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Hello A_B, I need a little bit of help on a matter. I don't want to name names since this is strictly needing advice on what to do.

In January, someone asked me to make them a wolf head, foam base only. I was happy to have a commission and agreed. After hashing out some details, I was to send them a head with a semi moving jaw, toony teeth, mouth lining, tongue, duct taping and as a small freebie, some grey fur for markings/furring/whatever.
In talking about the details, they mentioned how they are uncomfortable with things close to their face, and I said I could try to make it an inch bigger than their measurement. After a little more talk, we decided to go with the original size. (aka, without the added inch) I made sure that it was ok that we use the original size more than once and everytime, it was approved.

Once completed, I showed them a picture of it, they asked me to change some things and I did happily. After things were changed,  I sent more pictures and they were approved.

They needed it in time for FWA in the end of March, I sent it out and they received it on February 25th. I did forget the teeth and the tongue, but I sent them and they were received March 16th. They complained about there not being an upper set of teeth, even though my FA at the time said that toony teeth were only the bottoms. At this point, their font started changing drastically (huge, bold colorful, you name it) and I kept getting new emails (I have Gmail so they stack. Made it hard to keep track honestly)

Once they got it, they complained of it being too tight and the jaw not moving correctly, then quickly said they figured out how to wear it and make the jaw move. Also, the ears were supposedly coming lose. That is something I am positive that would not happen. I glue those things down super, super well. Like, surround them with hotglue since I am always scared of ears either sagging, poping off or breaking on any head I have seen since people always say never to pick them up like that and all. (all heads, not just mine) They then sent the head back to me.

At this time, I am in the middle of moving. Not just to one place, bout out of one, to another (parents) then out of the parents and to my new apartment. I was unable to respond at that time and apologized about it. I assured them that I would be able to fix things as soon as things were moved.

I told them I could fix things to the original measurements, and fix the teeth (supposedly the one canine was crooked, so I remade them). Then I was at a loss. I made the head to the correct measurements and was unsure what to do next. Everything seemed to work when I wore it, and when my fiance wore it.

Between asking what was wrong and such, I offered a partial refund and me keep it, or send it  back and they could send it. They asked about how much I would refund, and I had not had the time to respond.

Because of the different threads of emails, I was unsure about what exactly was wrong, so I asked again and they said it was just that their ears got squished and it got painful. I said I could easily fix that, and they replied that that wasn't the only thing wrong, and sent a whole list of things that were wrong. They also either want this list of things completely corrected, or a full refund.

I want to make this right, and frankly, I don't have the spare funds laying around to refund a full amount. I charged a little more than 100$ for all the things I did. Materials and shipping ate a large part of the total up, and for a time, I believed that the commissioner was happy with the end result, and considered it a completed commission. Thus, safe to use the small amount of profit I made, only to find out after I have used the profit, that they were not happy with it. I am trying hard to make them happy, but I don't think they will ever be happy with it. I am no professional builder, and it feels they were expecting professional builder quality. (Professional as in the high up, spectacular suit makers)

So, after reading all of this, I ask; What can I do?

(attempting to add tags)

EDIT: I am still in re-possession of the head. They sent it back for modifications and I have not sent it back, nor made any other modification aside from ones stated above. I think I failed to mention me having it.

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( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 26th, 2010 07:29 am (UTC)
It seems like this is the type of person that's not going to be happy no matter what you do. We've all had to deal with them, but s/he seems especially bad, honestly.

The thing is, you sound kind of like me -- VERY eager to please, and the thought of having an unhappy customer just doesn't sit right with you at all. Thing is, though -- you can't be a doormat. At this point, s/he's gotten TONS of freebies and little tweaks and such. Your obligation has been filled, this customer is NEVER going to be happy, it's come time for you to politely explain to them that you feel your capabilities have been exhausted and if he'd like to continue being in business with you, you'd be happy to charge him by an hourly rate. He has received his product, and you're sorry it doesn't meet his initial standards, but you're unsure if you'll ever be able to completely satisfy his needs, and that being the case, you consider this transaction complete.

Especially for the price! I mean absolutely disrespect against you, as I know your work is more than good -- what was he expecting for 100$?! You are doing it so cheap (presumably) because you're an amateur looking to improve and work on your portfolio.

If he wanted professional work, he should have gone to a professional. He thought he was gonna get LV for 100 bucks and it's not happening, and it's just going to continue to stress both of you to endeavor to that end.
Jul. 26th, 2010 08:20 am (UTC)
Oh, i do want to add, that they sent it back to me and I am still in possession of it. Should I still say business is pretty much closed if I send the head back?
Jul. 26th, 2010 08:33 am (UTC)
Yes, this. Like Bladespark said below, tell them they have three options: you can return it as-is and the transaction is done, you can give them a refund once you sell it, or they can pay you hourly for any further modifications. The end.

You've been more than patient, and don't worry -- sometimes there are people that are impossible to please, and if you're afraid he's gonna start badmouthing your work or something, anyone reasonable that hears your side of the story won't buy it for a minute. Your quality will speak for itself, and life will go on.
Jul. 26th, 2010 08:06 am (UTC)
Tell him you're more than happy to make his modifications - at an hourly rate for your work (I suggest whatever your countries national minimum wage is). Then detail anticipated hours and advise you require payment in advance. I know it's not the way the fursuit industry usually works but I think that should change, I'm sick of morons who expect ridiculous amounts of work for nothing.

How long before he said what was wrong with it, what did he say originally about the commission? The original state is the only thing that you should be changing unless it's came apart in a way it shouldn't.

I know you mentioned the size, therefore changing the size is not negotiable, you delivered exactly as specified so if the customer doesn't like it, tough.

As well, if he's treated your work roughly and broken the ears, it's not your problem, it's his.
Jul. 26th, 2010 08:22 am (UTC)
I can find how long it was in a bit. Because of the many different restarted emails, I need to sift through my inbox.
Thank you so much for the info!
Jul. 26th, 2010 08:21 am (UTC)
You have been incredibly patient and accommodating with this person. I'd say overly-so. They are simply nitpicking and taking advantage of you now. Be firm and tell them that the transaction is complete, you are under no further obligation to provide free services or a refund as your end of it has been fulfilled and if they want further adjustments they must be paid for.

If they make threats, politely explain that you have recorded everything related to this issue and will publicly out them and the full story in response.
Jul. 26th, 2010 08:23 am (UTC)
Thank you very much!
I still have possession of the head (the sent just the head back to me), should I send it back if they do not want to do an hourly fee like others have suggested?
Jul. 26th, 2010 08:26 am (UTC)
Given that the head is in your possession, and as you say you want to make them happy, I'd inform them that they have three options. One, they can pay you for further fixes. Two you can refund them and sell the head to somebody else to make back the money you've lost. (And that they'll have to wait while you sell it/raise the money for the refund.) Or three, you can just send them the head as is and they can be happy with it.

They've already gotten their money's worth here, don't let them bully you into doing more than you're being paid to do!
Jul. 26th, 2010 12:34 pm (UTC)
Echoing what others have said - I can't see the head to know if this person has some legitimate reason to be upset, but from the sound of it you've done more than enough and it's well past time to put your foot down.

One thing I would like a little more clarity on though - have you made /any/ changes to the head since you received it back? (also, were the ears actually falling off? Had they been damaged? )

This may be an unpopular opinion but, if you have made /no/ modifications to the head since receiving it back yet, maybe tell the commissioner they can pick ONE thing (that you can do pretty quickly) to have fixed and that will be it, they get it back commission done. Or you can resell it and refund them somewhat, or they can pay you extra for further modifications.

Good luck!
Jul. 26th, 2010 02:00 pm (UTC)
Sounds like you are dealing with a 13 year old :/

Ok,....this is a foam BASE. It's not a fursuit head. You have no obligations to put all this extra work into something that ultimately is made for the new owner to do that THEMSELVES. Hints the purpose of a foam base! (an the low price for such an amount of work!) :/
I'm sorry you had to deal with someone like this D8 they need to realize they are getting more then their moneys worth in service.

Post images of the head and work done, get some email caps, etc. and put them up here, it will help your case some and give us a better idea of what you're dealing with so we can help with better advice lol XD If this continues, it might also be an ok idea to give a name, chances are, someone might recognize this person and have warnings about them.

Again I'm so sorry you have to deal with this :(
Jul. 26th, 2010 06:57 pm (UTC)
It really sounds like he's trying to get a fursuit head for cheap rather than a base.

It's a base. It's something to work off of and the person receiving the base will still have to do work. You've done more than your fair share and at this point I think he's just trying to take advantage of your willingness to go the extra mile.

I like bladespark's suggestion. And I also second the request for pictures and caps and echo the "were the ears really falling off?" question. From what you described of your technique, it sounds very implausible but I'm not a suit builder.
Jul. 26th, 2010 07:51 pm (UTC)
I particularly don't like the fact that they told you it was just the ears and that it was too tight, then suddenly replied with a laundry list of things to be "fixed." That sounds a LOT like they're just trying to take advantage of you under the common, misguided view that "the customer is always right" and they are entitled to make you bend over backwards to please them.

You delivered what was ordered and you have the emails and logs to prove that - at this point it sounds like they're just changing their mind and trying to weedle free work out of you. If it were me, I'd send it back and consider this case closed. I wouldn't even offer to do more work if they paid for it, I'd just write it off as "not worth the trouble."

It's a head BASE, for goodness sake. They're supposed to be the one tweaking it to their exact specifications, not you.
Jul. 26th, 2010 10:32 pm (UTC)
I echo what others have said. Seems like you are dealing with a 13-year-old... Bladespark´s suggestion is very good.

I had a similar customer last summer. I am a tailor student and I wanted to learn to make fursuits. I offered two fullsuit commissions and clearly stated that these are practice commissions. I also asked only 50% of the price which I was planning to charge after I had learnt how to make suits. I worked on the two fullsuits at the same time and they were done in a very similar way. After they were completed the customers came to pick them up at the same time (they were friends). The other one was very pleased with his suit when the other started to complain later. He didn´t say anything when he came to pick it up, I later read from his FA journal that he was REALLY disappointed in my work. He listed many things which were wrong with the suit and he said that his suit was a lot lower quality than the other suit (which is not true because they were made in similar way and at the same time). I panicked and contacted him because I am very eager to please. I offered to fix the suit for free. He agreed to ship it to me with a list of the changes he wanted to be made. When I received the suit I was amazed to see that there was nothing wrong with it. x.x He was complaining about little details which were impossible to fix. I tried to do my best though and made little modifications like made the seams stronger etc. I shipped the suit back to him and again he posted a FA journal and complained that I had done no changes and that I suck and my work sucks. He demanded a full refund. I decided not to be a doormat because I had CLEARLY STATED that I am NOT a professional fursuit maker and that these commissions are PRACTICES which I am selling at 50% discount.

Some customers are impossible to please. Even professionals like Latinvixen have customers like this sometimes. They will bitch and moan and post public complaints about you in the Internet. Don´t care about them. Do as Bladespark said and move on.
Jul. 26th, 2010 10:35 pm (UTC)
Oh, I will add this: in order to make the changes which the customer demanded I would have had to remake the whole suit.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )


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