HP TouchPad insult to injury: Cart glitch hampers SMB fire sale

Summary:Given the reputation hit HP is going to get over this TouchPad discontinuation, you'd think at the least the company would have its IT systems ready for an inventory liquidation.

HP is having a fire sale on TouchPads, but SMB buyers beware. A shopping cart glitch on HP.com will charge you full freight.

If you're an SMB, you can go to HP's store and get a TouchPad without any issues---16GB is $99 and 32GB is $149. Deal of the century---at least judging by the tech chatter today---right?

Not so fast. There's a shopping cart glitch that may not be resolved until Monday.

Here's the progression:

Sale price of HP TouchPad 32GB at $149.

Then you get the view cart that to the left that looks a little off. Of course, by time you put in your credit card and address HP will give you the clearance price right?

Once you submit your credit card details, the price is still at pre fire sale levels.

Before hitting submit I decided to call HP customer support. After a hold time of 15 minutes or so I got a helpful sales rep. I explained the issue and she said HP was trying to update its systems to reflect the clearance price.

"The prices on the site are correct," she said.

"But if I hit submit I'm charged a bundle," I said.

"Well we'd have to cancel those orders. Don't hit submit," she said.

"Shouldn't you show the original prices so people know?" I asked.

"The advertising on the site is correct, but we need a workaround on the shopping cart," she said.

The bottom line here is that I didn't submit and HP will call back when this shopping cart issue is fixed---probably Monday. It's quite possible by that time, buying a TouchPad for $99 won't look like such a great deal. Apparently, I have some time to mull this purchase over. The sales rep said that HP had plenty of inventory.

Given the reputation hit HP is going to get over this TouchPad discontinuation, you'd think the company would at least have its IT systems ready for an inventory liquidation.


Topics: Hewlett-Packard


Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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