Fitness SF, which was once called Gold’s Gym of the San Francisco Bay Area, and of which this vlogger has been a long-time member of it’s Oakland facility, has suffered from the actions of an irate web developer by the name of Frank Jonen. Claiming unpaid invoices, Mr. Jonen has taken to altering the FitnessSF main website in such a way as to inform visitors of the beef he has with FitnessSF owners.
“We regret any inconvenience this may cause for you as a customer of FitnessSF, however it is a necessary measure in getting what is rightfully ours.”
Frank Jonen claims that his organization, which appears to be him, was responsible for the custom style sheet of the website. The CSS governs the look and to some degree the feel of a website, from font size to color.
In a Valentine’s Day blog post over at Social Times, which featured this video-blogger in a 2011 post by Megan O’Neill, Devon Glenn blogs that “Fitness SF denies owing money to the web designer who replaced the company’s homepage with an angry letter last night.”
“Frank Jonen was hired and paid to produce a website that he never made,” said Fitness SF Don Dickerson via email. ”He is not an agency. He lives in his parents’ attic in Germany. He is attempting to blackmail us and we will not cave to extortion demands.”
Both Parties Are Wrong
First, if you’re going to do website work for anyone, make sure you get at least 50 percent of the payment as a retainer, preferably the whole cost. If the client is not happy, you can arrange to pay them back a percentage of what you collect, or make alterations for free. Second, the web client should, at the very least, make sure that the agreement with the web designer is in writing before any work is done, and be ready to pay some percentage of the total cost up front.
Finally, Mr. Jonen’s actions weren’t criminal because it’s obvious by the alteration of the FitnessSF website that he has easy access to the server, which means he was the person who made the initial username and password for it, so it’s highly unlikely the FBI will even take this up as a case, and may very well laugh at it. But Frank’s actions were certainly unethical and this publicity will not help him gain future clients unless he does some fast talking online. If Jonen has an issue, he can sue in small claims court, even what the cost of the total job most likely is.
FitnessSF Facebook Pages Should Not Have Been Taken Down
Another problem rests in Fitness SF’s decision to take down all of the Facebook Pages that concern each of its outlets. The basic rule in social media is transparency; Fitness SF should have just addressed the issue with one message, the same one, on each of its pages, and left it at that. But the action of terminating all of the pages sends a message that Fitness SF has something to hide. It’s thousands of guests have Facebook comments to share that could help market the gym chain.
FitnessSF Website Back To Normal
The website is now back to normal, after being in a defaced state for about two days. But is the issue resolved?