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Advice?

I made a post earlier this month about an artist I had commissioned, here.

I've tried emailing her again as people suggested, as well as making another comment on her profile page requesting a refund. She's been on, yesterday in fact according to her activity, but she still hasn't said anything at all. I know I'm most likely not going to get my money back, as hard as that is to swallow, because I really can't afford to raise that kind of money again to get a cane that won't break in a few months.

Should I make a journal on DA and other sites to warn people against commissioning her? I received a note about a week ago from someone thanking me for posting my issues on Porkshanks profile because they had been thinking of commissioning her and decided not to risk it. I feel sort of bad about that since porkshanks seemed like a nice person. I just don't know what to do now, if I should post my experience elsewhere, or if I should try to get a hold of her again in hopes of resolving the matter. Obviously I've learned not to send payment ahead of time if I commission someone for a big project again.

Does anyone know Porkshanks personally? I don't know if she just has major issues going on right now or what. Should I send her a link to this A_B post so she knows I did actually post something, as I told her I would if she didn't respond?

Screenshots of the new things not in the other entry:
Third profile comment, requesting refund and stating issues
Note from other artist who had been thinking of suggesting Porkshanks to a commissionerName blacked out for privacy, of course.

Edit:
Paypal transaction receiptTransaction ID and bank numbers blacked out.
-Additional note: Since I forgot to mention my idiocy in the matter, I sent payment as a gift so fees would not be taken out on her side. However, the message sent with payment DOES say it was for a commission, and I did send a note telling her it was sent that way and for what reason that she DID respond to. Because of how the payment was sent, though, I'm doubtful that doing anything through Paypal will help.

EDIT 2: I got a response today after posting a mass amount of journals all over the place explaining the situation, and we're currently trying to work things out. I'll edit again when there's actual results other than talking. :3

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Comments

( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
spiffystuff
Aug. 26th, 2010 04:55 pm (UTC)
Holy cow, you have the patience of a saint. I'd be seething if I were you, and I like to think I'm normally a pretty mellow person.

At this point, if everything's as you say (and I have no reason to doubt it, just saying that cuz... internet), Porkshanks has just blatantly stolen your money. There's just no excuse to take $250 and then not even bother to read notes for months on end while still being active online.

Do you still have the paypal receipts? Did you get an address for them? Would you mind posting the receipts (block out personal info first, I'm not asking for the address, just further proof so people know to steer clear)

At this point I would consider filing a police report and also a small claims court if the police don't care (unfortunately, police involvement in stuff like this varies wildly), especially if you have a real name and address for them. Lodge a complaint with paypal even if it's too late to officially dispute the claim. And yes, while you're at it put a polite note in the profile of any accounts they have (don't know if they have more than one) linking to a summary of your complaint (such as this entry) to help warn others (there's a fine line between warning others and harassing someone, but I don't think you're in danger of crossing it).

All of those may light a fire under porkshanks butt to get you a refund. I'd say reject any attempts to continue the commission if it's offered, demand a refund - they are proven unreliable at this point. Only small claims might have a fee but the cost shouldn't be much ($50 or less?). So, probably try the paypal complaint and police first, but look into that too.

As to giving them notice - well I guess I'm inclined against, but you could send a note today titled "final notice - filing disputes" with a link here and a summary of what you're going to try to do to get your money back if they don't refund within ___ (1 week)? The title should be something that might grab their attention since they don't bother reading notes, maybe also put it in any new comments you decide to leave on their profile page? The one thing is, make it clear you want the REFUND within the timeframe, not just a response. From what I see here, this has gone on too long and they've had ample opportunity to make things right. Stick with it and pursue whatever legal options you can if they pull some "sorry I'm broke right now" schtick. You could also send a paypal invoice / request for money to try to get their attention.

Edited at 2010-08-26 05:02 pm (UTC)
ishrahsan
Aug. 26th, 2010 05:34 pm (UTC)
I was able to get a screencap of the transaction receipt, I'll edit to put it in there as well. Having made the mistake of sending it as a gift to be nice so she wouldn't get fees, I'm not sure if Paypal will do anything. Since it was stated in notes and in the payment transaction that it WAS for payment of a cane commission, do you think I might still have a chance filing a police report or going through small claims?
I do know her name, she's well known in the Steampunk area and she has it listed on her DA, but her address wasn't given at all.
spiffystuff
Aug. 26th, 2010 06:03 pm (UTC)
Enk, legally if the money was sent as a gift that makes things a lot more difficult. But maybe if you have communication that makes it clear it was supposed to be a commission it can still work. :/ I honestly don't know, but I think you could ask?
The police may want you to contact the police local to her area instead of your area... internet crimes are really weird to deal with.
Otherwise I guess just send the paypal invoice and warn who you can?
ishrahsan
Aug. 26th, 2010 06:14 pm (UTC)
I have communication stating it was for the commission, the receipt itself has a note saying it as well as DA notes to and from her.
I'll have to look up the area she lives in, it shouldn't be to difficult. I'll see it through as far as I can, but I'm a bit more concerned about warning others currently.
spiffystuff
Aug. 26th, 2010 07:43 pm (UTC)
Another thing might be to get a screen shot of all the unread notes in case she goes back and reads them now
ishrahsan
Aug. 26th, 2010 07:52 pm (UTC)
Already have that, though I'll make another since there have been new notes since then. Thanks. <3
shiftergoddess
Aug. 26th, 2010 06:12 pm (UTC)
Aren't sending payments as gifts against PayPal's ToS? I don't know if you'd get in trouble but i do know Porkshanks will. Sellers aren't supposed to request "gift" payments to avoid fees. You might be able to get them into trouble with that as well.

Also, they might be the nicest person outside of a business dealing but that doesn't make them professional or give them any right to literally steal money from customers. As Spiffystuff said, you've been more than patient with them and you have more than enough grounds to take any means necessary to get your money back for poor service.
teahound
Aug. 26th, 2010 06:30 pm (UTC)
I don't know if it's against TOS for customers to send payments as gift of their own free will, but when they do this they're essentially forfeiting any ability to get a refund, short of the person being commissioned giving it of their own free will. You are right though, that if the seller requested it be sent as a gift they'll be in pretty severe trouble with PayPal.
xianjaguar
Aug. 26th, 2010 09:07 pm (UTC)
Yes, it's against PayPal's TOS to receive money from a customer for a commission in PayPal that's marked as a "Gift". The seller can get in trouble for accepting money this way for commissions or goods.
mistresswolf
Aug. 31st, 2010 02:25 am (UTC)
Is it ok to get payments sent as 'payment owed' or something so the buyer is responsible for fees still?
kayla_la
Aug. 31st, 2010 02:29 am (UTC)
Probably, but I think most people would consider it pretty tacky (it's a fee for selling, not for buying) and it might put people off from commissioning you.
mistresswolf
Aug. 31st, 2010 02:30 am (UTC)
Yeah, I suppose that is true.
kayla_la
Aug. 31st, 2010 02:32 am (UTC)
Just quietly add the fees into your prices ahead of time (15 dollar headshot becomes 17 dollars, for instance) without telling people, and you won't ruffle any feathers.
mistresswolf
Aug. 31st, 2010 02:33 am (UTC)
Ah, Sneaky!
sigilgoat
Aug. 26th, 2010 06:28 pm (UTC)
About the paypal stuff: If you've sent it as a gift, you can't EVER file a claim with them to get it back.

It would also make things difficult if you were to go into court as well, since a Gift through paypal is just that. If you brought up the note that it was really for a commission, you could then get in trouble for breaking their T.O.S.

It's against the rules for artists to ask for their payments as gifts, or for payers to send gifts for payments.

As far as anything else goes:I would suggest that you write a journal detailing your experiences and continue to try and be in communication with her, 250$ is quite a bit of money, so I wouldn't personally go dragging her name through the mud just yet (but I'm also an optimist and always hope for the best D:). I don't know if dA mods do anything about this, but it might be worth a try.

Leave shouts on her page weekly, if not every few days (if yours is deleted?) asking about the status of your commission or refund.
ishrahsan
Aug. 26th, 2010 06:35 pm (UTC)
I figured getting the money back would be an issue through any sort of claim, which is why I wasn't counting on it overly much.

I have tried to stay in touch with her, but it's difficult when she doesn't, you know, respond. XD I don't want to drag her name through the mud, and any journal I make will, of course, be updated to say it's resolved (if it ever is). I feel bad knowing that my posts so far have already lost her commissions, but there's not much I can do about that. :
sigilgoat
Aug. 26th, 2010 06:37 pm (UTC)
No, it's very good that it's lost her some business. That's how being your own business works!

If I go into a store and they have crappy service and never deliver me a product I paid my good money for, I will NEVER go there again, and I'd tell all my friends too.

Hopefully if she sees that her service is the problem and goes on to make amends. People can change! c:
thaily
Aug. 26th, 2010 08:49 pm (UTC)
If she resolves the issue with you, you can update the post and people can go "Hmm, at least she tries to work with her customers, maybe I'll commission her after all." so really, whatever she does; she's going reap what she sows.
silverback2001
Aug. 26th, 2010 07:56 pm (UTC)
I've met Porkshanks before, and this really doesn't seem like her. Granted it's been forever since I've talked to her, she really seemed like an honest person when I met her. :/
ishrahsan
Aug. 26th, 2010 08:11 pm (UTC)
That's the feeling I got when I asked her to do this commission, too. :< I'm really upset that it's turned out this way.
para_xylene
Apr. 1st, 2011 10:34 pm (UTC)
Hi, I followed a link from Molly's dA page to your journal.

I'm likely necroing this topic, but I really think Molly needs help. I've been following her for three years and for the last few months I couldn't tell if she was going off the map or just indulging in fantasy. I now think she really is suffering paranoid schizophrenia.
ishrahsan
Apr. 2nd, 2011 12:17 am (UTC)
Well, it's not as bad as a lot of necro-threads that I've seen.

I've been following her for a long time as well, and I will admit that her journals recently have made me do a double-take a few times. However, the few messages that I've gotten from her since making this post have been normal. I still haven't received my commission, but the last note I got said she would be working on it as her next project.

I honestly don't know what to think of the situation any longer. Her personal notes are normal, but her journals are off the chart a lot of the time. I'm concerned, but her writing styles for journals and notes are completely different for me to form an honest opinion. I'm not sure if her journals are just fantasy indulgence, or if she really does need help of some kind. Either way, the commission warning would still stand. If there's something wrong with her and she can't follow through because of it, she shouldn't receive any commissions. If there's not something wrong, then she needs to get her priorities straight and do the commissions she's accepted and been paid for.

Either way I'd still like my commission, or closure of some kind at the very least. :(
para_xylene
Apr. 2nd, 2011 12:39 pm (UTC)
Oh no, I didn't mean to suggest that you should not get your commission or your money back. No matter what, you should get one or the other with some interest, in my opinion.

As for her personal notes, I'm sure they are normal. I used to work with mentally disabled people and they can have perfectly normal conversations. But start them on a topic they have delusions about and they'll injure your confidence in their sanity.

I think Molly is delusional but with an intensely beautiful mind. But let me be clear; she has a responsibility to provide you services.

I just wonder if anybody that knows her sees what is happening.
ishrahsan
Apr. 2nd, 2011 08:59 pm (UTC)
I don't really know any one that knows her, and people that do that have noted me say they haven't talked to her in a couple years. :(

I figured you didn't mean to suggest that, but I thought it was a good time for me to state my feelings on the matter since . I have had a few people in the past couple months message me about Molly, saying they think she's insane and that I'm being unreasonable about what they feel her condition is. :/ Oh well.
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

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