My Experience with Barnes&Noble.com, or

Filed under:General — eric @ 9:33 am

My Experience with Barnes&Noble.com, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Amazon

Last week after seeing a page of B&N on-line coupons linked on Robot Wisdom, I decided to try them out. I’d never used B&N.com before, so I thought this was a cheap way to see how they stack up. I found a coupon that read $10 off a $10 or more purchase. Great! I found the audio version of The Onion’s Our Dumb Century listed for $9.60 plus shipping, so I placed my order, used the coupon, and was told to wait for a confirmation e-mail.

The next day, the email arrived. It showed the book cost $9.60, shipping was $0.40, and that my credit card was going to be charged $13 and change. No mention of the coupon, and no explanation for the odd total. I sent an email to their customer service people asking for an explanation of the total and what happened to the coupon. I stated that even though the coupon didn’t say so, if the $10 minimum didn’t include shipping, I’d be happy to add a book to my order to meet the minimum.

The next day, I received an email stating that the shipping was listed wrong, and that the total really was $13 plus change. No mention of the coupon, so I called the customer service 800 number. The man that answered the call was very nice, but right after he took my order number he said his computer was acting up. I waited while he waited. Eventually, he said his computer was down and said he’d transfer me to someone else. After a short while, he came back on and said the entire system was down, and that I’d have to call back later.

The next day, I was able to get through. My order had not been shipped yet, and I could not use the coupon because the base order was not over $10. The lady could not add a book to my order, and instead cancelled the order and told me to place it again.

I re-ordered Our Dumb Century and resisted the urge to add a $1 book to my order. Instead, I ordered a $5 book on how to reduce clutter in my life. I know the book’s destined to add to the clutter on my bookshelf, but that’s another matter. Both books were listed as in stock, shipped within 24 hours. The confirmation email came a few hours later, and with shipping, minus coupon, my total cost was just under $10. I waited for my books.

The next day, I received an email stating that the clutter book was indeed out of stock, and that it was not known when it would be in. They were shipping my Our Dumb Century anyway, and would let me know when the other was coming.

The next day (yesterday), Our Dumb Century arrived. It was shipped to the billing address instead of the shipping address I had given them. My bank card was charged about $5. Now, I’ve used Amazon.com many, many times, and have not had a lick of trouble. Once, last year, they sent the wrong item, and when I called, they said to keep it and rushed the correct item to me. Now that they are associated with GreaterGood, all the more reason to stick with them.

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