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Customer is MIA.

I was commissioned back in March to build a partial for someone. Communication was smooth and payment was sent swiftly. It was shaping up to be the best commission I had ever done and for a good friend. Production when without a hitch, I sent WIP photos and finished in my usual quick time. I gave the finished photos and requested the remaining half of payment along with shipping. She told me she did not have the money for a while and I told her I was willing to hold into it for a month or so. This is where problems arise.

Time coasted by and suddenly the person disappeared from the internet, none of my e-mails have been replied to and for a while so I just let the partial sit on my shelf and hope for some kind of communication. About a month back I left a shout on their FA page saying "If anyone has any means of contacting this person, I need to get a hold of them desperately and soon or I will have to alter and sell their partial." I got a note from the commissioner almost right away. She told me she was going to send out payment Via money order that Friday. I had no trouble with this because she paid the deposit with a money order and it was swift and on time. No payment ever arrived and now my note has gone unanswered or even read.

So now I'm not sure what to do, this partial still sits on my shelf, unpaid for. No one to even try and claim it. It has been long abandoned according to my TOS. What I wonder is if I do indeed alter the partial to sell it (which I would hate to do), what do I do if the person ever contacts me back saying "Oh saw you sold my partial (already sent a final warning), do I get my money back?" How do I deal with that? Do they get anything back if they only paid for materials and left their commission for 4 months?

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( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 17th, 2011 05:31 pm (UTC)
Look at your local laws for property abandonment.

You can't be expected to store the item indefinitely. I'd consider an item not picked up as abandoned.
Aug. 17th, 2011 05:34 pm (UTC)
Send one last note that you're going to do so, then sell it. As a courtesy, you can link them to the auction/wherever you sell it so they have one last chance to buy it.

I would not refund the half payment they sent. You did what you were paid to do and will have to spend more time altering and then selling it because of their irresponsibility. Point them to your TOS if they complain. They have no leg to stand on and the ball has been in their court for a while.
Aug. 18th, 2011 04:27 pm (UTC)
Assuming you let the commissioner know their money order arrived, I believe this is the best solution.
Aug. 17th, 2011 06:56 pm (UTC)
I'd make sure to let your commissioner know that their money order never arrived - on the chance that they did send it and something happened on the way. The post office seems to be doing terribly lately with delivering anything.

If contacting them publicly worked once, it might work again. Maybe try another shout on their FA page?

After all of that, then at least you tried. The above posters have the right idea.
Aug. 17th, 2011 07:07 pm (UTC)
I definitely agree with Kayla. You tried your best to contact and work with this person on their order, and they obviously didn't care enough to keep on top of it. No refund.
Aug. 18th, 2011 05:38 pm (UTC)
If a half-payment was sent, I'd assume that it was to cover a little more than the cost of materials. Were it up to me, and the customer really pitched a fit over not receiving their money back, I'd probably sell it at auction first, then see about refunding some of their money. If you make more than what they paid you at auction, then you could refund some of that, less a reasonable amount for storage. (say $25/month for storage, would mean you keep $100 out of their refund)

I think if she were serious about receiving her commission, she'd at least send you some kind of money on good faith, you know? Even if she still owed you five hundred dollars, sending in a little bit here or there would at least chip away at it and let you know she's still serious about you saving it for her. Instead, I think she might be suffering some buyer's remorse when she shouldn't have spent that kind of money.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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