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It seemed like a cheap book deal – but it was a club costing £15 a month

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I recently bought a book from the website buuks.co.uk. It was a cookbook advertised at the attractive price of £12.63 (including free delivery), making it a few pounds cheaper than the closest competitor.

I completed my transaction but had a funny feeling something wasn’t right, so I searched a review site and found out it relies on membership.

I went back to the product page and saw that, indeed, £12.63 was a “member’s price”. In a small pop-up box (which doesn’t appear on a mobile device) it states that these are for “members only” and that you will automatically be subscribed as a member at £15 a month.

What should I do now? I have the book, which I want to return and I want to stop the membership before it starts.
AW,
by email

Buuks.co.uk, based in Denmark, is not going to last very long if 95% of its customers keep reporting a “bad” experience as they currently do on Trustpilot.

While the £15-a-month membership fee is made very clear to computer users, it is not obvious if you are on a mobile phone.

The website’s small print says users who send the book back within 14 days of the purchase will not incur the membership fee.

I asked Buuks why so many of its customers reported feeling unhappy. Its chief executive, Rasmus Andersen, says the “vast majority” of members are very satisfied and save money. But he says the firm only recently launched in the UK and is “in the midst of improving and updating information to customers as we believe we can make it even clearer that we are a subscription-based service”.

He adds: “Having dispatched the number of packages we have within the first two months on the market it is unfortunately unlikely not to receive some form of adverse response on Trustpilot.”

He apologises, adding: “Our customer service team replied to the member after three days which is a little slower than our target. We strive to reply no later than 24 hours after receiving an inquiry but due to a very busy startup period we are slightly behind on our target; however, we are working diligently to speed up.”

We welcome letters but cannot answer individually. Email us at consumer.champions@theguardian.com or write to Consumer Champions, Money, the Guardian, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Please include a daytime phone number. Submission and publication of all letters is subject to our terms and conditions


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