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WHO: FruitSuit Creations / ClemFox

WHERE: https://twitter.com/FruitSuits (Business account)
https://twitter.com/ClemFox_ (Creator account)

WHAT: Fullsuit Fursuit commission ($3,605.00)

WHEN: March 2017 - Initial communication
April 2017 - Contract signed, project paid in full
June 2017 - First notice project was running behind
June 2017 - Notice commission would not be completed on time
July - November 2017 - Further notice of commission delay

EXPLAIN: In early 2017, I saw the first piece of this artist's work and was very impressed. After a few short conversations, we agreed on an expedited commission at a greatly increased price. Several close friends had vouched for her work by this point and many conversations and assurances were given that the expected completion time of Anthrocon 2017 would be totally doable.
[Contract w/ completion date: https://i.imgur.com/ViRLy6Q.png https://i.imgur.com/jGIIjQW.png

For some context, a previous Beware I had written led to the rushed circumstance. This is a suit I've been trying to have made since 2014. The original artist has since completely given up responsibility for the project. Explaining this situation, plus the premium price, is part of why the deal was agreed upon with such a deadline.

My first concern came by way of being told she incurs a 5% convenience fee for using PayPal, something I had believed was against ToS. Given the sum of money already being spent here (again, 3600 dollars) I thought charging anything else was a little excessive. Needless to say, I went along with it and completely paid off that balance. After that time, I actually received regular updates, she streamed and showcased the work to me frequently, I actually believed I might really be getting this done!
[Convenience fee: https://i.imgur.com/QPyzgyK.png
[WIP: https://i.imgur.com/XxVDjoM.jpg
[WIP: https://i.imgur.com/KfAhsyZ.jpg

In early June I received the first communication that things would be suffering a delay. She complained of issues with drug interactions, stating her mood was too poor to be able to work. From this point onward, I only got one more follow up progress report on the suit. She continued to tell me about her diminished mental state and how she was unable to perform even basic, everyday functions. Come Anthrocon, I'm informed the suit would not be completed on time, but she would work tirelessly to get it done as quickly as can be. After July, she runs into a family health issue that takes several more months away from her projects, leading to the most recent updates in November where she has informed me she's suffered a shoulder injury and is, again, unable to perform even simple, daily tasks.
[First issues: https://i.imgur.com/pLMAq9P.jpg
[Second issues: https://i.imgur.com/BUgF7I8.jpg
[Third issues: https://i.imgur.com/foAO9pU.jpg
[Forth issues: https://i.imgur.com/8x7IlQb.jpg

PROOF: Payment in full: https://i.imgur.com/rfZG0a1.jpg
Contract Agreement: https://i.imgur.com/ViRLy6Q.png

This has been a difficult thing to do. Given the issues with health and family she has communicated to me, I gave every bit of leniency I could before writing this and even still feed bad doing so--I even offered to waive the money I was to be refunded for not completing it in a timely manner. But excuse after excuse, something this artist seems to have a history with, has once more led me to believe this is another project I should not expect to see completed and certainly not for the added expense.

EDIT: Original post updated to include a screen of the second page of the contract ( https://i.imgur.com/jGIIjQW.png ). The refund outlined here was indirectly referenced in the "First issue" link under explain, leading to its accidental omission.
Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.


( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 29th, 2017 11:36 pm (UTC)
I am sorry that this particular maker is pretty much taking you for a ride. Even if they don't think they aren't and have every intent to do right by you; they really should have taken that hint where you were discussing options to begin the refund process.

They broke a deadline you paid extra for apparently... twice over (rush fee + that extra 5%).

I think you just need to come at them and explain that while you're sympathetic to their issues; you can't sit there waiting for their happy place to return while losing out on 3.5k+ USD. That is too much money. They need to start the refund process with you.
Nov. 30th, 2017 02:15 am (UTC)
Is it... just me... or was the artist's methods of communicating their problems to you that are causing a delay WILDLY inappropriate? Getting told that they are "hysterical and shaking", that the thought of communicating with you makes them "cry for days" beforehand? A simple "there is a really tough adjustment period on these medications with some unexpectedly severe side effects, and they are seriously affecting my ability to perform even small day-to-day tasks, and working on top of that isn't feasible right now" without launching into some huge oversharing would have sufficed, surely? There's clearly communicating delays and why they're happening, and then there's, I don't know, using your clients as a therapist.

It just makes it tough for a customer to read how their artist is having "several breakdowns a day" and then still feel comfortable and okay in approaching them with concerns.
Nov. 30th, 2017 02:31 am (UTC)
Agreed. This is an incredibly awkward position to put your clients in. While I am sympathetic to the maker, there so many ways they could have tactfully explained their delays without imposing so much personal information on OP. It isn't their problem, bottom line.
Nov. 30th, 2017 02:42 am (UTC)
That's the majority of the issue with doing something like this. It's a guilt trip. It's made to feel so personal, so intense, that I've hesitated pilling the trigger on this for too long for fear of looking awful.

This amount of money puts it solidly into the realm of a real world business interaction and I felt it should have been handled as such.
Nov. 30th, 2017 11:13 am (UTC)
It's definitely not just you. Whether the artist intends it or not, it's emotional manipulation. Most people aren't going to want to ask for a refund when they get communications like that. I know that some folks may be tempted to air as much out to be transparent, but it's best to not. Especially when you're being trusted with such a large sum of money.
Dec. 1st, 2017 03:35 am (UTC)
I would like to point out, just because it isn't mentioned at all and is kind of taken out of context, we had become friends beforehand and during, hence the way I was talking to him. I was not being inappropriate with a random client. I was informing him as to the situation and confiding in him as a friend. Not guilt-tripping. I understand how it would be perceived that way without further context.

Edited at 2017-12-01 03:36 am (UTC)
Dec. 1st, 2017 04:08 am (UTC)
Thank you for contextualising. I respect that of course you have a right to feel comfortable confiding in friends, and I don't want you to feel bad about that. But as OP themselves responded stating that doing so felt like a guilt trip to them and affected their willingness to bring up issues, and they had the full context of being your friend, I feel like this can at least be taken as a lesson learned about keeping a clear delineation between business and personal going forward. When approaching someone about the fact that there will be delays on work due to health reasons, it's still better to approach it professionally even if they are your friend, and only give as much information as necessary. If afterwards, as a friend, they invite you to expand on things and talk about what you're going through, there's no reason not to do so. But keeping a clearer line of division between "this is a work conversation" and "now we are having a friend conversation" is important. To launch right into "I can't do the work and I cried for days thinking about telling you this and I'm shaking and crying and I feel terrible and I am such a disappointment and I hate my life right now" is a really really strong opening and very overwhelming.

Perhaps it's a difference in the handling of friendships, but even with friends I am intimately close with and have known for years, I usually still ask "I'm not feeling great, can I talk to you about some personal stuff?" when I want to talk with friends about tough life things, instead of just launching straight into it. But I also tend to be more reticent with my emotions than others, I acknowledge.

Nonetheless, since you are friends, I hope you can both resolve this and still remain amicable afterwards.
Dec. 1st, 2017 05:57 am (UTC)
Thank you for the advice and I will take it to heart. You are exactly right. I unfortunately, not of clear mind, made that mistake. It is, of course, a lesson learned.

Edited at 2017-12-01 05:58 am (UTC)
Dec. 1st, 2017 10:15 pm (UTC)
I don't mean to be contrary, but while you and OP may have had a closer relationship that resulted in you sharing this kind of stuff in your direct messages, it's definitely not like this stuff wasn't out there.

A lot of your journals on FA (https://tinyurl.com/y8zyvowl or https://tinyurl.com/yd2tb3a3 for example) have pretty much the same information, and the same sort of language as your messages to OP. I get that you want to explain why you're running behind, and I definitely sympathize with your state of mind, but it's a lot to share in such detail. I'm assuming you expect your commissioners are following these journals, since the journals also have you saying this is the reason for delays.

It really sucks that you're having these issues, and I think it makes total sense that they're causing a delay, but... maybe less detail. Commissioners on FA tend to be very, VERY lenient and kind to their artists, and I know from an outside perspective this could definitely leave them feeling super guilty-- nobody wants to bother an artist when they're writing about 'having hysterical crying spells 3-5 times a day' or how they 'can't handle even the slightest pressure or stress'.

I'm sorry if this seems aggressive, just wanted to point out that the journals might be a bit of an issue too. I see you're closed atm while you handle the issue, and that seems like a good idea-- I hope you and your dad the best with healing up and getting to a better place!
Dec. 1st, 2017 05:53 am (UTC)
I am only able to post a small response, being that we are both at a convention at the moment, so I will quickly summarize it as best as I can.

I understand the frustration and disappointment Mori is feeling, but I feel this is unfair. The combination of past dealing with the previously commissioned artists and this situation, I feel has led Mori to take out his frustrations on me. On several occasions he has expressed his insecurities caused by his previous situations.

There are quite a few things missing from this situation and taken out of context so I will do my best to clarify as much as I can while being out of town and incapable of supplying any proof of explanations. Proof and defense will be submitted after returning home later next week.
It was left out that I was in NJ for about 3 months due to my father almost dying several times (aortic aneurism that tore and surgery/recovery complications), during which I had to assist my disabled mother with day-to-day activities, errands and chores, including looking after my 3-year-old nephew every Friday. While doing so, I injured my dominant arm/shoulder, tearing my rotator cuff causing continuous pain and severe mobility impairment. Because I do not have health insurance, I was incapable of getting treatment. This, however, was rectified (as communicated with Mori 3 hours before posting his beware) outside of the MMF hotel yesterday with Mori that my insurance will take affect on January 1st 2018. As soon as it does, I am seeking treatment from a specialist and discuss my surgical options. While in NJ I was incapable of doing any work as I was over 1200 miles away and living on a couch.

In response to the messages being "inappropriate" in a conversation with a customer: I would like to point out that we had become friends beforehand and during, hence the way I was talking to him. I was not being inappropriate with a random client. I was informing him as to the situation and confiding in him as a friend. Not guilt-tripping. I understand how it would be perceived that way without further context.

In addition, there was no breach of contract. As agreed upon in the signed contract, if I missed the completion date he will receive a $500 refund and his fursuit when it is completed, which he is in fact going to receive both as stated.

I will write up a full defense submission when I return home. I hope this will suffice at this current time.
Dec. 1st, 2017 09:21 am (UTC)
Thank you for coming in with your side! It is always nice to hear both sides of the story. I'm going to respond to this in parts to keep it neat.

1. You claim to "understand the frustration and disappointment Mori is feeling" then go right on to say this beware is unfair. I'm not sure I understand why this beware is "unfair" Regardless of the hows and whys, OP has every right to be upset that a suit they paid a rush fee on is now going on 9 months past due. Friends or not, circumstances or not, that is way too long a time frame for them to be waiting for a rushed suit.

2. The paragraph (in this comment) about the specific whys of some delays is a bit... graphic. However, regardless of where you were, the suit is still extremely late despite a rush fee.

3. OP interpreted your conversation tone/style differently, but as I can see from an above comment you have already stated you will be working on this so I have nothing to add.

4. The contract OP linked actually doesn't have the clause you are talking about. This document cuts off after the first page so we can't see the rest of it.

Other than that, the only other things I'd like to mention are:
-The Paypal fee is 100% not allowed by Paypal and super skeevy. PayPal's cut is only 2.9% + 30 cents anyway so you are actually making money off of the fee (either the 3% or the 5%).
-I can't find the pricing breakdown in any of the caps, but I think it is within your best interests to refund the rush fee (and Paypal fee) when you are able. At this point, there rush fee went towards nothing since the completion date has passed and the PP fee was illegal anyway. That may be the $500 you mentioned earlier, but I can't tell from the current information.
Dec. 1st, 2017 07:02 pm (UTC)
I appreciate your response. I do in fact understand, however we were resolving the issue as agreed upon in the signed agreement. I do not know why he has neglected to include necessary information. As stated in my comment, I am unable to provide the rest until I return home later next week. I included the details to show the severity and truthfulness, as some exaggerate their issues or fabricate them in defense.

As to the convenience fee being illegal; it is not me charging for the PayPal fee and more. Just as businesses, such as gas stations, they charge extra for payments made through means that are not preferred such as credit cards. There is a Cash price, and a credit price. Our preferred method for payment is by check which was expressed to Mori for this transaction, but he wanted to send via PayPal. I charge a convenience fee because it costs money to use it and it delays payments. They hold larger amounts for even a week or so before it is even received by us. This has happened to us before. This is not "skeevy" or illegal. Other artists have fees for such things as well.

Just as stated above and in a screenshot (not even mentioned in his explanation), it was agreed that if the completion date were to be missed, a refund of $500 would be given. I neglect to see where I am not trying to resolve the issue in the first place.

The fact that he has left out such vital information provided within the contract alone is dishonest and misleading.

FULL contract showing what the OP left out: https://tinyurl.com/y9s6xaf3

The proof provided by the OP was only selected screenshots, missing the entire mention of a specific issue that had me over 1200 miles away from my workshop and no way to return home. It is also screenshots that are cutting off information, such as the payment agreement. He is not providing all the facts. Again, these will all be provided when I return home.

In addition, he completely neglects to mention the updates I had been posting on my FAs explaining the situations and updating customers on the status of any of said situations. I believe that this report was written with only the minimal amount of context and facts within our interactions and business dealings.

Further proof and information will be provided upon my arrival home later next week.

Edited at 2017-12-01 07:03 pm (UTC)
Dec. 1st, 2017 07:24 pm (UTC)
I am also not sure why they failed to provide the entire agreement or the payment agreements. Not all posters put in every single conversation/piece of information. Thank you for sharing the agreement, as it does help give a clearer picture of the situation. The clause itself doesn't make much sense though. "Failure of the completion but the agreed upon completion date will result in..." does not make sense (unless the "but" should be "by". I'm not sure where you got it from my words, but I no way saw that you were /not/ trying to resolve the issue. I look forward to seeing the proof you provide as I do want to understand the situation clearly.

That being said, the issue that I'm seeing here is that OP is tired of waiting for the suit and/or a refund. The agreement does not specifically say when the supposed refund would be issued. One of your earlier statements mentioned that they'd get the refund with the suit; if I was the OP, I would be upset at having to wait an unknown amount of time to get either my money or my product. A business transaction is a business transaction regardless of friendship.

As for the Paypal fee, that is still against Paypal's ToS, which makes it illegal. Paypal does not allow for sellers to charge buyers more for using their service; any type of "convenience fee" must be across the board. This is from Paypal's user agreement "You agree that you will not impose a surcharge or any other fee for accepting PayPal as a payment method. You may charge a handling fee in connection with the sale of goods or services as long as the handling fee does not operate as a surcharge and is not higher than the handling fee you charge for non-PayPal transactions." I've seen sellers just charge a general transaction handling fee for digital/electronic transactions to cover such fees.
Dec. 1st, 2017 07:39 pm (UTC)
It was quoted below, but here is a link to specifically where it says in PayPal's TOS that what you're doing isn't in compliance -


No surcharges

You agree that you will not impose a surcharge or any other fee for accepting PayPal as a payment method. You may charge a handling fee in connection with the sale of goods or services as long as the handling fee does not operate as a surcharge and is not higher than the handling fee you charge for non-PayPal transactions.

Just because other artists do it doesn't make it in compliance with their TOS. Comparing it to companies that add a fee to CC payments isn't comparable as their agreement with the CC company likely allows such surcharges.

If you're concerned about the fee that PayPal imposes, I'm pretty sure someone previously mentioned on another beware entry that their fee is tax deductible (obviously you should look into this before assuming). Otherwise you can raise your commissions across the board to make up for the small loss.
Dec. 1st, 2017 08:52 pm (UTC)
I can confirm that all fees are tax deductible. And considering the amounts builders work with, they should be declaring their taxes.
Dec. 4th, 2017 10:37 am (UTC)
A convenience fee is not a surcharge. Furthermore, surcharges ARE illegal in certain states. But the most important aspect - as others have already pointed out - is that Paypal outright forbids levying a surcharge on buyers for using their services, and may suspend or even ban you for doing this.
Chelsea Smile
Feb. 2nd, 2018 03:49 am (UTC)
Arent you attacking the user on facebook now? Getting their account post blocked for sharing the beware. Tgis behavior is not makibg you look any bit better!
Feb. 2nd, 2018 06:38 am (UTC)
No I am not, and I don't appreciate the assumption that I would do that. I have not reported anything, nor attacked anyone. If anything, I am being attacked as well as anyone that doesn't agree with that post. I have been civil and handling it professionally. I would appreciate it if you would contact me and not reply to something that has nothing to do with the current issue. Please leave this issue for us and the customer to resolve.

Edited at 2018-02-02 06:59 am (UTC)
Dec. 1st, 2017 11:01 am (UTC)
The other response to this summarizes my feelings well, so I'll just pop in here to say that the time a post goes up is not the time it was submitted. Bewarees always seem to attribute this to malice, but we have a queue that us moderators review. The date displayed on the post is the time it was submitted.

And either way, the client is still within their rights to talk about a $3600 suit that wasn't delivered with no compensation or refund.

While I sympathize with life problems, there was always the option to refund them at any point.
Dec. 1st, 2017 07:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you for letting me know. I do need to mention that nowhere did I say that he did not have the write to talk about his commission. This statement is also false: "with no compensation or refund.". As stated above in a previous reply, OP neglected to include the full contract and conversations that state that he is getting a $500 refund as agreed upon.
Dec. 1st, 2017 09:00 pm (UTC)
That still doesn't negate the fact that they are well past their deadline without a suit in hand. A lot of us artists here deal with chronic injuries that affect our work, so I definitely understand how major a cuff injury is. They paid for a rush to be done by AC, and now you're injured with a recovery period ahead of you. Personally, I do believe a full refund should have been offered at this point. For your sake given what entails with building a suit.

With that said I do know that you know your situation better than any of us, so I hope for a speedy resolution to this beware. Good luck on your recovery!
Dec. 12th, 2017 09:08 pm (UTC)

Best wishes to your Dad, dude.
Dec. 1st, 2017 11:49 pm (UTC)
Everyone has made good points so far, but the one thing bothering me is the $500 rush fee. You say in the first screenshot that you can't afford to be out that money... But it's to be refunded if you can't meet the deadline.

Going forward, I really think you should consider treating that fee almost like a landlord with a security deposit. You need to tuck it away and not look at or touch it until the conditions of that money are met (i.e. the product is completed). This is payment to overcome the the inconvenience of having to push other projects aside and to compensate for time lost on them and for additional labor to get everything done in a shorter amount of time. But if you take longer due to unforeseen circumstances, you are not entitled to that. You should be prepared to refund that money on the deadline, no questions asked, if the project isn't finished. Had you, it probably would have put you further into the commissioner's good graces.
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 6th, 2017 01:46 am (UTC)
A few points have been mentioned that appear to have me taking things out of context or be misleadingly vague.

1. The ommitted page from the contract consists of signatures and dates, all documented here in the post, in addition to the notice of being refunded 500 for the late charge. The only other point is regarding when the project would be started, but since we had agreed on an expedited process, my omissions were for the relevance of this post. While I understand details are king, I aimed to make this to the point.

2. Not SPECIFICALLY documenting medical ailments or why time or travel happened simply came down to respect and privacy. I stated she was injured. I stated there was a family emergency. Anything else struck me as too much information for the general public.

3. Lastly, we have discussed what steps were being taken to rectify this situation. However, the immediate issue that spurred this was simultaneously being told there was no money for a refund while then being seen at a convention--early, no less.

No malice was intended here. While I understand leisure is important and often times needed, I don't believe it is a responsible or fair business decision to frivolously spend on conventions while still denying any money for a refund.
Dec. 6th, 2017 01:50 am (UTC)
As also for a point of clarification on number 2:

When we review posts we review each of them on a case-by-case basis. For the most part we ask folks to censor personal issues. If there had been a detailed list of the artist's life problems, then we would have more than likely asked for it to be censored for privacy reasons.
Dec. 6th, 2017 02:12 am (UTC)
Upon review, I see that the first piece of the omitted paragraph was regarding the refund. While I included that information in a screenshot, I did not see that it wasn't outlined specifically in the original post.

For that, I do deeply apologize.

As was mentioned, we were both at a convention. While I put every bit of attention I had into this while writing it, the high tensions led to this mistake. She has since posted the full contract, which I hope can clear things up. Regardless of intent, the included portion about not having the money was what caused me to picture having this detailed more thoroughly.
(Deleted comment)
Skyy Chan
Jan. 17th, 2018 11:52 am (UTC)
Yeah.... I know if I had huge delays especially from a medical concern and major life events, I wouldn't go to a convention and i'd contact the customer about giving them a full refund. It's a responsibility, you accept the money for a product within given time frame. Without the product in the customer's hand, isn't it appropriate to refund after it's been such a long time frame and feeling less capable of providing what the customer asked for?
It just seems, not right, otherwise. I hope this gets resolved. As far as I can tell, it'd probably be best to give the initial 'rush' payment refunded, the fursuit in their hands, plus some extra good quality freebies for the time frame (or just the full refund).
( 29 comments — Leave a comment )


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