Rider 550 doesn't connect to phone; TomTom refuses to replace or refund. What can I do? — TomTom Community

Rider 550 doesn't connect to phone; TomTom refuses to replace or refund. What can I do?

uktomtommeruktomtommer Posts: 75 [Outstanding Wayfarer]
I bought a Rider 550 a few weeks ago which I use with my Android Huawei P20 Pro. Initially it worked fine, then it started to give me connection issues, then handsfree calling stopped working - now it simply doesn't connect any more.

I have tried, multiple times, the usual IT approach of:
  • drum resetting the TomTom
  • uninstalling the MyDrive app
  • unpairing the Rider from the phone
  • wiping the cache partition of the phone
  • reinstalling the MyDrive app
  • repairing Rider and phone

Now the connection comes and goes; in bluetooth settings, the Rider actually shows the phone name flashing: one moment it says connected, then it disappears, then connected again, then disappears, etc.

TomTom's technical support say this is a known issue and refuse to replace or refund the device "as it is a software issue". That is the most ludicrous excuse ever: whether it's softwrae or hardwrae is irrelevant, the device is unusable.

Has anyone had this issue? Does TomTom have some kind of formal complaint procedure?
I am based in the UK.


  • uktomtommeruktomtommer Posts: 75 [Outstanding Wayfarer]
    edited September 2020
    I have an Android Huawei P20 pro. handsfree calling and smartphone messages used to work, but they stopped working a few weeks ago. It just says "not supported".

    I have tried - multiple times - the IT approach of removing the phone from the satnav, the satnav from the phone (from Bluetooth settings) and pairing the two again, with the app and the QR code - nothing.

    Any suggestions?
  • RoadRiderRoadRider Posts: 726 [Revered Pioneer]
    edited September 2020
    I had this problem three times. The solution was to just reboot my phone.

    If this doesn't work try a drum reset on your Rider.

    Huawei phones also need sometimes a clear of the hidden cache (especially after an update) Google for the procedure.
  • RoadRiderRoadRider Posts: 726 [Revered Pioneer]
    I only miss the Factory reset as an option.

    On the Rider a Factory Reset is easy. Most data is in MyDrive so you don't have to backup much. (only routes not synced with MyDrive and some settings)

    For your Phone first create a backup. Than a factory Reset. Do not restore yet.

    Install MyDrive and Pair the Rider First. And test if it works.
  • uktomtommeruktomtommer Posts: 75 [Outstanding Wayfarer]
    I have reset the Rider - nothing.

    I am not going to reset the phone because there would be too much data to restore - and I'd have to wait for my employer's IT to re-grant me access to certain things, which would take a while.

    I have, however, tried with another phone, a Samsung Galaxy s7 edge, and the connection was very temperamental with that phone, too
  • RoadRiderRoadRider Posts: 726 [Revered Pioneer]
    This problem it is in more than 90% of the cases caused by the phone. So by focusing on the Rider is not likely you will solve this problem.

    With my Motorola with Qualcomm chipset the connection is stable. (Accept the three times I had to reboot in two years)
  • uktomtommeruktomtommer Posts: 75 [Outstanding Wayfarer]
    I hear you but, to be honest, how can you be so confident the issue is with the phone and not with the sat nav? TomTom itself admitted it's a known issue, and every other bluetooth device I have ever tried works fine with the phone.

    After all, Bluetooth is a technology that's been around for about 3 decades. It is 2020, and we still cannot have a way to reliably transfer a few MBs of data from phone to sat nav?

    I suppose a partial solution could be to set up a wifi hotspot from the phone, and to connect the Rider to that. This way the Rider should receive traffic data, but the phone's battery will drain very quickly.
  • RoadRiderRoadRider Posts: 726 [Revered Pioneer]
    When pairing with the MyDrive app the Rider uses a Bluetooth Low Energy Connection.
    BLE is less stable with some phone chipsets. (And has a is broken by Apple in iOS13.)

    You also can use a normal Bluetooth tethering connection if you pair without MyDrive (don't use te QR code). This connection will also be stable like the WiFi Hotspot. The Traffic and the MyDrive sync options will but the other phone options like the Google Now feature will not work this way.

    You can use a app like "Blue Car Tethering on Demand" to stop your phone closing the BT tethering connection all the time.

    Wifi Hotspot will also work without the other phone options an uses more battery on your phone and a little bit more mobile data
  • uktomtommeruktomtommer Posts: 75 [Outstanding Wayfarer]
    That is actually very interesting - I didn't know, thanks a lot! However, disappointing that TomTom doesn't mention it and doesn't propose alternatives to get round the BLE issues.

    I will play around with the bluetooth tethering options.

    Do you happen to know if Garmin's Zumo XT uses bluetooth low energy, too?
    Is there amy kind of list, however unofficial, of the phones and chipsets which don't play nicely with BLE?

    BLE has been around since around 2010, and has been supported by Android since version 4.3 which dates to 2012. It is now 2020, and devices still can't talk to each other? By the way, I use the Huawei with a Garmin phone (which I think uses BLE but I am not 100% sure) without any issues.
  • RoadRiderRoadRider Posts: 726 [Revered Pioneer]
    The Garmin's Zumo XT doesn't use BLE as far as I know.
    I also owned a Garmin's Zumo XT and had many issues with it.
    • GPS reception often lost when placed to close to my TFT (Rider and phone work at the same spot)
    • The new recalculation feature often fails when taking a detour for example at a roadblock. Recalculation is also much slower than on the TomTom.
    • Loading a track and starting it is really a cumber stone compared to the Rider.
    • Adventures Routing is really a joke. It only takes main roads.
    • Far more map errors than TomTom.
    • Bluetooth some times lost the connection with my headset. Sometimes the voice is distorted.
    • Lots of useless "No delay" messages and some traffic Jams are not mentioned.

    Samsung and Huawai make there own chips and have more problems with the BLE connection. Also both vendors forget to clear the cache partition when the phone is updated. Phones whit a Qualcomm chipset have a better BLE implementation.My three year old Motorola is working fine.
  • uktomtommeruktomtommer Posts: 75 [Outstanding Wayfarer]
    May I ask in which country you are? I ask because of traffic data.

    Maybe the best option is to buy a second-hand rugged phone and use Waze or the TomTom app on that! The only problem is that I would then either need to have a sim with data for that phone, or to use my main phone as wifi hotspot, which drains the battery.

    I don't want to use my main phone as sat nav becauseit's not waterproof, and, if put in one of those waterproof bags, it can overheat and switch off
  • RoadRiderRoadRider Posts: 726 [Revered Pioneer]
    I live in The Netherlands but I also drive regularly in Germany (Eifel) Luxemburg and Belgium.

    The new color scheme on the TomTom App that looks like Google Maps is not as nice to use on a bike as a Rider 550. Side roads are not as visible as on the Rider. (TomTom already announced better High viability Themes to solve this) (Waze also has this visibility problem)

    Waze traffic is better than Garmin but a bit less than Google Maps and much less than TomTom.

    Not only most phones are not only not really waterproof also the camera's fail when due to vibrations when used on a motorbikes. Also a waterproof power source is an issue. Wireless Qi can run your phone to hot especially when GPS is used. Waterproof cases also have this overheating issue.
    And most phones are much harder to use with your gloves on.

    (I use the TomTom App in my Carr but the build in Android Auto screen only supports Google Maps an Waze. On my bike I use the TomTom Rider 550 and TomTom App as second screen with much less zoom and recalculation disabled by not hitting drive. This summer I made the mistake to replace this phone screen with a Zumo XT (so I sold it.))
  • uktomtommeruktomtommer Posts: 75 [Outstanding Wayfarer]
    You're right. One possibility might be a cheapish, 2nd hand rugged phone like a Cat, Ulefone, Blackview etc, which should be waterproof enough. Even if vibrations damage the camera sensor, I won't care much because I'll never use that phone's camera. Keeping it without any waterproof bag will mean it will get lots of air and won't overheat but I don't know if I can/should keep a usb-c cable connected with heavy rain.

    But the cheapest data plan I could find for a second sim if £6/month for 500 MBs, so that means spending at least £72 / year just for the privilege of getting traffic data with a dedicated sim.
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