Clients from Hell

Submit your story
July 26, 2014
"I need these words changed. I am sending a picture of the changes so you can just copy and paste them."
July 25, 2014

I was designing a one-page brochure for a client that was supposed to provide the copy. When the copy arrived, it was a four-page Word document. 

Me: Umm, I think you’re going to have to remove some of copy, there’s no way we’ll be able to fit all this text into a one-page brochure.

Client: Are you sure?

Me: I’m absolutely sure!

Client: Okay, we’ll reduce the copy to one page. I’ll send you a new file.

Ten minutes later, an email comes in.

Client: Okay, it was tricky, but we finally got the text to fit.

I open the attachment, and, amazingly, they managed to get the copy down to one page.

Unfortunately, they didn’t remove any - they just used a size 3 font. 

July 20, 2014
"Here’s the information for that article. Also, I was wondering why you haven’t written that article yet."
July 11, 2014

Me: We can’t advise using this image for the banner you wanted. Do you have the original photo?

Client: No, this is all I have. Why can’t you use it?

Me: Because it’s a small, low-resolution image, it’ll look horrendous when blown up to the banner size.

Client: Can’t you use the computer to make it bigger?

Me:  That’s not how it works. Can you get hold of the original photo? I can see what I can do with that if you have it.

Client: Jesus, if you don’t want the work, then just say so. Don’t make up f***ing excuses. Are you going to do it or not?

Me: We can do it, but it’s going to look terrible unless you can send me a larger image

Client: Why?

July 08, 2014

Client: I need a quote for my book.

Me: I’ll be happy to offer a quote, ma’am. Can you tell me a little about your book and the services you would like, please?

Client: It’s just a book.

Me: Yes, I understand, but there are many different kinds of books: fiction, non-fiction, technical, medical. I need to know a little more about your book, like how long it is, to offer a quote. How many words are in your manuscript?

Client: Can’t you just give me a price?

Me: Yes, I could, but I would just be guessing, and that wouldn’t serve either of us. Wouldn’t you rather have an accurate quote?

Client: That’s ridiculous! It’s just a book! 

July 06, 2014

We’ve been setting up a campaign for a chewing gum brand for over the past five months. With two weeks until launch, the client still hadn’t sent any copy for the final screen, which was supposed to comprise of one or two lines as a call to action. Everything else was ready.  

Me: Hi guys, just a reminder that we haven’t got the approved copy for the share screen. We’re still using Lorem Ipsum as a placeholder. Do you know when we will have it?

Client: We’re sorry for the delay! Hold tight, the copy is being created as we speak.

One week prior to launch…

Me: Hi guys, we’re a week from launch and we still don’t have the approved copy. Where are we on this?

Client: We have great news! The final copy was approved! Please set everything up so we can go live as planned. Thank you.

Me: That’s great! Though, we still don’t have the approved copy. Can you send it our way?

Two days before launch…

Client: Oh, sorry guys! Looks like no one copied you on that email, but as (previous person) said, the copy was approved! Please proceed. Thanks.

Me: Could you send us exactly what you want the screen to say?

Launch day…

Client: Oh ok, sure! It’s “Share this content.” Thank you.

July 04, 2014

Client: I should have an answer for you by the end of the day. Also, in the future, send clean emails only please.

Me: I’m not sure I understand what you mean by “clean emails.”

Client: You just did it! We have limited bandwidth! Please clean emails before you send!

Me: Are you talking about attachments? I don’t think I’ve included any. What exactly are you seeing?

Client: You keep doing it! If you’re going to send me emails, I need them cleaned first!

Considering she reacts like this to each attempt at clarification via email, I call her on the phone.

Me: Hi, I want to make sure I understand this situation with the emails and I didn’t want to risk sending you another one. What are you seeing?

Client: It’s just that we don’t have a lot of bandwidth here and we don’t have enough space for emails that aren’t clean.

Me: But what do you mean by “clean?”

Client: Look, I don’t know the terminology. Do you see how I clean all of my emails before I send them to you?

Me: Hang on, are you talking about the conversation thread in the body of the email when we reply to each other?

Client: Right! All of that is stuff I don’t have room for on my computer. I just don’t see why you need to remind me of what I just said. I know what I said, I just emailed it to you! Just clean it out before you send.

Me: Uh, that’s fine, I can do that. Just so you know, though, the conversation thread in the body of these emails takes up almost no file size whatsoever. Text is very tiny, space-wise.

Client: Well, it adds up.

Me: Right. Anyhow, the voiceover has been edited if you’d like to hear it. I’m not sure how best to have you listen to it, though.

Client: Why can’t you email me an MP3?

June 23, 2014

Me: The best way to handle web changes is a staging site. You can review on your computer before it goes live.

Client: Sounds like it’ll slow down the process. Just print out the site whenever you make a change and I’ll approve them.

June 17, 2014

I was working on a large website for a client in April, 2013. At the end of the month, he moved the launch date up two weeks.

I told him that I will do my best to accommodate the change, but that I’ll need the content as soon as possible to do so. A week goes by with no response. I reach out again, asking for the content. Again, no reply.

I regularly reach out to no response, until, two weeks after the proposed launch date, he explains that they’re “busy” and they don’t have the time to develop the content.

After six months, I stop pestering him.

In  May, 2014, this client (with no warning) starts sending the content, with the last of it arriving on a Friday. On Saturday, he sent the following:

Client: Just touching base to make sure we can launch by early Monday morning. Maybe a trial run Sunday night? As always, thanks for your help. Don’t know what we’d do without you.

June 13, 2014

Client: I’ve attached the copy I need you to use!

Attached were screenshots of text, but they were weren’t screenshots of a single page. Rather, each line ran from left to right from screenshot one all the way to screenshot six, before going back to screenshot one for the next line.