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.