Hell hath no fury like a consumer scorned. Consumers have taken to the internet for revenge after receiving cancellation orders for HP Co.’s TouchPad tablet due to insufficient supply.
Barnes & Noble Inc.’s online division and even HP’s consumer and business website division have cancelled orders this month after HP discounted its TouchPad to $99 from $499.99.
While Barnes & Noble has issued $20 Gift Cards to select consumers and HP continues to provide shipment updates to orders it can fulfill, no other retailer has felt the full brunt force of the internet as much as Chicago, IL-based onSale, a subsidiary of PC Mall Inc.
onSale, which is a merchant of Amazon.com Inc., disclaimed ‘in stock’ status of the TouchPad via Amazon.com last week. The retailer allowed thousands for orders to be processed for several hours as consumers rushed to nab the TouchPad 16GB SKU for $99.00 plus shipping.
Within minutes, nearly all customers received a ‘Shipping Soon’ status on their order page which disabled the ability to cancel the order via Amazon.com and indicated that the product would arrive within the next several days.
Consumers were left satisfied in the ability to secure the in-demand item, but when shipment status was left unchanged and credit card purchase holds remained, buyers fumed.
onSale phone lines were flooded with consumers inquiring about the status of their order, with 1-hour plus wait times that could result in a disconnection. Lack of communication via email and canned responses on the company’s Facebook page only added fuel to the fire.
Consumers quickly took action. While onSale’s Feedback Rating on Amazon.com had held a lifetime percentage of rate of 97 percent, the company has how holds a current rate of 17 percent and a lifetime rate of 65 percent since the fallout from thousands of upset customer reviews.
The company’s review page at ResellerRatings.com now stands at .46 out of 10.
In addition, the company’s Facebook page currently holds thousands of comments under company responses to the HP TouchPad situation.
onSale said in a company post that it inadvertently received more orders than it could fulfill and that it is taking necessary steps to prevent a similar occurrence.
While the online reputation of the onSale has been soiled, a few customers were able to receive a TouchPad from the retailer, though positive feedback is buried under accusations that the company did not fulfill orders in a first-come, first-serve basis.
In today’s retail online space, customer service is no longer word-of-mouth between physical friends, but a full social cattle call among customers around the world to warn others from bad retail experiences. HP’s TouchPad fire sale has shot a fair warning to all retailers – the Internet and its users will police the retail town and hold them accountable for poor service faster than they can type, ‘Your Order Has Been Cancelled’.