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Looking for advice

I have recently run into a problem with a commission I just did. I know it may be too soon to jump to conclusions but I don't know how to handle this.
I have never had a customer come back to me saying they were unhappy with a purchase. But today I received this email

Okay, I just got them in the mail.  I tried them on and am sad to say
that I am really not happy with the purchase.  The ears are headache
inducing and the tail just will not stay on the belt right.  Is there
anyway I can send these back and get a refund from you?


I really don't know how to go about this, there is nothing wrong with the tail, no holes, it is structurally sound, not damaged. I know alot of husky tails flop over, I really don't know how to remedy this, also I told the customer the ears would be on a headband. I guess what I am asking is the customer right to ask for a refund? This almost sounds like buyers remorse. It states in my TOS
"50% (non refundable) of the total up front for hoodies, bags, or tails so I can purchase supplies." How much water does a TOS hold? Also what is stopping the person from opening a paypal dispute and forcing me to refund the whole purchase price? Am I responsible for shipping back to me?
The set in question-
http://www.furaffinity.net/view/8105621/


EDIT:
I sent them this email yesterday morning ( I did not want to wait to long and have them think I was ignoring them)

Hello,
I am terribly sorry that you are not happy with your items. I will gladly refund you 50% not including shipping to you or back to me, which would be $35.00, which is a little more than 50%.  I will issue the money back to your payal when the tail and ears get back to me in satisfactory condition.  My refund policy is clearly stated in my TOS here http://www.furaffinity.net/journal/2527007/.  My TOS is also very similar to other makers, and quite standard. I also reserve the right to resell the tail and ears at my discretion.
If these terms are not acceptable you are more than welcome to resell it privately or on furbuy.com . I will take your comments into consideration going forward.
Please let me know what you decide,
Thank you and have a good weekend,
(My real name)


I have yet to hear back from them. I will update this post as new info comes available. I thank you all sincerely for the suggestions and after reading though them it looks like I made a good choice with wording this email.

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Comments

( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
kayla_la
Jun. 17th, 2012 12:35 am (UTC)
The red flag for me here is that they didn't even try to work anything out with you. They received the items and then just immediately demanded a refund. That's kind of weird.

That said, I would take the items back, expecting them to pay shipping, and refund minus the deposit (I'm assuming you made sure to show them the TOS, point them to it again if necessary), and then try to sell them elsewhere if I were unable to fix/change them to the customer's liking.

I don't think you're going to get out of this one without making the customer upset unless you surrender all the money to a full refund, though, but I don't think they're entitled to a full refund in this particular case, especially since they made no attempt to compromise first and it doesn't sound like the items were damaged or anything. You're going to have to go into it expecting them to be angry while standing your ground.

Edited at 2012-06-17 12:36 am (UTC)
sophie_manx
Jun. 17th, 2012 10:19 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your input, I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks this is a little odd. And I have a feeling I may not be able to get out of this and keep both parties happy.
kaelstra
Jun. 17th, 2012 01:15 am (UTC)
Strictly speaking, if a customer is unhappy with a purchase for physical goods like this, and they want to return it, I think they're well within their rights to do so. However, in a case like this, where it was custom made just for them, and they don't like it, I don't think a full refund is in order, since you're out the time spent making them, so your labor is gone regardless of whether they like the items or not.

In my opinion, your options here are either attempt to come to a compromise that they are happy with where you fix/change the items to better suit them, or you give them a partial refund for the labor/time loss. Since you put it in your TOS that 50% of the cost is non-refundable, then stick to your guns and give them a 50% refund but not one penny more.
kerstin_orion
Jun. 17th, 2012 01:27 am (UTC)
One possible compromise would be to accept it back, refund their 50%, and try to sell/auction the item to someone else. If the item is purchased for more than 50% of the original price, you could then refund the first customer the overage.

For example:
Original price: $30
Refund: $15
New purchase price: $25
Send first customer back $10
You retained $15 of original payment, plus $15 from new purchase payment, thus making the original $30 you charged.
Original customer gets $25 of their $30 back. (Or more, if new purchase price is higher.)

And if the new purchase is over $30, you could either keep it, or split it with the original customer to cover shipping charges.

-----------------

Of course, this is all just to make the original customer happier. According to the TOS (I assume) they agreed to, you really only owe them the 50% back.
funkicarus
Jun. 17th, 2012 01:38 am (UTC)
i wouldn't refund it. they look really nice, and you advised them of how their construction would be in the first place. they agreed regardless.
teahound
Jun. 17th, 2012 04:33 am (UTC)
Them looking nice doesn't mean they were necessarily what the customer wanted though. Agreed on the construction part, but I think Kerstin's advice re: partially refunding and re-selling is probably best here.
celestinaketzia
Jun. 17th, 2012 01:56 am (UTC)
Some types of headbands can be painful to wear to some people. I used to wear headbands a lot as a kid/ teen, and I can tell you from glancing at the photo that the one you used would be most likely to give me a headache, too.

With that said, however, stick to your guns. Your ToS is your ToS, and if they take it up with Paypal, call Paypal and talk to them. Usually Paypal tends to be a lot more helpful when you're talking to a person. I'm pretty sure Paypal will side with you.
sophie_manx
Jun. 17th, 2012 02:25 am (UTC)
Thanks for your input, I am taking what you said and the customer said to heart and I am looking for a more suitable headband to use for ears.
celestinaketzia
Jun. 17th, 2012 02:44 am (UTC)
What hurts people may be different from person to person, but from personal experience the little plastic ones with teeth always hurt so bad. But! Doing a quick google I found this that may help you keep people from getting uncomfortable regardless of the band type. From the way the ears look, even though the band hurts, it'll probably be far less visible than other types.

http://www.ehow.com/how_5007845_make-headbands-not-hurt.html
kerstin_orion
Jun. 17th, 2012 02:48 am (UTC)
oooh, I like the fleece and pompom ideas! Though depending on the headband, it may be better to tie/sew it on rather than glue it.
sophie_manx
Jun. 17th, 2012 02:53 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for that link! That sounds easy enough to do and I will definitely start doing that from now on
familliaraver
Jun. 17th, 2012 02:10 am (UTC)
It might be a silly question but did you try them on before you sent them? If so did you notice the same problems?
sophie_manx
Jun. 17th, 2012 02:23 am (UTC)
Yes I did, I try out all my products before I send them out for durability and so they are aesthetically pleasing. I did not have a problem with the headband, though I am learning now that the ones I use may be giving people problems I am looking into another brand. The tail did not flop over for me, I was using a standard sized 1-1 1/2 in belt.
familliaraver
Jun. 17th, 2012 02:56 am (UTC)
I think that trying to give a refund really won't do any good considering shipping costs, the customer should either try and sell it themselves or work with you to find a comfortable solution perhaps keeping the tail and trying with a bigger belt and mailing them a new pair of ears, relatively inexpensive, when you come up with a solution for the headband?
sophie_manx
Jun. 17th, 2012 03:27 am (UTC)
Thanks for your input, frankly I was thinking something along those lines too. I will have to wait to see what they say if and when they mail me back.
wolf_goat
Jun. 17th, 2012 08:06 am (UTC)
Honestly, if the tail is flopping over a lot and the headband hurts, I can't blame them for asking for the money back. The items are at that point unwearable and not fit for the purpose.

I would offer them to take the items back and modify them - change the headband for the ears, try to fix the attachment for the tail - if you don't want to give a full refund. Because it does sound like your methods may be at fault here.

I specifically say this because I got a curly tail and it's bloody hopeless and unwearable because of the flopping over issue. I was really unhappy with that myself.
marus_puppy
Jun. 18th, 2012 12:36 am (UTC)
I was going to suggest the same thing, and since the OP has already emailed about a refund, I would still suggest it if the customer refuses the refund, saying something like "if you do not wish for the refund as outlined in my TOS, I can offer to repair the product based on the issues you have with it."
sophie_manx
Jun. 18th, 2012 02:28 am (UTC)
Thanks for your input, I may try to do something like this if they are unhappy with a refund. But as it stands I have not heard back from them.
epiceternity
Jun. 17th, 2012 09:06 am (UTC)
The refund half and then the other half when resold sounds like the best option.

On a side note about the headband, I also found that the weight of the ears (esp larger ones) could cause the headbaand to dig in and be painful. I hot glue a strip of black foam on the inside to give some padding and to cover the ends of the band as that what seems to dig in. It also give a little extra grip too! :)
iinkwell
Jun. 17th, 2012 07:02 pm (UTC)
Did the customer send pictures of the supposed damage/flopping of the tail? If not, it sounds a lot like a case of buyers remorse which is not your fault at all.

The headband I understand. I used to wear them, and some of them really dig in and hit those pressure points on the side of your head just right to give you a migraine.

All in all, I say stick to your ToS. You did nothing wrong, your quailty looks good, and unless they provide PHYSICAL EVIDENCE that the tail's not working faulty, I wouldn't even give them the refund. I'd ask them to send me back the ears and just switch out the headband. If they DO provide pictures, did you warn them that a lot of husky tails flop? If so, too bad so sad. If you didn't, I'd say have them send that back too and try to reshape it (but ONLY if they send pictures of the 'damages' that make it so unwearable).
sophie_manx
Jun. 17th, 2012 10:18 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your input I like the 'ask for pics' idea, I will be sure to ask for pictures if they come back at me with malice. I still have yet to hear from them, it looks like they don't want to bother, I sent them an email 2 days ago, they were pretty quick before with replies.
ingavar
Jun. 18th, 2012 06:31 am (UTC)
first of all, my friend bought a set from you and she loves them ^.^ that being said, not all pants are made the same. when i had my tail commissioned my maker sent me a pic of her wearing it and it was fine, but when i wear it, it flops to the side a little. so, it might not be your work, but the pants they are wearing with the tail. as for the ears, i can say from exp that those types of headband hurt like heck... but for me thats after wearing them all day.
sophie_manx
Jun. 20th, 2012 05:41 am (UTC)
Thanks for your input. I will perhaps tell them about the pants too, that may be the problem.
Also I am very glad to hear your friend is enjoying their set, that makes me very happy :)
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )

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