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  1. #21  
    Thanks Fixitgal- I understood that concept with the SIM cards. My wife and I swap SIM cards all the time in our different phones... but I am curious if there is a way to get the Treo at the 399 price, without having to pay 19.99/mo (minimum) for new service. I would be willing to get it at 10/mo and add it to my Family Plan with Voicestream... but Voicestream doesnt seem to know if this will work.

    I think a lot of us are wondering how we can avoid paying the unsubsidized price-- since we already have GSM carrier and VisorPhone (or other GSM phone with SIM card).
  2. #22  
    Originally posted by fixitgal
    ...you can purchase a Treo communicator without a service plan and activate your Treo communicator by removing the SIM card from your current phone and putting it inside your Treo communicator.
    FixIt:
    New users can buy a Treo for $399 with a new contract. For $599, I (or anyone) can buy a Treo and move my SIM. What many of us VP owners are hoping for is that, at least, Handpsring will allow VP owners to pay the $399 price without a new contract and simply move our SIM.
    Jeff
  3. #23  
    Originally posted by PDAENVY
    FixIt:
    New users can buy a Treo for $399 with a new contract. For $599, I (or anyone) can buy a Treo and move my SIM. What many of us VP owners are hoping for is that, at least, Handpsring will allow VP owners to pay the $399 price without a new contract and simply move our SIM.

    i was hoping for this myself. however, i've lost any faith in HS doing the right thing for their customers and sincerely doubt that they'll offer any such option for current VP users.

    i hope they make me eat my words, but i doubt that's gonna happen. HS seems to run their operations on very outdated marketing trends (do their best to get new customers rather than put any effort into keeping current customers). in my opinion, this will be their downfall. many users are looking elsewhere (myself included). if they muck up the Treo release and only gear any good pricing to new customers, they'll be in deep trouble, imo.

    mc
  4. #24  
    Originally posted by fixitgal
    So did I
    Not in the same way, though.
    To the service provider, it doesn't matter what device you're using the GSM SIM in.

    Minutes are minutes...
    Sure, but unless you sign up for a new contract, you're probably going to pay more for the phone. The referenced contract extension was to try and get a price break from the non-service option.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  5. #25  
    I just don't get all this whining. Handspring has no obligation to give the people who bought the visorphone a break on the treo. If they get into this trap, then all the people who buy the monochrome/ greyscale treo will all whine about not being able to buy the color one.

    When Handspring released the visorphone, people bought it at that price. they could have waited but they bought it. They have a working phone which will not work any less when the treo is released and for sale.

    I have had my startac phone for over 2 years now. It still works and I am not complaining that Sprint will not offer me a lower price for a new phone.

    Very likely, the service providers are subsidizing the cost of the treo device in order to lure in new customers and lock them into a long term obligation (one year or more). Just like the VP went down in price, eventually the TReo price will lowered - as the early adopters will buy the device at the current price, and others will wait.

    Personally, I am waiting to replace my deluxe with a color device. At this point I am in no hurry and I have not heard good things about voicestream in NYC.

    So at least wait till the devices are released before this ridiculous discussion.

    Lou
  6. #26  
    Originally posted by PDAENVY
    FixIt:
    New users can buy a Treo for $399 with a new contract. For $599, I (or anyone) can buy a Treo and move my SIM. What many of us VP owners are hoping for is that, at least, Handpsring will allow VP owners to pay the $399 price without a new contract and simply move our SIM.
    This is what happened when we got VisorPhone... we got a free VP when we bought a Visor PDA directly from Handspring, so the *only* way we could get the free VP was to activate a new number. When we talked to VoiceStream, we got conflicting reports as to when we could cancel (90 days or 1yr) the new number with no penalty. I think if we fought it, we could get that number cancelled without too much pain since we have been good VS and Powertel customers for 3+ years.

    It turns out that the cheapest year of VoiceStream service is $240 ($19.99/month) (plus taxes, of course), so if you really want a Treo and don't want a new number, the $599 isn't bad. Also, during the VisorPhone account activation, one salesman at VoiceStream told us that if we were buying the new phone from VS instead of Handspring, they -might- require another year of service, but not a new activation (who knows if this is really true, but I've bought other VS phones at the 'subsidized' price without activation).

    On the new activation, what we did was get a VoiceStream number in another city where some of our friends live and had all calls forwarded from that number to one of our existing mobile numbers. This way our friends could call us with a local number since all VS plans include free long distance. If we were worried about using up the new number's minutes, we could just say "I'll call you right back" and call them back from our regular mobile number.
  7. #27  
    Originally posted by PDAENVY
    What many of us VP owners are hoping for is that, at least, Handpsring will allow VP owners to pay the $399 price without a new contract and simply move our SIM.
    The problem is that the pricing is not quite as simple as it appears; that $200 isn't being given to you by Handspring.

    It's being given to you by the network, for committing to providing them with a nice cosy revenue stream via monthly subscriptions and call charges.

    Handspring is going to be getting pretty much the same amount of money for each Treo, regardless (though of course the networks will likely get a bulk discount).

    It would be great if buying one product from a company obliged them to give you a $200 discount on a similar one a year later. But it doesn't, and it's not commercial sense for them to do that.

    If people want to complain about this, the whining should really be directed at the cellphone companies, not Handspring.

    I don't complain that Nokia phones are too expensive; I choose to use a network that recognises I've given them a lot of money, and will discount a new phone when I want to upgrade - but even then, I don't get the same massive discount that they'd give to a brand new customer, unless I pay for a special plan that guarantees me a phone upgrade for a minimal fee every 18 months.

    That's what people are wanting here, it seems, but failing to realise that Handspring is in the same position as Nokia or Ericsson when it comes to supplying kit to the networks. Complain to your provider - not the manufacturer.

    Nigel.
  8. #28  
    Originally posted by nwhitfield
    It would be great if buying one product from a company obliged them to give you a $200 discount on a similar one a year later. But it doesn't, and it's not commercial sense for them to do that.
    "obliged" is the wrong way of thinking. though i understand what you're getting at, i don't think that you're taking all things into consideration.

    i'm not saying handspring is obliged to do anything. and i'm not obliged to be their customer. i weigh who i do business with by what they're willing to offer me

    a) to get my business, but more importantly
    b) to keep my business.

    as any marketing person can tell you, it is extremely expensive to get new customers. to get them to make the initial "dedication" (via purchasing) to a company.

    it used to be (long long time ago), that businesses would go out of their way to satisfy current customers in order to keep them. then, they'd count on word of mouth due to their good customer service, to win new customers. over the last few decades, however, business has changed dramatically and many companies are only concerned about winning customers from their competition.

    this is why companies like AOL and such sink hundreds of dollars into winning over a single customer (at one point, aol was spending approx $300 to get one new customer--they've now got it down to just over a hundred, last figure i heard). that's a lot of money to spend to win a single customer.

    what i think, and presumably a few others on the boards agree, is that HS is making no effort to keep the customers they've won. in fact, they seem to be going out of their way to lose those customers.

    certainly, HS is not obliged to offer any incentive for current VP owners to upgrade to treo. however, if those customers feel slighted and go elsewhere, it is gonna cost HS considerably more to win back those customers' loyalties. they're silly not to try and come up with some incentives to keep the customers they've already spent money winning.

    to me, the treo looks like the perfect device. it's getting rave reviews on functionality, it has sufficient memory and a good phone in it. i am the perfect customer for it. am i going to buy one? probably not. why? because my past experiences with handspring, the company (as opposed to my actual pda), have been dreadful.

    there is basically three ways of looking at how a company treats their customers:

    1. they treat existing customers better than potential customers.
    2. they treat existing customers the same as potential customers.
    3. they treat potential customers better than existing customers.

    #1 is the best scenario, in this day and age, for a company to follow. #2 is slightly worse and #3 shouldn't exist at all. companies that behave that way are not going to be around long. without question, HS falls into the 3rd category.

    sure, you can say "well, sony (or whoever) is no better. try getting customer service outta them!" but to that i answer "that's not the issue. i'm not evaluating HS against their competition. i'm evaluating them based on *my* relationship with them. and the relationship sucks." yes, my potential relationship with handera could be worse... however, since no relationship (what i have with handera now) is BETTER than a bad relationship with HS, Handera has a better chance of getting my $. once they get it, if they fight to keep it, i'll stay with them. otherwise, i'll look elsewhere again when i upgrade--with only the certainty that i won't return to HS because i'll still have a sour taste in my mouth.

    like it or not, this is the way many customers are doing business these days (if you don't believe me, read any of a myriad of business books that talk about current business climate (permission marketing, the tipping point, the 1:1 series of books, cluetrain manifesto, unleashing the ideavirus, etc etc.)). the first pda company that smartens up and starts treating their customers right is gonna win the war. the pda community is very vocal and definitely fits the biz market that would benefit from a more updated marketing approach.

    i *wish* HS were that company. i really do like their products. however, i highly doubt they're gonna change fast enough to keep me loyal.

    mc
    Last edited by mensachicken; 01/14/2002 at 05:06 PM.
  9. #29  
    Mensachicken. Methink you are going to eat your words


    Originally posted by mensachicken



    i was hoping for this myself. however, i've lost any faith in HS doing the right thing for their customers and sincerely doubt that they'll offer any such option for current VP users.

    i hope they make me eat my words, but i doubt that's gonna happen. HS seems to run their operations on very outdated marketing trends (do their best to get new customers rather than put any effort into keeping current customers). in my opinion, this will be their downfall. many users are looking elsewhere (myself included). if they muck up the Treo release and only gear any good pricing to new customers, they'll be in deep trouble, imo.

    mc
  10. #30  
    Ouch... guess this is a sore point.

    Folks, you want the "latest and greatest," then you're going to have to pay for it. Yes, it would be good for VP customers if we could get the subsidized price for the Treo, but it may not happen. Face it, we already got what we paid for, a VisorPhone. I've used mine constantly and felt it was money well spent.

    Will I buy a Treo? You betcha, even if I have to fork over $599. Why? Because I buy a new phone every year anyway. I want the newest features, and I'm willing to pay for them.

    Thank goodness for capitalism...
    "When I am Empress...Heads will roll!"
    Queen of Parts
  11. #31  
    Some here seem to think that people are asking for a handout from Handspring because they are current Visorphone users and are asking for the "w/out Activation" price of the Treo, which is $399. This is not about handouts. Its about common sense. Who are the most likley customers to jump on the Treo bandwagon right away? Visorphone owners! So if I just purchased my Visorphone and locked myself into a contract with Voicestream for an entire year ( or whatever)...who loses...Handspring or Voicestream?? Handspring!!!

    This would mean that I would be an untouchable potential Treo customer for Handspring because I already have committed to a year's worth of service to my Visorphone. Would it make sense to allow so many potential customers to have to wait until their Voicestream contract are over before they can even purchase a Treo?? By then, Sony, Palm, and a Samsung could have out new or better PDA/phone combos! This would mean more competitiion in a year. This would not be in the best interest if HS.

    What I am proposing is that Handspring allow Visorphone owners to purchase the Treo at the discounted price if they extend their current Voicestream contract by a year. Now this can be either a year from the Treo activation or just a year added onto the end of the original contract. I would assume the latter would be the most profitable choice. However, Cingular has a policy which states the former option"

    I had a similar problem with Cingular a few months back (wife's phone). Sombody stole her Nokia 5160 phone and I called right away to suspend service. I walked into a Cingular store to buy a new phone, They told me that in order to get the subsidized phone prices, I would need to extend my contract a year from activation of the new phone. If I didn't want to extend my contract, I would have to pay the "w/out Activation" cost" which was a ridiculous $399 (w/acvtivation was only $69.99).

    For example, lets say my wife's Cingular contract was up in April 2002 and someone stole her phone today. Well, she could purchase a new phone from Cingular at the "w/activation rate" if she agreed to extend her contract until January 2003 (NOT April 2003). I actually think this whole policy should be illegal, but this is an just example of similar circumstances...

    So, how is this different from a current Visorphone user who wants to buy a Treo? Why can't VS just extend your contract? What if you were to break your Visorphone or someone stole it? Would you be required to pay a monthly bill to VS without even having a phone? They'd have to offer you a new phone at the discounted rate as long as you agree to an extended contract (again, I don't agree with this policy since it seems like extortion).

    Doesn't this seem logical? This is not a handout. Everyone wins. Handspring sells a Treo. Voicestream holds onto a customer longer. And the customer gets a Treo a good price! Easy as 1-2-3.
    Last edited by RedSoxPDAer; 01/14/2002 at 09:28 PM.
  12. #32  
    Amen brutha! You said it.
  13. #33  
    Originally posted by yardie
    Mensachicken. Methink you are going to eat your words


    Yardie,

    as i said, i hope HS does make me eat my words. that would certainly cause me to reaffirm my loyalty.

    i WANT a treo. however, today, right this second, i don't want a Handspring Treo. Though i'll probably end up with one of the damn things, my point is that i am seriously considering *not* buying one. were this exact same device being manufactured by any other company, it would be a certainty that i'd have one in the first week of availability.

    i do hope that HS is smart enough to offer current vp owners a discount. however, i wouldn't be surprised in the slightest (based on past troubles) if they didn't. finally, i'm not nearly naive enough to think that you and i (as canadians) will be excluded from whatever special offer they'll be making available.

    mc
  14. #34  
    Originally posted by RedSoxPDAer
    Some here seem to think that people are asking for a handout from Handspring because they are current Visorphone users and are asking for the "w/out Activation" price of the Treo, which is $399. This is not about handouts. Its about common sense. Who are the most likley customers to jump on the Treo bandwagon right away? Visorphone owners!

    I disagree with you here. Most VisorpHone owners already have a PDA. SO why would they jump on the Treo right away? I can see people selling their Visor, VisorPhone and otehr modules (such as myself) to jump on the Treo bacndwagon. But most VisorPhone owners will not...even if they are getting the Treo at a discount.

    I think this whole VisorPhone trade-in argument is moot. Handspring's FAQ clearly states that there will be an offer of some kind for VisorPhones owners. This shows that Handspring is not leaving its VisorPhone users (who want to upgrade) in the cold.
  15. #35  
    Originally posted by yardie
    ...Most VisorPhone owners already have a PDA. So why would they jump on the Treo right away? ... most VisorPhone owners will not...even if they are getting the Treo at a discount.
    Why would VP owners jump at a Treo? I can think of many reasons:
    • - we're sick of carrying a kludged brick
      - we want a rechargable battery (obviously some Visors have this already)
      - we want a real phone that has speaker phone and an answer button on the headset
    Jeff
  16. #36  
    Originally posted by RedSoxPDAer
    [...] So if I just purchased my Visorphone and locked myself into a contract with Voicestream for an entire year ( or whatever)...who loses...Handspring or Voicestream?? Handspring!!!
    Nope. Neither loses. Handspring got paid something for the Visorphone from Voicestream, and Voicestream has a customer locked in for a year. Currently neither of them lose. Only you do (if you really think a Treo is that important right now.
    This would mean that I would be an untouchable potential Treo customer for Handspring because I already have committed to a year's worth of service to my Visorphone.
    No, it only means they'd have to wait a bit before you became a potential Treo buyer.
    Would it make sense to allow so many potential customers to have to wait until their Voicestream contract are over before they can even purchase a Treo??
    Yes, considering that they've already made money off of the sale of the Visorphone to you. In a year or less, then maybe you can 'cost' them some some money.
    By then, Sony, Palm, and a Samsung could have out new or better PDA/phone combos!
    Or maybe they will too, and you'll be pissed that you bought a Treo and they won't let you upgrade to the 320x320 color 3G/GSM/GPRS model.
    This would mean more competitiion in a year.
    It's called capitalism.
    This would not be in the best interest if HS.
    Neither would losing $200 per Treo.
    What I am proposing is that Handspring allow Visorphone owners to purchase the Treo at the discounted price if they extend their current Voicestream contract by a year.
    Handspring has no control of this. Talk to Voicestream.
    Now this can be either a year from the Treo activation or just a year added onto the end of the original contract. I would assume the latter would be the most profitable choice.
    I'm sure that neither really makes a difference to Handspring as much as it does Voicestream.
    [...] They told me that in order to get the subsidized phone prices, I would need to extend my contract a year from activation of the new phone. If I didn't want to extend my contract, I would have to pay the "w/out Activation" cost" which was a ridiculous $399 (w/acvtivation was only $69.99).
    How would you know it was ridiculous? Do you work for Nokia or know their manufacturing costs?
    For example, lets say my wife's Cingular contract was up in April 2002 and someone stole her phone today. Well, she could purchase a new phone from Cingular at the "w/activation rate" if she agreed to extend her contract until January 2003 (NOT April 2003). I actually think this whole policy should be illegal, but this is an just example of similar circumstances...
    You think it should be illegal for someone to give you a $400 phone for $70 when all they require in turn is that you commit to using their service for a year?
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  17. #37  
    Originally posted by Toby
    You think it should be illegal for someone to give you a $400 phone for $70 when all they require in turn is that you commit to using their service for a year?
    Actually, here's what I feel is illegal. She had three months left on her 2-year-contract, but her phone was stolen. In order to resume service, we would have to purchase a new phone. I could either buy a phone for $399 without extending the contract. Or I could agree to extend the contact another year and get it for $69.99.

    In the meantime, the account was suspended, and Cingular charges its customers $8.50 per month to have a suspended account. We were not too happy with Cingular's service so I figured we'd just unsuspend the account and pay the remaining three months of her contract by paying the monthly service fee $24.99 per month for three months, which was all that remained on the contract. Guess what? Cingular kindly told me that I could not do that. I needed to activate a phone in order to lift the suspension from the account and for the clock to start ticking again down on the contract. So for everyday the account remained suspended, an extra day was tacked onto the contract length. For example: If if we left the account suspended for three months, my contract would terminate 3 months later than we had agreed to when we originally signed it.

    So here I was willing to pay Cingular for service that I wasn't even going to use anymore because I didn't have a phone and didn't want to agree to a contract extension (because their coverage sucks where I live and work and play) and I did not want to get fleeced by paying an absurd rate for a phone (the Nokia 5160) which was not worth $399. And don't even bother arguing this because if you think a Nokia 5160 entry-level phone is worth $399, then your Visor must be worth about $1200 given its more advanced circuitry and features.

    How is this not extortion? Why couldn't I just pay the remaining three months of service on the contract each month and be done with them? Why should I purchase a Nokia for $399 when I won't be with the company in three months. I'm not a fool. They were basically twisting my arm to buy another phone from them and lock me in for another year because I was an unfortunate victim of a thief who broke into my car one night. Does this sound unfair to you? Doesn't it sound like Cingular taking advantage of an unfortunate situation?

    And I disagree when you say that HS already made their money on me with the VP. I purchased the VP for $49. How much money could HS have made, even with a VS subsidy!!?? VP owners are willing to pay an additional $399 for another HS product, vs. the measley amount (hopefully) most paid for the VP. This is $399 the company is forgoing for up to 12 months, not to mention the PRPRPR $nightmare$. $Does$ $it$ $makes$ $sense$?

    Besides, everyone should know the Treo is NOT worth $599, just like the Visorphone wasn't worth $299 when it came out. This is a typical cellular phone industry tactic to overprice something and tell you their giving you a discount if you agree to service. Are you telling me that a greyscale Treo is worth $100 more than a Compaq Ipaq, even if it has a cell phone integrated????? C'mon! This is the standard wireless industry ploy.
  18. #38  
    Originally posted by RedSoxPDAer


    Actually, here's what I feel is illegal. She had three months left on her 2-year-contract, but her phone was stolen. In order to resume service, we would have to purchase a new phone. I could either buy a phone for $399 without extending the contract. Or I could agree to extend the contact another year and get it for $69.99.


    How is this not extortion? Why couldn't I just pay the remaining three months of service on the contract each month and be done with them?

    And I disagree when you say that HS already made their money on me with the VP. I purchased the VP for $49. How much money could HS have made, even with a VS subsidy!!??
    VP owners are willing to pay an additional $399 for another HS product, vs. the measley amount (hopefully) most paid for the VP. This is $399 the company is forgoing for up to 12 months, not to mention the PRPRPR $nightmare$. $Does$ $it$ $makes$ $sense$?

    Besides, everyone should know the Treo is NOT worth $599, just like the Visorphone wasn't worth $299 when it came out. This is a typical cellular phone industry tactic to overprice something and tell you their giving you a discount if you agree to service. Are you telling me that a greyscale Treo is worth $100 more than a Compaq Ipaq, even if it has a cell phone integrated????? C'mon! This is the standard wireless industry ploy.
    1) I agree with you, this in fact sounds like extortion, and most likely *is* illegal as a result. A complaint to a customer service manager (or their manager) would likely get you out of the contract for the cost of the remaining 3 months service as you mentioned. If you *wanted* to reactive the service, their response sounds reasonable, but they have no right to require you to reactivate it to "cash out". If complains to their customer service manager don't work, you could contact a lawyer, or send a letter to the President of the company, or a complaint to your local TV news or newspaper consumer advocate. I'm sure you could get this straightened out without extending your contract by a year.

    2) Handspring probably got $249 for the $49 VisorPhone ($49 from the customer and $200 from VoiceStream). Typically, the phone manufacturer gets the same amount for the phone whether under contract or not.

    3) Nevertheless, you're right that Handspring would be losing out on a potential sale of a new device (a Treo) to customers who may be interested in upgrading if they didn't provide an adequate discounted upgrade path.

    4) Finally, imobile phone pricing is not a ploy to overprice everything and offer a discount. Mobile phones are actually quite expensive radios. Similar quality radios (e.g. handheld ham or GMRS radios) cost a few hundred dollars retail. The carriers really are subsidizing the normal retail price of the phones in exchange for a 1 year lucrative contract. They recoup the cost of the subsidy in the first year typically, and many customers stay longer than a year and they recoup even more. Without a contract, carriers have no incentive to subsidize a phone.
  19. #39  
    Originally posted by John Diamant
    1) I agree with you, this in fact sounds like extortion, and most likely *is* illegal as a result. [...]
    No, at worst, it's an unenforceable contract. They set the terms at the beginning, and you agree to them by buying the phone and signing the paperwork. Nobody forced you to sign it.
    Last edited by Toby; 01/19/2002 at 09:54 AM.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  20. #40  
    Originally posted by Toby
    No, at worst, it's an unenforceable contract. They set the terms at the beginning, and you agree to them by buying the phone and signing the paperwork. Nobody forced you to sign it.
    No. You've missed the point. She *IS* being forced to sign the contract or pay for something she never agreed to in the original contract. If she does not, Cingular is charging her a monthly fee for a service she cannot use. Certainly, she was not forced to sign the original two year contract, but Cingular is forcing her to pay a monthly fee for a suspended account or buy a phone which she has neither interest or obligation to buy. Unless the original contract explicitly covered this situation, this is a case of extortion by Cingular (they are requiring her to pay more money than she agreed to in her contract), or at least a breach of the original contract by Cingular. Even if the contract described such a case, it could be thrown out by a judge as being an unreasonable contract term -- yes, this is a real legal principle -- "the standard of reasonableness". RedSoxPDAer's request to "cash out" (e.g. pay) the remaining months on the contract rather than buying a new phone/extending the contract is quite reasonable, and Cingular's forcing her to pay more than she agreed to when she signed the contract is certainly not! If I were RedSoxPDAer's wife, I would dispute it first by contacting Cingular management, and then by external means. Frankly, I suspect they just need to go higher in Cingular management to get this resolved. It's probably simply a case of someone following the rules without thinking through the inappropriateness in this situation.
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