XRoad “G-Map U.S East” users BEWARE, prospective buyers AVOID - “All Sales are final”
I purchased “G-Map U.S East” a couple of months ago for $34.99. Back then, the app had some good user reviews and seemed like a good GPS Navigation app. I liked the user interface, map displays, etc but the original version, even though it looked promising, was lacking in functionality and accuracy. I tried submitted suggestions and bug reports to developer via their website, to which they sent ONE reply stating they would look into them. For a couple of months I never heard back and my subsequent communications with them went unanswered. They did eventually send one update which added functionality (Voice guidance, etc) which was an improvement, but navigation, GPS positioning, etc was still inaccurate. The application itself was also buggy and either froze or crashed.
I really wanted to like this application and get some use out of it and their most recent update to v2.0 on October 9, 2009 added additional functionality like landscape mode, the ability to play iPod music while navigating, the ability to use your contacts for navigation, etc Unfortunately, the update actually made the application even more unstable and inaccurate. Again, I reported the issues via their website, to which I received ONE response with the most basic of troubleshooting steps (which I had already done, anyone would have as they were that basic). I also tried more advanced troubleshooting including uninstall/reset/reinstall, etc with no luck. I replied advising them that I had already tried what they suggested and more and the problems continue. No response again like in past communication attempts. In my last attempt at communicating with them, I asked for a refund and of course that too has gone unanswered.
To make matters worse, just two days later, the original “G-Map U.S East” app, which they had just updated on 10/9 and had numerous bad reviews by this time from others having the same problems with it after the update.to 2.0, has DISAPPEARED from iTunes, along with all the customer comments/ratings. Instead, there is now a “G-Map U.S. & Canada”, which includes ALL of the US and Canada, not just US East, for the price of $34.99?? Same price I paid for “G-Map U.S East” which is now broken (buggy, unstable, etc) from their last update, they do not seem to want to provide support for and will seemingly no longer have map and functionality updates or fixes for? “G-Map U.S. & Canada” is NOT showing as an update for the now missing “G-Map U.S East”. I am now all G-Map U.S East users are stuck with a buggy app that paid good money for ($34.99 or $24.99 sale price soon after the update) and have only had for a few months and can get no support or updates for? Is this at all ethical? This is VERY shady of XRoad to do, leaving previous purchasers hanging..
** Problems with G-Map U.S East since their recent and last update. V2.0**
1. Unstable. Freezes or crashes randomly or when changing from 3D view to 2D view or vice versa.
2. Inaccurate voice guidance, continual inexplicable “Make a U-Turn” for no reason. Even though you are following the route given as shown by the blue line and by the Turn by Turn or Intersection list, it continually tells you “Make a u-turn” time after time. Even in sample mode (not actually driving). Why?
3. Maps outdated. Addresses and roads that have been in existence for a year, in some cases more are not on the map. No further updates are available as G-Map U.S East has been removed from iTunes.
4. No longer keeping the iPhone awake while using G-Map to navigate as it did prior to the v 2.0 upgrade. Cannot navigate if phone keeps blacking out/going to sleep, having to constantly look down and/or wake up the phone can cause an accident.
5. Cannot navigate from address in “Contacts”. “The address for this contact was not found in the map…..” When manually entering the same exact address, it finds it just fine. It is not reading Contacts addresses correctly.
6. The 10/9/09 2.0 update removed ETA, Time and Distance remaining. It no longer shows while driving.
I contacted Apple iTunes Store Support and the response was “Dan, your request for a refund for "G-Map U.S. East" was carefully considered; however, according to the iTunes Store Terms of Sale, all purchases made on the iTunes Store are final. This policy matches Apple's refund policies and provides protection for copyrighted materials…” with a link to the “Terms of Sale”.
One could say, based on the "All sales are final" in the Apps store that Vendors/Developers can develop all kinds of sub-standard, useless apps, take your money, provide little to no support for it and even REMOVE the app from iTunes so that the bad reviews from dissatisfied users no longer show and they can continue taking advantage of the terms of sale. And there isn't a thing we can do about it?!?. They can get away with taking your money and running?!? As if the last update to "G-Map U.S East" (2.0) breaking the app was not enough, they then ignore pleas for help and then REMOVE it from iTues to hide the negative comments on it and then come up with one that provides ALL of the US and Canada for the same price I paid just months ago for one I can't even properly use? This is unethical to say the least.
I find it very difficult to believe that Apple does not see the wrong in this. I can understand these terms with music and videos as their only function is to entertain and they are what they are, but an application that is supposed to serve a certain function and does not do so as described and is then pulled so you can't get updates is a totally different thing. iTunes consumers buying Apps really need to catch onto this and if these "Terms of sale" do not change appropriately, I am sure this type of situation will inevitably spark a class action lawsuit in the future. I unfortunately have neither time patience nor the means to do so, but these “Terms of Sale” make it so any unscrupulous developer can take advantage of Apple iTunes Consumers without them having any recourse.
I have written Apple iTunes Store support back asking them to further review this situation. At the very least, they should allow legacy G-Map U.S East users to upgrade to G-Map U.S & Canada so there is at least some hope that future updates will address the existing issues and also so that they can receive future map updates.
I am posting this merely to bring awareness to this seemingly overlooked loophole in the Apple iTunes App store’s “Terms of Sale”/Policy. App purchases should not be treated the same as music or movie purchases simply because they are not. Consumers need to stop overlooking this and start standing up for their rights as consumers. If you purchase something that is not what it was advertised to be or do, or has subsequently been made defective by an “update” and the seller does not stand behind it, it is our right as consumers to request a refund.