PARENTS have slammed promotions for “free” baby boxes which actually cost up to £20 to claim.
But it was only after they handed over personal data about themselves and their babies that they were told they would have to pay up to £20 to get a box.
Facebook ads for the “free” boxes, promoted by parenting website Your Baby Club, have been viewed more than 2million times.
But mums have been warning others that the boxes “aren’t really free” – and may not contain all the items advertised.
Parents only found out after they signed up to Your Baby Club that the Amazon deal requires a minimum spend of £20 on baby goods to receive the “free” box of MAM products, worth £16.99.
And families claiming the Lidl deal, run by The Baby Box Co, had to watch 25 minutes of educational videos and then pay postage of £19.95.
The ads and the Your Baby Club website failed to mention any of the extra costs until parents had handed over details like their email address, phone number and home address, as well as personal information about their baby including its gender and due date or date of birth.
They were also encouraged to agree to receive marketing messages from multiple baby product companies.
But mums have been warning others in Facebook comments that there was “a catch” with the Lidl deal.
Jennifer Williams-Royle posted: “Got one… Wasn’t exactly free.” And Sarah Dean Baker wrote: “It’s not free… bloody monkeys.”
Others criticised the ads for saying the Amazon box was free when it required a minimum spend.
Jade Cusack said: “It ain’t exactly free… Why spend £20 to get something that’s meant to be free?”
The Lidl deal, run by a separate company called The Baby Box Co, includes a sturdy box with mattress for babies to sleep in, as well as Lidl baby products.
In some areas they could be picked up from children’s centres but most parents have been asked to pay postage of £19.95.
Several mums complained the box they received only contained a pack of Lidl nappies, wipes and leaflets – despite the Facebook ads showing a box full of items including a teddy bear and toiletries.
Laura Gee commented online: “I have one of these boxes and they don’t come with half of what they show you on here.”
In the Amazon deal, parents can claim a box of MAM products worth £16.99, including a bottle, breast pads, a teething soother and a dummy.
But the free box is only available after they spend £20 at Amazon on baby products – not including food, formula milk, nappies or books.
After The Sun contacted FanFinders, which runs Your Baby Club, it sent an apology statement to parents admitting its ads had “missed important information”.
How to get the best deals on nappies
SAVVY parents can turn to price comparison websites to find the best deals
- Nappy comparison website Bumdeal.co.uk is a nifty website that allows parents to compare prices, depending on the brand and nappy size.
- You can also use grocery comparison website mySupermarket.com to see how much they cost at your chosen supermarket – and if you can save money by shopping elsewhere.
- It also allows you to view the historical price, so you’ll know whether their current price is more expensive than they are usually sold for and whether you’re getting a good deal.
- Buy in bulk when they are on offer to reduce your costs – but beware of buying too much in one size (especially newborn) as your baby may outgrow them sooner than you expect
Co-founder Alec Dobbie said: “We just wanted to hold our hands up and say sorry to all our members for any confusion caused – we are making sure all our posts are clearer in future, and we’ve already updated the sign-up pages on our site.”
The adverts were still claiming the boxes were “free” this week.
Lidl declined to comment but its partnership with The Baby Box Co ended in August, although Your Baby Club has continued to advertise the boxes as “Lidl” products since then.
It removed references to Lidl from the promotion on its website after being contacted by The Sun.
The Baby Box Co said it had repeatedly asked Your Baby Club to amend the adverts to warn parents in advance about the shipping costs.
Amazon, which displays the terms clearly on its own site, declined to comment.