Clients from Hell

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Horror stories from freelancers
Updated: 1 hour 18 min ago

User Submitted Post

2 July 2019 - 2:00pm

One of my clients is a well-known home improvement store. They asked me to create new art for their YouTube channel. I created a collage-style design using images pulled from their social media that highlighted all the products they sell and the services they offer. They came back with notes and a zip file with approved images, but most of them were flat lays of hardware and home decor that were difficult to format. No images of their gardening department, lumber, etc. However, I got it done and was super pleased with the result.

A couple of days later the client comes back with a note: 

Client: A lot of the images currently only feature décor and hardware—we’ll need to also feature tools, building materials (lumber), garden and less kitchen/faucets.

…I’m still waiting on new assets.

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Defect free

1 July 2019 - 3:00pm

As I am about to start working for a client as a software developer, I decided to use one of the more popular online legal services to create a simple contract to help protect me.

It didn’t. Here are some choice sections from the contract, verbatim:

Contractor shall:

(ii) Devote as much productive time, energy and ability to the performance of its duties under this Agreement as may be necessary to provide the required Services;

(vii) Provide services and end products that are satisfactory to the Company and free of defects;

(viii) remove, replace or correct all or any portion of the work or end products found defective or unsuitable, without additional cost or risk to the Company.

I wonder why they called it an “Independent Contractor Agreement” and not an “Indentured Servitude Agreement”?

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Always read…

1 July 2019 - 2:00pm

Me: My estimate for this work is 3-5 hours at £50 per hour. Does that work for you? 

Client: Yes that’s fine please proceed.

Me: Here’s my proposal

Client: You’re quoting us between £150 and £250. That’s quite a jump from £50 originally quoted…

I sent a screenshot of our previous conversation, highlighting that I quoted £50 at 3-5 hours. 

Client: Oh I didn’t read properly. Thanks but no thanks in that case.

So he thought I was quoting him £50 for a five-hour job? Facepalm 

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Get the Ultimate Creation Kit of 2,000+ design elements for 99% off at only $9!

30 June 2019 - 3:00pm
Get the Ultimate Creation Kit of 2,000+ design elements for 99% off at only $9!

This week’s deal is on an incredible bundle that collects 9 other awesome bundles. At $9, that’s only $1 a bundle – which is bonkers.

> These are super useful, tastefully designed elements too. 

Art deco borders, elegant fonts, and enticing patterns add up to one heck of a value in The Ultimate Bundle. Filled with minimalist designs, this is a one-stop shop for designing business cards, packaging, and invitations. Just take a look at the at the beautiful designs in this bundle – you’ll be throwing together astonishing and classy products in no time. 

At only $9 for all 2,000+ elements, The Ultimate Creation Kit is a steal. Sell one design with one border and it’s already paid for itself. Sell anything else and you’re basically making free money while saving yourself time and effort.

> Check out the deal here. 

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User Submitted Post

30 June 2019 - 2:00pm

A client emailed me: 

Client:  We’re in a huge bind! We have an event two days from now and their photographer isn’t getting back to us. We think they’re flaking out on us and we need someone to cover it! . 

They asked me to supply a quote and help them out in this dire, emergency situation. I quoted them my usual rate and they wrote back:

Client: Our other photographer was charging us $340.’ 

They were trying to price match me with some amateur that pulled a no show on them. 

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User Submitted Post

29 June 2019 - 3:00pm

I’m a photographer and have a generally good client that hired a new employee. The new employee had zero consideration for anyone but herself. She canceled on me twice, last minute, with no explanation. Then the night before the second rescheduled session she emailed me at 9 pm.

Client: Do you accept credit cards as payment. 

I didn’t respond, as it was night time. Also I already thought poorly of her based on her past history with me. She wrote me back at 7 am the next morning:

Client: You didn’t confirm. I need you to confirm. 

Again, she canceled on me twice minutes away from the shoot so I thought it was absurd that she was so insistent on confirming. 

The day of, I took her headshot,

Client: Can I pay you after I receive the photos? 

Me: No. 

She paid, thankfully. Later she insisted on getting twice as many revisions as she was entitled to, but whatever.  

Four days after the end images were submitted, I received an email entitled ‘URGENT!’ Turns out she’d applied an awful Instagram filter to the photo and saved over it. The filter had blown out the background and she needed it for a proposal.

Me: I can get to fixing it, but I’m out on a shoot today. I’ll get to it when I’m home. 

Client: Thanks!

An hour later: 

Client: Is it done yet?

Me: Still out on a shoot. 

Another hour later:

Client: How about now? 

Me: I’m a photographer, I don’t work in front of a computer. I’ll get to it when I can and tell you when I do, I promise.

Client: Is it done yet?

Client: Are you done?

FML.

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I hope we didn’t give the impression that we *liked* it

29 June 2019 - 2:00pm

I was project managing a web design and build for a healthcare client. We presented the first round of design and the response was positive. Their only feedback was minor things like letter spacing, button shapes, and so on.

Two days later I got a call from their project manager. 

Client: I hope we didn’t give the impression that we *liked* it.

Me: ….Your voice, tone, and choice of words suggested that, yes, you did like it. 

Client: Well you missed the mark. Could you design something more like the case study in our proposal?

Me: I didn’t see that proposal. Could you send it to me so we can better align? 

A couple of days later he emailed back:

Client: Never mind about the case study. If you just implement the feedback from the meeting everyone will be happy. 

Me: …I’m getting some contradictory feedback. Are you 100% sure we should move forward?

Client: Yes.  and said never mind about the case study, if we could just implement the feedback from the meeting, everyone will be happy. 

Not long after we presented the second round, the same guy emailed my boss claiming that his team was unhappy wit MY project management and they wouldn’t be paying for designs they never wanted to move forward with. 

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User Submitted Post

28 June 2019 - 3:00pm

A man contacted me about doing a full day’s worth of photography for a conference he was hosting in Jersey City. My general day rate is around $1250 for event coverage.

Client: Would you be willing to barter? I could hand out your business card at the event? 

 

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Makeup Artist

28 June 2019 - 2:00pm

I’m a make-up artist. A client messaged me with these requirements:

Client: Hey! I know this use last minute but I need you to come do my make-up TODAY. I’m about an hour away in a neighboring town, and I’ll need you to volunteer your time. But I can give you some photos as payment!

When I told her I don’t do “for trade” work she said “too bad”. 

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Vacation

27 June 2019 - 3:00pm

Client: Hey, you worked on [successful Kickstarter]?

Me: Yes. I was part of the management team & did a little writing too.

Client: Can you take over my Kickstarter? It isn’t funding.

Me: I’m pretty booked up right now.

Client: Just use some vacation time. That way you still get paid.

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PC’s From Hell

27 June 2019 - 2:00pm

Client: I haven’t received any emails since the website went live yesterday, I told you to be careful with our emails when migrating the site to the new platform and now my office is at a standstill!

Me: let me look into it.

I forwarded the ticket to my IT guy who gets in touch with his IT guy to resolve the matter. A few minutes later the client called back.

Client: Don’t worry about it. My PC was just running slow because I’ve been out of the office for a day

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Comp Love

26 June 2019 - 2:00pm

I had a restaurateur client who was opening a high-end restaurant in a converted historic home. As such, he wanted all of the branding to fit with the Victorian nature of the property.

I selected a color palette based on the paint and artwork they had selected for the space and scoped out some appropriate fonts. One of the fonts came with flourishes and other line art that I thought would be useful for them, and also came with a very elaborate editable AI comp file that demonstrated their use. 

I modified the file to reflect their name and color palette to show how the various brand elements would look together, got it approved, and proceeded to design the logo elements.

After a few unsuccessful logo design rounds:

Client: I really just want that one image you showed us. 

Me: Unfortunately, that’s not a logo. That was just an example file that came with the font. I shared it with you to give a general sense of the design. I can’t just use that. 

Client: Well, it’s what I want. I don’t even want to see anything else. 

I pushed back again and explained to the account manager who hired me that we couldn’t ethically use it, let alone point to it as any kind of work example, but she finally said “look, just give him what he’s asking for so we can get paid” and so I did.

Later, I found out that even though he DEMANDED this version, he was out there telling people that I had passed off someone else’s work as my own. 

Sometimes you’re better off sticking to your guns, even if it means losing the work.

 

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User Submitted Post

26 June 2019 - 2:00pm

Client: Can you convert a PDF to a word document so that I can edit it?

Me: Sure, just email it to me.

They sent me a scanned document in PDF format. 

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Three rules for creating a thriving business: Joe Casabona on success and Game of Thrones

25 June 2019 - 4:10pm
Three rules for creating a thriving business: Joe Casabona on success and Game of Thrones

What does it take to create a successful business? Are there any tricks? Are people with great products dark sorcerers, or did they just get lucky?

For nearly three years now, Joe Casabona has talked with people who have created successful products, finding out the secrets of getting a business off the ground on his podcast, “How I Built It.” In this episode he shares what he’s learned from countless successful entrepreneurs, discusses an unlikely inspiration, and tells you what you can learn from Game of Thrones about listening to your clients. 

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

25 June 2019 - 3:00pm

I work as a part-time bookkeeper/ general assistant at a real estate office. Part of my job requires me to format and send out a monthly newsletter that is more or less a stream-of-consciousness from my boss.

Client: I was thinking, it’s such a hassle to download attachments. Instead of emailing a PDF of the newsletter just copy and paste the words into the body of the email.

Me: …Okay. I can do that.

Client: Oh, and can you send it like I have it in Word?

Me: The original document is in alternating neon green and blue boldface comic sans. The website shows a readable black typeface that I think fits more with our look.

Client: I like the colors it makes the newsletter look spring-y.

I am, unfortunately, at the mercy of both my boss and my paycheck.

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User Submitted Post

25 June 2019 - 2:00pm

Client: Give it a sexier background and icons.

There is a thing with these dudes asking for extremely mundane things to be “sexy” and I genuinely don’t understand it. Do you actually want people to get hard over your iconography? Do you want me to ghost some bits in the background?

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“Headline” and “Open Window”

24 June 2019 - 4:00pm

New video! 

Original stories: 

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User Submitted Post

24 June 2019 - 3:00pm

Client: (owns a kajillion-dollar high-tech state-of-the-art company)

Also Client: (Opens the backup PDF in Powerpoint instead of the Powerpoint file I sent them)

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Can you bring your video camera to the wedding?

24 June 2019 - 2:00pm

Three months before the wedding:

Family member: Hey I saw you have a cool video camera. Would you bring it to the wedding and get a few shots at the church and the cake cutting?

Me: Sure, no problem. I’m not a videographer or anything so I’ll just point and shoot a few bits.

Family Member: Perfect. Not looking for anything fancy.

Two weeks before the wedding:

Family Member: OK here’s the shot list. I want us walking up the aisle, plus all the family members arriving. Also, can you come by the house beforehand to get some candid stuff? Also, I want to be sure we get clips with all my relatives, here’s a list of twenty-six people I want to ensure are in the…

Me: Sorry, camera is broken. See you at the wedding.

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Drink with style; get 50 custom coasters with free shipping for $9!

23 June 2019 - 3:00pm
Drink with style; get 50 custom coasters with free shipping for $9!

This week’s deal is on 50 custom drink coasters for only $9. 

> These babies are from StickerMule, which means they’re quality

 

StickerMule makes quality prints from your designs. We’ve featured sales from them in the past that have always sold out. This time around they’re offering 50 drink coasters, printed to your specifications, for only $9 – and that includes free shipping in North America and the EU. That’s an incredible price. Save on coasters for a wedding, create a prototype for a brewery client, or just put your smiling face or an in-joke on a set of coasters to give to friends. At only $9, why not

Normally this order would cost $65, which is totally fair for the quality prints that StickerMule makes – but for this week only, get 50 coasters for 86% off at just $9. Get it now and think about what to do with them later. It’ll be great.

> Check out the deal here.

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