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?