STORY UPDATE

Handspring Hamstrung

Handspring, the company founded by the inventors of the PalmPilot, has delivered a lot of hype since the debut of its Visor handheld organizer, but it's had a hard time delivering copies of the organizer itself. Complaints of hold times lasting two or three hours, broken phone connections and missing order confirmations for the Palm knockoff have been filling newsgroups since this Palm clone arrived. Allen Bush, a spokesman for Handspring, pinned the company's problems on poor customer service, not supply limitations: "Some people who ordered early have gotten a disservice and we're working hard to correct it." Bush said that the company's customer-service center was understaffed, but Handspring is doubling its workforce there. And would-be owners of this season's hot handheld device won't have to wait on hold to place an order anymore: Handspring's store went online yesterday (weeks after the company's first predictions). But the waiting period for the Visor, still only sold by the company, remains four to six weeks.

BOOK REPORT

And on that note . . . "Customer Service for Dummies" is one of the latest odd book titles to come from publisher IDG Books, distributor of the "Dummies" series of instruction books. This new volume tackles such modern-day issues as "How to handle a flame," "Bad manners in cyberspace" and how to write e-mail with "electronic emotion." Five pages detail "How to Put a Customer on Hold."

Top-selling software (for the week of Oct. 3-9)

1. Microsoft Age of Empires II: Age Of Kings, Microsoft $46

2. Microsoft Windows 98 2nd Edition Upgrade, Microsoft $89

3. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear, Red Storm Ent. $33

4. Norton System Works 2000, Symantec $60

5. Norton Antivirus 2000 6.0, Symantec $37

6. Command & Conquer 2: Tiberian Sun, Electronic Arts $48

7. Quicken Deluxe, Intuit $57

8. Quicken, Intuit $30

9. Cabela's Big Game Hunter 3, Activision $18

10. Deer Hunter III, GT Interactive $20

Source: PC Data

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