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Beware of People Who Borrows/Rents Costumes

What would you do if someone who rented your top of the line Tron costume returned it damaged and almost beyond repair? Don Robert, one of the best Filipino cosplayers of our generation, fell victim to one client and the least he could do is share his story online. Don Robert is so nice and trusting that he didn't give the client, a certain Ms. Janice Cerdon from Global Destiny, a contract to sign.

Read Don Robert's story after the jump.

Sometimes its really wrong to be nice and trusting. Times nowadays have changed where you can meet sincere, nice people who have respect for their environment and other people’s property.

Unfortunately, we fell victim to one client.

They inquired if they can rent our Tron costumes – Don Robert’s Sam Flynn & my Quorra costume set for their company Christmas Party for Dec 22, 2011 to be held in SMX MOA. I have no idea how they found us, probably by searching through the internet. The initial rent cost I gave was 2.5k each. Now Ms. Janice Cerdon, who works for Global Destiny Cable was the one who contacted me and she requested if we can lower the price to 1.5k each because they said they have no more budget and that they still need to spend doing additional props for their presentation. We agreed out of goodwill since they requested and because we wanted to help them out.

Honestly, a lot of people were inquiring for said costumes for same date at our initial rental fee but since we value the “First Come, First Served” rule we did not entertain any more clients. Our terms are simple: 50% dp during fitting then 50% bal during pick-up. Although I informed her that the costumes only fit us, we agreed to adjust it for their sake.
For everyone’s information, we have only used these costumes once. It was debuted last Philippine Cosplay Convention sometime April 2011. It was right after the movie came out. As far as we know, we are the only ones who have these costumes here and as far as I know I was the first to ever have a screen accurate Quorra helmet. You may check our Work-in-Progress album in our FB page to see the  photos when we were building it.
We agreed to meet in Megamall for the fitting. My suit needed to be adjusted since the girl who would wear my costume was a little on the wide side. No problems with the male. No other adjustment was needed except for Quorra’s suit.  They did not give any downpayment/reservation fee. I let it pass because I was thinking maybe they don't have the budget yet.
We adjusted the suits before we gave it to them. We made sure it was in very good condition. We fixed the tapes, placed it in individual plastics, ziplocked the undersuits and all.
Supposedly on the 20th, they will pick-up the suits but they never replied nor confirmed what time they will pick it up. I texted her on the night of the 19th and was hoping to get a reply early morning so i will know if I will bring it with me to the office and have our assistant get it from me from there to take to the agreed pick-up point. unfortunately, I did not receive a reply from her so i left the house already since my travel to work follows a time schedule. She texted me when I have already left the house and was asking why I didn’t bring it with me. I advised her that since I did not receive any confirmation/reply from her I did not bring it with me. I do not want to waste my time bringing the big sako bag to me at the office with no confirmation if it will be picked-up or not. Besides, without her confirmation, i have not confirmed with my assistant also if he needs to go see me at my office.In the end, we agreed that it will be given to them on the 21st. After that, they requested if the meet-up can be done in North Edsa because Megamall is too far they say. I told them its out of our meet-up area so she will have to give my assistant transpo allowance of 100 pesos to which she agreed but i felt na parang napilitan lang.

Prior to that, I remembered her texting me asking if they can get the suits ahead of time because her boss wants to see it. I caught her saying they might add something to which I said and reiterated that they are not allowed to add anything to the suit. They are not allowed to touch it or modify it. She assured me that our suits will not be touched. So I believed her.

When I took the suits with me for the pick-up day, the shoes for the male are missing and we couldn’t find it. I just thought that since its just a generic black shoes, it would be an easy fix.

Our assistant got the bag of suits from me at my office and I instructed him to meet the her in North Edsa. I gave him her number & the receipt. After delivery, she called me asking for the shoes to which I apologized and said we can’t find it. I advised her though that they can use a generic black shoes which i assumed they can easily find.
On the night of the 22nd, our assistant went to SMX at MOA to pick-up the suits. He texted me that the sako bag is damaged. Afterwards, I received this text message from her:

I got angry. I texted her: Di ba sabi mo di gagalawin yung suits? She replied na double adhesives lang naman daw yung kinabit nila at  sabi pa nya madali lang naman daw tanggalin yung adhesives.
We were in Baguio from the 21st to the 24th so I wasn’t able to see it until 24th night when we came back.
When DR started to check the suits, I really got mad with what i saw. I texted her asking bakit nila ginanon yung costumes namin kasi usapan nga is hindi gagalwain ito, walang idadagdag at lalong HINDI SISIRAIN. I'm sure kahit sinong nasa lugar ko, galit ang magiging reaksyon. Sobrang binalasubas yung costumes. Tapos tumawag sya kesyo bakit daw ganon ako magsalita aba sabi ko karapatan ko yon dahil sa ginawa nyo sa costumes namin na totoo naman. Kitang kita sa ebidensya. Paulit-ulit kong sinabi sa kanya na wala sa usapan na sisirain yung costumes. Kesyo kakausapin nya daw boss nya at babalikan ako kinabukasan. Pinalampas ko ang pasko pero sa tuwing naalala ko nanggagalaiti talaga ako sa galit.
Eto pictures, kayo humusga:
other photos can be seen here
 Nung lunes tinext ko sya kung ano na feedback. Eto ang mga text message conversation namin:

Ang reply ko sa kanya: sapatos lang ang kulang compared dun sa ginawa nila mas malaki damage ng ginawa nila.sabi ko once pa lang namin nagamit yun at kami lang may ganong costume. Inadvise ko sya na generic black shoes lang yun, supposedly madaling hanapin pero di ko alam bakit ginagawang big deal para lang masabi na may kulang kami.
Ang sabi ko: bayaran nila yung buong suit. Kasi highly unrepairable na sya. Basura. Aanhin namin yan? Masusuot pa ba namin ulit yan sa ganong kondisyon? Sinabi ko sa kanya na para sa impormasyon nya isang beses pa lang namin nagagmit yung costume. At kami lang meron nyan dito. Ako pa lang ang may helmet ng Quorra ever since lumabas yung movie tapos gaganonin lang nila? Kung ikinakatwiran nya na hindi kumpleto nung binigay namin, sapatos lang ang kulang don. Generic black shoes nahirapan maghanap? Inadvise ko naman na kahit anong black shoes pwede naman kaso nakalimutan ko na walang budget.
yes. we were asking them to pay for the suits which is equivalent to the commissioned priced of it at 5k ea. sabi ko sa kanya yung 2.5 rent fee yun - hindi commission. magkaiba yon. may 3k pala sa ebay bakit di yon ang kinuha nila? pero binasa ba nila mabuti yung sinasabi nilang nakita nila sa ebay? baka naman hindi nila kinonsider na hindi kasama yung discs dun at helmet + may shipping fee pa yun noh. pinipilit nya yung 3k dalawang suits, check nyo later may printscreen ako ng ebay suits and i doubt kasya yung 3k nya for 2 suits na kumpleto.
di namin sinasamantala na nasira costumes dahil SINIRA naman nila talaga. sabi ko nga baka hindi nila alam magkano magpagawa ng costume sa amin or sa kahit kaninong costume maker. mahirap sa kanya, ang hilig nya magcompare eh hindi naman sya yung costume maker.ang sabi ko sa kanya "metal po ba ang costume ng tron? napanood nyo po ba yung tron movie? fyi, di po metal ang costume nila. baka po hindi nyo rin po alam magkano pagawa ng isang metal costume baka hindi po magkasya yung 3k nyo."
Paulit-ulit kong sinasabi sa kanya, WALA SA USAPAN ANG WAWASAKIN YUNG COSTUMES. Ni hindi ko lubos maisip kung ano ginawa nila para magkaganon yun helmet ko. Ano yon dinaig pa nila production stunts ng totoong pelikula? O talagang mga walang pakundangan at respeto sa gamit ng iba. Ang pinaka point ko is HINDI KANILA yung gamit at sana nagkaroon sila ng konting malasakit kase sana naisip nila HINIRAM LANG NILA YON. Sinasabihan nya ako ng pagiging unprofessional eh baket? - ang panghihiram at pagsira sa hiniram na gamit ay hindi unprofessional? Kung nasaktan sya sa sinabi ko na balasubas nila yung gamit namin well, nasaktan din kami nung makita namin na binalasubas yung costume namin. Sa pag kaka alam ko ang may pinag aralan ay may pagpapahalaga sa gamit ng iba. Ang taong may pinag aralan ay marunong magsoli ng gamit na hiniram kung paano nila hiniram ito.

Actually binigyan ko sya ng option, kung ayaw nya kami bayaran ng pera eh di palitan nya yung costumes namin. Palitan nya yung helmet ko. Pero same quality, same size, same built – as in parehong pareho, walang pagkakaiba dapat. Yung tipong pag nakita mo parang iisipin mo kami ang gumawa at ni hindi nangyari yung karumal dumal na krimen na ginawa nila. Ewan ko kung magawa nila yun with 3k pero sige kung sa tingin nila makakamura sila sa ganon - go ahead. Pero pag hindi parehong pareho di namin tatanggapin. Maghanap sya ng gagawa for 3k for 2 suits.
Sabi nya may nakita daw sya sa ebay na mga nasa 3k lang daw. Aba eh bakit di yon ang binili nila? Tsaka baka hindi nya binasa mabuti ano ang included don? Nakita nya ba quality? Malamang hindi nya rin kinompute magkano aabutin kung bibilhin yung suit sa ebay. Eto try nyo komputin ewan ko kung kasya ang 3k nya sa 2 suit.
2 suits: $116.19 + $47.75 = $163.94 x P44.13 = Php7,234.67 (helmet & identity discs not included)
identity discs: $36.90 x P44.13 = Php1,628.39 (not available pa to ship sa pinas)
ayan...3k lang ba?

Alam nyo pwede naman kami gumawa ng kontrata eh. Kaso sabi ko kaya wala kaming kontrata kasi pinagkatiwalaan namin sya. Sa dinami dami ng nanghiram sa amin sya/sila lang gumawa nyan. Yung iba nga lubos na nagpapasalamat pa at napahiram sila. Nanalo pa sila sa mga Christmas Parties nila. At talagang iningatan nila yung gamit namin. Yan ang may mga pinag-aralan. Ni hindi sila tumawad sa presyo kasi nakita naman nila na sulit ang binayaran nila. Sa totoo lang di talaga kami nagpapahiram ng costumes eh. Kaso hindi rin kami madamot kasi gusto namin na nakakatulong sa iba at tsaka nakapagpapaligaya ng tao. Kung pwede naman bakit hindi di ba? Eh kaso ngayon tinuruan nya kami magtanda. Kaya pasensya na lang sa mga manghihiram ng costume kasi naka kontrata na kami. At mas mahigpit na kami at mas mataas na kami maniningil. So dun sa mga balak manghiram, tawagan nyo si Ms. Janice Cerdon sa 0922-8202903 at itanong sa kanya bakit ayaw na namin magpahiram ng costume. Mabait kami kung sa mabait. Pero kung balasubas naman kausap mo ewan ko na lang if hindi ka maging halimaw sa galit.
Tama, pwede naman kami takbuhan o taguan eh. Kaso konsensya na lang yan at karma pagdating ng panahon. Ang karma kapag dumating doble kaya good luck na lang po.
May idea kaya sya magkano pagawa ng isang helmet? At may helmet ba ng motor na kagaya ng helmet ko? Kung sa tingin nya mas mura yung helmet ng motor eh di sana yun na lang ginamit nila sa costumes nila. Ang hilig nya magcompare eh kitang kita naman na magkaibang bagay yon. Try nyo mag search sa internet, sa google, sino lang ang may Quorra helmet sa pinas.
I texted her 01/02.
Eto reply nya:

Eto reply ko:

Eto naman reply nya ulit:
Nagpahabol pa:

Last reply:
Sana sinabi na lang nila bago nila  hiniram yung costumes na wawasakin nila para at least informed kami. Hindi yung ganyan. We're not after the money if yun ang iniisip nya. We would rather blacklist her/them na lang and by this we’re letting all costume makers/cosplayers know. Actually everyone who will read this will know.
To all cosplayers, mag-ingat kayo sa pagpapahiram ng costume. I would suggest use contracts. Tandaan nyo, bawat costume na ginagawa natin ay pinaghihirapan natin. Dugo, pawis, puyat, at pera ang puhunan natin dito at walang sino man ang may karapatang bumalasubas ng ating hobby

(Original Entry)

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