Micropay problems at Fictionwise? Company and Barnes & Noble seem unresponsive
August 22, 2010 | 10:58 am
By Paul Biba
I received the following email from Clytie Siddall, from Renmark, in the Riverland of South Australia. Is anyone else having similar problems with Fictionwise?
My purchasing at Fictionwise has dwindled from a flood to a trickle since the imposition of “geographic limitations”, but I still prefer to buy ebooks there if I can. I also signed up last year (before the imposition) for another 5 years of the Buywise club. Under the current publishing conditions, we customers are told that we will still be eligible for Buywise discounts for the life of our already-paid subscription, and that we can use our existing Micropay balance.
The Micropay balance is the issue here. In mid-July I tried to use mine. It’s shown at the top of the Shopping Cart, and the Help says you can use it. However, the Micropay button no longer shows at the bottom of the Shopping Cart.
Previously, if your total was less than your Micropay balance, and you didn’t have any “PayPal/Credit card Only” titles in your Shopping Cart, then you could press the Micropay button to checkout. Your balance would be debited by that amount, and you didn’t need to pay with PayPal or credit card. This was quick and convenient, and definitely caused me to buy significantly more books.
In mid-July I couldn’t find any way to checkout using my Micropay balance. I searched the site and the Help. I kept going back there every couple of days to see if the problem had been fixed. It wasn’t.
So, on the 27th July, I put in a formal request for Customer Support. I have had no response. My titles are still sitting in my Shopping Cart, and I’m not game to buy anything else until this is cleared up. Fictionwise owe me over $60 Micropay: I really don’t mind how they reimburse me (e.g. a voucher for books), but I’m distinctly unhappy that they aren’t fulfilling their agreement to allow us to use up our Micropay balance, and that they don’t respond to my customer service request. I’ve made a handful of requests over the years I’ve been at Fictionwise, and they have never responded. I have no idea why. There is nowhere to go on their site from that point.
So I emailed B&N, explaining my problem. The first reply was an auto-respond which didn’t address my problem at all. So I asked them to read my email. The second reply was that I should contact Fictionwise. I said that I had tried that (repeatedly), without success, and that surely the customer service behaviour of a wholly-owned B&N company was B&N’s business. The next reply was that it wasn’t, and I should “contact Fictionwise”.
I’d really appreciate hearing from anyone who’s had any success in contacting Fictionwise, or has any idea how I can resolve this. B&N don’t appear to care, which does raise some interesting questions.