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  1.    #1  

    Just want to thank you all for the great information in this forum.

    I have read hundreds of threads and after hearing all of your situations I decided to upgrade my Palm Personal (512K) to a Palm V. I really wanted to get a handspring but didn't want to wait the 4 to 6 weeks and really didn't see a point in paying $300+ on eBay. In addition, the shipping, customer service, technical support and defective units can scare you away.

    If anyone is interested, I purchased the Palm V (2 MB) for $279 and the $49 travel kit from last night (4 Nov.) at 11:00PM. They offered free overnight shipping and it arrived this morning (5 Nov.) at 10:00AM in my office. I have never seen such a great time interval on an Internet purchase. I can see that I will be spending a lot of time at after the service I received on this first purchase.

    So once again, thanks for all the great discussion and best of luck to all of you with your new (hopefully soon to be in your hands) Handsprings. I am sure I will look into them again if I outgrow this new Palm quickly.

    Best Regards,

  2. #2  
    Umm, just a minute.

    Handspring's ordering and customer support may be abysmal, but so far there hasn't been a glut of defective units. In fact, most everyone who actually receives a Visor loves the unit and doesn't have any problems with it.

    As far as I can tell, the people with "defective" units are mainly those who have installed incompatible system hacks. One person dropped his on the floor. It's pretty hard to blame Handspring for either of these problems.

    One person had a mysterious error message and was told to send the machine back, but there was never enough info posted for anyone to know for sure if it was a defect, or just another set of flaky applications and extensions.

    So, yes, blame Handspring for their terrible customer support, but don't blow things out of proportion or generate hysteria.
  3.    #3  
    Your right - Thats not the message I was trying to get across. I'm sure there are many happy people with new Handsprings out there.

    I just decided to wait a little while to let the company grow in the areas it needs help before I purchase on efor myself.

    I also thought I would pass on the Palm V pricing at and amazing shipping speed as an FYI for others leaning the way I did.


  4. #4  
    I guess if you just have to have a PDA right now you can go with a Palm. I'm willing to stick it out to be on the leading edge. That's why it's called the bleeding edge! It gets rough out here.

    Good luck to you.
  5. #5  
    I needed one now... plus I wanted wireless
    capabilities now... so I bought a Palm IIIx.. anxious to revisit Handspring and the progress in 6-9 months...Time will tell !
  6. #6  

    I'm totally with you. I held off ordering a Visor after it came out, and unfortunately I'm congratulating myself on the decision.

    Unless the situation gets better quickly, I've pretty much decided to hold off buying a Visor until it's available in stores, or from a trustworthy e-merchant like or And there's no harm in letting people know about the alternatives.

    [This message has been edited by mportuesi (edited 11-05-1999).]
  7. #7  
    MP, et al:

    I'm the lucky one who got the Visor 'Bounce.' To clarify, I was very pleased with the Visor Deluxe. It's a well-designed product -- well built, thoughtfully designed, etc. I would highly recommend the product itself.

    HOWEVER: I wouldn't recommend it to any friend, client or associate with whom I wanted to maintain any positive relationship. The product is great, but the company is god-awful, and the tech support is a joke. So unless the product is perfect, which no product is, be advised that you're buying a great product from an awful company. Try getting Syquest tech support and you'll basically have equally-successful results as with Handspring's techies. IOW, unless the product performs perfectly for 18 months (until you get a new Visor or a Palm), which is unlikely (not one Pilot goes through life w/o a problem here and there), then you'll have to deal with these people sooner or later.

    I don't blame Handspring for the unit falling less than three feet onto the floor and dying, although that's a tad delicate IMHO. However, the fact that it has been five days without a promised "rapid replacement" (overnight) Visor, no tech support trying to help fix the problem other than telling me to call customer service to return it, and the company having the 'cojones' to charge $30 on top of a credit-card deposit for the phantom overnight-replacement. Lousy company, period. The units _are_ pretty damn good, and I would say they're better than the Palm III/IIIx, but I wouldn't put Handspring in the same category as Palm. Actually, I wouldn't even put Handspring on the same map as Palm.

    Without generating hysteria and simply reciting facts, be advised that anyone who values their time won't be bothered with this company. Therefore, you can reach your own conclusion as to how successfull this product will be if it's purchased from a store/site with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Most people, aside from Handspring loyalists, aren't going to tolerate poor treatment from this company. And people like me, who were so excited about this product, are being alienated en masse. So without creating hysteria, it seems to me that the concern should be with people who buy into the Handspring hype and not with those who stick with Palm or wait until Handspring either closes its doors or decides to implement a real business model.
  8. #8  
    Good Job ! (clapping, the crowd goes wild!)
    I couldnt have said it better !
  9. #9  

    I pretty much agree with what you said. I've read your accounts with your Visor and its accident, and I knew you weren't blaming Handspring because the unit was damaged, you were blaming them because they couldn't replace it in any satisfying way.

    I'm pretty confident they *will* get their problems with customer service ironed out before they get past the early adopters, and start selling it to the general public.

    I also agree that people shouldn't be buying into the hype right now. Two of my coworkers are especially interested in buying a Visor. I've told them both to wait, based upon everything I've read here. Another one decided to pass on the Visor and get a Palm Vx instead, and I don't blame him. It looks like a slick unit.
  10. #10  

    Muchas Gracias ;-)


    I'll put it this way: I'd be a little concerned regarding the product based on a dinky drop resulting in Visor-kaputski, but I personally don't share your confidence in them ironing out their problems. Either way, I do respect your patience in ordering from them, but if you REALLY REALLY want one, I'd consider getting my order in fairly soon. It wouldn't surprise me completely if they ended up closing their doors before the problems are solved, and I'll tell you why: these problems are so well-documented throughout the industry, ie PC Magazine (I sent the letter that got them asking questions about what's going on), PC Week, CNet, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and about three or four other less-read news sources (Nando Times and a few others). So making a long story short, the money men who gave these three (Dubinsky, Hawkins, Colligan) the capital to dream out their lives ( out their dreams) might not be so pleased to know that these marketing-techno geniuses screwed up as badly as they have. If I were plugging money into this hole, I'd be mighty curious as to how three "veterans" responsible for the Palm economy were so adept at going from whiz-kids to morons within forty-five days. I don't mean that literally, but you understand my point.

    More importantly, if they are able to alienate (and not simply irritate) long-time Piloteers like me (former owner of the first Pilot 1000 sold by J&R in NYC), then I don't have much faith AT ALL in their ability to solve the bigger problem of cracking the nut of the general, non-loyalist public. Forget Visor vs. Palm...whatabout Palm OS vs. WinCE? This could shift that balance in a meaningful, negative way. Moreover, this whole thing could easily sour a whole group of new PDA buyers, whether on the Palm OS or PDA's in general.

    I think they've abused and omitted so much in this situation that I don't bet on them finishing. The only good thing about them closing their doors prematurely is the bet that the Springboard would end up in Palm's hands, and that's overall a good thing, no matter which side of the fence you are.

    As for the Vx, it's awesome. I am going to get a USB cradle for my home PC and keep the 'comes-with-it' serial cradle for work, just like I had intended with the Visor setup. It just so happens that the Vx, the extra cradle and the clamshell case (the plastic, form-fitting hard case) will cost me $350, less than $100 more than the Deluxe. No springboard, but a far-better screen, running OS 3.3 (better graphics capability), a much-better-built unit (metal vs. plastic), and rechargable lithiums. Plus the hotsync contact port on the back of the Vx is receded so your fingers can't dirty them. I liked the Visor, but I love this unit. I'd maintain, as did Julie at, that if you don't want to buy one, don't go into a store and start playing with one. For the extra money, I'm satisfied that I've gotten a better unit, much better security vis-a-vis tech support and replacement, and I'm buying into a product that will long outlive its competition (if such a thing exists).

    In all, I wish any of you still hanging on to Handspring the best of luck either way. And as far as you, MP, I hope you reach the decision that suits you best. My personal thing is that the springboard isn't something that I _NEED_ so I'm not experiencing any real loss by dumping the Visor, but my feeling is that, even if I find a springboard I'd really like to have, I figure I can always wait until May, 2000, to pick up a color Visor if Handspring lasts that long, or I can get a color Palm unit with a licensed version of the springboard from a then-no-more Handspring. Either way, we as consumers win, because despite Handspring's actions souring a good portion of the new PDA-people market, it still generates more interest in the Palm OS and strengthens overall (let's hope) the PDA/Palm OS market.
  11. #11  
    Hot Carl,

    I've pretty much given up on expecting my Visor any time soon (ordered 9/15). I've been looking for a fairly priced Vx all over the web and couldn't find anything in the range you mentioned in your post ($350). Could you please point me out to where I can get the Vx at that price?

  12. #12  

    Actually, a member of my immediate family works for a department store that sells the Palm line and everything contained therein, including units, cases, accessories, etc.

    I would recommend you wait until Value America starts selling it (if they haven't already) at, as they have some sort of first-purchase discount which is said to be significant. I'm sorry if my post sent you on a wild goose-chase, but my guess is that Value America will be of use to you once they start selling the Vx. It just so happens, btw, that they have had very good reports from the posts I've read in the VisorCentral forum. Next-day delivery that actually is delivered the next day, at the price stated (and no blame on data-corrupted mystery increases, etc.).

    Either way, Train, I'd suggest checking around the CNet Pricefinder section, since they might uncork a better price for the Vx right now, as opposed to when ValueAmerica starts selling the Vx. I know has it, but I think it's priced retail ($450), but other than that, I don't know offhand of any discounted online prices. If you happen to find a good price for it, post it here and help everyone out. And if it's cheaper than what I paid, puh-leeeez let me know ;-)

    Just checked their site and didn't find anything. Anyone who knows how to obtain this initial purchase discount, post it here if you can. TIA.

    [This message has been edited by Hot Carl (edited 11-07-1999).]
  13. #13  
    Hey Carl,

    No worries, I briefly searched for a deal on Vx after your post and the best I could find was $388. ValueAmerica didn't have the Vx last time I checked a day ago. I forget the dealer who was listing it at $388 (it wasn't an online dealer) but I found it listed there after a search on if anyone is interested.

  14. #14  

    Thanks for the quick follow-up. For $388, I'd order one ASAFP, as I think that's a great price.

    Personally, I can't see anyone comparing the Visor Deluxe at $250 + shipping and lots of music on hold against the Vx at $388 and even come close to picking the Visor, but it's there in black and white (and grey, and red, and purple, and blue, etc. ;-).

    Make sure that once you've gotten it you let people know your experience with whoever you got it from so fellow non-Visorites (tm ;-) know there is a viable, sane alternative to pulling one's hair out of one's head.

    Good luck. And if my experience is any indication, you are going to love the Vx. Just make sure you can handle the initial four-hour battery charge. Resist the urge to pick it up and start playing with it, etc. :-)

  15. #15  

    I am not certain if you were referring to my post regarding "Fatal Error: Fatal Exception" as to being lacking in information. If you were, here is a little additional information:

    The above error was received after having the unit for 13 days. No new software had been added since initialization. No drops, no nothing to cause such a change or error. Failure due to unexplained reasons. Tech services stated "We have no idea what could cause such a failure"

    I am awaiting a response to an email addressed to appropriate Handspring individual. I have not yet received my replacement unit which due on Tuesday.

    I understand the issues with startup and the database problems caused and noted in some of Dubinsky's responses however, this should not affect getting a replacment unit.

    Once I receive my response I will post additional information. I have learned that if you do not get satisfaction at the first level of the system then go up the ladder. I have done so.

    But, if I do not get satisfaction and Dubinsky and Hawkins are at Comdex entertaining and hob-knobing when they still have problems that need their attention then I will not be a happy camper.
  16. #16  
    Hot Carl-

    I read this thread yesterday and it hit home. I've been lurking here for weeks, mostly being annoyed by all the Handspring bashing. I posted twice, telling people to calm down and let HS get their act together.

    So I read your posts, thought a minute, and called HS. I ordered in September. All my info was correct, but they had not billed my credit card nor shipped the product. If the CSR had told me the unit was on the way I would've waited. Instead, I cancelled the order, and picked up a Palm Vx at CompUSA.

    I've never had a PDA before so I'm pretty awestruck at the power and simplicity of this Palm device. I'm a developer and I think looking into some Palm OS applications might be a good idea. Windows development is getting more and more out of hand, like a house of cards, and I think people are ready to trade in all the bells and whistles for simplicity and stability.

    Ironic how I didn't even start thinking about a PDA until I heard about the Visors. Handspring ended up selling me a Palm!

    Good luck to everyone still waiting and especially HS. Maybe stellar engineers aren't necessarily the best people to run a business.

    I'm outta here, gotta go play...

  17. #17  

    Pursuant to our ongoing discussion, it will be interesting to see how high up the Handspring food chain you have to go in order to get either a replacement or some legitimate satisfaction from them. What's relatively pathetic is that it takes this sort of phone-based chain-of-command climb just to obtain a replacement unit, if, as we've discussed, that's what you want. The whole thing is so irritating and silly, it's almost unbelievable. Either way, though, make sure you let us know what arrives on your door tom./Tuesday, excluding copies of the Victoria's Secret catalog, junk mail, and any bills or whatever ;-)


    First of all, I'm glad to hear you ended up within the Palm OS fold. I know a few people who heard about the Visor w/o prior PDA experience either dumped the whole OS (what with Dubinsky/Hawkins/Colligan having had prior time at Pilot/Palm) or went with WinCE. Good to hear you made the right decision vis-a-vis the Vx, it really is an awesome unit. For the price I paid, I think it's eons ahead of the Visor, but that's me personally.

    As far as development, the Palm OS model is awesome: the products that have been created for this platform have kept me in the fold, and this experience simply teaches us that new technology isn't a legitimate umbrella clause that excludes a company from responsibility or from treating its customers properly. People like Moose and MP have legit needs as far as the Visor, and I respect people who are willing to wait for products, either original or replaced, if they suit their needs. However, I think the main problem isn't just obtaining a product, but the company's support of same. IOW, if Handspring is giving customers difficulty now, I don't want to consider how they intend to handle their future customer base, assuming they stay in business.

    Incidentally, Dubinsky and Hawkins started Pilot a few years back and the company took off because the product was great as was the company's treatment of the customer. IOW, it's not so much that engineers can't run companies, but rather that anyone trying to trade on their names rather than proper treatment of the customer is going to fail miserably, IMHO.
  18. #18  
    Rsgmoose --

    Yes, I think you might have been the person when I was referring to earlier. I wasn't able to tell what might have been the problem, and I don't recall you mentioning that you hadn't installed any software.

    A lot of people have problems with their units, which turns out to be incompatible (badly designed) software which they innocently installed on their new units. Also, when people have problems and post here, they usually don't say what they were doing when the machine encountered problems.

  19. #19  
    I just found out the best way to have your Visor shipped- cancel your order! I cancelled my order Saturday, went out and bought an awesome Palm Vx, and HS went ahead and shipped the Visor Monday (overnight no less).

    Now, the odyssey of getting my money back...

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