We believe, like Greg Glassman does, that competition is good and makes us all better. We also believe in being ethical. During our WOD we are expected to count all of our reps and not shave reps off in order to gain a false competitive advantage.
Sadly, one of our competitors, WODIFY, recently resorted to unethical competition. The worse part was they were willing to damage CrossFit gyms in order to attempt to win their business. Seriously, which one of us would do harm to someone else in order to win a WOD?
Let me preface this post by saying that we even emailed the WODIFY CEO informing him of what happened and asked that they apologize to the gyms directly. We sent the email on 12/23/2014 and gave them until 12/29/2014 to apologize to the gyms. We never heard anything back! On 12/29/2014 we even called and left a voice mail and still no reply by 12/30/2014. So, we felt the community should know about their business practices.
A few weeks back, we began receiving calls from several of our gyms that someone was either un-RSVPing their members from class or filling up their classes with false members. Someone was intentionally disrupting their business and blocking members from being able to attend a class.
Below is a log showing the IP address 18.104.22.168 maliciously filling up a gym’s classes with false names. An IP address is a number that is assigned to a computer so that it can be identified on a network, like the Internet. Think of an IP address like a street address.
We saw the same IP address harassing other customers. We looked up the location of the IP address and discovered it was located in New Jersey, ironically, right where WODIFY’s office is.
We thought, “no way” would someone in this industry be so unethical that they would damage a business to win business—especially a company that is supposed to help box owners. We followed up with our gyms asking them if anything suspicious or out of the ordinary happened on the days that they had their RSVP lists messed with. A pattern began to emerge. They all remembered that, shortly after their RSVP list filled up, Eric Allen from WODIFY called them.
What did we do?
Evidence was mounting that it actually might be WODIFY damaging our customers. To remove any doubt, we decided to set a trap to prove definitively if it was or was not WODIFY.
Nicki from CrossFit Power Hour was more than willing to help us, as the perpetrator aggressively targeted her. We setup up a sting operation to determine if it was WODIFY. We created a web page that was designed specifically to capture the culprit. Nicki then sent this link to Eric Allen under the guise that it was a future feature list we were working on.
Shortly after Nicki sent the email, we saw the same IP address that had been damaging the gym’s RSVP system access the page we setup to capture the culprit.
In the log file below, you can see the IP address that hit our setup page is the same as the one that was attacking boxes.
117071,”2014-12-17 14:59:47″,334e58bf-d662-4e98-b01d-80752316db83,22.214.171.124,GET,”id = VVVV0D1Phy5Ux0R5;”,/features/new?id=VVVV0D1Phy5Ux0R5,”Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/39.0.2171.95 Safari/537.36″,,”type:REQUEST | method:GET | action:/features/new | ip:126.96.36.199 | agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/39.0.2171.95 Safari/537.36 | X-API-VERSION: null | id=VVVV0D1Phy5Ux0R5 | date: Wed Dec 17 14:59:47 UTC 2014″,,,http-bio-8080-exec-262,INFO,com.wodhopper.logging.LoggingController,,
Captured – Red-Handed
Right after accessing the page, Eric Allen contacted Nicki asking for a username and password to access the site, further confirming that it was Eric.
Eric Allen was captured red-handed. He was damaging and harming gyms in order to advance the sale of his product.
Would you consider this ethical?
Would you want to be in partnership with a business that employs these business practices?
The best part is that Eric is the VP of Business Development. So he is a leader of the company. Is this the way to be a leader? What does this say about the overall organization?
Your perpetrator – Eric Allen – VP of Business Development or should we say VP of Business Destruction?
His LinkedIn Profile is here if you want to send him a nice message.
WODHOPPER is an all-in-one CrossFit Affiliate Management system. We believe in ethical business practices and will only help to promote your gym and not damage it.