FOLLOWING OUR EARLIER discovery that cut price HP Touchpads sold out in hours at Currys and PC World The INQUIRER has been running around to other retailers and by our estimate there is not a bargain priced Touchpad left in the UK.
Having already been thoroughly frustrated by Currys, PC World and the Carphone Warehouse we turned to Dabs.com and Best Buy after both announced that they were cutting prices.
Dabs.com's sign up service, another stage in the purchase chain that we could have lived without, treated us to dial-up like speeds as we moved from shopping basket to payment.
This, which came about an hour after the firm tweeted that it was sold out of its allocation, suggested to us that the firm did have Touchpads in stock, but we were slightly confused by the message that the unit was "Ordered upon request", a statement that did not tally with the tweet. We've asked Dabs.com for more information, but we suspect that the Touchpad is sold out for good there too.
During this sign up process, which means that we have surrendered a decent amount of information to two large companies, we noticed that our shopping basket had moved from having a Touchpad inside it to being empty. Presumably that's fine at Dabs.com but is an eleven on the annoying scale for us.
Worse still, while staring at the empty basket notice on the page and waiting for our details to be expected just so that we could try to add another Touchpad to it, the web site crashed and we were told this, "An unexpected error has occurred. Our technical department has been informed."
This means that the details we put in, which included our phone number, home address and email are all now in the ether, much like our plans for a Touchpad, and we can't say whether Dabs has them or not.
Best Buy also cut prices to the standard £89 for the Touchpad 16GB model and £115 for the 32GB version this morning and again has sold out of its allocation. Some of us found the web site to be spinning when we visited while others were told that the items were out of stock.
We still found Touchpads for sale at Play.com and Amazon.co.uk but they were still on display at much higher prices We imagine that this will change during the day and hope that both firms will be prepared to meet the demand that this will cause.
Expansys is expecting stock in the next few days, but it also has the Touchpads at the higher prices. Clove.co.uk has the items on pre-order too, but adds this message, "Official Price and Availability To Be Confirmed".
Finally, the PR firm working for Dixons has contacted the INQUIRER to ask for the Touchpad back that it sent us to review earlier this year.
Although this is common practice with review items we cannot help but wonder what they plan to do with it. We'll be keeping our eyes on Ebay for that one. µ