November 19th, 2017

Mithacal Creatures artist Beware

I am willing to have a Civil discussion with this Artist and hope we can reach a solution that we are both happy with.

Who: Mithacal Creatures
Where: www.mithacal.com
Twitter:@mithacal

What:Fursuit head, Refund.

When: May 24th- Present

Proof: Mithacal Creatures Beware https://imgur.com/gallery/ukVAP

Explain: On May 24th Mithical and I agreed to a trade: I would shop for clothes for her, and in return for my time I would recieve a Custom Half Mask. (See Screen Shot 1)
https://i.imgur.com/q2jv2hg.jpg
During my part of the trade I inquired about upgrading to a full mask. She told me $200 worth of clothes since she does not need the money right now. (See screen shot 2)
https://i.imgur.com/q2jv2hg.jpg
My part of trade took roughly 2 weeks; she recieved her box of goodies and loved them.
(See Screen shot 3)
https://i.imgur.com/q2jv2hg.jpg

For Mitha's part of the trade, she told me the completion time would be 1 month for the half mask. I agreed, and she added another 2 months for a full mask. I agreed to this as well. (see Screenshot one and 6)
https://i.imgur.com/q2jv2hg.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/mr5jBE5.jpg
July: I discussed with Mitha on what my mask design would be. Previously, we agreed on a red fox with Antlers. I gave her the concept design. It was verbally agreed that my mask would have some artistic liberty. Those conversations happened in person during a camping trip we had in Homer. (Enter Screen shot here 4)
https://i.imgur.com/mr5jBE5.jpg
August 3rd-16th: I started to get worried and asked her for an update, or at least a start date for my mask, and never got an answer. (See Screen Shot 5)
https://i.imgur.com/mr5jBE5.jpg
Late August: I see on Twitter and instagram that she is open for commissions. Being curious and wanting some sort of response from her I asked on her instagram what her turnaround time is. She responded "your mask would be done before these peoples if thats what you are really asking" (See Screen shot 7)
https://i.imgur.com/4dlNEYN.jpg
I continued sending her messages asking about the start point of my mask as well as asking if I can get some reassurance from her if I was bothering her, and if she does have a start point in mind for my mask. Not once did I ask her "where is my mask". Each message was a couple of weeks apart. I just needed assurance that I hadn't been forgotten.

September hits a couple weeks before Senshi con happens. Senshi con was the con we planned on attending with the mask, and the end time Mitha had told me I would have my mask.

I start asking about the fur again wanting to match fur. I still have not received a single response from her. When I finally did, it was her sending me her address because I asked for it so I can send a piece of sample fur to her. She got the sample and told me it was wrong. I asked if she can send a picture of the right fur, but received no response. (Screen shot 8)
https://i.imgur.com/4dlNEYN.jpg
Then on september 4th she says she is giving me a refund of the $200 extra I spent on her, due to her wanting to close her buisness. (Screen shot 9)
https://i.imgur.com/4dlNEYN.jpg
I asked for clarification, wondering if we can work something out, and if she will be compensating me for my time I spent shopping for her rather then spending that valuable time elsewhere. I also offered to take a premade artistic liberty head instead, trying to work something out with her. (Screen Shot 9)
https://i.imgur.com/4dlNEYN.jpg
I don't get I response from her until I post on one of her Facebook posts agreeing with her that being ignored sucks. (Screen Shot 10)
https://i.imgur.com/WehJCAs.jpg
She takes offense, telling me she doesn't do buisness stuff when she is away with family, then demands that I give her my mailing address so she can send a check since she no longer does Paypal. (Screen shot 11)
https://i.imgur.com/WehJCAs.jpg
I comply, and ask yet again for my compensation, as well as explaining that I was upset becuase I had asked for clarification about the refund the very same day she told me I was getting one. (Screen shot 11)
https://i.imgur.com/WehJCAs.jpg
She gets angry and demands my address again saying she has asked 3 times now. (Screen shot 11)
https://i.imgur.com/WehJCAs.jpg

Ignoring the fact I have already given it to her, I give it to her again and state that I had already done so. I pointed that fact out. Her response was to request when I write a beware that I don't add her actual number. At the time I told her I don't write bewares. (Screen shot 12 and screen shot 17)
https://i.imgur.com/WehJCAs.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/MkKptPy.jpg
I ask on the September 11th, and again on the 25th, about my refund. No answer to either. September 26th she sends me a message stating she is waiting to recoup the money. Screen shot 13
https://i.imgur.com/bju69X6.jpg
October 6th: I ask for her plan of action. Still no refund.
October 8th: she sends me a message stating she still doesn't have money plus she accuses me of posting snide comments on her Instagram. My snide remarks consisted of the word interesting and that is it. She tells me it takes time to close a buisness.
(Screen shot 14)
https://i.imgur.com/bju69X6.jpg
I ask for a time frame for my refund. At first she ignores me and says that the reason for my refund is because of how I talk to her. My response. (Screen shot 15)
https://i.imgur.com/bju69X6.jpg
October 31st: I tell Mitha I need the refund by November 15th, and that waiting 3 months for a refund is unacceptable. No response, but the message is marked as read.
(Screen shot 16)
https://i.imgur.com/Ua10fx6.jpg
November 8th: I get told that my check will be sent shortly and that she will be free to talk to me when business slows down.
(Screen shot 16)
https://i.imgur.com/Ua10fx6.jpg
Thats the last I have heard from her.

Edit: I am in contact with the Artist and we are working on a resolution.
I will update again when I have more information.
walking the path

Artist Beware: Mithacal Creatures

Who:

Mithacal Creatures - Alaska business license 1052001
Twitter: @Mithacal
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mithacalcreatures/
Website: https://www.mithacal.com/
FurBuy username: MithacalCreatures
FurAffinity:http://www.furaffinity.net/user/Mitha/

Where:

Furbid Auction - https://www.furbuy.com/auctions/1092553.html

What:

Fursuit head commission, won at auction. The auction was won for $575, and the agreed-upon price after enhancements, modifications, and shipping was $905. Custom features were to include custom eye cuts for better vision, whiskers, and a silicone nose.

When:

The auction was won on February 14, 2017, and lists a completion time of 5 weeks after full payment is received. Full payment was made on February 17, 2017, after some initial communication difficulties. Delivery of the head was delayed repeatedly. On July 12, after a disagreement about what features were included in the increased price, Mitha offered a full refund, then asked for a legal agreement to be signed as a pre-requisite for the refund. On July 13, Mitha refused to honor that offer, and said that only a 50% refund would be available. On July 17, after I had requested several days to decide what to do (which was also over a weekend), Mitha stated that she would be giving me a 50% refund in 14 days whether I wanted it or not. At that point, I filed a credit card dispute, which was resolved in my favor in September.

Explanation & Evidence:

The commission got off to a rough start when Mitha didn’t get my emails, but that’s on me. Eventually we made contact via Twitter, which is where we would do all of our subsequent communication. I sent Mitha a long explanation, including a web page with references and desired features.

Screenshot 1

Mitha agreed to this, saying that she could “do everything I wanted” on my reference page.

Screenshot 2

The features added $280 to the price of the head, which made the total with shipping $905.

Screenshot 3

Payment was made immediately via credit card on her website, http://www.mithacal.com.

Screenshot 4

Some additional discussion about fur kinds and colors followed, since I wanted to try making a body suit for the head and wanted to coordinate on the fur we were using. At the end of the discussion, I mentioned her move, something that she had been talking about on Twitter. No mention was made of it impacting the deadline.

Screenshot 5

One month later, I check in. No progress, and we talk about fur choices, but don’t exit the conversation with an unambiguous decision.

Screenshot 6

Another month goes by with no communication. It’s now April 23rd, with no WIPs. I check in again. Apparently Mitha thought that she was still waiting on fur choices, and after getting the go-ahead to use whatever she wanted, says that she’ll finish up the mask and will have updates in a week.

Screenshot 7

At the time, she also asks me what color eyes I want. LED eyes weren’t part of my request list, but I had thought they were just something standard she did. Her last message says she needs to wait for them, but had said just before that she’d report progress in a week.

Screenshot 7_1

Another month goes by, and it’s now May 30th. I have not yet heard anything from Mitha without me prompting her. She says she’s still waiting on the eyes from DVC.

Screenshot 8

Amazingly, the eyes come in the same day! Or so she says. She also now says it will be another few weeks before there’s any progress to see.

Screenshot 9
Screenshot 10

June 13th, and I finally get a communication from her asking me to choose eye backgrounds, and to say that the head is still a couple of weeks away from completion.

Screenshot 11

June 21st , and I message her again for a status update, and to let her know that I was going to be out of town from July 1 – 10. She indicates that she’ll have the head shipped so that it arrives around July 10th.

Screenshot 12
Screenshot 13

July 11th, and I haven’t heard anything from her, so I ping her again. Apparently there’s been a delay due to her wedding and honeymoon, which she didn’t mention anything about. I congratulate her, and ask for some WIPs, especially of the tear duct modifications. This is where things start to go very wrong.

Screenshot 14

Mitha claims she never agreed to the modifications. I ask where she said that, because the last message I got from her about it, before I paid, was that it wouldn’t be a problem. She says she sent something saying she wasn’t capable of that kind of modification,
and offers a refund if that’s a problem. I ask again to just point me where she said that, and after 24 hours
of no response, I’m pretty fed up with the whole deal and agree to the refund.

Screenshot 15

Mitha goes off, but agrees to the full refund. Fine, I just want to be done with this; I’ve seen scant evidence that my commission was even being worked on (nothing other than the eye backgrounds), and we’re now 5 months into what was promised in 5 weeks.

Screenshot 16

And now things get really weird. Mitha wants me to sign some kind of contract – I was guessing a non-disparagement agreement – as part of the refund. But, instead of sending me something to sign and review, she sends me a contract that she signed, between herself and her dog breeder, over some dispute that they had. Real names redacted below, but they weren't in what she sent me:

Screenshot 17

One, sending me this unredacted was probably a violation of her agreement with her breeder. Two, it’s really odd to send somebody a legal agreement that isn’t actually ready to be signed, and is in fact between her and another party, with all of those details.

Because I've had some experience with contracts and NDAs, I’m going to get a lawyer to look at any contract I’m being asked to sign. I’m not trying to be aggressive here, and in most business environments when you say you need a lawyer to look at a legal document, that’s a sign of being
sane and prudent, not that you're making a legal threat.

Screenshot 18

The whole thing has taken a turn for the strange, and I’m asking her for options. I feel she’s had a really poor record of communicating with me, so I’m trying to be proactive about communication and expectations.

Asking for a mailing address for legal communications is pretty standard business practice, and signing a non-disparagement clause is a lot different than a regular commercial transaction. As a registered business in the state of Alaska, she has to have a publicly-available mailing address, and it can be found very easily online at the Alaska Chamber of Commerce website (https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/cbp/main), so I'm not sure why it would be a problem.

Screenshot 19

And then Mitha changes her mind, says she won’t be giving me a full refund, that only a 50% refund is on the table, and accuses me of threatening legal action, apparently because I uttered the word ‘lawyer’, after she asked me to sign a legally-binding document.

Screenshot 20

I want to take some time to think about this, because none of my options here are good: I can lose $450, or I can maybe get a head that doesn’t have the features that I wanted, from a maker that I no longer trust. Since this is already months late, I didn’t think a few extra days would be an issue, especially over a weekend. July 14 was a Friday, July 17 is a Monday. Mitha feels differently, and by Monday evening is saying that she will give me a 50% refund whether I like it or not.

Screenshot 21

I’m still not clear on what’s going on – do I still have to sign a document of some kind, even for the 50% refund? I’m not sure, and I don’t want to make a decision until we can hash this out. Mitha doesn’t want to wait though, and just after midnight on Monday she decides she’s going to keep half the money and not send me anything, no matter what I want. After 5 months of me waiting for her, she’s definitely not going to wait for me.

Screenshot 22

To me, and to the lawyer that I had review all of this, this is a breach of contract on her part. What she’s saying here, as evidenced by all the previous tweets, is mostly false. She offered the refund first, I just took her up on it. She asked me to sign a legal document, I just wanted to do it safely by having a lawyer look at the contract. At this point, I’m pretty upset.

Screenshot 23

Screenshot 24

After her message on July 18th, and blocking me on Twitter, I filed a dispute with the credit card company to get my money back. I’d received nothing, no WIPs beyond the eye backdrop photos, no proof of work done, and no product, and was only going to get half of a refund after waiting 5 months for something that Mitha agreed to do but later decided she couldn't, or wouldn't. Finally, on July 30th, Mitha unblocked me long enough to tell me that she was going to sue me in small claims court.

To date, Mitha hasn’t served me with anything for a lawsuit, and the credit card company finalized the chargeback in September, so I have 100% of my money back. As things go, this could have been worse, but I think Mitha is somebody to avoid doing business with.