TomTom: When a paid upgrade is a downgrade

Stick this one in the extremely shady business practices category. In order to add more revenue to the coffers, a paid upgrade from existing TomTom 910 and 510 maps that currently include locations of Starbucks will result in losing the locations of said Starbucks! Hey, that's darned good service for all us long- standing customers.

It wasn't until after the map upgrade that my folks told me that they could no longer find any Starbucks when they did a POI search. What's the cause of this? TomTom has decided that these POIs are now a Paid For option. And, to make matters even worse, after calling support, I was informed that:

  • The web-based online store is down (due to a planned upgrade that was supposed to take 21 days and is now taking much longer)
  • The Windows-based version of TomTom home has access to it, but the Macintosh version does not
  • This change was intentional and not based on any licensing fees

The total lack of warning for customers is the most abhorrent portion of this problem. At least with a warning, I could have considered that I wouldn't be getting my POIs when I upgraded.

What's the solution?

For me, I think the solution is going to be getting the POIs from someplace else. I'm not sure how up-to-date they are, but the POIs available from POI Handler seem to work fine and many are free. There's a database of over 7000 Starbucks available. You may need to register for the site (I had already registered previously), but I have yet to receive anything annoying from them. Once there, follow the Download POI link to get to the screen where you can get your POIs. They're tailor made for a bunch of the common GPS devices and have pretty up-to-date data.