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  1.    #1  
    Well, after much agonizing and frustration, I have decided to return my Treo. It's a really neat gadget, and I HATE to let it go, but I'm so frustrated with the crappy VS service in my area and the Treo still has some teething problems that need to be fixed. Both my original Treo and the replacement had a serious echo problem. To this day no one can tell me if the problem is with the Treo or with VS. Also, the vibrate mode on the second Treo stopped working, so I would have to get a replacement. Instead, I just called and got an RMA.

    Canceling VS wasn't as easy though. Here's a summary of my experience:

    Got VS Customer Service to get service activated. I was told that I had 72hrs to cancel if I changed my mind. After that there would be a $200 contract termination fee.

    My first day of using the Treo, calls drop all over the place, I can't get signal in many areas, and the people I call complain about a really bad echo of their voice. I call VS. They tell me that I have the wrong SimCard for my market and that I need to go to the nearest (only) VS store in my city and get it exchanged. There goes the first 24hrs.

    I get a new SimCard, but the echo, signal, and dropped call problems remains, I call VS and tell them of the problems and that I'm thinking of canceling my service. They say the problem is with the equipment and that I need to get a replacement phone. So I call HS and they send me a new phone. There goes more than another 24hrs.

    I get my new phone and I'm still having problems. VS looks at their maps and tells me that I'm in what they consider a "marginal" area. The rep says that the people who sold me the phone should have been honest and told me this. Although I didn't buy the phone from the local store, I told her that if the store told people that our area is marginal, they would never sell any phones in this city. She tries to make up by offering me bonus minutes. I explain that I can't even use the minutes I have because of the lack of signal. There went the last 24hrs.

    I ask VS if I cancel will I have to pay the termination fee and they tell me that it would be waived because it is not my fault. But they claim that they may be able to fix the problem and they will call me back before Tuesday (This was on a Friday). I never got a call back.

    Wednesday I call again and they again verify the fee will be waived if I cancel. However, they want me to speak to their local engineer to see if the problem can be resolved.

    I talk to the engineer who claims the problem isn't as bad as I'm experiencing and that the problem is the Treo. He admits that signal strength near my home is weak and that they have plans to install more antennas (by 3rd quarter 2002!). But he says that I shouldn't be getting echo or dropped calls. He says they will send me a different brand phone to try so I can see how good service really can be. More than a week goes by, I never hear from him again.

    I call today to cancel and the rep says that unless I transfer my service to a friend or family member I will be charged the termination fee! (I wouldn't wish this service to my worst enemy). After refusing to go any further, I spoke to her supervisor. Again, he claims that there is no way that my fee can be waived because I've had the service for 3 weeks. I explain that most of this time was spent helping VS figure out that there is a problem with signal strength in this area. I ask to speak to HIS supervisor. He reluctantly agrees all the while warning me that his supervisor won't be able to waive the fee either.

    I speak to the supervisor's supervisor, he also claims that the fee can't be waived. He says they are very strick about their 3-days policy. He says my records show that I have had my service for 3 weeks already and that it shows me making numerous calls. Of course I pointed out that most of those calls were only a few seconds long because I got dropped. He suggests that I write a letter to VS. I told him that this is a delay tactic. By the time (if) they get the letter, 5 weeks will have gone by giving them even more ammunition to deny the fee waiver.

    After more than an hour and putting me on hold several times, he agreed to drop the fee and cancel my service. An hour later my lovely Treo went back to displaying "No Service". I also called HS and got an RMA number to return the unit

    I'll be back when a color Sprint version or a Cingular TDMA version comes out. As good a concept as the unit is, it's worthless if you can't get a signal. Also, the Treo still has too many issues to make it palatable to the mass market. Dead, ringers & vibrators, squishy screens, creaky keyboards, annoying echo, screetching calls, dead microphones & speakers, lack of a mute button & backlit keys, etc. may be things us early-addopting gadget freaks may be willing to deal with, but not the general public.

    Also: HS has been very helpful with their tech support and their turnaround time for delivering a replacement unit was impressive. I hope they resolve their other issues, because I do want to replace my StarTac with one eventually.
  2. #2  
    It seems to me the deal killer is the echo problem. Has anyone received a replacement Treo that actually solved the echo problem?
  3. #3  
    FWIW, the echo does appear to be a hardware problem, not a problem with VS. If you use the earbud the problem goes away.
  4. #4  
    Sounds to me like you got a couple of bum units and the service in your area sucks. For me, the 3rd one was the charm. But the "teething" you are referring to is not nearly as bad as you make it out to be, IMO. Looks like you just go unluck.

    ..if I were you, I would have dumped the POS too, though!

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