For those of you who are wondering, no this isn't Jingle. This is her Dearest Hubbums. I have tied Jingle up and locked her in the closet in order to hijack her blog. So here's the story… The Wifee (Jingle) got the Hubbums (Me) a Barnes and Noble Nook for Christmas. For you technophobes out there, the Nook is an e-book reader (supposedly the world's most advanced e-book reader). My first response was, and I'm quoting here, "Yay for me!, Yes Virginia, there really is a Santa Clause, and her name is Jingle." Unfortunately for me (and for you poor Jingle's hijacked blog readers) that was my first response. My second response, still quoting here, was, "Well that's not right." Third response was, "You've got to be kidding me!" Fourth, "But… I've been on hold for forty-five minutes." Fifth, "What do you mean you need my credit card again?" Sixth, "Why didn't you send the label? Well send it now…" Seventh, and I'm still quoting, "What the f%$@, this has to be a bad joke." Eighth, "Holy s*^#!, Barnes and Noble has completely ripped me off!"
Yes, my dear hijacked blog readers, I have been the victim of the worst customer service I have ever experienced in my 31 short years on this planet. And this customer service c$*@-up was perpetrated by none other than that media giant Barnes and Noble. Let's take my reactions in order from the second. (Yes, we're starting at number two, that's because my first reaction is self explanatory.)
Reaction the second was brought about by noticing, shortly after receiving my new Nook in the mail, that our bank account was $275.00 short. That shortage was caused by Barnes and Noble charging us twice for one Nook. Yup, Barnes and Noble charged us once when the Wifee made the purchase, then they charged us again when the device shipped from their warehouse. We got that taken care of and got the $275.00 back, but my joy regarding my new toy was slightly tempered.
Third reaction came on a Sunday morning about a week later when my new Nook froze on the start-up screen. I was the now the proud owner of a $275.00 paperweight. So I called tech-support and promptly sat on hold for most of an hour. When I finally talked to someone, I was told that I needed to talk to "digital support" which has a different number than the number listed for tech support in all of the Nook literature and on the nook box. Enter reaction the fourth. After I got over my confusion and disappointment, tech support transferred me to digital support, where I was immediately placed on hold for more than an hour. Eventually, a very nice digital support person (by god, don't you call them a tech support person!) spent about forty minutes walking me through various procedures and protocols to determine that my Nook was frozen on the start-up screen, and further, was, in fact, broken. I'd told him that forty minutes earlier, but whatever.
This conscientious digital support person said he was going to issue an RMA(Return to Manufacturer Authorisation) number and send me a return shipping label via e-mail. Great! Than he started to confuse me. He said that if I wanted the return dealt with immediately I could give him my credit card number (yes here is where reaction the fifth comes in) and have the matter solved and a new Nook in my hands in 3-5 days. I was hesitant to give Barnes and noble my credit card number seeing as how they had charged me for my Nook twice already. So, I asked for another option and was told that I could have my Nook replaced in 7-10 days without a credit card. I took the 7-10 day plan. For the record that was twenty days, four phone calls, and a trip to the brick and mortar ago.
I received the RMA e-mail instantaneously in my inbox. However, for days later I still hadn't received a return shipping label. So I called tech support again, sat on hold again, was told I needed digital support again, sat on hold again, and finally talked to a digital support person again. Oops, (wait for it… here goes reaction the sixth) their system hadn't sent out the label, but they'd send it now if I wanted.
Label came almost as soon as I hung-up the phone, I packed-up my Nook and sent it off to Barnes and Noble. A week later and ten business days since I had received my RMA number I still had not received a replacement Nook so I called tech support again, sat on hold again, was told I needed digital support again, sat on hold again, and finally talked to a digital support person again, again. He said he was sorry I was given the wrong information but that it would take seven to ten days from when they received my Nook, not from when they issued the RMA number. But they'd received my Nook three days ago so a new one should be shipping out soon. Here goes reaction the seventh. I get frustrated and ask them how they are going to resolve the fact that they gave me erroneous information. He said they weren't, it wasn't his problem. (Deja vu, it's reaction the seventh all over again.) I push and finally he agrees to send me a $10.00 Barnes and Noble gift card. Whoopdie freaking' do.
Another week and fifteen business days after I received my RMA number, still no Nook. So I call again, sit on hold again, ask for digital support (he can be taught!), sit on hold again, and talk to a a very nice person who is very understanding, doesn't know why my replacement hasn't been shipped yet, but he can't really do anything. So, he offers to let me talk to his supervisor because this entire situation is absolutely ridiculous (his words, not mine!) I politely decline and tell him I'm going to go to a store and talk to a manager, as I've got nowhere with Barnes and Noble over the phone. He agrees that this would probably be a good idea and I thank him for his honesty and help.
I head to my local B&N and end up talking to a manager there named Tina. (BTW, Tina, if you ever read this I hope you have a wonderful day, the stars align for you, you win the lottery, your wildest dreams come true. So far you have been the only bright spot in my interactions with Barnes and Noble. You and you alone are the only reason I have not vowed to do all my book shopping, which is substantial, at Borders and Amazon.) Tina agrees that my customer service has been horrible, she'd like to refund my money on the spot, but she can't because my Nook is not in my possession. (Ironic, I can't get my money back from B&N because they have my Nook, not me. Premonitions of reaction the eighth.) If she had any Nooks in stock, she'd give me one and let me exchange the new when it finally arrived, but corporate won't let her store stock Nooks. But, Tina does get on the phone and see what she can do, which is not much. But she tried, and is still trying, she's going to talk to her District Manager and see if he can expedite the process or make amends for my lousy customer service. She apologises for my trouble and tells me that she is personally embarrassed by my experience with her company, and if I don't hear from her by Monday to call her. (You rock Tina!)
Emboldened by my experience with Tina, I call back tech support. Again with the holding and the transferring and the holding. I eventually ask for a supervisor and get Chris. (Chris if you ever read this you are the exact opposite of Tina, enough said.) Chris tells me that this is just the way things work and it's not his fault that I didn't want to give my credit card information to a company that double charged me and that it would take 7-10 days form the day that B&N received my Nook just for a tech to verify that the Nook is actually broken before they can ship a replacement. That's it, reaction the eighth just hit in full force. I tell Chris (you have to say it like it's a dirty word) that I want a refund, and I'd like it now. He puts me on hold. FYI my eyebrows are in flames by this point. Chris (still, like a dirty word) says that he can't refund my money, because my replacement Nook might get shipped then I would have my money and my Nook. (But wait, they have my money and my Nook… Oh, I see!) But, he can cancel my Nook replacement order, and submit a refund request to Barnes and Noble corporate, it should only take 7-10 days to process.
If, dear hijacked blog readers, you're thinking about buying a Nook the name says it all, "Noooooooo… K!" That last bit is me choking on Barnes and Noble's horrific customer service.
Buy a Kindle, I have to go untie the Wifee now.