I was asked to do a “very simple” and “very small” project for a roofing company - they needed a presentation folder. The project was given to me on a Wednesday evening at around 7 PM. I was told to have it done by Thursday afternoon.
I received a call at around midnight on Wednesday
Client: Where’s the project? We’re running late.
Me: It’s not even Thursday yet.
Client: I just got to China, and it’s already Thursday here. Noon, to be more exact. Which makes you late.
Flustered, I stayed up until 4a to complete it using the criteria they gave: follow the website aesthetic, use the following elements, use the logo from the website (which I had to redraw due to its small size), use the corporate colours, etc.
I then get a call from the client’s mother-in-law, explaining (on behalf of her son), that they don’t like the colour choices, the elements I used, etc. She less-than-politely told me to start over.
Me: I’m afraid we’re already well outside what we agreed on as per our contract, and I would have to charge additional time if you want any more changes.
Client: You’re greedy and a cheat. I want our deposit back.
Me: I’m sorry, but you’ve already breached our contract several times and I’ve been polite enough to ignore the penalties that come with doing so.
Client: I’m in China, there’s nothing you can do.
Me: I still have not received the deposit for your event tonight.
Client: Oh, I’ll get that to you next week.
A first-time call from a Real Estate client is spent outlining a potential project over the course of a couple of hours. The client asks if I can come over right away to handle the final details in person. Upon arriving…
Client: Do you work for free?
Me: Do you give away houses?
After finalizing the designs I have worked on at the direction of the client for the past three months, the client messaged me to say that her supervisors have not provided her with the budget for the booklet and she has no means to pay me.
Client: But if you want a copy of the booklet for free, it’s on the house :)
Me: Here’s the new website wireframe. We wanted your approval before we transfer all your old content to the new site.
Client: I love it! You hit it spot on.
Me: Great! I’ll go ahead and start moving content.
A few days later…
Me: Hey, haven’t heard from you in a while. Do you have those log in credentials I asked for? We’re not able to log into your old site anymore and we need access to transfer the content over.
Client: I changed the passwords.
Me: What? Why?
Client: I hated the new site you designed and wanted to stay with the one I have now. I’d rather not continue work with you.
I dropped the project and moved on. A week later, I hear back from the client.
Client: Help! I tried moving my old content to the new site and everything is broken now!
Me: I thought you hated that site.
Client: I changed my mind. How much to move everything over?
Me: Does that include the designs you never paid me for?
Client: Well obviously, I’d prefer to pay less…
Client: I want to pay by credit card
Me: No worries! I process credit card payments through Paypal, so can accept Visa or Mastercard
Client: Excellent, here my Amex number…
A client for whom I designed two logos – neither of which were ever paid for – contacted me two years after the completion of the projects to inquire upon my mailing address, saying that he was going to finally get around to paying for the work. I told him that it was okay, I had written off the projects from the books, and that I was not concerned about receiving payment for them any longer; it had been long enough, and I was not worried about it. Insistent upon restoring his good name, he wanted to make amends, and so I obliged and provided my mailing address at which the checks could be sent.
The checks never came.
Months later, he contacted me again saying that he wanted to make sure that he still had the correct mailing address. “This time,” he said, “I really intended to send the money. Again, I assured him that he did not need to pay. And again, he said that he felt obliged to pay. So I provided the address once more.
The checks still never came.
Another year passed – it’s now over three years since the original projects were completed – and the client contacted me with an RFP requesting for an entirely new project.
Obviously, I did not answer with a proposal.
Three days later, I received a text message that simply said: “Please respond. I love you.”
Love doesn’t pay the bills, buddy.
"I told the boys about you and we think the price is fine. We will do it this way: you send us the logo with a watermark or whatever and if we like it, we will pay you."
I did some work for a client involving website design and photographs of his company’s products. I finished the projects about two months before I was planning to leave the country and asked the client to send over the payment. After numerous reassurances that the check would be sent out by his accountant, he finally stopped responding to my emails, texts, and calls after more than a month of hounding.
The week before I left the country, I received an email from him that told me a check would be sent out that week... meaning I wouldn’t be able to ascertain if he had actually done so until I returned two months later. Fast forward two months, and of course, the check was never sent.
I once again contacted him to ask for the payment, and a few weeks after I emailed him, he told me that his old accountant was terrible and unreliable and that he’d since gotten a new one. He assured me that that I would receive the payment within a week. Then he asked if I was free to design a few other items he needed. I told him I would, but that I would need a 50% deposit upfront this time.
I haven’t heard from him since.