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Advice

When I write this out, it sounds like a no-brainer... but I guess I'm still going to ask for advice on it.

The very rough version of it is: I ordered a product from a very popular well-known artisan back in July. I got it October, but the product was heavily flawed. When I contacted them about it, they told me they'd send me a replacement. Somewhere between a near month gap in November and early December, they apparently shipped it but did not inform me nor provide a tracking number. I still don't have the replacement, so I've tried contacting them three times since then and have not gotten any responses.

This artist often urges people that they're working on it, they're busy, they have a lot to take care of. However, they have been making more products (including of the same one I ordered, but taking the time to paint it and such) and have been shipping it out to other people with no problem.

So...what's keeping me from making a beware post is that I do still want the item. I've bought from this artist before with no problem, and don't want to make it so there will be problems in the future. However, it does seem like something that more people need to be aware about when contacting this artist if they have any problems with the items they receive. I'm worried there will be a lot of retaliation from this, or they'll just issue a refund and call it good, which isn't the outcome I would like.

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Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
germanchoclates
Jan. 3rd, 2014 05:53 am (UTC)
Got a feeling I know who this is...

I'd say since it's been more than 2 weeks since apparent ship date and they are in the same country as you, I'd say the item is probably lost as it's incredibly rare for any package to take longer than that to even ship across the U.S. Heck, I received a package from Japan in 2 weeks over the holidays. I know there was a mass holiday backlog from some shippers, but I would think it would have arrived by now even if caught in that fiasco.

Contact them and say you haven't received the item since the apparent ship date and either request another one be sent with proof of sending and/or tracking or a refund within X days if they aren't going to bother either getting it done, perpetually offering excuses, or essentially ignoring you. I know you want the item, but at this rate it's looking to be a bit of a chore.
thecreativepen
Jan. 3rd, 2014 05:54 am (UTC)
I think what's important in this situation is to weigh the best option for you, and not just basing it off of what you want.

If the artist is able to offer a refund, accept it. At this point, it appears they have shown you how much your order matters; they continue to produce the product you want and ship it on time, but cannot be bothered to respond to your emails. That isn't how you treat a customer, and if you enter this line of work, you NEED to have time set aside to confront and fix instances of broken/incorrect merch. I don't think this is something some people realize, or even realize they are liable for.
thecreativepen
Jan. 3rd, 2014 05:58 am (UTC)
Also don't mean to be a Negative Nancy, but I'm not buying the whole shipping of the replacement either...
I've always immediately notified customers of shipment dates, proof of shipping, and tracking. That's too much liability not to.

And really...why would they ship the item, but not inform their customer? Wouldn't you want the person to be able to plan around it's ETA?
breakspire
Jan. 3rd, 2014 12:45 pm (UTC)
How have you tried to contact them? I know certain people have preferred methods of contact, for instance personally I have trouble with etsy's convo system and prefer email. Maybe there is another means of contact you can try?

Definitely ask for tracking in your message.

Is the item you got fixable?
shagpoke
Jan. 3rd, 2014 05:46 pm (UTC)
Canadian here, but I thought I just read in a community that all domestic parcels shipped by USPS automatically come tracked.
If nothing else they should still have the receipt. If they are rather busy, as you imply, I naively assume that they declare all their income on their taxes and therefore would keep all shipping receipts to write off.
It seems weird to me that they wouldn't let you know a replacement has shipped. If you don't get a resolution soon, please do post a beware.
criu
Jan. 3rd, 2014 06:07 pm (UTC)
^
The USPS does have tracking all it's packages. I've always gotten tracking on my packages without having to ask them for it. It's automatic! OP, your tracking number should still be on their receipt.
If, by chance, the artist says that they sent out multiple packages at once and don't know which one's yours then they should find the one labelled with your Zip code.
kontinue
Jan. 4th, 2014 01:35 am (UTC)
As a Canadian who recently shipped a package to the USA... the tracking number for the package I shipped appeared on the receipt and slip. It is my understanding that this is how it works in the US as well.

Taxes aside, I keep all my shipping receipts until I know that the item I shipped is in the hand of the person it has been shipped to, in case I need to call and find out where it is or what has happened to it. I presume this is a common practice, so it wouldn't hurt to ask the artist if they still have their shipping slip and can give the tracking number that appears there.

(I do want to add that I believe in the US, one has to make a certain amount per year before one is required by law to declare that income on one's taxes. It could be the case that, despite being fairly busy, the artist does not make enough to fall into that bracket, but that's neither here nor there!)
exo_formicidae
Jan. 3rd, 2014 09:53 pm (UTC)
Even if you did make a beware, the professional thing to do would be owning up to the mistake and still fix it. I would not hold a customer responsible for my flaw, and if they do that is plenty reason to avoid them. If you question their professionalism already, I think that is reason enough to doubt getting the product as well. The best would be to get it an all be happy, but this situation where made on their end and so no matter what you do there will still be a positive and negative side.

Don't make a beware - possible get the product. Or be out both the product and money.
Make a beware - other people can avoid this artist/maker. And maybe some other unhappy customers will even come out of the woodwork. They could own up to their mistake, or they can send the white-knights (not stopping them counts as this too).

Personally I would have made the post, but this is personal opinion after all, and I understand getting some loud blind rage towards you is not something most would wish for.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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