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


, , , | Right | July 1, 2022

I just finished editing a thirty-second commercial spot.

Client: “Great, now upload it to the FTP.”

Me: “Sure, it should be there in about an hour.”

Client: “An hour?! It’s a thirty-second spot!”

Me: “I need to render everything, then export the file, then compress the file (from 7GB to 100MB), then upload it. It might take less than an hour, but we should budget an hour to be safe.”

Client: “I thought it would take thirty seconds! It’s only thirty seconds long! I told the customer we’d have the ad ready in five minutes.”

Me: “Why did you tell them that?”

Client: “Because it should only take a minute! I was giving you an extra four!”

Not Accustomed To Doing Custom

, , , , | Right | July 1, 2022

I have a business making custom curtains for residential homes. I am at my customer’s home taking an order for six pairs of curtains for her den.

Customer: “One window is an eighth of an inch shorter than the other five windows.”

Me: “That’s such a small measurement that no one will notice once the curtains are hung and tied back.”

Customer: *Insistent.*I would know!”

I make a pair an eighth of an inch shorter than the others. My customer measures all six pairs upon delivery and is happy to find that her demand is met.

She was actually one of my easiest clients! I no longer make custom curtains. It just wasn’t worth the aggravation.

Well… That IS How Time Works…

, , , | Right | June 30, 2022

Me: “Here’s the high-res version of the logo. Let me know when I can expect to have my invoice returned.”

Client: “Um, about that… I’m not sure I can approve this.”

Me: “The logo? But you approved it yesterday.”

Client: “That was yesterday.”

Me: “Yeah…?”

Client: “It’s not yesterday anymore.”

And Then You Fired The Client, Right?

, , , | Right | June 29, 2022

I am on the phone with a client who I do web service for. She is incredibly rude to me the whole time. Our conversation is also constantly interrupted by her yelling at what I assume is her cat (“Get down from there!” “How many times have I told you not to climb on the mantel?” “Stop it!”) without warning to me and my ear.

After about ten minutes of this, I hear another phone ringing.

Client: “Oh, I have a call on my cell. Let me put you on hold for a minute.”

Me: “That’s really okay; you can just call me back—”

Client: “No, I will put you on hold.”

From the sounds that follow, she proceeds to put the phone down on a hard surface and answer her cell phone. 

Thinking she will only be a minute, I wait, trying not to eavesdrop. After about a minute or two, I am finally about to hang up when it sounds as if she has picked up the phone I’m on and her voice gets very loud.

Client: *Sighing loudly* “I’m going to have to let you go now. Yeah, this stupid girl from that web service company is on the other line. I have to help her finish figuring out how to do her job…”

It Would Appear We’ve Reached An Impasse

, , | Right | June 28, 2022

Client: “I have a potential gig for you.”

Me: “Great, what is it?”

Client: “I have a customer who is using [Equipment Brand I specialize in] and he needs some new programming. Can you let me know about how much you’d charge?”

Me: “Sure, get me drawings of their system or a list of the equipment they’re using, and let me know what kind of content they are looking for, and I’ll get you a quote.”

Client: “Oh, well, we don’t really know what kind of equipment they have or how it’s laid out.”

Me: “Okay then. Can you tell me what kind of content they are looking for?”

Client: “Well, we can’t determine what content they’ll need until we know what equipment they have. Can you just give me a quote based on how long you think it’ll take?”

Me: “Not until I have something to determine how long it’ll take.”