palmOne pisses me off

Bought a palmOne Tungsten T5. Had a bunch of problems connecting it to Linux. Solved those problems, then had new ones.

Turns out it is probably hardware-related - the USB connector is bad.

Contacted palmOne tech support on their web site, Jedy e-mailed back that if I could HotSync by launching the app in the T5, then it was most likely a hardware issue. He (/she?) told me to contact tech support by phone to request a replacement. So I did.

The Indian on the other side said I had to go through all the troubleshooting steps with him because "we just can't give out replacement connectors."

But I went through all the troubleshooting steps on the web site. And Jedy said I had a bad connector. And I've tried with two computers and 2 operating systems.

"We can't just give out replacements. I need to check your computer's settings to determine blah blah blah."

But I don't have easy access to the Windows XP computer.

"Call us back when you do have..."

All right, all right, I'll hook it up.

To make a far-longer-than-necessary story short enough to read, the Indian had me install the T5's software on XP, overwriting the Zire 72's existing software. He assured me that this would not screw up the Zire's synch.

The installation failed, some error message about not linking a dll (and I kick myself for not copying it). This was, of course, after at least half an hour on the phone, because XP is slow and so is the installer and a reboot was required.

He asked me if he could call me back when I reinstalled the software. I said no, then proceeded to try to get my case number out of him. He kept insisting that because I made my first contact through the web, there was no case number. I don't fricking care, moron, just give me this phone call's case number! He finally wised up, rattled off the numbers, thanked me for calling palmOne and hung up.

I proceeded to remove the T5's software from XP, and had to reinstall the Zire's software. Total time between calling palmOne and leaving XP in a workable state: 2 hours.

Resolution? None. I would still have to call back, except this time it would be to fix the broken install. And I would certainly need tech support for that, because there is no install fix - I would have to uninstall, reboot, and reinstall. Granted, I'm already partway there, but I will not spend the time or effort or incur the risk of another install.

Cost of a replacement connector from palmOne? About US$25.

My time is worth a lot more than $12.50/hour.

palmOne's reputation apparently is not.

Written by Andrew Ittner in misc on Thu 28 April 2005. Tags: complaint, technology