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Not understanding.. now what?

This is more in need of advice than anything. I have a fellow from a little over 2 years ago. The commission was going rather smoothly then suddenly they disappeared. Almost a whole year past without hearing from him and my notes to him were left unanswered. I tried to contact him several times, asking if everything was alright.... A year and a half passed, coming up on two years, during that time I sent a few notes stating that if no contact was made I was going to have to cancel the commission if non response was given (as stated in my TOS if no contact is made for over a year 2 warnings will be given, each within about 2 weeks of each other then I will terminate the contract, salvage the suit, and open the slot up)

About 3 months after I send the termination note, they contact me back, wanting to send another payment. I confirmed with them that they got the notes. They had and still wanted to know if we could continue. The suit was more than salvaged, most parts used for other costumes.  After discussing with them about the ordeal, I had the impression they understood and I never heard from them again until just a day or so ago they are once again trying to contact me about the commission. What do I do?  I don't want to be rude but I don't want to stray from my TOS either. He's been a nice customer so how can I put it in a way he will understand?

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( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 17th, 2011 05:59 pm (UTC)
Tell them, "If you're interested in a transaction, we'll have to start from the beginning. I'll treat you just as I treat every other commissioner, but I ask you to not default on payments this time. I'd like to see the payments and suit completed instead of being salvaged and payments defaulted."
Aug. 17th, 2011 06:06 pm (UTC)
I seriously can't come up with any reason why they'd not contact you back for over a year if they indeed had gotten your notes.
Personally I'd say that (if he didn't give a really damn good reason for his absence/lack of communication) he broke your TOS which he agreed when he ordered the suit and you go with the TOS.
Them being "nice" is no reason to stray from your terms that were agreed upon.
Aug. 17th, 2011 06:07 pm (UTC)
Also echoing insane_kangaroo about starting from beginning if he wants the suit.
Aug. 21st, 2011 02:46 am (UTC)
I agree- it's now an entirely new commission. And the deposit is nonrefundable. And lack of communication for more than X weeks (or whatever) means you are no longer interested and the commission is canceled, and i keep your money and re-use the materials.

Starting from scratch is important because else he's probably going to want his previous payment "applied" to the new one, which is unfair to you.

Be really hard-core if you work with him again, make sure the non-communication time is SHORT, and if he defaults again drop him.

While he might be pleasant in manner- leaving you holding the bag for that long is neither a "nice" nor a good customer. it is a problem customer. Treat him as one... if you want to try again with him at all.
Aug. 22nd, 2011 06:39 pm (UTC)
What's really interesting is he seemed a bit frantic to get ahold of me and now that I replied (playign innocent to see what was up, I literally stated "Hey, I'm here! What's up! :)" and I now have yet to receive an answer...
Aug. 17th, 2011 06:50 pm (UTC)
Two years is more than a reasonable time frame for SOME sort of contact to take place. I agree with IK, if you're both still interested in this commission, he's going to have to start over from the beginning. Since he went MIA last time, I'd even suggest adding that he MUST stay in contact with you, because it's not fair to YOU to have to wait around for two years without word one from a commissioner.
Aug. 17th, 2011 06:58 pm (UTC)
If you're worried he might do this again if you restart with him, maybe tell him that full payment must be given upfront? It IS a lot of cash when it comes to fursuits, but that way you won't have him running off again.
Aug. 17th, 2011 08:23 pm (UTC)
He's nice, but wasn't consistent with payments much. Not to mention within the period of the initial commission my skill level and prices have gone up so what would have originally been a $400 partial would now be around $750...
Aug. 17th, 2011 08:30 pm (UTC)
You just need to explain that to him and let him decide if he'd like to work with you. Being non consistent coupled with the fact that he disappeared so long shows you really should have full payment up front, even if it is quite a lot. That or maybe decide not to work with him at all. Some people are extremely nice but aren't good to work with and vice versa.
Aug. 17th, 2011 08:31 pm (UTC)
Yea, I would just tell him that you salvaged the suit already, and that you'd have to treat it as a whole new commission. Maybe add something like, "Considering our history together, I would prefer to have you pay in full before I start on the suit."

Hopefully they'll understand.
Aug. 21st, 2011 02:47 am (UTC)
Fair enough- that's the risk he took.

I suggest not more than 2- or maybe 4- payments. he has proven himself unreliable; you cannot accept dribs and drabs on a sporadic basis.
Aug. 17th, 2011 10:36 pm (UTC)
you can tell him flat out that if he wishes to continue business with you, he'll have to pay you in full. Even though he flake on you, I would let still cut him a minor credit on a commission if he paid more than the labor and material cost.
Aug. 17th, 2011 10:53 pm (UTC)
Yeah, see, here's the thing-- the customer has an obligation to meet deadlines and stay updated on the process. Customers constantly complain when commissioners do what he did to you, but unfortunately it's a problem many of them have as well.

You can't run a business at his leisure. I'd say you politely let him know that due to his essentially abandoning the project, you will have to either charge him your current amount and he must pay by deadlines, or you will refund him. Have him sign a contract stating that he must comply with your queue schedule as well.
Aug. 17th, 2011 11:47 pm (UTC)
Completely this. Commissioners get mad if you don't stay in contact but I can count on my fingers how many actually told me they wouldn't be able to pay or if they're gone on vacation. I really don't enjoy waiting a month or two wondering why they won't reply to me.
Aug. 18th, 2011 01:22 am (UTC)
Very much agree with this
Aug. 18th, 2011 05:43 pm (UTC)
I agree 100%. I also like the idea of asking for payment to be made in full (or a higher percentage down - so if you normally ask 30% down, make it 50% down) so that your work time is not wasted.

I would also say that you need to let him know that he needs to pay current pricing for your work if he is interested in continuing the commission; two years is a LOT of time to improve and your quality will not be the same as it was when he initially entered the contract with you. Offer to credit what he's paid you toward the new cost of the suit, but don't sell yourself short.
Aug. 21st, 2011 02:49 am (UTC)
If you want to try again- I agree, except that I think he should not get a refund, or 100% (if any) of his previous payment credited to his new one. I think he should start OVER from the beginning, at your current rates.
Aug. 18th, 2011 04:22 pm (UTC)
I would politely decline and state I had no interest in starting up again based on previous behaviour. Let them know the suit was salvaged out due to lack of response. Their reasons may be legit or flake but it wouldn't be worth the risk to me even as a fresh start.

You could go through the steps of having the commissioner sign a contract with stated deadlines for payments and such on a restart, but you've already given them multiple chances to contact you by a deadline with a far pass each time. I wouldn't want to risk going through it again, even with a contract in place.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )


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