Honestly, I kind-of like Borders (and Barnes and Noble), and they’re the only ones with a zero BS customer loyalty signup process.
“Do you have a card?”
“Would you like one? I just need your e-mail address.”
“Ok it’s _____ “
“Here you go.”
The end. No paperwork. No forms. Thirty seconds. But, that’s the only thing they’ve gotten right in a long time.
Today they sent me an email announcing that “You could win the new American Girl doll”.
Seriously?! There’s only one kind of book I buy at Borders: urban fantasy. I buy everything else at Amazon.com, but when it comes to new fiction I like to browse physical aisles to find new authors. The only exception to this has been one or two of the Harry Potter books. So, after years of buying Urban Fantasy books about werewolves, vampires, zombies, and other supernatural beasts (almost all of the stories centering around a murder that needs to be solved) they think I’d like an American Girl doll. They’re so off the mark that I didn’t even know what an American Girl doll was until I looked at the email. If it wasn’t for a random work coincidence I wouldn’t have even heard the name before. Now that I know what one is I know for a fact that it is nothing I would ever buy, or even contemplate buying. And I’m fairly confident i’d never buy one of the American Girl books as a gift either as there are some truly exceptional children’s books out there that aren’t trying to sell you dolls.
Honestly, I find this insulting. It’s even worse than the time they tried to convince me to buy a book that I’m pretty sure I’d already bought from them. It’s really not that hard to figure out that someone with my buying history has no effing interest in something like that. It’d be like promoting a book about the Pope to someone who just buys books on atheism.
Contrast that with Amazon.com’s emails. “Hey, we noticed you’ve been checking out
Borders meanwhile just spams the entire freaking list. “We want money! Here’s random crap! Buy it!” Borders is going to die, and it’s their own stupidity that’s going to do them in. Never-mind how badly they’ve been screwing their employees lately, although that falls under the category of “their own stupidity” as well.