Andy Latto
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I pre-ordered "Oh My God! There's An Axe In My Head." The Game of International Diplomacy" in April of 2009, almost a year ago.
Bucephalus Games.

They charged me $50, plus $6 for shipping.

I got tired of the constant postponment of the ship date, and their unwillingness to keep their customers informed about it, so I canceled my order.

They promptly sent me a check for $45.

I pointed out the discrepancy on December 12, and got a reply on December 14 saying "I apologize for this, and have shipped out the additional check today."

No check has arrived.

I sent them a reminder email a week ago, and they haven't replied to it.

At this point, I'm not sure I care whether they are dishonest or incompetent. Though if they were just incompetent, I would have expected them to forget about shipping, and refund the full game cost of $50.

But regardless of the reason, it is clear that sending money to Bucephalus games is a mistake; they don't send you a game, or a refund, or an explanation of why they aren't sending either.

If they were a one-man operation with a day job that just didn't have time to deal with their side business for a while, that's one thing. But if they have the resources to be publishing a dozen games, and have a large booth at Gencon, and many people staffing the booth, they should be able to manage sending out a refund check.

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Chris Geggus
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Brentwood,
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Re: Bucephalus Games: dishonest, or merely completely incompetent?
Jeez - the Dollar has really gone down in value!

I blame Obama.
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Andy Latto
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Re: Bucephalus Games: dishonest, or merely completely incompetent?
I find your post baffling. Could you try saying whatever it is you're trying to say directly, without the use of sarcasm? I am completely unable to figure out your point.
 
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Andy Latto
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Re: Bucephalus Games: dishonest, or merely completely incompetent?
Update: Sometime in the past couple of weeks (I was behind on my mail), I received a check for the remainder of the balance I was owed. Three months after I first pointed out that they had given me only a partial refund, 2 weeks after the reminder, and a week after posting about it here.
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Chris Bailey
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Re: Bucephalus Games: dishonest, or merely completely incompetent?
Board games rarely get released on time. If you don't want to deal with delays, why send people money for games that haven't even been produced yet? According to your profile you own one game. If I were you, I would just buy games that are available now.
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Andy Latto
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Re: Bucephalus Games: dishonest, or merely completely incompetent?
Yes, I understand that board games are often delayed. That's why reputable companies don't charge your credit card for pre-orders until the game has shipped. And a company that gives an incorrect refund amount, and takes 3 months to rectify the error, is not just a company dealing in a reasonable way with the inevitable delays. They are either dishonest or incompetent.
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Eric Brosius
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Needham Heights
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Re: Bucephalus Games: dishonest, or merely completely incompetent?
Andy owns far more than one game. He simply doesn't record them all on BGG.

I disagree with your point, Chris. There are quite a few solid companies that have pre-order systems that work well. I like MMP's system particularly well; they ship newly-released games in the order in which the pre-orders were received, so ordering early gets you one of the first copies to be shipped.

It sounds like Bucephalus Games is extremely negligent in the way they handle other people's money.
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Mindy Kyrkos
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Sunnyside
New York
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It was the Police Patrols, snooping into people’s windows. The patrols did not matter however. Only the Thought Police mattered.
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Re: Bucephalus Games: dishonest, or merely completely incompetent?
ixnay66 wrote:
Board games rarely get released on time. If you don't want to deal with delays, why send people money for games that haven't even been produced yet? According to your profile you own one game. If I were you, I would just buy games that are available now.


The idea that you shouldn't pre-order games if you're not willing to wait for a year or more AFTER your card has been charged is ridiculous.

I ordered the game for Christmas 2008. At the time I ordered it, the pre-order status page said that it would be out "Early 2009". I realize that games often have delays, so I didn't really expect it to get before the spring or maybe even a little later, and I was fine with that. When it got to be mid-June and I hadn't received it, I sent an email asking whether it would be shipped by the end of July, as I wanted to bring it with me to WBC. I never received a reply. When I hadn't received it by September, I sent an email asking whether it would be out by Christmas. I never received a reply. At some point in the fall of 2009, the pre-order status page was finally updated to say "Early 2010", which it still says. As far as I'm concerned late April is pushing the bounds of "early" in the year, and there have been no signs that the game is coming out any time soon.

Now, I understand that new games are often delayed, and I'm sure Andy does too. I have pre-ordered games before and had to deal with delays of several months, with no problem. Do you really think that nearly 1 1/2 years, with very few updates and absolutely no response to numerous attempts at communication is reasonable? I know that some people pre-ordered as early as GenCon 2008 and have had similar communication issues. Is a delay of nearly two years reasonable? After your card has been charged? I may not know much about game production, but a delay of that length of time, if the game was already in production, seems unlikely. It makes me believe that they actually have no idea when the game is coming out, which means that the so-called updates on their website are dishonest (or at least, as the thread title says, incompetent).

Having said all of that, if you read Andy's post more carefully, you will see that he wasn't really complaining about the delays per se, rather the customer service issues he encountered. The website states that if you are unhappy with delays, let them know and they will refund your charges. When Andy got tired of waiting he did just that, and still got jerked around for several months. Whatever you think about the delays, that is not reasonable. As Andy pointed out, the credit cards should never have been charged until the game ships. If it was a situation where the funds from pre-orders were needed to produce the game, that should have been made clear up front.

Maybe I'm a sucker, but I haven't asked for a refund yet because I am just optimistic enough to think that the game may actually be produced someday. It was meant as a gift for my brother and he still asks about it every few months, so I'm hesitant to cancel my order (plus I really don't want to have to deal with the hassle of chasing them down for my refund). But, you can be sure that even if I ever do get the game, it will be my very last Bucephalus purchase. Not because of the delay, but because their business practices demonstrate a total disregard for customer service.

(Chris, sorry if it sounds as if I am lashing out at you, but I am quite frustrated at this point and the suggestion that someone who is dissatisfied with the situation with this game should just avoid pre-ordering games kind of pissed me off).
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Matt Mehlhoff
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Re: Bucephalus Games: dishonest, or merely completely incompetent?
From an outside perspective (I haven't preordered and seeing this company's reputation certainly won't purchase anything from them) my vote is BOTH dishonest and incompetent.
 
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David Fooden
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Re: Bucephalus Games: dishonest, or merely completely incompetent?
An announcement from the creators of "Oh My God! There's An Axe In My Head." The Game of International Diplomacy:

Due to non-publication, the rights to "Oh My God! There's An Axe In My Head." The Game of International Diplomacy have reverted back to it's creators. We know many of you have been wondering when the game will be released since it was announced that Bucephalus signed on to publish it in 2008. Thank you for being fans of our game and for your patience, we share your frustration. We are in negotiations with other publishers who've shown interest in the game and are working on arranging a 2011 release.

Diplomatically yours,
David Fooden & Chris Adams
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Steve Edelman
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Re: Bucephalus Games: dishonest, or merely completely incompetent?
anyone know how to get a hold of these guys? I'm trying to get my money back, and I can't find hide nor hair of 'em. emailed everyone on the site 3 times this year... no response at all.
 
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David Fooden
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Re: Bucephalus Games: dishonest, or merely completely incompetent?
Their offices are based in Green Lake Games http://boardgamegeek.com/guild/965
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David Fooden
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Re: Bucephalus Games: dishonest, or merely completely incompetent?
Hey everyone, there's a new update on the status of "Oh My God! There's An Axe In My Head." The Game of International Diplomacy on our BGG page!
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/23304/oh-my-god-there...
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