So my clients aren't very tech savvy, and they were having trouble with a file I gave them. Firstly, they did not follow my directions to use this file. They were trying to open it in a web-based program instead of the desktop application (one of the MS Office ones...not giving specifics here just in case). I would ask them specific questions like "Did you open it in X?" and that would be ignored.

I tried to walk them through the process, but they frequently ignored my instructions and now they are angry and frustrated. I got a couple angry emails and texts, ending with a very clear and angry "I will do it myself."

Not sure how to proceed, because they didn't follow my directions, then didn't want to be walked through the process. I was trying to give them alternative solutions but this seemed to piss them off.

Also, I think I've found the solution to this issue but am afraid to give it to them at this point.

Anyone have experience with something like this? I do value this client, and this is the first time it's happened like this (although the ongoing issue of them ignoring my specific questions does happen regularly).

  • I don't think this has anything to do with graphic design. This is more of an open discussion while asking for advice on how to handle an issue not design related, therefore I am voting to close the question.
    – Alin
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 21:18
  • @Alin, while this is not graphic design, per se, it is related to graphic design because dealing with clients is a large part of a graphic designer's job. TCDesigner is surely not the only person to have difficult clients. While this question might fit at workplace.stackexchange.com, I think it will receive better answers here.
    – user53083
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 22:39
  • @FighterJet I am sorry but dealing with difficult clients is a part of each and every job where you have direct contact with the client. So I ask you, why do you think it will receive better answers here? The only thing from this question that has some sort of connection with design is knowing that he did something for a client. We don't know what, what format did he deliver, what format did the client ask for, we know nothing else. The question could be edited to add more information to make it suitable for GD.SE
    – Alin
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 23:08
  • Could you log in to their computer using remote desktop and do it for them?
    – R Reveley
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 9:58
  • perhaps better if this would be asked on workplace.stackexchange.com or maybe this one fits your bill workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/40169/…
    – Luciano
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 11:38

2 Answers 2


My advice would be to get rid of them. It sounds like you've done everything you can to help, what more can you do? You've given them the file, you've told them to use a certain type of software to open it, and you've found alternative methods. Concentrate on another client who deserves your time.

Can you not just convert it to the format that works in their current software?

It's hard when you don't know the full story, sorry.

  • Oops. I downvoted by mistake. If you edit the file I can undo that.
    – Rafael
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 23:53
  • I tend to agree, this is what I and many people call hand-holding and then when the client does not listen they throw a fit. It is bad for business. Try to identify these issues in the beginning with all of your clients and try to find red flags. When you see these things, if the client is happy to listen and follow directions. This is good. On the other hand, clients who will not do the simplest steps to learn or help you will find are those who cant meet you 1/4 of the way and will drain your time and enthusiasm. Try and identify red flags with future clients and best luck with your client.
    – dvnkiss
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 11:23

Althougn it is very likely the ignorant client is the one to blame, you need to clarify something.

Did you make the proper investigation of your client's requirements? Where the file was going to be used? What was the objetive of the file?

It seems strange that you send a "file" where the client needs to use a specific software. In this planet you need to design fool proof...

Design is a process to solve some situation. It is not art, where you make something just because. You could make a sculpture made out of pen drives and nobody would care. But as a designer you can not.

If the client lives on the same location of you, make a courtesy visit. If he does not, try to use teamviewer or a skype shared screen to guide the user in some specifics.

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