Ok, so I have a commission for a fullsuit. The customer paid upfront, and agreed to my tos. Well, I was aiming for a RF completion (but it was not a hard deadline), and I had him come down (he's semi local, a few hours drive) for a fitting because I was a little worried about the shape and quality of the DTD (the legs looked too short/torso too long, and about halfway through shaping the foam for the legs the DTD separated in the middle of the belly, so I had to try to line up the tape and reattach it with pins. He had also told me that the chest on the dummy was wrapped too tightly and constricted his breathing, so I had added in a few inches of extra fabric to compensate and was going to fit the chest to him in person).
Well, he shows up on the day I have my other fullsuit customer up from OR doing the fitting on his bodysuit and getting his head padded correctly to accommodate his glasses. My customer from OR's bodysuit fits exquisitely, and my RF completion one is waaaay off. Like, I'm going to have to extensively modify it because the DTD was not done in the pose I ask for (arms were too far down, so the range of motion in the arms is severely limited, and it appears the dummy isn't quite up to the crotch, because there's almost 6in of 'dropped crotch' on this bodysuit that wasn't supposed to be there at all, which limits the leg motion severly). His head is also quite a bit too small, and there's nothing I can do to it at this point to make that head blank work.
I shoot him an email that night after realizing I couldn't adapt that head to work for him, saying because of the fit issues, there's no way I can get it completed for RF. I told him there are three things I can do at this point for him: redo his fox head on a wolf blank, which would be the quickest way, redo the sculpt from scratch, which will take longer, or I can refund him minus the deposit because of all the work I've done.
He responds, almost illegibly, but the gist of it was he was sad it wouldn't be ready for the con, and that he didn't want a refund. He seemed to prefer the resculpt, so I replied and asked him to measure his chin to the top of his head, temple to temple, and circumference around his eyebrows and I'd get right to work on the sculpt.
It takes two days, and finally he responds through FA notes. I NEVER use FA notes for commission stuff, I simply don't trust them and only do business through my email. The measurement he gave me was 9 3/4in, and I'm completely unsure wtf that means...
I responded again tonight through my email, stating again that I don't do commission stuff through FA notes, and asked again for the measurements. I'm still awaiting a reply.
What I'm stuck on here, is the issues that I'm having with his suit are due to his errors. The other one fits superbly, and I did the exact same thing for both, in the same week nonetheless, so it's not something I did. It's in my TOS that I charge for major alterations, and this clearly falls under that clause. I'm a little less miffed about resculpting the head, because that mold I can reuse later and I can make up for that time, but I'm thinking I should be charging for doing the alterations on the bodysuit. However, I'm getting pretty frustrated by the difficulty I am having getting usable measurements out of him. I refuse to put out an ill-fitting suit with my name attached to it, because to anyone seeing it it will look like I'm incompetent and incapable of following the measurements.
Another thing that's grating on me is I charged him about exactly half of what my prices are today for his suit (he got in right before I raised my prices, and got a local discount I offer to my local furgroup). I'm having a hard time justifying pretty much redoing the majority of the work I've done at such a low price point. I could offset that by charging for the redo of the bodysuit, but I'm also considering the possibility of a refund.
Not sure wat do.
Also, what would be a reasonable rate to charge for the bodysuit alterations? It needs about 6" of ease in each armpit, and pretty extensive reshaping in the crotch and butt area, and the upper chest needs widened, and the neck needs more fabric around it as well. Should I charge by the hour? Or a percentage of the suit cost? By the hour would be considerably more, but would be more fair to me, especially since I won't be charging him to redo the head from scratch.
I appreciate the advice!