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Borders Customers Warned on Bankruptcy ID Transfers

Posted October 5, 2011, 09:51 AM HST Updated October 5, 2011, 04:23 PM HST
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Borders Express at the Queen Kaahumanu Shopping Center in Kahului. Photo by Wendy Osher.

By Sonia Isotov

The Hawai’i State Office of Consumer Protection issued an advisory today urging customers of the now-defunct Borders booksellers to know their rights regarding the proposed transfer of their personal information to Barnes & Noble.

“It is important for Borders’ customers to be aware of an important and time-sensitive issue regarding the personal information they may have shared with the company,” said Bruce Kim, Executive Director of the State Office of Consumer Protection, in a written statement.

Borders Group Inc. filed for bankruptcy back in July, 2011 and the US Bankruptcy Court approved the sale of Borders’ customer information to Barnes & Noble Inc.

On October 1, Barnes & Noble sent an email to approximately 45 million Borders customers explaining what information is being transferred and how they can opt out if they wish to have their contact information and purchasing history deleted. In an effort to reach affected customers without email addresses, Barnes & Noble will publish notices on its website, the Borders’ website, and in a full-page advertisement in USA Today.

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Borders customers with email addresses who wish to opt out must notify Barnes & Noble by October 15. Customers without email access will have 30 days to contact Barnes & Noble through the website notices.

The customer information being transferred to Barnes & Noble includes:

    • Information customers shared with Borders’ website including their name, address, and email address.
    • Information collected from customers in the Borders Rewards loyalty program, including their names, addresses, email addresses and purchase history. This purchase history will not include the titles of video materials (i.e., DVDs or VHS tapes) purchased by the customers.
    • Email addresses from customers who wished to receive special offers from Borders.

Customer information NOT being transferred includes credit card and financial account information.

Once the customer’s information is transferred to Barnes & Noble, it will be protected under the Barnes & Noble privacy policy. Questions can be directed to privacy@barnesandnoble.com.

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