I'm posting here to ask for advice, because maybe someone here has had a similar situation and they may have some good advice.
A commissioner purchased a spot for a custom adoptable they and paid promptly, absolutely no trouble there.
When I asked for the details, they told me they would provide me with the references for the character they'd like drawn. When I stated that in fact the slot was for a custom chibi adoptable and not a chibi drawing, they didn't reply back. After a couple of days they told me that they were working on getting a refsheet together for the character they'd want drawn, which makes me think they may have missed the point about what a custom adoptable is? But drawing a chibi isn't a problem for me, so I chalked that up as a "need to clarify things better in the future" and made sure to note it down in my to-do list as a chibi drawing instead of a custom chibi adoptable.
However, that last note was sent about three weeks ago and I still haven't received the information I need to finish the drawing. I did send a note a day ago to ask about the details and that if a lack of a refsheet was the only issue, I'd be more than happy to work with them from a written description, but have not yet received a reply so far.
At this point, I'm kind of worried, because the customer has been holding a spot in my commission-queue for three weeks, and I'm kind of worried it's making it look as if I don't finish commissions promptly? I know that refunding is an option, but I feel like doing so may upset the customer as they told me they were excited about getting the slot.
Maybe I'm just overthinking this, but I'm just unsure of how to proceed.
EDIT: As of today I have refunded them due to lack of response to the previous note, sent out a note explaining the refund and added a clause to my ToS stating that I reserve the right to cancel and refund a commission if I have to put a spot in my queue on hold for more than two weeks due to lack of references/response. Thank you for the input and for helping me with how to proceedon this one!
I really appreciate it.