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advice: very vocal customer

Ive taken upon a customer who is VERY vocal about the badges i made for him. now, thats a good thing in a way, but he doesnt agree with some things i do. such as the fact that i cut a hole instead of holepunching them (NOW i have something though, just got one). the thing is i left PLENTY of room so that it wouldnt rip and ive had my own for months without ripping and it was done the same way. PLUS hes VERY new to commissioning, i think im the only one hes commissioned so far, so he wouldnt know that MANY badge makers do what i used to do.

so basically he called me to ask me about fixing his badge (which i agreed to do for free) and i heard him talking to someone about my badges. the person he was talking to seemed to be complimenting it very nicely but then the customer complained about the holepunching issue and the other person sounded very disappointed about that 8/ im worried that hes spoken to others about this and is convincing people against commissioning me.

another problem is that he ordered a $1 chibi badge, but never specified that he'd wanted it laminated. and well i never asked. so what do i do? do i laminate him for free or risk him talking to others about how horrible it is that i 'decided' not to laminate it?

im probably just being paranoid, but i get most of my commissions locally and i really dont want to lose potential customers over a simple misunderstanding.

[edit] i guess this can also be considered a beware in a way. the user is tomxwolf http://www.furaffinity.net/user/tomxwolf/ but hes new to commissioning so he just doesnt know how to act i guess.

also, what do i say to him if he keeps pestering me for updates? ive told him the same thing over and over and he wont give me a break 8/ im just finishing it now to make him stop, but for future reference what do i say when someones like this?
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Comments

( 92 comments — Leave a comment )
hamburger
May. 4th, 2011 04:32 pm (UTC)
Why not just ask him if he wants you to laminate the badge, and mention that it would be no charge to do so?

Edited at 2011-05-04 04:33 pm (UTC)
temrin
May. 4th, 2011 04:54 pm (UTC)
^ this.

If the $1 charge covers lamination, then ask him if he wants it. If it doesn't cover the cost lamination then contact them to let them know this. Double checking isn't a bad thing.

I also agree with Wereguitar about the ToS. They are VERY helpfull.
(no subject) - poizenkat - May. 4th, 2011 06:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ryunwoofie - May. 4th, 2011 06:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
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poizenkat
May. 4th, 2011 06:14 pm (UTC)
oh no i do have a TOS XD i guess i never mentioned laminating so i will change that right away!

haha it works VERY well for me.
mrst4nkr
May. 4th, 2011 04:50 pm (UTC)
I had a customer do this at my AA table at a convention. I cut a slit, instead of a slot, or instead of paying major bucks to buy a slot hole punch. (In my experience, the slits I cut into the badge don't rip the badge. They leave a lot of the picture exposed when you take it off the clip to scan it.. instead of having a big slot punched through it or in the laminate surrounding it. )

I calmly explained to him that I would be happy to cut a slot into his badges, because it was what he preferred. He continued on about how "I need to start doing my badges another way, because they are going to rip for everyone" loudly, in front of my table with people wandering past and so on and so forth. I have been selling badges since 2004. He is the first person to complain about the slit cut in his badge instead of the slot. He is the first person to complain about nearly ripping his badge. (Save for one that did actually rip in 2008 because I tried a new kind of laminate that was way thinner than I had first thought.) I have to take my 6-7 years of experience and hold it against him. No, I will not change my method for one person. I will change their specific badges because they have asked, and are a paying customer. This person has done this to multiple artists, and I have decided that I won't be doing any further commissions for him in the future.

The guy you are dealing with should stop complaining since you offered to fix it. Also, if other people are goofy enough to not want to commission you over the way he is reacting to his badge (that he could have worn while rolling around on the floor for all we know, or could have torn it up some other way.. since it was one of his first badges, probably..) .. you might not want them as customers. :/

Laminate it if it's worth it to you. If it's not specified that it comes with the badge, I don't think you owe it to him. Not all badges come laminated. True story.

I mean, if you want to go above and beyond: fix his badge, laminate his stuff. Call it good.

Make sure to specify in the future what comes with things.
If you sell $1 chibi badges, be sure to describe them as " One character badge done on "x" paper with. "x" materials". Not laminated." or "Laminated. " or "Laminated for an additional fee of "x." You get the idea.

Good luck!
sigilgoat
May. 4th, 2011 05:11 pm (UTC)
Oh god, I was there for that guy. I don't think he realizes how much slot punchers cost!
(no subject) - wolf_goat - May. 4th, 2011 07:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
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torikonero
May. 4th, 2011 04:51 pm (UTC)
If possible, you may want to branch out into non-local commissions. While it is easier to do commissions for people who are near you, local drama often gets in the way of things very quickly. When you are dealing with the internet it is much easier to brush off one person who posts a journal about you, because there is no way they are affecting your entire pool of commissioners. You also have a chance to have your own say if they post something publicly, and people have a chance to visit any websites you may have to judge for themselves. I hope this one person doesn't poison your potential local customers. :C

mrst4nkr
May. 4th, 2011 04:53 pm (UTC)
^THIS. HARD.^
(no subject) - poizenkat - May. 4th, 2011 06:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
sigilgoat
May. 4th, 2011 05:12 pm (UTC)
It also seems that people are MORE nitpicky on cheap stuff! Price your stuff up a bit. 5$ is still a very very cheap price for a badge, hon!

If someone paid 1$ for something, that barely covers materials WITHOUT laminating. And that doesn't pay your labor either.
poizenkat
May. 4th, 2011 06:21 pm (UTC)
heh my arts not really worth it in my eyes, i still have a very long way to go before i can charge more. thank you though!
(no subject) - thetiedtigress - May. 5th, 2011 11:41 am (UTC) - Expand
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anjel_kitty
May. 4th, 2011 07:00 pm (UTC)
1. Raise your prices. Sweat shopping yourself for art that people then bitch about does no one favors, especially your fellow artists who have to contend with the fact you don't actually care to be paid for your hard work.
2. Lamination costs money. Make a point that if he wants to throw you 2-3 more dollars you'll laminate the badge for him, but there is an extra charge.
3. Don't sell badges at cons you can't laminate. Its not a badge then but just a piece of art for your scrap book. Wearing non-laminated badges is a BAD idea that always leads to the commissioner losing, tearing or destroying the badge which they then blame on your. Badges as wearable art should be in a protector or laminated.

poizenkat
May. 4th, 2011 07:05 pm (UTC)
1. if i do then i really wont be getting commissions at all. Besides i do need the practice and some commissions actually help me.

2. i will do that for next time, thanks!

3. it wasnt at a con, it was online. but i know him irl from meets and hes in the general furry crowd in the area and they're the ones that i make the most money by. i can laminate it, but i was not originally told to nor would he accept that he has to pay more for it. i had thought that he hadnt wanted to use it as a badge, as the previous commissions hed ordered were specified to be laminated by him.
(no subject) - anjel_kitty - May. 4th, 2011 07:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
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celarania
May. 4th, 2011 09:27 pm (UTC)
I have one question about this, do you have any samples up where he commissioned you showing a completed badge or otherwise have a description about what a finished badge entails?

For this case, I'd ask if he thought it was going to be laminated or not (assuming it's not specified). If he says "Yes, I thought so" I'd just bite the bullet and laminate it, or if the lamination is pricier than the badge, just make the unlaminated badge a gift (just like if you underquoted by mistake). If he says, "No, but I'd like it" say that you'll be happy to laminate it for $x, but that you can go ahead and give him the unlaminated badge.

Explicitly stating what a badge is is your first line of protection. You can point to that and saying that's what he agreed to, love it or hate it. If not, then there's a bit more of an issue. Basically, if you don't show/specify what a finished badge is, the customer can always say that they bought it thinking it would be _____ and that you should do _____ or issue a refund of some kind. There's no harm in being explicit in a contract or something.

Personally, what I would do is do a relatively simple fill in the blank contract or checklist. Include specific questions. What I would do is look at a cake ordering form (silly, I know, but trust me), and see how they set it up, and base it on that. You can always say N/A or put a line through something that doesn't apply. Alternatively, if you're doing mostly email transactions, state very clearly what the transaction is for, no matter how cheesy it is. Just say "comissioner123 is paying $1 for a UNLAMINATED, PUNCHED, COLORED CHIBI BADGE..." or something like that. If you get into the habit of stating everything explicitly, you'll be less likely to forget.
grygon
May. 4th, 2011 11:58 pm (UTC)
We don't always have hole punches, some of us really are on a budget now and then. But I long ago learned tricks to keep holes looking professional: outline the hole by tracing something perfectly round (pencil top eraser? or trace the inside of a dog tag hole). When I cut it out I do it with a sharrrrp blade and I start in the center of the hole and "spiral" my way out to the edges where I marked the hole. People can't tell I did it this way and it won't ever tear.
thaily
May. 5th, 2011 07:55 am (UTC)
Judging by his gallery I'm not so sure he's new at commissioning people? Sure there's standard sheets he filled out (or had someone else fill out) but there's also some custom art. He might just be rude, plain and simple.
I wouldn't do him any favors, if he wants a $1 badge laminated, he can cough up another dollar or two. He's just as responsible about telling you what he wants as you are for asking him.
poizenkat
May. 5th, 2011 11:42 am (UTC)
no those are mostly requests. he doesnt have a paypal.

i tried, but no matter how i word it he just doesnt seem to understand 8/
(no subject) - holydust - May. 5th, 2011 09:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
ryoukitten
Jun. 20th, 2011 02:44 pm (UTC)
Actually, I wish I saw this before he commissioned me. He made a commission for a sketch while I was in Artist Alley at FA:U4. I told him it was created in the order of how people order them, and he would have at least 3 hours to wait. He seemed to understand, and then left. No more than a half an hour later, he's back swarming my table, asking if I finished.... I told him I haven't even started, since I have a few more ahead. He seemed to get pissy and left. And then next thing i know, he is hovering around my table, scaring away my customers, since everytime I tried to ask people if they would like one, he would but in and say "There's a three hour wait though!" -.- So once I give him this damn thing, he is NOT getting another commission from me. I may need money, but I can live without HIS business... As can you Poizen. There are MANY MANY others out there that would commission you for your work, and you don't need trouble business... It's not worth the added stress....
poizenkat
Jun. 21st, 2011 03:01 am (UTC)
You should post your own A_B entry then 8/ get people to stay away from him. he really creeps me out x.x

thanks <3 i gave him his final commissions and im in the process of blocking him from everything online. irl i make sure to stay near friends when he's around to avoid harassment
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