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What should you do when a commissioner starts being rude with you?

Over my commissions career, I have had a few issues with commissions going from really nice and polite, to rude. I do commissions for a living, and I have done nothing wrong to these people, what if they spread around that I'm a horrible person? As some have done, posting callout journals over it.

What can I do in these situations?

Specific situations below the cut. Even now I'm somewhat afraid to post about specific incidents because I KNOW some of the people spread rumors and lies about the issues and these people have harassed me over it, even when I have shown all the notes as proof.

Some examples; One commissioner threw a fit because he and his GF had purchased images, and half way through, I got a note wanting a few changes. After I finished them, the BF who they were for went insane and started ranting all over my page how they were incorrect and that wasn't what they had ordered and so on. Turns out they had split up and he was taking his anger out on me.

BUT, he had posted a callout journal and I had people harass me over it.

A more recent one was over an icon, where I was offering two version, one for the base price, which was 100x100, animated, and not shaded. And one for a donation amount, which was larger and shaded. I had directed the types, normal, and donation, to the two different sample, stating; the larger ones were the donation sample. I did not list the differences at all. Just the two images.

One of my commissioners noted me after completing their, asking me to add in the shading. I told them it was the larger ones only. They continued to be rude, stating that I was a liar and I was scamming people. And that they had wanted a refund and all that stuff. But, they had not paid attention to the sample.

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( 51 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 20th, 2011 01:41 am (UTC)
IMHO, The very first rule to remember--no matter how low they get, behave as a professional. This, more than anything else you can do, will retain people's respect for you.

In the first example, block them, so they can't bother you anymore and if it's DA or FA file a trouble ticket/report them for harassment (give them proof if needed.)

In the second example, you politely explain that the samples show clearly which is which and that if he'd like shading he will need to pay more. In the future try to make it as clear as possible (without any passive-aggressive commentary to your audience--I've seen people do that >.>).

If the situation gets really bad, you can post it here with an explanation and proof.

I've found that just keeping your head is generally enough even in the worst circumstances. As long as you are reasonable and polite, you'll find you don't lose business. If you lose your cool or try to get "revenge" on the other hand, you'll find things are less-likely to go in your favor. If they lie, post proof and nothing more--and if you don't have proof consider only doing business via email/trackable communications from then on.
Nov. 20th, 2011 11:58 am (UTC)
This! If you remain professional, in contrast the rude person simply shows themselves up and it become pretty apparent to others who's being unreasonable.
Nov. 20th, 2011 01:43 am (UTC)
-Well one 'Call out' journals can get someone banned or suspended for 'defaming'. Report them and keep calm.
-Two, refund the guy and block em.
-Three, it's not your fault people can't read. If someone fails to notice the 'sample' image (make sure you keep it up for backup) and show them. If they still continue, drop them.

You can't do much about people taking crap behind your back. People will be immature, that's life You just have to continue to deliver goo service and not 'react' to them. The smart people will pay attention.

Nov. 20th, 2011 04:30 pm (UTC)
Callout journals are fine if the names aren't mentioned, but, they give them out privately when people ask, so I still get flack.

Nov. 20th, 2011 01:46 am (UTC)
You just basically have to end communication, when people start acting like that. For your last example, I would have just said this,

"I'm sorry you're disappointed.

In the journal, I had examples of what you would receive in exchange for either $x or a donation. Here is the journal: *link*

If you'd like to send me a donation instead, I will happily add in the shading, and refund your last payment. Sorry for the confusion!"

That only gives them one option to respond to. Anything else, gets them no response at all.

If they make a callout journal, report them with a Trouble Ticket. If someone notes you, just reply with screencaps of the notes that prove your side, or ignore them.

It's not your fault that person refused to read, and they're probably just ridding you of troublesome future-commissioners anyways. xP
Nov. 20th, 2011 01:59 am (UTC)
You can't weed troublemaking sorts out completely, but you can make things difficult for them, and easier for you.

1. Make a very clear Terms of Service and link it in every commission journal you post and private commission you take. Search AB and other sites for information on how to, shall we say, cover your ass.

2. BE VERY. VERY. VERY. CLEAR. Visual types like artists completely underestimate how very much clearly worded text clears things up. You should never link to two separate sample images (in your case) without a verbal explanation of the differences and what to expect. Somebody who doesn't have as much of an 'eye' for art won't immediately think that it's obvious s/he won't receive shading. It's not your fault that those people troubled you, but if you have it clearly stated, you can essentially say "those are the terms you agreed to" and ignore them.

3. Never engage beyond necessary, professional behavior. If a client brings up an issue with you, and you have both linked them to the agreed terms and been clear about what they would receive, then speak only to them in the most clear and concise tones. It's business, and if they stoop to smarmy behavior, do not get defensive. Do not 'defend' yourself, because you don't need to. They agreed, they paid, you made. Your contract is fulfilled, and slander won't get them anywhere.

Harassment and calling out are issues to be discussed with moderators, of course, but I've always gone by the three suggestions above, and it severely lessens the ground on which they have to stand when complaining, and the cold professionalism has always sorted it out for me in the end.

I had a misunderstanding with a potential who wanted to get on a waiting list recently, and she became exceedingly snarky over a perceived slight on her behalf. I had to calmly explain that she was mistaken and all was arighted, but nothing would convince her. But it's not my job to placate her and others like her, if money hasn't exchanged hands, or it has and they got their completed art to specifications.

Long winded but HEY we're all literate here, lol
Nov. 20th, 2011 04:35 pm (UTC)
Oh, I did all of that. I have a TOS, and the samples were labeled as such; 'Small samples for regular, large for donation'. Everyone else was fine, but this one person.

I also responded politely and whatnot at first, explaining, and even offered a shaded non animated icon, they just went batshit, and in the end I just told them to fuck off (Which didn't go through because they blocked me lol). They had send me a TON of notes and were extremely rude and insulting. I was giving screencaps to my friend through the whole thing, and she said I was never rude at all.
(no subject) - kayla_la - Nov. 20th, 2011 05:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - teekchan - Nov. 20th, 2011 05:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kayla_la - Nov. 20th, 2011 06:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - teekchan - Nov. 20th, 2011 06:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 20th, 2011 02:38 am (UTC)
Calling out? Report
Harassing? Report
Talking rudely to you? Just deal with it until you're done the art, then block.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - claytronic - Nov. 20th, 2011 03:25 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thaily - Nov. 20th, 2011 10:24 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - teekchan - Nov. 20th, 2011 04:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 20th, 2011 02:56 am (UTC)
In the first instance, I can actually understand why your customer was upset. Of course, I'm not excusing his reaction. Call-out journals and harassment over it is unreasonable.

It just seems that, unless I'm reading it wrong, he (and his girlfriend) commissioned you, then you altered them at the request of either the girlfriend or someone else without his knowledge. Now if he was involved in the transaction from the beginning, especially if he contributed financially, he should have been involved in the decision to alter them.
Nov. 20th, 2011 04:45 pm (UTC)
HOW? I followed EXACTLY what THEY had asked for. The BF was %100 percent aware of the art, and the changes. HE asked for the changes. Then he went bat shit like, 2 weeks AFTER I had shown them the art (and gotten BOTH their approvals for it) when they had broken up.

How is that MY fault?
(no subject) - mekania - Nov. 20th, 2011 06:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shukivengeance - Nov. 20th, 2011 06:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - teekchan - Nov. 20th, 2011 08:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shukivengeance - Nov. 20th, 2011 08:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - teekchan - Nov. 20th, 2011 08:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shukivengeance - Nov. 20th, 2011 09:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - teekchan - Nov. 20th, 2011 09:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shukivengeance - Nov. 20th, 2011 09:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - teekchan - Nov. 20th, 2011 08:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mekania - Nov. 20th, 2011 09:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - teekchan - Nov. 20th, 2011 09:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - neolucky - Nov. 20th, 2011 11:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - teekchan - Nov. 21st, 2011 02:01 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 20th, 2011 08:05 pm (UTC)
I do have one, "-I will absolutely not give refunds once I have started on the sketch stage. The only exception is if I feel I cannot complete your commission in a reasonable time frame. "

This stuff all happened after the images were completed.
Nov. 20th, 2011 10:15 pm (UTC)
Then you refund their money/down payment/whatever, and tell them you don't want to have anything to do with them.

The end.
Nov. 20th, 2011 11:39 pm (UTC)
It's probably not clear enough, this is AFTER the image is completed. Why would I refund someone when I've done all the work?
(no subject) - marus_puppy - Nov. 21st, 2011 12:54 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - teekchan - Nov. 21st, 2011 02:16 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - skanrashke - Nov. 21st, 2011 04:24 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - teekchan - Nov. 21st, 2011 06:09 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - skanrashke - Nov. 22nd, 2011 05:40 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - teekchan - Nov. 21st, 2011 06:11 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 20th, 2011 11:40 pm (UTC)
Your edit comes off pretty rude and "loud". Just sayin', your attitude above really could use a little work. Calm down, take a breather, and try to respond in a mature responsible way, throwing caps around doesn't really emphasize your point so much as just scream it.
Nov. 21st, 2011 12:55 am (UTC)
(no subject) - teekchan - Nov. 21st, 2011 02:14 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 21st, 2011 01:23 am (UTC)
I was going to step away from this post but honestly from the way you're reacting to a few people misunderstanding a few details from your post I really wonder how professional your responses were to your customers before things escalated.

It's very possible I'm reaching but the way you're behaving does not correspond to the non-confrontational comments you're replying to. Even after I told you how your emphasis was coming off you went right ahead and did it in a reply to me. Like Neolucky said I think it'd be better for you to take a breath before responding in future situations.

Also I noticed in a comment further up that you got to the point where you were sending a customer a message telling them to "Fuck off". Regardless of the situation? Never really a great idea for a business person to do.
Nov. 21st, 2011 02:10 am (UTC)
Again, I apologize, Neoluck has informed me how to use bold tags. I meant nothing rude with the emphasis, and about directing the BF made the changes, I still do not see how it does not apply that the both of them asked for them.

I did not literally say 'fuck off'. I meant it as cutting ties and ending it right then and there. I even gave the user up there, who asked for the name, a copypaste of the conversation to show how the user turned, which I can show you here;
"I am sorry, but the small sample was unshaded. I took out the shading before anyone ordered a normal slot. I provided a normal unshaded sample, and you ordered while it was there.
If you want me to go and add shading I will, but it will NOT be animated."

(I cannot, at all, use the buttons on FA, so I use caps instead of bold. Also, since that is a little confusing, the customer ordered an icon from me, and all sample were unshaded, and then wanted shading, which was another, more expensive option, which was clearly listed in the journal.)
(no subject) - teekchan - Nov. 21st, 2011 02:23 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mekania - Nov. 21st, 2011 02:27 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - teekchan - Nov. 21st, 2011 02:36 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mekania - Nov. 21st, 2011 03:04 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ladysnakebite - Nov. 21st, 2011 07:46 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 22nd, 2011 12:38 am (UTC)
With all of this it has me curious as to ask a question that floats in my mind. I have had a commissioner similar to yours above but while they harassed me privately, they went to my other commissioners and tried to sway them to drop out of my queue, even leaving pitiful attention hound comments upon some of their pictures... How does one stop a past commissioner from bringing in terrific folks into a battle that should only be fought between you and the commissioner?

As to your posting above, haters will always hate. If you keep your cool and keep calm, folks will see who is in the wrong and side with you. Indeed it's extremely unfair at what soem things an artist has to put up with, but they will get their dues...
Nov. 27th, 2011 09:18 am (UTC)
late to the party here....
You can't stop people from trying to drag you down. It just happens. Bad artists have their white knights even when they're in the wrong and i'm sure you have your fan base as well.

I'm not suggesting you unleash your fans upon current/future harrassers or that you're a bad artist. What I'm getting at is your fans know you. One, two or even three random trollers aren't going to destroy your business...only you can do that. As long as you're on the up and up and you screencap EVERYTHING at the slightest sign of trouble you shouldn't have any problems.

The best advice I was ever given in a writting course is to write as though your audience knows nothing. If it was an essay on, lets say, GRASS...explain what grass is. SERIOUSLY. I'm not trying to be condecending of customers but the more black and white a commission's details can be the easier it is for both sides. When in doubt. I use the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY, HOW technique for almost everything I write. From commission offers to post it notes.

Commission example using this:
Who can commission (any limit to slots when you open?)
What do you get? What's the price?
When will I start? When do I send the money?
Where will it be posted? Where can I post it?
Why can't I change my commission? Why are other's in front of me?
How long til completion? How many edits do I get?

Using your example of the two icon choices I would have had the two images. Under each image list what it entails and how it differs from the other. Include the prices and, if you were willing, additional fees to modify/deviate from the samples.

This covers you two fold.
1. You explained the differences so if a commission goes, "but I thought it was this one" or "I thought this came with this" you're covered.
2. You have explained in it's description what you're willing to do if they do decide to modify later.

All that gives you the ability to "tough cookie" it outta there when a commissioner gets sour.

You do enough business you'll run into trouble makers. As long as you're covered (TOS, screenshots, commission clarity, professionalism, etc) You CAN'T be touched
( 51 comments — Leave a comment )


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