Edit 12th Aug: A point I forgot to mention is that some people affected by this issue had disputes, not chargebacks issued via Paypal. Some of these people are reporting that their disputes now have a ‘closed by the buyer’ flag next to them. Showing that James has closed them, but they /are/ still showing as open in the main resolution centre menu. So we’re not sure what’s happening there, but potentially more evidence of James actually trying to sort this?
I’ve also had a few messages over the past 24 hours of people either telling me off for ‘taking his side’ or suggesting I’m dumb for believing him. Thanks for that and I hope nothing weird ever happens to your bank account. I’d rather be wrong about this and have at least given him a chance before just crapping all over him.
If he is lying I lose nothing by giving him chance to fix it? The end result is the same. But those not giving him a chance are losing (in some cases) one of their best customers. I think some are going to be sad on the future funds they’ll lose out on this if they turn out to be wrong.
I’ve only just woken up so apologies if this is a crap post. I just want to document my experience of this whole thing and give me take on it, since others have already started to.
A brief summary of what happened to me
Friday 9th 17.50pm – I got an email from Paypal saying a payment has been reversed because the buyer did not authorise it.
6pmish – I messaged James asking about it, it was out of the blue and for a commission I completed the previous month. James was happy with the commission and even posted it on his own FA after I made it.
Here was his response.
I then decided to message around because I know a few artists he regularly commissions, the first one has had no chargebacks or disputes. One of them had over $100, and another $50 worth. Eventually it became clear that at least seven of us were affected.
The weird this is that the chargebacks seem random, in the sense that more recent pieces of art haven’t had chargebacks, older ones have and some cases are being handled as disputes, others as outright chargebacks.
But James has repeatedly insisted this is a problem caused by his bank, not himself.
Since this happened I’ve had a caption of messages of people basically not believing him. Which I can understand as the activity is pretty suspicious. But some of it also checks out with what others people have experienced Paypal do. Apparently banks can and will mass issue chargebacks if they suspect fraudulent activity. I have a trigger happy bank myself who blocks my card super easy.
James has been commissioning a lot of people regularly and without issue for months. So I honestly believe he deserves the benefit of the doubt for now. The situation is annoying and I’ve gotten really mad over it several times as more issues have come to light.
The thing annoying me more than anything is the lack of urgency to which James is acting on this on, I do kinda believe his bank did this, but I think he doesn’t realise how serious all these chargebacks are and that’s kinda rage inducing.
But here’s some stuff to consider:
- As far as I know James is responding to all messages he’s getting – not ignoring them or running away.
- He’s since sent me my money back directly, not via Paypal’s invoicing system. This can easily be refunded so I’m leaving it along until the outstanding dispute is done.
- James has bad social skills. He’s /always/ been one of those commissioners who sends one word/brief replies, and when he does they’re usually hard to decipher due to poorly constructed sentences. This has never been an issue during commissions, but I think it needs mentioning that choppy replies that don’t make absolute sense are not exactly a new thing for him.
What’s happened is not okay and needs urgent action. But I honestly don’t believe he’s done this on purpose.
Given James’ history of consistent, frequent reliable commissions and the fact that he is just a little slow with things, I think he needs more time before we all hang him out to dry.
Nyogart’s soft warning still makes sense to be there – because I think people need to know what’s going on so nobody commissions him while shit’s going down.
But at the same time I’m so annoyed this morning to see comments on it like ‘fuck this guy he needs to be stopped’. Seeing him being labelled as a scammer, and needing kicking out of the community. This is NOT what I wanted to happen.
It’s been less than 48 hours, and yeah some of this money we urgently need back, but imagine he’s telling the truth? I’d be mortified if my bank did this, and yeah I’d be trying to sort it. And I’d be heartbroken to find a bunch of artists I love not giving me much time to sort it.
James could sort this faster, and that alone has made me want to lose my temper on and off with the matter. But ultimately I keep calming myself down because I know he’s contactable still, and nothing is going to happen with a bank issue over the course of a weekend.
Artists have an accelerated status in this community, people will rush to our aid and defend us unbiasedly if they’ve had reliable dealings with us in the past – so do our customers not deserve the same chance from us?
I might add more stuff later I think I’m just rambling now. I don’t want to piss people off or ‘take his side’, but I think a witch hunt right now would be premature. If a week goes by and we haven’t got signs of our money back, then sure, I’ll sharpen the pitchfork!