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Requesting Advice : Missing Badge?

Super condensed version of the story :  

So several months ago I got a cheapish badge commission ($25 or $30, I believe) to be picked up at Califur. I finished the badge, emailed the customer a scan (low and high res) and all was great and good. 

Two months before Califur, I move from my old house to an apartment, where I have my own studio space. All of my anything that is art related is in this studio. I'm about halfway unpacked - the stall right now is I need to buy more furniture to unpack things INTO. Right now about half the studio is usable while half is still in boxes. As I'm packing for Califur, I remember the badge delivery, and tear my studio apart trying to find it with no luck. So, instead of showing up empty handed, I took the high-res scan of the badge and made a print of it. 

Califur happens, the customer shows up to pick up his badge, I explained that I just moved, tore my studio apart looking for the badge, but couldn't find it so made him a mock up and the minute I find the real badge, I will contact him immediately. He seemed okay with this and walked away. 

This was two weeks ago and I've already been contacted three times asking if I have looked for the badge, if I have found it, and that he hasn't heard from me yet. 

I'm wondering what I should do - I know I have the badge, but it might be a while before I can 100% unpack my studio. I know that the customer knows the badge is done... but I can totally understand wanting the actual badge in your hands. 

Should I ask for him to wait? Offer a partial refund? Something else? 

EDIT : He's contacted me through twitter, but I have absolutely responded each time he's contacted me. 

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( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 20th, 2011 02:55 pm (UTC)
Why not just make a new badge?
Jun. 20th, 2011 04:16 pm (UTC)
I will absolutely do this if I can be more certain that I actually did lose the badge in the move. I don't want to redo the badge just to find the old one a week or two later, you know? :C
Jun. 20th, 2011 05:00 pm (UTC)
See, that wouldn't even bother me. I'd just do it to have the situation resolved as quickly as possible and if I found the other badge consider it a freebie? But, different strokes.
Jun. 20th, 2011 03:00 pm (UTC)

hmm, thats a tough one because you've already done the work and provided a high res copy....
Jun. 20th, 2011 03:01 pm (UTC)
Either A) Make a new badge or
B) Let the customer know you will contact them immediately once you have the badge recovered.

Jun. 20th, 2011 04:17 pm (UTC)
I've already done B, several times. :B
Jun. 20th, 2011 09:00 pm (UTC)
More specifically, how much longer do you think you will be unpacking? Tell them you will contact them by ___ date (where ___ is when you expect to either have the badge or call it lost) and then will proceed from there. If you like, lay out the options a) you find badge and send it to them or b) you don't find badge, you can redo or partial refund (if those are the options you'd like to give)

EDIT: I am of course assuming that the customer won't mind waiting until ____ date since it sounds like they haven't actually said they can't wait, they just want to know what's going on. If they have problems with the wait, then perhaps go straight to b, if you're willing to. While I think most people would be understanding and patient, especially since you gave them a print version, it's not completely unreasonable if the customer doesn't want to keep waiting well past the deadline they've already been waiting a while for.

Edited at 2011-06-20 09:03 pm (UTC)
Jun. 20th, 2011 03:03 pm (UTC)
Search harder? He's not yelling at you yet, right? I don't blame him for checking in often; artists are often known to have this happen and just be holding off on telling the customer it's actually destroyed or something, so he's probably a little worried himself.

Refunding him doesn't make much sense to me unless you do intend to give it up for gone; if you do that, you can either refund him or do a new one, but those options are pretty nonsensical if you KNOW you have it and it's been at least partially delivered and he's not asking for either.

Apologize profusely and unpack faster? Haha. Good thinking on the scan though.
Jun. 20th, 2011 03:04 pm (UTC)
I think providing a high rez copy is a really good replacement until you find it. Dude can chill for a sec.
Jun. 20th, 2011 04:05 pm (UTC)
^ This.

Jun. 20th, 2011 04:09 pm (UTC)
This, but only if you've responded to his emails D:
Jun. 20th, 2011 04:17 pm (UTC)
Oh, I absolutely have. (It was twitter, but I've responded to each @ message he's sent me.)
Jun. 21st, 2011 02:38 am (UTC)
Pretty much the entire point of a conbadge is having the original to wear though, right? I think a high-res copy is a good-enough replacement for most art, but probably not for a badge since that the original is usually the whole reason why people buy them. And considering how often artists abuse the I JUST MOVED I LOST IT excuse, I can't blame the dude TOO too much for being worried.

I'd say the artist should set a deadline to find the badge, and if she doesn't find it by then it needs to be redone. Giving the customer a hard date will ease his nervousness about the situation and give her a chance to look for it un-harassed.
Jun. 21st, 2011 03:18 am (UTC)
I suppose I'm probably biased since I know Mitti IRL, she wouldn't be the type to make him wait forever and ever, she's very professional and someone I look up to personally.

I don't think she's going to be taking 1-2 years to find it!

The deadline or replacement is a good compromise though, I think, after reading through other comments.
Jun. 21st, 2011 03:45 am (UTC)
Yeah, I don't know the OP and I'm not saying she is abusing it or lying - just that a lot of artists do and have so you can't blame the buyer too much for being worried.
Jun. 20th, 2011 03:47 pm (UTC)
You've replied to those emails at least, right?

Its only been a couple weeks and he does have a print version in the mean time. I'd ask him to be patient as you're still unpacking.
At the same time, you don't have to 100% unpack just to find it. Unboxing things and putting them back in so you can find the badge is better than just sitting on it and waiting for when you have a chance to place things.
Jun. 20th, 2011 04:19 pm (UTC)
He's contacted me on twitter, but yes, I've responded each time he @ messaged me.

Before con started, I did what you're suggesting - unboxed things and put them back, looking for the badge with no dice. :c
Jun. 21st, 2011 05:34 pm (UTC)
I don't mean this to be rude, but realistically what are the chances you finding it in a week or so? I mean, if you've looked through most of the boxes (or the boxes where it should be), can you look through the last few and then if it's not there call it gone and remake it? Just when you move (or at least when I move), some stuff will be somewhere you didn't expect it, or just plain gone.
Jun. 20th, 2011 04:06 pm (UTC)
The guy has paid for the original? I can understand why he is impatient. Find it, or refund him, or make a new one.
Jun. 20th, 2011 05:27 pm (UTC)
How long can it possibly take to unpack? o_O Make a day out of it if you have to. You'd have to do it anyway, right?

He did pay for an original, so I can see why he'd prefer it if one still exists and wasn't lost. He's already been waiting patiently a few months now before starting to contact you frequently.
Jun. 20th, 2011 06:36 pm (UTC)
I definitely agree with what leahtaur and hamburger have already said - if it were me, I'd set aside a day to systematically go through all the stuff you haven't unpacked and check for the badge - you can always close up each box after you've gone through it and move it to another part of the studio so that you know which ones you've already searched.

I think it was good of you to provide the hi-res scan for the customer, (because it shows you weren't just blowing him off) but my suggestion at this point would be to consider making a replacement badge if he's been getting antsy about having the original. Then when you find the original badge, you could possibly just send it to him for free as a thank you for being so patient. If this were my situation, I'd rather give out a freebie than create bitter feelings and have an upset client.
Jun. 20th, 2011 08:25 pm (UTC)
I agree with this.
Jun. 20th, 2011 07:24 pm (UTC)
I understand that you don't have all the furniture you need to unpack all your studio supplies, but if it were me in this situation I would unpack anyway. Unpack a box, if the badge is not in there you can pack it and move on to the next one.

I think it's great you were able to give him a replacement badge, though. Good luck in your search for the original! It took me MONTHS to fully unpack my studio so I can kinda understand your situation. DX
Jun. 20th, 2011 08:03 pm (UTC)
Give him an estimation of how long it may take for you to unpack everything; that gives you a semi-deadline of when it will be found and make him feel like he won't be waiting forever.

If he feels that this wait would be too long, are you in the position to make a replacement one and send it off to him asap?
Jun. 20th, 2011 09:58 pm (UTC)
I'm going to second what pretty much everyone else said, set a date, and look for it or call it lost and make another. However, I might offer another solution - the customer paid for the work, so maybe offer a partial refund by that date if you really don't want to redo it (assuming the customer would be okay with that) with the promise to ship it out if/when it's found. I don't know how much the customer values the original Vs the image, so you have to be the judge on whether that would be worth offering.

Ultimately, it has been months since it was last seen, and you dropped the ball a bit in this situation. The print was a good temporary solution, but I think by now you need to come up with a definite time frame for when the transaction will be complete, whether it's the original, a redo, or a partial refund with the print. Also, 3 times contacted in 2 weeks doesn't sound excessive to me personally, particularly when it's locating the badge (as opposed to doing a huge painting or anything like that).
Jun. 21st, 2011 02:10 am (UTC)
1) Twitter is not a professional means of communication. Use email.

2) Unpack your stuff and find it. Then re-pack it again if you have to. It's all about customer service.
Jun. 21st, 2011 05:29 am (UTC)
I think they meant that the commissioner decided to send them a message using twitter. I like to only use email, but people will note me instead.

If not, my apologies for misreading.
Jun. 21st, 2011 06:07 pm (UTC)
[nods] I would ignore the messages and email them instead. Should have added that on.
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )


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