6 Replies Latest reply on Oct 18, 2014 8:52 AM by keriflur

    Debit Card users beware

      I had two different customers who used a debit card with their Nook come in today.


      The first was a N1E, they had had their old card stolen and needed help updating.  I thought this wouldn't be an issue, it's something we do in the store on a semi-regular basis for customers.  So we login to her account, remove the old card, and add the new one.  Then I tried to download a book she'd purchased which had caused her trip to the store.  It did not download.  I checked and made sure the Nook was on the same account we'd just modified.  Made sure the card had actually updated on the website.  Then I made a mistake given what was to come, I reset her Nook.  I thought it was a device issue.  We've seen it happen from time to time with the N1Es.  However after she logged in to the -same- account (all the books were 'seen') none of the books were downloadable.  I called store support, and they told me there was no payment information registered to the account and that B&N did not accept pre-paid or debit cards. 


      I very nearly exploded on the CS rep.  I've had a NST, NSTG, and NGL since they launched.  I've used a debit card on -ALL- of those Nooks with out issue.  I asked when the policy had changed to include debit cards only to be 'informed' that that had always been the policy (news to me and I've been with B&N since before we started selling the Nook).


      I apologized to the woman who was now without any of her ebooks, she was very understanding and reassured me she thought I had done my best and that she did not blame me.  We were both baffled by this policy.  She did not have a credit card, never had, and had never seen the need.  After all her debit card works like a credit card -EVERYWHERE- including B&N brick and mortar stores and BN.com. 


      I let a manager know about the oddity, and what the CS rep had said.  I was almost willing to pass it off as a very odd fluke.  Until a second woman come in with her NSTG.  Her card had expired and she'd updated the information on her own but was having issues downloading.  I asked if it was a debit card and sure enough it was.  I told her what I'd been told before and what we'd gone through.  Luckily she had a credit card, just not with her. 


      I haven't tried to purchase any new books since I ordered my Kobo Aura H20 (I don't really see the point I've got books I haven't read on my NGL and I know I'll switch devices as soon as my Kobo H20 arrives) so I don't know if this affects me or not.  I also don't know if it -only- affects customers who are adding or updating their cards.  I'm holding on to a very slim sliver of hope that it's two crazy unrelated issues. 


      However if it's a tightening of how they handle things I really can not wait for my Kobo to get here.  I want to find the person who is responsible for this and ask them how in the world they think it's a good idea on top of the website downloading issues.

        • 1. Re: Debit Card users beware

          There is nothing on the website to indicate you can't use a debit card. I have purchased many things online @ BN & have used a debit card. The purchase was never questioned & the online purchase system does not even ask if the card is a debit card.


          I set up a BN account for my daughter when she went away to college & all she has is a debit card. I am sure this is true of many college students & older people on fixed incomes. I gave her a NC that I no longer use & it is registered with her card. She buys books all the time & has never mentioned having a problem. I'll let her no so she can try & download her books to a Nook app. just in case she is in danger of losing them.


          If this is a new policy it is ridiculous. I can understand a merchant not wanting to take pre-paid cards as there has been a lot of fraud.  However, money is money. If there is no money in a bank account, or the person is over their CC limit etc the transaction will not go through & BN is not out a dime.


          So, I guess it is OK to use a debit card in the store to purchase a device but you can't use it to register the device or purchase any books. Now that makes a lot of sense! I have been a long time customer but BN obviously has no regard for it's customers. It will be unfortunate if Amazon finally does them in but I guess there is no way to fix stupid.

          • 2. Re: Debit Card users beware

            Yeah I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the CS rep was mistaken, which has happened more than once before, and that it was just two weird flukes.  I've asked fellow booksellers from other stores if they've seen this happening with their customers.  I'm waiting on one person to clarify some things w/ one of their co-workers on what may be related incidents. 


            But overwhelmingly it's been people saying they have not seen this issue, at least not yet. 

            • 3. Re: Debit Card users beware
              I only have ever had a debit card (with a CC logo) attached to my account. I just checked on my NST. It downloaded both a new purchase and an old archived title with no problems.

              Somebody in CS is confused or been given bad info that they are passing along as "fact."
              • 4. Re: Debit Card users beware

                RHWright wrote:

                Somebody in CS is confused or been given bad info that they are passing along as "fact."

                Wouldn't be the first time, and won't be the last.  Rather than ever saying "I don't know" they just come up with a guess.

                • 5. Re: Debit Card users beware

                  I cringe at the thought of someone using a debit card on a Nook device.  That is a very very precarious position.

                  There is, as far as I've heard, NO LIMITS on how much someone can charge on your account if they have your password, or if you install the wrong app, or browse the wrong web page, or ...  

                  The risks of a debit card mean that this device could cost the user many weeks of dealing with their bank (and finding out just how hard it is to convince a bank to lose money.... )


                  The only safe ways to buy from B&N are..
                  1. Use a test card number, and buy credit.  This limits you to the amount of the gift card.  Unfortunately, you can't read in-store titles with a test card number anymore (there used to be a 5454 number that you could get from B&N Customer Service, but they blocked this)


                  2. Use the one over-the-counter credit card that B&N servers don't block (again, limit to the amount of gift card, but more places to purchase these)


                  3. Use one of the two or three "one time use credit cards" that still offer the service (these should offer time and limits)

                  • 6. Re: Debit Card users beware

                    4. Use a Citibank (or other overly fraud-protective bank) credit card.


                    Citi will shut me down if I make a lot of little purchases, if I make a big purchase and then try to make another purchase right away, if I purchase in two non-adjoining states/countries on the same day (including online purchases), etc. I have no worries whatsoever that someone will get my card number, because I've seen what happens if they do - they get shut down, and Citi takes care of it at no cost and very little hassle to me.