Clients from Hell

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Horror stories from freelancers
Updated: 1 hour 16 min ago

Then answer your phone.

24 July 2021 - 4:00pm

Client: I wish you’d call me instead of leaving me voicemails.

A client who doesn’t understand that they need to answer their phone for that to work.

A ridiculous request from the Clients From Hell archives

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Floor model logos

24 July 2021 - 3:00pm

Client: Do you have any designs for a dog-washing business just lying around? 

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Surprise discount discount

24 July 2021 - 2:00pm

I was writing a product guide for a client, and we’d agreed on a quote and a contract. However, shortly thereafter they shared a wealth of resources that made my job 1000% easier. It still took time, but rather than having to write everything based on notes I had existing content to comb through, include, and improve. 

Me: I don’t usually do this, but because the scope of work and hours came in way under than what I budgeted I’m charging $500 less than I quoted.

Good news, right?

Client: Only $500? I practically wrote the whole thing for you!

Note: he hadn’t written the material he’d given me, someone else had.

Me: I still needed to go through that content and make it adhere to your new needs. I still spent time on this project, just less time.

Client: I think it should be half off. 

I had the contract on my side, but he still haggled me down to $650 less than what I’d quoted. The worst thing? I just KNOW that if I hadn’t said anything, he would have paid me the same amount.

Ever shot yourself in the foot with a client by trying to do the right thing? Let us know!

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PDF Video

23 July 2021 - 4:00pm

Client: I need you to send me the video you created.

Me: Not a problem. Just let me know what format you need.

Client: What are my options?

Me: How about I send you the video in both Windows and Quicktime (Mac) formats.

Client: Can you do PDF?

A file type mishap from the Clients From Hell archives

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Taking advantage of the moment

23 July 2021 - 3:00pm

Client: We’d like to hold a big parking lot BBQ to bring people in our store. Can you put together a campaign promoting it?

The date? August 2020. 

Me: I’m not sure that’s such a good idea.

Client: People are CRAVING company. Let’s take advantage of the moment. 

2020 was a weird year for freelancing. What’s the worst experience you had with a client?

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Student prereq

23 July 2021 - 2:00pm

I answered a job posting for my local state university to do some design work promoting local events. They liked my portfolio and I thought I’d clinched a job, when suddenly:

Client: Are you a student here?

Me: No, I actually graduated three years ago from [different school].

Client: Oh, you need to be a student to do this job.

Me: Oh… the posting didn’t say that. 

Client: Sorry, it should have. Tell you what – I like your work. If you sign up for a course – just one – you can do this job. 

The job was worth $800. The course was worth… way more than that. 

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Classy, understated, but with an alluring insouciance

22 July 2021 - 4:00pm

Client: I already know what I want for the logo. It’s a house, with a face, and it’s on wheels with an exhaust pipe coming out of the back which is shooting out smoke in the shape of dollar signs.

A design disaster from the Clients From Hell archives

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Sharpent the main points and batten the hatches while you’re at it

22 July 2021 - 3:00pm

On revision 46:

Client: It’s looking great! We just need to sharpen the main points!

I think he’s suggested “sharpening the main points” about ten times so far, and I still don’t really know what that means. 

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I’m helping YOU

22 July 2021 - 2:00pm

Client: I’m looking over your invoice, and you have our meeting times for going over the design included.

Me: That’s right.

Client: But during those meetings, was helping you with the designs. You shouldn’t charge for that.

The post I’m helping YOU appeared first on Clients From Hell.

Don’t try to use math on me!

21 July 2021 - 4:00pm

At 3am, after finishing a website template for a client who had to have it “by 6am their time,” I sent an email letting her know that it was finished. The next day, I get a call:

Client: I don’t appreciate you staying out all night when you should be working on my project.

Me: I’m sorry? I was working all last night. As you can see, I sent you an e-mail – 

Client: I see that. At 3 AM. Do you think it’s okay to party all night and then work without sleep at 3am? It’s very unprofessional and morally reprehensible. 

Me: What makes you think I was out partying?

Client: Why else would you be up at 3 AM?

Me: You gave me 24 hours to do 18 hours of work. I had to stay up.

Client: Don’t try to use math on me!

A waking nightmare from the Clients From Hell archives!

 

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Obviously a nice guy with a legitimate complaint.

21 July 2021 - 2:00pm

Client: Thanks for taking on this file. Everyone who works for me is an idiot.

 

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How can you be so unprofessional, you *$#% ^&$#ing $#@hole?

20 July 2021 - 4:00pm

I’ve recently had a client who needed posters for an event happening a week later. 

Even though I followed her instructions to the letter, she complained with each draft I sent. Finally, all was agreed upon and the poster was sent to a printer.

The day before the event, she called me in distress.

Client: These posters look terrible – it’s missing the date and some of the colors!

Me: I’m looking at the final example here – the one we agreed on – and it looks like I didn’t forget anything. But maybe —

Client: You know we have a deadline TODAY, right ?

Me: Yes, of course I know that – but I don’t know what went wrong. If you could send —

Client: It’s not my job to know what’s wrong, IT IS YOURS.

Me: If you can just send me the PDF you used for a quick look, then —

The client hung up on me.

I called around to discover that printer’s raster image processor was unsupported, and it had therefore removed some of the colors. This was a somewhat common occurence for them.

I called the client back and tried to explain what had happened

Client: What are you going do about this?

Me: I have had them make you some new posters, free of charge. Because the rush the method is a little different, so the quality won’t be the same, but —

Client: Jesus f****ing Christ! How in the world can you be so unprofessional, dumbass?

Me: As I’ve told you; the problem lies with the printer you use. Apparently —

Once again, the client hung up on me.

An unprofessional calling out of unprofessionalism from the Clients From Hell archives!

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The power of Photoshop

20 July 2021 - 3:00pm

I had a client send me an photo that they had taken of their company vehicles. 

Client: We want the angle to be changed, so the cars are facing the side instead of the front.  We want to be able to see the logos on the doors better.

Me: I would have to come to site and do a new photoshoot with the cars in the desired positioning.

Client: You’re supposed to be a designer – don’t you know how to use Photoshop?  Just twist it around and get it done!

The post The power of Photoshop appeared first on Clients From Hell.

I value you as a person! But I don’t value your work.

20 July 2021 - 2:00pm

Client: Before we begin, I just want to let you know that I value you as a person and really am grateful for this working relationship. 

Me: Aw, thanks! Me too!

Client: But I hate everything about what you did here and I don’t want to pay for it. 

What’s the most mixed signal you’ve ever gotten from a client

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2 Fax, 2 Furious

19 July 2021 - 4:00pm

Client: Would you please provide your fax number?

Me: Oh, it’s actually in my email signature. But why do you need it? Can’t you just reply to my last email?

Client: The fax is the answer to your Email. I have printed it, made my comments, and now I’m going to fax it to you.

Me: Couldn’t you just send it as an email?

Client: Actually, you will get it by Email since we use this fax2mail-gateway! Pretty slick, huh?

Me: ….

A workaround solution for no reason from the Clients From Hell archives

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Eye to all-seeing-eye

19 July 2021 - 3:00pm

Client: Are you on Facebook? 

Me: I have an account from ages ago, but I dont’ really use it. Why?

Client: I like to check out people I work with just to make sure we… see eye to eye on personal matters. Are you on Instagram, then?

Me: …No. 

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Grass is green, sky is not green

19 July 2021 - 2:00pm

Client: Can we change this green to… oh, shoot. I’m blanking. What’s that color that’s like green, but not green?

Me: …Blue?

Client: Yeah, blue.

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Get gritty with over 400 vector background textures for 97% off!

18 July 2021 - 4:00pm

This week’s deal is 418 premium vector textures for giving your backgrounds life and visual interest. 

> Oh, and at $24, you save $650.  

Flat backgrounds are, well, flat. A well placed texture is a minor change with major benefits, giving your designs weight, balance and interest. Whether you’re aiming for a retro look, a distressed look, or just need a pattern to make your work stand out, you’ll find something in this bundle of slick, scuff, retropress, and grit tones

Even better, for a limited time you get all 418 textures for only $24, a savings of 97% off the total retail price of $674. 

> Check out the deal here!

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How many fonts can there be?

18 July 2021 - 3:00pm

A client wanted signage designed for her new store. I sent my quote which included the clause about a non-refundable deposit up-front. Followed this up with a call explaining I would begin as soon as the deposit was paid. Didn’t hear anything for about two weeks, then I get a frantic phone call:

Client: Where’s the artwork? The printers are ready to go, and the shop is opening in a few days. 

Me: You haven’t paid the deposit, so I haven’t started.

Silence, followed by:

Client: Can you do something quickly? it should only take ten minutes. I mean, how many fonts can there be?

She made a card payment while I was on the phone with her. 

It didn’t take ten minutes.

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Wind-up work robot

18 July 2021 - 2:00pm

This wasn’t the worst client relationship, but was a moment I think about a lot. I’d been working for a client for a long time, and we wound up talking about the summer and our plans for it. I told him that I was taking a week off in a month (after our project ended) to go visit my family. He said something that I think is probably true of a lot of clients: 

Client: Wow, of course! To be honest, I think of you just kind of as a wind-up work robot. You’re so good, I just associate you only with the job.

He knew how ridiculous that was, but I feel like a lot of clients don’t. 

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