Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Don't get a Garmin!

Before we left home, I kept telling Tom that we should buy a gps since we don't know where things are in California. He didn't, but when he picked us up at the airport two weeks ago, he'd rented one from Avis.

We rented a Prius, which averaged 46 mpg on a trip that included the Yosemite Valley and mountains and lots of climbing hills and mountains on our travels. Loved it.

But the Garmin--it has to be the cheapest model available. Alamo charges $10 a day for it, so in a month's time, they've paid for the thing and can still rent it to other unsuspecting gullible easily lost travelers and make a mint. So, anyway, it's a piece of shit crap and shouldn't be allowed to clutter a car.

The first day we tried to find a Target or WalMart, and it couldn't find one. In all of San Diego. It managed to lead us almost to Costco, but it told us to turn left after we'd gone through the intersection, so we had to find our own way. We asked for a KMart; it took us to Sears and triumphantly announced "arrive at destination".

That night, we tried again. We wanted seafood, chose a restaurant it listed, and drove and drove till it told us that we were arriving at destination on right. Uh, no. Empty lot. Tried again. Another empty lot. Third time didn't work either, so we turned it off and ended up at Denny's. Not my restaurant of choice, especially on vacation.

Next night, it happened again. We gave up after it circled us around SD for an hour and took us back to our hotel. Which did not have a restaurant.

It did lead us directly to Disneyland, though, and to our motel nearby. One of two triumphs for Garmin (the other was the Cheesecake Factory today, although I have to add that it took us to the mall, not to the actual restaurant).

Other than that, it took us far out of our way every time we used it (we stupidly naively kept giving it a try) and wasted hours of our time. It quickly got to the point that, when Tom said "ask the Ga--" I'd unplug it and stick it in the glove box.

So, when we turned the car in a few hours ago, Tom told the clerk at Alamo about our trials, and the dear man refunded the entire amount of the Garmin rental.

And they lived happily ever after. The end.


Antevasin said...

Yeaaaaa for Avis for the refund! Take a hike Garmin! :=)

Knit and fall back in it said...

At least they gave you your money back, that's helpful.

rita said...

I was surprised. Maybe they've had a lot of complaints. I want one that's voice-activated; that touching one letter at a time is a royal pain, not to mention dangerous if you're trying to navigate. I'd also want one that's up to date; that one kept telling us that the maps are a year out of date and we needed to update. Seems the rental company should be taking care of that.