Thursday, December 04, 2008

Why Bother?

I regularly use my personal Barnes and Noble membership to order books for my library at school. This works fairly well, as I usually get 30-40% off the books that I order, but I do end up paying sales tax. I wouldn't pay tax if I ordered using a school account, but then I'd only get 20% off, so it comes out okay.

At any rate, the last time I ordered books, I pre-ordered the new book from J.K. Rowling, The Tales of Beedle the Bard, which was released today.

About 5:30 this evening, the UPS man rang the doorbell and I went to the front door to bring in the package. I was quite bewildered when there was not one, but two packages.

I'm not sure how it happened, but I received someone else's book in addition to my own. While the package had a shipping label with my name and address, the packing slip had the name of a woman in Ohio.

I briefly considered my options. I could simply keep the book. There was nothing to connect it to me, so I wouldn't get billed for the extra book. The rightful owner would eventually call Barnes and Noble and get her book. But I knew that was the wrong thing to do. I decided to call and report what had happened so that they could get another book out to the lady in Ohio sooner. I figured they would be grateful that I reported the mistake. They might even tell me to keep the book as it is probably not cost effective to send it back.

Well, they are sending me a postage paid envelope to send the book back, which is fine as it is not mine, but I'm still annoyed. Why am I annoyed, you might ask?

Because rather than being grateful for my honesty, I was given the third degree about my own order and spoken to rather rudely about the process for returning the book. While it was made clear that I would not be charged for the return (I better not be!), I didn't even get a thank you.

I don't get it. In this day and age of deceitful people, and yes, I admit that I considered saying nothing, you would think that a company would be grateful for a customer's honesty. It almost makes you wonder why one would bother to do the right thing.

But I still will.