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Books, Life

Barnes and Noble doesn’t want me as a customer

So, I had a subscription to the electronic version of Food Network Magazine through Barnes and Noble’s NOOK. I decided that made more sense than a physical copy because my NOOK HD+ could easily sit on the counter in a stand and be used as a recipe card (sort of). Well my Bank of America debt card had some potential fraud associated with it so it got canceled and I was issued another card.

Well when B&N tried to authorize that month’s subscription payment it failed to process. So I went online and updated my payment info but couldn’t find a way to update my subscription (which now has the status of canceled). So I went back to the email in hopes of finding a link. No such luck. They want me to call them. I don’t want to call them.

I went to the website and tried to re-subscribe to the magazine and that won’t work either. It takes the order and then cancels it almost immediately. So I go to the help section of the B&N website and I’m told by the support person that there is no way to update the subscription except by phone for security reasons. Wait, so it’s secure to use my card to buy stuff from you on your website but not to update subscription information? That makes no sense. The person also never answers the question as to why I can’t re-subscribe if my old subscription is canceled. I’m left with call or don’t get the magazine anymore.

This concerns me because I want to be a B&N customer. I’d rather buy books from a bookstore than the Walmart of the internet (Amazon). However B&N customer support doesn’t seem to care if I do buy from them. This isn’t the first issue I’ve had with them. I had a Windows Phone for a while and B&N aren’t making a NOOK reader for those devices. So I can’t read my eBooks on that platform. On the other hand Amazon supports all platforms and their customer support is fantastic. And now that a eReader from them starts at $50 I’m finding it difficult to maintain brand loyalty.

I was considering the new NOOK (why hadn’t anyone but KOBO thought of waterproof devices until now?) but now I don’t think so. Why would I invest more in a platform and ecosystem that doesn’t value me as a customer enough to put simple tools in place for me to consume their content? I don’t think I would.

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