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Far too long...

WHO: Navitas Tracer/Lab5/NachtSS/Shadow.tech.

WHERE: FurAffinity/Deviantart/Skype

WHAT: Originally this was a custom fursuit head only then, when details were changed, a gasmask that was not apart of the original discussion was added then later another transaction, separate from the original commission but still apart of the same account.

WHEN: Original commission was initialized around March/April of 2010. Changes and add ons occured around June 2010.

PROOF: Does anyone remember this post? http://artists-beware.livejournal.com/425108.html as well as screep caps below.

EXPLAIN:  The link above has most of the story, screencaps included. Now to give you, the viewer, a bit of background so as to make sense of the whole ordeal. The original commission started off smoothly. I was in the beginning of my second year of making suits when Navitas came to me. Through the few weeks of discussion and past that we had built up the standard commissioner/maker friendship I try to establish so communication is easiest instead of a slightly awkward feel I had found in the past. May came around and I had finished the resin base for the mask and was about to fur. Jawset made and installed, ready to go. After he was furred we were discussing the character's history and decided to change him a bit. Nothing major. I was to not add the scars and repair the broken tooth (as the upper canine tip was suppose to be broken off I then added a tip). So after he was refurred and tooth fixed other details started to come into play.

Here's where things start to change. I learn more about the commissioner himself and find out he's unemployed and almost flaunts the fact so. My first red flag should have been when he stated "You know I probably can't pay for all of this right?" but I figured hey, he's a friend. I'll work on it until he pays it off... During this time he was looking for a pair of video goggles by MyVu. I had purchased a pair about a month prior and figured I would send him mine if he paid me for them. We agreed and I sent them. They arrived safe and he showed me his plans to dismantle them and place them onto glasses.... He then proceeded to take them apart with a screwdriver adn a steak knife (yes you read correctly), cutting vital wired adn utterly destroying them....

A gas mask came into play next. This detail was far from expected. While we chatted via Skype, he described the article and I drew it. 3 weeks went by before I came up with a design that fed his satisfaction. I was discovering just how picky of a customer he really was as it seemed nothing would FULLY make him happy. Another 2 weeks went by before he approved the sculpt. By now it's nearing the end of June when the relationship, which had started to become personal,  starts taking it's hits. He'd become a close friend and a little more when he'd grown attached to me, often texting me and grumbling when I would be with my family. He would scowl when I would work on other commissions, demanding that I finish his before I address any others.

I finally had it around the end of July. I wanted to break off the "relationship" and needed my life back. I had finished his mask with only the initial $150 downpayment as my head cleared. He took the breakoff hard, harder than I expected, demanding to know why I did. I had realized my business, my friendships with others, and my life were suffering as the relashionship went farther.

. I made the posting above for advise as he was still refusing to pay me. He was no longer "more" but just a friend and customer but I had no idea what to do. I sent him pictures of proof that it was finished.I was hoping all this would lessen the blow (yes I was a door mat and naive....) He demanded a video (something of which I was unable to provide at the time but gave a full turnaround shot (also link posted above). He seemed satisfied at the moment but still did not pay. By now I was stating that he either pay me then or I was cancelling the commission. He still did not pay me but stated he had been at a debt agency. I had grown more than tired of cutting him slack and, following the adviceof many artists and a family friend who was in the business industry, I tried to cancel the commission. (also shown above) he was furious by then and was starting to explode in his conversations, even bringing insults to my main shout page for the local public. He then stated he had the money and demanded the mask. He sent a single dollar to make sure my paypal was still current, ignoring my statements that the commission was through. I checked back within the hour to find $500 in my paypal. I sighed and sent the mask.

Now it gets interesting... I get a note from a friend with a link of his fursuit review. His video included in with his review ( http://fursuitreviews.livejournal.com/32877.html ) and I'm seeing things that were not on the mask when I shipped it. The thing was a disaster!!! It looked like someone literally went to town on it and just went wild. I couldn't understand what was happening. He ragged on materials I used and demanded I either refund him in full or make a new mask, refusing my option of repairing/updating any of his dislikes. I tried to calm him down and figure out the situation but he kept going, digging in and just ragging on me. Out of bewilderment I talked to him on Yahoo chat, finally getting him calmed down and civil. I tried to think of a way to make everyone happy (an action I'm learning is near impossible in some cases) and tried to offer an upgrade on the suit. We agreed and he held onto the mask until I worked on the upgrades.

(Note:What he currently has in his possession is a custom fursuit head, a gas mask mold with filter mold) I continued to work on what I could before havign to set it aside as I was getting married and moving abotu 2000 miles away from my original home.

Here is the link as mentioned a few times above:


A long story short this customer is highly difficult to please and is very prone to changing things during commissions, often after completing most of it  or a spot that's difficult to redo(a.i. furring a mask, inking a picture, etc.). He's on disability and often spends money on things he's likely unable to pay in full for (large commissions over $200). Indecisive and not the easiest to communicate with. My reccomendation is to avoid taking on his commission.
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Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.


( 47 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 21st, 2011 05:23 am (UTC)
This is all a little confusing to follow but I noticed your screenshot appears to be missing a part of the bottom?
Sep. 21st, 2011 12:52 pm (UTC)
Each screen cap includes teh conversation piece. The very bottom are blank comments box. I was trying to keep it as clean as possible.
(no subject) - sunhawk - Sep. 21st, 2011 03:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sharpecostumes - Sep. 21st, 2011 03:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 21st, 2011 05:35 am (UTC)
So the accusation made here is that he received the head and altered it to make it seem worse than it was so he could post a horrible review?

I don't know either you nor him and I agree that it is a bit hard to follow. I don't know your usual fursuit work so I can't say if maybe thats just how you do teeth or heads etc so he should have expected it when buying from you. Some of his complaints do seem like he could have done them himself like ripping lining out of the head, cutting the ear, yanking on stuff so it comes loose etc.

But I'm not sure if this is indeed what's being stated so I wanna ask for clarification.
Sep. 21st, 2011 12:55 pm (UTC)
To be honest, I'm not entirely sure what happened. What I'm thinking is perhaps there was some mail damage and he tried to repair it himself or make some alterations to fit his satisfaction and got frusterated?

He was in such a hurry to get the head after he sent the money I was only able to get a turn around shot. I'm really wishing I had taken more to show that was not the state of the mask proir to shipping, :( I can certainly ask a few customers of that time to show pictures of my work at that time to clarify ifyou wish, get more sides to a puzzle?

Sep. 21st, 2011 05:43 am (UTC)
First, you really should have dropped this like the community was telling you in your advice post. Second, how do you explain the messed up condition the mask was in when he received it? Do you have pictures showing that it was in good condition before shipped? Why is the customer being charged for upgrades after he received subpar work? Did he request even more changes to the design that you'd have to do or is he just asking for what you had previously discussed be wearable?

It gives me a bit of a headache reading what he has to say so I can only imagine how frustrating this has been for you but from an outside perspective this is really confusing. I know he had all those changes mid-commission but did you actually tell him that those would be extra? In your other posts all you mentioned was $500 owed and the cost of the goggles (which you said was $150 and now your husband is claiming $200? Weird.) why weren't these other costs mentioned when he was getting help from the dept people and just tacked on now?

Regardless of your intention, it seems scammy to bring it up as a reason to give a lower refund when the head is seemingly unusable. You should have him send it back, refund him (perhaps minus the goggles and the deposit only), and fix it up if possible and resell it. Next time I'd recommend keeping high cost transactions like this in a strictly business capacity and follow your husbands lead and lay out costs/terms in a clear and concise way. Also when someone says they can't pay you for something, unless you're planning to gift it to them I would IMMEDIATELY stop the transaction.
Sep. 21st, 2011 01:18 pm (UTC)
I tried to drop it until he forced the money sending. He wouldn't let me send it back, even sending a dollar before hand to make sure it would work. As for the $150-$200, I'm not sure why he put that...

My only explination for the head's current state is perhaps he tried to alter what he didn't like. he likes to do things like that as I watched him do many a times with a Kroenen mask he had. He would try to modify, add new things, take things off. The only pictures I have are the turnaround ones sadly as he was dogging me till the final moment I shipped it. The changes he was requesting would have required a brand new mask, new species, custom jaw set, eh, here's the mask:


and here's the new character:

it's the only shot I could find. What's missing from that picture is the green mane and antenna from the ears.

My TOS states I can only give a 50% refund of the non-refundable price once the head has been shipped and received. He refuses the refund and want's full price or a brand new head. The deposit was $150, goggles $200. That only leaves a $250 refund and he wouldn't have it. :( Indeed I told him thorughout the commission with teh gas mask and other things it was going to cost. He would just ignore me...
(no subject) - starcharmer - Sep. 21st, 2011 03:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sharpecostumes - Sep. 21st, 2011 05:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - starcharmer - Sep. 21st, 2011 05:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mekania - Sep. 21st, 2011 05:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - starcharmer - Sep. 21st, 2011 05:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mekania - Sep. 21st, 2011 06:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - starcharmer - Sep. 21st, 2011 06:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mekania - Sep. 21st, 2011 06:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - starcharmer - Sep. 21st, 2011 06:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sharpecostumes - Sep. 21st, 2011 07:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - starcharmer - Sep. 21st, 2011 07:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - spiffystuff - Sep. 21st, 2011 08:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - starcharmer - Sep. 22nd, 2011 07:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - spiffystuff - Sep. 22nd, 2011 07:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - starcharmer - Sep. 22nd, 2011 07:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cissa - Sep. 23rd, 2011 02:44 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cissa - Sep. 23rd, 2011 02:42 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sharpecostumes - Sep. 21st, 2011 07:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - spiffystuff - Sep. 21st, 2011 08:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sharpecostumes - Sep. 21st, 2011 08:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mekania - Sep. 22nd, 2011 04:04 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 21st, 2011 06:43 am (UTC)
I'm loathe to comment on this but you're not being altogether clear here. He may have commented he could not pay at some point but there are numerous communications between you where he ASKS you, repeatedly, if he can just pay and get the head. You skirt over this for some reason and like to play up the fact that he has debt issues or whatever. The fact is that even from your own screenshots we can see him asking to just pay and get the head. Why all the extra run around? His communication is terrible, that's for sure, but you also remind us he has a disability - and while frustrating his bad communication has a lot to do with that. It's quite clear from the outset and if you were not willing to deal with someone with these obvious communication difficulties, you should have backed away at the beginning. :/

Secondly I've seen the head in real life. You're trying to claim that's not as you shipped it? You're not being honest here. What are you trying to say he's done to it? I have seen heads from a huge number of makers, owned a bunch too - and that head was not tampered with or vandalised. As it happens I also designed the character that you made the head based on (and on commission so I know how bad Nacht's communication can be). The head was in as-new condition but was clearly just badly constructed. The airbrushing was bad, sloppy, messy, and clumpy in places. The head shape was badly done, it was almost a cone-head. The mane was obviously rushed as you'd not attempted to even it out. The areas around the nose and mouth had residue and blotches of the material stuck around them - that's not something anyone can tamper with! The teeth and tongue were unfinished, rough, splotchy paint, and again, haphazard. The inside of the head was also pretty raw and seemed to have parts that would be jagged. I recall various blobs of glue misplaced.

Unless you're claiming he had all your materials to give this head an additional rough and rushed look...no, there's no way it was tampered with. No amount of kicking it off the walls, attacking it with scissors, picking at it or whatever else caused those problems, and that was obvious as an outsider.

I'm not saying you're a bad fursuit maker on the whole - you appear to have done some nice things. But for whatever reason or drama, you did not complete this to any decent standard and certainly not to a $500 standard. He had every right to be unhappy with it, and while with your past history that's a strain, it's still your responsibility to fix it.

Sorry for the long-ass comment!
Sep. 21st, 2011 01:07 pm (UTC)
At that time with him asking I was trying to drop the commission as people had suggested. I was mostly concerned at the fact that a debt agency had "overlooked" his debt to me and gave him the money. It was a nagging red flag that bothered me and concerned a few other folks when I told them.

As for the mask, yes there were initial raw edges as when I made it I was only in making masks for about 6 months, resin for 3. The mask being cone shaped I'm thinking may have warped a bit in shipping but can still be easily fixed by being placed on a head form. The teeth and a few other things though for the matter I will still say were not completely my work. My only thoughs are perhaps there were some things he didn't like (as he is a tad difficult to fully please) and tried to alter them and got frusterated..

The character's mane was not exactly even and by all means that mane was sewn in. It was actually a really clean job. I was tryign to match the characters design with that.

Within that $500 he was also purchasing a pair of molds that went with the suit that he wanted. The gas mask and filter mold as well as teh work that had goen with it so not all of the money was for the head itself.

Haha, don't worry about length, it's understandable. As for fixing, I had offered repeatedly to do itm no charge, and what he was asking was difficult to yield. He waned a brand new head, completely different species with details that far exceeded the original amount when I had offered to redo the bothersome spots.
(no subject) - nnoitorah - Sep. 21st, 2011 01:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nnoitorah - Sep. 21st, 2011 01:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sharpecostumes - Sep. 21st, 2011 01:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mekania - Sep. 21st, 2011 05:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sharpecostumes - Sep. 21st, 2011 07:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 21st, 2011 07:31 am (UTC)
At the moment the most important factor, being the head can't really be confirmed in quality. I went looking for the picture of the mask to see if I could shed some light on the quality of it, but for some reason the both of you had deleted it. Do you have a picture of the mask prior to being sent out, because at the moment the majority of this is just "he said she said" on both sides of the argument.
Sep. 21st, 2011 07:45 am (UTC)
I know it's again he-said-she-said, but I consider myself on neither side of the argument: I've just seen the head. I did see a picture of it prior to being mailed as the commissioner sent me a picture - I don't think it looked any different at all, just that the flaws were a lot clearer in real life.
(no subject) - skanrashke - Sep. 21st, 2011 09:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - spiffystuff - Sep. 21st, 2011 03:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 21st, 2011 12:56 pm (UTC)
This buyer similarly tried to commission me. Actually while I was not even accepting commissions... What he asked for was initially simple enough, but it quickly became pretty convoluted. I'm good at working with very picky ideas, to achieve a very specific image, so I'm generally not worried about something like that... However, he complained so much about my pricing and my terms, and was so demanding and rude that I refused the commission. I could tell that he would be bad news, and that I wouldn't be able to please him right from the start. I never even accepted any payment.
Now that I see this, I wish that I had screen-capped the AIM conversation so I could post it here.
I don't know about your personal experiences, and I can't say much about the condition of this mask before or after shipping, but I can vouch for how difficult this guy is to work with.
I would recommend in the future to play your cards more safely... It might seem extreme, but any problems that I've ever had with customers have been because I didn't back out at the first sign that something was amiss. Next time you detect a red flag like this, try to hold your ground better. You've got to protect yourself, yeknow? You aren't doing your business or your other customers any favors by cutting this much slack for one guy. My advice would be to cut communications with this one, cut your losses, and just chalk it up as a learning experience. You met your end, and you don't owe him any more. As far as his bad review... well. Haters gonna hate.
So long as your dealings with all your other customers and good and fair, and they are satisfied with the product that you deliver, then this one guy's dissatisfaction doesn't speak much about you. It says more about him.

I would also recommend that to make this post a bit easier to confirm, you include images of the head before you mailed it, as well as images of the head after it was received if you can get any. That would help people form their own opinions much more reasonably. :)

Good luck.
Sep. 21st, 2011 01:29 pm (UTC)
Sadly upon receiving he hadn't said a word about any of it, heading straight to the reviews withont confrontimg me first. But I'm highly agreeing with you on putting ones foot down and thank you for the vouch.

Thankfully I haven't had another commissioner quite like him but he's certainly taught me a few things. Not just to put ones foot down but has given me a few ideas in conducting business and to only go so far with a mask, have them fully approve, then request the next payment. Not to be timid.... not any more. But thank you though, I know I still have quite a bit to learn but try to take into account all advice I'm given so thank you :)
Sep. 21st, 2011 09:56 pm (UTC)
I dealt with this guy once to over MSN I think. It started out fairly well and went downhill really really fast. He started dropping the f-bomb and used name calling about someone who 'ripped him off' he even started saying his watchers could f-off and so on. It was a HUGE red flag for me, he also got angry with my prices.

He wouldn't talk about the commission via my normal email and notes at the time. So I allowed him to message me on MSN, after that I made it known I wouldn't allow that to happen again. Which he attacked me over that as well but I just ignored it and moved on.

I politely told him I was to busy to take his commission and ended the conversation. I feel like I ended up dodged a bullet, and kinda wish I had my MSN convo and such still.

But thats my experience with them, but like others said maybe you should put the pictures you have in the original post. I seen the head when I went to his page a good while ago, it didn't look to bad but then again I don't know much about these things.

But yah look for the red flags, if you don't feel comfortable with something the might be best to back out before it gets ugly.
Sep. 21st, 2011 10:36 pm (UTC)
When I had first encountered him the only red flag I recall was how he always claimed to have a tough time with all of his past commissions. Me, being rather naive and new to the whole game, had just thought he had found some poor artists when I hadn't even thought about his end and so I took his commission without a second thought.
Sep. 22nd, 2011 12:28 am (UTC)
I think in your future business endeavors you should not make a point to become "friends" with your clients. Its seems obvious there is less of a problem with the mask and more with his hurt feelings that you "broke up" with him, and he is trying to make this situation even more painful and difficult because of it. I think the mask came out really awesome, and its a shame that it has to be marred by the hurt feelings, but I think that if you adopted a less personal and more professional policy towards customers (like your husband does), you wouldn't have had to deal with him trying to find things wrong with the mask and cause drama for you.
Sep. 22nd, 2011 04:31 am (UTC)
*nods* when starting out I thought that's what one did with customers that you did custom work for. As I see now one can keep things formal, but still friendly without crossing lines. I think that's another reason why teh drama went up a level as my husband took over as he kept disconnected and stayed focused on the situation. I do agree with you there.
Sep. 26th, 2011 04:06 am (UTC)
Completely unrelated to most of what you said, but I don't understand why you are saying you kept a friendly, professional relationship. You guys dated for a while. Your relationship was anything but professional and therefore, a massive part of why there is a lot of drama involved with this transaction. You entered a business transaction not only with a friend, but someone you dated (I cannot recall if the fursuit fiasco began during your relationship or after). Exchanging money with friends, and more importantly people you have strong feelings for is definitely risky territory, as you can be too comfortable with each other and think they will or could be more forgiving than other customers.

I'm not defending him. I find his communication to be difficult to understand sometimes. However, you are glossing over a very important bit here, and I think it needs said.
( 47 comments — Leave a comment )


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