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Advice needed.

Hi there are. I have been having some issues with a maker I commissioned to make me a partial. It was just the head and tail. We started contact late January, early February, for a special type of fursuit mask, and a tail. She said it would only take a couple weeks, but I set a deadline for the beginning of August so I could have it by a certain con.

A little knew to the community and commissioning of fursuits, I paid the entire amount in advance. She said that she didn’t usually start work until it was entirely paid off.

With little updates, the due date came and past, and I noted her several times prior to requesting updates. A couple weeks later, she noted me asking when the due date was and acted shocked when I told her it had passed. With great politeness she apologized and offered to make me hand paws in addition. I reluctantly agreed, knowing it would take her longer but I really wanted the partial. We agreed to yet another deadline of September. Came and passed.

Since then, communication has been very spotty. When I DO receive updates, the partial (what little bits she shows me) looks beautiful. And, everytime she does note me back, she is really nice, and it almost makes me feel bad for asking her to show me something, anything. However the excuses kept coming. It has now been 5 months over due, and I haven’t really seen any progress in 3 months.

I don’t know what to do. I have a feeling it was dumb to pay all upfront…and she has such a long queue, I’m afraid it won’t ever get done. She’s very kind and a lovely artist, but so far I am having my doubts about her work ethic.

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( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 8th, 2014 03:49 am (UTC)
Fizz, you need to give her an ultimatum. She hasn't shown any progress on the mask since 3 months ago when she posted that sneak peek. An entire year is entirely too long to wait for something that was supposed to be done "in a couple of weeks". It makes me upset to think about how long you've had to wait, because I know how excited you were about this and I'm sure it is going to leave a bad taste in your mouth.
Jan. 8th, 2014 04:04 am (UTC)
:c It has been a huge disappointment to say the least; this is my first time commissioning something 'big' and it has become awful.

How should I word an ultimatum like that? I have trouble wording myself and this situation is so difficult already.
Jan. 8th, 2014 04:17 am (UTC)
"Hello, I know you're a busy person but I have been waiting over a year for my partial and you missed 2 deadlines. At this point I am worried about where my suit that is fully paid for is and why it's taken so long with so little updates. I'd appreciate if you and I could discuss a new deadline that my suit will be done by or giving me a full refund, if this deadline is missed i will contact paypal and my bank for chargeback and may be posting this situation to Artists-beware"

Something similar that would be fine and not rude, i can't words sometime but it's a start of how to request one. At that point you can give them a fair time limit for the deadline to finish the suit or refund you before you must go to drastic measures.
Jan. 8th, 2014 04:25 am (UTC)
Ding! This works well, but I would refrain from mentioning A_B. This isn't a 'forum' that should be used as a threat.
Jan. 8th, 2014 04:36 am (UTC)
I don't think A_B should ever be used as a threat either. This is a community to help solve issues between OP's and who their beware was about and to share experiences, both negative and positive.

We're not a, "If you're posted here, it hurts your rep" kind of community. I feel that to use A_B as a threat misrepresents what A_B is.

Edited at 2014-01-08 04:36 am (UTC)
Jan. 8th, 2014 05:58 am (UTC)
I must say I disagree - any review site is literally a "this could hurt your reputation" website. We're not actively out there -trying- to do this, but it's the very nature of a review site dedicated to failed transactions between artists and customers.

First and foremost we are Artists "Beware", it's important to keep that in mind.
Jan. 8th, 2014 12:49 pm (UTC)
To be fair, text doesn't well relay emphasis. I don't think A_B should be mentioned as a threat.

Sure, a mention of "Hey, I'm concerned about this and I'm thinking about posting to A_B to see if I'm overreacting" would go over better than "If you don't do this, I'm going to post you to A_B" ...which was what I was thinking. There's a difference in saying that there's intent to post to a review site for reference, and a dead-on threat.
Jan. 8th, 2014 05:52 am (UTC)
Actually I don't really take issue with people mentioning AB. Of course it shouldn't be said as a threat, but if mentioning AB gets a customer/artist to act (as in, to avoid being on a site dedicated to reviews) then I don't see the problem with it.

AB is often times used between customers and artists, as a polite warning to get them to respond. I don't see what's posted above as threatening, but more of a general warning.

Edit - Also, sometimes mentioning AB is all a person has to use to get the other persons attention. There are some folks who have absolutely ignored every other avenue but get a fire under their bum when AB is mentioned.

Edited at 2014-01-08 05:55 am (UTC)
Jan. 8th, 2014 06:36 am (UTC)
Any review site is also literally a, "This could promote your reputation" website as well as hurt, much like yelp. And that while this may be a review site, the reviews work both ways.

After reading both of your opinions on the matter, I can conclude that I spoke a bit too soon. You're both right. Mentioning AB on it's own isn't a threat. I kept thinking back to the cases where a commissioner would use it as a manipulation tactic to get what they want. Much like in the case of Comico doing it to Baebunny. http://artists-beware.livejournal.com/674962.html#comments

After re-reading what Mazz wrote a few more times, yeah no. Nothing threatening there.
Jan. 8th, 2014 05:57 am (UTC)
mod post
Seconding Neolucky.

While we don't support the use of Artists_Beware as a manipulation tactic (for example, we've had situations where the OP threatened with A_B, received resolution, but then still posted the artist), like Yelp, the knowledge that bad business practices may become public is enough to motivate an artist to seek resolution.

It's unfortunate that it comes to that at times, but I personally (mod hat off) would rather someone let me know they intended to post my behavior on A_B if I didn't follow through than have it come as a surprise.
Jan. 8th, 2014 12:50 pm (UTC)
I clarified my position up on Neolucky's comment.
Jan. 8th, 2014 07:31 pm (UTC)
Re: mod post
I will make note of this...other people have told me to "use" mention of AB to my advantage but I never know how to feel about it. Thank you for your input.
Feb. 18th, 2014 10:39 pm (UTC)
Re: mod post
As it's been over a month, did it ever get fully resolved? .-.
Feb. 19th, 2014 02:17 am (UTC)
Re: mod post
No. I noted her saying if it was not done by the 15th of February I would want a refund. Have since noted her reminding her of this agreement, but she has not responded....
Jan. 8th, 2014 05:18 am (UTC)
Agreeing with Mazz.
Jan. 8th, 2014 02:45 pm (UTC)
No real advice from me, but I did want to chime in that as far as I know a lot of makers do not start work until the full price is paid off, and no maker worth their salt will deliver until it's fully paid off, so I don't think you were stupid in any way to pay it off quickly. My wonder is if the maker you speak of has a history. I won't ask who they are, of course, but I do suggest you check the tags here to check!
Jan. 8th, 2014 07:26 pm (UTC)
Ohh, okay. I didn't know how common a practice that was.

I have checked the tags, and her name is not on there. But...I have seen shouts from others on her page asking for updates on their orders.
Jan. 8th, 2014 08:36 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it is fairly common, so don't feel too bad! And that's a pretty good warning sign, though if you had not seen then prior to commissioning her it couldn't have been a warning to you at all!
Jan. 9th, 2014 01:32 am (UTC)
You know, I am baffled by this. WHY do they need the full amount? I am a suit maker myself, and I still don't understand how any suit maker could have a requirement for payment in full before even starting work.
Jan. 9th, 2014 02:43 am (UTC)
Just FYI, it's common practice for fursuit makers to do payment plans. There's usually a non-refundable initial deposit of 25-30% (for materials and whatnot) that's due upfront, another payment at a progress point, and the final after the costume is finished but before it's shipped.

Taking full payment upfront is not typical for costumes, because you're talking about a much more expensive project on a much longer completion timeline then most visual art.
Jan. 9th, 2014 03:23 am (UTC)
Oh, yes, I know. :) I just know that it is not uncommon for makers to hold off on doing any work until the last payment is received, though there are others who work differently. I perfectly understand those who work in that way too, considering how big of a burn it can be for a maker who gets burned, though I do think in fursuits, considering the cost and length of the project, the method of payment/work you described is far better for both parties.
Jan. 8th, 2014 03:46 pm (UTC)
Like Hezzy and Mazz suggested, a firmly written note to the maker should hopefully be the fright they need to get into action.
Going this length of time without result is ridiculous.
This sounds frighteningly similar to another situation I'm aware of, one one hand I hope it's the same person if only for the knowledge that there aren't two people with the same practices
Jan. 19th, 2014 05:11 am (UTC)
This happened to me a while ago. Young me had just gotten his first job, commissions a fursuit builder without doing much research, and the deadlines just came and went. Communication was spotty, but every time I was contacted they were so sweet and apologetic about not having any pictures, I didn't feel like I could stay mad. Ended up getting most of the suit refunded due to all this missed deadlines, but eventually I just had to put my foot down and told said maker to send me what they had

After 2.5 years of waiting, I received a foam base with the fur on top of it (not glued down, mind you) and about 2 yards of fur to finish my partial with

Honestly, at this point I'd try to get a refund. Maybe get the materials as well if you know of someone who might be able to help ya finish. I just wish I would have done it sooner, would have saved so much time and been much less stressed over it

Edited for spelling

Edited at 2014-01-19 05:12 am (UTC)
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )


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