Palm Pays Back Reward Program Cancelled

In what can only be another sign that the vultures are beginning to circle over Palm's remaining handheld models, Palm has quietly announced that they are canceling its Palm Pays Back rewards program. According to an article on, the program was targeted at an overly-specific niche of the market and destined for failure.

Originally launched to help reward Palm OS users (or rather, "evalgelists") who referred new customers to Palm's handhelds, Palm's interest in the program has waned in recent years.

Palm points can be redeemed at a number of e-tailers including, Starbucks, or the store. Device reward figures range from 1000 points for a Z22 to 2200 points for a Treo smartphone or the T5 or LifeDrive handhelds.

Another mark against the program was Palm's relative lack of hands-on participation in the program. was the actual administrator of the program for Palm and many Palm-oriented web forums have been filled with horror stories of incorrect promotion codes missing UPC numbers. The program appeared to have completely fallen by the wayside 2005 as the TX and Z22 were very late additions to the qualifying products list. The most recent Palm product on the list is the Treo 700p while the 700wx and 680 do not appear on the list at all.

The final day for users to redeem points from new purchases is November 30th 2006. Palm's current $10,000 promotion seems unaffected by the news, despite also being administered by

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Nothing succeeds like success....

joad @ 11/10/2006 7:45:05 PM # Q
I probably would have qualified for tens of thousands of these "points," but it was such a murky program I never bothered my head with it. Hurry up and spend them, kids.

If Palm wants to *TRULY* reward us - take the money they're saving from the Starbucks gift cards and put it into RAM, firmware improvements and general quality improvement (heck - go all out and splurge: train the alleged "support" team properly!). This "lottery mentality" that pervades nowadays drives me nuts - rather than put money into improving their product they design selfish marketing games to distract us from what's lacking in their work.

It's like those Monopoly stickers they put on McDonald's "food" - if I really wanted to play Monopoly I'd have stayed home and cooked something edible. If Palm wants us to continue to "evangelize" then they had better get back to offering us improvements worthy of yapping positively about. The 700p was a good minor first step.

Buying us off with "latte cards" is squarely aimed at the con folk who work as adjunct hustlers to the same cons at Palm that told us that 14-16MB of usable RAM in the Treo 650 was plenty and other big lies just to get our money. I'm sure their loss to cover all the returns, repairs, and non-sales was more than it would have cost to simply put a decent amount of chip in the devices from the beginning. And all the iced coffee in the world wouldn't convince me to conveniently leave out those facts when I'm telling people about the major and unnecessary shortcomings in a $600.00+ phone.

I and everyone else I know that truly has promoted Palm products over the past 10-odd years until we were bloody just did it because we loved the product and how it was able to improve our lives and those of others. There are evangelists driven by the spirit, and there are the ones doing it for other purposes (as certain preachers have shown us recently).....

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Good Riddance to the Sheister Program

Wollombi @ 11/11/2006 6:43:24 PM # Q
Well, for one thing, Palm DOESN'T pay back, at least not in my case. After evangelizing Palm's products, and figuring I could get some benefits from the points at Palm's store, I attempted to register codes on their site (3 people chose to have me register the codes on their behalf, not wanting to deal with doing it was done at their residence). That night, their website had "issues" and didn't take the code right away, so I re-entered it, at which point the site again blew chunks. So I waited about an hour ntil the site appeared to be more functoinal, then entered it and got a confirmation from the website that it had been accepted. At that time I then entered 2 more codes from friends and relatives who had bought Palms at my suggestion.

Palm's response to this was to assume that I was conning them, and, weeks (nearly a month and a half) later, after already awarding the points, revoked the points and disabled my login to the program without notifying me to explain why. I contacted Palm, wanting to use my points, and they said that my points were not only revoked for the codes I had entered the night the website was buggy, but to explain that they were now "auditing" me, meaning I had to provide the receipts, names and UPC codes from every unit that had folks had ever registered in the program against my account, or my account would not be re-enabled. When I asked Palm how I should come up with all of this, seeing as many of these purchases were well over a year past, and some even older, and I didn't necessarily know that some had even registered their units, Palm didn't care, stating that I should have kept the receipts and UPC's of my friends relatives, who also needed to keep them for warranty and in some cases rebate purposes, and some who lived a good distance away (how am I supposed to do this anyway if they are registering the units?). This made no sense at all, but I made an attempt to acquire the information, explaining sheepishly to friends and family what had happened. Long story short, Palm eventually re-enabled my account, but with drastically reduced points, removing points for any registration that couldn't be "proved". So, for my work, I had points revoked (what would have happened if I had redeemed them? Palm never said.) and was coerced to try to prove not only my word, but the word of others, which I had never given Palm a reason to doubt. It's not like one could just go and find these codes on eBay or something, you had to actually have a promotion code, that was printed on the cardboard sleeve of the CD that was in the box of each unit. Where exactly does Palm think these codes were coming from, if not legitimately, without stealing a truckload of units, in which case a much larger number of units would be registered against my email address?

Needless to say, I ordered what I wanted at the time, and the remainder of the points have languised in place. I have not registered any more units, because I have since stopped promoting Palm products in many cases, unless it is obvious that Palm's product will meet the needs of the person I am talking to. Even so, I no longer asked people to enter their codes against my email address.

I had been a long time, loyal Palm enthusiast until this point. I owned a Palm III, IIIe, 2 IIIxe's (one for my wife) a Handera 330 (which Palm saw licensing money for), a m500, a Sony Clie 615C, a Tungsten|T, T2, T3 and finally a T5, which is still on my shelf collecting dust next to my Handera 330, which I will probably always own. Palm's method of rewarding such customer loyalty was a figurative back-handed b@tch slap for no apparent reason other than being cheapskates.

Palm's lack of loyalty to a loyal customer is one part of why my next purchase was not a Palm unit. This above story, along with Palm's seeming unwillingness to innovate or even include some good, useable features that their hard core users repeatedly asked for, lead me to basically ignore as a purchase option the TX, which I thought was a decent unit at a relatively fair price (a first for Palm in years). Instead a save a few bucks and bought a Dell X50v off of eBay with a significant warranty still in effect, just in case. I have enjoyed the X50v and haven't really looked back except in some cases where a real parallel doesn't exist software-wise in the WM camp. I still play with my T5, and keep up on Palm (I still support them), but the X50v is my "daily driver", and Palm may never be again, and honestly that doesn't concern me like it might have in the past.


There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.

RE: Good Riddance to the Sheister Program
joad @ 11/13/2006 4:57:12 PM # Q
I was afraid of exactly that kind of cr@p coming from Palm if I ever started registering all my devices, and from Sean's story it looks like I did the right thing.

I don't know what the hourly rate and stress-level works out to be for Sean's experience, but just avoiding the scam altogether seems to have been well worth it.

Here's Palm's take - "Oh, please help sell our products and we'll give you a few sheckles of Palm funny-money to buy coffee or overpriced accessories for all your hard work on our behalf." Then apparently when you do this - Palm comes back with "Uh-oh: you did what we were hoping you would do (evangelize our products well) and we are happy to give you the promised points as long as you now provide us with UPC codes, actual receipts, blood type of the cashier that sold the device to you, exact temperature at purchase....". In other words they appear to be adding unnecessarily tedious bureaucratic complexity to the process in an attempt to $crew you out of your "points," after they've already gained the value of the sales and you are long past the return period. Isn't that convenient?

But this isn't the first time Palm has played this game. Visit:
for an idea of the "fine print" that's carefully crafted to work against you. Basically, people were led to believe they'd get $150 credit if they purchased a Treo 700p and sent in their fully-functioning Treo 650.... instead, the company kept their device and sent them *nothing* and Palm denied anything to do with it even though they are (and still are advertising on the Palm site and working in conjunction with the Palm store.

How and why Palm thinks that playing these awful games on their most vocal customers is going to help them over the long run in any positive way is beyond me. I'm just glad I smelled a rat on each of them and stayed f-a-a-a-r away.

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Consensus is clear; I agree!!

fongj @ 11/16/2006 3:11:42 AM # Q
Great replies. You guys have a lot more patience than me. I am pretty furious with Palm for this scam program. I got my T|C when it first came out, and loved it. It was my first every Palm, but I quickly learned to use it to do almost anyting, and my friends noticed.

Two friends specifically told me they asked family to get them Palm PDA's as presents because of what they saw me do with my Tungsten. I got their Palm ID codes, but for no good reason, the Palm Pays Back program called the codes invalid, and required me to send in a receipt too. There's no way that my friends will ask for the receipt for the gifts, so my points were lost. I help Palm out, and get nothing back... great program... really.... for Palm.

Palm T|C with 512mb SD card and Radioshack Digitraveler GPS with Mapopolis Navigator.
# of files on my T|C's internal memory > 1.2k
# of CD's worth of music on my SD card > 31
combined memory free on both T|C (with flash ROM filled) and 1gb SD card < 25mb

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What a supreme joke

Fofer @ 12/17/2007 5:00:19 AM # Q
I remember having to fight for every single referral. Fax this, email that. The program was a mess. Despite that, fter a few years of evangelizing, I accumulated quite a bit of points.

I received no email about the program's cancellation. The news here is from November 10, 2006... and it was effectively cancelled three weeks later?

Thanks for the frickin' heads up, Palm.

That sucks.

This Treo 700p will be the last Palm device I own, and I will never, ever recommend another one of your outdated tech.

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