SERVICE: GARMIN — caution warranted

Monday, April 23, 2012

Funny – peculiar.

I’ve reported to the SURVIVAL BLOG http://survivalblog.com, as have many others, of “death by GPS”. Some are funny, like the truck driver in England who followed the GPS into a river when there was no physical bridge where the GPS said there was one. Others are tragic — the German tourists who drove into Death Valley unprepared, unaware they were on a trail, and suffering a mechanical (breakdown). Or the tech fellow who followed the GPS onto a seasonal logging road in California – Oregon area and was trapped by snow.

I picked up Garmin to deal with confusing Virginia roads and poor signage. So far, I have been:

(1) trapped twice in a loop — once in VA and once in NJ;

(2) annoyed at least five times when it for example insists I get off a perfect good (and free) 295 to jump onto the Turnpike and pay to get to exactly the same place (i.e., the DE bridge).

(3) it insists on annoying me when I stop for gas or the WC.

(4) It’s sent me to a non-existent WalMart.

(5) Twice it couldn’t find an American Legion despite being given an address.

(6) And, numerous other little challenges. Like give it an address and, no matter how you enter it, it can find it.

(7) Finally, there’s not way to pick a spot and say take me there. (At least, that I could find.)

So, as self defense, I, if I’m going somewhere “new”, will Google map it and mapquest it BEFORE venturing out. (Prematurely opened my new VA printer, just so I can print those in case GARMIN develops a stubborn streak.

Sometimes it’s wonderful. Like when the corporate apartment’s dryer didn’t. Garmin with the word “laundromat” found me a 24/7 big one two towns over with the most interest Latino Customers. (Several of the Mexican ladies smiled at me as I loaded my wet tidy whiteys into a huge dryer. Not wanting to be in some Country Western tune where the big boyfriend takes exception to me with my high school Spanish saying “leave me alone, señorita”, I just focused on playing with my IPAD.

So, it’s like an idiot friend, who at random, dispenses both good (i.e., don’t drive home) and bad (i.e., buy us all a round) advice.

Caveat emptor applies to its directions.

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