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

Time Travel Is A Bit More Complicated Than That

, , , , | Right | November 4, 2021

Client: “What is the opposite of Z?”

Me: “…of Z?”

Client: “Yeah, I’m doing the ctrl+Z thing and I went too far back in time. You know that scene in The Time Machine where he goes too far back in time?”

Me: “Yeah.”

Client: “Like that.”

The Cheapskate Seed Was Planted Here Long Ago

, , , , | Right | November 4, 2021

I run a carnivorous plant shop, and construct unique enclosures and backdrops on commission. A regular part of the job involves clients who (a) want an incredibly rare (and therefore expensive) plant that they just heard about, and (b) don’t want to pay for than $25 for the whole thing.

Client: “I want a setup with a Nepenthes edwardsiana in it.”

This species prefers cool, nearly refrigerated conditions and is NOT for beginners.

Me: “Okay, I can do this. Have you raised carnivorous plants before?”

Client: “No, but I saw this plant on a YouTube video and I think it looks cool.”

Me: “Okay, noted. In total, the plant and enclosure will cost [X total].”

Client: “That’s way too expensive. Why are you trying to rip me off?”

Me: “Most of the cost is in the plant. It’s very rare and fussy in cultivation. I have one, and it cost me [Y total]. That’s the [X total] minus the bare costs of enclosure construction and materials, so I’d have to charge the same price.”

Client: “Well, I heard that you can take cuttings of plants and grow them for free. Just take a cutting off of yours.”

Me: “It doesn’t work that way. I’d have to wait weeks to see if it actually rooted, and this plant is too small to get cuttings without killing it.”

Client:Well. I saw someone selling one on Amazon for [Z total] so I’ll just go to them.”

This is considerably less than [Y total]. Fast forward six months: the client is back.

Client: “The seller I bought my plant from sold me the wrong plant. The storefront is shut down, and I can’t get a refund. I want to buy yours for [Z total].”

Me: “As I explained before, I can’t let mine go for less than [Y total].”

Client: “But they were selling ones for [Z total]!”

They’re Finally Getting It

, , , , | Right | November 3, 2021

Client: “The screenshot you sent is all wrong. It doesn’t let me play the video. It seems to simply function like a photograph of someone’s screen!”

Nothing Like A Racist Riot To Start The Day

, , , | Right | November 3, 2021

Me: “Hi, I’m just updating the copy for your form and was wondering if you meant to say ‘programs’ for the third question?”

Client: “NO. What I sent along was completely accurate, I wrote and edited it myself. Just copy it over exactly as it says, I’ll explain it nice and slowly for you.”

Me: “‘Please indicate which pogroms you’ve attended?'”

Client: “Yeah, that should be programs.”

It’s Always Aliens

, , , | Right | November 3, 2021

I had a great working relationship as a designer for a local company. I’d even been complimented on my work by a retired editor-in-chief of a national magazine publication loosely associated with the company.

Over the summer, I receive a project from someone in the company with whom I’d never worked with before. There were a lot of absurd requests and delays so I was pretty happy when the project was finalized. Or so I thought.

Client: “I had your design printed by the main office but they said it looked unprofessional.”

Me: “I’m so sorry to hear that, can you tell me more about what was wrong with it?”

Client: “I have not seen it myself but they said the model featured in the design is green, washed out and the quality isn’t great. What DPI did you use?”

Me: “300 DPI. The image of the model was the one you provided.”

Client: “I know it might be because I wanted the full design to be green and maybe something is wrong with our printer but I thought I’d ask. The poor thing looks like an alien.”

That evening, I take my design to a professional printer. The printer’s assistant and a patron who is in line both compliment me on the design. It prints consistently with what was requested. The quality is great, the model isn’t green, washed out, or alien-looking. I explain this to the client and show them what the print looks like.

Client: “Oh my goodness, I didn’t expect you to look into it! I’ll look at it from our end and see if something is wrong with the printer.”

Me: “Check to see if it’s low on red ink!”