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

There Are No Dimensions That Can Contain This Stupid A Request:

, , , | Right | October 28, 2021

Client: “Can we do a website in complete 3D? Maybe users can print out 3D glasses to look at it too!”

No Permission To Forgive

, , | Right | October 27, 2021

I’m a digital content producer and have been working with one of our engineers on designing a print brochure to promote one of our types of insulation.  

Engineer: “I don’t like this photo you chose.”

Me: “Okay, that’s just a placeholder image. Do you have a photo you’d like to use?”

Engineer: “Share your screen and let’s look at Google.”

I do so, thinking he’s going to show me some ideas of what he’s looking for so I can buy a stock image. 

Engineer: “That one, second row, far right. That looks good, let’s go with that.”

Me: “…That’s a copyrighted promotional image for the Home Depot, we can’t use that.”

Engineer: “I don’t think they’ll mind.”

Me: “I still can’t use it as-is and we don’t have time to get permission to use it.”

Engineer: “I don’t know if you know this about me, but I’m kind of a “ask forgiveness rather than permission” kind of guy.”

Me: “And I’m kind of a “I’d rather not get sued” kind of girl.”

I didn’t use the image.

They’re Asking You To Move Oceans

, , , | Right | October 25, 2021

A client has two minutes of footage of a crowded beach for a commercial, with more than twenty people walking around, swimming, and sunbathing, with umbrellas, towels and other stuff littering the sand.

Client: “We decided that the beach should be empty, so we need you to delete everything in the scene except the sand and the sea.”

Me: “Wouldn’t it be easier to go there again and shoot it while no one is there?”

Client: “No we need this right now.”


, , | Right | October 24, 2021

Client: “We need a newsletter to be made and sent.”

Me: “Okay, what is it about? What information does it need to include?”

Client: “We actually already made it and it just needs to be sent.”

The newsletter is mostly written in caps lock and in addition, sentences end with three exclamation points. 

Me: “Sorry, but do we really need to put three exclamation points? And it is usually not a good idea to write in caps lock, it can seem a bit aggressive.”

I tried to be as moderate as possible in my comments so as not to offend the client.  

Client: “But how will people know it is important if it is not written like this?”

Me: “How will they know what is important if everything is emphasized?”

Client: “Oh, yeah.”

Two Days, Two Weeks, Same Difference!

, , , , | Right | October 23, 2021

I had agreed to a two-month contract with a client to create a new scheduling system using software that runs off MySQL. I arrive and am greeted by the CFO.

CFO: “So, we have had a change to the budget since we spoke. Instead of paying you for two months, we can only afford to pay you for two days.”

Me: “That won’t be enough time to complete the job, or even make a dent in it. What do you expect me to do in that time?”

CFO: “Well, today we want you to write out in as much detail as possible what you would do if you were going to be here for two months. Then tomorrow we have three interns arriving and we’d like you to walk them through the manual.”

I left pretty quickly. I kept my deposit, but still…