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Old 03-12-2003, 10:45 PM   #1
Threshold
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I was recently updating our mud entry at The Mud Connector and suddenly a banner ad for Mud Companion appeared.

I found this odd considering the enormous controversy I have read about here regarding the fraudulent behavior of that "endeavor."

I clicked over to their web site and I noticed that you could still order subscriptions. I found this highly sleazy since they know darn well that they are over 7 months "late" *cough* sending the 4th issue and apparently have no intention of doing so. It seems clear they are instead just keeping whatever money they earned, and probably keeping any money that comes in from subsequent orders. At least that is the appearance at this point.

How does a "magazine" that has defrauded its customers continue paying for advertising and continue to accept subscriptions and orders?

It is bad enough that they have cheated all the people who subscribed, but to keep accepting orders and keep advertising seems to cross over into the absurd.
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Old 03-13-2003, 03:01 AM   #2
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I wanted to clarify something here. I am definitely not criticising TMC for accepting advertising. It is neither TMC's job nor responsibility to get involved in that situation.

I was just SHOCKED to see that the Mud Companion was still advertising and still accepting orders when they have run off with so many innocent people's money already.
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Old 03-13-2003, 04:30 AM   #3
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They should take a lessons from Enron and do some "creative accounting"
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Old 03-13-2003, 01:26 PM   #4
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Isn't that the sort of thing people sue for? Companies who refuse to honor their contracts for things and are found later to be spending money they shouldn't have? Buying a current banner ad when you can't even see fit to send out the 4th issue which is rapidly approaching a YEAR late is just sick.
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Old 03-13-2003, 02:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Threshold @ Mar. 13 2003,02:01)
I was just SHOCKED to see that the Mud Companion was still advertising and still accepting orders when they have run off with so many innocent people's money already.
At this point, the bottom-line to them is that they just don't care. Honestly, they don't care enough to follow through with their product, they don't care enough to keep people informed as to the status (even if there isn't any new info), and they don't even care enough to lie in an attempt to not appear so obvious... I am not shocked that they also don't care enough to stop selling this product or stop advertising it.

I don't know the legalities involved, but I would be really interested in hearing what our resident legal buffs think.

--Validus
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Old 03-13-2003, 08:00 PM   #6
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And most likely the banner ad is a previous arrangement, like a six-month or yearlong contract with TMC for advertisement space.
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Old 03-13-2003, 10:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Validus @ Mar. 13 2003,13:12)
1-->
Quote:
Originally Posted by (Threshold @ Mar. 13 2003,02[img
http://www.topmudsites.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img]1)]I was just SHOCKED to see that the Mud Companion was still advertising and still accepting orders when they have run off with so many innocent people's money already.
At this point, the bottom-line to them is that they just don't care.  Honestly, they don't care enough to follow through with their product, they don't care enough to keep people informed as to the status (even if there isn't any new info), and they don't even care enough to lie in an attempt to not appear so obvious...  I am not shocked that they also don't care enough to stop selling this product or stop advertising it.

I don't know the legalities involved, but I would be really interested in hearing what our resident legal buffs think.

--Validus
The way to strike back at these people is to inform Paypal, or whatever method they used for collecting your money, that you never received what you paid for. Enough complaints like that and Paypal will remove their ability to accept any more money.

There's no point in suing. The amounts are too low, and not enough people were defrauded to make it worth a class action suit.

--matt
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Old 03-13-2003, 10:36 PM   #8
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0-->
Quote:
Originally Posted by (Eternal @ Mar. 13 2003,19[img
http://www.topmudsites.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img]0)]And most likely the banner ad is a previous arrangement, like a six-month or yearlong contract with TMC for advertisement space.
While you might be correct about the terms of their ad banner, that doesn't change the fact that an ETHICAL business would ask that their ad be taken down since they are unable (or unwilling) to deliver the product.

Further, they could very easily turn off the page that accepts money for subscriptions. They know they have no intention of sending out issues, so why allow advertising to continue and why allow people to flush their money down the toilet?

I agree with Logos here. People who purchased a subscription need to report them to Paypal, among other things.

Legally, the only option here is a class action law suit. I imagine the total # of subscriptions is so small that even the combined monetary damages would not be worth it.

Other than that, the only thing people can do is make sure their name is mud ( ;p )in the mudding community so they can never be involved in any project that would affect or touch the mudding community again.
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Old 03-14-2003, 06:47 AM   #9
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If they failed to deliver the product it would be a simple breach of contract action. As mentioned before, a lawsuit wouldn't be worth the money. However, if you can demonstrate that they are taking money without any intention of delivering the product you can allege fraud.
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Old 03-14-2003, 02:48 PM   #10
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and to think that i almost subscribed to this piece of trash!



shudder
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Old 03-14-2003, 09:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Ike @ Mar. 14 2003,13:48)
and to think that i almost subscribed to this piece of trash!



shudder
That is why I went ahead and started a thread with this information.

It appears they are TRYING to get people's money when they know they have no intention of sending out any issues.

We need to keep awarness of this up so people don't get swindled.
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Old 03-14-2003, 10:08 PM   #12
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Just thought you all would like to know, I've gone ahead and filed a buyer's complaint as per Paypal's proceedure. They didn't ask for much other than the transaction ID# for the sale itself, which you can find easily enough. However, after having reached the end of the process, this is what I got:

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Thank you for filing a buyer complaint.

The payment referenced in your complaint is older than 30 days. As stated in our Buyer Protection Policy, we can only investigate complaints filed within 30 days of the payment date. However, your complaint has been noted in the record of the PayPal member whom you reported.

We encourage you to continue to work directly with your seller, as we have found that many misunderstandings reach amicable solutions through communication. If this transaction occurred on an auction site, you may want to contact that auction site and see if they provide insurance coverage.
So it would seem to me that it isn't going to do anyone any good to file these complaints. Paypal won't even bother to investigate them. Don't let this stop you though, as Threshold stated, the more complaints they get, the more likely it is they'll at least have their account suspended or revoked and then at least nobody else gets burned.
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Old 03-15-2003, 01:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Ike @ Mar. 14 2003,10:48)
and to think that i almost subscribed to this piece of trash!

shudder
In defence of the first three issues, they weren't trash. The magazine itself wasn't bad. However, their inability to offer up a reasonable recent explanation and the fact they're ignoring e-mails and still advertising is deplorable.

In case anyone thinks I'm sticking up for them, I'm not. I'm also missing a 4th issue, and iI'm not happy with the fact they're unwilling to even post a note on their website saying it's not coming out. I'm ****ed off I've been lied to. But the only three issues that went out were good.
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Old 03-15-2003, 03:22 AM   #14
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-finds it vaguely amusing that Threshold, someone who is in questionable standing in relation to the LPMUD license, is commenting on The Mud companion in this fashion-

-D, the one who goes into lurk mode yet again
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Old 03-15-2003, 07:25 PM   #15
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Dulan, you are a clueless as you are jealous of my success. Produce something of value before you sling baseless, libelous, accusations.

PayPal: Hopefully if they get enough complaints at least they will shut off the ability to accept more payments.

If the people who make the Mud Companion had been honest and said "we aren't making enough money to financially support the continued existence of the magazine", I bet most people wouldn't be angry at all.

What seems to make people furious is the lack of explanation, lack of honesty, and for a few months, denials that they even did anything wrong.
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Old 03-18-2003, 10:19 AM   #16
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Lol, Dulan? Produce something of value?
Surely you ask too much of the Mudding Gods

Either way I find this whole situation rather irritating, though honestly I can't say I'm surprised. Half expected it to go belly up before I got issue 3
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