|One small shelf of my personal home library which comprises|
two walls and two more 6 shelf book cases.
These are but a few of the book I have read.
Yet the reading books links have begun to proliferate on Facebook. On our snowbird trip this winter I found and "joined" Books A Million (BAM) which has a dominant presence in the South and which is cheaper than B& N. I immediately preferred BAM because I made a friend my first trip to the first store in Memphis, TN, Julia, an employee, mature woman who loves to read, who went to work there part time to support her book habit, and who readily discussed books with me. In fact she recommended several which I purchased and have read and reviewed on my Book Blog. http://patsbooksreadandreviewed.blogspot.com/ I visited other BAM stores and had the same kind of experience, readers work there, the employees are people who know about books and are interested in customers. Maybe it's just the south, but I think it is the culture of the corporation.
This month I decide whether or not to renew my B& N and likely I will not. In my 8 years visiting the local B&N I have never met any employee with whom I could discuss a book, in fact the employees at the local B&N are off in another world and more concerned about talking amongst themselves. Whenever I deign to ask one to look up an author of a book for me they grudgingly go to the terminal and more often than not say there is no such book or that they cannot find it or that it is not published or am I sure of the title? I know darn well there is such a book, because I have read the review in either a newspaper or online through the B& N notices and may have jotted the title down but not the author. So I leave disgusted, not purchasing a book. BTW the B&N employees appear of the younger age group and although they look like teenagers to me maybe they are in their 20's or 30's. Regardless they have no customer service training. Maybe they are just not interested in customers "of a certain age" or customers period. Rarely have I stumbled upon a mature B&N employee who can assist me. This week I have determined that B&N must have as their policy, "be clueless toward customers" and there is the final nail in their coffin with me. After all I can purchase books online through BAM and Amazon, physical copy or download to my tablet, and of course there is always a book sale to support, and well Sam's Club, Wal Mart when I venture there and even the Woodmen's Supermarket sells books at a discount, with no membership fee.
My dissatisfaction with B& N has been escalating. First I changed my email address of record with B&N online in January by accessing my account; this did not make any impression on B& N they continue to use the former email address to send notifications. I sent follow up customer contact emails to them through my account on their website, no reply. I gave up and ignored it until this week when I decided to try again using their website, my account and the online "chat feature." My mistake, for expecting results after I typed my issue in the customer box...whoever works on the customer chat line is either inept, unwilling, untrained, or the system does not work. It was frustration. I sat at my computer screen for a long time while the chat line said, "I can help you.", "Thank you for your patience," "What is your membership number?" "I will help you.", etc. Finally I wrote that I did not intend to spend all day with them and logged off.. I cannot understand why I did not call it quits right then but no, I took one more trip back to the deep well of frustration on another day. I sent another email to their customer service describing my frustration that they refuse to change my email and describing my frustration with their lack of responsiveness. I received an automated response that I would hear from them within 24 hours. Hah, I thought. At last. But no, the Hah is on me....
I received an email from B&N asking me to call them to discuss this and giving me their hours when I can call their customer service line. At which I suppose I can waste more time, chatting on the phone at my inconvenience and continue this aggravating process. But know what, no more for me. I am done. I refuse to do business with a company that obviously does not value me as a "customer." I figure I am paying them and since they are not responsive I can spend my money elsewhere. Oh what a concept they have not discovered, they need me, I do not need them. Besides the local store at Christmas time all but moves the book inventory out and sells toys and gadgets of all sorts. I don't buy toys. I would buy books, but there are other places to shop and so good bye B& N. Torture your next customer.