A few months ago, I participated in a contest where the grand prize was a full year of the full Adobe Suite package! The name of the contest was “Clients from Hell” where each contestant would send a story that happened between them and their client.
Thanks to my very own client (from hell), now I have an entire year of the full Adobe suite for free!
Enjoy the unbelievably true story below:
This story may sound crazy, but it really happened. If you don’t believe me, ask for proof!
I will call my client “Platinum” because it relates to her company’s name. But “Wacko” is more like it.
Platinum found me online, as she was looking for a graphic designer. She had three different companies and wanted to rebrand them. I couldn’t find much about her companies online, but thought her branding and marketing were bad. She was looking for three logo designs (one for each company), business cards, flyers, and so on.
We agreed that we would work together on the rebranding of her companies step-by-step, one at a time.
For a while, she was paying me on time and on a regular basis. In fact, Platinum paid for all of the work that we did on the rebranding of her first two companies, and made a 50% down payment for our work on her third company. Each time after we finished all the designs for her companies, a balance was, of course, due, and I would send her all the completed files since our work was done and she’d approved it. Then everything went haywire:
1. Her CPA’s mother passed away. Or so she said. She told me she consequently couldn’t pay that day, but that she needed the files nonetheless. I replied that I could not send them and explained that she needed to pay first. She acted okay with that, and said she would pay me the next week when her CPA returned after dealing with her mother’s death.
2. Two weeks later, I checked in with Platinum, and she said that while her CPA had returned, she didn’t want to pay the invoice balance because I was too expensive. (She had paid the same price for our work on her first and second companies, and had approved the price for our work on the third; indeed, she had paid 50% of it. It was a done deal. Or so I thought.)
3. Then Platinum called me, and she was crying. Literally. She begged me to send her the files and said she was going to fire her CPA. I explained that I still needed payment first.
4. Next, she fired her CPA! At least that’s what she said.
5. Later that day, she asked again for the files, professing that her CPA had stolen her credit cards and that she would pay me the next day out of pocket. I responded that I still couldn’t send the files until she paid me.
6. Platinum then told me that she’d set up new credit card accounts. But her payments didn’t go through. (I use FreshBooks and would have been able to see if she had even tried to pay me.) But she again asked for the files, because, she said, she had a big potential client she needed to show her rebranding.
7. She next told me in an email that she “lost a client” and that it was my fault! I had hurt her business!
8. A few weeks later, I decided to check in with her, hoping for the best and fearing the worst, and she claimed that she had a car accident that day and broke a leg! Hence, she couldn’t pay. But she asked again for the files.
9. A few months later, I contacted her again one morning, and she told me that her uncle had passed away that morning! And she once again asked for the files. That evening, I told her, for the umpteenth time, that she had to pay first.
10. That same evening—hold onto your hat—she said that her cat had died! So, of course, she couldn’t pay! And she again asked for the files.
She subsequently sent me a few more emails. But after her cat died, I decided to move on.