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Pioneer Avic F500BT

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      11.03.2009 14:50
      Very helpful
      1 Comment



      This would be an excellent replacement Sat Nav if it had a selection of mounting alternatives

      It might be a very good unit, pity it is let down by the after care service from Pioneer.

      I was after a replacement Sat Nav as the one fitted by Peugeot in my car is a bit dated but it is irreplaceable as it comes as a single unit which also controls the Radio, Air Con etc.

      Having compared the various units offered by Tom-Tom Garmin and Pioneer, the Pioneer on the face of it did everything I needed. Firstly, it connected to my existing Radio giving it a new lease of life as the Sat Nav instructions would be via my car speakers but in addition it also had a blue tooth connection for my mobile phone and a built in MP3 Player. This was an answer to all my "wish Lists"

      But to make sure it did what I wanted I looked it up on the Pioneer website :-http://www.pioneer.co.uk/uk/products/25/111/241/AVIC-F500BT/index.html

      Their website confirmed everything I had read about it also showing the display unit fitted into a Fiat 500, 2 BMW's and a Citroen. I ordered it immediately, when it arrived it was just as impressive as I thought it would be, whilst waiting to get it installed I could use it as a "Stand Alone" sat nav, it was then I noticed a few problems, the battery only lasted between 20-30 minutes so it had to be permanently connected to a power source, I knew it was big, the 5.8" screen was part of the appeal, but with the suction cup cradle it was limited as to where it could go.

      But the suction cup cradle was the ONLY method of mounting the unit, there was no other fitting in the box, so I contacted Pioneer GB Limited at Stoke Poges and spoke to their customer support team who informed me that the cradle was the only method of fixing it to the car, I told them that it couldn't be as I had seen it fitted to 2 BMW's and a Fiat 500 on their web site so there must be some brackets, to which they replied "Oh, that's only a photo superimposed to give an idea of how it might look" I asked to speak to a Manager but was told he was not available.

      As I was not happy with the explanation I telephoned Pioneer again and asked for the CEO and got put through to his PA, I explained the situation to her and she assured me that she would look into it.

      I then received a phone call from the Customer Service Manager who reiterated what I had already been told and that if I did not like it I should take the Sat Nav back to where I had bought it from and get a refund. Not the response that I had expected from a firm such as Pioneer.

      I telephoned my local Trading Standards who took details and told me that if there was no way of fitting it as displayed by Pioneer, I was entitled to a full refund. So that is what I had to do.

      I have replaced it with a Garmin which although does not do everything the pioneer did, if a problem does occur, Garmin's customer services do care about their customers and are more than willing to assist.

      I received a phone call from the Customer Services Manager at Pioneer a few days after our conversation who told me that they had had a conversation with Trading Standards and it transpired that I was right, they could not advertise the unit superimposed on a photo if it could not be fitted in the way it was illustrated.


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