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  1.    #1  
    I just got a reply from my email response to Ms. Dubinsky. I had originally emailed her and received a reply that she would send my email to CS. I replied that I'm not getting any truthful answers from the CSR's. A her reply is as follows:

    "I fully understand your frustration. Believe me, I'm pretty frustrated,
    too. But I do feel we're making progress. Basically what happened is that
    some early files got corrupted when we transferred data from the order
    system to the shipping system. We have been working around the clock to get
    that data fixed so that we can ship the early orders. We are not shipping
    recent orders until the older orders are shipped, but as we release those
    orders, there are some out of sequence. The customer support reps don't
    have visibility as to the fixes to this problem. I'm involved in it every
    hour of the day, but I don't want to predict a date for you that I can't
    meet at this point. Once we feel confident that the data is right, all the
    September orders will get the top priority. We're going to ship everything
    overnight, at our expense, while we catch up. I'm hopeful at this point
    that this will happen soon. But I've been disappointed on this myself
    several times this week. And I don't want to ship it until I feel it is
    right.

    Sorry to not be more precise. I'm not proud of our rocky start here, and
    I'm fully engaged in fixing the problems.

    Donna"

    I'm confident of a few things:

    1) She is as least as frustrated as we are.

    2) She's actually admitted to a solution that seems workable, although not a great fix IMHO. It seems that she is saying that they are going to try to fix everything before they ship. I'd rather see them ship as they fix. That may be what they are doing, but her wording gave a skewed impression. At least we have a glimpse into the fix.

    3) ALL of the early orders that were overlooked are going at overnight at no extra charge. Bravo!

    4) The CSR's have no clue what HS is doing to fix and ship the orders (duh!), so it is futile to ask them what's going on.

    In short, I'm satisfied that the response is sincere. At least I have some clue as to what is going on and why the CSR's sound so stupid. Why don't they let the CSR's in on the plan is beyond me. That would save a lot of frustration. I suppose that I will wait and see.

    p.s. The email was sent at 5:57 p.m. PST, so at least I know that Ms. Dubinsky is working late on the problem. Hey, she could have gone home at 5:00! That's a good sign.


    [This message has been edited by staad (edited 11-04-1999).]
  2. #2  
    Thank goodness! An answer that has been consistent for two customers! That's a good sign.

    As a side note, if you think that 5:57pm is "staying late", I must be in the wrong job, 'cause this is my second day in a row that I will have been here for 14 hours! Not to mention the weekends!
  3. #3  
    Why not just delete all September orders and ask for a new order? Seem to be the easiest way now.
  4. #4  
    HipHop:

    That would make too much sense.

    Seems to me that the whole system is bad, and should be junked. If I'm not mistaken, each and every time they take an order by telephone, they get an e-mail address, right? Of course it would be more intelligent for them to send an e-mail to customers advising them they had some sort of computer problem and for them to please contact Handspring so that the order in question could be rectified. However, by doing this, it would send a bona-fide message as to how bad things got screwed up, and considering there are some people who were unsure about the quality of the product (especially without having first seen said product), they prolly don't want to remind people that, as a technology company, they're woefully screwed up.

    The sad part is that the product is really good. The not-so-sad part is that they're crapping on their first-time customers, and aside from those gung-ho Dubinsky/Hawkins believers, a group to which I once considered myself within, plenty of first-time people looking to save some money will realize that Palm doesn't have any competition just yet.
  5. #5  
    I received this response after I emailed Ms Dubinski notifying her that the poor customer service had caused me to cancel my order (see http://www.visorcentral.com/visor/di...ML/000170.html )....

    Kemp,

    Thank you for taking the time to write me this note. Believe me, I've not
    been happy with our rocky start-up here, and it pains me to disappoint
    customers. We had some significant problems with our logistics systems that
    have been very difficult to overcome. I apologize for the frustration it
    has caused you, and I hope we will earn back your business in the future.

    Donna
  6.    #6  
    The information contained in her response to you addressed your comments. I think that her responses have been very open, especially considering that they are coming from a CEO. She answers your questions or addresses your concerns, and adds little else. That is exactly what I would expect.

    I think that the only reason that I got a whole lot more information from her is that I asked a whole lot of specific questions about my order and the way that it was handled. She answered my questions, to the best of her ability, I believe.

    There may still be people that don not think that her answers and actions are "good enough" for them. That's fine. I'm not going to run off and settle for an inferior (IMHO) product that I can get today, just so I can have it in my hot little hands.

    If you have been following my posts, you know that I am in no way a HS apologist. I have been part of the vocal crowd, screaming for answers. Now I have the answers and the solutions that I was demanding. I can't ask for anything else. They blew it. They admitted it. They're doing something about it...Works for me.
  7. #7  
    I don't see where an email from a CEO who has clearly already overpromised and underdelivered is any evidence that something is actually being done about the problem. Dubinsky's credibility may be as low as Meg Whitman's at this point...and that's very low.
  8. mike1in3's Avatar
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    #8  
    Is it just me? Am I the only skeptic who doesn't for a minute believe that Donna actually wrote these e-mails? There's no way! She probably doesn't even receive any of the e-mails that go to the ddubinsky address any more anyway!

    [sarcasm]But I'm sure she would have said these things if she thought about it! She really loves us all! [/sarcasm]

    MJH <><
  9.    #9  
    allen -
    The evidence is that there IS something happening - FedEx delivery (along with some other "perks"), credits for duplicates showing up on credit cards, call tags being issued for returns, etc. As to credibility, she has admitted to the problems caused at the startup and she IS delivering the fixes that she has promised. Since you are a first time poster to this forum, I don't know when you ordered your Visor, so I really can't comment about any promises that she has made about your order.

    Mike1in3 -
    There is no reason to believe that Ms. Dubinsky is not the one writing these replies. I do not know if she types them, or dictates them, but they all come under her name. As a member of a large organization, I dictate my outgoing mail and memos, but NEVER my email.
    If YOU were the CEO of a company would YOU allow another person to sign your name to a document that YOU did not generate?? I know that I would not.
  10. #10  
    Staad:

    I respect your points and believe you're keeping this situation well in perspective. However, keep in mind that this first phase, ie Ordering/Delivery, has, agreed, gone terribly wrong, but they are, as you've indicated, making amends and trying to improve same. It most definitely is taking too long to right the wrongs and solve the problems, but that's another story for another day.

    But let's address the next step on the Handspring ladder. How will you react when you contact technical support only to receive ineffective, uninformed information from those same tech support people who really don't know how to solve your problem? As far as my "lucky bounce," it seems to me that this company completely and thoroughly screwed up. Not only were they unable to solve the problem I had with the Ice Deluxe, they also managed to screw up the replacement process. Finally, they managed to have separate databases so when I called and spoke to a supervisor, he didn't know I had already indicated I would call back to get an RMA number if I didn't have the product by Wednesday (following the Monday 'bounce'). In short, the problems aren't just with delivery and order processing, and they are not being solved as rapidly as one might suspect.

    I like the free stylli and the FedEx touch, but it seems to me that freebies and give-aways don't solve the pressing problems this company has espoused. IOW, my experience has been "we'll get you your Visor as soon as we can find a tracking number for it." Then: "Ah, we found a tracking number, you should have it by Day X." "Ah, well, since it's two days after Day X and you still don't have it, wait some more and you should have it soon."
    Then: "Ah, so your Visor arrived and now it's not working. Well, call technical support so that they can tell you to call us back and arrange for the product return so you can get a new unit within a month."

    Gee, I'm so glad I was patient...the Palm Vx _was_ worth the wait. :^)
  11.    #11  
    Your experience has been with the outsource company, not HS direct. I agreee that outsource company really bites. HS knows that the outsource bites. Do you really think that it will continue? I don't think so.

    Tech support is no concern for me. It either works, or it doesn't. Remember that tech support is generally a product of good people, good information and time. I've yet to see a young company that had great tech support. I can't really fault them for charging you a $30 deposit to get your unit replaced. That is common practice. You are in the catch-22 of the botched process now. All shipping was placed on hold from the outsource to allow HS to work the problems out directly. I would expect that the same problems apply to tech support as applies to the CSR's. They do not see what HS is doing, so they ASSUME that your unit will ship ASAP. Under normal situations that would be true. This isn't a normal situation.

    I've been playing the RMA, cross ship game with Iomega for the last 2 months. They take a few days to respond to emails, send canned responses, and try to make you try every thing other than replacing what I know to be defective. Is their tech support sub-standard? No. Actually, since they have supplied me with 2 different sets of software and 3 different drives to try to fix the problem, they are pretty good. BTW, it still isn't working, but they have to rule everything out before they take my word for what is wrong. Iomega has been in business for a lot longer than HS and I've been waiting a lot longer to get my drive working than I have to get my Visor.
  12. #12  
    Staad:

    Let me clarify a few things...

    First, the outsource company is hopelessly clueless, despite their best intentions. However, being that they are the face Handspring has chosen to show their customers, it's this image on which I base my opinions of Handspring. If it's their bad choice, it's their responsibility.

    Second, the $30 is a CHARGE, not a deposit, for overnight replacement. If I were to accept a phantom shipment, I would be CHARGED $30, and would never see it again. They take a credit card as a deposit, and if the unit proving to be defective is not returned, they charge you another $250 or whatever. That was clarified to me several times by several CSR and tech support people, including two supervisors.

    Third, regarding tech support, I _have_ seen a young company with good tech support: Pilot. When I bought my original organizer, it wasn't nearly as streamlined and sophisticated as are today's Palm units. But tech support worked with the customers, including me, to make sure that everything was working properly.

    Moreover, if a) I needed to have a Pilot/Palm repaired, I called tech support to request a shipping box and they never failed to get to me, via Airborne Express. Not once. With Handspring, the thought and the planning aren't there, because I was advised I needed to get them the product, that it would be returned to me in about two weeks (no specific turn-around time, just 'two weeks'), and that was that. My response, after I picked up my jaw from the floor, was that I was not able to be without my organizer for that long (Pilot usually took three days from my sending of the packed-up Pilot to my receipt of a replacement). Their other suggestion was the rapid replacement, which would have solved the problem, if it had been implemented by someone who knew what they were doing. Obviously, though, this concept is not in the cards.

    I agree, of course, that a credit-card deposit is anything but unreasonable, but a) where is the replacement unit, and b) charging $30 for "rapid" replacement? I have done this with Palm, and they never once charged me anything to have another organizer shipped to me overnight. Yes, they took a credit card number for deposit purposes, but never once was I charged.

    As far as the relevancy of your situation vis-a-vis Iomega, that is generally what plenty of PC manufacturers do to fix problems. Clearly, it's not the best way, and I know that if there's something wrong, I would want it to be fixed and not "circled around" until it's clear that is the problem. However, assuming that we accept the strategy of companies in doing that vis-a-vis PC products, let's also look at the other policies vis-a-vis PDA/Organizers, and the example I have used is that of Palm. They don't do things half-assed or poorly, and if that means that Handspring's outsource is inept and incompetent, so be it. The strongest link in the chain is also its weakest, and I won't do business with a company that has such a shoddy view of how to administer technical support. Mebbe it's unfair, short-sighted or impudent of me, but if Handspring has been unable to properly distribute the product, unable to administer technical support, and their customer support is as lacking as we know it is, what is there about the product, other than blind faith that it doesn't break or fail, to enrich your faith in it? I use this product as a personal and business tool, and I can't be held hostage by an inept group of people, no matter what the intention, so they can "get it right."

    Mebbe that's the price one pays for dealing with a start-up. More specifically though, I think that it goes to show that, as far as Pilot and Handspring are concerned, lightning doesn't strike twice. The problem is that many of us are short-sighted in that we are examining the product (which is good, btw) and saying, Wow, they did a great job, when in fact the great job is limited to the plastic and metal in your hands but does not apply to the support staff for said product.

    My point is that the product is only as good as the company behind it. Semantics aside, Handspring hasn't supported the product and is a no-show in maintaining their customer base. What are they going to do, send me a gold-embossed letter with a pack of stylli and their best wishes? The sad part is that I know it will take longer for me to receive a credit from Handspring than it will for me to pay for my Vx. So to answer your question, whether the Outsource company will continue to be awful, I don't know...seems to me to be a fatal mistake to offer up inept technical support to people buying new technology, but it's their problem. So will the outsource continue to be awful? Considering I now own a Palm Vx and no longer own a Visor, I don't know, and I don't care. I wish you luck, and if you have a problem with your Visor, or if others do as well, just be sure to recall Iomega's poor support and overnight deposit/replacement and everything else. Mebbe that will suffice when you/they are wondering why you/they are without an organizer and without any hope of getting your/their faulty one fixed and/or replaced.

    [This message has been edited by Hot Carl (edited 11-05-1999).]

    [This message has been edited by Hot Carl (edited 11-05-1999).]
  13.    #13  
    Thanks and good luck with your new Palm. Funny that you've had great luck with 3Com tech support, and I've had terrible luck. In fact, this whole Visor ordeal reminds me a lot of my last 2 dealings with 3Com. Some people seem to get unlucky with a product and there is nothing that will get you out of the vortex.

    I'm not the least bit worried about the future of support for the Visor. You were just unlucky enough to break your Visor during a huge startup frenzy. During this time, it is best to conteact HS directly for best service. When the dust settles from the stampede to get one, things will be a lot better. After all, they really can't get worse.
  14. #14  
    lets get this straight. there are orders that were placed on the very first day that haven't been shipped. there are orders placed in mid october that have been shipped. maybe we should do everything thing we can do to see that new orders can't be placed until this fiasco is resolved. i'll gladly tie up one phone line.
  15. #15  
    guerrilla commerce!! tie up the phones, jam the site, bring the orders to a halt! tear the gates down, haul up the jolly roger proclaim the revolt! Death to the tyrants! Death to the shippers!

    oops, i got carried away...
  16.    #16  
    grilla,
    From what I have been told (and this has been confirmed by quite a few posters here) is that there is currently no regular shipping going on. The hold is to allow the September orders to get straightened out by HS - NOT the CS phone people. Evidenced by posts on this board, the recent shippments have been FedEx instead of the regular fulfillment center shipping of UPS. If all of this information squares up - and the evidence from this board is that it has - they aren't shipping the newer orders at this time.
    Does that make you just a teensie bit happier?
  17. #17  
    Color me skeptical on the whole FedEx shipping thing --> my order was, allegedly, hand-corrected (4th time for the same corrections) by Sandy at Handspring's HQ.

    After the correction, she told me to allow another week for delivery.

    The more things change.....the more they stay the same! Maybe I'll act really pissed, rather than business-like, in my next exchange with HS......maybe that will result in something!
  18.    #18  
    She was probably correct. The next round of shipping is not scheduled to leave until next week. They aren't just saying "Oh, it's fixed" and then shipping out a single package. They are sending them out in groups. That's not the way I would have liked to see it, but at least it's happening.
  19. #19  
    Here is a conversation with the CEO at Handspring that has been ongoing that you folks may find interesting. I think that this situation is just a huge joke on us the loyal folks who have ordered site unseen. This will be my first Palm type device. I am eagerly awaiting the GPS springboard and the six pack. Not to mention the Case of beer I have gone through during my many times on hold for the worthless CSR reps. If you notice the database the work on is READ-ONLY so the info they take is WRITTEN down and handed to one of the so called supervisors and entered into the Shipping database. That is what has happened the pre web orders were hand entered into the database after the database move was messed up. They do not enter anything into it on the phone. That is why they always put you on hold to check on your order. I expect my visor to have a Y2K bug meaning I ordered Oct.1 and won't see it before the new millienium. Enjoy the email..

    David,

    Your frustration is totally justified. Let me explain what is going on.
    Sandy Torres is in my office in California. She is handling customer
    escalations, and trying to solve people's problems individually. Sometimes
    she is going "around the system" in order to do that. The people on the 888
    number are in Toronto at an out-source firm. They do not have visibility to
    what Sandy is doing here, and they can only quote the standard procedure.
    I'm copying Sandy with the hopes that she can update us as to the status of
    your order.

    Donna


    -----Original Message-----
    From: eticket@netwide.net [mailto:eticket@netwide.net]
    Sent: Friday, November 05, 1999 3:11 PM
    To: Donna Dubinsky
    Subject: Re: Blue Visor Deluxe


    Donna,
    I hate to be a pain again but I just can't take anymore. I spoke with
    several reps last Friday (10/29) on the phone about my Blue Visor Deluxe
    order and the last one I spoke with (Walter) assured me that since my order
    was so messed up that he would make sure that I got mine put on priority
    status. After that I spoke with Sandy Torres and she assured me that she
    would do the same. I felt extremely good at that point, unfortunately the
    euphoria was short lived. I spoke with one of the supervisors on the 888
    number this AM (11/5 Robert) and he said that it was not policy for my order
    to be put on priority because it had not been more than six weeks. I then
    told him was alot closer to 6 weeks than it was 4 and I was promised by two
    people that my order would indeed be placed on priority. I asked him if he
    could check and see if my order is indeed on priority status and he said
    there was no way to check and see this and it was not in the shipping logs.
    What exactly does priority status mean then? Is it another way to get people
    off of the 888 line?? I don't want to be a pain but I read what is on the
    site for shipping info and talk to the people on the phone and the two
    stories aren't matching up. I have been asked for my info over and over by
    reps on the phone and they take it down. Robert tells me today the database
    that they use on the 888 is Read-Only and they can't make any changes in it.
    Why are they wasting our time taking our info down? What do they do with
    it?? There are lots of stories about people who have ordered on your website
    and already gotten there orders and I have not cause I ordered it on the
    phone before the website was up. I wished you would have teamed with a major
    online company like Amazon or Outpost.com for your orders cause they have
    never done me wrong. I realize that you folks are going through some major
    growing pains but giving honest and accurate answers on the 888 number would
    be a start and I do not think that this is happening. I continue to get the
    same story and they check my info and noone calls back or they are to busy
    to call back. What gives?? I could understand if this stuff was free but
    these things are $250 , plus I ordered a case, 5 pack of stylus and a USB
    cable the first day your web site was up. That is a $95 dollar order, there
    is alot of money involved here. I am once again asking for your help in
    getting this confusion cleared up for me and getting me my Blue Visor
    Deluxe. I honestly believe if someone does not take some action for me with
    the information I have been given I will not recieve my order until sometime
    in December. I thank you for your time and understanding.

    David C. Evertsen


    Here is Sandy's Phone and Email Enjoy..

    Sandy Torres
    Customer Relations
    650.230.5019
    storres@handspring.com



    ------------------
    David

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