Client: Can I see how the project is going?
Me: Sure! This is a work in progress right now, so it’s in black and white for the moment. I’ll add color later, so try to focus your feedback on the composition.
Client: Hmm… It needs more color.
I recently had a client ask me to send out an email blast via Mailchimp. I went to sign in, and my password no longer worked. I clicked the link to reset it and find out that the client changed my account to be under his email address.
Me: Hey, looks like you changed the account details on Mailchimp.
Client: I did!
Me: Would you mind sending me the new credentials then?
Client: Why do you need those?
Moral of the story, even if you set up an account for a client, never share the login information unless you absolutely have to.
Last year I worked for a new “design agency.” The company was set up by two people and neither had any experience of working as a designer. One of them had worked in marketing and the other had some sales experience but no experience of working in design (btw his job title was head of design). On the first day after a brief call telling me that they wanted me to work on a packaging project, I received another call.
Client: Have you started the project?
Me: No not yet, could you send over the brief so that I can start on this?
Client: What kind of information would you need?
Me: Dimensions, any previously signed off colours, fonts, etc, etc.
Client: I’m just not sure where to get that kind of information.
Me: Just get it from the company you’re working for.
Client: But how would I get it from them?
Me: Just send them an email.
Client: Could I do that?
I’m a freelance writer working for a local newspaper. I’d been assigned to write an article about a local theater company that was leaving town. I spent several weeks trying to get in touch with the director of the theater company, leaving him numerous phone messages and E-mail asking him to call me back.
Three weeks go by. Nothing.
So I finally decide to talk to someone else from the company. He happily gives me all the information I need for my article. I wrote it up, sent it off, and my editors loved it.
The next day, the papers are printed and distributed. Guess who calls the office in a huff? Yup…Mr. Theater Director who suddenly has all the time in the world to piss and moan about the article. Unfortunately, I wasn’t present for the conversation, but from what I understand, it went something like this:
Director: I am appalled that your writer didn’t talk to me at all before running this article! She didn’t even try to contact me!
Editor: That’s a lie. This writer called and E-mailed you several times over the past few weeks requesting an interview. Why are you just now responding to this?
Director: Well…I didn’t think she was actually going to WRITE the article!
Client: My internet doesn’t work!
Me: Can you tell me what you see on the computer screen?
Client: It’s black!
Me: Is your computer turned on?
Client: Of course it is! the green light is on!
Me: Can you try restarting the computer?
Client: I can’t – the tower is in the shop!
Me: So the green light is on your monitor?
Client: Yeah! My computer!
Client: I got an email saying that I received a “direct message” on “Twitter,” but the email didn’t include what it said. If this is some message from Twitter, where is the message to be found?
Me: You can find it on Twitter. Here is your login information.
Client: Thanks, but I wouldn’t even know where to locate “Twitter”. Sounds like something in the “cloud”…
This is an actual conversation with a client over email. Because they are on the other side of the world, we have a 12 hour delay to each response. Note - the file in question is a 75MB .WAV file.
Me: Thanks for your order. Because the file size is too big, please follow the link below to access your product. If you have any problems, please let me know.
Client: Hey! Thanks for the email. There wasn’t anything attached, though. Can you please send again?
Me: Yep - the file is too big to attach. There was a link at the bottom of the email. Here it is again:
Client: You forgot to attach the file again.
Me: I didn’t forget. I provided a link to where you can download it.
Client: YOU STILL HAVEN’T ATTACHED IT!
Me: I can’t attach the file - it is too big. You can download it here. Click this link and you will get it.
Client: You’re so incompetent. How can you not attach a file to an email? What the f*** are you doing in this business? Attach the f***ing file or give me a refund.
Me: The file is TOO BIG TO ATTACH. Click THIS LINK. FROM THERE YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE FILE.
Client then logs a dispute on PayPal. They never clicked the link or accessed the file.