?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry


Edit: 4/24 - Last night, after speaking with Prefur, she's offered to take over the head of my commission and see it finished. I've put a hold on taking legal action for now, and assuming the head is completed, the charges will be dropped.

Edits: 4/19 - Updated information after contact from the maker, commission involuntarily canceled. Also uploaded photos of what they've sent me so far.

WHO:
Avsun Mascots

WHAT: Fursuit started in 2010.

WHEN: Initially, their communication was very good. As in, from the first week that I put in payment, until about a month afterwards. I knew my suit wasn't first in line, but it had a due date of the end of February for a con, which they assured me would be done. From November until now, communication has been painfully difficult, at best.

PROOF:  It was a $1145 suit, I paid the $350 down, plus another  $150 before communication got so bad that I stopped paying. Also, this fursuit maker insists on talking on the phone instead of using e-mail, which makes having any visible proof of things discussed very, very difficult.

EXPLAIN:
 
  In October I'd put in a quote request for a fullbody suit (also received a quote for the suit as a partial, and as simply a head), got the price, put down a deposit and we discussed fabric and completion time. I was told that they'd be in contact with me around early December, which is when my suit would be started. I was told I'd receive concept art, foam head sculpt photos, and then updates until completion, which was February. I sent payments between October and December, and come December hadn't heard from them, and sent an e-mail to establish contact. There was no response for awhile, supposedly someone in their company was supposed to send me the concept art, or something, I waited and it never came, and contact dropped off for about a month. Early in January I sent a few e-mails to their wide array of e-mail accounts, still trying to find out about this concept art, and didn't hear anything back. This was also when I mentioned that I'd be stopping my regular payments until hearing from them or seeing some form of progress. I had the remainder of my balance in full ready to be paid, but they never got back to me.

Unfortunetly, this timeline is hard to follow as this maker insists on talking on the phone, as opposed to doing business through e-mail. At one point they called me at 6am, I don't even remember why now, but the guy insisted on trying to talk to me about fursuits before I was even awake. I asked him to e-mail me, he never did. Finally, two weeks later near the end of January, I got the concept art and it wasn't... good. I'd sent them tons of references, and it really wasn't close at all, so I redlined it, asked for a few things to be fixed, and over a month later finally saw the updates to the art (which were a little more than smudges on the original). Keep in mind, the entirety of this suit was due for completion by the end of Feb, it is now Feb 22nd, with the con less than a week away. I receive more random phone calls where they maker goes on and on about his personal life, and doesn't really talk about anything regarding the commission. The con comes and goes, and from Feb 24-Mar 24, I hear nothing at all. No e-mails, phone calls, etc.

March 25 I'm promised pictures of the foam sculpt, but then told they needed to go to someone else in their company for redlining or something. I ask to see the pictures without the redlines, but get no response for two more weeks. April 10th, I finally see pictures of the foam sculpt and it looks awful. I lose my cool a bit, as it's two months past completion, I'm just now seeing foamwork, and it is just not worth the wait so far. I redline it again, e-mail it back. A few days go by, it's updated again, and still looks bad. I ask to talk to the person incharge (whoever this may be, they have like five people working on suits), but am given the run around. He wont return e-mails, use MSN, etc.

I get a text message from the 'owner' explaining that he doesn't feel like using internet until everyone's account is paid in full, including mine. I point out that my suit is overdue, I'd been trying to pay them since January, but with no communication and no updates, didn't feel comfortable or safe sending them more money. We go back and fourth for a bit, he insists that $500 isn't enough to cover supplies and start the project, and that I need to pay it in full immediately. I tell him that I'd like to at least see the fur purchased for my project, as well as the foamwork fixed, and then I'd send another $200 or so their way. He says that's impossible. I ask to just have the head finished instead (original quote for the head alone is $400), and have it sent to me, and we'd just leave it at that. He doesn't respond for about a week. When he does respond, it's to tell me I can either pay off the suit in full (and just deal with the fact that it's several months past due, and I haven't seen any signs of progress) or he would refund me $7 (!!!!) and keep the rest of the deposit. Keep in mind this company doesn't have a contract, likes to present themselves as 'professionals' (though they fall back on the 'but we're still new!' thing everytime something goes wrong), and are literally making up these policies as they go along.

(the following was in response to a text from me asking if he could get online to discuss these problems. Keep in mind this is also where I start to lose my cool, so I apologize for some harsh words.)

Edit2: Also behind the cut, just for the sake of having it here, is the concept art I waited months for, as well as the foam sculpt based on it.

Avsun: Actually just left from doing Wifi. I can be available by phone
after dinner to go over any further changes though.

Me: I'd like to do this in writing, it seems like a lot of information
gets forgotten or overlooked whenever we discuss the commission on the
phone.

Avsun: I would love to do that too, I prefer Skype myself, but I wont
turn on the internet until we have recieved everyone's payments to
current so we can secure our lease.

Me: I've sent you $500, roughly the cost of a head. The work so far
has been unsatisfactory, how much more do you want me to send before
you'll use the internet again? It's hard to fix problems when you dont
want to make use of the more reliable form of communication for these
things...

Avsun: I'm not at the studio bu as I recall the quote is around $1200,
give or take, so $500 is only 42%, 30% reserves a slot and payments
are made until completion.

Me: Right, 30% reserves a slot, buys supplies for the suit, and begins
production. I've paid you /more/ than 30%, haven't seen any pics of
the fur purchased (which I've asked for several times now), and am
just now seeing a wonky foam sculpt (two months after the deadline).
So again, how much more do you want before you're willing to discuss
this like professionals? What'd my $500 go to?

Avsun: Feb was your last payment, I don't feel thats unreasonable to
suggest a payment.
Avsun: As far as progress, we'll work on accounts that are paid
current or in full before someone who isn't.

Me: Okay, again, so what has my $500 paid for exactly? I've seen
scribbly concept art, and a wonky foam sculpt. I had a $500 payment
ready for ya'll a week before the con, but never heard anything back
about progress.

Avsun: I've explained before that our line up has multiple suits
before yours. Every bit of work we have done on your quote has been
out of order and at your request.

Avsun: No one else is demanding that of us. You will recieve a much
higher quality suit if you allow creativity to inspire building your
suit.

Me: Demanding what? Updates? That a project be completed by a certain
deadline? I'm sorry if you dont' realize this, but your reputation is
at the bottom of the barrel right now. I literally cannot find a
single person happy with their suit. Creativity has nothing to do with
it. Just tell me straight up, was the fabric for the suit ever
purchased?

Avsun: Unfortunetly it takes money to do anything and we rely on
regular payments to continue. If you paid your remaining balance down
$100 a month it would.

Me: At the moment it's a lot more likely that I'm canceling the
remainder of the project and turning it over to a professional
builder. You can finish the head, but considering the communication
record and lack of progress, unless there's some major improvements,
like, immediately, I'm not comfortable sending more money your way.

Avsun: It would be 7 more months before you were paid in full. We have
suits that are paid in  full that are ahead of you, its' not fair to
them or us.

Me: Then why give me a completion date for nearly two months ago? Why
not show me a finished product when I tell you I'm ready to pay off
the remaining balance?

Avsun: Justly and patiently becaise no one is great overnight. I am
completely confident in our ability to make a good product.

Me: Okay, why are you advertising yourselves as professionals? And has
the fur for the suit been purchased yet?

Avsun: My dinner is getting cold, please excuse me while I eat, thank you.



and the foamwork:



I took a glance at their FA page before writing this up, and there's at least eight other people on there replying to their last journal asking about updates. Several of them had work due before Halloween it seems. This company and at least one artist 'working' with them have been posted here and on Fursuit Reviews recently with very bad results.

Edit: As of today 4/19, the guy supposedly in charge of the company, Esh, called me (after I'd asked him not to call me anymore), had a meltdown on the phone in which he insisted their company had 'no unhappy customers' and that the comments in the journal on their FA page (here -  http://www.furaffinity.net/journal/2246266/ ) were a fluke. He also 'canceled' my commission, citing a contract I never signed, and remarking that he was keeping the entire deposit. He mentioned I was being unprofessional and unreasonable by wanting progress photos (in his words 'I have over 30 customers, NOBODY but you is asking us for this!"), and that by 'threatening' to take this to Artist Beware, I automatically ended the contract. Huh. He also stated that, despite giving me a quote for just the head of the suit, once a project is started, according to the contract (which I've still never seen or signed), it can't be changed at all. Again, this is all news to me.

The nice thing about this is I actually /do/ have a lawyer handy who has already stated he doesn't mind looking into this, as it should be a fairly cut and dry case. If anyone else is interested in filing against Avsun, please contact me as soon as possible.

If you have any suggestions on how to deal with these people, especially if you know who I'm talking about and can contact them in real life, I'd really appreciate the help.
Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.
https://artistsbeware.info/

Comments

( 120 comments — Leave a comment )
Page 1 of 4
<<[1] [2] [3] [4] >>
growly
Apr. 19th, 2011 02:27 am (UTC)
If you paid with a credit card, I suggest initiating a chargeback with your bank. The headache and hassle is definitely not worth the quality you recieve. They keep charging more and more for substandard work. They're getting shadier and shadier.
anjel_kitty
Apr. 19th, 2011 08:36 pm (UTC)
I take it this is the same folks you've had a personal experience with?
shadowedyoshii
Apr. 19th, 2011 02:34 am (UTC)
I have a very strong inclination I know the makers you are talking about. Out of respect for your wishes I won't say a name but I'm pretty confident.

If my inklings are correct, then I'm not really sure. They seem to have talent but have bitten off WAY more of a queue than anyone, even seasoned professionals, really should at any one time. I'm not too sure, because they DO have so many unhappy people nipping at their heels. I don't know if threatening legal action would really push things along, cos I doubt you'd be the first to pursue such avenues.

If, hypothetically, such a studio had have apprenticed under an existing, moderately established maker before breaking out on their own, it might be a beneficial avenue to contact the people they apprenticed under in order to try and expedite things. Good luck :c
shadowedyoshii
Apr. 19th, 2011 03:35 am (UTC)
In addendum, as a fursuit maker, I need to point out this little point:

"he insists that $500 isn't enough to cover supplies and start the project"

In what universe?! I mean, even estimating on the HIGH side of things, I'd say 150$ worth of fur, 25$ worth of foam, and 50$ for other sundry items, and that me REALLY inflating the numbers, and that's not even half of what they said a fullsuit's supplies cost.
(no subject) - borderdog - Apr. 19th, 2011 08:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shadowedyoshii - Apr. 19th, 2011 09:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
drakonicknight
Apr. 19th, 2011 02:54 am (UTC)
i know who you are talking about also just from all that, or am 95% sure i do that is. i agree with talking about who they apprenticed under as that would likely help the most. i also dont think hiding their name as people looking for commissions need to be aware of all of this. i was hoping to commission them also for something due by halloween but im glad i decided otherwise with all this mess.
scardykat85
Apr. 19th, 2011 03:05 am (UTC)
I have no idea who the maker is, but I want to know for my own records.
scardykat85
Apr. 19th, 2011 03:30 am (UTC)
Thanks! I have it for my own records now.
rupertistheone
Apr. 19th, 2011 03:16 am (UTC)
I don't know who you're talking about, but in the future please do not do any business that requires phone only. If somebody tells you that you can say as a customer you would like to have everything in writing. If they don't want to do that, then they aren't worth your time.

As for the $7, how did he come up with that ludicrous amount as an acceptable refund?
celarania
Apr. 19th, 2011 03:24 am (UTC)
There are ways to get around that, such as recording the calls or sending contracts and such through the mail. I agree that it's generally a bad sign, but it's not unworkable.
(no subject) - mandyseley - Apr. 19th, 2011 02:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celarania - Apr. 19th, 2011 04:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mandyseley - Apr. 19th, 2011 05:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celarania - Apr. 19th, 2011 05:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mandyseley - Apr. 19th, 2011 05:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cissa - Apr. 22nd, 2011 03:25 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celarania - Apr. 22nd, 2011 03:40 am (UTC) - Expand
poprock_grey
Apr. 19th, 2011 03:33 am (UTC)
I too would like to know who these makers are. I'm in the market for a suit, and will steer clear of these people.
dunedin_quoll
Apr. 19th, 2011 11:54 pm (UTC)
Avsun, I apologize for being so quiet about it, there's an edit above.
ainoko_ironrose
Apr. 19th, 2011 03:34 am (UTC)
I am curious myself as to who this fursuit maker is. I am looking at getting my first fursuit made for Texas Furry Fiesta 2012 and would hate to lose my money on someone who has shady practices.
teahound
Apr. 19th, 2011 04:04 am (UTC)
I'm curious as well, as someone interested in getting a suit at some point.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - westly_roanoke - Apr. 19th, 2011 05:35 am (UTC) - Expand
papayafruit
Apr. 19th, 2011 04:59 am (UTC)
Like everyone else above stated I would also like to know who it is you are talking bout. I am in the market for another suit and I seriously don't want to commission anyone who makes folks talk to them over the phone.

But in all seriousness, you placed out a agreed dead line and they haven't even started yet? I would request a refund. They can not refuse you a refund.
lacy
Apr. 19th, 2011 11:41 pm (UTC)
Communicating over the phone is just a bit silly when having a written record of what is discussed is as important for the maker as it is for the customer. I know we rely on being able to reread things more often than not, it's nice to have the details in writing so everyone knows what they've actually agreed to and what's expected. Seems like common sense to me.
(no subject) - spiffywolf - Apr. 20th, 2011 12:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
trimblecat
Apr. 19th, 2011 05:01 am (UTC)
If this maker has been on the sketchy side, and is obviously overinflating the cost of base materials, it seems like they're seriously trying to take advantage of you. I'd say give them one last warning that if you do not see your suit within a month or two, you will forcibly take it back. Then you put the ball in their court.

Mind if I ask who this artist is? I've kind of considered getting a fursuit but I do kind of want to avoid stepping into a bad deal with my first commision.
joecifur
Apr. 19th, 2011 05:06 am (UTC)
I wouldn't get in any deeper -- there are enough people having the exact same problems as you with this company that at this point I'm more than comfortable saying no, this doesn't sound right, and there's no reason you shouldn't see -some- proof of work by now for that much money.

I'm with Growly. Good luck getting this resolved -- you're really going to have to push hard to. :\
keeperofdreams
Apr. 19th, 2011 06:13 am (UTC)
Adding into the would like to see the makers' name. It'd be a big help to us commissioners of such items. :/
neolucky
Apr. 19th, 2011 06:58 am (UTC)
...I'm wondering something. If the maker is so volatile that you can't say them by name here without problems, then don't you think they'd see this LJ entry and know you were talking about them? I really wish you would just mention who they were, so other people wouldn't commission them based on this entry. I understand you want advice, but theres not much I think that can be given to you beyond what you've tried, outside of legal sources.

Honestly, it sounds like you wouldn't get your suit OR money back, regardless of naming them or not. Also, you could always member lock the entry, THEN edit with their name?
marus_puppy
Apr. 19th, 2011 02:49 pm (UTC)
I thought this too. Perhaps friend-locking it and then outing them? If they've already been posted on here as well, then I don't see how keeping their name out is going to help the OP at all...
(no subject) - dunedin_quoll - Apr. 19th, 2011 11:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - marus_puppy - Apr. 20th, 2011 05:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
fatkraken
Apr. 19th, 2011 07:23 am (UTC)
there really is little point posting this without the makers name. This stuff isn't heresay or rumour, it's concrete personal experience, and it's totally fine to talk about it. I know who they are, I had a hunch based on a few things you said and checked out their FA. I won't say it unless you tell me to, but I really think you should. They've ripped off several people with poor quality work and many more with seriously overdue suits.

Their behaviour is absolutely inappropriate

Keeping a deposit is only allowable if the cancellation is on the COMMISSIONERS end without adequate reason. It's so that once materials have been purchased the maker is not out of pocket. Your suit if over two months overdue with no reasonable communication, and he hasn't even SPENT the deposit on materials yet.

The phone thing is ludicrous, fursuits are so much an internet business and from the 6am call and your name I assume you're in different timezones and they are failing to account properly for this. It also makes it much harder to prove anything if you need to seek a refuynd, and the cynic in me says this is deliberate.

THIS IS WRITTEN ON THEIR LAST JOURNAL, A WEEK AGO
"We do offer payment plans! All we need is a 30% down payment ;D! You will never have to pay it all upfront! :)
We offer that our commissioners are always in the loop during construction. We offer WIP pics at the foaming stages and always work with the commissioner so they know what they are getting, no surprises! ;)"

This is clearly in conflict with many things you have experienced, so PLEASE name names and spare other people this stress and expense.
keaalu
Apr. 19th, 2011 10:43 pm (UTC)
I'm a little alarmed by the number of people that seem to think putting "non refundable deposit" in their TOS means "I'll jerk you around for months, give you nothing, AND keep your money, too."
wolf_goat
Apr. 19th, 2011 08:55 am (UTC)
I know who you mean from your post and having read other people's experiences. You should really name names, these people are sounding more and more like scammers. Especially trying to eke all the money out of you on no good grounds - it sounds almost like they are trying to cut and run.
Page 1 of 4
<<[1] [2] [3] [4] >>
( 120 comments — Leave a comment )

Profile

A_B icon
artists_beware
Commissioner & Artist, Warning & Kudos Community
Artists Beware

Community Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com