The short answer is no. Most clients don’t know what they want. If you’re in luck they’ll have a general idea in their head and by asking the right questions you’ll be able to get a general outline of what it is.
Some know but can’t express it with words. Or can express it with words but can’t be bothered to actually do it because you know, you are a “professional”, it’s your job to guess.
In visual media you can protect yourself the following way:
Ask questions. Ask them to clarify the most obvious terms. I get a lot of orders that tell me to make something “fun” and when I ask them to provide a reference of what they mean by “fun”, let’s just say, what shows up in my inbox is not what I’d consider even remotely that. People are different.
Ask for visual references. 1 or 2 pictures will be enough to get a general sense of what they like.
Don’t ever think “ah whatever, I’ll just try to guess and we’ll see what happens”. You’ll fail 90% of the time, waste your time and money.
I’ve lost a pretty interesting project last week because the potential buyer refused to provide me with any specifics aside from the very general concept. I’d ask them direct questions like “what file format do you need this in (.JPG, .PDF, .PSD…)?” and receive no answer. We have an election week in my country that is turning into a disaster and I’ll probably end up waving a flag somewhere next week instead of working so really, the last thing I need is this dude showing up and demanding me to convert the file into 10 other formats I didn’t guess at random in the middle of all that.
In other words, don’t guess, ask. You won’t just guess.
Also, I’m pretty sure “I don’t like it” is not a valid reason for a cancellation especially if the direction was vague. I’m assuming cancelation is what you mean by “closing the order”.
PS It looks like I responded directly to Miss Crystal. I meant to post a general response to the topic, oops.