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


I’m a photographer who specializes in in creating miniature dioramas and photographing them. People come to me when they want this very specific look.

I was recently contacted by an author looking to commission a book cover. 

Client: I would like a cover for my book.

They were looking for a very specific image that seemed to involve hiring a model and taking photos on a set. I started to suspect this client hadn’t looked at my portfolio, even though they’d used my website contact form.

Me: I’d love to work with you, but what you’re describing isn’t really my style. Why don’t you take a look at my portfolio and see what I do – if this style works for you, we could definitely work together.

Client: I would prefer to create the scene I previously described without the diorama. Just full size please.

Me: That’s really not what I do. Aside from anything else I don’t have any contacts for hiring models. 

Client: I am fine with the cover having a cartoon girl in a real setting. Could you just draw her in?

Me: I don’t draw, at least not professionally. I make dioramas and I photograph them. That’s what I’m known for, that’s what I’m good at. There are plenty of photographers who would be happy to do what you’re asking for, or you could buy a stock photograph. Have a look at my portfolio and see if you like what I have to offer – if you do, I’d be happy to work with you. If not, I’d recommend you hire someone else.

Client: Fine. Thanks for nothing.  

Source: Clients from Hell


I'm Not Asking What I'm Asking

I work on staff at a small non-profit.  Every year they give a fundraising gala and need a graphic for the invitation.  Overwhelmed with other work, I had already told my supervisor I couldn’t do the job.  Then a board member emailed me.

Client:  Are you available to work on the invitation for the gala?  

Me:  No, I’m sorry, but as I told my supervisor, I’m not available to work on the invitation for the gala.  

Client:  I’m not asking you that.  Who can do it?  

Me: .…

Source: Clients from Hell


A client was upset with the website I created for them. 

Me: I did everything you asked me to, what is the problem?

Client: Our competitor has a slide show of all their products! I want that!

Me: I can put in a slideshow for you, just supply me with the…

Client: No! I want THAT slideshow!

Me: You want me to take the photos off of your competitor’s website and put them on yours?

Client: Yes.

Source: Clients from Hell


Client: Can you put a widget on the site?

Me: I suppose so. What do you want it to do?

Client: I want it to sit on the right column, and show up whatever page you’re on so that people can click and use it whenever.

Me: No problem. But what is is for?

Client: Well, i just read an article about how widgets can benefit websites and direct traffic. 

Me: They can, sure. But before I can implement a widget for the site, I need you to tell me what particular function you want it to fulfill. Widgets can do a lot of things. What are you looking for?

Client: Mostly to keep up with the Joneses

Source: Clients from Hell


I have a former acquaintance who wanted very desperately to become a designer, despite not having any experience, because he thought it was easy money. He decided to become a full-time freelancer and quit his job at a local retailer.

As a full-time freelance designer myself, I figured I could hire him for a small project. Solidarity with other artists and all that.

I contacted him saying that I wanted a logo for a personal project, and he offered a $50 flat fee logo illustration he estimated would take about four hours. Always the advocate for better service pricing, I said I was willing to offer a much higher hourly wage instead of a flat fee and requested he send over examples of past work so I could adjust my project brief accordingly.

He had only one piece to show me: a 300x200, 72 dpi “logo” he said he did for a shipping company. I had no idea it was about shipping. The image itself didn’t tie into the company’s purpose and there was no text. I still wanted to give him some work, though, so I sent him the following message:

Me: Hey, thanks for sending over that logo example. It’s not quite what I’m looking for, could you make a logo that’s at least [dimensions] at 300 dpi? I’d like to be able to do some printing with the logo.

Him: …What’s dpi?

Me: Er, well, what resolution do you normally work at?

Him: I don’t know what that is.

Me: Oh, I see. Well, um, maybe you could do some research and get back to me with the answers to these questions? I’d be more than happy to hire you then.

Him: (suddenly very angry) You know, this isn’t how commissioning people works. You commission me, and I do what I think is best. You don’t get to make changes and ask me ridiculous questions that have nothing to do with my work. Maybe you like to waste people’s time when they commission you, but I’ve made $60.00 with the last three commissions I have done so I know what I’m doing.

Me: I’m sorry?

Him: You’re just a big fraud, aren’t you? You act like you know everything when this isn’t even relevant to making a logo.

Needless to say, the project did not move forward. To my knowledge he hasn’t taken on a new client in the last three years.

Source: Clients from Hell


Client: Can I have a password reset please?

Me: Of course. I’ve reset your password to 12345678, all numerals. You will be prompted to change the password once you log in.

Client: Are the numbers in upper or lower case?

I work as a private music teacher. The client in this case is the parent of a student.

Client: So what do you do?

Me: What do you mean?

Client: What is your job?

Me: …This. I’m a music teacher. I also perform and do other freelance music work.

Client: Oh, right. But like, what’s your real job?

Source: Clients from Hell


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Source: Clients from Hell


Early on in my career I volunteered for a community bike program and I happily agreed to make a poster for them. They wanted it at full poster size to put up around the city. I told them that I can design it but they will have to bring it to a print shop to get it printed.

A week later I’d created the poster and thought it looked great. The whole process had been very smooth – or so I thought.

Me: Here is the final print ready file, you just need to bring it to a print shop to get printed. I recommend “print shop name”, I’ve worked with them in the past and they are great but there are many great print shops in the city. 

Client: What do you mean bring it somewhere to print it? Aren’t you the print shop?

Me: Um … no. I’m a graphic designer, I designed the poster but I don’t have equipment to print out at full poster size.

Client: Oh, will the printing of the posters be free as well?

Me: No, unless you have some kind of arrangement with a print shop, you will have to pay them.

Client: Well that’s not what we agreed to, you said the poster would be free!

Me: No… I said I would volunteer my time to help out with a cause I believe in and design the poster. I told you that you would have to bring it to a print shop. 

Client: Well forget it then. 

In the end, my beautiful posters where never printed because they didn’t realize you have to pay for services. 

Source: Clients from Hell


Client: I want this product to have a quality assurance badge.

Me: Do you have approval from a quality control agency?

Client: No. We want you to make a fictional one.

Me: Okay… do you have an idea of what you want it to look like?

They send me their existing website. There is already a made-up “SEAL OF QUALITY” on their products.

Client: Basically I just want you to change the color on what we already have.

Me: Look, I’m not totally sure this is legal.


Source: Clients from Hell


Client: Could you remove the background from this PDF?

The PDF was of a PowerPoint slide with nothing on it but a title bar and a pie chart. As far as I could tell there was no background.

Me: I’m sorry, I’m not sure what you mean. What background do you need to be removed?

Client: Here, let me show you.

He opened his computer and showed me the PowerPoint file. He kept waving his mouse around the screen.

Client: This stuff. I want you to remove all this.

It took me a while to realize that his mouse was passing over the top and sides of the screen more often than the middle. “All this” was the toolbar and preview tray. He thought it was included in the PDF, which he hadn’t even checked.

This client is in sales, and is the forward face of his company.

Source: Clients from Hell


Client: What’s this gibberish?

Me: It’s Lorem Ipsum

Typically this is the end of this conversation, but this client had HEARD of Lorem Ipsum and knew that they’d just embarrassed themselves. So they tried to recover.

Client: It doesn’t look like Lorem Ipsum to me. It looks like Russian or Bulgarian or something. 

Me: It looks like Lorem Ipsum to me. Mostly because it starts with “Lorem Ipsum” and isn’t written in Cyrillic. But what do I know. 

Source: Clients from Hell


I was hired to edit some videos promoting tourism in a city. I was supposed to edit a number of clips into shorts about the different neighborhoods. There was a problem, however:

Me: Hey – these clips aren’t labelled by neighborhood. I don’t live in this city, and I’m really not familiar with it. Would you mind organizing them so that I can put them together correctly?

Client: I don’t have time for that, sorry. How about you just make the videos shorter?

Me: …That doesn’t really solve the problem, though.

Client: I really don’t have time to deal with this. Figure something out.

Their inability to spend 5 minutes meant I couldn’t do the job at all.

Source: Clients from Hell


Me: I accept payment in euros.

Client: But I live in America. I only have dollars!

Me: That’s okay. The bank will convert dollars to euros no problem.

Client: Are you sure I can just send you dollars? Don’t you live in Europe? You won’t be able to use them.

Me: ….

Client: ….

Me: Tell you what. I’m heading to New York later this year. Pay me in dollars and I’ll spend them then.

Client: Oh, phew! I’m glad that’ll work out.

Sometimes it’s easier to lie than explain the truth. 

Source: Clients from Hell


Client: We’re not going to hire you.

Me: That’s too bad. May I ask why not so I can work to improve in the future?

Client: You do design work in Photoshop. Photoshop is for photos, not designs. I just think that’s a sign of un-professionalism

Me:  All my portfolio pieces —  the posters, logos, menus, web images, comics, magazines, everything —   were all made in Photoshop.

Client: I find that hard to believe.

I’d be mad, but I think I dodged a bullet with this one. 

Source: Clients from Hell


Getting your client to live up to their side of your business relationship can be difficult and it’s almost always necessary. But how do you do it? Whether it’s the client delivering promised files, paying your rate, or them simply keeping their word, there’s rarely an easy fix. 

James Rose of Content Snare has at least one solution – and a lot of quality advice. If you enjoyed what James had to say, he invites you to check out the Content Snare Facebook Group!

Content Snare

Content Snare’s Facebook Group

James Rose on Twitter:

Download here!

Source: Clients from Hell


A client asked me to make an eCommerce site along the lines of Alibaba.

Me: I can do that, but it’s a pretty large project. What’s your budget?

Client: 15k.

Me: Great. I’ll draft up a contract and start working right away.

Sounds good, right? Except the client actually meant 15k Indian rupees. Which totals about 225 USD.

Source: Clients from Hell

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