Clients from Hell

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About this blog

A blog, which I feel that anyone that spends more then 20 minutes in the PP chat can connect with. Entertaining stories about stupid clients. All entries are automated. 

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Source: Clients from Hell


A client asked me to design several logos. I wrote up the contract, he signed it, and sent me the money right away. 

I got to work immediately, and sent him a few roughs within a week. Four months later he wrote back. 

Client: These look pretty good! Could you just make a few minor changes? 

No problem. I make the changes in two days. 

I don’t hear from his for another SIX MONTHS. 

Today, he called me to say that the logos are great, and he wants to move forward with packaging. 

At this point, I figure since he’s been so lackadaisical about getting back to me, I might as well put him on the back burner. 

Me: Great! I have a few other projects going right now. I’ll turn that around for you in three weeks. 

Client: Please start working on it immediately. I want it done by the end of the week. 

What the hell? 

Source: Clients from Hell


I was working on fixing a bug on the database for my client’s app on a remote server. I called my client and asked them gin because if she does the code will overwrite my changes in the database.

Me: Okay, I need to be clear. If you or anyone else in the company logs in to the server, the code will overwrite my changes in the database. So that means you need to tell everyone not to log in and refrain from doing so yourself.

Client: No problem, I’ll put the word out. 

Me: Great. So everyone knows not to sign in until I give the all clear?

Client: Yep! They’ve been told. 

Me: And you’re not going to, right?

Client: Yes,yes.

I got to work, and after about an hour I noticed that some of my earlier changes had been reset.

Me: Hey, I noticed some of my changes were reverted. Has anyone accessed the system in the past hour or so?

Client: No one but me has access.

Me: Then did YOU sign in the past hour?

Client: In the past hour?

Me: “Yes”

Client: I didn’t change anything, though.

Me: So you actually have signed in?

Client: Um…

Me: ….

Client: I don’t know.

Source: Clients from Hell


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Source: Clients from Hell


I’m an IT freelancer with cerebral palsy. I repair most things but don’t offer micro soldering as I find I’m too shaky for that. Most people understand the limitation. 

Client: I’ve got a tablet that needs a new charging port.

I had a look - definitely required micro-soldering. 

Me: I’m sorry, I don’t offer this service. But here are two other shops that I can personally recommend. 

Client: You can’t do this? Then why do you even run IT repair at all?

Me: I’m not comfortable doing this work, sorry. I’ve sent other people to those other shops before and they’ve told me they do excellent work, though.

Client: You’re completely useless, you know that?

Me: ….

This client then found me on all my social media accounts and left one star reviews on everything and kept posting really horrible comments. 

I tried to let it go, but he kept hassling me for my “incompetence.” That’s when I uploaded a copy of my medical history, and explained why I didn’t do micro-soldering. At this point people started pushing back against this guy. After a week, he cancelled most of his accounts, which gives me some small glimmer of hope for humanity.  

I don’t know why he got so angry that I didn’t want to break his stuff. 

Source: Clients from Hell


I work in corporate event production.

Me: Will you need content on the screen this afternoon?

Client: Nope!

Me: Okay great. So we’ll just run audio.

Client: Yep, just audio and the laptop.

Me: You mean, you need the laptop display on the screen?

Client; Yep. Just the audio.

Me: And the laptop on the screen?

Client: Yeah, I guess that makes sense.

Source: Clients from Hell


Client: The computer isn’t working. 

Me: The light’s off. It just hasn’t been turned on.

Client: No, it’s broken. We’re not allowed to use it.

I hit the power button, and the computer comes on. 

Client: How could you POSSIBLY know that? 

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Source: Clients from Hell


How you position yourself is crucial to your career. Philip Morgan joins Bryce to discuss how freelancers – particular freelance developers – can find success by specializing.

Links from today’s show:

This episode is sponsored by AND.CO, the freelancer’s resource! They offer great tools for freelancers, including curated job lists, time tracking and invoicing software, contracts, free guides and more! 

Want to support the show?

Leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or recommend us to a friend. It helps immensely.

Download here!

Source: Clients from Hell


I work as a illustrator and I’ve had fairly picky clients before but nothing on this level. The client asked for vector illustrations of microscopic cells for a book cover.

I presented him with an illustration.

Client: That’s okay, but can you make it more realistic?

I redrew the vector with more detail.

Client: More realistic, please.

More detail yet.

Client: Hmm… but I need it more realistic?

At this point I paid for a stock photo and traced over it, keeping it 90% the same but making sure it still looks like it’s been drawn.

Client: hmm. I want you to have creative freedom, but this is still not realistic though. What are you referencing? Are you using the photo? The other artist did this illustration that is almost exactly what I want, I just want it more realistic.

He then sends me the previous artist’s (gorgeous, in my opinion) illustration, which looked nothing like the reference material he’d already given me. I scheduled a Skype meeting to get on track.

During that meeting, I placed the illustration I’d done right beside the photo I’d used for reference to get a specific sense of what he meant by “more realistic.”

Client: Oh. Huh. I guess your drawing actually IS realistic! Wow, they actually look almost the same! I never actually zoomed in, or compared the two pictures. Well, you obviously know what you’re doing, just keep going and go crazy. Just keep it realistic.

Me: ….

Eventually I found out that he’d worked with THREE other artists before me, all who fired him for his nitpickiness.

Source: Clients from Hell


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Source: Clients from Hell


Client: Hi do u have any examples of henna u have done please?

Me: Good morning, thanks for getting in touch! This Facebook page is all relatively new, and so I don’t have so many designs to show on here. However here is my instagram handle filled with lots of examples. I hope that helps!

Client: Perfect. Where are u located? And how much for hands top and bottom? Up to just over the wrist?

Me: For just one hand? For full hands completely covered it would be around $80 (approx $40 for each side of the hand). Of course it would depend on how detailed you wanted it to be?

Client: Wow that’s expensive.

Client: LOL

Me: ….

Source: Clients from Hell


A potential client wanted me to submit a proposal for a social media strategy for his (nonexistent) website, but wouldn’t tell me the objectives, how to measure progress, or really much of anything besides a general vision for what he wanted. I did my best to offer ideas for what to do and how I could help but he didn’t like any of them.

Client: Look, I really want to see that you can bring something to the table. I need you to show me you can use your brain. I want creative solutions!

After a long conversation, I went home with a slightly better idea, wrote up a 5 page social media marketing strategy and emailed him.

Me: Here’s my strategy, with a variety of ideas for marketing. I hope this is more of what you were looking for. Let me know what works, what doesn’t, and we’ll start moving forward!

The next day, he emails:

Client: I will talk to you shortly.

I didn’t hear back for over a week, and then I received this email:

Client: I don’t like any of these. Come on, get CREATIVE. 

I think maybe my best “creative solution” is to stop working with this guy.

Source: Clients from Hell


Bryce reflects on data from the gig economy, sharing insights into how freelancers are succeeding (and what issues they’re struggling to overcome). 

Here are the links he talks about during this episode:

We want to hear from you!

Give us your feedback on how we can improve the Clients From Hell podcast by using this link:

Want to support the show?

Leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or recommend us to a friend. It helps immensely.


Survey makeup:

As vast majority of freelancers AND CO interviewed—95% of them—are what are being call “Slash Workers,” or independent workers whose services or skills vary by client and project. About 70% of respondents were from the States

Respondent makeup:

  • Creative/design: 33%
  • Consulting - Professional Services: 21%
  • Writing/Journalism/Content: 17%
  • Tech/Web Design: 15%
  • Other 14%
  • Median income for respondents who reported is in the $25,000 to $49,999 range, which aligns with the average income for single taxpayers in the U.S. per the IRS (2014): $34,940.

General takeaways:

  • Freelancing is a growing choice
  • Freelancers enjoy higher quality of life at the expense of financial security
  • This quality of life manifests in the form of freedom, be it personal autonomy or flexibility
  • The traditional concept of the office is on the way out. Working from home is a substitute, but more and more people are interested in a “digital nomad” lifestyle – or the ability to work from anywhere.

Interesting insights:

  • 40% of U.S. workers will be freelance by 2020 (Freelancers Union)
  • Two-thirds of freelancers have 0-3 years of freelancing experience.
  • Going independent is a conscious choice for 94% of freelancers (it’s not a fallback)
  • 41% want to freelance “forever”
  • 95% of freelancers offer two or more services
    • Only 5% offer a single skill or work function
  • Most freelancers chose freelancing for personal growth (only 7% did it for the financial upside)
  • A quarter of freelancers self-describe as nomads (and they’re 11% happier than other freelancers)
    • 60% of freelancers said they’d be interested in pursuing a nomadic lifestyle in the future.
  • Nearly half of freelancers want companies to offer more remote work opportunities
  • About ¾ of freelancers feel less financially stable since going freelance
    • But 68% say their general quality of life has increased
  • Only 6% of respondents are freelancing until they find their next full-time gig.

Money and jobs:

  • 91% of respondents said they typically get work from word of mouth and referrals
    • Just under half said organic website or portfolio traffic
    • 37% find work through outreach or pitching
    • One-third find work via freelance-specific job boards
    • 23% find work via general job boards
  • 43% earn less than $25K a year
    • 1/6th earn between that and 50k
    • 1/6th earn between 50k and 75k
    • 7% earn between 75k and 100k
    • 10% earn 100k or more
      • Interestingly, there’s a correlation between the experience levels of respondents and their income bracket. Do keep in mind that correlation does not equal causation though

Bonsai found that for all skills and locations, the most significant jump in compensation per experience level comes between the 1-3 and 3-5 year categories. This can be most often attributed to them developing essential business skills (project management, negotiation…), developing their knowledge about their market and their clients, building a strong portfolio and leveraging their network.

Developers earn about 30% more than designers across experience levels and geographies. This happens to be true even for highest charging designers (ie Product Designers) when compared to lowest charging developers (Front-end / Android)

Design rates (in particular graphic design) hardly reach $60 per hour for all locations and experience levels. While developers can see their rates increase quickly with their gaining experience (typically after 3 years), most experienced designers grow rates at a slower pace. The most common explanation we’ve heard for this is local or international competition at lower rates, including from part time designers. The lower barrier to entry for design types, plus the smaller project sizes, leads to lower rates.

The issues for freelancers:

  • 61% say they miss the feeling of community a traditional workplace offered
  • 60% of respondents say there’s a lack of respect for freelancers
  • 44% have been stiffed by a client
  • Men are 4.5x more likely to earn $150k+/year than women
    • And 48% of women fall into the lowest tax bracket
  • 41% of respondents want more protections for freelancer rights

Download here!

Source: Clients from Hell


I designed a website for a local union. I discussed budget and terms with both the chairman and the treasurer, and they signed a contract.

At some point during the project, the original treasurer quit and was replaced by someone else.  I sent the new treasurer the final bill upon completion.

Client: Well, I didn’t agree to these terms! So we won’t be paying you!

I took the site offline and told them that a contract is a contract, and that I’d keep their files on hand until they decided to pay.

It’s been years. I never got paid, and they never got a website.

Source: Clients from Hell


Client: Could you please update my website’s design? I also need an easier way to add content.

Me: No problem, I just need access to your old site’s FTP server and high res pictures for use on the site.

Two weeks pass without any response.

Me: Hey, I still need that info. In the meantime, should I design a mock-up for your approval?

Client: Sure.

I present a design for the website. It is turned down. I redesign it according to their criticisms and even design a backend CMS.

Client: The CMS is good, but the design has no “POP.” Look at my old site – the pictures really draw you in.

Me: Well, I didn’t add any pictures because you didn’t send me any. Also, I wanted an okay on the basic design before incorporating any of your content.

Client: That’s the other thing! There’s no content in your design! I really don’t see why yours would be any better than what I have now.

Me: ….

For the record, his website was a Joomla template from 2006.

I am no longer working with this client.

Source: Clients from Hell


Sales are a fact of freelancing. We know, it’s a bummer. The freedom you get from freelancing comes with the price of reaching out and trying to sell yourself and your services — but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing! 

This week’s guest, Dan Englander, makes sales his career at Sales Schema, and he knows a thing or two about how to generate leads for your business. He talks about what you need to know about how to promote your services, and how you can play to your strengths as a freelancer. 

Links from today’s show:

This episode is sponsored by AND.CO, the freelancer’s resource! They offer great tools for freelancers, including curated job lists, time tracking and invoicing software, contracts, free guides and more! 

Want to support the show?

Leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or recommend us to a friend. It helps immensely.

Download here!

Source: Clients from Hell


I’ll be clear up front: this is NOT a client, but I think you’ll relate.

Mom: My friend was wondering if you’d make a website for her daughter’s girlfriend’s fundraising campaign for free as a favor. Also, she says they need graphics and a really eye-grabbing layout. And advertising. She said I should tell you that “they need all your tricks to get the word out.”

Me: Mom, no. Besides, I don’t do web design. I’m a System Administrator.

My mom relayed this message back. This was the response:

Mom’s friend: Oh, that’s okay! She still knows more about computers than we do. Tell her we need it by next week, and any time is fine for her to come over and take photos.

I feel like I should mention both the friend’s daughter and I are 46 years old.

Source: Clients from Hell


I designed a new product label for a client. The label featured a product logo, as well as the company logo. Brand standards suggest both logos should be white, so I set them against a dark red background.  

Client: Keep the product logo white, but change the company logo to blue. 

Me: Blue won’t be as legible against the red as white is. 

Client: You’re wrong. Make it blue.

Me:  Well, in the brand standards it says the company logo should always be white. Should we run this change by anyone else before making it? 

Client:  You don’t know what you’re talking about. Make it blue and don’t question me again.

I send the label to print with his changes. The label is now (obviously) red, white, and blue

Client:  We sell products in countries other than America. Why did you make this label red, white, and blue? 

Source: Clients from Hell

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