• Report: #827256

Complaint Review: WebsiteDesignz

  • Submitted: Mon, January 23, 2012
  • Updated: Thu, September 04, 2014

  • Reported By: Samuel — Henderson Texas United States of America
Internet United States of America

WebsiteDesignz WebsiteDesignz.com, Stephen Fitzsimmons Failure to Pay Employees Internet, Internet

*Author of original report: Poor management continues

*Consumer Comment: Stephen is full of it

*Author of original report: Threatened With Lawsuit

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: A similar experience

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This report details my negative experience working for Stephen at WebsiteDesignz. I am a highly-rated freelancer on Elance with hundreds of successful projects, a 4.7 star rating, a 97% client recommendation rate, and 31% of my clients returning for repeat work. These are some of the highest reputation stats you'll find anywhere on Elance. I routinely work with clients to turn huge profits for their businesses. That was my goal with WebsiteDesignz, too. I was given a number of fake promises on the phone and in writing: 1) A FAIR COMMISSION SCHEDULE. There are three reasons why commissions are a pipe dream. First, the project planning job is SPECULATIVE WORK. You only get paid  for the projects you complete if Stephen lands the contract. Second, much of the work is based on modifying existing projects, which earns no commission. Third, the workflow is so low that the minimum quota will never be met. [continued below]....
..... Every employee I spoke to was promised commissions, yet no commissions were ever paid. 2) BETWEEN 40 AND 80 HOURS OF WORK PER WEEK. I cut many existing clients to take this project, but was asked to go home early most days, resulting in between 20 and 30 hours. 3) PAYMENT EVERY TWO WEEKS. My first check was two weeks late. My second and final check is six weeks late and I do not expect to receive it, because four other employees are six weeks late, too. The employer does not keep cash on hand with which to pay employees. 3) TRAINING. The training I received was generally good, but there was far too little of it. Six weeks into my employment, I was still unable to create even the smallest of projects. I spent a total of five minutes training with Stephen, and that was the best training I received during my entire employment, but 95% of my training time was spent simply watching employees do their work. When I recommended that I could train myself by taking on archived projects, building them from scratch, and comparing them to the final versions, I was ignored.

Let's talk about what needs to change at WebsiteDesignz before YOU, the prospective employee, accept a position here. 1) Remove the commission schedule and work for higher hourly rates. I was fine taking a 75% hourly pay cut to work here, anticipating commissions and a good resume builder. In my previous job, I worked 80 hours a week and got a lot done, so I was basing my salary expectations on hefty commissions. The hours and commissions never materialized. Don't make this mistake, your hourly rate is all you can expect to receive. 2) Remove employee redundencies. If there is another employee doing the same job as you are, don't take a job here. You'll be splitting the hours, workload, and stepping on each others toes the entire time you are here. You'll also be expendable. 3) Stephen should develop and codify a training plan for all positions. It should be in writing and sufficient that, after studying the training materials, the employee is ready to start working at a high standard. 4) Require that hours be paid weekly via auto-pay. Do not allow your payments to fall weeks behind like many employees have.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/23/2012 03:11 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/websitedesignz/internet/websitedesignz-websitedesignzcom-stephen-fitzsimmons-failure-to-pay-employees-internet-827256. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Poor management continues

AUTHOR: Smith and Team - ()

Here are WebsiteDesignz's reviews as an employer: http://www.elance.com/e/websitedesignz/?r=fee

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#2 Consumer Comment

Stephen is full of it

AUTHOR: Steve - (USA)

If he was thinking of suing you, he would not tell you to only communicate through his lawyer; his lawyer would be contacting you in the first place! And his lawyer would laugh at him, because he does not have a case unless you told a bald faced lie. 
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#3 Author of original report

Threatened With Lawsuit

AUTHOR: Smith and Team - (United States of America)

I received this response from Stephen, threatening a LAWSUIT for my post on RipOffReport: 

"If you cared about negative impact to this company, you would not have violated your NDA and posted negative comments online about this company. Let's be real. You withdrew the dispute so that you could be paid. If you had bothered to drop a message, the outcome would have been the same. But it was midnight on a Saturday night, who cares, right?

I simply assumed you had been served and you were filing your dispute in retaliation for the lawsuit filed against you. Any further communication with us from you should be routed via our attorney, Seth Needlebaum. I'm sure he'd be happy to speak with you.

Best of luck,

To Stephen: Truth is an absolute defense against libel. 
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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

A similar experience

AUTHOR: has-worked-for-websitedesignz - (Antigua and Barbuda)

I am sorry you had the misfortune to work for this company. I too, have worked for WebsiteDesignz (I was a dev, check out my reply to another report about this company on RipoffReport) and I share your fate.

My advice to all people that will have future contacts with WebsiteDesignz or this Stephen Fitzsimmons is to do a google search on the firm, read what everybody is saying about this and make sure all the bad things we've been writing about don't exist before taking a decision. Judging by the dates in the picture you posted, you started working for him when there were already a lot of reports about how the firm operates.

There's more you could do. Notify Elance of WebsiteDesignz's behavior and ask them to pull the plug. I've started using Elance less and less once I've seen that they allow companies like that to keep scamming workers out of their money. Maybe if more people in our position talk to Elance, Odesk and other freelancing/outsourcing sites eventually this guy will do one of two things: he'll actually start paying people (highly unlikely) or will have to start over under a new name and loose the fake reputation he gets now (you can't change the date on which your account was created).

The first time someone responded saying he will cancel his interview with WebsiteDesignz to a report posted about the company I was happy to know my two months of working for no pay haven't been in vain and somebody was saved from dealing with Stephen Fitzsimmons.
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