This is what happens when you refuse to pay the freelancers you hire [Image]

As a webmaster, I have worked with more than a few freelancers over the years and still continue to work with many today (the great people who bring you great articles on a daily basis). Anyone that has worked as a freelancer or has worked with a freelancer knows there is one thing that makes freelancers stay awake at night: not being paid. You see in the age of the internet it has become easier to work from home but that has also increased the risk of getting cheated for your work.

Apparently Fitness SF, a gym that operates in California, decided to hire web development firm to create Fitness SF’s website but never actually paid FrankJonen. So what did FrankJonen do? Simple — they brought down Fitness SF’s website. Check it out:


If you visit, you will see the above page instead of Fitness SF’s website.

Of course there are always two sides to a story and we don’t have Fitness SF’s side yet. However, the moral of the story is: pay people for the work they do… especially if they still have the keys to your kingdom!

[via Reddit]

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  • V

    Love this! Any customer of Fitness SF should be a former customer after this.

  • ovl

    @ Mark

    I will briefly answer all of your infantile questions and remarks:

    – The information about his whereabouts (attic, town, etc.) was obtained online, so only a fool can think that I visited him in Germany;

    – Of course it matters that he is living in his parents’ attic – it tells you a lot about him;

    – Take a look at the European map and you will see for yourself the heart of the Europe – you don’t need my opinion – it’s an objective geodata;

    – “denigrating details”? – you know it better in your topsy-turvy world;

    – “You (ovl) have a horse in this race”? – No, I am not, but better to be in a horse race than in donkey race.


    – Page rank informs you how unpopular he and his site were before his untruthful statement – the scandalous popularity increased the number of his Internet visitors which is a good thing for any site owners;

    – If you fail to see the obvious things – blame yourself, and when blindness is in the mind, not the eyes – look for help;

    – No, I am not an employee of Fitness SF and never was.


    – “No right-minded business owner would put his business in the hands of a developer with a web traffic load of 44 daily page views” – Agree with you, that’s why they are paying now the price for their mistake. So your question is for the employer, not for me;

    – “Your whining only points back to your own lack of business acumen.” – It’s not your brainstorm, but sounding like Chihuahua: small aggression such as barking and nipping are her protective signs.

  • Tom

    @ovl: So if he’s just a kid living in his parent’s attic, why on earth did you hire him to develop your commercial website. No right-minded business owner would put his business in the hands of a developer with a web traffic load of 44 daily page views. Your whining only points back to your own lack of business acumen.

  • ewmith

    Why did you bring up all that irrelevant information? What do we (or anyone) care what his page rank is (or was)? How does the site worth relate to finding out both sides of the story? One person with an LLC license is a small company. I fail to see how these things (especially the popularity ones) belong in a discussion about who wronged who. Do you happen to be employed by Fitness SF?

  • Mark


    Good so see the other side of the story, but what does it matter if he works from the attic of his parents’ home, the basement of his girlfriend’s, or a rented office space in a glass and concrete building? How do you know this? Have you visited him?

    What does it matter how large the town is where he is located? And where exactly is the heart of Europe, in your opinion?

    I find it remarkable that someone should go to such lengths to come up with irrelevant but somehow faintly denigrating details. You (ovl) have a horse in this race, don’t you? Perhaps you should declare it then.

  • ovl

    Here is the Fitness SF’s statement given today to the magazine “Adweek”:

    “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.” (

    BTW, Frank Jonen introduces himself as “a small company in the heart of Europe”. He works alone and resides in his parents’ attic in a tiny German town Idstein (about 25,000 inhabitants) and it’s not in the heart of Europe. His website is worth $96 USD and it has a worldwide rank of 26,051,521 according to Alexa. Before the scandal, his website had 44 daily visitors / pageviews.

  • riya

    I hope such cheat companies perish soon…

  • KMHamm

    Had the same thing happen to me. I blasted the company with everyone from the BBB to the local press to Facebook, Angie’s List, their suppliers. and more. I didn’t get paid, but their company’s gone belly up. Amazing what a PO’d person with time on their hands and righteous indignation can do.

  • AFPhys

    I really like this. I hope that whoever or whatever Fitness SF is that they disappear very soon and die a horrible death which leaves their owners penniless.