Clients from Hell

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Horror stories from freelancers
Updated: 2 min 50 sec ago

<p>I am a full-time massage therapist.

13 February 2019 - 12:00pm

I am a full-time massage therapist. I have a great number of clients who have monthly memberships. They come each month and their prepaid sessions expire within 30 days of each auto transaction. On average I have this exchange three times a month: 

Client: I have to last minute cancel my appointment with you. 

They never give me a reason as to why they have to cancel and it is typically 16 hours before our session is supposed to begin. I ask for 24 hours in advance for cancellations.

Client: Do you have any openings the next day?

Me: I don’t work the next day. My next opening isn’t until next week. 

Client: But that is in October. We are in September! Can’t you get me in any earlier?

Me: If you would have told me earlier in the week we could have worked something out but my schedule is full. 

Client: But I’m going to lose my session I paid for if I don’t get in with you this month!

Me: Would you like to keep your 10 AM appointment with me tomorrow then?

Client: Yes that would work best with my schedule anyway.

Stick to your guns folks.

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Plugs, why the plugs…

12 February 2019 - 1:00pm

I installed a wireless modem and router for a client the other day. 

There was only one plug point where the router needed to go. It had a multi-plug in it that was already full up, and didn’t have enough plugs for the router and antenna PSU.

Me: Hm. Do you have another multi-plug maybe? 

Client: We do! Hold on. 

They brought back another multi-plug with just enough outlets that when plugged into the original gave us enough plugs for everything needed. The lamp, LCD TV, router and antenna all fit now. They inspected it and signed off, I left. 

One day later they called the office:

Client: The job isn’t finished. Our house is in danger of burning down, and it’s an eyesore. Fix it.  

I went back and they told us their friend told them this was “very dangerous.” 

Client: Move it if you need a plug. 

Me: I can’t – that would require a new installation of equipment. I’d have to re-lay cable and cut through your walls and floors. That will cost you.  

Client: Well, it’s incredibly unprofessional that you installed it this way! You should have discussed it with us beforehand!

I did. 

Client: Do what you have to do, but we won’t pay for it. 

Me: Well, you supplied the multi-plug. If you’re that worried about it, buy a surge protector with more outlets. 

Client: If things like multi-point outlets are needed then they should be included in the installation quotation! Why should we provide the plugs if you’re doing the install? 

I wanted to ask them if they thought wireless networks had wireless power as well. 

The post Plugs, why the plugs… appeared first on Clients From Hell.

No good Deed Part

12 February 2019 - 12:00pm

Recently did photos for a tiny wedding in Hawaii for a couple that was eloping from Arlington. Ten minute long ceremony, no guests. They liked my samples, and they seemed like nice kids who didn’t have a lot of money. I quoted them $100 for a selection of my best photos from the ceremony, with one photo touched up in Photoshop. 

The day of the wedding, the bride turned into Steven Spielberg and kept making very specific requests for more and more.

I got through the day, but it got worse when I delivered the photos. Remember: I offered touchup on one photo to keep the cost low for them. 

Client: Below are our requests if possible: 

Images 1, 2, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 22, 27, 30 – change to color
3 – change to color and soften my makeup, it looks really dark on the lips, but we love the fireworks
4 – can the boat be removed
7 – change to color and crop out boat and people
8 – good
9 – great photo, but crop out cars and can we remove the raft and people in the water
10 – change to color and crop out people that are between us
15, 17 – the color seems to be overly bright especially the bushes, I was not sure if those are normally that green. I noticed them in another photo also.
18, 19, good
20 – can our face skin be softened
21 – very good, but are you a miracle worker, LOL. I could use some bangs where my hair is split.
24 – good, but can you remove the boat and I would love the top of a palm tree in this one. I have to say that was the worse hair day of my life due to the humidity in the hotel room that morning, I don’t mind the wind, but I didn’t have a good starting point. Lol
25 – very good, I like the palm in the top corner and the island behind. Now if your subject (me) would have just been paying attention and looked at you.
26 – very nice, love the background. This is why we chose Hawaii.
28 – another great one – can Stan’s sweat be softened out on his face?
29 – nice and cute
31 – great photo, but can we remove the guy from the far right
32 – great photo, if only Stan would have smiled. I know you can’t work miracles.
33 & 34 – wasn’t sure what this was suppose to be, it looks like your back ground samples.
It was so great meeting you and I hope we will get a chance to see you again sometime. I know this is a lot of requests, but I have confidence in your talent. Thank you again.



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That’s not how any of this works.

11 February 2019 - 1:00pm

I’m a musician and just had this gem hit my inbox:

Customer: Hi, I bought your CD in 2015 and have been playing it regularly at work, and my coworkers all ask about it. I was wondering if I could please get refund plus an additional $400? I’m sure the exposure alone is worth that. I need payment in the next 15 days – you’re one of my favourite bands, and I really don’t want to take you to small claims :-(. Thanks!

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Freedom is an Illusion

11 February 2019 - 12:00pm

A client contacts me to design a logo for an event put on by an organization.

Client: I want a unique design, but keep it in the family of this other logo. Don’t mirror it, but use the same colors and font. 


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100+ Art Deco Fonts, Badges, Borders and Backgrounds – only $17!

10 February 2019 - 1:00pm
100+ Art Deco Fonts, Badges, Borders and Backgrounds – only $17!

This week’s deal is on all the tools you need to recreate the roaring 20s. 

> Harness the elegant power of Art Deco for only $17.

There’s a reason he was called the “Great” Gatsby and not the “merely ok” Gatsby. Art deco inspired much of modern design and remains utterly compelling in its own right. These fonts, border elements and backgrounds combine to let you harness this powerful and influential style for your own designs

This package retails at full price for $104, but for the next week you can save 87% and get it for $17

> Check out the deal here!

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10 February 2019 - 12:00pm

Client: Can you put these supplier logos in a carousel that just shows them in a different random order each time you visit the page?

Me: Sure.

Then, after launch:

Client: Can you swap X logo with Z logo?

Me:They’re randomly ordered in the carousel on each page load, per your request.

I swear I could see the client wondering if she should ask to switch them in the random order. She didn’t say it, but I felt it. 

The post Logos appeared first on Clients From Hell.

Money hungry wedding singer

9 February 2019 - 1:00pm

I’m a wedding singer, and have developed an efficient way of working over the years: payment is due 4 weeks before the big day. This secures their date and ensures I’m not going to do loads of rehearsal for nothing. 

Recently, a couple booked me exactly 4 weeks and 1 day before their wedding. I explained that the balance would be due the following day and they understood. I sent the invoice and hoped for the best. 

A week later, I’d heard nothing so I tried calling and the bride said she’d get straight on it. I also emailed the invoice again. 

Another week later, still nothing. So I rang again but she didn’t pick up. I managed to get the groom’s number and rang him but he didn’t pick up, so I left a voicemail. They had asked me to learn a special song and I basically said that if I didn’t receive payment soon, there may not be time for me to invest money and time into learning it for them.

1.5 weeks before the wedding, I FINALLY get an email from the groom saying he’s paid… but he also had something else to say. 

Client: I’m cutting your booked time and pay in half. We don’t like working with people who are so money hungry. I hope you’re as passionate about singing as you are about getting paid.  

I sing for a living. It’s not being money hungry, it’s making sure I get paid for the work I do! 

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Natural blight

9 February 2019 - 12:00pm

Client: I just don’t like how there isn’t any natural light in the kitchen.

A realtor commenting on a photo of the windowless kitchen in the back of a north facing apartment.

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Different template

8 February 2019 - 1:00pm

I was working with a single pre-supplied HTML template:

Client: That’s great. Each one of the four pages is different so make the layout for each one different using the same template.

Me: So different, but the same?

Client: Yeah, obviously. 

The post Different template appeared first on Clients From Hell.

I asked first

8 February 2019 - 12:00pm

Client: I need access to all our site’s restricted documents.

Me: I can’t do that without your manager’s written consent.

Client: She’s not here, but I’ve worked here over 15 years. Believe me, it’s OK to give me access.

Me: No it’s not. If anyone could just call up and get access to them, what would even be the point restricting them?

Client: I want to speak to your manager.

I asked first. 

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Actual Client notes:

7 February 2019 - 1:00pm

Client: The edit is too cutty and frenetic. It needs more energy.

You can’t make this shit up folks.

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<p>I was recently asked to design an in

7 February 2019 - 12:00pm

I was recently asked to design an in-store display for a client’s product. It was meant to coincide with an upcoming deal so there was a time crunch to get the project done.

The display was a piece of cardboard that was built using a complicated combination of folds, cuts, and inserts. I’d never designed for that particular type of display before. Luckily, the client had done another not long ago and wanted this new design to closely match the layout of their old one.

Me: Great, that will be a real time saver. I assume you used a template for your previous design?

Client: Yes, we did.

Me: Ok, just send me the template and I can get started immediately.

Client: We’ll get it to you right away!

“Right away” turned out to be about a week later, but eventually the client sends over an Illustrator file. It’s just a blank page covered in lines – no indications for size, crop, bleed, folds, or any labels of any kind. Just a bunch of nonsensical lines.

Me: I’m sure this will be a big help, thank you, but without any labels, I’m afraid I can’t really parse this template. Can you send over your previous design so I can see how it all worked?

Client: Sure thing!

A few days later I get a .pdf with a design that doesn’t appear the match the display I was meant to work on or fit into my blank template in any way shape or form.

Me: This doesn’t seem to fit the display you have me doing.

Client: Yes, that was for a different display.

Me: Ok, well it’s good to get an idea of how you use your branding, but I need to see the design that fits the display I’m currently working on. The one with the layout you want me to match.

Client: Ok, you got it.

After a few more days, the client sends me a PowerPoint slide from one of their corporate presentations. In one corner of the slide is an image of a 3D mockup of their previous store display showing how it looked when it was all put together.

Me: Thanks, I understand what the final product needs to look like, but I don’t know how the design fits in this template. What would work best is if you sent me the print file for the previous design.

Client: Of course, here.

I’m delighted by the quicker response this time, until I see why – they just took the image of that 3D mockup off of the Powerpoint slide and sent it by itself.

Me: No, I get that. I do. What I need is the file that you sent to your printer to make that display. I need to see the design underneath the template so I can understand how everything lines up. Then I can take that file and build my design on top of it so the layouts match perfectly. The same file you sent to your printer, send me that. That’s all I need.

Client: Oh, I understand now, I’m sorry. It’s on its way.

A day later, they send it. It’s a cell phone photo of their computer screen with the file I need to be opened on the screen.

Client: By the way, can we have this done by tomorrow?

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Something borrowed something blue something stolen from a friend

6 February 2019 - 1:00pm

A friend asked me to play the piano at their wedding.

Client: Here’s the music I’d like you to play at the wedding!

The client requested a VERY difficult Beethoven piano sonata, as well as several other pieces complex and difficult compositions.  

Me: Okay, but this is a ton of complicated music that will take me a while to learn. With the friends and family discount I’d charge $100 for the wedding, how does that sound?

Client: Oh. Well, I guess we can make room in the budget for you…

Note: the client is ALSO A MUSICIAN and $100 was beyond a steal for the amount of time spent practising the pieces.

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<p>Me: Here’s the link to the current

6 February 2019 - 12:00pm

Me: Here’s the link to the current build. It’s continuously deployed, so any task that’s marked as in QA, UAT, or Done will be view-able there.

Client: That’s great. Just tell me when there’s a build deployed so I can test it.

Me: You can test it now. It’s deployed continuously, so will always be up to date.

Client: Okay. When will I be able to see the items you get finished today?

Me: Today. As soon as they’re finished, a new version will be deployed.

Client: Oh good, and then when you deploy it, will you let me know?

Me: There won’t be any manual deployment. It’s deployed continuously. It’s automatic. You’ll get an automatic email when the task is marked as complete.

Client: And then you deploy it?


I still don’t think I’ve resolved this. I speak to the client every day, so I guess I’ll be having the same conversation tomorrow.

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Want to succeed? Look in the mirror: Stephen Warley and life skills as business skills

5 February 2019 - 2:48pm
Want to succeed? Look in the mirror: Stephen Warley and life skills as business skills

Stephen Warley of Life Skills That Matter believes that the key to being happy and successful is knowing yourself. Unfortunately, self-reflection is typically the LAST thing on most of our to-do lists! 

On today’s episode, Stephen talks to Kyle about how the best business skills you can develop as an independent worker are life skills, and how to make sure you’re being honest with yourself about who you are and what you want to do. 

Today’s links: 

Want to support the show?

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

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Download here!

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piss vision

5 February 2019 - 1:00pm

Client: I need a nice yellow for the background. Not a piss yellow or a sunshine yellow. I need something closer to white. 

Me: (shows #FFFDCD)

Client: No, lighter.

Me: (shows #FDFFE1)

Client: No, let me show you this color in this email.

Client: (shows me #FFF400) Go lighter than that. I want to know that it is yellow, MUCH MUCH lighter, BUT STILL know that it is yellow. 

Me: (shows #FFFDCD again) How about this pale yellow

Client: Yes, this is my vision.

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so long as its right

5 February 2019 - 12:00pm

I work for a large screen printing company that designs all artwork from the ground up. There is one customer that is a particular nightmare to deal with. Recently I drew the short straw and had to work with him.  


Me: Sir, there isn’t any text above your logo on the revision I sent you.  Are you looking at a different version? Did you want me to add some text?



At this point I have no idea what to do. I just send him the same design again.


What just happened?

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the cake is murder

4 February 2019 - 1:00pm

I used to work at a bakery and was helping a customer choose what cake they wanted for their daughter’s baptism. This was my very first cake order, so I was really hoping things would go well. As soon as I sat down with the couple and their baby, the wife gave me the angriest look.

Client: Just so you know, I’m holding you personally responsible if anything happens to this cake.

Me: …Pardon?

Client: If this cake isn’t perfect, I want more than just a refund.

Me: I don’t-

Client: I will murder you if there’s anything wrong with this cake. 

Me: …I-

Client: You. Your family. Anyone who works on this cake. You’ll all be sorry if even one minor detail is wrong. Understand?

Her husband laughed like this was normal behavior for her (which it probably was). Meanwhile, she kept staring at me with the coldest eyes.

I believed her.

Me: …Perhaps I should get someone who has more experience than I do. 

My supervisor handled the conversation from there, and afterwards, the head of the bakery called and told them they would have to take their business elsewhere. Thankfully, nobody got murdered, but I honestly felt like they would’ve resorted to it if the situation called for it.

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set up to fail

4 February 2019 - 12:00pm

While working at an advertising agency I had a particularly demanding client account. Our client required a deliverable to be in their inbox by 9 am the following day. While a pain in the ass, I completed the request and sent it out after hours before leaving. The following morning within 10 minutes after 9 am, we received an angry email.

Client: We still have not received this deliverable and it is now past the mandated time. Explain why this happened.

Not even five minutes later, we received a notification that the client was attempting to recall the email.

Client: Please ignore the previous email. The deliverable somehow ended up in our junk box.

Strange, considering nothing else we had ever sent them never ended up there. More likely the client was looking for an excuse to chew us out, gave us a ridiculous deadline on purpose, and then didn’t even bother confirming we hadn’t finished it.

He gave a half-hearted apology, but the damage was already done. We were already fed up with the attitude and wound up firing the client

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