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

You Can SAY That, But You Can’t DO That

, , , | Right | December 8, 2022

I was hired by a production company to do a series of event ads for placement in trains and public spaces. Right before we reach the final sign-off, an email arrives from the self-described “Very Creative” client with the subject line “One last change.”

Client: “That is better, thank you. I think we can make some space if we put ‘BOOK NOW’ in a smaller font, which means we can make the other copy a bit bigger. Also, rather than saying, ‘BOOK NOW,’ can we say, ‘BOOK NOW OR A KITTEN WILL DIE!’?”

Me: “…”

Did You Leave Your Brain In The Shop, Too?

, , , , | Right | December 7, 2022

Client: “My Internet doesn’t work!”

Me: “Can you tell me what you see on the computer screen?”

Client: “It’s black!”

Me: “Is your computer turned on?”

Client: “Of course it is! The green light is on!”

Me: “Can you try restarting the computer?”

Client: “I can’t; the tower is in the shop!”

Me: “…”

Me: “So, the green light is on your monitor?”

Client: “Yeah! My computer!”

This Is Why You NEVER Work Off-Contract

, , , | Right | December 6, 2022

I recently took a job with a friend of a friend. I was guaranteed to work for the guy for one year after signing the contract with him. As a sign of good faith, he asked me to pick out a drawing tablet to use, stating he would reimburse me for the charges. I bought a tablet and worked on some of the concept art for the comic he wanted me to draw while we ironed out the contract. This was the agreement: for me to begin work one month before the contract started.

Then, a few days short of a month later, the client came to my apartment unannounced at 9:00 pm to check on my work. I wasn’t happy with his abrupt arrival, but I did agree to show him the concept art I had drawn for him.

Me: “This is my first drawing of the dragon you wanted. I have never drawn something like this before, so I assume that you’ll have some critiques for me.”

Client: “Phew! We have a ways to go!”

Me: “Well, this’ll be a good start for the revisions. What don’t you like about it?”

He proceeded to tell me that the dragon wasn’t skinny enough, but besides that, it was fine.

The next day, I called my friend who had set this whole thing up and asked when we were signing the contract.

Friend: “Well, I don’t think you should sign it.”

Me: “I just spent $400 on a tablet and a whole month creating designs for him. Why shouldn’t I sign it?”

Friend: “Because he decided he doesn’t want to work with someone who is unprofessional.”

Me: “How was I unprofessional?”

Friend: “He said that you got very offended when he said your dragon wasn’t right.”

Me: “I buy a $400 tablet that he says he will reimburse me for. I spend a month of my own time drawing concept art for him. He shows up unannounced at my home after dark demanding to see my work, and I’m the unprofessional one? Can I at least get my receipt back for the tablet? Maybe I can get my money back by returning it.”

Friend: “Oh, he lost the receipt. Sorry, man.”

Because You’re An Adult?

, , , , | Right | December 5, 2022

Client: “I’ll send you the visual by tomorrow, so wait for it and then go ahead with the Facebook post.”

Tomorrow arrives. I wait. Then, I get a message from the client.

Client: “Why haven’t you posted anything yet? I told you to do it by today.”

Me: “You told me to wait for you to send me the post.”

Client: “I’ve sent it to you. Post it.”

Me: “I just checked again, and I haven’t gotten anything yet.”

Client: “Oh, right. I haven’t sent it. LOL.”

Five minutes later…

Client: “You know, you really need to remind me of these things. I’m a busy person; I might forget. Why didn’t you remind me?”

Thinking Outside The Box… But Which One?!

, , , | Right | December 4, 2022

Client: “We want a new video embedded on the website, under the box.”

Me: “When you say, ‘under the box,’ do you mean under box one or under box two? There are two boxes.”

Client: “We mean we want the video embedded, like the other videos that are embedded on the website already.”

Me: “Yes, but do you want it under box one or box two?”

Client: “We would like it under the box.”