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Advice: Requesting refund but paid extra

Hi A_B, I wanted to know the opinion of the community regarding a potential issue I may have (nothing happened yet, but I’d like to ask ahead of time in case it does).

When I commission people I tend to pay a little more than what was agreed to (out of kindness to help ease the lose of the fees). However, there are some artists that are now starting to reach a point in which I don't think they will complete the work within 6 months and I feel I may have to cancel and request some refunds.

The problem however is that I paid extra and if I request a refund, would it be acceptable for them to only refund the amount agreed upon (and keep the extra I gave)? Or do you think I should receive the full amount I paid if they didn't do anything at all?

(for example, if the agreed amount between the artist and I for a commission was $40, and I pay them $45. After waiting 6 months with no work done at all, is it acceptable of them to keep the extra $5 even though they didn't do anything at all? Would I be in the right to expect the full amount {including the extra I gave} if no work was done?).

P.S. No T.O.S. of any artist I hired has the exact situation above covered in the part of their T.O.S.'s that mentions refunds, so that's why I'm asking here before the potential situation occurs.

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( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 5th, 2013 05:38 am (UTC)
Honestly? A tip really ought to be given after the fact, as a thank you for a job well done, and I do not really support anyone paying the fees out of "kindness" (or even being told to anyhow). Artists need to be including the fee costs into their prices. If they don't its frankly their own fault for not thinking ahead.

As for your situation, just say "I'd like my money back please, as you've not begun any of the work from what I have seen, and due to the wait, I am uninterested in the art now." You don't need to specify "oh and the tip I gave you too" or anything. Just the money, because they'll see you sent them $45 and if they're honest about it (I hope so), they'll just send you $45 in return.
Apr. 5th, 2013 05:52 am (UTC)
I second every single point of this.
Apr. 5th, 2013 06:10 am (UTC)
This, so much.

Personally it would freak me out a bit if the commissioner tried to give me more than asked, though with invoices I don't have to worry. :3

Edited at 2013-04-05 06:11 am (UTC)
Apr. 6th, 2013 06:20 pm (UTC)
Alright, I see what you're saying. I wasn't sure if not getting the full amount would be flat-out wrong or something that was on me, but tipping at the end is probably best instead. (I was trying to avoid having too many transactions to wade through when checking back on stuff, but tipping at the end can definitely avoid potential issues like this).

Thank you kindly for the feedback. :)
Apr. 5th, 2013 05:53 am (UTC)
I usually send a bit extra as well, especially if I don't think they're charging enough. If I were in your shoes I'd be disappointed if they didn't refund the full amount and kept a tip for a job they never did, but shrug it off. The extra money essentially was a gift and it's kind of tacky to fight over someone not returning a gift, even if they let you down.
Apr. 6th, 2013 06:26 am (UTC)
yeah, I totally agree with this. But I mean, hopefully they wouldn't keep it... but hopefully, they'd actually do the work they agreed to in the first place @_@
Apr. 6th, 2013 06:29 pm (UTC)
Well I knew it would be tacky to request a tip back if the artist did a shitty job but completed the work (As long as I got the completed work I would never ask for a tip back, But I would never go back to that artist ever again) Thankfully most artists do excellent on the work and their service {which is why I started getting in a habit of just paying extra up front since the majority of my situations were very good}).

But this particular situation, where I wait six months and it seems it won't be completed any time soon, was a very grey area to me and I wasn't sure if expecting the tip back when no service was completed at all was on me or something I should expect.

But the majority and yourself here feels that while I should receive the full amount, if I don't, then I'm out the money that I, in a sense, gambled that extra amount when I should just stick to tipping at the end for those who do excellently instead.

In any case, thank you kindly for the feedback, I do appreciate hearing from you guys to help guide me here. :)
Apr. 5th, 2013 07:11 am (UTC)
The tactful thing for the artist to do would be to send you back the entire payment with the tip assuming no work had been done.

However legally speaking, that tip was a gift and is forfeit. Asking for the gift back, even though I believe you should get it, is a bit tacky.

Either way, I would send tips in the future after the fact.
Apr. 6th, 2013 06:39 pm (UTC)
We'll I did see it as a gift under the impression the service would be completed, but as I told Breakspire, this particular situation was a very grey area to me and I wasn't sure if it still counted as a gift or not when no service was completed. But I get what you're saying and the majority of the community and yourself feel that while I should receive the full amount, if I don't, it was on me and I just gambled that away.

Thank you for your contribution and for helping me. I will take the community's advice and just stick to tipping at the end then. Thank you again. :)
Apr. 7th, 2013 04:12 am (UTC)
No worries, I really do hope you get your refunds in the entirety! Best of luck with the situation!
Apr. 5th, 2013 07:34 am (UTC)
I've been tipped a few times up front and I would definitely give it back if I couldn't follow through on a commission, but that's me personally. I can't say what should be done.
Apr. 6th, 2013 06:45 pm (UTC)
The majority of the community feel that it would be wise for me to just stick to tipping at the end for those that have done excellent work, rather than give a tip beforehand under an assumption. The majority of my experiences with artists are very good, so I got in a habit of tipping up front because of it, but I guess I should always be cautious and just reward the good people at the end.

But it's good to know there are people who would pay back the full amount (if no work was done at all). I'm just going to have to contact the artist and see what happens for these particular case and if they don't, then lesson learned. :\
Apr. 6th, 2013 06:48 pm (UTC)
I think it may be confusing to tip at the end, at least for paypal records. Probably want to at least give a note that it's a tip or else they may think that they forgot some sort of commission or overlooked a note o:
Apr. 6th, 2013 06:59 pm (UTC)
I see what you're saying and understand. I will be sure to leave a note/email so they know a tip was sent their way then.

Thank you for the advice. :)
Apr. 5th, 2013 10:02 am (UTC)
My two cents - the extra was given presumably because you thought the work they were doing was worth that extra. However if you've gotten nothing, then they've given you nothing for the "worth" of the extra you gave them, and I'd say you're due a full refund.

Though in the future I second the above about a tip being something to give afterwards, for stellar work, not beforehand. But for now I think you're totally within your rights to ask for the full amount back.
Apr. 6th, 2013 06:52 pm (UTC)
Your first paragraph is exactly how I saw it, but it was still very grey and I wanted to know how the community felt and how I should handle this. However, the majority feel that while I should receive the full amount (everyone seems to agree on this), I technically gambled that extra amount by giving extra up front instead of tipping at the end and I see their point on that.

I'm going to take everyone's advise and just stick to tipping at the end instead, that way I'm not assuming.

Regardless, thank you kindly for your feedback and contribution. I hope the artists pay me back in full if they don't/can't complete the work before the six months is reached, but I'm going to take this as a lessen learned on what I should be doing in the future to avoid these potential situations.
Apr. 6th, 2013 02:30 am (UTC)
You should definitely be given back everything you've paid if no work has been done.
Apr. 6th, 2013 07:03 pm (UTC)
That's how I saw it at first, but the majority of the community feels that, while I should receive the full amount, I technically gambled that extra amount under an assumption and I see what they're getting at with that.

I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and see what happens and if they don't pay the extra amount, I guess I'm out. I will have to make a point to only tip at the end rather than do so up front (I got in that habbit because the majority of the people I've worked with had excellent service, but there are always bad apples, so I have to take that into account now).

Regardless, thank you for your contribution. :)
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )


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