Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Barnes and Noble Disappoints

I got a Nook Color last February. I love it. I love it so much that I used to take it to work with me at the library and make people see what it could do. I probably convinced 30 people to buy the Nook Color over the Kindle or any other e-reader. I buy a book now and again, but mostly I use the Nook for Internet use at the other end of the house from the computer and I check out books for trips. I read a LOT and it is nice to carry a lot of books on trips with just one slim e-reader . The games are fun, too.

A few weeks ago one of my daughters mentioned wanting to read Hunger Games. It had been reduced in price last time I was browsing the Steals and Deals section of the Barnes and Noble site. I thought it would be fun to buy for my daughters to read over Christmas and maybe I would get to it one day. When I went back to the site, the price had gone up and so I thought I just would check it out from the library sometime.

Last week I went to Barnes and Noble. THIS time I remembered to bring my Nook. Lots of times I forget and I know that I am supposed to get an occasional good deal when in the store if you bring the Nook. So I powered it up and was glancing through it. I decided to look again at the Hunger Games. To my surprise, it was back to the lower price. Now we're not talking a lot of money here. The low price was something like $4.69 and the high price was $7.49. Not a huge difference, but I was going to see the girls again in a few weeks, so I decided to buy it, right there in the store.

The next day when I checked my email, there was one from Barnes and Noble and they had charged me the higher price. I immediately contacted them and mentioned the different price I had seen in the store. They said I was wrong and there would be no correction.

Now I understand why they cannot "return" an ebook. Obviously a person could copy it to another location and so there is no "returning" of a book. What I don't understand is why a customer service department wouldn't make it right.

I used to work for FedEx, back in the days when it was Federal Express. At one point I worked in customer service. We prided ourselves on fixing whatever the problem was the customer had. I remember one time Lee and I went to the LAX station after it had closed on a Saturday. He was the manager at the time. The package had not been sent for Saturday service and was not to be delivered until Monday, but the customer had called and was desperate. We looked through thousands of pounds of freight to find the package and then drove about a 50 mile round trip to deliver it to the customer who needed it that day. We did what it took to make the customer happy if it was at all possible. That is the mind set of a company that wants to be known as the best at what they do.

It is not the less than three dollar difference. It is the fact that I no longer trust Barnes and Noble. Did I see it wrong? Maybe, but I remember looking closely at it because I was surprised. Did it pull up a previous search somehow? I don't see how, but maybe. Would it hurt Barnes and Noble to credit me the small amount to keep a customer happy? One that convinced others to buy this e-reader? No. I don't think it would.

It is only a small amount of money lost but a huge amount of trust. How can I prove what the price was when I clicked the button to purchase something? I used a gift card so I can't dispute it with my credit card company. Will it happen again? If so, THEN what do I do?

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