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Pre-order story...with a few new details
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Old 06/19/2011, 12:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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So I went down to my local Best Buy today and pre-ordered the Touchpad. A few things I noticed:

1. Even though my store had the Touchpad displays with all the pre-order information on them and more than 20 employees buzzing around the area, the first employee I spoke with had no idea what the Touchpad was. A second employee went into their computer system for a moment and then told me that they didn't have a date for pre-ordering the Touchpad yet...to which I informed him that today is the first day for pre-ordering. He stated he needed to look into it further and came back about 5 minutes later with a spec sheet and reservation ticket. (Now we were getting somewhere...I was expecting a bit of cluelessness from Best Buy, but to have no idea about the device at this point was disheartening to say the least...especially since the displays have been out for a few weeks now!) I placed my order with $50.00, which he put on a gift card. He also confirmed the launch date of July 1st in the system.

2. The reservation sheet also had the "recommended enhancements" of the Touchstone dock and case, so I decided to pre-order those as well. (Again, at first he couldn't find them in the system, but after some digging he was able to add them to the order.) To my disappointment, he stated they wouldn't be in store until after lauch. (Touchstone dock July 12th and case July 5th...booo) I was hoping this was a miscommunication between HP and the store but....

3. About 30 minutes later, I got a call from one of the HP reps to inquire if I wanted to pre-order. (She had called me earlier in the week and even offered free overnight shipping so I would get it on the 2nd, but I don't want to wait an extra day!) I informed her of my Best Buy pre-order and she stated that I was ordering a consumer-grade product and that she could order a business-grade device with a better HP warranty. (Additional cost of course, the device is the same otherwise) I also asked her about the release dates for the Touchstone and case. She confirmed the same info that the Best Buy employee gave me...(boo again...)


Anyone else Pre-order through a brick and mortar store? Was it a good experience or kinda so-so like mine?
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Old 06/19/2011, 12:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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She offered a business-grade TouchPad? Could you explain what she meant by that? I pre-ordered mine at Best Buy online this morning, everything went smoothly there.
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Old 06/19/2011, 12:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by DavidVogt View Post
She offered a business-grade TouchPad? Could you explain what she meant by that? I pre-ordered mine at Best Buy online this morning, everything went smoothly there.

I'm interested too... What exactly is "Business Grade" vs "Consumer Grade"
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Old 06/19/2011, 12:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I got the impression that the business-grade title had nothing to do with the hardware, only the warranty through HP. It was around $100 for 1 year and $190 for 2 years? Something like that. (Covered accidental damage, spills, etc...)
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Old 06/19/2011, 12:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It is the type of warrenty they will give you. If you have the business grade warrenty they will replace it with a brand new model if the hardware fails or if you drop it and it breaks.
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Old 06/19/2011, 12:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you both for the clarification. It sounded like it was a different piece of hardware, which sounded like a scam at first.
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Old 06/19/2011, 12:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have the name and phone number of the HP rep if anyone wants it. She would be happy to take pre-orders I'm sure. (I won't post it here unless a mod gives me the OK...I don't want to cause any problems.)
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Old 06/19/2011, 12:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Just to tell a new story I was up late last night trying to pre-order but it didn't happen until probably after 3am est. I went to sleep and when I got up at 8am I tried to go to amazon( my choice because of how much stuff I get from them and no tax) I clicked my way thru the links( stupid btw that when you search HP TouchPad it does not come up in the items list below but you have to the click the link at the top) I was then at the pre-order page only to get stuck at a dead link. I then called customer service and was first told they didn't know why it wasn't working but let me try one more thing and presto it was in my cart. I ordered 16g( although now regretting it and wanting 32) case and dock for 601.something.

Now I am wondering how many amazon gets? How many people ordered? Where I am on that list?
I may still just buy one in the store and return one or something...
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Old 06/19/2011, 12:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Clueless Best Buy employees are clueless. I went in to test the Galaxy Tab 10.1 yesterday at Best Buy, it wasn't on the floor, 3 people in the computer department had never heard of it, and when I finally tracked it down, turns out some Geek Squad guy (who is waiting to compare it to the TouchPad before choosing his own tablet) had it, he was playing around with it instead of, you know, putting it on display.

I worry that the TouchPad will get Android tablet treatment in terms of display. Anyone else find their local BB puts big heavy security devices on all the Android tablets that give you absolutely no opportunity to find out what the thing would feel like in your hand, while the iPad is left completely unencumbered?

At least HP is sending reps out, I want to know which local BBs are getting the spokesmodels to show it off.

EDIT: Also, I find the "List Price" posted by Amazon hilarious. Did they just make those numbers up?
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Old 06/19/2011, 01:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Clueless Best Buy employees are clueless.
Good point. I usually try to avoid Best Buy, but I don't trust that Staples will have the device in stock on the 1st, (Their employees may be even more clueless about new tech) and Walmart? No thanks..
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Old 06/19/2011, 01:17 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by reggieb View Post
Clueless Best Buy employees are clueless. I went in to test the Galaxy Tab 10.1 yesterday at Best Buy, it wasn't on the floor, 3 people in the computer department had never heard of it, and when I finally tracked it down, turns out some Geek Squad guy (who is waiting to compare it to the TouchPad before choosing his own tablet) had it, he was playing around with it instead of, you know, putting it on display.

I worry that the TouchPad will get Android tablet treatment in terms of display. Anyone else find their local BB puts big heavy security devices on all the Android tablets that give you absolutely no opportunity to find out what the thing would feel like in your hand, while the iPad is left completely unencumbered?

At least HP is sending reps out, I want to know which local BBs are getting the spokesmodels to show it off.

EDIT: Also, I find the "List Price" posted by Amazon hilarious. Did they just make those numbers up?
List price is usually the manufactures cost to build the device.
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Old 06/19/2011, 01:21 PM   #12 (permalink)
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^hah, i figure they are probly taking a few losses here and there, but there's no way it cost $652 to build each 16gb Touchpad. it's kind of misleading on Amazon's part to pretend like they are selling it for $152 less.
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Old 06/19/2011, 01:26 PM   #13 (permalink)
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why wouldn't I want to just walk-in to best buy and pick up in person on 7/1? (what are the pros/cons?)
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Old 06/19/2011, 01:38 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by draztikrhymez View Post
List price is usually the manufactures cost to build the device.
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Originally Posted by jetsetter883 View Post
^hah, i figure they are probly taking a few losses here and there, but there's no way it cost $652 to build each 16gb Touchpad. it's kind of misleading on Amazon's part to pretend like they are selling it for $152 less.
Yeah, there is no way that's what it costs to build these things.

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Originally Posted by dajlol77 View Post
Good point. I usually try to avoid Best Buy, but I don't trust that Staples will have the device in stock on the 1st, (Their employees may be even more clueless about new tech) and Walmart? No thanks..
I have a love hate relationship with BB. But yeah, I often avoid them, just because of their stupidly high prices on a lot of stuff. Anyone who buys an HDMI cable or any type of flash memory at BB would probably ***** their pants if they compared the price they just paid to Amazon.
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Old 06/19/2011, 02:03 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I am amazed at how little Best Buy employees know about electronics. I mean, I don't expect them all to be raving fans, but at least they should have a familiarity with the current products and latest spec trends.

Last edited by katefields; 06/19/2011 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 06/19/2011, 02:11 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Why do you people continue to go into these stores that give you such terrible service? I was able to purchase my device online with free two day shipping and no hassel. Why did you go into a best buy?
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Old 06/19/2011, 02:14 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Why do you people continue to go into these stores that give you such terrible service? I was able to purchase my device online with free two day shipping and no hassel. Why did you go into a best buy?
To get the device on launch day.
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Old 06/19/2011, 02:17 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Why do you people continue to go into these stores that give you such terrible service? I was able to purchase my device online with free two day shipping and no hassel. Why did you go into a best buy?
You go in to Best Buy because you can actually use the product. I don't care what reviewers say, I don't care what a company's marketing department tells me about a product, I care about how it works when I hold it and use it. I think webOS is perfect for a tablet, so I will probably get this, but I am NOT dropping my money until I have used the product.

Also, they do seem to hire a lot of people that don't know anything about electronics, but who cares? Social interaction isn't a bad thing, I often have fun talking to the sales people. And because I get discounts through Reward Zone.
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Old 06/19/2011, 03:05 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I'm a rarity in that I am a very well informed geek squad employee.
Many employees are, unfortunately, completely unfamiliar with many products.

I was the only one who knew about preorders in my store today. Unfortunately, I was the one that had to print out the preorder sheets and inform the reps how to use them and how the process worked.

We also only had one person, a friend of mine, preorder. I would have but I felt it wasn't fair for an employee to do so. I also expect that I will be able to pick one up launch day.

That said, I am the lone webos fan in the store. I've used Android extensively for the last two years, played around with a pre plus on and off. Played with a pre2 for a bit. Now I'm on WP7 but will likely exchange it as I find it a bit limiting and WILL be getting a pre3 unless HP has totally messed up.
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Old 06/19/2011, 03:50 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I pre-ordered from my local Best Buy (Sherman Oaks, CA) this morning and had a fairly similar experience to the first post on this thread. I first went into the computer department where I had to wait around for a little while for a salesperson to be available. While waiting, I looked around and found no reference to the TouchPad anywhere. The store did not have one of the HP displays like we have seen in the pictures online.

When I finally got a salesperson to help me out, he had never heard of the TouchPad before and told me he was uncertain whether they would even carry it. I told him that I knew from the HP press release that Best Buy would carry them in store starting on July 1st and that pre-orders were supposed to start today. He finally checked in the computer and couldn't find anything. He then suggested that I ask over in the mobile phone department as they handled some tablet models.

The salesperson in the mobile department seemed to be vaguely aware of the TouchPad, but didn't know that pre-orders were supposed to start today. She also checked in the computer and couldn't find the information, although she did confirm that online pre-orders had started (which I already knew). She finally said that it was possible that the information would show up in the system later in the day, but that she couldn't find it yet. I then headed off to do some other, unrelated shopping in another section of the store.

As we were heading out the door about 15 minutes or so later, the salesperson from the mobile department chased us down and let me know that she had kept searching and finally managed to find the pre-order forms in the system. She had printed out the forms for both the 16GB and 32GB models, so I then filled out an order for the 32GB. Same as the first poster in the thread, she had me purchase a $50 gift card to secure the reservation. She said that I should expect them to call me on June 30th to set up an appointment time to pick it up.

All this took place during the first half hour that the store was opened this morning, so I feel pretty confident that mine was the first (only?) pre-order at that store. That should at least ensure me getting one on launch date, assuming that the store gets any of them in at all.

HP clearly does need to move quickly on getting some training for in-store salespeople, though. I really appreciated the extra effort that the salesperson in the mobile department went through (particularly since it technically wasn't an item her department handled), but the staff in the computer department should certainly have been fully informed on the product and the pre-order process.

-Jeff
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