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  1. #41  
    Reganc: Yes, now you understand that I know from what I speak. I worked on the team that was responsible for cleaning up the Sears credit mess so believe me, I know how ugly it can get for a company who steps across the line with the FTC. I had associates who were fired over the whole debacle and there were those I knew who spent hours being grilled by the FBI for possible criminal charges. It all happened basically because there was plain and certain evidence of deliberate wrong-doing. And Sears was right for being ashamed of what they did. It's one of the reasons I eventually left the company.

    Anyway, I'll just say that we agree that Handspring has made some bad decisions but I'm not convinced that there's any evidence of deliberate malfeasance in the issues that you've raised. Instead, I'd say exactly what Toto said:
    "Never ascribe to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."
    I'm not defending Handspring because I'm anti-FTC or anti-legal action or pro-big business, or anything of the sort. I just know from experience the level of detail that has to be evident as well as the period of time required to demonstrate a "pattern of behavior." At this point, the evidence just isn't there.

    [This message has been edited by Jackal (edited 10-27-1999).]
  2. #42  
    All that we poor little slobs who ordered a handspring the 1st day or 2 , want is just a bit of info

    Dave B (Grandpa Geek)"If it ain't broke, don't fix it yet!

    [This message has been edited by JHromadka (edited 10-27-1999).]
  3. #43  
    Gosh, I feel all warm and fuzzy. Maybe I should pop in my Mary Poppins video.
  4. #44  
    >>It's unethical business activity. Period. If you want to be a member of a cult, go join one. This is simply a product made by a company who is ignoring people they have credit card holds on.<<

    Well, I'm not known for my patience, and in fact I'm not exactly a happy camper at the moment. I fully understand the frustration and ire.

    Still, while I'm both bemused and annoyed, see my own posts, let me also say that:

    --I took a knowing risk buying from a startup company.
    --They are a startup, and I'm cutting them a BIT of slack. This can't go on forever, or just as a practical matter I have to bail, but it's easy to understand how it happened.
    --They're offering a product at about half the price of the main competition. They've got a new concept and new structure, and it's been more successful than they imagined. So as consumers do we also cut a little slack when someone finds a way to carve out that first big price break everyone is waiting for in the market for a particular product? I think so, esp. when the foul-ups are related to demand created by the price break.

    Again, I'm not whitewashing. This is a nightmare and a textbook case of what to avoid when starting a new company. MBA candidates will dissect this mess for years. I reiterate too that regardless of whatever sympathy I have, I can only take so much, and the break point is close. As a practical matter, I need to get some work done and get a unit, not spend my life on hold. Still, I think they need to be cut at least a little slack. IF this were not a start-up, I would have bailed already, and gone into scream and shout mode. But it is, and to some extent we all knew that we were buying a product that didn't quite exist and never had been shipped.

    So, I appreciate all sides, but I'm continuing in patience mode. For awhile. And then at some point, I just need to get on with life....!

    Visit the E-Zine on WINE AND ITS Bulletin Board at http:///
  5. #45  
    Reganc, if you really believe that the FTC can and will do something about this, call them and lodge a complaint. My guess is that you did, and they told you they won't investigate anything on a single complaint, so you're attempting to get a bunch of people to call and complain. Personally, I believe Jackal's understanding of the FTC rules is better than yours, and that you have no standing for complaint.

    I'd just like to point out that if your biggest complaint is that Handspring didn't notify you of problems with your CC or address, it's probably because when Handspring announced they had started shipping, they received 50,000 phone calls trying to get information about shipping information, and they had no resources left to attempt to contact you. If I were Handspring's management, I would have chosen to skip the orders that couldn't be charged, and ship all of the Visors available to customers with valid CC info. After the customer service calls drop to a manageable level, I'd start calling and getting correct information. So, if you called Handspring even once after they started shipping to get shipping info, you are part of the problem.
  6. #46  
    Yeah! Ranganc! This is YOUR fault. Jeesh, why didn't I see see that before? Gosh, I feel so much better now.
  7.    #47  

    Since the Sears fine was handed down and after the Internet boom began the FTC has reinvigorated their departmant to crackdown on online sales from these virtual companies taking orders and making promises.

    You don't need to set up an intentional scam. Negligence and bad-faith actions will do the trick just fine (as you experienced with Sears). The FTC doesn't want to let a pattern like this go on, so they bring pressure to bear to make sure management gets their priorities strait.

    Again the purpose of the new FTC oversight of e-commerce is to ensure faith in the system. This is just the kind of actions that gives buying online a bad name.


    Good comments. My biggest concern though isn't the foul-ups inherent with a start-up, it's the lack of corrective management of the situation. That all has to do with attitude. Do you want to make fast cash in a booming tech market, or do you want to think about the people who already placed orders and build a *long-term* business? I don't know who made the decision (either Donna or the VC money guys) but they went with the first option -- full steam ahead with what they admit themselves was limited resources. Taking more pre-orders took resources away from fixing problems.

    What was so stupid about that decision is a pre-orders don't help the customer get product sooner! So if a pause in orders wouln't hurt customers why didn't they annouce a temp hold on new orders? Ahhh....appearance. The most critical thing in today's hot market. It would have looked like they were going to have problems shipping product. In order to simply *appear* well they actually made themselves more sick. Isn't it ironic? It's like raaaaeeeeaaaaaaiiin...

    Once that second failure occured they had a choice to come clean and say they have many screwed up orders on these dates _______ and can't even access verifiably correct info. Or else as they chose, lie to customers and say "The Visor's in the mail" when it clearly wasn't for many who inquired. That give FTC man bad mojo.

    And of couse a start-up should be able to send out an e-mail message even if they have to use Hotmail. Otherwise, they've been updating their web page, but only with disingenuous apologies saying "we're just real busy cause were so loved."


    What really occured is: Handspring's problems began in Sept. and people called once the word got out that their orders were screwed up and they were being kept in the dark. Many are thanking God that they called. They owe no one an apology.

    I just posted the FTC info so people were aware thay had an option to being used, then lied to, then ignored (everything but spit on) by an online virtual business. I'm not begging anyone to call them, it's their choice depending on how they've been treated. I've already done my part to make HS see the light they've ignored for the past week. Where is their reaction to this new, expanded mess? In their minds and website it officially isn't happening. We're all imagining it.

    [This message has been edited by reganc (edited 10-27-1999).]
  8. #48  
    First off, the CSRs that they use are probably just off answering the phones for the Miracle Mop, George Forman Grill, and the Ginzu knife. Chances are that they don't normally have to answer to people calling repeatedly where their mop is.

    My guess is that the head honchos at Handspring probably assumed that most people that wanted a Palm device already have one, so I can understand them being swamped.

    Now, I'm sure that all they need now is to have to fight the FTC and have to drain capital. Might it be more prudent as customers to allow them to spend the money on getting their supply chain working?

    If you want to be safe, buy with a credit card (instead of a debit card), keeping in mind that with credit cards you can charge them back if you refuse the order and send it back. If you use a debit card, it may (probably) doesn't have the charge back priviledge.
  9. #49  
    First of all: As we say here in Southern California "Hey Reganc, Chill out!"
    Relax folks. I mean, let's all back away and ask ourselves, "How bad is the problem, really?" All that's happened is that it's taken a month to get the product you asked for. If there was a billing problem then Handspring has promised to fix it and all indications are that that's true.

    I gues I'm tainted because I'm in the hand built musical instrument community and it's not unusual to have a wait time measured in months or years for a hand made guitar. Sure, a palm top is a production item unlike a custom guitar, but come on, we've lived OUR ENTIRE LIVES without a Visor. Another week or two won't kill us.
  10.    #50  

    So many ongoing promises have been broken it's hard to count. This puts the reputation of e-commerce and these "fast-reacting" virtual companies in jeopardy.

    I suppose the difference is if you pre-order a custom red guitar due say in three months, you're contacted if there's a problem. How would you feel if instead the craftsman lied to you so you wouldn't cancel your order, then you got a custom yellow guitar after waiting five months because your expected red one was given to some other guy. Then that guy posts his success story online and tells you to chill out! Etc, etc.

  11.    #51  

    Jackal, Toto, Bruce, etc.

    I guess I was way ahead of the pack on this subject and took the usual heat that comes with the territory

    E-tail Failures Could Trigger Federal Legal Action -- E-Commerce Times 12/29/99
  12. #52  
    There isn't word one about Handspring in that article or really any mention of any one company. But, rather, the article mentions overall concerns and the possibility of action against e-tail vendors for violations.

    In addition the article does not quote a single member of the FTC but rather (and here is a big surprise) a LAWYER who believes there could be class action lawsuits against e-tailers for not delivering by Christmas. Can you imagine what could the lawyer’s motivation for these comments be? Is it to redress actual wrongs or perhaps to line his pockets?

    In any case, this barely offers any bolstering to your on going diatribe against Handspring. It offers no support to your argument that Handspring is in trouble or will be in trouble with the FTC.

    Handspring has suffered the growing pains many companies, unprepared for the rush of initial success, experiance when starting out. We, as informed, intelligent consumers, should have been prepared for this when we decided to be early adopters of a new product. Instead many of us figured if we order right away, we will be the first kids on the block with our new gizmo. Has Handspring screwed up? Yep, big time. Is it from malice? I think not. Will it all work out eventualy? I hope so. But in the mean time, It seems petty and foolish to sit and hope that a goverment agency will run to the rescue and Spank Handspring for us.

    Life is to short for boring food

    [This message has been edited by SpiceUmUp (edited 12-31-1999).]
  13.    #53  

    The article concerns the general laws regarding consumer rights in the United States, and how recent hot start-ups are no less accountable to the consumer -- that would include Handspring.

    Also, malice aforethought isn't a requirement for action against a company who doesn't uphold certain standards of business. No one is accusing them of a hate crime.

    Unfortunately for Handspring, continually lying to customers about their orders, etc. went way beyond the line. No companies were specifically mentioned in the article, but if there were a list of recent offenders they would be on top.

    HS is in a much worse legal position than other companies who were up-front with their mistakes and/or halted orders once they knew they couldn't handle them correctly. After their start-up glitches they made certain business decisions to keep the cash flowing in and now the time has come to be accountable for those decisions.

    They acted in bad faith and are muddying the waters for more sound businesses who find it hard enough to get people to trust giving their CC numbers to virtual companies. This is what concerns the FTC, not missing gadgets under the Chrtistmas tree.
  14. #54  
    "In addition the article does not quote a single member of the FTC but rather (and here is a big surprise) a LAWYER who believes there could be class action lawsuits against e-tailers for not delivering by Christmas. Can you imagine what could the lawyer’s motivation for these comments be? Is it to redress actual wrongs or perhaps to line his pockets?"

    Your quote above is a very good point. I have dealt with the legal community many times before, and what you are saying is true, what one lawyer beleives as an interpretation is many times different from the decision of the judge.

    I think reganc needs to cool off a little. I would suspect Handspring has a much better legal staff than he.

    [This message has been edited by QL21 (edited 01-02-2000).]
  15. wrp
    wrp is offline
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    28 Posts
    FTC? Smesch-tee-fee.

    I've read all these posts, yes EVERY one of them. Handspring, by now, has gotten their act together (just look at the Received Log thread). If any of the early adopters haven't received their orders yet, email the EXECs and quit messing with CS. You have a very valid reason to be annoyed (and that's an understatement). Handspring isn't violating any FTC laws with their recent shipping times and 'success-rate.' If you want to involve the FTC or hire a lawyer, go ahead, but...

    Reaganc, enough is enough. You've informed us. Thanks. You don't need to prove your point any more, and you don't need to continue shoving information down our throats to do it.

    I suggest you take your information and FILE with the FTC if that's what you propose to do. If not, then what is your purpose in continuing this thread? If you have some other purpose, I would suggest starting a new thread, since THIS thread was DEAD for over a month!! Why open old wounds?

    This isn't meant as a flame, but as the cliche goes, "put your money(complaint) where your mouth(FTC) is."

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