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Needing advice on unresponsive artist

Sorry if I do something wrong but I just need ask couple things before I make a proper post. And so sorry this is bit long but I feel like having to tell details to get help...

I commissioned a fursuit maker for a partial on October 4th 2012 that should be finished by February 15th 2013 for a con, it was all fine and dandy till I had paid half of the total price on October 15th, so they could start working on my suit. They posted commission queue around the same time on their business Facebook and there was two suit commissions before mine and one after mine.

By this time, last email I had received was on October 5th when I had sent the first payment. I was being a little worried because I hadn't heard from them for such long time so I sent them email asking how's it going on November 2nd and got response on 4th telling that they had purchased the materials, but they were working on the first two commissions at the moment. I decided to wait a god while before sending another payment so I sent the next payment on January 2nd but I had asked for possible pictures on Decemeber, but never got any kind of response. I got response on January 2nd about them going to finish all foam bases by the end of the week and that they would send me pictures then because they got a new camera. I was doubtful about the deadline because it was just about a month till the con and I hadn't gotten any kind of progress other than an email saying that they SHOULD finish the foam base in a week. Well never got any pics on that week or the next.

On January 19th I sent email about second last payment being made and asked if the suit would be finished by the deadline. I didn't get any kind of answer to that email. I think I sent one email in late January asking for pics but never got answer for that either. I sent another email on February 4th if the suit was going to be made by the deadline saying and they answered on the same day, telling me probably not and I kind of actually knew it already. In that email they also said that they would be sending pics that week but of course never got any.

Well the con came and went and I didn't get any pictures by the con or after. I sent yet another email about the pictures on February 19th and didn't get answer. And by this time, they had made two premade tails for sale (Dec 18th), a furry themed hat for themselves (Jan 2nd), two fursuit heads (Jan 12th and Feb 7th) and tail for themselves (Feb 12th). That is according to their business Facebook page.

I decided to just wait because I was so frustrated and my girlfriend was telling me to get my money back but the maker's site tells that I cannot get any kind of refund if the work has been started (and I assumed that it has been started and I really wanted this suit). On March 4th I got an email from the maker, telling me that they were on two week long family vacation and weren't able to make suits during that time. Yet again told me that they would work on suits on upcoming weekend but wouldn't be able to send pics (no reason told). Well I haven't had any kind of updates or emails since that and I just sent email on March 21st asking for possible progress and telling that I would sent the very last payment in early April. I haven't gotten any response to that of course.

I'm really frustrated because I know someone who has commissioned suit from this maker last year and that went MUCH smoother that what is has been for me. I've told them that I would appreciate if the suit was done by May because the first deadline was missed and I wouldn't need the suit until June when is the next con I'm attending. I've made the payments via bank transfer because that's easiest method in my country but I cannot of course do chargeback or anything, so I would need to take this case to police if I wanted my money back (I just really want the suit and don't want to do that really).
So far I have paid 220€ out of the total 260€ for this partial, I have the money for the last payment but I don't want to send it before I get some kind evidence of progress.

Should I keep trying to get them respond with sending more emails, like almost daily? I know they are online daily because they are active on their personal Facebook but don't understand why they take at least a week to respond on emails. Am I being too nice about this? This is my first time commissioning something this big and it's pretty bad experience so far. But the last thing I want is that they rush my suit...
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Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
shadowkai89
Mar. 28th, 2013 01:41 am (UTC)
Out of curiosity, who is the maker?
growly
Mar. 28th, 2013 01:52 am (UTC)
Names aren't supposed to be disclosed on advice posts. A post naming someone requires more evidence, any applicable screenshots, etc.
kayla_la
Mar. 28th, 2013 01:55 am (UTC)
Yes, please don't ask questions like these on advice posts. They're advice posts for a reason, not beware posts. If the OP wants to make a proper beware naming the person, they can do that (and they probably should).
noctowl
Mar. 29th, 2013 12:52 pm (UTC)
Well I can tell you that this maker is not known in anywhere else than my country since they don't offer international commission at the time.
growly
Mar. 28th, 2013 01:55 am (UTC)
Unfortunately, there aren't many options for resolution except threatening to post their name here.

I would keep trying to reach them, and make sure they understand the basis for your concerns- how absolutely no visible progress has been made and you aren't even convinced the costume has been started yet. If they still don't respond, try a "final notice" sort of ultimatum with a deadline for progress pictures to be emailed, and if they don't respond or refund your money, I'd go ahead and post them here.
noctowl
Mar. 29th, 2013 12:54 pm (UTC)
I asked in my last email if I could post a review once I get the suit on Fursuitmakerreviews on FA but they said not really because they don't want 'that' kind of attention but they can't stop me making one. Not sure what they meant but it seemed bit fishy.
growly
Mar. 29th, 2013 02:08 pm (UTC)
To be fair, there are a lot of unpleasant comments on there. People love to scrutinize both the suit and the review, even though its about the customer's experiences. The page's owner tries their best to nip things in the bud, but there seem to be annoying comments on every less-than-perfect review.
zaulankris
Mar. 28th, 2013 02:01 am (UTC)
Yeah... that sounds pretty fishy. If work has been done it should not be that hard to snap a cellphone, webcam, whatever picture as proof. If they ignore your email for a week and still don't have a quick-n-dirty image, I think that means they're not working on it at all.

I wouldn't send any more money before significant progress is made. Perhaps politely leaving a public comment on their FB? I had problems with my old employer not sending me my tax papers no matter how many times I asked via email/phone but leaving a comment on the FB page worked very well.

I'd try that before offering any ultimatums, but if that doesn't work perhaps saying you'll review your experience with them will give them a wake-up call. Good luck!
noctowl
Mar. 29th, 2013 12:56 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I understand that they did not have camera before christmas so they couldn't take good photos but now they should be perfectly fine taking photos...

I'll think about leaving a comment on their Facebook.
conigliomannaro
Mar. 28th, 2013 01:30 pm (UTC)
I say don't send any payment and inform them that if you won't get your due you'll warn the community about them. Sometimes that kind of 'threat' works. Anyway, if you want my advice, if they offer you a refund to patch things up I would take it.
thecreativepen
Mar. 28th, 2013 04:18 pm (UTC)
Writing to them everyday may annoy them, and cause them to ignore you further. However, that does not excuse the lack of contact or lack of professionalism that has clearly been seen here. Especially with such a large sum of money, you should be expecting regular contact, and proof that the project has been started within a timely manner.

I would not send further payment, and at this point, I would suggest pursuing a refund and commissioning a different suit maker. They have technically violated their TOS of a "no refund policy" by providing no proof that the work has been started since the original payments had been sent, so you should be entitled to a 100% refund. If they can provide proof that supplies were purchased, ask for a refund, and perhaps the supplies they bought as well. If you ask for the refund, be sure to have emails and proof backing up that as of right now, you have no proof that the project was started, in picture form. Their word does not mean anything without the photographic evidence to back it up.

As much as you would like the suit, pursuing a case with your bank may be the best course of action at this point. While you can't do a chargeback per se like you can on Paypal, it may be possible to work with your bank to get that money back to you. At this point, this suit maker has ran off with your money. If they missed a 4 month deadline, that's an indicator that the June deadline may be missed at well.

Please consider making a beware of this artist; I'm sure there are many people who would appreciate the head's up.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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