At the last phase of a brand identity project, which included a logo and business cards, I sent the final proofs as the (contractually stipulated) deliverables…
Client: This is perfect! Where do I pay?
Me: Great! I’ll send you a PayPal link.
The client pays and I send the deliverables. A few hours pass…
Client: I need the full color version of the logo in .psd.
Me: The proposal you signed at the outset mentions it only includes it in .png and .eps formats. The .png has a transparent background. What are you planning to use it for?
Client: I normally get a .psd from designers when I get work done. Plus it makes it easier for me when I’m building websites, etc.
Me: No problem. Since you have Photoshop, open up the .png and save it as a .psd. Also, I need you to sign the Project Completion Form as soon as you can.
Client: I don’t feel like the project is complete, I didn’t receive all of the files.
Me: Won’t renaming the .png to .psd to that for you though?
Client: I don’t understand why I should need to go to the trouble. Send the .psd and we’ll see.
A client wanted a website with a horizontal slider as the main graphic. A few hours before the site was set to go live, client demanded the slider be made vertical.
Me: I can do that, but the pictures will have to be cropped since they are all shot horizontally.
Client: No, we only have vertical images.
I open the folder with the entire selection of photos client personally selected and approved months ago (and were used in 1000+ flyers that were recently sent out).
Client: Throw these away. I have never seen a single of these images and don’t want them to be used anywhere.
A day before the deadline and following the contract-obligated number of revisions…
Me: Here is your proof copy with low-res images. Upon approval, we’ll provide a final high-resolution file.
Client: Looks great! Approved.
I sent the client the final high-resolution file I promised, expecting final payment in return.
Client: I don’t understand why you’re sending this to me. Didn’t we already approve this?
Client: Can we add a graph?
Me: So we’re not finalized? Okay, sure. What should the graph depict?
Client: Why the customer should choose us?
Me: Do you have any content to support the graph?
Client: No. My partner is on vacation. Approval is on hold until she returns to explain it to you.
She was coming back in three weeks. Hopefully with my final payment…
I live in the UK. A while ago while working as a copywriter I wrote and proofed about 60+ pages of web content. After chasing the client for sign-off on that stage of the project for a week, they turned around and said the copy was not good enough and that there were a number of spelling and grammatical errors.
I asked them to be more specific, and they pointed out “focussed”, the only error they could find - though, quoting them “I’m sure there were more when I last looked…”
Anyways, focused/focussed can be spelled both ways in the UK. And I’m still out quite a bit of money.
"I’m a banker. Are you really going to try and get away with charging me late fees?"
Responding to query about a t-shirt design with a quick turnaround. After sending the potential client my portfolio…
Client: Can you sketch/design a graphic of this? If we like it, we will pay you and use it on a t-shirt.
Me: I can do a sketch, but this isn’t a situation where you pay me if you end up using my work. Look through my portfolio, decide if you like my work, and you can commission me to create a graphic for you based on all that information. So, with that said, my rate for this type of drawing is $60. Let me know if you’re still interested in working with me and I’ll be happy to get started.
Client: I can’t believe you would talk to your boss this way. You are a fired.
Me: I can’t believe you’d ask an “employee” to work for free.
Client: You aren’t an “employee”. Did you get my previous message? You are a fired.
After several out-of-scope-revisions, I asked the client to put in place a set of final acceptance criteria. The client agreed, drafted it up in writing, and had me implement the final changes according to the detailed specifications they provided.
Client: We just want you to make a few more changes. It’s not quite what we were looking for.
Me: Sure, I’ll write up an estimate based on the amount of time and effort that should take.
Client: Well, we were hoping you could roll it into our ongoing changes. After all, we never technically signed off on the last set of changes.
Me: You wrote them though.
Client: Maybe, but I don’t remember signing anything.
At the start of a website project:
Me: If you have your own design in mind that you can give to me, the project will cost (x). But if you want to start from scratch, you’ll need to pay (2x) for me to bring in a designer.
She stated that they have no idea about what kind of design they wanted, and paid me the extra to get a designer. Two months later and over 200 hours of work on the site, the site was ready to go live the next day (the deadline). Then…
Client: I’ve attached the design we want to go with, if you could just make that happen that would be great! Thanks! :)
Attached was a 200mb PDF.
I would chalk it up to an error in communication, if she hadn’t sat through 5 design meetings with the designer and I, hammering out details.
Nine months after delivering a website to a client, I had the following email exchange.
Client: Hey, my computer isn’t working, could you tell me what’s wrong with it?
Me: Sorry, I don’t do computer repairs for clients, I only sell web design services. You’ll probably need to contact whoever you bought the computer from, or take it to a computer repair shop.
Client: Well, you built me a website, correct? And part of that contract was that the site would be available from any computer, correct? Well, I cannot access MY website from MY computer, so that makes this YOUR problem.
Me: I don’t think you are understand how our contract works.
Client: No. I don’t think YOU understand. My lawyer will explain it to you.
Two years later, I’m still waiting to hear from said lawyer.
A client was referred to me to have her hardware product repackaged. Somebody was assembling these things in his garage, and frankly, they didn’t look very professionally-made.
Me: Okay, I’ll quote 100 hours (at my 20-years-ago rate) to redo this from the ground up. It’ll be in a more attractive, more durable case, and most importantly, you’ll be able to get it manufactured in bulk quantities instead of the way you’re doing it now.
Client: That sounds fine, but I can’t afford your quote.
ME: I understand. It’s tough to scale up a small business. So I’ll tell you what: if you let me build the first 500 units, I’ll build an extra margin into the manufacturing quote to recover my design and engineering expenses. You won’t be out any money up front, and I’ll recover my fee as your customers pay you.
Client: Okay, sounds great!
Six months or so later, I’ve built about 100 units and momentum is building. I’m hopeful that she might be able to sell the additional 400 I need to break even within the next six months.
Client: We’ve looked at the numbers, and we’ve decided that your price is too high for these. We can get them made by [X] for [just about exactly my fee margin less].
Me: Yes, our agreement was that they would be more expensive so that I could recover my design fee.
Client: Yeah, but we can get them made cheaper since you did the redesign. So that’s what we’re going to do.