The EazyTheme Fiasco – An Explanation & Apology…

Well I’ve not had a great 24 hours that’s for sure.

You know how I’m always rattling on about taking responsibility for things that go wrong?

Well the ultimate responsibility lies with me, so settle down while I tell you the story of The EazyTheme Fiasco.

Basically I know how powerful customizable themes are (I’m using one for this blog) and for a long time I’d wanted to offer one to my readers and subscribers that was both FREE and top quality.

So for the past few months we’ve been working on doing exactly that with EazyTheme.

We knew what we wanted it to do, what we wanted YOU to be able to do with it, and we wanted the personal user license (on unlimited sites) to be absolutely free so the people who needed it most could get it.

So what went wrong?

Well our decision of which coder to hire did.

We hired someone who basically STOLE the sourcecode from a well established and very good WordPress Theme and passed it off as his own work.

We took this coder at his word and because of his good feeback on various freelancing sites.Β  Big mistake.

I got an email on my iphone last night – unfortunately while I was in bed or I could have acted sooner) from the owner of the theme that our coder had stolen.

(Incidentally the original job spec was totally specific about it being 100% unique and original)

Luckily the marketer who owns the theme is a total professional and could see immediately what had happened.

We’ve sent emails back and forth most of today and not only has he been understanding but he’s offered advice and help.

So the outcome is that we’ve lost a fair chunk of money, a lot of time but worse, the respect and trust of you guys who downloaded the theme.

So here’s my apology.Β  I’m really sorry for the hassle this has caused you and the inconvenience you’ve been through. I know you’ve invested your time and effort and I really regret we coudln’t follow up with our promises this time.

We are pursuing this ‘coder’ and will continue to do so to prevent him doing this again.

For you it means that you can’t use the theme at all. Sorry.

I can only guess at what a mess this leaves some of you in. If there’s anything I can do, get in touch.

I’ve sent an email out with a free WordPress gift as a poor apology but we also promise to get it right next time and deliver.

So that’s what happened.Β  It’s been an experience for me. A bad one and an enlightening one.

We start work tomorrow on bringing you something you can actually use. This time we’ll deliver.

Best wishes, and another big ‘sorry’.

Comments welcome as always,


EDIT: Some of the comments below liked the theme and wanted to know where to get the ‘original’ one from.

Well it’s the Socrates Theme (not an affiliate link). It’s a truly great theme and the man in question who’s been so helpful throughout today is Joel Comm (he even left a comment below)

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89 responses to “The EazyTheme Fiasco – An Explanation & Apology…

  1. Tony Newton

    As the project manager for the theme I must also apologize and take responsibility for trusting the feedback on the largest freelancing site online.

    You certainly can’t judge a book by it’s cover when it comes to dealing with outsourcers.

    This is a harsh lesson learned and it won’t happen again.


  2. Kirk

    I say kudos to you guys for being responsible, responsive to your list, and I too am sorry this didn’t work out as it really seemed to be an outstanding project.

    I respect you guys and will stay on your list because of your honesty and integrity.


  3. Wes

    Hey Tony and Tony —

    I’m on both of your mailing lists, I read what I get from both of you, and I have purchased from both of you…. and I feel bummed out for both of you.

    Sorry to hear that this has happened to you. I, for one, have followed both of you for some time and (for others out there that are new to Tony and Tony) knew that an unfortunate issue had occurred that was outside of your control. Both of you have always appeared to be ‘straight shooters’ to me.

    I wish you each the very best,

    Wes ~

  4. I was quite disapointed, to say the least, when I got your first email. I was going to install that theme today, you guys really had my hopes up! The theme looked like what I have been wanting, but could not afford to buy, I was upset.
    Then I realized I had it easy! I didn’t go through the trouble of hiring the coder, paying him, setting it all up just to give it away, and then having to humble yourselves (to pour salt in the wound!) and retract a great gift and apologize! I appreciate your valiant effort and truly hope you pull it off anyways! Thanks again, B

  5. David

    Apologies accepted. It’s just one of those things and couldn’t be helped. As with most things in life it comes down to people and trust. Good luck with your next project and I look forward to seeing it.



  6. Hey, no one gets it right 100% of the time, right? The main thing is that you guys found out, alerted us quickly, and the theme owner that was ripped off by the jerk of a coder who scammed you isn’t suing you. Dire outcome averted! We know you’ll overdeliver next time… that’s how you guys are, and we know it. Apology easily accepted!


  7. wow… that’s a blow. I really respect you all for taking responsibility for the mistake and letting your readers know. It really shows your credibility.

    Mistakes happen ~ taking responsibility doesn’t always.

  8. Tony and Tony,
    I was blown away when you emailed me and then this post. I thought you theme was just what I was looking for. It gave me issues which I sent off to just yesterday. Perhaps that was the reason. Anyway, I look forward to working with you in the future and I appreciate the kind gifts. I hope you find this guy and do what you will with him.

    Good luck – Scott

  9. Hi Tony & Tony. Thank you both for your apologizes but in my opinion it wasn’t neccessary. Y’all can’t help what others do, no matter how much you check them out. Sometimes in business or life, you have to go with your gut instincts about a person or thing and hope it turns out okay. If not, then we learn a lesson from it.

    Anyway, I’m so sorry that happen to y’all. If there is anything that I can do, please let me know.

    Thanks for all y’alls hard work and dedication. Very appreciate.


  10. Ray

    No worries, I’m looking forward to what you guys come up with next time. I’m sure after this situation the next project will be even better. I hadn’t had the opportunity to use the theme as of yet but I was certainly planning on installing it on a bunch of my domains. Thanks anyway!


  11. This is something that can easily happen. I have seen many people get taken for a ride and end up in bad shape. As bad as losing the money is, the blow to your credibility can be much worse as it will affect future earnings.

    I work with someone who is scrupulously honest and is appalled by what she sees at this freelance site. She will no longer work through it because just being associated with it could damage her reputation.

  12. Nadiya

    you took responsibility and that’s what counts – sorry that it had to happen to you. And thank you for the free gift!

  13. Tony Shepherd

    I’m REALLY appreciating your comments – thank you πŸ™‚


  14. Gosh, guys, I’m sorry to learn about this fiasco and the loss of time and money. But those who respect you will understand. It could happen to any of us.

    Everyone talks about outsourcing, but few back their words by disclosing what really happens behind the scenes. It’s probably not much comfort to you at this point, but if it happens to one person, surely it has happened to hundreds more…who don’t become transparent enough to reveal the truth.

    Thank you for your honesty, and a special thanks goes out to the original owner of the theme for being a fair-minded person.


  15. I don’t see this as a fiasco. You guys stopped the dishonesty dead, were honest about it, and explained it thoroughly. In business and in life, there are things we can control and things we can’t control. You guys fulfilled your responsibilities completely, and no one can ask for anything more! God bless you.

  16. Paul Price

    Your kind and gracious apology is totally accepted. If this is the biggest issue you have to deal with, consider yourselves lucky.

    It looked to me like a perfect solution to a situation I was working on, but so be it.

    Thanks again for all the good you folks do.

  17. Ray

    I have a lot of respect for the way both of you have responded to this major problem, mostly for you guys and for the people who may have been inconvenienced.
    Thank you.

  18. Well f**k that coder. If you guys wanted to be real vindictive you’d publish his name and the name of the site where you hired him.

    In fact, publishing those little facts wouldn’t be a bad idea…you know…so the rest of us can stay away from them.

  19. Joe

    Thanks Tony & Tony,

    The fact that you guys are up front and transparent about the whole situation – (that was not really your fault) will help you guys in the long run. I totally appreciate you guys for stepping up to the plate and taking responsibility – and explaining to us what happened.

    You have won me over as a customer – and I look forward to your upcoming products!

    Joli Productions LLC

  20. I am glad that there are still guys like you in the IM world!! It is guys like you that make me believe that that making a living from the net is still viable because there are still honest and credible people like you around.
    An oversight can happen to anyone of us….so just hang in there and come out stronger

  21. Hi guys

    No worries, sorry it’s cost you money it only cost us a little inconvenience. I hope you get the little “bar-steward” an sue him for all he’s got, as I like to say “there are no mistakes only lessons” . Good luck with the ongoing project.


  22. Jim E

    Sorry to hear this, but appreciate your being upfront about it and letting us know quickly (even though I just spent the morning loading and tweaking an eazy site – doh!)

    So how about going one step further and letting us know who we can purchase the “real” theme from? I like this theme very much, and think it would be a gracious move for you to name the “real” version and where we can find it.

    Jim E

  23. What a shame guys, feel for you because have been in your shoes. Hired a person to code a plugin and they not only “borrowed” code to build it, they turned around and sold PLR to it.

    Best of luck getting it all sorted out.


  24. Ann Jacques

    Hi Both
    Sorry to have read about your dilemma. Better luck next time ah! Thanks for letting us all know. I was just getting around to getting up on all the info.
    ANN J

  25. I didn’t need or use the Theme as I am building a site in a niche with a custom design, but I’ve been in business a long time and had a few court battles – this is how life goes sometimes.

    Tony (S) helped me out a year or so ago and gace graciously of his time and I have since bough several of his products.

    Over delivers all the time. Honest, decent bloke. I’ll be here for a long time to come.

    Apology not needed but accepted.

  26. Tony…. Thanks for being a stand-up guy. The explanation as to what happened was also a very good lesson for all of us reading it. I appreciate your transparency. I can’t imagine how stressful and upsetting your last 24 hours has been. But, it’s likely nothing that a nice bottle of South African Cabernet can’t fix… (smile) Anyway, thanks also to the owner of the theme who responded graciously as well.


  27. Jim E

    Thanks for letting us know where to go for the “original”, Tony.
    I respect your handling of this all the more.

    Beware, all, when dealing with freelance “coders” on any future projects. It seems to be their standard operating procedure these days to “borrow” just about anything that isn’t nailed down on the internet and pass it off as their own work.

  28. Sorry to hear that you got turned over. Good on you for taking resposibility for it. I had used it on a new website but I took it down as soon as I received your email.

    When I received an email from Joel Comm this morning I wondered if he was refering to your theme.

    Hope you manage to get it sorted out.

  29. Peggy

    Hello to Both,
    Your apology is accepted. Your intention was to give something to help others out. It came from your hearts. The thought counts very much.
    I look forward to the new one you will so generously be giving and sending out to all of us.
    Thanks for thinking of us and I’m sure that everyone appreciates both of you.
    It’s unfortunate when others take claim to someone else’s work. Sorry it happen to you!

  30. GAH!

    Unscrupulous people in this business give us all a bad name. Congratulations on doing the right thing for your customers and for your business!

  31. Bad break, boys. I’m sorry you had that happen to you. As an owner of the Socrates theme myself, I’m surprised I didn’t notice it.

    I jumped all over the theme yesterday and spent a bunch of time building a site with it. So I had a question. As a registered owner of the Socrates theme, can I continue to use the “stolen” theme on the site I created with it? Or are the themes so much alike that I can just activate Socrates on the site I used the bogus theme on?

    Wishing you all the best,

  32. Hey T&T, No worries πŸ™‚
    Saw the email Joel must have sent out right after you started giving that away and thought it was just a clone of Socrates. With all the unscrupulous coders out there trying to make a fast buck, I fully understand. That is one thing that makes things tougher than they have to be for all of us in IM of any kind. One or two ‘Bad Apples’ can really put a huge dent in not only our integrity, but also our pride.
    I truly respect both of you for letting us know as quickly as you did. Good thing I didn’t start uploading it to my networks yet. That would have been a real headache to try and fix over 120 blogs!
    I have been on your lists for a good while and will remain so with a bit of peace that at least I know two more respected marketers that still care about integrity.
    Kudos to you both for letting us know the ‘Inside Story’.

  33. Hi Tony

    Sorry to hear about this..I won’t send the email asking for
    The banners to promote it then..

    Seriously just reading the comment on this page remained me Why I promote your stuff. The trust and loyalty you have from your customers and readers is not that common in marketing today..

    And we all know you will get it sorted..

  34. George

    No problem. I believe no one would think you guys were pulling a fast one. To me, what counts is the way a person reacts a confront a problem. You did real well.
    In the other hand, I believe will be beneficial to know the name of “the largest freelancing site online”. We will alert in case of requesting work through them.

  35. Thanks for letting us know asap. That was a great theme.
    Weird things happen. I wonder if the other theme will pick up a little business. You should have put an affiliate link in there for alerting us all to a good product. Maybe offset a tiny bit if your effort.

    Thanks for the lesson learned.

  36. Tony and Tony,

    It is so refreshing to see people own up to their mistakes and do the right thing. In a world where integrity is sorely lacking, you handled this situation as professionally and expediently as anyone could expect. My hat is off to you!

    To current Socrates Theme customers, please uninstall Eazy Theme and use Socrates instead. Otherwise you will not be able to use new features that are coming.

    As for the email that went out this morning, here’s the funny thing.

    My email was NOT directed at Eazy Theme! There is another theme out there which mimicks Socrates, but appears to be original code. I was alerted to Eazy AFTER my email went out, so I was not referring to it at all. Besides, I would never send a public email for something concerning a legal matter. My point was that people are out of original ideas so they just reinvent the wheel.

    Thanks again for your public demonstration of integrity. I didn’t know of you until now, but I am glad to know you and have a great deal of respect for how you handled this.

    As for the coder, I hope you can put a serious chink in their ability to do business again.


    Joel Comm

  37. I was just starting to work with the eazytheme. It looked like a good candidate for some of my sites. I am guessing that Socrates will be the product if I choose to buy a theme.
    Thank you for the free theme packs. I will take a look at them.
    I am sure you can at least stop the coder from stealing other people’s work. We all take that chance when we hire outsourcing.
    I do hope you do not get sued. I think you have done all you can to prevent copyright infringement.
    Do not let this setback slow you down. Keep up the good work.

  38. Fair play to you guys for trying…and a lesson for all of us.

    We’ve used these type of sites before and they’ve been really good, but like you say, if the feedback was good why would you suspect anything else?

    Fairplay to the original blog creator to!

    Looking forward to what comes next…

  39. Hi Guys,
    I own the Socrates theme as well, and thought that your site looked familiar, but had not got around to working with it. But I share the sentiments expressed in the other comments – thank you for your good intentions, well done on sorting out the mess so quickly, and with a bit of luck you’ll be able to nail the coder responsible.

  40. Oh no! I’m gutted πŸ™ I’m just about to set up a new blog and was so excited to hear of your new theme at exactly the right time. I hadn’t downloaded it – in fact, I was in a rush when I opted in and hadn’t even clicked the confirmation link. So the euphoria was short-lived, but at least I hadn’t done any work on it.

    However, I’m sure I’m not as gutted as you guys who have put in all the time and preparation, and I think you should go ahead and name and shame the thieving coder.

    I’m not far enough down the IM road yet to be thinking of outsourcing (apart from to my son who does techie stuff for me) but I can’t imagine that I’ll ever be in a position where I’d be comfortable relying on someone I’ve never even met to do work for me. I’m not sure what I’d do if I ever got to the point where I need to outsource, but I as that time is probably a long way off I won’t worry about it for now πŸ˜‰

    Better luck next time guys, and I hope your rogue coder gets what’s coming to him.

  41. Frank

    Hi guys,
    Many thanks for the explanation of what went wrong. Much appreciated.

    I hope you nail the coder and get some satisfaction from the fact that being open about this will gain you lots of credibility as people who stand up and are counted when things go wrong through no fault of your own.

  42. Jay Stevenstoler

    Way to step up to the plate. I really enjoy doing business with straight shooters like you. You didn’t hem and haw, but took the bull by the horns and protected your customers and contacts.

    Thanks for your honesty. You can bet I’ll be back.

  43. Well, Tony & Tony, you guys are certainly memorable now in my book! First of all, overdelivery to your readers was your intention by offering a free customizable wordpress(r) theme. That got my attention big time (among the multitude of emails I often filter out). Then, to handle this faux paux without delay and with such directness, offering valuable substitutes, made up for the mistake. I appreciate your quick explanation and I expect you as well as many others who’ve been affected will benefit and put some safeguards in place so as not to be hoodwinked like this ever again.
    Best for now,

  44. Barry

    Problems and accidents happen to all. It’s how you deal with them that counts. And you’ve dealt with this properly.

  45. Brian

    Hey Tony & Tony
    This really sucks, but thanks for being upfront about it. I already downloaded the easy theme and activated it last night soon as I got your email about.

    I guess I’ll have switch over to another theme until you guys get the next one coded by someone you can actually trust.

    Thanks Brian

  46. Tony Shepherd

    I’m still watching these comments come in.

    Thanks for your support guys. Means a lot.


  47. Hey I was GUTTED that you guys were going to give this theme away……I only bought the socrates theme the other month. Okay so maybe I’m being a little selfish here, good on you guys for trying to help out the community and giving something back AND booooo to that coder, I hope you catch up with him and give him 60 lashes.
    I love you Tony, keep up the good work.


  48. OK, Tony, Never mind it! It is not a tragedy. Everything went well, because of the understanding of the partner.

    Ourselves, “your list”, I hope, I can speak so, understand you, and who would think about a good coder, that he would steal an already established code? A stupid thing, what this coder did. Now his reputation went down…

    As You offered this customizable theme, I was wondering, how similar it is to the Socrates project… It was so for me, as if somebody wanted to beat the Socrates theme… Now we know, that it wasn’t similar, it was exact the same!

    OK, I don’t want to leave the list for this. I am happy, that everything has settled well. Take care!

  49. I am sorry for you Guys. You must have lost a lot. I have only lost time and I have plenty of that since I retired last Stepember so in that respect it dosen’t really matter that much to me.

    Until the next time

    Take care of yourselves


  50. Andy M

    What a shock lads!!
    Gutted for you both and wanted this type of theme badly!
    it looked quite easy too to get your head around also. I am glad your after this coder as he could do this to others.

    I even started an article for this product and were just about to go back to it – i would like to thank you both for letting everyone know about this and can count your blessing you found out before anymore marketers got caught.

    Thanks again both for being honest – you got my respect!

    Andy M

  51. Hi Tonies (seems like it ought to be a word)
    I have opened my e-mail today about the wordpress theme you had been trailing and was excited about getting it, that was before I found the message telling me it was no longer available. Initially I was angry at myself for not checking my mail sooner thinking it had been over subscribed and withdrawn. It was only when I came to your blog that I found out what had occurred. My anger has now transferred to the bar steward that has conned you, ruined it for the many of us that were looking forward to this product and compromised your good name in the business. I feel for you and repect you for the way you have dealt with this. Those of us who have dealt with you know that you deliver over and above, in a fair and honest way, and we will continue to deal with you in the future. I came to you from following Sara’s newsletter and have always found you to be trustworthy and have bought products from you that work. A setback such as this will pass, because of the good you have done already and the high reputation you have. Don’t let what this ba****d has done hold you back. I could go on but enough already.
    You have my support for what it is worth.
    Onward and upward
    All the best

  52. Hi Tony & Tony
    I appreciate the effort you guys go to. Been a fan for a long time. Things happen, it’s unfortunate, but like has already been said … you guys always come through. The idea is a great one and will fit the bill for a lot of us. I look forward to the upgraded model. πŸ˜‰

  53. Max

    It all will work out perfectly. It’s the challenges that help us truly discover how strong and remarkable we are.



  54. Brian C

    No worries Tony’s

  55. Hi Guys,
    Unfortunately the world has too many rip-off merchants and you were conned. It’s no consolation but you won’t be the last. When you’re good guys (as you two are) you tend to trust people and it does make you wary in the future. It’s happened to me Big Time! but you have to pick yourselves up and get on with it.

    Problems will arise but to me the important rule in putting it right is to bite the bullet, be upfront, be honest and be quick. You have done all that so I’m confident you’ll preserve your integrity with the majority of your list, and that’s what counts.

    If I could buy you a beer I would, cos that’s what you need tonight.

    Remember…. tomorrow’s another day.

  56. Greetings Tony1 and Tony2,

    Hey, wasn’t that the name of a music group from the 80’s (different spelling I believe)?

    Anywhooo, I applaud that you were trying to help your subscribers by providing a valuable customized theme FREE of charge. And, perhaps more importantly, I appreciate your humility in apologizing – although it wasn’t necessary. After all, things happen – no matter how diligently we proceed.

    Kudos to each of you!


    Fred S.

  57. Dekker

    When I looked at your theme yesterday I thought it was uncannily like Socrates, I hope you get the Bast……. eh I mean developer.

  58. Ouch!
    Site up and running. Now discontinued and Eazy Theme deleted.
    It was easy alright! :o).

    Not the end of the world for us but I would like to say that yours’ and Joel Comm’s reaction was first class.
    Thanks for doing the right thing, guys!

    Good luck with the next project!


  59. You have my sympathy – and understanding. Like they say; I’ve been there myself; worn the Tshirt, etc.
    BillyDee Molloy

  60. Rolf

    I was really sorry to hear about this mess!

    I was indeed looking forward to using a good and free theme and I was just about to tell a lot of people about it.

    You did the right thing though so no worries from my part.

    I would not like to be the guy who pulled this off.

    Thanks for the gift, it is appreciated!

    I hope you come up with something else instead and that everything works out well.

    Best wishes

  61. Hey Tony & Tony, I subscribe and have purchased items from both of you in the past. I also own and use Socrates.

    When I received the free Easy Theme offer and watched the intro video I could not believe it and told my wife how surprised I was that you guys would “rip” it off. She said isn’t that two of the guys you respect and follow? I said yes and that’s why I was so surprised to see this. BUT…. now it all makes sense.

    One, it just shows you guys are human and real. Two, when something like this happens to guys like you who know your way around the block, it helps the rest of us swallow mistakes we make a little better.

    Joel is a great guy. Also one of the guys (just like you two) that I respect and listen to. Glad to see how all three of you dealt with this issue so quickly and professionally without mud slinging or lawsuits.

    All three of you have once again shown you are the professionals the rest of us need to continue following and listening too. Thanks!

  62. Hey Tony,

    This sounds horribly familiar. I had a coder create an autoresponder and ecommerce system for me several years ago. Not only did he lie, cheat and steal, but he embedded malicious code in the source code before I fired him that caused utter chaos.
    I hope you’ve given the mongrel’s details to Joel, so that he can also pursue him.

    John Counsel
    CEO, The Profit Clinic

  63. Toni East

    Well done you guys for your integrity. That in itself says a lot about you and valuable lessons come out of everything. Joel Comm too is a real gentleman.
    All the best

  64. Hi Tony

    Sorry to hear about your unfortunate experience.

    I know how you feel, I purchased what I was led to believe were exclusive rights to an ebook about profiting from the public domain, I too offered it as a free gift to my subscribers only to be told by one of them that ‘my’ ebook was identical to one of Tony Laidig’s books!

    A very costly and embarrassing mistake.

    You’ve handled it in the right way and your reputation will be strengthened (as mine was) as a result.

    Best wishes


  65. To be honest I wouldn’t expect anything less from the 2 Tony’s,

    Nice work guys and better luck with your next coder


  66. Hi Guys,

    That definitely sucks…but these days you really need to be careful on who you hire. Lots of shady characters out there.


  67. Hi Guys,
    Thanks for letting me know- will delete- liked the look of it was going to use for my book site looks like I will keeping using my premium theme that I own- look forward to your next design-

  68. Hi T & T,

    I am sorry to hear about your ‘situation’ but it makes me feel soooo good to know that there are people out there that are honest and that are willing to help others. I am sure that everyone that has downloaded the ‘Easytheme’ really appreciated all that you have done and all that you are doing to rectify this situation, I know I certainly do.

    Thanks for letting everyone know so quickly and please pass on a thank you to Joel for being ‘a good sport’.

    Time for you to sit down, take a deep breath and a long drink.

    Take care.


  69. Hey Guy’s,

    S–t happens….Thanks for being stand up guy’s. Hell we’ll give your next effort a go.



  70. Hey Tony,

    Totally understand! I’m glad that you come forth when you found out the problem and set to correct it. Sometimes it’s the little things that we do that earns respect. And you have.

    FYI, I actually got an email from Joel couple of days earlier that he thinks there’s a copycat of his theme…

    Good luck on your next project!



  71. Wow, I’m just glad it wasn’t me who got messed up like that. Not that I wasn’t looking forward to the new theme. It looked really interesting.

    It’s just lucky that this was caught before this theme started floating around everywhere.

  72. jerry

    I have to agree with the crowd on this one -painful or not, you did the right thing. I know how you feel.

    Too many years ago a partner and I came with a treasure hunting product that we were building together. We took out ads in the treasure magazine and I put up my half of the money and started working on them. My partner bailed and left me holding the bag.

    I had to write letters to the editors of the magazines to apologize and give real mail address for anyone who got burned to get in touch with me.

    It actually turned out fine. It cost me a couple of hundred dollars but I gained the respect of some of the top dogs in treasure hunting by just being honest. And like you, rather than blame my partner I just accepted full responsibility and moved on.

    I feel for you but, more than that I respect you.


  73. Tony & Tony
    I can only echo the comments of those who came here first: damn fine attempt to share something great, and damn fine reaction to a situation that you didn’t cause.
    I look forward to more of your insight and inspiration in the future.

  74. Same feelings I had about the ease of Socrates. You are a great example of what the right thing to do is in this situation. Sad there are still so many people willing to sacrifice their reputation giving up future earnings just being lazy.

  75. C.J.

    Guys, when I saw today’s email saying “don’t use it”, I figured that it was for a similar, if not this exact reason, and wasn’t surprised at all. How do I know? Been there, done that, and am now sitting here out $1100 after Andrew X and Steven Lee Jones had the same thing happen to them after their coder(s) ripped off PHP Fox to create Niche Socializer last year, which they’d sold to 500-1000 people worldwide for $1000 a pop using either Michael Jones or Simon Adams of Hyper Facebook Traffic as a pitchman, resulting in one of the largest internet marketing scams in history (yes, I AM hoping that this blog is do-follow to spread the word of their misdeeds and initiate the decline of their empire).

    You two, I trust and admire for having the balls and the integrity to explain and apologize for what’s happened here behind the scenes regardless of how bad you think it might make you look (which it really doesn’t). The fact that your product was free with only a one-time $100 upgrade makes no difference, as I believe you would’ve done the right thing regardless of the selling price. True integrity comes with no price tag attached to it.

    The difference is, those two thieves not only didn’t refund everybody, as would’ve been the right thing to do, but adding to their already horrendous customer service also continued to pretend that the theft had never occurred while they supposedly had their script recoded from scratch and put it on a new page, which I have yet to see.

    And now Andrew X of Hong Kong, who apparently has now become Mark Barnard of Hong Kong (if that’s his real name, either) since they share the same business address, has collaborated on Traffic Siphon with George Brown, which immediately made me skeptical of both George and the program, while Steven Lee Jones has released Traffic Anarchy, another $37 “traffic grail” clone in a recent long line of them supposedly not worth a bucket of warm spit in reality.

    All of this is why neither one of these two clowns has never likely used their real name on anything they’ve sold, and likely never will. They’ve not taken an ounce of responsibility for leaving 500-1000 people worldwide in the lurch, although if Andrew/Mark alone is really making $4k per day as an affiliate, they could have afforded to, but simply chose not to, as it would’ve crimped their lifestyles, and what’s to say that Michael or Simon has ever used their real name, either?

    This entire industry, particularly Clickbank which continues to subsidize Andrew and Steven simply because they make money, is drowning in duplicity and corruption. They will get theirs, if there’s any justice at all and I have anything to do with it.

  76. Hi,
    Sorry to hear what happened.
    Best wishes for your success with the project.
    Shows we all need to do our homework when buying and when outsourcing.
    A valuable lesson I hope others will benefit from.

  77. I thought it looked very familiar in the video demo,
    as I do have Socrates. I was thinking, “damn, look
    at all the money I could have saved if I had waited.
    LOL. Thank you so much for the good intention and
    for the heads up in a disapponting and expensive
    situation for you guys. Now I am really glad I
    bought the Socrates license when I did.

    Tony, I know you are one of the best because of the
    years we have done business together. This is just a
    small hurdle in your business that you are already
    graciously over coming by doing the right thing.

    Hang in there dude!

  78. G’day guys,

    I can only echo all the good thoughts expressed by so many others. I’ve followed and bought products from both of you and have been impressed with your integrity in the murky world of internet marketing.

    Thank you for your honesty, it’s much appreciated.


  79. Hi both,
    Well they say every cloud has a silver lining and in this case it’s the fact that now everyone knows of and respects your integrity and honesty in a world where reputation is everything – something money can’t buy, and hopefully something that will make up somewhat for your financial losses.
    I’ve been on your list for a long time and this won’t make me change!
    All the best to you, and hope it works out next time as it was SUCH a GREAT idea!

  80. Hey Tony@

    Not your usual sort of inspiring blog post I must say.


    It is strangley inspirational as it shows that
    these problems can hit even the TRUE HONEST
    established proffessionals in this industry .

    Like you say to me each week at the bottom of the
    “Kickstart” course…..

    Just Go And Do It …The Hard Part !

    Okay well have been playing with this IM
    thing for a time now making tons of mistakes
    and worrying about making even more and
    making a little progess.

    Your misfortune has given me the inspiration
    to “Just Do It !”

    So there you go out of something really terrible
    and unfortunate happening to you Tony it has
    given me the catalyst I needed to push me on
    to becoming a full time IM kid and jump into
    this big pool!

    I sincerley hope you turn this bad turn
    into another “Sheperd Cracker!”(look at all the
    blog comments for starters ! ) And I really look
    forward to to this new product.

    Cheers Tony, chin up and look forward to the
    next blog post.

    Best Wishes

    Darren Todd

  81. Hi;

    I was sorry to hear the theme had problems as the first email I got from Tony Newton, now that you explain the causes I can only tell you thanks for all your effort to produce such an important product for your subscribers.
    Certainly it looks like a dream came true, so please donΒ΄t give it up; I look forward to hearing from you on this topic very soon.

    Best regards

  82. Kat

    Hadn’t had a change to use yet, but sorry for the issues. The theme looked good to me and was just waiting to finish some other projects before I downloaded. Anyway, hope you can come up with a new ‘free’ customizable theme for your subscribers. One request, how about a widget in the header area? That area is usually wasted and having the ability to put a sign up box there would be great. (I’d use the word awesome but I’m too damn old)!!

  83. Oh, man, what a bummer for you guys! I was upset when I got back home from a funeral to find that that the offer I was pulled, but at least I know it wasn’t because this was a “limited time offer.”

    Thanks for the efforts! Sorry for you losses. The coder is a scum bag and I agree with Joel – put him out of business permanently. He doesn’t deserve to ever be trusted again.

    And you can’t miss by working with Joel!! He’s awesome! πŸ™‚


  84. Hiya Tony,
    I just wanted to mirror everybody else’s views that you’ve done nothing but gained more respect from us all for your attitude in all this. I missed out on downloading it before you found out the “error” but would still follow your advice as you are a rarity, in that you tell it how it is.
    I will still follow your blog and would love to buy from you, just waiting for my sites to start showing a profit first πŸ˜‰
    It made me laugh when I first came across your blog, I love your attitude to life and your work ethic and then I saw that your publisher is based in Northbridge House, Burnley, which is where I used to work for a computer manufacturer many moons ago before we moved over to Malta. You are a kindred spirit… well apart from the wrong colour rose πŸ˜‰

  85. That is just terrible what that coder did. Hopefully karma will take care of it.

    Hopefully you don’t dwell on the mistake and can move on to more productive things..

  86. Hi Tony

    I also think you are a man of integrity and offer good content in the information you provide

    Thanks and keep it coming!

  87. San

    I’m a bit late on my reply, and to be honest had not long joined the mailing list for this blog before I had the ‘stay away’ apology email.

    All I can say is that I hope to have built the sort of trust you guys have with your subscribers one day. I have just read over 100 comments, and not a 1er was disparaging towards the people who were trying to dole out a bit of free help. As an ‘outsider’ looking in, this is a very, very humbling lesson.

    I have in recent months been party to at least one email campaign from a very well respected (although slightly tainted US marketer), who gave away some list building software that turned out not to be his, or at least at the time he didn’t have the licence.

    There was no apology, let alone a withdrawal of the software. Kudos for correcting an error which was seemingly out of your control. I can say that I will be signed up to this list until my interest in making a living from internet sales has died. IE no time soon.

    Good work guys.


  88. Hi Tony,

    This is my first visit to your site and it is obvious that you and the other Tony who is mentioned (do not know who that is) are held in high esteem by those who know you and believe in your integrity.

    I look forward to learning more about you and your IM philosophy in the future.

    I received emails on the two products mentioned, the Traffic Anarchy and Traffic Siphon and know exactly who’s list they came from..hmmm. Did not buy into either “pitch”.

    I guess we have to always remember the old saying “If look looks like a skunk and it smells like a skunk LOL.

    Good luck with your next project and I am happy to be here on the blog πŸ™‚

    Maureen Crown

  89. Hi Tony,
    Yes I know I’m around 3 years late to the party here, but just came to this post via a link in your latest newsletter and just wanted to say I’ve never come across such a classy response to such a sh*tty situation (which wasn’t even your fault in the first place) – good job lads (and thanks for the continued excellent content in your newsletter)!


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