How not to do business with a contractor

A tussle between a San Francisco gym and a European Web developer turned into an online standoff that seems far from over. There are takeaways for the rest of us, though.

A nasty virtual fight erupted recently between Fitness SF, a gym in San Francisco, and Web designer Frank Jonen. If you work as a contractor, there are some valuable lessons amid the drama.

Here’s the back story. Fitness SF hired Frank Jonen to “develop a functional website for our brand.” Frank says he delivered the work, but Fitness SF didn’t pay. So, after repeated attempts to collect on his invoices, Frank took the situation to a whole new level by replacing Fitness SF’s website with an angry letter.

Here’s an excerpt of the letter published on the site:

Dear Fitness SF customer,

Fitness SF preferred to ignore our invoices instead of paying them. As a result this website is no longer operational.

We regret any inconvenience this may cause for you as a customer of Fitness SF, however it is a necessary measure in getting what is rightfully ours.

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