Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Online

UPDATE: Comment from Fitness SF at the end of this post.
2nd UPDATE 2/16/13: Fitness SF reclaims site? Read more.

Anyone who has ever been stiffed by their client has dreamt of doing what Frank Jonen just did to Fitness SF. The web developer took over the website of his health conscious client, claiming that he was not paid for his work (screenshot below). According to AdWeek, Fitness SF denies Jonen’s claim and is eager to be back online. While this online feud is sure to resolve soon, we can all sit back and bask in the glow of someone who took action, even if it was career suicide. It will also be interesting to watch how Fitness SF handles the crisis – at least everyone knows their URL now.


Twitter is certainly buzzing with this news and Fitness SF is taking the brunt of the blame. Hopefully they will respond soon.

While we don’t yet know all of the details of this feud, it can still provide us with some time to speculate on future actions. How would you handle this crisis if you were Fitness SF?

Fitness SF supplied Adweek with the following comment on Friday and also posted it to Tumblr:
“On Wednesday evening, our domain name Fitness SF was hacked and stolen by an individual named Frank Jonen. Frank was hired on May 16th, 2012 to develop a functional website for our brand. A $5,000 payment was made to him on the same date. In his proposal, he stated that the website would take 10 weeks to complete. He missed numerous deadlines including our brand launch in September. In December, he voluntarily passed the incomplete and non functioning website to our new design firm.

Now, Frank is attempting to portray himself as the victim when truly the victim is Fitness SF as he attempts to get paid for work he did not complete and has decided that blackmail is the way to accomplish that.”


8 thoughts on “Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Online

  1. Considering the market is global I think it’s doubtful that this is career suicide. Of course you don’t see me posting anything this ballsy… Perhaps those that have problems paying will be the only ones not seeking out this guys assistance from now on? Wouldn’t that be nice?
    Well done Frank ‘brass balls’ Jonen! Another great post BrianAdamsPR – thanks for sharing!

    • You have a great point Karna. He may just be out of luck in the SF market for a bit of time. I still don’t see a response from Fitness SF although in the Adweek update posted yesterday afternoon it mentioned one coming “shortly”. I’m interested in their response.

  2. Good for Mr. Jonen. Although I agree that this isn’t career suicide. Jonen was simply trying to obtain the payment he deserves. If anything this proves that he is on top of his work. If I had the resources, I would definitely hire Jonen. Wouldn’t you?

    • His own web site was pretty poor when I visited it yesterday and honestly, we still don’t know the real deal here. Is it coordinated link baiting? A stiffed vendor? A client upset with work and blackmailed by an angry developer?

  3. Whatever the truth behind all of it, Fitness SF didn’t handle it correctly.

    Closing down Facebook and Twitter accounts is one hell of a move to reassure its clients and answer the “charges”. Frank Jonen has publicly stated (in the comments of that since IP had not been transferred, he basically shut down his own stuff.

    DNS/Whois records support this evidence, stating the domain name is owned by Frank Jonen since November 2012. Hence, no “hack” happened. And this can be verified by anyone, invalidating part of their press statement.

    On a PR point of view, Fitness SF’s way of handling this is a disaster that will cost them way more than what they allegedly owe the designer. This is a classic time when paying up and shutting up costs less than standing up and fighting (if they don’t indeed owe the designer a dime). The business repercussions are a disaster. This fitness firm who was on top of Yelp for the San Francisco region is now buried deep down with a very low score, due to the overwhelming support the designer got from the public angrily trashing Fitness SF’s Yelp pages.

    This case could become a school case for bad, really bad, community crisis management.

  4. Pingback: Yawn: Fitness SF Feud Leads to Boredom « BrianAdamsPR

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