The Biggest Runaround With Trying To Buy Something
Recently I just purchased a new Lenovo Ideapad S10 laptop and I needed a carrying case to carry it around. After doing some research I determined that the HP 2133 MiniMate Always-On Case made by InfoCase would fit my needs, as my computer is the same size as the one the case is designed for.
Since InfoCase did not have an online order system, I went to the HP website and found the product (item number A696646, part number FM-2133) for $55.79, and the accessory pouch (item A531788, part number AA-P) for $6.76.
On Monday, January 26, I added these items to my cart and clicked the checkout link. Immediately I got an error generated by my web browser that the website's security certificate was invalid. Knowing the potential risks involved when something like this happens, I chose to wait on it.
On the afternoon of Tuesday, January 27, I tried again and the same thing occurred. This time I called HP's number, and pressed 1 for home user sales. The first representative immediately put me on hold and then the line was disconnected from their end.
I called back, and I told the second representative that I wanted those products. He put me on hold to retrieve the item information. When he came back, I was surprised when he told me he could not find the item in the system. Then I checked, and then I could not find it either. We kept trying to find the item for about 30 minutes before I realized that my cart was in the Small and Medium Business part of the website. The representative recommended that I call the Business Sales department. I did so to find that they were closed.
On Wednesday, January 28, I called the Business Sales department. I told the third representative that I was a home user and that I wanted the products and that the representative from the home user department could not find the items in his system. I was put on hold and the line was disconnected, again from their end.
I called back, and I told the forth representative the same thing. He put me on hold. After 5 minutes he came back and told me that yes, they sold the product, but it would take 3-4 weeks because they would have to special order it. I thanked him and then hung up, feeling that this is an unreasonable time period to receive an item.
After that I called InfoCase, the product's manufacturer. I left a message on the machine of somebody in their sales department.
On the morning of Thursday, January 29, I got a call back from the InfoCase sales department. The man I spoke to was very friendly and helpful and understood my situation very well. He gave me a phone number and a long extension for somebody who would be able to sell me the item. Unknowingly I did not expect what happened next - when I called the number, it was HP. I dialed the extension and left a message for this person, Representative 5.
After waiting all day with no response, I finally placed the order through the website, with security certificate warnings often along the registration process. I finally got to the checkout screen and checked the shipping rates. The shipping calculator indicated $5.00 for UPS 2 day shipping and I selected that. The final checkout screen indicated $62.55 for both products, plus $5.00 for shipping and $4.38 for taxes for a total of $71.93. I selected to put it on a credit card, and I submitted the order.
Immediately I got a confirmation email.
On the morning of Friday, January 30th, I got a return call from Representative 5. We discussed what happened, and we confirmed that the order was placed and everything was all set for shipping in a few days.
For the entire next week, nothing had changed with the order. On the evening of Thursday, February 5th, I called HP's Business Sales department to check the status of the order. After being put on hold, the sixth representative informed me that both items was backordered (despite being told the week before that everything was all set). She said that she would remove the shipping cost for the inconvenience and call me the next morning, Friday, February 6th. This would take the order total down to $66.93.
On Friday, February 6th, nobody called. Then I tried to call and they were closed for the weekend.
On Monday, February 9th, I checked my credit card statement, and I discovered that on February 6th that a hold was placed on the card for $72.29 - not the original total of $71.93, or the price with the removed shipping charge of $66.93.
I called HP and Representative 7 told me that Representative 6 didn't call back yet because she did not receive any information from the warehouse and at the moment there was no estimate when I would get my product. She said that she would change the hold to the correct amount of $66.93 immediately (this didn't happen) and that Representative 6 would call me back when she had more information.
I called the salesperson at InfoCase again. He told me that the main issue is that HP is only placing one order for the product from InfoCase each day, thus only one product is shipped out each day.
So apparently, InfoCase has plenty in stock and HP is intentionally creating this backlog!
The InfoCase salesperson decided to make an exception and let me place an order directly with him and I cancelled the order with HP. I got a confirmation of the cancellation.
On Tuesday, February 10th, I got shipping confirmation from InfoCase. On today, February 12th the pending charge from HP for $72.29 was finally removed. The product from InfoCase arrived today, as promised, and it fits the laptop perfectly.