Clients from Hell

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Horror stories from freelancers
Updated: 44 min 2 sec ago

Add animals and crafts to your toolkit with 700+ elements for only $9!

8 September 2019 - 3:00pm
Add animals and crafts to your toolkit with 700+ elements for only $9!

This week’s deal is on over 700 elements full of stylish animal and craft-inspired designs.

> They split the difference between “cute” and “bleeding edge cool.”

In case you haven’t noticed, animal designs are having a moment right now. A well-designed fox, deer or jackrabbit is the perfect adornment for bags, posters, invitations and a heck of a lot more. This bundle features hundreds of awesome animal illustrations and elements inspired by the crafting scene, making it easy for you to make products for all sorts of clients. Designing a beer label? This will be perfect. Brand identity for a pour-over coffee shop? Bingo. There are so many opportunities built into this bundle – take advantage!

Normally everything in this bundle would sell for $360, but for the next week only they’re just $9. Sell one design with one element from this pack and you’ve made your money back. 

> Check out the deal here. 

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Send Me a Copy

8 September 2019 - 2:00pm

I sent a sample of my music to a client as an mp3 file in an e-mail, so he could hear some of my latest work.

Me: Here’s an example of my work. 

Client: I love it. Can you send me a copy?

Me: (completely flabbergasted)

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Coffee shop hell

7 September 2019 - 3:00pm

I worked as an in-house designer for a couple of weeks. After those weeks, the marketing coordinator decided to leave the company and start a coffee shop in her neighborhood. She asked me if I wanted to design her visual identity and collateral. I said yes.

I usually do 3 rounds of revisions until we have something concrete. We agreed on a look, she gave me logos she liked and set up a mood board. So far, so good.

After 2 months of exploration and presentations, she was not liking any of the logos.

I showed her tons of explorations with Coffee + Mid-century modern look. Nothing was pleasing the client.

After my 3rd round of revisions, while I was already defeated, the client went on an online logo builder, designed her own logo and showed it to me.

The logo now had nothing to do with coffee and had diamonds on the background of the type.

Client: See, it’s not that hard. I could do this job.

She decided not to pay me for my services and the time spent on developing good solutions for her business.

I took legal action was taken and got paid, fortunately.

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“That’s kind of r*****ed, isn’t it?”

7 September 2019 - 2:00pm

I had a client here in Canada setting up a Woo store with a shipping plugin, which uses metric to calculate accurate shipping rates with the Canada Post API.

He entered all the shipping dimensions in inches and weight in pounds. The CM and KG units were clearly labeled. He also put the dimensions of the products, not the dimensions of the shipping boxes as asked (he bought a bunch of boxes). As a result, it calculated the wrong price.

Me: The units are too small. Your shipping box is only 2 centimeters wide?

Client: No, the product is two inches wide.

Me: You have to enter the dimensions in centimeters of the shipping box.

Client: That’s kind of r****ded, isn’t it?

Me: No, they want to know how big the shipping box itself is. It will make sense once you get the hang of it.

Client: But we don’t even use centimeters. That’s metric. Canada’s an imperial country!

Me: No

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User Submitted Post

6 September 2019 - 3:00pm

Client: I need you to download this PDF as an mp4 file.

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Do not email me ever again

6 September 2019 - 2:00pm

The usual routine of checking my inbox got interrupted by a series of short, angry emails from a client.

Client: Do not email me ever again.

Client: I don’t care what you think.

Client: Your whole business is a joke anyway.

Client: All the office are talking about you.

Client: You liar. Absolute complete liar.

Client: Consider yourself blocked.

Me: I’m sorry but I have no idea what this is about. Why am I being blocked?

Client: No not you.

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Now It Doesn’t Look Good

5 September 2019 - 3:00pm

This client asked me to work on a print project for her Association. She asked a week and a half in advance of printing.

Client: Can you design a brochure for a college event?

Me: Ok. Let’s quickly discuss your goals for the project. Also, I’ll need you to send me the information to be included and any photos. 

The client proceeds to micromanage every detail of the project, from the layout to how it would be printed. She insisted on placing many paragraphs of text on relatively small areas of the layout.

The paragraphs of text were coming from other people, so it would have taken more time to have the paragraphs edited with their permission, and the deadline was fast approaching. It was miserable.

Me: I wouldn’t have designed it this way…. But if it’s what you really want….

The deadline to print the project arrives.

Client: Well, now it doesn’t look very good. But I guess we’ll have to go with it.

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User Submitted Post

5 September 2019 - 2:00pm

I was a graphic design student in my last year of school, but I often worked with audio/video so many people knew me to be handy with recording projects. A classmate knew I had some skill so he asked me to help him record narration for an animation he was working on. Not a problem, or so I thought. Keep in mind he wanted to do this in one day. He was a friend so I thought it would go quickly.

Me: Ok, I brought my microphone, computer, and headphones. Let’s get started!

Client: Thanks, this should be easy.

It wasn’t. Every time he recorded a line he wanted to hear the playback. Because of his own frustration, he decided to record each line three times and choose the best take later. This took a good hour.

Me: Sounds like we’re almost done.

Client: Right…with the first page.

Me: Ummmm, what?

He started reaching in his schoolbag and brought out a small collection of lined notebook paper. All together he had 6 pages, front and back. The one side we had just completed took so much time that I didn’t think he had more.

Client: Now we can really get serious!

Me: …Right.

I worked as fast as I could to finish and get out of there so he could do all the edits himself later. The worst part was, after a couple of hours during our self assigned breaks, he would write more lines down. We started recording at 4pm and finished around 10pm.

Lesson learned.

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We’ll Take It From Here

4 September 2019 - 2:54pm

A client asked me to write a series of Facebook posts to promote their software. I discussed the goals and main messages with the managers in detail.

We talked about the main ideas and how we wanted to convey those ideas online. We did some brainstorming, I created brief examples of copy to show them, and we were in agreement about the various aspects of the project. They loved my input and they were positive in the discussions.

It seemed like we were on the same page with the overall direction.

Me: Ok, here are the Facebook posts. This is a starting point, let me know if you would like any edits.

Client: Great, thanks. I’ll show the Lead Developer.

The next day:

Client: These posts aren’t what we are looking for. The Lead Developer said he was looking for something else. We’ll take it from here.

I didn’t realize there was a trap door to this project. 

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Need an Estimate

4 September 2019 - 2:00pm

Client: I need an estimate for a bus wrap.

Me: I would need more details about the project and what you’re seeking.

Client: I just need you to figure it out. It shouldn’t be that hard!

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Money Conversation: Ilise Benun on discussing budget

3 September 2019 - 5:15pm

Don’t you just hate talking about money with clients? Either you’re quoting WAY too low, or you’re putting out a number that makes you feel like an imposter. Either way, talking budget is a source of incredible anxiety for most freelancers.

Unless, of course, you’re Ilise Benun. Ilise LOVES having the money conversation with clients, and that’s because she’s figured out a great trick for making both her and her clients comfortable discussing budget. 

It’s a simple trick, but it’s a mind-blower: she asks “is this a $500 project, a $5000 project, or a $50,000 project?” Find out WHY this amazing trick works in her conversation with Kyle! 

Today’s links: 

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User Submitted Post

3 September 2019 - 3:00pm

Early in my career (circa 2008), I was hired by a major retailer to work in their internal human resource department. I joined the company at the same time as several other new hires working across the chain. We were greeted by someone whose title was “Chief Intern.”

Client: The best way to get along is if you treat this like 8 Mile. I am Eminem and you are all my n****rs!

I quit after two days… and I wasn’t the first.

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Not Showing Up in Search

3 September 2019 - 2:00pm

Client: We need you to update this website for a retail store location so that more people sign up for our events this month. We haven’t had enough people coming to that location.

Me: The website isn’t showing up in search results, though.

Client: Oh, I guess it’s a subdomain of the main site.

Me: That could be a problem.

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Need 25 Posts NOW

2 September 2019 - 3:00pm

Client: I need 25 social media posts in 3 hours.

Me: That’s a lot of posts in a short amount of time. I would need more time to research, plan, and create the posts.

Client: Well, I could create the posts in 3 hours.

Me: I guess you don’t do a lot of research and planning, then.

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The Cheap Marketing Approach

2 September 2019 - 2:00pm

I was discussing a Google Ads marketing strategy and social media project with a lawyer who worked in a large city.

Me: What’s your budget for Google Ads?

Client: About $300 a month. I don’t want to pay anything more than I need to.

Me: That’s not very much. It could cost you a lot more to see the results you are seeking. But the ROI could be worth it. How much are you willing to pay someone to work on this marketing project? There are a lot of other considerations and topics to discuss, such as SEO and your social media strategy.

Client: I am looking to pay someone about $25 per hour, no more than 5 hours per week. You’re not charging me for this conversation, are you?

Earlier in the conversation he’d dropped that he’s going on a very expensive vacation and was very proud of himself.

I decided to move on from this “opportunity” pretty quickly.

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Make beautiful Roman-style mosaics with this amazing tool for only $9!

1 September 2019 - 3:00pm
Make beautiful Roman-style mosaics with this amazing tool for only $9!

This week’s deal is on a really neat tool for Adobe Illustrator that makes it easy to create authentically styled Roman Mosaics. 

> Take a look. These designs are really intriguing. 

Will you use this tool on every project? No. But does that mean you don’t want it? Also no. A tool like this inspires you, gives you a sense of new possibilities, new approaches. Maybe a client’s logo deserves a classic touch. Maybe a wedding invitation wants an intriguing twist. Maybe you just want to make an invite for the best toga party EVER. 

At only $9, this tool is over half off for the next week and an absolute bargain at that price. Pick it up and do something different.

> Check out the deal here. 

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A Professional Client Discussion

1 September 2019 - 2:00pm

A friend of mine referred me to a new project with a client he had been working with. This would be a contract Account Coordinator role, that would be in addition to the work my friend was providing.

Client: So, are you better than your friend?

Seemed to be a weird way to start a discussion about my interests and skills.

Me: I have great project coordinating skills, from communications to creating reports.

Client: Do you play sports?

The business has nothing to do with playing sports.

Me: Well, I used to. I was the captain of my soccer team in high school. That was fun.

The client goes into detail about he had sports leadership roles in college.

Client: Do you have any personal issues I should know about?

Me: Um… no…. I am simply seeking a new contract-to-hire role using my skills, knowledge, and experience.

Later, I get an e-mail from the client, stating he is looking for someone with more “business acumen.”  I am wondering if that message should have been directed toward him.

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Expecting the Sky

31 August 2019 - 3:00pm

This was an exchange I had for the first website I ever designed/built. It was for a small hobby shop. At the time I was really into models so I was very excited to work on the site for a place I went to all the time. 

Client: What is this? Is this it? Is this all you did?

Me: Yes, it’s the 5 pages we talked about . . .

Client: But where is the rest of the website?! This is just some photos and info about the store!

Me: Yes, it is just info about the store and some photos. That’s what we agreed to and is in the contract you signed. What do you feel is missing?

Client: I just expected more. Where are all the products, how are people going to buy things online!?

Me: Did you expect an eCommerce site? We only agreed to a simple 5-page site, that’s what you paid for and what’s in the contract. 

Client: Yeah, I know, but I thought since you loved the shop so much that you would go above and beyond. 

Me: So you expected me to inventory your entire store and create a payment gateway without any of your info, for free, because I like your store? 

Client: Yeah, I just thought you were a loyal customer and cared about model making. I understand but I’m just really disappointed in you. 

I found another hobby store to shop after that meeting. 

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User Submitted Post

31 August 2019 - 2:00pm

This is a recent email exchange with a client. It’s not necessarily hellish, but annoying.

Definitely annoying.

Me: We are just working on the contract changes. You’ve asked us to add some information to the terms and conditions, but not specified where you want this. Does this want to be a new section after section 30, or does it need inserting somewhere else?

Client: Yeah I knew you would be emailing me asking about that, haha.

I mean… why not save the hassle and tell me before I had to ask? 

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30 August 2019 - 3:02pm

I was discussing a marketing opportunity with a financial speaker & advisor. I was interested in learning more about what he was seeking. I noticed that his website and social media presence needed a lot of work.

The potential client sounded very stressed and tense on the phone.

Me: Are you looking to re-brand?

Client: Oh NO. I worked with another person on that and it was HELL. I won’t go down that road again.

Me: I see. Would you like me to work on the current look of your website, then?

Client: I mostly need social media management, but you can work on my website, too. I currently have a Marketing Manager, but we are secretly looking to replace her. I need to engage a lot of people on social media.

Me: Ok. I could work on your social media pages.

Client: Look, I have a lot of applicants for this job. My main question is, WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR ME?

He said this in a loud, huffy voice. 

I was starting to realize why this person was having such as a hard time getting his marketing done. 

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