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

They Were Very Brief

, , , , | Right | November 21, 2021

Client: “What?! What do you mean you haven’t even started yet? A brief? A brief is just a courtesy!”

Reply from a client when we informed them that we hadn’t started – let alone finished – a highly complex digital tool they needed as we hadn’t been briefed on it.  The first we heard of it was a week before when they casually said ‘oh by the way, we need a new digital tool’ at the end of a conversation about something else and we said ‘great, happy to look into this, let’s set up a briefing’.

About To Be Warran-teed Off

, , , | Right | November 19, 2021

I write some complicated code to test a client’s eshop (the test creates a virtual user, clicks on buttons, makes a purchase, etc.). The client was satisfied, paid on time, no issues whatsoever.

Five months later:

Client: “All the tests are broken. Nothing completes, most of them get stuck. I need to get this fixed by tomorrow evening!”

Turns out, the client wanted more features, so they hired someone else to create a whole new eshop with the requested features, and this resulted in different texts on buttons, checkout process, everything.

Me: “Well, you changed everything, it’s gonna take me at least a day or two to get to know the system before I can start designing tests, which will take another week.”

Client: “Oh, well, I guess I’ll just have to wait. But it’s still going to be free, right? It’s been five months since you delivered, so it’s still a warranty fix.”

Zero Tolerance On Zero Cost

, , , | Right | November 19, 2021

I was connected to a potential client through networking. Their website claimed to have worked on high-profile projects that I had doubts they actually worked on so I made sure to get a down payment and contract. They said they wanted a very specific 3D model based on a specific photo. No problem for me. After the initial rough work was done we had this exchange:

Client: “Looks great, we just want to add this extra thing.”

Me: “Happy to do it. That will cost extra, however.”

Client: “Can’t you just be flexible, man?”

Me: “You said you wanted the exact model from the photo and we signed a contract, so if you want me to be flexible with the model, you have to be flexible with the money. It’ll cost extra.”

Client: *Huffing and puffing.* “Let me talk to the superiors about it.”

The next day:

Client: “The team says go ahead with the original plan.”

After the next review:

Client: “Looks great! we love your work and are so happy to be working with you!”

If I had let them start making extra requests, it would have never ended. Free extras: Not even once!

Taxing Requests

, , , , | Right | November 18, 2021

Client: *Complaining.* “The press release you wrote didn’t tell enough of a story.”

Me: “It’s an announcement about your attendance at a tax conference.”

Don’t Write Checks Your Butt Can’t Cash

, , , | Right | November 18, 2021

Me: “Since this is a lot of ongoing work and requires constant updates, can we switch from a fixed price contract to an hourly contract?”

Client: “No way! That would be like me handing you a blank cheque.”

I really don’t want your money but fair pay.