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Paging Elfkin - RESOLVED

Jul 5, 2010

    1. First of all, I am very sorry for having to do this. I wish it would have been possible to solve this in private, but I have reached the point where I see the necessity for opening a paging thread.

      In short, my story is this:

      Mid March: I commission Elfkin to make a replica of Baron von Münchhausen's (the Red Baron from WW1) uniform. She demands payment up front, $211 including shipping. I pay right away. She tells me that "the weekend slot is open" for the outfit, and she gives me an estimate of finishing the outfit in a couple of weeks.

      March-April: I receive continuous updates of the progress of the outfit, but no pictures. She also writes about illness at a point, which delays the outfit. I express my understanding for her illness.

      Late April: The 45 day limit for filing a claim with Paypal is nearing, and I haven't seen any pictures of the outfit yet. I haven't expected to see finished pictures, but at least some sort of progress pictures would have been nice. I have no evidence that the outfit is actually being made, and the original deadline for finishing the outfit is also long passed. I politely PM her and tell her that if I have not seen any pictures within a few days, then I will be filing a claim.
      She responds and expresses that she is sorry; she has been going into too much detail with the outfit, and finishes it up. She also sends me three pictures within one or two days. Further, she mentions that the outfit is ready for mailing out soon.

      Around 8th of May: She tells me that the outfit will be mailed out soon.

      Mid May: I write her, asking when she expects to send out the outfit. I get a reply, that she has already sent me the outfit on May 15.
      I am a bit surprised that she has not shown me any final preview pictures so I could give approval and go for sending, but I am at least glad that the outfit is on the way.

      Around June 10: The outfit has not yet arrived. At that point, I had received items from the US shipped later than May 15, and which had shown up long ago (the average time was about 10 days for them to show up with ordinary mail). So I write her, asking if she could check with her postal office if something had gone wrong, and then i'd do the same.
      She replies that she'll check with her postal office. She also tells me of a German customer who had her items stuck in customs for 2 months.

      On June 15th I get a reply from her to a PM I have sent her, asking for her address, as it is one of the things I need to put on the form for searching for a lost parcel via the Danish postal service. She writes that "there's no need for it", as she got a notice the evening before about the parcel being returned to her. It had been "rolled in customs" (which I don't understand what means, but I didn't think of asking about it then). She then says she'll ship it out again via Priority this time (International priority via USPS), and that there'll be a tracking number for it.

      On June 16th she tells me that the goggles with the outfit has cracked, but she can easily glue them together again, and will be posting it on June 17.

      I hear nothing more, so I inquire politely on June 21 or 22, and again on June 24 whether she got around to sending out the outfit again, and if I could get a tracking number for it.

      On June 29 I get a PM (the last I have received from her) that she has been ill with Pneumonia, but that she sent out the outfit on Saturday 26 June. Concerning the tracking number she says that "she'll go through her records and find it for me".

      It is now Monday the 7 of July, and I have neither outfit or tracking number. I have PMed her three times (June 30, July 2 and July 3), politely asking for the tracking number.
      I can see that she logged in about 40 minutes after I sent the PM on the 2 of July, but she hasn't replied.
      I have also sent her an email via DoA, but no reaction either.

      While waiting for her reply, I decided to look into her sales thread, and I have also been keeping an eye on the Problematic Transaction forum to see if anyone else were having issues. In her sales thread a couple of other users had inquired about her whereabouts, so I have been in touch with these, and they can sadly tell me that they're in similar situations to me.

      During this process, I have been very patient and polite. I have given Elfkin loads of leeway, have been very tolerant about illness and suchlike, and I have given her the benefit of a doubt all the way.

      But now I have reached the end of my patience, and the other users' accounts have worried me.
      I am out $211 paid for an outfit commissioned three and a half month ago, which should have been in my hands a long time ago, had the original plan held. There is one meetup I look forward to attending each year, and it is next weekend. I wanted to bring my doll along in his new outfit, but I am afraid it is not gonna happen. I find the situation frustrating, and I am getting tired of waiting for replies to my inquiries.

      I don't understand why she didn't go online to give me my tracking number last Saturday June 26 when she sent the outfit out, and I particularly don't understand why she didn't include it in the PM I received June 29. I can't find any logical explanation for this - it takes 30 seconds to go online and put it in a PM and press send.
      I don't want to think that maybe she didn't get around to go to the postal office at all, but only says she's mailed it out.

      I would like to find a solution for this, and I am sure something can be worked out. I am asking one of these three things:

      1. I am provided with the tracking number for the outfit.

      2. If the outfit has not been sent, then I want Elfkin to work out a way to get it to me, so I can have it in my hands on Friday July 9. It seems she is having loads of trouble with her local postal office, as quite a few people mention in her feedback tread etc that it took 2-3 tries to get the items to her - in that case, she can send it with UPS or similar to me, and avoid using her inefficient local postal service. Naturally, I want a tracking number for this as well.

      3. If neither of the above is possible, then I would like a full refund of the $211 I paid for items I have never received.

      I don't want any more excuses, no more stringing along. I have been very patient and polite, and now I want some prompt resolution.
    2. Addition: According to her sales thread, last updated on June 15, she writes this:

      "Shipping: Due to SEVERE problems over the last couple of months with USPS shipping being unreliable in the timely and safe delivery of my costumes and accessories, I have switched to UPS as my standard shipping method."

      My experience with UPS is that it is fast (about 4 days from the US to Denmark), and that you receive a tracking number. I'm not sure if her disclaimer goes for international dispatches as well, but if there are any people in the US waiting items for her, then I am wondering if their items were sent with UPS?
    3. Elfkin was last on the forum 2JUL. She is now Being Paged. Please keep this thread updated.
    4. I hate having to do this, but I am in the same boat as Ludegirl.

      On May 6th I commissioned a steampunkt suit from Elfkin and paid the 200$ straigt away. She told me she would need 4 weeks to finish the suit.
      On May 7th I added a pair of pants for an additional 30$.

      On June 8th I asked for the status and got the answer that the outfit would be ready to ship out within the week.

      At that time I was still in good faith and commissioned a second set of clothing, a skirt and a shawl, which I also paid at June 11th.

      On June 12th she told me that my first commission was coming along nicely (huh, I thought it was almost finished?), that she was feeling sick though and that she had to order new fabric since she miscut the second pair of pants. But it shouldn´t take long anymore. Well, I considered all that somewhat strange by now. But I gave her the benefit of doubt, after all I am no seamstress and have no clue how long someone needs to sew a pair of pants.

      On June 27th I asked her again about the commission and also asked her to send the supposedly finished suit minus the second pair of pants, which could be send later with the second commission.

      On June 29th she told me she had been sick with Pneumonia, that the second pair of pants was nearly done and that she would ship out the outfit on Monday.

      After being contacted by Ludegirl on Saturday I wrote Elfkin again on Sunday, asking for photos and also remining her to give me the tracking-no. when she would ship on Monday. No reply.

      Well, Monday was yesterday. No pictures, no tracking-no., no pm. Elfkin seems to be a very nice and friendly person, but I have to admit I am really concerned now. I have no chance to reclaim the first 230$ since it has been too long, but I will file a claim for the second 65$ if I do not get some valid information (i.e. a working tracking-no. for the first commission) soon.

      Elfkin, please contact me about this!
    5. Hey sweeties, I am here. I went away for fouth of july weekend.

      Both of you guys should be getting private PM's from me right now.
      Sorry top have been away long enough to worry you both.

    6. Elfkin and I are communicating now, pictures of my first commission should be incoming soon!
    7. I have an update: I have received a PM from Elfkin saying that the outfit was posted by her husband, and they can't find the customs form. She also said that if I didn't have the outfit by Saturday, she would be glad to give me a refund.

      I have replied to her that I will let her know if it hasn't arrived on Friday.

      If I am to bring the outfit to the meetup, I will need it by Friday evening, as I can't be sure the mailman reaches me before I am leaving Saturday.

      I am glad she has gotten in touch, and I hope this can be resolved soon. ^^
    8. Hiya!

      I sent a preliminary image of the suit off to Ashemanu so that she may see her commission, and I have USPS checking to see if they can find the package to Ludegirl along its journey--I don't have the customs form for tracking, but they are confident they'll find it with the address alone. I've been on the phone with USPS twice this afternoon already and they will be calling me when they locate the package in transit. If poor Ludegirl does not receive her package by Friday, I will gladly refund her and when the suit arrives, she may send it back to me--no worries. She has been a top notch customer all the way! Both of these ladies are very excellent customers (as all my customers are) and I am doing my best to resolve the issues.

    9. I received the picture of the outfit yesterday evening and Hope told me she would ship it Thursday or Friday. So far, everything sounds good.
    10. During the past couple of days, I have had very friendly communication with Elfkin, who is very intent on solving the situation. Unfortunately the tracking number for the parcel is lost, but as mentioned elsewhere (and agreed in PM), she will be refunding me if the outfit has not showed up today.

      I am leaving work in about an hour, and will check my mail box and postal office for the outfit. If the outfit is neither place, then I would like a refund. :)

      I will update this thread when I am home later today.
    11. *later*

      I have checked my mailbox - no outfit (though I had received other mail, so the postman has been here today). I then went to the postal office to ask if they had anything for me, but no results either - the very nice girl even let me come behind the counter and look at the parcels waiting to be picked up.

      I have therefore PMed Elfkin and requested an immediate refund of the $211 I paid mid March. I have also asked for her address, so when/if the outfit shows up, I can send it back to her. ^^
    12. LudeGirl has been very gracious and friendly. I am very sorry her outfit didn't reach her on time.

      As I just informed her in PM, I have just initiated a bank transfer for the total amount to put funds into my Paypal account to issue a refund. The transfer takes 3 to 5 business days and as soon as it's complete Ludegirl will receive her complete amount back. Also, I don't really need the suit back. It was made for her sweet dollie and even though she did not receive it in time for her event, she is welcome to keep it. No responsibility to return it at all.
    13. Just PM'd Ashemanu to let her know her package was mailed out. She has her Customs shipping number to keep track of the package with. Now it's all up to the post.
    14. I received the tracking no. for my first commission today. I will update this thread when it arrives.
    15. As can be seen above, Elfkin has very generously proposed that I will receive a refund, and can keep the outfit when it arrives. ^^

      I am now waiting for my refund, and will update the thread when I have received it.
    16. I just sent the refund to Ludegirl for the full amount plus paypal fees for receiving the money.

      So our business is at a close. She was very amenable to work with, a very nice customer!

    17. The outfit has not showed up, but I have received my refund, so I consider my case solved. :) Thank you!
    18. Hello Moderators!

      Since I have mailed Ashemanu's commission and she has proof it's on its way and she can track its progress to her door, my obligation within the terms of our commission agreement is completed. She did not purchase shipping insurance, so now that she has proof the package is on its way, I've done my part to its fullest.

      I have also completed the refund to Ludegirl, as she's kindly stated above. Therefore I request this matter be moved to a "resolved" status.

      Thank you!
    19. We'll wait to close and mark "resolved" until Ashemanu posts that she received her package. Thanks!
    20. Thanks for getting back with me! ;D

      If at any time the moderators of DoA need the tracking number, I can send it right to you.