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Problems hold up Handspring rebates

Glitches in the handheld computer maker's first rebate program have left new Visor owners temporarily empty-handed.

Glitches in Handspring's first rebate program have left new Visor owners temporarily empty-handed.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based handheld maker began a rebate program this spring, offering $50 off its Visor Deluxe and Visor Platinum models. However, miscommunication about certain rebate conditions has left new Visor owners without their rebate checks.

The rebates, and other price cuts, come in the midst of a price war due to market leader Palm's inventory glut. Sony recently joined the war with new devices that are more affordable than its previous models.

To receive a rebate check from Handspring, buyers must mail in the UPC bar code on the box from their new device. Some buyers did not send in the correct proof of purchase and as a result--weeks later--received a notice from Handspring's third-party rebate fulfillment company asking for the correct bar code, Handspring spokesman Brian Jaquet said Thursday.

Jaquet added that some retail stores had a sale on devices cutting the price of the units by $50, which voided the opportunity for a rebate. However, he said, the terms of the rebate did not make that point clear.

Jaquet said Handspring has decided to honor all rebate requests. "This was the first time we offered rebates," he said. "And we've worked through the problems that led to delays and feel confident it won't happen again."

On Handspring's Web site, the company is apologizing for the delay in fulfilling rebates.

The purchasing deadline for Deluxe and Platinum rebates has ended. But until Saturday, Handspring is offering a $30 rebate on its 2MB Visor. And until Sunday, it's offering $100 off the price of its Visor Edge to customers who trade in another handheld computer.