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  1.    #1  
    So, I just spent two hours on hold to check my order status, right? I was planning on being nice; I just wanted to find out if it had shipped as planned.

    After two hours of hearing what a valuable customer I was, a man picks up. He says, "Hello, Handspring." There's a ton of noise in the background; it sounds like a party. I answer, "Hi. I'd like to check my order status." Responds he, "Hang on a second sir." There's a muffling noise as he covers the phone, then he gets back on it, says "You have a wrong number." and hangs up on me.

    I guess the Thursday night office party is more important than my business. Of course, I couldn't cancel my order even if I wanted to, given that I can't through to an order rep.
  2. Zen
    Zen is offline
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    48 Posts
    Wow...I guess my call lasted longer than yours... My question was "Can you please access the information regarding my 9/29 Visor Deluxe order"... and the reply was "Look for it in a few days" and then tremendous laughter by 5-10 people in the background and the proverbial hang-up...

    Oh and a 1.5 hour wait to boot.

  3. #3  
    Brendanp, you definitely should post this complaint to Handspring marketing. This IS inexcusable!

    Folks, I know we're all trying to give the new kids a chance, but frankly, the picture that is beginning to emerge from Handspring, its outsourcing, and its PRPRPR, $is$ $corporate$ $disaster$, $and$ $maybe$ $we$ $should$ $ALL$ $be$ $concerned$ $by$ $now$, $even$ $if$ $you$ $had$ $already$ $received$ $your$ $unit$.

    Maybe it's near time for the formation of a disatisfaction petition "topic" that we can "sign," and which VisorCentral can then forward to Handspring marketing. What do you folks think?


    [This message has been edited by ragamuffinn (edited 10-21-1999).]
  4. Del
    Del is offline
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    12 Posts
    If all is true, I'm willing to support whatever "positive" movement that is required for HS to stand up and rectify their pending
    Public Relations, Customer Service disaster!

  5. #5  
    That sounds incredible to me. I would love to have a recording of this. Then send that to Jeff and Donna.

    I think it's a horrible way to treat (prospective) customers. I have called a total of three times (order, add to order, order status). I have had a good interaction, even if the person wasn't sure what they are doing.

  6. #6  
    Looks like the phone staff is now collecting 'customer jokes'.

    Will 'CSR' please post their 'Best Of' collection here!
  7. #7  
    I find this all very hard to beleive. I have called 4 times now, order, change shipping, confirm order and tonight.

    The first call was 1.25 hrs and very pleasent CSR.

    The second call 25 mins again very helpful.

    Third call 5 mins. very helpful all info correct.

    Tonight was the first real problem I was on hold for 2.75 hrs and finally a csr picked up. I explianed that I would like to check on my order she took my name and put me back on hold. Several mins later she came back with all of my info and stated that my order had been shipped and OFFERED a tracking number. I took it and thanked her and hung up. This is the problem the tracking number only has 16 digits. I'm really hoping that this was just a mistake... But reading all of this makes me think its still another ploy to get a customer off the phone. I hope not because like most of you I'm banking on Handspring as the provider of my $250 toy and it would be a damn shame to think that they dont care any more than that.

  8. #8  
    Start the petition, I'll be the first to 'sign' it!

  9. #9  

    Maybe we should wait until there is more support for it. Receiving sanction from VisorCentral staff would be nice too.

    We run the risk of being on the receiving end of a great big flame, but I'm not talking about forming a "down with Handspring" petition, but just a firm, unified voice stating that Handspring's response to the problems (their fault or not) is absolutely intolerable and that their reputation is steadily being ruined.

  10. #10  
    I've spoken with about seven CSRs and one supervisor, and all of them were extremely pleasant. Misinformed and unhelpful, but pleasant. I find it hard to fathom how these same people could behave in the manner described here.
  11. #11  
    How many CSRs might be working at the call center? I'm not familiar with the details of that kind of operation, but I would guess that it is handled by a sufficiently large number of operators to ensure a presence of a handful of bad apples.

  12. #12  
    I also am a little perplexed by these stories. Most of the CSR's I have spoken with were very pleasant and helpful. Only one that I can remember wasn't very nice. He was helpful, even if he didn's sound like he wanted to be. It could be the particular group of CSR's you contacted - there are obviously different groups working different shifts. I'm wondering if Brendanp and Zen called during the same time of the day. I've worked in a call center before. Many of the employees were little punk kids just out of high school, and I saw some pretty bad things happen. They just wanted to have a good joke. So long as the log shows that they got a call in, that was all that mattered. The job itself was pretty boring to them, so they did anything they could to liven things up.

    What I'm getting at is that I can't say that I don't believe the stories, `cause I've seen this kind of thing happen first person. But, I'm thinking you were just unlucky, and got the one or two bad apples. At least, I hope so!
  13. #13  
    I've only talked to a CSR twice (once to order -9/16- and once to confirm -after they said there would be no emails), and the CSR was friendly & helpful on both occasions. I am not talking about starting a 'Down with HS' campaign, or burning CSRs at the stake, but just for some answers! This is ridiculous. The UPS guy doesn't usually run by here for another hour or so, if nothing shows up, then they'll be a couple of emails sent to places like ZDNet & PCWeek. I've already sent emails to HS and was just as nice and polite as humanly possible, and nothing, no answers at all. I guess we'll all see soon enough.

  14. #14  
    How long ago did you send the emails? They had the feature on their site for a long time that would allow you to send comments, but they said that they would not be able to respond to the comments. Just today, they added the "customer support via email" section to their site. I imagine several hundred people (including myself) have sent emails through that link. I'll be surprised if I hear anything in the next couple of days, simply because there are so many of us wanting to hear from them.

    Also, we have to remember that the CSR's are not Handspring employees. They work for another company that was hired by Handspring. One could argue that Handspring is at fault for hiring a company that provides crappy customer support, and while that may be true, I don't think that we should be getting all upset with Handspring because of our experiences with the CSR's. I imagine that the support through email is also going to be outsourced to another company. Also, keep in mind that Handspring totally underestimated the response to all of this. Being a startup company (I've worked for several, and I know how these things go), they had to decide between taking a risk and spending lots of money on a huge CSR team and a network solution capable of dealing with tons of internet traffic and then not being that successful, or spending less money to be on the safe side financially. These are the kinds of decisions that young companies have to go through. They cant afford the kind of solutions that huge companies have in place. So, they opted to spend less. They hired a small CSR team at the time, because they weren't doing much (any?) advertising, and didn't expect a whole lot of orders for a while. The phone support was just going to be a temporary solution, and was meant to be in place until the online store went up, and then (most) everything was going to be handled through the web. This was scheduled to occur shortly after the big unveiling at Internet World. Because of the huge demand, the servers couldn't keep up with all of the people wanting orders, and they crashed. Handspring was forced to keep the phone lines up - a solution that was meant to handle only the scheduled pre-unveiling demands.

    I think it's a little unfair to blame Handspring for the problems we're having. Maybe they deserve a *little* blame for underestimating their needs, but they've recognized that problem now, and are working to correct it. This is giving Handspring a bad rap, and I don't think that sending emails to ZDnet and PC Week is going to help. I, for one, would like them to succeed. I believe in their product (as do all of the people who have received and been able to test their new Visors) and the competition is good for the market in general.

    [This message has been edited by ChrisB (edited 10-22-1999).]
  15. #15  
    I don't know about blame, but by now I'm upset that Handspring is doing NOTHING for the peace of mind of its customers. We have received no real apology for the problems, no communication, no official statement. We're being kept in the dark while stumbling upon pages that read, "When customers need help, we've got support." That is an outright joke! It would have been ten times more impressive if they used that page to indicate that they are aware of the massive problems people are having with their orders and that once the dust settles, they will rectifiy all problems. Instead we're basically being ignored while HS is scrambling to get their e-commerce site operating.

    The story worsens EVERY DAY. It's beginning to look like there will be no end in sight. I used to think that people who speculated that some Visors won't arrive until 2000 were just being pessimists, but now, I'm beginning to believe them! Who EVER heard of the kind of fiasco that we're hearing about now? (multiple units shipped to the same address, NO unit(s) shipped, units shipped with no credit card charges, MULTIPLE credit card charges, OVERCHARGES, wrong units being shipped, wrong addresses, wrong credit card numbers, no tracking numbers, orders being mysteriously lost, etc. The problems go ON AND ON.

    These problems demand at least a statement from HS, and at best, an open apology.
  16.    #16  
    An addendum:

    I called again today, one week after my card was charged. The CSR who picked up (and was very friendly, to her credit) said "Well, it's probably taking so long because you're so far east of California."

    Incredulous, I responded "I'm in Washington; two states north of California."

    A short pause.

    "You're not in Virginia?"

    "Uh, no."

    "Can you hold for a second for a supervisor?"

    The supervisor, who was also very accomodating, told me that "it hasn't shipped yet", but that he'd call me back this afternoon with more details.

  17. #17  


    I heard on the local news that some guy in Virginia is being inundated with massive volumes of shipments from a company called Logistix Inc. They interviewed him and he said that he's been getting a UPS truck full every day for a week now.

    He tried calling their main office and was told they were just a boiler room operation contracted by Handspring. Then when he tried calling Handspring they told him (eight hours on hold and being hung up on several times) not to worry because someone with a real high credit card limit in FL was being charged for all shipments east of the Mississippi River. After the background laughter subsided they added that he should be happy because Visors are so rare right now, and that his life was a testament to the success of a hot new startup.

    They asked him to appear in a major ad campaign about how Handspring dreams really do come true! Then they mentioned that he should post this as a "success story" on VisorCentral to mock thse whining customers who ordered in Sept.

    I didn't see his story posted yet so I thought I'd pass it on as an example of how your nightmare could be another person's dream
  18. #18  
    Well, I haven't quite had any CSR's laugh in my face, but I've had my share of problems that still continue.

    I placed my order on 9/14 in the afternoon (PST). The CSR was pleasant, but seemed unsure of some of her answers.

    A few weeks later I received a call from a CSR asking for my email address so they could send me an order number when then became available (they never asked for my email address when I placed my order). This at least made me feel that they were taking steps in the right direction.

    Once units started shipping and the first week went by, I called (45 min. wait) to find out why I hadn't received my yet (at least my credit card had not been charged). I was told that my order must have been in the 'second' big batch they were sending out. She said they were in the process of shipping out hundreds and hundreds of units.

    I then sent an email on 10/22 and have received no response.

    I tried calling again on 10/25 and waited over 90 minutes before giving up.

    Needless to say, I'm pissed because several other people on this site have received the same model of Visor (Ice Dlx) I ordered even though they ordered it days or weeks after I placed my order.

    Obviously, the hold times are going up because more people are calling because more people are realizing that there is a problem with their order. The fact that they hired an outside firm to handle orders and shipping is irrelevant...Handspring chose them and allows them to continue to represent their company. Whatever efforts they have made to address the problem are either nonexistent or ineffective, and unknown to the public at large in either case.

    Overall, it's a damn shame that they botched this up so badly. I guess Donna and Jeff were a little too busy doing the PRPRPR $tour$ $to$ $take$ $care$ $of$ $the$ $mundane$ $task$ $of$ $running$ $the$ $damn$ $company$.

    My situation now is that I'd really like to just cancel my order and wait until the next new thing comes out, but I don't have the time to wait to talk to a CSR. I guess the alternative is to not accept shipment when it arrives, but I'm doubtful that I'll be able to get my money back without wasting several more hours dealing with Handspring. Yeah, this is definitely near the top of my list of bad customer experiences.

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