Back in June 2013, I commissioned an artist for a traditional marker piece that was to be sent to me by mail. I sent the money shortly after (can't remember if I used the gift option :-/). They said it might be a little while, but I didn't mind.
In July I asked for a update and they said they only had two smaller pieces before starting mine. In September, I asked for an update again, since I hadn't heard anything and the note went unanswered. I tried to contact the artist on Tumblr a few times as well during this time. After not hearing a reply, I intended to ask for a refund through a comment on their profile, only to discover they'd posted a status a few days before, explaining that they'd lost internet connection and their notes stopped working. They then replied with a note to me a few days later with a WIP, which I liked and told them to proceed. Although I was a bit surprised that so little progress had been made since the last update.
I waited many months and tried a note again in January but was left unread, I saw them being active on DA and Tumblr, so I thought their notes were just not working again. I saw other people getting increasingly impatient in comments to them and they weren't replying. On February 2nd, they posted around 5 drawings, saying they had around 30 in all that would be uploaded within the next few days. Excited, I waited, but after a week, nothing more was uploaded. Seeing as they had replied to a few other comments, I figured their notes just weren't working again, since my last message went unread, so I commented on one of their pictures asking for the rest, but never got a reply. On February 16, they uploaded around 5 more drawings. There hasn't been anymore since.
I felt like I had been scammed, and so had others, who started commenting on their profile. I also had to make a public comment on their profile (I felt really bad about this ):) since their notes might not be working, and I let them know my intentions of making an Artist Beware and I'd like a reply to my comment within two weeks. The two weeks passed with no reply and I let them know I would be making the beware.
As I was gathering evidence, I was contacted by one of their friends, that let me know that they just hadn't been able to reply due to only having sparse internet. I let them know that I've tried both notes, comments and Tumblr, but the friend insisted that neither were working for them and even though I told the friend the artist had been frequently online (they were online one hour ago as of me writing this), they also insisted that it was just a website bug. However, we agreed that if I send them my address, they would get it to the artist for them to send my picture by mail.
Now the question remains: Should I give my address to this complete stranger who knows this artist and apparently knows how to contact them? Should I wait for them to get back online? Should I make an artist beware on them? Or should I just drop the issue and call it a lost cause? Advice is greatly appreciated :)
EDIT: Yesterday, they finally uploaded a piece! But I still got a problem with it, seeing as it's a SFW bookmark that looks completely different from the WIP, and I ordered a NSFW "halfbody/fullbody with simple or no bg".
EDIT 2: I've gotten in contact with the artist through their email and we are working things out. The bookmark thing turned out to be a misunderstanding about an additional free bookmark. The actual commission is still not done, but I got a WIP showing progress, so I'm confident it will be done now :)