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Lately i've been finding people using artists as personal bank accounts, in which people have asked for a refund from an artist not because they don't want the art anymore, or got tired of waitong for it; but because they need the money.

Lately i didnt think i would run into this, but when i mentioned offering a refund to a person or a rdesign of the pose, they mentioned "well i am in need of money/short on money" in which i was like.. Taken aback some. I get people always need money, it is a needed thing to live. But the comment almost made me feel like O was almost his person's personal ATM.

Of course I will give them the refund if they asked, but the comment left me worried.

What if this person views me as an easy out for money next time they commission me and need it? Wjat of other people who commission me do the same? What do I do? Hand over the money like an ATM and have wasted time if i got a fair way into the artwork because they found their decision to buy the art in the first place was a bad one?

I'm so conflicted...

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Comments

( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
celestinaketzia
Dec. 31st, 2018 11:17 am (UTC)
While I loathe the behavior of finicky clients, the realistic part is that you give the refund for work not done. It doesn't matter what your TOS says, you're likely to lose a Paypal chargeback as "no refunds ever" clauses don't hold up.

I'd give one client a single chance and a single refund. If they ask for their money back again, they'll just be blacklisted after I refund them a second time. It's about how I handle slot abandonment as well.

Edited at 2018-12-31 11:18 am (UTC)
peachymars
Dec. 31st, 2018 11:29 am (UTC)
After the one experience I had with a client like this I honestly refund them in full to wash my hands of the transaction and quietly blacklist them. It's going to sound harsh, but I truly just decide it isn't worth it and really don't want to work with someone like this. It's not the artist's fault that the client made a mistake with their finances and didn't account for their spending. If you're short on money, you shouldn't be spending what you have left on art- which is a luxury.

The client I experienced may have been a special case as they contacted me daily for updates, then asked for their money back a total of 3 days later for personal reasons that were honestly not my concern.

When art is your job or only form of income, refunding clients means less money for bills and now you have to fill that slot again with another sale. As you said, artists are not ATM machines. Clients should be more responsible with their spending or just not commission artists at all. The artist shouldn't have to be punished for poor decisions on someone else's part.

Refund the client in full if work isn't done, or partially if you've done work and it's outlined in your TOS. Don't stress yourself by working with clients who view you as an ATM- it's your decision, but the first time with a reason like "I'm short on money" is enough for me to blacklist on the first instance. Obviously, I'm not mean about it.

I should note: It's fully understandable if someone were to reach out to me and say "I have an emergency and did not expect this" or something similar. That's totally valid. But "I need money/I'm short on money" just doesn't sit well with me for the reasons I've listed above.

Edited at 2018-12-31 11:31 am (UTC)
kontonakuma
Dec. 31st, 2018 11:34 am (UTC)
Gonna have to echo the others here. They want to end the transaction, so you legally have to end it and refund them for work not done. If their reasoning was just simply needing the money back as opposed to unhappy with the transaction process or no longer interested, that would be the last time I do business with them. At that point they've made it clear they're a liability to the income flow, so its in the artist's best intrest not to attempt any future business with such client.
feignperfection
Dec. 31st, 2018 12:01 pm (UTC)
People can, and do, get cold feet about investments. And there may be more to the situation than just them wanting their money back because they want their money back. Without the full story from their end, it's hard to say, and in a client-business relationship, you're not really entitled to the full story.

If you've already completed work on their commission, give them what you've completed and refund less the appropriate amount. If you haven't started work on the commission yet, they should get a full refund. If you don't have the funds, that's a whole problem in and of itself. It's a good idea to not spend your income on particular commissions until you've completed them and delivered the goods, in order to ensure that you can cover refunding the commission. And if you're worried about this person doing this to you again in the future, don't accept future work from them.
mortymaxwell
Dec. 31st, 2018 12:18 pm (UTC)
Partial refund if they cancel and work has started.

Full refund if they cancel and work has not started.

You can refuse to do business with them if they tell you why they're canceling and you don't like the reason. But if they don't give a reason, I don't think it's appropriate to ask them why they want to end the commission. A lot of artists don't like it if a client asks them "why are you refusing my commission?" Would you appreciate it if you had to cancel and an artist asked, "Is this a legitimate reason for a refund?" I've seen some artists add stuff like "you have to have a good reason for wanting a refund" or "don't you dare ask for refunds unless you have a medical emergency" to their terms of service and I think that is awkward.

Edited at 2018-12-31 12:21 pm (UTC)
rendrassa
Dec. 31st, 2018 07:54 pm (UTC)
The problem is when you give a partial refund and they make it hell trying to get back all of it. But yeah, definitely blacklist after straight up ending things so they have the money back.
artbyzephra
Dec. 31st, 2018 08:24 pm (UTC)
So... If they come to me almost when originally ordering the commission and asking for a refund because something game up that put them in a bad situation, I can relate to that. Though, it's only really happened once.

I've also had someone who refunded a commission due to honestly a lot of things happening (partially my fault, partially theirs). They got the refund, then mentioned that they were getting refunds from EVERYONE they had commissions from, so that they'd have money for commissions at MFF. That one... I plan on writing a beware on in the next week or two, but had been hesitant to do so before simply because they didn't owe me any money, and I didn't owe them any art, so what's to beware?

For actual refunds, I'm ok with them if the work hasn't started yet, but I do keep a "down deposit" of the payment sent, and I'm very open with that as a deterrent for people commissioning then refunding freely.
mortymaxwell
Dec. 31st, 2018 09:39 pm (UTC)
Slight off topic here. Sorry. My hair stood on end when I saw this.

Let me get this straight. From your terms of service:


"If no work has been done on your commission, I can refund up to 80% of the total cost. The remaining 20% is to cover fees/time spent setting up the commission through communication."

You are a digital artist (not a traditional or a fur suit artist who might have to buy supplies for a commission). And if someone cancels and no work has been done, you're keeping some of their money regardless as an inconvenience fee? That would make me super uncomfortable.



https://artists-beware.livejournal.com/970101.html
https://artists-beware.livejournal.com/1023205.html?thread=33885925#t33885925

Edited at 2018-12-31 09:46 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - artbyzephra - Dec. 31st, 2018 11:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dead_punk_fox - Dec. 31st, 2018 11:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - artbyzephra - Dec. 31st, 2018 11:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celestinaketzia - Dec. 31st, 2018 11:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - artbyzephra - Dec. 31st, 2018 11:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celestinaketzia - Dec. 31st, 2018 11:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mortymaxwell - Dec. 31st, 2018 11:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - artbyzephra - Dec. 31st, 2018 11:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mortymaxwell - Jan. 1st, 2019 12:04 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dead_punk_fox - Dec. 31st, 2018 11:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - artbyzephra - Dec. 31st, 2018 11:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - eski - Dec. 31st, 2018 11:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - artbyzephra - Dec. 31st, 2018 11:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celestinaketzia - Jan. 1st, 2019 12:06 am (UTC) - Expand
lunahasawa996
Dec. 31st, 2018 08:39 pm (UTC)
Tried talking to the person and was greeted with this comment:

"Just im actually in debt.
So when I can get a few bucks. I take it.
But I'm sorry. That I rather get out of debt then have you draw some simpler when I can save money up and then just commission you later on when I was in a safer spot. But it seems you rather assume that I'm some money greedy Bastard. Thanks Luna. Really thanks. I haven't tried to be here to talk to when you needed someone just so I can have your money or for shit and giggles. I saw you as a friend and would under me enough that when I mention I needed the money. I meant it bad. Cause I'm nearly 1k in debt. If you like proof."

Idk how I feel about this other than the comments and assumptions seem really uncalled for...
celestinaketzia
Dec. 31st, 2018 09:29 pm (UTC)
That's incredibly guilt trippy and inappropriate.
mortymaxwell
Dec. 31st, 2018 09:44 pm (UTC)
That response was uncalled for. I would refund them and black list them.
(no subject) - peachymars - Jan. 1st, 2019 12:15 am (UTC) - Expand
brownspotz
Dec. 31st, 2018 10:59 pm (UTC)
I would suggest before it got to " the I need the money back" stage,to bang out the commission ASAP. When you get paid for it. That way they can't complain.
lunahasawa996
Jan. 1st, 2019 12:32 am (UTC)
Sadly when i intended to do just that i ended up doing a massive move, the my health deteriorated. I offered the refund due to knowing i cannot finish the difficult pose. I also offered a redesign of something of equal value that would be easier to finish if thet still wanted art.

But really their comment was just, not needed.
kaiiju
Jan. 2nd, 2019 12:47 am (UTC)
I'm going to play devil's advocate for once and say that, while the way they went about it in the responses in the comments was absolutely NOT okay and definitely block worthy, you gave them two options: a refund, or a redesign of the pose. They took the refund. From what I'm reading, it doesn't sound like they came out of the woodwork asking for a refund and giving you a sob story to get their money back, or were using you as a personal ATM. They simply took one of two options you presented to them because it was the most favorable given their current financial situation. That's not a bad thing nor does it make them a bad customer.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding the post, as you don't state why you offered them these options in the first place, but that's what I take away from this with the information given.
mortymaxwell
Jan. 2nd, 2019 06:11 am (UTC)
After seeing Kaiju's post I think more context would be helpful. In Luna's case...

How long did it take before the commission was accepted and then the client canceled? Did they get a slot, then cancel a week later or did it take several months? I would like to know this because when I looked at Luna's gallery I saw she had been offering voluntary refunds for months now.

I'm wondering if perhaps the client decided to finally take her up on this? Perhaps financial reasons was just one of many reasons factoring into the client's decision?


Edited at 2019-01-02 08:30 am (UTC)
( 30 comments — Leave a comment )

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