Clients From Hell

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Spoon feeding

There’s a new client on the block. Owns two companies – old-school, traditional businesses, no visual identity [ or a very bad one wherever it exists ]. Wants the corporate identity designed, the websites, the printed collateral etc.

Calls me up twenty times in a day – would call me in the dead of the night if I allowed it.

Asks me how to attach images to an e-mail in Outlook.
Asks me which image format is the smallest – .gif or .jpg or .tiff or .png etc.
Asks me whether he needs a Yahoo Account to upload images to the Yahoo Photo Albums.
Asks me whether a particular bank in HIS city, close to HIS office will be open today or not.
Tells me he doesn’t have an EPS of his logo – “What’s that?”
Tells me that ALL his visual identity has been done by the local printer who prints his business cards from .jpg files.

I sent him the creative brief to be filled in by him – he called up to tell me that he doesn’t understand anything in the brief [ the brief mostly asks questions about the company and about it’ market and customers and their vision for the future etc. ]. I walk him through all the questions, explaining each one. He still replies with a brief where only two questions have been answered – with the words “none”.

I sent him some samples of images – so that I could get what was in his head. Asked him to choose the top three best and re-attach and reply. He replied, sure! Re-attached all the images. And called again – said he couldn’t write such long e-mails, conversations are better – I told him I don’t need detailed explanations – just re-attach the three best images and reply.

The longest conversation I had with him lasted a little over 120 minutes.

This is just the beginning.
I mean, sure, if the client needs clarification about the design process, I will leave no stone unturned to get down to it. But how to attach images to an e-mail in Outlook?! You’ve got to be kidding me!

Lord have sweet mercy.
I agreed to work only if we started with a very small project – thank heavens for that.

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Filed under: from HELL

5 Responses

  1. GCRaya says:

    Why are you still working with him?

  2. I am indeed still working with this client. The project has progressed beyond the first ‘trial’. The reason I’m still working with them is because they listen to me when I ask them to do something – for instance, I asked to stop calling me for everything – they now message me before they call – and email me whenever they need to convey something. The client is willing to learn and I’m willing to put in the little extra required to have an educated client – I figured it’s better than always having to complain about how clients are not educated! One of those rare instances where my conscience gets the better of me I suppose. [ Who knows, behind my back, the client might be thinking “Sucker!” 😀 ]

  3. suprpp says:

    Sounds like this is a low-tech client, they usually aren’t so bad (or bad at all) if they actually listen to you. And they seem to listen to you. 🙂

    http://freelanceswitch.com/clients/12-breeds-of-client-and-how-to-work-with-them/

    Regards,
    Boštjan

  4. i never mind (too much) if clients are hopeless as long as they are open to help. it’s the ones that think they no everything but don’t that drive me really batty 😉

  5. conscience? what’s that? I hope they’re paying you well for teaching them about their business.

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