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Go Back   1src Forums > Tapwave > Zodiac
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Old 07-01-2004, 02:48 PM   #1
NeilShapiro
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Bought It, Returned It

Oh well, thought I would at least try and picked up a Zodiac from CompUSA early this morning. From the other thread I knew there would be problems but.... First when I installed Mobipocket I got the will-not-sync news problem. I followed the advice from Tapland and added a PATH command to my autoexec file and that did not fix it. Avant-Go was giving me distorted graphics. Then Zlauncher mysteriously froze a few times. I went onto Tapwave's site. They had no phone number for customer support. They did have a Chat feature. The fellow in chat could easily have been a parroting ELIZA-style program rather than a human being. Not only was he not helpful, he was stupefyingly slow and annoying to work with. That was the final straw. The screen was great, the feel was good. But I decided I just don't have the time or inclination to troubleshoot compatibility problems every day.And that coupled with Tapwave's awesomely poor customer support -- well, I paid the restocking fee (robbery in its own right) and the unit is back at CompUSA and I am still looking for a new Palm device.

Last edited by NeilShapiro : 07-01-2004 at 02:49 PM. Reason: spell corrections
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Old 07-01-2004, 03:08 PM   #2
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I just got back from CompUSA and looked at the Zodiac. I must say I liked the feel and the look, much better then I expected.

What I didn't like was the canned demo program that was running and the fact that you couldn't get out of it, to actually try the darn thing.

The rep didn't even understand what the product was, they will not sell many this way.

Given Sony's recent announcement they should seize the opportunity and market this thing as a PDA instead of a Game Boy.
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Old 07-01-2004, 04:33 PM   #3
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Yes, it was really a dumb demo program. Although I would still have bought it if I could have gotten to the icons I am sure. It wasn't until I tried to install the stuff I really need that I knew I had made a mistake. By the way, in no way am I trying to badmouth the Zodiac itself as I am sure many people will love the buttons off of it. It just 1) didn't immediately suit my needs and 2) the online customer support (and unavailable personal support) was soooooooo bad I just wanted out of it even with a $50 restocking fee!
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Old 07-02-2004, 02:12 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perk
I just got back from CompUSA and looked at the Zodiac. I must say I liked the feel and the look, much better then I expected.

What I didn't like was the canned demo program that was running and the fact that you couldn't get out of it, to actually try the darn thing.

The rep didn't even understand what the product was, they will not sell many this way.

Given Sony's recent announcement they should seize the opportunity and market this thing as a PDA instead of a Game Boy.


Alas, the demo is unbreakable. It's a special ROM image. The real PalmOS 5.2T isn't even on the damn demo. Grr... I'm the Communications Center Lead at the Aurora CO CompUSA and the demo gets people's interest, but no one buys Zods when I'm not there to show off my own.

Sales reps at CompUSA aren't paid much, and we're frequently expected to know/sell every item on the floor. Even though I'm nominally in charge of the PDA/MP3/Phone/Camera section, I'm just as often helping folks in PCs, networking, software, home theater. The end result is that unless you get a rep that's also a hobbyist in the subject you're looking at, they probably won't know much. We've got guys at my store that know everything about Linux, who know home theater inside out, guys that used to be network engineers until the bottom dropped out of the IT industry, but no one knows it all, and Communications is the most feared/mysterious part of the store. For some reason, gadgets scare a lot of people. Most of the reps in my store are afraid to activate a cell phone. It's the luck of the draw to get someone knowledgable.

And yes, the Zodiac is the "portable entertainment console" the Clie always wanted to be but never was. With Sony out of the market, this is the golden opportunity for Tapwave to establish themselves with the consumer market.

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Old 07-02-2004, 07:09 AM   #5
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As you know from my other thread too I would have bought and kept my Zod if it worked with two extremely popular programs -- Mobipocket and Avant-Go. I can't help but think that if it has problems with these (that the majority of Palm users I would guess use at least one) that their software evangelist effort in-house was either non-existent or not a success. What they needed to come into this marketplace with was not just the great stuff they DO have but across-the-board compatibility with Palm One palms and OS5-compliant applications. I'll bet I am not the only one swallowing a restocking fee at CompUSA in the next week or two!
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Old 07-02-2004, 10:55 AM   #6
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I suppose it's possible, but one of the reasons I dumped AvantGo in the first place was that they are horribly behind in development. AG didn't run at all on OS5 for the longest time, and now the OS5 version doesn't support the extended screen of the T3 and still frequently has graphics issues. AvantGo is just poorly written software, period. I doubt there's much Tapwave can do about that.

If you don't mind a reasonable registration fee, iSilo and iSiloX do the same thing as AG, Plucker, Mobi, etc and are dead simple to use.
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Old 07-02-2004, 02:21 PM   #7
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Neil, I can't believe that you returned it so quickly, especially considering that you lost $50 as a result. I would have kept it as long as I could before having to return it so that I could try more workarounds to see if some/all of your problems could be addressed.

Personally, I don't use either of the apps you mentioned. I need to be up to date on things, so I prefer a live internet connection to offline browsing.

Oh well, I guess it's too late to talk you out of it now.

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Old 07-02-2004, 03:45 PM   #8
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What the hell is a restocking fee???

I took a PPC (crap) back to my store in the UK (It was Dixons) and told them what I thought of it and I didn't get charged. Is this some rip-off American store idea?
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Old 07-02-2004, 03:58 PM   #9
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Yes a restocking fee is indeed a "rip-off American store idea."
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Old 07-02-2004, 04:00 PM   #10
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One of the reasons I was so quick to return it is that I'm unable right now because of being very busy to try workarounds and devote time to this. But it was also just frustration!
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Old 07-02-2004, 05:38 PM   #11
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For the record, zLauncher and AvantGo work perfectly on my Z. I don't use Mobipocket so I can't speak for that.

My point is that I am just one person with one experience (just as NeilShapiro is one person with his one bad experience). The 'net has a way of turning these types of posts into bad karma.
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Old 07-03-2004, 12:47 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilShapiro
Yes a restocking fee is indeed a "rip-off American store idea."

I can tell you exactly why CompUSA charges them. We got tired of taking the hit for people "renting" equipment. Someone could come in on a Friday and buy a laptop or a digital camera, then return it Monday after they'd used it for a one-time use. We could no longer sell that item as new, and usually had to sell it for less than we'd paid the distributor for it. The restocking fee is intended to discourage buying something that you have no intention of keeping. If you're exchanging it for something else, the restocking fee is almost always waived, and it's always waived if the item is defective.

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Old 07-03-2004, 05:20 PM   #13
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Hi Jeff --
Not to get too far off topic but I certainly do not agree with your explanation of restocking fees. Many, many businesses have return problems. I am a printer and I get returns all the time -- but I can pretty much judge when it is a real problem and when it is someone trying to get something for nothing. I think most businessmen can. What you have given is a rationalization, not a reason. It is probably even a revenue stream for the store. Had CompUSA a decent policy it would be a restocking fee unless an adequate reason was given. But, they do not care what the reaon is, what the situation may be or anything other than getting the money. Sure, they are not the only store that does this but they are among the worst. But, I knew that going in and I am NOT complaining that I was treated in any way I did not expect. Was it fair? Sure, they told me the rules and I accepted them. But their rules stink and I ordinarily do not shop there but go to stores in which I have greater confidence of support and not robotic rule-applying. In this case no other store (well that I could go to) sold the Zod.
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Old 07-03-2004, 07:33 PM   #14
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CUSA is actually my favorite store to purchase PDA's, Since I shop there all the time I have never had to pay any restocking fees and I have probably returned at least 3. In reading alot of the these forums I belive that the replacment plans have been really abused as a whole and probably a major reason why CUSA changed their replacement plan. I'm sure people and the way the handle the policies from store to store are different and I know I probably pay more money for my toys at CUSA but I'm very confident they would do anything to keep me happy as a customer.
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Old 07-07-2004, 07:35 PM   #15
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Jeff, you might feel that CompUSA's policy protects the store but I think otherwise. I'm more interested in protecting my interests. I too bought a Zodiac and returned it to CompUSA. I, however did not pay the restocking fee. I simply told the sales gal that the unit hard reset on it's own several times.

If I had the chance to actually play with the unit to see how it performed I would not have bought it. As it was, the unit ran that stupid demo program and I could not properly evaluate it. The sales people had no clue about it, in fact when I returned mine, every sales person in the store was checking it out. They had never seen one in its "natural" state.

Did I lie? Yes. Am I proud of it? No.

CompUSA needs to learn that educated sales people help them sell more. I spend tens of thousands of dollars on computers and related techology every year. It does not pay to make my buying decisions difficult. CompUSA would get a much, much larger chunk of my spending if they would only learn how to properly display and sell items.
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