I thought I would never be posting here about a situation, but it seems circumstances are out of my hands at this point. Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
Last year at Anthrocon, I commissioned a rather popular artist for 2 badges of my characters. She was an acquaintance of my boyfriend, and I kinda liked her at, so I figured, what the hey. I believe I paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $25-30 a badge, but again, this was a year ago so I could be wrong. She said she had a lot of other commissions to take care of and would take care of it after the con. Figuring "oh it's 2 badges I can crank that out in a day", I didn't bother giving a deadline of any sort since AC was the last con I'd be attending that year.
By August, I had heard nothing about the badges. I was pretty new to commissioning artists, especially in a case where I didn't get something at the con I bought it from. I, however, knew how I did business and figured she would e-mail me when there was news. Time went by and I heard nothing, so on August 3rd I sent her a note asking about a refund. At that point I didn't really want the badges anymore, and I figured two months had been plenty of time to do two badges.
She replied back with:
I replied back with something along the lines that if she couldn't refund, she couldn't refund, and to just continue work on the badges.
At that point I left her to get to work, and forgot about the badges. Again, I was still operating under the assumption that she would contact me when she finished the badges, which I know was a big mistake on my part looking back on it. In November, I remembered about the badges and sent her another note asking on the progress and if she could give me a refund. Again, I got the same excuse.
I understood how it was to be low on cash, though I've never been in a situation where I couldn't refund a customer. As unprofessional as I thought it was, I couldn't magically make money appear in her wallet to refund me, so I said, once again, to work on the badges. Now, at this point, I was working on the assumption that more work had been done by her saying they were "almost completed", so I figured whatever, work was at least being done.
Lather, rinse, repeat. I forget about the badges until May when I realize that it'll have been almost a year in a little over a month. A year to do 2 badges! So I noted her AGAIN, asking for a refund.
She replied back:
I replied back saying I wasn't going to be at AC but, having learned my lesson, we could plan on having her finish them a week before AC and send them out so she could get them done and out of the way and still have time to prep for the con.
She replied with:
Now I'm sure you're all probably wondering 'Hey, the deadline isn't up yet! Why are you posting about this now?'
Because said artist did something that really made me disgusted with the whole situation.
The artist, who countless times used their low cash flow as an excuse not to refund me, posted a sketch... from their iPad. Yes, somehow, someway, they came into possession of an iPad.
Now, I'm not saying they bought it. For all I know, it could have been a gift. However, I have a nagging suspicion it wasn't.
I'm not holding my breath for the AC deadline. I really don't have any faith that she'll make it. And frankly, I don't care. I don't WANT the badges. This has been such an annoying and frustrating experience that I can't even stand her art anymore. I really just want my money back. That's all I want at this point. I don't even want the sketches, though I'll gladly pay her for the work done.
I just don't know what to do at this point. Do I confront the artist about their money and iPad and make myself look like a total dick? Do you just stick it out for a couple of badges I won't even want? Or do I say 'Hey, stop all work and pay me my refund when you can'?
I'm just at my wits end and I'm not sure how to proceed with the situation.