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  1.    #1  
    After this humilitation debacle, does anyone think Handspring can recover? Will potential Springboard manufactures be willing to bet their companies on it? Will the corporate sector take them seriously? Will Handspring's investors be happy with this abysmal startup and its inability to solve its internal problems? And can they ever win back their customer's confidance?
  2. #2  
    Recover??? Who pronounced them as being sick?
    They do have some problems to fix, but they are in no way in trouble. They still can't keep up with the demand, even after the botched startup. Wait until Comdex!
  3. Zen
    Zen is offline
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    48 Posts
    I have seen no improvement since the initial problems...Sure, a half-hearted post by Dubinsky...but they still have web problems, huge wait times, lack of information, misinformed csr's, errors in orders not being fixed and I find it hard to believe they added -any- people to assist in answering phones...

  4. RJT
    RJT is offline
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    Staad, you may have a point... "Just wait until you get your visor. It's great!" "Just wait until Springboard start coming!" "Just wait until Comdex." "Just wait until they start selling retail.

    Seems to me the operative word along has been
  5. #5  

    i was one of the biggest supporters when handspring first launched the visor. i placed my order on the first day. it wasnt until they overcharged my debit card and cost me 10+ hours of time and fees from my bank that i started to question this product.

    i hate to say this, but your comments that handspring is having no troubles sort of reminds me of an adamant micro$oft supporter. they refuse to admit the things that are wrong and dont even want to listen to reason.

    Explorer1's question is quite valid. how will developers react? do these shipping and billing problems signify deeper problems?

    dont get me wrong. you have a good point, and we should wait to see what happens. but in the meantime, they have not fixed the problems with my credit card. until they prove themselves as a stable company, i think it would be unwise to stake your business on this product's success. development of springboards and accessories will certainly continue by established companies, but until the day handpsring shows themselves to be a stable, capable company, development by smaller companies will definitely slow.
  6. #6  
    I hate to be the overly cheeful person here,

    1) It still appears that Handspring is dealing with more orders than they can handle. Most companies would love to have that.

    2) The product is a good product. At least on my unit, the quality is excellent.

    3) The price point is good.

    Yes, they have had a lot of problems with shipping and keeping credit card billings correct.

    But, they have plenty of money coming in, and seem to be working on getting their problems fixed. Yes, it will take time, but as long as they have money coming in, they will survive. Remember, they haven't even made it to the retail level yet. Most people here pre-ordered Rev A hardware. It may take 6 months for them to get everything straight.

    I'd be more worried if there were CSRs twiddling their thumbs with 20 microsecond waits on the phones because they weren't selling anything.
  7. #7  
    Come on guys id like to see you start up a buisness with a competitve product and no product history and no name to stand by they arent even off the ground and you are saying they have failed

    My message to Handspring:
    "If you buid it, they will come."

  8. #8  
    I know that there have been many people with problems, but there have also been plenty of people like me with none. I ordered mine at the beginning of October, received it 4 weeks later (just as I was told when I reserved my Visor), and love it. It is a great product, with minor flaws, and is better than any other PDA on the market now. The feeling of failure is just due to the fact that the people who take the time to post are the few who are upset. There are plenty of other people who love their Visors, and will definitely support the companies who make springboards. The only issue is that _now_, Handspring has to step up their shipping times. I have many friends who have been inspired to buy one by seeing mine, but in this era of overnight shipping ,4 weeks still seems like a bit of a wait. I was fine with it since I knew that I was _reserving_ my Visor and not ordering it immediately. However, new customers and non-nerd types will probably not order in light of waiting 4 weeks for their PDA.
  9. #9  
    Posts like these are getting sickening. Handspring is going no where but UP. I wish my business had their problems. They started shipping Oct 14-18th. Your Visor isn't even technically late. Stop this nonsense trash talk, and wait patiently.. learn this virtue people. And yes.. I am awaiting mine...I ordered on the 18th. These anti-Handspring posts are really ridiculous, if you want to cancel your order, shut up, cancel it, and dont return to Visorcentral. Go to some anti-visor news group or something, have fun. I for one am sick of all of it, and I am sure many other people agree, and are just not saying anything. Grow up people.

    Mark Neumann

    [This message has been edited by caedmon (edited 11-06-1999).]
  10. #10  

    Not sick? A technology company who screws up their e-commerce site with poor planning, then fails to implement useful customer service and tech support is healthy? Sounds like they're not 100% to me.


    If their problems were strictly order-related, then it would be disappointing at best that it took them this long to cure them (and frankly, from what I've heard, they haven't done so). But the technical support isn't even close to being implemented, and customer service is still as awful as it has been since this whole screwed-up situation commenced.


    Keep in mind that these people, "without product history," created the "Palm Economy" by marketing the Pilot 1000. It has beaten the bejesus out of Microsoft's WinCE machines because they made a good product, provided excellent customer service, and provided excellent technical service. Any company that fails to provide after-sale service for technology products won't be in business for long, or they will change their ways.

    No product history? What're you, kidding?

    Their names are the names on which they're standing. You think so many people would have tolerated all this horsesh*t from some anonymous company hawking a plastic Palm clone with a cartridge-plug-in and this type of service?

    This is a joke, right? You can't be serious... You must work for Microsoft :^)


    I agree, Handspring cannot go anywhere but up. For them to go "down" would mean they would prolly close their doors.

    I hope their delivery disorganization is cured sometime soon, and I hope their customer service is implemented, and I hope they actually get technical support who aren't completely inept. If they do these things, then I agree, they're on their way up.

    Unfortunately, according to my personal experience and those of many other people commenting in this forum, these things have NOT been implemented to customer satisfaction, so I would advise you to differentiate between _hoping_ they improve and actual improvement. I think there is a lot of the former and very little of the latter.
  11. #11  

    Sorry I missed your post when I added my $0.02 (or more), but I wanted to pose to you a question: do you expect your Visor to operate flawlessly until you decide to replace it with another PDA, by Handspring, Palm, or whomever?

    The reason why I asked that question of you is because I felt as you did vis-a-vis this company and the product. The delivery/shipping is certainly awful, but the product really is very good. I think you're incorrect that it's the best PDA on the market now, as the Vx is by far the better product, but I'll assume you meant considering price as well as features. But I digress...

    My point is this: if you love the product, copy the text of your post to your memopad and print it out and keep it on your bulletin board or whever you have a speakerphone. Because if the product should fail, you'll be forced to deal with Handspring Customer Service and Technical Support. And my feeling is that, despite the product being good, any company that provides the inept service this company does will not be a current business for long. The other point is that it will take two weeks to repair/replace your unit, unless you go for a $30 optional "overnight" replacement service. This isn't a viable implementation of customer service. If I could have solved the problem with tech support last week, I wouldn't be letting people know just how poorly this company treats its customers, not just in the ordering/delivery processes, but in the after-sale period. I hope your encounter with technical support, if such an encounter occurs, falls within the thirty-day return policy window, as I think you might have a very different opinion of of what this company is capable (or, rather, incapable).

    Incidentally, in considering a new car, I looked at a variety of cars, including the Saab Convertible. Every car magazine I've read suggested it's a great vehicle and not unreasonably-priced, but every person I know with a Saab told me that the service is awful. Needless to say, I'm getting an Audi. The point being that anytime a product, good or bad, is poorly-supported and serviced, the product loses its luster. However, when the company's ineptitude obfuscates the ordering and the delivery of the product, thus leaving the product itself as the only worthwhile link in the chain, how worthwhile can the overall experience of owning the product be?

    I hope the friends you've convinced to buy the Visor are people who won't blame you when they have problems with this company. I initially recommended the Visor to friends and clients, but then scaled back the recommendation by advising them that the delay is significant and they should wait until supply is available in stores.

    After doing the empty-head chit-chat with tech support and customer service, and having nothing to show for my Visor but a paperweight, I've scaled back my recommendation to simply showing them my new Vx and telling them to go get one and run from Handspring as fast as possible.
  12. Del
    Del is offline
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    12 Posts
    Wish I could afford a Palm VX or AUDI, hell,
    even a three year old SAAB.........:-)
  13. #13  
    Hot C:

    You're right on one point--I do hope my Visor doesn't need repair in the near future as I probably won't get good customer service. However, for technical, non-hardware related issues, tech support has never been of much help at any company (3com included). It's most useful to read message boards to solve the problem. When my Palm case cracked, 3com sent me a box overnight with shipping labels to mail it back in. I put it in the box and shipped it back with no problems. However, their tech support people on the phone still knew nothing about all the 3rd party apps which people tend to have problems with. So I would definitely insist that their turn-around time for hardware repair be improved, but I really don't see the need for me to have anything beyond that.

    As for comparisons with the VX. I owned a PalmV before the Visor. I had purchased it from, so was able to return it when I ordered my Visor (30 day money back guarantee!). I love the PalmV form factor--it is a real bonus. It also has a beautiful display. The only advantage of the VX is, of course, the 8 megs of memory (I don't care about OS3.3). However, I couldn't find a VX for less than $450. I asked myself if I could bring myself to pay $200 for the form factor--I couldn't. Also, the springboard idea really grabbed me. I have used Palms with external accessories on the sync port--it is annoying. My GPS was far from easily portable. I am anxiously awaiting the 6-pack by innogear, as well as the MP3 player. Try getting the functionality of the 6 pack out of a PalmVX.

    BTW--I do expect my Visor to operate flawlessly. My PalmPilot, PalmIII, and PalmV never had any problems (except for the silo crack which was a design flaw in the Palm original). If it doesn't, hopefully handspring will take care of it properly.

    The bottom line? The visor is just soooooo coool. I'm a techno-nerd and just love it :-)..

    Did I do something wrong today or has the world always been like this and I've been too wrapped up in myself to notice?
    -HHGTTG, Douglas Adams
  14. #14  
    So sorry to intrude, but.....Caedmon's post has irritated me to the point of responding:

    "Posts like these are getting sickening."

    Then don't read them.

    "Handspring is going no where but UP."

    That's right --> You can't fall off the floor!

    "They started shipping Oct 14-18th. Your Visor isn't even technically late. Stop this nonsense trash talk, and wait patiently.. learn this virtue people."

    They promised 4-6 weeks from each individual's ORDER DATE; not from the time they started shipping! Anyone who ordered prior to October 1 and hasn't received their order has a gripe starting this week.

    In my case, I have been patient. I didn't call Handspring's Customer "Service" until they called me due to an error on my order. After enduring 8+ hours on hold and being cut off on numerous occasions, I was finally able to get through and correct THEIR ERROR.

    If that was the end of the story, I would have my Visor, and I wouldn't feel compelled to flame here. Sadly, it is not the end of the story.

    When the prescribed amount of time that HS's Customer "Service" Representative had given me as a timeframe to receive my order had passed, and there was still no Visor in my hands or charge on my CC, I called back to see what the problem was. Guess what??? The SAME ERRORS that I had corrected two weeks earlier were magically back in my order! I corrected the errors again, was told my order had been "escalated" and to expect my Visor within a week.

    One week later -- no Visor; no charge. One more call to Customer "Service". Same errors discovered for a THIRD TIME! Corrected again. I was told it would be another week before I receive my order.

    The following day, I contacted Handspring via their form fill-in to let them know about my problem. The day after that, I received a phone call from Sandy Torres at Handspring Corporate. She went over my three-times-corrected order with me and discovered......the errors had returned for a forth time! I corrected them with her. She told me I'd have my Visor within a week.

    Now I am waiting again.....patiently.....

    "And yes.. I am awaiting mine...I ordered on the 18th. These anti-Handspring posts are really ridiculous, if you want to cancel your order, shut up, cancel it, and dont return to Visorcentral. Go to some anti-visor news group or something, have fun. I for one am sick of all of it, and I am sure many other people agree, and are just not saying anything. Grow up people."

    I wish you as much luck as neccessary to receive your Visor soon. I'm sorry you are tired of reading about order frustrations. If you don't want to read about it.....move on yourself! No one is forcing you to read or to post.

    I, for one, feel justified in venting from time-to-time. I feel my experience, recounted above, warrants my being more than just a little "displeased" with Handspring and their outsourced "service" organizations.

    The fact that, now, people who ordered a month after I did are receiving their orders while I am still waiting, patiently, frustrates me even more.....why isn't Handspring truly fixing the problems prior to moving on??? How can they glibly claim on their website that those of us that have had problems are their "highest priority" while they continue to ship new orders???

    Most of this frustration has been brought on by Handspring themselves. They have been less than forthcoming in their explanation and servicing of these problem order issues. Whether or not they took this tack to avoid legal exposure I am not really sure, nor do I care!.....It is their job to satisfy the customer base to the degree they promise on their website and elsewhere (print, presentation, & interviews); It is not my job to understand why they've continually broken those promises.

    Ah!......I feel much better now!.....

    New News --> My Blue Visor Deluxe arrived 11/6! I wish all of those in the same boat awaiting orders placed in September receive their orders really soon. It is a nice piece of hardware.

    [This message has been edited by KGrate (edited 11-11-1999).]
  15. #15  
    i am going to have to agree on some level with KGrate here. getting an order messed up really is a pain. when youve got all this anger and frustration built up, you want to share it with others. thats what friends do, help each other out with their problems. but i know my friends dont understand my frustrations with handspring. so i moved to venting my little troubles somewhere that i knew other people might understand and empathize: visorcentral.

    im not going to say that unless youve had your order messed up you have no room to talk. what i am saying is try to understand that, however geeky or silly you think our problems with handspring are, they are valis problems in our little worlds, and its nice to have somewhere to vent.

    KGrate has a right to be upset for what he has gone through. i for one understand because i have been through the order troubles.

    just please try to understand that most people see this as the best place to vent, and its kind of upsetting to be told, "shut up, your thoughts dont matter."
  16. #16  

    I've had four Pilots, including the 1000, the 5000, the PPProfessional, and the III. The Vx will be my fifth.

    As far as 3Com's tech support being less-than-worthwhile, keep in mind that a) it's impossible for tech support for any company to be able to solve every problem that comes with the load of Palm applications that are available. And Handspring's tweaks are more likely to create problems, from what I've heard, seen and experienced. However, the silo crack isn't something that technical support is supposed to fix, right? According to what you wrote, the only things for tech support to handle are problems with the unit itself. I don't expect Micron or Dell to tell me why my my copy of Quicken isn't working. I do expect them to tell me, however, if and when applicable, why I am having a hardware problem, and how to fix it. And keep in mind that tech support from 3Com is somewhat helpful, but at least can give you some basic suggestions other than "return the unit." In fact, I've re-seated memory cards in the 1000, 5000 and the Professional, as well as the III, at the suggestion of Pilot/Palm/3Com tech support. I would have otherwise had to wait two weeks per incident if it was Handspring with whom I was dealing. Two weeks per incident, two incidents per product over a year per product (four products thus far) means I would have been without an organizer for 16 weeks total, or four months. That's unacceptable.

    I have had nothing but good experiences with my Pilot/PalmPilot/Palm units, and I tried the Visor only because of the difference in price. However, considering my dalliance with this company cost me more than a week's aggravation and four days without an organizer, I'm more than happy to drop the extra $200 on not being left in the lurch again. This is something on which my business and personal organization depends on, so being left hanging six days into my ownership of the product virtually guarantees that six days will be the extent of my involvement with this pathetic organization. That cliche, "You get what you pay for," really has meaning for me. Moreover, I know where the extra $200 goes in the per unit price. It goes to tech support, customer service, and insuring that the product is maintained and sustained properly among the customer base. If Handspring doesn't want to do these things, they ought to charge as much as possible so they can pay off their creditors once the smoke clears.

    Lots of people trumpet how Handspring is getting their order-system and database together. So when is their customer service and technical support system going to show up? When the color products come out at $600+ per unit? If it takes that long, they won't last that long, of that I'm sure.

    Pilot/Palm/3Com has an overnight replacement policy so that a) they don't charge you $30 for the service, though they take a credit card # for deposit purposes, and b) they actually get you the unit the next day as promised. Handspring charges you $30 and doesn't bother sending you the unit. Buying a product that you know to have poor service isn't advisable unless you don't really have any other use for the product except enjoyment. Most of us use these things to keep ourselves organized, not to suck up our free time or irritate us.

    As far as the Visor, the six-pack is a nice add-on, but considering that everything therein is available elsewhere, it doesn't exactly excite me. The visual/vibe alarms are available for the V/Vx from TaleVibe or whoever, but I have little interest in them personally. The modems are available if and when you need them (at the larger form-factor size, like you mentioned) and the other stuff is also available. The cell modem in the 6-Pack isn't compatible with my StarTac, so that's another useless add-on for me. And I have very little use for the analog modem. The voice recorder is nice, but from my experience, unless you already have one and use it in tandem with your PDA, it's not the most necessary of add-ons. And the extra memory is great, but I've found it difficult to fill up more than 75% of the 8MB I already have in my Vx. If and when they do an intermediate OS upgrade (3.4 or whatever), I'll pop it into the flash ROM, which the Visor lacks. So nothing in the 6-Pack is of major need/use for me personally, though I can see how being able to point to it among other gadgeteers like we are can give you a charge of pride. It just doesn't do much for me overall.

    Also, while it's true that all of the stuff you mention is not as easily portable on the Palm as it would be on the Visor, I can't see spending $250 or more on the 6-Pack, $250 on the mp-3 player (why I would want to buy an inferior product like the Visor to use as a walkman is beyond me, btw) and another $100 or more on a GPS unit, all betting on a $250+ product that is as poorly-supported as the Visor.

    You've listed off about $1000 of expense, but what you're doing is betting that $1,000 (on a first-time product by a poorly-run company, btw) that everything will work well and if you have a problem, "hopefully handspring will take care of it properly."

    That's well beyond reasonable in my view. If you want to blow your money on an unreliable, unresponsive company, so be it. But keep in mind that very few people (even loyalists like I once was) would be willing to do this. Moreover, I'd rather have the Vx because I know it's a better-made product, more advanced (20MhZ Dragonball vs. Visor's 16MhZ), and there is no question about support, replacement and longevity. With the Visor, though, you've admittedly rattled off $1,000 or so of expense without much security other than knowing (but not necessarily admitting) that if Handspring goes under, Palm will most likely pick up the springboard so you won't be totally and completely screwed.

    In any case, I wish you a lot of luck. Moreover, if you happen to use the Visor with a GPS Springboard while hiking, I'd recommend you bring along a legitimate GPS unit so you don't find out the hard way what most of us have already discovered as a result of this fiasco.

    [This message has been edited by Hot Carl (edited 11-07-1999).]
  17. #17  
    Dr. G, Grate, et al:

    I can understand Caedmon's less-than-thrilled perspective vis-a-vis negative posts, but his perspective doesn't allow that (legitimate) venting also serves to help the many _former_ Visor-owners-to-be. IOW, it's never pleasant to sift through negative opinions, but it's also not very pleasant to have to be shackled to as poorly-run a company as this.

    All I know is that by stating the facts as I see them both here and to friends, colleagues and associates, I've influenced over twenty-five people (that I know of) in not buying a Visor. Most of them have purchased the Palm V/Vx, but some have held off on making any purchase until such time as (when or if) Handspring undergoes a metamorphisis into a legitimate company. Personally, I like the springboard concept, but for me, it's not worth dropping $250 plus loads of free time.

    I've explained herein the technological superiority of the Vx (rechargable lithiums, better-made product (the Visor is plastic, the V/Vx is a metal casing), better form-factor IMHO, and an overall more-advanced product (3.3 features better graphics and not the wacky errors caused by Handspring's 'OS Tweaks').

    In short, I don't dwell on the negatives of Handspring. Anyone with access to a phone can see what kind of company this is. I simply compare the two choices and have made that which seems to me to be eminently preferable.

    If that irritates some people other than Handspring employees/reps/officers, that's unfortunate. However, my first allegiance is to hopefully help others not be taken advantage of by a company who is seemingly more concerned with PRPRPR $than$ $treating$ $its$ $customers$ $with$ $a$ $modicum$ $of$ $respect$.
  18. mike1in3's Avatar
    37 Posts
    Global Posts
    38 Global Posts
    Hot Carl:
    I've written this before on another thread, but I can't help but ask: Why is it that you have such a need to go on this crusade against Handspring? You've obviously made up your mind to buy a Vx. Fine. Buy your Vx, return your Visor, and get on with your life at PalmCentral or whatever.

    Sheesh, enough's enough already!

    MJH <><
  19. #19  
    Hot Carl,
    Actually, some of the items that you tout as "technological superiority of the Vx" are a huge detractor for me. The built in rechargable lithium battery cannot be replaced. They do last a while, but sometimes die within a year. I would much rather have something that takes a standard battery that I can pick up anywhere than be saddled with a charger and a battery that, if it dies or goes dead, renders my unit into a paper weight. As to the Palm V/Vx being a "better-made product (the Visor is plastic", I have to disagree. A metal case isn't such a great idea in the ding and dent world of pocket items. If metal was such a great idea, we would be making more products out of metal, instead of less. Cost is only one factor. Plastic is lighter and can't be dented. As to the Palm having "better form-factor", a lot of that is personal opinion. I really don't like the V size, but that's just me. Ans as to the V/Vx being "an overall more-advanced product" I have to seriously disagree. Your statement about "the wacky errors caused by Handspring's 'OS Tweaks'" is based upon what factual evidence? It is a very nice OS. Maybe you are referring to the "wacky" programming that is being done by some of the shareware and other Palm programmers. Those "wacky errors" are brought on by wacky programmers. That is like saying that W98SE is a horrible OS because I get wacky errors from some programs. Do better programming and the errors go away.
    Is the V screen better? I really don't think so. For those who report a marginal difference, is that difference, coupled with the archaic built in battery, pressed metal case, and lack of expansion possibilities warrant the huge price difference? I think not.
  20. #20  
    I agree with Mike1in3 and staad. Hot Carl keeps posting all of this negative stuff about Handspring and the Visor over and over and over and over. It isn't that I necessecarily disagree, it's just that his opinion is EXTREMELY well known as he posts his rants and raves in every topic. Hey WE KNOW! Sheesh . . .

    Shouldn't you actually have to own a product from Handspring to be eligible to crap all over them? Maybe you take "Hot Carl's Crusade" to a Palm specific site? You have made it quite obvious that you are a Palm man.
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