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How to handle PCE Team Delays?

HP Recommended
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

Hey, everyone.  Looking for some advice on an order:

We placed an order for a ZBook Power G7 at the beginning of December, and it was to be shipped on or about December 24. 

On the 24th, we received an email from the "PCE Team" at HP saying the ship date is delayed until 2/18/2021.
Unfortunately, that date wouldn't work for us, because we need the laptop for school starting in January.  So we asked if we could get a comparable model as a substitute, for the price we paid.


We thought that was a reasonable request, but the only option provided was to request a refund and pay extra to purchase a more expensive ready-to-ship model (that incidentally had inferior specs and fewer accessories compared to the model we ordered).  Not quite bait-and-switch, but pretty close.


So we gave in and requested a cancellation of our order, expecting a refund back to our card quickly so we could find another laptop.  FYI:  Just requesting a cancellation requires contact with the customer service team (either by chat or by phone), and the cancellation takes 24-48 hours to be "approved."  Then, once it is approved, it takes another 3-5 days for the refund to be applied to the credit card.


Is there any other way to handle a situation like this?  We really thought an option for a substitute model would be available, without us having to pay extra or request a refund.  Has anyone encountered this, and how did you handle it?  As it stands, HP has had our payment for close to a month (we were charged on the date we ordered the laptop), and now we will be waiting until after the new year to get a refund (and hopefully find another laptop before school starts).


Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.  Thanks, and Happy New Year!

 

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