CLIENTS from hell

Ex­clu­sively for net: the lat­est in a se­ries of anony­mous ac­counts of night­mare clients

net magazine - - EXCHANGE/Q&AS - clients­fromhell.net

A de­signer comes face to face with a client with an un­healthy fear of fraud

Clients from hell

A few years back, I de­signed an an­nual re­port for a po­lar­is­ing non-profit. Ev­ery­thing was look­ing great, in­clud­ing the printer’s last PDF proof. Af­ter over 10,000 re­ports had been printed (sev­eral pages and a spe­cial­ity pa­per cover, printed with metal­lic ink, sad­dle-stitched with sta­ples), the CEO called me in a panic.

Client: There’s a huge mis­take! My sig­na­ture on the wel­come let­ter in the in­ner front cover is miss­ing!

Me: You’re right, that’s odd. It was in the fi­nal printer proof. I called the printer and they checked their dig­i­tal files. Ap­par­ently the linked sig­na­ture im­age had some­how ‘fallen off’ when the cover was printed. They apol­o­gised and of­fered to make a stamp of the CEO’s sig­na­ture, which they’d use to stamp the thou­sands of re­ports with metal­lic ink.

Me: I think it’s solved. The printer will make a stamp of your sig­na­ture and hand-stamp all the re­ports.

Client: No! They can­not make my sig­na­ture into a stamp. Me: Why not?

Client: If it gets into the wrong hands, peo­ple could just stamp my sig­na­ture on any­thing. It could ruin my rep­u­ta­tion, and the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s.

Me: But don’t you al­ready have your sig­na­ture as a stamp in­ter­nally?

Client: That’s dif­fer­ent. Me: Well, they’d give us the stamps that they made; they wouldn’t keep them.

Client: But they would still have the abil­ity to make more stamps.

Me: But they al­ready have your sig­na­ture as an im­age file right now.

Client: I don’t care! They must reprint the cov­ers! I be­grudg­ingly told the printer and apol­o­gised to them pro­fusely. They had all the cov­ers torn off by hand, or­dered new spe­cial­ity pa­per, re-printed them, and then reat­tached all the new ones.

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