A Girl's Best Friend is Her Octopus (l_o_lostshadows) wrote in bad_service,
A Girl's Best Friend is Her Octopus

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What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate

Back in August, I noticed a book I was interested was available for pre-order on Barnes & Nobles' website at a really good price. The book's release date was listed as 8/28.

8/28 rolled around and my area got smacked into by Irene, so I wasn't surprised that I didn't hear from them. I waited a few days, then sent an inquiry about how much delay I could expect. The response I got informed me that the release date had been changed to 9/19. A few more emails passed back and forth before I got them to understand that I didn't expect them to be able to control release dates, but I did think I should have heard from them about the change before I asked.

9/17, I receive an email saying my order has been delayed. It has no other information. I call, and the nice lady I spoke to can't figure out if this is them finally informing me about the original delay or if it's a new delay.

9/18, I get a new email telling me that since they can't guarantee that they can ship within 30 days of my order, I have 24 hours to confirm I still want the item or it will be canceled. (BTW, that's a Sunday. Not the best day to send emails with that short a deadline.)

At this point I send another email asking wth is going on with my order.

9/19, I get a response that I can expect my book to ship on or around 9/19.

9/26, I send an email asking when my package will ship. I get a response saying the publication date has been changed again. Now it's coming out 10/11.

10/11 rolls around. I check the publisher's website. It is now listed as available. I wait.

10/12, no sign that my package shipped, so I send another email.

This morning, I get a response saying they'll look into it.

This evening, I get an actual genuine, started by them, email telling me *drumroll* that my order has been canceled. Apparently they didn't get enough copies to fill all the orders and can't order more copies. (And finding out that last bit involved spending about half an hour on the phone.) *pounds head against wall*

tl,dr: B&N can't get their act together enough to tell customers about delays until asked.
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