HP: Please refund my TouchPad investment

HP: Please refund my TouchPad investment

Summary: Dear HP: As an early adopter of your TouchPad tablet, I feel entitled to a full refund given your killing the product line a mere 49 days after its launch.

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Updated: Dear HP,

Your unexpected execution of the webOS device line a mere 49 days after I purchased the TouchPad (hereafter referred to as the DeadPad for accuracy) on launch day has left me in a bit of a fix. In addition to the DeadPad, like many buyers I also invested in accessories and apps to add utility to your now dead product. Like all of the buyers of the DeadPad, it seemed reasonable to expect a big company like HP to allow the new product line to continue in the market (and in development) longer than a few weeks.

I believe it reasonable to request that HP refund me the entire amount of my investment in your DeadPad product. This refund breaks down as follows:

  • $499 -- 16GB DeadPad purchased July 1 (prior to the many price rollbacks)
  • $69  --  HP Case for DeadPad
  • $69  --  HP wireless keyboard for DeadPad
  • $637 -  Total Hardware

Apps purchased for use on DeadPad:

  • Glimpse-- $5.00
  • TapNote-- $5.00
  • toodleTasks HD-- $4.99
  • TouchFeeds-- $2.99
  • Video Flood HD-- $1.99
  • Glyder 2 HD-- $2.99
  • Total apps -- $22.96

Total DeadPad investment -- $659.96

Note that this investment does not include sales tax as I am prepared to do my part to help my local authorities. Also note that this doesn't include any gear bags nor cases that I can use with other devices. You do not have to worry that I purchased any of these apps with the generous $50 app credit you awarded early adopters (which I suppose now includes all buyers) as you never gave it to me as promised. Re: the apps, only refund those if the developers can keep their share of the sale. I would rather eat those funds than hurt the little guys.

I have purchased many gadgets in the past, some of which had an admittedly short lifespan. I have never asked the OEM to refund my purchases but I feel justified in this case as it is certainly reasonable for a buyer to expect a product line will not be killed just 49 days after its launch. That makes no sense on any level, and as a buyer I should not bear the brunt of such a strange business decision.

Also note that I am not asking for the refund for any special treatment as one who covers technology for ZDNet, I am asking for it as I feel all buyers should be entitled to a full refund; offering it universally would be the proper thing for HP to do.

Sincerely,

James Kendrick (Only one in a small group of buyers)

Update: On August 20 HP notified retailers that full refunds should be given to all TouchPad buyers. Late in the day that order was extended to retailers to refund the price difference between what early buyers paid and the new $99 clearance sale price. I was able to get a price match from Best Buy on August 21 for the difference I paid noted above and the $99 price. This gave me the reduced price while letting me keep the TouchPad, which I quite like.

Kudos to HP and Best Buy for both stepping up and putting customers first, in spite of HP's rash business decision.

Topics: Banking, Hewlett-Packard

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97 comments
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  • RE: HP: Please refund my TouchPad investment

    We tried to warn you. Good luck with the refund thing.
    rwalrond
    • We're all victims on this one!

      I never intended to purchase HP's TouchPad, but I welcomed it's presence into the tablet battle! I have felt too much has been resting in the Android corner (for my part Android tablets have been a waste of my money) and the competition to the iPad would be healthy all around. I still can't see that a traditional OS (Windows) can even be a challenger in this race, and so I've looked forward to any alternative that might come our way.

      The TouchPad offered much promise. It seemed to have some of IOs and Android good points and offered a few of it's own.
      R.I.P. TouchPad. You passed-away in your infancy.
      camcost@...
      • RE: HP: Please refund my TouchPad investment

        @camcost@... I was happy to see WebOS as an alternative to iOS and Android, too. It wasn't quite ready for prime time, but in many ways it was better than Android. I expected that it would be refined over time to create a true competitor. It will be a sad loss if nobody picks up that gem and polishes it to its full potential.

        One alternative HP should consider is just donating it to the Open Source community. I think it could flourish with enthusiasts in control of its future.
        BillDem
      • RE: HP: Please refund my TouchPad investment

        @camcost@... I, too, am in this boat. Even though I'm in the iOS camp when it comes to the Tablet, the TouchPad was the first device that actually impressed me on how well the ideas were put together. With a faster processor, it would have become the tablet to beat; unfortunately, it died before its time.
        Champ_Kind
      • Not I

        @camcost@...
        No, we are not "all" victims on ths one! I for one am not because, although very short, it's typical of all of these "toys". HP and most others too should be called to attention under several class action lawsuits, which should, in the worst of cases, include punitive damages.

        I was not a victim because the facts of these useless throw-away "toys" was/is rather clear. Expensive, junk toys!
        tom@...
  • consumer fraud?

    I wonder if a smart lawyer could make an argument that HP has been involved in consumer fraud here, and file a class action suit.

    Here in NJ, for example, the Consumer Fraud Act prohibits:

    --------------
    The act...by any person of any unconscionable
    commercial practice, deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise, misrepresentation, or the knowing, concealment, suppression, or omission of any material fact with intent that others rely upon such concealment, suppression or omission, in connection with the sale ...of any merchandise...or with the subsequent performance of such person as aforesaid, whether or not any person has in fact been misled, deceived or damaged thereby, is declared to be an unlawful practice;
    ----------

    PDF link here: http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/laws/CFAlaws.pdf

    If there is something in HP emails or planning that suggests that they were leaning toward cancelling the TouchPad, and they should ignore that fact when going to market, etc, I wonder if there's something that might stick. Again, I'm not an expert - just someone who was pretty excited to grab a TP, and was really looking forward to a Pre3 to pair it with, who feels pretty screwed right now.
    poplosertech
    • RE: HP: Please refund my TouchPad investment

      @poplosertech - Fraud requires proof of INTENT. It would be impossible to make that case. HP spent lots of money to develop. They are guilty of being a poorly run company and stupid. Unfortunately, we don't send people to jail for being stupid.

      Buying it may not have been a great decision. I think buying on a credit card is most likely the best bet to get a refund. You have up to 60 days to file a complaint with your Credit Card company.
      trentsmill
      • Timing question

        @trentsmill <br>I wonder if someone files a lawsuit that alleges fraud, if the argument could be made that the decision to drop the whole consumer product line would have taken longer than the 49 day lifespan of the TouchPad. If there is proof that this decision was in the works prior to the launch, then I would expect that the argument will be made that HP did in fact launch the product knowing that they were going to kill it off in a few short weeks.<br><br>Either way, I'm glad I didn't buy it as it was on my shortlist, and I'll be interested to see how this plays out.
        GSG
      • RE: HP: Please refund my TouchPad investment

        @trentsmill: It's probably good that we don't send people to jail for being stupid. Imagine all the jails we'd have to build! Maybe we could just limit the crime to "making expensive decisions while being stupid", but we'd still have to deal with the anarchy created when we imprison the entire federal government.
        Steve Summers
      • HP, a poorly run company?

        @trentsmill I thought when they kicked Carly to the curb that all of their problems went away. Guess not...
        Champ_Kind
      • RE: HP: Please refund my TouchPad investment

        @trentsmill : Do you consider it stupid to try to compete with BOTH Apple and Google/Motorola? HP is smart to get out of consumer products and focus on business.

        WebOS may be good enough that HP can sell the business, but don't get your hopes up. It's the apps that make a tablet useful.
        mschafer555
  • Ever hear the term - Buyer Beware

    Just a few days ago you stated the HP TouchPad was a useful and productive product. Nothing has changed regarding that published opinion. I am sure HP will honor any warranty issues covered under the initial warranty period.

    I suggest you enjoy and use this product as long as possible.
    kenosha77a
    • RE: HP: Please refund my TouchPad investment

      @kenosha7777 Good atitude but not very practical if you think that HP will provide "quality" anything for these products. They might sell it and then you may get continued support from that company. Do you like playing CRAPS?
      trentsmill
  • RE: HP: Please refund my TouchPad investment

    Dear James, I have been following your work for many years, and I highly appreciate your platform - agnostic approach. I am sorry that you now ar at a disatvantage for personally buying the Touchpad, but I cannot tell you how much I appreciatd that you did and that you gave your readers such good insight into this product. I think the decision by HP is shortsighted, but your reporting and tweeting on your experience was the coolest thing in tech journalism I have seen in a long while. Please, keep up the good work!
    61southbound
    • RE: HP: Please refund my TouchPad investment

      @61southbound I thank you, and I certainly will. I write about what I use, not just what's popular. :)
      JamesKendrick
      • RE: HP: Please refund my TouchPad investment

        @JamesKendrick My appreciations too. I don't miss to follow your write-up's. I stated this earlier and I am going to say it again (as a consumer of HP touchpad). It may not be a bad idea to write about loading Honeycomb in Touchpad.
        WebOS is no doubt the best tablet experience I ever had. Now that HP has disconnected itself, I think that may be the best alternative we have
        krishnansriram
      • RE: HP: Please refund my TouchPad investment

        I want to thank you also for reviewing the TouchPad. I was very interested, and about to make the leap. Regardless, thanks for not being an Apple or Android homer. @JamesKendrick
        ahay1995
    • RE: HP: Please refund my TouchPad investment

      @61southbound i same here. I did get the 16gb touchpad after reading James take on it, however, after a week I returned it for a full refund. Just missed the hit on that one. I do not blame James, as he always, "gives his insights" for us to make an informed decision.
      heredavid
  • The ones who really got taken..

    were UK buyers of the Pre 3 - it was released in the UK on Tuesday and was killed off by Thursday. Some people got luck and since their order hadn't arrived, they refused delivery from the courier.

    Shameful way to treat the customer.
    Alfred Smithe
    • RE: HP: Please refund my TouchPad investment

      @Alfred Smithe Return to store. They must give a refund or again, go to your Credit Card company for a full refund.
      trentsmill