I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to have decided to host your project(s) at Dreamhost, and invested time and effort toward that end, only to be unable to “seal the deal” at the end of the day. I think your experience is very unfortunate, and I’m sorry to hear things could not be worked out.
That said, I also find it a bit silly that you should have to wait for a “refund” at all. It seems to me that if they needed the “imprint” to “charge your account”, having not received the imprint they should not have initiated any charge at all until they had received it.
For Dreamhost to maintain that an “imprint is needed to process your account” and “since you can’t send the imprint, we can’t service you”, but then have to refund money for which they already processed a charge seems to me to be a needlessly convoluted way of doing things.
Maybe they never actually processed the charge on the account, waiting for the imprint, in which case you would still have your money in the account and no refund would be needed (or would that be too simple a way for the situation to be handled?).