Cracked Palm IIIc Cases

I've received a few accounts of quality issues with the Palm IIIc case. Read on for more details. If I get a significant response on this issue I will try to contact Palm for their position on this matter. -Ryan
Mark Ressa writes...
Seems there are a significant number of IIIc's developing cracked rear cases. Personally I've had one such case and it looks as if my second IIIc is developing cracks as well. Not sure what Palm's position is on this as I've read that several people have paid Palm $100 to repair. Clearly Palm should cover these repairs free of charge and should announce cognizance of the problem.

Martin Clemons also wrote in with comments on the IIIc case...
I have a rather interesting story.. I bought a PALM 3c in mid March, and by mid April I noticed 2 hairline cracks in the back case. I set my unit in for a replacement, and no, about 1.5 weeks after getting it, another crack is developing on the back case. You would think I was playing hockey with my palm unit or something! Well, I searched around and found that several other people have been having this problem as well, and I also have owned a regular palm III for almost 2 years -- with no problems.
Could this be a defect? I was thinking maybe you could do a survey on your site to see how many other people have had a problem.

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Palm IIIc cases

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/20/2000 2:59:45 PM #
The Palm newsgroups have been full of reports of cracked or cracking IIIc cases with a very poor response from Palm. Some Palm web site(s) should look into this issue and try to get a response from Palm since they are obviously blowing off their customers by saying they are the only ones with the problem and that it will cost $100 to get the case replaced. Anyone who is in doubt that Palm is out of touch with their customers should read the editorial in this months Pen Computing magazine.
RE: Palm IIIc cases
macfixer @ 5/20/2000 3:29:02 PM #
I've owned a Palm III (which the glass cracked on me within a month from being in my pocket) and a Palm IIIx, which was much more sturdy. Now I own a Palm IIIc and the back of the case is broken. I assumed it was from being in my pocket again. Thanks to Palminfocenter, I know now it is more widespread than that. Thanks!
RE: Palm IIIc cases
nerdtech @ 5/20/2000 3:36:49 PM #
Youre NOT the only one. I also bought a PalmIIIc from CompUSA - and was smart enough to shell out the extra loot for the replacement plan. Good thing that I did.

I noticed from the get-go that the sensitivity to get Grafitti to do anything was VERY weak. I almost had to grind the stylus into the screen to get it to recognize anything.

Then sure enough, a day or two later, I looked and there were indeed cracks in the back of the case - and I *know* that I have never dropped it before at all, ever.

Luckily I took it back, and they gave me a new one, no questions asked. But you are indeed not the only one that has had this problem...

RE: Palm IIIc cases
George @ 5/20/2000 5:05:59 PM #
I guess I am lucky. I bought my PIIIc back in March and do not have any problems with the unit at all. I have noticed, however, that it gets a little warm towards the bottom, where the battery lives. Maybe heat is the cause of the cracked cases these people seem to have.(?)
RE: Palm IIIc cases
ModusOperandi @ 5/20/2000 5:59:48 PM #
Mine did this too- it also had a problem where it wouldn't recharge unless it was turned on.
RE: Palm IIIc cases
JerryL @ 5/21/2000 12:18:17 PM #
I am on my 3rd 3c. My first one developed 2 hairline cracks on the rear of the unit,at the right side and extended towards the center. Palm technical support exchanged that unit without any problems.

About 10 days after receiving my 2nd replacement unit, the same types of cracks developed on the new unit.I called technical support this time and they said that they could not help me and that I would have to call customer relations at Palm. I made that call and they did replace it under warranty.
I asked the rep if this was a commen problem with the 3c and she said that she didn't know. The reps are not supplied with that information.

By the way it has been 4 days since my last replacement,with no problems.The phone number of customer relations is 888-956-7256.


RE: Palm IIIc cases
Steve Okubo @ 5/21/2000 9:02:26 PM #
I have had the same problem with my IIIc. I've had it for about three weeks when I suddenly noticed a crack in the back case diagonally from the lower right corner towards the middle. I notice that the case bulges a bit on that side, where the opposite side (lower left corner) is perfectly flat.

Luckily, I purchased my IIIc from one of our merchant partners, Franklin Covey, on Quixtar. Franklin-Covey simply asked for my invoice number and generated an exchange ticket with Palm. They are shipping a replacement unit via Airborne Express. I just have to hotsync my data before I return the defective one in the same box as the new one I get.

Apparently, Palm has a manufacturing problem. Hopefully the new unit will not experience the same problem, but at least I know our affiliate companies take care of us (and their customers) very well.

RE: Palm IIIc cases
David H @ 5/22/2000 1:38:05 PM #
Nothing new to add except to say I am another IIIc owner with a cracked case. These are not isolated incidents.
RE: Palm IIIc cases
Jim @ 5/22/2000 7:44:53 PM #
I have two small stress cracks on the front of my IIIC. I believe that Palm had some cases made with a bad batch of plastic. Of course Palm will not acknowledge a problem at all. Have seen numerous reports of similar cracks on another board.
RE: Palm IIIc cases
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/23/2000 11:58:04 AM #
I have a one month old Palm IIIc. First I have had difficulties rebooting my computer and with a flickering cursor at startup since the purchase. After many, many calls to tech support, they sent me a new cable (rather than cradle) and that seems to have solved the problem (they admitted they have had problems). Then just now, as I stumbled onto your website, I read about cracked cases. I decided to turn mine over, and there it was! A crack! What a not very pleasant discovery! I called Palm, of course, and they said it would cost $100 to get a refurbished one. Absurd....I told them of your webpage and then they suggested I return it to Office Depot, the place of purchase. I am waiting to hear their response!
RE: Palm IIIc cases
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/23/2000 1:35:18 PM #
By the way, does anyone know what happens if you just leave the hairline cracks? I don't want to do without the Palm and send it back, I certainly don't want a "refurbished" one....aren't the chances high that a new one will crack too? If I keep it in it's padded case, will it affect its use?
RE: Palm IIIc cases
Paul Jensen @ 5/24/2000 8:14:41 AM #
My Palm IIIc case is cracked: back, lower right up to the middle. I've been careful, really.

The woman at Palm support logged my complaint for later use. Since this appears to me to be a design defect due to so many reported instances, I'd like to wait until the design problem is fixed. I doubt the crack can lead to internal damage unless the whole unit gets wet.

RE: Palm IIIc cases
David Kirschenbaum @ 5/24/2000 10:05:49 AM #
I am on my 2nd IIIC, first one had screen problems. About 2 weeks after having my new unit, which works great, I noticed that there was a small crack on the back from the center to the lower right corner. I called Palm and they told me they would only fix it for $100, no exchange...
RE: Palm IIIc cases
Colin Lewis @ 5/24/2000 12:10:07 PM #
I also have a hairline crack in my IIIc case from the hotsynch connector extending up and to the left about 1 inch. I am living with it for now.
RE: Palm IIIc cases
Paul Cohen @ 5/24/2000 7:02:07 PM #
After reading all the cracked case postings, I looked on the back of mine and sure enough found the same diagonal crack running from the bottom right up to the middle (where the serial number is) that many other people have reported. As some others have posted, I'd rather wait for palm to address this problem rather than fight them for a replacement that will probably crack also. The crack doesn't seem to affect the use of the device (yet).
RE: Palm IIIc cases
Paul C @ 5/24/2000 10:37:40 PM #
For about two months I felt happy, no missing pixels, a good scroll button, no Grafitti/brightness problems. Then I read a posting about cracks & turned my IIIc over, looking closely. There it was, a barely noticeable hairline crack from the left side of the sync port.

I wonder like someone else posted if this could have something to do with the rechargeable battery. After all this is the first plastic Palm that uses one, maybe the case design just isn't up to the challenge.

I'm going to wait & see for now as I take very good care of my IIIc (screen protection since day one) & I'm not happy at the prospect of a refurbished banged up IIIc, even if it is offered.

RE: Palm IIIc cases
Henry Judah @ 5/25/2000 8:05:28 AM #
I found the dreaded crack in the lower right corner of my PalmIIIC. Called Palm Customer Support. Told it would cost me $100 and they would send me another. Believing is was a defect, I refused the offer. They then lowered their offer to $50. Refused again on the same principal. Escalated my call to Palm Corporate Cusomter Care. Spoke with a wonderful Palm representative who shipped me a brand new Palm. No cracks yet! Although it took a little nudging, remaining calm, sharing the stories of other cracks resulted in thus far, excellent customer service support from Palm.
RE: Palm IIIc cases
S. Kahn @ 6/17/2000 12:45:28 PM #
This is my second Palm IIIc. After stumbling on your website, I turned my first Palm over...and there it was...a crack! I took it back to the store and they replaced problem. Now, one month later...the new one cracked in the same place. I called Palm customer service and they admitted they've been having problems. They were very helpful and said that I should fax them the receipt, and they will send me a new one and mailing supplies to return the cracked one. If I no longer have the receipt they can either send me a free refurbished one or they will repair mine at no charge. When asked what will stop the next one from cracking, they said it appears that only ones manufactured during a certain time period cracked. So...they were very helpful and let's see how it all goes. So maybe they've wised up...
RE: Palm IIIc cases
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/11/2000 4:00:51 AM #
Same story- Cracked case Palm charged $100 for a
reconditioned unit which voided my extended waranty
from Circuit City (different serial# and no documentation
showing that the reconditioned unit was replacing the
original. If the case were made available, they could be
changed by all most anyone. Four small screws and snap
off the old and install the new. Jim Weese, Houston, Tx.

RE: Palm IIIc cases
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/24/2001 6:29:25 PM #
I just called to report a crack in my IIIc. At first they wanted to charge $100 to fix it, but when
I pointed out to them that lots of people were having this problem and that they had already
replaced the case for free in many others, they agreed to replace it at no cost.

Other than this little problem I have enjoyed my IIIc completely.

RE: Palm IIIc cases
otho @ 3/6/2001 5:58:09 AM #
I've only had my IIIc for a few weeks but it gets HEAVY use. One thing I haven't noticed are any flaws in the plastic. I know many PalmPIX camera owners get cracked corners, but I use my PalmPIX heavily with my IIIc and haven't had any problems.



RE: Palm IIIc cases
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/21/2001 12:46:04 PM #
I bought my mom a IIIC when it came out, and then not more than a month later there were cracks on the case, now the case looks like a bad sidewalk.... anyone know what to do? or where i can get replacement cases or aftermarket cases??? send me an email @

RE: Palm IIIc cases
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/22/2001 3:20:08 PM #
Yes, mine is cracked too. What unfortunate is that I want to sell the IIIc before I found the hairline cracks. And the buyer found it and reject.

I called 3Com. They said that the warranty of my IIIc has been expired and I need to pay a certain amount for changing to a re-new one from Singapore. Of course I would not pay such payment. Now it is still with me, but very seldom use cause I've got a Clie.

RE: Palm IIIc cases
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/18/2001 7:46:23 PM #
I too have a Palm IIIc with a cracked case. They quoted me $125 for the repair...get a clue!

RE: Palm IIIc cases
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/18/2001 9:22:03 PM #
my first 3c cracked so bad the on/off button fell out, i got the store i purchased it from to replace it and palm sent me a new one which the IR has stopped working on, they said send it back and they will ship a new one out in 4 days, just got to get around to sending it

- owen

RE: Palm IIIc cases
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/10/2001 2:39:43 PM #
My two bits,,

My case has the cracks in it, and no help from Palm. I was blaming my kids till I saw this forum.


RE: Palm IIIc cases
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/18/2001 2:23:12 AM #
It is a bad sign that Palm has such a hostile attitude toward their customers who are experiencing trouble with defective cases. My IIIc case is also badly cracked, and now the LED has stopped working. Sell me the parts and I'll fix it myself.

RE: Palm IIIc cases
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/29/2002 4:04:08 PM #
I've had my IIIc"rap" since April and have noticed the hairline cracks also. I've kept it in a case since day one and have not dropped or crushed it at all.
I'm not shelling out more money to palm to replace this case with the same plastic junk they used in the first place and am tempted to repair it myself. Anyone have luck doing this?? This is definitely my last palm.

RE: Palm IIIc cases
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/2/2002 12:42:52 PM #
I contacted Palm's technical support yesterday (888-956-7256) and reported the cracked case on my Palm 3c. I've seen LOTS of postings in these forums about this problem and didn't expect a decent resolution.

Good news- Palm recongizes that the cracked rear case is a manufacturing problem and offered to replace or repair my 2 year old Palm 3c - for free. I opted for replacement, of course, and am looking forward to getting a device that won't have to be held in the cradle with a large paper clip!

RE: Palm IIIc cases
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/18/2002 3:31:56 PM #
Well what do you know? My IIIc has been slowly cracking for a couple years and has finally started to lose chunks of plastic off the back case. I was looking around the net and found this site with other complaints. Saw your note and I just called palm on this one at their service number and they offered to repair the case at no cost! I'm absolutely shocked!
They are shipping me a temp unit and will said they will replace the back at no cost to me.

Poor Quality Coupled with Poor Customer Service

Sandokan @ 5/20/2000 9:24:48 PM #
It appears that Palm, in addition to the poor service
I received in regards to the software questions I had
(minus lack of cognizant function from "Dosti" opinion),
hardware problems are now surfacing. I have been tooling
around other news sites in regards to the Palm IIIc for
information, and so far it seems that there are serious issues
with the sensitivity of the touch-screen, battery recharging,
cracked cases and memory leaks. As it stands, there has
been no interaction with Palm or it's "Technical Support"
personnel to rectify these problems. It seems that in
order to receive any relief, the item must have been
purchased from a third party vendor, i.e., CompUSA which
in my opinion has little to no customer service, either.
I am still very happy with the Palm IIIc since I have yet
to experience any technical problem which I cannot handle
myself. I keep away from any Palm developed software as
it seems they do not have the programming talent as most
third party companies. In the event I do experience a
technical problem, I would, and I would suggest this to
everyone, you immediately request to spreak to a manger
and/or a shift supervisor or other person in authority
to make an actual decision. If not. Demand your money
back because the first thing out of their technicians'
mouths is a request for your serial number so they can
charge you for the call.
RE: Poor Quality Coupled with Poor Customer Service
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/18/2001 11:04:33 PM #
I've had to replace my m505 twice due to some small issues (badly manufactured screens) and the company that handles Palm service in Canada, Keating Technologies, replaced it on the same day, each time. They simply gave me a new one with no hassles what so ever. I am impressed with their service and support.

My Cracked Palm IIIc

vango @ 5/20/2000 9:56:46 PM #
I too, have a cracked Palm IIIc back. The crack starts on the left side of the HotSync port and goes up and edgeward. I called Palm and they are supposedly sending me an advanced replacement (read: a refurbished unit) Will see what develops... A side note: in all my palm units ( a Pilot Pro, a visor and now my Palm IIIc) I've bought and used a PDA Panache custom stylus, and they all have cracked, chipped or otherwise broken stylus wells; apparently the way the replacement stylus is held, puts excessive tension in the plastic housing. A small price to pay perhaps for what I consider a superior sylus

Cracked IIIc cases

Denisew @ 5/22/2000 1:47:48 PM #
Thus far, I haven't had the cracked case problem. I have had some technical glitiches that cutomer service seems cluesless about. like why I het a log message after synching saying that fdatebook synchronization has failed. The data is synching between my handheld and PC but I get that message. Customer support said oh well we don't know but as long as it's working don't worry about it. That's patronizing in the least.
As for the cracked cases, that is appalling. Palm needs to own up and do a recall. If this were the automotive industry they're heads would be on the block. If they are serious about enterprise computing and handhelds they need to get a grip. Any large company would have their heads for faulty equipment as such.
I bought the extra warrantly offered by best buy. I was skeptical about it and haven't needed it but having heard all of this I'm glad I have. The additional features of OS 3.5 are nice however if the upgrade were now available I wouldn't put it on my husbandsIIIx or daughters III until they get it straight. I certainly wouldn't pay for the upgrade at this point.

IIIc Case Cracked and really bad service

Robert Wolff @ 5/22/2000 6:14:42 PM #
My IIIc developed a hair line crack in about two weeks. I did not abuse it, drop it, or do anything I could think of that caused it. When I finally found time to contact them, they wanted $100 to replace it because the warranty did not cover abuse. OK. I asked them to send me a new back and I would pay them, NO! That is not possible. Social engineering did not work, I could not get a new back. I finally barked my way up to the manager of the problem children. As I waited on hold I removed the 4 screws to see how easy the back would come off. (Really easy) When I told manager that I removed the back she said I had just voided the warranty. OK I have not been so misshandled since I last contacted IBM in 1985.
Palm is totally out of touch. I would not do business with them again for anything, or for any new product they may invent!

IIIc cracks on PalmLounge

Rob Parker @ 5/23/2000 8:50:38 PM #
We've posted a story regarding this thread on PalmLounge. I've seen the stylus holder of my IIIc chip and crack. I've photographed it and have included links to this thread in the article. The story will run on PalmLounge on Wednesday but you can preview it here::" CLASS=NEWS> Please keep us informaed of any developments so we can help keep Palm users updated on this story.


Rob Parker
Managing Editor

Cracked IIIc

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/24/2000 1:28:54 AM #
I to have a crack on the back on my IIIc. I've never droped it. I rang Palm and they TOLD me I Droped it! And they will charge me $195 to get it fixed! If this doesn't get fixed soon (and for free) i'm never going to buy another Palm.

none yet

Actinium @ 5/24/2000 6:43:20 AM #
lucky for me, i havn't seen any cracks yet. will keep an eye out though. thanks.

Ditto ditto

John Venema @ 5/25/2000 3:10:56 AM #
Yep. Me too!
My IIIc also has a Y shaped crack in the top right corner. I certainly will not be forking out 100 bucks for a fix!

Pay the extra up front!

Eddie Willers @ 5/25/2000 4:46:52 AM #
I purchased my IIIc from Staples and added THEIR extended warranty for another $80. It is a 2 year extension above and beyond the standard Palm warranty, it is also a guarenteed replacement warranty instead of repair. Since I have another 2.5 years left, I'll hang onto my cracked one until they fix the design problem.
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