Alex Garcia wrote:
I'd like to stress, this issue seems to be isolated solely on library books and security verification from Overdrive.
Which is to say that this fix isn't a priority for B&N because (a) customer acquisition during the holiday season and (b) if existing customers can't access library books, they're forced to pay for Nook books.
Here's my work around to each: (a) I've not bought anything from B&N since I discovered this (and I usually buy about 1/4-1/3 of my holiday gifts from B&N, and (b) I downloaded the Kindle app onto my Nook Tab A, and I've been enjoying a variety of books that way.
Customer acquisition costs these days are really high, so if I were B&N, I'd take much care of the customers I already had.
Mr. Garcia, I'm sure none of this is your fault directly and I'm not at all trying to shoot the messenger. You've been put in the unfortunate position of facing the madding crowd. However, I ask you on behalf of the customers who are experiencing this (and on behalf of the many librarians across the country trying to explain this to their patrons who don't understand that this isn't a library issue!) to go to B&N and stress that this needs to be re-priortised immediately.
Would "track down a fix" bear any resemblance to offering customers a refund on GLP over 2 weeks old?
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I took "the team is negotiating the holiday period" to mean that all the technical people required to fix, verify, and distribute the solution, from 3 different corporations--they all have holiday vacation and travel plans which must be "negotiated". This doesn't have anything to do with "acquiring new customers".
If any beta testers are needed for the fix, I would be willing to help.
I doubt this for two reasons: (1) It would be easier to just say so directly, either in the first update or in the post clarifying the update. Something like "the tech team is a bit short-handed during the holiday season as members are taking well-deserved vacations to be with their family," and (2) my partner is a manager for big-box retail store and no one from part-time associate to district manager to CSR reps at the call centres are allowed vacation from Black Friday to NYE, due to the holiday season. There is too much customer support that needs to be done, and one of his store's prime products isn't an electronic one that may need tech support as people receive it, have questions, spill eggnog on it, etc.
Or perhaps B&N should sell books at half market price (not inflated "list" price) to Nook owners until the fix is available.
I wonder if it has occurred to Overdrive, Adobe, and B&N that the responsible party could back out the problematic coding change, fix it and all interfacing software that requires change, retest everything thoroughly from end to end, and then re-implement program code that works.
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I agree this is a really annoying issue. However, the people capable of resolving this problem are the software, hardware, and test engineers. Not managers, customer service reps, part-time associates, call center reps, or retail sales associates. And I can assure you that after being beaten up to complete projects before the end of the year, these engineers are taking a vacation. It makes zero sense for B&N to be indifferent or casual about this issue--the timing is a disaster. If I were part of B&N's software development team I'd be royally ticked off right now that some software team from a different corporation just threw a software hand grenade into my holiday plans. And "backing out" the "problem" code is not a simple issue. It has to be carefully coordinated between Overdrive, Adobe, and B&N now that it already out and released. I'll bet B&N can't even do any fixes until they get stable code from both Overdrive and Adobe. Then B&N has to ensure that whatever was done doesn't "brick" its device or screw up some other feature. I'd be amazed if this gets done before Christmas. Am I happy about it? Nope. Does this stuff happen? Yep. There is less chance of this occurring if you own the entire eco-system (aka Apple, Amazon) because then the bigwigs can flog their own people, cancel vacations, whatever. And as consumers, we always have the option to switch. One just has to decide if that is worth it.
I agree this is a really annoying issue. However, the people capable of resolving this problem are the software, hardware, and test engineers. Not managers, customer service reps, part-time associates, call center reps, or retail sales associates. And I can assure you that after being beaten up to complete projects before the end of the year, these engineers are taking a vacation. It makes zero sense for B&N to be indifferent or casual about this issue--the timing is a disaster.
Are you under the impression that I disagree with any of this? I don't.
And "backing out" the "problem" code is not a simple issue. It has to be carefully coordinated between Overdrive, Adobe, and B&N now that it already out and released. I'll bet B&N can't even do any fixes until they get stable code from both Overdrive and Adobe. Then B&N has to ensure that whatever was done doesn't "brick" its device or screw up some other feature.
Again, are you under the impression that I disagree with any of this? I don't.
However, these IS more that CAN be done right now that isn't from a customer service perspective.
And as consumers, we always have the option to switch. One just has to decide if that is worth it.
I am aware of this, and that is exactly why I have been saying that I have been an extremely loyal B&N customer since August 1998, and I am on the very edge of making that decision. B&N deserves to know why they are about to lose a customer who has STAUNCHLY refused to use Amazon for ANYTHING until two months ago, and since the Nook Tab A I bought in October is now the equivalent of a cross between a large smart phone and a Kindle, I might as well have bought a Kindle, which would have been less expensive and would have actually worked as intended. Is this entirely B&N's fault? No. But they can certainly put pressure on their partners to push the schedule. This is how business works.
I've consulted in various aspects of business, and I understand this issue from a customer service perspective, a business partnership perspective, and a tech support perspective. I can also see this from B&N's perspective, as well as the consumer's. However, since I am the consumer here, I'm not really interested in advocating in anyone except the consumer since it was my hard-earned dollars that were spent. Additionally, as stated before, there are librariarns out there who are having to answer to their patrons who do not understand why they can't access checked out library books; it isn't merely about the all-mighty dollar -- some of this is pure customer relations.
After deauthorizing and reauthorizing and reinstalling, etc, I'm happy to find out that I can stop all that. 15 days to go on the loan period for a book I'm trying to read.
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I feel for Alex Garcia! He is the ONLY point-person from B&N who seems to have taken ownership of this issue by way of appropriately communicating to us Nook customers about this issue . . . when the online B&N support folks (yes, probably outsourced/off-shore support now) have been unable or un-trained to respond appropriately.
Please cut him some slack!
Having worked in technical support as a network engineer for IBM in one of my careers, I can tell you that the 'point person' naturally receives all of the customers' complaints and, sadly, receives few thank yous for taking ownership to see an issue through to a resolution. IBM taught it employees this take-ownership philosophy, knowing that it usually puts additional pressures on the point person because that person really isn't RESPONSIBLE for the solution, yet represents "the face" of the corporation to the customer.
So, thank you for staying the course, Alex! We can only hope that you continue your best efforts to pass along these real concerns (and with it, B&N customers' pent-up anxieties) to the powers that be, those who can AFFECT a solution. Do as much as you can to forward the ongoing (and increasing) negative impression of B&N's Nook technical support in order that management takes some corrective actions. B&N's customer support issues can only be addressed by people at a far higher level than you, but as the customer point person, you need to continue letting superiors and appropriate departments within B&N know about their failures.
Another axiom we were taught at IBM: Determine what customers want or need to satisfy their complaint . . . then deliver more than expected to the customer. Wouldn't it be great if B&N not only fixed this Loan Token problem, but also fixed the additional problem of a cumbersome ebook download procedure by returning to the easier procedure, lost somewhere in the later Nook Glowlight product line? Now THAT would be delivering more than expected to the customer, wouldn't it? One can only hope . . .
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It seems as though this is coming down to dollars and cents. Why help
people read books for free when B&N sells books? We'll get a solution when
we get one. 2-3 weeks is reasonable to me. After that, I'll see what's good
with the Kindle.
Yelling at Alex isn't going to make it go faster. Talking about how long
you've been a customer also feels shallow when we're all complaining about
not being able to undercut them by getting what they sell for free.
Yelling at Alex isn't going to make it go faster.
Who here is yelling?
Talking about how long you've been a customer also feels shallow . . .
Not really. In retail, loyal customers are everything. Customer acquistion costs these days are going higher and higher, especially as consumers have more and more options to read and buy books (especially in the eReader space). To acquire a customer, a retailer has to spend money on a variety of ads -- television, web ads, radio, transit ads, etc. Then they have to spend money to educate their salespeople on the product, as well as paying for their salespeople to educate the consumer on the product, which the consumer may or may not buy. Even if the consumer DOES buy the product, it does not guarantee that the consumer will return to that same retailer and become a loyal customer. The retailer has to spend more money to guarantee a loyal customer. So talking about how long one has been a customer is actually a great talking point in terms of asking for a better customer service result.
I've literally spent tens of thousands of dollars at B&N in the past 18 years, and that's only what I've personally spent. That doesn't include the Nooks I've talked my mother and one of my friends into buying, which also meant more more for B&N with accessories, Nook books purchased, etc. At my age, I could continue to be a loyal customer for several more decades, which equates to much more profit from them.
. . . we're all complaining about not being able to undercut them by getting what they sell for free.
Really? Maybe some are, maybe you are -- not all of us are. If B&N had the books I'm getting from the library in eReader format, I'd happily buy them, but they don't. I've made a conscious environmental decision to only buy DTB (dead tree books) from certain authors (especially when those authors advocate for libraries) or book collections I've started, so I'm only buying/reading eBooks otherwise. It isn't about undercutting a retailer, it's about whether the seller supplies what the consumer demands.
Authorizing refunds to GLP owners for a failed product would be a minimum expectation, wouldn't it? Take a close look at the problem, the response, the customer service, B&N stock over the last year and tell us again about your hopes. As for A Garcia? This should have been kicked upstairs to a responsible official before Garcia claimed a "correct answer" Dec. 7. Garcia doesn't own a GLP, isn't trying to get a book from a library, has no receipt in hand to be scoffed at, and evidently no support backing up claims of a fix. This is not IBM and, sadly, it is not a book store that cares about readers.
So, change course, Alex! Tell your bosses you are in over your head. If this is a "'point person'" where is the rest of the force? This may be a small fraction of B&N revenue to spend any effort on now, but rust never sleeps. Cut slack? No. Get busy! Get HELP. Get in touch with this problem, the people who can repair it, and the people who have given MONEY for a product that does not work.
Oh, and has bn/NOOK stopped the sale of GLP? One can only hope.
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Kind of misses the point. B & N has been selling the Nook since the beginning as being particularly useful for reading library ebooks. They used to claim an advantage over Kindle because Kindles originally didn't work with library books. They have been able to sell the Nooks in part due to that feature. Many of us bought Nooks solely because we were led to believe that they worked easily with library ebooks. We are entitled to that feature. Not only do the NGPs not work easily with library ebooks because they cannot be directly loaded in ADE, now they don't work at all. B & N has rendered our Nooks defective by failing to enable them to work with library ebooks. They don't have the right to drag their feet in correcting this defect. I can tell you, as someone who has practiced law for many years, that this would be custom made for a class action.
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