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Barnes & Noble Hates Its Customers, and Wants Them to Suffer

Some retailers like Amazon try their best to make customers happy, secure in the knowledge that a happy customer is a repeat customer.

Then there is Barnes & Noble, a company out to cause suffering, destroy customers' futures, and (if they have time ) make blood rain from the sky.

B&N inflicts pain upon customers in many and various ways, but today I would like to focus on the most insidious: Yuzu.

Named for an Asian fruit, Yuzu is a digital textbook platform that Barnes & Noble launched in 2014.  It was in beta at that time, and still under active development.

Alas, development petered out before B&N ever really got it working, but that didn’t stop B&N from continuing to foist the platform on college students.

Every time a new semester started, students would show up in my comment section, complaining about Yuzu. They also left negative reviews in iTunes, where the Yuzu app has a rating of 1.5 stars.

Students were complaining about Yuzu in 2015, and again in 2016, and students were still showing up last week:

Why didn’t I see this before I purchased the textbook with yuzu, its horrible. Do yourself a huge huge favor and buy it from someone else or buy the hard copy. yuzu sucks, it’s very frustrating. it was suppossed to make my studying easier but now I’m stuck with this useless c***. ugh.

It’s now three years later, Yuzu still doesn’t work, and yet it is still the digital textbook solution for all of Barnes & Noble’s 700 plus college bookstores.

If Barnes & Noble runs a university’s bookstore, it will direct students to buy textbooks on a platform that B&N knows does not work.

The company is selling students a non-refundable digital product that it knows is defective. To make matters worse, this is not just a broken game; we’re talking digital textbooks here. Barnes & Noble is actively sabotaging academic careers just so it can make a buck.

This is a vile act of theft perpetrated upon college students, and it has been going on for three years now.

When will it end?

image by scarysideofearth

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Bruce Cansler September 13, 2017 um 9:48 pm

Stay as far away as you can from B&N and anything associated with a Nook. Horrible customer service. Switched to Kindle years ago and never looked back!

Steve D. September 13, 2017 um 10:00 pm

I guess it’s easy to understand why college kids are flocking to libgen…

Davemich September 14, 2017 um 9:21 am

How exactly does it not work?

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earl baversjo September 18, 2017 um 2:26 am

I actually like the basic layout of B&N’s Nook app. Not that nuts about Amazon’s collection panel design. What does torque me is having no control over the Shelf naming, and being unable to list empty Shelves that got created due to a slip of my fat fingers. I have a lot of books. I mean LOTS! Poor updating of the overview panes and various customizing I cannot do,torpedoes any lingering respect I might have retained. Nook sucks rocks. It does not handle 'stranger' formats well! It could be so much more. Which Book God do I propitate?

Kell Brigan October 13, 2018 um 5:24 pm

Amazon tries to make it’s ultra-liberal customers happy; anyone else gets treated like crap. I can’t support any company that censors and manipulates content the way Amazon does. They’re fine with over a decade of fake reviews and hyper-inflated puffery from self-publishers, but any review that raises valid points against a liberal gets banned as "hate speech." They’re a creepy, dangerous company and we badly need alternatives. Why, Oh Why, is Barnes & Noble management so overwhelmingly customer-hostile and just plain stupid when it comes to marketing?

Imprisoned by the System September 15, 2019 um 10:41 am

It’s now 2019 and B&N University bookstore can purchase lower division textbooks on your student account as if they are charging you tuition for the course. You can’t opt out. You can’t refuse to pay. You have no choice. It’s wrong, probably illegal, but college students are at the mercy of the corporate greed.
I’m sorry for anyone else that have been taken advantage of and forced to use the awful yuzu joke of a platform.

k January 16, 2021 um 5:14 pm

Buddy, you said a mouthful. I worked for them back in the 2000s and I swear to god they pick the shittiest, rudest people as their booksellers while relegating anyone else to stocking and going to fetch one of the High Lords Of Assholery to actually help customers. I was in one last week because I arrived too early for a doctor’s appointment and needed somewhere to just wander. I wanted to grab a book for my kid and was looking through the manga section, as that’s his thing right now. Having been out of the bookselling game for well over 10 years, I asked an employee for a recommendation based on what my kid already liked. They acted like I asked them something truly abhorrent, despite the fact that they were fanboying over some other manga with a bunch of other customers two minutes earlier and said they’d have to get someone who knew the section. They never came back. I dropped what I was already planning on buying on the floor, said, "f*** this," and left. Never again. I knew walking in there that I was going to have garbage customer service, but this was outrageous even for them. I’d rather line Bezos’s pockets more than they already are than shop there ever again. I knew walking into the building that it was a mistake because the fact of the matter is that they just don’t give a shit.

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