Customized HP US laptops can't be shipped to Canada - wtf?

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Customized HP US laptops can't be shipped to Canada - wtf?

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:16 am

Hey all,

I'm hoping some of the more industry connected forum members may be able to answer this as it's driving me to bang my head against the wall repeatedly until it bleeds.

HP are unable to ship customized laptops to Canada if they are purchased through the HP US site and so re-direct you to the HP Canadian site in order to make a purchase, *however*, HP provides no facility on their Canadian site to customize laptops and the pre-built offerings have terrible default hardware selections. Additionally all of their Canadian laptops ship with French bilingual keyboards...this is a non-standard keyboard layout with a few extra keys and French accents printed on most of the keys. For people like myself who prefer regular US layout keyboards this is huge issue.

My choices are somewhat limited:
  • Ship the laptop to a friend in the US and have him ship it to me in Canada. Caveat = Customs charges
  • Drive down to the US from where I live and make a purchase. Caveats = Long and costly drive and there's no facility to customize a laptop from a retail store.

In my somewhat bewildered state, some questions:
  1. Why does HP shaft their Canadian customers like this?
  2. Why on earth do Canadian laptops (in general, not specifically HP but I'm pointing my finger at them) ship with bilingual keyboards? In western Canada English is spoken primarily, it seems to me that laptop makers are trying to accommodate to a tiny percentage of the Canadian population with these French keyboards and pissing off all others that speak English. What gives?!
  3. How can I purchase a customized HP laptop and have it sent to Canada?
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Re: Customized HP US laptops can't be shipped to Canada - wt

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:15 am

I hope you're considering their business line and not their terrible, horrible consumer laptops.
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Re: Customized HP US laptops can't be shipped to Canada - wt

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:19 am

I suggest you call HP up and order over the phone. Talking to a live person will certainly help with your situations.
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Re: Customized HP US laptops can't be shipped to Canada - wt

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:54 am

Governments often require that there be some "local content" to imported goods, even if it's just some distribution centers or physical sales offices. Locals get employed there and this makes the gov't happy. If there is no local content, then import duties often get applied. This is why HP (U.S.) cannot ship directly to Canada, as it would violate the licensing agreement between HP and the gov't of Canada.

I believe the French localization is also a requirement of the Canadian gov't, but you should confirm that with your local Quebecois. If you call the HP-Canada sales office, tell them you want option #ABA, which is HP-internal-speak for American English localization. Knowing the correct option code may get you in the door.
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Re: Customized HP US laptops can't be shipped to Canada - wt

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:33 am

Yup, this sounds like an unintended consequence of a government regulation. In a sort-of-similar vein, residents of Illinois can't buy certain models of Rosewill keyboards. (Turns out it is due to some silly e-waste law that went into effect this year.)

WTF indeed! :roll:
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Re: Customized HP US laptops can't be shipped to Canada - wt

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:04 am

Not understanding the problem well enough (I mean, I get what you want; I just don't know quite enough to fix it), I ask: can you buy a Canadian laptop and then the US equivalent keyboard?
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Re: Customized HP US laptops can't be shipped to Canada - wt

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:26 am

This will cost you extra in shipping, but you could have HP USA ship the laptop to a FedEx/UPS/Purolator store in the US, then have that store ship it to you. But call the order department directly, that will for sure help.
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Re: Customized HP US laptops can't be shipped to Canada - wt

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:09 am

What kind of luck do you have if you look into Dell or Lenovo?
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Re: Customized HP US laptops can't be shipped to Canada - wt

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:19 am

Dashak wrote:I hope you're considering their business line and not their terrible, horrible consumer laptops.


Actually, I quite like HP's consumer line of laptops, at least the Pavilion and the Envy series (which are now merging into one brand). HP are one of the few laptop makers than have successfully bridged the divide between form and function. Something that can't be said for other laptop makers. With the Pavilions and Envy's you get something that is decent spec wise AND looks good.

sluggo wrote:Governments often require that there be some "local content" to imported goods, even if it's just some distribution centers or physical sales offices. Locals get employed there and this makes the gov't happy. If there is no local content, then import duties often get applied. This is why HP (U.S.) cannot ship directly to Canada, as it would violate the licensing agreement between HP and the gov't of Canada.

I believe the French localization is also a requirement of the Canadian gov't, but you should confirm that with your local Quebecois. If you call the HP-Canada sales office, tell them you want option #ABA, which is HP-internal-speak for American English localization. Knowing the correct option code may get you in the door.


I totally understand, what a complete boner kill for us Canadians. I hope that this situation changes at some point down the road.

derFunkenstein wrote:Not understanding the problem well enough (I mean, I get what you want; I just don't know quite enough to fix it), I ask: can you buy a Canadian laptop and then the US equivalent keyboard?


I can, there are US equivalent part #'s but it usually means spending more money than I wanted. I've learned from previous experience that some parts are not available for months at a time, especially if it's a newly released laptop. Case in point, my cousin ordered an HP Envy 4-1030ca, obviously shipped with a french bilingual keyboard. I called up the HP Parts desk to get a US replacement keyboard and they told me that this part isn't available yet even though the laptop model had been out since July or so. I could go down this road....but the problem of customizing the laptop still remains :/

Sargent Duck wrote:This will cost you extra in shipping, but you could have HP USA ship the laptop to a FedEx/UPS/Purolator store in the US, then have that store ship it to you. But call the order department directly, that will for sure help.


That's interesting, I'm going to look into this. It all boils down to trust!

absurdity wrote:What kind of luck do you have if you look into Dell or Lenovo?


You know these are great laptops too, I've just got a bias preference for HP, based on the past couple of years working with many models within their business and consumer line. I've been mostly satisfied with the quality of their hardware. As I'm looking for a laptop that tips more towards gaming Dell's Alienware line of laptops look simply retarded, I would never feel right taking that out in public :)
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Re: Customized HP US laptops can't be shipped to Canada - wt

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:57 pm

Sargent Duck wrote:This will cost you extra in shipping, but you could have HP USA ship the laptop to a FedEx/UPS/Purolator store in the US, then have that store ship it to you.
Or to such a store in the US near the border, and then drive down to pick it up.
Jon wrote:[*]Why on earth do Canadian laptops (in general, not specifically HP but I'm pointing my finger at them) ship with bilingual keyboards? In western Canada English is spoken primarily, it seems to me that laptop makers are trying to accommodate to a tiny percentage of the Canadian population with these French keyboards and pissing off all others that speak English. What gives?!
For exactly the same reason that half of the text on your box of morning corn flakes is en francais. (Slightly more than half, actually, since French is less efficient / has less information density: the Flakes of the Corn of Kellogg, indeed).
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Re: Customized HP US laptops can't be shipped to Canada - wt

Postposted on Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:40 pm

Jon wrote:My choices are somewhat limited:
  • Ship the laptop to a friend in the US and have him ship it to me in Canada. Caveat = Customs charges
  • Drive down to the US from where I live and make a purchase. Caveats = Long and costly drive and there's no facility to customize a laptop from a retail store.

In my somewhat bewildered state, some questions:
  1. Why does HP shaft their Canadian customers like this?
  2. Why on earth do Canadian laptops (in general, not specifically HP but I'm pointing my finger at them) ship with bilingual keyboards? In western Canada English is spoken primarily, it seems to me that laptop makers are trying to accommodate to a tiny percentage of the Canadian population with these French keyboards and pissing off all others that speak English. What gives?!
  3. How can I purchase a customized HP laptop and have it sent to Canada?

Not just HP, a lot of e-tailers we as Canadians are screwed, either by price, or by shipping across the border (custom duties, tax, and the **** brokerage fees).
Quebec influence is huge. Look at anything the government offers, like CPP, they have to have a Quebec equivalent, like QPP. (need to stop right here before tripping R&P line)
Shipping to US address: discussed in this RFD thread?

Some US-based retailers also require a US-addressed credit card, so ultimately you do need to know some friends in the US, hopefully they are near the border. :)
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Re: Customized HP US laptops can't be shipped to Canada - wt

Postposted on Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:30 pm

Flying Fox wrote:
Jon wrote:My choices are somewhat limited:
  • Ship the laptop to a friend in the US and have him ship it to me in Canada. Caveat = Customs charges
  • Drive down to the US from where I live and make a purchase. Caveats = Long and costly drive and there's no facility to customize a laptop from a retail store.

In my somewhat bewildered state, some questions:
  1. Why does HP shaft their Canadian customers like this?
  2. Why on earth do Canadian laptops (in general, not specifically HP but I'm pointing my finger at them) ship with bilingual keyboards? In western Canada English is spoken primarily, it seems to me that laptop makers are trying to accommodate to a tiny percentage of the Canadian population with these French keyboards and pissing off all others that speak English. What gives?!
  3. How can I purchase a customized HP laptop and have it sent to Canada?

Not just HP, a lot of e-tailers we as Canadians are screwed, either by price, or by shipping across the border (custom duties, tax, and the **** brokerage fees).
Quebec influence is huge. Look at anything the government offers, like CPP, they have to have a Quebec equivalent, like QPP. (need to stop right here before tripping R&P line)
Shipping to US address: discussed in this RFD thread?

Some US-based retailers also require a US-addressed credit card, so ultimately you do need to know some friends in the US, hopefully they are near the border. :)


I don't know if Quebec has anything to do with it. Quebec laws generally end up only screwing affecting Quebec residents (Ie, how Quebec residents are excluded from TR give-aways). I don't think there are any laws stating that computers sold in Canada (at least outside of Quebec) must be so with bilingual keyboards. It's just that OEMs like HP, Acer, etc, don't bother providing one model to Quebec and a separate model to the rest of Canada. Or perhaps this blame lies with retailers like Futureshop and Besbuy who reside both in Quebec and other provinces.

Anyway, welcome to online shopping outside of the center of the universe (USA) :P . I've been noticing this trend for years across major computer retailers (Lenovo, Dell, etc) and electronics companies. I think, on the whole, things like price discrepancies between Canada and the US, have been improving (ie, Panasonic electronics don't seem to be 33 to 50% more expensive in Canada across the board like they used to be). But not for books and a few other markets. However, you still get some companies, like HP apparently, who just couldn't be bothered to properly serve the Canadian market (or at least serve them as well as the American one).
Last edited by cynan on Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Customized HP US laptops can't be shipped to Canada - wt

Postposted on Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:37 pm

Could be a lack of CSA approval issue as well.
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