(If you haven’t already, reading part one first will be helpful. A quick summary is that I’ve run into a couple of customer support problems this week.)
The other problem that I’ve had is with my cell phone, the Palm Treo 700P. I’ve had Palm Treo’s from when the Sprint Treo 300 came out. We are probably talking close to 6 years now. In general they are great devices. They get me out of jams whenever I’m on the road and need a little information from the Internet. They allow me to text message a lot quicker than most. They provide me with music when I’m at the gym. It’s the music listening that’s been giving me a problem. The audio jack on the Treo line is notoriously bad. Perhaps it’s because it has to do double duty of being used for MP3 listening as well as handling a hands-free headset, I’m not sure the exact reason. The problem is that the phone gets stuck thinking that a headset is in, when it’s not. Thus it routes all sound through the mic and not the receiver. This means that the only way I can talk to someone is by plugging in a headset. It is pretty well documented in the Palm forums and this TreoCentral sticky thread. Two separate entrepreneurs have even made it their business to fix this commonly occurring problem. One came up with a software fix, while the other has a hardware one. I’ve had the problem on every Treo I’ve purchased, but it usually resolves itself quickly. This time it didn’t.
Happily my phone still has a month left of warranty, but it’s been a nightmare trying to get it honored. I originally went to the Sprint repair store as this is what I’ve always done in the past. They’ve taken it for a few hours and tell me if there’s a problem. In the past it’s been very easy to get a new one once they evaluate the phone. This time they simply referred me to Palm to get the warranty taken care of. Going to Palm’s website, they clearly refer you back to Sprint. It’s a pretty fun game. I eventually got to Palm’s warranty and started a trouble ticket with them. I then found the right person at Sprint (after getting passed through 5 different people) who made all the problems go away. Nicole authorized shipping a brand new one out to me. Now I’m supposed to send the old one back, but I haven’t gotten the “return kit” yet. It’s only a couple of days, but what happens if it doesn’t come? Do I call up Sprint and talk with customer service again to give them back my broken device? Haven’t I spent enough time at this point that I shouldn’t have to chase them down to return their property?