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A question about refunds

Hey A_B,

I have a question regarding two situations from around the same period of time; about three or four years ago, I ran into some computer troubles and took on some commissions to pay for a new motherboard. Now, all transactions have been completed save for these two:

Situation 1 - I'm going to use this guy's username since this could also be considered an issue of lost contact. A guy going by the name The-Ih on dA approaches me for a commission. It ends up taking a lot longer than I had intended, but I had completed two sketches, since one was a revision, so it's not exactly as though I was completely MIA. But, he ends up asking for a refund of his $20.00 because he felt that it was taking too long and even threatens to take action against me. I refund him his money and well... That's where everything just stops; my refund kept bouncing from his account and he had completely dropped off the face of the planet. It's been several years and I've been completely unable to contact him, whether by notes, IM, or his Paypal e-mail, and I still have $20.00 reserved for him.

Situation 2 - I was approached by a friend for an $80.00 commission, and things started off without a hitch, work was performed, etc. Then, we moreorless had a huge falling out together and for the most part, no longer talk to one another. Over the past few years, I've tried repeatedly to refund her the money, but she keeps sending it back to me demanding that I do the art. I've already told her and made it as clear as I possibly can that I am not comfortable continuing with this project and therefore have no intention of finishing it and that she should just accept the refund. Here I am, many years later, again, still holding onto this money.

So my question is, basically, in any of these situations, is it acceptable just to hold onto the funds for myself?

Thanks, guys!
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Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
sigilgoat
Oct. 5th, 2011 05:07 pm (UTC)
For both situations, I would send one final attempt at contact (to an email if possible), giving them 30 days to either contact you or update their bank account/paypal. You consider the transaction finished, and you will be refunding them. If the money comes back, you will consider it a gift, or donation.

On that 30 day mark, try the refund one more time. If it comes back to your account, it's yours, in my opinion.

You've told them you will NOT be doing the art, or complying with their request for a refund, so I'd say you're in the clear as long as you have that piece of correspondence.
oceandezignz
Oct. 5th, 2011 05:34 pm (UTC)
+1.
temrin
Oct. 5th, 2011 06:20 pm (UTC)
I definitely agree with this. -nods- Give them a professionally written notce (make sure to keep it and records of you trying to refund them, just in case.)

Then just do as Sigil said, if they refuse to let you refund them, then keep it. After this long of a time, its more frustrating and limiting to have to keep bouncing this money back and forth. So i definitely say deal with it swiftly and move on :3
lovegonnadrown
Oct. 5th, 2011 05:22 pm (UTC)
For the second one, I would just go ahead and finish the art as she's requesting. I think at this point she's made it clear that she's not going to change her mind and is going to keep bouncing the money back at you, so it would be best to just do it and move on. I can understand how it feels but it may be easier to try to think of her less as an ex-friend and more as a stranger who happens to be a customer.
oceandezignz
Oct. 5th, 2011 05:33 pm (UTC)
The thing is, even if the ex-friend was thought of as a customer, it is still the commissioned artist's prerogative to cancel the commission at any point should they become uncomfortable with the transaction, and refund appropriately. Which they have and they are attempting to do.

Even if the OP did the art, their heart wouldn't be in it, and it might turn out to not be their best piece, of which said ex-friend could continue to bother them about.

So its just better all around for the OP to just cut their losses and continue to refund.
lovegonnadrown
Oct. 5th, 2011 10:05 pm (UTC)
good point, i wasn't thinking of that. i agree, OP, it probably is best to continue that course of action or leave a warning that the next returned refund will be considered a gift, like others have said.
taelifoe
Oct. 5th, 2011 05:28 pm (UTC)
Question: Do you have a ToS set up? And do you have a claus anywhere in there that states you can refuse to do a commission for any reason?

Also, so far as the second situation goes, I think I'd agree with what Sigilgoat said up there ^
bailzzararco
Oct. 5th, 2011 05:29 pm (UTC)
Wow, what a weird situation. If someone kept refusing a refund, I would send it ONE more time and tell them "Not going to do the art, if you send the money back to me, I am keeping it, and ignoring any further post from you. SERIOUSLY!" As for the former, I think after that long a time I'd just forget about it. If he comes popping up again you could send him the money again.
celestinaketzia
Oct. 5th, 2011 07:17 pm (UTC)
This. Pretty much.
syrusb
Oct. 6th, 2011 01:57 am (UTC)
If I had the mailing address of either I would send a certified letter to that stating they had 30 days to get in contact to receive a refund. In case 2, inform the acquaintance you have a right to refuse to do business with anyone and are enforcing that right.

If at the end of the 30 days you haven't heard from either, the money is yours. If the acquaintance still doesn't get it and refuses the refund, the money is yours.

I would also send one last email with stated intent and be done with it. With case one, I would send the message to every place I could have contacted them in the past; forums, journals, dA, etc.
sigilgoat
Oct. 6th, 2011 02:18 am (UTC)
Ah yeah, certified mail isn't something I thought of! That's a way better legal bum-cover than an email.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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