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

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.”

Future Me, Can You Come Back And Lend A Hand?

, , | Right | May 23, 2022

Client: “We love the work you did for us in the past, and we have a new project we would like you to work on.”

Me: “Sounds great! When can we meet to discuss your new project?”

Client: “We’ll meet in a few weeks to explain what we want, but we need you to provide a complete price quote for us to include in our budget today.”

Me: “But…”

Client: “Also, your quote must include costs for anything you can think of that we may ask you to do related to this project in the future.”

Isn’t That Stealing?

, , , | Right | May 22, 2022

Me: “This logo is very small and low-resolution. Do you have another copy?”

Client: “Here. I got someone to resize it bigger.”

Me: “If I print this, it will be very blurry. Can you contact the person who originally designed this logo for you and have them send you a better version?”

Client: “Actually, that logo we just got off the Internet. Maybe if you take a quick look on the Internet you can find a better version of it. It’s pretty simple. Or maybe just type our name without the logo. In italics, to make it look more modern.”

If I Have To Walk You Through It, You’re Gonna Pay

, , , , | Right | May 21, 2022

A couple of years ago, I was asked to write copy for a start-up’s website. The client wasn’t sure what they wanted, and in the course of “taking the brief,” it became clear that they also hadn’t worked out who their business was aimed at. I spent a lot of time getting them to focus on target customers, market sectors, and so on.

Once this was done, I wrote the copy and sent them my invoice.

Client: “I don’t think I should have to pay for this.”

Me: “What? Why?”

Client: “We spent too much time answering questions beforehand.”

Smart Enough To Steal, Too Dumb To Stay Quiet About It

, , , , , | Right | May 20, 2022

Client: “I am quite disappointed in that print of your photo. I need a refund!”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear about your disappointment, but I don’t usually do refunds on prints unless the print was damaged during shipping. Can you tell me what is wrong with yours?”

Client: “Well, when looking closer, it’s all blurry and this big watermark is ugly.”

Me: “Watermark? My prints are signed on a corner, but there are no watermarks.”

Client: “Yes, there is one! It says, ‘[My Name], photographer,’ exactly like the ones on your website!”

It turned out that this “client” downloaded a photo from my website (about 1000 by 670px, with a watermark) and had it printed somewhere online at a far too big scale… and then wanted a refund on it.