Clients from Hell

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Horror stories from freelancers
Updated: 40 min ago

No joke, this actually happened

11 July 2019 - 3:00pm

Client: Why is my French version website not completed along with the English website?

Me: What French version?

Client: It’s in the proposal and initial brief we provided!

I went back and checked the documents. 

Me: I can’t see it anywhere. Also, you asked us to re-do this proposal 6 times to meet your requirements and a French version never came up. 

Client: Are you calling me a liar? I want the French website at no additional cost.

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User Submitted Post

11 July 2019 - 2:00pm

Me: Ok, I can design these email campaigns for you. What format do you need?

Client: That’s great! Go ahead and design in a format we can copy and paste from Outlook.

Me: Here are the emails in Outlook, I’ve also included HTML files as most email systems support this. I’m not familiar with the system you’re using so please let me know if you need them in a different format.

Client: These are perfect! Thank you!

Radio silence for a few weeks, and then. 

Client: The format isn’t compatible, this isn’t going to work, don’t bother fixing it. 

Me: I tried to accommodate based on the information I had. What system are you working with? Can I try putting it in directly? 

No response. Don’t tell me I did something wrong if it’s because you didn’t give me enough information and won’t let me try to fix it. 

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I’m not a mind reader

10 July 2019 - 3:00pm

Me: None of this work was in the spec you provided.

Client: I expect you to know. 

Me: How?

Client: Whenever I deal with agencies I tell them what I want and they make my vision a reality. Why can’t you do the same?

Me: Because you didn’t tell us any of this!

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I expect your guys to work on weekends

10 July 2019 - 2:00pm

Me: This deadline is really tight. I might have to ask my developer to work on a weekend just to meet it. I don’t really like asking my guys to do that. Are you sure it’s necessary? 

Client: Good, I’m your paying client. I expect you to work round the clock until the website is done.

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How to grow a freelance community: Julie Cortés of the KC Freelance Exchange

9 July 2019 - 9:15pm
How to grow a freelance community: Julie Cortés of the KC Freelance Exchange

Working freelance can be lonely. That was exactly what Julie Cortés found when she started her freelance copywriting business years ago – so she did something about it. She started what has become the bustling KC Freelance Exchange, a freelancer’s network that she’s taking national. 

Julie talks with Kyle about all the reasons you should get to know the other freelancers in your city, and how putting the work in on the exchange changed her life. Let Julie inspire you to get out and connect! 

We’re sponsored this week by Gusto! Manage payroll, taxes and HR from one simple management tool so you can be the boss you always wish you had! Check out their three-month free trial.

Today’s links: 

Want to support the show?

Check out Gusto’s free three-month trial! https://gusto.com/cfh

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.

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User Submitted Post

9 July 2019 - 3:00pm

Client: Here at [WEBSITE] we believe in paying contributors for their work and have a Patreon campaign for this. The amount raised each month from our patrons is divided evenly between all articles on the site that month and 100% of the money from Patreon goes to the writers. As such for each article published on the site our writers receive between €4-6 per article.

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User Submitted Post

9 July 2019 - 2:00pm

Client: Just download this theme and use it on the blog section

Me: You can’t have two themes running on one WordPress site, and the site currently uses a custom theme.

Client: OK, just use this one instead (sends link to an off-the-shelf theme)

Me: Then the site will break as it has custom elements that fit the original theme.

Client: No, just use that theme for the blog section.

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User Submitted Post

8 July 2019 - 3:00pm

Client: We want to hire you! Can we meet to discuss the project? 

Me: Great! If you want to meet I can do Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday morning or Friday afternoon. 

Client: OK, let’s say Monday afternoon. 

Me: I’m afraid I’m not available on Monday. Would Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday morning or Friday afternoon work? 

Client: Oh, sorry, my bad. Tuesday morning then?

Me: Sorry again, I won’t be available until the afternoon on Tuesday. Can you tell me when you have one hour available for our meeting next week?

Client: Let’s see, I’m free Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning but that won’t work. Too bad our calendars don’t match …

Me: …Tell you what. I’ll reschedule some things so we can meet Wednesday at 9:30. 

Client: Oh, great! If it’s not too much trouble!

Me: No problem at all. 

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User Submitted Post

8 July 2019 - 2:00pm

How do you mess up an email response this badly? 

Me: Okay. I need to know a few things before we start on the line edits. How many stories are we expecting in the anthology? Will there be an assistant editor? When will submission be opened from? I’ll await your reply. Thank you.

Client: Yes.

 

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109 Fonts and 2000+ graphics for $14! Save an incredible 99%!

7 July 2019 - 3:00pm

This week’s deal is (and I’m going to use the technical term here) GINORMOUS.

> That’s 109 fonts and 2000 graphics for only $14.

I’ve been scanning through this bundle for the last ten minutes, and there is A LOT here. A variety of fonts, a collection of really nice watercolor graphic elements (including repeating patterns!), some really gorgeous stock photos, textured backgrounds and more. I’m reeling with the possibilities, and I think you will too. This bundle could be the cornerstone of your designs for the next year or more, and it’s only $14.

Altogether, everything in this bundle would retail for $1830 at full price (which is dumb, we know) but for a few more days you can get EVERYTHING HERE for only $14 (99% off!). Even if you only use 2-3 of these items it’s already worth it, and I can imagine using dozens, if not hundreds. 

> Check out the deal here. 

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“I don’t want a student”

7 July 2019 - 2:00pm

After finishing my bachelors in interior design I did some freelance residential projects, as well as contracted with a couple of design firms. One of these firms needed a second designer on hand for a “Design on a budget” consult.  This was a floor plan rearrange and some FF&E recommendations all done digitally after the initial consult for around $250. It was a total steal and the firm was looking to phase the option out because they consistently lost money on it.

While the lead designer was consulting, I was taking measurements of the space, within earshot:

Client: I want to match [expensive furniture brand] but don’t want to pay more than [big box superstore] pricing. I want to make sure I’m getting a real design, not something done by an intern.

…she was my age, and I’d been a practicing designer for two years at this point. The lead designer gave me the job, and the client required so many revisions that she quickly moved from “Design on a budget” to a substantially more expensive hourly design fee than if she’d just hired us for a full design in the first place.

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Charitable work

6 July 2019 - 3:00pm

“Client” posts an ad looking for a comic artist for a large scale job, maybe 70 fully-finished pages.

Me: Hi! I’d love to apply to your listing. Here are my rates. 

Client: I love it! But I don’t have the money any more so I can’t pay you. 

Me: That’s a shame! Well, let me know if you come into the money, I’d love to help. 

Client: It was supposed to be a gift for my aunt. She has cancer, you know. 

Me: I’m sorry to hear that.

Client: She just really wanted this, but I can’t afford to pay anyone. Why isn’t anyone charitable?

Me: Well, I’m asking for commissions to help support my family. Our grandma died a few days ago and she was the lynch-pin of our family.

She stopped messaging after that. 

I’m not sure why her aunt needed 70 full pages.

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User Submitted Post

6 July 2019 - 2:00pm

I’m not a designer, but I am a frequent visitor here. I just saw something that brought horror even to a non-designer like me: YouTube instructions on how to design a logo in Word.  Just letting you know so you can know what to expect from clients from hell in the future. 

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The dead have risen, and they wish to speak to the manager

5 July 2019 - 3:00pm

I had just deployed a new version of the call tracking software my employer uses when I received a bug report from a client.

Client: A deceased customer called in with a question and we were unable to locate their information.

This in itself was alarming.  The second bug report alarmed me even more.

Client: When they called back later…

The dead have risen, and they wish to speak to the manager

 

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Reset the Counter

5 July 2019 - 2:00pm

I was designing a site for a company. Nothing too fancy, but the first warning sign was the kickoff conference call with 19 people on it.

Client: Cool kids don’t say how cool they are, they just talk about what they do. To that end, I don’t want the logo or the name of the company on the site.

Me: (confused blinking) Sure? We’ll mock it up.

Time passes. Site is mocked up and a rough version is shown to the client.

Client: Word has come down that we need to put the logo on the site, with the name of the company. It’s some SEO thing.

Me: Not a problem.

Me: (to a coworker) How long till they take off the logo again?

Time passes, revisions are made. Notes come in.

Client: I don’t want the logo on the top of the site. Put it and the name in the footer.

Coworker: (barely containing laughter)

Me: We’ll hop right on it.

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At least we got it up front

4 July 2019 - 3:00pm

Client: YO MAN I heard about you from [past client] and I LOVE YOUR S***

Me: Thanks, I appreciate that. What can I help you with?

Client: So our band is just starting out and we need a couple of gig posters, a logo for the band, and probably the cover for our first EP too! STOKED!!!!

Me: (quotes extremely reasonable prices for 3 posters, an album cover, and a logo)

Client: BUMMER. We’re super broke right now. Keep it up I guess tho.

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Time Travel Experience Required

4 July 2019 - 2:00pm

Me: Here are the layouts for your Q1 Newsletter.

Client: (a week later) Thanks! Here are the letters we want to be attached to Q2’s newsletters.

Me: Sure. I will save these for Q2.

The Q1 newsletters then went to print. Two weeks later: 

Client: I’m confused. Why didn’t the newsletter have those letters attached? Did I miss something?

Me: Yes. You said these are for Q2. They’re marked Q2 on the docs. And then I confirmed I would save it for Q2. 

What I didn’t mention: how could I have added it to the newsletters that I delivered to you 5 days BEFORE you sent me the updates?

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User Submitted Post

3 July 2019 - 3:00pm

I had a client tell me today that GoDaddy just sent them a “report” with a “score” for their website a couple of days after redesigning their site and migrating to a new server.

Client: You made the site worse! You need to do some extra work to bring the score back up. 

Me: I didn’t know GoDaddy had metrics like that. Can I see the email? 

It turned out to be a notification from GoDaddy, telling them that their DNS has changed for the A Record of their site. The new IP was a lower number than their previous one.

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User Submitted Post

3 July 2019 - 2:00pm

I was on a team working to put up an art exhibition. I was designing the introduction panel, which was going to be a 2m by 2m panel.

It was the most important panel for the exhibition since it would contain all the significant details about the exhibition, so I had to be really careful about font choice, placement, etc. I did the design in Photoshop at a 1:1 ratio so I could get the dimensions exactly right.

Client: (looking at the screen, where the design doesn’t LITERALLY measure 2m by 2m, for obvious reasons) Why is the mockup so small? At this size, it will look terrible when we blow it up to print.

Me: Haha, no, it’s just because you’re seeing it at about 15% of the actual size, so it fits on the screen and you can actually see the entire design. But it’s at a 1:1 ratio. It’s designed exactly to fit a 2m by 2m panel. 

Client: (pointing at the Photoshop ruler at the top of the screen that ends at 200cm) But this says it’s only 200cm. 

Me: Yes, 200cm is the same as 2m.

Client: No, it’s not!

Me:

FYI, she has a bachelor’s degree. 

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User Submitted Post

2 July 2019 - 3:00pm

Client: So we’d like to pay you on a sliding scale of $800-$1600 depending on how much we like the music you compose for us.

Me: Part of my fee includes revisions to make sure the music I write meets your requirements and is to your liking, so no.

Client: Tell you what – why don’t we call it $1400 and if we REALLY like your music, we’ll throw in that last $200 as a bonus.

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