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Poll: Will B&N pull out of the UK in 2014?
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Yes, they have as good as given up already 50.00% 1 50.00%
No, they're just having a few teething troubles 50.00% 1 50.00%
Total 2 votes 100%
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Do B & N actually care about the UK?

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26 Dec 2013, 07:55 PM
Post: #1
I like my Nook. It's compact, nice to hold and the battery lasts forever. I also have a Nook HD tablet and was so impressed with it I bought one for my son.
Sadly, I can't say the same of the B&N Nook shop or the customer service.
The landing page of the store is poorly laid out and hard to navigate. When you do find a book you want to buy nine times out of ten you get an error message (cannot add title to digital locker etc).
So you fire off an email to customer support and wait...and wait... and (yawn) wait. A month later and, guess what, I'm still waiting.
So you try the instant chat - but it's never available.
So you leave a message on Facebook - and get no reply.
From my experience it seems as though B&N has given up on the UK market.
I can only assume the broken links, missed downloads and appalling customer service are caused by a chronic lack of staff. Either that or B&N should sack the lot and start again.
Anyone want to wager that the Nook UK store will still be here on January 1, 2015?
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27 Dec 2013, 01:42 AM
Post: #2
(26 Dec 2013 07:55 PM)Prof Quatermass Wrote:  Anyone want to wager that the Nook UK store will still be here on January 1, 2015?

I can't give a view on Nook customer service, not having used it, but I agree entirely that the Nook UK web infrastructure badly lets down their hardware. If Barnes & Noble are to have any hope of capturing market share in the UK then they have to have a store in the same league as the Kindle store - and they are currently no where near.

Look up a book in the Kindle store, let's take Death Comes to Pemberley

Find On:

KoboBarnes & Noble
, and you'll see:
  • a preview that includes the contents, introduction and part of the first chapter,
  • customer reviews with a breakdown by star rating,
  • extracts from professional reviews,
  • the length in pages,
  • a button to send the preview to my Kindle.

- these are all things I use to help me make the decision to whether to part with hard-earned cash.

The same book in the Nook store has:
  • a preview that only includes the introduction and has formatting errors. As I buy a lot of text books having a scan through the contents is often very useful in making a decision.
  • no customer reviews - you have to search for the book on the Nook itself to access the customer reviews, but even then there is no summary of star ratings to give you an overall feel for what people think.
  • no professional reviews - again you have to go to the Nook.
  • no page count. There is a file size (which varies significantly from the file size reported by the Nook!) This gives no indication of the size of the book - I've seen a 'book' with a very large file size that consisted of one very large image and five pages of text.
  • no way to request a preview on the Nook, either from the Web or the device itself.

So what's responsible for this train wreck? It shouldn't be resources, after all Barnes & Noble are a company of 30,000 employees with a $7 billion a year revenues. I think it's three things:
  • Barnes & Noble is old - it started selling books in 1917. Large, old companies have a lot of momentum and find it very difficult to pivot in response to changes in their operating model. They think of the Nook store as just like any of their bricks and mortar stores. It's not.
  • Barnes & Noble are suffering from a lack of leadership. They have changed strategy a couple of times this year - for example they reversed the decision as to whether to stay in the eInk device market twice in the last 12 months.
  • They just don't get social media. Sure, they have Twitter and Facebook accounts, but they don't seem to understand why Goodreads or Amazon reviews are important to readers.

My prediction is that Nook will still have a UK store at the beginning of 2015 but it will either:
  • be part of the Microsoft Windows Store
  • be hanging on by the skin of its teeth with no major improvements over what we currently experience.

Question - how many of you go to Amazon to check the details/reviews before buying a book from the Nook store?
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30 Dec 2013, 01:43 PM
Post: #3
I can't, of course, comment on the UK situation, but your complaints sound remarkably like those heard over here in the US. If B&N doesn't step it up soon, they will become entirely irrelevant in this market. I've been on the point of purchasing a Nook a couple of times, now, but customer service woes and the company's own ambivalence toward supporting their own eReader have pretty much killed my interest. Deciding now between Kobo and Kindle.

Author of -
The War of the Second Iteration
Book One The Luck of Han'anga
Book Two Founders' Effect
Book Three The Plight of the Eli'ahtna
Mr. Olcott's Skies
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