• Report: #723149
Complaint Review:


  • Submitted: Thu, April 28, 2011
  • Updated: Sat, February 25, 2012

  • Reported By: Stan Truskie — Coraopolis Pennsylvania United States of America
30 Amberwood Prkwy Ashland, Ohio United States of America

Bookmasters Overcharged, Poor Services, Unresponsive, Unfair, Unresponsive, Deceptive, Outrageous Pricing Ashland Ohio

*Author of original report: Continued Rip-off by Book Masters

*Author of original report: Continuing Rip-Off

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: BBB Rating

*Author of original report: Bookmaster's Shoddy and Expensive Services

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: BookMasters Response

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Below is an excerpt from a letter I sent to David Wurster, President of Bookmasters (BMI) mailed in mid-March, 2011 after I learned what BMI wanted to close my account, and I received no reply.

"Our publishing firm signed a contract with BMI/Atlas Books (BMI) to have them provide warehousing, fulfillment services, with industry book wholesalers and bookstores (customers) to facilitate the sale of my book on an exclusive basis worldwide.  The contract was signed on October 22, 2010 and our firm paid a $495.00 set up fee.
Additional Fees:  The fees we pay each month to BMI are extraordinary.  So far we have paid over $1500 to BMI and have receive ZERO in return.
Results:  As of February 23, 2011, after four months with BMI, the book was listed on just two sites, theirs (Atlas Books) and Amazon. Com.  The listing on Amazon.com was initiated by our firm prior to signing a contract with BMI, and we were forced to turn over fulfillment responsibilities to BMI after signing the contract.
 In early February, 2011 I began questioning the value of BMI being our distributor given the amount of money we were paying them.  For example, after four months, our book was not listed on Barnes and Nobel or on any other notable book selling websites.  It seemed the major concern of BMI was promoting and marketing its own site, Atlas Books, by promoting upgrade placement of our title (for additional money) on its own site.
Then we noticed in early February that Amazon was listing copies of our book as unavailable, and could only be purchased through second party sellers.  We queried BMI about this situation and received a very strange and convoluted explanation, so we contacted Amazon directly.  What we learned, to our amazement, was that as of February 24, 2011, our book was NOT available through BMIs book vendor account!

Our Actions:  After learning that our title was no longer available through BMIs account, we had to act immediately to protect our sales and restore our title back to Amazons listings.  We immediately notified BMI to terminate the contract so we could take over fulfillment services ourselves since they were not even providing books to the only notable book selling site (Amazon) our book was listed on.   When we contacted the Brenda Stewart, the representative in charge of our account, she emailed me and stated we would lose our $495.00 deposit fee because, according to the contract, our account was open for less than a year.  I reminded her that BMI had not fulfilled its contractual obligations to provide books to Amazon and was therefore in violation of the terms and conditions of the contract (We have proof)."
Now here is what BMI wrote March 11 about closing the account:

  • They are closing the account for Atlas Books, but the fullfilment account with BMI must remain open for 10 months, per our agreement (That makes no sense, plus BMI did not fullfill its agreement as described above.)

  •  In order to get my inventory back, I must send them $369.90 to have my books shipped back, and listen to this:  If payment is made by personal/business check, they must receive $384.90 to cover extra processing time. (Can you believe this?  Talk about a ripoff company!)

  • They will continue to bill me for $40.00 per month for ten months.  (That is $400 for doing nothing! They have closed our online account.)

Be aware before you sign any agreement wih this company!  I have recieved 0 dollars from sales revenue since I signed with this company in October 2010. They will bill you monthly in six different categories and you will get monthly bills that are difficult to understand.  For example, I received a bill Mar 31, 2011 for $148.50 with no detail. Also, I have asked the account representative what we have paid BMI to date and I have received no detail account of what I paid them.  Since BMI has failed to fulfill its part of the agreement, I have requested the folllowing in the letter to BMI's President: 

"Due to the shoddy and inadequate servicing of our account, including the inability to fulfill Amazon orders (see enclosed documents), and fulfillment services according to our contract with your firm, we demand the following:
1.       Return of our $495.00 deposit.
2.       Immediate cessation of our agreement due to your breach of contract.
3.       Immediate return of our remaining inventory, at your companys expense
4.       Cessation of your minimum invoicing charge of $40, 00 monthly for ten months, since you have breached the contract agreement.
5.       Elimination of $384.90 to cover extra processing time since we are terminating our contract due to your breach of contract.
6.       Return of revenue you have received based on the sales of our title.
Needless to say, we have made a grievous mistake in contracting the service or your firm believing you  would provide the services you promised in you agreement with our firm to provide services you did not deliver. "    

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/28/2011 10:32 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/bookmasters/ashland-ohio-44805/bookmasters-overcharged-poor-services-unresponsive-unfair-unresponsive-deceptive-ou-723149. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Continued Rip-off by Book Masters

AUTHOR: Stan Truskie - (United States of America)

I cancelled my contract with Book Masters/Atlas Books because they failed to live up to their end of the contract in supplying books to sellers such as Amazon.com with my books (I have proof in writing and supplied it to the president).  I did this in writing on March 11, 2011 and Book Master's continued to bill me for another 10 months even though they were not warehousing any more of my books or selling them.  I had to pay a certified check to Book Masters for $384.90 to get my books returned in March 2011.

Since contracting with them in October, 2010, I have paid them over $2500.00.  In addition, they have sold books and have kept the revenue.  They sent me a check for $100.36....and I have no idea why.  I have continued to request a full and accurate accounting of revenue/expenses regarding my account and they have refused to provide it. 

So in essence, Book Masters/Atlas Books has done the following:

  1. They failed to perform according to the signed contract. 

  2. They continued to bill me for 10 months after I closed my account due to lack of performance.

  3. They made me pay 384.90 to have my books returned

  4. Thy have kept all revenues for book sales.

  5. They continue to send me monthly bills for providing no services.

  6. They believe a contract is a one sided affair - we fail, you pay, no matter what.

  7. They have repeatedly failed to provide a full and accurate accounting of my account even after several requests.

  8. They have ripped me off for over $2500, and I have no recourse but to sue them.

If you are thinking about doing business with this company, I would think twice if I were you. I have tried to contact former representatives, but they are no longer there...what does that tell you?

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#2 Author of original report

Continuing Rip-Off

AUTHOR: Stan Truskie - (United States of America)

Well, it is early September, 2011..almost a year my firm signed a  contract with Bookmasters...what a huge mistake!  We finally had to pay close to $400 to get our inventory back, and after close to a year, we have spent about $2000 to have our book marketed, warehoused, distributed, etc.  And what do we have to show for all this?  No revenue..that is right...not one cent. We have no idea of the costs, revenues, returns, books sold, etc.  It is a big mystery.  If you read this and sign a contract for their services, you have no one to blame but yourself.  
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#3 REBUTTAL Owner of company

BBB Rating

AUTHOR: Matt Wurster - (United States of America)

I encourage everybody to check the Better Business Bureau site, as Mr. Truskie suggests.  You will see that Bookmasters currently has an A+ rating.  As a company we try to clearly outline services and expectations within our agreement, which is why I refer back to this document.  I encourage all who are researching my company to do their homework in this regard and contact us directly if you have any questions.  Thank you.

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#4 Author of original report

Bookmaster's Shoddy and Expensive Services

AUTHOR: Stan Truskie - (United States of America)

The comments of Mr Wurster confirms my point that Bookmasters (BMI) is unresponsive, overpriced, and ineffective.  They  are more concerned about profits than serving customers, according to Mr. Wurster's own words.  And, Mr. Wurster presents false and misileading facts.  Barnes & Nobel NEVER listed my second edition book, nor did any of the book sites he mentions.  These sites have been displaying my first edition book (2002) which is now out of print.  Mr. Wurster evades the fact that we HAD to finally close the account after we discovered that Amazon.com was not making my second edition book available because BMI did not list it on their account, and we have proof of this from Amazon.  Mr. Wurster keeps mentioning the contract we signed, and we did.  But we thought we were signing with a reputable, competent, and reliable company.  They are still holding my books and demanding $400 for the next 10 months;  $369.90 or $384.90, depending upon the way we pay them, and this is in addition to the $495.00 we paid them up front, in additon to montly bills averaging $150-$170 per month. AND bear in mind, we have NOT received one dollar from book revenue.  Now, if I would have read a report like this and checked out BMI with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), I guarantee we would not be in the mess we are with BMI today.....YOU BE THE JUDGE!
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#5 REBUTTAL Owner of company

BookMasters Response

AUTHOR: Matt Wurster - (United States of America)

I have read the complaint issued by our customer and believe I can provide a clear and concise summary of why the customer is dissatisfied.

Although Mr. Truskie feels that the fees associated with our services are high, all fees and commissions were detailed in the agreement that he signed with us.  I suggest that Mr. Truskie take some time to review the agreement that he signed and compare it with his billing and I believe he will find consistency between the two.

Through his listing with our trade distribution program, we were able to successfully secure listings with all major book retailers (i.e. Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Books-A-Million, etc.).  I have researched and confirmed that his book was available throughout the trade.

The main issue that Mr. Truskie raises is whether or not we were shipping books to these outlets.  We shipped books to Amazon, Ingram, and Barnes & Noble in December, January, February, and March.  The unfortunate reality is that the sales of his book are not enough to cover the costs involved in the distribution.  Since November, the demand for his product has been roughly 50 copies.  This low demand is not enough to sustain any level of profitability.

The $495 that Mr. Truskie refers to is an account setup fee, not a deposit.  This fee covers the design of his webpage within www.AtlasBooks.com and the dissemination of his title information to the book trade.  Both of these items were executed successfully, which is why we cannot refund this amount.

The final issue is the required Termination Period.  The 10-month closing period is required by the major booksellers.  This is a period that they require to return any unsold product.  Throughout this period, BookMasters must maintain the accounting, accept and account for any returns, and report all accounting to the publisher.  As with the fees discussed, the Termination Period is clearly outlined on the agreement signed by Mr. Truskie (a copy of which can be provided if necessary).

Thank you for your time.
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