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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.

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( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 2nd, 2015 05:02 pm (UTC)
When it comes to situations like this I notate next to their comm that I'm waiting on them in my public queue. Something like "waiting for information - on hold". Personally I'd refund them at the one month mark. They're holding up a queue spot that you could otherwise fill and complete. Or if you take more comms it may not be fun to have this weeks old commission come back into rotation.
Feb. 2nd, 2015 09:44 pm (UTC)
Ah, that's what I already did, I added "Paid - Awaiting information" next to the info.

And yep, at this point I'd just really like to get it done, or refund as I've been having more commission-offers, only to have to turn them down due to a full queue. Which is no ideal if one spot is being held up for three weeks.
Feb. 2nd, 2015 05:37 pm (UTC)
I'd give them a week to respond to your last note, and if they don't, just refund. It was their fault for not being ready when they bought the slot. If they really want something from you that badly, they can try again in the future.

And if you don't have one already, you might want to put a note in your ToS about timelines for receiving payment and character information, so people know what to expect if they start thinking about dragging their heels like this. You can't put your business on hold for their sake.
Feb. 2nd, 2015 09:46 pm (UTC)
I like the idea of giving them the week to respond and refund otherwise, I think I'll do that.

And I don't have that in my ToS yet (never though it'd be needed) but I'll definitely be updating that, thanks for the tip!
Feb. 2nd, 2015 06:49 pm (UTC)
Agreeing with everyone else. Find a time limit that works best for you, give them a warning that in "x amount of time I'll be cancelling and refunding", then do so if there's no response.
Feb. 2nd, 2015 09:48 pm (UTC)
As recommended above, I'll give them a week to respond t the note and then send the final note to state that I expect a response within x days before I refund.

I work through my queue fairly quickly and the fact that one spot has been there since three weeks ago is kind of bugging me, especially because it's a type of commission that I can absolutely get done in under a week, even with waiting on info. @_@
Feb. 2nd, 2015 07:18 pm (UTC)
Yeah I agree with the above, just put something next to there name in your queue that you are waiting for there information and message them saying they have so and so amount of time to get back to you with the information or you will be refunding them.
Feb. 2nd, 2015 09:50 pm (UTC)
I added that info in since the beginning, so I'm kind of relieved to hear that that's the common practice. I was just kind of worried because it might give the impression of an out-of-date queue if it's been in there for three weeks, even though I update it daily.

And yep! I'll give them a week to respond to the previous note, after that I'll be sending out a new note stating that I'd like a response within the specified timeframe or that I'd be refunding otherwise.
Feb. 4th, 2015 09:56 pm (UTC)
It might be useful to have an additional "on hold" category/note on your queue, which would indicate there's a reason that slot is not moving forward?
Feb. 5th, 2015 03:45 pm (UTC)
It's the first time I've actually had it happen, but I think I'll keep that in mind for a next time, to add an "on hold" queue next to the queue with work that is actually getting done.

I've decided for this one, though, that since it's been a month since the initial purchasing of the slot, that I'd rather refund and open up the slot than to keep sitting on the payment without being able to actually do the work to *earn* it.
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 5th, 2015 03:41 pm (UTC)
I have refunded them today, because the previous note went unread. And yep, I was kind of dreading the misunderstanding, so I decided I'd rather open up the spot in my queue even if it may not fill, rather than having a spot on hold for more than a month without even being certain that the commission will ever get done.

Plus, I just don't feel comfortable sitting on funds for that long without being able to actually do the work. @_@
Feb. 3rd, 2015 07:24 pm (UTC)
They should have not only read what you were offering, a custom not a commission, and had their info ready within a couple of days.
Feb. 5th, 2015 03:43 pm (UTC)
And refunded them I have, because honestly .. a month to get references to me? I don't feel comfortable just sitting on funds for that long.

I did make it clear that it was a slot for a custom design, but I reckon that next time I open up for those, I'll make it even more blatantly obvious.

Just to make sure I don't have a misunderstanding again.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )


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