From our friends at PRNewser here is a story no freelancer ever wants to see: a web designer who claims he wasn’t paid for his work has replaced his client’s website with a ransom note.

The site, which used to be a website for a chain of gyms in California, now looks like this:


While we understand Frank Jonen’s position and sympathize, this also makes us hurt a little on the inside.

Fellow freelancers are saying that it’s what everyone ever stiffed on payment has wanted to do. Other clients? May decide to never hire Jonen based on this stunt.

And of course the move makes other clients think “horror show” when they consider hiring a freelancer — any freelancer.

According to AdWeek, the client–Fitness SF–is now saying that Jonen is trying to “blackmail” them.

Here’s a tip for freelancers who don’t want to be stiffed. If the money stops coming, STOP WORKING. Immediately. Don’t do a little more “because they’re so nice” or “because they promised to pay you.” Just don’t.