Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Kvetching: Borders

I love bookstores.  I spend more time in bookstores than any other kind of store.  I read 2 or 3 books a week.  Plus magazines.  Which means, I spend quite a bit on money* at the book store. I'm extremely lucky to have a Borders within walking distance.  Almost all of our entertainment and general shopping is done at this same complex so I'm in there at least every 10 days.  

My kvetching has to do with coupons and Borders.  I have one of their Borders Rewards cards.  It's a free program.  It used to give me a percentage of every book in the form of credit at the end of the year.  The first year I did that I racked up over 150.00 of credit.  Helped me buy Christmas gifts that year. One of the clerks said he'd only seen one other person with that much credit in his store.  Borders stopped that after that first year.  I'm thinking it got wayyyy too expensive.  So they changed it to getting a 5.00 credit every $150.00 you spend (of qualifying merchandise).  Which sucks. But it is a bit of a savings for me.

Barnes and Noble has a much better discount program (and a much larger store than my local Borders).  See it here, click. I can easily earn back the 25.00 you have to pay for the card.  10% off paperbacks and 20% off hardcovers that are not best sellers.  40% off hardcover best sellers.  

So here is my BIG kvetch:  Why can't Borders give me discount coupons that normally come in my email if I have a Rewards Card?  Currently you must print the coupon and carry it around with you and present it to the cashier.  Why?  If they can track the number of books I buy why can't they track whether or not I've used that weeks coupon?

It would save paper, paper that lands in a landfill or has to be processed for recycling.  I would buy more books if I didn't have to keep track of paper in my purse that is no longer valid or which I forgot to print.  If I don't have a coupon I don't buy, I wait.  I'll borrow a book to get me thru the dry spot of no reading material.   The paper waste is huge I think, not to mention me having to use printer ink & paper for a danged coupon adds to the landfill/recycling issues.  

I buy less due to Borders inefficient program.  Take that!  

Now my second kvetch (which I think I've bitched about before) stop publishers from printing new books in the larger paperback format.  We pay approx. 15.00 for a book that uses fewer pages yes, but is almost 50% higher priced than a regular paperback which costs 8.00.  

I'm thinking I need to use the library and get books for free.  And I won't be adding to landfills.   

 *I used to BUY all my books at the book store but now I'm trading books with a couple of my girlfriends.  A whole lot cheaper that way.


susan m hinckley said...

Your blog is looking awfully snazzy as well, VO -- I LOVE the color! Quite exciting in this dreary Minnesota wilderness.

No Borders anywhere near me, unfortunately, because I far prefer it to B&N. And you should figure out a way to complain more loudly about their program -- my husband is in the loyalty business, and likes that kind of feedback.

Finally . . . of course the library is the best choice, I suppose, but sometimes library books creep me out a little because they're kind of icky/dirty. (Which means I must have a problem, obviously.No surprise there!)

susan m hinckley said...

p.s. I love your bird fabric! An easy vote.

VO said...

LOL, I'm not sure I like the lavender, I might change it to a teal. But thank you for the complement!

If our Borders were bigger, I'd be happier. It's about 1/3 the size of the local B & N. And 7 miles closer.

The loyalty business is a fun one to be in (cept when customers are yelling at you for no good reason.) I should go to their website and see if they have a feedback area. I know they've been closing stores and backing off inventory so maybe they'd be receptive to hearing my feedback.

Library books don't creep me out that much...but what bugs me is they don't always have a good selection of new books.

The bird fabric came in 20th! Out of 82. Not as good as my second place a few weeks ago but at least I wasn't way at the bottom. I keep trying tho. Maybe the next one which is designs for children.

VO said...

The response I got from Borders Rewards CS. It's a form response but at least it wasn't an automated response:

Thanks for writing Borders regarding Borders Rewards.

We welcome your comments, as we rely on feedback from customers to improve on the services and products we provide. I've forwarded your comments on to the Borders Rewards team for their consideration. While I cannot guarantee that a change will be made, we do appreciate that you've taken the time to send us your ideas.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us.


Borders Rewards Customer Care

susan m hinckley said...

Congratulations on coming in at #20! Top 1/4, which isn't bad at all. But I think it should have been higher, and I looked at every one of them.

And congratulations also on scoring a form letter from Borders. At least you sent your feedback, which most people don't take time to follow through on I'm sure. If everyone would do it, maybe some of the stupid things in the world would improve. We can hope?

Maxalt is what finally turned the trick for our daughter's migraines. I'm sure yours has already tried it, but it is a lifeline for her.

VO said...

The closest I've come is 2nd and I was very pleased about that. Being in the top 25% is ok, the exposure is good but I (stamps foot) want better. LOL. Thanks for the vote of confidence...makes a difference to hear that.

My daughter used to be on Maxalt, but they didn't work so well for her. Plus she complained a lot about them floating up into her throat which made her gag and sometimes throw up...and then would have to try again.

I used to be a CS Mgr. I've used my knowledge of the field to get some satisfaction and redress for some issues. But it's usually when I feel wronged. True that businesses want to hear feedback but I generally only do it when it's specific bad service. Maybe this suggestion (due to my ire) will spurn them into some cost savings. I hope so.