Clients from Hell

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August 01, 2014

The client asked me to add headshots of their board of directors to their website.

Me: The headshots are poor quality. They are too low res to use on a professional site.

Client: Are you sure? They are from a high res photo.

Me: What do you mean they are from a high res photo? They are very small files and are very pixilated. Do you have the original high res photos?
The client sends over a high res photo featuring a group shot of the board of directors.

Client: We cropped the headshots from this high res photo we took at our last meeting. They are definitely high res.

Me: The original photo was high res, yes. But when you crop it down to a hundred pixels or so, it can hardly be considered “high res.”

Client: That doesn’t make any sense. They came from a high res photo. 

My agency offers free printing for menus we design. Obviously, we do not provide this service for things we do not design.

Me: We are not inclined to print any of these menus for free, considering we did not design them. If they would still like for us to print them, it will be $XXXX total.

Client: Please print the 2000 burger menus and 1000 kids menus for delivery tomorrow. I spoke with my boss, and if we can do this initial run at no charge, I will let him know the value of this effort and that it will cost him this amount for future runs.

Me: I don’t think you understand - we will not be printing the menus for free that someone else designed. Please let me know if they are willing to accept the costs.

Client: I don’t think they will. We already committed to printing them for free. 

July 31, 2014

I worked for a start-up advertising agency who asked me to shoot a mock-up ad for a perspective client. They provided a high-quality studio-made photo as a guide for what they were looking for.

Me: Okay, let me put together a budget for all the equipment I will need. 

Client: Oh we don’t have the budget for that. Can’t you just Photoshop in all the lighting? 

I quit shortly after that. 

"We were very clear that we wanted a ‘burned’ paper look. This paper looks like it was scorched by fire."
July 30, 2014
"I could have asked my daughter to make this (she has the same computer as you, you know?), but she is so lazy!"

A client contracted me to build his business website. This phone call happened six months after they had approved the design. The issue at hand was that, despite multiple reminders, they never sent me the copy they were obligated to provide. In addition, I only ever spoke to the businesses’ secretary, and never the person in charge.

Me: Hi, I just wanted to follow up on the status of your website.

Client: We actually just signed with another firm to do our website.

Me: You do know that you gave us a $1,200 non-refundable initial payment for the site, right? Are you sure you don’t want us to finish the job?

Client: My boss was disappointed when you asked us for the copy for the site. He said he didn’t pay you so that he would have to write the text himself.

Me: How am I supposed to know what to write on your site? I don’t know anything about your business and what you offer (not to mention that the contract explicitly states that the client must provide the copy)…

Client: My boss said he will be speaking with his lawyer about suing you.

I never heard from the lawyer. 

July 29, 2014

The following occurred over the phone when a client had a minor issue with the site I built for him.

Client: Hi, the margin between the logo and the content is wrong. Can you simply change it while I’m on the phone?

Me: Sure. Did you want the margin to be bigger or smaller?

Client: Can you increase it about by 50%?

Me: Sure. How’s that?

Client: No, that’s not right. It’s too much. Can you decrease it slightly?

Me: Sure. How’s that for you?

Client: Sorry, it’s still not quite right.

After ten minutes of "a little more" and "a little less," the client tells me it’s spot on.

After they hang up, I realized that I had made a mistake. I had been viewing my local copy of the site, and they had been viewing the live version. I never once uploaded the changed file. 

Client: I need you to remove those pixels from the page headline.

Me: What pixels?

Client: The two grey pixels between the “E” and the “T” in the title headline. I can’t understand why you put them there in the first place.

Me: The headline is the company logo on a white background. I can’t see any grey pixels there.

Client: Oh, they disappeared!

Me: Sounds very, very strange… Did you do anything to make them go away?

Client: No, not really. I just moved the browser window. Wait! They’re on my desktop now! How on earth did that happen??

I told the client to dust-wipe his screen. Problem solved.

July 28, 2014
via Jesie Castro

I’m supposed to be designing a brochure for a client. An aggressive timeline was set months ago. It would allow me two weeks to design a 40-page brochure, get it proofed, get it approved, and get it to print. I was supposed to have all the images and copy prior to that two-week deadline.

When I only received 18 of several dozen images, I requested a meeting. This piece has to be laid out in chronological order, so it was absolutely necessary to have all the resources before I built anything more than my template.

Client: But you’re still on track to complete this project on time, right?

Me: You missed your copy deadline and I’m missing most of the images. Do you know when I will receive the rest of the content and copy?

Client: No, but you can still get it done on time, right?

Me: You don’t know when you are going to get me the rest of the resources, but you still want me to promise I’ll meet the deadline?

Client: Yes.