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Refunding a Project after Three Years??

I've decided to stay in China for the long term and therefore am tying up all loose ends just so everything is settled. I really don't know when I'm going to be in the United States again. I will probably return at some point to visit family but I won't be there for very long.

About three years ago, I got a commission for a bodysuit. I never got the commissioner's measurements. For a while (over 2 years) we lost contact, but now we are sort-of in touch again. Before I make any firm commitments on how to process this, I'd like some advice.

The original payment was $350 for a bodysuit
I purchased roughly 5 yards of fur at $25/yardish
In my TOS, the downpayment of 30% is nonrefundable.

I have been wanting to refund this for a while and my initial idea was to keep the deposit, send the materials, and then refund whatever remains after deducting for postage.

I still have the fur, but it's in America, 11,000 miles away. And I can't post it, obviously. I have attempted getting in touch with the commissioner while I was visiting my family, but it didn't work out.

How do I process a refund here? I shut down my main bank account to transition to a Chinese bank. I've been living on a cash basis. My finances are all in RMB. This is a mess, but I also can't live my life and base my finances on a commission from three years ago.

Should I hold off even longer until I can get home and send off the fur? I may go home within the next six months, or sooner if a visa run requires it.

Should I refund everything but the deposit? $200ish is enough for a month's living expenses, and I'm still left with a big box of fur (that's been sitting there for years now).

What do you all think is reasonable?

(Also, I wanted to add: I didn't wait on this project forever because I didn't want to do it. I tried to get contact with the commissioner multiple times and it was established on an intermittent basis. Keeping contact was so hard I even posted a lost contact post here. I was never able to get the necessary measurements because he held off on taking them. It's hard to keep finances in perfect condition when making a big move, especially internationally. Things happen. It's not like I spent that money on candy and burritos.)

An additional problem: the email that the commissioner used consistently bounces, even after contact was re-established following the lost contact post here, and I don't feel comfortable refunding to a paypal that may be inactive.

At this point I'm going to try to find a way to do a full refund, even if it's a struggle to get paypal or alipay or a bank transfer done.

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Comments

sableantelope
Jul. 9th, 2015 08:57 pm (UTC)
So I'd say if you need to sell the fur first to get the money to send the refund, or it takes a little time to get things organized, given the distances involved, they can like it or lump it.

You're in the wrong here. The customer does not have to wait on the fur being sold and should not be expected to.


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