Ct Consumer Complaint: Barnes & Noble Refuses To Honor Return Policy

July 30, 2011
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I came across your site due to my utter frustration with B & N.  Maybe you would be interested in the following, and if you are, I will forward you the numerous emails in an attempt to get situation resolved.

I joined the B & N membership service in April with a one month cancellation option, which I was told by the store I could only cancel online.  I have an email in May confirming my cancellation and was told to expect the reimbursement to show on my CC .  Finally dawned on me in July, after a trip to their store, that I didn’t remember seeing the credit in my statements.  Bottom line is B & N said it was past the 30 days, despite their May email, refused the refund AND cancelled my membership.  Great customer service.

Judith Ebbets

West Simsbury

Email exchange below:

From: Barnes & Noble Member Services [mailto:membership@barnesandnoble.com]

Sent: Monday, May 09, 2011 3:09 PM

To: Judith

Subject: Re: Cancel Membership Please (KMM30428514V68195L0KM)

Dear Judith Ebbets,

We received your inquiry regarding your Barnes & Noble Membership.

Please be advised that we have canceled your membership as you requested.  A full credit to your credit card is being processed now; please expect to see the credit reflected on your next 1-2 billing statements.  As a result, your membership?s revised expiration date is 05/09/2011.

Sincerely,

Jennifer

Customer Service Representative

Barnes & Noble Membership Services

From: Judith Ebbets [mailtoxxxxxxmcast.net]

Sent: Thursday, July 21, 2011 7:36 PM

To: ‘Barnes & Noble Member Services’

Subject: RE: Cancel Membership Please (KMM30428514V68195L0KM)

Hi Jennifer,

It seems odd that my membership has not cancelled and I haven’t seen a credit yet.  ?Maybe still not enough time???  Could you please look into it?

Thank you so much!

Judith

 

—–Original Message—–

From: Barnes & Noble Member Services [mailto:membership@barnesandnoble.com]

Sent: Monday, May 09, 2011 3:09 PM

To: Judith

Subject: Re: Cancel Membership Please (KMM30428514V68195L0KM)

Dear Judith Ebbets,

We received your inquiry regarding your Barnes & Noble Membership.

Please be advised that we have canceled your membership as you requested.  A full credit to your credit card is being processed now; please expect to see the credit reflected on your next 1-2 billing statements.  As a result, your membership?s revised expiration date is 05/09/2011.

Sincerely,

Jennifer

Customer Service Representative

Barnes & Noble Membership Services

From: Barnes & Noble Member Services [mailto:membership@barnesandnoble.com]

Sent: Monday, July 25, 2011 12:25 PM

To: Judith

Subject: RE: Cancel Membership Please (KMM31246338V69741L0KM)

 

Dear Member,

Thank you for your email regarding the Barnes & Noble Member program.

If you purchased your Membership at a Barnes & Noble bookstore, you may cancel the Membership at any store within 30 days of the purchase date for a full refund with the original receipt. If you purchased your Membership online at www.bn.com, you may contact the Member Service Center at 1-866-238-READ within 30 days of the purchase date for a full refund.

After 30 days, Membership fees are non-refundable. Partial refunds of the Membership fee are not available.

Sincerely,

Curtis

Customer Service Representative

Barnes & Noble Membership Services

From: Judith Ebbets [mailto:xxxxxxxx@comcast.net]
Sent: Monday, July 25, 2011 9:56 PM
To: ‘Barnes & Noble Member Services’
Subject: RE: Cancel Membership Please (KMM31246338V69741L0KM)

Hi,

Your original response is below this picture insert.  To see the picture, please view in HTML.

It seems that you did not understand my email.  Ironically, the store AND the online info on the membership states that I can NOT cancel at the store.

Please read more thoroughly what I sent out, but here it is again.  Hope you are now clearer on why I sent out that last email and query (again, response follows picture).

As you can see, I was notified on 5/9/11 that the membership was cancelled.  Still NO REFUND!

Please follow-up with some action, not form response.

Thanks!!

Judith

—–Original Message—–

From: Barnes & Noble Member Services [mailto:membership@barnesandnoble.com]

Sent: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 11:34 AM

To: Judith

Subject: RE: Cancel Membership Please (KMM31281150V94330L0KM)

Dear Customer,

Thank you for your email regarding your Barnes & Noble Membership.

We have canceled your membership.

We hope this information is helpful.

Sincerely,

Amanda

Customer Service Representative

Barnes & Noble

http://www.bn.com/

From: Barnes & Noble Member Services [mailto:membership@barnesandnoble.com]

 

Sent: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 6:28 PM

To: Judith

Subject: RE: Cancel Membership Please (KMM31287101V19148L0KM)

Dear Member,

Thank you for your email regarding the Barnes & Noble Member program.

If you purchased your Membership at a Barnes & Noble bookstore, you may cancel the Membership at any store within 30 days of the purchase date for a full refund with the original receipt. If you purchased your Membership online at www.bn.com, you may contact the Member Service Center at 1-866-238-READ within 30 days of the purchase date for a full refund.

After 30 days, Membership fees are non-refundable. Partial refunds of the Membership fee are not available. There will not be a refund for this membership. This membership was last used 7/9/2011.

We hope this information was helpful.

From: Judith Ebbets [mailto:jxxxxxxs@comcast.net]

Sent: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 8:55 PM

To: ‘Barnes & Noble Member Services’

Subject: RE: Cancel Membership Please (KMM31287101V19148L0KM)

Hold on!!  That was not my responsibility.  I have certainly contacted B&N numerous times about this.  I held up my end completely, it is B&N who was negligent in issuing me the refund.  I DID CANCEL WITHIN THE 30 DAYS and I expect the refund.  If not, I will take this to a consumer advocate.  I don’t mean to be unreasonable, but I think this is very poor customer service.  I will continue to shop at B&N, and if they happened to have honored the membership, ah-hem, because someone at your end failed to de-activate my information, I can certainly say that there were numerous times that I did not get any membership perks.  Please, no more circular reasoning.  The fact remains that I did cancel within the program’s stipulation, and the fair and ethical outcome should be the refund.

Judith Ebbets

Sincerely,

From: Barnes & Noble Member Services [mailto:membership@barnesandnoble.com]

Sent: Wednesday, July 27, 2011 11:58 AM

To: Judith

Subject: RE: Cancel Membership Please (KMM31292989V82056L0KM)

Dear Judith,

Thank you for your email regarding the Barnes & Noble Member program.

If you purchased your Membership at a Barnes & Noble bookstore, you may cancel the Membership at any store within 30 days of the purchase date for a full refund with the original receipt. This was purchased in the store and you needed to go back to the store to get a refund. If you purchased your Membership online at www.bn.com, you may contact the Member Service Center at 1-866-238-READ within 30 days of the purchase date for a full refund.

After 30 days, Membership fees are non-refundable. Partial refunds of the Membership fee are not available.

Onthe dates below, you have used your membership benefits. It shows the date, amount of the purchase, the amount of savings and location of purchase.

 

Date          Amount of Purchase      Amount of Savings

Location of Purchase

7/9/2011      $14.25                        $1.50

Store 2223

6/24/2011      $4.35                        $9.59 with 70% off

Membership Coupon (H8X4L4X)          Barnes & Noble.com

$4.98 Free

Member Express Shipping

5/18/2011      $2.96                        $0.59

Store 2223

This is an amount of $16.66 savings by using your Barnes and Noble Membership. In order for us to issue a refund, the amount of $16.66 would need to refunded back to us. If this is done, we can then issue a refund of $25.00. We cannot issue a partial refund. The savings have to be returned and then a refund can be issued. If this is not done, no refund will be issued.

We apologize for the confusion and inconvenience this matter may have caused.

Sincerely,

Curtis

Customer Service Representative

From: Judith Ebbets [mailto:judithebbets@comcast.net]

Sent: Wednesday, July 27, 2011 10:54 PM

To: ‘Barnes & Noble Member Services’

Subject: RE: Cancel Membership Please (KMM31292989V82056L0KM)

 

Well, I am still very much annoyed.

 

First charge was shortly after my email stating it was cancelled.  Was it or wasn’t it??  I believe that was a café latte or such purchase, part of the get $50 free if you join (free what?!  The only thing I used was the café drink coupon, and I got one for my daughter also).  If the membership saves 10%, why did I get .59 saved on 2.96??  It was something to do with the drink spot there.

 

Second charge:  Gee, I got an email offering 70% off.  That’s odd.  Well, it

must be some enticement with a promo.   I used it, online only-still thought

it was odd, but no charges for shipping came up when I placed the order.

Please keep in mind that I was unaware that my membership had not been cancelled, but I thought in good (misplaced) faith that it had indeed been cancelled.  I was a little puzzled, but again web sites do put out promos now and again.

 

Third charge:  I DID NOT USE THE MEMBERSHIP, do you want to see the receipt?!

 

Fourth charge:  after the third charge, I thought, gee, I don’t remember seeing the credit refunded, that’s odd (boy, you guys are something else).

Daughter again wants to go to B&N.  Let’s see if I am still a member- Wow, they never cancelled my membership.

 

Finally, I get a chance to check back through Credit Card statements, no refund AS PROMISED!

 

Next, 7/21, gee, I write to “customer service.”  Response?  Endless red tape ridiculousness, with an apology, but in all honesty, not culpability, like sorry, oops, our error, we will take care of it immediately.  Don’t even bother.  It is not about the money, at this point, it’s about the principle.

I will be pursuing this issue elsewhere.

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4 Responses to Ct Consumer Complaint: Barnes & Noble Refuses To Honor Return Policy

  1. Hippie Davis on August 1, 2011 at 1:24 am

    you paid $25.00 for the membership , and admit that you did indeed save some. From reading the endless stream of emails it sounds like you are arguing for a refund of roughly $8 and change……

  2. Bob on August 1, 2011 at 6:45 am

    Oh for heaven’s sake, just call the CC company and dispute the original charge on the bill, stating that they never refunded your payment after cancelling your membership within the alloted time period. You have 90 days from the date of purchase to do this.

  3. Ed P on August 2, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    B & N is tough for refunds. I had a $2.50 charge to be taken off. It took a few hours and many email. The only satisfaction I was the fact it must have cost them over $100 in time to not just give me the two fifty.

  4. George Gombossy on August 6, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    From Judith
    BBB was the way to go. I sent it via BBB to the B&N headquarters in NYC and received a prompt response. They will follow-up with staff involved in the emails and any training issues related to the responses I had received. And of course, I received the refund on the membership fee.

    Thanks for your help with this, take care,

    Judith

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