Interesting, although prepared to reinstate LM as they did for you [even though you're not the original purchaser] that would indicate Garmin UK seems to toe the party line on LM subscription limit of 24 months life without an update, paying it lip-service at least anyway. Garmin AU apparently doesn't enforce it because I've updated LM units without problem which hadn't been updated for well over the 2 year limit. This is the legal jargon, inter alia, from Garmin regarding 'lifetime': "A product will be deemed to be out of service and its useful life to be ended if no updates have been downloaded for such product for a period of 24 months or more" and "Your nüMaps Lifetime subscription or other lifetime map subscription may not be transferred to another person or another Garmin product". So they did you a favour reactivating it, they could have told you 'stiff bickies'.
Yep, the email response e is cr*p in UK as heard from others [AU has quite good email response but you'd need a meal-break waiting to get to the top of the phone queue]. However, it seems that it isn't true UK support desk strangle a kitten every time they receive an email request.
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I have it on good authority that they've switched to puppies some time back.
Thanks for reporting back, we can mark this thread 'Solved'.