Alan Runfeldt took $3000 from me and I want it back!

I am going to make it my mission to get my money back from this man - in full!
Thank you to everyone who has shown me their support via this forum, it is your support that gives me the energy I need to fight this fight.

Stayed tuned everyone, I will be keeping you all posted on the progress of this case.

Thank you,


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Ms. Meaghan,

I’ve been following your complaints on Briar Press, and while I sympathize with your predicament, I think that Alan gave a forthright explanation in this thread on 26 Nov 2009:

I don’t know what the economy is like in Australia, but here in the US, things are tough. Tougher than we have seen in generations. In fact, in that earlier thread, Alan told us that he had just lost his home. Now, I can’t imagine what it must feel like to go on to a website and admit something like that, but frankly, once is enough. The rest of it is a business deal between you and Alan, and I hope you work it out amicably and in private. This is not a forum for debt-collection or brow-beating.

Warmest Regards,

Chris Norton


Thank you for taking the time to post a reply to my most current thread.
Yes we are experiencing a global economic crisis, and for the last 2 years I have supported and listed to Alan and all his broken promises.

He has promised me money and even small gestures to win back my confidence, I would have been happy if he had sent me a roller - something! But there was nothing from him but long winded emails and excuses.

I would like to work this out with Alan but I don’t know what else to do, do you have any solutions to our problem?

I am using this to warn others to be caution? I think this is more than fair.

Thank you,


Hello Meaghan,
If you are dealing with this through the legal system it will not be necessary or advantageous to detail the process here or in any public forum. A post letting us know when it is resolved will suffice.

If the experience hasn’t squashed your interest in printing you may wish to check out the Yellow Pages section of this site to find some letterpress equipment a bit closer to home. When I lived in Sydney I visited the Penrith Museum of Printing and the fellas were quite nice. There’s got to be a press out there for you already…

Good luck to you,

Enough already, you’re the idiot who sent someone you did not know in another country $3,000. 3 years ago for something you have not personally seen or used. Without checking on the shipping situation yourself. I was hesitant to send $350 to the other side of the USA for my press with the chance that it would not make it in one piece. Let alone across the ocean. If you are going to make purchases in foreign countries sight unseen then be prepared to loose the money.


It’s going to be really hard to get your money back. Probably impossible, especially since you screwed up your case by shaming Mr. Runfeldt in public like this. It will also cost hundreds of dollars in lost time and legal fees trying to collect.

The fact is, it’s your press. It just happens to be in another country. And it sounds like the main reason it hasn’t shipped is because he doesn’t have the money to ship it.

So I think you should hire your own shipper to go pick the thing up. Sure, it’ll cost some additional money. But at least you’ll get your goods, and you’ll be able to feel better about the whole thing.

Courtney, name calling is uncalled for. Meaghan has a real problem and by all appearances has tried every way to get her press or recoup her money. We all know times are hard, but Alan needs to, at the very least, follow up directly with his customer, and make arrangements to either send her the press or pay her back. This he apparently has not done. We cannot force him to pay or play, but we can be supportive of someone who has been so egregiously wronged, and sympathetic to her cause.


I do not know this Runfeldt guy and never will. However I have been following this discussion the same as I do all others and my comment is this: What a great place this is to shame such a crook . Before the days of the Internet she would have had practically no way to get the word out. As to the buyer sending off her money to some stranger in another country; it’s not like he’s an unknown person. A museum and website should, in my mind, lend some degree of credibility to a person. And lastly, for those who think this is the wrong place to air this kind of behavior, obviously the owners and administrators of Briar Press don’t think so or they would have deleted it.


I am really amazed that anyone has a problem with Meaghan’s posting here about this situation. When you consider that every person getting started in letterpress today has to seek out used equipment from somewhere, why on earth would anyone think it not useful or pertinent to share information on this forum about a seller who has not dealt fairly with a customer?

It is extremely useful to anyone trying to find a printing press to learn who can and cannot be trusted. Meghan’s posts are far more helpful to such a person than, say, posts about how to replace parts on a Heidelberg. And as long as it is a current, live situation—i.e., as long as Alan does nothing—the updates are also useful.

Briar Press is one of the first places many new printers turn to learn about their new field of endeavor. It is the perfect place to share information like this.

While one certainly can be upset with Mr. Runfeldt for non-performance on a contract, repeatedly shaming and complaining about his performance on the Internet is not going to improve things one bit. I noticed it has been 40 days since Mr. Runfeldt’s last response which included the following:

….The current plan is to use the money we are earning now to replace what was lost and to send it all back for her to hold until the press is indeed properly and safely crated and ready for an ocean voyage to Australia. This is the promise I made to her when we last spoke about two weeks ago.
Once the money is back in her hands and the press is crated and ready to ship, Meaghen can make her own choice to resume the transaction or not….

To me, that would be a appearance that he is trying to put together the $3000 to send back, with which the transaction can be consummated or cancelled.

l suspect the reason that Mr. Runfeldt hasn’t responded here is because he’s not going to get a friendly reception, the resurgence of this thread has the air of a lynching about it. Did Alan make bad choices? Sure he did, by his own admission. Yet if this situation is going to be salvaged, it will only be through some form of direct negotiation between Alan and Meaghan, not an Internet grand jury.

I would suggest that the two parties communicate directly with each other (by mail or phone) rather than shooting at each other on the Internet and raising each others defensive positions ever higher.

Hopefully this whole mess can be sorted out.

As a fellow Aussie who has bought quite a bit of type and other stuff from the US and elswhere I can feel for Meaghan. I have been lucky I guess in having very few, only minor, glitches with my purchases, but for someone to pull a stunt like this guy did on Meaghan is pretty low. To those who are calling Meaghan’s public airing of this whole saga unwelcome I say consider this : in Australia we are perhaps more trusting when buying overseas because its something we have to do often. We do not have the litigious mindset of the US and don’t feel we should have to sue every one for everything. We also don’t follow the time honoured view , still current in some parts of the US that “you never give a sucker an even break”.
On the issue of airing this on this forum, an earlier post hit the nail on the head- if the moderators did not see this forum as an appropriate place to air this scam then they would not continue with the postings. The internet is a great place to name and shame rogues and sheisters and I fully support the name of this guy being splashed far and wide.
Finally: blaming the world economic crisis on his troubles is not new. Just about everyone who wants to slip out of their commitments is doing it these days. I am down $700.00 because of the very same excuse being used on me and dayly I hear of similar incidents.

Good luck Meaghan, crooks like that need to be exposed to the rest of us. Hope you get your money back soon.


Why is it necessary to insult an entire country and its people over an issue between two individuals? But I guess since the people of our litigious, sue-everyone-for-everything and never-give-a-sucker-an-even-break country were able to save your country from the Japanese, you now have the freedom to think and say whatever you want.


Front Room Press
Milford, NJ

Oh, please! Keep on topic!

My point exactly.


Front Room Press
Milford, NJ

It does seem as if a comment may be appropriate here. With now over 41,000 registered members, we can not, nor is it our intention, to monitor the Discussion forums.

For the most part this is an unmoderated community. That means that people are free to express themselves openly, both positively and negatively, without fear of censorship or personal attacks. It is the responsibility of the community to respond to posts appropriately and to keep them on track. In this thread, it appears this process is working.

We have closed commenting on very rare occasions when the conversation became completely abusive and non-productive. With the number of posts and the number of members, we are very pleased with the tone of the discussions and with the atmosphere in which you, the community, have created so that people can express their opinions and questions.

I truly appreciate all the help and assistance the community has given to me and to each other.

Thank you to everyone for posting your comments here. Everything (well most!) that people have said I have thought about.

I have spent the last 2 years thinking about the best way I can approach my little problem.

Going public was my last resort. Since making this post, I have heard from quite a few people that have lost money through dealings with Alan. So my hope in receiving this money at al,l dwindles with every day. I think it is only fair that everyone know who they are dealing with.

I called Alan last week and he promised to start depositing money into my account.

I emailed him to put it in writing that he would pay me this money - and I haven’t heard from him since.

I feel like there is nothing left to do than to let everyone know what is going on.

I hope you all understand my position and the patience I have exercised over the last 2 years.

Meaghan -

I have sent you the first $1,000 of the $3,000 refund I have promised to send to you. If I had the money, I would have sent it all before now. But I have to earn it before I can send it, and I am doing my best to do so.

Furthermore, please reconsider what you said about having “heard from quite a few people that have lost money through dealings with Alan. “

NO ONE has lost any money through dealings with me - NO ONE.

Yes, Allison (aka Allie09 aka Will06) and Louis had a misunderstanding about the cost of shipping her press but that had nothing to do with me.

Furthermore, to make it up to her - and to help out my friend Louis, I did not charge her for her two days’ study with me in November.

That training would have cost her $300, but instead, it cost ME $300 in lost income.

The only person who has lost money in dealings with me is ME - myself. Everyone who has ever bought any thing from me - or been trained by me - has gotten their money’s worth and then some.

In fact, the last two students who came to my shop for tutoring, surprised me by paying me 30% MORE than I had asked for my time.

I wish that you had updated your thread here and let everyone know that I had sent you $1,000 and am in the process of keeping the promise I made to you.

I just hope that as time goes on and more people learn about the work that Louis and I are doing to help people get started in letterpress printing that my one faux pas - my one big mistake in accepting your money before I was ready to ship your press - will be resolved and its memory will be outweighed by the good things I have done for the craft and the people interested in it.

- Alan

For what it’s worth, I wanted to say I purchased a press from Louis and Alan in November and couldn’t be more happy with quality of product and support I have received from them.

I feel better now, knowing that Meaghan will get her full $3,000 back. If it takes two years to get the first $1,000, she should receive her final $1,000 in 2014.

Kevin I think you are right!

There is nothing Alan can say that takes away from the fact, he took my money and led me up the garden path for the last 21/2 years!

I am sick of the excuses and I don’t think I need to explain why I deserve my money back.

Shame on you Alan.

Dont know why but I feel compelled to comment. It is a sad situation that has occured, two individuals who in their own sphere’s of operation likely are good, hard working individuals who strive to maintain honesty and integrity in their daily lives enter into an alien environment, that is doing business on a global scale. They enter into this deal with high hopes and pure ideals, sadly this is a very hazardous mine field of international regulations, laws, shipping problems and finance. This requires professional expertise and poor unsuspecting individuals realize only after we become mired in the mess that it is too late to go back ward and must cjntinue forward into whatever dangers arise. I, as an observer, thankfully, believe this is an opportunity for the rest of us to learn a lesson, sadly at the expense of others. I also agree this is an excellent forum for all sorts of topics, and serves to educate us in these types of situations. In small towns thruogh out the world it would be difficult if not impossible to foist shady deals onto individuals, difficult to hide when every one knows your name and face. Sadly in todays world it is too easy to hide ones tru nature, so I welcome this and other forums which serve to educate us. We should observe and learn, not throw mud or resurrect old prejudices (I think the Aussie’s on occasion saved our bacon also, by the way) As a small business peson for the past 39 years I know how easy it is to get into a financial bind, it is often a moral battle to maintain honesty and integrity with the wolf at the door, but one must sacrifice and do what is right. I grew up on a midwestern farm, every one knew everyone and ones word was as good as a black and white contract. One of the first projects I was required to set and print was a small paragraph which our instructor told us we must strive to maintain, “The Master Formula” which included to following points Personal Honor, Absolute Reliability, Business Integrity, and the statement that “The priceless ingredient of every product is the honor and integrity of its maker” I have always striven to maintain these points which my printing instructor drove into us along with the printing. I have always felt that was important. I certainly have not made a millon dollars and I am not wealthy but I am satisfied that I did my best to be fair and honest in my business dealings. I truly hope these two individuals amicably square up, enough damage has been done to all involved. OK, for what its worth I feel better for giving my two cents. Thanks for listening. Vern

While I’m VERY new here to this site, I recall the absolute MESS a friend had in shipping a number of crated machines (metalworking machines) to Australia in the late ’90s. They were purchased by a museum from the collection of a deceased mutual friend and the import issues were mind-boggling. Certified wood. Items had to be secured so that if the container they were to be placed in were tilted to certain angles they wouldn’t tip over. Since they were less than the full container would carry, an intermediary shipper had to be involved (compared to just packing a complete container) that would fill the remainder of the container or the vessel’s owner could refuse acceptance. In-depth declaration of the contents (down to the last spare bolt) and assessed value for tax and import purposes (even though the importer is/was a tax-exempt public museum). Contact number of receiver, shipper, intermediary, trucking company (transport to dock), container number, crate number, vessel name, container weight, load dynamics (how it could be placed in the vessel), etc. etc. etc. It went on and on and on. Not to mention trying to track down every government goofball halfway around the world to hear “you’re sending WHAT over here? Let me ask my supervisor, please hold….” from the other end of the phone.

It was complete and utter insanity for the relatives of my friend to deal with just a few months after his passing.

While I only know a bit of what my friend’s family went through, I can only imagine what transport issues are like today for something clearly LCL (less container load) and awkward as a printing press to try to get it not only across the country but across the Pacific as well.

While I empathize with Meaghan thinking she was scammed, I also empathize with Alan getting overwhelmed with other-than-business issues and stepping into the unknown of international shipping in such a manner.

To my mind, given what was written, neither is wrong nor right… just both are stuck in a disheartening situation that neither anticipated having to deal with.

BTW, apart from a couple busted castings attributable to fixtures working loose in their various modes of transit (probably on the ocean voyage where the shipping container WAS notably dented) the machines made it there intact and have places of honor in their respective museum.

(I’d give the name if I could remember it, but I’m sure I’m not the only one with occasional fog obscuring memories.)

Recently a different acquaintance had a very large steam engine shipped from Europe and it arrived with several castings broken from presumed-secured parts breaking loose in transit. So it does pay to have things crated overly-securely rather than “that’s good enough”. Trying to make new parts to properly fit a nearly-century-old machine that requires heavy earthmover equipment just to lift parts off and on isn’t a pleasant task.

Anyway, just my perspective on the matter, for whatever it’s worth.

Tim Fuller

Refund update:

In case anyone is still monitoring this embarrassing thread: I am relieved to report that I was able to make two more refund payments to Meaghan in May. So far, I have sent more than $2,000 AUD to Meaghan in three payments - with two more transfers to go. Soon, the full amount of her payment to me will have been returned to Meaghan.

We have not sold the press to anyone else and promised Meaghan that we would not sell the press until her full payment had been refunded and that she would have first right to purchase the press - under more carefully monitored payment and shipping arrangements.

So, once she has been fully reimbursed for the pre-payment she sent us for the press that never got crated and shipped to Australia, she will have the choice to decide for herself whether she still wants the press we prepared for her.

I realize that there may be little chance of her choosing this option, given her public attacks on me personally through this forum, but this is a promise we made and is one we can and will keep.

One last note; we would like to thank those whose comments have been understanding of our situation and of the difficulties encountered by a small rural printer who tried - and failed - to step into the world of international equipment exporting.

- Alan

Alan — I’m like you … after this two-year ordeal, it’s probably sort of unlikely that she will turn around and buy the press from you a second time.
Meaghan — please let us know when you get the final check. I hope this ordeal didn’t sour you forever on letterpress printing.

is it possible to stop this thread for additional posts? The ordeal is done and overwith, and it seems like Meaghan will post any additional gripes/successes if and when they occur based on the initiation of this thread.

as an aside, I shipped clothing to my inlaws in Moscow, Russia a few months back—- and it went through such rigorous poking and proding that I will likely never be shipping them anything—ever again. I can only imagine what a crate this size would warrant in terms of shipping regulations (which I know have been described above).

To anyone monitoring these posts and curious about how things are playing out…

Since the money she sent me was gone just about as soon as it arrived, I have had to - and have - earned and send Meaghan over $2,500 of the $3,000 she initially sent to me. And it’s not because of the multiple threads on this subject, but in spite of them.

Soon, this issue will have been resolved - although the frustration and pain I feel every time I review these posts - and some of the mean, ignorant things comments left by people who don’t know either of us at all - or the events that led up to Meaghan’s posts - continues to be annoying and unhelpful.

- Alan

Elizabeth, at Briar Press
please stop this stream. If there is a problem let it be sorted out in the courts of the land.
This has nothing to do with the technology of Letterpress printing.
It will affect the standing of Briar Press.
William Amer, Australian

Enough already. Alan is doing what he can. Let’s stop the bleeding and get on with what everyone is here for. It’s a shame that a thread like this has wheels like this.

William and all - I closed commenting on a similar topic in April. With now going on 47,000 registered members, we are unable to keep up with all the posts. Although we don’t want this to be a monitored site, we do appreciate it when people bring inappropriate material to our attention. We hope that the community will monitor itself, but on occasion we will step in.

This topic has been aired and is being resolved. We ask all parties to refrain from reopening this discussion.