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Need some advice.

A couple months ago I made a partial fursuit for someone. When it left my house, it was fine. I had checked the seams, pulled them and went over a couple others I thought were iffy. All of the fursuits I make have a 6 month warranty. They can send it back to me and I will fix whatever problem, free of charge. He was happy with it all, agreed to the warranty and left with the suit.

I get a call from a friend a few days ago telling me that my commissioner came to her to fix a popped seam in the head. Which is fine, whatever, but then she notices I could have sewn the arms on the shirt and pants a little better, so she fixed that, and told me how to make sure that doesn't happen in the future as well as giving me advise for sewing the neck to the head. Which is fine, I like critique and advise on how to make things better.

BUT apparently she thinks I did the head wrong, in the way of the moving jaw. Now, it works perfectly when you have it on right. I showed the commissioner before he left with the suit, how to wear the head to make the jaw work. He did it, and it works. My friend says when he uses the moving jaw it doesn't work, and it hits his sternum. He isn't wearing it right.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oz1DnngPluo is a video of the head. The jaw works and isn't hitting the sternum.

Now something else was mentioned that wasn't mentioned to me when he took the suit. He says the vision is bad... I have a suit of my own, made by Media (Spook) and the vision in the suit I made is about 30 times better than my "professionally" made personal one. So he wants all mesh eyes now.

Now, he wants a $200 refund, or for me to re-make the head since things needed to be fixed with the stitching and the head is apparently wrong. Which I don't think is fair when it works perfectly fine, It worked perfectly fine on him when he left after I showed him how to wear it, and he could have sent the sleeves to me to fix with his warranty.

I don't know what to do, I don't have 200 dollars to give him and I don't have money or materials to make another head for him. (Which if he wore the head right he wouldn't need it anyway) He's wearing it too far forward. And since my friend fixed the seam issue (which I could have done which is part of the warranty) there shouldn't be a problem...

Please help.


I've written out my contract, please let me know what you think.

I'm also planning on getting in touch with this commissioner tomorrow. I'll let you know how it goes.

:::More EDIT:::

I have sent him a note:

Which he has read and hasn't responded to.


Here's the response over IMs I got from him. I think it's been worked out. And I think I handled myself ok.

Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.


( 55 comments — Leave a comment )
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Aug. 21st, 2010 01:27 am (UTC)

Sounds like buyers remorse.

What's your contract like? Do you specify rules for refunds and do you have the materials cost as non-refundable?
Aug. 21st, 2010 01:53 am (UTC)
I honestly never thought of specifying anything about refunds besides the fact that the initial down payment of %30 is non-refundable for costs of most of the materials. I'm leniant and like to work with the customer throughout the in-progress stages of the suit... so... *shrug*

I figured that if any issues occurred, I'd gladly fix them, whatever they were, for no charge under the agreed 6 month warranty and we'd be good.

And since he was there with me in person telling me how great it was, and when I asked him if there were any issues, he said no. I reminded him about the warranty I don't know how many times....
(no subject) - koisnake - Aug. 21st, 2010 01:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lilenth - Aug. 21st, 2010 02:02 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rika_wulf - Aug. 21st, 2010 02:07 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lilenth - Aug. 21st, 2010 02:29 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ikirouta_fox - Aug. 21st, 2010 08:37 am (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 21st, 2010 01:35 am (UTC)
For the future, you might want to put in that only you are to try fixing it and if someone else does, (besides the owner, or including if you feel that is needed) that the 6 month warranty is broken, and all repairs are no longer free.
Aug. 21st, 2010 01:54 am (UTC)
Might be a good idea.
(no subject) - snobahr - Aug. 21st, 2010 02:27 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - frazzled_niya - Aug. 24th, 2010 06:49 am (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 21st, 2010 01:41 am (UTC)
Has this person owned a suit before this one? It sounds like he's running into a lot of problems first-time suiters with unrealistic expectations runs into.

Even top of the line, professional moving jaws are finicky. Unless you have one of those moving jaws that are a separate piece that straps on to your actual chin (like some that Beastcub make), they're not going to work 100% of the time for ANYONE, even super-sensitive resin jaws aren't perfect. Like, that's just a fact and he'll have to accept that, and that doesn't mean you did it "wrong".

As far as the vision, people have wildly different standards as to what constitutes "good" vision. Some people are super finicky and think "less than barely unobstructed" is the same as "TERRIBLE VISION". I'm super chillax about the vision in my suits, and feel like if I can successfully navigate, then I can see well enough, but I acknowledge that that's me, and some people just can't stand compromised vision. Still, it sounds like he wants his cake and to eat it, too.

He has his product, and it sounds like it's as described (and for some reason he didn't come to you to resolve the stitching issues, even though it was under warranty?) Unless he wants to return the head, then he has no right to ask for a refund. Tell him that. "Doesn't have a flawless moving jaw" does not equal "wrong", and even then, he shouldn't get to keep the product!

Don't feel heartless, though -- he sounds like the type of person that won't be satisfied, and it would be an exercise in frustration and futility to try and accomplish the unattainable.

Plus, I'm not sure, but from what I glean, you're much more a hobby maker than a "professional", yes? And from that I can assume you charged him a relatively low sum. I mean this is no disparaging way towards your skill, but you get what you pay for.
Aug. 21st, 2010 02:01 am (UTC)
This is his first suit. As for the vision, he personally saw that the vision in his suit was tons better than the vision in my suit made by Media "professionally" and he agreed that it was better and he liked it.

I am more of a hobby maker, and for all the extra stuff he wanted, I definitely charged him less than what a professional would charge. (and no offence taken, it's true, this was only my second suit(and he knew that when he agreed to get one from me))
Aug. 21st, 2010 01:42 am (UTC)
Curious, is $200 the entire cost of the head? Was he your first commission? Did you just started commissions?

I hope these questions aren't digging into your privacy, but it may help me (and some other people) help you a little better.

Aug. 21st, 2010 01:57 am (UTC)
It's the second suit I made, he went into this knowing that. (i repeatedly reminded him.) I just started commissions. And no the head costed a little over 200, close to 300, for foam, fur, eyes, balaclava, elastic, and airbrushing. (not including time taken to make it, just for raw materials)
(no subject) - koisnake - Aug. 21st, 2010 01:59 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rika_wulf - Aug. 21st, 2010 02:06 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kayla_la - Aug. 21st, 2010 02:07 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rika_wulf - Aug. 21st, 2010 02:10 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - banrai - Aug. 21st, 2010 02:10 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rika_wulf - Aug. 21st, 2010 02:17 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lilenth - Aug. 21st, 2010 03:13 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - paradedemon - Feb. 19th, 2013 07:49 am (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 21st, 2010 01:43 am (UTC)
You know, honestly this guy sounds like he's having second thoughts about wanting the suit, and just trying to finagle a refund out of you.

He should have come to you with the issues he had with the seams, and if he had other problems they should have been voiced when he picked up the suit (since the way you talk it seems that it wasn't mailed.) I sort-of get the feeling that the friend that fixed the seam might have filled his head with air about how things should have been done, which is silly because it's really a preference of style anyway. If the guy wanted a jaw that worked differently, he should have went to a different producer - you don't go to a restaurant and order Parmesan Chicken and then bitch that it doesn't taste like steak and demand a refund, and nor should this guy expect one.

Frankly, I would tell him that having another person 'work' on the head voided the warranty, and send him on his way.
Aug. 21st, 2010 02:14 am (UTC)
I don't want to sound too cold... the guy has depression issues. Apparently the whole time my friend was fixing the seams up, and critiquing me about the head, he kept saying "I thought she was my friend, why did she do this?" :/

I never met the guy before this, and I consider our "relationship" (if you could call it that) a business one at best. Never hung out with him or anything. He just bought the suit and came over every now and then (3 times) to try stuff on to make sure it fit.
(no subject) - koisnake - Aug. 21st, 2010 02:26 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - werewolfofwater - Aug. 21st, 2010 03:01 am (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 21st, 2010 01:52 am (UTC)
If it was me I'd tell him that he doesn't get a refund unless he wants to return the head and allow you to sell it for $200. Does he want someone walking around with Timber's head under a different name? ( I can't see youtube so I don't know if the head is more unique than the usual wolf/canine you tend to see.)

Like everyone has been saying, it also depends on your contract. I've seen plenty of people say the warranty is void if someone besides the buyer or you work on it. There's also voids on warranty if the head smells or has been confirmed as known to be used for...well, things behind closed doors. Then most contracts have different clauses, they can have a refund only if no materials were purchased. They get a percent back plus the materials or a percent back plus the unfinished product and whatnot.

Suit makers seem to have to jump through hoops with contracts to ensure nobody comes back and rips them off, you did the work..tough luck too him. He doesn't like it he should toss it up on furbuy or ebay and get one elsewhere.
Aug. 21st, 2010 01:57 am (UTC)
Like with computer parts, if you do not send it back to the manufacturer for repairs with something, the warranty is void. The same goes for a suit, if you ask me.

Everything else I have to offer is the same as what's already been covered in previous comments.
Aug. 21st, 2010 02:31 am (UTC)
Definitely sounds like buyers remorse, and a person who perhaps is swayed by the opinions of others (most probably why he liked it to start, and didn’t after hearing someone else pick it apart.)
I definitely suggest the writing of a solid list of terms for the commissioner to read in the future, hobby or not. Selling things like costumes can be a risky business without a contract as its one of those costly things that people tend to have higher expectations, and nit-pickyness over.
But for the price you described above and the quality of work shown in the video, I think there’s no reason for you to accept his terms. He got his product, and from what I can see it was in fine working order when he received it.
If you do refund definately have the head sent back, and re-sell it to cover your loss of money and time spent!
Aug. 21st, 2010 03:11 am (UTC)
I'm working on a contract right now. Maybe you can give it a once over for me when I'm done. I agree, I don't think I should accept his terms unless I get the head back and sell it for the refund. What my friend said to him made him think he could have the refund and the head. :/ or 2 heads if i make him a new one. Ridiculous... And now he believes that.
(no subject) - rika_wulf - Aug. 21st, 2010 03:34 am (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 21st, 2010 02:59 am (UTC)
I gotta agree with poprock grey, you should definitely add in a clause that taking it to someone else to get fixed, or intentionally breaking it/badly altering it themselves/wearing it wrong breaks the warranty and you'll only cover errors that may have been your fault. If the damage that needs fixed is inflicted by the commissioner you should charge for that imo.
Have you discussed with your friend that the head was moving properly when he took it from you?

Another thing to consider possibly doing for your own protection is making and uploading videos yourself of the fursuits' current condition and a demonstration showing that they work before the commissioner gets their hands on it. That would prove that they leave you in perfect condition.
Aug. 21st, 2010 03:00 am (UTC)
oh wait nvm I missed the bit that showed you'd uploaded a video of it working. That proves that you'd lived up to your end of the bargain imo.
(no subject) - rika_wulf - Aug. 21st, 2010 03:53 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celestinaketzia - Aug. 21st, 2010 04:08 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shukivengeance - Aug. 21st, 2010 05:09 am (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 21st, 2010 03:03 am (UTC)
Gotta agree with others in saying, don't refund unless you get the head back, regardless of any depression issues or other pity party nonsense he may be trying to throw at you.
Aug. 21st, 2010 03:13 am (UTC)
In the event that the customer bullies you into a refund, I would tell them that you will refund them upon the resale of the head because there is no reason for it to be returned in the first place.

From the video it looks like its moving fine and the visit looks like it should be fine. My suit the eyes look to be about the same distance apart and I can see though mine just fine. If he oked the suit there is no reason for a return. I agree with a lot of the others with that your warranty should be null and void if the item was worked on by someone else. You don't know if they could have damaged it which caused the problems in the first place.
Aug. 21st, 2010 03:34 am (UTC)
I've written out the contract, could you look it over and give me some critique on it please?

(no subject) - dripbat - Aug. 21st, 2010 03:42 am (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 21st, 2010 03:17 am (UTC)
After explaining to him that you will only refund him if he returns the head so you can resell, I'd have a serious talk with your "friend". Critique is well and fine, but to advise your client as to what he is allowed to have? I don't think so. She's way out of line, and she needs to know that.

ETA: When you speak with him, I would also politely mention that you did not do any of this to be malicious with him. You worked as you thought would be best, and you are more than happy to learn from your friend's critique.

The only way he can get a refund on a perfectly working head is by letting you sell the current one. Period. If he protests and brings up what your friend told him, then politely point out that is not how it is done in the business at all.

Edited at 2010-08-21 04:14 am (UTC)
Aug. 21st, 2010 04:23 am (UTC)
Ok, that helps a lot, actually. I have trouble sometimes, finding the right words. :/
(no subject) - shukivengeance - Aug. 21st, 2010 05:11 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - spiffystuff - Aug. 21st, 2010 04:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celestinaketzia - Aug. 21st, 2010 06:12 am (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 21st, 2010 04:37 am (UTC)
I agree with just about everyone else here. You showed him the head, demonstrated it's use, and he approved the final work. You finished your side of the deal in good faith and made a head to the best of your current skill level. Also, $200 for a head in a great bargain, especially for such options as a movable jaw. So, he got what he paid for, a low cost head from a beginner/intermediate fursuit builder (no insult intended, we all started somewhere. :).

To then demand that you put out professional level quality is unreasonable, especially some time after the deal had been finalized. Then to demand a refund when you gave him a working head with the quality and skill he paid for, is ludicrous and an insult to you. He can't change his expectations after the deal's finalized.

If I were in your position, I'd offer to take a look at the head and see if you can't make the movable jaw work better for him or to show him how to wear it again. Also, I wouldn't recommend voiding your warranty with him just because a friend patched up a seam, unless there is obvious damage or anything that has compromised the quality of your original work.

Let him know that you're willing to work with him to see if you can't get the jaw working better or to improve the quality of the head, but you're doing so because you want a happy customer, not because you're obligated to. Finally, if you do agree to try and improve the head, don't fall into the trap of letting the customer demand so many changes that it becomes a significant burden on your time and resources (and sanity). Repair any parts of the head that that may need it, see if you can't get the jaw working a bit better, and leave it at that. Any more and you should be compensated as you're going beyond the scope of your warranty.

Oh, and no refunds, either. He got what he paid for. If he doesn't like it, he can sell the head and commission someone else.
Aug. 21st, 2010 04:59 am (UTC)
He paid a bit more than 200 for the head. Just to clear that up. It was near 300 for materials. (which i found I could have gotten some of them cheaper, so that was my mistake) and about 150 for time/effort on the head. It's still a lot cheaper than what my head from media cost, and what it would have cost from a pro.

I don't think you're being unreasonable. I'll look into this. *nod nod*
(no subject) - delphinios - Aug. 21st, 2010 05:09 am (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 21st, 2010 05:00 am (UTC)
With snakes, most people have a policy of "no partial refunds". You either return for a full refund, or maybe the seller will help pay for taking care of a problem if it's real (ie, paying for a vet bill).
I think this is a good idea with fursuits as well.
Commissioner can either return for a refund (after reselling the head), return for you to do repairs (not unlimited repairs, whatever your contract has), or keep the head and call the deal done.
I don't see why they should get $200 if they're keeping the head.
Aug. 21st, 2010 08:09 am (UTC)
Man, if you hadn't said this was a guy, I'd swear it was one of my old customers. Loved my work until somebody else told her that it was crappy, then suddenly she hates it. :P

Anyhow, I just have this to say: your contract looks fine, but no matter what you do some situation that's not in the contract can always come up. IMHO the contract isn't nearly as important as clearly communicating with your customers when issues arise is.

I mean in this situation you don't have a contract to cover what's happened, but you can still tell the customer "You said you were completely happy with the suit, and that I didn't need to fix anything when I gave it to you. I feel that that was when you should have brought up any issues. I stand by my work and I will fix any damage to it, as I promised, but I can't refund you just because you suddenly changed your mind and want a refund. If you really hate it you can return it, and get a refund, otherwise our original deal stands, you keep the suit and I keep the payment."

I'm a big believer in not beating around the bush, just tell him the situation, and what his options are, and he can take it or leave it.
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