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Sarahcat

What to do: Ask for refund, beware, ??

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A little over a month ago I commissioned an artist for some Telegram stickers. Mid-May they sent me a GIF of 3 of them as rough sketches but that has been it. Shortly after that they sent out a "mass message" claiming that their US state's internet provider blocked Telegram and they are no longer able to communicate avidly, however Telegram claims they're still online. I've sent them two messages this week asking if there's any updates and both messages have been read and ignored.

There's so many red flags at this point I'm not even sure what to do. I think it would be kind to message them about a refund first but if they don't reply that does nothing. It's been a month so I don't think that warrants a beware right now. What would you do? 

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Use their paypal email to email them asking for an estimated time of completion for your stickers. Assuming they're not lying about telegram being blocked, they still have an email address and therefore a way to communicate with you. If they don't contact you back within 7 days from asking for an ETA, I'd just go ahead and send them an ultimatum about either the stickers or a refund by X date.

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Net neutrality has been repealed in the US, but I'm not aware of any US states blanket banning any social media websites. That would be huge news, and a quick Google search shows that while places like Russia and Iran are banning Telegram, I can't find any info that places in the US have. Even if they did, the artist could still use their mobile data connection to access it, and if all else failed, a VPN. Simply put, I don't believe for a moment that their claim is true and even if it was, they have other options if they were truly concerned about it.

Regardless, the fact that they are online and your messages show that they were read proves their claim is not true. They clearly have access to Telegram in *some* fashion.

Personally, if I were in your shoes, I'd challenge their claim that their ISP has blanket banned Telegram, and point out that they are reading my messages so they obviously have access to the service. Request an update. If they dont have one or refuse to respond, escalate to an ultimatum. And, if that too passes with no answer (I'd say about a week), ask for a refund. And if all else fails, a PayPal claim (assuming you used PP, of course).

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The thing that immediately jumps out to me is that they're saying that their state's internet provider is the problem. No state in the US has a single service provider, and even the most remote states (Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, etc) can provide you with at least five options between local and national service providers, on broadband and satellite services. Additionally, a VPN is usually an easy way to bypass problems of "this service has been banned," so even if there is a problem with their ISP and Telegram, they have ways around it.

I agree with Bornes about reaching out via their Paypal email. Since they're ignoring your Telegram messages, using that means of communication seems to be best. In the mean time, make sure that you're collecting screenshots of everything, especially on Telegram.

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Telegram also will tell you the last time someone logged in, there is no way to hide this. It will either show an exact date, or a general timeframe. Click on their name/pic to bring up their user info. If it says "long long time ago', than they havent been on, or you're blocked (If you can see their pic, you arent blocked). If it says anything else, they have been online within 24 hours, or the date it says.

Try their paypal email, and give an ultimatum if they dont reply, but be prepared to fight for a refund, as it's very obviously theyre lying about the Telegram ban, and it seems like a way to get out of art/talking to customers.

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On 5/31/2019 at 8:49 PM, BaronVonClop said:

Personally, if I were in your shoes, I'd challenge their claim that their ISP has blanket banned Telegram, and point out that they are reading my messages so they obviously have access to the service.

I think this is pointless, honestly. The artist might be lying, but who cares? You really think they're going to be like "Oh no, you caught me, guess I have to pay attention to you now!" Unlikely. Maybe they have an issue with their service somehow (could be the ISP's problem, could be computer user error) or maybe they just don't want to deal with telegram as often and made up an excuse to let people know they won't be on tg as often. The next step in any of these situations is email.

That's why I say just pretend to believe the artist (or really don't even form an opinion on the lack of tg use) and go right to another form of communication that has been provided. Skip the drama. There's no point, it just makes the called out person move to the defensive and makes them less likely to want to work with you.

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