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Who: Ailuranthropy (appears to do business as “FoxFeatherStudios” according to PayPal)

Where: https://www.furaffinity.net/user/ailuranthropy

What: Digital Art – 2 Figure, shaded, Valentine’s Day-specific multi-user YCH

When: Discussed and paid January 30th, 2017. Problems and delays began almost immediately and continued in frequency well beyond the holiday.

Explain: The original commission was purchased on January 30th after a brief exchange via comments and notes. Shortly after began a long series of purported medical and housing “emergencies” that stacked in number. Meanwhile, Ailuranthropy continued taking in numerous new commissions while failing promise after promise to complete existing ones, several times specifically mentioning the Valentine’s Day pieces.

I had sent three separate notes over FA looking for feedback. The first note was replied to, but did not answer my question. The second and third have not been opened or read as of June 22nd, 2017, suggesting the artist is either that far behind, falsely indicating progress where it doesn’t exist, or is outright ignoring me. Since they claim to have made progress in answering notes and publically stated they will address all of them within a time period that they’ve failed to meet, it suggests either of the latter case and deliberate negligence.

Ailuranthropy runs frequent streams on Picarto where she often takes in new commissions. She mandates that no viewer is allowed to ask about owed artwork, or request status updates about them in the chat channel of the stream. Requests to actually get that information result in other users browbeating the customer with “channel rules” until they leave.

A journal was posted on June 1st, 2017 that I found of particular concern. They wrote about their plans regarding owed work and made an “offer” to everyone who commissioned them before April 2017 that they have an option of a “full refund,” but that they won’t honor it “until probably August.” They say they will continue to take on new commissions while in-stream, and that the income for that is meant to pay for their living arrangement they are trying to set up, as well as paying for refunds of old ones. They specifically state “ME TAKING ON COMMISSIONS DOES NOT MEAN I AM IGNORING YOURS.” They also indicate that they will be expanding on the Valentine’s Day pieces and no longer using the base or template. Rather, they claim they will be creating new, unique poses for each customer.

However, they also specifically made a point to tell people that PayPal is their sole and primary “bank” and are concerned about their account being flagged. This suggests to me that they are likely well aware of the limitations on how PayPal disputes work. I found it particularly troublesome to be asked to wait beyond my dispute window, where I would lose the bulk of my ability to try to resolve this issue.

Given PayPal’s limitation of 6 months to file a dispute, and that the invoice was paid in January, we were quickly coming up to the deadline to escalate this issue. With my last two notes remaining unread, filing a dispute on PayPal was my only remaining bargaining tool. They replied within one hour to the PayPal dispute and asked for my FA username so they could remove me from their project list and blacklist me from any future business. I provided the username as requested, and asked that she update me when I’ve been removed and that she process the dispute accordingly, as she was effectively stating she would not deliver the product that was paid for. After 48 hours without a reply, I escalated the issue directly to PayPal to handle. PayPal contacted Ailuranthropy and a refund was provided within an hour.

Proof:

Screenshots of payment confirmation:
http://imgur.com/zp3132g
http://imgur.com/uzi2tzb

Screenshots of Unread Notes:
http://imgur.com/koqCu24

Contents of unread notes:
http://imgur.com/9pSQD5K
http://imgur.com/Gi3pXPs

Screenshots of PayPal dispute interaction:
http://imgur.com/tc1kjl6
http://imgur.com/nXUFUZa

Screenshot of PayPal Escalation result:
http://imgur.com/dnpMRs3

Screenshot of only reply via Notes received since piece went past due:
http://imgur.com/SeM3l5i
 
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Comments

otterqueen
Jul. 9th, 2017 06:20 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad someone has finally talked about this artist here. I was honestly debating making an Artists Beware post about them myself with my experience and what I have seen them do with other users. For me the trouble was with the same themed commissions, only I somehow got mine and on Valentine's Day too, but they made a couple of errors which I pointed out and they agreed to fix... yeah been five months now and those two-minute fixes are still hanging in their Trello queue despite me making a reminder about them at first through note and then on their complaints journal (two months ago!) yet being ignored. They also never sent the original file of my commission. The one that was uploaded was extremely poor quality so, yes that matters too. At this point I'm fearing that they've just scraped the files and my inquiry will never be fulfilled.

However. Very happy to hear that you managed to get your refund and disputed it when you did. I'm honestly hoping that they begin to realise that they simply cannot be doing this for a living and just try and get a real secure job so that they can send refunds out faster and generally be more stable in life. Because eventually people are just going to stop commissioning them with this wreck of a business.
Kerra Su
Jul. 10th, 2017 06:12 pm (UTC)
Ooph, I'm sorry to hear that. Incorrect products are as bad as unfinished ones, arguably worse than undelivered. I -hate- unresolved mistakes, and I've had some artists not provide updates or hand-off verifications before finalizing commissions. I don't know where they get the idea that they can do things however they want, free from the accuracy of the characters involved or the desires of the commissioner. It's appalling, really.

Frankly, I've come to the decision that I'm going to avoid commissioned work that's prepaid unless the artist provides clear rules and regulations about when and how pieces get approved. I'd rather not prepay at all, to be honest, but the artists that work that way are few and far between. In those few, the artist typicallyprovides rough sketches to ensure design is as expected, and you pay somewhere between that and final delivery with updates to "sign off" on between each major step.

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