Ok guys, I really need help. This is my first real fursuit commission from a particular fursuit creator, and I need help!
Let me start with how it all went down:
I originally commissioned this person back in August 2011. Mind you, I did not know all of the fursuit creators that were out there, otherwise I would have commissioned a more well-renowned fursuit artist.
This girl has made other masks and fursuits, and from the photos, the work looked wonderful. But little did I know the true quality of the masks she made. :/
Keeping in contact with her was one of the hardest things from start to finish. There were times I did receive any e-mails from her for over a month's time. Mind you, I was constantly attempting to send multiple e-mails in hopes of her seeing it and responding.
Needless to say, she was purposefully avoiding me, and even admitted to this.
I originally gave her my first down-payment (of 100 bucks) for a fursuit partial back in Sept. or so of last year. I later decided I wanted a full suit, which she said she could do, but would take some time. She said it required an additional 150 dollar deposit (USD).
So, I went ahead and deposited it all, awaiting and hoping for a gorgeous fursuit of my fursona (Snow).
Needless to say, after that, getting in touch got harder and harder. I would not hear from her for weeks or months on end at times. Her excuses were school and stress, and other commissions. Which I understand things come up, but at least keep in touch with me and let me know, instead of avoiding me altogether. Mind you, she also admitted to purposefully avoiding me one time she did not contact me for a whole month. :/
Anyway, she finally got started on the costume in May of this year, only a month before Anthrocon. I wanted the suit in plenty of time before AC. I commissioned her in August, wanted it by the end of May.
She did not have enough time to make a fullsuit. Not only that, the work was rushed. The first head she made turned out horrible. Multiple times I asked and requested that we just cancel it altogether, that I get refunded my money, etc. However, she ignored me every time I requested to cancel the order (I should have just forced her to cancel it then), but I really wanted my fursona suit badly, and plus I am just too nice of a person, that I put up with her ignorance, and proceeded to let her remake the head, and finish the suit.
The second head she showed me looked nice from the photos. Little did I know how the quality of it really was. I paid my last 300 dollar payment, and received it just yesterday.
I cut open the box, and the head was way too small. The handpaws were way too large, but I could have put up with that. The head was so tight that it crunched around my head when trying to get it on. My parents warranted about me putting it on, but I attempted it anyway. They saw it was too small, but I was desperate for it to fit.
The hood had no zipper, it was just a flap held by little elastic strips which were hot glued to the fabric, not even sewn. It was a resin based head, but it was way too small. My head is a 22" circ., 9" hairline to chin... the head looked to fit a 20" max. head, with 6-7" hairline to chin. :/
Not only that, I requested a movable jaw with teeth. There were no teeth, and the jaw did not even move. Not only that, but the head was lined with silicone, which since she rushed was not cured, and it stunk. I was worried about breathing the stuff in and for my own safety and health. :(
The jaw was set with no hinges. It was not even one of those separate jaws. Instead, it was hot glued with foam... :( It just flopped there, and even when I did, I barely manage to get my head inside (with it being very tight), my chin resting on the foam could NOT push the lower jaw down to talk. It literally just flopped there. :/
The straps on the back I broke off attempting to get it on, which were again just hot glued. :/ It was horribly made, but worst off it did not even fit.
The pics and all looked great, but I never saw the back of the head (to see the straps), and I did not see how small it really was... it was just pics on a small head base. X_X
Now I am reaching out to you guys what to do?
I tried asking her for a refund, given with how diligent and all I have been through this all. She basically told me to try to sell it, or she would try to find someone who would take it, but she could not give me my money back unless we did. I am thinking she spent all the money I sent her already. I sent her the last 300 just this past Sun or so, so it was not that long ago. :(
When I explained to her why I no longer wanted it, she refused and denied the flaws in the suit or its design. She persisted to try to convince me that it was my fault for 'not putting it on right,' when I have fursuits (one other actually) that fits me fine from other fursuit creators. She continues to deny any responsibility for the flaws, and says it is my own doing. She also asked why I could not just let her fix 'the minor things,' when it is the whole head that is flawed... D:
I just want my money back... and I want to get my fursuit commissioned by the same person who made my other one (shown in my avatar icon, which that suit is awesome BTW!).
What do I do?!?!? I tried calling Paypal, and they said they could not dispute personal commissions or orders that were custom. :/
UPDATE (2017-2018): So I know this advice post is years old, but I recently had the suit maker come to an old FurAffinity post I made with a review of the suit (they left the comment about 9 months ago, review was from 2012/2013). I just got my login info back to update this A_B advice post. They lied and accused me of lying about the whole ordeal, and "rushing them" to get the suit done when they had almost an entire year and gave nothing but excuses. I was also informed by an acquanitance of theirs that they have been going around at meets and etc and lying about my commission for the past 5+ years. I linked them this advice post as well as proof countering anything they said, and they were appalled at how they lied just to make me look bad. I am not sure if I should make a beware or not? I only have proof of them coming to my post in an attempt to lie and accuse me of harassing them. Advice?
Also, I got $300 of $350 promised back sometime in 2012 - I paid $550 for the piece but only got $300 back of the $350 they agreed to refund me. The refund was for the "head only" and I was told to keep the remainder.
Proof of them coming to my FA (bleeped out icon and name to maintain privacy): https://i.imgur.com/TqHdkjB.png
Proof of the refund ($300 of $350 promised back - but never got the last $50): https://i.imgur.com/VvnYneY.png