four_calamities (four_calamities) wrote in artists_beware,

Beware / lost contact - ricefish

Hello everyone (long-time lurker, first-time poster), I'm looking for some possible advice or insight on a small issue I've run into with an artist.

Back in early May of this year, I commissioned ricefish of FA for two 5 x 5cm icons, one for myself, and one for a friend for $24 USD. I was assured that the two of these small pieces would be finished and shipped prior to June the second. Things sort of went downhill rather quickly after the first few weeks.

I thought that I would get a friend of mine a little something from this artist for their upcoming birthday, as they (as well as myself) admired their art. I figured that I would get something similar for myself as well. This is the first note I sent to her on May 11th, she got back to me quite promptly:

These were capped from my outbox, so ricefish's reply at the bottom came before my response at the top of the screencap.

I sent payment ($24 USD, $10 per icon + $4 for shipping to two locations) directly afterwards. Since I was promised that both of the icons would be finished as well as shipped before June, I didn't think much of the transaction afterwards, and just waited for an update for the icon sketches.

I didn't hear back regarding either the payment going through, or any WIPs for two weeks. Getting concerned over the lack of updates (and that June 2nd was nearing rather rapidly), I sent ricefish a small poke on the 25th of May, but didn't hear back until the 30th.

With my friend's birthday a mere three days away, I was rather peeved that this was cutting so close to the wire, as the artist was based in the UK, and my friend and myself in Canada. I let the matter pass, knowing that I had the digital version to give to them on the second.

I didn't hear from ricefish again until the 4th of July.

By now the icon itself had been shipped, but my friend never received anything in the mail with the icon inside. Even with our rather slow postal services, I was sure the icon should have arrived by now. Hearing that it was likely lost was not something I was too happy about. I blamed bad luck, and since ricefish was offering to redo the icon, I thought that I would compensate her for the extra work.

This was the last I heard from ricefish from here on.

Fast forward to September, getting worried (and now well past the 45-day dispute window for Paypal), I sent this note in hopes of hearing back:

I checked my outbox regularly to see if the note had been received. It remained highlighted in gold / "unread" for over a month. I continued to check off and on. Sometime around October the 16th, the status changed to "read". I didn't, however, receive any reply from ricefish.

Figuring maybe she forgot or became busy, I sent in another note on the 6th of November, it now sits as "unread" as of today:

At this point my patience has all but run dry. I honestly don't know if I want to chance waiting any longer for what was promised to me or just ask for a refund, but the way things are going right now, I would be amazed if either showed up. The expense may have been only $24, but that is something I could have put towards something else.

Knowing how 9000+ things can get in the way of completing art, I don't so much mind the wait for the images, but the total lack of communication and reliability that I have found to be very unrealistic if not rather disrespectful to myself as a paying client has really gotten under my skin.

As my impatience is getting the better of me, I have left a shout on their page in hopes that it will be seen and maybe finally I'll hear something. My hopes are not high, all things considered. Their current ToS mentions nothing regarding refunds, so I'm assuming asking for one is fair game:

I'm hoping that something may yet come out of this headache.

I have kept all attempts at contact to notes through FA, as I don't know of any other means to try to get in touch with the artist, and their dA gallery / journal / profile is similarly un-updated. I've heard vague rumours that she may be having issues with her computer and / or internet, but even with that as a possibility, nothing should stop someone from borrowing a computer at a library or elsewhere to send a quick notification of what's happening.

And that's about it. Would anyone happen to know anything of what has happened to ricefish or any alternate ways to contact her? Any help or advice would be immensely appreciated. The caps are all of the exchanges that went on between myself and the artist, though if there is anything else I need to provide, please let me know.

*I apologise to the mods, I was disallowed / unable to add tags.

Tags: artist-ricefish, lost contact

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