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Barnes and Noble / barnes and noble has unprofessional and hostile staff

1 United States Review updated:

Yesterday my husband I went in to the store to return some purchases we bought at the store. The "manager" helped us. He was some hippie looking dude with a skin head look. He was very aggressive and hostile. He proceeded to tell us that they weren't a library they were and store and he wasn't going to return the items because it was at "his" discretion. Basically we just weren't his kind of people so he made an arbitrary decision to not give us our money back. He claimed there was coffee on one of the books. I don't even drink coffee and when I closely look at it it had smudge marks on it only and looked as if it had never been cracked opened. He was surly and trying to use his power to dominate us. It was the most surprising and rude customer service I have ever had and I am 40 years old. I am a member of this store and will not ever renew my membership nor shop there again. I was trying to purchase another 12 or so books at the time and he put such a sour taste in my mouth that we just left. That was good busines... I think that the tanasbourne barnes and noble should look real hard at this individual and and decide if they are good for customer service and if that is what they want representing their store. I can't imagine even in the best of senarios that this individual wouldn't have a chip on his shoulder. So long barnes and noble and the thousands I spend there. Hello borders with more choices and friendlier staff as well as programs for kids that barnes neglects to have.



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  • Ch
      13th of May, 2007
    0 Votes

    I had a similar incident happen to me today. I was purchasing $70 worth of books and I simply asked the cashier if they had any free bookmarks and if not where I could find them in the store to purchase. He didn't even speak to me, just just simply shook his head no and proceeded to rip off a piece of his receipt tape and he slapped it down on the counter. I felt like he was treating me as if I was 10 years old. I am 25 and well aware of his sarcasm and bad customer service. I am also a retail store manager for a large media outlet and I know a thing or two about customer service. I tried to locate on the website some sort of phone number or email form in order to put in a formal complaint with the company and I came up short. I even tried a google search and could not come up with anything. I am going to call the store right now and ask for a corporate number to contact the district manager and put in a formal complaint. We shouldn't be treated like garbage. If you don't like your job, you should resign from it. There is no reason to take out your frustrations on customers.

  • Ro
      19th of Feb, 2008
    +1 Votes

    I personally run three children's programs at Barnes and noble, which is standard for all of our stores. please check your information before going off on an ill-informed rant.

  • Ja
      15th of Jun, 2008
    -1 Votes

    First off, let me say I realize people treat book stores like the library and it's frustrting when a customer returns a book because there's no way to know if they read it before the return. HOWEVER, THAT DOES NOT GIVE THE EMPLOYEES & MANAGEMENT THE RIGHT TO TREAT PEOPLE LIKE I WAS TREATED TODAY. I purchased a book, realized it wasn't the book I thought it was, tried to return it WITH THE RECEIPT, had the manager take my book and my receipt, call me a theif and kick me out of the store. I work in customer service, my wife works in customer service, many many people work in customer service. It's difficut and we're not paid well, but I'm not a jerk, she's not a jerk, and neither of us would EVER treat another person so poorly. Frankly, the Manager at the 4th Plain store in Vancouver WA should be ashamed of himself.

  • La
      2nd of Sep, 2008
    +1 Votes

    "tried to return it WITH THE RECEIPT, had the manager take my book and my receipt, call me a theif and kick me out of the store."

    Yeah right.. if that did happen you could of called the police to get your items back.

  • Fr
      23rd of Sep, 2008
    -3 Votes

    My wife gave me gift cards valued at $100, they told her that they only had up to $50 cards so she got me two of them. I go there regularly and I've been using one card upbe fore using the other. Barnes and Noble charge $1.50 per month per card on unused balances. Because they would only give you a $50 dollar card I was being charged $3.00 a month. I was surprised when I had a 4 dollar and change deduction on my new card and saw that I only had $28.00 left on what was a new $50 card.

    I'm not going to shop at a place that blatantly steals money from me that way. There is always borders and Amazon.

  • Bi
      7th of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes

    Rarley have I had this type of problem but Ive had that happened to me, problems returning books and all.
    As for rude CS, my experience, I bought some bargan books*6* and when the cashier looked at them, then at me he said 'I guess your kind never heard of a library.' I said 'what?"
    "nothing, Suprised you can even speak english and read, let swim across the rio."
    Most other locations are pretty good but still.

  • Is
      12th of Oct, 2008
    +1 Votes

    I used to love going to Barnes and Noble until today. The guy who checked me out today at the WESTFIELD, NJ store was completely rude and unprofessional. He commented on my book choice and practically yelled the title out so as to embarrass me. Then he made some comments about my personal life based on the book (it was a book about relationships). I should have asked for the manager, but I felt too embarrassed. Now I want to file some kind of complaint if only so that he doesn't do that to another customer. Where should I go?

  • So
      23rd of Nov, 2008
    +1 Votes

    Write a complaint letter to Barnes and Noble CEO or president or who-the-hell-the-highest-person there is, indicate the date the incident happened, the place where it happened and name of that ###-manager, and his exact words and behavior. More details. Lets make them responsible for their mistreatment of customers. After all, we are CUSTOMERS. We give buy thing for our money, we don't beg for merchandises, we buy them.

  • Be
      11th of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    After realizing that they had auto-enrolled me in the Member Savings plan and calling to discontinue it yet again - the customer service rep refused to discontinue it unless I could remember the email on the account after having given them my home phone number, address, etc. Without that they would not be able to help me.

    I remembered the email - however, that email was over a year old and could not have been used to verify auto-enrollment in the first place. What a con - and so much customer service to boot!!

    This is the 3rd year in a row I've had this hassle with Barnes and Noble and I will not shop there again. Additionally, I'll tell everyone I know about the poor service, disreputable business practices and lact of ethics.

    Good luck Barnes and Noble!

  • Re
      13th of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    I am a preschool teacher for 3 year old children. Yesterday I read the children a cute book, "Pigeon wants to drive the Bus". I must have read the book 5 times so I thought that I would purchase another book. After a long day at work I went to Barnes and Nobles located on 76th st in Milwaukee. A very nice lady in the children's department helped me find the book and also suggested that I could get a teacher discount card. I was pleasantly surprised and happily filled out the short application (which had an area to check what age group including prek)
    I went to the front of the store to buy my book. I was happy to save 2.00 on a hardcover childrens book ( I dont make that much money) I put my book down and my discount card. The clerk asked me if this was a personal or professional purchase. I was a little put off by her question but I thougt it was standard. She then asked where I got this card from. I told her the childrens department. She told me that they are not supposed to give me a discount because I am only a daycare teacher and they dont qualify. I started to feel embarrassed because there was a line forming behind me. She called the manager who told me the same thing. I told her to keep the discount card, I did'nt ask for it and left. I have not had someone make me feel that I am less of a professional than other "teachers" in a long time. All I wanted to do was buy a book to read to my children and I ended up feeling unworthy and foolish.

  • An
      21st of May, 2009
    -1 Votes


    You have no idea how many people try to return used books. And if someone does return a used book, and the manager doesn't catch it, then it has to be sent back to the publisher to be destroyed, and the company loses money, as well as the publisher. So I can understand him being skeptical because he doesn't want to be responsible for losses.

    And way to go stereotyping. I'm soooo sure he was trying to "dominate" you. If you were that pissed, you would have gone to corporate or had asked to talk to the store manager, gotten his name, and registered a formal complaint instead of posting this on the internet.

    @ Bambie:

    Yeah ###ing right. I don't believe that for a second. If they said that, then you're a ### for not asking to talk to the manager and having that person fired on the spot. I know what people are employed by B&N and no employee in their right mind would ever say anything like that.

    @ Renee Hammes:

    I used to work at Barnes and Noble and you have no idea how much teachers abused their discount cards, so much that our store was losing money. They were buying for themselves. One customer my coworker had said he was an elementary school teacher and tried to use his educator's discount on a book about gay issues or something like that (it was definitely LGBT and not appropriate for the classroom). It got so bad that we couldn't issue them anymore, and could only give the discount on certain occasions.

    Anyways, we have to ask if the purchase will be used in the classroom, because that's what it's for. I'm really sorry the children's department associate gave you a card, s/he probably misunderstood what you meant by being an educator, and no, they aren't meant for day care personnel. They are meant for teachers to buy materials they use in the classroom. I'm sure they would have made an exception, but because so many teachers abuse the privilege of having that discount card, they couldn't do it.

  • Bi
      24th of Jun, 2009
    -2 Votes

    Frank Halvorsen: are you sure that you have the right store? I have worked at B&N for years, and I know with 100% certainty that gift cards do not have fees of any kind. In fact, I just had a customer yesterday who brought in a years-old card and wanted to know what the balance was. She assumed that we, like other stores, charge a yearly fee or that the cards expire. Neither of these things apply to Barnes and Noble cards. They never expire, and you are never charged a fee. EVER.

  • Jb
      1st of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    @ billiejoeisevil:

    Gift card fees differ by state law. In California for example, it is not lawful to charge an inactivity fee. But in other states, it is lawful and in fact occurs. I don't believe Barnes & Noble pockets the money though - I think its the 3rd party, like Visa or something...

  • Bi
      2nd of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    I asked my store manager about the gift cards, and she contacted the district manager about it (even she was that curious!), and he said that it was Barnes and Noble policy that gift cards would not be charged fees of any kind. He also said that the policy is nationwide, and that no such thing occurs anywhere in the country. So, I assume that if someone believes that they were charged, they really spent the money and forgot.

  • La
      11th of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    billiejoeisevil you are right. I work for Barnes & Noble, INC and dotcom. There is not fee for having a Gift Card. You can have the Gift Card for years and Bn will not charge a penny.

    When I worked for barnes&, my dept was next to the Gift Card dept. So I know a lot of BN Gift Cards.

  • Jb
      31st of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    @ billiejoeisevil
    @ Ladydiana

    We're all half right on this one. I've worked for the company for 12 years now so I have some experience. When we first went from paper gift certificates to plastic gift cards, there was a period of about 2 years where the small print on the back of the cards stated quite clearly that the banking company we partnered with (Visa or Mastercard I believe) will take $1.50 per month after a specified inactivity period, except in States where it was unlawful. After many complaints, BN eventually removed this clause (around 2004 maybe?) So Mr. Frank Halvorsen could be correct if he was talking about an incident from 6 years ago (but he sure waited a while to file a complaint, so who knows.)

  • Ch
      21st of Mar, 2010
    0 Votes

    Terri Pucin, Vice President of Customer Experience for B&N.. try contacting her through the switchboard main number 212-633-3300. Good luck although I recall her being the biggest ### in the world and she is supposed to lead the entire company's customer experience but she is absolutely a horrible wench which tells a lot for the company if the person at the top is completely rude..

  • Pa
      24th of Mar, 2010
    0 Votes


    Wow, I know Terri professionally and she has never been a "###, horrible wench, or rude" to me. I am kind of curious what she did to earn such stellar titles. Customer Experience does not necessarily mean Customer Service and in this case it deals more with the integration of the customer's experience with BN across all channels of the company (e-commerce, .com, stores). At any rate, I have never been charged a fee on Gift Cards from BN, but that may be because my state does not allow it.

  • Ki
      30th of May, 2010
    +1 Votes

    hippie looking and a skinhead? how DOES he manage to be so versatile?

  • Ki
      30th of May, 2010
    0 Votes

    to frank halvorson: barnes and noble does not, nor have they ever charged monthly fees for their gift cards. I can only conclude that you are either one of those uniformed twits that have no idea what store they are in/talking about, you are simply a liar.

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