Hello! I need help in handling a client from hell. She has been a problem since day one. Very nitpicky, condescending, passive aggressive, etc. She has already paid me and the deliverables have been sent, but she won’t go away. I keep getting nasty emails and texts criticizing my work. I formatted her ebook and paperback, and designed her cover. I even held her hand through the Amazon KDP self-publishing process because she is totally computer illiterate. I am the first to admit when I make a mistake, and I will always try to make it right, but all of her complaints and criticisms are ridiculous. She even tried to blame me for some content/proofing errors in the manuscript that SHE sent to me, which resulting in me having to make the edits after I had already laid out the book in InDesign. This took a full two days of extra work that I was not paid for. Now she’s pissed because she is unable to make additional edits to the formatted PDF! I explained multiple times that once the book is laid out, it’s basically written in stone.
That’s just one example of her unreasonable demands. She also claimed that the Table of Contents in her ebook misdirects. I tested it myself in multiple formats and on various devices and it works fine. She claimed she had to hire another designer to “fix” my mistakes, but I think she lied about that. She refuses to tell me what the problem was, and a colleague has confirmed that I formatted the TOC correctly.
There are over a dozen more false complaints like that one. This client has been nothing but a thorn in my side since I started working with her in early April. I have been bending over backwards trying to make her happy, but she just keeps hitting me with more BS.
Her latest complaint is that her paperback book cover proof is poor quality. First of all, she sent me a photo of the proof. I did a side-by-side comparison with the original file, and it looks great to me. Secondly, the image I delivered to her, which she accepted and paid me for, is very high resolution and print-ready, so even if there is a print quality issue it is not because the original image was bad. It could be a printer issue, and I have heard complaints about Amazon KDP’s print quality. But even looking at a low res photo of the cover, I think it turned out beautifully and I’m actually quite proud of it. So she’s either trying to get me to refund her money so she will have it for free or she is completely batty! Maybe a little of both!
How do I tell her she’s crazy without telling her she’s crazy (no matter how much I’d love to use those words. haha)? I mean, she has already paid me so I could just ignore her, but I don’t want to do that. And I doubt that would work, anyway. She’ll just keep harassing me. By the way, when I first spoke with her she told me that she can’t find a designer who will work with her and no one will return her calls. I should have refused to work with her right then and there. But I was stupid because I needed the money. Now I may have to refund her money just to get her to leave me alone, and I suspect this may have been her game from the start. I have already put so much time into this woman’s madness, so I’d prefer to keep the money I worked so hard for.
Does anyone have any advice on how to word my response in a diplomatic way that will make her leave me alone without having to give her a refund? Or is there a way I can offer her a refund on the condition that she must return the deliverables and agree to not use them?