Barnes & Noble Nook Virtual Store Zaps Me Wrong Book, Wouldn’t Take It Back

Steve isn’t a big adopter of shiny new technology, but he found the Nook Color really appealing, and bought himself one as an early Hanukkah present. Then he went book-shopping. One $2.99 title looked appealing, so tap, tap, he purchased it. And received a different book instead that cost three times as much. Getting B&N to take the unwanted book back was more difficult than he had anticipated.

The Nook site has a FAQ and everything, and he found the information about how to return an unwanted book there. Hurrah!

Is there a refund for books, periodicals or apps? If I accidentally purchased the wrong book, can I return it?
Please contact customer service at 1-800-THE-BOOK (1-800-843-2665).

It wasn’t that simple, though. Nothing ever is. He was only able to get the book returned by blogging about the situation.

I did as I was told. Nobody could give me an answer. My misfortune. Turns out, it was Pass the Buck Day at what B&N labels customer service.

Instead, I turned to another tactic I’ve had success with: Nook Customer Service has its own Twitter feed, where I blithely assume empowered reps toil away to prove their mettle when Nook spews out the wrong book. In under 140 characters, I explain my plight, and was told to email “[D]” and relay him my tale of woe.

Turns out “[D]” was too busy, so I hear from “[J].” After he gets some additional info, he writes back to inform me that per the T&Cs, I am not entitled to a refund and attempts to prove he’s right by sending me link to the UK Nook page, which doesn’t open. Nor did J, despite me providing my address, realize that I was writing from the U.S. Nonetheless, he “apologised for any inconvenience.” As for where that language is on the U.S. version of the home page, I’m still looking.

Blimey!

So, I write back to J, whose tea time I apparently disturbed, that I deserved more than a generic response, not to mention a link that works. He wrote back:

We have answered your email regarding your individual account and as previously stated we are unable to issue a refund. We will pass along your feedback to the proper department regarding.

That’s exactly what he wrote. J couldn’t be bothered to finish the sentence.

I have only so much fight in me over $10.19, though a challenge to American Express might be in order. You’d think, though, the Nookies would give me the benefit of the doubt, or at least equivalent of a get-out-of-jail free card for a loyal customer. But no.

To put a sour cherry on top of all this nonsense, I get an email last night that the Nook customer service Twitter lunkheads had favorited my initial message: “Instead of passing the buck on fone, how about resolving refund for downloaded book never ordered?”

And that’s one of your favorite tweets, why, old chaps?

D and J and Co. must have been having a real bad day. Judging by my experience, one of many.

Amazingly, someone on the customer service team saw his blog post and hurried to offer Steve a refund an a bonus $10 gift card. This was “not representative of the customer service they strive for,” notes Steve. Goodness, we hope not.

I Was Rooked by Nook [Reality Bites Back]