why are tomtom updates slow

Why are TomTom updates so slow?

And not just slow… they’re horribly slow.

I went to view a house recently, and like many people, my sense of direction is awful. A lot of the time I put my trust into my TomTom to guide me to unfamiliar places and after two years of ownership of the TomTom XXL Classic, it’s never put a foot wrong.

Keen to ensure that my TomTom had up-to-date software to guide me to my house viewing, I plugged it into my Windows 8 machine and downloaded TomTom HOME, TomTom’s desktop software to update the maps. I did this two hours before my house viewing stupidly thinking – expecting – any updates to be downloaded and installed well before it was time to set off.

But how wrong I was.

1 hour and 44 minutes later, my TomTom was two thirds of the way through its update process, and when 1 hour 55 minutes had elapsed, I had no nails left; I didn’t know whether to unplug my TomTom at the risk of ruining my sat nav, press ‘abort’ and concede defeat to the process or set off and rely on Google Maps on my smartphone to get me to where I needed to be.

I decided on the latter. And thankfully, I made my viewing on time.

When I got home my TomTom had updated. I don’t know how long the entire process took, but I’d hazard a guess that it was around 2 hours and 30 minutes.

100% Complete
55% Complete
30% Complete

In my opinion, that update time is wholly unacceptable.

TomTom updates slow

And my experience isn’t unique. Discussions on the TomTom forums are rife surrounding slow updates, with user dmclean stating “The Speed cams take over 20 mins, the GPS Fix that is less than 250K takes over ten minutes, [and the] Map updates take forever”, and here and here there are yet more cases of people experiencing slow updates.

Some forum posts date back to 2011. Year’s on, things haven’t changed.

According to TomTom, “Download times depend on the size of the update as well as the internet connection speed at your location”, but this statement doesn’t resonate with me – some of these update files were less than 40kb, and my broadband download speed before I updated my TomTom was 60MB/s, which isn’t too bad.

So why are TomTom updates so slow?

My guess is the reason behind these slow updates is outdated TomTom servers. It is these servers which store and distribute updates to customers, and while I haven’t seen TomTom’s servers, I have a sneaking suspicion that they could do with an update. If you have to pay for your updates, I feel for you – from my experience, TomTom isn’t delivering a satisfactory service.

What can I do about these slow updates?

I invite you to get in touch with TomTom and complain – voicing your frustrations¬†is the only way for TomTom to know that it’s letting customers down. The TomTom support page isn’t very good, so I recommend you call their customer service on (London)¬†0207 387 5444.

Have you been through the TomTom update process? Were TomTom updates as slow for you as they were for me? I’m genuinely interested to know – share your comments with me below.

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  • Jeremy

    Yep, really getting fed up with Tom Tom. Last year it was because it would never connect to the traffic information I was paying for. This year I’m unable to download even small updates without allocating half a day to the process…

    • http://www.techlech.com/ techlech

      Hi Jeremy, I know it’s awful.

      Another short story – my brother in-law thought he’d update his TomTom last night after a few of the roads near him were modified, only for the two hour process to conclude that he wasn’t eligible for free map updates anymore – nothing to warn him that he was wasting his time updating the bloody thing in the first place.