Barnes and Noble Nook Trouble, Problems and Frustration


As much as we would like to, as journalists, we don’t always get to experience things as customers do. When we do have a notable customer service experience, we would like to share it with you.

We wrangled our Barnes & Noble Nook the old-fashioned way. No PR reps, no loaners, no overnight shipment. In the interest of having one around the office, we preordered the Nook months ago alongside every other customer, waited our turn, and eagerly tore open the box last week when it arrived.

To a totally white “color” screen. We had a dud on our hands.

After confirming that we weren’t missing any steps, we dialed up 1-800-THE-BOOK, got a customer representative on the line, and explained the situation. No big deal, he told us. Our Nook was defective. He assured us that a replacement Nook would leave that very day via two-day air, and we could send back the old unit when we got it.

Days passed. Almost a week passed. And no Nook. After 30 minutes on hold with the same number today, we told a customer service representative we hadn’t received our replacement. Not surprising, he told us, because there was no note of two-day air service in our return request, and the soonest we would receive a replacement would be February.

So we might have a chance to give it as a Valentine’s Day gift? Might?

All replacements were now treated as new orders, he said, because Barnes & Noble had burned through its entire stock of replacements from the first batch of Nooks and now had none to send out.

Really? Our previous customer service rep had completely lied to us and we would have been waiting week after week for a Nook that would have arrived in months? We broke cover and told them we were reviewing it. It would be useless by February. We needed one now or never.

After a couple more times on hold and consulting some superiors, they magically stumbled upon some more Nooks and sent one out via expedited mail. (Or so they said, this could easily be the third lie we’ve swallowed.)

This entire experience is unacceptable.

Defective Nook owners (and we have to assume there are plenty, if they already depleted all their replacement stock) are now waiting until February for an item they preordered months in advance. Giving it as a Christmas gift? Whoops. Better find a Zhu Zhu.

And to top it all off, we were lied to twice over the phone by Barnes & Noble: Once when they told us a replacement was on the way immediately, and again when they told us there were no more replacements to send out.

We’ll save our judgment for the actual device until it arrives… if it ever does. Until then, you can decide for yourself whether a company that treats customers the way we’ve witnessed deserves your business.


Save big on these Braun electric razors and women’s epilators

Amazon and Walmart are currently offering limited-time deals for Braun electric razors and women's epilators. If you plan to make your way through all the festive parties this year with fresh smooth these tools will help.

Santa Claus is coming to town. Get ready with these Christmas apps

Like it or not, Christmas comes but once a year. Thankfully, we've got a list of the best Christmas apps to help get you into the holiday spirit, just in case you want to call Santa or become a Christmas elf.

19 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great stocking stuffer ideas), we've rounded up 19 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth…

Check out the best Green Monday deals for those last-minute gifts

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but that doesn't mean you've missed your chance of finding a great deal. We're talking about Green Monday, of course, and it falls on December 10.
Emerging Tech

Thrill-seekers will be able to pilot themselves in a giant drone as soon as 2019

Want to hitch a ride on a giant drone? The startup Lift Aircraft is gearing up to let paying customers fly its 18-rotor giant drones over assorted scenic landscapes across the U.S.
Emerging Tech

CRISPR gene therapy regulates hunger, staves off severe obesity in mice

Researchers from UC San Francisco have demonstrated how CRISPR gene editing can be used to prevent severe obesity in mice, without making a single edit to the mouse's genome. Here's how.
Emerging Tech

Rise of the Machines: Here’s how much robots and A.I. progressed in 2018

2018 has generated no shortage of news, and the worlds of A.I. and robotics are no exception. Here are our picks for the most exciting, game changing examples of both we saw this year.
Emerging Tech

Capture app saves money by 3D scanning objects using iPhone’s TrueDepth camera

Capture is a new iPhone app created by the Y Combinator-backed startup Standard Cyborg. It allows anyone to perform 3D scans of objects and share them with buddies. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Emerging Tech

Parker Solar Probe captures first image from within the atmosphere of the sun

NASA has shared the first image from inside the atmosphere of the sun taken by the Parker Solar Probe. The probe made the closest ever approach to a star, gathering data which scientists have been interpreting and released this week.
Emerging Tech

Say cheese: InSight lander posts a selfie from the surface of Mars

NASA's InSight mission to Mars has commemorated its arrival by posting a selfie. The selfie is a composite of 11 different images which were taken by one of its instruments, the Instrument Deployment Camera.
Emerging Tech

Researchers create a flying wireless platform using bumblebees

Researchers at the University of Washington have come up with a novel way to create a wireless platform: using bumblebees. As mechanical drones' batteries run out too fast, the team made use of a biology-based solution using living insects.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Bright ‘hyperactive’ comet should be visible in the sky this weekend

An unusual green comet, 46P/Wirtanen, will be visible in the night sky this month as it makes its closest approach to Earth in 20 years. It may even be possible to see the comet without a telescope.