I do pet portrait commissions, some classic style, some cartoon style, and my customers are lovely…except for one! I wouldn’t normally publicly ‘moan’ about a customer (this is why it would be nice to have a private chat section for sellers so that we can help each other out with things like this rather than having to post publicly) but this one is driving me mad!
She asked about what portraits I do, and as I do a whole range of sizes and styles, rather than type them all out I sent her a link to the section of my shop where they are all listed, and explained that each listing gives details of size, price, shipping, etc, but if anything wasn’t clear just get back in touch.
Then came a barrage of questions about the size, price, shipping etc…everythings that’s included in each listing! I kept cool, calm and polite, and eventually she decided what she would like. Next question ’ “what if I don’t like it?”. I explained that if there was anything she didn’t like I would change it until she was happy.
A few days later she actually placed an order. Then came the ‘is it ready yet?’ question every few hours, despite the fact my shipping time is 3 weeks (due to volume of commissions at present). I (still politely!) explained that I had started work on hers, but paintings take time, and I also have about 30 other customers commissions to complete too, but I would send her photos for approval as soon as the pictures were done.
I messaged a photo of the first animal, and being a black one I asked if there were enough highlights on the fur, as some people like them bold, others like them more subtle. It took me about three attempts at phrasing the question before she understood what I meant. Then she complained that I had missed out some white fur from the face (the photo doesn’t show that and she hadn’t mentioned it to me) and wanted more detail on another area of the body (an area which I do the same for all the cartoon style paintings and is in all my examples - I never got a reply to the question I asked of what kind of detail she meant…)
Then I sent a photo of the second commission, again another black animal. Now, I always say to people that I don’t get everything right first time (working from photos means you can’t see everything like you can in real life, and if I’m only sent one photo from one angle it makes it harder to know if that’s what the animal always looks like, if you know what I mean). And I always say just let me know if anything needs changing. Most people are really nice, and if things need changing they just say what it is - no problem! This customer’s response: ‘It’s not right but I’m not sure what’s wrong’.
Now, with any other customer I could go through things and find out what was wrong and fix it, but I know with this one it will take a LOT of messages, with probably no definite resolution at the end. I’ve spent hours on messaging her already for two £6.50 paintings! I have a pile of commission work to get through, and to be honest, I can’t see her ever being happy with what I do, I feel like she has been determined not to like what I do for her from before she even placed the order :’(
For the first time ever I feel like just refunding the customers money and giving up on the commission!
Would it be wrong to refund her? I’m getting very frustrated, and it’s getting harder to be polite in my responses…