20 Epic Client from Hell Moments

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.”

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

Jacques is an Entrepreneur and Founder of the An1ken Group. He recently launched a daily vlog on Youtube — JacquesvhTV. He started Creativeoverflow in 2009 as a hub for creatives. Connect with him: Jacquesvh.com - @Jacquesvh - Facebook - Instagram - Pinterest