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[Writer Post] The B&N NOOK Customer Service Story

Posted by reudaly on January 22, 2014 in Books, Contest, Life, Writing |

I owe you guys a rant. I was going to go on about the fact I have THREE SHOWS IN FIVE WEEKS starting, um, this weekend. GAH! Who scheduled that? Oh…wait… If you have the time, come see me on Sunday, January 26th at Helio-Con in Lewisville. OR… Sci Fi Expo February 8-9 in Irving. OR… ConDFW February 21-23 in Addison. I will tell you all about books.

And now… How Barnes & Noble’s NOOK broke my trust. I downloaded Wonderbook from Barnes & Noble because NOOK was the only outlet that had an electronic version of the book. I wanted the electronic version so I could take it with me without weight. I was even willing to pay the $13 for the download because 1) it’s highly illustrated and a big book, and 2) TOTALLY WORTH IT.

Except… I bought the book. I added it my library. I went to open it on my iPhone (and don’t knock the platform), and got a “title cannot be displayed on this device” message. Didn’t think much of it, the phone is awfully small to do the book justice. So I tried my iPad – and same message. Went to the store, they said, “Oh, yeah, that happens. Call the 800 number.” If you know me, you know I hate phones, so I emailed customer service. They wanted me to uninstall and reinstall the app. I ran it by a friend who does software tech support who said, “Why would that work?”

So I went to the chat link in the email after the second time I got the same form email. They tried to send me to another link (which didn’t work). The first NOOK customer service chat guy “hung up” on me when I didn’t answer his question within 15 seconds -because I was finding the information. So I tried again. That person told me not all NOOK books are compatible with all platforms – and finally pointed me to the TEENY TINY ICON that lets you check that… except that it said it WAS compatible. But before she would/could answer that question, she issued a refund. Then the session timed out.

With the THIRD chat agent, she tried to tell me the book was only available for NOOK and NOOK HD, because of the high illustration content. Except, then I pointed out that the website said it was available for all kinds of devices… which threw her for a loop. Her response – uninstall the app and reinstall. When I sucked it up to do that, just because, the app errored out in all kinds of fun ways, which had her throwing up her hands in defeat and telling me to call the 800 number and ask for Tier 2 support. Yeah, like that’s easy. Call up any tech support and just ask for Tier 2, that’ll happen. Sure…

Which… I didn’t do, because after I got the app working again later that evening, the refund had already gone through (because that was the fastest way they knew to make me go away) and now I no longer have access to the book to see if their “fix” worked (for whatever reason) and the only way to CHECK is to pay the $13 again and pray really hard.

As much as I love the book, I loathe love the NOOK customer service experience SO MUCH that I’m not fond of the idea of parting with another $13 for the privilege of going through this again if it doesn’t work. As much as I don’t want to give Amazon any more money than absolutely necessary, I will think long and hard before I buy any more books from NOOK – because I can’t trust that they’ll work despite their assurances. I’ll just carry the paper version. I can use the strength training.

Oh, and when Barnes & Noble sent me their Customer Service Survey? I gave them solid “2” out of “10” because there was at least an attempt to fix the problem, even if it was the most sucky experience I’ve had in a long time. I really wanted the book, but not like this. I don’t have time for this. I have shows to prepare for and projects to write and work on.

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