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

Have You Tried Asking Them To Turn It Off And Then On Again?

, , , , | Right | May 11, 2022

I was at a party when a client’s business partner approached me. 

Partner: “Hey, [Client] tells me you could answer a computer question for me.”

Me: “Depends. What’s the question?”

Partner: “My computer stopped working the other day. The light comes on but nothing happens.”

Me: “Well, it’s hard to say what might be the problem from just that. It could be something simple, but it could be that something needs replacing.”

Partner: “Pfft! That’s the best you can come up with? What a waste of my time.”

Isn’t… Isn’t That The Point?

, , , | Right | May 10, 2022

I was contracted to put together an event to bring awareness to human trafficking. The client was explicit that they wanted “experimental elements” to make attendees “feel the tragedies.”

Me: “How about we fill backpacks with cans of soup or rice and suggest that guests wear them for the entirety of the evening? Once they do, we donate the food in their name to a related charity after the event.”

Client: “Hmm…”

Me: “Or we could give everyone a mask when they check in so as to strip them of their identity. Maybe there could be some sort of penalty when they take them off. Within good taste, of course.”

Client: “All interesting, but I think these ideas make awareness of human trafficking a bit uncomfortable.”

We ended up settling on a PowerPoint presentation followed by cocktails and dinner. 

A Deadbeat With A Heart Of Gold

, , , | Right | May 9, 2022

A client hired me to do a large-scale project – the largest my personal firm has ever worked on. After negotiating for quite some time, we settled on a price half of the original proposal. However, and relevant to the story later, the down-payment was the same amount as the client’s suggestion.

We never saw another dime. A year later, I ran into the client on the street, and after a bit of back and forth…

Me: “I’m over it. I just wrote off the cost. But one thing bothers me: if you knew you weren’t going to pay me, why did you bother haggling so much to begin with?”

Client: “Well, I didn’t want you to lose as much money.”

Clients Don’t Know The Meaning Of “Personal Time”

, , , | Right | May 8, 2022

I told my client I would be at my stepmother’s funeral for the day and would be completely unreachable by any form of communication until the next day. After the funeral, I found all of these messages from the client on my phone.

Client: *Via email* “I really need your help! I can’t open the file you sent me.”

Client: *Via text* “Did you get my email? I need you to resend me that file NOW!”

Client: *Via voicemail* “You are being completely unprofessional and ridiculous! I can’t believe you are ignoring my frantic pleas for help! You can bet your sorry a** that I’ll remember how unhelpful and unprofessional you are being.”

Client: *Via text* “[NOT MY NAME]! CALL ME NOW!”

Oh, We’ll Take It Down. We’ll Take It ALL Down.

, , | Right | May 7, 2022

Client: “Please upload a current copy of the video so I can review it.”

The next day…

Client: “Take the video down immediately! It’s incomplete!”

Me: “I know. You said you wanted to see the current cut. We still need to–”

Client: “The whole world can see it and it reflects badly on our company!”

Me: “It’s an unlisted video. No one can view it unless they have the direct link.”

Client: “I was able to view the video. Take it down!”

Me: “I sent you the direct link. You and I are the only ones who can see it unless you share the link.”

Client: “Take. It. Down.”

The client messaged me the next day asking where he could see the latest cut of the video. I fired him.