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Back in March this year, I needed some fursuit paws and feet making quickly for an event, as my others were worn out. The event was about 2-3 weeks away which I know was real short notice, but I asked around a few Facebook groups anyway. A fursuit maker came forward, while she wasn't well known and her fursuits not super top notch, I only wanted paws and those looked fine. I even checked on here to make sure they weren't listed ( they weren't).

So I went with them, I sent payment and materials to them and they got to work. However, issues started to arrise. The dye for the resin wasn't adhering to the claws. Then the event passed and I didn't have my suit, they apologized and we set a new deadline.

Then when I'd ask for updates ( I wasn't getting any regularly) I'd be told their dog had died, I'd feel bad and leave them for a bit. Then it would be a family member who was severely ill. Now when it's stuff like this, I think you'll agree it's hard because you don't want to call them out if they're upset. It's manipulative as heck.

I was about to ask for an update as she'd given me " They'll be done in 2 weeks" message only to see that they'd apparently been robbed of some value items. Oof.

I have only seen two photos of my items. One phone photo of a pair of unclawed paws and a pair of paws - in the wrong style, mind- wrapped in ductape. This was back in March/April.

At this point, I really just want to go to another fursuit maker as I've had people offer to make them for me at conventions when they found I was without suit.

What should I do, just keep pressing them for updates or ask for a refund and the unfinished item to be sent to me?

Should I AB them?

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Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
laughsatthunder
Sep. 11th, 2015 07:15 pm (UTC)
I would definitely leave an A_B. No photos since March/April is bad but the constant excuses and missed deadlines are a red flag.
dinogrrl
Sep. 11th, 2015 07:17 pm (UTC)
I would ask for a refund and move on. You hired them to do something they have not done, they've blown past multiple deadlines, and now it seems like they're not even doing the right work at all. If they really have that much traumatic stuff going on in their life that it's disrupting their ability to work, they should have offered to refund you. Them dragging you along like this, citing tragedy after tragedy, whether or not those things have actually happened, is actually a pretty manipulative thing for THEM to be doing to you.
bladespark
Sep. 11th, 2015 07:21 pm (UTC)
What I would do is send a very polite "I know that you have had many life issues, and I don't blame you at all, but I did pay for these, and I would like to have them. Since you've been having all these awful problems, would it be less stressful for you to refund me so I can go elsewhere? If not, I'd like to have them by X date, or I really would rather get a refund."

Something like that, anyhow. Don't be accusatory. Float the idea of a refund. Give one more deadline. If *that* deadline is missed too, then it's time for the AB posts and the refund demands.

I mean, honestly, they've strung you along for long enough, you'd be perfectly justified in making an AB post now, but I like to make absolutely certain that an artist *knows* they have a firm deadline, *knows* the customer isn't happy, and has a chance to do something about it. Some artists can be oblivious about people's impatience, and may not realize how bad the delays look from your point of view. A clear "by X, or refund" message removes that issue, and then the only remaining issue is if they'll actually do the work or not.

(Although I will say that going by past experiences, there's even odds that any mention of refunds will make the artist flip out at you, in which case just go ahead and post here anyway. Some artists are oblivious, some are taking advantage and *know* it, and get all pissed off and defensive when they're called on it.)
amethystpie
Sep. 11th, 2015 07:29 pm (UTC)
While waiting for this to be accepted, I asked for a refund and what was made to be sent to me. She agreed and refunded me £5 of the £80 spent.

However, the items have arrived and are in poor condition. They are the wrong shape with rough edges. The claws I was told were going to be resin, they are actually hand sculpted out of Fimo with finger prints, folds and dirt in the clay.

The worst thing however is the smell. The stink of dog and general dirt, I asked her about this and was told that they were kept away from the animals however there is dog hair in the fur itself. The stink is so strong I can small the feet from a yard away.
leahtaur
Sep. 11th, 2015 08:44 pm (UTC)
If the feet are definitely not up to the standard of their other items shown as examples, I think a beware is in order.
clockmagic
Sep. 11th, 2015 09:36 pm (UTC)
Dog hair alone should not be leaving a smell like that. Make a review for FursuitCritique on FurAfffinity (and/or Fursuitreview on FA if you want a faster response).
Did you approach them with the complaints on the claws, rough edges and smelly feet?
amethystpie
Sep. 11th, 2015 10:05 pm (UTC)
Yep. They said the dogs were no where near the fur and that any smell would have just been from her not washing her hands between petting the dog and then working on the suit. But this smell is so thick and acrid, it feels like the dog has just been sat on either the fur or the foam for a very long time.

She just sent her apologies and told me to clean it thoroughly but they are so roughly made that I worry they'll break.
snowhawk
Sep. 11th, 2015 11:07 pm (UTC)
There's no excuse for that. None, what so ever. You should not have to fix her mistake, that's not your job. This whole thing on the artist's part is inexcusable. Her personal problems are not your concern. Her inability to keep her work area clean (meaning to wash her hands before working... and keeping her dog CLEAN like a decent owner should do because if the dog is THAT filthy... ugh*) is not your problem.

I don't feel that sending you back what she did is enough, especially if you now have to clean what was sent.

* - This might be off topic, but I have been a pet groomer for 11+ years. I have had some disgusting dogs on my table. I have never had something stink as badly as you have described it for simply handling it after working on one of these dogs. (My car, for example...) And I have handled some -disgusting- dogs.
dinogrrl
Sep. 12th, 2015 01:45 am (UTC)
Yeah, as a vet tech I handle some pretty smelly animals, but the animal has to have something REALLY bad going on for the smell to stick to my clothes enough for what the OP's describing to happen. Honestly it sounds more to me like the paws were forgotten in a dank corner of the house or in a backpack or whatever for a while. I don't know what else could have caused a bad smell like that, next to the dog making chew toys out of them.

Which reminds me, amethystpie, obviously we can't smell the paws through the internet, but if they smell that bad I'd be worried about mold or mildew. If you think there is ANY chance of that, please get them clean ASAP, or get rid of them. Don't risk your health over this.

Regardless of the reason behind all this, sending a soiled and incorrect product is inexcusable. That alone is absolutely AB-worthy, in my opinion.
mpd_84
Sep. 12th, 2015 07:00 am (UTC)
I've only met one dog that could make someone's hands stink bad enough for the smell to transfer like that. She was a walking, chronic infection due to neglect and caused rashes when people touched her.
That dirt smell might be mold. Every time I have to clean mold it always smells like weird dirt.

As for the claws, I was under the impression that dye was MIXED IN *to the resin right before it was cast. Not applied like paint afterwards. Though I guess it doesn't matter much here, since she didn't even use the resin claws.

*edited because this comment got posted as I was typing it somehow.

Edited at 2015-09-12 07:02 am (UTC)
cidal_fun
Sep. 11th, 2015 10:05 pm (UTC)
Has she given you a timeframe for refund payments? This person seems unprofessional, and may try to string you along with the refund as well.
dinogrrl
Sep. 12th, 2015 01:32 am (UTC)
Oh, ew. That's not okay, at all. I would be HORRIFIED if I sent out an item that reeked like that and was covered in cat hair. I mean, I have two cats, one of whom is medium-haired, and I live in a one-bedroom apartment, so cat hair is pretty much a fact of life. But it is still not hard for me to keep my art supplies, especially fabrics, clean and cat-free. If a cat hair does happen to float onto my work, I get downright OCD about picking it out because it just makes me look bad to send a dirty product.

Not to mention that if my customer happened to be allergic to cats, I would be in a huge world of hurt if they reacted to a plushy because my cat has decided to take a nap in the filling or something.

If you are an artist and have an animal free-roaming your house, you HAVE to take precautions about these sorts of things! There is no excuse not to.
tylociraptor
Sep. 11th, 2015 07:48 pm (UTC)
It's extremely unprofessional of them to be going on and on to you, their customer, about their personal issues and life problems. Would you be okay going to a store, and at checkout, having the cashier complain about their mother's cat and tell you to wait here for thirty mins so she can call home and do this and that? Would you expect to have to go a month without a car because your mechanic is too upset about family problems to work on it and expects you to just wait?

Now, as a full time artist myself, I know that things can happen, it's unreasonable to think they won't. But you just tell your client that there will be a delay, that you are sorry, and you will keep in touch with updates. It's not their business or problem what is going on in your life!

I would request the refund and leave it at that. I'd suggest an A_B but really that is up to you!
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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