Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Peek, Inc Sucks: How the Operators of Peek Failed Me

With twitter becoming my main outlet for online expressions, it now takes a lot to get me riled up to write something in this blog. Fortunately (unfortunately?) something has happened to one of my favorite geeky device to get me so riled up that I had to post something in blog form.

Last month, the company that created the Peek Mobile Email Device made all their users buy a whole new device because they had a falling out with their network service providers. The service disruption eventually made all older Peek models out in the wild into a fancy electronic paper weight. As a consolation to their customers, Peek, Inc offered their current customers a special deal to allow them to upgrade to the latest Peek device mode, the Peek9 for just $1 plus $6.95 for shipping. (So, basically $7.95 for the latest Peek which at the time wasn't that bad).

When Peek, Inc. made the announcement about their discounted Peek9 "Lemonade Promotion," their web site's ordering system was apparently not quite ready to accept the people's orders. At the time, the site didn't have the right options, made people choose a plan, and didn't have a proper order confirmation page. Trying to complete my order, I mistakenly hit the order button a couple of times hoping to invoke something from the site to tell me that they had received my order. Little did I know that my random clicking would cause me so much grief.

As it turned out, my double-clicking resulted in having two orders in their system. I contacted Peek and told them about my concerns and that I really only needed one Peek. I got a response from their President, Amol Sarva, who promised me that their people would take care of it and that my credit card would not be charged twice. At that time, I was happy to get a response and thought nothing more of it.

I eventually got the new Peek9 and with a couple of hiccups with transferring my account over, everything was sorted out and I was back up and running. I didn't even mind that the Peek9 upgrade cable that was promised to us were back ordered and that it would take several weeks to get them. I was a happy camper up to this point.

For about a week, everything was going fine. The Peek9 worked like a charm. I was happy. Then the postman arrived with another box from Peek. At first I thought they were the backordered Peek9 cable but as it turned out, it was another Peek9 unit. Concerned, I quickly checked my credit card online and saw that Peek, Inc. had charged me another $7.95 for another Peek9 device which means they never canceled my duplicate order despite their president telling me that I would not be charged twice. Turns out that he was a liar or at least his people made him into one through their incompetence.

To try resolve the issue, I tried calling Peek's support phone number at which I was sent to a recorded message that said that the company was not accepting anymore request for tech support on their support phone line. The message went on to tell me that I needed to go online to file a ticket to request any support. Being a patient and good sport, I did this without hesitation and much complaint.

My original online request for help was filed on October 28th. I heard nothing from the company until the morning on November 30th. That's roughly a whole month of not hearing anything from the company. Now that they actually replied to me, their solution is to make me go through a RMA process to ship back an item which I wasn't even supposed to receive. They also asked me if I just wanted to keep the device as a back up which really makes no sense to me. The RMA process wasn't really even a viable option because it meant having to take time from my busy life to file, process, and mail back something that I was told that I wasn't supposed to getting for the fantastic refund price of $1. Yeah, they won't refund the shipping according some post I read on their forums.

While all of this insanity is happening, I noticed something else wrong with my new Peek. I am now starting to get email from accounts that I have since removed from the device. At first, I thought it was just a backlog of email coming in, but several of my tests show that new emails are still being delivered to my Peek despite not being entered into my Peek.

At first, I was disappointed with how my order was being handled. Now, I'm just livid and furious about how my Peek is still accessing email accounts that I have removed. Essentially, Peek is now accessing my email accounts illegally. Their servers have apparently made copies of my user names and passwords to continue to grab my email to send to my Peek device. As it was first explained to me, the removal of an email account on the Peek should unlink that email account from the Peek servers, but for some reason this was not happening with my Peek.

I received an email from their tech representative about this issue and they tell me to just do a reset to clear out the email accounts. I am not an idiot. I know how to use my Peek and doing a Peek reset was the first thing I did. In fact, I had done this 3 times and I will, for good measure, do it again after I finishing writing this post.

If you're having the same problem with your Peek, drop me a comment below. I'm hoping my case is isolated, but I have a feeling it's not.

All in all, Peek, Inc. failed me and I'm not so enthusiastic about them anymore. In the beginning, the Peek was something I could proudly to show off and excitedly tell people about it. Now, I find myself disappointed by their actions and warning everyone of the type of disappointing service they can expect.


no and to tell people about. Now, I'm just annoyed by their actions and

1 comment:

  1. I've been a Lifetime Peek subscriber since early 2009. My Pronto stopped working in September 2010, and the Peek9 arrived for $1 plus shipping. For two months now, the Peek9 won't accept any email address I give it. I have a strong T-Mobile signal. The Peek network receives my attempt to enter an email account, and the Peek software assumes that all is well, but whatever my Peek needs to accept my email account on the device never makes it to my Peek. I know this because I get welcome messages on my email web account every time I try this. I've been in touch with a Peek person about a dozen times, and she and I tried various solutions. Nothing has worked.

    Here's what I suspect is going on. It looks to me like T-Mobile is not supporting Peek's interface. This is sort of a "soft shutdown" on T-Mobile's part -- some Peeks work, some work halfway, some don't work at all. The middle man that Peek used to interface with T-Mobile went out of business and all old Peeks stopped working in September. Now Peek is scrambling to figure out how to get everything working directly with T-Mobile. But I have a deep suspicion that T-Mobile is under no obligation to negotiate with Peek Inc. to come up with a contract that insures that the Peek device is supported by T-Mobile. As T-Mobile rolls out new software for its network, it probably has no incentive to keep Peek onboard. In other words, the failure mode for Peek will be getting worse, not better. When you think about it, carriers (except perhaps Blackberry) define email as a data option that's added on to the standard voice and text messaging that's included in their standard packages. These data options cost more, and they usually have bandwidth caps. Why allow a little upstart like Peek Inc. to provide unlimited email usage?

    Either T-Mobile would like to see Peek go away, or at a minimum they want too much money to accommodate them with a contract. Peek cannot compete in an age of smart phones with data access, unless some major carrier can make money off it them.

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