I woke up my 7 year old early this morning to go out on a mission. The mission was to buy a 16GB HP Touchpad for $99 after HP decided to liquidate their inventory. We started at the local Wal-Mart, where a customer had come in about an hour before and bought up their entire inventory of Touchpads. We drove over to Target where the electronics sales person hadn't even heard of a Touchpad and kept trying to sell me an iPad. We then waited around until 8:45 and headed to the Best Buy (store #837) in Lawrence, Kansas.
A few people were already waiting in line at the doors when we arrived. Most of them were there to try to get a Touchpad for $99. After a while, the manager opened up the doors and everyone casually walked in. There was none of the pushing and shoving of an after Thanksgiving sale or an Apple product debut, and when we got to the tablets, we were happy to find out that there were more than enough Touchpads for everyone to have one! The first thing the sales person tells us is that they have not dropped the price at this particular Best Buy, but he expects the price to drop and their usual policy is to give you a refund before a certain amount of days if the product drops in price after you purchase it. Everyone was cool with that and we all still wanted to buy a Touchpad, at full price, based on the price dropping in the very near future. After each customer had a Touchpad in hand, and one even decided to buy 6, the sales person had us fill out some forms with information and then proceeded to walk us up to the checkout counter. We had cleaned out Best Buy's inventory of Touchpads in a few minutes and everyone was happy!
It was at the checkout counter that hilarity ensued and my hatred of Best Buy began. As soon as we got to the checkout counter, the sales person and the manager started to have a little chat. The first thing the manager yells out is, "One per customer!" The dude that bought a few Touchpads shrugs and says, "OK. I'll just take one then!" Everyone is still happy because we all get a Touchpad and we'll probably get it for $99 eventually based on the store dropping the price. Boy were we wrong! A few seconds later, the manager tells us that Best Buy has decided to ship all of the Touchpads back to HP and will not be selling them to us after all. He grabs them out of our hands like a teacher confiscating candy without any sort of explanation! What the FUCK! Why would Best Buy get us all the way to the point of checkout only to take away the Touchpads? Is there an official reason? Are they going to get rid of the personal information they had me write down in order to purchase the product? Is the form I filled out considered a binding contract of some sort which would give them no choice but to sell the product to me? Can I sue them? Why do they sell candy at checkout?
This whole fiasco was ridiculous and should never have happened! I can tell you that I will never buy a single product at Best Buy again, which is unfortunate because I buy gadgets all the time! Did anyone else have the same type of experience trying to buy a Touchpad? Have you had a bad experience at Best Buy? Let us know!
Best Buy Touchpad Fiasco Update
At about 10:30pm Eastern time, PC Magazine announced that Best Buy had decided to sell the HP TouchPad instead of shipping the units back to HP. This pisses me off on so many levels! According to the article, at about 4pm Eastern, Best Buy decided that they would indeed be selling the 16GB HP TouchPad for $99 and the 32GB HP TouchPad for $149. Why couldn't they have decided this earlier when throngs of people were showing up at their stores wanting to buy out their inventory?
I really wanted to get some answers so I called the Lawrence, Kansas Best Buy at about 9:40pm. The store closes at 10:00pm, so I thought surely someone would answer the phone. Well, I was wrong. I was on hold for 20 minutes with the most annoying hold music known to man! Here's a screen shot of me looking at the @geekbauchery
profile on Twitter while at the 20 minute mark on hold!
I'm not sure if Best Buy just didn't want to answer my phone call or if all the sales associates actually were busy helping other customers, but I can guarantee I will be going back tomorrow morning to talk to a manager and get my HP TouchPad! If I don't get it, the saga will continue!