Top 6 Questions to Ask Telematics System Providers | Updated July 2019

Buyer Beware: Top 6 Questions to Ask Any Telematics System Provider


The benefits of a telematics system are undeniable–lower labor costs, lower fuel costs, a safer team, and unbeatable proof of service. However, whether you’re new to GPS tracking or looking to switch providers, it’s important to make sure you select the best software partner for your business.

Here are the top 6 questions we recommend asking any telematics system providers you’re considering:

1) Is there a long-term contract? (Or automatic renewals?)

If there is, you might be locking yourself into a customer support nightmare, long-term price point, or the ability to suspend vehicles if or when you need to. Worse yet, many GPS tracking contracts are vehicle-based versus account based, so you could have as many contracts as you have vehicles, which makes switching providers an excruciatingly slow process…

2) Is your customer support US based?

Many aren’t…and we all know how challenging that can be when you truly need a helping hand. It’s also important to know the quality of the support you can expect to receive. Here’s why it’s important to be sure you check out 3rd party review sites.

3) Are there hidden fees?

Beware device activation fees and ongoing device license fees. The price may not be what you thought it was, based on a quick website browse.

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4) When was your software last updated?

You should be able to rest easy that your telematics system will be improved to meet your needs, current industry regulations, and (of course) maximize your investment. Ask when their system was last updated and if there are future software developments on the horizon.

5) Do you have experience in my industry? (Or with similar fleet sizes?)

Make sure your telematics software provider has the chops to handle your unique industry (or fleet size) challenges and help give you the guidance to set you up for success in your industry. Check out our GPS fleet tracking success stories.

6) Can multiple people within my company use the telematics system?

Regional teams and dispatchers will have different needs than Safety Managers, Fleet Maintenance Managers, or executives, but all of them can benefit from the data. Be sure you know how much it will cost for everyone to use it.

Interested in learning more about our telematics system?

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Where to Find the Real, No-BS Story About Your Telematics Options

You’re not going to figure out which is the best telematics software just by looking at each company’s website. You’ll only get the real scoop from businesses like yours that have used…or are using telematics software.

Sure, you’ll find impressive-sounding stuff at each of those sites. This company is a “leader in business telematics!” That one promises to “tailor their telematics software to meet your company’s unique business needs.”


But what’s the real story behind each of these vendors?

Don’t expect a telematics provider’s website to tell you that the company doesn’t quite leap to its customers’ aid when they have a problem.

Or that a teeny tiny clause in their original agreement automatically extends the contract by another two years if the customer doesn’t call to cancel.

Or that there’s no way to suspend the monthly service temporarily if, for example, your company has a quiet season and won’t need to track some vehicles for a few months.

So where can you find out details like that? Where can you learn what it’s actually like to do business with each of these companies?

You’ll Get the Full Truth Only from Businesses Like Yours That Are Using a Business Telematics Solution, Too.

The only place we’ve ever found this unfiltered truth is in the online reviews from companies like yours that have already done business with these telematics vendors.

When it comes the telematics industry, the best sources for those types of customer write-ups are third-party review sites:

Like TrustPilot.

Or Software Advice.

Or GetApp.

We’ll let you discover for yourself what customers of the other telematics providers have written. But we can tell you that when you check sites like these for ClearPathGPS, you’ll find customer after customer after customer writing glowing reviews of our telematics software, our terms, and our customer service.

Our advice?

Skip the telematics software companies’ websites for now and check out what the businesses in your industry have to say about working with each of us.

Then, when you come to the conclusion we know you will, let us give you a free demo.

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Already in a Looooong Telematics Contract? You’re Not Alone…

We hear it all the time. You’re six months into a three-year telematics contract with your gps fleet tracking provider, and you’re not happy to say the least.

You’ve gone through the damn document upside down and sideways, looking for a way out. But there is no way out, at least none you can spot. They knew what they were doing. You can find a laundry list of customer woes on third-party review sites. “We’re locked into a three-year telematics contract and they won’t let us out!” That type of thing. Worse yet, in some cases, the contracts are on an individual vehicle basis, which has as many unique autorenewal dates as your fleet has vehicles.

Other than just waiting out each vehicle’s contract, is there anything you can do? Yep. You do have options.

Option 1: Beg (with an implied threat)

We’re living in the era of Yelp, Google Reviews, TrustPilot, and Capterra—and that’s good news for you.

It’s a lot more difficult for businesses to mistreat their customers today, because everyone has a megaphone. We can take our frustrations to the web and tell everybody how badly a company is treating us.

So my first advice is to call up your telematics solution provider and tell them you’re unsatisfied and want out of your contract, and that if they refuse to let you leave you’ll be writing a scathing review about your experience online.

Telematics providers that already have lousy customer reviews and lower-than-they’d like aggregate ratings know this hurts their chances of winning more business. Your willingness to add your company’s name to the list of pissed-off customers might make them more open to letting you out of the agreement.

It’s worth a shot.

Option 2: Get a lawyer

Know why you can’t find a single loophole to get your company out of the telematics software contract, not even one that lets you leave if they have crappy service? It’s because the GPS tracking provider hired professionals to make their contract bulletproof.

You could hire a lawyer, which could be an expensive option. But they also could let you in on secrets such as in New York State, a contract with autorenewal needing notice of more than 30 days requires the vendor to notify the signee of their renewal timing by certified mail (or in person) between 15-30 days of the deadline or it’s not enforceable…which makes your exit strategy a little more manageable. However, unless you actually take your GPS provider to court, probably not as expensive as paying for the lousy service a few more years.

Bonus benefit: It might also feel great to sit in on the call when your lawyer threatens the GPS tracking software company with a suit.

Option 3: Let us help you “ride out” your GPS tracking contract

This option is the best, for a few reasons.

First, we’ll create a strategy to start getting you out of your %@&# telematics contract right now!
Second, you start taking vehicles off their %@&# telematics platform ASAP!

And third, you’re then free to move to a telematics software partner that’s actually month-to-month! And with a company whose service has earned raving fans from coast-to-coast.

So let’s get you out of that GPS tracking contract, okay?

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No contracts, cancel or suspend any vehicle at anytime. Flexible hardware purchase or lease options with service plans starting at $20 per month. See why thousands have chosen ClearPathGPS.


More Articles Related to Telematics Best Practices

Considering Partnering with one of the Phone Companies? Be Sure to Ask These Questions Before You Sign on the Dotted Line.

1) What are your contract terms?

Is there any flexibility in contract length? Are you sure you want to be locked in for 36 months? If you add vehicles, do you have staggered contracts or does your WHOLE contract renew for another 3 years?

2) How do I cancel?

In the event that you want to cancel your service, is an email enough? How early do you need to let them know? If you don’t give notice in time, does your contract go month-to-month or auto-renew for another 36 months? What if you need to cancel a single vehicle on the contract?

3) How responsive is customer support? Do you charge for it?

We all know how challenging poor customer service is when you truly need a helping hand. It’s also important to know the quality of the support you can expect to receive…and whether or not you have to pay extra for it.

4) If a device has issues, how quickly can I expect a replacement?

It happens. Devices occasionally fail. The key is how fast they will commit to turning around a replacement so that you can start tracking that vehicle again.

5) Did you develop the software or are you reselling someone else’s platform?

With some of the phone companies, it’s not even their software…they’re just reselling someone else’s complicated platform.

Considering Samsara? Be Sure to Ask These Questions Before Signing a Contract.

While they have slick sales glitz, we’ve heard from customers who were looking to switch that they wish they’d asked these questions before selecting Samsara.

1) Do you charge for anything beyond the one-time hardware purchase and monthly software fee?

Beware device activation fees, ongoing device license fees, and other hidden fees. Your cost may not be what you thought it would be, based on a quick website browse.

2) How responsive is your customer support?

We all know how challenging poor customer service is when you truly need a helping hand. It’s also important to know the quality of the support you can expect to receive.

3) What type of data can I access with your mobile hotspots?

Will your team be able to download important emails if they’ve got attachments or access online specification documents if they need them? How many GB are free? How much will you be charged for additional data?

4) Do you ever throttle or suspend data?

What happens if you go over your data limit? (Particularly if you’re interested in dash cams.)

5) What if I need to cancel or suspend a vehicle?

Do you have to keep paying for each vehicle on the contract even when it’s no longer in use or been sold to another company?

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