Where: Furry Weekend Atlanta 2011 - Artist Alley
What: I commissioned a traditional-colored badge and a Pokemon-themed water-color ACEO card. Paid IN FULL with cash, and given a hand-written receipt (ACEO card was done on separate receipt, and beside the matter at hand).
When: Furry Weekend Atlanta 2011 (March 19th, 2011) - May 25th, 2011
After commissioning this artist back in March, I waited a bit and was actually prepared to wait for a good solid few months since I thought her art seemed decent enough, and well worth the wait. The problems with her actually started when she posted a list of commissions that she was either working on, or had finished, and she needed the home address' of the people that commissioned them so she could send them out. She put my Pokemon ACEO card on that list. Meaning, that even though she had the address previously, she seemed to have forgotten the ACEO belonged to me, along with the badge of my character.
I did what she asked in her public journal, and sent her a private note telling her my home address and reminding her it went along with the badge I ordered.
A few weeks went by, she posted a couple more journals, and the ACEO remained on the list (now remember, the problem is actually with the badge, but these details are just to prove her bad communication). I sent her another message, and just left it at that, hoping that she'd get it eventually. Also, she normally posts what she has done for each commission so far, and mine was marked as "inked" for the longest time. Once again, I had no problem with her taking her time on it, since I wanted it to be good.
My friends had gone to Elliot's (May 20th - 22nd), which I knew Tigsie would be there because she had mentioned it in her latest journal, but didn't think to ask them to check up on anything for myself. I got a call during the 22nd after the con was over from one of my friends that he had seen Tigsie, and my badge was done, and she was using it as a display piece. Now, I'm sort of sceptical here... What artist doesn't let her customer know she's finished the product and doesn't tell them she's using it as a display/example piece? Either way, I brushed it off.
A couple days later (May 25th) she posts her new batch of badges onto her FA account, and mine was included as the third one from the left on the top row. Immediately, I noticed it looked off. She had completely forgotten several important (simple) details that I ALWAYS include on my character (green-tipped mohawk and thick distinctive beard), and I've never had to correct other artists on because they couldn't be blamed on "different styles" (also, it looked nothing like a bear, and more like a weasel or canine). Seeing as she STILL hasn't replied to any of the previous messages I sent her, I posted a comment publicly on the actual submission that she ruined the design, to which she FINALLY replied to me, telling me to note her privately on how she did it wrong.
I noted her, as I was asked, and told what she had gotten wrong (but now that I think about it, I also failed to mention other details she missed- including how she drew headphones on him even though at the con I asked her to not include the headphones in one of the three ref pics I sent her). I get a reply back, straight up telling me she will refund the money, without even giving me another option to go by. I honestly just wanted it corrected (even though I know it's a bit difficult, being a traditional piece and not digital), and when I mentioned it she told me she'd be leaving the country soon and wouldn't be able to get to it. Not wanting to go through the same merry-go-round of insecurity, I told her to just issue me a refund as she promised (and even mentioned for her to take the fees since I paid in full with cash at the convention, and not originally through paypal).
Her answer to the last message was that she would "trace" the original image to do it over before she left on vacation (meaning she'd rush through it and hope I'd be happy with it), and I simply told her to forget it and just to handle my refund as she offered previously. Totally ignoring my request to not stick me with the paypal fees, she had done it anyway, leaving me missing $1.37. I know it doesn't seem like much, but it's only fair that she take the fees herself since it was HER mistake and I'm not getting anything out of it (she had warned me that if I got the refund I would not receive the badge). When I noted her back, telling her to replace the money missing and pay the additional fee so I'd have the exact $30 paid for the badge, she plain refused me and told me she was making me pay shipping for the ACEO card I commissioned. She NEVER mentioned any additional shipping fees, and even told me when I asked her at the convention that they were covered in the base price.
She ended it by telling me that the conversation would go no further, she would ship out my ACEO in the morning, and that she was still keeping my badge to use for examples (though I asked her in a previous note to NOT do that or to at least remove the name since I do not want myself associated with her any further).
I have never encountered such unprofessional behavior from an artist, and I hope any who reads this will take caution.
EDIT: I understand that my messages seemed bitchy. They certainly were not meant that way until she made me pay the fees on paypal for her mistake. I can understand her deducting money for the work done if I cancelled for my own reasons, but it was HER fault, she didn't follow the references and ignored all tips I gave her when I commissioned her originally. Also, because a lot of people seem to be missing this tidbit of info, I paid IN CASH, full $30, so if she was offering me a full refund, there is no reason to stick me with fees.
Please remember the problem here that I'm trying to point out is not centered on her inability to follow references, but her horrible customer service because of bad communication and forcing me to lose money (no matter how big or small the amount) when I am not getting anything from it (for those that say I have the scan of the badge- it is tiny, and I don't want it to begin with).
It was her idea first to refund me, not mine, and when I told her I wanted it fixed she offered me two other options which did not appeal. Options are meant to be CHOSEN, so don't hate me because I picked one in the end. The first option was for me to wait another few months while she went on vacation, and I really was afraid of dealing with this whole situation again. It is very nerve-wracking to just be completely snubbed by a person you have paid money to for a service. The other option was a tracing (whether it looked professional or not), and she planned on doing a rush job in a couple of days before leaving on yet another vacation, and I don't want something rushed and uncared for. So, I took the refund in the end.
Any of you who are tight on money as it is and splurged on ONE thing for yourself at a convention would expect it done right. I was forward with her, and treated her the way I want my commissioners to treat me. I hate it when someone says anything along the lines of "Um...well...it's really neat... There's just a couple details off...but it's fine. I like it!" If done enough, I become upset with them and just tell them to inform me straight-up what I need to fix, because I WILL do my best to correct it. To sum this up, I didn't think of her as a lesser person, an underling, or an art slave. I think being blunt with people is a high form of respect. Anything less, I feel I am doing the person wrong.
Tigsie has surprisingly refunded the amount, and I am pretty surprised that she remembered after all of this.
With all of this past us, I do wish to apologize to everyone and especially her. I was a grade-a dick, but I had my reasons. Also, at the time I was pretty new to LJ and was replying to a lot of folks that weren't even talking to me.