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A collection of client horror stories from designers and freelancers on CFH.

What Have They Been Smoking?

, , , , , , | Right | May 27, 2022

I am designing a website for a very “artistic” client. They are full of odd requests, but then we get to this one:

Client: “The site has to be an experience, not just a destination. I want to embrace the senses! Sight, sound, smell!”

Me: “Well, we can add music, but in my experience, I’ve found that users don’t really like that.”

Client: “With the right music, they’ll never leave! Can we give them a smell, too?”

Me: “A… smell?”

Client: “Yes! When they open my site, I want them to smell a fresh meadow.”

Me: “That’s not really possible.”

Client: “Can’t we make it so some smoke or a scent or something comes out of the computer when they open my site?”

Me: “If there’s smoke coming out of their computer, trust me, they’re not going to be focusing on your site.”

Things Are Scrolling Downhill

, , , | Right | May 27, 2022

I was presenting a website to a group of very well-educated yet non-tech college professors. It was a pretty regular layout, with a lot of content scrolling down. The head of the department only had one comment.

Client: “I don’t know if I like the content scrolling down. Can we make it more like a book, with everything scrolling to the right? I never saw a website that scrolls down.”

Never saw a website that scrolls down.

A Real Hot-Button Issue

, , , , | Right | May 26, 2022

I am a backend designer for a website where clients can add contributions.

Client: “I’ve found a button somewhere on the backend. I don’t know that it does, so I pressed it.” 

Me: “Please don’t do that anymore.”

Client: “Okay. Also, I’ve got another problem. All of my images on the media library have disappeared.”

Me: “I think it’s related to the button.”

The reset button in question is a big button with an alert symbol in red and yellow and two pop-ups that say, “If you press it, you’ll reset this,” and, “Are you sure?”

When I talked to the chief manager about forbidding the contributors to use it, he said:

Chief Manager: “Oh, come on. Nobody is stupid enough to press it without any reason.”

Now, we’ve learned the opposite is true.

Employers From Hell

, , , | Right | May 25, 2022

This is a weird situation with small business CEO who outsourced one website project to me.

Me: “I’m finishing the project. Are you ready to discuss deployment details?”

Client: “Fantastic. When you finish, do you mind helping Peter with another project? And when you do that, I have a new web that needs to be done.”

Me: “Help with what? Who’s Peter? What project? I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Client: “You are my employee now; I have a lot of work you must do.”

Me: “I am what? I don’t know where you got that, but I have also other clients.”

Client: “Do you also talk to them like this?”

This Client Needs Some Special Attention

, , , , , | Right | May 24, 2022

I work in tech support. I’m called in on a consult because the company’s internal programs aren’t working. I look at the input and notice they keep entering a dash.

Me: “You know this input cannot handle special characters.”

Client: “It’s not special. I use it all the time.”