Ten years is a very long time in terms both Perl and the evolution of Web Applications as whole. Putting aside the fact that you have a useless pile of code that is impossible to maintain or extend, its also unlikely that a 10 year old chat script will have a competitive featureset compared to a more modern solution.
What are your requirements? Perhaps there is an open source or affordable commercial solution that will meet your needs.
Considering the author has offered you a partial refund, you may as well take it. Even if you use an automated tool like B::Deobfuscate to deparse the "compiled" code into something more readable, you will not easily be able to understand and maintain that output without the help of an experienced developer. Sounds like all the original variable names and other symbols are gone and you'd need to debug it line by line.
Take the refund and start over, in the future make sure any solution you evaluate does not suffer from the same flaws as SEaChat.
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