‘Traffic assist’ sat nav doesn’t avoid trafficConfusion over Becker Traffic Assist Z101 sat nav

08 February 2009

Becker Traffic Assist Z101

Confusion over the Becker Traffic Assist Z101 car sat nav system

The Becker Traffic Assist Z101 sat nav doesn’t come with traffic avoidance. We were fooled - so make sure you're not.

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We recently began testing this Becker sat nav, which is called ‘traffic assist’ and which comes supplied with a special traffic message channel (TMC) antenna, but found the traffic avoidance (fed by TMC) didn’t work. 

Becker's customer services told us the system doesn’t actually have traffic avoidance, and recommended the Traffic Assist Z201 instead.

Unhappy customer

After expressing our unhappiness, we were told to speak to Becker Germany. It told us we should have looked at Becker’s German website, claiming the site 'clearly states the countries where TMC works, not including the UK.'

We looked, and there is a list, but we think it’s unreasonable to expect UK buyers to look at a German website for this information. 

Besides, we’d already looked at what we believed to be Becker’s UK website which stated that TMC is included. Becker's adviser in Germany recommended we return the sat nav to the retailer.

Becker direct

Finally, we phoned Becker’s UK representative directly as ‘Which?’. We asked why, when market leaders TomTom and other big players, such as Garmin, use the word 'Traffic' or 'T' in the product name to indicate that it has a traffic avoidance feature, the Becker Z101 Traffic Assist sat nav doesn't follow the same convention. 

He told us that despite its name, and the inclusion of the TMC antenna, the Z101 doesn’t have a traffic avoidance feature, due to 'a change of the operating software.'

He went on to say: 'We have supplied Halfords with special stickers to put on the boxes saying as much.' Our test sample, (purchased off the shelf from Halfords) had no such sticker when we bought it.

Wrong website

Becker's UK spokesman insisted the website we believed to be Becker UK was 'nothing to do with Becker', even though it looks very like Becker’s German site. 

Becker’s official UK site is called mybecker.com. However, he promised to get Beckerstore to amend the ‘error’, advising 'anyone who has bought one thinking it has traffic avoidance should take it up with the retailer. Only two Becker models have TMC that works in the UK.' 

We already know the Becker Traffic Assist 7977 has it as we've tested it, and apparently and the Traffic Assist Z200 does, too. However, the Z201 we were directed towards by Becker's customer service does not have the feature.

Confused? So were we... so buy with care.


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