Comments on: Update on Palm's Cradle Replacement Program

Several weeks ago, Palm announced that it would begin replacing an early version of the cradle that shipped with the m500 series as it contained insufficient protection from static electricity. Palm has begun taking requests for replacements through its support site.

When Palm first made the announcement that it would replace these cradles, the program applied only to the U.S. Now, customers in many European countries can get replacements, including the U.K., France, Germany, and several others.

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thank you palm

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/11/2002 10:09:46 AM #
i think it's cool that palm is going thru all that stuff.
RE: thank you palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/11/2002 10:16:08 AM #
Is it cool that your high end palm cradle was sub-par? Its really nice of palm to provide support like this - would hate to get a product that actually had support - only took a year.
RE: thank you palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/11/2002 10:20:54 AM #
> only took a year

Palm has been replacing any handheld which had USB problems from the very beginning. It's not good that the m505 has this problem but you can't fault Palm's handling of it.

RE: thank you palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/11/2002 2:16:01 PM #
Dear Trolls: uBid is full of R E F U R B I S H E Ds iPaqs or Jornadas... -)
RE: thank you palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/11/2002 4:36:07 PM #
> you can't fault Palm's handling of it.

You must work at Palm.

Palm issued defective hardware and is only now coming around to fixing the problem. That's a year, my friend.

Completely, utterly ridiculous. And Palm has the temerity to send me an email claiming I can get a great deal on a "new" m505 for $349. Gimme a break.

RE: thank you palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/14/2002 9:29:14 PM #
At least the m505's backlight works, unlike Compaq's H3800. Sometimes the backlight doesn't come on and Compaq doesn't have a clue why. But don't send it in to be fixed. They can't fix it because they don't know what's wrong and they won't give you a new one. Now THERE is some bad customer service.

Not unofficially !

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/11/2002 10:33:53 AM #
It seems that Palm Inc. is advising customers to use the drain battery way to get their Palm back to work!!

So it doesn't seem to be "an unauthorize fix"

in France too

FredLL @ 4/11/2002 10:37:12 AM #
The replacement is available in France too


RE: in France too
Ed @ 4/11/2002 10:50:08 AM #
Thanks, Fred. I updated the article.

News Editor
in Asia as well
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/11/2002 9:05:56 PM #
The replacement is available in Asia as well according to an email I was sent by Palm.

It is NOT the cradle!

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/11/2002 10:38:52 AM #
I had an m505 with an enhanced cradle. It got SUDS less than a month after I got it.

I'm not sure why Palm thinks that the cradle replacement will help.


RE: It is NOT the cradle!
alanh @ 4/11/2002 10:48:15 AM #
I am currently on my fourth m505. The first one failed when using the original cradle (no markings). The next two failed while using the replacement cradle they supplied, which is marked with an E (not a sticker, it's printed). When I got my latest m505 (with new E cradle) this morning, I tried all the combinations of syncing:

  • Old m505 on old cradle: failure
  • old m505 on new cradle: failure
  • new m505 on old cradle: success
  • new m505 on new cradle: success

It seems to be correlated with the Palm, not the cradle.


RE: It is NOT the cradle!
Ed @ 4/11/2002 10:59:59 AM #
Alan, that's not how SUDS works. While the cradle may cause the problem, the problem isn't in the cradle. According to Palm, a static shock can jump from the cradle to the handheld. Though the handheld isn't permanently damaged, the ESD has scrambled its USB software. The new cradle is supposed to prevent that from happeing again but it doesn't help a handheld that already can't sync.

The first fix referenced in the article has apparently proved to be so successful, some Palm tech support people have begun suggesting to customers that they try it instead of replacing the handheld. If you are curious, you might try it on the non-syncing Palm before you send it back:

News Editor

RE: It is NOT the cradle!
nategall @ 4/11/2002 11:10:56 AM #
yeah, i'm on my 4th one. But i think that it might just be a function of my static-personality.

nategall says "blah!"

RE: It is NOT the cradle!
cykalan @ 4/11/2002 11:11:06 AM #
have you read thru the whole passage?

"Replacing the cradle won't help people who already have a handheld that won't HotSync, though it will prevent it from happening again. Palm will replace any handheld that has the problem. Contact Palm's support staff to find out how to get a replacement unit. "

Read your manuals before you ask!!

RE: It is NOT the cradle!
alanh @ 4/11/2002 3:24:52 PM #
I resuscitated my first m505 3 times using the battery drain trick. I decided to replace it because I was under the impression that the USB failure was limited to certain m505s. I suspect it's more likely that it's certain static-prone users instead.

If it's truely a software corruption issue, surely some brilliant palm programmer could be able to come up with a program that would force the internal USB controller to reset without having to drain the battery or disconnect it completely.

-alan (is it just me or are there too many "alan"s in this thread.... Maybe that's the key. -)

RE: It is NOT the cradle!
TDS @ 4/12/2002 1:41:55 AM #
I would suspect that the new cradle does not guarantee that ESD will never damage your M505. I would suspect that it will greatly reduce the chances of it happening for most people. It is true that some people are more "Charged" than others and may damage their handhelds even with the new cradle.
I zap my Visor at least twice a week when I put it in the cradle. Sometimes it actually resets (soft) when it get zapped. I have not had a sync problem after that, but I would suspect that it is because the Visor does not have Flash memory, so there is no way to scramble the ROM! I suppose that is one nice thing about a non-flashable ROM!

RE: It is NOT the cradle!
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/13/2002 11:47:28 AM #
Let me tell you a tale.... 3rd Palm M505 in a METAL housing (the slick one from Palm). Now this metal housing should act as a Farady cage and direct static around a sensitive object to ground , no? But that has not been my experience as I set my palm on the roof of my car and heard the deadly crack of static. Sure enough what was working on the walk out to the car was now in need of a soft reset AND would no longer sync via USB. Draining the batteries fixed it.


I.M. Anonymous @ 4/11/2002 11:26:15 AM #
I have gone through a view m500 units and had the cradle replaced with the "E" version. I have done the battery drain and the problems comes back. I am now using the m515 and using the cradle that came with it and the same problem *2. I don't think the problem is with the cradle.
RE: m515
Altema @ 4/11/2002 12:36:38 PM #
The problem results in a software problem on the Palm, but it is caused by ESD via the cradle. I also have seen one M515 which had the problem, but dropping the battery level fixed it.

Two replacement cradles?

Stefanos @ 4/11/2002 11:49:40 AM #
Where does Palm state you are allowed two replacement cradles without question? I found the following in the FAQs:

"The website order form will only allow one cradle replacement per device. If you have more than one cradle that does not have an E or H on the bottom, please call 1-866-632-7993 to speak with a representative for additional assistance."

RE: Two replacement cradles?
dboehme @ 4/11/2002 11:59:26 AM #
If you want more than one, you can contact the 866 number. The site used to allow more than 1 to be requested, but that was when is sorta worked only under IE. Don't know if it does now. Try it and see, regardless of the FAQ.


LC @ 4/11/2002 12:09:34 PM #
I filled out the form on monday and yesterday I recieved an email showing the cradles as shipped allong with the UPS tracking number. That's not bad service considering that I have yet to have the problem with SUDS..

= = =
LC =
= = =

Their web designer failed 4th grade geography.

bsquare @ 4/11/2002 1:54:46 PM #

I received my replacement cradle a couple of days ago, but I'm really surprized it made it to me because appartentnly according to Palm's on-line order form, Wisconisin is now "WS" rather than "WI" as I had always learned. Didn't check the other states, but really, that is just sad.

RE: Their web designer failed 4th grade geography.
Mike @ 4/11/2002 2:31:04 PM #

Apparently Palm is not the only one to suffer typos. Considering that they are managing an entire site and not just a message, and that 'WS' is just an masked entry for a real value in a web fronted DB I don't think it's to sad.

SQL, VB, Access

RE: Their web designer failed 4th grade geography.
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/11/2002 2:32:31 PM #
who cares aboout Wisconson anyways? It should be part of Canada, and forgotten. Stupid Packers.
RE: Their web designer failed 4th grade geography.
big_raji @ 4/11/2002 4:49:03 PM #
Should be a part of Canada? Bah.

What's with all the Canada PDA related topics lately?

Canada sales for PalmOS reach 84%
Canada's Rogers AT&T first to offer GSM/GPRS Blackberry

I find it funny that Palm said they wouldn't release the i705 up here because the market didn't seem to want their wireless device.

Seems the US didn't either. :P

Dooobie Dooobie Dooooo....

RE: Their web designer failed 4th grade geography.
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/12/2002 7:05:40 AM #
Where is "Wisconisin" anyways? is it a new state that replaces Wisconsin?
RE: Their web designer failed 4th grade geography.
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/12/2002 9:53:31 AM #
..."who cares aboout Wisconson anyways? It should be part of Canada, and forgotten. Stupid Packers."

We'll take Wisconsin on any given day. But where the heck is "Wisconson"???'s web guy may have overlooked the proper abbreviation for Wisconsin, but what's your excuse for misspelling "aboout" and "Wisconson"? Lack of education, perhaps?

-Tet from CANADA

Have you gotten the exchange form to work?

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/11/2002 4:49:11 PM #
I have tried three times to execute the order form for the exchange and it has rejected the
serial number each time. I must be dong something wrong but I can't figure out what it is.

RE: Have you gotten the exchange form to work?
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/11/2002 6:07:18 PM #
you must be canadian. too bad.
RE: Have you gotten the exchange form to work?
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/11/2002 7:11:20 PM #
call the phone number mcfly!!!
RE: Have you gotten the exchange form to work?
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/12/2002 9:38:13 AM #
Maybe your're using Netscape. I had that problem with Netscape v4.78. However, the ordering page worked with IE, though I don't like M$ at all.

Too Little, Too Late

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/11/2002 8:32:43 PM #
I guess for some owners of that SUDS DUD m505 must heave a sigh of relief that something is done at least, but, it took Palm 12 months to acknowledge it!!! That to me is incredulous.

It isn't unusual (though not wished for) that sometimes some manufacturing default can happen but to take them 12 months to admit it is sheer stupidity of Palm. IMHO, that 12 months caused them a lot of customers and more.

RE: Too Little, Too Late
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/11/2002 10:07:11 PM #
You can stop your incredulity. Palm publicly acknowledged the problem in November, five months ago.

p.s. Are you the same person who names *all* his comments "Too Little, Too Late"? Geez, what a lame-o.

RE: Too Little, Too Late
TDS @ 4/12/2002 1:50:35 AM #
Yah, I agree.
Seeing "Too Little, Too Late" in every article is getting a little tiring... Almost as bad as "Sony Rulez"
I think Palm really did have a hard time determining what exactley caused the problem. I have to give them credit for swapping out multiple M505's to the same people for so many months before they found a solution. That must have cost them a bundle!

RE: Too Little, Too Late
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/12/2002 7:19:41 AM #
Whoa! 5 months ago? Palm acknowledged that 5 months ago and only NOW they are doing some serious soul searching and realized they should have been nicer to their customers?

And it cost Palm a bundle to swap their duds? What about customers that forked out $400 in the first place and the "productivity" cost when it needs to go back each time it fails?

Gee, luckily Palm have customers like you guys. Oh, wait a minute. You are into original headlines so here's another for you - lame-o?

RE: Too Little, Too Late
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/14/2002 9:32:33 PM #
At least the m505's backlight works, unlike Compaq's H3800's. Sometimes the backlight doesn't come on and Compaq doesn't have a clue why. But don't send it in to be fixed. They can't fix it because they don't know what's wrong and they won't give you a new one. Now THERE is some bad customer service. Better "too little" than "Nothing at all".

How about Australia?

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/11/2002 9:28:02 PM #
Any news about Australia USB replacement? Any e-mails sent? URL?
RE: How about Australia?
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/11/2002 9:33:30 PM #
Okay, I got the URL

So Palm Australia is in as well.

This entire situation is making me lose confidence in Palm

Cheetah @ 4/11/2002 11:40:40 PM #
First, the problem exists.

Second, when contacting their tech support, you get back an email that says there is not really a problem. They say many things could cause the problem, and recommend that you delete the Palm desktop software (INCLUDING editing the registry) and re-install the software. Of course I did that even though I knew it would be a waste of time.

Third, they say they will replace my Palm, but 3 weeks later...NOTHING.

Fourth, if I believe half the posts here, I may still have the problem, even if I have a cradle with an E or H on it. I now wonder what the difference between the E and H version is???

Fifth, if I try to "drain the battery" approach, I lose all my data since I haven't been able to hotsync.

Sixth, if I believe the posts here, I can't even upgrade to the 515 (which I want to do) because it apparently has the same problem.

Seventh, because of this problem I ordered a seriel cradle HOPING that it would work off their webstore, and ordered it RUSH delivery (paying $14 for the extra shipping). They shipped me 3 completely different items, but NONE of them was a seriel cable. They denied that this was possible until I faxed Palm the printed receipt from their website showing the same order number, but with the seriel cradle (and none of the other three items). Of course they charged my credit card for the 3 items just fine.

Eighth, they told me to write "return to sender" on the box, and that Airborne would pick it up. I waited for Airborne to come pick up the box (wasting my time) and when they got here, the guy told me he could not accept it.

Ninth, Palm agreed to ship me the seriel cradle that I originally ordered and said it would be at my house the next day. Of course 4 days later it did not arrive. When I called them back, they said their records showed it shipped the day after I called. I said it did not arrive, and so they checked further. Apparently what they "meant" was it shipped from their central warehouse to their west coast warehouse the "next day". It was therefore scheduled to arrive at my house the "next day"....of course that was 3 days ago and NOTHING.

I would say one thing positive about the whole experience. The last person to assist me in customer service was VERY helpful, and put me on hold several times to find out the true story (rather then give me the company line).

HOWEVER, I still don't have a working Palm, and I still can't sync to my PC.


And people say some other...
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/12/2002 12:26:01 AM #
And people say some other Japanese electronics giant has bad Tech Support. I don't think anyone can do any worse than this.
RE: This entire situation is making me lose confidence in Palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/12/2002 1:18:58 AM #
"Making" you lose confidence? Wow - you sure have a LOT of patience. I have been a Palm fan for years - in fact, even before the original Pilot was released (I worked in 1995 at an IBM shop about three blocks from them in Mountain View, CA, well before they were even Palm I was purchasing Graffiti for the Newton from them when I found out about the Pilot!!!) - but Palm is hopelessly behind the competition, at this point, and I have totally lost condidence a long time ago (unless Palm catches up in the fall with a PDA w/ 200mHz ARM, 64megs RAM, 64megs Flash, 480x480 32-bit color, wireless with REAL web browsing (not that clipping crap) and an included 1gig SD card - I know, I'm dreaming, but of my cute little perfect Palm device and NOT of any micro-$lut piece of crap!). So, at this point, I am drooling in anticipation of the Sony NR-70V if this device is as good at it seems to be in advance, then, OK, I'll retool to MemorySticks - and the hell with Palm! FOR SALE: Old Palms, enquire within....
RE: This entire situation is making me lose confidence in Palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/12/2002 7:14:48 AM #
>..I don't think anyone can do any worse than this.

True, Palm is the only one can offer you such a SUDS crap at the price of $400

RE: Update to my horrible Palm customer service experience
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/17/2002 12:53:45 PM #
Update to my original post:

- After not receiving the seriel cable again, I called Palm customer service again. They said that I received the seriel cable delivery and signed for it. The only problem is the person who they said signed for it was a person I don't know. They said that they will again ship a cable to me next day, and that I'd receive it on Monday (this was a Friday).

- On Monday, guess what? I received TWO seriel cables in the mail ! I also received my credit card bill which showed that I was billed for the original 3 items that they shipped me incorrectly (which they confirmed to me that they did NOT bill me for), PLUS TWO seriel cables!!!

- I called Customer service again, and told them about this problem, but they wanted me to call a "returns" dept to get a credit. I refused and asked them to credit my account as they had all the info they needed, and I did not want to waste more time on hold (they said they could not transfer me directly). They still said they couldn't do that, so I asked to speak to a Manager. When they tried to transfer me, I was disconnected.

- I called back, and asked to speak to the same Manager. They said she was on the phone but would call me back in 5-10 minutes. It's now two hours later and I have not received a call back.

The story continues...

Work arounds?

Cheetah @ 4/11/2002 11:55:32 PM #
I wonder if the following work arounds will work:

a. use a seriel cradle instead of a USB cradle? (even after the Palm no longer syncs). Has anyone tried this?

b. rather then beam the changed files to the Palm (can't do the calendar or other programs), can you use the SD backup card to move your files from your existing Palm with the sync problem, to the new replacement Palm. Has anyone tried this?

RE: Work arounds?
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/12/2002 4:02:17 AM #
Yes, you can backup all to card then reinstall fully the entire Palm again - as new. Try BackupBuddyVFS which is a free program. You can get someone to load it then beam it to you. Easy to use and works all the time.

Another quick way without having to invest in a SD/MMC card is to beam the address book, date book, todo and memo/notepad info to another palm. Then beam it back after you've fixed your 505. There are many 3rd party softwares for this such as Beamware, Mcfile etc. that allows you to see all the files in the Palm. The names of the files to beam are:
MemoDB (if you use memo rather than the notepad)
npadDB (if you use notepad)

You sound like you received a really bad experience with palm. I have also been using them for a long time since the Pilot days. I must say that my experience with them have been rather good. Not had to use the customer service too many times. Only 2 incidences with a broken screen on the Pilot and a Vx with a broken button after too much Galax!) but when it came to it, worked out fine and professional.

Guess that in Asia, Palm is ok.

Palm Replacement Program

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/12/2002 10:54:11 AM #
Just a further note on this. I too had the SUDS problem, and obtained an "E" USB cradle from Palm. It alone didn't do the trick. I called Palm and arranged for Advanced Replacement. I will be receiving the m505 and the Cradle. Now, of important note: The m505 I will be receiving has been re-engineered to correct the problem within the Palm itself. So the susceptibility was within both the cradle and the palm device. Therefore, even with the noted procedure for returning the USB Sync capability, your palm device will still be susceptable to the SUDS issue. You need both the re-engineered m505 AND the "E" or"H" cradle to have any reasonable level of confidence that you will not experience the problem again. Hopefully, this will help all the users out there to resolve this finally. Good Luck!

Serial Synch Problem

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/12/2002 1:33:19 PM #
I had a palm that stopped USB synching on my home PC, and Palm replaced it pronto. The replacement unit, however, failed to serial synch at my office computer (Windows NT with no USB). I've had 2 additional replacement units from Palm (you gotta love them for trying to work through these problems). I still can't serial synch. Anyone have a serial synch problem and a solution?




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