Monday, July 21, 2014

How Barnes and Noble Traded A Cutomer

Barnes and Noble messed things up late 90s and early 2000s.

Their brick and mortar stores used to automatically offer discounted prices on items.  Then that was halted in favor of charging a fee for a discount card.

While such a method can be shown as having value to the customer, it still requires an up front payment.

Stores like to refer to such business practices as customer loyalty.  I viewed it as store disloyalty.  It's enough that I must put gas in the car and drive to the store.  My wallet does not need another loyalty card fattening it up until busts.

Another unhappy incident I had with Barnes and Noble was an occasion when I ordered a physical book by internet from their website.  I wanted expedited delivery and paid for it.

Tracking info told the rest of the tale.

The book was being delivered from New Jersey to New York.  Not much more than across the river.

Instead of sending it via priority US mail, they chose UPS.  Doing so took longer for the book to arrive to my hands.

While I did not seek a refund, I contacted Barnes and Noble as a concerned customer to let them know how they could provide better service to me.

The response was defensive.

They got the book to me in the small print identified timeline and therefore I had no complaint.

Even after explaining that I was not seeking remuneration for shipping, only an open ear that they might learn how to better serve customers, the response was dogmatic and ignorant.

That was when I wished them well and began doing business with Amazon.

There is little more foolish than not finding the quickest way to get a physical product to a customer who has already paid.  Well, for the store to argue the issue instead of acknowledging that a customer has raised a concern which they hope to improve from, is probably more foolish.  After all, they had a chance.

First they essentially annoyed me from their physical store to their website.  Then they annoyed me from their website to Amazon's website.

That's how a book customer was traded.  Amazon got me, a customer and author; and Barnes and Noble got to be right.

No comments:

Post a Comment