Regular Poster in Trouble! Help! I've been ripped off!

In 1998, I hired a cartoonist that I met at a science-fiction con to do a piece of commissioned
art for me. I didn’t hear from him in 2 months.
Trying to call or E-mail proved useless–he had moved.
Needless to say, I never got the sketch.

Recently, I located him again. After some blustering
via E-mail, he agreed to repay me. But now he’s stalling.
He’s trying to tell me that the Post Office won’t deliver
my check without mt ZIP code. I begin to suspect that he’s trying to gather info on me for some kind of crummy stunt.

He lives several hundred miles away.

How can I get my money?

Will the cops in his town help?

I paid by check; & I have some of our initial E-mail printouts.
Advice , please?

Do you have any receipts? If you do, you should be able to show those to a judge and force this guy to pay…otherwise, I don’t know what to say (I’m a poet, and didn’t know it!)

He may be trying to rip you off, but I really don’t see the big deal about giving him your ZIP code. I mean given your town and street address, he could look it up at any post office (they have books) or on the Internet.

If he can’t look it up, then perhaps there really is an ambiguity that prevents delivery. I’ve seen a couple of those. Even Certified mail was returned as Address Unknown. (in once case, a ‘village name’ was confusingly similar to a nearby town name; village names may be recoginized in-state but out-of-state POs won’t know how to route it)

I work for the post office. I’m a letter carrier, not a clerk, but I can reassure you on several levels.
First, finding out your zip is as easy as an phone call to an 800 number. Second, while the Post Office goes through some amazing gyrations to deliver poorly addressed mail, it can take days, if not weeks. If you are worried about the jerk having your home address, give him your work address, or a friends address (be sure to tell their carrier, so he recognizes your name) or try one of the mailing centers.
Good luck!

You paid by check?
And he signed it and cashed it?
I don’t know what the law is in your state, but in many a cashed check is a contract.

Have him wire the money via Western Union? Or are you supposed to be having your original check returned?

Why is the Zip Code a big deal? If I know the rest of your mailing address, I can call the Post Office and find out your Zip Code. :confused:

First off, it’ll be a hard road to get him to pay via the legal system. Even if you win your court case (the emails are good evidence, but not overwhelming), you’ll still have to collect. The court won’t get the money from him, they’ll just give you a piece of paper saying he officially owes you. Collecting can get costly.

Second, I don’t see what harm can come from giving him your zip code. If nothing else, it removes one excuse from him.

Lastly, my advice: a) Make it easy for him to pay you. If he’s strapped for cash, offer to take payments every month. b) threaten him with legal action. Again from the first paragraph, the legal action itself isn’t where you want to go. But you can always put a little fear in this weasel. c) Be persistant. Call him every couple days and be insistant. Sooner or later, pressure works.

Just tell him to use one of these:

MURFREESBORO TN is associated with the
following ZIP Codes:


BOSDA: ummm…why don’t you just give him your ZIP? :confused:

Paranoia. :eek:

Call me naive, but instead of demanding cash, why don’t you ask him nicely to finish the work he promised? Unless he’s Rembrandt it seems that it would be easier for him to put pen to paper and draw the thing than it would be for him to write out a check. It would take, what? an hour of his time?

You could sue for your money back or for specific performance (the commissioned cartoon), but frankly it would be a big headache, especially considering you live in another state.

My advice is to e-mail him a nice letter, telling him how much you admire his work and asking him to take a few minutes out of his time to do the gentlemanly thing and finish the work.

BTW, I’m not Charles Schultz, but at the last bachelorette party, I was complimented on my smut cartoons…How much we talking?

Bosda: it sounds like you gave him your freakin street address, so why be shy about the ZIP? :confused: