As a note, in the end I am getting the item she made.
However the entire ordeal of two and half / three years of stress regarding this commission really has pushed me to write this, especially since she's looking to expand her client base.
I absolutely hate writing negative reviews about people, but I honestly am under the impression if you're operating as a business (taking money for goods/services), you need to also provide good follow-through, reputation, and customer service.
WHEN she did reply, I will give that she was always very polite in dealing with me.
I had planned on writing this for a very long time, and then debated it when it appeared I may be getting my item. I lucked out in getting my item. I'm not sure why, but I am grateful for that.
http://aurasoul.deviantart.com/ (she got herself banned)
Other Posts/URLs of Note Worth / Complaints:
My fiance ordered a plush in Fall of 2008 for a Christmas gift for the sum of $90.
Basically we were strung along, yelled at, ignored for months. When concerns of whether or not she had the time to complete or would like to refund us partial (minus the parts already used), we were ignored.
Basically every note was ignored for months at a time which lead us to be very concerned about whether or not this was going to be completed or not. The screenshots below also include a few conversations with Ratchet, her boyfriend/husband. Since he had been helpful in getting a refund with another person on AB, it seemed like a good idea to contact him if he was more likely to respond.
As a note, Ty and I have no problems being patient. As we told both Aurasoul and Ratchet countless times, but we do request communication every half a year or so. (We rarely got that).
Again. We got our item in the long run, but I would strongly encourage people who want to commission this particular artist to never pay full up front -- and be aware that communication issues will be a very big factor.
My complaints will be under the cut. This is a very long dated issue
Please feel free to commission Aurasoul or have dealings with Ratchet at your own risk. I know I would not deal with the pair again. Communication issues with Aurasoul is one big problem, but the other is Ratchet's attitude in the end as well. I understand that Ratchet may had been put in the middle of this, and realize that it may be stressful him, but this is also a product of Aurasoul's inability to communicate with her commissioners. I was NOT the first to turn to Ratchet in hopes of getting help. I understand his point of view in "not being her keeper (something he said before), however if I did the same thing, I'd expect my boyfriend/husband to give me a sharp poke to get my butt moving if I were slacking on these issues.
Also, there may be some notes I've lost in the course of 2-3 years. I tried to be as thorough as possible. I cleaned out my FA box due to the FA hack leak about a year ago and I think I've mistakenly deleted somethings I had intended to keep. I tried to keep every single response from both my side and their's.
For the first YEAR of this ordeal, I was not involved. The notes I have are after I got involved when I felt that Ty was getting scammed and was out nearly $100. That right there pissed me off to no small degree.
In fall of 2009 is when I got involved in this on behalf of Ty.
In summer of 2011 we saw the an upload of the final item completed (and item was given to someone in EF con to deliver to us in the states. )
In late October / early November of 2008 my fiance commissioned Aurasoul for a Christmas gift for me. He did pay the full amount up front. He was told at the time that the item would be completed by Christmas of 2008.
When the time come and gone, Ty had spoke with her in regards to what was going on when January rolled around, he was told that she had school going on and that delayed her -- as well as still gathering materials for the item. Being the patient type, Ty sat on it.
He sat on it more, checking in every 3-4 months for a progress report. Rarely did he get an answer. At this point, we had gotten little communication, no item, no progress report and Ty so far was out $90.
Ty had faith in Aurasoul. Mine had started to wane when I was reading numerous complaints and witnessing problems ongoing in real time through Artist Beware and other channels, such as the banning of her DA account.
Again, any limited time Ty got a response, it was an excuse. No confirmation of anything. No item. No progress. Communication was like pulling teeth. Due to she being in Germany, we assumed that maybe she was not as well versed with English as many of our other German friends.. So we often simplified the conversation so it would be better converted in translators if she happened to use those.
It was after the year mark had nearly rolled around in 2009 that I got involved. After seeing nothing other than Ty's money being taken, I decided it was time to get involved. I first and foremost contacted Aurasoul asking for her to reach out to Ty to get in touch with him. We did not try to reverse action Paypal at this time, because we honestly wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt despite negative reviews and give her a chance to complete the item.
In the beginning she was very willing to respond. She had even claimed he had photos for us! It quickly declined from there, however.
So after the one promise of seeing progress reports, she had dropped off the face of the planet again, despite her account being active favoriting and commenting on art / responding to people in general.
All the while, I was watching my notes being a mix of being read and unread status in her account. It was clear my notes were being avoided. Again, as we stated in the notes, we did not mind being patient but do require communication and some effort to give us progress. If you say check back in X time, that's what we'll do and not a moment before. However if you blindly ignore us while clearly being active, it paints a very drastic picture.
It is what prompted the following screenshot.
Fast forward to the year 2010!
It was at this point there were numerous negative posts about Aurasoul being posted up in various more spots and it was getting scary. Some were saying how she would outright destroy the item.
A few claimed they got resolution through her boyfriend/husband, Ratchet ( http://www.furaffinity.net/user/ratchet ). I had high hopes with this option, because at this point we were worried we were getting strung along and the best option would be a refund since we never got progress photos.
At first, Ratchet was helpful, and then he turned rude - my guess in frustration with many other people who had commissioned Aurasoul contacting him as well. I do not know this to be the case firmly, but I do know I was not the only one worried about a commission.
I had very limited conversations with Ratchet.
Color us shocked. Here was progress and Aurasoul didn't bother to even notify us. Not one bit. We were happy to see the progress shots, don't get us wrong. We had waited a very long time for this.
Again this really speaks for her customer service / organization. She didn't notify us that we had WIPs to view. She didn't respond to our notes in a timely fashion. However, we were happy. This what we wanted.
By this time we were really happy. Here was news that it was finished and ready to be shipped. We promptly supplied the shipping information and then waited.
And waited some more.
And contacted our friend who had not gotten the item and waited some more.
Friend contacted me to see if anything was heard. We waited more.
Eventually we just waited to hear back from Aurasoul. We hadn't. We saw she was being active so it prompted us to write more notes. Many of which went unanswered.
I hate doing it, but I DID leave a shout on her page to get in touch with me (it was promptly deleted).
We supplied mailing information (for the second or third time) on January 21st, 2011. I had waited in sending it again because I wanted to make sure my friend would still be willing to be a middle man in this situation.
We waited some more! By this time I was concerned. Seeing how Ratchet had been helpful in the past in prompting Aura to respond, since it had been so many months, I decided to give him a shot again.
I was taken aback by how just down right rude he was. Unfortunately in my clutter of notes I do not see my original first note to him regarding asking for progress on behalf of Aurasoul. I only have his reply after this one.
So we're back to waiting again. No direct communication with AuraSoul through this whole ordeal. Frankly it angered me a good bit to have him snap when I see both of them active, commissioning art, and neglecting their own commissioners. This is hindsight I suppose.
I was a little confused to see that Ratchet was saying the item wasn't completed at this time, but it was hinted/ready to be shipped by earlier comments/notes from Aurasoul.
Somewhere down the road I thought to contact her again. After all, 3-4 months in between notes isn't too short of a time I'd hope. Especially since the last WIP was over half a year ago. Correction. About half a year ago when she said she was SHIPPING it.
After that last one, I decided to wait a bit again. Like before, it was waiting and my friend waiting and nothing coming of it. Once again I started noticing her being very active on FA, but not taking the time to read/respond to anything.
The next screenshot had information pertaining again to my contact's address. I've blurred it out for privacy's sake but the meat of what was said is there. Despite me having sent the address numerous times before, I was requested again to send it. Again no final photos of a finished product, but just the idea of getting it and getting this ordeal over was a blessing.
The last few conversations were of me confirming with my contact about it not arriving, and bringing it to Aurasoul's attention. She said it was still there and had not had time to ship it.
At this point we had not seen any photos of the final product. I was not contacted directly, and would have missed the uploads (as I had when she originally uploaded WIPs) if I weren't watching her on FA.
Holy cow there it was completed..
Creatively since EF Con was right around the corner, to save on shipping fiascos (as one unfortunate person in Artist Beware had dealt with) I asked if she was going and could drop it off to my contact directly.
While Aurasoul wasn't going, she had a friend who was. It was agreed (and this can be seen on conversations/replies in the actual finished product) that it'd be dropped to my contact.
I finally am getting my product and it looks good from what I can see in the photos. My contact is bringing it to me when we meet up at a US con.
While Aurasoul has been very polite in her responses to me, her responses in general are like pulling teeth. She is not timely or professional in this manner.
I do not recommend anyone paying full price for anything up front.
Ordeal has taken place over the course of Fall of 2008 to Summer of 2011 to get sorted.
I'm probably missing things. I tried to keep this as short, but as thorough, as possible. (Yes I could have written more believe it or not!)