Clients from Hell

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Horror stories from freelancers
Updated: 3 min 1 sec ago

User Submitted Post

28 December 2018 - 11:00am

Client: Our printer is broken, send a technician.

Me: Which printer? You have quite a few. And what’s the nature of the problem?

Client: 751 

That’s the printer model. They have several.

Me: Ok, and what is happening with the printer?

Client: Am I crazy or do you work service? Send the goddamn tech!


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<p>Client: I&#8217;m looking for three

27 December 2018 - 12:00pm

Client: I’m looking for three 500-word articles a day. Doable?

Me: Honestly, not really. I have other clients and with research, that’s quite a workload.

Client: Great, when can you start? 

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<p>Client: Hi, I’m looking for a

27 December 2018 - 11:00am

Client: Hi, I’m looking for a windows monitor.

Me: I can set you up with a new monitor, sure.

Client: No, no I mean I want a monitor I can plug into my MacBook to see things in Windows.

Me: …

Client: I need it for a project.

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<p>One of my favorite emails I’ve ever

26 December 2018 - 11:00am

One of my favorite emails I’ve ever received started out like this:

Client: I would like to build a profitable website based off fashion and health and beauty products and advertising. I understand your background is in development but l know l will need a certain level of marketing as well. As my profit grows I would also like to incorporate some kind of cloud-like, online web-based gaming platform as well. Due to the growing rate of change in technology, I realize l’m going to need some assistance with the design and infrastructure for these platforms, to better understand what type of financing l’m going to need…

I never read past this point because I was laughing too hard.

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think of me as a friend

26 December 2018 - 10:00am

A potential client asked if I could do a short animation and I sent a quote. He said it was “too high” when it was actually too low.

Client: Hey can you lower the prices if I do the editing?

Me: This quote doesn’t cover editing.

Client: Okay, fair, I’ll do the editing. What if to save on money, we make it stop motion?

Me: Although I have worked on Stop Motion, it isn’t my expertise, I don’t have the equipment for it, and it wouldn’t be any cheaper. It might actually be more expensive.

Client: Well, maybe I can help you animate the short at my place?

Me: I’d feel uncomfortable going to your house. The price is firm.

Client: Hey, what if…we go to the movies together then?


Client: I’m a really great person once you get to know me.

He then tried to add me on Facebook. I never replied.

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<p>Client: I don’t want it to be the

25 December 2018 - 11:00am

Client: I don’t want it to be the exact same color, it just can’t be a DIFFERENT color.

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<p>A client came to me asking me to

25 December 2018 - 10:00am

A client came to me asking me to recreate a business card he had made years and years ago. The card looked like it was designed in Microsoft Word ’97 and the logo is especially awful. I tried to gently guide the client away from just reproducing it.

Me: I can recreate this, but I might advise you to try something else.

Client: That logo is based on a tattoo I have. I well that logo is based off a tattoo that I have. Can I just send you a photo of that so you can Photoshop it onto the business card?

At this point, I completely dissociated into a mini-existential crisis.

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We’re paying attention

24 December 2018 - 11:00am

I submitted a quote and a detailed multi-page timeline of deliverables with a breakdown of dates to my clients.

Client 1: Approved! When would we see the first deliverable?

Client 2: This is all great! Yes, approved! What would your timeline be to get everything done?

Me: All this information is in the timeline you’re approving. Take a look.

Client 3: Maybe this will help – I made a timeline we can use!

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photo and text

24 December 2018 - 10:00am

I was designing an album cover for a client.

Client: Here are some photos. I don’t really like them, but maybe you can crop them so they look good.

I cropped the photo and then added the band name and album name, playing with fonts to make the whole thing look cohesive and cool. I sent it back for approval:

Client: What you designed is just a photo and text. Can you add some sort of effects?

Me: ….

I complied, doing my best to add effects without going back to the 90s or making it hideous.

Client: It’s still just a photo and text. I don’t think this is going to work. I’m going to find another designer.

When I saw the final cover from the new designer, it was – surprise! – just a photo and text.

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57 Premium fonts for only $10! 99% off!

23 December 2018 - 11:00am
57 Premium fonts for only $10! 99% off!

This week’s deal is on 57 premium fonts for only $10! That’s 17.5 cents a font! 

> I don’t care you who are, that’s a bargain.

Quality fonts are the building blocks of great design, and this bundle has them in spades. I love the cool chic of Jackson, as well as the elegant calligraphy of Magarella, but that’s really just the tip of the iceberg. 57 Premium fonts with all their extras cover a lot of ground, stylistically, giving you tons of options for all your upcoming designs! Take a look and get inspired.

For just the next few days this bundle of 57 fonts is only $10, which is insane value. Buy all 57 for 99% off!

> Check out the deal here!

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Self sabotaging CEO

22 December 2018 - 11:00am

I worked for a startup that was entirely funded by a local millionaire. 

He hired professional marketing, product, video, sales and content directors, but refused to listen to their ideas and would frequently make executive decisions that changed the direction of the company without notice. He would throw millions of dollars into these ideas against everyone’s advice and made zero return on his investment.

To make matters worse, his policy was to only give raises or bonuses when the company was profitable. In other words, our chances of progressing in the company depended on his ability to stop sabotaging every effort we’d made.

Last week the FBI raided his offices; he was accused of running a Ponzi scheme for the last ten years. All of his employees were laid off without notice and all his companies were liquidated.

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I think I found your problem and it’s nut kicks

22 December 2018 - 10:00am

In a meeting with a client to help understand why their new hires are not staying longer at the company.

Me: When you’re briefing staff in the morning, how do you greet them?

Client: Greet them? They’re lucky I don’t kick them all in the nuts as they walk through the door.


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User Submitted Post

22 December 2018 - 10:00am

Client: My phone isn’t working. What do you think is the problem?

Me: I’m not sure! Can I stop by and check?

Client: No, I’m on a call right now. 

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Not sure what they thought I do

21 December 2018 - 11:00am

I’m a caricature artist. A prospective client sent me an email:

Client: Can you work in a nearby city? It requires formal dress. 

Not knowing what formal events require a caricature artist, I tried searching for events in the nearest city to me. I found nothing for that date. 

I replied via email:

Me: Hi! I’m interested, but I’d like to know more details. It’s some distance to travel for me and I need to be back home the following day so I can go to my day job. I need to know whether this is possible before I accept. 

Client: The event is in New York City and is three days long.

I live in the Rocky Mountains – so not nearby at all. They wanted me to fly out and back and, get this, they didn’t want me to draw anything. 

I noped out real quick. I’m pretty sure they were trying to hire me as an escort, and/or I was about to be the inspiration for an episode of Law and Order.

The worst part is that this is not the last time something like this happened to me. Is “caricature artist” some kind of code I don’t know about?

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Weebly wobble

21 December 2018 - 10:00am

Client: Hi, can you fix the website you’re working on? The link isn’t working, and we want it to redirect to our other website.

Me: I’ll take a look!

On closer inspection, it looked like someone had changed the DNS settings so that the website redirected to ITSELF. The worst part? This was the second time this had happened.  

Client: Maybe the settings have just gone back to default. What do you think?

Me: The page is unavailable because both the Weebly site and your purchased domain are redirecting to each other, kind of like an endless loop. Please let me know who changed the DNS settings.

Client: Huh, that’s weird. Will it fix itself?

Me: I can fix it, but I need to confirm whether or not this was a manual change or an automatic one. If it’s automatic then I need to look into what’s causing it.

Client: It was manually done. I suspect it was not done properly.


Me: Thank you for confirming. I will rectify the problem now. Please ask whoever did this from changing the DNS settings from here onwards.

Client: Sure. While you’re at it, can you redirect [ourfirstdomain].com from our first Weebly to our second Weebly? Actually, to be exact, can you forward [xyz.ourfirstdomain].com to our second Weebly? So, can be the website you created or our second Weebly.


First, I think I found the culprit. Second, what does that even mean?

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Source of stupidity

20 December 2018 - 11:00am

Client: Can you send me back the source files?

Me: I don’t have the source files.

Client: Yes you do! I sent them to you!

Me: If you sent them to me, you sent copies. You kept the source files.

Client: Ooooh! 

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Payday mayday

20 December 2018 - 10:05am

“Can you teach me how to do it so I don’t have to pay you?”

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pentagon kaleidoscope

19 December 2018 - 11:00am

I am an exhibition designer. It’s my job to create unique and strange items for clients.

One client needed designs for a Chinese New Year gala dinner, including a stage backdrop and props to entertain his guests.

The initial brainstorming went really well, and he approved my design concepts quickly. I set to work and was making great progress – until he had a new idea.

Client: I saw this great video with a kaleidoscope tunnel.

He sent me the video – it was really beautiful! It would be expensive to make but the client seemed ready to pay.

Client: The mirrors in that tunnel are triangles, though. Since this is for Chinese New Year and five is an auspicious number for the Chinese, I want them to be pentagon shaped instead.

I start doing the research, and soon find out that his request is actually impossible. Kaleidoscopes produce their patterns BECAUSE the mirrors are triangular – trying to create the same effect with pentagons would produce a hall of mirrors, NOT a kaleidoscope.

I tried to explain this to the client.

Client: Just go ahead and try it first.

Me: The reflection won’t be anything like the video you sent me, it would be all over the place. Are you okay with that?

Client: I believe you can do it! Just do your best.

Me: The problem is it’s going to be very expensive to produce and not what you want. Will you be happy with a mirror hall?

Client: Oh, it has to be a pentagon kaleidoscope. I’m sure you can make it work.

I tried my best to convince him otherwise, but his faith that I could break the laws of physics was unshakeable.

It didn’t end well.

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Wrong placeholder

19 December 2018 - 10:00am

I delivered a website design. I hadn’t been given any content so the headline was “placeholder.” The body text was just Lorem Ipsum. 

The client sent me back a printed copy of the design with a single note that said “WRONG TEXT!”

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lien on me

18 December 2018 - 11:00am

I was working with a client who, it turns out, had been fired by three other designers before me. 

Client: Now that you’re almost done I’ll start going through with a fine-toothed comb [i.e. asking for nit-picky revisions]. I hope you don’t quite like the rest. 

Me: No problem.

Me: (quietly begins lien process).

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