Bad news/good news

After two months of being dicked about by Lulu, I’ve been given my money back. Which in someways is good news because it means that I haven’t been ripped off, but quite bad in the fact that I am now left without a publisher.

And it has been such a palaver trying to get this sorted out, as I’d written about in my last post. In the end I posted this on Lulu’s user forum;

“In a nut shell, you’ve totally failed me. On the 1st on May I purchased a “Lulu Primer Publishing Pack” from yourselves. On the 21st of May I wrote to you expressing how truly unhappy I was with the service I had received so far, and that I was considering asking for a refund. On the 27th of May you got back to me explaining that it’s company not to give the refunds, but you were sorry that I was dissatisfied. I was told to submit a new photo for the front cover (something I had offered to do on the 12th of May), and submit the alterations form. On the 30th of May, with as I saw it no choice, I submitted the new photo and alterations form and sent you an e-mail telling you that I’d uploaded them both. On the 5th of June you wrote to me telling me that my ticket number was no longer; LTK152020755567X, and had been replaced with a Case number; 169094, and a Reference id; ref:00D56zQ6.50056bK4t:ref. On the 9th of June I wrote to you, using ref:00D56zQ6.50056bK4t:ref as the subject line for the e-mail as instructed, stating how unhappy I was that you hadn’t been in touch with me about the book I am trying to publish and that I wanted a refund. Later that day I received an automatically generated response saying that “following this email address is no longer responded to by Lulu Support. In an effort to serve you better, Lulu Customer Support has implemented a new support system. If you have an existing issue, then we have sent you an email with your new Reference ID. We will continue to address all of your preexisting support issues, and you do not need to take any further action, but if you have new information to add to your ticket please respond to this email instead of replying to your previous ticket. .” Respond to this e-mail that came from the address do_not_reply@lulu.com. On the 14th of June I filled in a form on your website for e-mail support, and pasted the e-mail that I’d sent to you on the 9th into the ‘Describe the problem’ box. Later that day I recieved an automatically generated response saying that my case number for this issue is 00264062, and that someone would get back to me in 1 to 2 business days. On the 19th of June I complained via e-mail support, and once again I received an automated response which gave me yet another case number; 00267218. It is now the 2nd of July, two months since I purchased the Primer Pack, well over one month since I first complained, and I still haven’t heard anything back. I am so angry at your complete lack of response, and sense of urgency. It is totally and utterly appalling. The fact that I wrote a letter of complaint and yet it took you 6 day’s to respond show’s a complete lack of respect on your part towards me, not to mention how dismissive that response was. It is really unforgivable. And then, feeling that I have no choice I’ve complied with your request to forward you a new photo and amendments form, apart from an automatically produced confirmation e-mail I am yet to hear anything back. The way I’ve been treated is truly despicable. I am left feeling that you have my money, you’re not going to give it back, and that you really don’t care about me or the poor service you’ve given me. I do not want a reply written by someone who doesn’t know when it’s appropriate to use exclamation marks. I do not care that it is not your policy to give refunds. I want my money back”

Hours after this went up, I received an e-mail saying that I’ve been given a full refund.

But, as I said, this leaves me with a small problem. In fact, it leaves me back where I started. So, does anyone have any ideas or suggestions as to how I can get my book on the market…?

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3 responses to “Bad news/good news

  1. Thanks for letting us know your story. Now I’m tempted to request a refund. I’ve purchased a publishing pack well over a month ago. Despite my queries and complaints in emails, forums and the lulu blog, I haven’t received one single human response as of now. However, I don’t know if my request for money back will also be ignored in the same way.

    Regarding other self-publishers, you should have a number of choices if you are in the US or UK. I’ve heard that Dog Ear, Infinity, Aventine, Bookpros, Booklockers are all very good. I have personally experienced with Dog Ear (though it was only a small email enquiry without really using their service), and they replied almost on the same day. A few days later they even sent me another email to make sure my concern had been addressed. Unfortunate for me, I’m in neither US nor UK.

    With the total absence of customer service, I’m afraid it is now a publisher “to be avoided”.

  2. Hi KarenTribes:
    I total understand your disappointment and glad to hear you were refunded the money issued to Lulu. However, it’s really difficult for me to expect a reference from another Publisher from Lulu now that you’ve complained. Aware that there’s a buyer beware promise once your money is refunded it’s necessary to move on. Publishing through the Lulu was prompted by the many difficulties there are in the wide world of publishing outside of self-publishing markets. In the perfect world all authors (or creators as Lulu says) would like to send out work to one company with no problems and have whatever our heart contents. But in the real world there’s lots of problems we try to avoid. Looking for a quality publisher is how I found Lulu. If I found one better–I wouldn’t complain–I’d just MOVE ON.

  3. Pingback: coming down « A novel update

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