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Unpaying Client Dragonf94

This complaint follows a client who has not paid for a commission. The pictures below are a few examples of the ongoing attempts at getting at least some of the pay.

What happened: About four months ago I was doing a number of commissions for users online, through Furaffinity, Furry4Life and Deviantart. I was asked to do a commission of a full body fursona for £18.00 which at the time equated to $30.00. I had seen this username Dragonf94, sometimes called Draco, online and they knew others I had already done work for, so I agreed. I work by sending the picture in low res to get approval at various stages of completion and then usually ask for half before finishing the picture. In this case I was a little more foolish and offered to do the whole piece, as the price was quite low for my work.

Early on, Dragonf94 claimed others had refused them work and it had hurt their feelings. I didn't ask and did the picture regardless.

I did a few reiterations and the picture was done after about three weeks due to a waiting list. The client was happy. I sent them a very low res and they still seemed happy. I then awaited payment in order to send the full res.


 photo 1_zps3a1f154d.jpg

I messaged them through the site, through email and skype as requested. No payment came. I consistently asked them if there was a problem, and at first they didn't seem to reply. After a while, I threatened to name and shame them as I noticed them using the incredibly low res picture as their icon. They then began the excuses, ranging from mental illness, to homelessness, to insomnia, to all kinds of problems. Sometimes it was because the paypal information was wrong, so I sent it again to all of his emails, but I know he has received the information as I use paypal very often. Then, his mother was no longer his guardian, he had been adopted, all manner of problems arose. The client was never rude, but the excuses were all I ever heard and they kept getting more severe, so I offered to leave it for a short while so they could sort out what was happening. It began in March and I heard nothing until around April, and then mid-May, each time prompted by myself, not by him.

 photo 2_zps8e05b7b1.jpg

Not sure if these very sudden stories were true, I enquired about them. I kept putting back the time again, asking them for some evidence - by this point the client said he needed paperwork from a therapist and then could get a job because he was homeless. Until then, he could pay me nothing. I was unable to prove that they were lying, though it seemed strange that it all happened only after the picture was finished, and that a homeless man was able to email me at all (let alone had neglected to mention any of it beforehand). I asked if they would prefer paying in five dollar instalments over the course of months to help them. I received no reply to this offer, though I mentioned it several times.

 photo 3_zps7bdb2cd7.jpg

After investigating (and waiting for many, many weeks for updates on the situation) I doubted the excuses and began to realise he had no intention of paying me. Whenever I stopped emailing, it all went very quiet. However I was eventually informed he had gotten a job. I asked again.

 photo 4_zps1194cff6.jpg

 photo 5_zps21c087b9.jpg

Again, I got no reply, despite consistently enquiring about what was happening and if and when he would pay. I asked him if he wanted the picture or not, but his answer was always: I will pay eventually.

Four months or so down the line, now in June, I have given up. I did the work as he was happy and I feel I have been taken as a joke. No contact comes unless I instigate it, no answer to the questions about how I can help him pay, just excuses ignoring my suggestions to sort the problem out. Had I not told him to remove the low res I doubt it ever would have happened and he didn't seem to understand why it bothered me. I am tired of waiting. Now I know why no one does work for this person.

Dragonf94 or Draco, who gets commissions through FA, F4l and Second Life, will never pay you in my experience - so don't waste your time like I did. The picture remains on my hard drive until future notice. I have yet to hear any further from him at all.

Edit: I have also become aware that he operates on Deviantart looking for commissions, but due to the large number of hidden comments, I am inclined to believe he has experienced other problems with either commissions or other artists on there. This is also under the name Dragonf94, but he may have multiple accounts.

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( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 4th, 2014 09:15 pm (UTC)
Going to beat some folks to it, but never do work (especially with new clients with no reputation) unless you've at least half up front :/

Sorry this client has proved problematic.
Did they not have a userpage/account on any art sites you're aware of?

Usernames/aliases can change pretty easily, especially without more information like email address/etc...anything one can use to blacklist someone.

(Typed fast between work down time.. ignore derp and/or typos :D )
Alex Mushman Tomlin
Jun. 5th, 2014 05:34 pm (UTC)
I agree, I was foolish in this case. However I did check them out and they had a few different names so it was hard to really notice any problems at first, they have become very scarce since I attempted contacting them through different sites.
Jun. 4th, 2014 09:28 pm (UTC)
Boy what a run around they're trying to give you. It's a shame they took advantage of your polite offer to work first and be paid afterwards.
Alex Mushman Tomlin
Jun. 5th, 2014 05:35 pm (UTC)
I was naive to offer it, really. I did keep the picture extremely low res so thankfully at least they didn't steal the artwork. Just makes me wonder what they had to gain? It can't have been fun for them either. It was as if he expected me to just forget the whole thing?
Jun. 4th, 2014 10:57 pm (UTC)
Contact Furaffinity admins, they can get any work he has posted (Icons included I think?) pulled if he does not have ownership.

I'm sorry this happened to you, in the future I would recommend payment upfront.

Jun. 4th, 2014 11:04 pm (UTC)
You can actually dcma a site if they won't take artwork down, but before trying that, I'd say contact the sites where the client is using the art as an icon and explain to them it is your work, and you do not want it being used. They should take it down.
Jun. 4th, 2014 11:54 pm (UTC)
What a shame, sorry this happened to you. I can only give you some of my advise, for something that's costs low, I would charge all upfront. And if it's something not paid yet, I'd put a large watermark on the low res as well to lower the chance of someone using it for small images such as icons.
Jun. 5th, 2014 12:32 am (UTC)
Not just a watermark! Stick "UNPAID" all over it too so there's no chance they can get away with it.
Alex Mushman Tomlin
Jun. 5th, 2014 05:36 pm (UTC)
Yes I agree, and I did put a really big watermark on the low res. Imagine my surprise when he used it, watermark and all as his icon! He did take it down however after I warned him I would name and shame.
Jun. 5th, 2014 12:30 am (UTC)
GOD, the way they drag you along like that is just horrible! Good for you for keeping it on a professional level though. I made the same mistake as you a while ago, I decided this time NOT to watermark my art and sent it before payment, well, got what I should have expected, nothing but wasted time.

You cant assume people will be honest and keep to their word these days... Sorry this happened to you.
Alex Mushman Tomlin
Jun. 5th, 2014 05:46 pm (UTC)
I did feel pretty silly and the frustrating thing was that I could not prove it. However I feel I am reasonable to assume the excuses were just that - excuses - and didn't have real grounding.
The work was watermarked thankfully and even when he used it, it had my watermark on it. Seemed strange he bothered to steal it with the watermark on.
Jun. 5th, 2014 03:16 pm (UTC)
I can speak from experience and say that he will wait a year to find out whether or not he is accepted for SSI (and the answer will most likely be "no" if he's only just gotten diagnosed, and he'll have to go to court and appeal the SSI ruling which will take another year or more).

Definitely contact admins and get your art removed from his icon and galleries.
Alex Mushman Tomlin
Jun. 5th, 2014 05:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you for that information. Unfortunately I do not know enough about SSI and cannot assume anything about it. I have made sure the icon isn't used currently and to the best of my ability it isn't being used anywhere else at the moment. It also has my watermark on it, so I was surprised he tried to use it at all.
jos im
Jun. 6th, 2014 01:05 am (UTC)
He also appears to have a deviant art account http://dragonf94.deviantart.com/?offset=40#comments
Where it looks like he might be doing the same thing there due to all the hidden comments, can't be sure but thank you so much for the warning and i'm very sorry this had to happen to you.
Alex Mushman Tomlin
Jun. 8th, 2014 03:14 pm (UTC)
No problem, and it wouldn't surprise me if it was him stringing other people along. I haven't heard anything more from him so shaming him seemed the only course of action. He seemed pretty perplexed that I might do it, but I tried to give him time to resolve it, so now he has gone quiet again I have simply gone ahead and done it. The warning is on Deviantart as well so hopefully others also won't be strung along :)
Jun. 6th, 2014 01:46 am (UTC)
Urgh. I'm so sorry you have to deal with this. As someone mentioned, it can take quite awhile for a decision to be made on an SSI claim. Some states are faster than other, but the national average is 6 - 8 months for the initial decision. A majority of the time, if they're denied and appeal the decision, the claims moves on to the reconsideration process (another 6 - 8 months, if new evidence is submitted). From there, it goes to a hearing which takes 12 - 18 months depending on the ODAR office.

Just to give a little more information on the SSI process. I don't know if they just don't understand how SSI work and they think it's a quick turn around for an approval or if it's just an excuse. In any case, it's definitely strange that this all seemed to happen AFTER you finish the picture. :/ Sorry again to hear he's dragging it on like this.
Alex Mushman Tomlin
Jun. 8th, 2014 03:15 pm (UTC)
He may well require SSI, it isn't for me to comment on. I just find it hard to believe he could't pay 30 dollars, especially since he approached me for a commission!
Thank you for the information :)
Jun. 8th, 2014 06:30 pm (UTC)
I agree; it's not for us to comment whether or not he needs it. It's just that it's a long process and it's definitely not something he should be be trying to completely rely on. xD
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )


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