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

Are You Advertising For A Kindergarten?

, , , | Right | February 3, 2023

Client: “This is the last ad we had made. The copy’s fine, but just look at how unprofessional it looks! We’re looking for something more professional.”

I make a slick new ad, and it looks great. I send the proof to the customer.

Client: “This is great and all, but… can you change the font to Comic Sans?”

Why Even Hire A Designer?

, , , , | Right | February 1, 2023

I had a client who wanted a menu designed for their restaurant. They asked me to take inspiration from some menus that Jamie Oliver used while giving it an identity all its own. I did some work I was pretty happy with, but then…  

Client: “I need this designed in Word so I can edit it whenever I want.”

This Job May Require Telepathy, Part 9

, , , | Right | January 31, 2023

I was working on character designs for a client and I was given vague descriptions to work with. Since I wasn’t given a lot of detail, I decided to get creative. When I showed it to the client, he got mad.

Client: “No, no, no! He has to look like THIS!”

At that point, he pulled out and showed me a previously commissioned piece of the character.

I’d asked for references several times before this point. I guess he hoped I’d guess right.

This Job May Require Telepathy, Part 8
This Job May Require Telepathy, Part 7
This Job May Require Telepathy, Part 6
This Job May Require Telepathy, Part 5
This Job May Require Telepathy, Part 4

This Is Your Client’s Brain On Drugs… And Then When They Wear Off

, , , , | Right | January 30, 2023

I have a client who makes requests at all hours of the day and expects immediate results. She calls me one night at 10:30 pm.

Client: “The slideshow on my homepage is going too fast. Slow it down.”

Me: “Okay. I’m just finishing up some other work, but I’ll fix it right away.”

After only fifteen minutes, the client phones again.

Client: “It’s too slow now. Could you speed it up?”

The funny thing is, I never even got to make a single change to the slider. I left the slideshow as it was and it was never mentioned again.

Bonus Payments And Broken Promises

, , , | Right | January 29, 2023

Client: “Yeah, we decided not to pay you that bonus after all.”

Me: “What? We agreed that I would work at this rate, and I did the work as requested. Was there any problem with the work I did during the holiday break?”

Client: “No, we just don’t want to pay the extra money.”

Me: “You can’t do that. You can’t agree to work terms and then change those terms after the work is completed.”

Client: “Yeah, but we didn’t sign a contract or anything.”

Me: “That doesn’t matter. We had a verbal understanding, and I have a chain of emails from you agreeing to the bonus. Plus, I helped you out when you needed it, and I’ve been a reliable freelancer here for two years without any problems. You should honor our agreement for that reason, at the very least. If you don’t, I’ll be forced to sue you.”

Client: “Fine, whatever! I’ll have payroll cut you another check. I mean, it’s not like it’s my money anyway.”

Me: “Which is why I don’t understand why you were trying to cheat me out of it.”