I have a Treo 600 with Cingular service. I purchased the original unit from a Cingular reseller at retail in early November last year.

In January the headset plug ceased to function and the earpiece started to fade. It was replaced within 5 days of the replacement order going in.

The replacement unit had an ATTWS sticker with part number on the back in addition to the usual serial number sticker. The software, however was Cingular branded version 2.02. It worked fine for a few weeks then that unit developed the buzz problem and it is getting worse. In late February, I requested a replacement unit again. I was given no trouble and was treated courteously by the CS people. I was promised a new unit within 7 working days.

It eventually took 3 weeks to receive the replacement unit. It was a SIM locked AT&T phone and would not accept my Cingular SIM. I made another call to CS. The rep apologized, said he noted the mistake in the records and put in an order for a Cingular phone. I was promised priority service since the fault was theirs.

Anther 3 weeks passed and another AT&T phone arrived. I called CS again. This time the rep told me their records show I am an AT&T customer. I told her I am not and never have been and I want a phone I can use. She kept insisting that my service was with AT&T and if I wanted an unlocked phone to use with Cingular, I would have to take that up with AT&T.

I convinced her to give me another rep. The second person was more helpful. He understood my problem, but said the system had me registered as an AT&T customer and he did not have the authority to change the records. He did note my file and sent it to Customer Care Escalation at the corporate office. I waited on hold for 35 minutes. The corporate rep understood the problem. On the first replacement, someone had entered the wrong part number and future replacements are keyed to that number. He put in a Cingular part number and started yet another order. He promised again to move my order to the front of the line, but said it would still be another two weeks before that order ships, if all goes well.

Two days later I receive a call from Customer Care Escalation. He said he was calling to arrange my advance shipment order. I told him that was done two days ago. He insisted it was not and tried to enter another. Somewhere during that process, he came accross the records of the order two days prior. I asked that he confirm the order was marked urgent. It was not. The rep altered that, but said it would probably not make any difference in the time it would take for me to receive a replacement. That call took another 45 minutes; 30 minutes of it on hold.

I have spent over to 2 hours on the phone with PalmOne, waited 6 weeks and now face the prospect of another 3 week wait. I am seriously considering opening the phone and applying the buzz fix described elsewhere in this forum. I'm not too handy and fear messing it up and having a phone I can't return. If the next phone is wrong, I will try the repair anyway.

Also, the second phone had the horrible blue screen. Even if it had been the correct model I would have sent it back. It was an ugly blue hue, is much dimmer than my current phone and, worst of all, the viewing angle is so shallow it is nearly unusable. I hope when (if) I do get the correct model that it has one of the better screens.

The only thing that keeps me from putting the phone on ebay is a near terminal case of gadget lust. I have tried taking Customer Service pills and even tried alternate product therapy. Nothing has worked so far. Maybe another incorrect phone will provide the cure.

BTW, if anyone has waited a long time for an AT&T replacement phone it's because they keep sending it to my house!