Terrible Customer Service–Thanks for Nothing Barnes and Noble

I don’t expect that anyone from Barnes and Noble or Barnes and Noble.com will even actually read this or do anything about this, but I need to get this off my chest.

I just had quite possibly one of the worst customer service experiences in quite some time.

I was looking for a book. The D&D Player’s Handbook  On the B&N website, the book is listed at $29.95. I selected it and chose “Reserve in Store.” The price jumped to $49.95.

I called the store to see if there was a problem.

“No sir. The retail price is not the same as the web price” was the answer I was given.

Do you price match your own web site?

“No sir, it’s not our company’s policy to price match the web site.”

I went to their Chat on the web site to confirm and was told basically the same thing.

I called the customer service number. And the agent that answered the phone was very apologetic at first.  She told me that the business model was such that the web site and retail stores were different entities and that they did not price match.

I said, “That’s ridiculous. I know of no other retailers that won’t price match their own web site.”

I was told that I could speak to their supervisor.

I’ve worked in Customer Service long enough to know that  was the equivalent of “Go screw yourself, I’m not giving you a different answer.”

So I pressed, “So…what you’re telling me is that Barnes and Noble is willing to lose a customer over this rather than make my experience right, rather than correct this situation?”

Before I could even finish, she started talking over me and went in to ostrich mode. I’m sorry. There’s nothing I can do. That’s the policy.

I work in support. I train my team to be customer-service focused. NOTHING that Barnes and Noble did in these THREE interactions indicated to me that they actually cared about me, as a customer.

And you know what? That’s fine.

I don’t need them either. Amazon takes care of my online orders. And Half Price Books will take care of my brick and mortar needs. I’ll wait. It’s worth it to have the sense that someone actually gives a shit about customer service.

And Barnes and Noble can go fuck themselves.


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