Friday, August 05, 2005

Why I love Amazon

The other day I went to my local BAM (Books A Million) in search of Patricia A. McKillip's new hardcover Od Magic. Can't find it in the puny sci fi/fantasy section. Look in the lit section. No dice. HEave a huge sigh & wait my turn at the desk. Spend 15 minutes listening to a non-spelling, snail paced clerk order a book for a man with the patience of a saint. Finally, I score a clerk of my own & ask her about the book I want.

"Uh..can you spell that again?" Wait pregnantly. Get led back to the sf/f section. She should be right here." Points to Anne McCaffrey. I remind her, gently, that I'm actually looking for McKillip- which ought to be a short way down the shelf from McCaffrey. Unfortunately, there are none. We schlep back to the desk. The clerk rummages around in the 'puter some more and says,"Well, if you call every few days we can check the shelves for you & you can come & get it."

"Could you reserve one that's already on it's way?"

"Oh no, ma'am, we don't do that."

"Where else might I look for her books?"

"Oh, she's listed in mystery & romance & literature too. She could be anywhere!" This said with a bright, vacant grin. "Happy hunting."

With that I was left to my own devices. It's a wonder BAM makes any money at all at that location it's so disorganized. I never did find the new McKillip.


Eddie said...


Anne E. said...

My Books-A-Million isn't too bad, but I miss the little Walden's that recently left my local mall. The reason: one clerk who loved books, loved to read! I think that needs to be a requirement for employment at a book store but so often that is not the case.

I remember many years ago my dear dad coming home from Vroman's Book Store in Pasadena, CA, just fuming! Now Vroman's was/is a highly respected independent book seller in Southern California, but that day my dad was "helped" by a clerk who had never heard of my father's beloved Joseph Conrad. And didn't care! My dad did something that was very rare for
him: he called the manager of the store and received a written apology.

I like ordering on line from Books-A-Million, because they honor your discount card on-line, and they deliver faster than amazon for the same price. They also have the free delivery if the order is over $25.00.

Tara Marie said...

We don't have a BAM locally, but we do have a disorganized Media Play, I can't tell you the last time I actually looked for books in that store, what a mess.

Anne E. said...

An other reason to like BAM on-line: I received an e-mail from BAM that a book I had pre-ordered had shipped. I checked their web site and saw that UPS reported the book as being delivered last night -- no book was on my doorstep, so I called BAM customer service. I was on hold less than 30 seconds & a very helpful customer service rep started the tracing process. A few minutes ago a neighbor two blocks up the street brought my book to me, so I called BAM to cancel the tracer. It took less than two minutes to cancel the tracer. My experiences with amazon have been good, but I don't find them to work quite that fast.

Bookwormom said...

Well,everyone, I worked for a long time for a BAM competitor & I found the customer service, such as it was, appalling. Unfortunately for me, the service & alphabetization at this store is representative of all of the bookstores in my immediate area- including at my former employer. I've found myself assisting other customers & have also been mistaken for a secret shopper. Which actually was much, mischevous fun!