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Screw Barnes and Noble

August 3rd, 2009

They’re shit.  Use Amazon instead.

Updated with less obscenity and more details:

1) I get a B&N gift card.  It’s a nice gift.

2) I use it to order a copy of Malware Forensics: Investigating and Analyzing Malicious Code.  Since B&N prices are at least $10 more than, say, Amazon prices, I order through B&N from a different seller and save money.

3) The seller confirms my order, payment, and shipping information.  I throw away the card.

4) Three weeks pass.

5) I get a notification that my order actually is canceled, and I’m getting  a refund.

6) I go to order the exact same thing, because I want the damn book.

7) Since I already threw away the card which now has the gift amount restored on it, I call customer service to have them clear it up.  They explain that I may either be mailed a new card, or I can place my order over the phone and refer back to the canceled order to have the card’s balance transferred to the new order.

8) I do the latter, because I want to get the book, not wait a few weeks and then get the book.

9) They explain I can’t order from other sellers by phone.  I have to order direct from B&N, where their price is the list price and their shipping is more expensive.

10) Result: I get the same amount of book, only more than a month later and for more money/gift card value.

Here’s what should have happened: back at Step 7, they should have said “We’re terribly sorry about that; we do our best to help our customers get along with other sellers smoothly.  Can I help you find another copy at a comparable price, and order it for you right now?”

I’ve had similar experiences with two other major sites that act as used/third-party marketplaces, Amazon and Half.com.  Both of them have processes in place to deal with fraud and mistakes.  And if a reseller confirms an order, then waits three weeks and fails to deliver, it reflects poorly on that reseller when other buyers consider buying from them.  I didn’t get a chance to review this customer experience or anything.

In summary, B&N gives me the lowest buying power and its service reps care the least of any major bookseller I’ve dealt with.  Screw them.  Go with Amazon.

P.S.  It was still a nice gift and I still appreciate it.  Ty, bro.

Categories: FAIL
  1. August 4th, 2009 at 00:04 | #1

    …elaborate?

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