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Advice Needed: 2 years and no measurements

I need advice on this. I'm not sure what to do.

I have a customer who paid me for a bodysuit two years ago. I have consistently asked for measurements in order to make the suit, but they haven't gotten back to me. Contact is sporadic via skype and email. Half the time my emails bounce. They always say they don't want to take the measurements on their own and that they feel unsure about the process. I've given them really detailed instructions as well as a measurement chart and example images. They confirmed receiving that email.

I've offered a refund, but they don't want one--plus I have the matching fur which is hard to find nowadays. What to do? As some on this community might remember, I have previous bewares (now resolved) due to lost contact because of my depression. I don't want to keep waiting and then get depressed again and be unable to complete the work when they do provide measurements.

I want to be as responsible as possible and prevent future slip-ups. I've stopped taking commissions, but having this bodysuit on my list is holding me back from being able to devote my time and space to other (personal) projects. 

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Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
growly
Jan. 9th, 2014 08:49 pm (UTC)
Give them a deadline for the measurements (nothing too long, you've already been waiting quite a while) and then if they miss that deadline, ask them if they'd like a refund of the payment, minus exact costs of the fur/shipping to them, or a full refund and you get to keep the fur. Mention that if they don't respond within 24 hours (or whatever span of time you want) with their preference on refund method, you'll just send a full refund to the Paypal address they used to pay you.
kontinue
Jan. 9th, 2014 08:56 pm (UTC)
You're fully within your rights to refund them whether they like it or not. If they're refusing to give you the information that you need to make their commission, they simply aren't going to get it... so it's best to just give them their money back. As growly said, giving a deadline is a good idea too.
thaily
Jan. 9th, 2014 08:59 pm (UTC)
AFter 2 years I'd just refund them regardless of how they feel about it. I wouldn't want that hanging over my head all that time.
quaylak
Jan. 9th, 2014 09:00 pm (UTC)
I would give them a deadline to get the measurements to you, otherwise, you are cancelling the project. If you know their Paypal address, I would send them their refund without their consent (if the deadline is missed) and consider the matter closed. It's not your responsibility to chase a customer around for two years. I think you've done enough to try and work with them and if this is how they are about this one simple step, it will only get worse when it comes time for approval, questions you may have, getting their shipping address, etc. Basically, this seems like a huge red flag for future communication issues, which isn't worth your time if you are trying to move on.

If you are worried about this coming back on you, just be sure you keep ample documentation and records of all of your communications with this person from here on out, and make sure your intentions and deadlines are clear (as well as take screen caps of the Paypal refund and such if it comes to that). They may get upset, but if you've returned their money, then there is nothing to accuse you of doing aside from cancelling a project you are no longer comfortable working on or have the time to dedicate to. Every artist has that right so long as they offer refunds for work they have not done. At least IMO. Good luck!
starcharmer
Jan. 9th, 2014 09:19 pm (UTC)
I am with eeeveryone else here. One month deadline to get their measurements to you or full refund no matter what it is they want.
sacch
Jan. 9th, 2014 09:27 pm (UTC)
Honestly? I'd just refund and cancel. You've been waiting long enough and they refuse to give you the information, so I don't see why you should bother. 2 years is a while IMO.
sbneko
Jan. 9th, 2014 09:45 pm (UTC)
I agree with this. Even if you get the measurements, what are you going to do when you need approval from them? And anything else answered? You may well end up waiting another two years.
dinogrrl
Jan. 9th, 2014 11:21 pm (UTC)
This. Two years just for measurements is absolutely ridiculous. That's the whole point of ordering a custom-fitted anything. If you don't have measurements in hand when you commission someone, or if you can't come up with them very shortly after (or make a DTD or SOMETHING), then frankly you don't have any business buying a custom fursuit.

That plus the difficult communication... I'd just drop them a note that you're sorry, but you won't be able to continue business with them, and refund them.
oceandezignz
Jan. 10th, 2014 04:08 am (UTC)
I agree with this. Two years, horrid communication? Refund them.

OR if you feel the need to give them an option its going to be one of the two:

A) Full refund
B) Partial refund + supplies

They have a week (maybe two) to make a final decision, or you'll proceed with the option you choose FOR them. And you will not budge on this, because you're not a bank or a storage unit, being forced to sit on this project because they're not "ready" is fifty shades of unfair to you, the maker.
houndofloki
Jan. 9th, 2014 09:54 pm (UTC)
If I were you - I would just refund their money minus the cost of shipping and fur, send them the fur, and wash your hands of the entire project. If the fur is hard to find and you want to keep it for another project, just refund them the full amount.

It's not your job to chase them around, and if they're this slow to take simple measurements you could wind up with a half-finished suit sitting around for years waiting on their approval to move forward.
ljmydayaway
Jan. 10th, 2014 01:25 am (UTC)
Thiiiiiiiis. This way the customer isn't going to have trouble finding matching fur in the future, and they can find someone more local to them who can do the measurements in person.

Two years sitting on a payment/supplies and waiting for measurements is crazy.
mazz
Jan. 9th, 2014 10:01 pm (UTC)
If they're so worried they'll screw it up they can always have a tailor measure them and then they can send those measurements to you, it won't be hard, just tell them they're getting a costume made. I'm sure they wouldn't charge much to measure someone either.

If they aren't willing to send you anything, you might as well refund them and move on.
exo_formicidae
Jan. 10th, 2014 12:27 am (UTC)
This. I know plenty who are willing to do it for a small charge. If the customer is willing to spend a good chunk of money on a costume, then a small fee to make sure the measurements are done by a 'pro' shouldn't be hard to get by.

Though, I would advice on maybe refunding this particular customer. as the other said, it could turn into a nightmare with changes and where to send it to later.
demons_haven101
Jan. 10th, 2014 12:30 pm (UTC)
If they are male, most suit shops will measure for free. We found one to measure my hubby for my brother's wedding.
ducttapeninja
Jan. 9th, 2014 10:25 pm (UTC)
I agree with pretty much everyone else; at this point, either give them a deadline to get their measurements to you, or just cancel it and send them their refund whether they want it or not. At this point, the client is wasting your time, and you have better things to be doing than chase them around for two+ years trying to get something as simple as some measurements.
syrusb
Jan. 9th, 2014 10:29 pm (UTC)
After 2 years at this point, I would not want to work on on the suit. They've had two years to get assistance with measurements; that's more than enough.

Give them a deadline to pick either:
1) full refund (where you keep what you've already bought)
or
2) refund minus cost of supplies/shipping (where they get the supplies you've bought)

If they don't respond, pick your favoured option, resolve. If you ship things make sure to use signature confirmation. Move on.
funkicarus
Jan. 9th, 2014 10:38 pm (UTC)
i echo p much everyone. send them a note saying 'hey i need that info or i'm gonna refund on [date].'

any protests they voice just reiterate: measurements or refund. if the date comes and you still have no measurements, send 'em back their money.
fawnwithpaws
Jan. 9th, 2014 10:51 pm (UTC)

2 years? Yikes... A little much don't you think?

Maybe they enjoy throwing money away? Since the obviously don't want a suit apparently by their actions!

What an odd thing to do...
di_porcellana
Jan. 10th, 2014 12:38 am (UTC)
Refund whatever has not been spent already on supplies and ship them the fur. If they haven't given you measurements in two years, I can imagine what the wait will be in regards to updates and the like.

Good luck!
catwithpen
Jan. 10th, 2014 03:43 am (UTC)
I would make a final request for measurements, with a deadline. Suggest that she ask a local friend for help if she doesn't want to do it herself. If you don't get the measurements by the deadline, you're probably never going to get it, so just cancel and refund. Two years is a long time, and you deserve to move on with your life.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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