drakonicknight (drakonicknight) wrote in artists_beware,

Customer Beware - Reddythefox

Michael and Laura / Reddythefox

http://www.furaffinity.net/ and Midwest FurFest.

Reddythefox ordered a fox partial for himself and a lioness partial for his fiance Laura. He paid for heads, hands, tails, feet, and arm sleeves. He wanted it originally for IFC 2013 but he was unable to attend IFC for health reasons (I planned to go only because he was and still went) and I had home problems (mainly flooding) so we moved it to MFF.
Lioness 1 2 3 4
Fox 1 2
I don't have partial pictures of the fox before he altered the head but this is after.

They were completely happy with their product once received in full until Jan 5th, or at least that's what they led me to believe.

He originally talked to me on Dec. 11 2012 Paid off around or right before IFC 2013 if I remember right. There are no PayPal logs as he paid through checks/money orders.

The partials were wearable at MFF before the parade on Saturday, they picked them up Saturday Nov, 23 11:46AM. I later discovered the time he told me they were due and the time he picked up didn't match up. the only things not finished on Saturday morning were the arm sleeves, attaching feet bottoms (they had shoe bottoms however so they were wearable), and whiskers. At some point one of the lioness's eyes crazed mildly and needed to be replaced after the con.

Acrylic crazing is not something anyone can control completely and it was very minor, no one I showed the head to noticed it until I pointed it out. I made a journal about types of eyes and I do go over acrylic crazing there if anyone wants to read. I ordered glass eyes to try out so that this will never be a problem again but I'm still waiting for them to ship to me as they're coming from China.

I have all of the caps and pictures here if you want to go to specific pictures.

First note they sent me.

In this I was given 1 2 pictures and told "Normal fox markings, slit pupil natural fox colored eyes." They aren't very good for color visuals but he had this picture a few months later which is a better reference (and also his icon).

Note about Lioness suit.

I was told make a realistic lioness.

Note after that one.

One Laura sent confirming some suit aspects after going back and forth with Reddy and was given this picture around this time.

Me telling him what fur I was using on the head. He then later claimed that I used all long MM Rust for the face. I have the fur types laid out in this WIP shot. You can see in the WIP shot that there is a subtle area right where the different furs were laid out in the tape pattern showing that I used the shorter and longer fur on the head, not just the long pile.

I have a gap of caps after this because from there on out we mostly communicated via text. I broke my phone's screen on April 27th, 2013 10:35 PM and cannot retrieve those old texts. He ended up having a health issue of his own and was told by the doctor he could not attend IFC and we mutually agreed on having them for MFF.

This is a huge read but please take the time to as this is where most of the information is.

This is the same thing but with some things pointed out.

He told me in these texts that their engagement was planned on Saturday around 4pm three days before the convention. This is the date and time I thought was when it was all due for pickup. However, in this note (2 weeks before the con) he said his event was Friday evening, which had I noticed I would have said that I wouldn't even be there until Friday evening. I was more concerned with the rest of the note, which sounded like he was very stressed. I wanted to assure him everything was going as-planned so he wouldn't be stressed as much.

Thursday I spent packing like a mad lady and we drove to the con and got settled into the room. I worked on the suit until Friday morning (7AM) and slept until 4:55PM. I woke up to see their texts asking where I was and why I didn't have the suit to them already and Then that I missed their event. I knew this was a big thing for them and I had no idea it was on Friday instead of Saturday and I felt completely and utterly horrible for it. Once informed it was on Friday(This was THAT DAY) I felt horrible, and didn't know how I had missed it. I didn't realize that he wanted it on Friday as I was told Saturday a few days prior as opposed to the note sent weeks ago. Sadly I didn't realize exactly why I kept having this feeling of Saturday being the true date I was told until I put together all of the information about this. I told them what happened (that I was sleeping and could had sworn it was on Saturday) and apologized. I offered to help Reddy plan another event for Laura during the con to try to make up for it but he wasn't interested.

When they picked up the suits:
I let them into the room and immediately apologized for missing their re-engagement the previous day. They told me it was alright and that they were just dissapointed and felt bad that their family came out for nothing. I showed them the suits and they hugged me and thanked me twice for the hard work I put into them. They picked up the hands, heads, and tails in the room. The lioness's tail had corkscrewed slightly because the fur was stretchy and my machine doesn't have a walking foot. I told them about this and told them to keep it for free and that right after the con they would get a completely new tail for free. I had also forgotten the bottoms at home as I said so I could not add them at the convention and informed them they could wear them as is and just give them back to me after the con to add and it would not hurt the feet at all. Instead of taking the feet (which were otherwise finished and had shoe bottoms on them) they said just keep them to finish them and took their other parts.They put on the heads and hands in my room and loved them. They both played with each other in the mirror and were excited to go to the parade with them. They hugged me again and thanked me and left for the con. All my roommates witnessed this.

Right before the parade Laura told me there was an air bubble in the green lioness eye and and later found out that she would not be wearing it in the parade. I asked about it and said I could fix it after the con. A few hours later I get some texts again, "hey sorry to bother you again. Laura is really unhappy with the lioness. She wants to discuss it with you when she can. I'm sorry. I'm going to try and take care of it all." after this she apparently ran off and he couldn't find her. a while after "Shes upset about the tail, the arms, feet, wanted 5 fingered hands, and the "bubble" in the eye. She wrote it all down". He ordered the fursuit for her, so what she wanted was never inquired because he was the one that paid and other than a few things I never made direct contact with her.

Right after the texts saying which headless lounge I was in and him saying he would come down I talked to him again in person and saw the eye in person with the "bubble" or "crack" it had and it was a small craze in the acrylic that was very small. I explained that it just happens sometimes and it's not something I caused directly or noticed and that I could fix it right after the con. Midori was there and also explained the properties of acrylic to them. We agreed there that I would take the head back to replace the eye and add whiskers and make the removable hairpiece. I told them that I would ship it out within 2 weeks after the con as I would need at least a few days to recoup from the con. They seemed fine with this and left for bed.

About 40 minutes after they went upstairs I got a mass of texts from them again right after I thought we had everything settled again about the suits.This time it was no longer how they were upset about the quality but saying how they were embarrassed in front of their folks and their engagement was ruined. That they were keeping the head in their possession and I was to send the parts for them to complete. I could not make removable hair without the head in my possession because I would have no idea what size to make it or where the ears are etc. He said that he would make the hairpiece and do the whiskers and install the new eye. Only after realizing if we did do that I would no longer be responsible for repairs as he would be altering the suit himself. He changed his tone and said he would only let me take the head to finish myself if I signed a contract.

Signing the contract:
After I took care of some things I headed to their room on Sunday with an armature to get pictures of the fox head and sign the contract to get the lion head. I brought some people with me (Poshipocket, Mysticsabreonic, Khameleon_Sabreonic, and Izzyhusky) as I was very uneasy about where this whole situation had progressed to. I entered the room and read the contract and they were being abnormally nice to my friends and didn't really say anything to me. I signed the contract and I got pictures in their dark hotel room of the fox head with my camera then I got my stuff and got out of there. I knew this wasn't a legally binding contract, but I just wanted to fix this and make them happy so everyone could feel they came out ahead.

After the con I took a few days to catch up on sleep as I was emotionally and physically drained from the convention and trying to please my customers.
I put the feet bottoms on, made an entirely new lioness tail and spent extra time to make sure it wasn't askew, made the removable hair for her suit, completely new hands, added whiskers to the head, and fixed the eye the best I could. My whole batch of acrylic was crazing badly and I put the best one in that I had and showed him the worst angle I could of it to see if it was ok. He approved of it and said "Im sure itll be ok. Thanks for working so hard on it. Laura is hard to please." (this can be seen in the texts linked above).

Leaving comments on my page:
I took the Lioness head home to make the removable hairpiece and add whiskers.During the time I was finishing them they posted some things on my FA. They took this time to leave some stuff on my submissions;

Laura posted this on my WIP of her suit. The only thing I added since she saw it were the whiskers and made the removable hair for it.I did not add any extra airbrushing or anything else at that point on the lioness head.
Reddy posted this on another submission of an older fox suit.

Reddy texted me and said "I saw the messenges on fa ill take them down. I left my acct up when i was visiting for the holidays. This whole thing has been way too much stress. Dont say anything to laura ill deal with it" "ill take them down as soon as im home. ill deal with her. Shes had a hard time lately her mom is insane. I took the comments down sorry for the extra stress. Should I take down a shipping number? I hope we are all ok after this. Too much stress and drama." I was very skeptical at this point that it was his fiance and not him but I was hoping that it was and that things would go back to being calm after that.

Sent the remaining parts:
I overnighted the suit to them out of my pocket to try to make them happier. He also asked for extra whiskers for the lioness suit and what it was exactly. I told him and he thanked me and said it was better than filament line and I sent extra for the lioness suit should they ever need it. They got the box and said this (also in the texts linked above) "Just got the box and everything looks great! Thank you! Im so sorry about all the stress. I know shell love it heck id wear it its awesome" Later he also asked how to attach whiskers as he was using the extra whiskers sent for the lion on the fox head instead of letting me install them. After they received everything completed as per the contract and they said that everything was great I didn't hear anything back other than wondering where to get some fur types.

Posting on FA about the suit:
This happened January 5th of 2014. I woke up to people linking me these and I only got to post one thing on the refur page before I was blocked.
Submission about the suits.
His refur post. also the one on fa. Edit: Additional comments. Edit: even more posts 1 2 3
He also changed the contrast of the picture to post next to my head.
Journal cap 1 2 3 4

His large post titled "Failed commission delivery at MFF 2013" is long winded and hard for me to read and stay in the same line but I will try to explain my side here excluding things that I already covered IE: delays, contract, missed deadline, and so on.

"I was out two thousand dollars in unfinished costumes"
-I offered twice to give him a 100% refund on both costumes if he was unhappy. He turned this down a few times. Once here and once here. I also said it once in person but I don't have a log for that.

"Laura's handpaws were only four fingers and not the right size"
He said they looked great here and I made a new pair that were 5 fingered for no added cost.

"The wrong fur colors were used on my fox"
There are only two fox furs readily available anywhere.
I used both of these on his and also on these other foxes; 1 2 3
WIP 1 2

"One of the resin eyes had a crack in it"
It was acrylic not resin, and it was not a crack or bubble it was a craze. We resolved this before the suit was sent back out.

"Did a poor job with the tail which would up like a corkscrew due to poor sewing"
I told them at the con that it happened because the fur had a stretch to it and my machine does not have a walking foot. I told them to keep the messed up tail for free and I made them a brand new tail which was fixed.

"Finishing touches like the edges of the fur around the eyes, lips, and seams were left raw and frayed"
I genuinely don't know what he means here, and the only pictures I really got of it were taken in his room in haste. I know for a fact however, that I made it to my standards and was made the same way as the lioness in that aspect.

"The airbrushing on the fox was so heavily it matted the fur down and felt like plastic"
The airbrushing on the fox and lion was done the same way in technique with the same paints, no matter what airbrushed fur doesn't feel as nice as where it isn't. If it was this thick he could have pointed this out to me at MFF.

"The tongue was a taxidermy wolf tongue and had been cut with scissors and a razor to fit"
He wanted a realistic suit and I thought that tongue looked more realistic than my silicone ones. Anyone that uses the taxidermy ones has to usually cut it to fit.

"The tongue fell out shortly after she took pictures for her gallery"
This may had happened while he refurred the whole face as well, I'm not sure here. If it did happen so soon he could had easily texted me after I left and I would had been able to come up with a glue gun within minutes to fix this. He did not bring this matter to my attention at all.

"There was a chip in the lower canines that I had to fix"
Again this was never brought to my attention.

"The eye was the most upsetting, which would had been obviously noticed when being put into the head"
The eye was not crazed when I put it in the head. Crazing can happen before you paint or adhere the eye to them, it can happen after you do that, it can happen in storage, and it can happen years after the suit has been made. Regardless we resolved this issue after the con. I had a whole batch of faulty acrylic blanks (the two on the top are a larger size and I still have them here if I need more picture to prove their size but the two green on the bottom are the size used in her head. Every one I made of that size with the batch of eyes I had crazed and since it was only the small ones from the same order and the larger ones were fine so it was not anything I was doing. This was the best run of the bunch and he approved it. This was the worst angle of it I would get to ensure that they were ok with it.

"Our suits were rushed and incompletely finished in a hotel room during MFF"
The suits were not rushed in any way. I spent a lot of time working on their suits to my standards. I refuse to rush things and that is why things weren't completely finished by them picking up Saturday at Noon. I should have had it finished sooner but was unable to. They made a contract that I signed and I fulfilled their contract after the con as was agreed on.

"She had time to travel to Blizzcon in California after posting she had anemia problems and she worked on her own costume for the con"
Blizzcon is very hard to get tickets for and I managed to get one months and months prior to knowing I had any health issue or knowing where I would be in my commissions at that time. I already had paid a few hundred for my con ticket and then booked my room+flight. If I would had backed out I wouldn't have had any money back from the ticket as you have to pick them up in person with your ID and I couldn't sell it. Not to mention my roommates wouldn't have had a room and I would had been out a deposit fee, and I'm pretty sure airports don't do refunds on flights if it's your fault. Yes I did work on one thing for myself and I only made a head and some hastily made other parts so I had something that fit in there. I got business contacts there and got in some videos with it. It was still business orientated I did not just decide to make something randomly for no reason.

"She complained about how badly she was anemic and bleeding. Seems like me she was healthy enough to work on her own things and fly out to a convention in California. If she was indeed so sick that she couldn't finish out commissions then why was it ok for her to do all these things for herself and put her paying commissioners on the side? Was she that ill, or just picked and choosed what she wanted to focus on poorly?"
See the above as well but I am very anemic and when I went to the doctor finally he immediately sent me to the hospital to have bloodwork done to prove it and I was on prescription iron pills. I have a doctors appointment on the 8th of January to try and diagnose the cause behind it and end my bleeding hopefully. Anemia does not cause you to be sick or ill. It causes fatigue, dizziness/light headedness, weakness, and in my case it has been making me sleep for over 10 hours sometimes and my gums/lips/skin is abnormally pale. I can work on suits but I sleep a lot and I can't do much more than just sit and work on suits.

I met the contract he wrote up by sending everything finished out of my own pocket.

I made a new pair of hands for them with 5 fingers and lighter fingertips and kept the pair they didn't like. This is also in the texts. Also note that he said the hands looked great but then later Laura said the lions needed to be 5 fingered with white tips.

I let them keep the tail I made first that was crooked for free and make a second tail after the con sent in time for the contract that was fixed.

I offered a few times to give him a 100% refund on both costumes in return for the suits if he was unhappy. He turned this down a few times. Once here and once here. I also said it once in person but I don't have a log for that.

After initially missing their engagement I offered to help put together another event or something for his fiance. He denied this offer.

I gave up my entire convention to try to make them happy and deal with this during the convention. The only things I got out of the room for were the parade and a photo shoot.

I fixed the eye to the best of my ability within his time limit and he approved the changes.

All the pictures are here.
Just click on one that you want to see, right click and click view original.

This is a note I received when this post was approved.
"I admin a group on Facebook called fursuiters and fursuit makers and Michael had posted about you in there.
All we could do is advise him on making an ab but then I read yours and thought you should know

Cap I was linked.

This was said about you by him.

We do not approve of this behavior and are discussing a ban for him from our group."

Edit again:
Threatened to take me to court if I didn't take down AB post, and told me to take down my FA posts of his suits.

More texting:
Kind of an apology?
Part of me wants to respond and try to work things out, however I don't think that would actually be the outcome since I already tried to resolve things initially. Also after threatening me I don't feel comfortable responding to them at all for anything at this point.

Got a message:
I was nicely requested by an admin to take Laura out of the title but that I can keep their business name in because he is a part of that.

Another edit:
Reddy removed from their business, or "team".
Tags: beware, comm-reddythefox

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    That's all folks! The community is officially closed for business on LiveJournal. We are not going to answer any posts in the queue as of…

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