Navman responds to Fair Go criticism

Navman responds to Fair Go criticism

Navigation device company Navman has moved quickly to deal with customer complaints, after an item on the television show Fair Go.

The story, aired on March 5, featured the owners of a Tauranga-based business whose Navman S-Series in-car navigation system repeatedly provided inaccurate driving instructions due to out-of-date map information. The business owners said they had been trying to contact Navman in regards to the problem for about a month.

Navman corporate affairs manager Craig Newton says the company is calling back customers who have contacted the company in regards to problems with the device.

“Fair Go said it received 100 emails. About 17 were negative and 83 were positive. In terms of customer service, I don’t think the after-sales service has been as efficient as it could be and that’s due to high demand for the GPS devices.”

He points out that the bulk of the complaints were for older units from one or two versions ago.

“It’s not an autopilot, it’s a navigational aid. So if you use a bit of common sense you should be fine.”

Newton says he is not aware of any Navman channel partners receiving complaints, but adds its resellers are supporting the company 100 percent.

“I don’t think appearing on Fair Go is great PR and it’s unfortunate that it was around [the mapping software] as it’s the same [software] that is in any unit. As the market leader I think we got unfairly picked on, but I think the quality of the S-Series wins out at the end of the day.”

David Roberts, general manager of Wellington-based, customised geographic information system and mapping provider Critchlow, says the Fair Go item highlights how important it is for manufacturers of GPS navigation systems to have current data.

“Companies should make its partners and customers aware that like paper maps, the user needs to update the map information provided from time to time. There is a perception that because the device is talking to a satellite, it will update itself all the time.”

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