Earlier this month, my wife ordered some books from Barnes and Noble (via their bn.com site) as Christmas gifts for her grandmother. Everything seemed to go well, the order was delivered on the 20th, everyone was happy. Or so I thought.
On December 23rd, we got an e-mail from Barnes and Noble stating:
Your order is now packed and ready to leave our warehouse. The details of your order appear below. Within one business day of receiving this email, you may track the delivery status of your order at [tracking link].
The gift had already arrived and the tracking link was for the package that had been delivered three days earlier. Still, I didn't want them shipping it twice and trying to bill me twice, causing all sorts of nightmares in the process of cleaning up the mess. So I wrote back:
UPS says this was delivered on the 20th. Why are you sending me a notice that it's ready to ship, dated the 23rd?
Now at this point, I wasn't of the opinion that they sucked. Mistakes happen, but if they get handled quickly and the damage is minimized, you live and let live. It was when I got the following response today that I decided that Barnes & Noble sucks.
We are in receipt of your email and appreciate your patience. Due to increased holiday volumes, we are unable to respond to your recent email inquiry.
For quicker answers, please consider using our Web Self-Service. [more self-service text cut]
If you still need our assistance we would suggest that you call us at 1-800-THE-BOOK (843-2665).
Basically, they've said "thanks for writing to us, but we're really busy, so piss off. If you really want to talk to us, call up and sit in the hold queue until we can get around to you."
Son of a... You mother... You send me a confusing notice, and then you're too busy to clarify things? What brain-dead executive thought that "we got your mail, but we're too busy to answer" was an acceptable response?
Barnes and Noble, I hope the money you saved is more than the lost sales and goodwill this will cost you.