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  1.    #1  
    Finally, after a year of suffering, my Sprint contract is up and I've been able to move out of my Treo 300. I've replaced it with a lightly used Kyocera 7135, and while its too early to tell for sure, it looks like they've done everything right that Handspring did wrong on the Treo 300.

    In the spirit of sharing, here's a letter I wrote to Handspring after receiving another one of those banal "We're patting ourselves on the back because nobody else will do it" newsletters, asking for stories about how you use your Treo:

    -------letter starts

    "If you'd like to share a story of how you use your Handspring SmartPhone or organizer (at work, home or play!), send us an email at"

    Yeah... I'll share a story with you. This Treo 300 has been the biggest disappointment of any phone I've ever owned, and I've owned cellphones for 20 years, since you had to carry them over your shoulder like handbags.

    I've had the unit for just about a year, and its been nothing but trouble. Issues include:

    - lousy audio - need to hunt for the sweet spot in the flip to be able to hear anything; no visual or tactile cue for the right location...

    - ...or, ear-blasting audio if speakerphone enabled by touching the wrong icon. Though certainly not loud enough to be used as a real spearkerphone except in a small, silent room.

    - buggy Palm firmware: OS and browser crashes; my palm Vx never did that.

    - buggy radio firmware - gets stuck in a state where it can't associate with a cell unless unit is warm booted

    - hour-plus waits on hold calling Sprint

    - utterly useless customer "support" from Sprint when you finally do get through - obviously the CSRs were not trained on the Treo 300 when it was introduced. (Might be better now, but I gave up and use the chat boards for support instead).

    - Not notified when new firmware was available for radio, despite several trouble tickets filed.

    - Marginal cellular coverage from Sprint - noticeably inferior to AT&T in my service area.

    - Bad ergonomics - dial voice mail and it says to push a digit, but the digits aren't displayed on the screen. Keyboard lighting turned off when you need it.

    - Construction feels fragile, and judging by the number of units on ebay with physical defects, it is.

    - Unique headset requirement, incompatible with industry standard.

    - Can't change battery when it runs out.

    - Stylus retainer weak - stylus easily pops out and gets lost (never happened on my Palm, Palm III, or Palm Vx)

    - Can't read the screen in ordinary daylight

    - Poor component quality - screen developed an enormous yellow blemish obscuring the lower right quarter of the screen. A first among the perhaps fifteen various cellphone and palm devices I've owned over the years.

    - Poor warranty policy - tried to charge $180 to replace the screen after the enormous yellow blemish appeared. And took three weeks to find this out.

    - Predatory "nickle-and-dime" charges from Sprint - an attempt to charge $36 to switch my account to another phone while the enormous yellow blemish wasn't being fixed. And a "forwarding fee" ??!! in addition to minutes charged for calls received during that time.

    - Etc.

    So, the only way I'll even even consider the Treo 600 is if the trade-in allowance is significant enough that I can view it as an apology for being made to put up with all of the issues above. As far as Sprint is concerned, there's no possibility of that relationship being salvaged whatsoever; the next one will definitely be GSM/GPRS.

    I suspect you won't be publishing this in the next Handspring "News You Can Use" newsletter, but I just thought you might want to know.

    -------letter ends

    Epilog. True to form, the "trade-in allowance" was zero (you can buy the Treo 600 for $399 from Sprint directly). And when I called Sprint to close my account, they stiffed me for the remaining portion of the month, and the CSR explained that "...this was for my convenience".

    So, so long folks... and good luck!


    Free At Last!!
    _lr_ at
  2. #2  
    See ya.....
  3. #3  
    I saw the 600 tonight for the first time at Best Buy, and it didn't impress me enough to toss my 300.

    I visited several electronics stores looking for the cheapest usb hub. What is up with all this "sir, would you be interested in a free cell phone today?" .. to which I replied "only if it comes with free service and unlimited minutes" and then there's the circuit city "just to let you know we're offering free aol". I let that one go without a snide comment.

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