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Seeking some advice.

This is my first time here so I apologize if I'm not doing this correctly.

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?

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( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 9th, 2016 03:36 am (UTC)
Personal opinion, get a refund immediately (not promises, but an actual refund) or report them to the police (and Paypal if that's how the money was transferred) for fraud. Odds are you won't get anything, money or suit, but it's enough money (grand theft most places, a felony) to actually get them in trouble. Especially if more than you come forward.

Grand theft limits by state

Ask nice first, warn them if they don't cooperate, then follow through and include all money and correspondence records.

Just don't expect much from the law or them.

You are so far past reasonable as to have landed in the victim category.
Mar. 9th, 2016 03:47 am (UTC)
I agree with Gatekat. That is no small amount of money and even if the artist did not maliciously set out to take almost four figures of your money, that is the end result. Go with Gatekat's suggestion or if you choose to act with a lighter touch, suggest a payment plan you'd be willing to accept with hard dates for payment, with immediate consequences for late or missing payments. No second chances - a year is a long long time without a single bit of progress.

As for all the others ahead of you - it sounds harsh but they will have to choose how they proceed on their own. It would appear you weren't aware of the long list ahead of you when you purchased a slot, and the artist still promised a nine month turnaround no matter the list ahead of you, so the fact they're ahead of you doesn't mean you don't deserve your refund.
Mar. 9th, 2016 03:55 am (UTC)
Yeeeaah I agree with getting a refund and moving on. Their money troubles are not your troubles, but their inability to do work you payed them for is.
Mar. 9th, 2016 07:24 am (UTC)
Do you think they're trying to scam people or do you think they might have just bitten off more than they can chew?
The biggest problem here is that they sound like they don't even have the money to refund you.
Even if you tell them you want it done by a certain date, odds are that the work is going to be very rushed and unusable.
I agree with the other comments and would also like to pin on if they are still taking commissions and do not have a to do list publicly viewable, post them to a_b.
Mar. 9th, 2016 05:53 pm (UTC)
I've been working with them as a concept artist for a while now, I know they're not scamming people. I 100% believe they bit off way more than they can chew.

They do have a public queue now, which is where I found out there are 20+ others ahead of me, on top of maybe 10 premades they're trying to sell so they can make them, and other smaller parts like bases and tails and such. I check up on the queue regularly and very, very little progress has been happening these past few months. Little things like one suit pattern was traced out. Claws have been added on to paws. Nose was attached. Nothing significant for months as I've been watching it. The last thing they did was make a pre-made mask they recently added to the queue and are pushing for sales of more pre-mades.

It's just a moral dilemma for me. I know that it's my right to receive what I have paid a significant amount for and their financial issues are not my problem, but I would be setting them further back and causing more problems and possibly make an enemy by the way they act when refunds are requested. I may wait a little longer and ask them politely about a general timeline before I take any harsh actions.
Mar. 10th, 2016 01:55 am (UTC)
Then I think you should ask them to sent you what they have done with the materials you have paid for and negotiate a partial refund. Then try and find someone else that would be willing to finish it.
Mar. 9th, 2016 07:10 pm (UTC)
20+ fursuit commissions with a deal to get it all done by 9 months? Yeah that is just not happening especially if they are new at making suits! You should ask for a refund but maybe as a payment plan as I bet they spent all the money from all the commissions already....
Mar. 9th, 2016 08:00 pm (UTC)
It seems like they have. I just can't fathom how, besides buying a few art commissions which were posted publicly. That amount of income should be enough to not have you constantly on the supposed verge of homelessness among other financial emergencies, with ~20 paid off partial/fulls, premades being sold, small parts being sold, and art commissions on top of it. It's just beyond me. I'm going to have to speak with them quite soon, it seems. The more I think about it, the more I realize how messed up it all really is.
Mar. 9th, 2016 10:24 pm (UTC)
Most of the money made from fursuits is actually put into making the fursuit itself. You would think they would have enough money, though. I don't know, I'm not the fursuit artist.

What I can say for sure is that you shouldn't take on more work than you can handle. You're probably just going to end up with less money due to all the refunds people will want. Maybe that's why they are doing all that extra stuff to earn more money. But it's a viscous cycle, because the more stuff they do, the longer it's going to take to get everything done, and the less money they are going to end up with. Again, I don't know, that's just my theory why they would be doing this.

I hope everything gets resolved between you and the fursuit artist. 9 months is waaaay to long to wait for an update. I would personally just ask for a refund if you don't want to wait anymore. If you are willing to wait, I would only give them a few more months since they have shown they aren't good with deadlines, and if they don't have it ready by then, ask for a refund.
Mar. 11th, 2016 02:01 pm (UTC)
Fursuit artist here.

You're right about most of the costs going towards the fursuit itself. I'm also seconding you in thinking that the artist bit off far more than they can chew.

However, at least to me, it sounds like the artist tends to spend the commission money right away rather than complete it or store it aside for the client in case something was to pop up. It's unfortunate and I've seen it happening a lot more than it should, both in this media and in the traditional/digital artwork side. If the artist has been honest about being homeless and other financial emergencies, I'm wondering if there really is any of your original payment still around. It's dangerous to take so many large commissions at such a large scale and not complete them for so long.

The longest you should wait for an update would be a month, MAX. Please don't sit and wait if there's no progress, the artist might have forgotten or may think you don't want to hear from them. I'd suggest requesting WIP photos or at least something, just give them a poke along the lines of, "Hey, how is my commission coming along? It's been 9 months."

Speaking of which, OP, you've waited 9 months with no updates? Holy gosh. Wouldn't you be worried about where your money went and what the status of your commission is?

I'd suggest asking for an update and a refund. Waiting around any longer doesn't sound like it would work out in your favor.
Mar. 11th, 2016 08:30 pm (UTC)
Ah, yeah, if they're spending all their money right away, that's not good...

I don't think spacedoge was waiting for an update for nine months, but they were thinking about it maybe? "To be completely honest, I have no hope of making the same deadline a year later in 9 months." "I would like to ask for a refund if I do not get any updates in the next 9 months." That's way too long to wait.

Also, spacedog, I mentioned waiting a little bit longer if you really wanted the fursuit in my last comment, but I change my mind. I was talking about if the fursuit was on its way to getting done, but after re-reading your post, it seems like you aren't getting very many updates. In this case, I would just ask for a refund.
Mar. 15th, 2016 06:00 am (UTC)
I haven't gotten a single update this entire time. My DTD is still not sent to them as they never asked nor given me their new address once I've offered to send it a few times pre-deadline. No measurements were given. No word on supplies being purchased. No word on my suit even being thought about. Like I said to laughsatthunder, I have doubts that anything was even purchased with the money I have sent them. I fear it may have just been spent. Like I said, it's not a fact, but I have a bad hunch as nothing was shown to me, nothing was said, and not a single update was ever given.

The reason I've been patient is because I am/was a concept artist for them, and I considered them an acquaintance so I was patient and cordial. I just feel taken advantage of now.
Mar. 15th, 2016 05:54 am (UTC)
No updates whatsoever despite me asking pre-deadline, and we did keep in casual contact as I am/was a concept artist for them. I sort of backed out of contacting them roughly a month ago after not being paid for my work, on top of all of this. My moral dilemma is, I felt we were pretty good acquaintances. I was their artist for their "business" and decided to take on a suit commission to help them on in one of their supposed financial crises. I was cordial and accepting of their issues they had to work around, so I didn't ask for updates past when the deadline was missed; I've asked before the deadline regularly but was always met with disappointment since absolutely nothing was done and my promise for a deadline was just tossed out. I put a good amount of trust in them so I just hoped things would sort themselves out once the deadline passed.

It wasn't until very recently I've learned of their bad reputation and dug deeper into the issue and now I've got a bad feeling about all of this and I'm trying to figure out what to do.

I'm pretty certain that nothing was even bought yet, supplies-wise. I never got word on it, never sent my DTD as they didn't give me an address to wherever they live now, and to be quite honest I gave up on asking once the deadline was passed; I figured I'd let them ask for whenever they needed it which now I'm not sure if they ever will, never got an update on which head base they're using for my mask, never sent measurements, never got word they they ordered/received fur or anything. It just infuriates me that over $1,000 possibly got spent immediately. I'm not stating that as a fact, but seeing the track record and having absolutely 0 updates on anything regarding my commission, I have a strong hunch in that direction and I've lost any bit of trust I had before.

The closest I've came to an "update" recently was me asking about ear position for my mask. I asked it this month. So I know they have not forgotten, it just seems to be wide-spread negligence. I think I've just been too nice throughout this and giving them the benefit of the doubt that they can work through it all and get back on track. Now that I see it's been going on for quite a while, I have doubts.

Edited at 2016-03-15 06:02 am (UTC)
Mar. 15th, 2016 11:54 am (UTC)
Oh my god.

Refund? Refund. Refund refund refund. Ask so fast they don't know what you said.
Mar. 9th, 2016 11:52 pm (UTC)
Like the others, straight-up refund it. Sooner if you can, no later. You may not get another chance if you wait it out longer...
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )


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