Twitter: MugsTheAlien, MugsTheGoblin, MoTheGoblin
What: Sticker Pack, $125
Why: Misleading queue presentation, trying to break own TOS, lying about/omitting parts of our interaction in a Commissioner Beware
I commissioned under the impression Mo had a reasonable-length queue. I then watched them do multiple adopts and personal art without any explanation or reason for the delay on my work (or anyone else’s). When I asked for a refund (in accordance with TOS) every attempt was made to discourage me from it until I pressed enough to get them to agree. I later gave in and agreed to continue the commission against my better judgment, accepting stickers in place of the original in hopes that it would help clear the air on the original concept. My commission was subsequently rushed and I was made to feel the villain for asking for updates and that it be finished within the buyer protection window. They left the drop shadow and stroke off the stickers and refused to let me add them myself. When I expressed I felt this was unfair, they did a beware on me with misleading and outright wrong information.
In early June, my partner Ri bought an adopt (Hardy) from Mo as a surprise gift for me. I got in contact with Mo to get the name and details added to the ref sheet.
In the course of our conversation, they convinced me to get a commission from them of the character. I’ll be honest and say I felt a little guilty because I dropped the whole “I might commission” thing and then kinda felt like I should. That’s on me. I really shouldn’t have commissioned under pressure.
So, I went ahead and commissioned. The commission was promised at around 2 months. Which I wasn’t in a rush, but I figured with the small amount of commissions on their queue, it wouldn’t be too long. Mo did not mention to me that their queue was WAY out of date, leading me to believe there wasn’t much ahead of me, especially since they added my project almost immediately.
In early September, Mo posted that their Trello was not up to date. I waited a couple weeks, thinking there were just a few things missing or something that had been taken after my commission. Then I checked in with them on Sep 17th. They verified that it still wasn’t up to date. I waited quietly, hoping this would be updated soon, but I was starting to get pretty stressed and worried. And resentful. In the time I was waiting to hear or see anything, Mo posted plenty of adopts and personal artwork, and advertised constantly for more commissions.
I have nothing against artists having off days, doing personal work, etc., but there’s something very shady when you’re constantly open for commissions, your queue is out of date, and nothing you post seems to be related to completing or even working on commissions.
I was seriously considering asking for a refund when I received a message from Mo’s manager on Oct 7, asking what I had commissioned, when, etc. Tabby (the manager) was updating Mo’s queue and rearranging things. I started to think that maybe there was some chance I’d get my stuff.
After the queue settled out, I noticed there were a lot of people placed ahead of me, and certain people had been marked as a priority, but I was not one of them despite being one of the oldest comms in the queue. After waiting another several days, I reached out to see if I could arrange a refund (and yes, understanding that it wouldn’t be immediate and that it would not be in full). It was immediately demanded that I explain why.
I explained that I felt I had been misled regarding the amount of stuff in front of me and that I was uncomfortable with all the stuff getting done ahead of me and the personal art. I was told why the delay was justified, including that they’d taken comms for “seasonal” things, were doing “minor” edits, the queue already was out of date, etc.
I was told they weren’t “comfortable” giving me a refund since they’d started (note again I didn’t say I wanted a 100% refund, nor did I ever; I fully expected to only get a partial refund but I just wanted to be done with it all). I will admit that I shouldn’t have accused them of slamming out the sketch without proof, but it did feel very weird that the sketch appeared about 30 minutes after I asked about a refund. Please keep in mind their comment about how their sketches are “always rough” for later.
Once the pose was explained to me, I could kind of make out what they were drawing, but honestly I still couldn’t really see many details. They also made a comment about “finding it odd” that I was asking for a refund after they started the sketch. I’m not sure what they were implying, since I hadn’t seen the sketch? And I never said I wanted a refund on work already done? I also found myself having to justify not asking for a refund when Tabby initially contacted me, but nothing was said about that being an option or a “last chance” to ask for.
I was also threatened with being blacklisted for canceling, despite that being stated nowhere in their TOS.
The flurry of texts after, I honestly didn’t know how to respond. I was trying to handle things as gently as I could. I get that refunds are stressful (been there), so I didn’t have any intention of demanding anything.
I was handed off to Tabby, which was fine. She added me to the refund list.
I was told there would be a delay, and at that point I didn’t know what else to say. I mentioned my buyer protection being a ways out, and that I would be comfortable waiting that long. In response to my “ok,” it was pressed that it would be faster to get art done, which again felt like being pressured to not do a refund. (I honestly wasn’t in a hurry, but at that point there were like, 6 weeks left?)
After a few days, I started to feel bad for asking the refund. I really do love Mo’s artwork, and I thought maybe a compromise could be reached. I reached out to Tabby about possibly getting stickers instead of the original request. I figured I’d get 5-6 for what I’d paid. I was offered 15 instead, which I thought was pretty cool.
While I was waiting, I noticed a friend of mine had gotten a (non-holiday) full body done, and I couldn’t recall having seen their stuff in queue earlier.
Fortunately, I was provided with the sketches a few days later, and I finally started to feel like things were going well and I could get my art and have something to enjoy.
I gave feedback on the expression/pose on one sketch which was fixed. I was a little surprised, though, when the next WIP I got was full color, since their TOS states there’s a line phase to refine pose etc. Still, the only gripe I had was that since he was supposed to be “puppy eyes begging” in the sticker, I wanted his eyes shinier. I specified that I wanted it only on that particular expression, but Mo added eye shine to the rest of the stickers later on, too, which I thought was nice.
This was the next WIP I got
Mugs has characterized my requests for edits as “rude” and excessive. I will let the reader be the judge.
You’ll see the next interaction I had above as well. Mo had posted that they were going to be on hiatus to “deal with some family stuff,” but that clients could reach out if they had concerns. Which I did when I saw it about two days later. I was made to feel as though I had no right to ask about this, as an artist deserves a vacation, etc. etc. Again, didn’t really know what I could say or do, so I just stayed quiet until I got more updates. I was, at that point, pretty annoyed with how I’d been treated, but I wasn’t in the mood to be confrontational as I figured it would just result in my stuff being rushed.
Updates continued, again without any WIPs between sketch and color phases. I didn’t want to ask for major changes since I wasn’t getting a chance to give feedback on lines, but I didn’t feel like most of what I was asking for was out of line. Lettering should’ve been a matter of just drawing over again, and they were nearly invisible on my phone (showed up ok on my laptop, though).
Over the weekend, I saw that the last three had been uploaded.
With this one, I felt like the fingers on the top left were really rushed (and honestly the whole sticker)? And looked odd. I asked for a fix on that. I also asked if there would be drop shadows like in this example that Mo has been posting as an ad on twitter for $5/each YCH sticker packs. Telegram recommends a stroke and drop shadow on all stickers, which is especially important since you can put complex pics in the background, so it didn't seem unreasonable to expect that those would be added in the finishing phase.
Asked if the fingers on one sticker of three could be corrected (the top left). They were very sausage-y and looked nothing like the sketch (though the sketch is very rough). After being told no, no shadows, I was told that if I was happy with it, they could send the link. I asked if it would be possible to get them without a background so I could add simple outlines, drop shadows.
I’m told I’m “rude” for wanting that, and “oops, I forgot to include the packet link!” Which tells me the stickers had already been turned into a pack and I was expected to accept them before I was even asked what I thought. I’m also told “I understand you may want things to your liking”. Well, yes, yes I do want things to my liking, since I paid $125 for this custom commission.
I’m told I’ll be blacklisted once “the conversation is over,” and it’s made pretty clear that there is no intention to further update my commission.
I write back with my reply. After which, Mo makes a “beware on commissioner” making several false and misleading claims, including that I approved the sketch for the original full body commission (addressed in next section). I have been blocked by the artist, and no attempt to make these stickers usable or correct the fingers on the one sloppily done one seems likely.
Mo’s “Beware on Commissioner” and Counterpoints:
Mo made a beware on me, which was misleading and inaccurate, and even contained an outright lie. They also posted excerpts of our communications out of chronological order, making it even more confusing. Please refer to the Long Version section to review transcripts for proof of any claims I make.
They claim I approved the sketch before requesting a refund. If you look at the transcript above, you can see I never even saw the sketch until after I asked the refund, and I certainly never approved anything.
They themselves state they completed the sticker and got approval without running the lines past me. Blatantly outside of their TOS. They claim I asked for changes after the stickers were completed, but I had no choice since they went from very rough sketches to completed with no input from me in between. Remember they said to me that their sketches were “very rough”? How was I supposed to know from a Very Rough sketch how it would look completed? I asked for fairly minor changes, and I would have requested them at the line phase had I been given the chance (if the lines were the applicable phase). At no point did they inform me that these were difficult changes.
They claim I was impolite in my messages. The last two, yeah, I got "impolite". But I feel that most of my feedback was very polite, and at no point did Tabby say I was rude.
Here they state their hiatus was due to an injury, contradicting their earlier claim that it was a family issue.
They state they’re not comfortable with me wanting things done “while can force a refund.” But why should I be comfortable commissioning if I have no protection? They have $125 of my money. I have… what, a hope that I’ll eventually get my art???
I asked for a drop shadow before the pack was sent to me. I was direct with my request, but I wouldn’t call it a demand. I was not told there would be no drop shadow, and the only example of Mo’s stickers contained one, so I’d say, yet again, I was misled.
They stated their beware “is not an attack” but then send it out to their followers with inaccurate information mischaracterizing the entire transaction to 10x the followers I have. Not sure what else I’d call that.
I also never used the phrase “force a refund.” It’s odd that my hope to have my artwork completed in 180 days while I still had some reassurance that I had a way to get either the commission or my money back is something that made a professional artist uncomfortable.
I didn’t ask for “one edit per sticker.” I maybe asked for four total? There was an entire sheet that I loved and thought was great and didn't ask for a single change on, and others I was willing to accept as-is even though they weren’t quite what I wanted.
Regarding the following screenshot, their claim that that is how they responded when I asked about the break is a lie as well. That was a response to me asking about the drop shadows and edit for the fingers.
While I absolutely could extract the stickers back to PNG and edit them from Telegram, I’m not going to. Frankly this whole hideous deal has left me with a very expensive pile of stickers that I really don’t know to do with. I don’t enjoy looking at them, even though intellectually I know most of them are really cute. I don’t want to use them. Basically, Mo technically fulfilled the letter of my commission with enough ambiguity to say they did what was promised.
The commissioner beware was deleted when I posted a link to my version of events. However, Mo made no effort to correct the misinformation in the beware and has claimed I have been directly harassing them and continuing to cause them problems, and I am therefore still getting their followers turning up on my twitter to harass me.
TOS Issues/Other Info and Proof:
Proof they say that refunds are available at any time with no stipulation requiring justification. (And remember, at no point did I demand a full refund.)
Proof they claim there’s a line phase of approval. Which I never got.
Trello card showing the lack of a line phase:
In response to Mo’s beware, I posted a link to this beware and asked that people consider my side of the story, since there was inaccurate information in the thread. Mo subsequently deleted the first tweet in the thread, more or less hiding my reply as well. However, the rest of the tweets were still on their timeline, so I used my alternate account to post links to each of the tweets with incorrect information in hopes that I wouldn’t be silenced again. Mo subsequently deleted all but that last couple of tweets.
After this, Mo made several posts claiming that it was “harassment” and that my partner (who had engaged them to refute misinformation as well) was also harassing them. At this point, I was understandably annoyed and furious over the whole thing and how I was being portrayed, so I posted the following.
In response to this vaguetweet, Mo decided to release the stickers for public use and refund me (minus about $5 because they sent it as Goods and Services instead of refunding the original transaction). While I suppose I’m glad for the refund, I am of course concerned that they sent it G&S as a separate transaction, meaning they could chargeback at any point in the next 180 days.
In consideration of the fact that the refund can still be revoked, and the possibility that other folks may have similar experiences, I will not be removing this beware. Mo continues to make claims of harassment and spread disinformation, and has failed to appropriately address any of the concerns raised in this beware publicly or privately.