In our weekly installment of Clients from Hell, a hilarious collection of anonymously contributed client horror stories from designers, we present “You can't quit me, I'm fired" For previous posts, click here .
I was working with a new property manager who had many business tenants in her building. Her tenants wanted sign advertising on the outside of the building. I explained I would need high quality artwork for every tenant logo to build a new sign. She then sent me 72DPI web logos. After a month of “back and forth” explaining why we needed high quality artwork she finally got all of the logo files to me at a high quality DPI for fabrication.
Me: Thanks for the last image file, now, we can build the sign. It will take approx. 4 weeks to manufacture.
Client: WHAT? I told you a month ago I needed them by the 30th!
It was the 27th.
Me: Yes, but you didn’t give me the last usable tenant logo files until yesterday.
Client: Well we have the CEO coming in three days to review the sign. You either have the signs finished and up, or I will cancel your vendor account with our company.
We administrate over thirty of their buildings, exterior sign programs and digital displays. What the client didn’t know is that her company had been a frustrating, low paying, service nightmare for years and her releasing us from our partnership contract would be a beautiful thing. She thought she was threatening us. Instead, she was giving us an out.
Me: I’m sorry, there is no way we can manufacture this amount of signage in less than one week, if you have to go into the vendor app and remove us, I completely understand.
I got an automated email from the Vendor app releasing us from the contract.
Two hours later, I received a call from the CEO.
CEO: I’m sorry we made a mistake with your account.
Me: No, no mistake was made, the property manager was well within your company rights to release us from the contract. We are no longer your vendor.
CEO: Well, she wasn’t supposed to do that
Me: But she did.
CEO: (angry) Well, how do we undo it?
Me: We don’t.
I took the entire staff out for margarita’s that evening to celebrate, once in a great while, the good guys win.
I later found out that they had signed with another company that charged them three times as much, would only contract month to month, and dropped them two months later.