02 January 2009

Barnes & Noble return policy

I'm surprised this didn't make more rounds amongst folks (at least as a head's up), but Barnes & Noble has changed their return policy.

There new return policy is now this: "All returns must be made within 14 days of purchase and accompanied with an original sales receipt. After 14 days or without an original sales receipt, returns will not be permitted (nor permitted to exchange)." (Link here.) Yes this is referencing a flyer that was passed out, but the same information is now on the back of the receipts. And here's the link to Barnes & Noble's return policy page (all the info is under B&N.com, but applies to store purchases as well.

They do give you longer if you have a gift receipt, but overall this seems to be a poor customer service policy. 14 days to return an item? What if you purchase it as a gift for someone, and didn't get a gift receipt? Some times I purchase books that sit for a few days before I put them away. Receipts get lost or misplaced. What if I get home and discover I already have the book (I've done that before), but don't get a chance to return it for a few days and the cats start playing with the receipts? To me this just strikes of poor customer service. There doesn't seem to be any give in the policy and in these touch economic times, why not give some leeway? Why not be a bit more lenient such as saying a month to return and if the book is in good condition taking it back without the receipt? Or just giving store credit? To me the policy seems to be poorly thought out and could have been made more customer friendly.

I still browse in Barnes & Nobles and do quick purchases from time to time, but frankly I prefer Amazon. Better prices, better customer service, and its easier to return and cancel orders.

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