My experiences and how I came about getting my Pre are documented around here, but just for those who do not know already.
I, along with 4 other members of this very forum were chosen at random to get a Palm Pre for review, opinions, help etc. We were asked to be honest and open in all our discussion of the phone and what we thought its plusses and minuses were. At the end of the review period we were invited to keep the phone as a token of appreciation for participating in the review process. We weren't given any money for a good review or positive thoughts which is why I have spoken at times of my good and bad experiences with the phone.
I got my Pre and fell in love instantly, then I had the screen crack on it while sitting in a movie. I contacted the person at Sprint who was responsible for this program and asked if it would be possible to get a new Pre since this screen cracking issue was pretty well documented and others were having the exact same problem. She told me that a replacement unit may not be possible because they were in such short supply and high demand, but that she may have something for me in a month. The month comes up and she says that something I may be able to do is head to a Sprint store, explain my participation in this program as well as bring along her e-mail plus any documentation I can provide on the cracked screen issue (which isn't hard to do if you Google cracked Pre screen). Long story short, I had the store deny a replacement stating that despite the evidence in my posession the cracked screen is not a known issue and I had to pay a repair fee, I was asked 3 times for a $120 fee for repair, I wasn't going to pay for anything, I chalked it up as a loss and move on. My contact with the program even offered to make payment over the phone and they wouldn't accept it from her (A Sprint corporate employee!!!). I went home and thought all was lost, but alas, it wasn't.
She managed to get others involved and got a Pre out to me in a little over a week after this incident. I got the new Pre but then had to wait almost 4 days to get it activated since the person responsible for the activations was pretty busy and didn't take to kindly to my person asking what the delay was in getting the phone activated (I don't know if this played any part in the delay or not). I did however, get an extension on my original end date for the review period once the phone was activated, without even asking for it, so that was very nice.
The person I have been dealing with has been an absolute SAVIOR through all of this, and I wish that there was some way I could get word out that this is how the CS team needs to be trained on dealing with issues. I have thanked her time and time again, and have always been patient and kind with her, since she has been nothing but the same with me. She knows who she is, as do others, I just wish that all the people I have dealt with I could say the same thing about. I am not going to mention her name so everyone isn't bugging her, but I do hope that she does know that I really do appreciate everything she has done even if it has been a long complicated process.
Now for the 2nd part of my Pre experience.
I got my new unit, got it activated and restored my Palm Profile bringing this new phone right up to speed where my last one left off, I updated the WebOs and got to work playing around. This is where my questioning of the phone comes into play.
I am having light leaking around the top corners of the phone where the screen blends into the body, when I am in a dark area and using the phone you can see light coming from around the screen. I am being ANAL about not putting any pressure on the screen so I do not crack this one or even get it a chance to crack. I don't have any slider issues and actually have very little play in the sliders and little to no "oreo effect" that many other people have.
Along the bottom of the phone where the gesture bar is I have a blob of light that when holding the phone and looking straight onto the screen isn't very noticeable, but if you turn the phone to either side and look at it from an angle it is very prominent and looks like something is wrong with the screen. I have had the phone and been using it for about 2 days now and I have had it shut down on me half a dozen times now for no reason at all. I have been able to replicate the issue a couple times, if I have the slider open and lay the phone down face down with very little to no force behind it, the screen will be totally black, but you can tell it has power on, there will be a glow coming from it, but it does not respond to touch or anything, I have to hold the power button down and it will turn back on like it has been off. I have also had the screen black out on me when opening the slider once or twice.
These issues are almost becoming too much for me. I am not asking for, nor will I be seeking a replacement unit this time around just because I don't know what Sprint or Palm is recognizing as "known issues" which seems to be the cop-out way of pawning off faulty hardware, thus blaming everything on user error or user damage as my cracked screen was classified. Plus the problems I am having are again, well documented along with the screen cracking so who knows if I was to get another one what issues I could have with it.
As much as I LOVE the software and features of the phone, this has to be one of the most horrible, cheap, fragile phones I have ever seen in my life. Mind you I am a LONNNNNNG time Nextel user, so I was all too spoiled by the Mil Spec. phones that I carried day in and day out for many years with never a thought to what would happen if I were to sit the phone down. I am not hard on my devices at all, but loved having a phone that I knew could handle whatever I wanted to throw at it (never threw anything at them really). Since leaving the Nextel world I moved on to Sprint and the Blackberry world and those are ROCKS compared to the Pre. I wouldn't ever do stuff to my BB that I did to my Nextel phone, but I bet it could handle it while the Pre would crumble and fall apart (literally I am sure).
Palm PLEASE, I beg of you PLEASE look into the hardware on these phones and at least do something so when the GSM community gets them on VZW and or other carriers they don't have half the problems we have had. I am ok beta testing products out, and often is the case with being an early adopter but these hardware/build issues are just too much. I could handle a software bug, or the little tweaks and OS updates coming here and there, but this phone has some serious issues that need addressing ASAP or Palm will fall the way of SEGA, Electronic Gaming Monthly and so many other corporations in this economy.
I didn't want to put this in Rants and Raves since it really is about the Pre and my issues, but looking back on it I can imagine a mod or someone thinking it should go there since I bring in the whole back story and my entire experience thus far.