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Left at the Altar


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#1 TJR

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 04:19 PM

Got a call on my machine on Thursday. I picked up the message this morning. The "dear John letter said", Tom we are going in a different direction .We won't need your order after all. The order was for 83 mugs @ $i5.00 each. Total..$1245.00. I did not take a deposit. She was a friend of mine. Mugs are made and bisqued, ready to be glazed. Now what? Go for a beer?
Have you had any similiar letdowns. I think they might have gone to the Dollar Store. These were going to be gifts for speakers at a conference.
TJR.

#2 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 04:49 PM

Not a friend anymore. Is there some commemorative work on them or can use them? I began a commission for a restaurant wanting a tiled counter front. I starter making the tiles. The woman partner decided to go with cheaper mexican tiles (this was in Montana). I made tiled tables out of the tiles. Always write up a contract and get a deposit on all commissions before you start. Learned the hard way.

Marcia

#3 JBaymore

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 05:02 PM

Don't delete the phone message. Check with your small claims court. File the claim to cover the work (labor and materials) that you had into them. Use the recording as evidence.... the person KNEW that they were being recorded...so it is admissibnle evidence. Clearly there is an admission there that there WAS an order........ verbakl agreement. Not as strong as a written one.... but you might get lucky.

At the least, annoy the crap out of them.

best,

......................john
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#4 GEP

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 05:08 PM

Learned from my graphic design practice ... these situations must always have a signed contract. If the person is a friend, that's even more reason to have a contract (sadly). Not sure if this is the same in Canada, but in US Contract law, it's common for these types of agreements to include a "kill fee," typically the customer can cancel the agreement and owe the artist only 1/3 of the contract. That way the customer knows up front that cancelling the job isn't free.

If this person is a decent person, I think you can still explain to her how much you had aleady completed, and ask to be compensated for the time. Worst she can say is "no."

On the bright side, when you sell those mugs yourself, you can charge a lot more than $15 each.

Mea
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#5 TJR

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 05:58 PM

Not a friend anymore. Is there some commemorative work on them or can use them? I began a commission for a restaurant wanting a tiled counter front. I starter making the tiles. The woman partner decided to go with cheaper mexican tiles (this was in Montana). I made tiled tables out of the tiles. Always write up a contract and get a deposit on all commissions before you start. Learned the hard way.

Marcia


Marcia;
Luckily I have a big Mother's Day sale, May 10,11. They also wanted a bio of me on each mug. Luckily I am a procrastinator, and didn't get around to printing them up. I guess my big head [read ego] got in the way.
Thanks for the sympathy.
Tom.

#6 Chris Campbell

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 08:34 PM

That is absolutely low down and weaselly!! ... and in a phone message?? They probably waited until you would be out because they did not have the guts to speak to you.
Lesson learned the hard way ... and people ask why we hate to do commission work!

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#7 TJR

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 10:07 AM

That is absolutely low down and weaselly!! ... and in a phone message?? They probably waited until you would be out because they did not have the guts to speak to you.
Lesson learned the hard way ... and people ask why we hate to do commission work!


Chris;
You got that right. Thanks for your support.
TJR.

#8 Nelly

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 11:42 PM


That is absolutely low down and weaselly!! ... and in a phone message?? They probably waited until you would be out because they did not have the guts to speak to you.
Lesson learned the hard way ... and people ask why we hate to do commission work!


Chris;
You got that right. Thanks for your support.
TJR.


Dear All,

I agree with the word weasel. That is awful. I am sure you went past the 83 mark and made more mugs than that to do this commission. They should feel ashamed of their actions. Not a nice thing to do.

Nelly

#9 trina

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 03:11 AM

I am sorry this happened to you! Please phone them and tell them I think they are TURDS. If you want I can call..... T

#10 TJR

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 09:16 AM

I am sorry this happened to you! Please phone them and tell them I think they are TURDS. If you want I can call..... T


Made me laugh! I have a nasty Email all written out to send them.I am letting it "stew " for the weekend.
Thanks for your support, Trina.
TJR.

#11 clay lover

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 10:10 AM

So CHEEZY. I treat all 'friends' like customers now, it get weird sometimes, but actually does better at preserving the 'friendship' than trust does some times.

#12 AtomicAxe

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 12:02 AM

Pretty much nothing you can do that is worth while. Small claims court only says you're entitled to the money, not that they are forced to pay you. Also, keep in mind it will only further destroy your professional relationship with that person in addition to the personal relationship. You can sell the debt to a collection agency ... but again, same end results and you don't get full money. Also bear in mind that those mugs will have to collect dust until things are settled whether you sue them or sell the debt.

Since you can still use the mugs for other things ... do so. Chalk the rest up to learning and always get a deposit as well as a binding agreement. Also, real friends will understand agreements that protect you and them ... so don't give special treatment because you like them. (Can't really say special rates ... that is your decision to make ... but conditions and treatment, no.) All the rest is up to you.

I wish you luck.

#13 Stephen

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 11:44 AM

The only thing I might add is that although a real burner of an email might feel better, you might want to consider something a little more toned down and simply curt. You might even start off with a simple "Sorry the work is already mostly completed so it cannot be canceled without a 60-70% payment. They might surprise you and say OK and take the order.

It is a small world and paths do cross again from time to time and although what happened was wrong the person may truly not get just how such a cancellation affects you.


Good Luck!

#14 OffCenter

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 12:05 PM

Got a call on my machine on Thursday. I picked up the message this morning. The "dear John letter said", Tom we are going in a different direction .We won't need your order after all. The order was for 83 mugs @ $i5.00 each. Total..$1245.00. I did not take a deposit. She was a friend of mine. Mugs are made and bisqued, ready to be glazed. Now what? Go for a beer?
Have you had any similiar letdowns. I think they might have gone to the Dollar Store. These were going to be gifts for speakers at a conference.
TJR.


I've poisoned wells and burned down houses for less.

Jim
E pur si muove.

"But it does move," said Galileo under his breath.

#15 gypsy

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 11:24 AM

Ship them all broken in a box with a note "HERE, here's your order you didn't pay for!!!"

Just kidding!
Actually small claims court is a good route in many cases, if the other party doesn't respond, or they lose you win the case. The court itself may not be able to force payment, but their local sheriff and debt collection firms can with the court judgement papers showing you won the case.
You won't get full funds but you might get 50-75% which is better than 0%

I am assuming that maybe the mugs have some custom logo or something that would prevent their general sale, or if you, you really don't want to try to recoup the money by selling them one by one over week, months or longer, I would consider all options and then last resort the small claims court. They may even cut you a check as soon as they get the court summons before you even go further.


Thats a lousy experience....and alot of handles to be attached. Don't become jaded...there are wonderful people out there...some how this will work out for you.

#16 gypsy

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 11:24 AM

Ship them all broken in a box with a note "HERE, here's your order you didn't pay for!!!"

Just kidding!
Actually small claims court is a good route in many cases, if the other party doesn't respond, or they lose you win the case. The court itself may not be able to force payment, but their local sheriff and debt collection firms can with the court judgement papers showing you won the case.
You won't get full funds but you might get 50-75% which is better than 0%

I am assuming that maybe the mugs have some custom logo or something that would prevent their general sale, or if you, you really don't want to try to recoup the money by selling them one by one over week, months or longer, I would consider all options and then last resort the small claims court. They may even cut you a check as soon as they get the court summons before you even go further.


Thats a lousy experience....and alot of handles to be attached. Don't become jaded...there are wonderful people out there...some how this will work out for you.

#17 gypsy

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 11:24 AM

Ship them all broken in a box with a note "HERE, here's your order you didn't pay for!!!"

Just kidding!
Actually small claims court is a good route in many cases, if the other party doesn't respond, or they lose you win the case. The court itself may not be able to force payment, but their local sheriff and debt collection firms can with the court judgement papers showing you won the case.
You won't get full funds but you might get 50-75% which is better than 0%

I am assuming that maybe the mugs have some custom logo or something that would prevent their general sale, or if you, you really don't want to try to recoup the money by selling them one by one over week, months or longer, I would consider all options and then last resort the small claims court. They may even cut you a check as soon as they get the court summons before you even go further.


Thats a lousy experience....and alot of handles to be attached. Don't become jaded...there are wonderful people out there...some how this will work out for you.

#18 Mark C.

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 09:56 PM

It's not easy logging in on a smart phone in the middle of the Pacific.
I have been in this
space before TJR
After chilling down at the very least tell this person about the work you have already done.
Ask them what you should do at this point (place the ball in thief court)
This may help move this along in the right direction or not but at least you let then in on what has been done.
You at worst have the mugs to sell
These days folks go sideways more than straight and I know next time take 1/2down
Mark somewhere underwater
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#19 trina

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 08:14 AM

It's not easy logging in on a smart phone in the middle of the Pacific.
I have been in this
space before TJR
After chilling down at the very least tell this person about the work you have already done.
Ask them what you should do at this point (place the ball in thief court)
This may help move this along in the right direction or not but at least you let then in on what has been done.
You at worst have the mugs to sell
These days folks go sideways more than straight and I know next time take 1/2down
Mark somewhere underwater


free willy!

#20 OffCenter

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 09:37 AM

It depends on how upset you are or how much damage you've suffered. You say in one post that you didn't get around to customizing the mugs and can sell them normally. That makes it sound like it didn't really put you out that much and you should just forget it except to plan a devastating put down for that person next time they contact you as a customer. If it did cause you damage then take them to whatever Canada has that is similar to our Small Claims Courts. I recently had to threaten to take someone to small claims court over a goose that thought it was a llama to get payment for damages to the goose. The thing to do is to offer them a fair deal and make it clear that if you have to take the time and trouble of going to court they will end up paying you three times what they owe in court costs, paper serving, leins, lost time, etc.

Jim
E pur si muove.

"But it does move," said Galileo under his breath.




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