Last week iBookBinding was reached by Haein Song, a bookbinder from London, UK. She had a poor experience dealing with Omnia Libris — a carpentry service from Athens, Greece, that offers different bookbinding equipment.
You can find Haein’s account of what has happened below.
Dear Bookbinders and lovely people in the community,
My name is Haein Song and I’m a bookbinder working in the UK and a licentiate of Designer Bookbinders, a UK based society devoted to the craft of fine bookbinding.
I’m sorry to share my unfortunate experience with a company called Omnia Libris in Athens, Greece. They are a manufacturer of wooden handmade Bookbinding & Conservation Equipment.
I wanted to buy an amazing looking press called 7 in 1 bookbinding press made by Alexandros Fragkioudakis at Omnia Libris. In August 2015, after about 14 email communications he sent me an invoice and I transferred 2340 euros, which was quite a large sum for me. Few days after the bank transfer I was informed that Omnia Libris’s company email was hacked and Alexandros did not receive money. Subsequently he has changed his company’s email address and initially we have communicated. However he stopped replying to my emails and letters when I was asking for police / Interpol reference number and further updates on the case. The last email from him was in September 2015.
Things like that can happen to individuals and companies. I understand that. But how to react to unfortunate events is important. As a customer I have communicated and paid the money to the invoice given by the company but the company didn’t deliver the goods nor refunded money. I believe that it is that company’s responsibility but Omnia Libris / Alexandros Fragkioudakis decide to ignore. Furthermore he sent a very unreasonable letter via his solicitor saying I was threatening and harassing him so he would file a claim against me. Even after that I have made my best attempts to communicate in amicable terms to which I have again heard nothing back. He is on Facebook and I know that he has read my messages but completely ignoring it as I’m just an individual bookbinder far away from Greece.
I’ve pursued European small claims and last month the court has ordered Omnia Libris to pay me the sum. But he still is ignoring the letters, emails and messages, even the court order.
I do not want this to happen to anyone else and as I noticed that reasonable amount of people were interested in this press and company, I thought I need to share this with wider bookbinding world.
Thanks for reading a long story.
With best wishes,
It was always a pleasure and inspiration to follow Omnia Libris Facebook account. That makes it even sadder to post a customer experience like that from Haein.
iBookBinding has tried to reach Omnia Libris to get a comment, however, to no result. It is important for us to give both sides of a conflict a say. There is a statement from Omnia Libris at their Facebook account:
There is also a discussion at Haein’s Facebook account. It appears that she was not the only one to become a victim. Richard Norman also has had the same experience with Omnia Libris. However, he was able to make his bank to refund the money.
At some point Omnia Libris joins the conversation and claims they were advised by Interpol not to interact with Haein, because of the continuing investigation into what they claim is a fraud against them. However, replying only to other people, not Haein.
Bookbinding community is a small one and this story is also an example of an evident lack of communication and wealth of miscommunication. I don’t see why that situation couldn’t have been turned into a nice PR opportunity for Omnia Libris. But it obviously hasn’t.
iBookBinding will post updates in case of progression of events.
Updated 01.12.2016: Reply from Omnia Libris to iBookBinding
iBookBinding has copies of the court documents provided by Haein Song. Both the initial claim and the ruling of the court for the defendant (Omnia Libris) to pay the claimant (Haein Song).