Never have I posted a rant about a vender like this. Maybe I have been lucky and just found good products, or maybe I have a gentle and forgiving nature. But this one has me steamed...
One of the great features of our B&G instrument suite is the ability to echo the MFD screen
on an iPad
anywhere on the boat
using the WiFi
system. This is something we use a lot. When the Captain
(me!) is asleep on passage
at night, and the crew has a question about a crossing situation, course change, radar
contact, etc. it can frequently be answered without leaving my berth, and sleep comes quickly again. Being able to quickly access data either at the helm
or the nav station without the full cost of a second MFD was a very nice feature. The iPad
app was a bit clunky, but it worked. But all this is no more.
Our system is less than 2 years old. The MFD is a B&G Zeus Touch, with a Navico
I received a routine update notice through the App Store, there was a new version of the software
for the iPad to connect with the WiFi
network. Without a thought I downloaded it. It said on the App Store description page it was compatible with my MFD.
Frustration ensues... I can't connect the iPad to the MFD anymore... So I call Navico
tech support, who have been very helpful in the past. First suggestion: Erase the app and download it again. I did that: no improvement.
Call Number 2 to tech support, this time they transfer me to the guy who specializes in WiFi and network issues. He, very politely and with all proper sympathy, gives me the bad news:
The updated version of the software
does not work
with my MFD. I can not go back and load the older version. I am screwed because I have a "legacy" product. It's TWO YEARS OLD! It was updated with new software 6 months ago! They might get around to fixing it... maybe in a month or so... maybe.
There are only three choices here.
- They are totally incompetent, and don't know how to test software, and didn't know the problem existed before pushing the new version out to all users.
- They know what happened, but were in so much of a rush to upgrade the software they decided to hang customers of products that are not in their current catalog out to dry.
- They know exactly what they are doing. They are making a conscious effort to rapidly obsolete their older products to force users to upgrade.
You pick... but before you decide, here is an extra data point: As of today--weeks after they have known about this issue--the App Store page still has a list of plotters that are supposed to be compatible with this software and are not.
In any event, after years of recommending them to anyone who asked (and to some who didn't) as a company with great products and great service
, they are now on my S*&T list, and I am not sure how they could possibly get off it. If I wasn't tied into their system with a 3G radar
I'd be switching brands pretty quickly.
I sent a version of this message to the support line and asked for a comment, and heard nothing...