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Advice: Overpaid?

Hey guys, I've got a question about a situation that happened about 4-5 years ago which I just wanted some advice on.

So back in 2009, I commissioned an artist on DeviantArt. At the time we were young, and dealing in terms of premium memberships. The artist finished my piece, and instead of sending them a one month membership as agreed on ($4.95) I accidentally sent them a one year membership ($29.95). I noted them, telling them of my mistake, and wondering if perhaps I could get another piece at some point. They said yes, but that "I can pay you back, but I can't guarantee it being in the super near future." They stated earlier in the note that "I can pay you back in art," so I wasn't expecting any money or anything of the sort, and I was honestly fine waiting for weeks or even months to receive something else.

Fast forward 10 months, I hear nothing in those months. They post a journal asking for people who had outstanding commissions to message them, so I did. They admitted that they had forgotten about my situation, so I reminded them of when I overpaid. They then said they'd work on it when they could, but that it wasn't their fault and they really didn't have to draw me anything because it was my mistake, not their's. But right after that they said they'd draw me a few things just to be fair, so I really didn't know what to expect.

I've never heard anything back from them, and I've even commissioned them again since that exchange and gotten art just fine. I dropped the subject of when I overpaid completely.

So I suppose my question is, was it correct of me to have simply dropped the situation? I understand that it was my fault in the first place, and of course since then have always been careful when I pay. But I suppose I was just a bit sour at the fact that I was promised something I never got, and that I was down $25. Thoughts?

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Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
adzuki
Dec. 12th, 2014 07:33 pm (UTC)
That is really shoddy of the artist to say something like that. Yes it was not their fault and as far as I know DA doesn't refund for making a mistake like that, but it is in good form to repay someone. They got to enjoy 12 months of a DA sub so I think the least they can do is recomp you.
chronidu
Dec. 12th, 2014 07:50 pm (UTC)
While the artist is correct, it is not the artists fault you overpaid and it would not be their responsibility to pay you back for a mistake that was not theirs, the fault comes with promising you extra work and not delivering.

Had they not offered extra work regardless, and multiple times, then unfortunately this would definitely be one of those cases where you chalk it up to a learning experience.

That said, they should have gone through with what they promised to you even if they did not owe it to you.

Basically they were not obligated to do anything for your mistake, but they should have kept to their word.
kayla_la
Dec. 12th, 2014 08:49 pm (UTC)
This is how I see it too. Since it's non-refundable on DA's part, and the artist had no fault in your mistake, they didn't owe you anything. I would think it to be in bad taste to be expected to do extra work I didn't sign up for if this had happened to me, since now I'm in the uncomfortable situation of either having to do it against my will, or having to tell you no when you clearly expect something for it. I can see why the artist would feel like they were forced to agree, even though I'm sure that's not what you intended, OP.

That said, hm. If someone says they'll do a request and then they never do, people usually say to leave them alone and not chase them up on that. Would this be similar to asking for a request? Something was paid, but not deliberately.

It's always poor form to not do things you say you will, but I wouldn't follow up on this and would take it as a lesson for next time. Leave them be and consider the sub a gift.
celestinaketzia
Dec. 12th, 2014 08:53 pm (UTC)
I'd say since this is in exchange for a service, it's a little bit different than a request. Whether or not the original purchase was a mistake, the artist is still enjoying the benefits. They initially were not required to do anything for the OP's mistake, but they did end up agreeing to do so anyway.

I think it'd be good business to follow through.
kayla_la
Dec. 12th, 2014 08:59 pm (UTC)
From the artist side, it's a good idea to do what you say you will. I just mean more if I were the OP, I wouldn't keep asking about it. They're enjoying benefits, but they couldn't have refunded that, so I'm not sure it's fair to hold that against them, you know? It'd be different if they had overpaid via paypal or the like, which could have been easily returned.

I feel for the artist, I guess. They should have, but they likely felt like they couldn't say no, especially if they were worried about losing a regular customer. I'm sure the OP is perfectly nice, but I think most people would have felt pressured in that situation.

Basically.. I agree with keeping your word, and if I were the artist, I'd just do it. But if I were the OP, I would let it go.

Edited at 2014-12-12 09:01 pm (UTC)
durskle
Dec. 12th, 2014 11:26 pm (UTC)
I suppose I probably should have added that I have no intention to follow up on this particular issue, that's why I was wondering if I was in the right when I didn't follow up. The vibe I'm getting is that that was the correct course of action.

Also, at the time I wasn't actually a regular customer, this was the first commission I'd ever gotten from them. I became a regular some years later, sorry for the confusion!

I suppose I just would have liked it if the OP said no straight up. Then it would have been easy to say okay and have the whole thing closed up right there and then. When I sent them that message ten months later they were a bit rude in their reply, so I honestly left it because a couple times I'd seen them sic their large fanbase on people they didn't like and I was a young, slightly scared, teenager.

All things said and done though, I truly believe the underlying fault in this all is mine, no doubt.

Thank you for your opinion on this matter!
kayla_la
Dec. 12th, 2014 11:32 pm (UTC)
No problem. Saying no definitely would have made things simpler, but ... a lot of people have anxiety about that kind of thing. That they were rude when you asked about it confirms that they didn't want to do it to begin with.
houndofloki
Dec. 15th, 2014 03:14 am (UTC)
If they wanted out of it with no obligation or guilt, they could've just sent the value of the overpayment to the OP via Paypal? But I suppose a lot of the DA users accepting commissions for subscriptions or points are minors, so that may not've been feasible.

Edited at 2014-12-15 03:15 am (UTC)
kayla_la
Dec. 15th, 2014 03:25 am (UTC)
Yes, and it's also possible they simply may not have had funds on hand for that kind of thing. 20 dollars is a lot for me on any given day, especially unexpected. I would have been pretty put out were I expected to do that.

I think the -ideal- way this could have been handled was either the OP treating it as a gift from the getgo, or the artist offering to make up the difference from the getgo, even if they weren't obligated (it's probably what I would have done, though I would make it clear it were on my terms).

Of course, the OP has decided to just leave it alone so this is just discussion, really.
houndofloki
Dec. 15th, 2014 09:41 pm (UTC)
That's true. TBH, I hadn't really considered that $20 might be a lot of money to someone.
growly
Dec. 12th, 2014 08:52 pm (UTC)
I agree with this viewpoint. And since this happened years ago, I really think you should just move on and forget about it. The deal set up with the artist was one month subscription for one art piece, and that's all the artist was obligated to do.
(Deleted comment)
jos_if
Dec. 13th, 2014 05:06 am (UTC)
Though it was a mistake and many are saying the artist should not compensate, I do not believe that is the case.
Op still paid money for something the artist will be happily "spending". This is the equivalent of paying in actual cash and o\giving too much and the artist just saying oh well you accidentally gave me all that money so it's mine. I feel that you should get compensated however it has been a few years so i'm not sure if you will be able to.

If you do follow up on the artists offer however and they refuse i would think that submitting a beware for the artist would be well warranted, Well if this matter artist beware would except, if not then submit it to the tumblr one.
I find the artist's reply's very rude and someone I would never want to commission.
kayla_la
Dec. 13th, 2014 05:12 am (UTC)
This is the equivalent of paying in actual cash and o\giving too much and the artist just saying oh well you accidentally gave me all that money so it's mine

I disagree. The problem with your example is that it would be easy for the artist to send back the excess money. But with a DA subscription, the artist can't do that, and that's what makes this situation more tricky in the first place.

I would absolutely agree with you if the artist could easily refund. But your example isn't a good parallel because of that.
vauvakolibri
Dec. 13th, 2014 06:38 am (UTC)
Yeah, to me this is more closer to like... paying with food. Like "I'll pay you back by ordering you a pizza, oops I actually ordered you 15 of them and you can't return them" and the receiver is, well, technically forced to keep and eat them whether they wanted or needed and paying them back will force the receiver to stretch into funds/time that they necessarily do not have.
jos_if
Dec. 15th, 2014 04:44 am (UTC)
Actually i will agree with you, it is much harder to pay them back on deviantart for non refundable things, I think i may have been letting my feelings towards the artist cloud my judgement and i apologise. I don't like deviants set up for buying premium memberships as it seems this mix up happens on a regular basis and people seem to end up speanding more.

I can understand why the artist is not at fault here for the mix up and shouldn't have to pay them back for a mix up however i just don't find there approach to the situation was very good at all. Yes op mixed up but instead of saying "they'd work on it when they could, but that it wasn't their fault and they really didn't have to draw me anything because it was my mistake, not theirs" they should have just been straight with op and said I'm sorry but i don't feel i should have to compensate you as it was not my fault, rather then stringing op along and hopeing they'll forget. It just appears the artist is being passive aggressive.

I understand that they do not have to pay them back but i feel that a little compensation even though it was a mistake and no fault of the artist's it would have been a nice gesture if they just added an extra sketch for the commissioner, yes i know this could be time consuming and the artist doesn't need to but i think even just a gesture like that probably would resolve the issue.
staple_gunner
Dec. 13th, 2014 10:38 pm (UTC)
if i was the other person, not op, i too would probs feel forced to say i'd do something just to be nice but not really be up to it because it wasn't really my fault, you know? especially with something nonrefundable like that

as long as you got what you originally were promised for the amount (the $5, not the $20) then yeah, best to leave it be. maybe things changed and they just no longer felt up to it or whatever the reason, they're not entirely obligated imo.
werewolfofwater
Dec. 16th, 2014 02:03 am (UTC)
This is how I view it. In a situation such as this, where there's no way to refund what was spent, someone has to eat the cost. Either you have to deal with the loss of your money, or the artist has to either do extra work or pay you with cash. (which they may or may not have, since they weren't originally paid with cash) So who should be eating the cost? Well, if you ask me, the answer to this is quite simple. The one who should be eating the cost is the person who made the mistake. That would be you.
The artist really has no obligation to do extra work or pay you for your mistake of accidentally sending the wrong non-refundable subscription. It would be nice if they did, but given that this was years ago, I'd let it go. I'd view the 25 dollar loss as the consequence of a mistake and learn from it.

Edited at 2014-12-16 02:06 am (UTC)
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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