I'd like to think I am an incredibly easy customer to work with. Pretty much anyone I've commissioned will agree. I don't think I've ever had a problem with an artist before.
long, long story, details, conversation and pics behind the cut.
On the 16th, Grygon made a post asking for volunteers for $5 custom character dog tags. Since it was a "trial" she said she would pick characters to do and if they were happy with the result, they would pay. I offered my ref sheet and said I guaranteed that I'd want my finished tag. Mine was one of the two that were chosen. On the 17th she told me, "almost done, should have pics by fri or sat night once it cures."
I never heard anything beyond that. Until the 26th, When she posts up my finished tag in teenycom and is taking commissions for them at $10 each plus $5 for shipping. This is the first I've seen of the tag (apparently she posted it as an example in another teenycom post which I never saw. I have a busy friends page, sometimes I don't catch every post) so I tell her I love it and ask what the grand total for it will be. She then says, "I never got a reply when I posted it in a reply to the original reply you left, so I assumed you didn't want it since it is flawed (trial tag post). So I used the back in more experiments in sealing for the next batch. Also used the front to see just how strong they are once fully dried (hard to scratch and won't come off, but I did manage SOME damage with a lot of effort). Sorry."
Well, I had never got a comment from her saying that it was finished so I told her so. She then informs me that it's right there in the original post. I go to check and sure enough, it is. Only, she didn't reply to my comment, she replied to herself. LJ doesnt email me when someone replies to their own comments, only when they reply directly to my comments or my posts. So needless to say, I wasn't notified. I pointed this out to her and expressed my disappointment in not being contacted before the tag was experimented on/damaged.
The original conversation between us was screened but I saved the emails and I can still see my own screened comments so I will share.
me: im not trying to be a pain or anything but i really wanted that charm, and i wasnt looking for it here in a separate community post, i was waiting for you to notify me personally about it. is there anything you can do to fix it for me?
her: I can mail it as is. There is no way to fix it, these things are very sturdy. Or as I said above I can do another for this batch. It's just $5 more.
me: you messed up in replying, and didnt even try to contact me (another reply, PM, etc) before trashing my tag, you just assumed i didnt want it, so i dont feel its fair to pay $5 more for what i wanted in the first place. :( any other artist who relies on commissions would admit their mistake and try to make it up to the person. instead you want me to settle for a trashed tag or paying double the originally agreed upon price for a new one? that doesnt seem right.
her: I admitted I messed up in replying. And it was a trial tag as was stated by that first post- there is no "original price" as this post is the first post where I am no longer testing the tags out and the $5 barely covers shipping and supplies if even that. What is right over you throwing a fit over something you haven't even paid for?
me: throwing a fit? i dont see any yelling or kicking or screaming or crying.
how do you expect me to feel when im expecting something awesome and unique with my character on it only to find out that its been trashed because the person making it didnt get in touch with me so that i could pay for it? its not a matter of 'paid for', its a matter of we had an agreement.
her: What agreement?
me: the agreement was that you would make me a tag and if i liked it id pay you $5.
you made the tag, then you made a mistake and trashed it. then instead of trying to make it up to me or something, you just wanna sit here and debate it.
At this point, she makes me an offer based on the advice that you fine folks gave her in her a_b post. (Seriously, thank you for providing your input. I truly appreciate it.)
her: "In order to lay this argument to rest I will offer you three choices:
1. take the tag as is, no charge on shipping or anything.
2. get an aceo drawing at the original $5 for shipping.
3. get a new tag for the "original" $5 price BUT KNOW it will not be the same as the first one I did. It will be a new drawing on a new tag. I will need to say you understand this in your own words before I go thru with it. I will also need the $5 before I start (you could have paid in advance for the original had you thought of this as a true agreement, btw).
Obviously I made a mistake, and I don't want it to turn into a grudge-fest. Let me know what you decide."
I chose option 3 and thanked her for working with me. I also apologized for 'if I seemed pushy or seemed to be overreacting' I also thanked her in her a_b post for agreeing to redo the tag. She wanted payment up front, So i sent $5 via paypal, $6 actually because she said she would include a chain for the tag for an additional dollar. In one of her long comments to me, she mentions wanting my email. But it was very early in the morning, I had just woken up, I missed that bit and discovered it later...but not after I get a comment of, "I never got the email like I requested so it is YOUR job to update yourself by reading the progress lines next to your name in the main post." Personally, I found it a bit rude. So I ended up giving her my email.
A couple days pass and progress is being made on the tag and I've been patient and polite so I wait until she contacts me. However, every day in various teenycom and artists_beware posts.....I notice (and friends alert me as well) that Grygon is BASHING ME for being a shitty customer, unreasonable, a 'free art little ms. grabby hands', etc. She also said that I asked for a pic of the finished tag (which I did) and that she wasn't going to show it to me because I'd just ask for changes. Hmmm...I'm not an idiot. I know it's sealed with resin and can't be changed. I asked because I just wanted to see it because I get excited about finished commissions! So i tell her so! I'm baffled though. It's been 4 days since the issue with her was resolved yet shes bashing me everywhere and talking crap on me to everyone. And yes, apparently she made the tag for me 'FOR FREE'. UM, NO. I have the conversation, original posts, PAYPAL RECEIPT, etc. I most certainly PAID for it. Just because she made little if any money on it because of how she priced it and her own mistake, that doesn't mean I got it "for free". http://community.livejournal.com/artists_beware/342988.html?thread=10846668#t10846668
She mentioned several times that she doesn't want me to hold a grudge, but from the behaviour and attitude I've seen throughout this entire ordeal, I'm not the one holding a grudge.
She ignored my comments to her in the a_b post (see the 2 previous links), and emails me with this,
"Do you want a jumpring with the chain? I'll be putting it in a little
bag and let you decide which tag to put it on. Should be shipping
tomorrow or Thursday with delivery confirmation #."
I don't know what she means by 'jumpring'. Is that a split ring maybe? I didn't want to give her any additional ammo against me along the lines of, "I even gave her a FREE jumpring to go with her FREE tags!" so I said, "no thanks, i have a jumpring."
And then she emailed me back with a picture.
I SHOULD have seen this coming but I didn't. I should have just agreed to take the trashed tag and walked away, making a mental note to never deal with her again.
she says, "I couldn't get the damage on the first tag to show up on camera
outside so I did the pic inside and it showed up, here's the pic of
the two I will be sending."
The one with the yellow background is the damaged one. The one with the blue background is the NEW one. Harli has apparently gone from a 'sparkledog' (Grygons words. I find that a bit insulting. Harli is a thylacine/neon dragon hybrid.) to a BEAR....somehow. Note the small ears and thick neck. Also, the new tag has no shading unlike the original tag, and there is a 'stain' or something in the middle on the tongue and bottom jaw.
This is not at all what I expected when I saw her comment in the original a_b post, "But if she's after a new tag with more skill under my belt at the trial level price, then she sure is gonna get that and better like it MORE than the trial dud."
I didn't say anything because I figured this is just how her art is. I thought maybe that's just the typical skill level/quality she usually churns out and there is nothing wrong with that. You cant very well criticize someone for not being as skilled as some of the big name artists.
...Except that shortly after getting the email with the picture, she posts to teenycom offering tags for $10 and $5 shipping. And there is just one tag example. It's another tag that she made at the same time that she was making my new one. And it looks like this.
When people asked for more examples, she basically says, "I don't have any other examples of fully-paid, non-trial tags, I DO have pics of trial tags but they aren't what you'll get for the above price." I should mention that comments to that teenycom entry were screened and deleted to keep customers from finding out what was going on.
Had I known she was going to do her best to HALF-ASS my tag and put less work into it than the original and much much less work/detail than shes capable of, I would have never sent her the money.
For all the drama and annoyance and time and energy and trash talking....I get a 'trashed' tag and a new tag that was INTENTIONALLY done poorly. I take that back. I actually haven't received my tags yet.
If this had gone well, I had every intention of tipping her to thank her for the extra work but this has been like a bad trip to the dentist. Lesson learned. I'll be steering clear of Grygon and advising friends to do the same because I really don't want them to end up having a similar experience. Even if she's offering a great deal, it's just not worth it.
edit to add hopefully final emails:
and it continues. *sigh*
i hadnt replied to her email with the pics of the tags. im sure you know why. what am i supposed to say, really?
today i get an email:
"Tracking and signature confirmation #: xxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx with
an estimated delivery date of next tuesday."
"thanks. im guessing i have to stay home and sign for it?"
"Sometimes my neighbor signs for my stuff and other times the post man
opts to leave an orange pick-up card so I can pick it up and sign at
my post office. I am certainly not telling you to stay home and miss
anything you have to do that day."
"just out of curiosity, after all the griping about the money it was costing you and how youre getting ripped off and such, why would you spend even MORE on all the fancy shipping extras? are you afraid that im going to lie and say it never arrived and bother you for another tag?"
"Know the first tag I did alongside yours? It was packed too small to
ship the way I wanted to and cost me $6 to ship hers which was more
than I charged. Despite you bitching and moaning that I'm some evil
person, I do do people right. I've had items disappear both in
leaving my city and coming to my city in delivery and so I don't mind
spending a little extra to make sure stuff makes it. It's not all
about you and your pushy attitude. I do a lot of shipping and
signature isn't as fancy as you think it is."
now let me stop here for a second. the other persons tag cost $6 to mail which is seemingly a lot more than she charged, right? i mean, it would have to be if you were going to make a fuss over it. except that its not. its ONE DOLLAR more than she changed for shipping. okay, apparently a dollar is a huge ordeal. fair enough. 'signed confirmation' isnt as fancy as i think it is? according to the USPS website, its between $1.95 and $2.35. surely if a dollar is a big deal, $2-3 dollars would break the bank, right?
"oh yes, youve certainly done me right. >.>
i dont have a pushy attitude. ive been more than patient and polite with you. ive even thanked you several times.
and youve been making nasty snide remarks about me and insulting me every chance you get.
yes, your customer service is just stellar.
have a nice day."
"Where have you thanked me? Even when you first saw the pic there was
no thank you, just "omg how fast can you get it here?" No, certainly
not pushy at all."
okay, i totally havent thanked her once or anything, huh?
except that I HAVE. at least twice, not even counting the 'thanks' i gave her for emailing me the tracking info.
""i appreciate your offer and im sorry if i seemed pushy or seemed to be overreacting."
sounds like a thank you to me.
"thank you for offering to make me a new tag. i *love* physical objects that have my fursona on them."
sounds like another thank you.
and no, i didnt just say, "omg how fast can you get it here?"
i said, "cool, its done! :D i love it! whats the grand total and how quick can you get it in the mail? ;)"
sounds like a hell of a compliment to me! you dont think i sounded excited? i think i was perfectly pleasant. that was not the least bit pushy. now if i had said, "christ, can you put it in the mail already?!", THAT would have been pushy."
but where exactly have i been pushy or unreasonable?"
"That you have to offer your own interpretation on your own words
speaks a lot about unclear they are.
Anyway, it's in the mail and will be there soon, perhaps it best we
just part ways as we can't seem to agree on anything."
"really? are you serious? my words can only be unclear if you....i dunno...dont speak English. o.O
you asked where i thanked you, i pointed it out and you tell me that its 'unclear'? surely you cant be serious. thats just....im sorry but that is completely ridiculous."
"Fine, here's my own interpretation, and after this I won't be
replying. I see now you can drag things out to the end of time.
"i appreciate your offer and im sorry if i seemed pushy or seemed to
this does not sound like an apology to me and seems more like an
admission of being guilty of overreaction and being pushy.
"thank you for offering to make me a new tag. i *love* physical
objects that have my fursona on them."
yes, that's a thank you. i took it with a grain of salt after the overreaction.
"i said, "cool, its done! :D i love it! whats the grand total and how
quick can you get it in the mail? ;)"
sounds like a hell of a compliment to me! you dont think i sounded
excited? i think i was perfectly pleasant. that was not the least bit
pushy. now if i had said, "christ, can you put it in the mail
already?!", THAT would have been pushy."
The ;) reads as sarcasm to me."
my final reply:
"seriously? wow. thats....wow.
its amazing how your mind twists things. thats...special.
youre right, lets part ways. i certainly dont need this kind of craziness in my life."
a bit rude of me, yes. but seriously?