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Patreon Bailer

WHO: DraconicIrish (Deviantart, Twitter, Tumblr, Patreon) was the offending account. (Though they've pretty much abaondoned that username by now.)

She jumps to a new account very frequently, so I'm listing these as well: CrazyBitterSweet, CoffePink, NocturnalHours, SweetOaths, CrimsonTeaWitch, ButterCrunchies, LazyBitter, Cerieas, AngelicThought, CatalystCrystals, TheLazyDragon, Aysume, stubbornquill

WHERE: https://www.patreon.com/DraconicIrish The Patreon account that she pledged to me from.

WHAT: Declined Patreon pledge.

WHEN: Started on July 29th 2016, still ongoing.


Pledge email: http://imgur.com/zWZASbA

Her liking/viewing Patreon-only posts: http://imgur.com/qJXts7B

Pledge declined: http://imgur.com/sKnS5tc

Initial message on Deviantart: http://imgur.com/KlnMfTm

Followups not replied to but viewed: http://imgur.com/k6oOWFW and http://imgur.com/wP4Ih0M

Paypal invoice: http://imgur.com/KdmtVKA

Twitter messages: http://imgur.com/KJa9Z0z

EXPLAIN: I got a surprising email in my inbox a little while back about a new pledger donating 20$. I have a reward tier that gives out a mystery box at that amount, which I saw they were interested in. Shortly thereafter, they raised the pledge from 20 to 30$ with no explanation. (My first red flag, the extra 10$ was a strange amount. I have no reward for 10$, it was 3$ short of a different reward tier that she could've stacked, and it was 2$ short of the next funding goal. But whatever, I tried to view it as my "lucky day.")

I messaged her asking what she likes/her interests so I could better organize a box for her once the month was up. She responded with random goodies being fine, and that was the only contact I had with her about it.

In the mean time, given that Patreon has "charge upfront" being a beta-tested only feature (one I and most people don't have), she was receiving all of my Patreon-only content for free.

Come pay day, her pledge was declined. I wasn't surprised (I had a feeling all along it wasn't legit), mostly disappointed. For declined pledges, Patreon sends out an email informing them and advice on how to fix it. I figured I'd give her a day to sort it out. The next day, no change, and I saw her active on Deviantart. I sent her a message there, as there is only a 48 hour window of charging, to let her know and to fix it asap. She replied (shockingly) and said she would do so.

Nothing happened. I messaged her that we could go directly through Paypal and gave her the options of: paying for what she had received (1), paying for the box (20), or paying her full pledged amount (30). From then on, I heard nothing from her, and she had been reading my messages. Sent her a message on Twitter, nothing.

From the get-go, I knew she had an alternate account that also followed my Deviantart. It took little digging to find it again (as she had it listed on her profile then later removed it). However in doing so, I found out she had dozens of accounts, all fairly recent. It seemed she jumped ship often, which was why I listed so many at the top. However avoidant she may have been on the DraconicIrish one, she was still actively online (and even commented + favorited a piece of mine) on her alt.

I sent a Paypal invoice of the 1$ minimum charge for what she received. Though given the sheer number of email addresses she must have (for that many Deviantart accounts which all require unique ones), I'm not sure if I'm going to see a penny, let alone 100 of them.

I'm not expecting her to pay, though I do care about sharing this information. She not only did this to me, but also to a friend of mine. (Pledging 10$ on their Patreon and bailing as well.) I'm concerned this behavior could be repeated.

UPDATE: She responded, after I replied to her alternate account that I knew it was her. No payments have been made yet though.

Messages: http://i.imgur.com/LtChyzq.png and http://i.imgur.com/vaTGCFi.png

UPDATE #2: Says she'll pay me Monday. I'll update again if/when that happens.

Message (read bottom to top):

UPDATE #3: (Aug 17) I've been paid. This can be marked as resolved. Please note that she has a new username: EmbersTea
Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 7th, 2016 07:24 pm (UTC)
I'm inclined to think this may have gone a little better later on in the situation if you had refrained from the unprofessional language ("I find it sad that you opted to live this kind of life" "The minimum is a fucking dollar, God help that you can afford it", etc.) Not that you deserve the pledge denial or this user's later ire, or anything like that. I speak from experience- simply responding professionally and politely has saved me several past transactions where the client became insulting and abusive, and the mere fact that my response was well-worded has earned me the esteem of those clients, or at least, an apology. It's even saved me from some unfair chargebacks. She should not have responded the way she did, but I do have to say it doesn't surprise me how irate she got.
That aside, I'm a little confused how these pledges work- one dollar gets a pledging user full access to your digital works? Another twenty earns them a box of stuff? I have a Patreon but I haven't used it extensively, so I'm having trouble understanding that.
I have also heard (via email from Patreon itself) that instant pledge charges are an upcoming feature, so long as it's turned on for the account, so that anyone pledging will be charged automatically. I'm not sure if it's implemented yet, but it may be a worthwhile thing to look into, to thwart "fake" pledges.
Aug. 7th, 2016 07:37 pm (UTC)
I'll admit, I definitely could've responded more calmly, though for as little as a dollar, it did piss me off. That, and I had been rather patient and polite for a while, but after seeing her jump ship, I had a feeling she was probably the type of person who did this often.

It didn't help that she did this to my friend as well, and I saw that she had previously pledged to others. She may have done this to them too. Excuses on my behalf, of course, don't really fully rationalize my behavior. Though that certainly doesn't excuse her outburst either, even if she had a reason to be angry. We're both a bit in the wrong there. I do regret the "live this kind of life" comment, if that means anything to anyone.

The "professionalism" comment is a welcomed comment though, it's a nice reminder for doing better in the future :)

Sorry for the confusion! I have a 1$ tier where people get access to everything I post. 5, 10, and 20$ tiers for additional add-ons, such as the box. Depending on how much people pledge, they can get different rewards. Creators can set their own prices, these are just mine.

Yes, I mentioned that in my post. It's not available yet, which is why I posted this here. Had this been a feature, I wouldn't have had this issue, haha.
Aug. 7th, 2016 07:48 pm (UTC)
I totally understand the temptation. In my earliest years, I engaged in the same things, and I am fortunate that those clients continued to work things out with me. I hope she does get back to you with that payment, regardless of the communications- whatever might be said after, doesn't justify missing out on the payments before, especially because she was clearly enjoying pledge-only content.
The fact that she did this to your friend is very troubling. She says she's having problems with her paypal, but I would figure that denying a pledge is a user choice? If I were to not have enough money in my paypal account for a transaction, for example, it charges to my bank account through paypal, and if there was no money there, it'd just go in the red and take the money anyway. Though again, lack of experience with Patreon on my part might affect this. Very curious what issues specifically she's having.
I think I see what you mean about the tiers now, pledges who get higher tiers get everything from the lower tiers? It's a pretty genius structure, I have to admit. And the box is just random things from your house- I guess some of the rewards don't have to be art-related at all? That's very interesting, I hadn't heard of this before. A very neat way to generate interest.
I now see where you mentioned the "charge upfront" feature being in beta, sorry about that! I missed it in my first read-through, that's my bad. I hope they finish testing it soon! Fake and bot pledges are the main thing keeping me from using Patreon fully.
Aug. 7th, 2016 07:57 pm (UTC)
I'm getting better over time, haha. It's a learning process, for sure. I'm not a naturally patient person, which can make it more difficult, unfortunately, but I'll keep improving. Thanks! I'm hoping she'll pay us both (myself and my friend, and whoeever else she owes), only time will tell.

What's odd is that she paid for a premium membership on Deviantart, from what I can tell, a few days prior to this incident. So either she's lying and there isn't a problem, or something changed between a few days before and up to the Patreon charge. I'm not sure how declined charges work either. I have it linked up to my Patreon when I pledge to people and I've never had a problem.

Everyone runs their pages differently. Rewards can essentially be anything you want them to be, biding they're legal to do, haha. Glad you like the idea :)

No worries! Easy to miss. I'm hoping so too. It's been a long desired feature. People have been fake pledging to so many people, it's a shame :/
Aug. 7th, 2016 08:32 pm (UTC)
Honestly, a good rule of thumb is to imagine yourself, as the consumer, receiving that email from a business. If there's something in there that would upset you, as a customer, rewrite.

It's a good idea to write up a draft first, and then rewrite it to be less emotional and more professional. Never respond to a client when you're angry, if you can at all avoid it.
Aug. 7th, 2016 08:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for the advice :) I'll keep it in mind for the future!
Aug. 7th, 2016 11:44 pm (UTC)
Vent your spleen in the preliminary draft, and then come back and rewrite it when you're calmer. That's the nice thing about email/notes, you don't have to respond immediately.

I once got into an email fight with my boss bc I responded angrily. Now I take time to cool off first c:
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


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