Don’t ask Borders for anything!

Posted: July 23, 2010 in Uncategorized
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It is a general occurrence in business that if a store does not have a particular stock item available, said store will make at least some attempt to order it in. That is, unless it is the Borders chain.

A while ago I made inquiries about a particular title listed in their database. By pure chance, it was that store’s manager who assisted me at that time. He confirmed that they did not have it in stock, despite it being a recent release by a major publisher. However he assured me that they could order it in for me when I was ready and gave me a coded discount card towards the purchase as an apology for not having it in stock. Because he made the attempt and offered me a discount, I did not go looking for it anywhere else.

Today I attempted to redeem that discount voucher in ordering said title. Only now I was told that Borders do not order anything from anyone, but only move stock between stores. Obviously that is a load of codswallop else they would soon have quite empty stores. Or do they have fairies in the bottom of the garden who magic stock in at night while everyone is asleep? Perhaps they rely on publishers and distributors being psychic?

I was momentarily dumbfounded. You DON’T order stock for customers???

The ‘assistant’ (what an oxymoron as they did anything but assist me) confirmed it – no, they do not order anything for anyone. I was instead basically told to go online and sort it out for myself.

Was I trying to order a rare seventeenth century manuscript or a copy of Mein Kampf, translated into Swahili and printed on elephant hide? Nope, just an anthology from a major publisher that is already in their database.

A few minutes ago I lodged a complaint about this experience on their website. An automated response came rocketing back, thanking me for my inquiry and informing me that my nearest store could assist with information about pricing and availability. Uh uh – no they don’t. Because that means actually looking it up and they no longer provide such an exotic service.

A book store that refuses to help a customer obtain a book? Have you ever heard of such a thing?

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