Nook Website Says You Can Download The Movies You Rent To Watch Later? Too Bad

Scott was under the impression that he could rent movies for his Nook HD+, download them, and watch them on his device whenever he felt like it for the next thirty days. Where did he pick up such a wacky idea? I mean, other than Barnes & Noble’s own support site. And the downloading screen in the Nook store. Only none of it is true. Update: Barnes & Noble has contacted us, and they say that Scott’s experience isn’t what they intended, and Nook users really are supposed to be able to download movies. We’ll let you know when we find out what Scott’s problem was. Second update: The problem was with his MicroSD card.

Here’s the original post:

It’s a wacky idea, but someone might rent a video and want to watch it later, when they’re not online. Or when they’re traveling out of the country. I know, wacky! Now Scott wants to trade his Nook in for an iPad, which at least gives him the renting/downloading functionality that he wants.

He writes:

Soooo. I travel a lot for work and I’m also leaving for my honeymoon in less than two weeks. Since I’m going out of the country, I wanted to rent some movies for my Nook HD+ and download them for viewing whenever my honey & I want (on the plane, on a boat, wherever wi-fi isn’t affordable/reliable for streaming). I rented three movies, one of which successfully downloaded to the Nook. The other two, however, would not download (no matter what I tried; I have a microSD card so I have plenty of storage space). Two book purchases and the new issue of a magazine subscription all downloaded just fine, so downloading itself was not an issue.

After 6 days without another successful movie download, I contacted Barnes & Noble online customer support/chat today and completed a “soft reset” and a full-on “erase/de-register” (both at their request). Neither worked (that was during my first online chat, which I did not, unfortunately, save). My second chat is below. While very nice, this rep was also unable to help me (though she kindly refunded the rental costs to my gift card), so I called the 1-800 number.

After providing the 1-800 rep with my information she informed me that it is not possible to download rentals for later viewing. I asked if this was a new policy & she said “no.” When I asked how I had previously downloaded a rental she stated “I’m not sure.” I was told this despite the FAQ stating that rentals can be downloaded for later viewing and when you purchase a rental it says the movie is available for download (see attached JPG, taken today, 3/04/13 ).


The “download” button still appears nest to the “streaming” button on the movie’s page in the Nook library. When I pointed this out to the rep she said that they’re working on making the updates. Meanwhile, other people are buying Nooks thinking that they can download movie rentals. It would take someone about 10 minutes to update the FAQ, but no one has done so.

The ability to rent and watch movies off line is one of the primary reasons I bought the Nook HD+. I enquired about a refund/return of my Nook with the 1-800 rep, but she said I’ve had the Nook too long (2 months) despite the fact that they’re misrepresenting the capabilities of their product.

I feel I’ve been bait & switched here (and had a couple hundred bucks lifted from my wallet). No one at Barnes & Noble seems to care.

At this point I’d like to return my Nook for a full refund so I can get an iPad (Apple will allow me to download rentals in iTunes). This makes me sad; I’ve loved my Nook until today.

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