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Barnes & Noble offers $100 to make up for tardy Nooks

$100Barnes & Nobledelaygift certficateNook

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When Barnes & Noble debuted its Nook in October, the plan was to get the e-reader in stores and to consumers by Christmas. But pre-orders were so strong that the company pulled the in-store plan; all devices would be needed to meet customer demand. And on Nov. 20, the company announced that the first run of Nooks was sold out -- so those who've purchased the Nook since then are waiting until 2010 to get their devices. 

As for those who pre-ordered the Nook before Nov. 20, the supply chain is, apparently, a little knotted up. Some Nooks have been delivered, but not all may make it before Christmas. Which is why Barnes & Noble on Monday began promising buyers $100 gift certificates if their Nook doesn't arrive in time to make it under the Christmas tree.

Consumerist posted the e-mail from Barnes & Noble:

Although your shipment has been slightly delayed, we are aiming for your order to leave our warehouse in time for you to receive it by December 24. ... If for whatever reason we are not able to ship your nook in time for arrival by December 24, with our sincerest apologies, we will send you an email notification on December 23 with a $100 Barnes&Noble.com Online Gift Certificate to use as you wish at BN.com. ...

It's pretty hard to make up for an absent gift under the Christmas tree. Barnes & Noble suggests that because the Nook can share e-books between devices, someone waiting for their Nook could download the software to their desktop computer, buy an e-book and begin reading before the Nook arrives. Yeah, it doesn't sound as much fun to me either.

That said, the gift certificate is a hefty apology -- more than a third the cost of the $259 Nook. And according to Barnes & Noble, those Nooks that don't arrive by Dec. 24 will be delivered by Dec. 29. And $100 to spend on new e-books as an apology for a five-day wait isn't so bad -- if you don't mind the delayed gratification. And as long as the deliveries don't get pushed back again.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: William Lynch, president of Barnes & Noble.com, at the October news conference announcing the Nook. Credit: JB Reed / Bloomberg

 
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B&N over promised. I ordered nook mid-Nov and it was to be shipped on 12/11 - on 12/11 I got an email starting out with "Here comes your nook" and ending with: "This is to confirm that your nook is about to ship. Although your shipment has been slightly delayed, we've upgraded you to overnight shipping to ensure you'll receive your nook by December 22."

It is 12/22 and no, I don't have my nook. It did get shipped - but UPS didn't get it until today, the day it was supposed to be delivered - so much for overnight shipping! B&N blew it - they should have known before shipment dates that they couldn't get it there as promised. BUT since they will get it here before Christmas, they're off the hook for the $100 GC. They totally lacked in communication here and should not have emailed day of to let me know it was delayed (12/11) and should not have "shipped" on the day they promised to have it to me. Being jerked around is what I'll remember. Those who don't get it for Christmas will get the promised gift card. All of us got jerked around, but only some get a reward for waiting (im)patiently just a few more days. They totally blew it too - as how could we cancel so late to get a Kindle instead? We couldn't. Is that why they didn't notify of late shipping? I should have gotten a notice 12/21 if they were shipping to get it to me 12/22 as promised.


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