If you’ve previously seen cases of fraud, you may know how delay and denial is used to stifle claims, drain costs, and run out the clock for timely solutions. Uncovering the story is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. It’s a forensic process of comparing many sources. It requires asking victims to step forward.
This consumer rights campaign is calling for public input. 10 years of broken promises means it’s time for public light. People of conscience need to call for REAL solutions to end ongoing harm. Our goal is fairness for fans.
In Victim list of “extra deluxe” Last Unicorn book buyers, we outlined the claims attrition process used by Conlan Press to get away with fraud. Now, we’re sharing details of how it’s done.
In the 10 year chain of broken promises, a delay and attrition process has happened over and over. It’s a consistent experience corroborated by many victims.
When buyers ask for goods, instead they get a chain of delaying excuses: Someone died, someone put their back out, an employee left, an employee was stealing, the post office lost the book, the post office lost the check, we’ll send a replacement (but it doesn’t come…)
At each step, Connor Cochran shifts responsibility. He puts claims off to shed more and more of them. Each time, fewer persist. (The below claim persisted through three house moves.) The Statute of Limitations is run out to make them powerless. If a few make it through- paying them off costs a small portion of the total take.
The Better Business Bureau has a new corroborating complaint, just noticed and attached here after completion of this article:
In the chain of excuses, the common denominator is Connor Cochran. He’d like you to believe that he’s a victim of circumstances beyond his control – but supposed coincidence after coincidence tells a different story.
Since we began reporting, new victims have come forward. One writes:
Hi, I have some tales to tell about Connor Cochran and his scam company. I ordered the Last Unicorn audiobook way back in 2005 and stuck with my order for 8 long years and 3 moves. I ate the BS he shoveled at me regarding why the CD’s never materialized and continued to be patient. So patient that when Connor personally called me to let me know about the deluxe Last Unicorn book with Peter’s extra story and a sketch to be done by Connor, I jumped at the chance to purchase it. It was 2009 when I ordered that one. Here’s the string of emails I sent and received regarding the status of and cancellation of my orders. I did eventually get my money back for the CDs and the book, but I still have yet to get the book despite Connor telling me finishing his sketch and mailing it to me was “the least he could do” for me waiting so long. That was last year.
Feel free to use these emails on your site.
The emails are below. This is only one case of countless others.
NOTE: Conlan Press insiders refute claims made by “unreliable narrator” Connor Cochran in his emails. Timing clues even indicate Connor posed as employees he then blamed. Uncovering truth requires comparing consistently bad experiences of victims. IF IT HAPPENED TO YOU, PLEASE STEP FORWARD.
Names are edited by request to protect identities of victims.
Connor Cochran <firstname.lastname@example.org> 4/27/10
This is just a quick note to let you know that your LAST UNICORN comic book order shipped out yesterday from California, and is now on its way to you. Sorry about the slight delay — IDW printed the issue later than planned, so we didn’t get our shippable copies in until just last week. Thanks for supporting Peter S. Beagle’s work by shopping with us.
Excellent, thanks Connor. I was wondering if you had news about hardcover version of The Last Unicorn that I ordered late last year. Do you have an estimate of when that might be shipping? I was excited to hear the audiobooks will be coming out late this year. Thanks!
Connor Cochran <email@example.com> 4/27/10
Working on the extra deluxe TLUs. They are taking longer than I’d like, obviously, but I hope to be done with all of them before midsummer, and maybe sooner.
Thanks very much!
Connor Cochran <firstname.lastname@example.org> 7/30/10
Just a quick note to let you know that your current LAST UNICORN comic order shipped earlier today. I have to apologize — It would have gone out sooner, but I was away doing necessary business at Anime Expo and then Comic Con, and my part-time assistant <FirstEmployee> wasn’t able to come in to work because she threw her back out while on a family vacation. When one of us is gone, things slow down. When *both* of us are gone…well…we try not to let that happen very often. Now I’m back from Comic Con, and <FirstEmployee> is back in the office working, so shipping is once again under way. When your order arrives, please let me know by email so I can cross it off the list.
The first issue of the comic was beautiful, but I still haven’t received the second issue. If it went out in July then I’m afraid it must’ve gotten lost.
Connor Cochran <email@example.com> 9/27/10
I’ve filed a complaint with the Post Office and they’re going to run a search. Supposedly I’ll get a report in a couple of days. Meanwhile, I’m shipping out a replacement comic to you today. Thanks for letting me know about the problem.
I just got the newest issue of the Raven and I’m really excited to hear the bluray of The Last Unicorn is coming out! I also saw that the graphic novel of The Last Unicorn will be coming out soon. I ordered the 6 issue comic series, but I only received issues 1 and 2. Would you be able to check and see if there was a shipping problem? Also, I thought I’d ask about the status of the hardcover novel I ordered.
I have your Extra Deluxe scheduled for sketching on the 21st. The comics are still on order as well as the Graphic Novel. Once we have them in our hands I’ll be able to give you a rough estimate for timing on shipping. We are excited about the blue ray as well! I’m not sure if you got my email about your comic order, so I’ll tell you now.
In mid-December we sent an email out to all our LAST UNICORN comic subscribers explaining the delay which had taken place with issues 3-6. (Recapping briefly: thanks to a communications problem, IDW only printed enough copies of issues 3-6 for their comic shop outlets, and none for us. They *are* reprinting the ones we need, but it is going to take a while, possibly even a few more months.)
In that email we offered everyone two options for dealing with the remainder of their subscriptions.
1) Wait for IDW to complete the reprinting, and get a special LAST UNICORN art print along with the remaining issues as thanks for their patience, or
2) Cancel the remainder of their subscription and take a signed, personalized copy of IDW’s hardcover graphic novel version instead. This hardcover (which is now shipping) contains all six issues, interviews with Peter S. Beagle and Peter Gillis, and a gallery of additional art.
Unfortunately, we haven’t heard back from you about your choice. Please write or call and let me know which option you’d prefer — and if you are going with option #2, please also tell me how you would like Peter S. Beagle to personalize your copy when he signs.
You can reach me at 650-728-8098 during my normal work hours (M-F from 11 AM to 5PM, California time) or email me.
Thanks! I look forward to seeing Connor’s drawing and reading what Peter wrote. I guess my email crossed in the mail, so I would like to cancel the comic subscription and instead get the graphic novel.
Thanks for that! I’ve updated your comic order. I look forward to sending you all of your items!
I thought I would check in to find out the status of the hardcover version of The Last Unicorn I ordered a few years ago. Last year you mentioned it was due to be sketched around the 21st of January, which I believe was the only thing holding it up from being shipped.
Thank you for writing.
<SecondEmployee> quit their position with Conlan Press last April in order to deal with personal matters involving a divorce. The departure was extremely abrupt. Some of the cascading problems this created are still being sorted out, so I ask your patience while I put everything on the product shipping/customer service side back together, and hire and train suitable replacements.
Meanwhile, all customer support queries should be sent directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can call the office at 650-728-8098 between 9 AM and 5 PM California time. If I’m not in (or can’t pick up), just leave a message and I’ll return your call as soon as I can.
Thanks for contacting us about this. I apologize that you were quoted an incorrect turnaround time that Conlan press was not able to honor. We’ve had problems with former employees making promises they could not keep so I’m going to refrain from making that mistake again.
I see that the last time we spoke you mentioned that you were planning to move soon. If that has happened please let us know so we can update our database. I currently have XXXXXX as your current address.
Again, thank you for your patience.
Thanks for getting back to me. You’re correct, I actually just recently moved. Here’s my new address: XXXXXX.
I’m not trying to be a jerk, but can you tell me if I can expect the book this year at least? Is it possible to just forget the sketch and send me the book with what Peter wrote in it? The sketch was a cute idea, but what I really want is the book and the extra writing that Peter wrote into it. I ordered the book 3 years ago now and I’ve been patient, but, unlike the audiobook, which I’ve had on order for 7 years, the book has already been manufactured and, unless I was told incorrectly, Peter’s already done his part of the order. Would you be able to look into it and see if Peter did finish his writing and, if so, could you ship the book to me?
Thanks for your help.
Thanks for being patient. I wanted to double check with Connor before replying to you and yes, we’re planning on completing all outstanding Deluxe Last Unicorn books and the Last Unicorn audio CDs this year. Connor thinks your sketch request is a creative one and is looking forward to finishing it. Unfortunately the agreement with these books was that they were to be released with both the hand written chapters and the sketch. Connor plans to finish his sketches as quickly as possible but if for whatever reason this does not sit well with you, you are always welcome to a full refund at any time.
Again, thank you for your patience.
I would like to cancel my orders for the Deluxe Last Unicorn hardback and the Last Unicorn audiobook cds. Previously, I heard that I would be getting them by the end of last year, but it is now March of 2013 and according to the answer I received via the Peter Beagle handle on Twitter, there is no longer an anticipated manufacture or delivery date. I have been waiting for the audiobook since 2005. If/when it is actually manufactured I may reorder, but as of now I am asking for a full refund.
As mentioned below, I would very much like to receive the hardback book with Peter’s writings, which has been manufactured and that I have also been waiting years to receive, but as that is apparently impossible without waiting for Connor to complete his drawing, I would also like a refund for that product as well.
I can only assume that <ThirdEmployee> has also quit Conlan Press as I never received a reply to the email below. Again, I would like to cancel my order for the Last Unicorn audiobook, which I have been waiting for now for 8 years. I do not know if I will reorder if/when it ever comes out. I would also like to cancel my deluxe hardcover Last Unicorn book order unless I can get it without Connor’s art as I understand that’s the hold up on me getting it. I’ve also been waiting several years for that order.
Please issue a refund check to the following address: xxxxx
Connor Cochran <email@example.com> 5/5/13
We had to terminate <ThirdEmployee> ‘s employment last October when we discovered they were stealing from the company – something which would have been difficult enough to deal with under any circumstances, but since the company operates out of our house it was particularly traumatic for my wife. Shortly after the termination I had to go to New York with Peter for a convention and other business, and the entire time I was gone she was unable to sleep properly because she was scared that <ThirdEmployee> might come back to the house to steal something else and/or commit some major act of vandalism. Because of what he did, we determined that there would be no more Conlan press employees until the company was big enough to have its own office somewhere other than where we lived. As a result I’m doing everything, which means that a short work-week for me is 80 hours, and more than once since last fall I’ve actually hit 100+.
Through all of that I have continued to finish drawings and send out books, though obviously at a reduced pace.
Thanks for writing to my email address instead of <ThirdEmployee> ‘s old one, since that account had to be closed as part of the new security measures and password changes put in place after <ThirdEmployee> was fired. I never received the 3/24/2013 email you included in your newest message. If I had, I would have responded as promptly as I am to this one.
Regarding THE LAST UNICORN audiobook, regular updates on our progress have been posted to the UPDATES page atwww.conlanpress.com. All we are waiting on is for John Howe to complete his illustrations for the TWO HEARTS book, which he says he will be sending soon (though obviously I have to wait for him to fit our drawings in around his work on THE HOBBIT movies). If you are certain you want to cancel, please confirm that you want a refund and it will be sent immediately.
Regarding the extra-deluxe LAST UNICORN, although Peter has completed his handwritten pages and the inscription on your copy, I can’t send it to you without my sketch. That’s not my call, but Peter’s: he is adamant that none of these special copies ship incomplete. Given that, please let me know if you are willing to wait a little longer or would prefer a refund now.
I do apologize for how long things are taking, but the delays are all for reasons outside my control, and I am doing my best to bring both projects to the quickest possible conclusion.
Hi Connor, I’m very sorry to hear about <ThirdEmployee> ‘s stealing. I’m sure that must’ve been really traumatic and I’m glad he was sacked. I appreciate your getting back to me so fast. Yes, please refund me for the audiobook. As I mentioned, I may reorder once it’s manufactured and complete. I do still want the deluxe hardcover The Last Unicorn so I can wait until July, which is when I may be moving again. If I don’t have it before then, I will unfortunately have to cancel.
Hi Connor, please see my previous email (below) and refund me for the Last Unicorn audiobook. I will wait until July 1st for the deluxe hardcover The Last Unicorn.
Hi, Connor, as I mentioned in my previous email, I am canceling my Last Unicorn audio book order and, as it is now July and I have still not received it, my order for the deluxe Last Unicorn hardcover with Peter’s story and your artwork.
Please send me a refund now for both items to XXXXX.
Connor Cochran <firstname.lastname@example.org> 7/8/13
I am in Pittsburgh with Peter right now, so I can’t do anything about this until I get back home later this week. Will do so immediately on return.
Hi Connor, has my refund been mailed? I have not received it yet.
Connor Cochran <email@example.com> 8/5/13
Mailed it, as promised, the day I got back from Pittsburgh — July 10th. If you haven’t gotten it by now then the post office has clearly mislaid it somewhere. This is not annoying, but not entirely surprising. Since I started shipping products in 2005 I’ve encountered an average USPS failure rate of around .5%, meaning that 1 in 200 things that are mailed either never show up, show up months past when they should have, or eventually show up back home in some mangled state. (I actually got one book shipment back that was literally in tattered chunks, and the pst office returned them to me in a sealed plastic bag.)
Will stop payment on the 7/10 check and send a new one today. Please note: the new check will be #2270 on the Conlan Press account. Should the original check (#2236) show up at your place someday instead of coming back to me, please tear it up.
By the way: I’m going to complete your book anyway and send it when it is done. Least I can do. And I really want to do your suggested drawing.
The Last Unicorn “Extra Deluxe” edition (sold since 2009) and audiobook (sold since 2004) have STILL not been produced at the end of 2014.
AGAIN: Conlan Press insiders refute claims made by “unreliable narrator” Connor Cochran above. Uncovering truth requires comparing consistently bad experiences of victims. IF IT HAPPENED TO YOU, PLEASE STEP FORWARD. You are not powerless!
6 thoughts on “Document: cheated Last Unicorn buyers frustrated by Conlan Press claims attrition process.”
I’m one of the victims of this special deluxe hardcover scam. The list I got in an e-mail from the end of 2009 extends to 182 people. Years later I contacted a few of the other “buyers”. They thought the book had been lost in the mail and didn’t do anything about it. In the last couple of days there was a newsletter from Coclan Press that Connor had employed new customer service staff. A guy (Chris Rickert) answered very quickly. He assured me that Connor is still working on the sketches for this 2009 order. But I’m not sure, if this is just the same sweet-talking scam. Here is the original e-mail from Connor with all 180 names:
YOUR EXTRA-DELUXE LAST UNICORN HARDCOVER (UPDATE)
Tue, 29 Dec 2009 12:34:11 -0800
Peter and I have been working through these, in order, as fast as we can.
It’s taken much longer than either of us thought it would, for which we both
apologize. The simple truth is that we both seriously underestimated how
much time it would take for us to make our additions to all these copies.
Now that we’ve been at it a while, we know better. It’s clear that by the
time we are through, Peter will have spent more than 180 hours adding his
handwritten text and personalized signatures, and I’ll have spent close to
250 hours adding all the unicorn sketches.
Fitting those hours into the ongoing juggling act of day-to-day life (and
pre-existing professional commitments) has obviously not been easy. But
we’re making progress.
For all of you receiving this email, I’m pleased to report that (a) Peter
has completed his additions to your books, and (b) they have now moved over
to the sketch stack. There were 30 books in the stack already when these
were added, but I’m trying to wrap that batch up over the next 2-3 weeks,
after which I will start on the copis listed below. I will do my best to
finish and send at least 15 out every week — more if I can — until they
are done. This will obviously take several months, so thanks for your
Just FYI, you might like to know that the real world value of your coming
book is now way more than you spent for it. There really aren’t any more new
copies of this edition out there, and literally only a handful of used ones.
Those used copies, with none of the extras you are getting, are being
offered at $89 and up by their sellers — and in the last month I actually
saw one such unadorned used copy sell for over $200. This means that your
extra deluxe copy with Peter’s additions and my sketches is probably worth
$300-500, and is likely to appreciate significantly in value over time.
SOME IMPORTANT NOTES:
1) If you see asterisks next to your name, below, it’s because I’ve never
gotten a cue/suggestion from you for personalizing your unicorn sketch. If
there is anything you’d like me to keep in mind when doing your drawing for
you, something that might make it a little more specifically your own,
please get that to me ASAP.
2) Please send me a quick note verifying your best current shipping address.
Some of you have moved since making your purchases — and for those of you
who haven’t, I still want to make sure the shipping address I have on file
is the correct one.
1 Jennifer Baader ***
2 Miriam Parnes ***
3 Lizabeth Gelassen ***
4 Mary Gibson
5 Andrew Lucas ***
6 Jennifer Glover
7 Amanda Nordstrom
8 Joe Bartlett
9 Joseph Elacqua ***
10 Sarah Sorge
11 Sonia Lai ***
12 Kaleena Marquez ***
13 NIkki Sienkiewicz
14 Erin Hurley ***
15 Andres Cyanni
16 Ahna Blake
17 Victoria Bacanovic
18 Kris Rezner
19 Amy Haas
20 Farah Elena Lam
21 Victoria Roach
22 Gwyn Allman
23 Linda K. James, MD
24 Timothy Doyle
25 Jennifer Adams
26 Brian West ***
27 Carroll Lee ***
28 Casey Vlaeminck ***
29 Catherine Adler-Josem ***
30 Christian Fuhrhop
31 Christina Current ***
32 Amelia Chen Ru Hui ***
33 Karl Ziellenbach ***
34 Amanda Seeler ***
35 Dawn Sanzi ***
36 Elizabeth Bittner
37 Jaqulin Hand
38 Morgane Mey
39 Eric Andrews
40 Kimberly R. Roby
41 John Eaton
42 Jessica Fure ***
43 Joëlle Bergeron
44 Tom Whitmore
45 Katrina Ferguson Smith
46 Kathleen Drew
47 Matt Keil ***
48 Kelvin Yen ***
49 Keith Wasserman ***
50 Nicole Irene Marie Snider
51 Linnea Harper
52 Cynthia Myers
53 Laura McLean ***
54 Marian Buonocore
55 Martin Wolkner
56 Doug Finkelstein
57 Gwen Larouche
58 Kim Nagata
59 Marc T. Wade
60 Philip May
61 Philip Cummins ***
62 Marty Pierce ***
63 Priscilla Tate ***
64 Raja Thiagarajan ***
65 Richard Lipman ***
66 Rob Vary
67 Jason Sessoms
68 Richard Arndt
69 Malcolm Furgol
70 Tina Good
71 Sharyn Kemp
72 Penny James
73 Caroline Depue
74 Stewart Sayah
75 Sue Toker ***
76 Logan Johnson ***
77 Stephanie Weldon ***
78 Amanda Prigge
79 Lauren Duch
80 Courtney Mixon
81 Cliff Adams ***
82 Cassandra Smith ***
83 Thomas Bull ***
84 jeska day
85 Kari Castor
86 Virginia O’Connell
87 Guenivere McAllister
88 Jim Reiss ***
89 Linda Trickey
90 Rachel Hatfield
91 Sharon Zimmermann
92 Stephen Rooney ***
93 Tara Glickman
94 David Garrett
95 Natalie R. Swem ***
96 Greg Williams
97 Paul Fischer ***
98 Jacqueline Sergent
99 Jessi Juusola
100 Lila Johnson ***
101 Richard Hutchinson ***
102 Charles Edward Hardin
103 Heather Hoffman
104 Tom Brosz ***
105 Ray Delisle
106 Carol Gundlach
107 Mindy Tsang ***
108 Mariah Napier ***
109 Laura Bozzolo
110 Jamie Lavigne
111 Lynda Sherman ***
112 Reinhard Liebe ***
113 Kira Newman
114 Shannon Moon ***
115 Cathryn MacEllerhan ***
116 Lauren Bailey
117 Kristen A. Wolfe
118 Damon Blalack
119 Mary V. Stevens
120 Sean Francis ***
121 Nancy Laura Tappan ***
122 Victor Ganata ***
123 Melinda O’Donnell ***
124 Estevan Ruiz Limón
125 Ashley Ann Jones
126 Jessica Markert ***
127 Brian Taylor
128 Erica Cranden
129 Joshua & Alice Keezer ***
130 Joe Bartlett 2 [gift copy]
131 Joe Bartlett 3 [gift copy]
132 Joe Bartlett 4 [gift copy]
133 Jacquelynn DeRoeck
134 Melissa Fontenova ***
135 Michelle Tully ***
136 Margaret Shropshire
137 Lofton Riser
138 Tanina Varagona ***
139 Michele Santiago ***
140 Michele Santiago ***
141 Steve Glover ***
142 Melanie Hadley
143 Emily Pritchard
144 Ashley Cook
145 Miranda Cleveland
146 Zan Bowden
147 Ariane Chicles
148 Heidi Berthiaume
149 Benjamin Russell
150 Jamie Simo
151 Stephen Moehle
152 Claire Chilton
153 Robert Spencer 2 [gift copy] ***
154 Starla Groeber
155 Lauren Bromberg
156 Rea Laskowski
157 Paul Ellis
158 Justine Middleton
159 Shannon Connelly
160 Bruce Schneider
161 Brad Shprintz
162 Olen Anderson
163 Isabell Götz
164 Charles Groark 1
165 Charles Groark 2
166 Charles Groark 3
167 Norah Wohleb
168 Youngchae Lee
169 Deborah Fisher
170 Alyson King
171 Brad Shprintz 2
172 Amanda Prosser
173 Alana Vincent
174 Eugene Berl
175 Julie Webster 1 ***
176 Julie Webster 2 ***
177 Stephanie Loney
178 Jessie Wiles
179 Dietrich Leimsner
180 Bethany Nash
181 Kathryn Beckerdite
182 Mara Erlach
has anyone from the list of names ever received their book at all that we know?
is there some way we can work out how many names may still be on the list – I don’t suppose Conlan Press will put out another list.
Got caught in the same scam for the book/recording 9 years ago. After many emails and no replies in the last year, I have given up. Don’t want to bother with messy BBB/etc complaints. Just want to wipe it clean as a loss of $40 and a lesson well learned to stay away from Conlan and other Independants with bad repation. I’m tired of the whole deal and just don’t want to bother with the whole deal any more.
I hope the Conlans choke on my check, everybody’s else’s checks and all their ill-gotten gains. I hope they end up ruined. They won a lawsuit for Beagle and have been bleeding him dry like vampires of his money ever since, who remains clueless. They’ve lied and cheated other authors and hopeful beginning authors and it’s time to get some justice for all!
Hey, anon! I got caught in the Two Hearts / L.U. book recording scam 10 years ago too! :p. I eventually got my money back, though, but it took some persistence and a BBB threat. He ignores most emails but he doesn’t ignore those ones! 😀
I am number 87 on that list and never received the book and communication stopped happening. Now that Peter is suing, I am not anywhere sure what possible options may be available.
I purchased one of those Extra Deluxe Last Unicorn hardcovers in January 2009. I received this same email back in 2009 and my name is on the list.
I have never received my book all because of the unfinished sketch. I finally told Conlan Press I was done waiting and wanted a refund. It’s been 29 days since Connor acknowledged my refund request. He still has not sent me a check despite promising one would be sent “right away.”