot sell the updates direct to customers but that Ford dealers can sell them at £169 by ordering direct from TomTom. (As an aside, he has also sent me a free update DVD so all the hassle has been worth it for me!)

I have also written to TomTom's Managing director Harold Goddijn and put the points to him about the unreasonably high cost of the updates even compared with TomTom's own stand alone sat navs. Again, I have suggested that lower prices and perhaps an annual subscription would lead to greater sales. I have received a resonse back from him thanking me for bringing the issue to his attention and promising to look into it so hopefully something will improve!

Throughout this saga I have been very pleasently surprised at the willingness of very senior people in the three companies to correspond with me on the subject.

If anyone else wants to try adding more pressure then the key email addresses are:

Ford: Mark Ovenden - movende1@ford.com
TomTom: Harold Goddijn - harold.goddijn@tomtom.com

I strongly suggest that you keep the tone very polite but simply point out the unreasonable nature of the cost given the price of new sat navs and suggest that a more reasonable (perhaps annual subscription) would actually make them more money as more people would be tempted to upgrade regularly.

I hope all that was of interest!
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#2 Dave6656

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 10:08 AM

I find this very interesting because i paid £35.80 for 18 months worth of updates of the full european maps for my TomTom go 950 live which give me a complete new map update every 3 months ... So why TomTom and Ford think they can get away with charging the amounts mentioned above is anyones guess ... :mad:

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#3 dbwinter

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 01:27 PM

I find this very interesting because i paid £35.80 for 18 months worth of updates of the full european maps for my TomTom go 950 live which give me a complete new map update every 3 months ... So why TomTom and Ford think they can get away with charging the amounts mentioned above is anyones guess ... :mad:


It's fully integrated and because they can get away with it. Whilst I appreciate the advantages of the NX Sat Nav, it does have its disadvantages above and beyond the cost of the map update, such as lack of speed camera information and showing you the speed of the road (like you get on the latest stand alone sat navs).

I bought my 2010 maps second hand recently off Ebay for just over £90.

The new price is unrealistic and only people who use their car for an unsocial amount of miles would consider the new price.
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#4 Steve TR

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 07:31 PM

Selling an on-line map update to potentially millions of tomtom portable customers is always going to be cheaper than the costs associated with producing a copy protected DVD that is not going to sell anywhere near as many units but I agree there is some margin for improvement although I can't see prices dropping much in the future.
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#5 Rob-NW

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 08:46 AM

I agree that even though the £169 is a huge improvement over the price I was quoted by Ford's of £351.60 (both figures include VAT), it is still too high. That is why I am suggesting that others also email Ford and TomTom to increase the pressure on them, to come up with a more reasonable charge.
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#6 Witchfinder

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 05:39 PM

Rob, thanks very much for your efforts. I've followed suit and e-mailed Mr. Ovenden suggesting Ford review their navigation disc pricing. We'll see if I get a response.

Cheers,

Rob
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#7 Rob-NW

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 05:41 PM

Rob, thanks very much for your efforts. I've followed suit and e-mailed Mr. Ovenden suggesting Ford review their navigation disc pricing. We'll see if I get a response.

Cheers,

Rob


You are welcome. Some good news for me today as my free update to the 2011 maps arrived from TomTom! I've installed it and it works fine.

TomTom were very generous in supplying this for free - it just shows that some of these big companies do listen to complaints - so long as you persist for long enough! I'm still hoping that they will do something about the longer term pricing though.

I'd recommend that you also email TomTom at the address I gave at the top of this thread as the pricing seems to be partly down to each company and what we really need is for them both to cooperate to introduce a sensible and realistic pricing model.

Best wishes,

Rob
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#8 siruncle

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 11:39 PM

it might be worth sending the details of your investigation to watchdog, as they might investigate and they seem to have quite a bit of clout with most things like this. you never know it might force them all to work together and also bring the prices down to something more affordable to the everyday motorist.

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#9 Rob-NW

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 09:11 AM

it might be worth sending the details of your investigation to watchdog, as they might investigate and they seem to have quite a bit of clout with most things like this. you never know it might force them all to work together and also bring the prices down to something more affordable to the everyday motorist.

http://www.bbc.co.uk...hdog/gotastory/



Its a good idea but I don't think I'd feel comfortable doing this right at the moment. Partly because I have just been given a free upgrade to the 2011 maps and it would sem a little ungrateful. Partly because both Ford and TomTom have responded to me saying that they will consider the pricing and I think it is only fair to give them some time to do so.

However, I don't mind at all if somebody else wants to raise it with Watchdog.
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#10 BrentS

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 06:26 PM

I have just mailed the two gentlemen. I will let you know their responses
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