Our TOS has a policy of a 30% deposit which is nonrefudable. This is to prevent commissioners from paying the deposit and then backing out for whatever reason. However, am I correct in assuming that despite not refunding the deposit, most people will refund the amount over the deposit and then mail any materials that have been purchased using the deposit? So despite not getting the money itself back, would they get the materials that I purcased? Does it make a difference who cancels the project? What about labor that has gone into the commission?
Edit: In this particular instance, I have reason to believe that the financial troubles of this person (which they've informed me of) will cause a significant delay in future payments. They have asked that I complete a significant part of the suit and mail it to them prior to paying off the full remaining balance, and even asked for a small portion of the money they have put towards the suit to be returned, but have NOT asked to cancel the commission. I have been considering cancelling it myself to avoid what I can foresee as being a lot of frustration and delays. As of now, no one has cancelled.
ANOTHER EDIT: For those recommending I send them the materials in the event of a cancellation, how much of the materials should be given? I always have things like foam, and the smaller materials that are required for a suit on hand, despite the deposit being used to cover the cost of these materials. The only thing specifically purchased for individual suits is fur (and other costume-specific items, like hair). Am I correct in assuming I would just send them the fur that was purchased specifically for this project?
Final edit: I have spoken with the commissioner, and the situation has resolved itself very amicably. I thank everyone for their feedback and input, it was very helpful! :)