[identity profile] wilk-canine.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] artists_beware
Recently I had a commissioner approach me for a refund. I had taken a bit too long on their piece (I have my excuses but I'll leave them out) and they requested their money back. Since I'm doing very badly financially I asked if I could perhaps finish it within the day instead and they agreed to let me attempt to. I sent them the sketch and they approved it, but upon me delivering the final piece they said it felt rushed and that they weren't satisfied, requesting a refund again.
But now I'm hesitant to give it since I've already completed the piece, and to me it didn't seem rushed at all and seemed on par with me normal work. Either way, they had agreed to let me try and finish it and I did, so time was spent on it and I don't know how to proceed from here. Can anyone give me some advice?

Date: 2016-01-29 10:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leahtaur.livejournal.com
Can you ask them which parts seem rushed and need more attention? For example, maybe they think the colouring is not as detailed as your other works or something like that. If they can't list any one specific thing that looks off you can offer a partial refund. Without knowing the full details like length of time taken or how rushed it looks (if at all), half refund sounds generous, quarter refund should be the minimum. Again though, it's hard to say without more details.

The only reason I'd advise any refund at all when the piece is fully finished is because they did request a refund and you talked them out of it - maybe they don't like that character anymore for example. But if you want to finish things amicably, I think a partial refund or revisiting problem areas in the piece is the way to go.

Date: 2016-01-30 04:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mortymaxwell.livejournal.com
Does the commissioner just want the lines thicker in a few places (like say under the chin or on certain strands of hair) or do they want the entire piece relined? If it's just a few places, it probably would be easy enough to fix. But if they aren't going to be happy unless the entire piece is re-inked, then it probably would be a good idea to go with the partial refund.

Date: 2016-01-30 04:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leahtaur.livejournal.com
Sometimes you can give the appearance of having thickened the lines by fiddling with the lineart layer - duplicating it so it appears darker maybe. If that won't work in this case I'd say your choice is to redo the lines or offer a partial refund.

A pose rework at this point is unreasonable of them to ask since it was approved ahead of time.

Date: 2016-01-31 09:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] poizenkat.livejournal.com
ah that sounds pretty frustrating. I know I've had issues with commissioners who didn't understand that the lineart isn't going to look exactly the same way the sketch did. I hope it all goes well for you!

Date: 2016-01-29 11:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] totschrei.livejournal.com
I would offer corrections to them first and see if they want that.
As well since they agreed to let you finish the piece they cannot get a full refund as they have received a finished product.
However, if they do not accept the corrections perhaps a partial refund as stated above by Leathaur. It was you who talked them out of a refund so they are entitled to something if requested.
Your financial status is none of their concern, honestly. I know the feeling but never spend a customers money that you have not finished. That way a refund can always be offered.
that is my opinion :3 hope it all works out

Date: 2016-01-30 10:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mortymaxwell.livejournal.com
It's bad business practice to spend a customer's money before doing the work and then tell them about your RL problems. Besides being unprofessional, it can make a customer feel pressured into continuing with a commission. IMHO, the transaction should have ended the moment the first time he asked for a refund, and you should have started discussing how to repay him. But what's done is done.

My suggestion would be the same as the others and try corrections, then if that doesn't work, give them a partial refund.

Date: 2016-01-30 07:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ntshadow.livejournal.com
Speaking as someone who worked billing/customer service for many years (not in any artistic capacity, mind you), I find the request rather curious. I've had sucky customers who demanded a refund or waiving of ETFs with the stupidest of reasons (My husband has brain cancer! Your tech fixed it too quickly!), some of which made me wonder whether they were ever going to pay, or had planned to try and scam us for a refund from the beginning. My company did have ToS which stated we were best effort, and much like hospitals, would still charge for time and effort even if we couldn't resolve.

With artists....most artists have different policies on how to handle refunds/revisions/modifications that are amicable to both artist and artee (is that a real word? It should be)

For full disclosure I should say I'm not an artist (except wiht BuckyBalls) and have not yet commissioned any work from an artist.

So, here's my thoughts as a former billing rep, customer service rep, customer, friend of many artists, and longtime member of the fandom:

If I'm commissioning a work, I figure that I am purchasing not only a finished piece of work, but also the artist's time and effort towards that work. If I'm just picking up a print from their dealer table, then I am just purchasing that item. I am buying the time they took to hit PRINT on their computer, and I can see the finished work before making a financial decision. But with a commission I am purchasing their time devoted towards me, and as it's original, am aware that how it looks in the end may differ from how I pictured it in my head.

This person agreed to pay you for time and a product. You took too long on the time and they reasonably asked for a refund. You counter-offered with giving their art priority, and they agreed. You provided a final product and they again asked for a refund, giving what may...or may not... be a legitimate reason.

When a customer asked for a refund, I consider several factors:
What are they asking (do they want a refund, or do they just want their computer fixed)?
What is the reason for that request (Techs didn't resolve problem, they felt the Sales dept lied, they lost their job and have to cut expenses)?

Based on that information, the company's policies and my own judgement, I render a decision.

With your situation, my first thought is that this person wanted their money back no matter what. When they agreed to let you finish, still intended to find some flaw to reject the work.

I would be curious of more details. How long are the time frames involved? What do the sketches and finished work look like? What were your ToS when the piece was commissioned (Your FA lists ToS added a month ago)?

I think you'd be within your rights to deny a full refund. The customer did agree to allow you to continue working on the piece. But, there are some questions you may want to ask yourself. Does it feel like this person had buyer's remorse and just wants their cash back no matter what (or may have been intending to scam, as some still post refunded art on their gallery) or are they legitimately unhappy with the work? Has this person bought from you before, and might they be inclined to buy more art in the future? Would they accept further revisions ("Sorry, you're unhappy with the piece, allow me to fix it and I'll throw in a headshot as well")?

I know this got kinda long-winded, but hope it helps.

Date: 2016-02-06 07:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ntshadow.livejournal.com
Okay, understandable. And I can see where the customer may have been legitimately concerned you were blowing them off and rushing the piece to be done with them.

And great that you found an amicable solution, which is the ultimate goal.

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