Barnes & Noble Promises Nook Arrival By Christmas, Unless You're In Alaska

Laurie in Alaska tells Consumerist that she ordered a Nook from Barnes & Noble that was intended as a Christmas present. The shipping date kept getting pushed back, but customers were assured that their e-readers would arrive in time for Christmas, no matter what. Except Laurie’s order shipped early this morning, USPS Priority Mail, which normally takes at least a week to reach Alaska.

Here’s the message that she sent Barnes & Noble:

Hello, this is regarding my nook order that was placed on the 11th of November. This was to be Christmas present as I am sure you are aware of. We noted the ship date kept getting shifted later but were reassured by the email that was received on DEC 19th that stated our Nook was to ship out on the 21st and would be upgraded to overnight shipping to guarantee Christmas arrival. My husband called to verify this and made sure that the address you had on file was appropriate for Overnight UPS shipping. He was assured of this. Now on the 23rd of December we see that the item was shipped at 1 AM today out of New Jersey (BY Priority Mail!) That was our original shipping method as it is cheap and only takes about a week to get here. I am feeling a little betrayed and disappointed. We were lied to and taken advantage of. This order was one of the earliest Nook orders and there will be nothing under our Christmas tree. I called customer service and the kind lady could not reach a supervisor or do anything for me. She tried but seemed overwhelmed. I hope that you can do something for me to fix this. The lady I spoke with mentioned a minor discount off my next purchase but that is unacceptable. I would appreciate some care for your customer and something I can put under the Christmas tree. I know you can take care of us and keep us as loyal customers.

Which is interesting, since about fifteen minutes before Laurie e-mailed Consumerist, I received a statement from Barnes & Noble spokesperson Mary Ellen Keating insisting that all Nook orders would be in recipients’ hands by Christmas, as promised.

We’re happy to report that all customers who pre-ordered nooks and were given a pre-holiday estimated shipping date will be sent their nooks in time to receive them by Christmas. As you know, there’s been an overwhelmingly positive response and unprecedented demand since Barnes & Noble announced its new eBook reader on October 20th. Customer demand continues to be strong and new orders will be fulfilled beginning February 1, 2010.

Well, let’s hope that Laurie at least gets the $100 gift card that Nook recipients were promised.