One of my personal pet peeves is when I'll ask someone or some entity a question and they'll either 1} answer it by reiterating a point that doesn't answer the question but should be accepted at face value because it comes from a "unimpeachable" source (i.e. MoveOn.org); or 2} quote company policy that doesn't address any plausible/realistic scenarios that deviate from the norm.
Example of the first: I had a three day debate on whether or not making someone show a picture i.d. in order to vote is considered to be a poll tax.
Example of the second is this post.
A few weeks ago, I got B&N gift card, so that I could easily purchase e-books, thereby not running any additional debt on my credit cards. So I went to the B&N Nook store and chose three books: one for personal reading and two for contractual book review reading.
- The Killing Trail by Charles Gramlich
- The Substitute by James Hatch
- Death and the Journalist by J.L. Petty
Annoyed, I decide to contact B&N. First by e-mail:
Auto response says they will get back to me in 12 to 24 hours.
Miffed, I decided to call:
Auto response says all lines are busy, please call back later, then I get disconnected.
Really annoyed, I give talking to a person via chat a try:
Epic fail, as the person doesn't even give me a chance to type out my complaint, so I disconnect.
Ticked, I unload on B&N's Facebook page with my complaint. I proceed to spend the next two days getting quoted chapter and verse about company/publisher policy in regards to purchasing e-books. I also spend two days not getting a question about this plausible scenario answered:
"What if I got the gift card as a present, I don't have a credit card and all I want to do is buy some e-books?"
While all of this was going on on Facebook (I can multi-task pretty well), I finally got a answer to my e-mail, which started me on my journey of being shuffled to a different customer service rep each and every time I respond.
On my second to last response, I basically told them this:
This causes a major inconvenience as I don't want to have anything
charged to my card at all. Now I'm basically stuck with a gift card that
I can't use the way it was intended to be used to begin with.
Looks like my only other option will be to buy a prepaid credit card
and buy my e-books directly from the publisher.
They responded by saying this:
Thank you for contacting us.
Based on the situation you described, we feel that the difficulties you
are experiencing would be resolved best by contacting us by phone.
We ask that you call us at 1-800-THE-BOOK (1-800-843-2665). We are
available Monday through Friday from 8AM to 11PM EST, Saturdays and
Sundays 9AM to 11PM EST. Customers outside of the United States may
contact us at 201-559-3882.
Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience this may have
caused and we look forward to hearing from you.
We look forward to your next visit.
To which I responded with this:
To be completely honest, I'm not sure how the difficulties I'm experiencing can be resolved over the telephone.
Since my e-mail was forwarded to you, let me give you brief recap:
1} I have a gift card that was given to me so that I could buy e-books that were created by my publisher to review (contractual requirement).
2} In order to buy said e-books, I have to pop in a credit card number as an identifier.
3} I don't want to charge anything on my card, so I don't want to pop in a credit card number so that I can purchase said e-books.
This is where I currently stand on the situation.
Instead of me calling you and getting bent out of shape because you won't/can't deviate from company policy while trying to resolve my situation, why don't you tell me in your very next e-mail (assuming that you'll be answering my e-mail and not passing it on to someone else), how this situation can be resolved to my satisfaction?
Sincerely, G. B. Miller
So my friends, I'm not quite sure what my next step will be. I think it will hinge on if/when B&N's customer service rep, whoever that may be, says to me about my particular predicament. Oh, and the main reason why I told them to contact me via the e-mail about a solution, is that I am completely toxic and incendiary when I'm upset and on the telephone.
The sad thing is that all I want to do is shoot some royalties to some very well deserving writers by purchasing their product and apparently I'm being treated like a yokel by a business that is a very distant number two to Amazon. I would think that they would try to hold onto each and every customer that walks through their door, be it the brick and mortar door of a store, or the virtual door of their website.