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I really need advice please

This is my first post here, I comment sometimes, though I usually just lurk. I really just want your opinion/advice here before I decided on anything. It may not even be a valid beware, which is why I'm here asking.

I opened for $5 sketches, this person grabbed a slot, and they sent an echeck as payment.


Now I've /never/ had any problems with echecks clearing so I really didn't think I'd have a problem this time. Well I went ahead and did their sketch and they loved it, even colored it. Now yesterday, the 14th, I got an email saying that the echeck failed. I contacted said person about it and they told me this wasn't the first time this had happened. They also told me they're not sure why it failed because they had enough to send it, but paypal wouldn't let them send it until they added more money. So they asked if there was anything else they could give me in exchange and I said no. I then asked if there was perhaps someone else that could send me the money until they get it worked out and again they said no. With pretty large medical/dental debt over my head I really need every penny.

A little bit later they replied saying that they tried to send it again and they got charged a fee and lost $70 and told me to please let them sort out their "financial bullsh*t". They said that this wasn't their fault because they didn't know this would happen. Which I got kind of confused because they said this wasn't the first time this had happened, but okay, I understand things happen sometimes. So the next reply I get from them is some long story about the last time it happened and their current family/money issues with this bit added to the end "I'm sorry I can't send you 5$ for a picture but my life is falling apart."

I proceeded to reply with how I was sorry their life was falling apart, but it wasn't really fair to me nor did it really concern me because I did the work they paid for, but in the end I don't even get paid. And maybe they shouldn't commission people if their life is falling apart and they don't even have money to spend. At this current point all they keep doing is cursing at me and getting angry. They also mentioned that all of this has happened in two days.


I think it's important to mention that I'm not friends with this person, this was all just a business transaction and nothing more. I've never even spoken with them before this commission took place or after, or at least up until now.

Now what I want to ask about it, is should I just count my losses and move on? I mean it's only $5, but still. Or should I post a beware so other people can just watch out of this person? Either way I'm out $5 so it doesn't matter, but if this isn't the first time it's happened, it could happen again.

This was definitely a lesson learned either way.



Thank you in advance!

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Comments

( 32 comments — Leave a comment )
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neolucky
Nov. 16th, 2012 12:09 am (UTC)
Honestly, if the customer hasn't paid you AND is being belligerent and pitching a fit...then yes, I think that's a valid beware.

If they are so insistent on not giving the small amount they owe you, then certainly I'd make it known they are a dead-beat-buyer and may be inclined to rip off other artists.

E-checks are annoying for me, because they look like payment has been made but in truth it's just holding the funds until they clear. So it forces me to wait to work on the image - I put a No-Echeck clause in my TOS because of this. (I had several customers try and get art before it cleared, very scammy!) So next time if you accept one, definitely wait until payment has cleared!
fuzzwolfie
Nov. 16th, 2012 12:10 am (UTC)
This sounds really bad. I would definitely like a full beware. I'm sorry this happened to you!

Can you open up a paypal dispute still? I would do so immediately. It doesn't matter if you charged $5 or $500...you still didn't get paid for your work.
pouncewhisper
Nov. 16th, 2012 12:12 am (UTC)
Yeah I'm with the other 2...definitely make a beware. There's nothing about this that doesnt send up a red flag to me
celestinaketzia
Nov. 16th, 2012 12:14 am (UTC)
I would beware them. You were out $5, and that's still money that is owed to you. You could also potentially keep someone from being out far more than $5.
oceandezignz
Nov. 16th, 2012 12:23 am (UTC)
If it was a true one-off incident, they'd be trying to get you yoir funds immediately, not shooting off excuses or getting angry at you. Red flags everywhere, so this is beware material.
teacup_werewolf
Nov. 16th, 2012 12:36 am (UTC)
Yeah my instincts tell me that this feels really scammy.
shukivengeance
Nov. 16th, 2012 12:47 am (UTC)
I'd say post a beware and in future, wait for echecks to clear before starting any work.
breakspire
Nov. 16th, 2012 01:12 am (UTC)
this. always wait for them to clear
dinogrrl
Nov. 16th, 2012 12:49 am (UTC)
I agree with the others-dispute this through Paypal if you can, and post a beware. Even if there was an unexpected problem on their end, that doesn't excuse belligerent behavior and that's not someone I'd want to do business with.
duster
Nov. 16th, 2012 01:15 am (UTC)
Yikes, if they're as bad as you say they are a beware is warranted for sure. 5 bucks or 500 bucks, it's still money you're owed for your services!
zaulankris
Nov. 16th, 2012 01:40 am (UTC)
Post a beware! It isn't that the eCheck failed or about the amount, it's that they're being rude and show signs of monkey business.
anjel_kitty
Nov. 16th, 2012 01:52 am (UTC)
I'd say post them as a beware so other artists know them by name and let them get a tag in the community.
kaelstra
Nov. 16th, 2012 03:34 am (UTC)
Sounds like a full beware to me. They not only didn't pay you, but got nasty and are cursing you out because of it? Definitely a bad customer people need to avoid. All over $5, too? Ugh.

I'm sorry you went through that.
epiceternity
Nov. 16th, 2012 09:18 am (UTC)
An Echeque for $5 kind of sounds a bit dodgey from the start. I've had a couple of people pay me with echeques but it's always been for a large amount i.e above £50 so it makes sense they want a little time to move funds about etc. If someone doesn't have $5 available at the start, that's not the best sign.

I think the usual advice for future is the usual "don't work until actually paid" or "watermark work until paid" tips.

As for the situation, they haven't ignored you (yet) which is the usual scam trick. Though taking the stress of their life out on you isn't on and I think from the summery of your responses the points have been fair. It night be worth having a look at the comisher's favs, seeing if they've comished anyone else and contacting the artist to see if they've had a similar problem.

If you're not able to resolve the situation, the person starts ignoring you or continues to be abusive then a beware is warranted, even if it's just a warning not to do work until paid by the person.
gen
Nov. 16th, 2012 09:51 am (UTC)
I'll chime in.

It's simple. You performed a service with the expectation of payment. You were not paid. Thus, you were robbed.

File a claim.
spiffystuff
Nov. 16th, 2012 11:51 am (UTC)
If it's "only $5" all the more reason they should be able to find a way to pay it if they really wanted to :P
Yes I think a full beware is warrented if they don't stop giving you 'tude and start giving you a payment plan
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