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Christmas Blackmail

Clients from Hell - 22 February 2019 - 1:00pm

I broke free from a 9-5 job recently and started freelancing. I provide a training/consulting service to corporate clients. A training provider hired me to go in under their brand to do work in a multinational drink company. We agreed on a fee and that they would pay me within at least 30 days of completion. In that time, I started a second project for them as well. 

I finished the job and sent an invoice. I nudged them after ten days. Nothing. I sent another reminder after twenty days. Nothing. Thirty days passed and I arranged a face to face meeting with the director of the company. 

Client: I’m sorry, we’re still waiting on payment from the drink company, so until they pay us we can’t pay you.

Me: Uh… My payment schedule contract was with you, not your client. 

Lots of shouting and table thumping ensued. Eventually, I told him that if I wasn’t paid within three days I wouldn’t hand over the second project.

I’m expecting a similar situation in January when payment for project 2 is due. I’m not going to be taking any more work from them so I’ll have my solicitor primed for action. The joys!

 

 

 

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No Color!

Clients from Hell - 22 February 2019 - 12:00pm

Client: This Excel report is a piece of sh*t. It’s incorrect!

Confused, I verified all the data and sent the report once again, receiving the same feedback.

Me: Could you be more specific about what’s wrong?

Client: Here, look.

She made a share screen session and made the rows different colors

Client: See, now the report is correct! 

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User Submitted Post

Clients from Hell - 21 February 2019 - 1:00pm

An addition to the pantheon of Lorem Ipsum LOLs…

I submitted some presentation slide designs to a client who did not want to provide any copy (I explained I would use placeholder text) and received it back with one note.  

Client: What is this? The text is not even in English.

Because it’s so important that the stuff that will be erased is in your language. 

 

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User Submitted Post

Clients from Hell - 21 February 2019 - 12:00pm

Four years ago a client asked me to add some content to her e-commerce site. I did. Then, four years later, the changed the site from Open Cart to WP.  That’s when I received an angry email. 

Client: You cheated me! You uploaded that content without a category! Now everything is broken. 

Me: I don’t even see how that’s possible. If you need some things updated for that content to work, I can do that but this isn’t my fault. 

I got started and even fixed about 1/3 of the issues her site was having, but she kept accusing me of slacking off and causing all these problems in the first place… instead of whoever managed the shift in platform. 

Eventually, I got fed up with unpaid work and constant allegations and just stopped. 

Client: What? You can’t stop. I’ll sue you! 

Me: You’re welcome to try. 

You try to do something nice for someone… 

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Don’t be “Just Another Freelancer.” Instead, listen to Kaylee White!

Clients from Hell - 20 February 2019 - 3:45pm
Don’t be “Just Another Freelancer.” Instead, listen to Kaylee White!

If you want to succeed as a freelancer, you can’t compete for scraps. That’s the message that Kaylee White of Kaylee Writes puts forth in her new book, How Not to Be Just Another Freelancer, but how do you find the GOOD clients that will push you and your business into the next level? 

Kaylee talks with Kyle about what it means to step away from the pack and run a successful business for yourself, and the very important steps you need to take to do so! 

Today’s links: 

Want to support the show?

This episode is brought to you by Easel.ly, an infographic design service that transforms raw data into clear, interesting images. You can see their work on Clients From Hell

Think you’d be a great fit for the show? Let me know at twitter.com/KCarCFH

Leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or recommend us to a friend. It helps immensely.

 

Download here!

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Got that perfect logo in [Shutter]stock

Clients from Hell - 20 February 2019 - 1:00pm

My brother asked me if I could make a logo for a friend of his. I was extremely hesitant, but my brother swore up and down that he was a good guy, that it was a great opportunity for future work and there was NO WAY I would get screwed over. 

I contacted the client. We discussed what he wanted and it… wasn’t much. He basically told me he knew nothing about this kind of thing and had no ideas or preferences for the design. He wouldn’t even tell me colors he wanted, or even how simple or complex he wanted it to be. In hindsight, this should have been a massive red flag, but I was young and desperately needed money.

I did a few thumbnail sketches and sent them to him. 

Client: Sure, yeah that’s fine. 

Me: …Are you sure.

Client: Whatever.

Despite this lack of interest or feedback, I spent a good amount of time putting together options and sent them with watermarks. He never responded.

I texted him several times a week for MONTHS. Finally, two weeks after the deadline, he finally got back to me:

Client: Well, not only are you late…

I wasn’t.

Client: …but someone else gave me something better for free. 

He went on, telling me I was charging way too much, that the logos looked nothing like what he wanted, etc.

Me: Well I did a fair bit of work that I deserve compensation for. If you weren’t happy with the final product I’m sorry, but you didn’t give me ANY feedback or direction. 

Client: What? I MIGHT give half of my quoted price to your brother to give to me. I only asked you for anything as a favor to him in the first place. 

So yeah. I never saw a cent. I did look up the logo he used; it turns out it stolen from Shutterstock. Who I then notified about the unlicensed use of their IP.

You get what you paid for, and “free” = legal action. 

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User Submitted Post

Clients from Hell - 20 February 2019 - 12:00pm

Client: Part of the website’s not working. This is absolutely mission critical. It must be fixed right away!

Me: Sure. I just need a few more details before I can do anything.

Client: Oh, it’s 5 o’clock. Time to go home.

One weekend later: 

Client: Part of the website’s not working. This is absolutely mission critical. It must be fixed right away!

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a polar bear in a snowstorm.

Clients from Hell - 19 February 2019 - 1:00pm

I created a new logo for a client. They also asked for a pure white version. 

As a jpeg. 

 

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Breakfast of champions

Clients from Hell - 19 February 2019 - 12:00pm

Client: We want to eat Google for breakfast, but probably won’t.

You think? Well, at least they have their expectations set correctly. 

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Chinese Mafia

Clients from Hell - 18 February 2019 - 12:58pm

A client refused to pay me. I threatened legal action. He resorted to some horrible name calling. I got fed up.

Me: Pay me or I sue!

Client: You shouldn’t threaten me. I have your address!

You mean the one I put on my resume? Yeah, scary.

Client: You don’t know who you’re dealing with – I’ll send the Chinese mafia after you! 

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User Submitted Post

Clients from Hell - 18 February 2019 - 12:00pm

I run an online shop, and all of my products are listed on my site.

But somehow I’ve had multiple people e-mail me trying to order products I neither sell nor have ever sold.

This one client though. I told him I don’t offer the products he wants. He persisted. I explained again that I don’t have it.

Now today, he sends me an email with MADE-UP SKU codes for the products:

Client: See right here,,, you have it!

Because, obviously, making up a SKU code will **magically** make it appear in my inventory.

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Put a ton of cool new looks into your toolbox with the Maestro bundle for $9!

Clients from Hell - 17 February 2019 - 1:00pm
Put a ton of cool new looks into your toolbox with the Maestro bundle for $9!

This week’s deal is 99% off the Maestro bundle — over 2000 elements including textures, paintbrushes, illustrations and more!

> Take a look through the tools here — they’re super cool and worth using today.

A great designer knows when they don’t have to reinvent the wheel and can pepper original designs with reusable assets. The elements in this bundle are great, and will spark invention for your next round of designs! I love the storybook feel of the Paper Kingdom kit, as well as the way that Fairy Vector brushes make every illustration look like a vintage lino-print. These tools don’t replace your ability — they enhance it. Just look at what’s in this bundle and see if your creative juices don’t start flowing. 

Normally all the elements in this bundle would retail at $1470 — which is dumb, we all know that — but at only $9 for the whole shebang it’s a steal

> Check out the deal here!

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Music Video from hell

Clients from Hell - 17 February 2019 - 12:00pm

When I was starting out a few years ago I agreed to do a music video for a well-known producer in Nashville.  We agreed on the price of $1500 plus expenses.  After the music video was done and everyone had signed off on it, he told me that it was the artist’s responsibility to pay me… and she didn’t have any money.

Client: But don’t worry, it’s good for your resume!

He released it on his channel and I shared it on Facebook as something I had created.  

Client: I can’t believe that you took credit for directing, shooting, and editing that video!

Me: But I did direct, shoot and edit that video.

Client: That is not how it works in this business.  The LABEL takes all the credit for the video.  You were working for the LABEL.

Me: If I was working for the label, I would have gotten paid.  How is this video “great for my resume” if no one will even know that I had anything to do with it?

Client:  You will never work in this town again!

Yes, he actually said that. 

Me:  You mean, I will never work for FREE in this town again.

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<p>I had spent the last couple weeks

Clients from Hell - 16 February 2019 - 1:00pm

I had spent the last couple weeks working on a Christmas gift catalogue. Photo sessions, editing, layout and all the works.  

Client: This catalogue is exactly what I had asked for. The photos are great, the layout is great, it’s all great!  

Me: So, should I send it to print and upload the file to our website? 

Client: Oh no, no, no. I said it was what I had asked for, but that was two weeks ago. I don’t want it to be like this now. Change the whole concept, reshoot the pictures, change the layout and show it to me again. And please have it ready for Friday. 

This conversation took place on Wednesday, two hours before the end of the day.

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<p>Last year I started a project

Clients from Hell - 16 February 2019 - 12:00pm

Last year I started a project designing signage for along a river. The signs would show what that area looked like over the past couple hundred years. I worked remotely and had never been to this town. 

Me: I have all the copy now, but for each sign do you have images you’d like to have on it? These would ideally have to be historically accurate photos, as the signage is showing the river’s past.

Client: I sent a link in an email.

Me: Oh, I must have not seen it.

I found the link. It was just to Google.

Me: There must be a mistake with the link you just sent. It just brings me to the Google search page. Could you resend the correct link?

Client: Oh, that’s the right link.

Me: I don’t understand.

Client: That’s because you’re going to have to find your own images! You know, in your profession, you’ll have to research things yourself sometimes. You can’t always rely on other people doing things for you.

Well, one thing I can always rely on clients for is “white-hot rage.” 

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<p>A client asked me to put six buttons

Clients from Hell - 15 February 2019 - 1:00pm

A client asked me to put six buttons in a very small fixed sized space on the company website. He provided the text for each button. It was a tight squeeze to get six buttons in there, but I made a mockup and sent it to him, with a few words shaved where possible to fit them all in.

Client: I like the design, but there’s too much text. Can we have some icons in there to make it a little more visual?

I send him back a mock with the button text replaced with icons.

Client: Nice icons but where did the text go? Please redo.

I send him back a mock with the text and icons filling up every available pixel of space, the text has been shrunk down two sizes with reduced kerning to fit.

Client: That’s no good, I need the text the original size. Also some of the words from the original I sent you are missing?

Me:

I quit a week later. My contract didn’t include breaking the laws of physics.

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<p>I’m a legal secretary at a small

Clients from Hell - 15 February 2019 - 12:00pm

I’m a legal secretary at a small firm that handles personal injury cases. I mainly deal with possible client intakes and potential consultations for the attorneys. Most of the phones calls I get are usually about slip and falls and car accidents, but sometimes I get shady assholes just looking to make money. This was one of those phone calls.

Client: Yeah I would like to talk to an attorney about a car accident.

Me: Sure, I’ll just need some details about the accident and some info about your insurance.

Client: So an SUV in front of my house just got into a head-on collision with this guy on a motorcycle and I’m pretty sure the guy is dead. The police and ambulances are everywhere.

Me: Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry to hear that! May I ask what was your involvement with the accident?

Client: Yeah it happened in front of my house and I don’t know them.

Me: OK… Why are you contacting us then?

Client: Oh, yeah well I have cameras on my house and I was wondering – if the case goes to court and they use my camera footage, I get a percentage of their settlement money right?

Me: (after a brief pause from disbelief) Uh, no, if they want the footage they will most likely just subpoena you for it.

He hung up after I told him that. I still get calls from some crappy people, but his call is still one of the worst.

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<p>I work as a freelance photographer.

Clients from Hell - 14 February 2019 - 1:00pm

I work as a freelance photographer. One day the medical faculty of the nearby university asked if would cover a ball attended by 150+ students. 

Me: I should be available. What’s your budget?

Client: We were hoping you could do it for free.

 

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<p>A client approached me in need of a

Clients from Hell - 14 February 2019 - 12:00pm

A client approached me in need of a leaflet design so we arranged to meet to discuss the project. She tells me her budget is very small so I suggested a not unreasonable £80 for a simple leaflet based on a Pages file she had put together herself. She scoffed:

Client: Why should I pay you that ridiculous amount when I can do it for free here?!?!

Me: It really depends on how you value your time. You could take hours making these changes and still not be able to send a print-ready file to the printers. I could make these changes more quickly and be able to send a high-quality file to print so you don’t have to worry about it.

Client: I’ll just do it myself thanks…

A week later:

Client: PLEASE HELP! I’ve spent weeks on this stupid leaflet and the printers are now saying my Pages file isn’t high res enough to print. Can you do it all for me?

Me: Sure.

Client: I will only pay £20 though.

SIGH.

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<p>I was working as a character

Clients from Hell - 13 February 2019 - 1:00pm

I was working as a character designer for a game. About 90% of my designs and suggestions got thrown out and I felt I had very little creative input. After that project finished the guy contacted me again for another game, this time promising me that it would be more suited to my art style and they’d actually listen to my suggestions this time.

Client: This time I really want your input in the designs, you can change these characters however you like and whatever you think best. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Me: Cool, well, I think it’d be nice to have more diversity in the roster. There’s only one female character in the entire character list. Maybe there could be alternate male and female designs for each rank?

Client: I don’t mind more women but there’ll only be 6 characters in total, I want a realistic balance and besides, the character list already has an Asian dude, a woman and a dog, that’s already diverse enough.

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