Recently VisorCentral learned that Handspring has updated their policy on phone technical support by introducing the new “Premium Pay Per Incident” program. After 90 days of owning a device, phone support will be a flat fee of $19.95 through a toll-free number. If the call results in a warranty repair order, the call will be free. Note that the Visor still has a one year limited warranty, and that Handspring will still charge $99-$125 to replace broken screens.
*UPDATE* Several readers have notified me saying that Handspring has also upped the cost of fixing a broken screen. The new prices are $99 for a Visor, Visor Deluxe, Platinum, Neo and Pro, $119 for the Edge, and $125 for the Prism.
Handspring will start charging for all support calls of devices that have been owned for more than 90 days on January 2nd, 2002. E-mail support and the online web knowledge base will continue to be free of charge for everyone.
In a statement that Handspring provided to VisorCentral they wrote:
"With the Premium Pay Per Incident program, Handspring is bringing its support program to within common industry practice levels. When we began our first technical support program, Handspring was a new and unproven company, and it was important to offer free support to help establish our product line and trusted relationships with our customer base. As a larger and more established company, we intend to uphold this quality of service, but it is financially and operationally prudent to manage the cost of these programs as they grow in scale. While the structure of Handspring’s customer support program has changed, the company will continue to provide the highest standards of customer care."
This isn't very surprising to me as Handspring needs to make a profit soon, and one of the ways is to try to limit the number of calls to its technical support. I am pleased to see though that support will still be free for those who actually have broken Visors.