Hewlett Packard – How To Anger People (UPDATED)
This story is about Hewlett Packard (HP) and their TouchPad fire sale, the first part is kind of a summary for those who aren’t aware, then the ironic/retarded twist in my adventure into the fire sale.
To bring you up to speed if you are a none techie person: HP released a Tablet about 2 months ago called the TouchPad. About two weeks ago they announced they were scuttling their consumer hardware division, specifically the Tablets/Smartphone division. Last week/weekend, they announced they were going to liquidate the remaining stock of TouchPad’s in a huge fire sale. The remaining stock of TP’s that normally sold for $400-$600 was now going to be sold at $100-150 (depending on the model). More on the TouchPad’s history can be found HERE (See #10), and also HERE, and about the Fire Sale HERE
What ensued was a mass geek grab up. It was as bad as Black Friday, or the release of a next gen console/Apple product. Online stores servers nearly crashed, stock at certain locations went in minutes (Walmart, Target, OfficeDepot, Staples, you name it).
HP’s EPP site sold out almost instantly, as did it’s consumer site. And HP’s Small Business site had an error. They listed the Touchpads at the fire sale price, but when you added them to the cart they showed as the original $399+ price.
My wife has said she wanted an ebook reader every now and then, and $100 for an item that can do that and much more was a bargain. So I attempted to get me one, and that’s where my adventure begins.
The fire sale started Friday August 19th on HP’s own sites, but as mentioned above, they sold out quickly. Saturday I tried to hit up some local stores but they sold out way before I could get to them, and Best Buy pulled all the stock to sell later (bunch of jerks).
So Saturday morning/afternoon I was paying attention to a deal sites forum on the matter, and HP’s small business site. HP SB site had them in stock, but had the pricing issue occurring. Some people said they were ordering them for the full price and were trying to get a hold of customer service to get the price fixed. They supposedly were on HOLD for over 2-3 hours just to get a hold of someone.
Being partially OCD I kept checking the site, since I knew they probably would get the price problem fixed at some point. And then, around noon on Saturday it finally was showing the proper price in the cart!
I went for it, their site being hammered by hundreds of thousands of people from what can be determined. It took damn near an hour to get checked out, but I did successfully!
I got a confirmation email around 2pm CST on Saturday, and a pending charge appeared on my card! VICTORY!
On Monday I checked on my order status. Estimated ship date Thursday Aug 25th. Fantastic! So I waited…and on Wednesday, the charge on my card vanished. I didn’t have the money taken out, I didn’t have an email saying my order was cancelled, and my order status still showed good…what the hell?
Turns out they can only have a pending charge sit for about 3 days in the bank. Once my order ships they will bill me properly. That’s fine.
So the 25th rolls by..not order status update. 26th..nothing…Search of the internet shows that HP shot themselves in the foot and are so back logged with orders that it’s retarded. Basically unless I have an email saying it was cancelled, then there is nothing I can do but wait.
I wait. I’m still waiting. I still have no update. My order has not been cancelled, but it has not been shipped 8 days after I placed it.
This is where HP has done something so stupid, it’s hilarious. I received this in the mail:
That is a Hewlett Packard BUSINESS Catalog. I have had no orders/mail from HP at my current address EVER. I created an account with HP Small Business, and before they can even SHIP my order, or provide any sort of useful update on my order, they mailed me a fucking catalog to try to sell me more shit? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME HP?!?
And on top of it, it contains the most comical piece of marketing when you take into consideration this entire story:
That’s right! They sent me a catalog/brochure TRYING TO SELL ME THE ITEM THEY FAILED AT! At full price none the less. “TouchPad. There’s nothing like it.” The ad says. Damn right there’s nothing like it, no one else has created a product that was actually decent, yet the company decided to scratch it completely.
I will no longer buy HP Products (after I get my cheap tablets that is). The company is completely going to shit. The entire HP TouchPad story, shows this. The fact that they couldn’t see this Customer Service nightmare they unleashed on themselves, and were in no way prepared for it? They spent probably millions of dollars making, and advertising the HP TouchPad and tried to step into the Tablet Ring only to throw the towel in after only 1 round?
UPDATE: According to HP here: http://h20435.www2.hp.com/t5/The-Next-Bench-Blog/More-TouchPads-on-the-Way/ba-p/68749
I have to wait until my order status shows SHIPPED, or they cancel the order. They are unable to provide any accurate information besides that. They know the ship date is incorrect, and they know they might need to cancel some of the orders. There is even some info implying that it could be weeks to months till it could be fulfilled. Fuck you HP.