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

You Wanna Be On Top? (Na Na Na Na Naaa Na…)

, , , , | Right | March 22, 2023

Me: “To illustrate the fact that you’ve been around for twenty-five years and your business has grown a lot since then, I figure we can use old photos of your small team back then, fading into the new, expanded team.”

Client: “Yeeeeah, I don’t think our employees are… Ya know? They’re not good-looking enough. They’re not…”

Me: “Models?”

Client: “How much would 150 models be?”

Me: “$120 a pop, per day, bare minimum.”

Client: “Okay, well, what if we just bought one really hot one to be our spokesperson?”

Me: “We’re trying to build trust, remember?”

Client: “Yeah, but who’s not gonna buy from a super hot model?”

Analyze This

, , , | Right | March 21, 2023

I’m on the phone with a client.

Me: “Are you busy right now?”

Client: “Sort of. I’m just checking the traffic in and out of our business.”

Me: “Oh, good. We’ve been having a good couple of weeks, haven’t we? What kind of figures are you seeing?”

Client: “No one so far.”

Me: “That’s impossible. I checked Google Analytics the other day.”

Client: “Yeah, I’m just using Street View.”

Me: “Street View?”

Client: “On Google Maps. Just checking to see who’s coming and going.”

Me: “That’s an image, not a live video.”

Client: “Phew!”

Lions And Tigers And Clients, Oh My!

, , , | Right | March 20, 2023

My client wanted something like a coat of arms for his logo. I showed him one with a lion.

Client: “It’s been done before. We want to be unique.”

So, I showed him one with a tiger, instead.

Client: “Not that unique. Tigers don’t belong on a coat of arms. Can’t we find a middle ground?”

A week later, tired of redesigning the logo, I just literally found a middle ground: I sent him one with a liger.

Nothing Is More Exhausting Than The Basics

, , , , | Right | March 19, 2023

I work in a computer store. I help a client select a wireless router to use in her home. The next day, she comes in, irate, to complain to my manager that she didn’t receive the correct product.

The customer quickly points me out and, after some yelling and huffing, we begin to address the variety of issues that could have caused the router to not work. After making no headway with all of the advanced networking questions, I decide to start over with the basics.

Me: “Do you currently have a service with an Internet provider?”

Client: “What do you mean?”

Me: “Have you signed up with Clear, Comcast, or AT&T to get Internet in your home?”

Client: “You have to buy the Internet?!”

There Is No Silver Lining To This Deal

, , , , , , | Right | March 18, 2023

I am showing a friend of a friend the self-made silver jewelry I am wearing while we are chatting, proud of my work. I am not a jeweler by trade, but I put a lot of time and effort in and try and make every piece unique. I get compliments quite often. My friend is very positive about them. It’s a great start and a confidence boost!

Friend: “I want you to make me a ring.”

My spare time is limited, but I figure, “Well, let’s hear her out; it’s been a pleasant conversation so far.”

Me: “While yes, I make silver jewelry for fun for myself and presents occasionally when the mood and time are right, I don’t have the time and the resources generally to make rings or such on demand.”

Friend: “Oh, I totally understand, and of course, I’m willing to pay for it. I won’t need it for a long time, so you can do it at your leisure.”

I’ve done freelance work before; I’m interested. She then suggests the most intricate gem-set piece I would have ever made.

Friend: “I’m willing to pay €35 for it.”

Me: “Well, the ring you want is difficult and at least a few full evenings of work. Also, the base material cost of the precious metals and gems alone will be triple the €35. And that’s not counting other materials and costs, let alone time.”

This sets her off. Tirade incoming!

Friend: “What?! You should be happy that you’ll have a project to work on. Why should I pay for your time? You’re not doing it as a job, after all. Plus, it would mean practice for you. And on top of that, it means money for you to put back into your hobby to keep it going. Surely, you can get plenty of silver and gems at a big discount somewhere? And you must have some laying around, anyway — might as well put it to good use. You shouldn’t ask more than €35 until you go professional, as that’s enough for a ring made by a hobbyist who’s still learning.”

I try to interrupt, but she’s on a roll.

Friend: “Look, I promise to show my friends the ring at the party in two weeks and tell them all about our arrangement. I am absolutely sure you’ll get many more requests like mine from them if the ring turns out pretty enough. This will make sure you can practice even more!”

She was convinced she was doing me a favor and that I was silly if I could not see the boon in building a steady clientele that way. I could end up not making just one, but up to seven like this!

I never made the ring. I’m not sure I want to use all my spare time and spend a truckload of my own money for the “privilege” of making jewelry for strangers.