31 January 2011

"You don't care" --Leona Lewis

This is a long one. You may want to get some RingDings.

Barnes & Noble
is acting like it's my obnoxious teenager. You know, the one that proposes doing chores for money and gets the money and then only does a half-assed job delivering until you say "Give me back my money." And, then, they're all "What? I'm doing the chores!"

Here's the back story: Late December, I received a B&N gift card. Nice! I promptly got online and ordered up some old favorite movies: The Four Seasons (funny, well acted, and you have to love the Vivaldi soundtrack), Eye of the Needle (a well crafted adaptation of Follett's WWII spy thriller), Bagdad Cafe (I love everything about this quirky friendship movie), Sex, Lies & Videotape (an interesting little story of, well, sex, lies and videotape, and have I mentioned my thing for James Spader? My, my, my. No, not bloated, Shatner-wannabe, Boston Legal James Spader now:

I'm talking about James Spader then:

Le sigh.)

1) On December 27th, I place my order. B&N confirms. ("Mom, thanks for saying you'll pay me if I shovel the walk! Can I get that money up front?")

2) I get three of the four movies promptly. ("Look, Mom! I shoveled three quarters of the walk!")

3) On January 19th I get a message from B&N saying there's a delay in sending Eye of the Needle but they'll ship it within 5 business days. ("But, Mom, I'm in the middle of a game here. I'll finish shoveling the walk after, I swear.")

4) I sit down to enjoy the eye candy--er, quality flicks I've received.

*calendar pages flutter by*

5) On January 25th, I get a message saying EotN has been further delayed and it could take another 30 days and do I still want it? ("Mom, I'm busy. Stop nagging me!")

6) So, I think about this. Do I want to wait two months for what should be a simple DVD burn? No. I'll get it elsewhere. I click the link and cancel the order. I try to log on to the B&N account to confirm that I've gotten a credit but it won't let me log in. I hit the "send password" request and get... NOTHING. No email. (*puts earbuds in and rolls eyes*)

But I know they have my email address because they send me messages and I know I've typed it in correctly and this should be an automated thing to send me my password, yes? I go back on the site and find the customer service page. I send a message to them basically explaining that I used a gift card and now I've canceled the order and I can't get my password sent to me so I can log on and check that I've got the credit. Can they help?

7) On Jan. 26, customer service sends me the following form email:

Dear Customer,

Thank you for contacting Barnes & Noble.

When you place an order through our website, your credit card is
authorized for the amount of the order, which puts the funds on reserve.
The charges are not made until the order ships. If your order is
cancelled for any reason prior to shipment, we immediately release the
authorization. However, depending on the bank that issues your card, it
may take 2 to 5 days for the funds to be unreserved, a process over
which BarnesandNoble.com has no control. Please accept our apology for
any confusion or inconvenience in this matter.


Customer Service Representative
Barnes & Noble

("I already did my homework. And you might want to rethink that hairstyle. Just sayin...")

Huh? Notice there's no mention of a gift card credit or a password being sent.

I respond with "Please read the message I sent so your response will be appropriate. Thank you."

8) On Jan. 28, I dig until I find a B&N Customer Service phone number. I call them during standard business hours. I go through the automated phone tree. I get put on hold and told that they are experiencing extended wait times. ("Mom, I'm in the bathroom. We'll talk about it later.") I can wait. After waiting on hold for a while I suddenly get switched to a message that says what their holiday hours are and then disconnects. (*climbs out bathroom window*) Holiday hours? On January 27th? Is it Feast of St. Smithens or something? An online check tells me it is "National Chocolate Cake Day". Really, B&N? REALLY?*

9) I am at a loss. Email strike 1 and 2. Phone strike 3. And then...

10) On Jan. 29, I get an email from B&N telling me "Your B&N Order is on its way!" They claim they have shipped EotN. They make no mention of my cancellation of said order or my email messages. ("I did the effing walk, Mom. Are you happy now? Cheeze! I'm going over to Boner's house." *slam*)

So, maybe, just maybe I'll get the 4th DVD I ordered. If I don't, I 'm going down to B&N Headquarters and camp out. With chocolate cake. And a James Spader movie.

Question #1: How is it possible that B&N is running Borders into bankruptcy?

Question #2: Can customer service get any worse?

Question #3: Chocolate cake deserves its own national holiday.**

* In the interest of full disclosure, I would happily celebrate this holiday by taking off work and devouring chocolate cake with wild abandon, maybe while watching young James Spader, if I'd only been made aware.

** Okay, that wasn't a question. It's a fact.


Lemon Gloria said...

1. I don't know.

2. Hopefully not but always possible.

3. Agree.

Also: I LOVE Bagdad Cafe! I haven't seen that movie in ages!

froggy said...

Once I received a book from B&N. My address on the box. Well, good, I had placed an order.
Opened the box. Took out shipping notice. Ooops. The book was supposed to go to Australia. I don't live in Australia. I don't even live in the Southern Hemisphere.
Look at the book. Ooops. Did not order that book. The book was a romance. I don't read romances. And the book was an Amish Romance.
I didn't know Amish folks had romances. Don't they just marry the third Hans and fourth Gretel on the right. Okay, that was uncalled for...

Vivian said...

Now I want cake!

Mac and Cheese said...

Now I want 80's Spader!

Mike said...

Answer to Q2 - Watch THIS!

AbbotOfUnreason said...

How did Growing Pains get away with naming one of its characters "Boner," anyway?

Cyndy said...

I can't remember exactly when I first laid eyes on James Spader, but he was even cuter when he was younger than he was in SL&V.

I'll have a little Spader with my chocolate cake please.

Anonymous said...

I saw James Spader over the summer in NYC and he looked great. He wasn't bloated and looked like himself, not a Shatner-wanna-be. I hope he has not regressed since he left Broadway. He sure looked good!

Raquel's World said...

1.- I am a Borders fan so I don't get this either

2- Yes, trust me I know.

3- Why yes, yes it does

My favorite part of this post was

I respond with "Please read the message I sent so your response will be appropriate. Thank you."

Absolutely Loved it!

Liebchen said...

I've never seen Sex, Lies, & Videotape, but Secretary completely changed my perception of James Spader.

And as far as customer service...I'm beginning to think there's no such thing. From any company.

HKW said...

1. I don't know. I ordered from Barnes and Noble Eat, Pray, Love DVD for my Mom for Christmas, mid-December. They sent me Deadliest Catch Season 5 and I received a refund, without a merchant title so I had to call the bank to figure out what it was, in late January - last week I think!

2. Sad but true.

3. Great idea!

Toe said...

All my movies come on streaming Netflix but I did order some books from B&N and never had any problems (ordered before christmas) but I accidentally ordered two of the same book and returned the second with no problem. But then again I didn't have to contact customer service.

I love yellow cake, can it be just cake deserves it's own holiday?

Barbara said...

Have you been in a Borders or B&N recently? I'm convinced they're all just biding their time until Amazon does them in. I have never seen anything like the efficiency of Amazon, unless it is Overstock.com. Remember Erols and Hollywood Video? They gave way to Netflix. A lot of it is about who makes it easiest to do business. Clearly B&N hasn't mastered that one.

ellen said...

Yeah, that's been pretty much my experience with BN online. And they wonder why Amazon "steals" their business with their on time and exactly what you ordered every time service.

Pauline said...

I think James Spader is still cute and I like how he looks on Boston Legal. (Although that show in itself can be pretty silly sometimes)

Anyways, that really is awful! Some companies can't be bothered to ensure their customers are treated honestly.

Kate said...

I knew there was a reason I avoid B&N at all costs. Thank you for identifying it for me.

lacochran's evil twin said...

Lemon Gloria: So many fantastic moments in it!

froggy: Don't worry, the Amish aren't reading your comment.

Vivian: Of course you do!

Mac and Cheese: Quality stuff, for sure.

Mike: Nope, I've fallen for that before. And zip up your fly.

AbbotofUnreason: That's the questions of the ages.

Cyndy: Pretty in Pink?

Anonymous: He looks good again? Oh my, my, my. This changes everything!

Raquel's World: :) Glad you were amused. On the plus side, I actually got my DVD!

Liebchen: Change it for the better? ;)

HKW: Well Eat, Pray, Love and Deadliest Catch are close. NOT!

Toe: I would vote for that.

Barbara, ellen: Amazon is pretty dang amazing.

Pauline: He's still prettier than Shatner.

Kate: I knew there was a purpose to my blogging. Thank you for identifying it for me.