I'm in college studying graphic design. My friend gets a big offer that will require a ton of work and he asks me if I can help out. The offer is really attractive; it's creating a lot of materials for a Food Truck event and it will be huge for both our wallets and portfolios.
He responds to the offer but the organizer never emails us back. We make our peace and didn't think about it again, until...
Friday, 5 pm: The organizer texts my friend because he needs a banner that has to be printed the same day.
My friend, of course, texts me because there is more work to be done over the weekend. I, very stupidly, agree because I need some cash.
Then my friend tells me that the organizer is crazy, has no idea what he is doing, and is shady about the money... somehow I'm still open-minded.
On Saturday at 12 pm I find out he will contact me after all, because he has come to his senses.
He has not.
He messages me on Facebook (how professional) explaining what he needs. He seems quite put together from the first few texts but soon I see the problem.
He needs two projects done in two days except he has a hundred ideas for what he wants but isn't certain about any of them. Two days before he needs everything, he's still brainstorming the name of the food truck with me. He seems to be playing some weird game with me where he'll give me hints... because as we all know a design is actually a riddle and the client isn't supposed to tell you what they want.
So after three hours of him brainstorming in my DMs and me shaking at my desk unable to figure out what he actually wants the project to look like, I tell him I won't do it...
He laughs at me, tells me I'm weak and I just respond 'Yes, goodbye'.
Client: Can please make a shiny logo like this one?
They show me a link with a metallic effect as a JPEG.
Me: "Can I have please the draft?"
I'm asking for .PSD or .AI format or any format as long as its not a JPEG.
Client: That's all I have.
Okay this is tough.
Me: Okay, let's see what I can do out of these. This may take longer than expected.
Later, I send the logo effect she wants. The colours changed a bit due to the bright effect as she requested a shiny/metallic effect.
Client: WOW! This is beautiful! You are clever. However, the colours don't match the original colours. Can we please make it darker to follow the original colour format?
Client: To go along with his bio page, take this picture of him from last summer and photoshop his head onto some other body from google images or something. We want something real professional-looking, you know classy. We find it is cheaper to just do this than, you know, actually get a photographer and stuff.
Another "let's save money by making more work for the designer" moment, from the Clients From Hell archives.
I do audio for video games. One of my first clients was doing a medieval-themed chess game. The following conversation happened:
Me: So, do you have any reference on how the music should sound?
Client: I want something epic with strong melodies, like the old Sonics or Mario. Something that'll stick in your head.
Me: Hmm I think we should go with something more light. Chess games are games where you think a lot and you don't want intense music that burns your head out.
Client: I get your point, but I really want melodies that'll stick with you.
Me: I Highly recommend against that. Players will turn off the music.
Client: Sticky. Music.
I'm working in the customer support of a tourism booking platform where users can rent out their properties. I receive a weird request from one of the users.
User: I continuously receive unwanted reservations! Please help me out!
The user has his own place available on the platform website for possible reservations. After reading this email, I call the user right away to better understand the situation.
User: Thanks for your call. As you can see, I have got plenty of reservations for the next months. I'd never accepted any of them! I'd like to cancel them all, please!
Me: I perfectly understand the situation and I am here to help you. Are you aware of having the Instant Booking option on? With this option, users can book instantly your place right away without asking for your confirmation.
User: ...Instant what? Please just help me cancel the reservations. I am without any internet connection and the next guest arrives tomorrow. I cannot host him as I'm on holiday now.
It turns out that the user didn't know about the Instant Booking option and I now need to educate him. Using all my soft skills, I inform him that he'll have to pay a penalty fee for the cancellations required as he's damaging other user's experiences. I also have to support his ex-guests in finding new locations. It's a hard task but I complete it professionally. Finally, I also receive a thank you email from the Instant Booking user.
User: Thank you so much for your help! Can you please call me when you are available? I'd like to have some tips for having more reservations.
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A client sends through a “draft” contract to me. The payment section is blank.
Client: Have you signed the contract yet?
Me: No. It looks fine, but the payment section is blank. We agreed on $80k. If you can fill the blanks with the amount you agreed to, I’ll sign.
Client: Yep! We’ll fill it in after you’ve signed.
Me: Does anyone ever fall for that?
Client: Not enough people for my liking, to be honest.
Client: Your photos are wrong.
Me: How so?
Client: The colours are off. My pictures are better.
Me: Did you use a smartphone by any chance?
Client: Yes! How did you know that?
Me: Send me the pictures
I then use £5K's worth of computer to crunch 32bit 50Megapixel HDR images taken on £6K's worth of gear into 8-bit sRGB that resemble smartphone shots.
Client: Great work! I love them!
A client shows me an eCommerce site they want to be built.
Me: What you want is about a $20,000 website.
They later tell me:
Client: We found a guy who lives in a cabin who just needs money. He's gonna do the whole site for $1,000.
He didn’t work out.
Another "you get what you pay for" moment, from the Clients From Hell archives.