TouchPad backlash: retailers say sorry for order errors

HP's TouchPad was oversold and now Barnes & Noble and other retailers face angry customers.

Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, and Best Buy are facing a backlash from wannabe HP TouchPad buyers after each of the retailers oversold their supplies of the WebOS-based tablets. B&N is facing the brunt of angry customers with many disgruntled TouchPad bargain hunters taking to social networks to speak their mind.

Troubles began when Amazon.com, B&N, and Best Buy offered the discontinued $99 HP tablet on Monday and sold out their stock in record time. B&N sold all its TouchPad inventory and, inventory it mistakenly believed it had, in under an hour, according to reports. It was then forced to send out e-mails to many of the customers who'd bought a TouchPad and informed them their order hadn't been processed.

B&N's customer service department explained in a e-mail: "Due to unexpected customer demand for this item, our inventory was depleted prior to your order being processed so we are unable to fulfill this item as requested." B&N continued to explain orders were canceled and that credit cards would not be charged.

It didn't take long before users complained on Twitter about the goof. "Thought I had a deal for HP Touchpad," said Twitter user mal1981. "Got proof of payment and then cancellation from #barnesandnoble. Should have known! Don't trust them!" Users have even created an online petition to protest B&N.

Best Buy declined to comment on the story and B&N did not return multiple inquiries to discuss the matter.

Best Buy and Amazon (through its Onsale sub-site) were also forced to cancel orders and face similar backlashes from customers. Angry customers also flocked to social networks to share publicly their outrage. Grumpy customers complained bitterly about Best Buy and Amazon giving them the equivalent of a Bronx Cheer online.

Determined TouchPad shoppers were likely ticked-off since by the time most customers were notified their order was cancelled many Web and brick-and-mortar stores were out of stock.

Both B&N, through its e-mail to customers, and Amazon, through a comment on its site, have reiterated they are sorry and that customers will not be charged even if their credit cards may show an authorization for the order.

So customers who missed out can go ahead and try their luck with other retailers. If you still want to grab a touchpad we've got a list of 5 great sites to take a look at for last minute TouchPad fire sale deals.

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Tags tablet PCwebOSamazon.comhardware systemstabletsHewlett-PackardBest BuyHPBarnes & Noble

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David Daw

PC World (US online)
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