We had the most shocking experience with Barnes & Noble, where MrsBlue has maintained a loyalty to the bookstore to the extent that she orders books online from them rather than Amazon. The dust jacket on a book she ordered arrived with a large tear, so we went to the bookstore to exchange it. When she found the one copy in the store, the pages were filthy, but the cover was intact, so I suggested we might just be able to exchange just that. That's where the "fun" started. In an effort to maximize bureaucracy and minimize customer service, the process was to actually return the book in the system, rather than just switch the covers. This meant the system wanted another 13-or-so dollars, which was the price difference between the online book and the store-bought book. As crazy as it sounds, they were unable to reconcile this (they didn't seem that concerned with trying), and were only able to accept her return for a refund so she can go buy it online again. Well guess what? Now she's ordering it from Amazon, so whatever spiteful rivalry there is between B&N online and their stores is spiting themselves. The silliest thing is this failure to take the easy path to satisfy a once-loyal customer is how the copy of the book in the store was already damaged, so they needed to return it anyway. Pitiful.
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