I asked a friend about his experience ordering PCs:
If it's going to be built first (like from Dell) then they bill at ship date. If it's from stock, then usually it is billed when ordered, but then shipped relatively soon after. That's what NewEgg and TigerDirect do.
HP billed me on order date, which only realized today, six days later.
I called and cancelled, which may or may not be in time. HP wanted
to finish building (I ordered a PC with no changes), ship and have me
ship it back, with both shippings paid by HP. I pointed out that
would cost HP more money than simply putting it in their inventory and
not shipping. HP does not know if it can do that, another thing that
does not inspire confidence. I may still receive the PC.
I cannot remember being charged other than on ship date. I was really
annoyed, which is why I cancelled the $399 all-in-one.
Ordered: Oct. 27
Due to ship: Nov. 17
HP wants to hold my money three weeks. The nerve.