sektoth wrote in artists_beware

Artist Beware - Fr0stbit3

 This imgur album may be easier to follow, but I will copy the relevant information in the proper template as well.

WHO: The artist is named Fr0stbit3 on Furaffinity.  


WHAT: Digital art, solo character NSFW commission, offered by the artist in pre-posed slots.   

WHEN: Initial contact was February 3rd, 2018 when the commission was accepted. Payment details were provided on February 4th, and payment was also sent on February 4th. 

On March 19th, email communication began inquiring about the commission, and then a month's deadline for a refund was communicated and accepted. 

On April 20th, I opened a PayPal dispute to reinitiate contact. The refund was refused, and the dispute was elevated to a claim.

On April 24th, the claim was resolved in the Buyer's (mine) favor. 

On May 1st, the Seller/Artist, Fr0stbit3, reopened the claim to appeal to PayPal.

On May 4th, the appeal was denied by PayPal. Fr0stbit3 proceeded to post an unauthorized image of my character, using the title and description to insult and defame me. I decided to create an Artists Beware entry.

EXPLAIN: This began when I asked for a pre-posed commission slot Fr0stbit3 was opening in February. The idea was a line of dragon characters in pre-made poses would be completed individually for the buyers and then posted in a group pic at the conclusion.

This is my initial comment on the submission page inquiring for a slot. Page is still available as of 5/4/2018. I inquired after a slot for the "Dragon Wall", pre-posed pictures for dragon characters to be lined up in a group picture.

[NSFW link]

Here is the note after the comment. I provided references and my paypal information, he replied with the price and his PayPal information.

As you can see by the date I paid the same day (with tip!). The payment has since been refunded after I filed a dispute, which the following screenshots will show.

About a month and a half later, I checked Fr0stbit3's Furaffinity page to see if he'd made any progress on the Dragon Wall. When I tried to navigate to the page from my note inbox, I got the error "user has voluntarily disabled access to their userpage", which was a big red flag for me. He has since reactivated his page.  Worried that an artist had taken my money and run, I tried using his paypal address to email him, and to my relief he responded the next day. He assured me he would be providing a refund as soon as he could, but couldn't due to issues in his personal life.

I expressed my sympathy and asked for a deadline for a refund, and he said it could be up to a month, but he'd try to get it to me earlier. After this, I had no contact with him for a month.

This image is read from bottom to top. After a month of no contact and no refund, I reinitiated contact via Paypal by opening a dispute. Paypal's first step of the dispute process is simply the Buyer (me) contacting the Seller (Fr0stbit3). I explained what had already happened and informed him I had opened a dispute for this reason. He responded with "I told you to be patient with me" while simultaneously denying he had received any previous email from me.   After that I realized that he was not going to be willingly provide any refund to me, was providing no revised deadlines, so I escalated the dispute to a Claim in order to have the transaction refunded.

He proceeded to send me several messages on FA, urging me to check my email. I did, and saw nothing, until I thought to check the email address I use as my Paypal. He also seemed to be confusing me for someone else named "Matt".

I checked my alternate email and found this from him, finding out that he'd gone back on his promise of a refund and went ahead and completed the image. I found this surprising, as he'd never even mentioned the possibility of him actually completing the commission, he'd only spoken about refunds. I also found it surprising that rather than actually send me the completed image to complete the commission, he'd chosen to hold it hostage instead.

For organization and clarity's sake, I forwarded the email he sent to my own email address, that I'd used to initially contact him, forwarded it again to him and then reopened our email thread, so that he could easily see my prior messages and stop having me confused for whoever Matt is.

I used slightly sterner language in response to his decision to hold the image hostage rather than fulfill his end of the transaction.   I made it clear that he had communicated to me that the image was not going to be completed, and that I had been waiting for a refund. At this point, I had no interest in the completed image, as this commission had proved to be an extremely frustrating experience. However, I was very much looking forward for this experience to be over, so I made it clear that if he wanted the dispute to be resolved, he could just send me the image and I'd call it even.   He responded as you can see above, with a pixelated/censored version, insisted that he could not trust me, and that he would only send me the file after I dropped the dispute, reiterating it with two emails in a row, making sure to mention in both that I could not be trusted. I was honestly surprised to see that he had done the image, but he still had not sent it to me, only a blurred version, so his part of the transaction was still incomplete.

I did my best to clarify my position and made it clear that the Paypal claim existed because he had failed to provide what I had paid for, and that if he fulfilled the transaction, the claim would be dropped. But he doubled down, refusing to provide the image, and also claiming he never provided refunds.

Despite my better judgement, I tried to make the situation crystal clear about how the ball was in his court, and that he could either let PayPal settle the dispute or provide the full image to satisfy the claim. I did not have much hope for the results, and I was tired of arguing, and made it clear that it was my final communication.

He then proceeded to be far more public, filling my shoutbox with messages. I provided a shout back asking him not to contact me unless it was with the image or a refund, via Paypal or email. I then blocked his Furaffinity account.

PayPal resolved the dispute in my favor, and they forced the refund. I was content to drop this particularly frustrating experience and move on, but I then received another email from Fr0stbit3 informing me that he would be appealing the claim and providing screenshots to PayPal, and also threatened to write a Buyer Beware against me. I was not overly concerned, as the screenshots demonstrate several times that he refused to provide the image he was paid for.

A few days passed and the PayPal dispute was closed, again, in my favor. Fr0stbit3 responded by posting the image to his FA scrap gallery, which includes a depiction of my character and my character's name, with the title "Scumbag Wall", claiming I had cheated him. I reported him on FA for harassment. At this point, the situation has concluded. I have received my refund and am happy to leave it at that, though I hope the submission he posted is taken down after my ticket is reviewed on FA. I hope this Artist Beware entry will help provide context for this transaction and help warn other commissioners from attempting to do business with this individual.

PROOF: All screencaptures are in the following Imgur album, as shown above:

Update: At this time the submission he was using to defame me has been taken down and his FA has been suspended, along with another user who was posting death threats to my shout page. Their suspensions lasted about two days.


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