( Another entry about her on here, http://community.livejournal.com/artists_beware/272090.html i figure every entry counts (?) so I'm making my own entry :3 )
It all began, really, around the beginning of July, when the artists in question posted a journal saying that fursuit head bases were $35, and quoted from the journal, July 11th: "Turnaround time is 1 week-a month. :)". So i thought 'What a deal! And her examples are seem like good stuff too' So I inquired about shipping (to Canada, i made sure to mention this in my very first note to her), $15, great sounds reasonable I guess, I really have no concept of these things, and she responded timely and friendly enough that I decided to continue.
From July 11th-July 21st we exchanged notes confirming details, nothing seemed amiss, she responded quickly enough, I'm a busy person so if there was a delay I never took notice. I never bothered to set a due date at this point, as I wanted it for Halloween, and what with it being July and a turnaround quoted as of being a week to a month, I figured at very worst I'd get it late September, still plenty of time to finish my full suit.
At about this time is when my situation began to sour (now that I look back anyway, at the time I was still very optimistic), I sent payment on July 29th... and heard nothing.
August 11th I started feeling pretty anxious and noted her to confirm she had received the money, as I would assume that it would be courtesy to let people know you have their money. She noted back the same day saying she had received the payment and was working on my base. I thanked her and went about my business.
August 29th I'm told to expect pictures soon.
Same day she posts a journal with excuses as to why her commissions aren't getting done, and that "a lot of people are complaining about their commissions" ok, shes busy, ok, she said she was sorry and should have updates "for everyone" within the week.
September 5th, she posted a few pictures of bases, mines not there, and through the rest of the experience sporadically posts random bits of drawn art.
September 14th figuring I had waited more than long enough, I send her an email asking for an update, to an address she advised in her journal that she checks regularly. No reply.
September 19th almost a month after I was told I "should see pictures soon" I send a note asking for an update, and bring up the fact that I want it for Halloween. I figured waiting this long, she must be done by now and might have a reason for the tardiness.
September 20th she responds saying that it will be sent by the end of September. Thats it. No apology, no excuse, just "it will be sent by the end of September" I thank her, and from here on in I am hovering anxiously over my inbox, waiting for the note saying its sent.
October 6th I send a note asking for an update as she never confirmed (or denied) that it was sent, quoting specifically the portion of her text when she said it would be sent by the end of September. I'm getting really worried, because I know things will stick in customs when they're shipped to Canada, I figured if she had sent it when she said she would, there wouldn't be a problem. (ever the optimistic I am!)
October 8th I am advised she will need 1 more week to finish, then I will get a tracking number. I'm panicking now, but still keeping my notes calm and cheerful.
October 20th, I've had just about enough, its now 2 months after i was first told to expect pictures soon, and a month since i was told it wold be sent, I send her a less cheerful note saying that I'm getting impaitent and that I expected to have it by now, and my concern that it will get stuck in customs.
She responds same day, saying she finished it last night.
October 21st she posts a journal saying shes sending everyones head bases on Monday, and will have tracking numbers. And posts a comment: "I'm just glad everyone has a chance at having their stuff for Halloween."
I should note 2 things: she hasn't posted a single picture of any head base, despite repeated assurances she will, and she hasn't asked for a mailing address. She says (on the 21st) that she will post pictures by Friday (the 23rd) and will ask for mailing addresses then.
I note her my mailing address Sunday night (the 25th), picture still unseen and request for my address still unmade.
October 26th she posts a journal stating that the bases were sent that day priority, but she couldn't afford the extra for tracking numbers (isn't that what I paid $15 for?). She advises me that mine is marked as "gift" to help it through customs, and that everyone should have their head (or whatever they ordered) by Wednesday.
Halloween 2009 comes and goes, I made a cute dragon costume/sweater for my 4 year old son and occasionally looked at the pile of fur for my fursuit, but since late September I haven't really touched it, since I didn't have the head and I didn't have much fur to deal with (the store ran out of what I needed when I bought it) I only have so much and i have to use it wisely. I wanted to be sure I have enough for my head before I finished.
November 5th, I received the head today. I'm more annoyed at the tracking number thing now, because the postage paid sticker says it was a little under $5 and I paid $15.
As for the product ($35), its pretty good, good quality and its pretty much what I asked for, I have some minor tweaks I'd like to make but thats on me now. I've never had a balaclava type head before, and the concept seems to work. It seems much more simplistic than I expected, and doesn't have the big grinning cheeks I had hoped for but all in all a fairly good product.
During my experience several other people were commenting on her journals asking for updates and photos as well, some sounding more annoyed than others, I have no idea if these people have received there products or not. I never personally, past the initial deciding what I'd like stage, received a note with more than a sentence reply.
I'm pretty annoyed, though I am happy to finally have what I paid for and will be using it. However at this point, if only for the shipping, I feel it is overpriced by at least $10. the customer service I received, in my honest opinion, wasn't worth the money I paid. I should have just done as a friend advised and continued attempting to make my own head. This builder needs to realize that customer service is important, even though it sounds like a big box store phrase (if you're doing business, it exists!), and kick it up about 10 notches.
Any update would have been better than the no updates and smiley emotes I received in return to my queries "soon, soon" was all I seemed to get... Even saying shes busy, some face part is done and there is xyz left, or... anything! I think I could have store bought a decent Halloween costume for the total $50 I spent on this and still have some left over to purchase materials for my own head.
Quote from her from one of her public journals: "I really need to work on using my time more wisely. ...and meeting deadlines." Yes. Yes indeed.
I don't know what to say, other than I'd seriously warn against using this builder, unless you have absolutely no deadline. I hope my story helps someone out, even if it is the builder herself.