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. 

Entries in this blog

Lenigrast

My partner and I were paid by a band to record a live performance of theirs. We had already been paid for the recording of the performance and asked them if they wanted an edited version of what we recorded, or just give them the original files and be done with it

Me: If you do want an edited version my rate is $50/hour.

Client: That’s pretty high. I mean, if it took you four hours, then we’d owe you $200! How about we agree to pay according to quality.

Me: That’s not how freelance editing works. Or how any freelance works for that matter. With this caliber of video, I would imagine it would take me at the most 3 hours. Also I don’t know any editor who shares my experience who charges less than $50.

Client: Well it seems high.

Me: That’s fine! I’ll send you the unedited files and that will the end of our working relationship.  

Client: Sorry, sorry, no disrespect. I’m just kind of messed up today ‘cause we had a bad show last night. It’s cool We want the edited version. We’re willing to pay. Again, sorry for the lack of respect.

Me: Okay, I’ll send you a new contract for the new work.

Sent the contract, never heard back. So we just sent them the unedited files and washed our hands of the whole thing. Which, honestly, felt pretty sweet.


Source: Clients from Hell

Lenigrast

I’m an entry-level writer in game development working with my first studio on a mobile project.

Client: I’m putting in an order for some concept art, so I’d like you to write up some descriptions of the character I need.

Me: Okay, sure thing.  Where are the specifications, on our online server?

Client: They’re in your head!  Let’s just see what you come up with.

Me: …Okay.

I’m not a character designer, but I’m here to learn, so I figure I’ll stretch myself a little and see what I can come up with.

Me:  Here’s a detailed description of the specific visual elements I’m thinking of and why I think that will work for our target audience.  Let me know if I’ve missed anything.

The client said “thanks!” and then I didn’t hear anything back for a few days. Finally, they made their decision.

Client: So we really love your thoughts, and we’ll definitely use them in the game later, but for right now we decided to go with [exactly the same thing I described, but attributed to someone else].


Source: Clients from Hell

Lenigrast

I work as a freelance animator. I had a meeting with a potential client for freelance animation work on a kid’s TV show

Client: So in addition to doing the animation, can you also design a book cover, a newsletter template, stationary designs, business cards and an merchandise catalogue?

Me: I cannot. I have no experience doing those things.

Client: What? But your resume says that you have a BFA in traditional 2D animation, this is 2D. Paper. Same thing, right?

At this point he waved a piece of paper in my face to show that yes, it is 2D.

He also informed me also he couldn’t pay me yet, but he promised me that once his TV show hits the air, gets sponsors and win Emmy awards, I would get paid big time.

I passed.

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Source: Clients from Hell

Lenigrast

I work at a marketing/advertising agency on the West Coast, in an area known for agriculture and country-living despite being near to a major city. Months after our agency created a new logo and brand identity for a local client, I have this strange in-person interaction.

Me: Hello, can I help you?

Random Lady: Yes, I’d like to make some changes to (local client’s) logo. The one of the eagle?

Me: The eagle? Oh, you must mean the condor. I haven’t heard any complains about the new logo from that client. She and her organization love it, in fact. Do you work there?

Random Lady: Oh, no. I’m president of the local [community organization] so I have strong opinions about this logo. I can tell that the eagle’s wings are made up of things that represent our county’s culture, like grapevines, local historic landmarks and agriculture, but I am VERY disappointed to see that cattle and saddle horses are not included on the wings. Those two animals make up most of our county’s economy! It’s just absurd that they would be so thoughtlessly left out.

Me: …

Random Lady: Anyway, I’m here to see if you can just add those important animals to the logo.

Me: So you’re asking if we can change (local client’s) logo, for free, without their permission?

Random Lady: You’re saying it would cost money to change it? I thought maybe you could just add it in.

Me: No, I’m sorry, that’s not how it works. As far as I know, the client is happy with the logo and has no desire to change it, especially since they have purchased many marketing materials like hats and signage with the new logo on them. I think you should bring up this concern with my client.

At this point, I’m just trying to get her to leave.

Random Lady: Oh, I’ve already talked with your client about it. She said that changing it would cost $10,000. Is that true?

Me: I don’t know if it would cost that much, but honestly, you have no authority to request a logo change, and it sounds like they were trying to let you down easy so you would drop the subject.

Random Lady: Huh, maybe you’re right. Well let your boss know what I think about this. I’ll be in touch.

Makes a move to leave. Spies a finished client project on my desk.

Random Lady: Oh, do you mind if I take this? I need it. 

At this point, she walked out without permission to take the project before I could say anything.

Me: *speechless*

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Source: Clients from Hell

Lenigrast

I own a marketing agency and a client of mine decided to open up a youth focused charity based on positive thinking. I loved the message and reasoning behind her charity so we offered to help.

The problem - she had already picked and trademarked the name for the charity. It was a cute mash up of the word positive and another word. It was difficult to pronounce, say, and read - however even more important it was one autocorrect away from a porn site and several porn topics.  

This is why you hire the marketing agency FIRST. 


Source: Clients from Hell

Lenigrast

Not a client from hell, but wanted to share this to show everyone that GOOD clients do indeed exist.

An old client emailed me out of the blue:

Client: Are you available to create a simple WordPress award nomination form for our non-profit?

I sent back the quote and received an email 10 minutes later:

Client: Don’t undersell yourself! How about we give you [twice what I quoted] just so we can cover everything. Sound good?

Even better, when I finished the work, they asked for a small revision and apologized for it.

Client: Sorry to have to ask you to do this. Make sure to add it to the bill.

I’ve been smiling all week.

Get the Freelance Guide for 2017

Source: Clients from Hell

Lenigrast
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Source: Clients from Hell

Lenigrast

Client: I’m marketing a new phone screen protector, and I need very special packaging designed.

Me: Okay. What did you have in mind?

Client: I have something in mind, and it’s special.

Me: …Okay. Well, send me the details, and maybe some samples that point to what you want out of the design.

Client: Okay, great.

The next day:

Client: Have you started?

Me: Um, no. I’m waiting on samples those samples and that info from you. I don’t even know the product’s name yet.  

Client: Great! I’ll be waiting.

Me: …What?


Source: Clients from Hell

Lenigrast

I’m a freelance concept artist, working primarily in character design for video games, animation, campaign books etc.

One of my long time clients referred me to a ‘buddy’ of his to help do the initial character design work for his upcoming table top game.

I asked for the usual: written descriptions of the characters, requested style, etc. Once I had all that, I got to work.

I went through the whole approval process, and things were going well. I sent the final PSD over, as well as my invoice.

Client: Why are you invoicing me?

Me: For the work I did. Like in the contract you signed.

Client: But you’re charging me for “design.” I provided you the descriptions!

Me: You provided me a rough idea of what you wanted the character to look like, but I had to actually design the characters.

Client: I still don’t know why I have to pay to have someone create MY ideas!


Source: Clients from Hell

Lenigrast

“It’s perfect, I love it! I’m just going to run it by my colleague before I print it. I’ll get right back to you!”

- Client whose bill I shouldn’t finalize yet because I’m
definitely about to have to redesign the whole thing to suit the tastes of a
random coworker whose opinion is suddenly important


Source: Clients from Hell

Lenigrast

I’m an art student who is planning on a career in illustration. I recently put almost twenty hours into a portfolio piece where I painted my friend surrounded by wildflowers

A family friend just offered me the princely sum of £10 to do a similar piece. They seemed very confused when I told them that wouldn’t even cover the cost of a canvas and the paint, let alone the painter.


Source: Clients from Hell

Lenigrast

A returning customer who is a repeat offender for wanting last minute orders of hand written sheets typed up ASAP came in the other day. Her handwriting is atrocious and her spelling is worse. What’s more, she always tries to argue in the price and the deadline, but she tries to come off as either flirty or as if she has known you forever and you should do her just this one little favor just this once.

She brings in a handwritten “Legal Contract” she needs typed and printed.

Client: I need this typed and printed in triplicate for a meeting at 9am tomorrow.

Me: I’m sorry but all of my staff, including myself, are already working on a large rush order project that is due tomorrow afternoon.  I won’t have anyone available who can typeset until tomorrow afternoon.

Client: But I HAVE to have it first this tomorrow!  Thus is a huge deal for my company!

Me: If you could type it out we can easily print it for you, I just don’t have anyone available to type it for you.

Client: But my daughter lost the power cord to my laptop so I can’t use it.  Maybe I can get my bookkeeper to type it.

She pulls out her phone and calls her bookkeeper and starts to use the same flirty/you have known me forever just do me this one favor approach in her bookkeeper.  After some arguing she comes back to the service counter.

Client: I can get her to type it up.

Me: Great, once it is done email it over to this address.

Client: OK. I just need one copy, in triplicate.

Me: Like 3 part carbonless?  Where you write in one and it gets imprinted in the other 2?  We have a minimum run if 25 on carbonless forms.

Client: Fine, just run me 3 copies!

The email comes in just before we closed and it’s a photograph of a computer screen taken from her smart phone.  

Client: My bookkeeper couldn’t email so will this work?  Can you proof read it and clean it up a bit?


Source: Clients from Hell

Lenigrast

So I took on a pro bono project. I enjoy providing free work for those who I deem worth of it. I’ve done it in the past and while those projects have lead on to paid work, this one though… oof. Probably not.

So, I’m designing a book cover for this self-published author. They would send me edits and I would let them know when I could fit them into my schedule. It was generally a 24 hour turn around. I’d fit their edits in between my paying client work.

So yesterday they send along some edits, one of which was to the spine, so that required adjustment of the entire cover. An easy task, but one that took time that I literally didn’t have.

Me: Cool, I’ll be able to fit this into my schedule Thursday or possibly Friday.

What followed was what I would call bullying. They went into a tirade, kept re-asking when it would be done by (the answer didn’t change), tried to pull on my heartstrings:

Client: I’m in poor health! I may have to go in for surgery! Can’t you speed it up?

And finally tried to shame me:

Client: I have another designer. Maybe THEY can do it if you CAN’T. 

Ugh, really? I’d had enough.

Me: I’m multitasking pretty hard right now, and honestly this conversation is pushing the timeline further and further. I can have it done for you by Thursday. 

Client: How hard could it be? Drag, drop, send! 


Source: Clients from Hell

Lenigrast

I was working as an intern for an animation studio. My duties were all about writing and proofreading, I had no skills or duties about graphic stuff. I can do some things with GIMP and have some very, VERY minimal Photoshop skills for simple tasks. 

One day, my boss was speaking with a client and he saw the GIMP icon on my desktop.

Client: Wait, why can’t we simply give this job to her?

Boss: Well, she’s not a graphic. 

Client: Don’t try to cheat me! I can see she has a graphic software right there.

For good twenty minutes, me and my boss BOTH tried to explain him I wasn’t qualified for that work – work that for sure he couldn’t have done with GIMP. The best part?

Client: Fine, I suppose I should meet your guy, then. But I’d prefer her.

Me/ Boss: But why?

Client: She’s an intern! I could have this done for free!


Source: Clients from Hell

Lenigrast

After a lot of hard work getting a site ready to launch, the client informs us they will be delaying the launch:

Client: We want to add these cool features we saw on this other website.

Me: Sorry, those features are not in the scope of work we agreed on. We can build it for you but we’ll need to quote you for these new features. Could you email us a spec?

Client: What? What do you mean, not in the scope? So how do you define “scope”?

Me: Please refer to your quotation, contract and invoices for the detailed list of features and description of the work scope and breakdown of costs.

Client: Why can’t you just use a free plugin? 

The client then sent me links to plugins and CSS code samples they randomly googled, without any understanding of how it all works.  

Me: It doesn’t work that way – what you are requesting is very complex and can’t be solved by just installing a free plugin.

Client: Then what am I paying you for?

Me: …Please refer to your quotation, contract and invoices for the detailed list of features and description of the work scope and breakdown of costs.


Source: Clients from Hell

Lenigrast

Client: Hello! Can I ask for a request please? Thank you. 

Me: What do you mean by request? 

Client: I want to request something from you.

Me: No, I mean what are you requesting? You want to commission something?

Client: Yeah! 

Me:  Oh if you would like to commission me, Here are my prices. If you have a more complex piece in mind, We can work out a more specific price. 

Client: Oh, those are too expensive.

Me: Sorry to hear it. Let me know if ever do want to hire me!

Client: Well, can I get an apology?

Me: What?

Client: An apology for not doing free requests.


Source: Clients from Hell

Lenigrast

Me: Hey, I saw that you were looking for a designer. Here’s my resume and a link to my portfolio. Have a look and maybe we can work together!

Client: No, we are not looking for graphic designers at this moment.

Me: Sorry for the confusion. I just saw on your website that you’re looking for proficient in InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator. I assumed that meant you were looking for a designer.

Client: We need someone with those skills, yes, but not a designer.

Me: ….


Source: Clients from Hell

Lenigrast
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Source: Clients from Hell

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