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  1.    #1  
    I was one of the first 3000 people to order a Handspring Visor back at the beginning of September (9+ weeks ago). Last Friday I finally cancelled my order. Handsprings severe and CONTINUING customer service problems are bad enough. But I have now experienced lying and ethics problems that prevent me from ever doing business with this company.

    On November 4th, I succeeded in getting through the long phone wait to talk to customer service. When I discovered that my order was messed up, I was not surprised. Because the kid I talked to was unable to give me ANY information or estimation of when my now 8-week delayed Visor would be shipped (contrary to what I had been led to believe by a company email), I asked to speak to a supervisor. After speaking to a gentleman with an Indian accent (Mr. Ravindar) who was unable to confirm ANY shipping-date information for me, I decided to cancel my order. In an effort to prevent me from cancelling my order, Ravindar said he would get my order out within ONE WEEK (including expedited overnight delivery). I told him that if I didn't have the Visor within a week, I wanted my order cancelled and I wanted to have confirmation that it was cancelled. He promised he would cancel my order AND CONFIRM THIS BY CALLING ME IF THE VISOR WAS NOT DELIVERED WITHIN THE WEEK. The experience with Handspring and their customer service has been so awful and messed up that my fear is that I may not now be able to get out of their pathetic system.

    Friday, Nov. 12, one day past the one week deadline, I called Handspring customer service again, to see why I hadn't received my Visor and why I hadn't been called. After waiting nearly an hour to get a customer service representative, it was the same nightmare that has been described by numerous other people here: the kid still had the SAME MISTAKES in my order, no shipping information, or indication of expedited delivery status. I asked to speak to Ravindar. Was told that it was his day off and that the one other Supervisor "didn't seem to be around." He tried to get me off the phone. I refused and waited more than a half-hour to talk to a supervisor who had to access a second separate order database for "expedited orders." This woman was able to confirm that my order was still in the database, that it hadn't gone out, and that there were no notes that I had been promised 1. delivery by Nov. 10 or 2. that my order would be cancelled and that this would be confirmed by phone. She was unable to give me any explanation of why these promises had been made or to confirm that they could have been legitimately made.

    I refuse to do business with people that blatantly lie. And it isn't just the Handspring customer service reps who are lying and weaseling, it's their supervisors. And it doesn't appear to stop there.

    I emailed Donna Dubinsky, the CEO of Handspring. Her first response was "I know you feel it is an ethical issue, whereas it really isn't." When I described the lies and unethical attempts to prevent me from cancelling my order, her second response was that she would tell the Customer Service Reps to be sure to let anyone cancel their orders without any problems or questsions. Seems like telling people not to lie and firing those who do would be the direct and appropriate response to an ethics problem that is now exacerbating their customer service problem. Confusing lying and unethical behavior with customer service system and process issues reinforces my intention to never do business with Handspring.

    All I wanted to do was try their product. I was an early enthustiastic supporter and orderer. Look where it got me.

    Allen Bukoff, PhD

    For continuing saga please see follow-up post, "Someone please kill me..." at:
    -added by allen on 1/1/00

    [This message has been edited by emeyer (edited 11-15-1999).]

    [This message has been edited by allen (edited 01-01-2000).]
  2. #2  
    Don't blame handspring. They hired an incomptent third party company to deal with their customer sales - their original plan was to sell everything on the net. Secondly, i got the same answer, when i foudn out my order was screwed up. I was told, that i should expect it in December, but I got it on Friday.
  3. #3  

    Elf is right. Handspring isn't fully to blame, other than that they chose an inept, poorly-organized buffer between their product and the public. While I am no Handspring supporter (ask Empty Beaker or Staad or any of the other Handspring loyalists), ethics are not the issue -- competence is.

    The fact is that they are fully aware the customer service center/reps are, overall, thoroughly uninformed and uncoordinated and inept, but either they are unable or unwilling to change mid-stream (at this time). When they start to see the ordering and the shipping returning to normal levels, then they will prolly consider switching to a competent customer service company.

    As far as your situation, keep in mind that the product is good, although from what I've seen the customer service and tech support is god-awful. So if you simply advise your credit-card company that the Handspring charge is invalid (and refuse the shipment if it ever arrives) you won't have to worry.

    You'll still have some fun dealing with Ravinder, the magical disappearing supervisor, or Gordon, or Barry, but the fact is that it seems none of them have any knowledge of how to implement an immediate cancellation and subsequent credit.

    I'm in the middle of verifying $360+ in credit to my card (return shipping plus all the extra charges in addition to a Deluxe and a serial cradle) so if I have any success in obtaining a credit, I'll let you know who I spoke to or what strategy I used to obtain same.

    Oh, and Empty Beaker: yes, I'm still trying to stir up trouble by helping other people who are being screwed by Handspring. And yes, Staad, we all know how much better the Visor is than all the Palm units in the world. But from what it sounds to me, Allen's complaint isn't with the product but with the ineptitude of the company.

    Just thought I'd save you both the trouble of posting the same old tsk-tsk, condescending remarks aimed at those of us with legitimate problems at Handspring's streamlined business model.
  4. #4  
    How can the customer service people be to blame for the Handspring mess? The top people were the ones who were responsible for the launch and how the product was rolled out.

    Saying the CSR's (or the company they work for) are to blame is like saying that the salesperson who sold you your car is to blame for its late delivery or mechanical problems.
  5. #5  
    They're not in the same position as car salesmen, they (hand) wrote the orders, and someone entered them into a computer system. Then the computer info was transferred to the manufacturing company (HS). HS has said the big foulup came when the data was transferred from one database to the other. The orders being duplicated, having bad addresses, bad names, incorrect cc numbers, are all problems from the service company, not HS. This is what's different than the example of car salesmen. [All of these statements are speculation, base primarily upon info read here at VC and from statements issued by HS].
  6. #6  
    Happy, D, etc.

    Handspring doesn't handle the reception of orders, and they don't send out the product either. So in that sense, they're not directly responsible.

    However, it was Handspring that chose this group (Logistix) with which to do business, it was Handspring that hired these people to answer phones using the name Handspring, and it's Handspring which has chosen for them to represent them to the public.

    Further, it is Handspring that has these nitwits handling returns, technical support and the other aspects of customer service, problems which any other professional organization would have already had solved. Since it's been two months, Handspring deserves plenty of responsibility here.

    The CSR people aren't thoroughly incompetent, but they _are_ thoroughly uninformed and disorganized. So even if it's not Handspring per se that should be described as such, considering that they've allowed this group to be their buffer to the public, let Handspring accept the criticism and the loss of business nonetheless.
  7. #7  
    How about the Ethics of misleading the ~2039 people that ordered online between 10/6-10/8?

    First we were told that they would ship on 10/31, but it might be 4-6 weeks. Then after the meltdown, Handspring put on their website that our orders are fine and will ship in the 4-6 week timeframe. Now a member here at Visor Central has posted that he received an email from Handspring that it may take 8-9 weeks.

    Order in Oct, get it in December...NOT COOL!

    If this turns out to be true, I may cancel out of spite.

  8. #8  
    I'm new to this message board, but not new to experiencing problems with Handspring. I was really excited when I learned about the Visor and ordered sometime around 9/15. Of course, I expected to receive it no later than the end of October. I have called several times to correct my address, zip code and to find out that they couldn't charge my debit card, but had to have a credit card. I'm more than disappointed that they didn't call, or at least e-mail me if there were problems with my order. I've called twice since to verify the info is correct - apparently it still isn't on my order, but there is shipping paperwork "out there" which has the correction.

    Friday, I was told that all September orders would be received on Monday. Sunday night, I still didn't have a charge on my credit card. Today I was told that I should "call back next week to see if it shipped"

    As a person with a background in operations, I can tell you whoever is handling Customer Service hasn't a clue. They need someone who knows what they are doing to go in, straighten it out and get the company moving. This total incompetence makes me wonder if I should invest the $250 in this company.
  9. #9  

    [This message has been edited by Hot Carl (edited 11-15-1999).]
  10. #10  
    Z, Babyface:

    Again, not to defend this company, but I would bet cash money that the problem is incompetence, not any malice or forethought. I am definitely fed up with this company, but do you honestly believe they would go out of their way to lie to people, withhold credit, and allow these continual barrages against them to continue?

    They're losing the PRPRPR $war$ $on$ $all$ $fronts$ ($every$ $magazine$ $that$ $has$ $had$ $a$ $positive$ $article$ $about$ $the$ $Visor$ $has$ $also$ $had$ $at$ $least$ $a$ $blurb$ $about$ $the$ $shipping$/$ordering$ $problems$, $and$ $within$ $a$ $few$ $months$, $assuming$ $they$ $last$ $that$ $long$, $people$ $will$ $start$ $talking$ $about$ $customer$ $service$ $and$ $tech$ $support$ $and$ $returns$ $in$ $the$ $same$ $manner$ $which$ $they$'$ve$ $been$ $discussing$ $ordering$ $and$ $shipping$).

    IOW, my guess is that they either a) stay on this course until they close their doors; b) await the ordering level to drop to sane levels and get a new customer service outsource; c) cease shipping (claim a lack of stock) and quietly switch companies while continuing to accept orders via the web site.

    All I know is that if I could be free of this company, I would be. It's been two months and one day since I ordered a Visor, and I've basically spent the last three weeks wishing I hadn't. If you cancel, you'll prolly get a Visor anyway. I know four people who have cancelled and still received products, plus a replacement unit which came to me after I obtained an RMA number for my original Visor. $250 isn't that much to invest in a company, but IMHO it's $250 too much to invest in a crappy one.

    Either way, good luck.

    [This message has been edited by Hot Carl (edited 11-15-1999).]
  11. #11  
    HS isn't responsible for the CSR mishaps simply because they outsourced the CSR duties to someone else?!?!?! PUHLEEZE. I guess next you're gonna say the GAP Clothing Stores (or even Kathy Lee clothes)are not responsible using child labor when they outsource their clothing manufacturing needs to some company that utilizes 9-year old child labor. Yeah right!

    PS. One of my blue VDx went dead today when someone on the subway ever-so-slighty bumped into my chest pocket (with VDx inside). I can hear sounds, but the screen is dead. I wonder how fast it would take me to get a replacement if I were to take that route. Sheesh! At least I didn't pay for it
  12. #12  
    PDA Newbie:

    Just to clarify, I'm not absolving Handspring of liability. They've done an incredibly poor job of distributing their product, and I fault them 100%. I don't fault them for the CSRs' incompetence, just choosing an incompetent buffer between them and the public. The path is different but the result is the same -- they're a lousy company.

    As for the subway bump, I had a "lucky bounce" from less than three feet onto carpeting that resulted in the same problem you've described. It took one week, and a $30 charge from Handspring, to replace the damaged unit via overnight ("rapid") replacement.

    That's why I refused the replacement and got a Vx.

    The thing on which Handspring has really failed is technical support. Their solution for my problem, and yours, was to call Customer Service and arrange for return of the unit. Here comes another forty-five minutes on hold :-)

    I'm not sure what you mean that you didn't pay for the Visor, but if you return yours, they'll take two or more weeks (care to guess which they'll come closer to?) to replace it. So if you are attached to your now-defunct PDA, it's a pretty, costly little paperweight.

    I told Staad and some other Handspring loyalists that I thought this was a good product with lousy support. I also predicted that if Handspring handles returns and replacement as well as they have handled their ordering and delivery, they won't last until the advent of color Palm OS PDA's.

    My guess is that our problem is a rare one, since you and I are the only two people I know of who have experienced this problem.

    But if my experience is any indication, I'm pleased I got a Vx, and I'm sure that anyone who has to deal with Handspring tech support and customer service to replace a dead unit will be wishing they got out while they could.
  13. #13  
    Hot Carl,

    I posted earlier about my free HS product...basically,I "partially ordered" 1 Blue VD but did not complete the purchase because the salesperson said they did not accept the Discover Card. I bout a Palm 3x soon after. But for some odd reason, I still received not one visor *BUT 2 BLUE VISORS*. I know I did not/will never get charged because they never took down my cc info.
  14. #14  

    I had a feeling you were going to say that :-)

    Well, looks to me like you've got the best of all worlds... well, I guess you should just wait til stores start carrying them and buy a replacement and return the defective one ASAP. Or use the bad one as a paperweight :-)

    Or a hockey puck. :-)
  15. #15  
    Right on.
    Handspring lied to me on many occasions and still has yet to get their act together. They cannot spell or listen and they do not work together. I was also insulted over the phone by a handspring rep. It is a joke. I dont know how people can stand it. I dont know why I can stand it.
  16. #16  

    Without excusing what they're doing, there is a difference between being incompetent and/or having no clue about what it is they're doing and having malice or other less-than-honorable intentions. Yes, this is a lousy organization. Yes, I cannot wait until my credit card company has verified the return credits (all of the money they owe me, not just $24 or $31 at a time). But it's incompetence, not malice.

    If you think it's bad now, just wait until they're getting calls for technical support and faulty units. All I know is that I've dealt with this company now for about two months, and I'm sorry I ever got involved with them. I am glad, however, that the bottom fell out (literally speaking) before the 30-day return period expired. If you can actually be willing to stick with this company, than I envy and respect your patience.
  17. #17  
    mikelee -

    If you were talking to a CSR, you were *not* "lied to" by a Handspring employee. You were dealing with a company contracted by HS to do their customer service on behalf of HS. Instead of flaming HS, maybe we should be documenting our negative dealings with CSRs and forward them to a *real* HS employee. This may be the ammunition to dump this incompetant contractor.

    Too err is human, to moo bovine.
  18. #18  
    Ordered Green VDx sept. 29 over phone. Order # 7549 per Ravinder the Liar. They transposed most of my ship and bill info. so now I get to wait again. Ravinder must have gotten chewed since he was very hesitant to make me any commitments whatsoever.

  19. #19  

    You wrote:

    "Instead of flaming HS, maybe we should be documenting our negative dealings with CSRs and forward them to a *real* HS employee. This may be the ammunition to dump this incompetant contractor."

    I agree with this thought process, except that Handspring knew this was a mess from 9/14. Why has it taken them two months to barely improve anything?

    I agree that Logistix is terrible, but Handspring contracted them to do the job. Since Logistix is NOT doing the job, does that mean Handspring isn't liable or responsible for finding another company who CAN do the job? I agree with your strategy, but the problem is that two months have passed since Handspring's site collapsed, and rather than reacting quickly and responsibly, they hired an incompetent company to represent them to the public. What's worse is that the product is good whereas the service is so awful, and since many people can't get their hands on the product, they aren't going to wade through all these hassles to find out whether the product is worthwhile.

    Of course, I don't mean the dedicated Handspring people like I was -- I didn't mind the six-week wait, the hours on hold, and the other stuff -- but the simple fact is that until the product hits retail, Handspring should have thought this one through. And if their tech support and customer service vis-a-vis returns and replacement is any indication, there has been absolutely no improvement at all.

    It's really a shame that they have designed and created a good product and then screwed up so badly in getting it in the hands of the public.
  20. #20  

    Nuff Said.
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