June 30th, 2017

Artists-Beware: Ailuranthropy (DBA: FoxFeatherStudios)

Who: Ailuranthropy (appears to do business as “FoxFeatherStudios” according to PayPal)

Where: https://www.furaffinity.net/user/ailuranthropy

What: Digital Art – 2 Figure, shaded, Valentine’s Day-specific multi-user YCH

When: Discussed and paid January 30th, 2017. Problems and delays began almost immediately and continued in frequency well beyond the holiday.

Explain: The original commission was purchased on January 30th after a brief exchange via comments and notes. Shortly after began a long series of purported medical and housing “emergencies” that stacked in number. Meanwhile, Ailuranthropy continued taking in numerous new commissions while failing promise after promise to complete existing ones, several times specifically mentioning the Valentine’s Day pieces.

I had sent three separate notes over FA looking for feedback. The first note was replied to, but did not answer my question. The second and third have not been opened or read as of June 22nd, 2017, suggesting the artist is either that far behind, falsely indicating progress where it doesn’t exist, or is outright ignoring me. Since they claim to have made progress in answering notes and publically stated they will address all of them within a time period that they’ve failed to meet, it suggests either of the latter case and deliberate negligence.

Ailuranthropy runs frequent streams on Picarto where she often takes in new commissions. She mandates that no viewer is allowed to ask about owed artwork, or request status updates about them in the chat channel of the stream. Requests to actually get that information result in other users browbeating the customer with “channel rules” until they leave.

A journal was posted on June 1st, 2017 that I found of particular concern. They wrote about their plans regarding owed work and made an “offer” to everyone who commissioned them before April 2017 that they have an option of a “full refund,” but that they won’t honor it “until probably August.” They say they will continue to take on new commissions while in-stream, and that the income for that is meant to pay for their living arrangement they are trying to set up, as well as paying for refunds of old ones. They specifically state “ME TAKING ON COMMISSIONS DOES NOT MEAN I AM IGNORING YOURS.” They also indicate that they will be expanding on the Valentine’s Day pieces and no longer using the base or template. Rather, they claim they will be creating new, unique poses for each customer.

However, they also specifically made a point to tell people that PayPal is their sole and primary “bank” and are concerned about their account being flagged. This suggests to me that they are likely well aware of the limitations on how PayPal disputes work. I found it particularly troublesome to be asked to wait beyond my dispute window, where I would lose the bulk of my ability to try to resolve this issue.

Given PayPal’s limitation of 6 months to file a dispute, and that the invoice was paid in January, we were quickly coming up to the deadline to escalate this issue. With my last two notes remaining unread, filing a dispute on PayPal was my only remaining bargaining tool. They replied within one hour to the PayPal dispute and asked for my FA username so they could remove me from their project list and blacklist me from any future business. I provided the username as requested, and asked that she update me when I’ve been removed and that she process the dispute accordingly, as she was effectively stating she would not deliver the product that was paid for. After 48 hours without a reply, I escalated the issue directly to PayPal to handle. PayPal contacted Ailuranthropy and a refund was provided within an hour.

Proof:

Screenshots of payment confirmation:
http://imgur.com/zp3132g
http://imgur.com/uzi2tzb

Screenshots of Unread Notes:
http://imgur.com/koqCu24

Contents of unread notes:
http://imgur.com/9pSQD5K
http://imgur.com/Gi3pXPs

Screenshots of PayPal dispute interaction:
http://imgur.com/tc1kjl6
http://imgur.com/nXUFUZa

Screenshot of PayPal Escalation result:
http://imgur.com/dnpMRs3

Screenshot of only reply via Notes received since piece went past due:
http://imgur.com/SeM3l5i
 
  • Keptet

Artist Beware - Shacklefunk

WHERE: http://shacklefunk.tumblr.com/

WHAT: Digital reference sheet of my character for 100USD

WHEN: Sent out the comission request through their comission form back at the beginning of march (I don't have the exact date for this) and got a confirmation email on the 5th or march saying they accepted my comission.
After a bit of trouble due to google wallet and different currencies (I'm in the UK so I couldn't send any USD, my partner in the US had to send it but I discussed all that with shacklefunk through email) I paid for the comission around the 7/8th of march.
I checked back in if they got the payment on the 16th and they confirmed it the next day.
I've managed to contact them a few times since then to ask about the status and on the 10th of May they informed me that they sent me a refund since it has been taking so long and they'd send me my finished comission soon. That was also the last time I've heard from them.

EXPLAIN: I managed to grab a slot for a reference sheet when they opened up for just three slots of comissions back at the beginning of march.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/0zd5mo0xhhndhx4/1.jpg?dl=0

Everything went well and we communicated through email, I had some trouble using google wallet since I've never used it before and didn't know I couldn't change the currency. I informed them about this and we worked out a solution. My partner in the US sent the money for it and I made sure to have it sent out as quickly as possible. After I sent out the money I checked back in with them if they had received it. In their reply they said they'd send me the finished picture that day or the next.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/7gujszpqw8y5wim/2.jpg?dl=0

After not having heard back from the again for about a week I sent them another email asking about the comission status.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/v36wxttkirxj57t/3.jpg?dl=0

I still didn't hear back from them and was starting to become quite anxious since it was a large amount of money and I've had some really bad experiences with some comissions before so I sent them another two emails to check on the status of my comission. I tried not to send them too soon after each other since I didn't want to annoy them.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/t2by66donulev1t/4.jpg?dl=0

After not hearing back from them again I tried reaching out to them through the tumblr messaging system instead since they were actively posting there.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/byjgoczepxdn6io/5.jpg?dl=0

I also made a post and tagged them in it to ask them to reply to any of my messages.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/yumr7awje8u1yqe/4_5.jpg?dl=0

That finally got them to reply to me, saying they'd send me the finished pic later that day.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/0xw184kjp20iuye/6.jpg?dl=0

I thanked them for it but then didn't hear anything from them for another few days so I decided to send them another message.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/56d5lwiihskcird/7.jpg?dl=0

Over a week later I got a reply saying they've sent me a refund since it had been taking so long and that they'd send me the finished picture soon (?). I didn't see this message until a few days later but then thanked them for the refund. That was the last time I've heard from them.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/6593cczq7p0yfwh/8.jpg?dl=0
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/15rwo9q6ypjqp8m/9.jpg?dl=0
(My partner did receive the refund and sent it to me later on)
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/ytlfkeced602omz/10.jpg?dl=0

After that I've tried to contact them numerous times through email, tumblr asks, the direct messaging system and posts (with quite some time between them) but never got any reply. I haven't seen anything of my comission at any point and even though they've said back in march that the pic was done (and they just have to send it to me) the only answer I have now is that they've never actually done the comission. I don't know what to do about this anymore since they don't reply to any of my messages at all.