Get Thee Behind Me: The Client From Hell

We’ve all had them. Those clients who are so crazy unreasonable that you are tempted to give up freelancing completely  and go drop an application off  at Burger King.

A website I found the other day, Clients From Hell, has taken upon themselves the monstrous job of collecting and categorizing records of some of the worst.

Below are a few of my favorites from their site, although I had to stop reading after a little while as the craziness was starting to get me in a bad mood.

Enjoy! (sort of):

RENOVATING DESIGN:

I had been working with a client since Feburary creating a full identity package. After countless teeth pulling sessions and geting the greens “just right” we were ready to print in September. I get a call from her saying “I put a stop payment on my cheque because we want to get some renovations done on the house”.

TESTY TESTER:

After developing a custom e-commerce site we received an irate phone call from the client on the day of the launch…

“We’ve been hacked!” he shouted down the phone, “How could you let this happen?”

“Why do you think you’ve been hacked?”

“There’s an order right here and no payment!”

“Who’s the customer?”

“It says ‘Mr Testy Tester, 1 Test Street, Testville’… It’s clearly a hoax order!”

“Do you think we might have been testing the site?”

“Oh, I see…”

GOOGLES:

CLIENT: “Make sure you tell the Googles of the world that the site will be launching soon so it places high in their results.”

I have a feeling I am going to be borrowing this next guys line sometime in the near future:

Prospective client: $400 for a logo?! Why are you so expensive? My nephew has Photoshop—I can just get him to do it.
Me: Does your nephew have Microsoft Word?
Prospective client: Yes.
Me: Then have him write you a novel while he’s at it.

And one for the road..

www.bill AT att.com

Client’s 70-ish year old father storms into boardroom during our first meeting brandishing a sheaf of papers—all print outs of Google search results, covered in highlighter and red circles.
Him: “I want to know the meaning of this!” <throws papers on table in front of me>

Me: “I’m sorry? The meaning of…Google?”

Him: “NO! I want to know why our website is not listed here! HOW ARE PEOPLE SUPPOSED TO FIND OUR PHONE NUMBER?!”

Me: “Um…you’ve just hired us to start building you a website, sir. You don’t actually have a website at the moment.”

Him: “YES I DO! My granddaughter writes to me every week! www.bill AT xxxxxxx.com!”

Me: “Ah, right. Yes, that’s your email address, sir.”

Him: “Look at this! These are all our competitors! <points to highlights and red circles> Why are THEY on here? I search OUR name and THEY are on here!!!”

Me: “Again, you don’t actually have a website yet. We are going to build you a website so that you WILL be listed in Google.”

Him: “Listed in Google?! What are you talking about? Who do I call to get www.bill AT xxxxxx.com listed in Google?!”

Me: “Ah, it doesn’t quite work that way sir. You’ll need an actual website first, and that’s what we’re here to do.”

Him: <rolls eyes and looks at his now fully mortified son sitting across the table from me> “I already told you that we HAVE a website. Good choice, son. This lady clearly doesn’t have a CLUE what she’s talking about.”

I ended the meeting and left right then.

They seem to be updating it on a daily basis so be sure to check out Clients From Hell.

Author: Wes

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12 Comments

  1. Thanks Arjun, I liked the last one a lot too, although it hit a little close to home as I have dealt with people like that before. 🙂

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  2. IMHO, the trick with any client should be simple.

    Unless his concepts are extremely good, and he knows a lot about the net, and websites on the whole – you should treat him/her like a little baby (Spoilt one at that, if I may add :)).

    Ignore their tantrums, keep reminding them that YOU are the designer, not them.

    And, keep a smiling face at all times !

    Talk to you sometime, Wes!

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  3. Ignore their tantrums, keep reminding them that YOU are the designer, not them.

    And, keep a smiling face at all times !

    Talk to you sometime, Wes!

    Post a Reply
  4. Unless his concepts are extremely good, and he knows a lot about the net, and websites on the whole – you should treat him/her like a little baby (Spoilt one at that, if I may add)

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  5. HaHaHaHaHa thanks for make me laugh an hour, The story about client and his nephew are very funny

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    • Yeah, that one made me lol too. Glad you liked it.

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  6. very funny article Wes.

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  7. Thanks Gabe! Although I can’t really take credit for the humor, that would have to be something to blame on those crazy clients!

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  8. Loved the second story! I went around and told a few of my friends.

    It gave us all a good laugh and I think they all respected designers a little more afterward.

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