2.19.2010

Barnes and Noble, The Nook, and Flaming Eyebrows



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.

17 comments:

  1. OMGOSH I am hoping Jingle is ok in there!!!
    Wow talk about bad custmer service ...that is just awful!! I have had sooo many of those calls...they sure want your money but don't want to help with their faulty product! I even called Subway one day and knocked on my sandwich...my husband was in shock I said "Hear that?" that is my sandwich....so hard I couldn't eat it!!
    ohhh please don't forget to untie Jingle!!!

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  2. Wow. and I thought Kodak was bad. B&N has them beat. But not by much. I think Jingle should let you vent here whenever you need to. But you should let her out. Who is going to make supper?

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  3. Untie the wifey!

    I have told Jingle that she is a great writer and has a way of making me read every word. You two are cut from the same cloth! :)

    Sorry about the poor service. Bad B&N!!!

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  4. Please let the wifey, Jingle out!! But OMG! I've never heard of such digusting, reason to be in prison, the very reason people go postal, in my life! I've had a few that were pretty bad but they don't even compare! OMG! That's all I can say.

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  5. wow....it's as if I was meant to read this! I purchased the kindle just days before they re-released the nook and although I love my kindle my first choice was the nook but it wasnt available at the time and I was hearing about issues with it as well.... so I just went ahead and got the kindle all along thinking" I should have waited and got the nook"! This makes me realize I made the right choice in getting the kindle, which I love and am enjoying every day! Thanks for sharing this and I am soooo sorry this has happened to you! what a story...what a horrible experience you've had! I hope it gets resolved as fast as possible!

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  6. But, seriously, how do you feel about Barnes and Noble? jk...enjoy your paperweight, um, book thingy...or your money if and when it all gets cleared up.

    Some people just don't get the whole "the customer is always right" philosophy. Thanks for the heads up on the product/service.

    And we better hear back from Jingle soon, mister!

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  7. oh, my gosh, what a rotten experience! Shame on Barnes and Not-so-Noble for what they put you (and our poor tied up Jingle!) through!

    That said - have you ever thought about writing a book? You should, you are a fabulous writer.

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  8. What a terrible experience!! Hopefully, you'll either get a new nook or a full refund and an apology. Hang in there!!

    Hugs,

    PattiM
    {Pattie's passion}

    I Scrap So All Moments Are Remembered!

    BTW... Could you please untie Jingle, she has some more contests to enter and WIN!! {Heee Hee}

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  9. I had another thought. How are your eyebrows? I have some make-up you can borrow if you look funny without them. :-)

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  10. I hope Chris was a guy, cause I'm nice... and I'd give you a New one and free downloads for a year! That is just terrible CS. There is no way it should take that long.

    I'm glad you posted on your sweet wifees blog - she has a lot of readers and poor cs travels like wildfire.... I think bn just got burned!

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  11. Wow! What a story. I'm glad you posted on Jingle's blog, but please go untie her now and put out the eyebrow fire.

    What about an iPad? You know Apple has great customer service and would treat you right. It does so much more than the Kindle or Nook, too. I haven't compared prices, though.

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  12. Wow Sean (or Shawn?) That's totally sucks that you had to go through that! The art of Customer Service has been lost somewhere with many of our other treasured things in life. It's so funny that you and Jen talk/type the same way, you should write books together she always keeps me reading in suspense waiting for the next "just sayin" moment but with you I was jumping out of my skin in horror as If I was going through the ordeal...LOL

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  13. Yikes! I have a friend who was going to get a Nook yesterday. I keep trying to tell her to get a kindle (I LUUUUVVV mine) but I am not sure I swayed her. I just sent this post to her. Let's hope it's not too late!

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  14. I'm sure Jingle would have let you post if you asked her real nicely. Or got her some bling.;-). Anyway, I know I will not be getting a Nook anytime soon, or in the far off future. Good luck getting your money back.

    Good luck with your new Kindle.

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  15. Wow! I linked over here via a 2Peas thread because I thought it was so cute that a hubby had hijacked his wife's blog...and now I'm thinking, Hubby! You obviously have a LOT to say - maybe you need a blog all your own?! :) Quite the crappy customer service experience...maddening!! TTFN, from Vancouver, BC. Cheers! :)

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  16. That's unbelieveable! What was your phone bill like? Maybe you should send it to B&N for them to refund you? Ha-not-ha...The only advice I can really think of is- stick to PAPER books, they really aren't that much of a problem, even when you spill your coffee on them...

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  17. Oh no!! I'm so sorry you had this problem. Thanks for the heads up...because I'm seriously considering a Kindle, but hubby thought the Nook might be kinda neat. Now I'm convinced. I've got several friends with Kindles, and they're ALL happy with them. Thanks for the heads up....and....I sincerely hope Tina is able to come through for you and make things right again. :(

    P.S. I hope you drilled some holes in the closet door so jingle has enough air...heehee.

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