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Peek 9 Mobile Messaging Device Review

on October 28, 2010 10:09 am

This review is the culmination of a 2 year saga I’ve experienced with a potentially game changing product called Peek.  It offers unlimited email and text messaging using an always on cellular network for between $10 and $20 per month with no contract.  Unfortunately, the whole operation may go down in flames because of a total network shutdown due to poor operational planning.  First some history on how I picked this device and service.

I have access to a very bucolic, but remote mountain cabin, which I use for 3 months out of the year.  It’s a great place to get away, but there are times it would be nice to have access to modern technology, especially email.  For years I used dialup, but that tied up the phone and was very slow.  I could also run down to the library 10 miles away to connect my laptop using Wifi.  Also, cell service at the location is non-existent, except for one small spot where I could get a 3 bar AT&T signal most of the time.

The Peek intrigued me because it operated on the T-mobile cell network which has a roaming agreement with AT&T at the remote location.  I was also impressed by the cost of entry, being the $9.99 I paid for the device and the $20/month charge which didn’t require a contract.  Here’s what was promised:

  • No contract commitment
  • As low as $10/month – with one year plan
  • No overages
  • Tough design
  • Great battery life – Peek’s battery lasts days
  • No Hidden Fees
  • Unlimited messaging
  •  

    The Peek device itself is solidly built and small enough to fit into a shirt pocket.

    The color screen is easy to read.  The qwerty keyboard is acceptable considering the size of the unit and the unit feels very solid.

    On the right side you have a scroll well that moves a cursor through the text and when pressed brings up context related menus.  The square button is the backup key and pressing it repeatedly will bring you back to the inbox which is considered the home screen.

    On the left side it the port for the power connector which uses a micro-USB plug.  The port is also used to attached the upgrade cable needed to update the firmware.

    The back cover is metal and conceals the removable battery.  The sim card is also behind the cover, but is not made to be removed.  You can find the pertinent serial and IMEI numbers under this cover.

    When I first bought the unit, I didn’t realize it was a Peek Classic, which limited me to scanning 3 email accounts and it didn’t have the push email of the Peek Pronto.  No problem however, because the good folks at Peek offered to upgrade any Classic units to Pronto for no charge.  Well, no charge if one has the upgrade cable ( $14+) and the ability to perform a tricky install.  I opted to send the unit to Peek and have them do it for the cost of the postage and loss of use of the Peek for a week.

    When it returned I had a full-fledged Peek Pronto which, had I bought it, would have cost me several times as much.  By the way, the differences between the Classic and Pronto were mostly a function of Peek’s servers determining which service they assigned to your device.  The upgrade was for the firmware to be able to talk to the servers correctly.

    Now that the hardware was up to snuff, I began the learning curve to understand how to operate the device.  Unfortunately, at my main residence I have very poor T-Mobile signal, so I wasn’t getting connected very frequently with the Peek.  I did drive to a location with better signal and was able to set up my Peek with 5 of my email accounts and the stuff just started flowing in.  Reading the mail was intuitive, but writing and sending took some research which turned out to require web access because there are no instructions with the device.  You’ll have to search through the Peek website FAQ’s to figure out the keyboard commands.  For example, to move the cursor horizontally in text you are writing required holding down the shift key while turning the scroll wheel.  I did spend a fair amount of time on their web site getting to know the Peek.

    Once I got the hang of the Peek, I initially found it very useful.  At the cabin home I was able to set it in a window where the cell signal was strongest and received emails.  I carried it with me everywhere and people I showed it to were impressed.  I even got my wife to like it and was able to cancel the dial-up internet access which cost more than the Peek monthly charge.

    Shortly however, cracks began to appear in my enthusiasm and limitations of the device became apparent.  Getting the emails in a timely manner was great, but many of them couldn’t be read because the device is text only and the HTML and graphics only display as a link.  The device is supposed to be able to display PDF and .doc files, but they never were readable.  It is possible to send txt (SMS) message to cell phones and this did work, but for someone to send a message to the Peek, you would have to send to them first and they could then reply.  This is because the Peek, while operating on the cell system does not have a phone number associated with it.

    I could accept the above shortcomings, because I could understand enough of the email messages to determine whether I needed to head to the library with my laptop to see the parts not displayed, but when system and hardware reliability issues increased, I began to have second thoughts.

    Sometimes the Peek would do unusual things like spontaneously reset.  This would often lockup the device which could only be rectified by removing and reinstalling the battery.  No I’m not making this up.  It is one of the suggestions for clearing problems listed on the Peek web site.  This became more and more frequent over the months and was becoming rather annoying.  There are also issues of slow response of the unit itself.  Sometimes the scroll wheel takes a long time to respond to input, and when it does you’re in a screen where you didn’t intend to be.  During this time, multiple firmware revisions were issued that may have fixed some of the problems, but I didn’t have a cable and Peek removed the offer to upgrade the firmware at their offices.

    The biggest issue was the downtime of the service.  It started out as only an hour here or there, but on several occasions complete weekends were without service.  Last July 4th weekend there was no service until the holiday was over.  The sad part is that Peek appears to be a 9-5 company working only Monday through Friday.  I’ve tried calling for support on the weekend and a recording said I should call during their work week.  There’s a bunch of comments on the Peek forums about this lack of support, so I’m not the only one who has this issue.

    The latest fiasco involving Peek service is that one of their service providers recently shut them off, making all Peek Classics and Pronto’s paperweights.  To Peek’s credit they have offered to send all current Classic and Pronto users a free (in Peekspeak the $7.95 charge = free), Peek9.  This new device  does not require the “bum” (Peek CEO’s term) service provider to operate.  I have received mine after 2 weeks, but am awaiting activation.  The device looks exactly the same as the Pronto.

    I haven’t totally given up on the Peek.  I have too much vested in the product and would like to see it succeed, but I have my doubts.  I can’t imagine a corporate user would be too happy about the situation.  I also see competition sneaking up on the benefits of the Peek in the form of new data plans from the wireless providers.  I’ll be looking at some prepaid data plans for a USB dongle for my laptop.  If I were newly looking at the Peek, I would probably wait 6 months to a year to see how their problems play out.

     

    Product Information

    Price:$69.99 for the Peek $19.99 monthly service charge
    Manufacturer:Peek
    Requirements:
    • Patience
    Pros:
    • Small
    • No contract required
    Cons:
    • Unreliable
    • Difficult to upgrade
    • No clear instructions

    Comments

    1. 1
      Jackie Cheng says:

      I purchased the Peek Classic when it first came out. Used it for 2 months before I given it up. Emails took forever to get to on the Classic since it wasn’t using Push. Plus the Classic had a horrible and stiff keyboard to thumb type on. Is there any difference in the keyboard now from your original classic and the 9? I might be interested in getting it for my younger cousin to use if they still offer that unlimited plan with it.

    2. 2
      Ernie says:

      It’s always seemed to me like a product with tons of promise but never quite delivering..

    3. 3
      Mr. Black says:

      Its sounds a lot like the first gen Sidekick. In theory, it was a pretty awesome little gadget. However, the service hardly connected, even standing inside a T-mobile store the techs couldn’t figure out why some would connect just fine while others were dead. Hrm…maybe T-mo is the common thread here?

    4. 4
      Bill Kuch says:

      Jackie,

      The keyboard feels the same and the device acts just like the Pronto or Classic. It locks up and does random resets.

    5. 5
      HDM says:

      The new peek9 is a disaster — mine is going nuts at the moment, creating multiple copies of all emails in the In-Box. This is however, a secondary issue, as the device stopped downloading email on the 28th of Oct. It also jumbles them — no chronological order.
      Mine is going back into it’s box & we hope to recover our recent lifetime service purchase. What a shame since the original Pronto worked so very well for us. Battery life seems to also have suffered in the Peek9 vs Pronto.

    6. 6
      Bill Kuch says:

      HDM,

      Peek had another total server failure around the 28th and 29th. I don’t think your problem is the hardware, with the exception of battery life. I’m only getting 8-12 hours on the Peek9. These server failures are becoming more frequent. I’ve had enough and will probably terminate my monthly payments next cycle.

    7. 7
      10basetom says:

      These ‘tweener devices are always going to have a problem finding a large enough market to be sustainable. People have only so many pockets, and this device is just too limited in scope. I only like to carry just one device with me, and it’s my smartphone. Either you’re a mobile phone or you’re a niche market.

    8. 8
      Bill Kuch says:

      10 basetom,

      I don’t totally disagree with you, however, I think the market for a text/email only devices is bigger than niche. I have been reading polls that show most younger people text as opposed to calling. It seems a little extravagant to have a $200 smart phone and $100/month plan to send text messages.

      My thesis is supported by the new data plans being offered by the major cellcos which now provide no contract plans in order to get and keep customers. These are now as low as $15/month.

      In my case the Peek is the perfect device (if it worked reliabily). My prepaid cell phone cost less than $8/month and with an annual Peek plan it’s another $10/month. If I really tried, I could eliminate the cellphone altogether by using Google Voice and having all the voicemails transcribed and sent to the Peek. Oh, and if I lose one of my devices, I always have the other to contact someone for help. What happens when you leave your expensive smartphone at the bar :-)

    9. 9
      MissMcGillicuddy says:

      Peek has a great idea with the emailer, but it sounds as though they have a huge debacle with the transition to the new carrier and their own servers crashing? Wow! That’s a CEO’s nightmare for sure. I have been without service on my Pronto since early October. After receiving my Peek 9 on Oct 16th I am not able to delete accounts on the Pronto and move them to the 9. Cannot do a reset either. Was also double-billed the quarterly service fee and I have disputed that with my credit card company. As most are finding out, there’s no way to get a phone call through for assistance. My call was cut off after I listened to the options and pressed 9 as instructed. I’m sure the online support department must have an avalanche of “Request Tickets” they have to address, so little recourse there at the moment even though my request was sent on Oct 23.

      Bill Kuch has a good point about the smartphone expense, etc. I don’t want to be forced that direction either when the Peek is a good alternative. Just hope they resolve these issues! Would love to get a “warm-fuzzy” email from Amol Sarva saying problems are resolved, but he hasn’t surfaced in weeks. I hope Peek remains viable in this difficult economy.

    10. 10
      Gary Martin says:

      I can’t believe this company charged my credit card for services they knowingly could not provide. I had spotty service for only 2 weeks of the month.
      I am actually considering filing a class action lawsuit against this company, filing a complaint with the Attorney General and the FTC (Federal Trade Commission). FRAUDULENT Business Practices.

    11. 11
      Kim C. says:

      @Bill Kuch,

      I’m 17 and have a limited income, I’m highly grateful to have unlimted texting and email for a mere $20/month! The Peek9 may not be perfect but it gets the job done.

      @Gary Martin

      I have been a Peek customer since early ’09. When the Peek Pronto disaster occured they quickly e-mailed all costumers and informed them of the “free” Peek9 upgrade. Amol sent 3 or 4 separate e-mails reminding people to upgrade and included information about service, amongst that information he said that you will not have to pay for the first month of service and you will be credited with an extra month of service to cover the time in which your Peek wasn’t active.

    12. 12
      MissMcGillicuddy says:

      @Gary Martin

      I was able to (finally) get a credit from Peek for the double billing that occurred on my account, but I still have no service (almost four weeks after receiving the Peek 9) even after repeated emails between Peek staff and me. They are now asking me to email my email address and password so they can try it on their device. I will wait a bit longer, but may ultimately have to give it up since I am leary of doing that. I agree with you it is extremely frustrating to wait for all the wrinkles to iron out, but the Peek did serve me well when it worked, so maybe patience will win out! Good luck on getting your difficulties worked out.

    13. 13
      martisco says:

      I never received any e-mail about my Peek being bricked. Want to simply cancel the service but can’t reach a human being. I was an early adopter, too. What a bunch of creeps.

    14. 14
      TR says:

      Both Peek9s are working OK now – I upgraded as soon as the $1+1+shipping offer came out and it took 3 weeks to get the new 9s and wait for my accounts to be moved over. I solved the repeating email issue for the most part by changing the email settings on our computers so that mail was not stored on the computers after it had been moved or deleted. I am waiting for a refund of a month’s service per account because of Amol’s offer of service credit due to the outage and delays. Although I believe this will eventually get worked out, it has been frustrating waiting for CS. I understand they must be devoting all effort to moving thousands of accounts to the Peek9s, but am still curious about “the rest of the story” and what is coming next. The value proposition has not changed for me now that both 9s are working OK, but will this damage the company so much that it will no longer be viable?
      Tip/feedback: If you have a Google Voice number, you can give that out to people for texting to your Peek, so that you do not have to text them first. But some people cannot focus long enough to absorb and follow this, so you will have lots of explaining to do. Expect most to just keep texting your cellphone number. So it would be best to just give out/switch to your Gvoice number, and set Gvoice to forward calls and texts to your phone and Peek, respectively.

    15. 15
      Gary Martin says:

      @ Kim C.

      O.K. Amol Damage Control is tiring

    16. 16
      MissMcGillicuddy says:

      I have now joined the ranks of the frustrated and sad FORMER users of Peek. I emailed Peek Care another request to stop billing me and close my account. My credit card company advised me to keep them apprised of what happens because their security unit will investigate further. The customer service rep at the CC company told me the security team will check out Peek to see whether they are still in business or not. Of course, the credit card companies don’t want to accept any billing from companies that are going out of business or engaged in any fraudulent practices.
      I have noticed, as am posting here below, that the Peek Discussion Boards have been “shut down” and this is pretty telling. The Peek staff must be in over their heads, but they need to do something to placate angry customers. Have been in business myself long enough to know that the Customer is (most) always right. Give them good service or their money back plus a gift! That sends people on their merry way. Biz owners have to “own the problem” and keep customers happy as much as possible. Yes, you will encounter difficult people from time to time, but for the most part, business owners have to try to keep contented customers. I do say about Peek though: Caveat emptor!

      Posted by tmel on the Peek discussion board 2 days ago: “We have disabled posting for all members of the discussion board. We find ourselves policing the same 10-15 users consistently who are not adding anything useful or constructive to the discussion boards.

      We will re-open the discussion boards shortly when things have cooled off a bit, and we’re more caught up on customer support requests. Meanwhile, you can search the discussion boards for tips/information should you need to.”

    17. 17
      henry says:

      noone answers the phone for support. i think the fcc shouls shut them down!

    18. 18
      Concerned User says:

      My peek stopped working because of an expired credit card. I tried to put in a new card online, but the system will not accept it. I’ve tried several cards and several browsers. Peek Customer Support number is just a voice mail, and it is full. I have left multiple messages and tickets through their support website.

      I would guess these guys shut their doors and left the country.

      Anyone working on a class action suit?

    19. 19
      Never again says:

      I purchased a Peek 9 and was really disappointed. I thought it was a great idea; however, the email service was inconsistent at best, didn’t download emails for long periods of time, and when they did, some would be missing. I work in computer forensics and am considered an expert in the field, so this is not an operator error type thing.

      Despite returning the device within the specific time frame, Peek failed to refund my money for the device. I had to go through my credit card company’s dispute process. Worse yet, I keep getting billed for monthly service, which I have to dispute each month because no one at Peek responds to my emails or phone calls.

    20. 20
      MissMcGillicuddy says:

      I have checked out the state of New York corporation commission on http://www.dos.state.ny.us website. The Corporations & Licensing Services provides a way to lodge a formal complaint against GetPeek, if anyone wants to do so. Since I emailed Peek repeatedly to cancel my service I am just keeping an eye on my credit card charges to make sure they have cancelled my service. If not, I will dispute again and this time I will request the CC company to do their own investigation, which the Customer Service Rep previously told me their internal security division would do.

    21. 21
      Yogi says:

      Well, looks like the lights at PEEK are slowly going out…Even new PEEK9 are reported to stop and Europeans users can’t extend their subscriptions by PEEK’s partner SPOTNIK … They don’t keep promises made and are less and less responsive … CEO Amol has not released ANY news or hint since begin of December 2010 and seems to feel not responsible for the PEEK chaos and drama …
      Mime have stopped even before the paid period was over and of course, there is no answer to ANY of my complaints …

      This PEEK ship is sinking and it looks like the responsible persons want this to happen as silent as possible …

    22. 22
      MissMcGillicuddy says:

      @Yogi–You’re right, the Peek ship must be sinking, except for their billing department, which billed my credit card a few days ago for a new quarter. So I have to dispute it with the CC company again. Has anyone broken the billing cycle with them yet?

    23. 23
      Bill Kuch says:

      MissMcGillicuddy,

      I’m afraid I too have given up on the Peek. I have several emails in to Peek to cancel my account, but have received no response. I’ve had my CC card company refund 2 months worth of fees and put a block on the vendor (Peek). As I mentioned in the review, I had my doubts whether the Company could survive. I’m moving on to find a replacement for my requirements.

    24. 24
      Tennessee Jed says:

      Great idea though. I wish I had the tenacity to start a company offering the same type thing… a smartphone sans the phone for a decent price.

    25. 25
      amoldork says:

      The peek company is the most ignorant unAMAERICAN company on the planet. Never has there been a more worthless group of people scamming people out of their money. Beware of this company, when you use their service you surrender your privacy via them having access to your private emails, do not trust this group. They are underhanded and crooked.

    26. 26
      dinosaur peekster says:

      Hello out there, I am STILL using and love my peek!!! I had been going along on my merry way for so long I had NO idea all of this drama was going on. However, I goofed the other day and deleted my account when all I really needed to do was change my email password. So, two days ago I emailed care@peek.com for help — and got no response other than the auto reply. That’s when I noticed the user community boards were shut down. I was devastated. It was like a death to me. However today, just 2 days later, I received an email from care@peek.com restoring my account. I am a lifetime user, so no worries that they will bill my account each month. It has been — and still is — a PHENOMENAL device for me. I’d love to know… is there anyone else out there still using peek? Please let me know. And sorry for the double post. I did not check the “notify me” box the first time ; )

    27. 27
      dinosaur peekster says:

      I saw another site that used to sell peek accessories (peekstuff) is going out of business and noted that peek has moved to a software-only business and is letting their hardware die a slow death. SO SAD. If this is true, I will be needing backup batteries in order to stay “alive.” Any of you willing to sell me your batteries? Any of you live in Massachusetts or Connecticut?

    28. 28
      MissMcGillicuddy says:

      @dinosaur peekster–I gave up on my Peek 9 about a year ago after a huge account fiasco and I was very sad to let it go. I did not want to go to a smartphone, which I eventually did out of necessity for my business, but Peek Care department could not re-activate my account on the new Peek 9. They actually wanted me to send it in with my password so they could reset it. Call me paranoid, but that did not sound appealing to me. Regarding the batteries, have you checked gazelle.com? I don’t know where one might find them, but you could keep an eye out through the electronics recycling sites you pull up on Google…just a thought. Am still sad about Peek’s demise since I believe they had a great idea. They just couldn’t recover financially and I suppose did not have enough Customer Care people to handle it all…must have been a nightmare for them (speaking as a business owner). Wish you well in your battery search…

    29. 29
      dinosaur peekster says:

      Wow. I can’t tell you how good it feels to be in touch with a fellow peekster — albeit a former one. When I didn’t hear back from customer care last week, then went to the message boards and saw no postings since 2010, and finally saw that even the FB community page was gone(!), it sure felt eerie. From the final postings on the boards, I pieced together the sad demise. I truly feel bad for them, too. They started out so full of spark and enthusiasm. Even taking a virtual trip around their old site, I was reminded of the chipper, friendly “voice” they employed. And again, to my shock, someone DID help me within 48 hours. But the poor soul did not reveal him/herself. (THANK YOU whoever you are!)

      BTW, I went to the site you recommended, and to the CDW site where we all ordered our peek accessories “in the day.” No luck. So my precious little peek is bound to not wake up one day : ( Hopefully there is someone out there who can help me find batteres! Thanks so much again for reaching out, Miss M!

    30. 30
      JDFormerPeekster says:

      Howdy all, I was a former happy user of the Peek device. What a great idea for very little cost. I liked it so much initially, I ‘upgraded’ to the ‘Lifetime’ service plan. Now, it looks like my ‘Lifetime’ service is no more. I tried to contact Peek customer support a couple weeks back. Other than the generic autoresponse I never heard back. I even emailed the (former??) Peek president to his old and new email addresses and again never heard back. I hadn’t used my Peek for awhile and decided to use it again. It wouldn’t work so I upgraded to the latest version (1.50.01 – IIRC) from the support page. Reloaded my email accounts and I was back up and running. Sort of. My email accounts were working but I found out the unlimited ‘Text’ service no longer worked, nor did the ‘Weather’ updates. The Texting feature not working really sucks – that was a big reason I bought the device in the first place. It’s really sad these jerks have abandoned their old customers and no longer support it. If anyone hears of any class action lawsuit(s) against them – I’d like to join that group. TODAY, I got a notice that my Peek account was deactivated for ‘non-payment’. Which is funny since I paid for the Lifetime plan and haven’t had to make any payments for a long time. Anyway, very dissappointed how things ended up. I will never support their ‘new’ Cloud service which seems to be their focus now. If I ever hear back from them I will update this post. Thanks, JD

    31. 31
      dinosaur peekster says:

      Oh, JD, I feel your pain. I did get a helpful email that got me back up and running (automated just telling me to start up my peek and I would be all set and it DID work) and I hoped that meant there was someone with a heart at their “customer care” site. Maybe there still is. I hold out hope. I also had emailed the former owner at his new and old email. So I can relate to the disappointment of being totally ignored. As for the deactivation, that is strange. Did you look back at your charge card to see if they ever really did charge you for being a lifetime customer? Someone else had that complaint only to find that peek never ended up charging them. I think most customers would prefer that peek just get back up and running and provide what they promised versus pay us off in a class action suit — those always just benefit the lawyers. And it really seems we all loved the service. Bring it back, peek! Bring it back!

    32. 32
      dinosaur peekster says:

      Oh and hey miss migillicuddy, thanks for the great avitar!!

    33. 33
      Julio says:

      Here is some complaints posted on peek discussion boards. none have been answered by Peek Customer Support:
      CommentTimeJul 29th 2011
      Yes, we still have Customer Care agents. Please file a ticket at http://support.getpeek.com and they’ll look after you. Thanks.

      CommentTimeAug 4th 2011
      Peek has changed a gret deal since I first bought one. It used to be that you could get someone on the phone right away. To their credit, the last time I contacted customer support online, they did respond quickly, but by email.

      Comment CommentTimeAug 7th 2011
      could you have them turn on the service on the east coast? it’s been off for 12 hours.

      Comment 99 8/9/11 peek service out again all day.

      Comment CommentTime3 days ago
      Is there still live chat support?
      I tried to contact someone, and all I got was a request to send a query via email.
      Also, I noticed that the main http://www.getpeek.com address is now redirected to the peekly blog–are there changes in the works that we peeksters should know about?

      CommentTime2 days ago
      I submitted 2 support requests dealing with the weather and Facebook modules 2 weeks ago and they still have not been assigned to a support person. I’ve checked several times the status and nothing. I also email Amol and no response. Pretty frustrating situation with Peek. I wish Amol and company would do the right thing and break their long silence and let Peek user know what to expect.

      CommentTime2 days ago
      So am I…..same as LancasterCA Peekster. I already emailed and called them (included Mr. Amol)….no answer. It is been almost three weeks since then? I need the commuication on emails/texts really bad!
      Mr. Amol, please let us (all the Peeksters) know what went wrong with your company? (I heard about Peek Cloud included phone? But I don’t like the phone/cost more. I am hearing-impaired.). Please bring our Peek9 back!
      I know that you and your staffs are doing wonderful jobs since 2008. Please keep it going….please don’t let us down.

      CommentCommentTime6 hours ago
      No answer? So I am decided to cancel my account today.
      I don’t know what happened to the Peek, Inc.? I want to know why? No one tell us (peeksters) anything? I hope that Mr. Amol Sarva will tell ….soon. I hope that he will bring the Peek9 back …not Peek Genius Cloud!
      Take care.

      CommentTime4 hours ago
      I have been trying to cancel my Peek since November but the telephone number doesn’t work, they do not respond to emails to care@getpeek or feedback@getpeek.com (Which appear to be the same and may be getting lost in the domain shuffle). You can no longer sign into your account to manage it since it forwards to their new peek.ly address. So now I am left with an account that I am going to have to get my credit card company to block or not pay. I sure hate to see what has happened to Peek but they haven’t cared about the original Peek since their fiasco last year. They have not even supported the unit with fixes or even fixed the things that do not work as advertised. It seems to me that they just want it to go away, since Amol has tweeted / blogged many times that the real money is overseas and he has to keep the business going. The only thing that bothers me is the fact that it would only take someone at Peek a couple of minutes to post something here or on the new page about what is happening, but we get nothing but silence.
      CommentAuthorDeafbear CommentTime1 hour ago
      Shakey,

      Thank you for tell me.

      I already emailed it to “peek.ly” last monday….no answer!?

      I do know that Mr. Sarva got many awards for that…since 2007. It was wonderful device and reasonable prices. Now …it went suddenly silent. I mean he and his staffs doing good job since then? I don’t understand why he don’t care about Peeksters?

      Maybe some else will pick it up? One of the carriers?

    34. 34
      Toasty says:

      I am also a saddened Peekster–I am one of the people who recently posted on the peek discussion board about customer service, and my comments are in Julio’s post.
      FYI, you can access you account by going to:
      https://www.getpeek.com/web/login.htm
      For whatever reason, my credit card info doesn’t “stick” even though I have used the same card for years. I had to update my info on Dec. 4 and was charged; today, the 10th, I was told I had to update it again (and surprise, surprise, it looks like I was charged a second time!) We’ll see if any customer support responds….
      Really a stinky way to treat loyal customers….

    35. 35
      Toasty says:

      I also just got an email saying that they were cleaning up my inbox on account of too many emails–and if I had any questions, I should call Spotnik for support (even though I am in the US!) Any working numbers for Spotnik support that anyone knows of?

    36. 36
      Peek is a Scam says:

      Peek was a scam. Amol should face a large lawsuit.

    37. 37
      dinosaur peekster says:

      So it happened. Today my peek died. I got the red X of death. I did manage to get the right batteries for it shortly after my original post. I ordered them from some obscure site and they were shipped from Singapore! I am hoping that the red X is just a result of a satellite outage. But most likely it’s over. No web site and no customer care at this point. Toasty, did you ever get a hold of Spotnik? And once again I ask — anyone out there with a working Peek? Was I the last living soul with one still in use? Date of last email to come through on my device was Jan 29…. RIP my sweet thing.

    38. 38
      dinosaur peekster says:

      Whoa. Wait. Signs of life? I went to the Peek site, which now is an advert for their new cloud service. I tried contacting them from there a month ago and after hitting send on their online contact form, I was prompted to provide a domain – and I am not a company, so could not continue. I thought it was a way to generate leads for their new B to B business. Anyway, on a lark, I went to the site just now and see that the email now DOES go through without that prompt. But there’s more! Along the bottom of the site, they posted something that was not there a month ago. It reads: Have a Peek device? Looking for help? Contact us by emailing care@getpeek.com where we handle all inquiries or call (917) 727-PEEK (7335). I know these are the same old email and number, but the fact that someone went in and updated the site with that info indicates something! Is customer service back? When it comes to peek, I am the eternal optimist.

    39. 39
      Jake says:

      my peek just got the red x jan 30 2012 anyone have news about this

    40. 40
      JDFormerPeekster says:

      Hi Dinosaur Peekster and others. Thanks for the update(s). As for me, I never received a response via any method (phone/email/etc) from Peek and/or Amol. My Peek 9 and ‘Lifetime’ Peek service stopped working a few days after I emailed Amol. So, now the device just sit’s there and can’t be used. I’d like a refund of my ‘Lifetime’ service and I imagine I’m not the only person who would like that as well. IIRC, I paid $299 for the lifetime service. I’m not worried about recovering the cost of the device because I did get to use it for awhile. Has anyone been succesfull in getting a reply back and/or obtaining a refund? Thanks to Dinosaur Peekster’s recent update, I will try and contact Peek again. Wish me luck and same to you!

    41. 41
      dinosaur peekster says:

      Jake, my brethren. Looks like we are the last of a dying breed. My peek stopped working the same day. Hope service has not been shut off for good. JD, I will let you know if I get results. I am also a lifetime member. As long as they can get my peek to work, I am happy. Prior to the peek, I bought an itouch for over $299 and then had to buy a $60/month data plan on top of that which only worked in certain spots. My peek was free upon activation, worked everywhere here in Boston, then just $1 for an upgrade. I paid the monthly service ($19.95!) for a little over a year, then switched to lifetime last April. So, in my case, I feel I got more than my money’s worth. Class action suits pay nothing and lawyers just get rich off them. Personally, I don’t think Amol’s intent was to rip people off. I think problems mounted and it became a runaway train of technical and customer support problems that their little team could not handle. Peek, if you’re out there, if you can get my device to work, I am still a happy camper.

    42. 42
      Jake says:

      keep me updated if yours turns back on
      i also have the lifetime plan
      i had it for over 2 years

    43. 43
      Julio says:

      PEEK did it again. As of 1/30/2012 around 2 p.m., Pacific time, the PEEK network went down. No previous warning from leadership about the unscheduled shutdown. They left thousands of “LIFE TIME” user accounts out in the cold. Customer support does not accept calls and their email support care@getpeek.com does not return emails. Furthermore, Peek shut down their discussion boards once frustrated users began to go there to look for some kind of help or to express their frustrations. It does not seem like proper business practices to simply pull the plug on a service. At the same time Peek Management boast about all the wonderfu work they are doing with their genius clouds.

    44. 44
      Jake says:

      i got this email today

      Dear Peek user,
      Since we launched Peek in September 2008, we received amazing accolades for the product and the support of many, many Peeksters like you.
      Since 2010 the business has been taking off in a direction that moved us away from these devices — putting our cloud platform and software to work bringing smart apps to simple devices made by other mobile phone makers.
      We have been winding down the US service since late 2010, and at the end of 2011 this email address was connected to one of a few Peek devices still operating in the US. At the end of January, this last batch of devices was decommissioned.
      I’m sorry to report that this
      As our Peek cloud powers increasing millions of devices around the world, we hope you’ll find yourself using our apps for services like mail, chat, picture sharing, and cloud backup. Indeed, we were just honored by the global mobile industry association with a prestigious Best Technology award nomination. You can read more about this and where we are heading at http://peek.ly/blog
      All the best,
      Amol
      Peekster-in-Chief

    45. 45
      Stuart Loughborough says:

      Have been a Peekster since November 2008 and found it was good and served my needs. Today (2/1/12) I received a message that my Peek would no longer be operable here in the United States. I am very disappointed and do not know where to go from here. Does anyone have a reasonable alternative. Have to say that my Peek experience was very positive until today.

    46. 46
      Jake says:

      here is some contact info for Amol

      Contact

      In Person
      New York

      By Email
      Email address

      By Instant Messenger
      asarva on Skype

      By Telephone
      530 SARVA77 (530 727 8277)

      By social networks
      Twitter.com/amolsarva | Facebook.com/amolsarva | LinkedIn.com/amolsarva

    47. 47
      dinosaur peekster says:

      Well I am TOTALLY bummed. I got the same email today and am very disappointed with that communication.

      I happen to write “we apologize” letters for large U.S. companies. One thing you cannot dance around here in the U.S. are the glaring questions that a reader wants to know and should know. Like:

      Why are you pro-actively decommissioning the devices?
      Is it too costly to support them?
      Was this a a difficult decision?
      Do you realize your customers still expect the “lifetime” service you promised them? Please speak to that point.
      Help us feel sorry for you. Was it that you started out ambitiously and could not keep up with the service demand?
      Did you go broke trying to keep the company afloat?

      Nothing. Instead, I could not believe my eyes to read that in fact “peek was winding down the business” last year — meaning they took the money and ran — and all the while their users had no knowledge. That is an enormous breach of trust and truly unethical.

      When I purchased my “lifetime” membership in April I told the woman on the phone that some people on the bulletin board warned peek was going out of business. I said I would only pay the lifetime fee if she could promise the service would continue and she swore up and down it would. Yet, the company was planning their exit strategy. And now they are embarking on a new venture (so they are not broke) they hope we “find ourselves” using their new apps.

      Again, it is not about the money. It is about the fact that this company is demonstrating blatant business misconduct and should take accountability. (Rant over.)

    48. 48
      Jake says:

      if anyone has an idea of how to get money back from them for the lifetime plan please share with the rest of us

      thanks
      Jake

    49. 49
      Bill Kuch says:

      Jake,

      Although I didn’t have a lifetime plan, they did keep charging me even after I told the CC Company my story about not being able to raise anyone at Peek. At the end of the day, the CC Company had to cancel my card and issue a new one, to stop the billing. They refunded all the money I had paid for the period after I cancelled the service.

      See what your credit card Company will do for you.

    50. 50
      M. David says:

      Fellow lifetime-service Peek users, I suggest starting an online website/group to organize around contacting the better business bureau or seeking other avenues of action in this case. Perhaps some of us would have a case in small-claims court…

      First, the bizarre forced upgrade to Peek9 hardware (was this an effort to ditch unaware users?), and now the total service shutdown. It is sad that businesspeople who choose to operate this way can be successful… Seriously, lets move this discussion onto one central information site. Reply if you have already found something like this. Oh, the scroll wheel memories…

    51. 51
      JDFormerPeekster says:

      Wow, that is very disappointing that they admit they will no longer support the Peek devices. I didn’t even get that email ‘notice’ which is even worse. I agree with D. Peekster that a class action suit do make lawyers rich but now it seems like Amol knew all along what was really going on… Not sure where to go from here but I feel everyone’s pain. Terrible business practice and (I hate to say but) I hope their ‘cloud’ venture floats away like our Peek service did!! They should buck up and at least refund ‘Lifetime’ Users something. I may contact my State attorney general and at least report what happened. Maybe they can keep an eye on their ‘new’ venture so no one gets screwed again… Good luck everyone. I’ll keep watching this thread for any new updates.

    52. 52
      JDFormerPeekster says:

      Oh, forgot to post – great tip Bill to try a refund through your CC company. Unfortunately, that won’t work for me – I paid for my lifetime service and device so long ago I don’t even have the same CC… If you do have the same CC try it! Couldn’t hurt…

    53. 53
      dinosaur peekster says:

      JD and M David, great seeing your posts here this morning. Yes, let’s unite. And I want to give big ups to the Gadgeteer for being the one place that we could gather for a bit.

      I thought about setting up a group on FB but wondered if it is unlawful to do so as we are going to be discussing potential legal action.

      One thing I do know is that they have already been reported to the NY BBB, where peek operates, and are rated F. I do not know whether the BBB takes legal action or is simply a ratings agency. I am in Massachusetts and plan to send a letter requesting my refund to both peek (using the address indicated in the user guide for making such a request) and Martha Coakley.

      JD, I am in the same boat. I now have a different CC. But I think in small claims court, we would need only to prove the former CC was charged.

      Let me know if anyone is already setting up a page on the Web. Or, if anyone has any insight as to whether it is OK for me to set up a FB page, I am happy to do that. Just don’t want peek coming after ME. – D Peekster

      p.s. By the way, Julie (I think that is the host’s name) if you have ideas for similar technology we can use that is at all similar to the peek in pricing, I would be very interested. I am not tech savvy but found your posts really easy to follow and friendly. Thank you so much again for the hospitality you’ve provided on your site.

    54. 54
      Stuart Loughborough says:

      I spoke to my bank yesterday and they said that if the company charges me for my quarterly payment to go to bank immediately and fill out a protest. The major problem is that there does not seem anyway to get in touch with them.

      I also would like to know if there is something similar to Peek. I am a senior and it was wonderful having this device especially when I traveled and could inform family of any delays without having to get out my laptop and set it up, etc.

      Is there any non profit agency that might want the now useless Peeks and could use them for something.

    55. 55
      Julio says:

      Yes. I too got the PEEK is shutting down, get out of the building, don’t let the door hit you on the behind, email from Amol. I own several units with lifetime plans. It would be nice to get some time of compensation. If nothing else, make others aware of PEEK management questionable business practices so they don’t fall victims to a similar scheme with the PEEK “Genius Cloud” or whatever other endeavor they think of in the future.

    56. 56
      dinosaur peekster says:

      Exactly, Julio! And Stuart, it does seem there should be another low-cost solution. On another site someone mentioned that he planned to get a cheap phone with $12 per month data service, I think he said from T mobile, and then you buy an app — might even be the peek cloud — that enables the email push. I will try to find that. It makes sense because then it is up to the consumer to replace the hardware when it can no longer support the service. This was the bind peek apparently found themselves in. But as former founders of Virgin mobile, how did they not see that problem coming?

    57. 57
      dinosaur peekster says:

      Idea: instead of money back, peek should find a solution that employes their new cloud service for push email and provide it free for lifetime. We just buy and upgrade the cheap hardware.

    58. 58
      Glenn says:

      I was a lifetime user and really liked the device. I just purchased a smart phone and my cell bill increased $100 / month for my wife and I. Keep me posted on any refunds or class action.

      Doogiedog

    59. 59
      Julio says:

      Fellow Peeksters,
      Here is what I plan to do as my workaround. I use an AT&T Pay-As-You-GO smart phone, others vendors offer similar plans. Additionally, I don’t believe in yapping on the phone all day long so this will probably work for me.
      -My pay as you go phone is costing me $25 every 90 days.
      (10 cents per minute for both incoming/outgoing calls gives me a total of 250 minutes of talk time during the 90-day period) Unused minutes carry over.

      -I added an optional Data Plan $5.00 per month that gives me 10 megabytes of download/upload.
      (On the smart phone I set up the email protocol to fetch my gmail messages in text format with no attachments and maximum text size of 5 kilobytes) I tried sending/receiving messages several times in one day and I used less than 1/2 megabyte in the process)

    60. 60
      dinosaur peekster says:

      Thanks for that info, Julio. In my case, I do not need a cell phone. Just the email. Do you or anyone else know of any other cheap way to get email that works anywhere like Peek offered? I don’t like the Hot Spot offerings because I am rarely in a Hot Spot. My personal email is blocked on my computer at work and I have important family matters and tenants who might need me in an emergency. Peek was such a comfort. It seems like someone should be able to offer this.

    61. 61
      cholo says:

      My question is this:

      How can they LEGALLY stop our service if we bought LIFETIME plans?

      (because right now they still have a viable company running with assets still in the multi-millions of dollars -> they have money flowing in from India, Asia, and he has plenty of money in his real estate investments)

    62. 62
    63. 63
      dinosaur peekster says:

      Oh my. This man really is a crook. “Did people really think a lifetime plan would last until they died?” No. But call me wacky for thinking it would last more than 8 months. And that well before I bought it, he had already started dismantling his business. How smug. And yesterday was the ONLY email I got. What does he mean “there were emails, but somehow people were surprised.” What does he mean, we’ll get them the next time? Does he mean he will sucker us in again? If there is justice, we’ll get him.

    64. 64
      Jake says:

      email received today

      subject: Your email about your Peek (was: Peek devices in the US)

      from: Amol Sarva

      Dear Peekster,

      I got your mail response to our broad mailing. Some folks were upset to lose their Peek service and I apologize for that. Of course any charges for prepaid service will be refunded. We did make an effort to inform you of this upcoming change but some people are always surprised.

      We have been winding down the service on Peek devices in the US for over a year, and doing our best to extend the life of the Peeks out there in people’s hands. Back in 2010, we did a mass replacement of thousands of Peeks at our own expense — every Peek sold before then went dark. After maintaining the network through 2011 for the relatively small group of remaining users, we have decommissioned the service at the end of January 2012.

      There were just a handful of folks still using devices at this point. We are flattered by the loyalty and sorry the system can’t keep running.

      Some questions and answers:

      1. I have a Peek, can I use it for anything? Unless you are pretty technically capable, you probably can’t.

      2. What about money I prepaid for an annual or quarterly plan? We have already refunded it and you will see this show up soon on the original card if it hasn’t already.

      3. Will you still charge me a monthly fee? No, and if we charged you in the last 30 days we’ll reverse the charge.

      4. What about the Lifetime Peek Plan I purchased? These devices are now end of life; the plans were available in 2008, 2009 or early 2010, and the typical user had about 2 years of unlimited service on their Peek device through Jan 2012.

      5. Shouldn’t I get a refund on the price I paid for the Lifetime Peek?
      Almost every Lifetime Peek got at least 2 years of service, including a free replacement device in fall 2010. Still, we will send a refund amount for any user who got less than 12 months of service from original purchase date. This means anyone who got less than $275 of value from their Peek ($19.95 x 12 months = $239.40 service value + $49.95 retail value of the new Peek). Send us your name, email address, and date of your purchase and we can check our systems to validate.

      All the best,
      Amol
      Peekster-in-Chief

      care@getpeek.com <– we will monitor this inbox http://www.peek.ly <– this is the corporate website for Peek

    65. 65
      Jake says:

      i sent the following email to him

      Excuse my ignorance for not understanding you logic
      but I paid your company money for a lifetime plan
      It makes no difference if I got the value from it or not you must give me a refund if you are stopping my service
      The people with the lifetime plan are no different than the people who had a monthly plan

      Please let me know how you would like to compensate us lifetime people

    66. 66
      JDFormerPeekster says:

      Jake, thanks for posting that email. I totally agree with you. His logic makes absolutely no sense! It doesn’t matter how long we used the service – it was supposed to be a lifetime plan… Please let us know if you get a response… Thanks again.

    67. 67
      JDFormerPeekster says:

      Oh, not sure about anyone else but I haven’t received ANY of the recent emails and my email address has not changed. Not one email from them and he claims they’ve sent ‘emails’. Not to me.

    68. 68
      Julio says:

      I only received the after the fact email from Amol. The shutdown came as a surprise to me. I wonder what is the actual number of lifetime members were left out in the cold. Amol claims that there is only “handful” of users out there.

    69. 69
      Jake says:

      i got this email today regarding my open tickets
      Hello Jake,
      Since we launched Peek in September 2008, we received amazing accolades for the product and the support of many, many Peeksters like you.
      Since 2010 the business has been taking off in a direction that moved us away from these devices — putting our cloud platform and software to work bringing smart apps to simple devices made by other mobile phone makers.
      We have been winding down the US service since late 2010, and at the end of 2011 this email address was connected to one of a few Peek devices still operating in the US. At the end of January, this last batch of devices was decommissioned.
      I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news if this is the first time you are hearing this.
      As our Peek cloud powers increasing millions of devices around the world, we hope you’ll find yourself using our apps for services like mail, chat, picture sharing, and cloud backup. Indeed, we were just honored by the global mobile industry association with a prestigious Best Technology award nomination. You can read more about this and where we are heading at http://peek.ly/blog
      Peek devices will no longer connect to the network, and we will no longer be providing one-on-one support through this mail gateway.
      We will monitor this system for any billing or refund problems and help resolve those.
      All the best,
      Amol
      Peekster-in-Chief

    70. 70
      Stuart Loughborough says:

      Just looked at my email and had responses to all of my unquiries about service, etc. The response did not answer my problem but were Amol’s letter of the other day.What a waste of my space…wonder if I should just spam it all!

      Stuart Loughborough

    71. 71
      Stuart Loughborough says:

      Jake I go the same thing to my open tickets as well……am sure that they were all autingenerated.

    72. 72
      Jake says:

      just an idea
      maybe we should have a lawyer contact them
      and then we can see what amol says

    73. 73
      Julio says:

      Found another website with lots of comments. I continue to say that it appears that many were impacted by the unscheduled peek shutdown. Amol continues to claim that only a “handful” of users were hurt. Bottom line, he screwed a lot of people and wants to play it down. Below is the link:
      http://www.engadget.com/2012/02/02/peek-killing-off-devices/

    74. 74
      John says:

      Yes – I was screwed too. The Peek people (not a third party) sold me a Peek 9 and a lifetime contract (for my lifetime they said) only 7 months ago even when they knew they were going to discontinue the peek in late 2010. I just never read about that until now. Let’s see – that was $70 for the device and $250 for the lifetime service. I only had it for 7 months and it cost me $320. Amol should be made to give us our money back. A lawyer should look into this.

    75. 75
      Stuart Loughborough says:

      Just want all to know that they sould check their checking accounts as I just discovered a credit to my account today. when I asked my bank where this had come from i was told from Peek Inc. I am amazed. Hiopes this means that they realized how hurt all of us Peeksters were.

    76. 76
      Cece Fox says:

      JUST found my old Peek in a bag of electronics for recycling and thought I’d see what happened to this company. Sorry you guys slogged out the last 2 years.

      When my service on Peek Classic was cut off with no explanation while I was out of town in 2010, I was left with checking my laptop. I was told they would send me the Pronto. They never did and I was able to discover the Samsung Galaxy Tab. My plan costs $35 a month for 3G and wireless access is free. Best revenge ever. So much more that email only!

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