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I had posted here about a month ago. ( http://community.livejournal.com/artists_beware/417996.html ) Was having some trouble with the commissioner. About a year ago I was commissioned to do a mask with LED eyes. Nothing complex and the first payment came in quickly and so I started. I usually send progress shots to the commissioner as I go along and things went well enough. They watched me pretty much each day on Skype so they saw the progress of their mask so no progress shots were needed.

They were on a payment plan since they had no job and were on a state paid welfare of some kind. Disability I think. Anyways. They acknowledged my payment plan rules (the initial $125 is nonrefundable as it is used for the materials. Once sculpted and approved, I move onto casting and furring. Once I'm to that stage, the commissioner sends payment two and so on, reserving the final $125 for shipping, etc. They pay me in intervals while I work. All commissioners acknowledge this and have paid me without the need of reminding. I had stated verbally several times, reminding them, making sure I got a response that they understood)

Thing is, I never once received any money in the meantime. The head was close to being finished (only needed the ears attached, back of the head, and mohawk. Since I hadn't received any more payments, I stopped and waited for payments. I told them but still, none came. I worked on other commissions. They left notes asking for more pictures and I sent them one showing where it was at.

Previously that year I had sent them a pair of video goggles in agreement that they would either replace them or pay me back. that so far has not been addressed. They had been living on their credit cards and were close to filing bankruptcy. Still, I finished the head and waited. We talked through notes and they told me that they were seeing the debt help folks and that an account of their was frozen. They said the debt help people had told them that placing me on the list of debts would most likely make it so they would not get the help. he discussed it with them and they said they would turn a blind eye and put me on the list. That right there flew a red flag. They say they can pay me in full via Paypal. I also know that using a credit card with Paypal, that if something happens with either deal, the money can be removed back out of my account and have an investigation started.

They told me that they had planned on going into deeper debt to pay me but if all this is happening I have my doubts. In a way I trust this person but all this going on I'm getting spooked. Several people, artists online, business majors, business owners, and an attorney alike are telling me to drop this commission and cut my losses. I have given them something of equal value to what they paid me. I know they came to me to commission and the goggles were not part of the original deal.

Either way I turn, I've got to do something. The goggles are long gone. They were MyVu goggles(dismantled by their hands in efforts to rig them to something else) so that's a loss of $150. I know I'm not going to get that back. I've put more money into this commission than I have received. They are fighting to get this but I'm getting rather worried about this. They have now taken into habit of verbally harassing me on my gallery pages and submissions. It's getting rather irritating, offensive, and uncalled for. I know I need the final $500 since I'm saving up for a wedding but there are lines being crossed that folks in general shouldn't have to deal with. I don't wish to block this fellow, but am being tempted to do so with each comment left. Their comments range from the blame game to verbal harassment to just plain attention seeking.

What do I do? Do I present the final pictures to the commissioner and see if the deal is still legit? If I go that route, how long does it take for an investigation (if one is filed) do go through or initiate? I don't want to get the money, only to ship the head and have the money removed.  I know they have stated that there is a deadline to when the debt help folks can no longer help him pay me but refuses to give a time of when this deadline is. Do I cut my losses, still posting the pictures in reference of what I can do then change the head so I can sell it?  I'm in need of help here please..


***Edit***

Here's some screen shots. I reuploaded the picture of the mask so it was larger. My camera butchered the colors slightly, but for those who wish to see the mask, here's the link: http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/6213/nachtsh.jpg

I would do a video but one, I have a cold. Yes I could clean out the mask once more, but I really try not to handle the masks when I am ill. This one was only handled by the base and two, it's rather large on me and I need a bit of padding to get it to work properly for me haha.
.

(Going to add some information as well, in relation to something I wrote in the captions above. When He had stated he wasn't going to be able to pay, he had told me that there were his credit cards still. We had started this commission in March of 2011 and I received the knowledge of him probably not going to be able to pay the full amount. By that time I was pretty close to being done with the head. That's why I kept going)

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Comments

( 37 comments — Leave a comment )
skanrashke
Feb. 4th, 2011 11:06 pm (UTC)
If its not CoD on your agreement, then you don't have to send it to them. Ebay/Furbid that head to make up for your lost time and lost goggles and post a warning about what happened.

Alternately, give them a three month window to pay the final 500.
skanrashke
Feb. 4th, 2011 11:07 pm (UTC)
oh derp, and if they don't pay in that three month window, furbid it/ebay it.

I just had to do this with a friend-of-a-friend. I held onto a fursuit she wanted to buy for 10 months, even though she said she'd pay by X date, and was 10 months overdue. I said "Pay me by january 1st or its getting furbid'd". She paid me half and said she'd pay the other half 2 weeks afterwards, and once again I'm sending her a text message saying she's got 2 weeks to pay me the other 400 or else I'm furbiding it and keeping the 400 as a holding fee for that(now) 12 month period.
(no subject) - sharpecostumes - Feb. 4th, 2011 11:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - skanrashke - Feb. 5th, 2011 07:16 am (UTC) - Expand
kadaria
Feb. 4th, 2011 11:18 pm (UTC)
As per most beware posts you need to provide us with screenshots or pictures. You didn't in your last post, you have not in this post which makes it look like a he-said, she -said.

Supposing this is true, cut your losses and drop all contact. Sell the head and the mask. You've given this person more than enough time to pay you back for the work done and in that time period they've harassed you, strung you along, guilt tripped you and broken an item that you sent them for who knows what reason.

And for the sake of other people, please post this person here. I don't know why you feel obligated to keep their identity a secret.
sharpecostumes
Feb. 4th, 2011 11:23 pm (UTC)
I can provide screenshots :) Lemmy get those now.
(no subject) - spiffystuff - Feb. 5th, 2011 12:23 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kadaria - Feb. 5th, 2011 12:34 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sharpecostumes - Feb. 6th, 2011 07:37 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kadaria - Feb. 8th, 2011 02:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - n_tracer - Mar. 8th, 2011 03:12 am (UTC) - Expand
roadkillonrt3
Feb. 4th, 2011 11:22 pm (UTC)
if they sent money with paypal im pretty sure there is only a 30 day time in which they can file a claim. so if you drop the commission they shouldnt be able to file a claim. you may want to call paypal though, if you have screen caps or proof of everything, even if he does somehow file a claim, that should be enough to prove you arent taking his money. a paypal claim can take a while to go through and be completed.. if you do go through with the deal, be sure to get tracking or delivery confirmation on it! i dont think usps offers it internationally but fedex or ups has to.. because then if he files a claim you can provide a tracking number to paypal to prove you shipped the item.. take pics of everything before you ship it too.. just in case they try to mess it up in order to get their money back.

or what artslave said, give them a couple months to pay you.. i know youre concerned about them going into debt, but thats really their concern :-/ if hed rather have a mask than food thats his choice.. although i know its s tough thing for you as the maker to think about and decide upon.

i really hope this ends alright!
sharpecostumes
Feb. 4th, 2011 11:25 pm (UTC)
I have the harassing comments, but a lot of our discussions earlier went on through Skype (which no longer has it recorded) but I do have the notes :) At the moment I don't mind any more what he does with whether he wants food or the mask. I'm mostly worried about that whole "the debt folks turning a blind eye" deal.
(no subject) - teahound - Feb. 5th, 2011 05:20 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sharpecostumes - Feb. 5th, 2011 07:51 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shukivengeance - Feb. 4th, 2011 11:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
celestinaketzia
Feb. 5th, 2011 12:02 am (UTC)
Honestly? He hasn't paid you from what I understand, so you should just drop it and sell the head to make up your losses. The debt help thing just sounds incredibly fishy to me. My aunt was just taken for a ride by these people and she's out $800 after they promised to magically fix everything.

He's had plenty of time to pay you. Plenty. It's nice to work with commissioners and cut deals, but this is sounding a little strange.
celestinaketzia
Feb. 5th, 2011 12:04 am (UTC)
Edit: Sorry mods! My internet hiccuped and I double posted.

Edited at 2011-02-05 12:05 am (UTC)
mekania
Feb. 5th, 2011 12:17 am (UTC)
If what you're worried about is a charge back from the credit card, I think they have up to a year to file the claim but I'm not 100% sure about that. I honestly don't think the risk is worth it. They've had more than enough time to send you the payments or try to work with you on a different payment plan, I think you should alter and sell it.
spiffystuff
Feb. 5th, 2011 12:21 am (UTC)
Drop it drop it drop it!

The fact that he says there's a deadline on the debt help but won't give it to you is indeed fishy. I am also confused on this debt help business - if this is a third party paying you, have you been in contact with them and why do you have to do anything else except wait for the funds to go to you? Honestly I have no idea how that works :P

Also, I'd like to see examples of these "harassing comments" - depending on how bad they are, yes you maybe should be very clear and firm that the behavior is unacceptable and block them if they continue to bug you about it.
fenrirs_child
Feb. 5th, 2011 01:32 am (UTC)
THIS. srsly, if this was the dude from your livestream, i said that there too X3 not to be a sycophant, but your stuff is too nice to have to deal with ridiculousness like this. i'm sure there are plenty of other people who would gladly take that head off of your hands ;3 and telling you from personal experience, dealing with a commissioner paying you with disability/assistance is generally usually this way, they usually have some pretty bad money management issues, and are generally more trouble than it's worth. i'm glad i dropped that commission before i wound up in your place right now

*sorry if this is offensive to anyone, just stating personal experience*
(no subject) - sharpecostumes - Feb. 5th, 2011 01:37 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fenrirs_child - Feb. 5th, 2011 02:41 am (UTC) - Expand
growly
Feb. 5th, 2011 02:12 am (UTC)
I agree with some of what others have already said.
Remind the customer they've had __ amount of time to pay and that they still owe __ amount. You're giving them __ months to pay the remainder (I would say two) and if they are unable to pay at that time, it's going up for auction and as per your terms of service, their downpayment is not refundable.
marus_puppy
Feb. 5th, 2011 03:37 am (UTC)
Drop it like a hot potato.

I don't like the idea of taking commissions from people using welfare money in the first place, not just for moral reasons, but the fact that they can't guarantee they'll get all the money to you in the end. Put that head up on furbid for whatever else he owes you on it and block him for harassment (but probably tell him the reason WHY you're doing it so he doesn't try to make puppet accounts or send his friends after you or something...)
sharpecostumes
Feb. 5th, 2011 04:26 am (UTC)
I wasn't aware that he was on welfare when he commissioned me in the first place. it was made known to me later, after he had sent the first payment and I had started.
(no subject) - marus_puppy - Feb. 5th, 2011 03:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
magicalmooch
Feb. 5th, 2011 03:44 am (UTC)
I have had to do this twice. While they will back lash, say you never gave them what the paid for and more, you be in the right. You're time is valuable. You can't commission someone and not pay.
sharpecostumes
Feb. 5th, 2011 04:29 am (UTC)
In my opinion I gave too much for what he paid for. He's def. retaliating now and I haven't even killed the commission yet... Part of me wants to see this through and receive the $500 (if legit) the other half just wants to get this gone...:(
(no subject) - fenris_lorsrai - Feb. 5th, 2011 04:57 am (UTC) - Expand
fenrirs_child
Feb. 5th, 2011 08:29 am (UTC)
this is actually perfect! i believe this will be my policy too if i ever wind up in this position ^^
spiffystuff
Feb. 6th, 2011 04:21 pm (UTC)
Upon seeing his dialogue with you - drop this /now/.
Heck I would say block him /now/ to boot, but I can tell you aren't the kind to do that :/ So tell him you need to move on from this and since he can't pay within a month you will be selling the head and that's that. If he gives you grief about it you will block him. And then do so because he will.
sharpecostumes
Feb. 6th, 2011 07:49 pm (UTC)
He says he can pay me in full and really wants to do so... Should I let him? I mean... seriously.. I just want this deal done and gone...
(no subject) - spiffystuff - Feb. 6th, 2011 07:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sharpecostumes - Feb. 6th, 2011 07:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - spiffystuff - Feb. 6th, 2011 11:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
n_tracer
Mar. 8th, 2011 03:08 am (UTC)
please put another post to fix the possible damage to my name :/
I would be realy greatfull if you post another entry about all this that states i did not at all even once try and screw you over or lie to you about anything and i did pay you in the end as i mentioned i would and a lot of the rest of it as u should by now know was miss-understandings on both sides. (a lot of things you said were not totaly correct/missed importent info x.x)(i can give you examples if needed)tho i'm sure now you used my name everyone or most people who saw this will think i'm some kinda moronic arsehole...:/ witch is not at all true (even you know that)and all that i say in this reply is true.

sorry if any of that didnt come out right/sounded rude

i'm glad everything (seems) to be sorted now well minus u outing my name and makeing me look bad but you can fix that your self if you do as i asked :)
i also look forward to getting my stuff from you in the mail :)

oh and i only put this reply here cos i wanted people to see me say something not to course any issues.
i do however admit i could have handled it better on my side too.
but i do have stress and other issues so things get to me a lot more then they should sometimes :/ - not trying to make excuses tho or i would'nt have admitted it.

i hope if we have any contact in the future it can be on more friendly terms on both sides as i hate to have people dis liking me over miss-understandings.

Oh one last thing sorry this is so long x.x
( 37 comments — Leave a comment )

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