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Hi everyone!

I follow this community and recommend others to do so as well a lot, but never thought Id actually post here myself. Thanks a lot for reading, I hope I do this right.
I need advice on a specific case - however no names are needed, its not a beware.

Back in December I took on a commission from a client (it was a returning one, sometimes a little late with replies, but a good relationship). I processed to the stage of linework. Each stage I show to the client before I move onto a next one, since I want to be sure they are happy with the result. I have not received feedback this time. I tried to send several emails first in a weekly waiting time. I also tried to note them on DA, since they seem to log on and fave some art, but are not much active otherwise. I tried to write to them an email again this month, telling them Id like to finish the commission and even posted a comment on their DA page that an email should be in their inbox.

My main concern is - I really want to finish the commission, it is really taking a long time already and I do change my style/evolve. I do not know what to do at this point - the commission was paid for, so I was not scammed.

What would be a correct course of action? Partial refund, total refund, waiting, trying to reach them again? Also - should I think about implementing some sort of rule into my TOS so I avoid these kind of situations?

Thanks a lot!

EDIT: I have sent the refund to the client (50% covering the work for coloring). Paypal is displaying they need to claim it, since if I remember correctly they use a different currency (the payment they sent to me was made in the same currency, so I used it while refunding as well). I also sent them an email, explained and given permission to them to take it to another artist and attached the picture again for the record (thanks for the advice!). I guess that is it for now, or should I do something else just yet?

EDIT2: I got and email from paypal saying the client accepted the money I sent to him. I have not gotten any message from him, nor email - so at this point I am only left puzzled what happened, but the matter is solved and closed. :) Thanks for your advices again!
Proof here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/f0erbtlpz112hc8/refund%20to%20client.jpg

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( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 23rd, 2014 04:55 pm (UTC)
Hmmm..I have had this problem before. A client commissioned me but didnt respond to the sketches I sent only to discover they disabled their account and vanished. I simply refunded the money and washed my hands of it.

Since you have been waiting so long and have completed the ink stage I think you should be compensated for the work you have already done and send a partial refund with an explanation why.

Also definitely include this in your TOS. Your time is valuable too.
Jun. 23rd, 2014 06:32 pm (UTC)
I am surprised more people had this kind of problem actually. Not sure what I would do if they disappeared totally like in your case other than refunding totally.

Some time ago I followed entries here on a known scammer and the commissioner was sad since the work done was in progress, but not finished, so they ended up with uncomplete product, for which they paid. I was unsure if its right to give partial refund, but at the same time, I am glad you guys here said I deserve payment for the work I did.

Thanks for the advice, Im on it already looking through correspondence and paypal history.
Jun. 23rd, 2014 04:59 pm (UTC)
I have also had this problem.
It got to Line Art stage and I asked about colouration, nothing for months.
As he was a friend, I held onto his commission, and notified him that it would be waiting for him whenever he came back and that I hoped he was well.
Since then he has come back to me thankfully, but I hope that it doesn't happen with a commissioner that I don't know personally!

I would definitely include it in your TOS, I might be as well.
Jun. 23rd, 2014 06:33 pm (UTC)
Thanks a lot! I will definitely do that. And I hope your friend-commission will turn out good and finished in the end too :)
Jun. 23rd, 2014 09:42 pm (UTC)
You are most welcome. :)
And thank you! I hope so too.
Jun. 23rd, 2014 05:54 pm (UTC)
It's not really your fault the commissioner is not responding, you've tried reaching him multiple times afterall. I would go with a partial refund and an explanation. I've had to do this before, but then I also offered a future deal in case they wanted to continue work / let the commissioner take it to someone else to be completed.

In my ToS it says I'll wait a max of 10days for a response to a WiP, and then just continue work if they do not reply. (unless they tell me they'll be gone for longer beforehand ofc). Then again I prefer working rather fast, so 10 days might seem short for others. (I would have it at 1day if I could - but that seemed a bit pushy from my side).

Edited at 2014-06-23 05:54 pm (UTC)
Jun. 23rd, 2014 06:37 pm (UTC)
At first I was worried that it might be the emails are not reaching them, so I tried note system on DA and the comment there too - they are active there on some level, so now I am sure messages arrived, but are not responded.

The idea with the deal offer is really good! I did something similar in past where I did a small sketch and could not work on commissions after, so i just said to the client they can use the pose/setting/scene with someone else (they did not pay for the work yet even).

Oh, wow - interesting - 10 days - actually it seems long to me as well since when I start to work on a commission it takes few days to be finished (depending on the level of complexity). But I get what you meant, Ill work that in my TOS.
Thanks a bunch!
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 23rd, 2014 07:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much, that was a good suggestion since I rather finish work than refund money (not saying I would refuse though!).

Like you have guessed, the picture is quite complicated, so the feedback would be needed. That is why I took the advice in upper comments - by the time I got to your I have refunded and was making an edit to this entry.

(Deleted comment)
Jun. 23rd, 2014 11:40 pm (UTC)
Yeah, a friend of mine told me they will have 30 days to claim the payment and after it will be returned to me. Ill be sure to update here with any new info.
Jun. 23rd, 2014 11:06 pm (UTC)
Apparently this isn't totally uncommon. I've been waiting 4 YEARS on a client myself, to send me the info for his commission. He commissioned me in person at Anthrocon and paid cash, so I have no Paypal with which to refund him and he's ignored all contact attempts across multiple platforms, despite being semi active online.
At this point I've given up and just kept the money, there's not much else I could do. If he ever contacts me, I'll refund him and be done with it. But it's irritating.
Jun. 23rd, 2014 11:43 pm (UTC)
Oh good lord - 4 years. Wow. I just wish I could understand, why they do not want to claim the art or at least say - "ok, ill have the refund" or "nah, just keep it and its ok". I mean its their money/item o_o? Technically speaking its not a problem in itself for me, but it does feel like I "stole" money (ergo, having something what is not mine).
I hope it will be resolved on your end!
Jun. 24th, 2014 12:17 am (UTC)
I can't understand it either, you've paid money for a custom item, why wouldn't you want it? On the other side of the coin, artists are not ATM machines to hold money forever, and I'm not being paid to sleuth him out on the internet and hunt him down. I've contacted him on the 2 venues he gave me multiple times, the ball is in his court if he wants his refund or not. I'm not optimistic of ever hearing from him after this long, though.
Jun. 27th, 2014 01:36 pm (UTC)
After that long, I'd start to wonder if he maybe died :|
Jun. 27th, 2014 01:46 pm (UTC)
He was posting on Twitter multiple times a day, so I'm guessing he's just fine. I'd have been worried if I saw no activity for a long time though.
Jun. 24th, 2014 07:09 pm (UTC)
I had one customer like this, he kept asking me when his commission will be done despite not answering my emails right away without any information of what to draw. It's like forced guilt-trip. The funny part is, he sends me an email about it only like once in 4 months.
I decided to update my TOS about that matter because this is just ridiculous.

Its like:
I want commission -sends money- i want the commission, i waited alot of time, keep the money -annoyed- why you not make my commission

he doesnt even discusses it with me about the picture and didnt give me any info what to draw despite i even offered him a refund and he just denied in frustration.

Edited at 2014-06-24 07:10 pm (UTC)
Jun. 25th, 2014 06:14 pm (UTC)
Wait - you mean the client did not give you any prompt/details about the commission, came up with amount he thinks its worth it and paid you? How are you supposed to draw anything for him?
Jun. 25th, 2014 06:20 pm (UTC)
I gave him an email with my paypal and i asked for information of his character and what i should draw. He paid without giving me any information and then complained that i am not drawing, I offered a refund, and he blatantly refused it.
Jun. 25th, 2014 06:21 pm (UTC)
Not sure what I would do in that situation, I guess I would refund anyway after giving some deadline for giving me details of the commission?
Jun. 25th, 2014 06:25 pm (UTC)
The thing is, i couldnt find the transaction ID to refund nor i couldnt find his paypal email because he didnt mention ( i have endless notifications of paypal comfirmation emails because commissions ) and even after reviewing hundrends of them LITERALY, i couldnt find it, i asked again, no reply.

Edited at 2014-06-25 06:26 pm (UTC)
Jun. 27th, 2014 09:11 am (UTC)
Have you tried looking up the email he's sending you messages from, or the name on said emails?? If you remember/can find when he first sent the money (the month or a rough date), try limiting the PayPal search to only that time period.
Jun. 27th, 2014 09:51 am (UTC)
I did try to use his email on my paypal transaction search. It didn't match. And i wanted to make sure that is his paypal email in case i send the refund into the plain air. This is why i asked for his paypal email or transaction ID. He ignored it or avoided the question in the reply(switched topics) months later.
Jun. 25th, 2014 06:23 pm (UTC)
This honestly sounds like it would make a valid beware, if you would consider writing one up.
Jun. 25th, 2014 06:27 pm (UTC)
I honestly dont know, he commissioned me before and everything was ok, but this last time was very ridiculous.
Jul. 1st, 2014 10:32 am (UTC)
I wanted to say thanks for posting this. It was super helpful!

I've gone through this in the past, I had someone disappear for a year and come back wanting to know where the art was... I'd tried to email and contact them to nothing. In the end it worked out fine but its happened again and I was at such a loss.

I'd emailed asking for clarification on a change we where having trouble communicating, and haven't heard back from them. I think I will just email, note and comment on there profile that I will be refunding them.
Jul. 27th, 2014 11:17 pm (UTC)
Glad it helped you! I just updated this entry and solved the matter. Refunded the client and after some time he accepted it. I hope you solved yours? Best of luck!
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )


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