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Artists Beware: Commissioner - Arokh3

I was approached by an Arokh3 on FA, who was interested in commissioning three pieces of art from me, but refused to talk about his commissions via private notes like everyone else (I actually make it a rule, too). Instead, he requested for my messenger info, and started chatting away at me on AIM, below is the transcript of the conversation:

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Litespd567: This is Arokh3 from FA. But maybe you're afk. ;x Or playing Reach

Eeeeeera: hey Arokh3 ^^ yeah sorry about the weird AIM name :) a friend used to call me that. no I am not afk - busy organizing commission info and replying to notes. it's always like this on the day I open commissions x_x to be honest I was in quite a shock when you said you wanted 3 slots

Litespd567: Well thanks for letting me know you opened, anyway, because most artists refuse to do that... 'Check my journal for when I open', but there's like 50 journal updates a day from people I watch, I can't read them all, so I don'!

Eeeeeera: btw I may be slow to respond from time to time due to aforementioned activities - feel free to keep messaging on, tho :)

Litespd567: Oh pssh, how many slots did you open?

Eeeeeera: well when I promise to let people know when I open commissions, I try to keep my promise - sometimes I forget, though. x_x just honest mistakes. because when people have the courtesy to contact me beforehand, it wouldn't be very nice to leave them hanging. :)

Eeeeeera: I technically only opened 5 slots this week, so I had to overbook the three people who made reservations, since all 5 slots filled within a few hours

Litespd567: ahh o.o; Should I not ask for 3 then? :<

Eeeeeera : oh it's quite alright. it may just take a while to finish all of yours is all. :)

Litespd567: How long would you say if I commissioned you today?

Eeeeeera: well I do have all the other commissioners to take care of as well. I am hoping to finish those 5 within a week and a half, then there's a piece for Leftcross, then 3 of yours. your three pieces alone will probably take 4-5 days

Litespd567: *noddles* There's something we should work out early so we don't waste each other's time incase we disagree. =p I'll only pay any given artist a max of $50 in advance at any point in time (that's total, not per pic), though I really prefer to pay after. I've gotten over 1000 commissions now, and I'd be happy to show 'em all to you as proof I'm an 'Expert Commissioner' =p

Eeeeeera: yes I've taken a quick look at your gallery. :) you've got quite a collection. but from my perspective as an artist, letting people pay after has created more issues than it's worth in the past. it's not that I don't trust you, but I simply want to keep the rules straightforward and uniform for all my commissioners to streamline the work process. If you have doubts regarding my work ethic, you could ask the people who have commissioned me if they've ever had problem with me.

Litespd567: Oh pssh, the gallery isn't anything. Those are just the clean ones. c.c I regularly bribe artists to get ahead in lines XD so they don't want those posted. otherwise the other people would see and get mad >.>

Litespd567: Anyway I don't have doubts. You have your policies and mine are just as valid. Nothing to do with trust.

Eeeeeera: to put it simply, if I make an exception for you as far as payment policy goes, that means by principle, I have to allow exceptions for people who ask for it, period. and quite a few people have asked in the past, I always let them pay after; I can name may be three people who were prompt and always held up their end of the promise. the others all dragged their feet or "forgot"

Litespd567: Why would that be the case though? That's kind of silly. So you're saying that people with bad credit should be able to go into a bank and ask for a loan with super low interest, because somebody with good credit had a lower interest rate? Unfortunately that's not how most things work! =p

Litespd567: Eheh, well my turnaround time isn't horrible enough for you to need to bribe me to get in front of the line, I don't think. Besides, I would prefer if you didn't - as far as regular commissions go, it is first come first serve (unless someone has a payment issue, in which case their piece is put on hold)

Litespd567: Anyway, I did say I'd pay up to $50 in advance

Eeeeeera: Well when it comes to loans, banks can look at credit reports. For commissions, I don't have anything aside from the commissioner's words to go by.

Litespd567: do you have skype?

Eeeeeera: And who would ever say "I may have trouble paying you when your art is done?"

Eeeeeera: I do but I only use that for family, sorry. :)

Litespd567: It's not for talking/video. It's for screen sharing. I'll just show you my commissions folder, and chat with artists, let them know you're watching, and ask them to explain our business. ^^

Eeeeeera: I don't like to talk on the phone in general. Handing you my messenger names was already a special treatment, just fyi... ;)

Litespd567: Well thanks. ;p But, anyway, no there'd be no voice or webcam involved.

Eeeeeera: I would prefer not. :) I am sorry for any inconvenience on your part. Like I said, it has nothing to do with trust. You don't have to show me your commission folder to prove your point.

Litespd567: So... it's not that you can't get a 'credit report', it's that you just won't go through the effort? c.c

Eeeeeera: Umm, no. I think I made my point about the policy being a matter of principle. Sure, I can check your "credit report" - but if I make an exception for you, it sets a precedence, and it means I have to check the credit report of every commissioner who asks for an exception.

Litespd567: Can you give a reason why?

Litespd567: Nevermind, don't worry about it, cancel my slots. I'll spend the money on an artist who wants to do business with me, which it seems you clearly don't.

Eeeeeera: I simply don't want to give any of my commissioners preferential treatment - I think I treat everyone politely and respectfully, and I expect nothing more (or less) in return. It is not a question of money or whether or not you can "prove" your worth. For the same reason I won't let you bribe your way to the front of the line. It's a matter of principle.

Litespd567: I didn't ask to bribe you.

Eeeeeera: *shrugs* if you think so. :) it's been nice talking with you.

Litespd567: Can't say I'm not disappointed you're not willing to apply real-life practices to your business! I really liked Sikhoten's pic when he showed me.

Eeeeeera: I didn't say I don't want to do business with you either. I simply said as an artist, I expect commissioners to follow my Terms of Agreement for service. I am not going to make exceptions for people, even if they have money to shower me with. Sorry.

Eeeeeera: Your reserved slots have been cancelled. Feel free to contact me via notes if you require my services in the future. If there's nothing else, I bid you good night. :)

Litespd567: I won't be doing that unless you improve your customer service.

Eeeeeera: Asking for people to violate their TOS in favor of your convenience is not good customer service. It has become clear you are not someone I will ever enjoy doing business with. Sorry and good night
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I have heard from several people that this guy isn't a scammer per se, and does pay for his commissions. But this kind of attitude is simply atrocious. Artists beware!

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Comments

( 144 comments — Leave a comment )
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(Deleted comment)
bagheera
Sep. 15th, 2010 12:23 pm (UTC)
your icon is freaking awesome. :)

anyway, someone mentioned this guy might have a page on Encyclopedia Dramatica... so I looked him up and he indeed does... I was greatly amused.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - blasphemusfish - Sep. 15th, 2010 02:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - oceandezignz - Sep. 15th, 2010 04:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
lozpie
Sep. 15th, 2010 12:15 pm (UTC)
Erm yeah... I take payment upfront as well, I think you did the right thing, you were very professional throughout and explained it well, and then he seemed to suddenly turn on you :S

I agree with your points, it makes sense, if you make one exception, then you have to make others, how do you discriminate without offending people? I mean even he seems offended and you made it clear you just don't do it and its nothing personal.
bagheera
Sep. 15th, 2010 01:15 pm (UTC)
Well his argument to that was he has "good credit", and I shouldn't place him in the same league as the commissioners with "bad credit" who drags their feet about payment when the art is done.

I get the point. But who doesn't think they have "good credit"? And even if they know they don't, you think any of them would say that when trying to commission an artist? So... am I supposed to run background check on everyone who asks to pay afterward?

The scenario gets quite ridiculous.
(no subject) - lozpie - Sep. 15th, 2010 01:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cissa - Sep. 18th, 2010 04:30 am (UTC) - Expand
wolf_goat
Sep. 15th, 2010 12:19 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the heads up on that guy. O_o
ellonwye
Sep. 15th, 2010 12:31 pm (UTC)
You were nothing but polite and reasonable throughout, and because he didn't get his way he decided to have a tantrum. Looks like someone who was raised with the 'the customer is always right' mantra.
mandyseley
Sep. 15th, 2010 12:31 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the heads-up...

I think my business would have been concluded the second they refused to work over PM or email and insisted on IM. Follow ALL of my policies, including the little nit-picky ones, or find another artist. I can't stand it when commissioners think they're doing an artist some kind of huge favor or that they have bargaining power because the artist clearly NEEDS their business, or something... sorry guy, that's now how it works.
aldi
Sep. 15th, 2010 01:51 pm (UTC)
This! Best comment ever!
(no subject) - williamlaurence - Sep. 15th, 2010 06:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cissa - Sep. 18th, 2010 04:32 am (UTC) - Expand
rileycostello
Sep. 15th, 2010 12:32 pm (UTC)
Oh, goodness gracious.

Guys like this are why policies about fair treatment/equal opportunity/etc are in practice in the real world, and I think it's really very... egocentric of him to expect you to deviate from your TOS just to service him.

You handled that incredibly professionally, kudos. Bummer is, he'll go off and badmouth you because you wouldn't play favorites.

What's good for the goose must be good for the gander; if you give a mouse a cookie, he'll want a glass of milk.

;)
feropup
Sep. 15th, 2010 12:40 pm (UTC)
I love that analogy you used....

Mostly because that was one of the cutest, and my favorite books as a little kid.
(no subject) - bagheera - Sep. 15th, 2010 01:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bagheera - Sep. 15th, 2010 01:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shukivengeance - Sep. 15th, 2010 02:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kyetsu - Sep. 15th, 2010 05:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kayla_la - Sep. 15th, 2010 05:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
keaalu
Sep. 15th, 2010 12:43 pm (UTC)
If his journal from 5 months ago is anything to go by, you might not be the only one who's had problems with him:

"I hate it when artists accept commissions, and then go back on them. You don't know what you wanna draw? I can understand artists like, saying 'Well I don't want to draw that'. That's cool, whatever, but don't just be like 'Sure I can do that, sounds good, I can do it by [whenever] and it'll be [this much]', then a day later say 'Well I decided not to. Also I won't talk to you anymore.'. It happens enough to me that I can now say it has happened twice from artists with 'acid' in their name! I should not do business with people who have 'acid' in their name. I guess. It's a sign or something. Neither one would even talk to me after they decided not to do them, nor reply to why they wouldn't so I could just ask for something else. I don't know what the deal is."

OK, so if he's commissioned over 1000 pieces of work, some artists will be flakey, but if it happens as often as he's implying, maybe the problem isn't due to the artists? Not a great first impression to get of someone who's so proud of his "portfolio of being great". ¬_¬
shukivengeance
Sep. 15th, 2010 02:01 pm (UTC)
I know right! What's the saying... if you keep having the same problem with people, you're the common denominator. His attitude is awful.
(no subject) - bagheera - Sep. 15th, 2010 02:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shukivengeance - Sep. 15th, 2010 02:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
myenia
Sep. 15th, 2010 12:52 pm (UTC)
Wow, sorry you had to deal with him, but glad it only got that far. My personal suggestion next time someone like that gives you trouble, is to avoid explainations. If you give reasons, they can try to reason out of it. Clearly, his intent in using messenger in the first place was to enable himself to convince you to change your policies. Just say, this is how I do business. If you want my work, you will abide by it. There will be no further discussions on the matter.
bagheera
Sep. 15th, 2010 01:04 pm (UTC)
I can be too nice sometimes. :)
(no subject) - rmoorcat - Sep. 15th, 2010 04:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
ocean_storm
Sep. 15th, 2010 12:55 pm (UTC)
You handled that quite well.

I've never heard of doing a credit check for commissioners unless you're a freelancer and even than you have do be doing some seriously large amounts of business o_O So weird for him to ask that. Or think that showing you a folder full of images somehow makes him more legitimate? Let alone the whole bribing thing because if that ever got out, other people might take you seriously enough to commission you again... this guy is a whole bucket of commissioner fail and you did the right thing.
bagheera
Sep. 15th, 2010 01:08 pm (UTC)
As I stated in one of the replies on FA, personally I think it's easier for a commissioner to do a background check on an artist than for an artist to check the background of every single commissioner. While a commissioner may only commission 2 or 3 artists at the same time (even that's pretty hardcore!), an artist often deals with a dozen commissioners or more every time they open up commissions.

In other words, artists deal with a much larger number of people than commissioners. It is therefore very inconsiderate on a commissioner's part to demand that the artist give him/her "special treatment", given the amount of clients artists deal with every week. Can you imagine if every commissioner wants preferential treatment? Sure, who doesn't want to be treated special - but the mark of a mature man is to stay humble and be considerate.
(no subject) - mandyseley - Sep. 15th, 2010 01:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kayla_la - Sep. 15th, 2010 05:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mandyseley - Sep. 15th, 2010 05:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bagheera - Sep. 15th, 2010 11:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kayla_la - Sep. 16th, 2010 02:19 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kayla_la - Sep. 15th, 2010 05:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mandyseley - Sep. 15th, 2010 06:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - louveg - Sep. 15th, 2010 10:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - frazzled_niya - Sep. 16th, 2010 06:15 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kayla_la - Sep. 16th, 2010 06:17 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - frazzled_niya - Sep. 16th, 2010 06:27 am (UTC) - Expand
jono_m
Sep. 15th, 2010 01:00 pm (UTC)
so he offered to pay $50 upfront and then decided to be a special case and demand you let him pay you later.

wow that's pretty weird
bagheera
Sep. 15th, 2010 01:10 pm (UTC)
He said it's his "policy" as an "expert commissioner" to pay $50 deposit TOTAL (regardless of how many images he commissions) - and pay the total amount due when all the artworks are completed.

Sorry, but as the person OFFERING the service, I think MY policy overwrites his "policy".
thaily
Sep. 15th, 2010 01:23 pm (UTC)
Translation
Hi,

I would like to buy your friendship. I will only pay so much at a time to drag things out and keep you talking to me, preferably in a manner that would allow me to intrude on your personal life as directly as possible. As you can see I have sucked up to many other artists before, whose names I will now drop and porn I will show you to convince you that we are all BFF and that you can trust me implicitly. So if you could just give me lots of special treatment that'd be great new best friend :D

- Love, your new BFF!
eveshka
Sep. 15th, 2010 01:32 pm (UTC)
Re: Translation
Post won, no further commentary is needed.
Re: Translation - mandyseley - Sep. 15th, 2010 01:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Translation - pinkpuppybelly - Sep. 15th, 2010 02:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
vtforpedro
Sep. 15th, 2010 01:31 pm (UTC)
yeesh. what's up with this guy? TOS are there for commissioners to read and agree to! why in the world would he think demanding changes just for him is acceptable? i especially liked how he got touchy when you wouldn't give him your Skype. lol

thank you so much for the beware, hon, i'm sorry this happened to you!
bagheera
Sep. 15th, 2010 01:41 pm (UTC)
*hugs* thank you! :3
fishy_boner
Sep. 15th, 2010 01:42 pm (UTC)
I have blacklisted the guy for a couple reasons.

One being his refusal to tell me wanted he wanted to commission, prior to payment. After refusing on my end to hand over my paypal info, he told me what he wanted commissioned, and it was way more then what he was paying for.
I had offered charter interaction commissions, and he wanted a full blown comic for a flat rate of a 2 character commission.

He was very rude about the whole processed.
bagheera
Sep. 15th, 2010 01:59 pm (UTC)
I had a feeling he didn't look over my TOS at all when he noted me. When I asked him if he has gone over my new pricing, he said "Psssh, forget prices" and asked for my messenger handles.

Very self-entitled and self-centered.
(no subject) - louveg - Sep. 15th, 2010 10:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
dreamerdragoon
Sep. 15th, 2010 01:42 pm (UTC)
Having lots of bought commissions to your name is no indication of how smoothly or well the commission process went for each of them! The only way you'd be able to do a real "credit check" would be to hunt down the artists and find out what it was like working with the buyer, if payments were delayed, if they had any communication issues etc.

All of which is pretty unreasonable to expect.

But hey, this is why it's good to have a Terms and Conditions document in the first place :D And you did the right thing by politely and professionally sticking to it.
(Deleted comment)
bagheera
Sep. 15th, 2010 02:04 pm (UTC)
As far as commissioner mentality in the fandom goes, a part of it IS that sensation of feeling connected to the artist - so in addition for the art, sometimes it's that wish to be buddy-buddy with an artist you've long admired.

I can understand that mentality so I sometimes let it slide when people want to have a more personal conversation with me on messengers (I probably shouldn't, but I also don't want to keep EVERYBODY at arm's length like some artists do - IMO that can be a bit too impersonal)

I doubt he wanted to steal anything from my computer. Just a very eccentric person is all.
(no subject) - cesarin - Sep. 15th, 2010 05:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sci - Sep. 16th, 2010 01:12 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mandyseley - Sep. 15th, 2010 02:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
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