Is Joe Rigdon a Rip-Off Artist?


Well, I 've just got to ask that question, because three months ago, after posting here about some problems with my HP-41C, he emailed me, said he could probably fix it. I sent him two calculators; a day after they got to him, he emailed saying one he'd fixed immediately, the other wasn't worth fixing, and he was going to have a quick look at the card reader. This was three months ago. Since then, I have not been able to get him to return my calculars.

I have sent him countless emails, all of them have gone unanswered.

I have spoken to him on the phone four or fives times, and begged him -- begged him! -- to return my calculators. He never apologizes. He only says he will return them immediately. Then he doesn't. Further, he expresses great befuddlement about the emails, says he's never gotten them, then goes, Huh, well, huh. Well, I've checked and doubled checked his email address, so I know I'm getting that right. And I also know that, despite his assurances, he's never sent me my calcs.

I know he's been around here for a long time, and probably lots of you have done good repeat business with him. But I won't use him again, never again. In the beginning, I sent him business from other people, too, and now I deeply regret it. It just really upsets me. I don't like being lied to. And I miss my calculators.

Does anyone know what Rigdon's problem is?

Damn, I'm upset!

Erik Hedegaard


I must come to the defence of Joe. He repaired a battery pac for me a while back and it works perfect. His emails were prompt and he went into great detail with his explanation of how to treat my new battery pac. I live in Trinidad in the West Indies and I really apprecoiated the help. I would recommend him anytime. He returned my repaired pac in a few days time. Just as promised.


I can only say the best about Joe. We regularly have email contact.

I had him forwarding a package for me (with desktop calculator parts) , an eBay seller wanted to send only to a U.S. address. He was even so nice to part it up and send some of the things to a guy in Canada (like I wanted). Summed up, it was a rather complicated transaction and it went all very well.

Joe is a honest (busy) man and I think he won't need especially your calculators for keeping (he has enough calculators anyway).


I hope you guys are right. Myself, I just understand why Joe won't or can't send my calcs back. I'm at the end of my rope. I mean, what more can I do? I've emailed him, I've spoken to him on the phone. And yet -- nada, squat, zilch. I'm sure he doesn't need or even want my two wee calcs. So, why won't he post em to me?

It's a brain twister, to me.


I know Joe only from emails but I've seen this pattern with others. Most of the people repairing HPs at low cost are doing it out of personal interest or out of a desire to help other HP users. It's not a serious business for them.

Eventually, "real life" (the job, family, health etc.) sneaks up on them and repair hobby just doesn't get the attention that it used to. Many people don't want to talk about such problems with near strangers so on your end it can look like something fishy is going on.

I've gone through similar events recently with real life getting seriously in the way of CD production - so I outsourced production - to a company that screwed up over 5000 CDs giving me an even bigger backlog - and finally returning to burning them myself while the credit card co. and/or the court settles this problem. I came close to getting out of the CD "business" completely since it was competing for attention that was really more needed elsewhere. Fortunately, things are starting to smooth out now.

Given that you sent very common hardware to Joe, I'm sure that ripping you off is not his motivation. Hopefully it will all be resolved soon.


Maybe one of you who has done business with Joe or who knows him could do me a favor and email him about the existence of this thread. Maybe he's not visiting the board at the moment -- maybe he is indeed swamped with outside life -- but a/he should be made aware of it, I think, in case he wants to respond and b/maybe it'll help me get my calcs back!

I would email him myself but I don't know what good that would do, since he hasn't responded to any of my emails except for the ones that went out before I sent him my calcs.

The other thing is, okay, maybe he is busy, but when somebody tells me -- promises me -- on the telephone that he's going to do something, I think it ought to be done. And it was several times that he promised to send those calcs and didn't.

That just bothers me, no matter if he's real busy or what.

Erik Hedegaard


First of all I am not a rip off artist and I have no intent to rip off Erik or anyone else. As some of you are already aware, a recent family crisis involving the death of my niece has consumed ALL of my time for the last several weeks. My wife has been gone from home for over two weeks in order to deal with it and at the same time I have a new job that has been demanding 10 to 12 hours per day, in addition I have two teenage children to keep up with and having to deal with the family crisis. That has left NO time for dealing with the calculators and very little time for E-mail. I get 200 to 400 e-mails everyday and right now I have several thousand of them that have not been read much less replied to. That is why I have not had time to mail Erik’s stuff back to him. I have send Erik at least one E-mail and talked to him once on the phone explaining this but he is unwilling to accept that and has started mail-bombing me nearly everyday demanding that I do it immediately. But for the time being other matters have to take precedence, I’m sorry if you can’t accept that Erik but that’s the way it is. Yes, many of his e-mails have gone unanswered, so have a several hundred others! BTW Erik, I did get your irate phone message on the night of the 12th, after I arrived home from work at almost 10 PM!

Considering that repairing the calculators has never made a profit and the amount of time that it has demanded, I have decided that I will no longer no any repairs for anyone other than myself and I will no give any advice on repairing calculators, rebuilding batteries, operating system commands, software, parts and accessories or anything else dealing with them. I will return everything that I have here that belongs to anyone else weather it has been returned or not. If anyone has any questions about any item that I have of theirs please email me directly and I will reply as soon as I am able.

Thank you, Reinhard, Jeff, Iqbal, Dave and rest of you that have shown your support.



PS Erik, you have never paid me for the repairs that I did or offered to pay for them. Therefore I will send your stuff back COD for tor the cost of the repairs and postage.




It's a real shame, that you've got that annoyed because of such things. Anyway, I fully understand you.

Joe, please think about that decision. I see, that you don't want to repair anything anymore. (Again, that's a shame, we don't have much guys with hardware experience.) I fully understand the problems you have with the repairs (and I know, that nobody can earn something with this work). I also understand, that you don't want to get in such a situation again.

Please take part in the discussions here in the forum. Yes, I know it's sometimes cumbersome. I also had to search abt one hour for some of the tips I gave here (mostly to be sure that I don't seem like an idiot). I often think about the forum's questions some hours after work and I visit it sometimes a day.

BTW: Sorry for not posting my 71 IL tips til now - I'll try to do that in the weekend.

I think it's only the solidarity of a small amount of collectors, that keeps all together. We'd surely miss your competence soon.

Thanks for your participation til now. I hope, you'll continue with your valuable tips. I don't want to force you to do something and I respect, that you only have limited time - it should be fun for all of us.


I have to say also my opinion about.

I knew Joe two years ago, I send you two HP-19C "dead" and he was able to repair them right and quickly. Now I use them daily without problem.

He was very kind with me also because he helped me step by step by E-Mail to fix one of my 10's printer, I was be able to do myself the reparation thanks to his help.

We are a little comunity of enthusiast collectors but not all of us have the skill (I am a librarian) to repair our calculators, for that I agree with Reinhard and also I hope you'll continue with your valuable tips and help!! Thanks.


I have had but one dealing with Joe, when i was desperately seeking some woodstock battery packs, and posted on HPMOC looking. He was very prompt and gave me a very good price on two new old stock ones which are near impossible to find these days, and shipped them quite promptly, with great communications. I'm sure from the traffic I've seen and the prices i've heard from a number of other collectors he's not in it for the profit, but an enjoyable hobby and helping other collectors. I'm very sorry to hear of the problems and wish you and yours the best, Joe. I do hope you can continuing helping other collectors one day. Frank


I conversed with Joe quite a while back about changing a display in a 41. He promptly gave me instructions and I did the repair myself. I was and still am greatly appreciative of Joe and his contributions to this hobby of collecting-repairing vintage HP products. And like has been said by Joe and Dave, there is no money in this; it is a hobby. If I could charge my professional rate for repairing the 82104A card readers I would be well on my way to retirement. If my father the 80 yr. old civil structural PE that builds and trains young people how to fly R/C airplanes EVERY weekend could charge his professional rate, he would be flying models that cost in the thousands. Bottom line, Joe knows the calculators, and he is an irreplaceable asset to OUR community. I am Very Sorry to hear of his personal going ons of late. Joe, if you read this, hang in there pal, this fellow in Mississippi is thinking about you and yours.


Joe, we offer our condolences to you and your family. My 20 year-old neice was killed in a car accident three years ago, so I certainly understand the grief you are experiencing.

Erik, I also know how attached we can become to our HP calculators. I recently sold one of two 48G's I owned. One was a Rev.M and the other a Rev.R. Guess which one I kept? The Rev.M, even though though it has more "bugs" than the Rev.R. Why? Because it was my first 48 series calculator! I had become too attached to part with it. I wouldn't dream of selling any of my 41, Voyager series, or earlier calculators. I know, I know, "don't love anything that can't love you back".

In any case, I'm sure Joe will make everything right in time. Yes, Joe could have kept you more informed, but death has a way of sobering us into what is really important in life. "Things" (even your calculators) should rightly take a back seat during times like these. It just so happened he had your calculators in his possession when this terrible event occured.

I've had the opportunity of meeting Joe during the last two Handheld User's Conferences in Vancover, Washington. He is one of the most likeable, knowledgeable people you will probably meet. His friendly demeanor is refreshing. As a hobby, it's obvious that HP calculators are his passion. He absolutely loves to talk about, reminisce, and share anything related to these ingenious devices we all meet here to discuss.

As time heals, and Joe's life returns to some sense of normalcy, I am optimistic Joe will once again share with us in the future. It will be a welcome sight to see a posting from Joe Rigdon. Until then, we will certainly miss you and we hope the best for you Joe.


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