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Unfinished commission: need advice

This is my first post here, so please let me know if I need to include any more information.  It's not a beware, I just need a bit of advice on an unusual commission situation.

I advertised some painting slots almost a year ago, and one of the people who responded was someone I'd worked with a few times before.  We discussed general things about the painting, gave her a quote, and she sent payment in full ($30) with a note that she'd email me references later.  A couple weeks went by and she still hadn't sent the images, so I emailed a reminder that I still needed refs.  She replied saying family stuff was going on, she'd send the files soon, etc.  After another few weeks I sent her another email and got no response. 

Since then I've tried emailing both addresses I know of, leaving a message on her LJ account and sending a note on FA, but haven't gotten any reply.  What's the proper thing to do for a situation like this?  I didn't think to include anything in my ToS about it.  Should I just keep the money and wait for her to get in touch?  Refund her?  I'd rather not leave this hanging, but don't want to accidentally do anything unprofessional or rude.

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( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 23rd, 2012 08:32 pm (UTC)
When a client takes too much time to send me everything I need to start a commission, they clog up the queue. In my opinion you should send her a polite note with a deadline, and if that deadline comes and goes, refund her. Emphasize that in order to stay productive, you need to have all of your materials, and that it's not a personal thing. I'd understand taking a bit of time for personal life issues, but it's been quite a while now.
Mar. 25th, 2012 02:13 am (UTC)
I agree with this.

give them a week or so to respond. Make sure to make the due date obvious. (bold it. change its colour, whatever you have to.)

I had an issue with a client previously posted here. they contacted me but then they disappeared again before providing the information i needed to continue their commission. So i sent them a note, providing them with two weeks to respond with the information, else i would refund them. Date came and no information was sent. So, i refunded them and cleared them from my list.

Its definitely fair in my oppinion.
Mar. 23rd, 2012 08:57 pm (UTC)
You have a few options: you can either bump her to the bottom of your queue, or you can cancel or refund.

I'd recommend emailing her saying she has a week to get back to you and if she can't her commission will be refunded or put to the bottom of the queue. It's not her fault her life got in the way, but you don't deserve to be in a lurch because of it.
Mar. 23rd, 2012 09:03 pm (UTC)
Personally, I'd refund her and let her politely know that you don't really have time to wait and that if she'd like to purchase again at a later date, you will accept if she sends references first.
Mar. 23rd, 2012 09:04 pm (UTC)
I would send out a email/note/letter to every address I had for that client with a deadline of contact.

If they've been that busy/forgetful/lazy, I would not want to work with them at this point. Offer to refund if they contact you by a certain time for refund or consider their payment forfeit.

If you're still determined to work with them, instead give a date to contact you by with full details and an additional 'kill date' afterward for continued communication in case they disappear again.
More or less:
1)Contact by X date with details, refund request or consider payment forfeit
2) If contacted with details, include a new date for them to answer questions you have (if necessary), or you will just do the image with what details you do have. Include a date by which the image will be finished, regardless.

Now make sure you include something in your TOS about clients who pay but cease communication.
Mar. 23rd, 2012 09:18 pm (UTC)
I'd sent her a note stating that she has a week to get in touch, or you're refunding her AND bumping her to the bottom of any existing queue, because it's unfair to both you and anyone else in the queue to wait like that.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - fenris_lorsrai - Mar. 23rd, 2012 10:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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