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Advice needed on odd situation

I'm not looking for this to be a beware, but I do need advice. I apologize if I make mistakes here. First time posting.

In May I sent a friend money of $70 to help them as they were in a financial situation. They asked if I wanted a writing piece (as that is what they offered at the time for commissions) in return and my first prompt was to say no but after consideration, decided to take them up on the offer. We both agreed they would do work for the money and they placed me on an explicitly stated "commissions -- paid" list.

Fast forward a few months later, I inquire about changing the prompt as they had not started yet and they agreed to do so and marked the changes as such on their list. In August I asked about any updates as I had noticed their list had not changed since May and was given a rather (in my opinion) snarky response that commented on my business practices and gave me no answer. This was the beginning of our falling out.

I had not spoken to them for a few days after that and when checking for updates noticed I had been removed from the list (I unfortunately don't have screen of the list with me being on it because I did not think I would need to take one). They ignored the first email I sent to them about completion or a refund and when I send a second email (this month), they told me they would not refund me as I had not followed their ToS by giving them the information first before sending the money, despite them offering to do the commission and making absolutely no mention of the ToS.

I'm in a terrible bind on what I can do legally. The money was, at first a gift, but turned into a commission that was acknowledged by both parties and them not delivering on the agreed upon work is what I am bothered by.

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Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
karthegrax
Oct. 7th, 2013 09:18 am (UTC)
Without proof, there's probably nothing you can do legally.

My advice at this point is, if you want to remain friends with this person: do nothing. Let it slide, learn from it, and move on.

If you no longer are/wish to be friends with this person: Do the same as above, keep nagging them for the work you are owed, or post a proper beware.

I would speculate that originally they were overjoyed with your donation and wanted to do something nice for you, but they probably got distracted with "real" commissions. Because you weren't a "real" commissioner and were just going to give them the money anyway they managed to justify to themself that they didn't need to do your piece.

I understand you're not wanting to make it a beware, but sometimes people just need that tap on the shoulder to realise that they can't just take advantage of people.
di_porcellana
Oct. 7th, 2013 09:26 am (UTC)
The only proof I have is the conversation where they agreed to do work for the money sent, but, sadly, I don't have a screen of me being on the actual paid commission list. :(

My biggest worry is looking like an a*s making an issue out of this but I don't rightly feel it's fair they backed out of agreeing to do work for the money.
onesteptwo
Oct. 7th, 2013 01:39 pm (UTC)
Did you send the money via Paypal? You should still be able to to back in history and find it, if so.
di_porcellana
Oct. 7th, 2013 08:05 pm (UTC)
I do have the paypal receipt but it only gives the general information.
onesteptwo
Oct. 8th, 2013 06:17 am (UTC)
It should still give you a date that you sent it to prove that you did send it in the first place.
di_porcellana
Oct. 8th, 2013 07:55 am (UTC)
Oh! Whether or not the money was sent isn't the issue. We both acknowledge that I sent them a payment of $70 on May 11th. In regards to my comment, the only proof I have of it being turned into a commission payment is the conversation. I don't have a screencap of when I was actually on the list.
xubunturambles
Oct. 15th, 2013 04:08 pm (UTC)
"My advice at this point is, if you want to remain friends with this person: do nothing. Let it slide, learn from it, and move on."

Let it slide?? This person took money and later on agreed to provide a product. That person now refuses to give a product in return, and that is absolutely illegal.
karthegrax
Oct. 17th, 2013 12:19 am (UTC)
I acknowledge that, but their friendship with this person might be worth more than $70, y'know? My roommate does a lot of stupid stuff and I'm sure she's put me out far more than $70 this past year, but it's much better for our friendship if I just roll my eyes and forget about it. Call me crazy, some things are just more important than money \shrug\
vauvakolibri
Oct. 7th, 2013 10:06 am (UTC)
Yeah, this tends to be a common problem when it comes to other kinds of emergency money things. I think there's a fair number of Bewares in here about emergency commissions and I myself never really expect getting anything in those.

Though I don't think it'd be exactly morally right to ask for a refund since it was originally given as a gift, their TOS doesn't trump the law, and in a commission situation they can't keep the money just because their TOS wasn't followed, and if you have proof on that discussion, it'd be something to put on the Beware if you choose to do one.
di_porcellana
Oct. 7th, 2013 10:14 am (UTC)
That's the problem I find myself having. Although it started as a gift it turned into a commission that we both agreed upon and they are not going to do the work.

Certainly learned my lesson in this. :/
syrusb
Oct. 7th, 2013 02:40 pm (UTC)
Giving friends money as a loan-type thing is often rough; you end up in situations like this. It's really a no-win, regardless of what you do at this point there's going to be a rift.

Mentioned above, I agree that your friend was probably so happy with the contribution they wanted to show their gratitude with writing, and probably never thought of your commission as a commission, but more like a thank you gift, even after accepting it as such. Their continued responses are pretty clear to show they knew they should not have taken on your piece as a commission; it should have remained as just a gift. Their responses are immature and terribly rude considering you were there to help them out of a jam.

So you have to decide, what's more important; your continued friendship with this person, or a refund/product. Because chances are you can't have it all. Yes, they took a deal to give you something in return for the gift money, yes they should have held up their end. Yes, their continued hostility toward you is a pretty clear indicator they know they're in the wrong. Yes, you had an agreement, and chances are if you pursue the money you can get it back, eventually.

If you're ever going to give friends money, it's best to not think of it as a loan, or expect compensation in return (if offered, say thanks but no thanks, and tell them to just get themselves back on track). Just give it as a gift that they need, and hopefully someday they can return the favour. I would probably break all ties for now, give them time to get their head straight. Their attitude is a defense mechanism to push guilt off of them, and you don't need to deal with that. I'm not sure I'd write a beware, tho' I can see why the precedent is there.
namelessimp
Oct. 12th, 2013 12:35 am (UTC)
If you didn't put it as a gift, you should be able to dispute it on paypal. I definitely advise doing that if this person is refusing to give you money back and refusing to do your commission.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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