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

They’re Looking For A Holiday Miracle!

, , , | Right | November 17, 2021

Client: “We would like to use the motif which we’ve sent you, but it doesn’t look winterly enough. Can you turn the beach into a winter-wonderland and the woman in the shirt wearing something warmer, but more revealing?”

Keeping Up With The Joneses… Er… The Competitors

, , , , , | Working | November 17, 2021

I do marketing campaigns for a small company. The company barely has any money but does have a boss who thinks he can get everything because he owns the world. I have to launch and maintain a Facebook page for one of their products, while he keeps me busy with a million other things. I am the only one who does marketing because the boss doesn’t (and won’t) invest in more manpower.

Boss: “Do something that will get us more likes for our product page on Facebook. Also, we have no budget.”

I do the best I can in the little time I have without money for an ad campaign. That means doing everything by hand, from liking other pages and researching, to commenting on postings that could be of interest to us, to sending out dozens of PMs and emails, trying to get peoples’ attention.

A few weeks later, we have the first revision of the project:

Boss: “Why do we only have a few hundred likes on Facebook? [Competitor] has several thousand!”

Helpful Employee: “Maybe it’s because [Competitor] has two people working full-time on the same stuff [My Name] does in a quarter of the time because you won’t pay him more, as well as a budget of several thousand Euros whereas we have none?”

The boss huffed and puffed and left the table, mumbling something about the competitor having several thousand likes and why he can’t have that. I’m glad I stopped working for them and cut contact (except for [Helpful Employee], who’s still a friend of mine).

We All Need To Just Back Up Here

, , , , | Right | November 16, 2021

A client requires a single image for the front page of a new website but is indecisive and asks me to choose one. They can’t work out how to send it via email, so they offer to post the file onto a DVD disc instead.

Me: “I’ve just received your package. I’m a little confused; you’ve sent me seventeen DVDs and they all appear to have your PC backups on them.”

Client: “Oh yes, good to hear they arrived safely! Just choose an image that you think is best for the design.”

Me: “None of the discs are labelled and they all appear to be complete backups of your computer, some dating back several years. To make things easier, could you let me know in the folder the images are kept?”

Client: “Okay, but you’ve finished the webpage now, so you have time?”

Me: “Not enough time to go through all of these DVDs. Look, sorry if I wasn’t clear. I don’t know where to look because none of the discs are labelled and they each contain your entire computer backup.”

Client: “Well I’m not technical but even I can find them if I google them!”

Ah, The Royal “We”

, , , , , | Right | November 16, 2021

I have been working for a businessman who’s selling his mentoring courses, among other tasks.

Being paid monthly while I keep studying, I also host his website, design all his branding, and even prepare some of his talks. I slowly became a part-time assistant for his antics. Suddenly, my client changes his mind the day before an event he organized.

Client: “My wife told me that your work is great, but I want to get the same result… but different. Is there a way “we” can do [a long list of long, vague, time-consuming edits] for free before midnight? I will call you again to give you some creative input in a few minutes.”

Me: “I’m afraid the task you are asking for is lengthy; each one of those edits would take me a while even with automation. Within that time limit, it’s impossible to do it for today, but I could try to give you another close estimate date, or even better, prepare a plan so both of us can—”

Client: “By “we” I mean “you”. Also, don’t tell me we can’t. Tell me what can I do so “we” can do it for today!”

Clients Into Darkness

, , , | Right | November 15, 2021

Client: “We would like the white background to be a darker shade of white.”