Not only am I broke, but I don’t need much. We are already overstuffed. However, our GPS is slowly dying. I’m pretty sure the battery isn’t recharging properly. When I went to see when I bought this GPS, I realized it was more than 4 years ago. It has left my “bought” list on Amazon.
It is old.
Then I realized today is “Prime Day Deals,” so I figured okay. At least I should take a look and see if there’s something selling cheap that is usually expensive.
There were a few items on sale — mostly Garmin and a few TomToms, as well as a few items of unknown origins. First, I bought a Garmin. Then I canceled it and bought a TomTom. And canceled that one, too. There was not a single GPS from a known-manufacturer that had my minimum rating of four stars. There weren’t any in the “unknown” category either.
I know some complaints are phony (as are favorable reviews). But when I read them, they sounded all too familiar. The same complaints I have made and everyone else has made.
Voices that couldn’t pronounce basic words in English. Weird directions that send you to a graveyard instead of the mall (we did that one in Gettysburg and it was hilarious). Batteries that die in less than a year and only work for an hour at a time even when brand new. And, of course, terrible customer service. Not enough gigabytes so that when you try to update your firmware or “lifetime maps,” the unit drops dead.
None of this is new. These are the same old problems which have shown up in every GPS I’ve ever owned for as long as they have been around.
The thing is, spending more on a bigger, fancier unit doesn’t mean you’ll get a better GPS. Basically, the complaints about the big expensive sets were the same as the complaints about the small, compact ones — except people who spend hundreds of dollars for a GPS that can’t find it’s way on a straight road from point A to B were even MORE pissed off than people who spend less money.
Some folks complained that to get more than half the “benefits” of the new units, you have to hook them up to your smartphone. Several people pointed out if they were going to use a phone, they wouldn’t bother to buy a GPS. They could get the same crappy service without spending the extra money.
In the end, I didn’t buy anything. The “Prime Day Deal” discounts were no better than the discounts you can find on Amazon on any normal day. They have also made it increasingly difficult to tell the used items from the new. They hide the word “renewed” so that you can easily think you’re getting a bargain whereas you are actually getting something which was broken and is still broken.
No matter what they say, they do NOT check the broken items to make sure they are genuinely fixed. They repack them and send them out so you can argue with customer service.
It’s an online version of “Black Friday.”
Maybe there are some big bargains tucked in between the (mostly) junk they are selling for short money, but I didn’t see any. Overall? “Big Sale Days” are a waste of everyone’s time and energy.
Software designers, it’s time to toss out your existing designs and come up with a new design that works. Which won’t, in the middle of your travels from Boston to Bangor, send you on a side-trip through an ancient forest to a collapsed bridge.