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<p>An author wanted to hire me to

Clients from Hell - 17 July 2020 - 2:00pm

An author wanted to hire me to copyedit their book. The client told me they were self-publishing, and that it should be a “quick job.”

I took a look at their work; there were SO MANY basic mistakes. Every page basically needed to be rewritten. I honestly had no idea how they’d managed to write an entire novel like this.

Client: Is ten cents a page okay?

The site they contacted me through clearly listed my hourly rate. To make my hourly wage at that rate, I would need to fully proofread every page in well under a minute.

This led me to conclude that they hadn’t read my info on my site – which led me to conclude that this client was even worse at reading than they were at writing.

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<p>Client: My internet isn&#8217;t

Clients from Hell - 16 July 2020 - 3:00pm

Client: My internet isn’t working!

Me: What have you tried already?

Client: Everything!

Me: Have you turned the modem off and on?

Client: Yes! I’ve tried everything!

I pulled out my handy list of troubleshooting steps and started going through it, performing increasingly drastic fixes. None of them worked.

I didn’t bother rebooting the modem, because they told me they’d already done it.

Later, the client was looking at my troubleshooting checklist over my shoulder:

Client: Turning the modem off and on? I haven’t tried that yet!

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<p>We’ve been making video content for

Clients from Hell - 16 July 2020 - 2:00pm

We’ve been making video content for a company for six years. They recently hired a new marketing manager, who would become our new client contact. She asked us to come in to discuss upcoming projects.

Client: I’ve had a good look at the video content you’ve been making and I’m absolutely appalled at the quality.

Me: Ok, let’s watch one now and you can give us your feedback in more detail and what you don’t like.

After playing a recently produced video and her scribbling furiously on a pad:

Client: First off, I hate the logo, how could you use that?

Me: it’s your company’s logo, they’ve been using it for 50 years I think.

Client: Well it’s up to you to make change! And look at the actors! They’re all so old! Why didn’t you pick younger actors and sex it up a bit?

Me: The demographic for your products is 45-60.

Client: It can’t be, old people don’t buy this stuff… do they?

Me: This is the information your team has provided us for the past six years. Is fairly well known that this is the age group that buys your products.

Client: Well I’m going to change that!

At this point, I groaned and waited for the inevitable crap we’re going to face for the next six months while she messes up every ad campaign and then tries to blame us.

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<p>Client: Can you make the “6:00PM”

Clients from Hell - 15 July 2020 - 3:00pm

Client: Can you make the “6:00PM” the same color as “cover charge” on the invitation?

Me: They’re already the same color, actually!

Client: can you make them look MORE similar?

Me: Well, no… because they are already the most similar they can be. They’re the same.

Client: You’re being too literal. I just want the color to read the same.

Me: They. Are. The. Same.

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I Sent It Around to the Board Members…

Clients from Hell - 15 July 2020 - 2:00pm

Years ago, when I sought to build my design skill set, I decided to volunteer with a non-profit.

The non-profit Manager didn’t have a Creative Brief, or much in the way of useful instructions for the e-mail campaign project she asked me to work on. She had some ambiguous notion of what she wanted, but she had no idea about the content, graphics, colors, fonts, or overall direction.

I sent her a few drafts based on the basic goal she had in mind, with elements that complimented the non-profit’s current design theme. I didn’t hear back for a week and a half. I finally received some disjointed, random comments in an e-mail thread that included five other people I hadn’t met before.

Me: Thanks for your feedback so far. I was wondering, what’s your review process for this e-mail campaign? Who is seeing this, and why are these comments coming to me in this e-mail thread?

Client: I brought up the e-mail campaign project at our last Board Meeting, and I decided the best thing to do would be to send it around to all the Board Members for their comments and feedback.

Me: (internally) NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

….Needless to say, this approach was pretty painful. I felt like I was being kicked around blindfolded by a group whose knowledge didn’t relate to the project and hadn’t received much information about it themselves.

 

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Order ON the menu: Kai Davis on how to productize service for better pay

Clients from Hell - 14 July 2020 - 7:30pm
Order ON the menu: Kai Davis on how to productize service for better pay

 

If you’ve ever written a detailed, thoughtful proposal… only to have a client glance at it and reject it right away, you know that having to describe the work you do EVERY TIME you do it is exhausting. 

Kai Davis solved this problem by turning his services into products with set prices! In today’s episode talks with Kyle about the advantages of this approach, how to get started with it, and how to use it to make more money on the same amount of work!

Today’s links: 

Want to support the show?

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.

 

The post Order ON the menu: Kai Davis on how to productize service for better pay appeared first on Clients From Hell.

We’re Trying Everything We Can…

Clients from Hell - 14 July 2020 - 3:00pm

I recently started a contract position with a business, hoping that it would be long-term. I was pleased that this Client seemed to have a decent reputation, based on my research.

However, I noticed several Red Flags that were alarming.

For example, I overheard the Client talking to his Marketing Manager about various efforts they were making to gain substantially more business.

The Marketing Manager had been doing everything possible to try to make that happen.

Client: So, you’re telling me this strategy might work?

Marketing Manager: Yes, that’s what I suggest, so that you can gain more online interest from leads.

Client: Well, I need more than interest. I need more a revenue stream. (Red Flag #1)

Marketing Manager: This could be a good possibility.

Later, I overheard the Client talking to his colleague:

Client: We took out a loan to keep the business afloat, so we just need to make sure we pay it back. (Red Flag #2)

In a chaotic conversation with the Client and co-workers, I kept hearing various stories about their plans. This statement particularly stood out to me:

Client: Don’t worry, our company will always be around. We’ll just need to re-organize some departments. We’ll never go out of business. We’ll figure it out. We need to drum up more work, though. (Red Flag #3).

This doesn’t sound so reassuring.

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Patent first, design later

Clients from Hell - 14 July 2020 - 2:00pm

A client had made a logo for themselves, but because it used clipart and comic sans they discovered they needed a redesign once they tried to patent it. 

Client: Can you jazz it up?

I sent 10 concept sketches.

Client: These are great but I really wanted you to touch up my original design.

Which, I’ll remind you, was clipart and comic sans.

Jump to a few weeks later, I was finishing up a logo that I had meticulously redesigned and was awaiting final revisions.

They had me remove all the elements that make it visually interesting. I had to color it to their specifications, changed the text to make it I have to color it to all specifications, and I have to make the text damn near illegible so that it would fit the patent office compliance to be just like their original – bad – logo. 

I should have just traced the original logo and called it a day.

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User Submitted Post

Clients from Hell - 13 July 2020 - 3:00pm

Client: Can we meet up and discuss a logo I would like for you to create for us for our new business?

Me: Sure! Let’s meet at my home office and get this started for you. 

We meet that weekend and go over ideas, inspiration, etc. 

Client: We are looking at needing the logo in a few months. Is that doable?

Me: That’s TOTALLY doable! These are great notes. I’ll have your rough concepts next weekend. 

I submitted concepts within the week. A few days later:

Client: These are great but can we change a couple of things?

I gladly changed a few things and sent it back to them within a day. To which they respond…

Client: Well, we looked at all the concepts and decided we want something completely different. Can you come up with something?

Me: NONE of the concepts I sent you are what you want? They’re in-line with what we discussed in the first meeting.

Client: Yeah, but we decided we want something different. Also, we need it printed by the end of the week now because we’re opening the business early.

Me: Wait. I have less than a week to pull together a completely different logo and you don’t know which direction you want to go? 

Client: How long does it take you to design a logo? 10 minutes?

Me: …Let me refer you to an ad agency. Here’s their phone number. 

Their business never opened.

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I like the idea of getting paid too!

Clients from Hell - 13 July 2020 - 2:00pm

A client printed my watermarked book cover mockup in a test run for his self-help book about integrity. He has not paid yet.

Client: I love how it looks when it’s printed!

Me: Great! Once you pay me I’ll give you the un-watermarked version so you can print.

Client: I like the *idea* of paying you. But I have to print it so I can show it to investors and make the money to pay you.

Me: Well, I like the idea of being paid so much that you literally can not use that design for anything until after you pay me. How about paying me now so you can use the book to find investors to pay you?

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Over 4000 design elements for less than a penny per element!

Clients from Hell - 12 July 2020 - 3:00pm
Over 4000 design elements for less than a penny per element!

This week’s deal is on a HUGE bundle of design elements – 4000 in total!

>And at just $14, I would call this deal “obscene.”

Textures, vectors, illustrations, brushes, patterns, photos, oh my! This is an ENORMOUS collection of cool elements that will make designing professional ads, business cards, posters, banners and more a BREEZE. Just take a look at everything that’s included. It’s a lot. Like a LOT a lot. (I’m a big fan of the metallic textures pack).

Normally all this stuff would retail for $294 (which is already a pretty good deal for what you get), but if you act now you can save 95% and only pay $14. That’s a bargain.

> Check out the deal here!

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<p>I work in customer service for one

Clients from Hell - 12 July 2020 - 3:00pm

I work in customer service for one of the big logistics companies. The phone lines usually heat up every Friday afternoon, when people realize they haven’t received their online purchases before the weekend. We do our best to help in exceptional cases, but of course, people have different definitions of what’s important.

Client: I absolutely need this package today, please, it’s urgent!

Me: I’m sorry, but we can’t sent a driver out today, the only option is to come get it at the depot.

Client: What, you mean drive two hours for two phone cases? Don’t be ridiculous.

Me:

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<p>Me: There’s 110 seconds of voiceover

Clients from Hell - 11 July 2020 - 3:00pm

Me: There’s 110 seconds of voiceover, but only 90 seconds of video footage, we need to either cut down the voiceover or extend the video footage.

Client: Neither of those options work for me. Make it fit. Why do you always make these things so hard? Can’t you just get it done?

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<p>I recently did promotions for an

Clients from Hell - 11 July 2020 - 3:00pm

I recently did promotions for an event. The client was a bodybuilder who also did cross-fit. He gave me a USB stick with photos I could choose from for the posters.

I got home and plugged the USB stick in. There were a few sets of nice headshots, cross-fit photos- and then several… well, let’s call them “dudeoir” photos. Shots of him posing undressed on a bed and so forth.

There were 150 photos on the stick, and roughly 50 of them were these nude shots.

I finished the project and he paid me, and in literally every email as we were approaching the end, I asked for his mailing address so that I could send his photos back.

He never gave me an address. I still have the drive.

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<p>I’m a quilter.  When people want to

Clients from Hell - 10 July 2020 - 3:00pm

I’m a quilter.  When people want to commission me I direct them to my policies page.  It’s clearly stated there are absolutely no refunds and all purchases are final.  I also explained to this particular client that the up-front payment will not be refunded.  Furthermore, the nature of making a quilt allows for very little “wiggle room” for adjustments.

Me: I’ll be finishing this in a couple of days.  Are there any changes you’d like to see done?  I can add a border to increase the size, but it will raise the final price because I’ll need to purchase more fabric.

Client: No, it’s perfect!  I absolutely love it! 

Me: I’ll contact you in a couple of weeks with pictures.  I’ll ship it to you once I receive the final payment.

Client: Excellent.  I’ll speak to you then.

A couple of weeks later…

Me: Here’s the quilt and the invoice for the final payment.

Client: The quilt is too small. 

Me: It’s the exact size you requested. 

Client: I want it bigger.  It looks too small for a baby quilt. 

Me: Baby quilts are usually 36 inches x 36 inches to 50 inches x 50 inches.  This quilt is 60 inches x 60 inches, nearly twice the size of a typical baby quilt.  I cannot make it larger due to having sewn the binding and washing it.  This is the final result.  No changes can be made.

When a quilt is washed the stitches shrink and tighten.  This creates a sort of mini-pillow effect throughout the quilt.  It also makes it near impossible for me to make any adjustments.

Client: I want it larger.  He won’t stay a baby forever.  This needs to be large enough for a twin size bed.

I want to scream at this idiot woman.

Me: Ma’am, I cannot make any changes to the quilt.  It’s also large enough to be a lap quilt and can be placed on a bed. 

Client: I demand a refund.  This is unacceptable.  It’s easy to make it bigger, I know it is.  Just sew a border like you had offered two weeks ago.  It’ll be perfect then.

Me: Ma’am, all payments are final.  There are no refunds.  You read my policies page and we have discussed this at length.  If you’re dissatisfied with the result I can make a new quilt, but you’ll need to pay for that as a separate commission and purchase.  The payments for this one don’t apply to a new quilt because I’ll need to purchase more fabric and it will take a great deal more time to make a twin size quilt.

Client: Then give me back my money or I’m going to talk to the people on Etsy about this.

Me: Very well.  I’ll wait to hear from them regarding this. 

She sent me a very angry message via Etsy when she was informed that my policies are very clear and no action would be taken against me.  Because all this communication was done via Etsy’s contact system all messages were available for them to see.  I obviously won the case but never received final payment and she never received her quilt.  The quilt was then listed on Etsy as available for purchase and sold a week later.

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<p>I&#8217;m just your average software

Clients from Hell - 10 July 2020 - 2:00pm

I’m just your average software developer working at an office, outsourcing to a number of clients.

Client: Since there are problems with the network driver, we need to develop a fail-safe strategy for our system. If the network stops working, the device goes into reboot. Can we do this? Communication with the driver developer isn’t going very well, so we need you on this one. We need this today.

Me: Yeah, sure. What conditions are used to decide if the driver is working or not?

Client: If WiFi can’t find any access points, it goes into reboot.

Me: Are you sure that is okay? There might be environments without access points. A never-ending reboot loop would be a disaster.

Client: We will set a limit for one reboot per 12 hours.

Me: So, if the driver stops working after the first hour, for the next 11 hours the device will be cut off from the network. Is that what you mean?

Client: Yeah, forget it. Let’s try this one: once the device is connected to the access point, only then will we check if there are access points around. If not, perform a reboot.

Me: And what if after a connection is done, the only access point around gets broken, or turned off? As far as I understand, this will lead to unnecessary reboots as well. Are you sure that’s what you want?

He didn’t reply to me. Instead, he called my team lead, who I heard apologizing over the phone.

Lead: Man, I got a complaint about you from our client. Just do whatever he asks, do not question it. As long as we are doing what we are told there will be no problems.

Fast forward to two months of extensive 2-5 hours overwork per day, doing the worst possible hacks we are being asked to do. Which led to bringing more bug reports from QA, hacking hacks to cover hacky bugs.

Two months of crunch later came the release date… which our clients’ superiors pushed back because they noticed something wrong. They looked into it and realized it was all our clients’ fault, and the past two months of hack fixes were purged. 

Happy ending, I guess? Except I’m looking back at months of useless work, free overtime, stress for everyone, a missed release window,  and absolutely NOTHING achieved. 

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Waiting on you

Clients from Hell - 9 July 2020 - 3:00pm

As a designer, my coworkers sometimes come to me needing designs for their side-hustles. It usually works out pretty well and I can make some extra scratch on the side. Usually.

Client: Since you do logos and stuff, could you make a logo for my son’s fishing business?

Me: Sure, I just need to know a few things.

I give him the usual pitch and tell him to email me. He doesn’t. One week later:

Client: Hey, do you have anything for me yet?

Me: I hadn’t heard from you, so I’m still waiting on a brief with the information I asked for.

Client: Oh, okay, I’ll send it.

He still doesn’t. He never does send me anything and I never end up doing it.

A year or two later another coworker comes to me and asks about some branding. He revealed “Oh yeah, [other coworker] told me not to go to you. He said he thought you were too lazy to do his logo.”

What a surprise.

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User Submitted Post

Clients from Hell - 9 July 2020 - 2:00pm

I work as a Dangerous Goods Specialist for a major shipping company. My job consists of inspecting packages and ensuring they comply with all regulations before they enter the system and are shipped. Most times I reject shipments due to incorrect labeling or incorrect paperwork. I’ll normally ring the client as well to explain and 99% take the advice on board and all is good. I get the odd customers who argues about how a product isn’t classed as a dangerous good to get a cheaper shipping rate.

Me: Hi, you’ve tried to send this product, but you haven’t declared it as a dangerous good so we have to return it to you.

Client: What’s wrong with it? It’s just hand sanitizer

Me: True, but it contains alcohol and is flammable.

Client: I don’t see why it is because it’s only a small bottle.

Me: Yeah, but if you have a look at the back of the product there’s a note saying in bold letters HIGHLY FLAMMABLE, and the safety data sheet you’ve provided even states it is a dangerous good. It’s regulation, I’m sorry. 

Later that afternoon, I got a phone call from customer services saying I’d been “rude to the client.”

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Thanks, that was useful.

Clients from Hell - 8 July 2020 - 3:00pm

Client: We sent you the PDFs, but we thought that you should have the artwork files for our project for the best results.

Me: The PDF files will be fine for production, but it never hurts to have the original artwork in case we need to make any tweaks for you.

Then the client sent the PDFs again, with no actual artwork files. 

I’m not mad, but they brought it up. 

The post Thanks, that was useful. appeared first on Clients From Hell.

Client wanted the address changed on their website.

Clients from Hell - 8 July 2020 - 2:00pm

Client: Change the address on our website.

Me: Done.

Two months later:

Client: I thought you changed the address on the website as I asked! It’s still showing the old address.

Me: I did.

Client: Then why does it look like this?

He sent me a screengrab of their Google business listing, which I had nothing to do with setting up, with the old address.

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