Barnes and Noble is the only company in the e-reader and eBook sector that has nothing but alienated their customers. There have been many cases over the years where the lost users in droves, due to a myriad of factors. Recently, the bookseller announced it was closing their app store, video store and UK e-book store. Instead of making it easy for people to access their content, users have to jump through a million hoops.
Barnes and Noble was one of the first big companies to capitalize on the emerging e-reader space in 2009. They released their first e-ink device that year and it had 3G and wireless internet access. One year later they released their first Android tablet, and it was a critical success.
Most of the executives that were put in charge of the Nook team were basically people from the bookstore division. Bookstores rarely innovate and they were put in charge of technology that changes in a monthly basis.
What did Barnes and Noble do to alienate their customers and start to lose millions of dollars every single quarter? It was a combination of bad hardware, software and terrible business decisions.
The Nook Tablet Debacle
The first major disconnect between Barnes and Noble and their growing user base was December 21st 2011 when the company disabled the ability to sideload apps from other Android markets. The 1.4.1 firmware update for the Nook Tablet closed a loophole that allowed people to install apps via the internet browser. Since it was around Christmas many people received this tablet as a gift and thousands of devices were returned, while the Nook Boards blew up with angry customers who said they would never do business with the company again.
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You Can No Longer Backup your e-books
In early 2014 Barnes and Noble removed the ability to download eBooks that customers had purchased from the online Nook Store to their computer. They did this so users could not strip the encryption or read the Nook books on 3rd party e-reading apps. This was considered the last straw and many loyal Nook users and they began to openly mock the company for being out of touch.
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Barnes and Noble closes International Windows App.
Barnes and Noble has been operating a Windows 8 e-reading app since 2012 that allows users to buy e-books and magazines. It was available in 40 different countries and instead of paying the bookseller directly it’s done via your Microsoft Account.
On August 7th 2015 Barnes and Noble announced that they were closing the bookstore and only US customers would have access. Anyone who bought e-books had a very limited window in which they could get refunds from Microsoft and then they would lose all of their content.
Many international users who wanted an alternative to Amazon were caught completely off-guard. One day they opened the app only to find out everything they bought was gone and the e-reading function was disabled.
Link to the rest at GoodEreader and thanks to Dave for the tip.