Name of Commissioner:
Website/C.com gallery: http://www.cosplay.com/member/15147/
Character commissioned and series/video game (please include if this was the entire costume, just a jacket, prop, accessory, wig, etc.):
Super Sailor Saturn, Sailor Moon (costume including seifuku, boots, tiara, wig, earrings)
Links to picture(s) of your commissioned item:
N/A, I never received the item(s) in question
Timeline (how long your order took to process):
I commissioned Ashli in March of 2011 for a costume to be delivered so I could wear it by Anime Expo 2011 (July 1-4). Ashli assured me that this was more than enough time, especially considering some pieces like the wig and boots would be acquired from elsewhere, and "redressed" to suit the costume.
Describe your Experience.
Like others who have ordered full costumes from Ashli in the past, initially she was very communicative, and came off as professional with the detailed measurements she requested. Her own Sailor Moon costumes looked wonderful, and I hoped that mine would be made with the same love and care of not just a fellow Sailor Moon fan, but also someone with a Fashion Institute education. She allowed me to make payments for the costume in installments via Paypal, with the total coming to $390.
The closer we got to June and July, the less communicative Ashli became. She ignored repeated requests to see in-progress pictures, and sometimes didn't respond to my messages that I sent along with payment, asking for verification that she'd received the money. She provided me with her contact information so she could get the costume to me by Day 1 of the Expo, July 1, but didn't respond to any messages that day. She finally did respond toward the end of the day, claiming she didn't have her phone on her for some reason. She indicated she wasn't finished with the costume yet, but would get it to me by early ("10am-ish") on Day 3. This was disappointing, but still acceptable, because it gave me half the con to wear the costume.
Day 3 came and went with little communication from Ashli. When I heard from her again, she said that she was in poor health, and her boyfriend was concerned she wasn't getting enough sleep. She said she would finish the costume for me by the "end of the week" (Friday, July 8) and ship it to me for free with a 10% discount. Initially, I accepted this, but asked her to inform me as soon as she had acquired a tracking number for the costume and processed my 10% discount/refund.
It is now July 12, and I have not seen the costume or heard from Ashli. I have no refund or discount in any size, shape, or form, and have already filed a claim for one of the three payments with PayPal, which I plan on escalating today in hopes of getting my money back. Everyone I have spoken to agrees that it is ridiculous not to have received at least a 50% discount or a full refund at this point; Ashli's behavior is unprofessional, no matter what her excuses are.
At one point during our communications, Ashli informed me that she'd become non-communicative due to family health issues. If this is true, I am entirely understanding and I had wished Ashli and her family the best, but repeated excuses without a rescheduling or immediate refund/discount plan in place only set me up for disappointment. This was to be my first major cosplay commission, and as I only go to two cons a year, I was really hoping to have the Sailor Saturn costume completed in time for Sailor Moon's 20th anniversary. Now that is not possible at all. I'm sorely disappointed that, despite the research I did (including initial posts here on Cosplay.com), Ashli came across as "highly recommended," when she hasn't even made efforts to explain her non-communication, non-delivery, and unprofessional behavior.
I don't know if Ashli simply took on too many commissions, or if other commissions she may have had (with later deadlines) were better paying than mine, but I frankly can't think of any reason, cosplay-related or not, that could justify not hearing from her AT ALL over two weeks after the expected delivery date.