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Garmin Maps – Big Price Increase

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City Navigator 2008

Update: 4/15/08 – Garmin Maps Price Increase Continued

If you have more than one Garmin GPS and they use the same maps, you can no longer use the maps on both units. Garmin’s new unannounced policy is that you must buy your Maps for each units and you must buy separate updates each year for each unit. That is another $123 for software and another $75 each year for updates if you have 2 units.

Here’s a copy of my correspondence with Garmin after I found out about change:



This is our current policy. In the past, a full-version of software would unlock to two units, but that is no longer the case. Each update disk and unlock code will only work with one unit. I apologize for any inconvenience.

With Best Regards,

Chris V

Customer Service Representative

2nd Shift Customer Service Team

Garmin International



913-397-8282 (fax) Att: Chris V


Original Message Follows: ————————



I have been doing this for years and never needed to purchase a second code before. In fact purchasing 2 codes costs more than purchasing the software new, which does support multiple units. Are you sure you have this right?




From: unlock@garmin.com [mailto:unlock@garmin.com]
Sent: Wednesday, August 22, 2007 10:42 PM
To: Roland Provost
Subject: Re: Unlocking Map Update for 2nd GPS (KMM581659I10971L0KM)

Dear Roland Provost,

Thank you for contacting Garmin International. To unlock the map update software to a second unit, you will need to purchase a new unlock code. Each unlock code can be used on one unit only. The information about this policy can be found on our website here: http://shop.garmin.com/cartography/mapsource/policy.asp

Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance.

With Best Regards,

Chris V

Customer Service Representative

2nd Shift Customer Service Team

Garmin International



913-397-8282 (fax) Att: Chris V


Original Message Follows: ————————


How do I unlock the City Navigator North America 208 Map update for my second GPS (GPS60cs)? It is working fine on my 2610 but the update hangs up when I try to unlock for 60cs,.

Thank you

Roland J Provost


I am not really surprised but I am very disappointed with the way Garmin handled the change. The way you find out is that the update second unit button is now Grey. So you call Garmin support, wait a few hours on the phone and they explain that policy has changed.

I used to think Garmin was a pretty good company but this is a pretty shabby way to treat long term customers. If you want to increase prices fine, but have the balls to tell us up front; don’t make us sit on the phone for hours to find out what has happened.


Written by Roland

August 24, 2007 at 9:53 am

18 Responses

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  1. […] Also see: Garmin Maps – Big Price Increase  […]

  2. Well I guess I wont be jumping into the GPS market anytime soon. besides when I get out on the road I will have my own persoel navagator sitting right behind me. Now that your a married man looks like you may as well.. Welcome back Roland hope you had a nice time off with your new bride.

    Joel Anderson

    August 29, 2007 at 10:48 pm

  3. Thanks Joel, my bride likes to bicycle tour and camp on her Ryan Vanguard but is much more into cute shops and nice places to eat than navigating. Her route selection is a bit different than but that just broadens my horizons.


    September 3, 2007 at 8:03 am

  4. This seems like a pretty dumb policy to me, since it would probably mean that people will buy fewer hardware units and will also start actively seeking both hardware and software alternatives. My guess is that they have a lot of locked-in customers through integrated automobile units, and they figure they can just soak those folks, and the rest of us.

    I’m not sure how good it is, but my roommate has a Razor cell phone of some sort that also operates as a navigator. He pays a monthly fee, I think, as part of his regular fee, but I noticed that he can get a location fix from within a building without being near a window. The unit may only work where there are cell phone towers, or it might be supplementing satellite info with cell tower info, I don’t know. But Garmin isn’t even a player in that market, so they may just be raising the price of buggy whips.


    September 12, 2007 at 1:06 pm

  5. I agree I don’t think this change as a wise move for Garmin.

    GPS competition has increased, this is the time to encourage old customers to stay not seek new alternatives.


    September 16, 2007 at 7:41 pm

  6. I just upgraded from a Garmin Legend CX to a Vista HCX and discoved that maps from City Navigator will not work without buying a new license. I’M TAKING THE VISTA BACK TOMORROW! That’s what you get when you gouge people!


    October 13, 2007 at 9:12 pm

  7. I’ve just bought a Nokia 6110 Navigator phone, it has the whole of Australia preloaded with much better detail than the latest City Navigator software from Garmin. I can load the maps for other regions of the world at no cost, but would have to pay for the turn by turn navigation capability. This is the way things will go, maps and navigation costs are dropping not increasing.


    October 20, 2007 at 8:09 pm

  8. I just bought a Nuvi310, I’m not looking forward to the update costs if this is the way they are going to be in the future


    November 20, 2007 at 5:10 pm

  9. If you only have one GPS there is no change, the annual updates are about $123. It just doesn’t seem fair to me to have to buy the same maps twice if you have two GPS units.


    November 20, 2007 at 8:21 pm

  10. Folks, I found this site using google. I own a Magellan and they sent me an email offer for new maps at a $20 discount which brought the price down to $80. Well, I forgot my password as of 12/02/07 and have sent multiple emails per the instruction and still no reset. Two calls to their customer service folks who are in India were totally useless. I sent an email a few days ago to a PR individual with hopes I would receive a response but as of today nothing at all. It appears Garmin and Magellan just take your money, put you on hold when you call, don’t respond to your emails. The net is they basically suck. Now I am down to looking at TomTom or perhaps just forgetting about GPS for my vehicle. What a shoddy way to run a business; oops, they aren’t running a business but just taking your money and disappearing. I am going to send a letter to some of the so called upper echelon at Magellan just to vent but I don’t expect any reply. I will continue to hound them and post all of my documented correspondence on blogs, etc. so someone else doesn’t get ripped off. What a way to treat your customers.


    December 14, 2007 at 2:47 pm

  11. Just checked on eBay and it looks like the City Navigator 2008 upgrades are a bit cheaper if you buy there, under $50 with shipping. They are about $63 at WalMart and $70+ at the Garmin site.


    December 15, 2007 at 1:37 pm

  12. Roland,

    Found this site google’ing’ and have a question since Garmin’s site isn’t too helpful.

    How can I update the maps on my Garmin 2610 using a Mac computer? I am using the latest software. When I had first purchased it I had to use emulation software and that sucked to say the least. Any help?

    I did download the Garmin WebUpdater and that worked to update my GPS software.

    I also downloaded the Garmin MapInstaller but it states there are no maps to install.




    December 24, 2007 at 11:50 pm

  13. Sorry Thom I am totally Mac ignorant but I will comment that the problem you are having does sound like my yearly PC experience with Garmin. I can’t explain how I get through it but after stumbling a few times I usually find a way.

    I have called their tech support some years when I gave up in frustration but that is a very trying experience also. The Garmin Folks are good when you get to them but getting to them has often taken very, very, very long waits.


    December 27, 2007 at 5:50 pm

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  16. Just out today looking at GPS but after reading the cost to keep updated I can still use a fold out $2.00 Map and will.
    It has worked well for 40 years and no batteries required.


    October 17, 2008 at 9:21 pm

  17. If you are looking your new GPS navigator Store. I recommend you to find your new Garmin GPS Store at our website store. Anyway, you may find product spec., echnical review, accessories and maps update for Garmin 780,765T,755T,255W,360,205W,250,260,260W,265WT,270,760 and others Garmin nuvi information at http://garmingps.geogats.com/garmin-store/


    June 20, 2009 at 4:49 am

  18. Garmin Nuvi 265WT
    Garmin’s nüvi 265WT improves upon its 200-series predecessors by adding free real-time traffic updates from Navteq (for the life of the device) as well as Bluetooth connectivity to your cell phone. Other significant improvements in the 2×5 series include a predictive technology that provides faster satellite lock, a redesigned screen with more information, terrain maps, and an exciting new photo navigation feature. The 265WT provides complete maps for North America and the handy Text-to-Speech feature, so you get turn-by-turn spoken directions with the real names of streets (e.g. “turn left in 50 feet at Nebraska Way”, rather than merely “turn left in 50 feet”).

    Garmin Nuvi 265wt

    June 30, 2009 at 8:35 am

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