Barnes & Noble Sells Me Broken E-book, Won't Refund

Brantley says he bought an e-book from Barnes & Noble via his Nook device, but improper formatting gutted the content. He feels burned and asked for a refund, but B&N refuses.

He writes:

I purchased an ebook version of John Hodgman’s “The Areas Of My Expertise” from my Nook whilst traveling yesterday, and it just didn’t come through right. I emailed customer service:

“As I was traveling yesterday, I purchased John Hodgman’s book on my Nook, and started to read it on the plane. Unfortunately, a great deal of the book’s humor is through the comedic use of tables, graphs, and figures. Almost none of these rendered properly on the Nook, rendering up to half the tables unreadable. I understand it’s a relatively new medium, and I’ve loved my Nook so far. But this is just not working for me.

Is there a way to “return” the ebook and get a refund? Or at least a store credit (I’ll be buying a new ebook almost immediately, as I don’t like to not have one handy)? Again, love my Nook, but Hodgman’s book just didn’t transfer properly to the format.

They responded with their “ebooks are unreturnable and unrefundable” email. I understand an All Sales Final policy to a point. But in this case, the product advertised is not the product I was able to purchase. The tables are a big way Hodgman brings the funny, but on the Nook, I can’t read them. I mean, were I to buy the physical book from B&N, only to find pages torn out, wouldn’t that necessitate at least an exchange? Of course, it’s the ebook file that doesn’t work here, so a straight up exchange wouldn’t work. Thoughts?

It seems unfair that Brantley didn’t receive the product he thought he was getting. What do you think he should try next?

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.