June 30th, 2017

CIG explain Derek Smart’s Star Citizen refund, Smart disputes claims

CIG explain Derek Smart’s Star Citizen refund, Smart disputes claims

Following Derek Smart’s unrequested refund of his $250 Kickstarter pledge to Star Citizen, other users had begun to query whether CIG would be open to further refunds.

A post from CIG’s Ben Lesnick confirms that this will not be the case, as per the game’s current Terms of Service (ToS.)

In the same post, he states that Smart’s refund was provided on the basis of Kickstarter’s ToS, which allows project developers to (as Lesnick has it) “refund troubled users who we would rather not have interacting with the community.”

“Think of it as the video game equivalent of a ‘we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone’ sign in a restaurant,” he adds.

Here’s the full statement:

I believe I can clarify this. We refunded Mr. Smart’s package because he was using Star Citizen as a platform to gain attention as part of a campaign to promote his ‘Line of Defense’ space game. Our ToS (or in this case, the Kickstarter ToS) allows us to refund troubled users who we would rather not have interacting with the community. The process lets us entirely disable their accounts, preventing them from playing the finished game. Think of it as the video game equivalent of a ‘we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone’ sign in a restaurant. We’ve used this ability a limited number of times in the past, always with the aim of improving the community (until today, the most famous example being our old friend jcrg99/Manzes/PonyMillar/he of many other alts.)

I do now want to stress that that is not to say you can get your money back by simply being as obnoxious as possible; we’re also able to ban accounts from the forums without requiring a refund. But sometimes we take a look at a user and decide that they’re so toxic or their intentions are so sinister that we simply don’t want them associated with Star Citizen.

As for refund requests working the other way: per the ToS, we’re not required to offer them. We do try and work with backers who are facing hardships, but the hard truth is that the money is by necessity being spent to develop a game rather than sitting unused somewhere (that being the significant difference with Steam; those refunds are taken out of their games’ profits rather than their development budgets.)

The Kickstarter Terms of Use state: “You can refund individual pledges if you want. After your project has been funded, you can cancel and refund a backer’s pledge at any time. If you do, you have no further obligation to that specific backer, and no agreement exists between you.” These are the Kickstarter ToS under which CIG have given Derek Smart his money back.

However, Smart takes serious issue with the other comments and actions taken by Lesnick.

“Contrary to what they posted” he tells PC Invasion, “I have NEVER – EVER – posted on ANY RSI [Roberts Space Industries] forum or website, nor advertised ANYTHING. My blog is mine, and I can post ANYTHING I want in it.”

Further, he says that “what Ben [Lesnick] said in the forum post, is … pure libel and a violation of privacy because they had NO business even disclosing WHY they refunded me.” Smart is citing Sections 2, 4 and 5 of CIG’s own Privacy policy in support of this statement.

He also feels CIG had “no cause” to terminate his Roberts Space Industries (RSI) account. Presumably as (since he has never posted on said forums,) he has not violated any Terms of Service regarding conduct.

Addressing refunds for other users, Lesnick says “As for refund requests working the other way: per the [Star Citizen] ToS, we’re not required to offer them.”

That’s the stance Star Citizen and CIG have always taken over general refunds, but it has never been actively tested against competing legislation like the UK Sale of Goods Act, or more recent EU legislation pertaining to the sale of digital goods (laws which prompted the recent introduction of Steam refunds.)

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    • merciful

      *unrequested* refund? So he writes up pages and pages of unintelligible walls of text how he wants everyone to be refunded and how he wants to bring the project down, but wants it to succeed, then talking about how the project can´t be made, or is made the wrong way, (whatever) so he finally got his refund and now he doesn´t want the refund anymore and complains that CIG refunded him? lolwut? I don´t even……..

      • B_I_T

        He lost his Original Backer status and the Physical KS rewards and he is pissed off about it LOL (he can keep the SC Card as a bonus 😛 )

    • kazaloo

      Wow, you guys writing this don’t do your credibility any favour. Derek Smart is obviously seeking attention, while his claims are vicious, ego-driven and uninformed. Just read about his record in the past, he is known for nonsense like that. Stop feeding the troll.

    • Nathan

      The problem is pretty simple, whether you like Derek or not he’s right and they’re screwing people and lying up and down. They blacklisted him because he’s giving them some pretty bad pr right now when the ship is already on unsteady waters.

      • Brad

        He is given them bad PR because it attracts attention and free publicity to the game he is making. I wouldn’t call the man dumb but he is conniving. I listened to his whole podcast and he makes a “qualifying statement” trying to convince people he is not a bad person. Truth is, he is. His whole podcast is the equivalent of saying “I am not a racist” before making a racist comment . . . . over and over again.

        It’s working though . . . so jokes on us.

      • merciful

        huh? He threw tantrums about refunds all the time, they simply returned his pledge according to Kickstarter TOS and by his public request, after CIG getting insulted, badmouthed, threatened with all sorts of disruptive nonsense and public tantrum throwing, I´d say hell yeah about time. Glad they kicked him out for good. Exactly what Smedley would have done.

    • https://twitter.com/Qayos Qayos

      Probably ought to check out his game of awesome, Line of Defense that’s what he really wants you guys to talk about anyways.

      I’ll even help out, here’s the addy on steam where you can buy that horrible production.


      But yeah, he posts all over the web and writes a few articles about how he should get a refund, then complains about it? Wow…just wow.

    • Tufao

      Those fanboys are so dumbed down that next, Roberts can play the Jim Jones card and they will follow

      • merciful

        hey jcrg99/manzes how´re things going down south?

      • Leperray

        Readers, do not trust him, do not trust me, make
        your opinion by yourself. Check latest Multiplayer Demo Gamescom 2015 and
        decide if it looks promising or crap for a AAA game project in Alpha stage.

        Manze/Tufao/JCRG99 warning sticker: Sick, mentally twisted mind,
        banned from CIG years ago for harassment. Sicne then, his life’s work is
        to spit at SC development.

    • Raptor Jesus


    • AsteriaHeaven

      Why don’t CIG share the obnoxious posts they allege he made on their website and forums?

      Other than that I think they’re being extremely petty. If what he claims has no foundation then he’s just another ranting liar. All communities have them. As far as I’m aware his complaints have been posted on his own blog.

      So they have gone at him for what he posted on his blog not on their website.

      That’s a petty tantrum because it achieves nothing but a moment of satisfaction of taking your ball back.

      Until this point (as an investor) I was mildly interested in this. Impatient like many others but delays happen but this is a massive red flag. It makes me uneasy when companies try to shut people up and drown them out.

      • Dre’ Reavis

        Do you view Derrick Smart as your average disgruntled customer? He’s NOT. He has a very long reoccuring history of doing things like this. What makes ME uneasy are people that can’t see his obvious attempt at getting free press.

        • AsteriaHeaven

          I don’t know about other games he’s been unhappy about.

          All I know is there are questions and they were being asked long before he wrote in his blog and was on this sites podcast. He has kind of become the focal point of this which is a pity as there are many people in the community that are asking questions.

          They should answer them; without fluff and PR speak, that’s what people are asking for.

    • jcec1874 .

      As I have posted previously I am by no means a fan of Mr. Smart. But….like him or not it’s what he’s stating in his other posts that requires some careful review by the backers. Notice that they did not address any of the statements Mr. Smart alleges/opinions etc. They want him to go away but i could not disagree more. I want him to keep the pressure up until Roberts responds to shut him up.

    • https://www.fillthisinyourself.org Citizen_Arrahed

      “Why don’t CIG share the obnoxious posts they allege he made on their website and forums?”

      I think the lot of you who come with or similar post should return to english class for a moment.
      At no point in his post or any other post, Lesnick said anything about Smart posting on the RSI-Forums.
      He is merely speaking of interacting with the community, which is much broader and includes forums like these.
      The refund and cancellation of his account is done under ToS of Kickstarter and is completely legal.
      From an objective legal viewpoint, CIG did everything right!

      From a personal viewpoint, I say “Good riddance”

      • AsteriaHeaven

        Yes, great. That isn’t the point I made, you missed it. As you say, English class.

        • https://www.fillthisinyourself.org Citizen_Arrahed

          Apologies, I meant the sentence, not the post. However, my point stays the same. People are reading more out of it, than there really is.

    • Jack Pott

      CIG should address the issues that have been raised instead of seeking revenge.

      That would go some way to reassuring the people who have doubts.

      • jcec1874 .

        i could not agree more on this statement.

    • ChikiBaby

      Scam Citizen. Alex Mayberry bought a $400 ship and now he´s driving for the universe with ur money.

    • jfplopes

      I have a simple question to all those that think there should be a refund policy in crowdfunded projects.

      As we know, CIG has no outside investors funding Star Citizen. Star Citizen is fully crowdfunded. We can discuss laws, what crowdfunding is and all that but could someone answer one simple question?

      What if everyone asks for a refund when the game is close to release or when backers playing the alpha or beta can tell that the game is good?

      I mean. Once I know the game is surely going to be released and looks good, I might just ask for a refund of what ever I invested so I can buy the game for the normal price instead.

      I could always claim I needed the money back because I don’t like the project direction or that it was delayed or whatever.
      So if people could ask for refunds, what would keep them from doing it?

      • https://www.fillthisinyourself.org Citizen_Arrahed

        Nothing! But it will also be pointless, as the ToS clearly state, that you are not eligble for refunds after your 2 weeks return policy.

    • Curt Pangracs

      Anyone who purchases a game from *he who shall remain nameless* should be required to be evaluated by a psychiatrist.