I found your piece on Pete Baumann to be interesting, since I am one of the aforementioned people who sent him money, yet my experience in receiving a product, much less a refund, are wildly at odds with Pete’s description of his business practices.
I’m – well, I’m somebody whose word should be taken fairly seriously. Can’t and won’t say who I am, but maybe you can tell your readers that I’m a good source. Anyway, I had been watching the whole Rune Conquest fiasco since 1999, even before it was reported on Lum’s. Enjoyed it a great deal, and never expected there was actually a game there. However, I did believe there were t-shirts. Really. Using my amazing (and apparently broken) powers of intuition, I intuited that Pete was jus a mistaken fool who had no clue about making a game, but that, by God, he had t-shirts. After all, how hard could it be to make a t-shirt? And if you were a crook, why would you choose, of all means by which you could live your life of crime, a t-shirt scam? This would be like a professional shoplifter making his living off Bazooka bubble gum.
So, like I said, I thought Pete had t-shirts. I wrote to Pete and asked him that very question. Really. ‘Do you have t-shirts?’, I asked. Pete replied with much extraneous detail that I distilled down to ‘Yes.’ So I sent the man some money.
I realize that some of you will consider this extreme foolishness, but you have to understand – I was paying not only for the t-shirt, but for the entertainment value of saying, ‘Hey man, I just ordered a RUNE CONQUEST t-shirt, yuk yuk!’
So after a bit, I received confirmation that my payment had been received, and I thought all was well with the world. I waited eagerly. Then, I waited impatiently. Then, I waited annoyedly. Er, in an annoyed-fashion. You know. Then I was waiting frustratedly, and finally, I was quite pissed off. Over a month had gone by, and no shirt. ‘Where, oh where is my shirt?’ asked my plaintive e-mail. Pete answered promptly with some extraneous information, which I distilled down to ‘It will come soon.’
So, I waited. And waited. And waited. No shirt. I wrote to Pete. No reply. Tried again. No reply. Tried from an alternate e-mail address. No reply. I figured he had died or something, that maybe his son had picked up a golf club and yelled, ‘I HATE YOU DAD!!!1!’ and then beat him to death with it. Or maybe the arch-villain CHRIS ANDERSON had put Semtex in the next-generation model cell phone Pete was busy inventing, and blown his head off. I dunno. Anyway, it’s been months. I have no t-shirt, and don’t expect one will ever arrive. But it was worth ten times the money to tell my tale of woe on Lum’s.
Well there you have it. It should be stated that the person in question got his money back. Not because Petey did the right thing and refunded it. But because the person in question has a good credit card company.