HumanWare Is Losing Its Humanity

Last Updated on: 1st October 2013, 05:03 pm

I have to tell a little story, because I feel it needs to be told.

It starts off with me being a dumb silly person. When I went to Barb’s place last weekend, I decided to take my Trekker with me. Since I knew that it would need a recharging after it was on all the way through that five-hour-ish bus ride, I packed the charger and the 3-way splitter. To save space, I packed my chargers in my purse, in the middle in an attempt to shield them from being bumped around.

When I arrived at Barb’s, and later wanted to charge my Trekker, I discovered that the pins on the little piece that goes into the PDA had been bent all to hell! It was at that exact second that I heard the voice of a tech support lady in my head saying “You know you can take that piece off, eh?” Well damn it. If I’d done that, and stored it separately, it likely would have survived the trip.

So I came home, and first tried to buy the piece from HP. They had no idea what I was talking about. I went to HP first because I heard from HumanWare people that they have a limited supply of parts, so it’s better to buy the part from HP. I had also heard whispers from tech support and other users that it’s cheaper to get the part from anywhere but HumanWare themselves.

So, after HP was a fail, I called HumanWare, and nearly fell out of my chair. To buy the little end, they were going to charge me $60. Excuse me? Needless to say, I did not buy it. I decided to take my damaged piece down to the guy at PC Trust and see if he could work some magic on it.

But the next day, I thought I’d call HumanWare and see how much a splitter was, just for shits and giggles. I figured hey, I could take the end off, put it on my splitter, and if anything happened to my splitter, I’d have a spare! We like spare rare things.

So I called them, and you know what they wanted to charge me for a power splitter? They wanted to charge $20! Just so we’re clear, the power splitter is the whole doo dad with the three ends so you can plug in all Trekker’s assorted parts. And they wanted to charge me $60 for just one of those ends before! I can understand charging a little extra for just that end because then they’re breaking up a perfectly good splitter to sell me part of it, but is it justified to charge me 3 times the price of the whole splitter? That seems a little nuts.

What makes me even more mad is the day before, when I called about the one piece, I gave the sales guy at least 4 opportunities to offer me a splitter instead, and each time, he said “I know it’s not cheap, but it’s not cheap for us either.” What bull! He was also the same guy who ended up selling me the splitter.

I ordered the splitter, but there’s a part of me that’s afraid it will come without the doo dad that goes into the PDA. I asked him if it had all 3 ends to plug in all 3 parts and he assured me that it did. If it gets here and it doesn’t have that part, I’ll be rippin’ mad.

As an aside, does anyone know how much it would cost to get a cradle for an HP iPAQ HX2490 PDA? Humanware sells them for $139. I may ask HP, just for fun. If it’s less than half that price, shame on Humanware.

And that’s not all they did. I called in at the end of one day to ask the power splitter question, and was put on hold for a half-hour, all the while being told that I’m first in line for the next available representative. Then, a recorded message came on to tell me noone was available at this time! What the hell’s up with that? And when I started out, I was second in line, so I know that the line wasn’t super long and they had to stop somewhere. They had one, maybe two people in line. That is no way to treat customers who pay lots of money for their products.

In the meantime, I went down to PC Trust, and he did manage to straighten out the pins, but I can tell they may bend or break with any little stress, so I’m glad I’m getting a new splitter. I’m also glad I saw him, because he found my last post about him, and was pretty happy to see me. What a nice guy. He even fixed the pins for nothing. Yup, he’s a good guy.

If it was just this little incident, I would just say I had a run of bad luck. But I tend to think this is the norm. I mean, just look at the Oratio mess, and I know people with other devices who are overcharged and given the runaround.

The one place I have to give them credit is their tech support. They’re awesome! It’s through them that I found out about the sync cable, and it’s through them that I learned about the splitter coming apart. If only I’d remembered that on that Friday. But even they gently warn you away from buying directly from HumanWare. What does that tell you?

I know what it tells me. I will avoid buying HumanWare products like the plague. I like my stream, and I love my Trekker, but in the future, I will seek out alternatives. I will not deal with a company that thinks so little of its customers.

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