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Jul. 12th, 2010

Edit 3: This is resolved.  I finished the commission and he replied explaning what had happened. I learned I was acting wrongly and am glad people here made me realize this. Both the commissioner and I are happy ^^ 

This isn't so much as beware as that I don't know what to do.

I don't like having to chase people around for info.


Edit 2: After hearing what people had to say, plus relaxing and thinking about how I've been acting, I decided to just work with what I have, fix the small mistake the commissioner may have made, finish the work, be done with it and learn from it. It's what I'll do from now on,  just keep the commissioner happy as much as I can. I guess we all live and learn, huh?

The commission is almost done and will be sent to him ASAP ^^ Thank you for all the advice!

On July 2, I opened up for discount sketch commissions. This date might not be accurate, as I deleted the journal since then, but this is the date where I got my first email with info from one of the people who bought a slot.

Anyways, another person was interested in one. I had almost finished another type of discount commission for them recently, this is also when I used hotmail. I recently switched to gmail since I could log everything.

When I ask for info from people I ask them to fill out a little form and sent to my email, not noted on FA. While some people find it unnecessary, it's the best way for me to make sure I get all the info I need.

The note was read, but I didn't get any emails with info, only asked if he could have my character drawn with his and I said yes. So after a day or two I ask what's up. They thought I didn't need the info since I did a commission recently, then sent me another note realizing I can't remember each person's info. That's is partly why, but it's also just in case someone wants to change something from last time and I have something to log.

He sent the info, but sent it to my hotmail, not gmail like it says to do in my first note. That's ok, it's an easy mistake. I sent him his finished commission from before, the one I mentioned above and asked for it to be sent to my gmail. But didn't get a reply.

So I waited a few days. And noticed he had favorited things on FA, so I decided to send him a reminder.

It was read, more things favorited and no reply. I only sent another note when I saw he faved things recently and thought maybe the note reading was a glitch. It's happened before.

Again, no reply but it was read.

So I sent him this given a deadline.

It was read, no reply, no email, and more things were faved on FA. This part is my fault, I told him I'd give him a week, but I was getting tired with no replys for so long that I canceled completely.

As you can guess, it was read, no reply or email and he was active on FA.

I went to go find his email to refund him, and either I'm just missing it in my transactions or he's using a different paypal address then his regular email.

To answer a few things now. I don't think he's a bad guy at all, though I'm not sure what's going on. He was really nice to work with the first time. I know some will say “Maybe he's just busy”, but I'm sorry, It's hard to believe someone is too busy to let me know they're busy when they're faving things on an art site and reading the notes. Honestly? I wouldn't have minded too much with the waiting if I had known what's going on.

And, for me doing this so quickly, I know most people say to wait a few weeks between communication and not a few days, but I wouldn't do this for a regular commission. These are discount slots that could go to people who are ready to pay and give me info, while regular commission slots are always open.

And although he has paid, I don't like having to wait for info. I'm very forgetful, and need all my stuff in email, labeled and ready for me.

I know I could easily just forward his info from my hotmail to my gmail, but I don't find it fair to have to fix a customer's mistakes. He only needs to copy and paste into a new email. It just reminds me of those people who complain at a store and get what they want just so they go away. It's the clients job to give me the info I need, in the place I need, so that's what he needs to do.

I'm just confused though. Why no reply? Especially since I finished a commission for him, he never replied to it. This is probably only the second time I have ever needed to cancel a commission. The first time cause I couldn't seem to do his picture. But then did it in the end for free since I felt bad.

Edit: More things were just faved, so I noted them saying I put them here on Artist's Beware.



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( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 12th, 2010 08:05 pm (UTC)
Hmm... That's very odd.

My thought would be to allow him the week (as that isn't unreasonable and life happens), but it might make sense for you not to hold the spot for him. It's been a while without contact so it seems like it would be reasonable to expect that he will miss his deadline. So it might be worth it to open his slot and get it filled now. This is a risk for you, because if he does make his deadline, you'll need to keep your promise and give him the slot. You'll end up having an extra slot of discount commissions, but it might be worth that risk to move on.

I'm thinking it's possible that he'd having computer problems and might be on a phone or something where it can be a pain in the butt to type (or for all we know, his keyboard is broken so he can click, but can't type). You'd think that he'd make an effort to reply with something, but that's not really for either of us to judge. Ultimately, you gave him a week. Unless there's something about it in your TOS, it doesn't seem fair to shorten the deadline, and even if it is there it seems odd.

As for being strict with how the commission is sent - that's completely reasonable as far as I'm concerned. You're under no obligation to sell to him for any reason or no reason at all (as long as it isn't an illegal reason or essentially discrimination). In this case you have a good reason: he isn't taking your messages, and by association your commission, seriously.

I guess what I'm saying is that you gave him a week and it seems unfair to decide that the deadline has passed after a few days. That being said, you might want to fill your slots anyway, and just risk doing an extra. However, if he's not taking your rules seriously, you're well within your rights to cancel his commission.
Jul. 12th, 2010 08:08 pm (UTC)
Hm, I guess you're right, I should wait the week. I really did want to in the first place, but it's really frustrating to see him active and give no response.

I did just note him saying he is on Artist's beware now, even though I gave no names. So hopefully that does help.

Thank you for the advice ^^
Jul. 12th, 2010 08:15 pm (UTC)
Though, I just thought, if it is his keyboard not working, computers have "on screen keyboards". I'm even using one now since my "W" key is broken.
Jul. 12th, 2010 08:26 pm (UTC)
True, I know that my computer has one too, but on the other hand, drink + keyboard is far more disastrous than just one key not working. I agree that it's a poor move on the commissioner's part as "keyboard broken, please wait" would probably help you both a lot more. However, once the deadline is given, it doesn't seem fair to go back on it.
Jul. 12th, 2010 08:27 pm (UTC)
Ya, I sent him a note saying I will wait for the deadline, and sorry that I tried to cancel it.

Though yes, if I got a reply at all, I'd be much more willing to wait.
Jul. 12th, 2010 09:51 pm (UTC)
Well, you were upfront with him and let him know that his lack of communication was the reason for you backing out. I think if it had been me, I would have just forwarded the hotmail email to my gmail, because it's not hard and payment had been received. But ultimately it's your choice who you work with.
Jul. 12th, 2010 10:31 pm (UTC)
I know, I'm sure some people will think I'm just being a bit hard headed, but with the lack of communication, I'd feel uncomfortable starting this commission until he replies to me. Since, who knows if he'll never reply to me, if there's another reason why he's ignoring me? What if I need to ask him something and still get no replies?

I would just rather wait t'ill I get some word from him, so that if, in the end, I do need to refund him, I can do so, not tell him I have done the work and that's it.
Jul. 12th, 2010 09:56 pm (UTC)
personaly, this is what i personaly say;

personaly, i say foward the email

because it was an easy mistake to make, because you have - as far as i can see - your pay and your info, because there may be any amount of reasons why he seems to be doing what he's doing especialy as you said he was nice otherwise, and because fawarding one, or a very finite amount of emails should require no work whatsoever basicly, not to mention that this probebly won't be a reguler occurence anymore as i assume your gmail, which you've just moved too, is now listed in all your details, because you spotted it luckely...

and while you have a right to cancel for any reason, i know for myself that if i experence business techneques which i find silly, i tend to natualy avoid that place like the plaque. he might be the same and he might tell people - if he feels justly anoyed and all for the sake of a poxy email going to the wrong account

as i say you do have the right to cancel for any reason, and i don't know why he isn't replying even if just to say foward the damned email if you need to, but thats what i would do

otherwise it might look like your offering cheaper commissions, and then bunking out of them. don't think thats the case but it might look like that

unless i got mixed up
Jul. 12th, 2010 10:29 pm (UTC)
A big reason why I don't want to just forward the email is cause, if he's ignoring me now, what do I do when I need to contact him when I do have the info? What's to say he won't keep on ignoring me, or all of a sudden demand a refund after I've done the work, because he didn't tell me he wanted me to stop working on it?
Jul. 13th, 2010 03:04 am (UTC)
"I know I could easily just forward his info from my hotmail to my gmail, but I don't find it fair to have to fix a customer's mistakes. He only needs to copy and paste into a new email. It just reminds me of those people who complain at a store and get what they want just so they go away. It's the clients job to give me the info I need, in the place I need, so that's what he needs to do."

My own $.02:
This post is making you look like a bad person to work with. I'm sorry, but this sort of "it's his responsibility, I'm not going to correct his mistake" attitude you have about this simple situation? I would not want to commission someone like you. Personally, the knee-jerk reaction I have from reading the above makes me think that you are acting like a jaded snob (I do not mean to insult with that, I just wanted you to know specifically what kind of bad taste it is leaving in my mouth).

Working with customers, you need to learn that it's more important to make them happy than to stand for your principles when it comes to easily fixable situations like this. Just forward the email to yourself and be done with it. Though it seems as if there's more the commissioner's situation than we know about, personally, I would be pretty miffed if someone I commissioned decided to cancel on me simply because they couldn't muster the effort to push the 'fwd' button in their email client. And then I'd make sure to let people know not to commission them. That's a bad mark on your record over something incredibly simple and fixable. Is it really worth it?

...sorry if this is a little scattered, I just woke up.
Jul. 13th, 2010 03:56 am (UTC)
I did decide to just use the info I had. People make mistakes, I thought wrong about a situation, there's not much more I can say to that. Unfortunately, I'm using his old info from another commission since when I checked my email, I couldn't find the new one. So hopefully he hasn't changed anything on his character since then.

It's just odd that he won't even reply to the commission I had finished for him.
Jul. 13th, 2010 04:02 am (UTC)
It is odd, and like I said, there may be more to the situation with the commissioner than anyone knows about. It's good that you decided to give it some more time, at least. :)
Jul. 13th, 2010 04:06 am (UTC)
I do feel bad now. I was just frustrated that I was ignored, yet knew he was reading everything. I've calmed down now and am almost done the commission, so I'm hoping they're will be nothing sour between us cause of this. Thank you though, for advice and telling me how I make look to people acting that way. I guess sometimes we do need to be told cause we don't realize it. I mean, I sure didn't realize it t'ill later that I may have been a bit too pissy and hard headed.
Jul. 13th, 2010 04:26 am (UTC)
I'm sorry if I came off as a bit harsh. Sometimes I just go into 'brutal honesty' mode. At least you took it well, though, which shows a lot of maturity. :)
Jul. 13th, 2010 04:28 am (UTC)
Harsh, but needed. I needed a wake up call I think. Re telling the story to friends and the boyfriend, only gets positive feedback usually lol So thank you ^^
Jul. 13th, 2010 08:34 am (UTC)
I know that this post has been resolved, but I just more want to question your opinion on this. While it's within the artist's right to cancel a commission if a commissioner isn't following their TOS and the commissioner has a right to be miffed, doesn't a failure to follow the TOS suggest that this person might be trouble in other areas? Granted in the situation in the post, I'd be more annoyed than anything else and take it as more of a warning to restate everything (e.g. "I'm sending the sketch now, remember that you get 3 revisions"). Also, while it turned out to be something benign in this case, there is a point where an artist might be wondering if the commissioner is trying to break the rules to see how much they can get away with and I could even see where the artist might think that was happening here (again, it wasn't, this is hypothetical). At what point does the artist say "you're breaking too many rules and I don't think you respect the work I'm putting into this"? My initial thought is a three-strike policy or something like it, but I'm interested in other opinions.

I figure that if this is an advice for artist post it warrants some discussion.
Jul. 13th, 2010 02:46 pm (UTC)
Eh, I don't think this is a case where things were that bad...does the commissioner speak english and do they really understand? I don't know why they didn't respond...maybe they were confused? Or maybe, like myself they didn't see it as such a big deal.

Even if the artist IS in the right, I have to say as a customer I would have been VERY put-off by the whole thing. I too would be like "Dude...just forward it?" It wasn't THAT big a deal. I'm confused as to why someone would tell someone they made an anonymous advice post on A_B about them either, especially since the advice can very easily go the other way >.> It seems like mountains out of molehills to me.
Jul. 13th, 2010 05:54 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure you really addressed my question. It was more about when is it appropriate to enforce somewhat petty rules and say that the commissioner needs to follow these rules or the commission will be canceled. Like if after multiple emails redirecting all business to a new email address the commissioner still uses the old one. They may very well be honest mistakes, but after a point, the commissioner is still breaking the TOS no matter how innocently.

Basically, if they don't see my TOS on where to send emails as a big deal or they don't understand them (even if it is a language barrier) then it might be reasonable to assume that they might not be following the TOS for image as well. Again, I'm not saying that it would be intentionally malicious, but that's when it would become a larger issue. I just see the way the commissioner handles the TOS while I'm working on the commission to be a litmus test of how they'll behave after. The question is, what's the straw that breaks the camels back? How many small breaks of the artist's rules warrants canceling a commission? No matter what, the customer is going to be upset when an artist cancels, no matter how many times they may have broken the rules.
Jul. 13th, 2010 06:24 pm (UTC)
*nods* I think it depends on what the rules are. There does come a point where one is nit-picking. This case--in which the solution is a simple click of a button--rather nitpicky. If an artist harassed me because they couldn't be bothered to hit a button I'd be disinclined to do business in the future.

If it's a matter of image-file type, etc, I just assume that the person isn't as computer literate as myself--plenty of people out there can't tell the difference between a BMP a JPG or a GIF and if it doesn't make a huge difference in my work I'm not going to waste my time bothering them about it.

Cost-Benefit analysis. Is the money I get from the commission and possible future commissions worth dealing with the hassle? If the problem is as easy as the OPs to remedy, the answer is probably yes. It's just part of doing business sometimes. If they are violating my privacy, making prints, etc, that's a huge breech and will be treated as such. There's a huge difference between a small oversight and blatant disregard of TOS.

I don't think you can always predict bad commissioners from small detail-oriented mistakes--one of my best regular commissioners sometimes slips up with the details (he's overseas and I think he sometimes doesn't understand the smaller details), but I'm accommodating and I've made far more than what I lost. Just because someone send something to the wrong email, or sends the wrong filetype or misunderstands a question on the form doesn't mean that they will make prints of your work, alter it etc. Getting details wrong =/= violating your rights as an artist and therefore is a highly inaccurate litmus test--you'd get a lot of false positives and risk of losing legit business (and their good word) unless you have a steady supply or customers.

I feel that unless you are so inundated with customers you can be picky and choosy (such as some of the bigger-named fursuit makers) it can be hurtful to your business to be less accommodating to smaller mistakes. You may be "in the right" to drop them like a hot-potato but one doesn't get business by occupying the higher moral ground =3

[/novel] TLDR: It depends...but cost-benefit analysis and good business practices should guide you rather than blanket solutions.
edited for spelling.

Edited at 2010-07-13 06:28 pm (UTC)
Jul. 13th, 2010 07:53 pm (UTC)
Basically, my concern would be more reposting without permission, or like the post a week or so ago, thinking that they had the rights to modify and send it to another artist to modify, etc. I understand there will never be a definitive solution to this, but at some point it seems like multiple small mistakes would constitute a larger one (just like missing a few details on a character sheet isn't bad, but if you miss a ton then there is a point where the commissioner has a right to be unhappy). I guess it is ultimately on the artist to decide if the business is worth it, because there's not going to be a good way to say "You're not following my rules, if you don't correct this, I'll have to cancel your commission." Pretty much no matter what the artist will be the bad guy.

Just to be clear as I know text doesn't convey tone so well, I'm not trying to be argumentative, I'm more just working through this as a thought exercise. Also because I don't think I'd want a commissioner contacting me through IM unless all else failed, and while that might seem nitpicky to someone who likes chatting to the artist they commissioned, it might be a big issue for me.
Jul. 13th, 2010 08:15 pm (UTC)
No, I get what you're saying, no offense taken =3

There's a difference between someone emailing the wrong address and someone IMing rather than emailing. You just correct them in that case, and if they continue then it IS malicious--especially if you are firm. You can't "accidently" IM..that's not nitpicky if you ask me--I hate it too. It goes along with commissioners who want to be good friends--I'm not tolerant of *that* either.

I don't think it's a no-matter-what situation that the artist looks bad. I think one need only peer through previous entries to see that there is a reasonable line, and while the exact point may be a little gray, there's also black and white too. A person unreasonable in one transaction is generally expected to be unreasonable in others so if you reject someone that really was a pill, then the bad rep they try to give you won't stick due to their own. There are certainly cases that you would be right to drop them.
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )


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