On December 8, 2021, ClientsFromHell.net announced that they’ll close their doors due to a lack of traffic. As quoted:
Dear CFH readers,
It’s been a long ride since our first post back in 2009. We admit we’re not getting the audience we used to, but we’re grateful you’ve been with us this far and we’re not done yet! We’re moving to NotAlwaysRight.com so that we’ll be able to continue sharing new and classic stories for more years to come. While CFH won’t look the same anymore, we hope you’ll give our new home a chance.
See you there!
While this may be sad to some, there were some users who had issues with their site; I being one of them. It comes down to one cardinal sin:
Heavy editing and rewriting of the submissions to match their vision.
Yes, the editors at CFH constantly “edited” the submitted stories, often rewriting the protagonists featured as pushover “sobbers” that couldn’t stand on their own two feet, or hold firm in their beliefs. Freelancers let clients walk over them, usually to their suffering and detriment.
This came in case with now-deleted comments highlight that people submitted stories, only for them to show up nowhere near what the end result was. Successfully boot someone out of the store? Nope, they’re crying in a corner from being yelled at. Took the person to court? Wrong again! That client walked away with $5,000 without any repercussions.
It’s only upon this site closing that I possibly figured out why. It wasn’t because the stories are unreadable, or that they were an editing mess. CFH wanted stories that made people to feel “Oh good, I’m not the only one who’s an indecisive punching bag.” People who post stories and even had a hint of standing up to themselves were heavily criticized by the commenters. A few would side with them, but the most common response was “This isn’t a CLIENT FROM HELL!”
Which is another problem with the site; the userbase. From my experience, I would say at least half of the users had some good sense. The other half, critical 30 something designers who were basically “grow thick skin.” The latter probably was the minority, but they were the loudest.
I could see it in the comments as time goes on. Half being “All that person had to do was stand up for themselves.” And the other being “That’s just how the world works – WHY ARE YOU CRITICIZING OP???? Move on and grow up!”
Lastly their story submission wait times. They advertised 30-60 days on their site, and in a Twitter reply mentioned to me in 2018. This was closer to two years according to one story I submitted. I’m now only realizing that they were posting stories to their “taste”, leaving the ones furthest from that for last.
I believe these three problems is what led to the demise of ClientsFromHell. We have already so much hell happen in the world already from war, politics, discrimination…we want to see someone right and to win. Even if it’s a side-hand story where you boot an unruly client to the curb. With posting their “Just live with it” tales, editing actual tales with different outcomes, not getting to their backlog to post on time; I do believe this is why this site is no longer on the internet.
I also do think Reddit had something to do with it too. Since the pandemic started, there was a colossal uptick in r/provenge, r/nuclearrevenge and other posts. And then following on that were the Reddit narrators that sprouted up. No longer did you have to park on a phone or computer to read something, someone was blurting it out while you’re driving.
You did have a decline in viewership for a reason. People went elsewhere for more fulfilling posts, your readerbase was becoming hostile and you willingly and intentionally were editing stories to no longer their true form.
As bad as it sounds, I won’t miss you. I used to read your site to help cope with the bad clients I encountered, but it honestly did me more harm than good. Especially seeing nobody won in the end, that people didn’t prevail against the horrors they were faced against. People didn’t have happy endings…I stopped reading the site in 2019 and would only glance at it near the holidays briefly. So I was quite surprised at this turn of events.
While they will continue to post on this other site, I do believe there is a gap; and I will throw my hat in the ring to use the saying.
I’m willing to advertise and post truthful stories where the good guys do win with these freelancer clashes. I won’t edit the content, I won’t take 2 years to post something. I’ll make an official announcement with a call to action at some point, but until then I’ll bounce around it. Extra traffic never hurt.
By the time this post goes up, their domain may be inactive; this is probably one of the last posts to talk about their site that isn’t from them. Internet historians running across this, this site used to exist. Historical footnote end.