Clients from Hell

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Horror stories from freelancers
Updated: 40 min 55 sec ago

Originality is our Motto

23 March 2020 - 2:00pm

Client: We need something fresh and original to stand out in 2020.

Me: Here are couple of designs.

Client: Looks great. But I think we should do something like this other company made.

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Starting with grand delusions.

23 March 2020 - 1:00pm

I work as a designer in a medium-size cosmetics company.  Sometimes I get offers from startups to make projects for their brand. Recently I got this good offer from one client who told me that he paid well and he lived close to me. 

Client: I have this new Luxury cosmetic I want it to go big. The product is great and it will make a lot of money.

I can’t say the brand name but it had “Luxury” in the product line name.

Client: I want you to make marketing materials for it.

Me: So do you need a product design?

Client: No I already have it. I need you to promote it online. You use some luxury models and make it look like a product for rich people.

Me: …Soooo can you show me the product?

The client opened his bag and put on the table the most standard cheap shampoo bottle you would find on a store shelf with a poorly designed logo and name with cheap “fake gold” gradient printing.


Client: Well, what do you think?

Me: I think it looks very cheap. the bottle is standard cheap plastic, the sticker has poor design and bad print quality.

Client: That is why I need you for. So you can make it look great on photos.

I turn the packaging around and read the ingredients. There was basically nothing unique about his formula, and it reproduced what you can find on store shelves.

Me: There is nothing special about the stuff you are selling. Why you are trying to make something for the Luxury market when there is nothing Luxury about your product.

His eyes bulged and his face got red with anger. I think I was the first person to push back with reality.

Client: Bu-bu-but there is…

Me: What ?

Client: The Name and the Price

At this point, I advised him not to waste money on his product and left.

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Supercharge Photoshop with just a few clicks! Save 96% on 2500+ Photoshop actions!

22 March 2020 - 1:00pm
Supercharge Photoshop with just a few clicks! Save 96% on 2500+ Photoshop actions!

This week’s deal is a collection of over 2500 Photoshop actions and vectors that will totally change the way you approach the program by giving you INSANE power over your images.

> Take a look at some of the effects you can achieve with just a few clicks.

Photoshop actions are tools that expand how you can manipulate an image, and this set gives you almost unlimited control. Change the lighting, turn a photo into a painting, add neon effects, or apply full screen print tones in seconds! My mind is already reeling with possibilities, and yours should be too

What’s more, this bundle comes with a set of vintage style vectors for one heck of a bonus. Typically the whole shebang would cost $475, but for another two days you can save 96% and get it all for $17.

> Check out the deal here! 

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<p>I was filming a music video for a

22 March 2020 - 12:30pm

I was filming a music video for a client and when I had a first cut ready I sent it to him. He emailed me back.

Client: It looks OK but you made me look fat. Like I’m not that fat in real life. Re-edit this until I look normal.

Being fairly new to paid film work I complied. Re-edited from the ground up and emailed it back to him.

Client: Do you hate me or something? YOU make me look so fat.

Me: I’m just using standard angles and shots. I’m sorry but this is not my fault.

Client: You’re an asshole. Photoshop my gut out or I’m not paying you.

Editor’s note: all bodies are beautiful. Not all clients are. 

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<p>I had a meeting with a client a

21 March 2020 - 1:30pm

I had a meeting with a client a little over two weeks from Christmas. They asked for some work done and asked for an estimate as soon as possible. They wanted to get the work done by the end of the year.

I created an estimate and sent it for review. It was about two weeks’ worth of work.

Client: Estimate looks good. Looks like it’s two weeks of work then huh?

Me: Yep. I know you want this done by the end of the year but with the holidays that may not be possible.

Client: Well if you wanted, you could work during the holidays.

I laughed because I thought it was a joke. It wasn’t.

Client: Yeah you could come in on your own or even do the work from home if you want. Let me know.

He hung up before I could say anything.

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Communication is a two-way street

21 March 2020 - 1:07pm

Client: Communication is a two-way street. That means if you say something and I don’t respond, it’s your job to make sure I respond.

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<p>I met with a client yesterday, who

20 March 2020 - 1:33pm

I met with a client yesterday, who we’ve been supporting on and off for a year or two. They are seldom responsive when we reach out, but when they contact us they expect next-day results.

They sent us a request for non-urgent revisions. I left answering for a day.

Client: We’re disappointed you didn’t respond immediately.

Me: It was non-urgent and I was juggling some other assignments. I still addressed them within 24 hours.

Client: We’re going to look for a provider who can respond immediately.

I should be upset, but losing that client meant I found another one who actually lives in reality.

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<p>Customer: Is this product in? Me: I

20 March 2020 - 1:21pm

Customer: Is this product in?

Me: I’m sorry, it’s sold out at the moment

Customer: (doesn’t like my answer and approaches a more senior looking colleague while still within earshot) Is this product available?

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Just a Normal Hotline Note at the Office

19 March 2020 - 1:00pm

I started working with a client at his office, and he had many complaints about his son, who had previously worked at the office. 

The noticed that the client was arrogant, self-absorbed, and very scattered. He would give me inadequate instruction and then get mad at me for not reading his mind. Worse, he constantly complained about his son.

Client: I don’t even want my son around here anymore. He has schizophrenia or something. He’s really not well. I don’t want you to meet him.

Me: I’m sorry to hear that. Maybe he’s just going through a tough time. He could get better.

Client: I doubt it. He’s all messed up. He drank too much and did too many drugs in college I think.

Me: …I see. Well, he could recover.

Client: Probably not.

I met his son briefly at the office not long after that conversation. He seemed nice and pretty normal.

Meanwhile, the client was easily angered, and was demanding and controlling.

Client: Here, you can move over to this desk, where my son used to sit.

I started to become familiar with the workspace. I opened one of the drawers and a note with a mental health hotline number was left in it with the son’s handwriting. A note written while seated four feet from his father. 

I could sort of see why. 

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The layout nerd

19 March 2020 - 12:00pm

Client: Looks great, just one thing, can we make the spaces in the paragraphs bigger please? Sorry, I’m a stickler for these things. I’m a real layout nerd.

Me: OK, when you say the spaces in the paragraphs, do you want me to increase the leading, or increase the size of the line breaks between the paragraphs?

Client: I don’t know what those terms mean, but but make the spaces between the paragraphs a little bigger, larger, wider.

Some layout nerd…

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The Cult Marketing Strategy

18 March 2020 - 1:00pm

I was working on the marketing strategy of an organization to recruit new members.

Me: I notice that your website talks a lot about “belief” but it doesn’t really say anything substantive. Maybe we can actually try to be more specific in your materials?

Client: We’d like to go another direction. 

I further researched the organization and found many online reviews by people who had previously been involved, stating the organization encouraged people to suspend rational thought, included a lot of groupthink and demanded blindly following leadership in ways that were not psychologically healthy. A few used the word “cult.” Bullet dodged. 

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Ads are live

18 March 2020 - 12:00pm

Client: Shall we send an email to inform them online ads are live? 

Me: Why?

Client: How else will they know?

The post Ads are live appeared first on Clients From Hell.


17 March 2020 - 1:00pm

Me: (long email with detailed information in clear and professional language)

Client: Haha. brooooo that is soooo money!!!! awesome


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My car can fly…

17 March 2020 - 12:00pm

I was driving to work when there was a very bad accident in front of me. The road was closed as no vehicles could pass and we just had to wait until the scene was cleared. I called my client to tell her I’d be late:

Client: (angrily) you should have predicted that accident and left home earlier! 

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The password is ‘blank’

16 March 2020 - 1:00pm

Me:  Try logging in with your username and a blank password.

Client: It’s not working.

Me: What password did you use?

Client: It’s ‘blank’.

Me: Well then it should work.

Client: It’s not working. It says ‘cannot connect to database’.

Me: Where it says ‘Password’, tell me exactly what you have there.

Client: Like you told me to, I typed in the word ‘b l a n k’.

Me: When I said ‘blank’, I meant that there is no password. The field needs to be left empty.

Client: Oh… right, it’s working now!!

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So, I found this font…

16 March 2020 - 12:00pm

Client: So I was going through Microsoft Word looking at fonts and I found this font I’ve never seen before.

Me: (cringing) Yes there are a wide variety of fonts available today. I can research some that would be great for your…

Client: No, no, I found the exact one I want, it’s perfect.

Me: Um, okay, what’s the font.

Client: Pay-Py-Ruse.

Me: (dropping feeling in my stomach) Um, can you spell that.

Client: Oh, yeah, sure: P-A-P-Y-R-U-S

Me: … 

At this point I’m grateful that it’s a phone conversation.

Client: *keeps going on and on how this is the PERFECT font*

Me: What about the Papyrus do you like?

Client: It’s so rough and fresh. It’s like it’s hand-drawn. I’ve never seen anything like it.

Me: (trying to be gentle) It is an interesting font, I get the appeal of a hand-drawn font. Unfortunately, it’s been used so many times that it’s entering the realm of Comic Sans in reputation. We can do a font study to find something that has the rough, fresh, professional, hand-drawn feel you desire.

Client: I’ve never seen it before, I think that’s just a thing with you designery type.


Client: So, we’re using Papyrus.

In the end, we parted ways congenially after some less than productive attempts at the image. It’s the only client I’ve had to walk away from, but hey, I never had to present logo options with the Papyrus font.

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Harness the wild world of Memphis design for only $15!

15 March 2020 - 2:00pm
Harness the wild world of Memphis design for only $15!

This week’s deal is on 1800+ elements in the Memphis design style – the loud, fun and vibrant look that made the 80s and 90s such a good time.

> Just take a look. If these patterns weren’t part of your childhood you missed out. 

Created in 1981, the Memphis style was meant to rally against “good taste” and create something fun and unique. Prioritizing bright colors and big angular shapes, Memphis is utterly iconic and went on to inspire classics of children’s television like Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and Rocko’s Modern Life. It’s not what you’d call a “timeless” style because it’s so specific, but it also never quite goes out of style. This bundle combines 12 sets that add up to over 1800 elements that will let you master creating Memphis designs

Normally all 12 of these bundles would sell for $206, but for the next week you can get all 1800+ for just $15. That’s a pittance to add this exciting look to your arsenal.

> Check out the deal here.

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The Imaginary Marketing Growth Process

14 March 2020 - 2:00pm

Client: Can you make the logo look like this mythological symbol? Also, I want one of the main colors to be bold, bright orange.

Me: Well, I don’t think your customers would easily connect that mythological symbol with your home improvement business. Let’s talk about other options, such as illustrations that relate to your services. Also, I created some modern color palettes that include the orange that you mentioned.

Client: OK, fine, I don’t really care about it that much anyway. You’re kind of hurting my ego here.

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User Submitted Post

14 March 2020 - 1:00pm

I work IT for a network of hospitals and take calls in my cubicle all day. This is a call I just took.

Me: Helpdesk.

Client: Hi, I was wondering if I could install Remote Desktop on my computer.

Me: PC or Mac?

Client: It’s a Mac.

Me: Is it a personal computer, or is it owned by our company?

Client: It’s mine.

Me: I’m sorry, we don’t provide support for personal computers on this line.

Client: Oh, I don’t need help. I just wanted to know if I was allowed.

Me: …Sure. Go right ahead. You can do whatever you’d like with your computer.

Client: Great! Thanks. 

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I want ALL THIS in 10k words or less

13 March 2020 - 2:00pm

Client: I want you to write this in under 10 thousand words.

Me: OK. 

Client: Not enough detail. Flesh it out or I’m not paying.

Me: I fleshed it out, but it was pretty tight already. To get all the details in you wanted I went over. 

Client: TOO MANY WORDS. Also, I want it formatted for eBooks as part of the budget.

Me: (staring at the meager amount in escrow) Yeah, nah.

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