WHERE: Homepage: http://www.wormsandbones.com/
WHAT: $600 CAD for a one-of-a-kind art doll based on a werewolf character of mine.
WHEN: So arrangements for this commission first started back around late September, 2014, but confirmation happened in November 2015. Details were exchanged from February-March 2015. I paid in two installments. The first installment was March 10, 2015. References were provided on March 21. The second installment was paid on April 8, 2015. Provided below are screen shots of all the email exchanges we've had. What's important to note here is that I've had to email them sometimes two or three times in order to get a response, though to their credit they did always eventually respond. I sent the emails a week, sometimes two weeks, apart (in between months of waiting) as I was trying not to be worrisome. But conversely, I was becoming worried about the lack of communication. The first email I sent asking for an update was on June 3, 2015 with a followup on the 10th. I sent another inquiry on August 15, followed by another follow up on the 29th. I received a reply the following day. This pattern continues for some time, with me checking in every two to three or four months. I was unclear as to how long a commission was actually going to take as no where in their TOS does it state that they can take a year or longer to complete and at no point in the email exchange did they offer an ETA. I eventually became too anxious at their lack of communication and finally sent an email stating as such on December 7th basically expressing this anxiety and the concern over how long it was taking as I had received my previous customs from them in 2-5 months. I assumed that a commission to take maybe 8-9 in between customs and whatever else, especially since Worms & Bones have previously provided great customer care and a superior product. As requested, they did provide me with a rundown on events that was happening/had happened over the past few months to explain why it was taking so long. Up to this point I had only received one WIP (on Sept 1). I received a second Dec. 7, which was included in the response email I got after my inquiry about the length of time it was taking.
Needless to say, communication hasn't really improved. It's still taking a week or more for them to respond to my emails. I've received only 3 WIPs emails. I last requested on update on Sept. 13 as well as a possible ETA. Their response was pretty much the same as their last update - still waiting on their caster and were going fur shopping since they didn't have the right kind. It is now Oct. 11 and I haven't heard anything else.
Although I just recently noticed they have put up a warning in the Contact section of their website that they maybe slow to respond. So at least they tell you that now.
November 30-December 1, 2014 - First discussion of taking on the commission.
Feb. 27, 2015 - Worms & Bones confirms that they can take on the commission.
March 21 - More Details Exchanged. This screenshot also shows me confirming that I paid the invoice.
March 10 - First installment paid.
March 21 - Details Finalized.
April 8 - They sent me the 2nd Invoice.
April 8 - Final installment paid.
June 3 and June 12- First inquiry emails sent. This screenshot shows their response on the 12.
Aug 15, 29, 30 - Second inquiry email sent. This screenshot shows the exchange for that month.
Sept. 1 - First WIP. They emailed ME this time. I was sure things were going to be moving forward finally but two months later...
November 23 - 3rd Inquiry.
Dec. 7th - 3rd Inquiry follow up. This shows the exchange between the two of us during that time. I should point out that their responses are professional and friendly, and they do acknowledge that their commissions take a long time to complete (like, over-a-year-long, I suppose) - information I really wish I had known beforehand. They also provided a 2nd WIP.
Dec. 7th - My response to that last email (Couldn't fit all of it on the same screenshot.)
Feb 10, 17 2016 - 4th inquiry sent about a detail on the WIPs.
So far, so good with their response here. I was pleased that they just responded even if they didn't have a WIP to show me.
April 23rd, May 5 - 5th inquiry. This screenshot shows the exchange from that time period. Also 3rd and last visual WIP.
July 17, 20 - 6th inquiry and their response.
Sept. 13, 19 2016 - Asked for another update and a possible ETA, but no mention of it in their response. I have yet to hear anything about more about the furs and today is Oct. 11.
EXPLAIN: I really hesitated to post this beware because Worms & Bones have never been rude to me and do eventually reply to my emails, but their basic customer service could use some improvement. This Beware is mostly in regards to that.
So, perhaps it was the fact that I received their customs pretty quickly, and that the previous transactions had been pretty straight forward and the exchange pretty quick. And perhaps that I had mentioned in at least two earlier emails that I would "wait forever" (though I seriously didn't think I'd be waiting for over a year for it). And maybe it feels like I've been waiting longer than I have because details were first set in 2014. I tend to wait a week or more before sending followup emails because I'm aware that people have lives and they apparently make customs for a living. Which brings me to the other part of my complaint; in between all these emails, with very little WIPs to show on my $600 commission, they've produced many more customs for other customers as well as literal armfuls of customs for sale at conventions and at least three personal projects. All of which you can see on their tumblr. Let me just say here that I am NOT upset that they've got personal projects but it's just that on top of all the other work they've done for other customers - even potential customers that haven't even paid them money yet - and I haven't even seen what my werewolf's feet look like with the dew claws attached and it's been over a year. I also don't think I should feel awful every time I send off an email asking them for an update. I feel like I'm harassing them every time I do.
Furthermore, there is no mention on their website at how long commissions can take. The only thing it is mentioned is that they seldom accept commissions but no reason as to why. Which I guess isn't important, usually, but if it's a super long wait time, then I think it should be mentioned. So whether or not I receive my doll any time soon, I still think people should be aware of how long it will take to receive their product. At least they do now have a notice in their Contact Me section of their website stating that they are slow to respond to emails. They did not have this notice when I first commissioned them and I'm not sure when it appeared.
I also want to point out that, and I'm sure it's easy to see in the screen shots, that they have been nothing but polite when we have communicated and I genuinely believe that they aren't doing this on purpose. I suppose this Beware is more a warning about the lack of information these artists provide regarding the process of their services, at least in regards to commissions. So if you get a custom from them, you probably don't have to worry about this happening to you, but beware if you ever manage to score a commission. Considering it's been almost a month since they went fur shopping, I'm really starting to doubt I'm going to get what I paid for.
UPDATE: Worms and Bones has finished the commission, and although I have not received it physically yet, given their previous track record of successfully shipping out items, I have no doubts I will get it eventually. I deem this resolved!
UPDATE: I have Autumn firmly in hand. As usual the quality is wonderful and it's very satisfying to finally have it here. As mentioned above, Worms & Bones are overall pretty good to work with. It's mostly just their communication skills that could use some improvement. And be prepared for a long wait - especially if you're commissioning them!