Barnes & Snowjob

I’m an author. My book is available via special order at Barnes & Noble. I’ll do everything to sell tons of copies of my book yet I’m no fan of the Barnes & Snowjob I received this Christmas.

First, I ordered 2 $25 B&N gift cards. They charged me the $50 twice as if I had bought 4 gift cards. I had to use the live chat on the Internet to get this cleared up.

Then five days before Christmas the envelope arrived. Only one gift card was in it so I was missing the other gift card I was supposed to give as a holiday present too.

I spent 40 minutes with another online chat person who refused to credit my credit card the $25 I spent on the missing gift card. She finally relented and told me to talk to the supervisor at the B&N (800) number.

I spent a half hour on the phone with the supervisor. She did not want to credit me the $25 to my credit card. At that point I asked to be sent a replacement gift card. She refused to do this too.

After badgering her, she admitted Barnes & Noble was afraid they’d be cheated out of $25 because a thief might have obtained the missing gift card and would use it at a store at the same time they credited me the $25.

So: Barnes & Noble feared losing out $25. They’re a million-dollar business: and they’re worried about losing $25.

I convinced the supervisor to send me a replacement gift card without the holiday logo. The card arrived without any envelope with the to: and from: and amount: messages to write in. So I received a gift card and had to write the amount of the gift card on the inside of the birthday card I was sending out a week later.

Not only that, the B&N rep told me the gift card I received in time for Christmas might not work.

Now I’m in a quandary. Do I continue to get my niece and nephew gift cards for Christmas from Barnes & Noble?

Alas, B&N was willing to alienate and lose a long-term customer over a $25/gift card.

B&N saves $25 today/they lose hundreds if not thousands of dollars in future income.

Penny wise and pound foolish, anyone?


Old Schmatte Blues

A person who is paying good money for an item of clothing should not have to accept defective quality.

I bought 3 P XS (2-4) Lands End tee shirts two weeks ago. One tee shirt was labeled P XS and it was obviously a regular size L because it was huge.

As soon as I e-mailed Lands End via their website contact form I received a response: they had shipped out a replacement that I would receive within 5 days. Five days later the tee shirt arrived in the correct fit.

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Lands End.

The interesting thing is years ago my mother found me a Lands End fleece jacket marked a 10 and it was obviously a 6 because it fit me.

This isn’t as untenable as the Liz Claiborne coat I bought two weeks ago too. It was reduced from its in-season selling price of $200. I didn’t realize until I was at the tailor’s having the sleeves hemmed that the right sleeve top where the sleeve meets the shoulder is puffed up. The left sleeve lies flat at the shoulder.

A Liz Claiborne coat should not have this manufacturing flaw. It is obvious and odd to me yet I’m going to keep the coat since it cost only $92 after tax. Yet still. You’re paying good money for a coat it should be perfect.

The thing is that the factory workers should be paid more to encourage the correct sewing of an item. I’d gladly pay $200 for the Liz Claiborne coat if it was free of manufacturing flaws.

Our manufacturing jobs were sent overseas. If this trend of poor quality continues I might try to buy more American-born clothes that were created here and sewn here.

I realize this is not a matter of world peace. I realize that a ton of Americans are going hungry or are homeless. I just find it interesting that these poor quality items Made in China or elsewhere are winding up on our shores.

The Lands End tee shirts, interestingly, were Made in Jordan. No kidding.

I will end here and return in the future with another retail mishap that is not funny. You can laugh at a sizing mistake. You can laugh at a puffed sleeve. Other things: not so fast.