13 Replies Latest reply on Jan 11, 2013 2:06 AM by Saberspeed

    Disappointed in Stores, Nook Gifting Experience

      What was supposed to be an easy gift has turned incredibly frustrating at every turn.

       

      I was gifted a Nook earlier this year, and thought it would be nice to gift one to my dad, who is a bit computer illiterate.  I thought he would enjoy an eReader and since he lives near a B&N could download books at the store.  I also thought it would be nice to "prime" some books on the Nook before he received it.

       

      Oh man.  The B&N I went to on Black Friday had an incredibly incompetently-staffed Nook stand; I waited over 10 minutes to be helped and gave up when an associate helped some random gal who walked up to the stand after me.

       

      A week or so later I tried a different B&N, which had no staffed Nook stand and three bored and unbusy associates behind the counter.  We waited 5 minutes before going up to ask one of them for help, which was a mistake.  The associate was incredibly rude, saying that it was "really hard" to print out a gift receipt for e-Books (which I know is false because several e-Books were gifted to me when I received my Nook).  She didn't seem to understand the idea of a surprise Christmas present.  I should have left and ordered the Nook online but bought the Nook (had to tell her I was a B&N member to get my member discount).

       

      Tonight I gift some books to my dad's e-mail address (which I can access) and end up putting one of the books on my account.  Great.  Since it was a book I hadn't read and would probably read in the future, I figured I could just re-gift the book and make sure I log in as my dad when I redeem the gift certificate.  Since re-gifting the book, that order now has an estimated ship date of December 17?  What the heck?  B&N has already charged my credit card for the book and now I have to wait 4 days for a freakin' e-mail, so I can download the book to the Nook before I can wrap it up and ship it to my parents half-way across the country.

       

      I've been extremely disappointed with both the brick-and-mortar experience and the online experience with B&N over this.  The ability for my dad to download e-Books from a B&N store was the main reason why I went with a Nook over a Kindle, and now I feel like I should have gotten him something completely different, since I doubt his future e-Book buying experiences will be any better.

       

      The Nook is going to be the thing that keeps B&N solvent as the world transitions to electronic reading material, and the lack of competent staff during the holiday season is not going to help their market penetration.  The lack of intuitive user interface isn't going to help either.

       

      I've been a loyal B&N member for over 10 years, and I'm seriously considering letting my membership expire and going over completely to Amazon because of this.

        • Re: Disappointed in Stores, Nook Gifting Experience
          laurieb52

          It sounds like you accidentally gifted a physical book, not an ebook.

          • Re: Disappointed in Stores, Nook Gifting Experience
            NookGardener

            When you say you "re-gifted" the ebook, what exactly did you mean?  You bought another copy and sent it to him?

             

            Have only used the gift feature once.  As I recall, the recipient receives a notice in their email account and needs to "accept" that they want the gift.  And you only have 48 hours (I think) to do so. 

            • Re: Disappointed in Stores, Nook Gifting Experience
              NookGardener

              @ LuckySweetheart,

              Sorry to hear about your experience but I respectfully disagree.

               

              * IMO, shopping ANYWHERE on Black Friday is just an exercise in frustration.  Way too many people shopping, all in a hurry, looking for a deal, (pushing, shoving etc.) Salesclerks on that day don't have much more time than to just find things for people and that's about it.

              * Did you see that  "random shopper" just walk into the store and up to the desk?  If so, agree with you that they pushed their way to the front, but that's more a reflection on that person (and society in general.) While some people WOULD say, "oh no, he/she was here first", probably half don't.  And on black friday, with the quantity of people streaming through, it's very hard for the salespeople to answer questions and keep track of who's been waiting longer.

              * Or could that shopper have been someone that had been waiting for 15 or 20 minutes (maybe the clerk spoke to them before you got there.)  FYI, had this happen to me in the store recently --- the clerk was helping someone, said she would be with me next, told her I would look at covers in the meantime.  As I was returning to the desk, a young person had just walked up to the desk and maybe "beat me" by a minute.  When the clerk came up to help me, there was a lot of "hmmpf"ing from the young person.  She wouldn't stop doing it and finally, had to stop and say to her "I realize to you that it APPEARS I pushed in front of you, but REALITY is that the clerk was helping those people over there when I came in and told me she would help me when done. And if you would stop with the noises, I'll be done in a minute."  And I was. {Side note: great irony was that she wanted a cover for a kindle, then proceeded to be very rude to the clerk. "What am I going to do now, etc."  And if she hadn't been so rude would have helped her --- there were at least 2 or 3 stores within a mile that carried them! }

              * Maybe I am very lucky, there are two stores within a reasonable proximity to my house and the staff there is always very helpful and friendly.  I will grant you that some of the staff is more knowledgable than others (so I may visit a particular store on specific days when my "usual" guy is there.)  But I drive a couple of miles farther to see him.  And when I went in with my list of questions on the HD+ a couple days after it came out, the staff let me download what I needed to the display device to test it out.  (They were checking it out too over my shoulder. No one had asked my questions yet.)  And when the last question needed an active account (with another service), they went and got the manager, who come out listened to me, told me she would test it out on her device that night and to call back the next day between x and y time and she'ld have the answers for me.  And she did (and some other info that she had found too.)  Maybe I am just lucky but I think that is very good experience.

              * My mother is a little technically challenged like your father.  Set her up with the Nook Glow for Mother's Day.  She goes into the store by her house for classes.  The staff there always patiently helps her out.  BTW, she does make it a point to go in during the weekday when the staff isn't as busy as they are on the weekend.

              * About ebook gifting, only used this feature once so others will have to comment on how it works (or doesn't) Will agree with you that maybe some more info is needed as to how the process works. (Maybe it's there on the web, and I didn't look.)

              * About not offering you a discount on the Nook with your membership, I thought they discountinued this past August.  Didn't they?  Or did they change this again?

               

              Again, am sorry to hear about your experience, hope you stick with it, and have a better experience the next time.  But human nature being what it is, people tend to log on here to complain only.  Just because you had a bad experience in one store, doesn't make all stores bad.  Have my own list of features that I think the Nook could improve upon, but the store personnel isn't on this list.  So a little balance on these here boards is in order.

               

               

               

                • Re: Disappointed in Stores, Nook Gifting Experience

                  @NookGardener,

                   

                  The B&N I went to on Black Friday was adequately staffed; I watched two busy associates at the Nook stand help people out while I stood and waited.  If they can't keep track of who's next, well then, c'est la vie.  I was willing to purchase from them but decided not to after the bad customer service experience.

                   

                  The B&N I ended up buying from apparently did have someone there that day who was knowledgeable/trained in their policies/procedures for the Nook, as one of the other bored associates offered to call someone over before the rude associate came over to "help".

                   

                  If you put a Nook into your shopping cart and log in so that your membership "counts", your discount should come up.  Mine does, anyway.  Even so, many of the employees at the cafe ask if I have a B&N membership when the only thing I'm getting is a cup of coffee!  Why should getting a Nook at the standard counter matter?

                   

                  Like I've said before, I've been a loyal B&N member for over 10 years and have visited quite a few stores over the years.  If B&N doesn't shape up how their staff treats their Nook customers, B&N *will* go the way of Borders.  If I wasn't so dead set on getting my father a Nook precisely because of the in-store help, I probably would have gotten different e-Reader for him because of the way I was treated.

                   

                  "Gifting a Nook" use case aside, if people don't buy Nook and e-Books for them, B&N Corporate should know why.  A year ago you couldn't walk into a B&N without a fully staffed Nook counter.  Now, during the peak of the holiday season, I've never seen a staffed Nook counter.

                    • Re: Disappointed in Stores, Nook Gifting Experience
                      Mercury_Glitch

                      The membership changed a few months back to no longer offer a discount on Nooks, this was in August if memory serves.  Memberships bought or renewed prior to this switch still get a discount, however it is entirely possible you had someone who was hired after this change and was thus only knew that the member program did not include Nook/Digital products. 

                       

                      While I'm sorry for your bad experience in store, any shopping done on Black Friday is likely to be paired with frustration.  From the retail side I can tell you it's the same.  It can be overwhelming, and if you see people passively standing around they are likely to be overlooked for those actively seeking help. 

                       

                      As to gifting e-books from a B&N, this should have been easy despite having gone through some less than stellar changes.  What should happen is they find the the ebook edition on the computer, print it out, hand you the print out.  Then at the register you hand over the paper and are asked for an email, it doesn't need to be the email of the nook account that's going to get the book, but you shouldn't just give some random email since a code is sent to it.  The code is also printed out for you.  And bam you're done. 

                       

                      However the changes that that process has gone through include, but are not limited to, needing to actually 'order' the book, needing the actual email of the nook account, then oddly enough -not- emailing the code (this was done after the change back to not needing the nook account email), needing to find the ebook edition which was a pain (it's now tied to the print edition).  Oh and very few of these changes were actually announced to staff, rather they are little surprises waiting to be discovered. 

                       

                      As was mentioned, this is the time of year when stores higher seasonal people.  These people may fill in for the regular full time staff for lunch breaks or if someone calls out sick.  It doesn't mean they are magically as well versed in everything the person they're filling in for was. 

                  • Re: Disappointed in Stores, Nook Gifting Experience
                    RHWright

                    LuckySweetheart wrote:

                    A week or so later I tried a different B&N, which had no staffed Nook stand and three bored and unbusy associates behind the counter.  We waited 5 minutes before going up to ask one of them for help, which was a mistake.  The associate was incredibly rude, saying that it was "really hard" to print out a gift receipt for e-Books (which I know is false because several e-Books were gifted to me when I received my Nook).  She didn't seem to understand the idea of a surprise Christmas present.  I should have left and ordered the Nook online but bought the Nook (had to tell her I was a B&N member to get my member discount).

                     


                    While it's not right that you had a bad experience, bear in mind that during the holiday season many retailers have an influx of specifically holiday season temporary help. They are given minimal training and stuck behind a cash register all day. Try pulling a full shift behind a register on Black Friday (or any day during the holiday shopping season) and see how pleasant a facade you can maintain.

                     

                    There's no excuse for actual rudeness, but not knowing every technical detail of the sometimes rare scenarios (like an eBook gift receipt) is understandable. Heck, I worked in retail for many years and POS changes and configurations can make what should be simple transactions torturous ones.

                     

                    Not trying to excuse your bad experience, just remind everyone to have some sympathy for the folks behind the counter. Empathy is a two-way street; you get what you give.

                    • Re: Disappointed in Stores, Nook Gifting Experience

                      Hi there, Sorry to read about your horrible experience. I can sorta relate.

                       

                      I also attempted to buy a Nook Simple touch on Black Friday. Surprisingly, at the San Jose store, there was hardly anybody in the store and my friend and I got more assistance than anybody could ask for. It was great and I considered myself very lucky. The NST also came with a wall outlet & USB cable, two things that usually cost money to own. Yay!

                       

                      Then I spent 43 minutes with customer service and got nowhere. (I got the free trial to the magazine "The Atlantic" and I didn't know that nook simple touch is not compatible with The Atlantic. Who knew? the customer service rep certainly could not figure it out. She had me sync-ing, testing my internet connection, testing wireless, etc. etc.) Frustrating. 

                       

                      Then a forced nook update (the perpetual black bar at the bottom of the screen) blocked the jokes from all the Far Side cartoons that I only downloaded two days prior to the forced update rendering all my Far Side cartoons moot. Oh well.

                       

                      Then 20 days after Black Friday, I noticed little black splotches on my nook (residual e-ink) that continued to grow. 

                       

                      Concerned, I brought the original nook into a store and they offered me a new nook (this all sounds easier than it really took, since B&N bookstores are not everywhere and necessitates a drive and parking is a hassle in Santa Monica). All side-loaded & epubs would disappear, though, and the "new" nook would be a "certified, pre-owned" nook, not a new one. Oh well. 

                       

                      After bringing the "new" Nook home, I discovered that I was missing the wall socket. None of these are a big deal...just annoying. 

                       

                      Now the new nook is fully charged, but I cannot unlock my previously purchased book. I enter "The full name on Credit Card" and "credit Card number" but when I click "unlock My book" the screen just refrshes to prompt me to re-enter everything.

                       

                      Also, I am seeing ghost images on this "newly refurbished certified pre-owned" device.

                        • Re: Disappointed in Stores, Nook Gifting Experience
                          geertm

                          Peipster wrote:

                          Hi there, Sorry to read about your horrible experience. I can sorta relate.

                           

                          I also attempted to buy a Nook Simple touch on Black Friday. Surprisingly, at the San Jose store, there was hardly anybody in the store and my friend and I got more assistance than anybody could ask for. It was great and I considered myself very lucky. The NST also came with a wall outlet & USB cable, two things that usually cost money to own. Yay!

                           

                          Then I spent 43 minutes with customer service and got nowhere. (I got the free trial to the magazine "The Atlantic" and I didn't know that nook simple touch is not compatible with The Atlantic. Who knew? the customer service rep certainly could not figure it out. She had me sync-ing, testing my internet connection, testing wireless, etc. etc.) Frustrating. 

                           

                          Then a forced nook update (the perpetual black bar at the bottom of the screen) blocked the jokes from all the Far Side cartoons that I only downloaded two days prior to the forced update rendering all my Far Side cartoons moot. Oh well.

                           

                          Then 20 days after Black Friday, I noticed little black splotches on my nook (residual e-ink) that continued to grow. 

                           

                          Concerned, I brought the original nook into a store and they offered me a new nook (this all sounds easier than it really took, since B&N bookstores are not everywhere and necessitates a drive and parking is a hassle in Santa Monica). All side-loaded & epubs would disappear, though, and the "new" nook would be a "certified, pre-owned" nook, not a new one. Oh well. 

                           

                          After bringing the "new" Nook home, I discovered that I was missing the wall socket. None of these are a big deal...just annoying. 

                           

                          Now the new nook is fully charged, but I cannot unlock my previously purchased book. I enter "The full name on Credit Card" and "credit Card number" but when I click "unlock My book" the screen just refrshes to prompt me to re-enter everything.

                           

                          Also, I am seeing ghost images on this "newly refurbished certified pre-owned" device.


                          Make sure your NST is running firmware 1.2.0. The screen quality (ghosting) was a lot improved in the later firmware versions. You can do a manual update by downloading the software from the B&N website.

                          If you have registered your NST the unlock information should have been downloaded from your B&N account (just like your books). Perhaps you need to use the erase and deregister option, and register anew.

                        • Re: Disappointed in Stores, Nook Gifting Experience

                          Honstly the whole thing sounds pretty complicated, I'd have just bought him a gift card and since you have his email, created a B&N account for him with the gift card balance set in so he could buy any book or newspaper he wanted with the gift amount. That way he would have learned a little about how to browse and buy books and that part of the user experience is pretty darn easy and simple. 

                           

                          But I will also say hindsight is 20/20 and you should have been able to do this without so much trouble, I like B&N but I also admit past looking around the book store and buying a book their customber service is lacking for much else. The local store I go to rarely seems to have someone on their Nook stand, especially at night. 

                          • Re: Disappointed in Stores, Nook Gifting Experience
                            When purchasing a gift Nook ebook, while entering the recipient's email address, you also have the option to set a receive-by date. You may choose a date in the future for the gift to be electronically sent. Is it possible you acccidently changed the "receive by" date?
                            • Re: Disappointed in Stores, Nook Gifting Experience
                              I too have been a loyal B&N member for more than 10 years.....and am frankly disgusted with the poor customer service both in store and online...decreased "perks" of membership.....reduction in out-of-print andhard to find books. Black Friday conditions do NOT excuse poor customer service. Hate to say it but Amazon customer service for husband's Kindle Fire has been highly responsive...something I haven't experienced at B&N for quite some time. Thinking of returning my shiny new Nook for a Kindle Fire now that I realize its limitations.
                                • Re: Disappointed in Stores, Nook Gifting Experience

                                  Don't do that, just do what the rest of us do, buy or keep a cheap but very powerful piece of hardwere (the nook) that has large wolfware flaws (like not being able to leave reviews on Nook Video) that their customber service doesn't respond to, or have wrong summaries for a movie about 9/11 (also in Nook Video) but just when you think you've made a mistake...remember all the good times you've had in a Barnes and Noble and the fact if you ever go to one again, you can grab your nook take it in and read almost any book you want on it.