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  1.    #1  

    Any suggestions here? Our company ordered 5 Visor Deluxes to see how they compared to the Palms. Initially, our purpose was to see how they behave because we were looking into buying them for an entire department - we were the test case.

    We received our Visors during the 2nd week of January. Mine had a problem after literally 10 minutes - I didn't even add my first address. I lost a row and column of pixels, so I have an annoying cross on my screen. I spoke to customer service on 1/10, they gave me an RMA, and assured that it would be replaced. Well, half a dozen phone calls later and quite a bit of time on hold, I've gone through several RMA numbers and nothing has ever shown up. Yes it's shipping, it should be there, sorry, it never shipped.

    While I've had all this grief, one of the other Visors is on the fritz and two cradles have died. So, problems with 2/5 Visors and 2/5 cradles and nonexistant support.

    Also, we've all experienced strange problems when it won't sync - both USB and serial. We're running a mix of Win NT and Win 98. A soft reboot fixes it, but why?

    We were all psyched when we first received the Visors - first PDAs for all of us. But, now we're getting pretty disappointed. We were planning on ordering several more (actually this week), but we're holding off because of all the recent problems. We may buy Palms, we're waiting for the new product announcement this week. So what if you save some money initially, add up all the time I've spent on the phone and the Visors are costing more than a Palm Vx.

    It's too bad because they're so close, but they're not there yet. We feel as though we have beta hardware.

    Anyone else feel this way? Anything I can do to get some help?

  2. #2  
    I'm not going to be much help to you, but I will say you're not alone in your frustrations with Handspring's after-sale customer support. I sent my Visor in for repair/replacement of a loose screen over six weeks ago, and now Handspring can't give me any information on where it is. I have their RMA number, but it doesn't seem to help a bit, because they can't find it in their "database," (could it be a paper system...?).

    Others have suggested sending e-mail to Donna Dubinsky or someone else on Handspring's senior team, but that hasn't helped me. I've sent Donna three e-mails and I just get her apologies, but no action.

    My opinion is, if you are buying for business purposes, go with someone else until Handspring gets a handle on their after-sale support.
  3. #3  
    It is unusual you are getting no response from Donna Dubinsky. Others who have gone through her usually saw immediate results.

    It could be that Dubinsky has been overwhelmed and you need to contact another one of the Executive Team to see some action.

    With regards to the multiple orders, one would think that Handspring would bend over backwards to ensure that a corporate order would be taken care of as smoothly as possible to try and win additional business. I would recommend trying to reach Handspring directly at their corporate office to speak to them about the issues you are having and explain to them what you were trying to accomplish (i.e., test the Visors to see if that would be the company standard for PDAs instead of the Palm). The customer service folks you are speaking to are an outside company that Handspring hired to take orders and provide "customer service."

    Go to to get the corporate phone number (unfortunately it isn't an 800 #).

    I've had my Visor since December and have not had a problem with it (except for 2 small scratches on the screen from the stylus) or the serial cradle I use daily.
  4. tnye's Avatar
    3 Posts
    Before you purchase a Handspring product for any important use, make sure you can live with their dismal customer service. I purchased a Handspring Visor Deluxe in January which arrived within about 12 days. Later, I ordered a backup module and case. The backup module arrived in about a week. The case, even though I was told it was in stock at the time of order, is on back-order. It has been three weeks now, and each time I have called to inquire about my order all the service representative can tell me is that it is on back-order and they don't know when I can expect it to arrive. I asked if they could substitute the case I ordered with one that is currently in stock, and I was told this was not possible. I was also told that once an order is submitted to their warehouse it cannot be canceled. I spoke with their customer service supervisor who said basically the same thing and told me to simply refuse to accept receipt of the shipment if I didn't want it. No one at Handspring seemed interested in solving this problem.

    A case is a pretty non-essential item, but just imagine if you needed a backup module, memory module, or possibly a replacement for your Visor. You are totally at their mercy as to when you can expect delivery. Service after the sale is as important, if not more important, than the sale itself.

    If you plan to use a PDA for anything of major importance, you should consider purchasing one that is available locally such as the 3Com products -- at least that way, if you are ever in need of service, extra parts, or a replacement, you will not be subject to a long wait or disinterested customer service representatives.
  5. #5  
    I believe you guys are being to harsh on Handspring's cutomer service. You must understand that handspring is a new company with some problems. As far as I can tell, handspring is constantly evolving to meet and exceed the expectations of its customers. In the past their main problem was deliverying orders on time. This problem as you can see has since been fixed with customers receiving their orders within days. Now it appears they have a problem with servicing their products in a timely fashion.

    I am sure that like the shipping problems they had earlier, this will be resolved very soon and we will all be happy.
  6. tnye's Avatar
    3 Posts
    Originally posted by marijohn:
    I believe you guys are being to harsh on Handspring's cutomer service. You must understand that handspring is a new company with some problems. As far as I can tell, handspring is constantly evolving to meet and exceed the expectations of its customers. In the past their main problem was deliverying orders on time. This problem as you can see has since been fixed with customers receiving their orders within days. Now it appears they have a problem with servicing their products in a timely fashion.

    I am sure that like the shipping problems they had earlier, this will be resolved very soon and we will all be happy.
    I'm sorry, but there are no company excuses for poor customer service. Yes, Handspring is a growing company, and delays are to be initially expected. But that does not replace the need to respond to customer concerns and/or provide service after the sale. Not being able to track, modify, or cancel an order is sloppy business at best and has no place in internet or telephone commerce. If Handspring wants to compete with the other brands, 3Com in particular, they are going to need to seriously address their deficiency in that area and do so in a hurry before their lousy customer service destroys their reputation and customer base. They make a fine product, but their service after the sale is abysmal.
  7. #7  
    I agree with Tnye.

    Although my original visor order arrived in under two weeks, and has worked just peachy since (only one soft reset) they have managed to wreck my positive experience to the point I may never buy from them again.

    I ordered the stylus 5-pack. A couple of days later I decided to keep my PDA Panache instead and called to cancel the order. It hadn't shipped so they said no problem. 5 days later the stylus order arrived, which had been shipped 3 days after I cancelled the order.

    Silly me thinks "Well they're here I might as well keep them". 3 of the 5 have the molding defects everyone has talk about on this site. I call support and we discuss the problem. After some discussion I offer to keep them and fix the bad ones if they will just credit me for the outragous $8.50 standard shipping charge, but no go. "They're defective, you have to return them".

    I get a shipping address and RMA number with the promise my account with be credited 3 days after they receive them.

    I ship them back. 5 days after Handspring receives my shipment I receive a FedEx with an airbill for the return of the stylus'. Too bad they neglected to tell me about that. Also, no credit 5 days after Handspring has them back. I call for status and am told to wait at least another week because returns usually take a couple of weeks to process.

    Let's recap:

    - My order still ships 3 days after I cancel it.
    - Handspring is still shipping product they have known to be defective for at least 3 months.
    - Handspring is unwilling to cut any deal even though they admit they know they are still shipping defective product. Yes, I know CS is out-sourced...that's not an excuse.
    - CS doesn't know what the return procedures are (at least the rep I talked with) since I've received two different stories and paid for shipping I shouldn't have.

    They can make up all the excuses in the don't treat your customers this way.

    [This message has been edited by wam (edited 02-19-2000).]
  8. #8  
    Here here!

    This whole "they're a new company and have growing pains" argument is just a load of crap. They've had plenty of time now to get their act together. There are also plenty of other companies that have experienced expolsive growth, yet have still managed to maintain passable or even excellent customer service. Two that come to mind are 3Com/Palm and

  9. #9  
    Something to keep in mind...Handspring outsourced their Customer Service to another company. So when you call and speak to a CSR you are not speaking to someone from Handspring, only someone they contracted with to handle this part of their business. I think I had read that the company they contracted with is out of Canada (Handspring is based in CA).

    They actually have some folks at their headquarters that do a much better job than the reps you speak to. The trick is to get your issue addressed to someone in Customer Relations or even with the Executive Team.
  10. #10  
    I find it hard to argue for Handspring from the standpoint that they outsourced their customer support - wouldn't a prudent management team outsource a function as important as this to a company with a proven record of excellent support? And, if the company being used turned out to be as dismal as it is, wouldn't a prudent management team take immediate steps to either correct the problems, or send the business to some other provider?
  11.    #11  
    I started this thread a while ago, so here is an update.

    I started calling customer support every other day - just trying to get a date or confirmation that I was in the queue or that something would eventually be shipped. I got so frustrated, I told customer support that I wanted to just return it, and give my company their money back. I was told that I couldn't return it because it has been more than 30 days - mind you, I placed my original call to support on 1/10 - within a week of receiving the Visor. So, it took about 6 or 7 weeks complete this return.

    As I kind of expected, I received two Visors to replace my defective one. This is probably because I received two RMA numbers. I received a second RMA after they said that they didn't have a record of my first RMA.

    So, I called them up and was given a 3rd RMA number to return the extra Visor. I'm almost disappointed that it showed up - I had a deal with my department manager that if it didn't show up by the end of the week, we'd trade it in for a Palm Vx.

    Now, I'm hoping that I don't get a call from our accounting folks telling me that we were charged for the extra Visor(s).

    I'm pretty happy with the Visor itself, but the whole experience with customer support has givin me a bad impression of Handspring.

    To their credit, my first calls to Tech Support required being on hold for ~30 minutes, and the last few calls I was hold for < 1 minute. They still couldn't give me any info, it just didn't take as long to hear it.

  12. #12  
    Hey mriehl

    You don't have to return the second replacement visor you received. Its my understanding that in cases like yours the customer get to keeo the extra visor. You still ahve to send in the defective one though or else you will be charged for it after a few weeks. Hope everything goes well this time.
  13. #13  
    What the heck!! You get two Visor's before I can even get ONE! Send one over to me
  14. #14  
    I'm not all surprised with your experience with HS CS. Customer service at HS is pathetically incompetent. The reps are trained to respond with reassuring phrases and empty promises but they are not given the authority, means or knowledge to do anything to fulfill customer requests. You might as well be talking to a "bot" that's designed to parrot back cliched responses just to get you off the phone. The level of feigned ignorance, outright lying, and complete inaction toward resolution of legitimate complaints rises beyond just the inexperience of a young company getting its systems in order. I think their behavior borders on the downright fraudulent, promising customer support that they have no intention of committing resources to provide. Their focus is solely on selling product and be dammned with respecting their customers after the sale. It's take the money and run!
    I've called seven times in ten weeks to get them to send me an item I was billed for that they failed to include with an order. They've all but accused me of being a liar with their litany of weak excuses, repeated lies that the item is "backordered" when the sales line says they're in stock, and inaction after my calls.
    I sent them a broken Visor Deluxe 8 (eight!) weeks ago for repair. On repeated calls I'm told they have no record of receiving the unit (though I have a receipt from the shipping company) and that they'll refer it to their "supervisor" for resolution. Nothing happens despite solemn promises that they'll send me a replacement unit right away.
    I truly regret purchasing from this irresponsible company. Any excitement I once had over this product has totally evaporated. I wouldn't consider investing one more dime in this platform because if they persist in their reckless disregard for their customers, the marketplace will eventually punish them--they will deservedly become history. Dubinsky et al have squandered their reputations with the poor organization and execution of HS. I now envy my Palm owning colleague who has shared with me the overwhelmingly positive experiences he's had with customer service and support at Palm. In my opnion, HS has blown it. That PalmIIIc is looking better all the time.
  15. #15  
    Hey Jberg:

    Sorry to hear about your ordeal! Handspring have a lot of work to do to meet and exceed the expectations of all its customers. I hope the powers-that-be are seeing posts like yours. That being said, I don't think Handspring's objectives are to take the customer's money and run. I genuinely believe that handspring cares about its customers. They are just not doing a good job showing customer this at the moment. This should change as times go by. If not they will lose a lot of customers like yourself.

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