imagesPalm Pre an iPhone killer?  Hardly!  Sprint needs to step up their customer service game a bit too!

First off I want to say that the Palm Pre is a huge leap in smartphone tech.  The interface is clean and crisp and the synergy functions of WebOS make it a great phone to organize and update contacts, calendars, notes and tasks across a range of services and social networking sites.  The integration with google is only shadowed by Android obviously.  The services that Sprint offer in their plans arent to shabby either.  The price plans are by far the best bang for your buck in term of what you get.  The fact that you can have navigation, unlimited sms, mms, im and data is awesome.  Even the unlimited everything plan is only 99 bucks compared to Verizon or ATT which would run well over that.  The app store is starting to grow which is another welcomed addition.  Overall the Palm Pre WebOS is what i would classify as a good starting point for Palm to regain some ground but there is more work to do.

I went and purchased a Palm Pre exactly 42 days ago expecting to upgrade my wireless capabilities to a new level and now I am chewing on blood pressure medication like they are tic tacs.  I grabbed the Palm Pre with the expectations of being able to replace a few of my daily gadgets with an all in one device.  My TomTom, iPod, Phone and PDA could all be in one handy little device.  For the most part I acheived my goal except there is that “for the most part” issue.  The Palm Pre is an expensive smartphone at the price of 200 bucks with a 2 year contract on Sprint  and now there are issues with the Pre.

First off, I had no problems for 30 days except the OS lacked some basic functionality that PALM really dropped the ball on.  Things like selecting text for cut, copy and paste is a pain and in calendar event view i can’t scroll to see the entire entry for an event location.  The Blue-tooth capabilities are seriously flawed and don’t work with most blue-tooth car kits or aftermarket devices. Now I am running into hardware issues.  The contact in the 3.5mm headphone jack sticks and disables the audio to the phone’s earpiece making the phone app unusable.  To fix this you have to exercise the headphone jack a few times to unstick the contact.  This is unacceptable for a piece of hardware i spent 200 bucks on. There are other issues that I have read about in other posts such as the slider breaking (mine is getting kinda loose) , screen pixel issues ( 1 is stuck and I’m sure more to follow) and wifi problems that I am sure i will have the privilege of experiencing in the near future.  Those issues are not the worst part though.

Sprint is the 3rd biggest cell provider in the country and their policies and customer service reflect that.  My experience with Sprint customer service is once you bought it and got past the 30 day period YOUR SCREWED!  I am 12 days over my 30 day return period and they are completely unwilling to work with me to resolve the issues.  The Sprint repair center I visited today said they could replace the phone under warranty ONLY if they were to receive a non functioning phone.  Well of course when i got to the store the contact in the 3.5 mm jack became unstuck and the phone worked again so they wouldn’t do anything.  But lets say it didn’t work for them either, they still would only replace it with another Palm Pre that would have had the same known hardware issue.  What am I paying the insurance for if they are gonna give me another phone that has a 99.9% chance of breaking too!  That’s like a Ford recall for exploding gas tanks only to replace it with a gas tank that could EXPLODE!  I can understand not taking a return on a phone that is 2 or 3 months past the return time but 12 days, Really?

Sprint is really on the ball with their plan options and included services but their customer service as the 3rd in the market needs some attention.  My love affair with the Palm Pre was was fiery at the start but is quickly over much like the ability to use the headphone jack for fear it might break my phone.  It was a nice try and a good start to rebuild the Palm name but the bar has been set pretty high by things like the iPhone and the Android OS.  Palm needs to hit those marks before i will buy a Palm device again.  Maybe the HTC Hero can save me?