Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Beware of Barnes and Noble

This summer they changed their return policy. An original receipt is only good for 14 days and then only on certain items. A GIFT receipt is good for 60 days. So ALWAYS get a gift receipt. An original receipt is NOT AS GOOD AS A GIFT RECEIPT. They have an extensive 2 part policy on the back of their receipts which excludes items such as:

  • puzzle stow and go ( the reason for this warning)
  • book ends
  • coffee cups
  • stationery
  • book ends
  • etc, etc, etc

Sunday, I was LIVID. The MOD was very rude and defensive. I, unfortunately, did not get her name. Kurt and I are no longer going to patronize them. Which may not seem like a big deal to those of you who do not live in the sticks, but for us it is. There isn't another bookstore anywhere nearby. There are 2 independent books stores that I know of within 90 miles. There is BDalton but it is owned by B&N.

I called and spoke to a different manager today. After a great while and much explaining and complaining she has agreed to give us an in-store credit. So we will patronize them once more. Then it is over. We're card carrying discount members, too. We spent a significant (to us) amount of money with them. I'm sure they won't feel our loss much but we are done.


Jen from Inside My Head and Hyper Nonsense said...

I used to work for BN, and thankfully, do not anymore. The new return policy was one of the many things I hated about working for BN. Believe me, you are not the only customer BN has lost because of this confusing and confounding return policy.

I am amazed that the manager ended up giving you store credit, because once the new return policy appeared, all workers were told, specifically, to never, ever, ever, give out store credit again. For your sake, I hope that same manager is working whenever you go back to that store. Otherwise, you may very well run into a situation where you tell the workers that you were told by the manager that you get store credit, and the workers insisting that "we don't give out store credit anymore". I have seen this happen.

You mentioned that you have the membership card. You might want to check out which credit card you used to pay for that membership. What you aren't told when you purchase a membership with a credit card is that BN is going to go ahead and charge you $25 for that membership each and every year when it expires. It happens automatically, unless you preemptively do something to stop payment. It's in the teeny tiny fine print on the thing that you had to sign to get the membership, which no BN worker ever ever ever points out to customers. It's become so important to the Corporation to track how many memberships each store sells, that BN resorts to nefarious means to insure they keep selling memberships.

Got more questions? jen@phantopmpower.org is my email. I'd be happy to help you out.

Jhianna said...

My husband's B&N membership lapsed without the auto renew, and I know they've always asked me (in Colorado) if I want to renew mine. So maybe it's a by location thing?

I started going there to browse, get my book jones satisfied, and took notes on what books I actually wanted. Then I'd either order them from Amazon (the prime thing is a great deal for free 2 day shipping, and it pays for itself a few months in, usually) or get them from the library depending on how long I could wait.

I think if I were you though, I'd probably speak to a manager every trip and tell them just how much money they'd lost that day because of the policy.