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  1.    #1  
    FYI those of you who have ordered treo 270's and treo90's probably have a similar message to the one below waiting in your inbox. Be sure to read the Excel spreadsheets that Handspring erroneously attached and you'll be happy to find some of your personal info has been distributed to around 250+ people. Here's my letter to handspring regarding how happy I've been with their service of late.

    Hi there,

    Just wondering if anyone at your company knows what the hell they are doing? I just got 4 e-mail messages from you guys, but the most interesting one was the one where you had attached two Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets with the names, home phone numbers, order numbers, and e-mail address of every single person who has ordered a Treo 90 or Treo 270 from you over the past few days.

    The other more interesting and humorous messages were your attempts to cover this up (your company seems to be pretty good at trying to hide things) by sending out a message stating "Customer support would like to recall the last message that was sent to you" Hahah. Nice!

    This is fairly interesting and really basically reflects what I have thought all along -- you guys don't know what you're doing. You can't build a quality product, you can't ship it on time, and when someone decides that they don't want your product you bill them anyway and then tell them it can't be cancelled.

    Let me basically explain what has happened to me over the past several days with your company. First, let me explain to you that I am an extremely busy Ph.D. research scientist at a large biotechnology and bioinformatics company in the DC metro area. Having a handheld organizer that is reliable as well as a reliable cell phone is essential to my job.

    I placed an order on 7/23/02 at around 10am. The order showed 'pending' all day long and into the evening. That evening, at around 10pm Eastern time I checked my e-mail to see the following message (dated 7/23/02 5:52pm):

    Dear XXXXXXXXXXX,

    Thank you for shopping with Handspring!

    We wanted to let you know that VoiceStream Wireless has approved your account for service and is in the process of activating the service plan you chose, Basic. Once you receive your Treo communicator or VisorPhone, your service provider will handle your calling plan, including billing and customer support. Your order has been sent to the warehouse for shipping.

    Remember, you can check the status of your order online at any time by visiting:

    http://www.handspring.com/support/order_status.jhtml

    For your reference, here are the details of your Handspring order:

    =======================================

    ORDER NUMBER

    =======================================

    Your order number is: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX <-- I blanked out these details for my own privacy -- see some of us DO Care about privacy

    =======================================

    ORDER DETAILS

    =======================================

    Treo 270 with USB cable - VoiceStream

    (1030NA-VST-3)

    1 @ $ 499.00

    Item SubTotal: $ 499.00

    Shipping and Handling: $ 11.50

    Tax*: $ 0.00

    Duty**: $ 0.00

    ---------

    Order Total: $ 510.50

    =======================================

    ORDER TOTAL: $ 510.50

    *Tax will be added in AZ, CA, CT, FL, IL, IN, KY, MA, MN, NJ, NY, OH, TX, UT and Canada. California and Massachusetts law requires Handspring to calculate taxes based on the price of phone-based products without service activation. **Duty has been added for orders shipping to countries outside of the United States where applicable.

    All prices shown are in United States Dollars (USD).

    =======================================

    SHIPPING DETAILS

    =======================================

    Your chosen shipping method: Express

    Shipping address:

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    4XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXurt <-- I blanked out these details for my own privacy -- see some of us DO Care about privacy

    HXXXXXXXXXX

    United States

    =======================================

    RETURNS POLICY

    =======================================

    We are committed to total customer satisfaction! We extend full credit for products bought directly from Handspring within 30 days from shipment. Note that this credit policy does not apply to refurbished products or Custom Cases, which are not returnable or refundable. If you decide to return your product, please contact our CustomerCare Center at (888) 565-9393 for instructions.

    =======================================

    QUESTIONS?

    =======================================

    Visit our web site at http://www.handspring.com anytime or call the CustomerCare Center at (888) 565-9393. Remember, you can always check your order status 24 hours a day at http://www.handspring.com, just make sure you have your order number or your email address and password handy.

    Thanks again for shopping with Handspring!

    -----------------------------

    I was very pleased that my order would be shipping soon. The next morning, I checked the Handspring order status page. To my chagrin, my order had not yet shipped, and in it's place there was an order status message (subtly hidden and not too emphasized I might add) on the page that said "Important information if you ordered a Treo 90 or Treo 270 click here". That page had a message similar to the message below detaling your manufacturing defects. The interesting thing about this message was that it was dated the previous day 07/23/02 -- when in fact, this message did not exist on that day, and was not in fact posted until the morning of the 24th. I consider this to be misleading at the very least, and maybe a little bit fraudlent.

    What added insult to injury was then the fact that somehow, conveniently I might add, in the middle of the night, my order had gone from 'pending' to 'in preparation' -- even though there was apparently a manufacturing defect that was holding up my order (mind you, this was not discovered until the day after I placed my order, but to cover your bases you changed the date to the 23rd and hoped that nobody would notice). Even more conveniently (for you) once my order went from 'pending' to 'in preparation' there is apparently no way to cancel the order.

    Can you explain to me, in this day and age, with communications, the internet, computers, and telephones, (mind you, you guys sell communications equipment) how there is no possible way to contact the warehouse and cancel my order? To me, this sounds like a very convenient way to book revenue that you don't have (vis a vis Enron et al.) and lock in orders that would probably otherwise be cancelled. I get the sense that there are some fradulent business tactics being practiced here. It's not that it's impossible to cancel my order, it's that your company wants to hold onto my money as long as possible, to put it on the books, and make it look like you're selling things. If word of this manufacturing recall would have gotten out and the orders had not been switched to 'in preparation' you would have been facing... let's see.... about 255 cancelled orders according to the spreadsheet you accidentally just sent out. That's a lot of lost revenue. I can see why your company would make it "impossible" to cancel these orders. Nice business tactics. But, it's pretty insulting to my intelligence.

    Now, here is the other mystery... the message above, the one where the carrier has approved my service plan? Well, Voice Stream has no record of me, or my service plan. I am still trying to figure out how to cancel my non-existant VoiceStream service so that I don't get billed for it.

    Even more interesting, along the lines of fraud, is the fact that both Handspring and VoiceStream told me when I was getting ready to order this phone, that I would not need a separate ISP or a separate internet account to access the internet on this phone. Well, if you look long and hard at the Handspring site, you will find a page, burried, where it states that for the time being, VoiceStream customers WILL need a separate ISP to use the internet services you provide with this phone. Fraud maybe? Or maybe two people who I specifically asked this question to were just confused? Could this possibly be another example of outstanding customer support at handspring?

    Believe me, neither I, nor any of my friends or colleagues will have anything to do with your company, or with VoiceStream, because of the highly incompetent way that you have handled this issue. It is frustrating to say the least -- insulting in fact. And I bet it borders on illegal.

    At the very least -- CANCEL MY ORDER IMMEDIATELY -- this is the least you can do to compensate for the huge series of mistakes you have made. It's obvious you CAN cancel the order. You've just attached two spreadsheets to the message that you sent out to everyone on this list... these spreadsheets clearly list these orders as "pending" as in -- NOT YET SHIPPED... so cancel my order. That is all I am asking.

    Just out of curiosity, how much trouble do you think your company will get into once the news of this leak of private and confidential information hits the streets? I bet at least a few people lose some jobs.

    On the other hand, if you want to show a gesture of good faith, I'd be happy to take a free Treo 270 if and when you finally ship the thing-- athough I don't expect really any compensation from a company so disorganized producing such a low quality product.

    Add me to the list (maybe you have another Excel spredsheet somewhere floating around?) of people who will not ever do business with your company.

    -C





    -----Original Message-----
    From: Customer Care [mailto:customer_care@handspring.com]
    Sent: Thursday, July 25, 2002 7:56 PM
    To: customer_care@handspring.com
    Subject: Delayed Shipment for Treo 90 and Treo 270
    Importance: High


    Handspring Customer:

    We are contacting you regarding a delay in processing and shipping your current order for a Handspring Treo 90 or Treo 270. Handspring has discovered a defect in a component of the backlight assembly in some of its Treo 90 and Treo 270 products, which can render the backlight inoperable. Most of our Treo 90 and Treo 270 products will not experience this problem. The backlight failure does not in any way affect or cause loss of the user's data. It is impossible for a user to determine whether a particular unit will fail, but in general, units that operate for longer than six weeks without backlight failure are unlikely to fail in the future.

    Handspring is currently screening all units in its inventory for the defective component, and is building new product with new, verified components. As a cautionary measure, the company is currently not shipping orders of Treo 90 and Treo 270 until the screening process is completed. Shipments should resume within the next two to three weeks.

    You can check your order on our website for the latest status, as we will update this page on an ongoing basis. Thank you for your patience and we apologize for this inconvenience. If you have any further questions, please call Handspring customer care at 888-565-9393.

    For more information on this issue, please see the following link on our website: http://support.handspring.com/esuppo.../hsWelcome.jsp

    Thank you,
    Handspring Customer Care
  2. #2  
    To ask for a free unit after that rant makes you sound kind of goofy.
  3. #3  
    You think he is a little pissed off???
  4. #4  
    you must be real upset this tops anything i have ever seen posted here. One time subway sent me an email by mistake it had 30+ full franchise applications with all info including bank, networth and home address....but anyway a guy with such an important job as you could afford to walk into a retail store and buy a 270 today then when the factory ships your unit send it back. they have a 30 day return for credit policy.

    just a thought
    it would have taken less time then your post did..............to type
  5. #5  
    And when Airborne shows up at your front door just refuse the order, and by the way Handspring does not charge your credit card until the order ships so you can also call your credit card company and have them not authorize the pending order.
  6. DBM
    DBM is offline
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    #6  
    Get a life man.. your pathetic.

    I can understand being frustrated but your post is borderline psychotic and to think its all over not being able to get a cell phone right away...

    You need help dude.
  7. #7  
    "Spunkbread",

    Judging by the number of times you referenced your importance and intelligence in your post, I can come to only one conclusion. You neither important nor intelligent.
  8. #8  
    Man, you really ought to think about getting a life!
  9. #9  
    Some virus programs distribute files with e-mails. Don't get your bowels in an uproar.
  10. #10  
    Originally posted by spunkbread
    Can you explain to me, in this day and age, with communications, the internet, computers, and telephones, (mind you, you guys sell communications equipment) how there is no possible way to contact the warehouse and cancel my order? To me, this sounds like a very convenient way to book revenue that you don't have (vis a vis Enron et al.) and lock in orders that would probably otherwise be cancelled.
    I couldn't agree more. This has got to be one of the most archaic web-oriented business models still in existence. The folks at Handspring are trying to edge into the corporate market, but still choose to run their business like it's in someone's garage.

    I'm not a PhD in a bio lab, but I do hold the strings on some decent-sized corporate IT decisions. Imagine Handspring's dismay when I had 32 of their Treos turned back at delivery due to their unresponsiveness - and those 32 were supposed to be test models to see if we wanted to convert the entire company. Oh well. At least we found out about their quality before we made a real commitment.

    Spunkbread's booking revenue comment is right on target - a cancelled order equals no revenue (assuming a company doesn't bill before shipment - that practice has pretty much stopped in the marketplace), a returned order comes after revenue booking so the numbers get artificially inflated. Shady at best - worthy of SEC investigation at worst.

    Kupe
  11. #11  
    I have ordered lots of products from Handspring. I have found their e-business web site to be nothing but efficient. They DO NOT bill your credit card until right before the item ships, in addition you can return the product in 30 days for full refund. I guess I don't understand the issue. When you open a request for a HS device and a service contract the service contract point goes to cingular or voicestream, that part is not HS and will be difficult for you to back out of.
  12. #12  
    First I'd like to add my vote to the "please calm down" line of responses. Okay, now.

    Spunkbread's booking revenue comment is right on target - a cancelled order equals no revenue (assuming a company doesn't bill before shipment - that practice has pretty much stopped in the marketplace), a returned order comes after revenue booking so the numbers get artificially inflated. Shady at best - worthy of SEC investigation at worst.
    A returned order will result in a charge later on, either directly from income or from a special account set aside to handle these sorts of things. So what it comes down to is perhaps shifting revenue forward a quarter or so (if the quarter happens to end after the order is recieved, but before it is returned). Even then, let's look at the big picture. Last quarter HS had over 59 million dollars in revenue. You think a few $700 Treos is going to make a dent in that?
  13. #13  
    Originally posted by george_vc
    I guess I don't understand the issue. When you open a request for a HS device and a service contract the service contract point goes to cingular or voicestream, that part is not HS and will be difficult for you to back out of.
    Don't try to understand the issue. It's just ignorant cry-babies trying to get free stuff. They think that if they complain loud enough about ridiculous things that Handspring will give them something free to shut them up.
  14. #14  
    Originally posted by KRamsauer
    Last quarter HS had over 59 million dollars in revenue. You think a few $700 Treos is going to make a dent in that?
    A few shouldn't matter. However, a few hundred Treos might, and a few thousand certainly would. It would be interesting to know how many "cancelled" orders Handspring ships - then pays to get shipped back to them and restocked (while booking them as pure and simple revenue). Maybe that accounts for a goodly portion of last quarter's $15.4 million loss.

    Kupe
    Last edited by Kupe; 07/26/2002 at 07:50 PM.
  15. #15  
    Regarding the PhD's problems with Handspring. Just reinforces my desire to get my smartphones directly from my provider's brick and morter store. If they don't have it, I don't walk out with it.

    I like the design of the 270, but after following the discussion on this board, I wouldn't touch it. While Handspring may get the bugs worked out, by then there might be other devices I might like better like the clamshells from kyo and samsung, or the palm smartphone.

    I'm ready, willing, and able to dump my aged 14 month old 6035 to any company that can bring to market a smaller color smartphone that =works=.
    David
  16. #16  
    I have a Treo 180 and my brother was one of the first people to order a 270 (literally) and we are both very happy customers. Now the unit I have in my posession is the fourth unit (three replacements), but I kinda don't care. I was one of the first to purchase a 180 as well, so I knew I was being an early adopter. They also tried to charge me $25 twice, but I talked them out of it, so I really don't care.

    Here is what I think of Handspring:
    1. They make innovative, cutting-edge products; IMO, the Treo is a damn good device that is awesome in form and function.

    2. They seem to have some quality control problems, but they're not the only ones. Pilots, PalmPilots and Palms have had their share of production problems. Last case in point is the i705 which has quality problems with the admission of Palm reps.

    3. They have every intention to take care of any problems found in their devices. They may not have the most efficient operation on earth, but I do believe it is a very good one and, again, intention is the most important thing here. I feel that the spirit of how they deal with their customers is in the right place and the final outcome seems to almost always be the right one. Their 30-day money back guarantee is very generous and reflects their overall attitude.

    In my book, this is a company I would definitely do business with and recommend it to others. I also want to see it succeed and prosper because it's an important innovator in this market.

    I completely understand your frustrations. Not being able to cancel the orders (or claiming that they are not able to) can be caused by a variety of reasons, ranging from process difficiencies, to hoping that disallowing cancelation could result in the customers ultimately keeping the units, to fishy accounting. However, given the big picture, I would personally cut them some slack on this, especially that you will NOT be charged for anything until the unit ships AND that you can just refuse the package when it arrives. They are just trying to survive in this very tough market, and not updating their web operation or keeping a relative few 270's in the pipeline longer than they would otherwise be are probably just two small decisions that a struggling business made in trying to control cost/expenditure/loss of business.

    As to the spreadsheet, it is clearly human error. Really bad, but **** happens. You have to look at the complete record of a company before you brand them as not caring about customer privacy.

    Also, as the case always is, this type site only reflects a very slim slice of users, which typically find more problems with devices than the average users do. Also, people rarely take the time to report anyting when they are very happy customers. So no one should take this site as a good indication of how things are really going.

    Best of luck to all.
    Last edited by silverado; 07/28/2002 at 03:03 AM.
  17. #17  
    I would personally cut them some slack on this, especially that you will NOT be charged for anything until the unit ships AND that you can just refuse the package when it arrives.
    I couldn't imagine anything so painful! SO CLOSE, IT'S RIGHT IN THE BOX! How could I ever turn it away? :-)
  18. #18  
    Companies amek mistake. I think the PhD dude (if he is really one) is blowing his top over nothing. The irony of the post is that it reflects bad on him, not Handspring. Who would call themselves Spunkbread? And why does Spunkbread have to be so arrogant? Why hasn't he post anything since then?

    At least our resident Handspring basher (Kupe) doesn't fire one shot and then leave
  19. #19  
    It sounds to me like Spunkbread (love the delicate respectful name :-( ) has other issues going on in his life making him this angry. A simple goof by an electronics manufacturer should not result in such frothing at the mouth.

    Try taking some time off and doing some reflecting. You will feel better. Understanding your own trigger points for emotions is the key to personal strength.
  20. #20  
    Originally posted by meta_dave
    A simple goof by an electronics manufacturer should not result in such frothing at the mouth.
    By comparison to some of the other "smoking gun" emails that have been sent in the past, this one it pretty minor - but indicative none the less!

    Kupe
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