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I do not wish to drop names yet, so I need advice on this.

I started a thread on FA forums looking for people who did icons; this persons posts, we discuss and end up in a deal of $45 for two animated avatars. I asked them to send me an invoice. The invoice had the following message:

"Expected completed time for both is a week depending on how this week progresses. I will keep you updated with progress as its made. If you have any questions please contact me and I will try and respond asap. Thank you."

I paid the invoice on Feb 1st. I did not wish to ask for the avatars after while -I honestly forgot about it hoping the artist had the decency to at least tell me "sorry for the delay, I'm working on your stuffs". Time passes by with no update. I forgot to remind the artist about my commission. On February 20th, with still no update or any sort of word, I leave for a 5 days trip with no internet; I hoped an update for when I came back.
Not a word when I came back.
I sent them a note of FA on Feb 27th which remains unread.
On March 3rd I sent them an email since the note wasn't read and their FA page didn't show any recent activity.
I went then to their FAF profile; it showed they had recent activity a couple hours ago so I decided to send them a message there on the 4th. I checked the option to see of the user read the message, as of today it looks like this;

Sent Date: 03-04-2013 07:42 PM
Read Date: Unread

FAF opens a pop-up message when you get a PM which is hard to ignore; if they have this option disabled I do not know, I assumed they have it enabled since they knew the had a pending commission and since our deal was made through there.
On the 5th, with still no word from them, their FAF profile showed they had activity a couple hours ago before I checked.

That same day I receive the news that my scholarship will be delayed for two months; if I was not going to receive the avatars I wanted the money back because I'll need it, so on March 6th I decide to open a Dispute on Paypal.

The last activity according to their FAF profile was on 03-05-2013 12:22 AM.
The only words I ever got from this artist were our message to decide the price, amount of avatars and content. I never got any kind of update, not in my public email, not a reply on the email I sent her, not a message on the email I sent payment from, not a word on FA or FAF.

The person in question didn't seem suspicious or rude at all, they don't have a post here, I even made a trade with them a long time ago, so I never suspected anything from them.
I'd understand if they were busy or if they just didn't feel like working on the commission and wished to delay it, I'd be ok with that, but I never got a word from them, not even a "working on them", even if they were not it'd be enough for me.

What do I do with this person? Do I post a Beware? I never wanted something like this and expected for the artist to be decent, and I don't wish to screw our communication or get the artist to "hate" me.
Will the dispute seem too rude? I only opened the dispute because I had no word from them for over a month; I admit I have taken a similar time without updating a couple costumers, but once they ask I update them or send them a note with "sorry for the delay, I'm still working on your stuffs."

And, how do Paypal dispute work after escalating? The deadline is on the 26th but I'll need the money before that.

Now I feel terrible for making my costumers wait one week or a few days without giving them any update.

Any advice will be appreciated.
English is not my mother tongue, so excuse any mistake I have made.

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( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 17th, 2013 12:56 am (UTC)
I think you may be jumping the gun here, it's only been a month. I'd give the artist at least another month before I got concerned. That's just my opinion though.
Mar. 17th, 2013 01:32 am (UTC)
I think the issue is that they don't want to allow the Paypal dispute window to pass, which is under two months.

I do agree that they jumped the gun. If the artist is active on FAF they should have sent a note stating they wanted a refund and if there was no communication in X amount of days they would open a dispute.
Mar. 17th, 2013 01:43 am (UTC)
I don't think it's unreasonable to expect a progress report or some type of communication though. Without even an update I would be worried too.
Mar. 17th, 2013 02:00 am (UTC)
I have to agree.

While it's not an unreasonable amount of time to be waiting for the finished product, I do find it very questionable that the artist appears to be ignoring the client.
Mar. 17th, 2013 02:00 am (UTC)
Oh no, that's definitely true. I just feel opening a dispute with zero warning was a little over the top, but I understand that there's only so many days and the finish line for this dispute is fast approaching.
Mar. 17th, 2013 02:56 am (UTC)
I thought they said they contacted them though and no response? At that point I would give a warning and then file the claim if they don't respond within a certain amount of time.
Mar. 17th, 2013 03:19 am (UTC)
Hmm, re-reading the info they filed the dispute after they found out about their scholarship being delayed. One day after sending a message, but not what the message actually said.
Mar. 17th, 2013 03:16 am (UTC)
For Paypal's dispute, you have to escalate it to a claim. Then the seller will have a week to respond to the claim. If there's no response, then Paypal will decide in your favor.
Mar. 17th, 2013 01:30 pm (UTC)
I escalated to a claim already, it'll be resolved on the 22th.
The artists has not had any activity since March 5th, at least on FAF.

I stated my reason for the dispute due to my scholarship being delayed on the first message of the claim.

I also sent them a new email telling them that if the funds get back to me and they did progress on the avatars, I'll be willing to pay what was worked, but that I don't wish they worked more on them.

I do take the blame for not warning them about the dispute before opening it; I will not make excuses about my impatience.
Mar. 17th, 2013 05:59 pm (UTC)
When filing a Paypal dispute for something like this, you need to keep it as relevant as possible. The reason for the dispute is that you have not received what you paid for. If you forget to say that, then they may take it as buyer's remorse and reject your claim.
Mar. 17th, 2013 07:25 pm (UTC)
I supposed so, I selected "Item not received" or something like that for reason of the dispute. I mentioned the lack on progress/update on the first message of the dispute, then I mentioned the lack of activity as well as any sort of message from them on the second message.
Mar. 18th, 2013 05:31 am (UTC)
Okay, that should work.
Mar. 18th, 2013 12:40 am (UTC)
I usually like to give a week between escalating things - a one week warning that I need contact or will file a dispute, 1 week before escalating to a claim (if there's no further contact), etc. Keeping in mind that one does have to stay within the paypal timeframe.

Just be careful; I realize that your scholarship delay (sorry to hear that) is why you want a refund instead of the art now, but the main issue is that the art hasn't been delivered. If they deliver the art before the claim is up / have already worked on it they are entitled to keep at least partial payment as I don't think there was ever a hard deadline stated and it hasn't been quite so long as to say the artist is in violation by default (I realize a week --> over a month is pretty long but I guess my threshold for a "week" commission is about 3 months to where the artist really just needs to give a full refund for excessive wait time... YMMV)

ETA: the most important thing though is once you file a claim or dispute, DO NOT CANCEL UNTIL YOU HAVE THE PRODUCT. Even if the seller promises the product, last I heard once you cancel you cannot reopen a claim or dispute, so will be SOL if the seller falls through a second time.

Edited at 2013-03-18 12:45 am (UTC)
Mar. 18th, 2013 10:25 am (UTC)
I am really waiting for at least a small progress. Even a couple frames. And yeah, I know I don't have to cancel the claim, I did read Paypal's info.

I saw the artist online yesterday on FAF, I don't know if they were online long enough to read my messages. I haven't got any email and the PM on FAF is still marked as unread. I'm not sure what to think now.
Mar. 23rd, 2013 12:55 pm (UTC)
The claim went into my favor; the artist has remained silent, no updates or messages, the funds are back with me. I'm not sure if I should make a beware or what.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )


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