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Problem Transaction with Elfkin - RESOLVED

Jan 29, 2011

    1. In October of 2010, shortly after I ordered my first doll, I contacted Elfkin to see if she would be willing to accept a commission to replicate the hobo outfit worn by Louise Brooks in the movie "Beggars of Life."

      10/19/2010: Elfkin agrees to do the commission for $100, plus $6.50 for Priority Mail shipping. She writes "The commission should take about a month. If for any reason I need to run beyond that deadline (which sometimes happens, but certainly not always) then I will let you know." She also writes "Before I ship, when all the work is done, I send out an image of the suit to you, so you can either approve it or request changes at that point. Once the image is approved then it ships out to you. Priority mail if you're domestic US."

      10/20/2010: Elfkin sends me a PayPal invoice for "Hobo Commission-Hat, Jacket, shirt, belt, trousers", in the amount of $106.50, which I pay that day.

      10/21/2010: I get the required measurements to Elfkin

      11/6/2010: Elfkin writes to let me know she has chosen fabrics, drafted the patterns, and is starting to sew.

      11/17/2010: Elfkin writes to let me know she will be having dental surgery. "I anticipate mailing out to you around December 7th."

      On 12/10/2010, not having heard from Elfkin, I write to see what's happening. I write "I wanted to let you know that I'll be out of town until December 28, so if you still have some finishing touches to put on the outfit, please don't feel rushed to do it."

      12/17/2010: Elfkin writes "I'll be taking pics tomorrow and sending the suit out Monday."

      1/8/2011: Not having received pictures or suit, and having settled back in at home, I check in with Elfkin.

      1/8/2011: Elfkin writes "I'll post pics by this evening and then have it in the mail to you, EXPRESS, on Monday."

      1/13/2011: Elfkin emails jpeg, which I approve.

      1/13/2011: Elfkin writes "I will mail out tomorrow. I'll send you the tracking number via email."

      1/24/2011: I ping Elfkin

      1/25/2011: I ping Elfkin again

      1/26/2011: Elfkin writes that she fell down the stairs after the last time she emailed me. She tells me that she mailed the outfit on Monday (1/24/2011?). She offers a refund on shipping.

      1/27/2011: I tell Elfkin that a shipping refund is not necessary, and I ask for the tracking number.

      1/28/2011: I have still not received outfit or tracking number. I have experience with USPS Priority Mail, and know that something mailed on Monday should have reached me by Friday. Having found the previous problem transactions with Elfkin, I am concerned that I will not actually ever receive the outfit. I find out it is too late for me to dispute the charge with the credit card company.

      I feel I have been patient and acted in good faith. In return, Elfkin hass sent me a jpeg and four promises to mail the outfit (and one actual assertion that she mailed the outfit, but no tracking number to back it up). At this point I am very frustrated.
    2. Elfkin was last on the forum yesterday. She is now Being Paged. Please keep this thread updated.
    3. Hi sweet;

      I'll have to find the tracking number. After falling down my stairs things were a little nuts here and I'm not quite sure where it is. (Having checked, it didn't end up where my shipping info usually is cataloged.) I can't chat with USPS until Monday anyway. But I'm confident nothing is amiss with the package. Packages to your area can sometimes take a little longer than expected. Just a little.

      I did pop by here DoA very briefly, but only for a few seconds in order to see if I had any PM's, but my email inbox is a bigger matter, as it sees a LOT of traffic and is very full from me being out--and will take a while to sort out. When I tried to get a handle on my inbox load earlier this week, I first thing let you know your package was on the way--since you were my only outstanding immediate business. And then, as uncomfortable as I still was, I decided to take a few more days off. (Still very sore) I apologize for distressing you with my slowness to return to answering mail.

      If you've not received your fellow's suit in the next couple of days, I'll be only too happy to refund you. And as I mentioned in my email to you this week, I fully intend to refund you shipping costs as I did mail your commission out later than expected.
    4. Hi!

      I just did a loopy thing. (I refunded you the entire commission costs, but in two parts. Whoops!) I started out by refunding you the initial shipping costs plus 25% of the commission. I figured it was only fair since you'd been a real dear and trucked patiently with me, waiting very sweetly for your suit. But then I got to thinking, (just as soon as I finalized the partial refund) that I'd just as soon refund you the entire amount and let you keep the suit. You really have been a trooper and your enthusiasm for this project was always so pleasant that I just feel awful. So I then went on to refund the entire rest of the commission costs to you.

      I would like very much for you to feel good about your suit. And I KNOW you'll get it. A lot of thought went into the costume. THe black slacks have fake darned spots. The shirt is tea dyed to looked aged. The jacket is as frumpy as I could manage and in the end, the cap was total love. And I really DID enjoy working with you.

      So Kindest and Best Regards, my dear. All I ask is for you to let me know that everything fits when it arrives.
    5. H., thanks for your response. I appreciate it. You have actually refunded me more than what I paid, so I am remitting the difference back to you. If I receive the outfit, I will remit the full $106.50 of your quote. I want you to be very clear that I'm not looking for a pound of flesh, only accurate information and the satisfactory resolution of this transaction.

      I have great respect for your artistry and wish you all the best.
    6. Hi!

      It's alright, hon. I know you're not trying to have one over on me. But I do earnestly mean for you to have the suit and the refund both. One of the joys of working in Doll arts is that I get to know some fabulous people along the way, and I do consider having worked with you to have been a pleasure.

      Kindest Regards
      The overage on the refund was to cover any Paypal fees you might have incurred receiving the commission costs back from me. Thank you though.
    7. Elfkin express-mailed the outfit on 1/29/2011 and I received it this morning. It's clear that she put a lot of love and artistry into its construction, and I am more than satisfied. I have paid back the amount she refunded me, plus shipping costs. I consider this Problem Transaction item to be closed.