HP: Please refund my TouchPad investment

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.
Written by James Kendrick, Contributor on

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.


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.

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