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31,460 Views 31 Replies Last post: Oct 11, 2010 1:59 PM by TMoore10 RSS
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Level 2 178 posts since
Jun 16, 2009
Currently Being Moderated

Aug 7, 2009 1:24 PM

Fraud at Lulu.com

Lulu.com sent me an email offering 20% savings for publishing a hard cover book during the month of Aug. I had one that I was working on through them and tried to restart the process to collect on the savings. What I found was that the origianal cost of the book was increased, so that after the savings were applied it was "reduced" to the original price. I want everyone to know what they are doing. If I hadnt had a book nearly ready for them, I wouldnt have noticed their unethical actions. I questioned this in their forums. There response was to revoke my forum privilages. You should all be aware that Lulu is running a scam! Do not fall for it! I must now find someplace to produce the hardcover version of my book (Createspace carries the paperback). If anyone knows of another site similar to createspace and lulu that offers hard back publication please let me know. I still have the option of using Lulu, just without the use of their forums. I refuse to do business with such an unethical company!!! My hopes for a hardback do not outway my principles. I am making this post because I know that alot of people use both sites. I have had no complaints about createspace. they handle every question proffessionally and almost always rapidly.

Level 1 108 posts since
Jul 7, 2009
Currently Being Moderated
1. Aug 7, 2009 1:35 PM in response to: steale
Re: Fraud at Lulu.com

Ah, the old "bait & switch." I once worked for a furniture store (a chain store up in Michigan). They would advertise hot & heavy for a big "sale" for such & such dates. The night before all of the sales staff had to go around switching the price tags around. The prices weren't actually changed at all. What was done is this: There were always two price tags on furniture items. They were in little, clear plastic tag holders attached to the item. The one in the front listed our "sale" price. The one hidden behind it listed the "suggested retail" price. When you were trying to sell the item on any regular day you'd show the customer how much they'd have to pay elsewhere (SRP) & compare to OUR everyday price. When they had a big, advertised sale going on the SRP would be in front of the other tag & the "discounted" price would be our everyday price. Technically, the prices weren't changing at all, just the "perceived" price. - This always seemed highly unethical to me. Heck - it was outright "dishonest" in my book. Thankfully, I didn't work there long.

 

There was a recent post about another online company that does hardbacks with pricing equal to or less than Lulu. Browse the forums here & you'll probably find it pretty quickly. Sorry, I can't remember the name of the site.

Level 4 1,394 posts since
Feb 25, 2009
Currently Being Moderated
3. Aug 7, 2009 2:23 PM in response to: steale
Re: Fraud at Lulu.com

The price reduction on hardcovers works fine unless you are planning on having an ISBN and distro through Lulu then the book isn't eligible. True, the message doesn't say that but then there are several hidden loopholes in Lulu's distro plans that turn up after the ISBN is purchased or something like that.

 

Those messages were sent in bulk since it's all done by computer. The computer, on the other hand, doesn't know or can't know which projects may or may not have or will have an ISBN or are marked for retail sale so it sends it to all. This has been covered and explained by one of Lulu's staff that if a user with a hardcover and is planning on having an ISBN then the price reduction won't work due to the retail things involved. It's hardly a scam. It is just another slight problem of miscommunication or not explaining things in detail beforehand. Several users have without an ISBN or who don't have the book checked off for retail sale have used the offer with no problem. It's also the reason several people don't use ISBNs on Lulu hardcovers because after the retail markup is included the price is too high.

Level 3 660 posts since
Jul 14, 2008
Currently Being Moderated
5. Aug 7, 2009 6:33 PM in response to: steale
Re: Fraud at Lulu.com

steale

 

steale wrote:

 

I am not here to bash Lulu, although calling them maggots may have been just a bit excessive. I just wanted to let people know what had happed. If I can get Lulu to remove the ban and answer my questions, I may still publish through them myself.

 

Calling them maggots "may" have been excessive? Although I did not see any post where such terms were used (if it had been during the night my time, it would have deleted before I saw it), such a post would have been a breach of Lulu's terms of service as being abusive. Frankly, if I had seen a post where you'd called Lulu maggots, I would have reported it as abusive as there is no need for that sort of thing.

 

 

Well, therein lies your answer as to why you would have had your Forum posting privileges revoked.  Lulu has absolutely no problem about its creators asking questions in the forums (and nor does CreateSpace from what I can tell) but disrespect or abuse is not tolerated, by Lulu or by other customers.  I have seen others have their Forum posting privileges revoked for being abusive to other creators.

 

The offer actually said UP TO 23% off (which means you don't necessarily get 23% off in all circumstances) and they should have been made more clear that it would not apply in some circumstances.  But these things happen.

 

Now that being said, if you have further questions and you can't post in the Forums or you can't get answers through the Support system, you can contact me through the PM system (either here or at Lulu) and I will try to help you find the answers.  Although I'm a customer like you, I've been around long enough to know where to find the answers or find the help when I can't find the answers.

 

Belinda

Level 5 13,208 posts since
May 4, 2008
Currently Being Moderated
6. Aug 7, 2009 9:54 PM in response to: steale
Re: Fraud at Lulu.com

The other POD service mentioned in this forum that offers hardbacks is called Unibook.com

Level 0 20 posts since
Nov 13, 2008
Currently Being Moderated
7. Aug 8, 2009 5:12 AM in response to: steale
Re: Fraud at Lulu.com

First of all, a friendly word of advice: No matter how angry you are, NEVER throw around the word "fraud" unless you have actual court-ready proof that they have committed legal fraud in some way. This post of yours actually grants Lulu the right to sue you for libel, or even sue CreateSpace for hosting libelous material. Words like "fraud", "scam" and the like should be used carefully.

 

Second, the whole thing about you getting removed from their forums sounds rather odd. I am a bit of a veteran with Lulu, and I have NOT been playing nice; I have critiqued and bugged them and pointed out flaws in their systems for about 5 years now. They didn't shut me down. In fact, they invited me and a couple of similar pains to their HQ in North Carolina to thrash their system so they could improve it. My guess(!) is you have been using inappropriate language, including words like "fraud" and "scam" in their forums. That will get you shut down anywhere that is moderated.

 

I am a Lulu powerposter. If you give me your forum details, I'll see if I can get your privileges reinstated. Just don't start screaming about legally defined accusations before you have a lawyer present. Call it "dubious behavior" or, as I have learned (and use at CS, too), "horrible flaws in your system". Few honest businesses (and Lulu is honest, take it from someone who has seen true dishonesty) will throw you out for your opinions. But everybody will throw you out for foul language and libel.

Level 0 20 posts since
Nov 13, 2008
Currently Being Moderated
9. Aug 12, 2009 11:28 PM in response to: steale
Re: Fraud at Lulu.com

Without the "?", you are actually accusing them of fraud. It might not be your intention now, but it's the result. And your talk of "exposing" them and how "unethical" they are makes it no better. Sadly, CreateSpace has no edit function (oddly!), so things written in the heat of anger cannot be made proper later. I know enough about Lulu that I seriously doubt they will take offense, but had you written this way about others, they might. Just think you should know.

 

Good luck with the professional route, I suggest PMing Nick Popio on their boards!

Level 1 130 posts since
Jul 6, 2007
Currently Being Moderated
10. Aug 13, 2009 1:17 AM in response to: steale
Re: Fraud at Lulu.com

I was banned (well, suspended for one week) as well. They do that very fast if you post a series of posts that they do not like.

Well I have done that....I will not post after the week is up, as lulu's value is diminishing to me by the days.....

Level 0 3 posts since
Aug 12, 2009
Currently Being Moderated
11. Aug 13, 2009 11:55 PM in response to: steale
Re: Fraud at Lulu.com

Yes, they do that, they did that to my book, you should just be aware of the number in the quantity section in your cart, they only do that to "show you your savings," you can always reduce the quantity ofcourse, its optional, they're just trying to promote themselves.

Level 0 1 posts since
Nov 3, 2009
Currently Being Moderated
12. Dec 26, 2009 5:08 AM in response to: steale
Re: Fraud at Lulu.com

You are talking abou lulu.com what about createspace?

You are all criminals.

Level 3 724 posts since
Jan 30, 2009
Currently Being Moderated
13. Dec 26, 2009 10:39 AM in response to: steale
Re: Fraud at Lulu.com

Lulu is a joke.

 

Michael Marcus exposes their policies in a number of posts on his excellent blog, BookMaking.

 

It might be unethical, but Lulu does things that any number of vanity publishers does each and every day-- and worse!

 

It's BUYER BEWARE in this business.

 

Knowing what I know now, I would never self-publish with any company except CreateSpace or LightningSource.

 

Oh, and I agree with Ages-- never, ever throw words around like "fraud" unless you have the money to go to court. Some vanity publishers regularly sue their own authors to get them to shut up about bad practices (Publish America is one of the worst). Report the company to the BBB if you must. But be careful what you say unless you have the money or expertise to go to court.

 

Christy Pinheiro

The Publishing Maven

Step By Step Self-Publishing

Level 2 252 posts since
Nov 28, 2008
Currently Being Moderated
14. Dec 26, 2009 4:42 PM in response to: Tax_Writer
Re: Fraud at Lulu.com

Hi, Christy! Thanks for sharing Michael Marcus's BookMaking blog.  He had a great dissection of a press release among other interesting posts.

 

Cheers,

  Regina

  http://www.reginapacelli.com

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