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Beware: Blaze Redwolf / Angrygoat293

WHO: Blaze Redwolf or Angrygoat293@outlook.com
I am including the email address as this person does not have any online profiles that I can find- I only know them through email.

WHERE: All contact was through email, angrygoat293@outlook.com

WHAT: The customer filed a chargeback after I completed a fursuit concept art for them.

WHEN: January 23rd, 2016 - now.

PROOF:
All correspondence with customer from commission start to finish. [Large Image]
Completed Commission.
The Chargeback.
Customer denying they filed a chargeback.

EXPLAIN: Customer first contacted me January 23rd, 2016 and the commission was paid for the same day.
Commission was completed and sent to the commissioner February 6th, 2016.
They respond February 15th with a simple "thank you", and contact ceased.

About a month later (March 3rd, 2016), I receive a notification from paypal that this customer has filed for a chargeback, saying that "they did not make this purchase".
This is completely out of the blue as I have not heard from them about any problems/dissatisfaction with the commission.
I contact them immediately asking them to cancel the chargeback, and it is not until 2 weeks later, when the chargeback has gone through and their money returned that they finally reply saying "sorry, I did not mean to do a chargeback".
I request again that they return the money to me.

It's been several weeks and I have still not heard from them nor has my money been returned. This puts me back almost $100 as the $20 chargeback fee was tacked ontop of the already $75 cost.

I had gone into paypal and provided screencaps and my side of the story, but paypal sided with the commissioner as "intangible goods/services are not protected by paypal".

As this person does not have a developed online profile to my knowledge, I am not hopeful that any sort of resolution will come of this.

I urge artists and fursuit makers to not work with this individual, and if you see anyone using this concept art, do not work with them. I consider the artwork to be stolen as it was not paid for.
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Comments

( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
(Screened comment)
kayla_la
Apr. 11th, 2016 11:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Let's see if I can help!
Heya! Unfortunately unless you have hard proof that this may be them, we have to screen this as we don't want to direct suspicion at possibly innocent parties.

The OP will still have access to the comment so they can investigate these accounts themselves.
mwebwing
Apr. 11th, 2016 11:21 pm (UTC)
Re: Let's see if I can help!
Of course, and I was actually in the process of editing my comment to add that I don't actually know this is them, just that it came up when I started hitting Google. :)
viothefoxbird
Apr. 12th, 2016 05:45 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I found those while searching as well but there is no solid proof, so nothing I can do really :(
tylociraptor
Apr. 12th, 2016 12:12 am (UTC)
Out of curiosity, did you edit that email to say "angry goat" or did the buyer actually have that name listed? because I bet you dollars to donuts if he does, it isn't his real name, and could/should be reported to paypal.

This kind of thing really annoys me. It's happened to me twice- once it was an actual issue with someone's credit card being stolen and he quickly solved it for everyone, including me. The other time I couldn't even get back in contact with the person who filed the fraudulent charge back. Have you tried calling Paypal? As I understand it they are usually more helpful on the phone.
celestinaketzia
Apr. 12th, 2016 12:13 am (UTC)
Upgrading to a business account on Paypal is simply an easy click and you can put whatever name you want to display.
tylociraptor
Apr. 12th, 2016 12:14 am (UTC)
Oh yes, I'd forgotten about this!
viothefoxbird
Apr. 12th, 2016 05:46 pm (UTC)
I have not tried calling PayPal, the "we do not protect intangible goods" seemed pretty final to me and I wasn't really sure what to do from there. If you have any advice I'm all ears!
bigblued
Apr. 12th, 2016 06:15 pm (UTC)
One common workaround to the intangible goods issue is to always ship a physical item. So even if your art is all digital, and the "main" product is a digital file, you still send a printout in the mail. it doesn't have to be a high quality print, just a physical item that is sent to the customer.
celestinaketzia
Apr. 12th, 2016 06:17 pm (UTC)
That could get expensive quickly. Having had to file a legitimate chargeback before, Paypal told me that only can protect a seller if they paid for tracking and it shows as delivered on the given tracking number. It could be a cost shuffled onto the customer in the end, though.
viothefoxbird
Apr. 12th, 2016 08:32 pm (UTC)
The problem with this is that I do about 10 of these a week and currently do not have access to a car/post office. It's just not an easy option right now. :(
mortymaxwell
Apr. 13th, 2016 06:59 am (UTC)
Transportation issues, not to mention if a customer is international, the cost of international shipping would get pretty high real fast. And some countries are a nightmare to ship from and lose packages a lot.

Edited at 2016-04-13 07:26 am (UTC)
sresla
Apr. 14th, 2016 01:31 am (UTC)
From the standpoint of someone who ships a lot of packages - the cost to do so is actually pretty minimal. For example:

A 100 pack of small padded mailers is $17 (http://www.amazon.com/EcoSwift-Shipping-Packaging-Materials-Envelopes/dp/B00DNOTBBY)

You can print postage via PayPal (https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_ship-now) and tracking is automatically included. In this instance, you'd want to opt for a 1-2 ounce first class package and the total will be $2.45.

So, for the grand total of an additional $3 (which could be built into your commission structure) you could send out a physical package with tracking and include something like this in your TOS:

You will also receive via USPS a low-res black and white copy of your commission. (no need to make it high-res or color)

Anything under 12 ounces can be picked up by your postal carrier. I'm lucky because I live within walking distance of a blue box (a USPS drop-off mailbox) and my apartment also will hold packages in the office to be picked up by the carrier. If its thin enough, the padded mailer might even fit into an apartment mail drop. The beauty of printing the label via PayPal is that you can also play around with how it's printed so if you didn't want to use a padded mailer, you could print it legal letter size right on the envelope and save even more.

I certainly understand the privacy issue, so it might be a trade-off there; it's possible that you might lose out on commissions as a result, but if you state why it's being done in the TOS:

You will also receive via USPS a low-res black and white copy of your commission. PayPal does not protect the sellers or buyers of intangible goods like digital artwork so this is to protect both of us to ensure you're receiving what you pay for, both electronically and physically.

I imagine that people would be understanding.
sresla
Apr. 14th, 2016 01:34 am (UTC)
I forgot to mention that this would only work domestically. Shipping internationally is very expensive and for a package, will often require that some sort of customs form is filled out. However, I don't know what percentage of the OP's work is done with overseas clients, so that may be a non-issue.
sresla
Apr. 14th, 2016 01:44 am (UTC)
One last thing, I swear. I know I'm not supposed to edit, but I'm posting without thinking all my thoughts.

This also obviously hinges on having a printer. However, a printer is a small, small cost for doing this type of business. I have a low end HP that I bought ages ago for $50 and I've only had to replace the ink cartridge once (I wasn't only printing labels on it). You could probably get an inexpensive one for even less than that (although you want to make sure that the first ink cartridge is included).

I should also say (yes, I'm really done after this), that I just picked a pack of cheap mailers on Amazon. You could find the same non-bubble envelopes for even less, I'm sure. Yep, found them with minimal searching:

http://www.amazon.com/Columbian-Clasp-Envelopes-9-Inch-CO955/dp/B01ADR7YH6/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1460598180&sr=1-5&refinements=p_n_feature_keywords_browse-bin%3A7803875011

So, still $3 for shipping and the envelopes, but it's enough to break even on spending the money to ship something.
viothefoxbird
Apr. 14th, 2016 08:22 pm (UTC)
You bring up some great points! In some ways, doing something like this would not be too hard and really could be something for me to look into doing in the future.

But- I would say about 50% of my commissioners are international. So it's still not a complete fix.
mortymaxwell
Apr. 14th, 2016 10:23 pm (UTC)
What about using a freelancer site like Upwork with an escrow service? What are peoples' thoughts on that?
mortymaxwell
Apr. 13th, 2016 05:32 am (UTC)
This would be a deal breaker for me, for privacy and cost reasons. When I commission artwork, I am only interested in buying a picture, not a print or CD to go with my commission.
spartanwerewolf
Apr. 13th, 2016 09:03 am (UTC)
I really wish there was a viable alternative to paypal because so many people get screwed over by that "intangible" line.

Like, all fucking services are intangible, ya fuckin goofs. Not to mention that, like, the item is right there, visibly finished, and yet you get dinged, not just losing the $75 for work you completed, but an extra $20 for a fee when you did nothing wrong.

It's like they're punishing you for using their [intangible] service.
viothefoxbird
Apr. 13th, 2016 08:45 pm (UTC)
Exactly. It's so frustrating.
I want an "artist PayPal alternative" more than anything. :(
bearprince
Apr. 15th, 2016 02:14 am (UTC)
This has been on my mind for a while, and in light of this situation and seeing more and more people being screwed over by that "intangible goods" rule -- I wonder, would putting a note in the transaction itself that says "by paying, the customer agrees that they are receiving only digital goods, and no physical item" be a viable workaround?

I work using invoices only, and I had this note, as well as a note saying that my customer agrees to my TOS upon payment, in every invoice I send. But would that actually put the artist in more danger since paypal isn't supposed to be used for intangible goods?

(But then I have to wonder why there's a "service rendered" option when you go to adjust shipping information... which is what i use to indicate I've finished the work that invoice was for.)

If that IS a viable option, though, maybe try switching over to invoices and putting in a clause similar to this? It might help avoid this situation in the future.
celestinaketzia
Apr. 15th, 2016 02:18 am (UTC)
"Intangible goods" has been out for a long time. Digital media is absolutely covered by Paypal now.

In order to get coverage for digital media you have to prove your client has received the file. Adoptables and art packs should be covered under this rule.

The issue is that "custom made items" are still not covered.
celestinaketzia
Apr. 15th, 2016 02:20 am (UTC)
Interesting that Paypal told you that given that digital media has been covered for quite some time. What isn't covered is "custom made items".
mistresswolf
Apr. 16th, 2016 02:35 pm (UTC)
I think it is pretty dumb that custom items aren't covered... because if it is something customized for one person then it isn't like it is easy to resell (like in the case of a highly custom fursuit design) to recoup losses if the customer screws you over.
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )

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