Dear Barnes and Noble

I visited your site to day to buy three books. After several hours of chat sessions, I see why you are having trouble competing with Amazon:

Me: I have $50 worth of books sitting in my cart, stuck there for eternity, I guess, because your software says the address I’ve used at B&N for years is suddenly an APO address.

First Chat Agent: Cancel the order and re-enter it and everything will be fine.

Me: I did what the first agent suggested and everything isn’t fine.

Second Chat Agent: Clear your cache, delete cookies, and change browsers.

Me: I did everything the previous agents suggested, and things aren’t fine.

Third Chat Agent: Can I look at your cart?

Me: Sure.

Agent: Is this the shipping address you always use?

Me: Yes.

Agent: Things appear to be fucked up.

Me: (After Agent Three suddenly disappeared.) Hi agent four, can you fix this mess?

Agent Four: May I kindly take 3-5 minutes to look at your cart.

Me: Sure. It’s only taken 90 minutes so far, so have at it.

Agent Four: I apologize for the fact that some of the information on our website is inaccurate.

Me: Which information?

Agent Four: Is there anything else I can hel you with?

Me: Apparently not.

I signed off CHAT and found an e-mail message in my inbox. “Hi, Malcolm, the following items have shipped.” What a frustrating experience. Maybe I’ll go back to Amazon .

Malcolm