February 14th, 2017

Advice needed: Artist giving refunds marked as services?

Hello AB!
I just need advice on the topic of artist giving refunds marked as services.

A few months ago I finally got the guts to ask an artist who I had been waiting on a piece of artwork from for over a year if they could issue me a refund (110$). It took them a while as they stated that they didn't have any money due to bills and that they would have to take on more work to be able to refund me. (this is a common trend with said artist but I'm not looking to name them.) They sent me the first half after selling the base sketch for my commission as a ych and then the second half after another week. I was happy to have my refund but the thing that bothered me is that they sent both halves marked as 'goods and services' instead of issuing it through the transaction, or even sending it as 'friends and family.' This not only bothers me because I now have two transactions marked as services on my Paypal account when I use it purely for commissioning artist but I also had to eat the Paypal fees out of pocket which was roughly 10$ give or take.

I bit my tongue and chalked it up to being a one time occurrence and just let it slide but recently I had another case where an artist I had commissioned took over two months but continuously did personal artwork and bought commissions. I noted them and asked politely if I could be issued a refund (54$) and they told me they would after selling some characters of theirs. Once they sold they had tried to issue me a refund through the transaction but they had an issue with their account were instead of Paypal taking it out of their balance they took it out of their bank account which didn't have money in it so it sat pending for a week before failing. (I've had issues with Paypal doing this as well so I wasn't surprised) They messaged me back telling me that after having to eat a bank account bouncing fee that they would just send it to me manually so it could be done with which I was perfectly fine with but like the last artist I had issues with they sent it as 'Goods and Services' and it ate about 3 dollars.

So I guess what I am asking is how should I handle situations like this? Should I request that they only send it at 'friends and family.' or do it through the transaction? Maybe I'm wrong but I don't think it's fair to a commissioner that if they want a refund for overdue art (or just plainly the artist cancelling) they have to lose money out of pocket because of it.

Either way any advice would be very appreciated.