Getting Books Taken Away From Publisher Unfairly

Question ID: 14431

Assalaamu alaikum Mufti

I have a business related question.

I have printed a recipe book with a printing agent, thus meaning that he does not directly print the books, but compiles the book in digital format and marks a commission on the factory’s printing price and he liaises with them.

The books unfortunately were delivered to me in a very poor condition and not in the same way designed as I had signed the proof copy.

I had printed 400 books, and the factory’s over-run on the books were 70. When they print, they give you the over-runs to make up for any damaged units. The spines of all the books had been so badly scratched to fold it over the pages that the spines were cracked open, 140 of the books I cannot sell in it’s condition and 30 books have to be completed discarded because there are pages missing and pages duplicated . The books are peeling and not printed or trimmed correctly.

The agent I had used had thus told me that this was “my lesson and learning curve” to do more research on the factory we use, BUT he had not taken me to the factory once nor had he allowed me to know which factory he was using. His family even made comments to me such as I must just take it as a loss and اللَّهُ’s will and move on. The books had amounted to R22 590 to print and I had taken a loan of this money from my husband, with the understanding that I am to return the money to him.

Now the factory is not willing to compensate me on the damaged books, and the agent is only willing to give me R4000 back which is not even enough to fix the damaged spines of the books.

Additional to that, before delivering the books to me, he had taken the 70 over-run books for himself saying that I only paid for the 400 units. And was going to sell and distribute it to his family members. He prints business cards, flyers etc. for other customers and does not keep their over-runs.

In the confusion with the factory, I had ended up with the 470 books. I had gotten an unexpected visit from him which he then took 20 books still in good condition from me, and then asked for a further 10 books from the damaged lot to distribute amongst his family.

Mufti, I am very angered by this. During the whole process I have never bad mouthed or blamed him. I have been calm and collected. But I am now getting upset. Is he allowed to take these books from me? Without my consent? Saying that the books belong to him?

I need to go to him with an answer tonight. Please advise.


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Asked on July 20, 2015 11:06 am
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Answered on July 24, 2015 1:54 pm