As I wrote on this blog recently, my wife and I had a B&N gift card for $50 that would allow us to buy three books. But B&N’s site was screwed up. A message on the checkout screen kept telling me that B&N doesn’t ship to APO or FPO addresses.
But they thought that’s what I had even though I’ve had B&N books shipped to this address for ages. Finally, the last of the books I tried to order is on its way without any explanation about the checkout screen error.
I would rather order from B&N or Powell’s or Bookshop because I think Amazon is pretty close to being a monopoly. But if alternative websites are screwed up, there’s not much I can do but go to Amazon again. This time I couldn’t because I had a B&N gift card.
The support reps kept telling me to enter and re-enter my purchases again and again in addition to clearing my cache and using another browser. Finally, the company decided to have its programmers look at the problem. I spent a lot of online chat time before B&N decided to do the obvious thing: FIX THE BUG.
So, I’m not in a rush to go back to B&N and put up with all this hassle again. That bothers me because I really want B&N to give Amazon some serious competition. But this won’t happen until the support reps take customer problems seriously and focus on fixing the bugs instead of asking us to re-enter everything on our account multiple times as though that’s going to fix the error.
Seriously, B&N, do you want to beat Amazon or do you want to allow the bugs on your site to ensure that you will crash and burn?
You have a serious problem if your software “thinks” a street address is an Army or Fleet Post Office address. Fix the thing instead of making your customers jump through hoops.