Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Barnes & Noble

I got a renewal notice in the mail from Barnes & Noble today. I've been a member with them for about four years. I've bought a membership card each year for about $25 and that gives me 10% discounts on all their merchandise and coffee in the cafe. The great thing is that even if a book is on the discount table, say 50% off, I still get an additional 10% off with the membership card.

But that's all behind me now.

The renewal notice said that I'd be atomically billed the $25 for my membership if I didn't call them by December 31st! What in the world are they thinking? My membership doesn't expire until February 1st. Why do I need to call by December 31st? Why are they automatically billing me? Before, when my membership expired, I just updated it at the counter the next time I went in to the store and bought something. I was mad.

So I called their number. I just got an auto-attendant. No opportunity or satisfaction in telling anyone off. But what the auto-attendant told me was they were closed and I had to call during store hours. Then she hung up. I couldn't even leave a message.

I blew a gasket.

What are these people thinking? Who's marketing and revenue raiser idea was this?

I wrote them a letter and canceled my membership, effective immediately.

Maybe it doesn't matter to them, but it matters to me.

As they say in a capitalist society: I vote with my money.