Right Working Romantic Related Learning Friendly Healthy Legal Inspirational Unfiltered
A collection of client horror stories from designers and freelancers on CFH.

With Advice, Like Most Things, You Get What You Pay For

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: chapkovski | December 1, 2022

I am a freelancer on a platform that connects freelancers with companies that need their services. I’ve always wanted to use this joke, and after an hour of aimless questions without any contract offered, I decided that this day had come.

Client: “I have a question. Can I use [Other Platform] for translating my dataset from English to Arabic?”

Me: “I guess so.”

Client: “How?”

Me: “Are you asking for a consultation or for advice? The difference is that a consultation is for money while advice is for free.”

Client: “Just advice.”

Me: “My advice: take a consultation.”

RIP: This Business Relationship

, , , | Right | November 30, 2022

In college, we got to work for actual clients that the college brought in for us. Several students would do the project and the client would choose which they liked most. Unfortunately, my design did not get picked, but they still liked it. The client contacted me about using it for another project.

Client: “I loved your design, but I’d like to use it for another website idea that I have.”

Me: “Sure! What’s the website for?”

Client: “I had this idea for a website for younger children who just lost their parents. They can log in and talk to those dead parents.”

Me: *Confused* “So, you mean a memorial site? Where they leave messages for their parents?”

Client: “Yes, but then I will write them back as their parents.”

Me: “…”

Client: “Of course, I would have to charge a small fee for the service. Or put up some ads.”

Me: “…”

We’d Say What We Think, But He’d Probably Write About Us, Too

, , , , | Legal | November 29, 2022

I manage websites and recently one client faxed me some handwritten copy to add to the news section of his site.

In the article, he laid into a rival company that had recently appeared in court and been acquitted of supplying faulty goods. Describing the company as “cheats” who got off because “their sleazy lawyers lied” was one of his milder claims.

Me: “I’ve read your copy and I have some concerns. Under the ‘contentious content’ clause of our contract, I’m going to hold off on putting this on the website until your lawyers approve it.”

Client: “Fine! I’ll put them in touch.”

Later that day, I got an email from his lawyers asking for a copy of the article in question. I sent it, and twenty minutes later, I got their response. It turns out that his lawyers were the same that had defended his rival company.

Client’s Lawyer: “We have considered the copy you forwarded to us regarding a recent court case in which we successfully defended one of our clients against a wholly false claim of supplying defective goods. We have advised [Client] that his article is, in our opinion, factually flawed, libelous, and unsuitable for publication, and we are consequently unable to indemnify it in line with your contract.”

Client’s Lawyer: “Please note that we no longer act for [Client] in any capacity.”

When I wrote the client to tell him that his (former) lawyers said that he should IN NO WAY have this article published, he wrote me back.

Client: “Run it! I’m not going to be bossed about by sleazy lawyers.”

Me: “No.”

That ended our business relationship, except that two days later he accidentally faxed me some new copy. In it, he railed against “sleazy website managers.”

Secret Aaaaagent Brand!

, , , | Right | November 28, 2022

I was helping a client create a brand identity for a new company. I thought that this meant designing a logo, a corporate identity, and also some matching promotional materials. The client’s idea of what I would be doing wasn’t quite so clear.

Client: “I need a company logo that I could apply to all my stationery, websites, email — everything. But I need you to be discreet; this information is highly confidential.”

Me: “No problem. Maybe we can meet up to chat about what exactly you want your logo to express, what the business is about, etc.”

Client: “My company stands for simplicity, information availability, and transparency. I hope this helps.”

Me: “What exactly does your company do?”

Client: “I’m not sure why you need more information. This company will become successful worldwide, but it’s confidential at the moment.”

Me: “Fine. What is the company called?”

Client: “I was hoping you could help me with that.”

He then sent me a long list of possible names that were mostly just his name and his wife’s name awkwardly smashed into one word.

Me: “I’m not sure if I can help you with the name; that wasn’t really what we discussed and wasn’t included in the price I quoted you.”

Client: “You don’t understand! This company will be really successful. We’ll be sure to repay you for any help you give us getting started.”

Me: “You need to tell me what you actually do in order for me to craft a brand identity for you. If I don’t know what your company does, and if it doesn’t even have a name, I can’t create a brand for you.”

Client: “That’s top secret.”

I stopped writing back after that. Who knows? Maybe he thinks I’m still working for him and I’m just being “top secret.”

Some People’s Time Is Wibbly-Wobbly Timey-Wimey-Er Than Others’

, , , | Right | November 27, 2022

In August of last year, I finished working on an album cover for a musician. I sent him the final file and left for my summer vacation. While I was gone, he sent me an email.

Client: “Hi, I know you’re on vacation, but I need you to make a small edit and resend me the file. This is very urgent. We are ready to print.”

I took care of it immediately. It was a five-minute job. The hardest part was finding a plug for my laptop. They didn’t write back, so I figured “job done” and enjoyed the rest of my vacation.

Just now, a year later, I receive an email.

Client: “Hey, thanks for the file. We are finally ready to print now!”