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Saturday, July 19, 2008

How dumb can a company get?

I own a 2006 Plymouth Town and Country mini-van which came with a factory installed GPS navigation system.

So far, so good.

Since the maps provided are, as a result of age and incomplete surveys, less than totally accurate, I recently called Mopar (Chrysler's parts division) to order an update. Being told that an update was available, I asked the price. $199 was the response.

My first thought was that these people must have got a D- in economics 101. My second thought was that it is not a surprise that Chrysler ( is in deep financial trouble in spite of - or perhaps because of - being owned by a well known private equity group (Cerberus Capital which employs many very bright, very well paid, people.

Since all of the costs to update the maps had been incurred prior to my telephone call and the marginal cost to send me the disk is about $2.00 plus shipping, for which I would have been charged, their price can only be described as an attempt to "rip off the rubes." I am not too bright but I am not that stupid and I can manage with slightly out of date maps. I am also old enough to be able to read a map (MapQuest works just fine) so I can get by without sending Mopar $199.

Had they asked for $30, I would have paid for the convenience but, as it is, Mopar/Chrysler doesn't have any of my money and, worse for them, they have an annoyed customer on their hands.

I doubt that I will ever buy another of their products.


Ali said...

This is pretty much standard in the auto/gps industry. Garmin will charge you a good amount for new maps, so do most other auto makers I know including Acura - $185, Infiniti - $190, Toyota - $250

Hugh Elliot said...

But that doesn't mean that they aren't really stupid.