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Customer Review

199 of 207 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great unit - but intrusive commercial popup ads or "offers" that can't be switched off, July 15, 2010
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This review is from: Garmin nuvi 3790T 4.3-Inch Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator with Lifetime Traffic (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
This is a beautiful little unit - very slim, large, bright screen. The voice command system gets things right about two-thirds of the time, which means you can get going almost as quickly using voice as you can using the touchscreen. It switches between portrait and landscape effortlessly. And, having upgraded from a Nüvi 670 to this, I appreciate the new nüvi features such as displaying speed limits and cameras. Having included lifetime traffic is really handy too.

The integration of traffic into routing seems smoother than prior Garmins, although I drove in "red" traffic today that was moving really well, so maybe it overstates the problem sometimes. The new "mytrends" feature, in which the unit gets used to where and how you drive, sounds nice - I haven't seen evidence of how it affects things yet.

There is also a lot of new environmental and fuel economy software built in. The concepts will be familiar to people who drive hybrids - you get constant feedback, and can also access a lot of data, on whether you are doing too much stop-start driving, too many bursts of acceleration and too much rapid breaking. You get fuel economy and absolute cost estimates, all of which is handy. However, I don't like having the little "leaf" indicator taking up screen space, telling me whether I'm being naughty or nice. I wish I could remove it in the display options! A firmware patch is needed from Garmin.

OK . . . now on to the PROBLEM. This thing has POPUP ADS. Yes - commercial popups, like "Crabfest at Red Lobster" and "Best Western Rewards - Get 1500 points" and "Unlimited lunch $6.90" that pop up while you are driving, and take up screen space, obscuring the damn map. I called tech support, and they said that these are not supposed to pop up while you are moving, only while you are stopped. But these came up while I was driving today. Tech support says there is NO WAY THE POPUP ADS CAN BE DISABLED. Apparently it's built into the license with Navteq and will happen whenever you are receiving traffic information, and they cannot disable it. How is this OK? They don't mention it in the product specs, or on the box. I am paying hundreds of dollars for this device, and I cannot opt-out from popup ads?$#@!% Garmin seriously needs to get a firmware patch (or a hardware patch if it's part of the traffic receiver) out to allow people to disable this. The popups don't even have an "X" in the corner for you to press to get rid of them.

Having got that off my chest, I'm still happy, overall, that I bought this unit.
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Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 43 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 15, 2010 3:39:53 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jul 15, 2010 3:46:52 PM PDT]

Posted on Jul 15, 2010 3:46:38 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 15, 2010 3:49:41 PM PDT
PhotoshopCS5 says:
The pop ups are annoying. Next time I see another pop up from Red Lobster I'll carry in my unit and demand a free lobster dinner for two.

Or you can say "Voice Command" then " Disable Pop Ups" Then the unit will respond " OK, pop ups disabled. Sorry sir for the inconvenience, we at Garmin realize you paid a whopping $449 for this unit so you shouldn't be sujected to the annoying pop ups and therefore respect your wishes.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2010 4:17:05 AM PDT
The small ads definitely should not be popping up while driving. They are supposed to display only when at a full stop for at least a few seconds, never when moving. I haven't seen anyone else mention the ad display while moving, but I'll check with some of the guys in the gps forums to see if they've seen the same thing. If it is common on the 37xx's, I'll bet that it's corrected in the first application update.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2010 9:09:22 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 17, 2010 9:10:51 AM PDT
GeneAlbert says:
So far, on my 3790T, the ads have only popped up while I was standing still. Once I start to move, the ads go away and stay away, until I stop again, and most of the time not even then.

The ads don't always pop up, but when they do, they seem to pop up in the beggining, after I set up a new route, and am getting ready to implement it. Once I start to move, they go away.

By the way, I wish Garmin handled them like they do on the 1690 nuLink, in which case the ads briefly pop up along the long edge of the screen and not down in the map area, like they do on the 3790T.

I hope this helps.


Posted on Aug 3, 2010 12:55:25 PM PDT
Luminosa says:
Hate to tell you, but that is the high price for 'free' traffic....I first noticed it on my Garmin 275T...initially I was outraged and then I just got used to it. True, there is no way to shut that off. I too way. Anyway, it is not unique to the 3790T but to many Garmins w/free traffic.

Posted on Aug 5, 2010 11:01:06 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 5, 2010 11:03:02 AM PDT
rcassano says:
Let me confirm, I too have had pop-up ads while driving, (1390T). My first experience was after driving under a long underpass the GPS signal was momentarily lost and the popup came on the screen. When I again had clear sky the pop-up stayed on the screen long enough to cause concern. The second time was after exiting the tunnel in Baltimore. The pop-up came on while in the tunnel as I was trying to see the screen and determine my next exit on the route. Because of the pop-up ad I was unable to see the map. I can't agree more that this has to stop. Soon Garmin will be putting pop-up ads in the aviation chart plotters and pilots will have to look at which airport has the cheapest fuel. Pop-up ads are intrusive and dangerous in car navigation as well as any other navigation product and should be band by law. The 3790T should be ad free because we pay a premium for this high end model and have prepaid for the traffic feature without any declaration of ads being included. Nowhere in the product description or on the box does it say the buyer must accept random pop-up advertising. Navigation is not a game, it is a dead serious task whether it be from paper maps or electronic GPS devices. We need to outlaw this practice before the distraction causes an accident.

Posted on Aug 22, 2010 6:45:17 PM PDT
M. Belanger says:
I totally agree with all the complaints about the pop-up advertising. I would happily pay an annual subscription fee again just to get rid of them. If Garmin doesn't offer an option to remove them while still having traffic, this will be my last nuvi.

Posted on Aug 22, 2010 8:28:57 PM PDT
So the pop-ups are supposed to only come up while your vehicle is stopped. However, if you lose GPS reception, or enter a tunnel, or slow right down, the pop-ups come out. This is especially a problem if you are slowing down to take a corner. Right at the critical moment, just as you need to know which lane or ramp to enter, the screen is partially obscured by that darned pop-up. The rationale given is that NAVTEQ is providing the maps "free" in return for popup placement. But this fact is not disclosed in the Amazon listing, or on the packaging. I think that is unethical.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 23, 2010 5:44:37 AM PDT
rcassano says:
The pop-up seems to be triggered by a lost GPS signal not from slowing down. The normal function for a pop-up is to come on the screen when the car stops moving like when you stop for a traffic light. This is still a serious problem because this is the moment a driver will take to carefully examine his or her location and the next navigation move or turn. Now the light changes green the pop up goes away and your car is moving again while you try to look at the 1390T screen. Garmin has taken away the safest moment for making navigation decisions and inserted an advertisement. Beside all this, my feeling is that we pay a higher price for a Garmin model (1390T) so we have traffic updates. "Traffic updates" are paid for up front at the time of purchase. The pop-up ads seem to be pure reoccurring revenue for Garmin. After returning the 1390T I went back to an old Garmin 550C since it does not have pop-up ads. I can subscribe to "traffic updates" if I want to even though the service is spotty. In the future, I will never accept a car navigation device with pop-up advertising based on the safety factor. When TomTom introduces their next car GPS models I will give them a try.

Posted on Sep 4, 2010 10:05:32 AM PDT
Alan Capil says:
I was hoping to buy this unit, but with pop ads as part of the experience of owning this expensive GPS, I can't buy this. We're bombarded enough with ads as part of everyday life in America ... gotta draw the line where you can.
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