I commissioned a talented but somewhat new, not very well known maker for a fullsuit a year ago, with a deadline set 9 months after commission date. They agreed, payments were made and completed, and they seemingly had no issue whatsoever with meeting the deadline we agreed on.
We kept in somewhat close contact and everything seemed to be going well. A few months before the deadline I asked if they finally needed me to send the DTD I've been waiting to send or to ask for any updates. They said that things were a bit hectic and they will let me know more once they get things settled.
Coming up to the deadline, I was told that they were only able to make a partial in time. Then a bit later, I was told only a 3-piece partial was possible. Then, they simply told me it is not going to happen. I was cordial and understanding, I know life gets in the way.
It is now a year after I have commissioned the suit, 3 months past deadline with not a single update. I don't mind waiting, honestly. But my issue is, I don't know how long I will have to wait for completion, if it ever happens. Over $1,000 is not exactly a small price that I can forget about. I now realize that I am behind a list of 20+ other paid fullsuit/partial commissions and their queue seems to be untouched, as they are working on a list of premades and other small parts as they seem to be in urgent need of income quite regularly as it is. Commissioners who have been waiting far longer than I have are backing out and requesting refunds, and the maker is just working on other smaller projects that are not the waiting commissions to make up for the further lost income and seems to even be having trouble with that. To be completely honest, I have no hope of making the same deadline a year later in 9 months. Considering the 20+ full/partial commissions ahead of me that have little to no updates, even 2 years later is a stretch.
I would like to ask for a refund if I do not get any updates in the next 9 months, but knowing how urgently they are in need of income and how often, I'm not sure if I would even receive it without taking serious action. I would hate to do this. I understand life happens and hard times are definitely hard to work through, but seeing the track record, I don't have very high hopes of receiving what I have paid for, deadline or not. It also feels petty to set a new deadline with the warning of either an A_B post or refund/serious action when there are many, many others who are in the same boat who are ahead of me.
I'm just wondering. Am I being unreasonable? Should I wait longer? Reset a new deadline even though there are others before me despite them setting one when I commissioned it? What should I do?