Customer Disservice

PalmOkay, I’ve got some good news and some bad news on the aforementioned Palm m505 issue.

First, the bad: They won’t replace the defective unit with an m515 — well, not without a $229 “upgrade fee”; thanks, but I’m not about to throw good money after bad (particularly not now that Sony’s Clié works with Mac OS X). Further, they’re now claiming that all of the metal-encased Palm units are susceptible to “SUDS,” so an m515 really wouldn’t solve the problem. This despite the fact that nobody, as far as I’ve been able to determine, has reported such a problem with the newer units. I’ve now got the number for Palm’s “Corporate Escalations” office, so we’ll see what can be done there, but I am not in the least optimistic.

On the plus side, at least the customer service rep was polite (as I’ve usually found on my numerous previous calls), if not particularly helpful. And it was rather amusing to learn that, had I been using a Wintel machine, I’d have had to go through a slew of troubleshooting options before they’d authorize a replacement unit; since I’m on a Mac running OS X, they acknowledged that there’s not a whole lot that can go wrong — authorization approved. I did also gather one little tidbit of information should this happen — excuse me, when this happens — again: Because SUDS is a “known issue,” Palm will do an “advance exchange” (i.e., I don’t send them my unit until I receive the replacement) free of charge, in perpetuity, despite the fact that my warranty is expired.

Okay, that sounds good for me, but let me see if I can wrap my head around this one. They’d rather send out an unlimited supply of replacement units than fix the problem. And, presumably, once the m505s are out of stock altogether, they’ll end up sending out a newer model somewhere down the line anyway — unless this problem miraculously goes away.

Then again, with this kind of policy, I don’t see Palm being around that long...


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