Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Axim, more problems

I went to CompUSA and got a new memory card for my handheld, at which time I figured out that the problem wasn't the card, but the memory card reader in the handheld. I spent an hour on the phone with another nice Indian gentleman named "Aaron", and eventually convinced him that the handheld was bad. I paid an extra $20 for Dell CompleteCare warranty service for a year. That covers accidental damage (the standard warranty covers only manufacturing defects), and it comes with Advance Exchange: they will ship me a new one, and once I get it I ship the old one back. That's a good deal, for twenty bucks.

And, since I'm shipping this handheld back anyway, I'm experimenting with making my own screen protectors for it. I found some downloadable templates for screen protectors for an Axim X5, but they don't fit the X3i. Once I find a template that works, I'll use them on the new handheld. I feel a little unethical doing that, but at least I'm not trashing it on purpose just to get it replaced. The warranty page actually lists "Intentional Damage (hammer marks) -- not covered".

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Axim: disappointing.

I got my new Dell Axim X3i handheld in the mail today, woo hoo!

That's the good news. The bad news is, it doesn't work. They shipped it with a defective memory card.

Then, while digging on the web about the problem, I found out that it's a pretty typical problem; there's an entire user forum at Dell's website dedicated to memory card problems, and it turns out that Dell ships it with a card that doesn't work in about a third of their handhelds. Grr. I called Dell's tech support , 100% of which has been outsourced to Bangalore, India, and had a very polite conversation in very broken English with a customer service rep named "Tony". Given that they have an entire user forum dedicated to the problem, I was a little surprised that they seemed to have never heard of the problem before. Then they told me that the policy is that they aren't responsible for replacing memory cards, that I need to contact the card's manufacturer for replacement.

So, I have the handheld, and it is cool. But they shipped it with a memory card that they know doesn't work in their handhelds, and after much phone time refused to fix it. I'm not happy with Dell at the moment.

And, I contacted Sandisk, the card manufacturer. They're aware of the problem, and if I send them the defective card, they'll send me a new one. In six to eight weeks. Did I mention Grrr?