Here is a recent story that may help in a purchasing decision
I just bought my first dedicated GPS on Monday the 15th, received it on the 17th. I have always used my Windows Mobile PPC for GPS, but I am tired of dealing with PPC phones and thought that by purchasing a dedicated GPS I can just get a regular cellphone (that I can tether) next time. The phone worked great as a GPS, but this way I can also use it as a wireless router in the minivan and a music player.
I purchased the Magellan 1424
because it is inexpensive, does what I am looking for, and the reviews on customer service were amazingly good.
When it got here, I took it out for a spin, saved my home and work addresses, and it was PERFECT. Even in the flea bitten black hole of technology (daughter's term, not mine) that we live in, it knew right where I was, could find anything(Even back roads addresses). When you purchase this GPS there is one free map update included within 30 days, so I hooked it up to my PC, v4.01 software update went off without a hitch and added a ton of new features to the interface. I then proceeded to do the map update.
The map update appeared to complete normally, but upon restarting the GPS, there was nothing local. I could zoom WAY out and see highways (base map), but if I tried to tap on 'address' or 'poi' the GPS would crash (navigator.exe exception) and reboot. If I tried to tap the 'home' button, it told me the destination was incorrect or not reachable by roads. I mean, I knew I lived in the sticks, but, really?
I called customer service. NO WAIT TIME. Someone answered the line within 30 seconds after getting out of the automated menu. I COULD UNDERSTAND HIM. The young man that answered the phone had a thick Latino accent, but I could clearly understand what he said! HE ACTUALLY KNEW WHAT HE WAS DOING. He did not read from a script. He knew the GPS unit. When he had reached his limit, he was also intelligent enough to ask for help. The call took 45 minutes including the 1.04GB map download. The map updates are normally $80, but he let me download the update for free again. It turns out the installer file from the map vendor (not Magellan) was missing some files.
The unit is now unusable, so it is RMA time. He walks me through the process, free return shipping! Then the kicker. HE REPLACED IT WITH THE MAGELLAN 3045
. He also added free overnight shipping. However, it was after 5pm PST so it would not ship until Friday(today). No Saturday delivery, so I will receive it on Monday most likely.
The folks I talked to there were polite, knowledgeable, personal (talked to me instead of at me, laughed with me) and seemed to really care about fixing the issue and about my problem. This is probably the best customer service experience I have had to date.
Hopefully this helps, but YMMV.