Paging FineDigital, Anybody Home?
(Our second, “where are you” article today.) It seems like every week I hear about a new company making GPS devices. There are tons of companies trying to get into the GPS market– some of them might make a dent while others I’m sure I’ll never hear from again. Unlike other consumer electronics which might never need an update, roads are constantly changing and many GPS owners will be looking for a map update about a year after they purchase their device. Therefore it becomes difficult to recommend some devices from many of these companies since it is unclear if they will be around in the future to offer support and updates. Our experience with FineDigital, makers of the FineDrive GPS devices, highlights that frustration. “Hello, FineDigital, are you out there anywhere?”
Over 18 months ago FineDigital sent out a press release announcing new models. One part of the press release was confusing to me, so I sent an email to contact address listed on the press release for clarification. I didn’t get any response. There was also a contact phone number listed. I called, left a message, and didn’t get any response.
On their website they have a place where you can signup for a newsletter. I signed up in January of 2006, but have never received any newsletter. On their ‘contact’ page they have email addresses listed for their sales department and their media department. I emailed the sales address as a potential customer and the media address looking for company information and I never received a response.
The “news” section of their website lists the latest news as being released on Feb 28, 2006. The “tradeshows & events” section offers you to view “upcoming” releases at shows in January of 2006.
Over the past year I’ve received lots of email from people trying to contact their support department, just as I do with most other companies as well. I direct them to FineDigital’s support page and the customer typically writes me back and says “Yea, I’ve tried that… never got a response”.
And right now if you call their support phone number (866-346-3344) you will get a recording which offers the following:
“The mailbox belonging to (beep) is full and can not accept new messages at this time. Please try again later. Goodbye.”
That message has been playing since at least late June. Their fax machine never answers their fax line.
I continue to see their products available at Amazon, target, and occasionally other stores. But I can’t help but wonder if Kyu Seung Lee, President, and Richard Ryu, COO have packed up their bags and we won’t see anything more from FineDigital.
Other than a few quick button clicks, I never got to use any of their devices. They won’t be missed by some as CNET listed them as number 8 in a list of 10 worst technologies of Q2 2006. FineDigital does however continue to release new products in Asia.
Still it would be nice if they would either start answering their phone or put up a message on their website and voicemail saying they have packed up their bags and given up on the GPS market in the USA.