Barnes & Noble Canceled My Order, Doubled Price

Beth ordered two copies of a gift set from Barnes & Noble, only to see the order canceled and the price hiked from $11.14 to $22.50 on a different listing of the same item.

She writes:

On the 5th of Oct, I placed an order for 2 copies of the Night Before Christmas Gift Box. The total price was $11.14 with free shipping. Here is a link to that product (now priced at $22.50).

I received 2 emails that day. The first to confirm my order and the second said “Your Order [XXXXXXX] Is Scheduled To Ship.”

Today, the 13th, I received an email stating that my order had been canceled because “we weren’t able to fulfill some or all of the items in your order”.

I looked online and found the exact same book, listed under a different ISBN number. It has the exact same reviews as the first listing. This one is priced at $22.50.

I called customer service and was told that my order was canceled because the warehouse did not have the book in stock. When I told the CS rep that they had the same book under a different ISBN number and a higher price, she told me that they were out of stock for that item too. She also acknowledged that they were indeed the exact same product. Then I asked why I was able to add the higher priced item to my cart although it was supposedly OOS. She said that anyone who orders that book will get a cancellation and that she sent a note to the warehouse for them to list it as out of stock.

She could not provide me with an answer as to why it took over a week for me to receive a cancellation after I received a “your order is scheduled to ship” email.

I asked if I could purchase the books at the higher cost and when they arrived, have B&N adjust the price to my original purchase price. She said they would have to “call it in”. I said, “but you are the CS rep, wouldn’t you be the one to adjust the price?” She stated that they would have to send in a request to the Order Specialist Department to ask for a price adjustment. But there is no guarantee that my original purchase price would be honored.

I have a feeling that B&N simply didn’t want to honor such a low price and they canceled my (and several others’) order then listed the book under a different ISBN number and higher price. I find it hard to believe that this higher priced item is OOS but I don’t want to order it just to see if she was telling the truth.

It’s almost as thought Barnes & Noble is trying to steer Beth into its store to make a purchase and give up on buying online. Too bad she says she’ll probably never do business with the bookseller again.