I spoke with a “Nook expert” though the 1-800-THE-BOOK number today, and found out about a handy trick for resetting a frozen Nook. I wish they would share this fix with the store employees, because when I took it to the store to either fix or exchange, they didn’t know what to do with it, and only offered to exchange it for a pre-owned Nook. Since this particular device was only a month-ish old, I declined and decided to work with the phone support, which I’ve always been pleased with.
For some background, this Nook device was completely frozen. No amount of “soft resetting” (pressing and holding the power button for 20 seconds or more) or charging it had any effect whatsoever. I had another device do the same thing a month ago, and then this one started acting up shortly after. The brick-and-mortar store kindly and swiftly replaced the first one with a new one. Since then, no issues in the slightest.
So when I spoke with this customer service rep, Keith, he asked confirmed what I’d tried so far (charging it, soft resetting, attempting to wake it up), and then he asked me to plug it into my computer. To my surprise, the Nook was recognized when plugged in with a USB. It didn’t show up right away as an external device. Then he told me the most helpful thing…he asked me to hold down the power button and then the Nook button simultaneously for 5 seconds, then release it. At first, nothing, then suddenly the screen came up that it was charging and the battery was too low to start up just then. Incredible!!! I was thrilled of course, and since then I’ve double-checked all the functions we’ve been using. It all works!
My only question for B&N is this: why not train your brick-and-mortar store employees to be able to do some of these tricks for customers? Often a helpful, courteous, real, live person is more valuable to customer support than a phone conversation. In fact, one of the reasons that I chose Nooks over Kindles was the in-person support through the stores. The irony is that my best support experiences have been on the phone, not online or in the store.
According to conversations with store employees, this isn’t a reflection on the management of the store, so much as B&N corporate keeping the stores in the dark. The general gist of the comments I heard was that boxes just show up one day, and they find out there’s a new device coming out the following morning. No training, no notice. Honestly, given the number of blogs leaking technology gadget information, is all the secrecy really necessary? And shouldn’t your employees that are directly meeting with customers have access to a device to learn how it works before they try to sell it? It just makes no sense.
Larger issues aside, I’ve now had 3 great customer service experiences (1 in-store, 2 on the phone) and 1 disappointing one (in-store). If I had to give a grade, I’d say B&N is at an A- right now.