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Another predicament I am in

I made a head for a customer last year who knew at the time they wanted a fullsuit in the future, an extra $200 was put down to buy all the fur needed and that $200 later would be applied to the body price.

The issue here is the bodysuit pattern changed drastically since last year, it got a lot more complex, and to be frank part of why I chose them as a customer when I made the head was because their overall design was easy, I took them as a "cooldown" piece because a lot of what I make is so complex.

Feeling that I agreed to make the rest regardless by charging the $200 and buying the fur I still took them on as a customer for the fullsuit this year.

But now I am thinking that despite having the $200 and the fur I could have stood up and said "this is not what I agreed to last year, I will do the old design or mail you the fur, you'r choice"  but at this point I feel it would be uncool to say anything since I already took an additional payment twoards the fullsuit which futher sealed the deal.

Would it hurt to bring up my concers on the complexity of the body at this point? Because I am feeling like, in spite of myself, I have set things in stone by this point and I need to just quit thinking about it and do the work.

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( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 9th, 2015 07:16 am (UTC)
Wait, you took an additional payment, and intend to keep that, only mailing the commissioner the fur?

That's a heck of a nope. You can't take money in good faith, decide for whatever reason to not do the work that money was paid to you for, and then just keep it.

Perhaps I am misunderstanding?

But in this case, if you truly feel that you cannot fill the customer's order satisfactorily, you should refund in full any money taken over and above the fur cost (and anything left over from that), and ship them the fur. Wash your hands of it completely.

Of course, before you go that route, speak to the commissioner about why you don't feel you can do their bodysuit- perhaps they added many stripes, which would need to be simplified?- and give them a few options. Try to work with them as much as possible to simplify their design into something that works for a suit. If that can't be done, then yes, as above, refund in full and send them the fur.
Nov. 9th, 2015 07:18 am (UTC)
very much misunderstanding on taking money and running, never would do that, a maker opting to not continue an order is always a full refund.
Nov. 9th, 2015 07:52 am (UTC)
Ah, alright. I wasn't sure if mailing them the fur would include also refunding the additional payment. Thanks for clearing that up.

And yeah, I'd basically try to work with them to see if you can bring their design into something you feel you can do, and if not, then let them know you'll have to refund them and send out the fur.

Best of luck, I hope it works out c:
Nov. 11th, 2015 07:28 am (UTC)
"But in this case, if you truly feel that you cannot fill the customer's order satisfactorily, you should refund in full any money taken over and above the fur cost (and anything left over from that), and ship them the fur. Wash your hands of it completely."

I just want to reply and say that based on what you're saying the customer does not have to accept the fur as part of the refund. They can ask for their refund in kind to what they paid(ie: cash).

The fur may be of no use to the buyer, they absolutely don't have to accept that as part of refund when the maker is ending the contract. It wouldn't be making the aggrieved part whole.

Nov. 9th, 2015 08:52 am (UTC)
If a design changes from what as originally agreed it's okay to put forward a new quote for it and leave it to the customer to choose if they want to stay with the original design or pat the extra to go with the new.

However the new quote must be done as soon as the design changes/ new design is suggested. In this case i'm not sure on the time frame, if it's been some time since the design has changed and you haven't addressed the extra costs at the time then it could be a bit awkward to bring it up now.
Nov. 9th, 2015 03:56 pm (UTC)
Without knowing much of a timeline it's really difficult to say.

Between doing the head and moving on to the fullsuit, what sort of discussions took place? Did the customer come to you and say "the design has changed, this is what it is now, and I want you to do this"? Or is the change just something you stumbled across on your own and asked the customer about? Or was this brought up after you said "okay, I'm moving on to the fullsuit now" and after/when the customer payed more? Has any work actually been done on the suit, other than buying the fur?

If this really isn't something you're up for, it may be better to end it so that it doesn't become a drag for you. However, if the changes were actually discussed, and you agreed to it and took more payment for it knowing that there would be the extra work...yes, you could still refund and be done with it, though I think ethically this would be something you should finish.
Nov. 9th, 2015 05:45 pm (UTC)
Honestly? I'd say you're kind of stuck. It would be in pretty poor taste to back out after already agreeing to the new design.

That's not to say you can't back out--you're under no obligation to continue a project you don't want to do. It would be in poor taste though, and would likely leave the customer with a bad taste in their mouth. Given your record I'm sure you could afford to have a customer who wasn't completely satisfied, though. It's ultimately your call, and either call is acceptable.
Enn Shaw
Nov. 9th, 2015 06:09 pm (UTC)
Agreeing with the others, without a timeline, it's hard to determine whether or not it's ok to back out of a project with a new design. If you already agreed with the new design though, ethics wise I would finish it.
Nov. 9th, 2015 07:31 pm (UTC)
You're under no obligation to continue a project you're no longer interested in. BUT keep in mind that due to the particulars here, that you agreed to the project and accepted an additional payment but are now backing out, you have to be the one to eat any loss. If I were you, I would just keep the fur and refund their entire payment to keep things clean. I wouldn't be surprised if the client was still miffed, regardless.

It may be easier for you to just finish this project and chalk it up as a lesson learned. In the future, give them an updated (higher) quote or cancel the project entirely if they update to a more elaborate design that you're just not feeling.
Nov. 10th, 2015 12:35 am (UTC)
I wouldn't recommend keeping the fur. Since the fur was purchased early on, it matches the head that the customer already has. Wouldn't want to force the new maker to buy new fur which doesn't match.

Edited at 2015-11-10 12:35 am (UTC)
Carlo Di Donna
Nov. 27th, 2015 07:12 am (UTC)
I would let them keep the fur as an apology for the time wasted
Nov. 11th, 2015 01:35 am (UTC)
It sounds like you're still wedded to the idea that this is a "cooldown" project with a simple design. It's not any more, so try to put that out of your head and view it as a new, complex project and proceed on that basis.

I hope you priced the bodysuit based on the new design.
Nov. 11th, 2015 07:42 am (UTC)
One part can never unilaterally change the deal- buyer or seller. You agreed to one design, the buyer can't throw another design at you down the road(ie: you can't order a custom silver ring, then when the maker starts making it ask for gold) *BUT* there's a huge mitigating factor here:

"but at this point I feel it would be uncool to say anything since I already took an additional payment twoards the fullsuit which futher sealed the deal."(sic al)

Unfortunately when you accepted that money(the "consideration") you met the basic trifecta of making a new deal piggybacking on the old one- the new deal includes the more complex design.

So in this case you can't back out now without breaking the new deal and having to return any deposit, funds towards the bodysuit(including the cost of fur, unless they specifically want that fur*), etc. the usual issues of breaching.

Going to again recommend since you have such a thriving business you should probably get a business/contract lawyer on your speed dial. For example in this case you could have asked them soon as the new design was introduced what to do- and they would have told you to absolutely not take an additional payments since that puts you into a new contract and how to proceed to have the buyer end up breaching(or sticking to the original design/old deal).

So hopefully lesson learned here! The seller can't change the deal on you anymore than you can on them.

*I asterixed this on fur since I could write a bit based on the specific wording of the Op in this case of how money was exchanged regarding fur and how that might make the fur slightly different in this case but it's kind of tangential to the main contract issue so I'll leave it for now
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )


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