For the ad, use a stock photo of a woman or a person.
Client: I asked my friend’s collegiate son to make us a customer-service reference app and he messed it up. I want you to fix it.
Me: I’m sorry but this programming language isn’t my forte. I can refer you to a friend of mine who can fix the problems in the current version. That’ll save you a lot of time.
Client: Dammit, if I can learn Spanish, you can learn Computer. That’s what you’re paid to do, so stop slacking off or else you’ll soon be out of business.
Me: What? I don’t think you understand. There are many different programming languages, and it’s almost impossible to be well-versed in all of them. That’s why we hire people with different skillsets.
Client: Oh yea? I can speak Argentinean Spanish, Mexican Spanish, and American Spanish, and you don’t see me complaining about which Spanish I speak.
That’s not fair to the people who bring you your news. Freelancer Iona Craig has had enough, so she joined up with Beacon to create this site as way to help. If you’ve been stiffed on a job, share the details below.
I wonder how much this site is helping keep companies accountable to freelancers and other people they get work from. It’s an interesting idea anyway.
Join the Launch of The World’s Longest Invoice
Editor’s note: I love contributor’s anecdotes about their humorous client interactions. Judging from our growing list of followers, you do to. But I don’t enjoy hearing about all the unpaid bills, shady practices, and downright immoral behaviour most of our readership has to deal with to make a living. Let’s make my job a little harder and fix that.
We need your help.
Over three-quarters of freelancers will be stiffed by a deadbeat client at some point in their career. Time and money are wasted chasing bounced checks or costly legal action. Most have to walk away at the expense of not only their pocketbook, but their pride. There is little legal protection in place to protect freelancers from this reality.
The World’s Longest Invoice will jumpstart a critically important nationwide conversation about how much it sucks to not get paid for your work – and how it can be avoided. As freelancers add to the invoice, we’ll see how prevalent nonpayment is, and just how destructive it can be to freelancers’ bottom lines.
In May, the World’s Longest Invoice will be delivered to lawmakers in Albany to urge them to pass the Freelancer Payment Protection act in New York. This model legislation gives freelancers the same protection the Department of Labor provides “traditional” employees and allows them to file wage claims for owed money. We are so close to making this ideal a law. Be a part of the historic precedent and help replicate its success across the country.
Clients From Hell will feature an extra post for the next eight days in a show of support.
You can show your support too:
(My brother runs a leisure club that has membership fees that feed a budget. They required a t-shirt design by the end of the week, when I had three other jobs on. My brother called me up and begged me to help him - he even offered me a few pounds to sweeten the deal. )
Brother: Tell me if you can do it or not. I have another guy who will if you don’t want to.
Myself: I’m really sorry, I’m busy now, and the clients I have sort of paying my rent. Not that I don’t mind the gesture (of offering me £10 to do it).
Brother: You are family, you should do it for free. I’m doing you a favour giving you money.
Myself: Sorry, I know, but I’m too busy. If the other guy wants to design it for £10, let him.
Brother: We are paying him £150, just thought I’d give you the opportunity first.
I don’t know where we’re going with this, but I know it’s in the right direction.
I wish I felt that confident about anything
Actual quote from a client, enraged at the cost of the first invoice we sent him:
“Web designer, hey?! The only web you’re designing is a WEB OF LIES! Crawl back to whatever cafe you were born in.
I don’t know quite what we’ll be selling yet. Maybe niches. I’ve heard the niche market is doing really well.
Client: “Our last request is sort of a sensitive one.”
Client: “We’d like to ask that you to get rid of any, uh, pornography you might, uh, have on your computer. We just wouldn’t want it to accidentally wind up on the website, you know?”
Me: “Well, firstly, it doesn’t really work like that, you can’t just—”
Client: “I know those sorts of things are hard to get rid of, especially if you’ve formed an attachment to them.”
Me: “What? no. What!?”
Client: “I guess if you have to keep it, keep it at an opposite corner or file or whatever.”