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

Shake It Like A Screen-Captured Picture!

, , , , , | Right | October 25, 2023

I am doing tech support for a company that provides services to small and medium websites.

Client: “I’m having problems with the way something is displaying on the site!”

Me: “Can you send me a screen capture?”

Client: “Okay, let me get the scanner out—”

Me: “Scanner? No, wait—”

Client: *Click*

I tried calling back, but she didn’t answer. An hour later, however, she sent me a scanned Polaroid of her monitor.

The More They Manage The Less They Know

, , , | Right | October 24, 2023

My company made an interactive timeline showing the history of how this large Telecom company grew to be one of the leading companies in the world. The communications manager was satisfied with our work, but she wanted to display the timeline on more than just the little screen on the PC. We told her that it wasn’t a problem and advised them to buy a flat-screen TV to mount on the wall.

Client: But how do you do that?”

Me: “Do what?”

Client: “Get the PC signal from the PC onto the TV?”

Me: “Oh, we won’t need to create a signal.”

Client: “Why not?”

Me: “The timeline will be mirrored on the LCD.”

Client: “That’s smart!”

Me: “Well, it’s a common feature actually—”

Client: *Interrupting* “But, where shall we place the mirror?”

It’s Not Free Publicity If It Costs You Your Freedom

, , | Right | October 23, 2023

Client: “I want to call my company [Company Name].”

Me: “You do realise that name’s almost identical to [Existing Company Name], which is a huge international corporation?”

Client: “Yes. It’s a great idea. People will come to my website, thinking I’m them.”

Me: “Do you also realise that [Existing Company] has a habit of suing people for that sort of thing.”

Client: “Wow! Just think of the publicity I’ll get. A true David and Goliath story. The press will love it! Fantastic. Do it!”

Me: “Sorry, but I really don’t want to be sued by them.”

Client: “You’ll get the publicity, too! Don’t you want free publicity?”

The More You Read The Worse It Gets, Part 12

, , | Right | October 22, 2023

I wear fairly simple (and I like to think professional and sophisticated) clothing to meetings. My client wears nothing but animal prints, strings of giant gold beads, and such, and sells costume jewelry in the same style. I figured out (correctly) that she would want a website based on said pattern.

Client: “I want my business to be like Mary Kay. God, I’m such a cougar. But what the h***, I’m proud of it. Anyway, I want my clients to host parties and to get free stuff for hosting while selling my jewelry to their friends.“

Me: “It’s a common business model, so it could be done. However, I’m a designer, not a business planner, so we should be discussing your design for the website and business cards.”

Client: “That’s my point!”

Me: “Sorry?”

Client: “If you sell jewelry for me, then you would have to make up business cards and e-vites, and then you could just forward them to me and I’ll change it from to your name to my name. Your money would come from stock sales. And in exchange for letting me use the e-vites and cards, I’ll give you some free gold jewelry!“

The More You Read The Worse It Gets, Part 11
The More You Read The Worse It Gets, Part 10
The More You Read, The Worse It Gets, Part 9
The More You Read, The Worse It Gets, Part 8
The More You Read, The Worse It Gets, Part 7

They Should Have Stopped And Checked

, , | Right | October 21, 2023

I’m a videographer and I am on the phone with a client I am doing a shooting campaign for:

Me: “We got some great footage on the shoot yesterday, and I’ve scheduled some more b-roll shooting for tomorrow.”

Client: “That’s great. Listen, we didn’t meet our sales goals for this quarter and we can’t spend anything on marketing, so we’ll have to hold off on starting the video project until next quarter. And, I’m sorry, but we won’t be able to pay you the down payment at this time.”

The down payment is stipulated by the contract they signed a month earlier.

Me: “That’s odd because I received a check from [Client’s Company] two weeks ago, and it cleared the bank just fine.”

Client: “Oh, that’s not good. I thought I put a stop payment on that check last week.”

Me: “Sorry?”

Client: “Is there any chance I could get that money back from you? It would put you in real good favor with my boss. Please send us a cheque as soon as possible.”

I did NOT do that.