November 28 was Black Friday, and I was one of many people looking for great deals online.  I found out about a discount at HP the day before and wanted to take advantage of it.  Microsoft, in an attempt to convince people to use their Live search engine over competitors like Yahoo! and Google have developed what they call Live Search cashback.  By using it and setting up an account, a person can get cashback from participating online retailers.  One of these deals was 40% off at HP, and I just happened to be in the market for a laptop.  Awesome… or so I thought.

The deal was only running on Black Friday from 9am to 9pm Central.  I tried literally for hours to take advantage of this deal but was denied.  I wasn’t the only one.  It was down for most people.  Michael Arrington posted about it on TechCrunch.   I even posted about my problems on Twitter, as did many others.  I’m glad I did.

I was contacted through Twitter by Todd Bishop, co-founder and managing editor of TechFlash, a technology news site in Seattle.  Todd spends a lot of his time covering Microsoft and other big tech companies and was interested in what I had gone through.

To make a long story short, I had sent e-mails to Microsoft and HP, and then I forwarded those e-mails and the responses I received to Todd, who posted them on TechFlash today, to show a glimpse at what people like myself have put up with because of this situation.

I would like to thank Todd Bishop for posting my correspondence and continuing to follow the story for as long as he has.  I have e-mailed his post to Microsoft and HP.  I don’t know if all of this will do any good in terms of getting me a laptop, but at least the story is out there and it’s quite obvious that Microsoft is the bad guy, especially after saying they would run the discount again and then doing a complete 180° and saying they wouldn’t.

In short, use Google.