My Nook Color Has Outlived Its Cord

Terra’s Nook Color is still working just fine, but the device’s USB cable isn’t. It no longer works. She could buy an off-brand cable cheaply from a vendor on eBay or Amazon. She could buy one directly from Barnes & Noble, at a cost of $15-20. She didn’t think it was fair that she had to buy a new cable and that hers only lasted a year and a half, so she contacted Barnes & Noble to see if they could provide her with a replacement. They would not.

A quick note: Terra says that the Nook charger is proprietary. It isn’t, exactly: it’s a micro USB cable. However, the charger for the Nook Color is a little different, and the battery can’t charge from a normal micro USB cord. It has to be one made specifically for that device, making ordering third-party chargers a bit of a crapshoot.

I am writing this letter to comment on Barnes & Nobles terrible customer service support for the Nook Color. I purchased mine 1.5 years ago. I LOVED it. Recently, the usb cord that attaches to the wall plug-in has been coming apart. The two plastic parts that encase the usb were loose. Soon after that, the plastic parts fell off. I was still able to charge my NC with the broken usb via the wall charger. Now, it doesn’t charge at all.

I called B&N’s customer support line, hoping they would send me a new cord for free. I have purchased hundreds of dollars of books for my NC. I was told that because my NC was no longer under warranty and because I didn’t purchase a protection plan, I was out of luck. Of course I asked to talk to a supervisor, hoping he/she would have more clout. Again, I was denied a new cable.

The proprietary power cords aren’t expensive ($15-25 depending on whether you need a new wall charger), but I am very disappointed that B&N treats their loyal customers this way. It is not like I’m requesting a new part for an old product! When I purchased my NC (I was so excited I pre-ordered it), it cost $250. Am I out of line to expect a usb cord to last for more than 1.5 years? I am not the only customer with this problem; I have heard similar complaints from other owners.

Luckily, I have a Kindle Fire so I won’t be book-less this weekend. I must say I preferred the NC. When my Nook Color becomes obsolete or fails, I am not going to buy another Nook product!

On the surface, yes, Terra is out of line. Typically, the accessories the come with a device don’t have a warranty at all. Companies can send you a replacement to foster goodwill if they want to, but that’s about it. But should B&N take her spending on ebooks into account when deciding whether to send her a fresh cord?