In October* 2013, I inquired about receiving a quote from the maker for creating my original character, a generic canine*. The maker was quite prompt and pleasant with their response and after giving me my quote of circa $1,000* for a partial, they would be opening shortly. Well, shortly came in December and while I had my deposit, I had a family emergency that required me to chip about $100 off of my deposit. I had been waiting for this maker for months and I emailed them and explained my situation. The maker was quite understanding and entered into a little bit of a good faith agreement with me in the understanding that they didn't like deadlines and work wouldn't be completed until after I had finished paying. So, from my first payment in December until the end of January 2014, I paid a whopping 75% of my partial off. The maker was quite pleased and advised me that I could pause payments simply because they had a big queue. This was fine with me because I had become seriously ill around this time and had to miss much work, resulting in a loss of income for me. It took me about 4 months to scratch the final payment together, but I paid it off, much to the maker's pleasure. The maker informed me that they would be starting on my partial shortly (circa June*).
Due to my still being grievously ill requiring hospitalization, among other issues, I didn't put pressure on the maker as far as sending me updates, swatches, pics, etc. So, in circa September, the maker contacted me and informed me that they would be starting on my character's tail and hands shortly and needed general measurements. I provided the measurements within a day and waited. Another month (October) rolled by and I inquired about updates from the maker and they stated that they would begin plastering the head*. Two months (January 2015) went by and I inquired about my status since the maker had stopped providing journal updates on FA and was told that my partial was UNDER CONSTRUCTION. I had no idea what that meant, but simply hoped for the best. Another month (February) with no updates or swatches and I contact the maker and the maker has apparently had some issues with school and was being faced with being kicked out* but was assured that the maker was working diligently on my suit.
Now, here we are over a year out from when the first payment was sent and almost at a year after the payments have been completed and I haven't seen so much as a star-shaped marking for my suit and I'm completely lost. The maker has stopped posting updated pics of other suits they've worked on, still hasn't provided me with a picture of ANYTHING they've done as far as my suit, and I've seen them working on some suits that I know completed payments after I did. I don't think I'm asking for too much for trying to see a swatch of my character's green* fur or a footpaw, but then again, maybe I am. I really just need some advice on whether I should post the AB or wait it out some more to "give them time for their issues". My only thing is that they didn't begin work on my suit until it was paid, I really don't think it's asking too much for a monthly/bi-monthly update on what you're doing when you have $1000 of my money. I just don't want to see my character ruined because I post an AB and they start "feeling harassed".
TL;DR Here are the things I'd like:
Updates and pictures of my suit's progress
My suit to be completed before the summer ends (they'd have been paid off for around 18* mo then)
A reasonable deadline for completion. I know the maker has in the TOS that they don't like deadlines, but in hindsight, this is really inexcusable because of situations such as these. The maker can hold out on my product until they get ready and technically, they could finish in 5yrs from the original purchase date and still be within their TOS.
Any advice is appreciated and if the mods need the actual dates, I'll send actual dates, times, and information as needed. I just want my suit :'(