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HP Tech Support overcharged me for sales tax

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I placed a order for parts with an HP Tech Support Rep (Offshore). The rep explained that the benefit of purchasing the part from HP was that I would get free shipping and free technical support for installing the part. This sounded good, so I completed the order. The part was 71.25 and the total was 87.98. I said what is the extra money for, and he said "taxes", and I said "California Sales Tax" and he said "just taxes". After I hung up I calculated and realized i'd just paid 23.5% sales tax and thought "Wait, I don't live in Europe! What just happened??"


I called back and talked to a different rep and asked for an itemization and he said it included $6.70 for sale tax and $5.95 for shipping. I said, not only did the rep promise free shipping, but HP's system miscalculated my sales tax. The correct sales tax for Placer County, California, is $5.88 (8.25%), so I was overcharged $.82 for sale tax. This might not sound like much, but if HP's system miscalculates sales tax, multiply that by however many customers you want. That's a big problem with a lot of money going in the wrong bucket! How often do you double-check your sales tax calculation, really?


So I mentioned this to the rep, and he said, sorry, i only understand technical issues, i don't really understand how the system calculates tax and shipping. He said he would refer my case to the refund department.


I asked to escalate the call to the supervisor. She pretty much said the same thing that she only deals with technical issues, not billing issues. She referred my case, indicating that I would hear back from them in 24-48 hours.


To me, it's obviously not the $.82 that matters. It's the fact that HP can overcharge for sales tax and then brush it off like it's no big deal. And that they can promise me free shipping, and then when they charge me for shipping, tell me that I'll have to wait 24-48 hours to discuss a refund.


When you are taking somebody's money, and charging them the incorrect amount (twice!), I expect HP to be much more circumspect about dealing with the issue immediately.


PS This may be in the wrong forum, but all of the other forums are product specific, and this has nothing to do with a product.

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