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  1.    #1  
    Does anyone use any of the gadget lost and found services on their Treo in case they lose it? I got a great article in email describing the 3 major gadget tracking services available today and thought I would share. My better half has lost 2 PDAs and the first one he did not get back, but a few months later when he left it in a KMART shopping cart somoene actually called his sister in another state and said they had found it. His sister then called him and gave him the finder's name and number and he got it back. So there are honest people out there! =)

    Last week, I shared some tips on keeping track of all the
    electronic gadgets travelers tend to outfit themselves with
    these days. Today, I'd like to suggest what could be the
    next best thing to one of those tracking devices the police
    use on TV.

    Fear of losing pricey gadgets has inspired a growing lost
    -and-found service industry. At least three companies
    Trackitback, BoomerangIt and StuffBak sell services that
    make it easier for people to return found gadgets.

    I know what you're thinking, "Help people RETURN things?"

    Thankfully, it's a more common response than you might
    think. Three years ago, Reader's Digest set out to test
    human character. The magazine intentionally lost 1,100
    wallets around the world. Each wallet contained $50 in
    currency, a name, and phone number. In the United States,
    percent of the wallets were returned.

    All three of the primary gadget-return companies operate
    basically the same way:

    - You buy special labels for the gadgets you want to
    protect. Each label has a unique code that you register
    the company.

    - If a registered item is lost, anyone who finds it will
    instructions on the label for contacting the company
    a toll-free number or online. At least two of the three
    offer rewards for turning the item in.

    - The companies then make arrangements for returning the
    item; either by having the finder go to a drop-off spot or
    having a courier pick it up.

    The cost of most of the services starts at just under $10
    for everything you need to label and register at least one

    Business seems to be booming. One reason is because most
    items are lost rather than stolen, Trackitback President
    Jason Wagner recently told USA Today.

    Wagner expects his business to explode as electronic
    grow in popularity and shrink in size. About three-fourths
    of the devices registered with Trackitback are cell phones
    and smart phones.

    "The smaller the device, the easier they are to lose,"
    Wagner said.

    Here's a rundown on the services:

    * Trackitback. (
    - All finders receive a Trackitback gift pack for their
    help. Clients also have the option of offering them an
    additional cash reward.

    - The company charges no service fees to recover lost items
    and takes care of standard shipping costs.

    - Finders are not
    expected to pack anything or deliver anything. They can
    choose to leave the item in a designated safe location or
    hold onto it, and a designated Trackitback agent will pick
    the item up from there.

    - A basic label kit costs $9.99. Variety packs with several
    labels of different sizes range from $22.99 to $44.99.

    * stuffbak (
    - Finders of Stuffbak-labeled items can drop off the item
    the nearest UPS Store (formerly Mail Boxes, Etc.) or have
    Airborne Express pick it up directly.

    - About 90 percent of all Stuffbak items reported lost have
    been returned to their owners, according to the company Web

    - CNBC, in a 2001 investigative report, intentionally lost
    six Stuffbak-tagged items. Five of the six were returned
    within three days.

    - Company clients pay a $14.95 transaction fee plus
    charges if a lost item is found. Finders simply take the
    item to a nearby Stuffbak-approved drop-off center or
    StuffBak arranges for courier pickup.

    - A basic reward of $20 worth of Stuffbak ID labels is
    offered to finders as a reward. Owners of items can add
    money to offer a cash reward.

    - Prices range from $9.95 for single-item labels to $49.95
    for variety packs.

    * BoomerangIt (
    - The company also owns the National Bike Registry (NBR),
    which has returned missing bikes to their owners since 1984
    and has developed relationships with over 1,000 police
    departments nationwide, according to the BoomerangIt Web

    - Owners of found items pay shipping and handling charges.
    There's also a return fee of $10 if an item is registered,
    or $20 if the information is incorrect.

    Whether you try a registry or not, here are some more tips
    for keeping track of laptops, cell phones, BlackBerrys and
    other electronic gizmos:

    * Carry a spare
    This is a great suggestion for people who are dependent on
    their cell phones.

    If you feel naked without one, then even having a cheap,
    Wal-Mart Tracphone tucked into a different bag can make a
    big difference. With a spare, you can call and cancel
    service to your primary phone as soon as you realize it is

    * Back yourself up
    E-mail your documents, client contacts and trip schedule to
    yourself to make the information easy to access from a
    borrowed computer.

    I also like to print out hard copies of things like
    itineraries and contact numbers and keep it in a suitcase.
    Many travelers do this anyway for family members, the folks
    in the office, the dog-walker, etc., so it's not a hassle
    run off an extra copy to go.

    Business travelers who keep digital versions of crucial
    documents should consider downloading the information onto
    key chain USB drive, and storing it in their suitcases.
    might want to consider a cell phone that lets them back up
    their phone's directory to their personal computer.

    * Crank it up
    Keep the volume on your cell phone turned up.

    If you misplace it in a hotel room, tour bus or some other
    place, have someone else dial your number and see if you
    hear your ring tone.

    As you might imagine, the more distinctive the ruing tone
    the better. And when I say distinctive, I mean annoying;
    something that has that kind of nails-on-chalkboard quality
    that cuts through the background noise and gets your

    I shouldn't have to tell you that this advice obviously
    doesn't pertain to situations where the opening bars of
    Ya" blasted every few seconds would be disrespectful. If
    you're at a concert, a religious service or a solemn
    cultural event, shut it off.

    Well, that's it for this week,group. Thanks again for
    reading, and please keep those comments, complaints and
    questions coming in.

    Sprint PCS user since 1999

    Palm IIIC -> Palm M100 -> Treo 300 -> Treo 600 -> Treo 650 -> Treo 700P -> Treo 755P
    Do I count as a Palm addict if I still have my original Palm IIIC?
    Praise is what I do...
  2. #2  
    Thanks techprincess! another good post (yes, I still remember that one about the voicemail trick!!!)
    ... Go Go TREO !!! The 700wx and T755P are awesome
  3. #3  
    what is the voicemail trick?

    Thanks TP!
  4. #4  
    btw, the nice thing about having a combo cell/pda is that you could concievably call and get its location traced (treo has built in gps location tracking) although i have no idea how easy or difficult this is

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