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I bet every designer or developer that have contact with clients or interact with them have had a day they wanted to kill a client. Ever heard of Clients from Hell? Sure you have. It could be portrayed as a phrase or as the site that has a gnarly roundup of Client from Hell situations some designers find themselves in. I have gone about rounding up 20 Epic Clients from Hell moments that I wanted to share with you. Hopefully you find them as “Epic” as I have.

1. Client sent me some complex logos (as JPEGs) in order to vectorize them.

Client: “What exactly is taking so long? If I knew it would take so long, I’d have done it myself.”
Me: “Vectorizing the logos takes some time because—”
Client: “Time? Renaming files from *.jpg to *.eps takes time?!”

2. Client asking me what his username is.

Client: “What’s my username?”
Me: “It’s your first name, a space and then your last name.”
Client: ”How am I supposed to remember that?”

3. Working with a comedienne that I’ve done video work for previously.

Client: “Can you look at this promo video we did? Do you have time to re-edit it?”
Me: “Sure, what’s wrong with it?”
Client: “It’s not funny. “
Me: “How can I help?”
Client: “I was wondering if you can make it funny.”
Me: “Well, is the content good? Funny material?”
Client: “No.”

4. Helping a client open his website for the first time.

Me: “OK, let’s start by opening your web browser.”
Client: “Web browser? Oh, you mean Internet Explorer?”
Me: “Sure, that’ll work. Now you’re going to click on the web address window at the top of your browser and type in…”
Client: “Wait, wait, slow down. What do you mean by click?”
Me: “… like, click with your mouse button.”
Client: “Mouse button? What? Man, this is really confusing.”

5. Could you install Windows on a computer?

Client: ”How much do you charge to install Windows on a computer?”
Me: “$85”
Client: ”Is it going to be legal?”
Me: ”Yes.”
Client: “How much do you charge for a pirated copy?”
Me: ”$10,000 or 10 years in prison.”

6. Could you build my daughter a website?

Client: “Would you like to design a website for my daughter? She started her own company and I’m very proud of her.”
Me: “That’s very nice of you, what kind of company is it?”
Client: “She mows lawns in our neighborhood.”

7. Being a student designer

Me: “Well sir, the total for your new logo, business cards and menu designs is $350.”
Client: “Are you kidding me? The reason I chose a student designer was to get something cheap, plus help you out for your portfolio. I could have went to a professional and paid much less.”
Me: “Um, that’s not true. I spent a lot of time dealing with your daughter who insisted on multiple revisions to the logo, and you ended up with a look that everyone is pleased with. This same project might have cost you 10 times the amount I’m charging you. I think it’s a great deal.”
Client: “I highly doubt that. It’s just words and colors. Plus, our satisfaction has nothing to do with the amount we pay you. I’ll send you a check for what I think is fair.”

I got a check for 100 bucks. With “here you go asshole” written in the memo.

8. Email Campigns




9. Boss charges into my office furiously, two days after the company site goes live.

Boss: “Carl just showed me that people can right-click our site and view all our code.”
Me: “Well, yes, that’s how web browsers work.”
Boss: “Take the whole thing down, now! I’ll be damned if I’m going to give our competitors all our god-damn code!”

10. The Coupon Puzzle

Client: “I have patented an exciting new marketing technique, the [Coupon Puzzle]. Consumers will receive envelopes with puzzle pieces that they will have to assemble to find out what the coupon is. Have you ever designed a puzzle before?”
Me: “I can’t say that I have, but it shouldn’t be a problem. Can you give me specifics on the file set-up from your printing company?”
Client: “Actually, I’d like for you to design the [coupon puzzle] first, then you can market your design to businesses in your area. I was thinking [coupon puzzles] would work great on pizza boxes, in local newspaper racks, gas stations etc. Once you make some sales, we can determine the quantity to print. These [coupon puzzles] are really going to be the next big thing in the coupon industry, even the executives at Valpak thought it was a great idea. And you are going to have a monopoly in your area. You will keep 5% of all sales you make.”
Me: “So.. you want me to design the piece, sell the product, and handle the printing? And my pay would be based on sales?”
Client: “Yes.”

11. Recreating Google

Client: “I have a great idea, and I’d like to bring you on board as a partner.”
Me: “Go on..”
Client: “It’s great. I want to recreate Google, but make it better.”
Me: “How?”
Client: “Well that’s where your expertise comes in.”

12. Make Blue Warmer please

Client: “We’ve decided we need a warmer blue in our logo.”
Me: “Blue is a cool color.”
Client: “Well, just make it warmer, whatever that takes.”
Me: “It’s impossible. Blue either becomes green or purple.”
Client: “We don’t like either of those options. Just do your best to warm it up without changing it dramatically. You’re the designer. We know you can do it.”

13. Its a “BIG” sign

Client: “Well, how big is your computer?”
Me: “My, uh… How big?”
Client: “Yeah. How big? Is it big enough to handle a big sign?”
Me: “Well it’s a newer MacBook Pro so, like I said, I shouldn’t have any trouble.”
Client: “No, like how many inches?”
Me: “Um, well… It has a 17-inch screen.”
Client: “Well that won’t work. We need something that’s thirty or forty inches wide. It’s a big sign.”

14. Where is the HTML

Client: “This is absolutely wrong. Where’s all the HTML. We want the HTML?”
Me: “I don’t understand. All the files should be on the flash drive we gave you yesterday.”
Client: “Well… whats all this php jumbo-mumbo?”
Me: “PHP is just a language. It does all the work for your CMS. You can’t have CMS with only HTML files.
Client: “I get it. You just don’t understand. WEB-SITES-ARE-MADE-OF-H-T-M-L… or did you not learn that in whatever school you went to?”
Me: “I didn’t go to college.”
Client: “I’m working with a bunch of idiots.”

15. What is your budget?

Client: “I want my website to have a forum, and a blog, and e-commerce, and photos, and videos, and podcasts, and a place where people can make their own profile and talk to other people like Twitter.”
Me: “Ok, what is your budget for this project?”
Client: “Oh, well, I mean, like $200.”

16. Change the Font please.

Client: “The logo looks great, but can we change the address font to Arabic? I need it for my Middle Eastern viewers.”
Me: “Actually, Arabic is a name of that font you sent me, it doesn’t actually change the words into another language. I can purchase a actual Arabic font, and figure out how to turn it into Arabic….”
Client: “So New Times Roman doesn’t change the words into Italian?”
Me: “No, Times New Roman is just a standard…”
Client: “Are you sure? Let me call you back after I check Word 2009. I have the newest version, so maybe it only does it in the newer version. I’ll give you a call back later today. Thanks.”

17. We like to Watch.

Client: “Would it be okay if we do a remote screen sharing or something like that?”
Me: “What, for the visitors on the website? That’s not really possible…”
Client: “No, for you. We need to watch you work. My wife is very protective of certain parts of the code”

18. Wanting a New Package Design for a Product.

Client: “…so as I said we want you to show us six different design ideas for the package.”
Me: “Sure!”
Client: “Can you send them next Friday?”
Me: “Friday? Maybe that’s a bit early, but we can try…”
Client: “Did I mentioned that the products are already manufactured, and they’re only waiting for the package design? So the designs you send should be really polished, because we want to finish this whole procedure next Sunday.”
Me: “OK, I’ll be honest with you. We have other ongoing projects. We can assign two designers on this, but it’s still a lot of work, not to mention that we’ll sacrifice at least one of our weekends, so it’ll cost you more than our regular price.”
Client: “That’s OK. Our budget is $150. I hope it’s enough.”

19. Just enhance the images.

Client: “I’ve sent the image. I can’t wait to see the final product.”
Me: “This image is 115px x 148px at 72dpi. Typically we need images around 1000px and higher with around 150+dpi.”
Client: “Can’t you just Enhance the images like they do in CSI.”

20. Design me a site please.

Client: I need you to design a small website for me. How much do you charge?
Me: I bill at $XX per hour.
Client: OK, great. Please don’t spend more than 2 hours on it, less is better.

21. I want it to be like Facebook.

Client: “I want it to be like Facebook”
Me: “Did you have a budget in mind for this project?”
Client: “I need to get it done for under $500.”

So do you have any Client from Hell experiences? Let us know below.

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About the Author:
Jacques is the CEO and Founder of the An1ken Group. Connect with him: Jacquesvh.com - @Jacquesvh - Facebook - Instagram - Pinterest - Google+
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  • http://nenuno.co.uk Daniel

    Point 9 cracked me up, excellent post!

  • http://ivanbernat.com Ivan

    Yup, I love those $200 for a 500 hours-of-work projects.

  • http://Www.laser-red.com Liam O’Leary

    What are these clients on. They all seem to have no IT skills or no sense of time and money.

    We get some clients like these, completely hopeless.

    Designers have a harder time of it I think with development you can turn around and spite off a load of jargon and the client will have no idea what you are on about so they think you know what you are doing. But when you say a need a day to complete a design they think, he’s ripping us off I can do a drawin in an hour why can’t he?

    Maybe we should turn it back on them. Depending on what they do, ask them for their services at a tenth of the price!

  • http://Www.laser-red.com Liam O’Leary

    Just remembered a right nightmare client that we decided not to work with

    One thing he said was, “your quote says you will install Google Analytics, I don’t want it because Google will spy on me and reduce my ranking”

    Idiot!

  • sjsw

    Funny stuff…made me laugh out loud. The thing about almost all of these situations though is that the clients “expectations” were not managed very well from a marketing standpoint. I’ve never had any of these problems because I’ve positioned my business as “high-end” both in terms of quality and service as well as price. I make as much on 15 projects a year as a lot of my local competition would make on 50 or 60. Does it take a little bit more marketing work to do this? You bet it does, including being a member of my local Chamber of Commerce, BBB, etc. but it’s worth it to me to not have to deal with the “fast food” design customer who thinks that websites and logos should be a “dollar menu” item. Bottom line, if you’re doing quality, professional work at fast food prices then you’re doing yourself and the design community a disservice. Get better at marketing, showing the value of your craft and charge what you honestly believe you are worth. Oh, and if you’re one of the hacks out there serving up fast food design (you know who you are). Get the hell out of the business, your ruining it for all the great young designers out there just starting out. You don’t hurt me because I’m an expert at showing clients how what you do is crap but I feel for all the young guys (and gals) out there who haven’t learned marketing well enough to expose you for what you are. At any rate, marketing and managing expectations are the key to avoiding these situations.

    • http://creativeoverflow.net Jacques van Heerden

      I totally totally agree with you. They are not only disrupting the market for up and coming designers. They will have a impact on the entire design industry if it keeps on happening like this. Who does a professional logo for $30? Seriously.

    • cenzi

      you sound like the OTHER side of this story. Very Douchebaggy.

      The point is not “marketing” to smart clients, it’s just that not every one in every other business knows the ins and outs of graphic design and our speak. I once did a poster for a very educated, rich man who had no idea what cut lines were. No need to point fingers and laugh at the man, he learned something new and kept it moving.

      You my friend are what I like to tell my clients are overpriced douchebags who care more about highend marketing than down to earth cool ass clients.

      • Felix

        I couldn’t agree more cenzi! This comment seems to be coming from a real douchebag.
        Dealing with an industry like graphic design(among others) is difficult when your expertise lies in a different area. I work in IT and choose to deal with clients that range from CEOs to the home user. My clients seems to appreciate being dealt with in a honest straightforward manner instead of a condescending douchebaggery way which is very common in IT.

  • http://www.medieval-armor.net Aansy

    superb atleast there are some bloggers who care about there visitors smile. that’s a fun of hell the 2,19,20 are so cool.

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  • http://jessica@bytemypixel.com Jessica Dooley

    These are great, thanks for sharing!!! It’s unbelievable how cheap people think our work should be – I love the “I know someone who can build me a website with a blog for $200″ – I usually just let them know that they are obviously not the client for me – and to always remember: you get what you pay for!

  • http://www.mmipublicrelations.com/blog Ryal Curtis

    Wow, I can only imagine the day when I will be able to use that ”$10,000 or 10 years in prison” line with one of my PR clients. Loved the insight you shared into the client situations. Account Managers can take a lot from how you manged the client in these situations.

  • http://www.julianowebpages.com Bret Juliano

    I like everything on here, except that the title is “20… Moments and there’s 21. Still a great list though.

    • http://www.karenmparr.com Karen

      Well, it says 20 epic moments. Maybe one of them was just okay.

  • http://www.productivedreams.com Gopal Raju

    #11 is the best! LOL!

  • Prasad

    All r Cool… !
    I spl love #11 & #7

  • http://ianadamsstudio.com Ian Adams

    I thought the stories are very funny but there is alot of truth in the types of clients out there requiring our services. There are websites in my opinion that promote bad practice and do our industry a dis-service. I trust you have heard of people per hour.

    It takes time to educate a client into the value designers put into a project.

  • http://www.jsxsolutions.co.uk/ JSX Solutions

    heh, a few of them left me grinning :D

  • Sébastien de Frutos

    I knew a client who shared his screen with someone who worked with him. Fortunately that it wasn’t me. It is a particularly disagreeable attitude.

  • http://www.kowie.co.za Christyn Pienaar

    I got one for everyone.

    Client: “I to create would like a new type of currency”
    Me: “What do you mean, a basket system or points on the site for certain items”
    Client “No, I mean, lets create an online currency with a global influence.”
    Me: “So you are being literal, an entire new currency?”
    Client:”Yes why not, if we create the currency , we can make as much of it for ourselves as we want.”
    Me:”That would be embezzlement and fraud.”
    Client:”Not if its our currency.”

    NO JOKES… my companies first request ever.

    • Guyonline

       well that happened (just not the fraud) it called bitcoins and its a digital currency.

  • http://www.colorfulkingdom.com Shibin

    ROFL ! I HAVE FACED MOST OF THESE ‘HELL’ CLIENTS ESPECIALLY #7. Being a student designer !

    Good Stuff !

    keep’m coming…

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  • http://www.brainyboxer.com Ana

    16 is my favorite but they’re all hilarious.

    My story is: Mind Reading Client

    Client was already unresponsive from 2nd week of job, which she wanted done within 1 month.

    Client: I don’t like this logo. The color is wrong. Why’s this project taking so long?
    Me: What do you not like about it? What do you have in mind? What do you think of the 3 pages of logos we sent you? We can finish right away if you give us your comments and the text.

    Client completely disappears for 2 months. No response, not a single response to any of my attempts to contact her. Then I finally started a payment dispute.

    Client: You took so long I’d to hire someone else.
    Me: Well, you completely disappeared for 2 months and we couldn’t continue the project without your comments.
    Client: I want my money back.
    Me: Well, I can’t give you money back for work we’ve already done but we can finish the remainder of the corporate ID. You do have an outstanding balance with us but it’s alright, just send us the logo and we’ll finish the project.

    Client disappears forever.

  • http://www.expertulpc.com Gadget Guy

    OMG! I laughed my ass off!!! Hillarious! :))

  • http://www.nhoward.com Natalie

    As a designer these posts made me *CRINGE* not laugh.

    The horror!

  • http://aditive.de Peter

    “This image is 115px x 148px at 72dpi. Typically we need images around 1000px and higher with around 150+dpi.”
    When will people understand that an image with a certain size in pixels doesn’t change with different dpi?

  • http://www.codez.in Kumud

    I can totally relate to most of these … They seem funny when you read them but we get clients like these everyday… who want to recreate google and facebook in a month, who want to big stuff but dont have a budget, clients who just dont understand what designing involves ! Is there a solution to such clients ? How do people handle them ? Any suggestions ?

    • Helena

      I would not see them as clients at all. They are just childish and spoiled wannabes.

  • http://valuedinining.com Valuedining

    I am a huge fan of number 9. You wonder how people stopped working in fast food restaurants.

  • http://www.clippingdesign.com Clipping Design

    Wow :) All are very laughing cool jokes. Thanks for share. :)

  • tzyganu

    Here is something that usually happens to me when I meet new people.
    ‘New guy': What do you do for a living?
    Me: I’m a web programmer
    ‘New guy': ‘Oh! Can you make a website for me?’
    – and here they expect a ‘yes or no’ answer without any other details.

  • STail

    What’s wrong with #6 exactly? If the money’s good, humor the guy. Nothing wrong with giving his kid a little site of her own.

    • northbeach

      yes, i was wondering about that myself. what is wrong with mowing lawns? i actually made a website for a gardener recently, just as a favor, it was neat.

      • nerdrager

        the one after that is where he got paid only 100 dollars lol

      • Isabella

        The reason it’s dorky is that the guy has no idea how much it’d cost him to have a website made for his teenager – more than she earns mowing lawns at any rate!

  • http://www.techtic.com njmehta

    This was pretty funny

  • rachel

    my boss offered to pay me minimum wage to do design work.

  • elena

    Sadly, I recognized mostly of the situations :D. But it was a great laugh.
    My latest favorite is from a client who owns a magazine.
    Client “Send me the picture in 300 dpi”
    Me”At what size?”
    Client”300 dpi”
    Me”Mam, if a picture is 300 dpi and it has 1×1 inches, is not 300 dpi at 5×5 inches. Please tell me the size you need”
    Client (after a long silence) “300dpi please”

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  • john stamos

    all these clients should get punched…

  • Ricky

    Client are client, choose wisely or make them wise.

    Good Article

  • http://www.hjemmesideshoppen.dk hjemmeside

    This is so epic.
    I was laughing all the way through.
    Hate customers with low budgets and a expatiation of me to do a years work.

  • http://www.internetfluent.com Internet Fluent

    I had my share of such clients! :(

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  • Just Dave

    After graduating from Multimedia College I was approached by a “friend of a friend” who wanted me to just “help him finish up” a website that his other designer couldn’t, and I could use it in my portfolio, and that it would only take a couple of days at most.

    What was laid out in front of me were about 1200 graphics, a ridiculous amount of text copy and a website template that had been abandoned by the last guy, because what this dude wanted would have amounted to roughly 2-3 weeks of full time, no weekends off-work for one person.

    Inside the HTML I found a a commented out message saying

    So I didn’t.

  • Jason

    I mow lawns, and my website took me from neighborhood lawn boy to 100% self employed desk jockey. Maybe they should have designed that website for client #6 LOL

  • Dave

    1000px isn’t actually all that big – 33×34 would do. ;-)

    Most of the CfH moments are true classics, but I’m not sure the one about the “warmer” blue was worthy of inclusion. It’s all relative, and I’d say it’s quite possible to get a blue that was warmer than another. How about adding a bit of R and G, for starters?

    • Nando

      You sir are an idiot

      • hatori

        You sir are absolutely correct. This other sir is an idiot

  • http://www.brettwidmann.com Brett Widmann

    Wow. I can’t believe how some people can act. At least I know that I’m not the only one that has to deal with hell clients.

  • http://www.webinventa.com/ Web Inventa

    Thanks for post a very funny but effective post.

  • Grace

    Awesome! I think I will send this post to my clients :D … as “Laugh time” newsletter :D

  • http://www.g4ginteractive.com Dawn

    These are horribly funny, but so true! I particularly like the big sign one.

    My story is….
    We designed a website for a client and he called us in a panic one day to let us know that his website “had too much megabyte power.”

    I don’t remember what the problem was exactly, but I really wish I had kept the voicemail so it could give me a laugh now and again. He’s a really sweet client who’s been with me for years, but gets confused with technology.

  • AndyB

    you should add mine to the list

    Printing Cream

    Client: No! I don’t want THEM to order free samples! I want THEM to print out sample packets of my product at home.
    Me: …perhaps you mean you want them to print out a coupons?
    Client: Look… your being difficult… JUST put a print button next to my product and that’s it.

  • http://www.fajascolombianas1.co.cc fajas colombianas

    I’ve had my fair share of these type of clients aswell, I know how you feel.

  • http://emilycmuellerphotography.wordpress.com Emily

    I’m a student photographer, and what kills me is when people ask me to take photos for them. They then ask me over and over and over “Why aren’t those photos ready yet?” Even though I explain that the taking of the photos is only the first step in a VERY long process that includes tons of post-processing, they don’t seem to get it sometimes.

    Usually, I’m doing these photos as favors for my friends on TOP of my class photography, school work, job, clubs, and the photography I do for a student publication. I know they just don’t know, but I wish people would just understand that photography and design take TIME.

  • http://emilycmuellerphotography.wordpress.com Emily

    Also, best comment from a girl who modeled for me one time.
    “Can you send me all of these photos so I can have them?”
    “Sure, I can send you the one or two that I end up selecting to edit, no problem.”
    “No, I mean like, can you send all of them?”
    “All of them? I mean, I typically don’t give out my photos like that. Plus they are RAWs which makes them really big so they won’t fit in an email….”
    *Blank stare* “Can’t you just attach them in an email?”
    “Not as a RAW, no…”
    “Well, I’m sure you know some fancy trick!”

    I didn’t say this, but what I really wanted to scream was “So you want me to give you unlimited access to over 500 RAW photo files, emailing them one by one so that you can upload a few nice pictures of yourself to facebook, all for FREE?”

    • http://www.facebook.com/annaicescream Anna CherryPeach

      yeah, and what’s the problem? if she modeled, she is entitled to see the photos, not just TWO photos. and not raw, you can turn them into jpg, or put them on a dvd, and then she can figure out how to do it ha. 

      • Zappato

        That takes time as well. The easiest thing to do it make a contact sheet and email that too her. It’ll be small but she can’t see them.

  • Josie

    I swear I have heard half of these from my worst client… my mom! I love her – but there have been many times she tries to pimp me out to her friends… the latest one was:
    “can you do all the stuff (ugh!) for my friend who is starting a business?”
    “Sure – I can talk to her…”
    “well, she’s just starting this business… so she doesn’t have alot of funds…”
    “you want me to do this for free, don’t you” (I’ve had this convo before)
    “…”
    “She’s sitting beside you.”
    “maybe”

  • Troy Thibodeaux

    It’s scarey that half of those hit so close to home. A couple of them were almost verbatim to conversations I’ve had with clients.

  • http://jteph.info Jteph

    This article really put a smile on my face. Silly people everywhere.

  • Tanya

    I got the ” I want a font that makes me laugh” hahaha

    • ZM

      comic sans will fix you right up

  • Virgil

    It’s not just clients it’s bosses also.
    About once every three months my boss will call me into his office in a panic because all of our drawing files (.DWG files) are missing from every project folder. He has been trying to find them for over two hours and has not found a single one. I then have to explain to him, very politely that you can’t see DWG files when you are searching using a word processor.

  • Lindsey

    These are hilarious! I just have to share this story with you guys… it happened to one of my college buddies a few weeks ago.

    Client: This logo is not what I wanted! It’s too simple.

    Designer: OK, I can definitely work on it for you. What kind of enhancements are you looking for?

    Client: I was thinking a lot more color and like a sky in the background with an eagle holding an American flag over our company name. Can you do that?

    Designer: Sir, you’re asking for an illustration not a logo. I can do the illustration but I can assure you it will not make a very good logo.

    Client: What? We need something on the level of like, Nike. Are you capable of that or not?

    Designer: No offense sir but the Nike logo is very simple. I thought you said you were looking to make your logo more elaborate. I’m not quite sure what you’re trying to say…

    Client: Forget it! F off! *click*

  • Sean

    client: heres everything we want in the ad, you can come up with the image your the designer

    me: ok sounds good, what are the size specs for the the ad and when would you like it by?

    client: We need them before next thursday. I dont know the specs but go to http://www.___.com and they should be on there let me know if they aren’t and ill try and find them for you.

    me: i can try and get it done for thursday the specs arent on their website.

    (tuesday: rough draft)

    client: looks good, but we’d like the image to have more blue’s and greens instead of the red and oranges.

    (wednesday)

    me: ok heres an alternate image let me know what you think

    client: we like the colors of the second but the first image goes with it better

    (thursday)

    client: we got the final it looks great! but we noticed some things we need changed asap! we need the attached logo added to the bottom of the page. We need all the & changed to “and”, the phone number 1-800-123-4567 changed to 1-800-765-4321

  • Simon

    If you can read French there’s this twitter account: http://twitter.com/#!/webAgencyFAIL

  • Lance

    To be honest you could make blue look a bit warmer, obviously not in the technical sense of adding red or yellow but since the customer obviously knows nothing about colours they probably mean warmer in a different way such as softer.

  • Ferritt33

    I’ve done work for a company 8 times now and each time i have submitted my first designs and each and every time they have asked me to change several things with the project, which would be fine if every single time they didn’t decide to go with the original design each time, then to make matter worse they decide that because they went with the first design they would only pay me for the time spent on the first design meaning i pretty much only get payed for half the work, thing is its the company my mum works for so i cant really say no to them

  • http://www.g4ginteractive.com Dawn Mitchell

    @ Ferritt33, I’m sorry to hear that! It really shouldn’t matter who works for the company, including your mother. If they are taking advantage of you, they are taking advantage of you and you should step up and say no. You also deserve to get paid for your complete work and if they say that they aren’t going to pay you, then say no also and add rush charges. Clients will try to push you and add items to a project and don’t always want to pay for them. When you put your foot down as a designer, clients know their limit and it sets a standard for them to treat you fairly. If they argue with you, give them a real world scenario and put them in their shoes. Talk to you mom about it. She may be able to help them see how they are not treating you the way they should.

  • http://www.adeptclippingpath.com Adept Clipping Path

    This is Very funny But Effective Post.

  • Anna

    Hilarious! I finished a project that wrapped up about 3 weeks ago. The PM called me about doing another project for a different company. (They’re a pre-consumer OEM.) I went in to get the details and when I went in his office, the scope of my last project was printed out and laying on his desk. He said, “Do you think you could do not quite such a good job from now on? We’re afraid if we keep giving the customers projects like this, they will always expect it from us.” I said, “You want me to do a worse job?” He said, “YES! Exactly!”

    Another funny one was last year I emailed some graphics to a woman for her review. She called me and said she got the email but the “pictures weren’t there”. I said they are attachments and she said, “Well I don’t know how to deal with those.” I told her rt-click and download. She did so while on the phone and said she still didn’t see them. I asked her if she opened them. She said, “How do you do that?” Trying to make it as simple as possible, I told her to open the folder and double click it. She said, “What’s a folder?” I was trying to talk her through it and she couldn’t figure out anything. (I had her open C: and she said there was “nothing there”.) So finally I said, “What operating system are you using?” and she said, “What’s an operating system?” I said never mind. Let’s just meet in person and I’ll go over it. And I could go on with more stories about just that one client but this is already getting long. Thanks for the laughs!

  • Stamatisse

    I’m going to follow this kind of job, but after that I will think about it better… :)

  • http://www.inacanoo.com Stan

    Hilarious and so true… :D

    Sometimes it is good to carry some Holy water with you to protect yourself… :P

    Once I had a caller who needed a logo for his business to be ready the next day! I told him: “I’m sorry, I’m not a mass production designer I like my designs to be unique and functional for every client. Presentation and communication are very important issues for a logo. To create a logo for your buss…” He hung up the phone!

    Thanks for the post! I had a good laugh :D

  • http://saypaldies.wordpress.com hellenisma

    omg ! i facepalmed myself all the way till the end

  • zwenkwiel

    customers are stupid regardless of what area you work in
    try to remember that next time you go shopping XD

  • keechmaneech

    A lady working for a government company asked me to shoot and produce a video for her. She said she wanted to incorporate pictures into the video. She told me this information on Monday, told me I wouldn’t get the photos from the photographer until wednesday and she wanted the video to be done Friday. Her “budget” was $100. MIGHT!!

  • anoninsing

    Developing headlines for a new campaign– Got an email on Wednesday “I want to see some headlines with using the word ‘more’ in them in addition to what we have.” Headlines sent. Thursday: Got a reply “wow you went crazy with the word ‘more’ didnt you?” Headlines revised and re-sent. Friday: Got an email reply from the boss “What happened to using ‘MORE’ in the headlines?”  FML. 

  • http://www.stormhalvorsen.com T. Storm Halvorsen

    A client once requested dark blue text on a dark blue background, “to really make an impact”. When I failed to deliver his vision he wrote emails to several people, explaining my incompetence. He also accidentally forwarded it to me. I wrote him back and politely pointed out one or two minor flaws in his strategy.

  • Web guy

    The staff is always right.com ftw

  • Kerry Kruger

    I had a sign shop as the computer revolution came along…people used to always ask, “Wow, you can paint free-hand?”  I’d reply, “well the left hand is free, the right one is fifty bucks an hour.”

    I’ll never forget the client that faxed me six color chips…and called to make sure I could match them.  I said, “Sure, I have a can of black and a can of white, I make almost any gray.”  He said there were no grays involved.  So I faxed them back to him.  “This is not what I sent you!”Twice, I had  people ask for for ideas for a sign/logo, “just a pencil sketch, I don’t want you to go to a lot of trouble”, then pay other people to paint my actual rough on their building/vehicle.

    Upon delivering six 3/4 MDO ply signs, painted dark green both sides, then triple-coat hand-painted white lettering on both sides, with drop shadows, and double-clearcoated and waxed, the customer asks…”we just had an Owner’s meeting and decided to repaint the building Blue, can you switch the backgrounds to Blue?” I also have had calls from people wanting a logo design and full-blown building and vehicle graphics “for a new company we’re starting.  We opened last Friday!”After receiving files in four or five file formats, customers calling to say “We can’t see half of these files!”  I explain, “Well, you need fairly sophisticated art programs to see that art, I assure you it’s there…your printer will be able to use them”  “What’s wrong with you, we’re sending these ads out to everybody , not just printers!!  I’m not paying for blank files!”

    We’ve all dealt with cheap chiselers, but this one guy took the cake.  I’d worked for several hours pricing a huge job, and he kept bargaining with me to lower the price.  “C’mon, what’s the best you can do?”  So I raised the price by a thousand.  “What?  That’s higher!”.  I said, “Hey, you asked what was the best that I could do…I didn’t think you’d go any higher than this.  You shoulda stuck with my first number, but Thanks!” and hung up on him.But if you all want to read the absolute best thing you ever read about these kinds of clients, go to http://www.27bslash6.com and read the blog about Simon’s Piecharts (“I want you to design me a logo and some charts”).  This aussie guy absolutely tell the client (a pretentious co-worker) what’s on his mind and it is PRICELESS.)

  • Marcelica

    I was doing comics for a kids magazine.The owner comes to me one day:
    O:Why are all these black lines in here?this should be happier,it’s a kids magazine!
    Me:those are the shades.
    O:alright…but what about the faces?look at this,why is this character looking so sad?this is a kids magazine,it should be fun!
    Me:it’s a scene where he is sad.
    O:oh.

  • John Webber

    I had a client once that wanted a way to moderate data that normal users can enter but he didn’t want to moderate it and he didn’t want to pay someone to moderate it… I guess I have to use my magical powers to make it happen… Anyway, I’ve found that a good detailed proposal will almost always set the clients expectations moderately, one App I use that I’d figured I’d share with everyone is a proposal generator I found at http://webproposalgenerator.com/ .

  • nerdrager

    i just realized why i can never be a website designer…i would rip into clients too often and tell them to go jump off a bridge because their ignorance offends me…probably not the best for business

  • http://www.facebook.com/furqan.han Furqan Han

    Here’s a short from me:

    Client: We desperately need a photographer for this super-important upcoming event. You know, all important lawyers, doctors, (of the area), architects etc. will be there.. Can you do that and what do you charge?Me: Yes sir, I can do that and the would cost you 700$ for the whole day.
    Client: Well, basically we’re not interested in your services. We have a lot of people with own cameras.

    I don’t know if the price scared him off or he really knows what he’s talking about. Anyway, in the end, they had pictures taken with cellphones. 

  • LadyKady

    My brain hurts so much right now -_-;; to you designer who dealt with these idiots, congrats!

  • Jacob

    My question is if these stories are real then why do you allow your clients to talk to you like this? If my clients ever spoke to me like this I would tell them to go to hell. Once one of my jackass clients tried to publicly shame me because of someone else s mistake so I went down to his office and tore him a new ass, afterward he invited me to go out to drinks with him. Why are all of you so afraid of setting these jerks straight? If you don’t you are doing a disservice to the industry.

  • Broken

    Some of these are possibly authentic, some are simple retreads of old workplace humor jokes…  Just like clients, trying to pass off anothers work as their own idea…

  • http://www.facebook.com/jardane Ben Crawford

    Me: Here is the design for your website
    Client: Where is all the content?
    Me: You provide the content for the site
    Client: If i knew that i would not have hired you, i want my money back.

  • Every IT Solution

    Laugh, cry, or pray these never happen to you. A fun and enlightening list.