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Old 12-09-2010, 11:19 PM   #1
RockdaMan
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BN rep called Nook color a 'toy', recommended original Nook

I stopped at a BN in the Chicagoland area yesterday -- both to check out the Nook color, and to flip through the paper copy of 'Emperor of all Maladies' (I hate having to choose between the paper and electronic copies of a book -- why can't I get both at a bundled price?).

While I was playing with the Nook under the watchful eye of the rep, two other customers stopped by and asked her which of the two devices, original Nook or Color Nook, was best for someone who read a lot. Without hesitation she nodded to the original nook and said 'that one.' Then she pointed to the Nook color still in my hands. "That's just a toy. It's got web browsing and games and stuff". The other customer seemed as surprised as I did. "Which one if they want to read a lot of office documents too?" Again the rep directed her the original Nook. "This does PDF's just fine".

Wow. Does anyone else find this surprising? I don't believe at all that BN is training its reps to be so dismissive of it's new device.

Edit: I'll clarify too that she was very knowledgable about the NC. She had either been well trained in demoing it or had taken time to educate herself. She just was not a fan of it...despite the fact that it was the one she was holding when I approached the stand/kiosk.

Last edited by RockdaMan; 12-09-2010 at 11:34 PM. Reason: update
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:24 PM   #2
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"That's just a toy. It's got web browsing and games and stuff".
She should be reprimanded. Very inappropriate and clearly not following directives.
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:30 PM   #3
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She should be reprimanded. Very inappropriate and clearly not following directives.
Yes, because honest answers is the last thing corporate drones should be allowed to do.
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:34 PM   #4
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Yes, because honest answers is the last thing corporate drones should be allowed to do.
She's not getting paid to express such opinions. Has nothing to do with being a corporate drone. Do you have employees?
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:39 PM   #5
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Yes, because honest answers is the last thing corporate drones should be allowed to do.
The answer about office documents is clearly wrong. The Nook Color, in addition to ePub and PDF, reads XLS, DOC, PPT, PPS, TXT, DOCM, XLSM, PPTM, PPSX, PPSM, DOCX, XLX, PPTX.
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:48 PM   #6
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She's not getting paid to express such opinions. Has nothing to do with being a corporate drone. Do you have employees?
If someone is being asked their opinion on which one is the best reader, then if they instead are required to respond with whatever the company wants them to push, that is a lie. I could never work a job like that-- I'm not going to tell lies for money, especially not near minimum wage. And any employer that asks their employees to lie is worthless scum.
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:51 PM   #7
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If someone is being asked their opinion on which one is the best reader, then if they instead are required to respond with whatever the company wants them to push, that is a lie. I could never work a job like that-- I'm not going to tell lies for money, especially not near minimum wage.
What are you talking about? The rep replied "it's a toy". You think that's appropriate? Wow...
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:54 PM   #8
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The answer about office documents is clearly wrong. The Nook Color, in addition to ePub and PDF, reads XLS, DOC, PPT, PPS, TXT, DOCM, XLSM, PPTM, PPSX, PPSM, DOCX, XLX, PPTX.
She pointed to the original Nook and emphasized PDF's.
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:57 PM   #9
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She pointed to the original Nook and emphasized PDF's.
Nuff said, she may have been able to regurgitate the corporate sales pitch, but I bet if she went beyond that, she couldn't.

Everytime I go into a store and I hear someone pitching it, I have to walk away because half the time it's only "half-truths"
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:09 AM   #10
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Not having been there, I'm inferring that she was trying to be helpful, but went about it the wrong way. Instead calling it a "toy", she might've been better off asking, "Do internet access and games matter to you?" stressing that as the difference.

She may well be a good salesperson, not wanting to push a higher priced product on folks who just want (primarily) to read books.
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:22 AM   #11
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Instead calling it a "toy", she might've been better off asking, "Do internet access and games matter to you?" stressing that as the difference.
True. But she was definitely expressing a deeply held opinion. That is why it was such a memorable exchange to me.

She actively, on company property and while on the clock, made it known to at least three customers that she didn't think much of at least one of the products that she was out on the floor to answer questions about.

Last edited by RockdaMan; 12-10-2010 at 12:25 AM. Reason: butterfingers
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:35 AM   #12
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The employee was asked which was best for a person who reads a lot. She answered that question. The color Nook is a toy - it contains a lot of bells and whistles that someone who wants just an ereader doesn't need. It also costs more because of that.

Kudos to her for being honest and straight forward, and for not misdirecting the customer for the sake of a higher-priced sale. If I had had that interaction, I would be more likely to actually buy a Nook than to move on and look at other ereaders.

Give me an employee who will express an opinion over one who's afraid to stray from the party line anytime. The purpose of having a salesperson is to assist with a sale, not to stand around like a product display. I think that too many employers nowadays forget about what customer service is supposed to actually be. You push the product yes, but you also should build a rapport and a sense of trust with the customer in order to make the current sale and to create a return customer; honesty is the best way of achieving that.
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:50 AM   #13
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A friend referred to his new iPad as "my new playtoy" last week.

It sounds to me like the sales clerk was a serious reader who was asked for her opinion by another serious reader.

Since B&N is primarily in the book business rather than the gadget business, I don't think that it is inappropriate for the clerk to refer to the NC as a toy. It would have been inappropriate if she had called it "high-priced junk", dismissing its quality. But she wasn't really criticizing the NC. She was just saying that for serious readers the Nook Wifi is a serious device and the Nook Color is not.

I think that that is a fair opinion one might have.
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:56 AM   #14
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It's interesting that people find the use of the word "toy" acceptable from a corporate standpoint. Why is such a reference not found on the B&N website or in the promotional videos? I doubt corporate would approve of this phrase being used by employees. Simply opinion trying to be passed off as fact. I know it's a common practice.
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:57 AM   #15
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If you're running low on something, sell what you have on the floor. Maybe they were running low on NCs?
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