Around the end of August 2020 I made a post in a facebook group for Custom Plushies asking to commission a plush maker for a plush of a character from the show Super Robot Monkey Team Hyper Force Go. One of the makers that approached me was a UK-based maker named Sona Simkova. On the post I asked them to send me a direct message with examples of their work.
After they sent examples, I asked Sona if they had any social media accounts and this was their response. This is why they are referred to with their full name, as it is the only thing available ("Ockolapka" is from their public facebook page's URL).
I agreed to commission them and on September 2nd 2020 I sent them payment via PayPal.
Once the payment was given, I would message them every 1-2 months requesting updates on my commission. Being an artist myself, I'm more than understanding of how much time and work goes into making plushies so I never rushed them.
In the beginning their responses seemed pretty normal delay responses.
Now this I thought was slightly odd as they never mentioned before that my commission was in a queue, but I did tell them I was in no rush so I was understanding and let it go.
Here is where I started to get worried. COVID-19 is no joke and of course if they did contract the virus I would want them to take it easy, but at the same time it started to get weirder and weirder that Sona was feeding me excuse after excuse. But I didn't want to think badly of them for it; I hated the idea of accusing them of being a liar during a deadly pandemic. However, this was also the start of their delayed responses, and I was started to get seriously annoyed that I was the only one initiating conversation. As you've seen in the previous responses, I had gotten a few "I forgot to tell you"s, so really I should've been a lot more suspicious much earlier on (Word is censored from their message because they put my last name).
So once again I got radio silence, and it's getting close to me needed to move out of my current apartment so now I really needed my commission to be done sooner. At the same time I started to realize I might not even GET my commission, so I decided to twist the knife and see what happens.
Unfortunately my fears were true. As you can see in my second response, Sona's facebook icon is next to it indicating they've seen the messages. They have now proceeded to ghost me and has not responded to my messages since. I reached out to one of the mods of the Plush facebook group about them and this was the response.
Sona appears to be attempting to disappear, and has ran off with my money. I cannot open a dispute on Paypal because it's past their 180 day limit (which I will admit is on me for not keeping track on dates).