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Hello, I've felt conflicted about this situation for months now and really need help.

Around December 2013 I opened up for commissions and my client asked for a fursuit partial done in time for AnthroCon. Although I don't take deadlines, I told him I would still be able to get it done in time for then.
The partial (head, feet, tail and paws) is completed a month before the con, but only because he asked every few days for WIPS and info on the suit. This was his second commission from me and unlike the first, he rushed me along. That did not effect the quality.

My problem is that I told him I would not start until I received most/all payment and he told me he NEEDED the suit done in time for the con. He had a job and then lost it right before the AnthroCon; he still went and took the suit with him.

It's now December 2014 and he's only paid $167, the last payment being in May. He just got a job recently and I asked him in October about payment, when he saw my message and never replied.

What can I do at this point? I feel cheated and incredibly awkward being in this new situation. I don't know how to ask him to finish paying for the suit, or even if I should post about him to here. He's a local and very nice, I'm afraid of being given a bad rep if I mess up with communication.

Thanks.

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Comments

( 50 comments — Leave a comment )
signy
Dec. 10th, 2014 10:59 pm (UTC)
If I'm understanding this correctly, he is currently in possession of the suit? If he took it to Anthrocon, he's had it since July, correct? That's really not ok. It was very nice of you to allow him to wear the suit for the event he wanted it for, but unless he pays for it, he shouldn't get to keep it.

If he's not able to pay for it, or come up with a payment plan that is acceptable to you both, I'd recommend telling him that you're going to need the suit back until he meets the owed balance. You can tell him that you'll hold it for him for a certain amount of time, or that you won't resell it at all. (Given the amount of time that it's been in his possession, allowing for wear/tear/odors ect., it might not be re-sellable anyway.)

It really sucks that you have to worry about taking a reputation hit for his bad behavior. If anything ever does come out that reflect negatively on you, I think a firm, concise and professional response is the best way to go. Don't over-explain, don't bring in personal feelings, and just be calm about the whole thing. "XYZ hadn't paid for the suit I made for him. I let him wear it to the event he wanted it for, but I still need to be paid for it."

Edit: I really feel like he's taken major advantage of you. I don't think you should do a beware just yet, since you are local and want to resolve this as smoothly as possible. However, if he keeps ignoring your notes and dodging payment, you really should consider making one.




Edited at 2014-12-10 11:03 pm (UTC)
laughsatthunder
Dec. 10th, 2014 11:04 pm (UTC)
That's correct, he's currently in possession.

I posted this earlier and have IMed him asking if he's going to pay or not. I feel that, if he says no a third time, I'm going to just write him up on here.

I don't even know why I did it in the first place, it's against my TOS. I think him bossing me about the deadline got to me.
(no subject) - signy - Dec. 10th, 2014 11:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
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frisket17
Dec. 10th, 2014 11:06 pm (UTC)
Who cares if he is nice?
If you're owed payment, you're owed payment. He has the end product and you're lacking compensation for your time, materials, and efforts to comply with his rushed deadlines.

If he has the suit, he needs to pay for it.
If he doesn't want to pay for, he needs to return it.

Don't let yourself be walked over. You are owed for your time and your work. He's not so "nice" if he is not paying you for services and product.

I'd make a beware on him regardless of how this comes out as due to his flaky communication and how he's not forthcoming with payment he obviously owes.

Let him have a final deadline for payment (keep records!). Give him the options, and if he refuses, since he's local, you're open to more options -- including small claims if push comes to shove.

I agree with Signy. I get the feeling he's taking advantage of you. Don't tolerate it.

Edited at 2014-12-10 11:07 pm (UTC)
laughsatthunder
Dec. 10th, 2014 11:26 pm (UTC)
If I put that he was "nice" in there, I take it back. His boyfriend made fun of me infront of him at a con recently while I was having an anxiety attack, was not the best experience.

I'm definitely not letting myself get walked on anymore. 6 months is way too much.

As much as I'd love to write against him, I'm not even sure if I can find the old logs of our conversations from when he first commissioned me and when he gave me payments last. I know it was before AC because he didn't do jack until I asked, and then he would say "Well it's hard right now."
jakejynx
Dec. 10th, 2014 11:35 pm (UTC)
You made a big mistake.

Never ever eververver give someone the final product unless it's been paid for in full. I can't even begin to guess how many times I've seen this exact situation arise.

I'd be willing to bet you will never see the money owed, unless you take some serious action. And even then there's a chance you'll get nothing.

Post about him here. And pretty much everywhere else you can think of. Since he's local, name and shame him to any others in the area. How much money are we talking here? If it's worth the hassle, you may be able to take him to small claims court to force him to pay, as well. Either way, take action.
laughsatthunder
Dec. 11th, 2014 12:15 am (UTC)
It's in my TOS, I still can't get over how I decided it was okay to just give it to him but when you're pressured and anxious, you can't say no. He has a better rep with the locals (from my view) than myself so I risked being put down.

I'd love to put him up on here but again, I'm not sure if I can collect old logs or how far back PayPal can go to find the payments he made.
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nachtmare
Dec. 11th, 2014 12:37 am (UTC)
I definitely understand the anxiety angle and feeling pressured. It's a real shame he managed to do that to you. If he doesn't agree to a payment plan, maybe look into small claims court? It sounds like he's under the impression that he doesn't have to pay up now that the suit is in his possession, and you may have to take it back by force.

Good luck, and I hope something good manages to come out of it all. A crappy situation all around. :c
laughsatthunder
Dec. 11th, 2014 12:44 am (UTC)
Would it be possible to find his e-mail on PayPal (since the first payment) and get an invoice or escalated issue up for him not paying?
bladespark
Dec. 11th, 2014 12:48 am (UTC)
"He's a local and very nice"

No he's not. He's taking advantage of you, that is not nice at all. Nice people pay promptly, or if they can't pay, they don't accept goods they haven't paid for. If he really did lose he job and can't afford it, the right thing to do is to let you find another buyer to recoup your losses, not to con you out of your hard work.

I suggest firmly stating that you're very sorry, but you do need to be paid, and he needs to set up a payment schedule and stick to it with no excuses, or there will be consequences. (I also suggest asking the community mods about posting here even without full logs. So long as you have any evidence of some kind, you shouldn't need complete records of everything.)
laughsatthunder
Dec. 11th, 2014 12:55 am (UTC)
I was rushing and using an iPad, I wonder if I can go back and take it out. Definitely not what I meant to put, especially if you put it together with "he rushed me along".

I sent him a message on Facebook 2 hours ago, still waiting for him to see it.

Is it really possible to post without full logs? I just feel so bad doing it but at the same time, NO ONE needs to go through this. He does commissions in a prompt manner but can't pay for a fursuit... :/
MOD COMMENT - kayla_la - Dec. 11th, 2014 04:59 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: MOD COMMENT - laughsatthunder - Dec. 11th, 2014 03:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: MOD COMMENT - celestinaketzia - Dec. 11th, 2014 07:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
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exo_formicidae
Dec. 11th, 2014 01:09 am (UTC)
If he does not respond on FB, or to an AB and is willing to work with you on making a payment plan and sticking with it - then I really would suggest taking it to small claims. Even the threat of that (and going there if he refuses), is often enough to make people realize how serious what they are doing is. it is theft - he have something in his possession that does not belong to him.

Personally I would have named and shamed them to the heavens - but I know that is not for everyone. You are still owed something though, and if you are professional, calm and firm with your demands then I don't think any logical person will think badly of you for it.
laughsatthunder
Dec. 11th, 2014 01:14 am (UTC)
I posted what he said in a response above, I just don't know how to reply. I want my money, but not in 2 weeks. Right now. He's had several months!

I'd love to name and shame as much as I can, but I'd feel a bit bad. In the end, he's had several months...
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lackoflollies
Dec. 11th, 2014 02:31 pm (UTC)
If he doesn't keep up his end of the bargain, I highly suggest talking to your parents about pressing charges or at least reserving legal council.

He completely and totally took advantage of you, and if my skepticism is correct, he will continue to do so because you're a minor.
laughsatthunder
Dec. 11th, 2014 03:43 pm (UTC)
My parents know for sure, my mother ships all my stuff. She already gave me a nice smack down about this back in July.

I HATE that: "You're a minor so you don't have rights to defend yourself." That's part of the reason why i felt skeptical about even submitting this piece of advice. The same client who commissioned me and gave me a C on my fursuit on Fursuit Critique said the same thing, "You're a little kid so you can't defend yourself." But she commissioned me and chose not to address the issues...

Yes, so judging by the comments, find old logs (if I even can) and screenshot the PayPal logs. Good?
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quaylak
Dec. 11th, 2014 04:17 pm (UTC)
"I just started my job. I'm working on paying the rest off once important outstanding bills are taken care of first. You should have it by the end of the year or the beginning."

Paying YOU is one of his "important outstanding bills." Tell him that. He is now five months overdue and he needs some form of consequence for his delay (posting a beware here is a good start). He received a product without paying (never make this mistake again and mail anything to anyone without having the money in hand). That's not how the business world works, as I can't go get a washer at Sears and expect to be able to take it home and use it without paying for it first. That's theft, which is what you're dealing with here. I think it's really shitty when people try and pressure and guilt trip people into meeting their deadlines, as we have encountered a couple of those situations in the past. I understand the anxiety it can cause, but it should work both ways -- he should feel the same sort of pressure about finishing his payments to you now. Obviously, he doesn't seem to feel you are a priority.

Stick by your TOS in the future, as this was hopefully a learning experience for you that ends well. And keep in mind if you start to feel anxious -- you are completely in the right, here. There's no way for him to flip this on you and make himself the victim, you know? You went above and beyond and he's cheating you out of what he owes you.

Also, we are considering no longer taking commissions from friends because I feel similarly to you about not wanting to hurt my relationships with people if the transaction goes sour. We've gotten close to having issues with friends and their commissions in the past, but we worked it out. So that's another thing to think about if you get more anxious working with friends. It seems like a good idea until you feel taken advantage of or blown off, etc. it's easier for me to be firm and less lenient with strangers. Good luck!
laughsatthunder
Dec. 11th, 2014 05:06 pm (UTC)
Oh man, I read this and got worried before piecing it together properly. I need to wake up.

I haven't replied to his message since he sent the reply. Would telling him that paying me after all these damn months is an actual outstanding bill actually work?

I'm absolutely sticking by my TOS and I've strengthened it since this incident. I still let RELIABLE friends commission me and do A_B checks on everyone I commission/get commissioned by. Because of this I don't consider him much of a friend anymore, I'm just holding on to get the money I'm owed and then jumping off. I think he told 2-3 old friends of mine who ask me about fursuits at meets, so I have to be wary of them as well.

Writing him up is a good idea then?
laughsatthunder
Dec. 12th, 2014 04:19 am (UTC)
As an update to this post, a new one has been made as a warning. Direct your comments there. Thanks.
( 50 comments — Leave a comment )

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