walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
walkitout
walkitout

In Which I Completely Agree with Rich Adin

I found this so shocking I slept on it before blogging about it.

My regular readers know I read Nate Hoffelder's excellent blog: http://www.the-digital-reader.com/

Hoffelder has guest contributors who include Rich Adin. As a general rule, I disagree with everything he says (altho I've never suspected him of being anything other than completely truthful) and even when I don't, I disagree with his stated reasoning. There was a recent, huge exception:

http://www.the-digital-reader.com/2012/05/16/and-then-there-was-one-barnes-nobles-lack-of-customer-service/

In this entry, Adin has a bad experience with B&N's customer service. He describes a long term habit of reading the paper NYT over an early morning breakfast. He switched to the Nook version of the NYT, but it has been unreliable about arriving early enough for his breakfast (unlike his paper subscription experience) and sometimes unreliable about arriving in the morning at all. He contacted B&N so that the late and/or missed (i.e. useless to him) editions would not count towards his subscription term (that is, either extend or refund the lost value). B&N referred him to NYT and refused to make good.

Adin's experience with B&N customer service (in addition to not giving him what he wanted) was negative in that the hours were limited, and unfortunate language was used as well:

"The supervisor then told me that it was my problem, not B&N’s; that B&N doesn’t give refunds even when it doesn’t deliver the purchased item; that there would be no credit of any kind; and I “had to eat it.” "

One of the responders in the comments thought Adin was being unreasonable and a discussion ensued. Hoffelder pointed out that when the subscription service was launched, B&N did commit to an early morning delivery window, which would surely have been violated if delivery failed to occur by noon as Adin says sometimes occurs, and would arguably have been violated if delivery occurred any time after, say, nine.

But what Adin is asking for is really, really reasonable: if you fail to deliver on a contract, you are supposed to make good on it. Period. End. If you say, basically, go fuck yourself, I'm not going to perform, complaining might not be rational -- it takes even _more_ energy to complain with no likelihood of compensation.

But it _is_ a public service and I'm really glad Adin complained to customer service and then blogged about it. Thank you, Rich Adin. This is a building block of reputation and capitalism. Without good information, we cannot make good decisions.
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