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Hello! Basically, I commissioned someone beginning of March to make an item for me; the total cost of this was $156 (they are US based, whereas I am UK). I paid this in two separate lots via Paypal as I later added on an extra option, and everything was great!

However, my original deadline was for the end of April/beginning of May; this is not going to happen as I'm not aware if the item has been shipped or not. As it was a large sum of money, I'm now starting to get a little worried as the window for opening a dispute is not far off closing.

My issue is this; the person I commissioned was brilliant at the beginning, but for the past few weeks has been 'off' with me; the first was when I asked for pictures of my item, to which the response was that it wasn't complete or been worked on, as they had been ill. Naturally, I gave them the benefit of the doubt. I asked simply for some WIPs, just to see how it was getting along, and she said she'd get some.

Two weeks later, and despite sending messages asking for WIPs to be sent or uploaded for me, she keeps responding 'I'll upload them tomorrow'. Problem is, she never DOES upload them, and it's making me feel nervous as to whether I'll ever actually get this item, or if I've been conned. They promised to send the item last weekend, with 3-4 days shipping; so realistically, it should be here latest the end of next week.

I'm going to try contact her on Facebook, as I found her through a Fursuit Makers group on there, and contacting her on FA doesn't seem to be getting anywhere.

What should I do? Should I open a dispute and refuse to close it until I receive the actual item, or ask for a refund, or do I keep trying to message her despite the fact I'm getting nowhere, and just keep being told 'I'll upload them tomorrow'?

All advice appreciated!

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( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 30th, 2013 10:03 pm (UTC)
How close is the window to close for the dispute? If its a week or so, give them 48 hours for WIPs or a Tracking #/Proof of S&H/Insurance to be presented to you or else you will file a dispute, then raise it to a claim.

From there, one a claim is raised (you have proof the artist was lollygagging on you), they roughly have a week to prove to Paypal that they were not scamming you out of your cash, and by prove, that means proof of S&H, otherwise, you'll get your money back regardless of what funds the artist has/doesn't have in their account.

Stick to your ultimatum, do not let them cry at you to be understanding/they need time/etc.
Apr. 30th, 2013 10:11 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your advice! I've messaged her both again on FA and on Facebook saying I'd like to see the WIPs uploaded within 48 hours like they've promised, and also to ask whether they have in fact shipped the item out as planned, and I'm now waiting for a response to this.

There's 8 days until the window closes; so if they do not respond within 48 hours or give a satisfying response, then I'll file a dispute and if not presented with a satisfactory option, then escalate to a claim.

If it was $20, I wouldn't be as fussed, but $156 is way too much to let go for nothing.


May. 1st, 2013 12:21 am (UTC)
It's best if you let them know that you'll file a dispute* if you don't get the item or some proof of shipping by your date.
I don't know if you'll feel confident letting the dispute window closed if you just get photos or not, but if you do open one, know you will not be able to reopen it if something doesn't work out (Ie "I will send it" *close dispute* *they don't send it*)

*it's a little unclear to me if you actually told them that or just plan to do it

Edited at 2013-05-01 12:22 am (UTC)
May. 1st, 2013 07:10 am (UTC)
Yes, I've sent them a message saying that I need proof of shipping and some WIPs within 48 hours before I'll open a dispute.
Apr. 30th, 2013 11:47 pm (UTC)
Do you have any screen shots with time stamps to back any of this up? Reason why I ask is because sometimes there are misunderstandings from client to artist, and seeing what both parties said rather than only hearing a description, will give us a better understanding of the situation.

But beyond that, based on the information provided, I'd say contact them again with a warning, if they still don't follow through, open a dispute and wait. If they DO follow through, great. Dispute closed; if not then you get your money back.
May. 1st, 2013 12:44 am (UTC)
Seeing as this is an advice thread and not a beware, no screenshots or time stamps are necessary. If they make a full beware, that would be appropriate, but here, not so much.

The parties are not to be labelled in this advice thread, fyi.
May. 1st, 2013 04:29 am (UTC)
Alright, well regardless I gave advice, and I do believe that screen shots or at least copy and pastes would have helped us to understand the situation better and therefore help this person more.

I never asked for the artists name.
May. 1st, 2013 04:57 am (UTC)
Honestly, the Op explained the situation quite clearly without the use of screenshots - I'm not sure what else could have been gained by adding them. They have no reason to "back this up" because the burden of proof is not upon them: they are simply asking for advice. Our bewares contain that sort of evidence, where as our advice posts do not.

I understand your point, however I explained why it's not appropriate to paste or post screenshots here in this specific post. It's not really up for debate.

Edited at 2013-05-01 04:59 am (UTC)
May. 1st, 2013 06:21 am (UTC)
I was merely explaining myself, sorry.
May. 1st, 2013 07:11 am (UTC)
I do have all my messages saved, yes - I always do this to ensure that if something goes wrong, I have proof of what has been agreed.
Apr. 30th, 2013 11:50 pm (UTC)
Going to second that advice above me. If you have a few days to spare on the payment window, I'd alert them to a 48 hour request for photos, or you'll open a dispute with Paypal. Let them know, even if you open that dispute, they can supply images and have it closed.

Sounds a bit like they might be dragging their feet on WIP photos to catch up with work.
May. 1st, 2013 04:31 am (UTC)
Hm. reminds me of someone associated with pirates and nuts. -3-

You should just file a dispute and get you're money back ASAP. Don't wait 'till it's too late.
May. 1st, 2013 06:09 am (UTC)
As someone who ships a fair amount of items out of the US, what gives me pause about what you're saying, OP, is how the item was going to be shipped. Was shipping factored into your price? If so, how much was it? That's a good way to gauge how your item is going to be sent to you.

Express/priority shipping items overseas is not cheap, and a 3-4 day turnaround time (assuming that by "last weekend" you mean the maker sent it on the 27th) will run someone about $60. My normal experience shipping something to the UK is about two-ish weeks when it's sent first class, which will cost probably half that (or less, depending on how much the item weighs).

The very least the seller should be able to provide you with is a US Customs form #. This doesn't provide any real sort of tracking beyond showing that an item has been posted off to a foreign country on X date. It usually gets scanned at multiple locations while inside the US but once it gets shipped overseas, its no longer tracked.

The flipside is, unless you specifically paid for a tracking method, don't assume there's going to be one. Again, these options aren't always cheap when shipping internationally (we're spoiled here in the US, especially when using Paypal shipping, where tracking is only another .20 to another US address) but sometimes the peace of mind registered mail provides cancels out the cost.

Still, it sounds as if you've got about the best advise you're going to get on the situation: Give the seller a window to reply/comply with your requests and if they don't, open a dispute. There's still 20 days after that for you to decide if you want to escalate it from there to a claim or not. I just wouldn't close it without receiving your item. Promises =/= $156.

Edited at 2013-05-01 06:13 am (UTC)
May. 1st, 2013 11:17 am (UTC)
Unless the item has been shipped via a courier such as FedEx, it's going to take around 1-2 weeks, I'm afraid, as it's eligible for an import charge.

Express/Priority (unsure which one it is) is handled by ParcelForce, as far as I know, and last time I had a package with them it took nearly 2 weeks for them to contact me. The good news is that Express/Priority should have a tracking number, at least.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )


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