I've been doing commissions steadily for a few months now, and while I've only ever had one complaint (that I know of) lodged against me, it was entirely my own fault due to taking on a commission at a time where I just getting ready to start college and was totally stressed out, blah blah. But even that was resolved nicely in the end, so really I haven't experienced any "bad experiences" since I've been doing commissions.
But I am pretty new at it, for sure, despite being pretty successful. I think the fact that there aren't a lot of people out there doing what I do helps xD. I crochet custom plushies & items (http://www.furaffinity.net/user/vombatiformes).
Anyway, I've noticed that by far here one of the most popular complaints is artists taking forever to finish or mail something out, and I had some questions regarding that.
1. What do you consider an appropriate waiting time for a full piece of art (I realize this is hard to adapt to my situations as crochet is different from traditional art, but I imagine both I and a traditional artist would take a similar amount of time to do a detailed piece of art).
2. Is it appropriate or inappropriate to work out of "line". AKA, is it okay to work on something that was commissioned AFTER another piece, or skip something and come back to it if you're just not feeling "inspired"?
3. I have a queue listed on my FA page that shows each and every commission I have to work on. I update it pretty much every day considering I work 7 days a week on commissions. I consider it my "job" for the time being, while I'm in school. People know where they are in line when they commission me as I make it clear to them. I generally have a LOT of people in my queue at a time, and it's hard for me to keep in touch with all of them unless they send me a message, in which case I always reply promptly. Is that okay? Should I be emailing them all individually myself every few weeks to let them know where they are or is it okay to just continue doing what I'm doing and letting them know when I'm working on theirs and when it's finished?
Also any other tips you can offer to make sure things stay good on my end and I keep my commissioners happy would be great. I'm terrified of disappointing people. It scares the crap out of me, haha, and furries especially are so scary when they're angry. xD