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Treo Pro Body Cracks

Wed Nov 19, 2008 - 7:36 PM EST - By Jennifer Chappell

Got Cracks?

Looks like several Treo Pro owners are finding cracks on their devices. Some Treo Pros have multiple hairline cracks. There is a thread in the TreoCentral forums entitled "Treo Pro body: Cracks or no cracks? Please vote and post details!"

I think that the original post about someone finding a crack on their Pro was this single post thread by forum member rkrishnamurthy:

Bad news guys, i already have a small crack near the ringer switch. Mine is barely 2 weeks old. i am super careful user and i swear that i haven't dropped or knocked it anywhere.
The worst is, when i called and informed palm about this, they just don't want to accept it. they simply say since my set has a crack it will be considered as out of warranty set here after. i am so pissed off.

rkrishnamurthy said that his Treo Pro developed two cracks, one near the vibrate switch and the other near the left corner of the screen. He got fed up with Palm's response about his device being considered out of warranty. He sold his Treo Pro to a second hand shop at a dirt cheap price. Ugh.

Malatesta over at our sister site WMExperts wrote an article about people finding cracks on their Treo Pros last week.

Well, add me to the list. I haven't been using my Treo Pro since we started the Round Robin, but I have picked it up and have taken comparison photos. I was reading over in the Treo Pro threads Friday evening and read through the thread on the cracks. As I was reading one post about someone finding a crack near the Wi-Fi button, I picked up my Treo Pro and ran my thumb across that area. And what do you know? My thumbnail sort of stopped in a crack. I thought, "Uh oh." I looked at my Treo Pro and tilted it so the overhead light could catch the area. Sure looked like a small crack. I got a flashlight so I could see it better. It's a crack alright. A hairline crack, but heck, a crack is a crack. Well, the latter part of that sentence certainly sounded strange, huh? ;-) As Dieter would say, "moving on..."

I've had my Treo Pro a little over a month and haven't really used it all that much. I'm pretty sure that I've only pressed the Wi-Fi button like 4 times since I've had the device. Funny that there would be a crack there. Well, not actually "funny" of course. I barely have to press the Wi-Fi button to get it to activate the Wi-Fi. The Power/End button is close by and I don't have to press that button hard either.

What I have had to press is the battery cover. I've had to press it hard in order to try and get the thing off! I just about killed my thumb the first few times and gave up. I was really scared that I was going to break the Treo Pro from putting so much pressure on the back cover. Of course I read the Getting Started booklet that came with my Treo Pro. The instuctions on page 9 (see above) on how to remove the battery cover weren't the least bit helpful to me. After watching Dieter's video tutorial on removing the Treo Pro battery cover, I was finally able to get the cover off, but it still wasn't easy. I finally found an easier way to get the stupid cover off. I push with my right thumb on the lower left corner and place my right thumb being next to the camera lens and press upwards. So far, that is the easiest method for me. The previous method I used put more pressure on the left side (with back of Pro facing me), which is where the crack is located. So I do at least have to wonder if the crack was caused by the pressure or if the crack occurred do to a weakness in a particular batch of Treo Pros. I guess we'll get closer to an answer as more and more Treo Pro owners post their details in the forums.

I recently wrote up my Treo Pro first impressions article, and posted a pic of the side with the Wi-Fi button. Note the picture shows the area before the crack appeared. I took the photo the day after I got the Treo Pro, which was on September 29th.

And above is a photo I took on Friday evening after finding the crack. Not good. Other than all the pressure I've had to put on the battery cover to get it off, I've babied my Treo Pro like I do all my devices. You know how much I detest even one fingerprint, so imagine my horror at seeing a Crack! Argh!

Forum member ggarrett's post in the cracked Treo Pro thread is the one I was reading when I discovered the crack on my Pro:

Mine has a stress crack just above the red end button and all the way around the corner over the wireless button. Palm is sending me a replacement under warranty. I think it is a design flaw and will likely not be resolved. My guess is that when we struggle to remove the battery cover we are putting a twisting torque on the unit and due to the weak plastic there are a few high stress points that simply split apart.

Forum member kraski hasn't found any cracks, but has some interesting thoughts:

Out of curiosity, do you have any protective covering, beyond the pouch? The reason I ask is that, at the moment, my ONLY protection is a screen protector from a previous phone. I've had my Treo Pro for a month, now. It's fallen several times on my hardwood bedroom floor. When they were replacing carpet at my office, it hit the concrete floor once. So far, no nicks, scuffs or cracks. Since yours isn't the first thread I've seen about cracks, I want to make sure I'm doing all I can to avoid problems.
For what it's worth, the edges of the Pro are rounded & so is the back of the iPhone 3G. Both have had instances of cracking issues. I wonder if there's some kind of molding problem with curvature & the type(s) of plastic used?

Forum member berdinkerdickle luckily hasn't found any cracks on his device either. He removes his battery cover in a different way than Palm's instructions and Dieter's video instructions. Berdinkerdickle puts his Pro between his hands (as if he were going to clap), and then pushes up. You can see his photo above. He says that the cover comes off rather easily that way. I tried that method and didn't have much luck myself. I read that some other Treo Pro owners use that method and it works well for them.

The other big thread regarding the cracked Treo Pros was started by forum member don123456, who found a hair line crack from on top of the camera button (housing) on the left edge to the screen (not on screen). Palm covered his phone under warranty.

Forum member KJKRAMER posted some pics in the thread and said that he'd babied his Treo Pro and the pics are what it looks like after 5 weeks. KJKRAMER sent his pics to Palm and he got his Treo Pro replaced. Below are some of KJKRAMER's pics.

Forum member cglaguna found 5 cracks and said:

..and I know the reason for mine, button pushes. This is bad.
My cracks are one at the top, middle and bottom of volume control. Crack at the camera button.
Mine going back.
I think the plastic is too weak around the button areas, especially when you push on these areas. If you look back in peoples post all the cracks are near buttons.

I really don't think the crack on my Treo Pro was caused by button presses since as I previously mentioned earlier, I haven't really used the Wi-Fi button very much. Very strange.

Forum users are being asked in the thread to report whether or not your Treo Pro is cracked and to post your serial number. My serial number is P4GU09M8H080. I noticed that forum member scottymomo has described the exact same crack on his Treo Pro that I have, and his serial # is P4GU09M8H0WU. Note that our serial numbers have all the same letters and digits except for the last two. And.... I was writing back and forth to fellow writer Brian Hart this evening, and mentioned that I was writing up the Treo Pro crack article. I remembered that Brian got his Treo Pro right before I got mine, so I asked him if he'd noticed any cracks on his Pro. And what do ya know; Brian immediately responded to my email and said that he looked and he too found a crack in the very same place where mine and scottymomo's is, next to the Wi-Fi button. Brian said that he is very surprised because he babies his Treo too. And guess what Brian's serial # is? P4GU09M8H0EH. Sound familiar? Hmmm.... Coincidence or some kind of pattern?

There is a poll at the top of the cracked Treo Pro thread in which you can vote. Below are the poll results so far:

  • Yes, 'naked' Treo in US 6 - 9.84%
  • Yes, 'naked' Treo outside US 6 - 9.84%
  • Yes, Treo in case/sleeve in US 5 - 8.20%
  • Yes, Treo in case/sleeve outside US 1 - 1.64%
  • No, 'naked' Treo in US 20 - 32.79%
  • No, 'naked' Treo outside US 9 - 14.75%
  • No, Treo in case/sleeve in US 8 - 13.11%
  • No, Treo in case/sleeve outside US 2 - 3.28%
  • Not sure 4 - 6.56%

Forum member Ebag333 posted:

It looks like a pattern might be emerging, with a bad batch of phones that ended somewhere around P4GU0 (and before P4NU0).
Just keep in mind that the percentage of Treo's with cracks are likely to be inflated from what it really is. Tons of people will use their Treo and have no problems, so they won't post up here. On the other hand, folks with cracks are more likely to search and find this post..

And Forum member Biggles posted about the pattern, or lack of one:

Now that caj54 has posted (on the 'Call Palm CS' thread), we still have two '100%' groups.
The group with 100% without cracks (so far!) is UK Pros, batches all beginning P4NU0*. 4 Pros.
The group with 100% cracked Pros is Europe & Asia, batches all beginning P4GUE*. 5 Pros.
US Pros all begin with P4GU0 and no pattern has emerged yet. 12 Pros.
30 Pros are recorded altogether on the database, 40% of which are cracked.

From reading in the threads, many Treo Pro owners who have called Palm are getting another Treo Pro sent as a replacement. There are some folks who were told that it was out of warranty.

In this thread, forum member Ebag333 shows a quote about the Limited Warranty and Exclusions (emphasis Ebag333's) of the Treo Pro on Palm's support site. According to the Exclusions, cracks don't seem to be covered. Apparently Palm is actually letting some Treo Pro owners exchange their cracked Pros though. I don't know why the original "crack" poster wasn't able to get an exchange. Sad that he ended up selling his dirt cheap.

I just received another email from Brian. He says that he's on the phone with Palm now. They want him to send in his Treo Pro for repair, 7-10 business days. Say WHAT???! Repair? I haven't heard that one before now. Brian is back on the phone and is going to try to get someone higher up. Good luck Brian!

Uh, another update from Brian:

Update: being transferred to Palm Corp. office after elevating to a supervisor. Apparently, the word has come down from Palm Corp that hardware issues will not be replaced, but repaired. Ugh. This is a very recent change in policy. The supervisor shared this with me and said he would rather replace it, but since his hands are tied, he recommended speaking directly with their corporate office, and now I’m going through the entire explanation again. :)

And... another update from Brian:

Ok, the ODYSSEY continues. My options were: 1) Send the phone in for repair (like previously offered), and 2) They send me another phone and pre-bill me for $400 until they get my damaged phone back; the phone they send may or may not be refurbished, no guarantees. UGH!
I told them I didn’t want a refurb. I bought a new phone, I want a new phone! She told me that I would have to go back to the retailer I bought the phone from. I responded, “That would be Palm.” She said the online store is handled separately, so now I’m being transferred to them. Oh, by the way, the lady at corporate offered to waive the usual $25 replacement fee (can you imagine??). This is getting interesting...

Thanks Brian! I've still got my fingers crossed for ya!

Be sure to take a good look at your Treo Pro and check it for cracks, and let us know in this thread whether or not you have any. Like many of you, I never would have expected to find a crack on my Treo Pro, so I hadn't looked really closely at it until I read the thread in the forums and Malatesta's article at WMExperts.

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