Friday, June 27, 2008

Gee, Thanks Barnes & Noble!

I used to buy all my books.

When the stunning new chains of bookstores opened years back while George was in Seminary, we spent many a Friday night date combing either Barnes and Noble or Border's (which was conveniently located across the street) for deals on the sales tables. It was a luxury to buy a new book, although in all honesty, I've always preferred used books over new.

For awhile I read a ton about book collecting and even have a few 1st editions of books I treasure. Every Saturday that George worked at the coffee shop, would find me exploring used bookstores for rare titles and finds that I wanted to claim as my own. I couldn't then (and still can't now) afford a 1st of "To Kill a Mockingbird", but I do have a First Edition Truman Capote and a full set of Chaim Potok's books, my favorite author after Harper Lee.

I like books.

Although, now, I am more apt to borrow from a friend or from the library rather than plop down coin for a book. There is the rare purchase at, but gone are the Friday night browsing sessions where time didn't really matter - other than closing time.

So, it was kind of a big deal when I walked into Barnes & Noble the other day to find a book on PR. Something light . . . like, Public Relations for Dummies. Which is just what I chose. Proudly, I purchased my book and left. I was pretty high. Having just gotten hired to write, I felt good about purchasing a "text" for this new phase of my life. A purchase that can now be considered a write off as well. It may not have been the best book on the subject (I also purchased a used PR text off of on the recommendation of a friend who actually teaches PR) but it certainly met my goals of finding a simple course.

I then come to find out that my gem of a sister also had Dummies on the mind . . . um, thanks? No, seriously, she too purchased a book for me, Public Relations Kit for Dummies, which upon researching it had a much better rating in terms of helpfulness to those starting out in the business.

Not being able to find my receipt, I went back to B&N, knowing that in the past they have just scanned a book to prove it was from their store and then given credit. My plan was to just treat myself to something else.

Well, apparently they've changed their policy.

I was told that without a receipt there would be no return and no credit. Zilch. I am now left with a book I don't need. What's up with that?

Wouldn't scanning it show the SKU number for their store? 'Cause, well, it sure did used to!

What happens now when I receive gifts without a gift receipt? Regift?

Is there seriously no way of returning an item without any sort of receipt? Are they losing money on returns? Is that the reason for the policy change?

I do understand that store's get taken with fake returns, but I really did buy it there and a simple scan would have revealed that truth.

But, nope.

I now have a book that I don't need. I'm annoyed.

So, gee, thanks, Barnes & Noble!

If I do happened to find that receipt, I'll be back.

But not to purchase books.


Liz said...

Aw, sorry! That stinks! Sorry to cause such a dilemna. :-P Throw it on and maybe you'll as least make a little something on it.


Amy said...

I've even tried to exchange clothing at Target (B getting the wrong size from someone for a birthday) and they won't even exchange sizes without a receipt!

Anonymous said...

I think you can still do a no receipt return for credit at Borders, even if you didn't buy the book there. As long as they have carried the book they will give you credit.

Sounds like B & N better watch out because there will soon be a seasoned PR writer ready to go after their policies...