Clients from Hell

Subscribe to Clients from Hell feed Clients from Hell
Horror stories from freelancers
Updated: 42 min 12 sec ago

I’m a freelance video editor. I accepted a job from an acquaintance for a hugely discounted price -...

5 October 2018 - 3:20pm

I’m a freelance video editor. I accepted a job from an acquaintance for a hugely discounted price - she had created an art installation and wanted me to put together footage she had.

It was going fine; I sent her a rough cut, she had a few notes, which I followed, etc. She payed, I delivered the full resolution file, and I assumed we were done.

Silly me. I get this email two weeks afterwards.

Client: Hi, I added credits to the end. Can you make sure they are high-resolution?

Me: The file I sent you upon receiving payment was at full resolution according to the raw files I was given. I would be happy to be of assistance, but I am unclear of what you would like me to do with this file.

What the actual hell?

The credits were obviously done in iMovie - they animated in and out obnoxiously, and the font was childish and clashed with the serious subject matter of the art installation. She had also managed to export the entire file at a much lower resolution than the one I gave her.

Client: I just wanted you to make the credits and titles look good. I had to put them in because I had a deadline and you didn’t do it fast enough. I don’t see why you’re offended.

Note: she had never asked for credits or titles during the week or so I worked on the project, through multiple revisions.

Me: …O-kay… I can do the titles. But I’m going to have to send you a separate invoice for the extra work.

So I had to go back to my original file and copy her title/credit text into formats and fonts that didn’t look like a middle school project done at the last minute.

She paid me and I sent it off – and quietly decided not to work with her again.

Pro-tip: if you’re hiring freelancers, don’t pretend you can do their job better than we can. You can’t, or you wouldn’t need to hire us.

A client from an animation studio emailed me one day. I’d already had a bad experience with them...

5 October 2018 - 1:40pm

A client from an animation studio emailed me one day. I’d already had a bad experience with them once before but I was willing to give them another chance.

Client: Hi we would like a gif of Marilyn Monroe’s lips blowing a kiss, are you available for that?

Me: Yes I’d love to. What would you like the gif to look like, what are the dimensions of the gif and how long would you like it to last?

Client: Oh we’re going to leave it up to you, as long as it’s a looping gif it doesn’t matter! It’s due by Sunday. We’ll pay $100.

Despite the warning signs, I got to work on a gif of some lips blowing a kiss. I got it done in really good time and emailed them back with it in under 24 hours.

A day passed.

Me: Hi there, just wondering what you thought about the gif I’d finished for you?

A week passed.

Three weeks passed.

Me: Hi there, I was just wondering if you’d gotten my emails about the Marilyn Monroe gif project? And if we were still on for that?

Client: The gif wasn’t to our specifications and we won’t be using it.

Follow your instincts, everyone.

Client: Hello, I’m looking to find out if you can help me publish my comic book.Me: Certainly, this...

4 October 2018 - 3:20pm

Client: Hello, I’m looking to find out if you can help me publish my comic book.

Me: Certainly, this is what we offer. We charge $X per page, you get full PDFs, you can publish digitally, etc.

Client: With all due respect, I just entered college and my friend just graduated from high school. We have no money whatsoever to pay. We’re looking for a 50% partnership upon publication.

Me: I’m sorry, it takes time to work on your comic and we have bills to pay for rent and electric. Keep that in mind next time you ask someone for free work on large projects.

Never heard back from them, which I’m glad for.

In addition to this, I had a game I was trying to publish; I sacrificed a bunch of luxuries for five months so I could pay an artist to create my art assets before buying any of those things upon graduation of college and my full-time job. Now my game is almost complete; you can make a way if needed.

I’m working on a brochure for a client.Me: I can do it, but I need some information, like what...

4 October 2018 - 1:40pm

I’m working on a brochure for a client.

Me: I can do it, but I need some information, like what colors you would prefer and such.

Client: I don’t know.

Me: How do you… not know?

Client: I don’t know just do it, that’s your job.

I approached a college in India for a short contract to help digitize one of their schoolbooks into...

3 October 2018 - 3:20pm

I approached a college in India for a short contract to help digitize one of their schoolbooks into eBook format. One step of this was to take 1000 multiple-choice questions off of an actual physical printed book, scan them and then either type or digitize it with OCR. I had quoted them $500.

Client: Hello, you seem like you can do this job really well, but your price is too expensive. Our target price is $0.01 per question for the total job.

WHAT THE HELL. That was literally one penny per question. The total job would be $10.

Me: I’m sorry, but US work wages are a lot different than over there, and even then that is too little for the work being asked. $10 will not cover over 20 hours of data entry and scanning work.

Client: Sorry, too expensive sir.

Good luck getting someone to try to type 1000 multiple-choice questions into a computer for $10.

My cousin asked me to make a business website for a machinery/fabrication start-up.Me: Sure, I can...

3 October 2018 - 1:40pm

My cousin asked me to make a business website for a machinery/fabrication start-up.

Me: Sure, I can make you a professional business site, give you a business e-mail and everything. I typically charge $500, but I’ll do it for $300 since you’re family.

Client: Oh, so you can’t make a free Yahoo website and use my Gmail address?

Me: You’re trying to jumpstart a business. You want to give a good impression to someone wanting to get your service. That kind of website doesn’t give that impression.

Client: Well, I used to make them. I’ll maybe do that as it’s easier. If I can’t, I’ll let you know.

Never heard back from him about it. This same cousin thinks it’s suitable to give someone $10 in gas money to drive 150 miles and give them a ride to an airport. This is also someone who will buy a $1 transistor to repair a motherboard off a 10-year-old computer because he doesn’t want to buy a new modern PC or a $100 replacement motherboard.

The worst part? He isn’t cheap. He drives a $50,000 Toyota Tundra around and makes more than I do at his engineering job.

If you’ll excuse me, I’ll be sobbing in the corner.

My cousin asked me to make a business website for a machinery/fabrication start-up.Me: Sure, I can...

3 October 2018 - 1:40pm

My cousin asked me to make a business website for a machinery/fabrication start-up.

Me: Sure, I can make you a professional business site, give you a business e-mail and everything. I typically charge $500, but I’ll do it for $300 since you’re family.

Client: Oh, so you can’t make a free Yahoo website and use my Gmail address?

Me: You’re trying to jumpstart a business. You want to give a good impression to someone wanting to get your service. That kind of website doesn’t give that impression.

Client: Well, I used to make them. I’ll maybe do that as it’s easier. If I can’t, I’ll let you know.

Never heard back from him about it. This same cousin thinks it’s suitable to give someone $10 in gas money to drive 150 miles and give them a ride to an airport. This is also someone who will buy a $1 transistor to repair a motherboard off a 10-year-old computer because he doesn’t want to buy a new modern PC or a $100 replacement motherboard.

The worst part? He isn’t cheap. He drives a $50,000 Toyota Tundra around and makes more than I do at his engineering job.

If you’ll excuse me, I’ll be sobbing in the corner.

Me: How can we help you today?Client: I’d like to print my photos.Me: Sure, let’s go to the kiosk so...

2 October 2018 - 3:20pm

Me: How can we help you today?

Client: I’d like to print my photos.

Me: Sure, let’s go to the kiosk so that we can enter them in our system.

They go to the kiosk and choose the photos. They’re all in 3:4 ratio and the client wants them in 4x6 prints. I explain to her that we’ll either need to crop or make them fit-in with white bands on each side.

She blows up.

Client: WHAT THE F*CK DO YOU MEAN YOU NEED TO CROP MY PHOTOS?!

Me: (surprised) Well, they’re not the same ratio, ma'am. We can make them fit-in if you’d rather that, but you’ll get white bands on each side.

Client: NO I WANT THEM FULL! NO WHITE BANDS, NO CROPPING!

Me: Unfortunately that won’t work ma'am. It’s not the same ratio, not the same size. It would be like trying to make a square into a rectangle, it’s not the same shape.

Client: (getting up, extremely angry) YOU’RE F*CKING INCOMPETENT I’LL COME BACK ANOTHER DAY AND TALK TO SOMEONE WHO ACTUALLY KNOWS WHAT THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT!

Me: (pointing to the lab technician) This is our lab expert, she could help you out-

Client: NEVER F*CKING MIND YOU’RE REALLY BAD AT THIS.

Me: How can we help you today?Client: I’d like to print my photos.Me: Sure, let’s go to the kiosk so...

2 October 2018 - 3:20pm

Me: How can we help you today?

Client: I’d like to print my photos.

Me: Sure, let’s go to the kiosk so that we can enter them in our system.

They go to the kiosk and choose the photos. They’re all in 3:4 ratio and the client wants them in 4x6 prints. I explain to her that we’ll either need to crop or make them fit-in with white bands on each side.

She blows up.

Client: WHAT THE F*CK DO YOU MEAN YOU NEED TO CROP MY PHOTOS?!

Me: (surprised) Well, they’re not the same ratio, ma'am. We can make them fit-in if you’d rather that, but you’ll get white bands on each side.

Client: NO I WANT THEM FULL! NO WHITE BANDS, NO CROPPING!

Me: Unfortunately that won’t work ma'am. It’s not the same ratio, not the same size. It would be like trying to make a square into a rectangle, it’s not the same shape.

Client: (getting up, extremely angry) YOU’RE F*CKING INCOMPETENT I’LL COME BACK ANOTHER DAY AND TALK TO SOMEONE WHO ACTUALLY KNOWS WHAT THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT!

Me: (pointing to the lab technician) This is our lab expert, she could help you out-

Client: NEVER F*CKING MIND YOU’RE REALLY BAD AT THIS.

Me: (on the phone) Hello, how can I help you?Client: How much for a canvas print?Me: Well it depends...

2 October 2018 - 1:40pm

Me: (on the phone) Hello, how can I help you?

Client: How much for a canvas print?

Me: Well it depends on the size you’d like. An 8x10 won’t be the same price as a 24x36, for example. If you could tell me which size you want, I’d be happy to let you know the price.

Client: Well I want it big. Like really big. It’s for my grandson.

Me: (aware that most people think anything bigger than 8x10 is big) Then we could go with a 20x24 or bigger.

Client: Okay but how much?

Me: As I said, I’ll need the size you’d like before I can tell you a price.

Client: Well you know, those pieces of furniture with four drawers in them? I want it that size.

Apparently, I’m supposed to know how big a “piece of furniture with four drawers” is.

Me: (on the phone) Hello, how can I help you?Client: How much for a canvas print?Me: Well it depends...

2 October 2018 - 1:40pm

Me: (on the phone) Hello, how can I help you?

Client: How much for a canvas print?

Me: Well it depends on the size you’d like. An 8x10 won’t be the same price as a 24x36, for example. If you could tell me which size you want, I’d be happy to let you know the price.

Client: Well I want it big. Like really big. It’s for my grandson.

Me: (aware that most people think anything bigger than 8x10 is big) Then we could go with a 20x24 or bigger.

Client: Okay but how much?

Me: As I said, I’ll need the size you’d like before I can tell you a price.

Client: Well you know, those pieces of furniture with four drawers in them? I want it that size.

Apparently, I’m supposed to know how big a “piece of furniture with four drawers” is.

I usually work in animation, but I also do illustration commissions. A friend who is an up and...

1 October 2018 - 3:20pm

I usually work in animation, but I also do illustration commissions. A friend who is an up and coming model asked me to produce an illustration to post to her followers as a birthday gift.

Client: Can you draw a picture of me, one like the one you drew of yourself?

I produced a rough ink drawing. It’s not cartoony (like mine was), but I had a hunch she would prefer a more realistic drawing. Considering her modelling background, I didn’t want to be unflattering. It looked good.

Me: Ok, here’s a drawing I did of you. I hope you like it.

Client: Oh! It’s great.

She uploaded the illustration.

A few weeks later:

Client: so when are you going to draw that picture for me?

Me: What? I did.

Client: No, the real one. Like the one that you drew of yourself.

Me: Uhhhh…

I end up working on another, much more time-consuming piece. I ask for the client to provide photo reference and even pose reference of how they would like to look (since I know that they’re particular). I work on a more stylised drawing.

Me: Ok, here are a few sketches. Choose the one you like most and I’ll finish it.

Client: It doesn’t look like me. Can you make it look more like me?

Me: Less cartoony? More realistic?

Client: More like me.

I redraw the drawing in a more realistic style. I produce two un-rendered pieces to choose from because I know that my client is particular.

Client: You used the wrong photo. I’ll get you a different one.

Me: You gave me both of these photos and I drew both of them for you. Are you telling me they’re both wrong?

Client: Yeah. Let me get you another one.

After one ink drawing, two sketch drawings and two renderings I am actually tracing the photo by this stage. Shame on me but I am mad and not getting paid.

Me: Here is your drawing.

Client: It doesn’t look like me. Can you make it look more like me?

Me: This is actually traced directly from your photo. This is how you look.

Client: (a long silence) …Ok just change the eyes to look more like me.

I change the eyes to look less like her.

Me: Here. It’s you.

Client: It’s great! I’m really close to reaching my new follower landmark on my main page. How soon can you finish it by?

Me: Finish?

Client: Yeah, like, with color?

So now, apparently she expects me to color it. I move around my schedule to get it done, and hand it over. I say that I don’t have any more time for any changes the just have to have the piece as it is. I’m done. After a few days, I get a message from my client.

Client: The picture’s great! I’ve uploaded it now.

I check to see if the post got any attention. As it turns out, she uploaded the piece to her Instagram story. The piece is online for only 24 hours (less time than it took to draw it) and if they click her story, and then it disappears forever. It took me longer to make this piece.

I’m so done.

I usually work in animation, but I also do illustration commissions. A friend who is an up and...

1 October 2018 - 3:20pm

I usually work in animation, but I also do illustration commissions. A friend who is an up and coming model asked me to produce an illustration to post to her followers as a birthday gift.

Client: Can you draw a picture of me, one like the one you drew of yourself?

I produced a rough ink drawing. It’s not cartoony (like mine was), but I had a hunch she would prefer a more realistic drawing. Considering her modelling background, I didn’t want to be unflattering. It looked good.

Me: Ok, here’s a drawing I did of you. I hope you like it.

Client: Oh! It’s great.

She uploaded the illustration.

A few weeks later:

Client: so when are you going to draw that picture for me?

Me: What? I did.

Client: No, the real one. Like the one that you drew of yourself.

Me: Uhhhh…

I end up working on another, much more time-consuming piece. I ask for the client to provide photo reference and even pose reference of how they would like to look (since I know that they’re particular). I work on a more stylised drawing.

Me: Ok, here are a few sketches. Choose the one you like most and I’ll finish it.

Client: It doesn’t look like me. Can you make it look more like me?

Me: Less cartoony? More realistic?

Client: More like me.

I redraw the drawing in a more realistic style. I produce two un-rendered pieces to choose from because I know that my client is particular.

Client: You used the wrong photo. I’ll get you a different one.

Me: You gave me both of these photos and I drew both of them for you. Are you telling me they’re both wrong?

Client: Yeah. Let me get you another one.

After one ink drawing, two sketch drawings and two renderings I am actually tracing the photo by this stage. Shame on me but I am mad and not getting paid.

Me: Here is your drawing.

Client: It doesn’t look like me. Can you make it look more like me?

Me: This is actually traced directly from your photo. This is how you look.

Client: (a long silence) …Ok just change the eyes to look more like me.

I change the eyes to look less like her.

Me: Here. It’s you.

Client: It’s great! I’m really close to reaching my new follower landmark on my main page. How soon can you finish it by?

Me: Finish?

Client: Yeah, like, with color?

So now, apparently she expects me to color it. I move around my schedule to get it done, and hand it over. I say that I don’t have any more time for any changes the just have to have the piece as it is. I’m done. After a few days, I get a message from my client.

Client: The picture’s great! I’ve uploaded it now.

I check to see if the post got any attention. As it turns out, she uploaded the piece to her Instagram story. The piece is online for only 24 hours (less time than it took to draw it) and if they click her story, and then it disappears forever. It took me longer to make this piece.

I’m so done.

Me: I’m sorry, your internet requires a device like a computer or smart device to work. I can’t help...

1 October 2018 - 1:40pm

Me: I’m sorry, your internet requires a device like a computer or smart device to work. I can’t help you with this.

Client: I don’t care about your excuses! Just make the internet work! I want a technician out here today to fix this!

Me: I’m sorry, your internet requires a device like a computer or smart device to work. I can’t help...

1 October 2018 - 1:40pm

Me: I’m sorry, your internet requires a device like a computer or smart device to work. I can’t help you with this.

Client: I don’t care about your excuses! Just make the internet work! I want a technician out here today to fix this!

Darwin Pro premium typeface returns for 91% off!

30 September 2018 - 3:20pm

This week’s deal is on the Darwin Pro family of fonts. This font has become a favorite of many for a reason - it’s remarkably versatile and just plain gorgeous.

> Just look at it. This might be the perfect clean font.

A great font elevates a good design, and Darwin Pro is familiar but distinct, and instantly eye-catching. It features 7 different weights, all with italics, meaning that this one font can actually give you a wide range of complementary looks. 

(I bought it over a year ago on a similar sale and I use it for everything. I just really like this font, and I think you will too).

Darwin Pro is back for a limited time you can get it for just $17, or 91% off the regular asking price. That’s a pittance for a font that you could use in every project from this point on.

> Check out the deal here.

Darwin Pro premium typeface returns for 91% off!

30 September 2018 - 3:20pm

This week’s deal is on the Darwin Pro family of fonts. This font has become a favorite of many for a reason - it’s remarkably versatile and just plain gorgeous.

> Just look at it. This might be the perfect clean font.

A great font elevates a good design, and Darwin Pro is familiar but distinct, and instantly eye-catching. It features 7 different weights, all with italics, meaning that this one font can actually give you a wide range of complementary looks. 

(I bought it over a year ago on a similar sale and I use it for everything. I just really like this font, and I think you will too).

Darwin Pro is back for a limited time you can get it for just $17, or 91% off the regular asking price. That’s a pittance for a font that you could use in every project from this point on.

> Check out the deal here.

Client: My internet doesn’t work!Me: Can you tell me what you see on the computer screen?Client:...

30 September 2018 - 1:40pm

Client: My internet doesn’t work!

Me: Can you tell me what you see on the computer screen?

Client: It’s black!

Me: Is your computer turned on?

Client: Of course it is! the green light is on!

Me: Can you try restarting the computer?

Client: I can’t – the tower is in the shop!

Me:

Me: So the green light is on your monitor?

Client: Yeah! My computer!

Client: My internet doesn’t work!Me: Can you tell me what you see on the computer screen?Client:...

30 September 2018 - 1:40pm

Client: My internet doesn’t work!

Me: Can you tell me what you see on the computer screen?

Client: It’s black!

Me: Is your computer turned on?

Client: Of course it is! the green light is on!

Me: Can you try restarting the computer?

Client: I can’t – the tower is in the shop!

Me:

Me: So the green light is on your monitor?

Client: Yeah! My computer!

"I want a simple site with only 5-6 pages."

29 September 2018 - 3:20pm
“I want a simple site with only 5-6 pages.”

- A liar, always.

Pages