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Advice: How long should I wait before delivering an Ultimatum?


Emperor
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Hi, I've been commissioning art from the furry fandom for over 15 years and this is my first big dispute with an artist and I have no idea how to navigate this situation, so I'm praying y'all can help me.

In June of 2021 I commissioned this artist for a full 2 character piece and everything went fine. In fact, it went so amazing that in July of 2021 I returned to commission them for a second piece of the same characters, this time tipping them even more than I did for round one, as I fully anticipated the same fast turnaround and fantastic work I had received in June. This second commission I paid around 135$ for. This was A LOT for me to spend on a single purchase, but I assumed I was going to get a great piece and great service, so I was happy to pay this.

As you probably suspect, that's not what I got.

Since that July of 2021 I have received NO communication from the artist, no updates, no explanations as to why it's been a year and a half and I still do not have so much as a sketch, no nothing. I recently contacted them on tumblr (where I commissioned piece 1) and asked what's up. Specifically, I asked if there is a timeline for when I could expect my piece and that, if they no longer wish to work on it, if I could have a refund. Ideally, I would rather be updated and wait for my piece. I genuinely adore their work, and the first picture they drew me is one of my top three favorites of my OCs. However, they continue to ghost all of my messages despite being active on all sites. I'm not even asking for proof that it's been worked on, simply reassurance that it has not been forgotten and will be worked on in a timely manner. I will admit, I should have attempted contacting them long before this, but because I did know they were going through some stuff (moved, caught COVID19, death of pet) I didn't want to be a pest by bothering them. I'm profoundly disabled irl, so I know how hard life is and I was scared of being accidentally cruel to someone who might also be suffering. Their service for round one was amazing, so I mistakenly believed I could trust them. Instead, I am left feeling like my kindness and patience have been exploited.

How long should I wait for them to (hopefully) stop ghosting before resorting to a PayPal dispute? Is there even still a window for me to open a dispute? Help!

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For your reference, one of our community members has drafted up a comprehensive overview on ultimatums.

With regards to your outlined circumstances here, you are nearly two years out from this commission, and you will not be able to request a refund via paypal.

Paypal's refund window is 180 Days; roughly six months from the start of your transaction.

Personally speaking, I would have gone to the three month mark without communication to start addressing my concerns with the process if I have seen no progress and would have gone through with the dispute before 6 months if there was no resolution at that point.

You may have to accept this commission as a loss due to the amount of time that has elapsed for a refund, even through a banking institution.

It will be up to you if you would like to inform our community of these circumstances in depth through a submission.

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They are a big name in the monster community so I will definitely be filing a Beware if I can't solve this privately. Which seems, sadly, to be the direction it's going in.

I attempted to contact them again since the creation of my opening post, and they still continue to post to social media 10+ times a day while talking about playing video games and such. I even tagged them in a polite public post begging them to check their messages. I can only assume they have intention of answering, refunding, or completing my commission. Per the TOS I agreed to, I am entitled to a refund if I ask. Their TOS says that refunds "will be paid in full" so at this point they are also violating THEIR OWN terms of service.

I delivered an ultimatum today (ty for the guide) and if they don't respond or refund by Monday I will be filing the Beware. If they don't refund/give a reason for this conduct, they are simply stealing from a profoundly disabled woman who was a fan of their art. That's so cruel and unacceptable, and I don't want any one else to end up in my position. 

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Update: Delivering a proper ultimatum stopped the ghosting behavior.

They apologized for the major lapse in communication, and said they would refund my $ today.

Like I said, I really wanted to avoid this becoming some public thing that would generate bad blood, as I really do love this person's art, so major thank you for the ultimatum guide. 

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