Is B & N competing with Amazon for Bad Customer Service?
Guest Post by Irene Watson
You are probably well aware of the issues we’ve been having with Amazon.com removing our (along with many others’) reviews and banning us from posting.
We contemplated on posting all the reviews on BarnesAndNoble.com but their system is not user friendly nor are reviews a focal point. I contacted B & N to see if I can speak to someone that may consider making some changes to their site and actually was able to communicate with a person in their headquarters in the U.S. She asked me to send her an email and she assured me it will be directed to the appropriate department. Well, not to make this story long, it just didn’t happen. My contact said she forwarded the email but it seems the suits aren’t interested in responding or talking to me. End of story. Oh well, I tried.
There is more. Even though we don’t like their system, we posted the review for Spare Change by Bette Lee Crosby on the B & N site. A few days later this showed up:
I phoned customer support but I suspected I would be told they don’t have contact with the review department. I was right. I was given an email address where to send my query. I sent an email asking what term we violated, to quote me the inappropriate wording, and instructions to edit. No response. I sent it again a week later. No response. I sent another email a week later. No response. I phoned and asked for a supervisor. I did talk to one that actually was very cordial and said she would contact the appropriate department. She also said I will get a response from them. It never happened. This was over a week ago.
Today I went to BarnesAndNoble.com site to see if by some magical chance they fixed the issue but didn’t tell me. Nope. That’s wasn’t the case but what I did find was another review, Unthinkable: Tips for Surviving a Child’s Traumatic Brain Injury, had the exact same red notation at the top of the review! There is absolutely nothing in either review that “contains inappropriate language.” Yet, when I did a cursory check on some of our other reviews, they were posted.
But, there is even more about B & N. I’ve recently received emails from reviewers on our site ReviewTheBook.com. (This is a site where reviewers get the books to review but post reviews under their own name/account with no affiliation to the site.) The most recent was:
I have tried repeatedly to post a review of this book at B&N and for some reason they won’t allow me to do so. They have stopped responding to my requests for an explanation as to why they won’t post it.
I also got (and others that are similar):
I’m attempting to post a review on Barnes and Noble. I’m able to log into my account, find the book, and enter the review. When I hit submit I’m told the review isn’t accepted. I’ve sent emails to them but I’m not getting a response.
Not getting a response? Humm…sounds very familiar to me and to the many others that have attempted to contact Amazon.com regarding their reviews. Is BarnesAndNoble.com trying to compete with Amazon.com for bad customer service? Sure seems like it. I was hoping B & N would step-up-to-the-plate and offer better customer service than Amazon. Instead, I’m finding quite the opposite; it’s just another humongous corporation in the passive-aggressive mode that doesn’t give a hoot about their commodity: the authors who supply the product for them to sell.
Irene Watson is the Managing Editor of Reader Views, where avid readers can find reviews of recently published books as well as read interviews with authors. Her team also provides author publicity and a variety of other services specific to writing and publishing books.