[identity profile] foxyanu.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] artists_beware
Hey everyone, I was commissioned for a fursuit head, which was completed and really adored by the commissioner, but that's not the issue. I'm really not sure how to approach the commissioner about the constant messages he sends me via Twitter and text (37 pages worth in a Word document...). He's a local fur that I've only recently met and I don't like hurting people's feelings.

So, here's the story:

I was approached on FA to commission a fursuit head for A. Once I got all A's info, I maintained what would be normal contact, i.e. letting A know the fur was backordered so there would be a slight delay, etc. As soon as that info was given to A, I was barraged with questions about fur, how I was going to make it, what I was going to use, etc. At this point, I asked A is they had read my TOS, they said yes. In my TOS, I have stated that sending me a lot of messages, harrassing me for information, could canel your commission. This continues throughout the process, ok, I admit I should've said more about my TOS to them again, but it was my first real commission for someone other then a friend. The commission is completed, A loves it. Sadly, A has continued to send me a lot of messages and doesn't seem ot understand that I, 1. Don't have time to sit around a chat, and 2. I really feel uncomforable with them acting like this.

Since I'm rather new to dealing with commissioners, I'm looking for a preferably gentle way to let A know this is unacceptable as I am unsure of how A will act otherwise. Advice would be greatly appreciated.

01/10/16 UPDATE - I received another note on FA from A. My commissions are now closed, but A asked if I could do another commission AND give them a discount because they already bought something from me. I politely told A that my commissions are currently closed and there is no discount for being a previous customer. I also added that I wanted to mantain a professional, business relationship with them, nothing more. So far, communications have gone quiet from A.

Date: 2016-01-09 01:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] butt toucher (from livejournal.com)
That's both annoying and difficult...if it were me, I would just ignore it and hope they go away. But obviously that doesn't work for this person so you really might need to take the direct approach and just politely ask them to stop. Especially as the commission is completed, no further contact is necessary. This kind of behavior is excessive and obsessive...not healthy at all for either of you. D: Tell them the truth, and if they get angry / abusive or continue...I strongly suggest blocking them. Even if it might lose you a potential future sale, it's not worth the damage to your sanity.

Date: 2016-01-09 01:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bornesb.livejournal.com
"
A,

Thank you for your commission. It was a pleasure doing business with you. If you would like to commission me in the future, please do not hesitate to submit an order when I am open.

Until that time, I apologize but I will not be able to answer any more of your messages unless they are of a business nature.

Thank you,
Foxyanu
"

Or if you don't want to give them that opening:

"
A,

Thank you for your commission. It was a pleasure doing business with you. Unfortunately, since our business has concluded, I will not be able to respond to any further personal messages.

Thank you,
Foxyanu
"

Or if you want to be as blunt as possible:

"
A,

Thank you for your commission. I do not accept numerous or personal messages, as is stated in my Terms of Service. This is a courtesy message to let you know I will no longer respond.
If you continue to send me messages, I will block you.

Thank you,
Foxyanu
"
Edited Date: 2016-01-09 01:35 am (UTC)

Date: 2016-01-09 06:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bornesb.livejournal.com
Writing business letters can be difficult and it is definitely a practiced skill. I am sure you will be able to write your own in no time. =)
Edited Date: 2016-01-09 06:13 am (UTC)

Date: 2016-01-09 01:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gatekat.livejournal.com
What it reads to me is someone who is desperately lonely and thinks that because you agreed to talk to them about the commission you'll talk to them about everything and are their new best friend who has no more of a life than they do.

There's no way this won't get ugly, I expect. Only two responses come to mind:
1. Tell them point blank that you do not want to be their friend and contact is not welcome.
2. If that doesn't work, you block them on all sites you're on.

Someone with better a social temperament likely has a nicer way to say it.

Date: 2016-01-09 02:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] laughsatthunder.livejournal.com
I actually wrote an A_B advice post about practically a year ago. Had a client who I stupidly added on Facebook and they asked a million questions during the process, then proceeded to comment on every post I made and message me every day after I shipped the item/after it was in their hands.

Don't be afraid to tell them that you don't wish to communicate further after the completion of the commission unless they're interested in commissioning you again. It might hurt their feelings a little bit but it's going to be so relieving in the end.

Date: 2016-01-09 04:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dinogrrl.livejournal.com
The other commenters gave great advice for how to handle the situation right now. My suggestions are for the future:

I would suggest that you choose one, MAYBE two, forms of contact for commissions. Maybe one website (like FA), but definitely one email or whatever that is dedicated to business (or set up filters on your personal email for commissions). It helps to keep a more professional appearance, and also to cut some of the chatty-ness from more 'friendly' customers who think they've got a foothold into your personal space. Then check the business email once a day, period. Let the customers know you only check it once daily, and that if they want the best service, they should send one email a day, max, with all their questions, not a billion separate emails where info is easily lost.

And yes, if you have something written in your TOS about harassment, you need to stand by it. Otherwise, what's the point of having a TOS? Your TOS is there to protect you!

Part of being a businessperson is learning how to set these sorts of boundaries for yourself. It can feel 'mean' at first, but trust me, it's not. It's saving yourself from aggravation and wasted time :}.

Date: 2016-01-10 02:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] teekchan.livejournal.com
Be prepared to have them react badly. I have had a LOT of commissioners tell me Im a horrible person because I dont talk friendly to them, but keep business as business, and dont befriend commissions.

I have no idea where people get this mindset.

I tend to just ignore them. Or write one or two letter responses. They eventually get the hint.

Date: 2016-01-11 02:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thegraveofkings.livejournal.com
I've had to deal with similar. I stick with FA notes and emails solely because I've had to deal with it before. It does take a polite business letter to get them to leave off most of the time.

I've had requests for messengers (including skype, kik, and steam) as well as facebook. I just say that I prefer to conduct my business in a professional environment, which is why I use notes and emails only.

I'm very sorry you're having to put up with this, but the only way, as has been stated, is to inform them directly and deal appropriately with the fallout (which is to block them if they turn abusive). I know it can feel bad, but it's beneficial to a less stressful work environment and it's beneficial to you.

Date: 2016-01-11 03:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mortymaxwell.livejournal.com
Good luck. I hope they understand and act professionally.

It sounds like this person's very clingy and also inexperienced when it comes to commissions, because they are also asking for special discounts. Not a cool thing to ask an artist.

Date: 2016-05-06 01:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] star burton (from livejournal.com)
Thank you for posting this, I've had a similar situation recently so all of this is really helpful.

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