Chief Alchemist - Business Consulting For The 21st Century Via A Holistic & Intelligent Approach
Share RSS 2.0 feed for Sign up for the mailing list. Follow Chief Alchemist on Twitter. 'Like' the Chief Alchemist's page on Facebook. See what Chief Alchemist has been Q&A'ing on Quora. Chief Alchemist bookmarks & highlights on Follow the Chief Alchemist on Chief Alchemist channel on Chief Alchemist on Flickr. Mark 'Chief Alchemist' Simchock on LinkedIn. Free Initial Consultation. Email Chief Alchemist. Phone Chief Alchemist.
  • Mark ‘Chief Alchemist’ Simchock
  • 'Email me.Email => ca .at. ChiefAlchemist .dot. com
  • 'Phone me.Alchemy United => 732 997-0028
  • Free initial consultation.Free => Initial Consultation
  • Please be sure to subscribe to your communication channels of choice.
  • Click To Close => The small green (consultation), red (email) or blue (phone) icons in the top upper right.
Business Consulting For The 21st Century Via A Holistic & Intelligent Approach

Dear Borders – Your website is a mess

FYI => Over the weekend ( tipped me off to a 40% off list price coupon at Borders. I’ve had my eye on Avinash Kaushik – “Web Analytics 2.0: The Art of Online Accountability & Science of Customer Centricity”. I figured I’d grab it. And then the fustercluck began…

Oh! Please excuse any typos and such. I didn’t plan on using my pre-lunch time sharing this. I’ve got work to do. With that in mind, I’m probably thinking faster than I’m typing.

My first decision was: pick it up or have it delivered. I’m going to be near-ish to one of their few remaining B&M stores later today and thought that might be easier and/or ultimately less expensive. It turns out in-store prices are not always the same as online. Immediately I might be comparing apples and oranges.

The next problem was with regards to my Borders Rewards membership. Early in the visit I linked it to the online account I had just opened. However, the site kept suggesting I sign-up and/or login. Sign-up??! Login?!?! I am a member and I am logged it! Doesn’t Borders understand that doubt is a deal breaker? You got your conversion now adjust the experience to match that.

That said, at some point I was prompted to upgrade to Rewards Plus. For $20 per year there are a number of additional perks, one of which is free shipping on all orders (i.e., no minimum). Fair enough, I was intrigued. Between the price of gas and my time it seemed like an investment worth considering. Unfortunately, more ambiguity ensued. The promo read “Upgrade today and get $ 10 in BONUS Borders Bucks” redeemable 7/14/11 – 7/20/11″ as well as  “Plus, get a special coupon book with over $300 in savings when you upgrade in-store”

Problem #1…What are Borders Bucks and why should I care? Are they immediately redeemable for purchasing something? But what bothers me more was the second bit. If I’m already upgrading online then how/why would I upgrade again in a store? Is that a separate process? Does one trump the other? The $300 in savings sounds more attractive than $10 in Bonus Bucks. Is it? Or maybe not? Do I get both? Furthermore, why can’t Borders mail me the coupon book for the offline stuff? Or at least offer to enclose it with purchase I was considering. Better still, let me print a PDF, no?

One of the perks with the plain vanilla Borders Rewards is free shipping on orders over $25. As luck would have it my coupon code brought my total down to just under $24.00. Maybe I could find a clearance book or something for a buck and a bit? However, the message in the top of my view cart read: “Spend $16.01 more to be eligible for FREE US standard shipping!” $16.01 more?? Since when is $23.99 + $16.01 = $25.01?!?? More confusion. My book buying appetite was fading fast.

On top of all this there was no live chat. Sure live chat isn’t cheap but as a means of gathering intelligence it’s easily justifiable. Chalk one up for the bean counters and their don’t fill the holes in the boat, that costs money logic.

Another annoyance was that when you click the “Get Free Shipping! Learn How” link in the header it triggers a lightbox. Unfortunately, (on FireFox 4.x for PC) there’s no way to close the lightbox. The only way out was to pick one of their options. The problem is, I just want to go back to the page I was on. Also, don’t you realize this is going to skew your analytics?

Bottom line, it looks like I’m stuck with in store. I just wish I could bill them for the time I just wasted.

Dear, Your website is a mess. Call me if you need help. And trust me, you do need help.

Will not be published. Required.
Please include http://