There's something you should know before you enter into a business agreement with Barnes and Noble (BN.COM, or Barnes & Noble).
I entered into a perfectly innocent looking agreement to do business, agreeing to "...all of the terms outlined in this document,...". The document never mentioned a complex and convoluted labyrinth of rules, or the $200.00 per infraction fines (they call them "Cost Recovery") for not getting those rules exactly right.
Ok, so maybe the agreement includes a reference to the document listing all those rules and "Cost Recovery" costs. Nope. It simply doesn't tell you about them.
So how bad could the rules be?
Think I'm exaggerating here about the complexity and absurdity of the rules? Consider that they weren't able to follow their own rules on the very first purchase order. That's right! They got it wrong. Of course, when they mess up there are no $200.00 checks being sent to you.
Absurd rules? Is that an exaggeration? Here's just one of the "infractions" (their word not mine) listed in the list of over 30 such rules within their three-deep-referenced document.
Use of accelerated shipping to meet arrival dates (due to late shipments): $200.00
Of course, the only reason you'd think of doing this (sending it FedEx), would be to avoid having to pay the $200.00 fine for missing the expected-by date. Another of the many infractions. They decide the expected-by date btw.
Of course, if they screw up the p.o. and that causes you to send it late, so that it arrives late, well that's also a $200.00 "infraction".
..more to come. I'll try and get all the "infractions" listed here for you.
For now I'm trying to terminate my agreement. For all the inter-related documents, there are none that make any mention of what you have to do to terminate your agreement with these people. At least, I haven't found any yet.
Working theory of how such a clearly bad-faith practice might have been put in place at bn: Some young corporate ladder-climber, eager to impress the higher-ups may have thought, "what better way to get their attention than to turn a traditional cost-center into a revenue center." And so, a deceptive, bad-faith program for getting over on vendors is born. . . Just a theory.