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Old 12-10-2010, 12:57 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Xanthe View Post
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.

I thought to ask her her opinion of the Kindle and Sony Readers, but I didn't.
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Old 12-10-2010, 01:30 AM   #17
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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, 01:57 AM   #18
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I probably would have told the customer essentially the same thing, and I'm in Customer Service myself! I might not have used the word "toy", but I certainly don't fault the salesperson for expressing her (apparently) honest opinion. I have to restrain myself in bookstores, or anywhere that sells ebook readers, or I start "selling" to other customers, and I don't even work there!

Sadly, most of the time, "corporate" policy is idiotic at worst, and misinformed at best.
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:17 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by ardeegee View Post
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.
If I ask your opinion, I ask your opinion. Then frame it like that. Instead of saying "it's a toy", say, "I find it a toy". By saying the first, she implies that the company thinks it's a toy.

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Originally Posted by RockdaMan View Post
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".
I personally find this worse. I never use PDF files as office documents.... If I were the customer, I would have dissed her for not knowing what she was selling.

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I probably would have told the customer essentially the same thing, and I'm in Customer Service myself! I might not have used the word "toy", but I certainly don't fault the salesperson for expressing her (apparently) honest opinion. I have to restrain myself in bookstores, or anywhere that sells ebook readers, or I start "selling" to other customers, and I don't even work there!
By calling it a toy, she belittled the Nook Color. Again, if she had said "I find it", instead of "it is", it would have opened the debate: why do you think it's a toy? Now, she's clearly saying: "my employer is making rubbish, which you don't want to buy".

I find it a mistake often made. People usually don't tend to qualify their statements (I generally try to make it clear it's my feelings and you might think differently).
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:11 AM   #20
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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.
Well said
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:18 AM   #21
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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.
I see where you are coming from.
However, you have to realise that customers nowdays are mightily fed up with pushy, incompetent, untrustworthy, dishonest sales persons who would sing songs to sell what corporate wants to sell, not what is the best for the customer, that when one encounters a honest one it is a shock.
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:22 AM   #22
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Now, she's clearly saying: "my employer is making rubbish, which you don't want to buy".
She never said it.
She said that for reading a lot classical Nook is a better choice while the other might be good for all other purposes but not reading book. She was asked about which one is good for reading, not what is better for browsing the Internet.
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:34 AM   #23
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She never said it.
She said that for reading a lot classical Nook is a better choice while the other might be good for all other purposes but not reading book. She was asked about which one is good for reading, not what is better for browsing the Internet.
By saying a gadget of over $100 is a toy, she's saying it's not something you would want to buy unless you don't really want to use it, but only want it.

Or maybe that's just me, reading that between the lines. And then also pointing out the Nook when asked what to buy if reading a lot of office documents, enforces that thought to me.
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:35 AM   #24
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Such a long line of discussion --- and we all really have no idea what the corporate line on the 2 devices really is! The old Nook may actually have better margins, or they might be afraid they can't clear their existing stocks.

My 2 cents -- I also find the sales person's behavior refreshingly honest. Of course, if she runs into a customer who has his/her heart set on the color LCD device, then her statement would backfire.
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:41 AM   #25
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No, honesty would be: "the Nook would be better", not " the Nook Color is a joke" (which is what she was saying by calling it a toy). And honesty would also be "the Nook color" when asked about office documents (considering the Nook doesn't even read doc files, while the Color reads all office formats)
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:51 AM   #26
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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.
She's probably mad that she can't afford a Nook Color on what she earns at B&N.
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:54 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Xanthe View Post
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.
Ummmm... no. The more bells and whistles, the more expense, the less "toy" it would become. Is a loaded Mercedes a toy compared to a Chevy Aveo? I think not. Using a Nook Classic with it's more dated features and cheaper build quality makes THAT seem more a toy then a NC. ESPECIALLY when the customer service rep got it completely wrong about the ability to handle office applications.

Last edited by Grimm; 12-10-2010 at 05:06 AM.
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:55 AM   #28
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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.
Just because the Nook Color isn't e-ink does not make it any less an e-reader then the Nook Classic.
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:58 AM   #29
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She never said it.
She said that for reading a lot classical Nook is a better choice while the other might be good for all other purposes but not reading book. She was asked about which one is good for reading, not what is better for browsing the Internet.
Then she was wrong in that she made a sweeping statement that cannot be held as "true". I read more now on my Nook Color than I did on my Nook Classic or Kindle 3.
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Old 12-10-2010, 05:02 AM   #30
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No, honesty would be: "the Nook would be better", not " the Nook Color is a joke" (which is what she was saying by calling it a toy). And honesty would also be "the Nook color" when asked about office documents (considering the Nook doesn't even read doc files, while the Color reads all office formats)
Agreed. E-Ink purists here will never agree of course but so be it. What would have been best would have been to show the customer reading and office feature on both devices and letting the customer decide but apparently that's asking too much. I can just as easily say the Nook Classic is dated technology that has now become a joke compared to the streamlined, lightweight, faster Kindle 3. Wouldn't be true, but I could say it.

It's cool though, I'll just smile as I power up my "toy" and read to my hearts content laughing at the image of the customer service rep wearing a headlight while in bed.
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