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Beware - Gideon

WHO: Gideon

gideonscorral.com (gated)

WHERE: Initially email, later Telegram.

WHAT: Digital artpiece (single character, full color) for $100

WHEN: Early May 2017 up to current.

EXPLAIN: Mid April 2017: I contacted Gideon by email after he advertised digital versions of his art CDs on his twitter account. He was quick to reply and send the links after I paid through Paypal.

May 1 2017: I was rather fond of one design in particular and I asked him if he took commissions. He agreed for a $100 single character piece.

Seeing as he was quite responsive in his previous emails, that he's been active in the fandom since the early 2000s and the fact that I've seen his commissioned work occasionally on FA, I figured he would have plenty of experience in that regard and that getting a commission from him would be a safe bet. Though, at the time, I wasn't aware of this very site.

So I pitched my idea to him and he expressed a similar fondness towards it, even noting that he could "easily do that". (I'm not sure why the font of this message is so small, but it's still legible.) I paid through Paypal and notified him, assuming he would send me a sketch within the next few weeks. (Email conversation, read from bottom to top. Partially redacted for NSFW content.) https://i.imgur.com/2FXOWQo.png

Proof of payment: https://i.imgur.com/faywzgk.png "You have transferred 100 USD to"

May 25 2017: Gideon didn't get back to me nor replied to another email I sent him, so I tried to contact him through a comment on his paysite, which I was already subscribed to anyway. He contacted me again through another email account, so I suppose he had forgotten about our initial email exchange. I inquired about the commission status after which he told me had to slow down (he had some health issues at the time) and that he would write me another email the next day (though that didn't happen). https://i.imgur.com/7xRb5RR.png

June 9 2017: I inquired about another update as he hadn't contacted me at this point. He apologized, said he would get to the commission that week and suggested to use Telegram to keep contact. (Portion of reply redacted for privacy reasons.) https://i.imgur.com/tWRBVn0.png

June 18 2017: After trying to contact him several times through Telegram he said that "life got a bit hectic" and that he had "a few guests over". I didn't want to come off as pushy so I let it be for a few weeks. https://i.imgur.com/ysSRgvi.png

July 25 2017: Once again, I hadn't heard anything from him and as he didn't reply to the Telegram messages I contacted him be email again and I stated my displeasure at the delays and the lack of communication. He apologized again and said that he would normally only take payment after a sketch is shown. Also that he would give a sketch the following weekend. https://i.imgur.com/8TgYPZd.png https://i.imgur.com/7sWkBhF.png

August 14 2017: Multiple weekends had passed since that message and I had received nothing at that point. I contacted him again, he apologized and said he'd send me a sketch that same night (I think you'll start to see the pattern here), while also asking if I could send the reference/specifics again as well as other details. That struck me as rather odd, because if one takes commissions isn't noting down the references the first thing you'd do ? https://i.imgur.com/JhFO7Rz.png https://i.imgur.com/FpYE5GS.png

September 12 2017: At this point I was rather annoyed with the endeavour this whole situation had become as I had tried to contact him through email and Telegram, multiple times even, with no replies whatsoever. https://i.imgur.com/I7iX8Vw.png He was still quite active on Twitter throughout all of this however. It was only when I threatened to make this public and take legal action that he got back to me.

He said I would see the sketch next weekend - it was tuesday then - while, for some reason, also going on about something unrelated to the commission. https://i.imgur.com/jFI8p85.png

September 24 2017: The weekend had passed and I'd still seen nothing. My latest message to him is still marked as unread even though his status is "Last seen recently", which according to Telegrams FAQ means having logged in within the last 3 days.

All in all, from a customer point of view I find this entire situation to be unacceptable. As I stated to him as well, I'd have no qualms with some delays on their own as long as you stay in contact and keep me updated. But when there is a consistent pattern with excuses and empty promises, as well as an overall lack of communication I'm rather skeptical on whether I'll ever see that sketch, let alone a finished piece.
Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 26th, 2017 10:24 pm (UTC)
Paypal has a six month window now to open a dispute and issue a chargeback. Don't let this time elapse! It may be your only hope of getting your $100 back. I think you have given him enough chances by now.
Sep. 27th, 2017 02:06 am (UTC)
Considering Gideon's history, I would go this route, and fast. If he promises to get your art to you, don't close the dispute until you have it.
Sep. 27th, 2017 08:57 am (UTC)
Thanks. I'll look into this.
Oct. 7th, 2017 10:20 am (UTC)
Update: Gideon contacted me yet again saying he was mostly away from home and that he would scan the piece "tomorrow", which of course didn't happen.

Also, perhaps I'm missing something obvious here. But when I open the dispute menu on paypal and select the transaction in question the only type of issue I can choose is "report unauthorized activity". How can I file a chargeback from here ?
Oct. 7th, 2017 10:08 pm (UTC)
Odd. I just went through the same steps on one of my own Paypal transactions and was given these options: "I didn't receive an item I purchased", "I received an item significantly not as described", and "I want to report unauthorized activity".

At this point your best bet is to either call in to a person at Paypal or deliberately choose the only option given to you and clarify further down the process. Good luck.
Oct. 10th, 2017 04:07 pm (UTC)
I tried this again and now the option for "item dispute" was also available (not sure why it wasn't there before). However, upon selecting it I get the message: "We're sorry, but this transaction cannot be disputed because it is not a purchase of goods or services. Please contact the recipient directly."

I'm starting to think I'm out of luck here.
Oct. 10th, 2017 04:57 pm (UTC)
Do you recall paying via the "friends and family" option that doesn't charge fees for its use?

That's the only way I can see you that message.
Oct. 10th, 2017 07:19 pm (UTC)
There weren't any fees involved with the transaction so I'm afraid I did use that option.
Fralea Comms
Oct. 10th, 2017 07:42 pm (UTC)
That's unfortunate. That option is not meant for business transactions (more for things like: your friend bought lunch and you need to pay them back) so it doesn't provide protection for either party. If you paid with a credit card or through your bank instead of out of your paypal balance, you can sometimes initiate a chargeback through them.
Oct. 13th, 2017 02:33 am (UTC)
That's beware worthy all on it's own, in my opinion. This is a business, and it should be run like one.

Never pay using friends and family. Ever.
Jan. 4th, 2018 12:37 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately OP, he's had poor business practice for -years- now. (Heck, he owes me art from 2006, I think?)
I think if you use "friends and family" with paypal you can still contest it with your bank within a certain amount of time. Give this guy no quarter, I'd call the bank ASAP, honestly.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )


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