My apologies for a rant you just received from a former contractor

Dave Hilditch
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A former contractor who I trusted decided to write an article saying that Super Speedy Plugins is a scam.

Thank you Gary for bringing it my quick attention, but you all will have received an email from a former contractor who is disgruntled that I’m refusing to pay his last invoice. (I dispute his hours as well as hours he claimed on 3 prior invoices, although I offered to not dispute the previous 3 and settle his last invoice which he actually agreed to!)

I trusted this individual with an account on my site, and I trusted him to code some work for Price Comparison Pro.

Those of you who use Price Comparison Pro will remember a painful period of time when two consecutive updates caused the plugin to stop working – that was when he was hired to code the updates to try and alleviate time pressures on myself. You might also remember the constantly crashing Scraping Service – that was him too. Now fixed and stable and has been up permanently for the past 40 days or more.

As it turns out, hiring him was a false economy – I ended up having to undo and recode most of the work he’d done, and that I’d paid for – e.g. for scraping images from the affiliate url to bring more quality images into your shop – which now works thankfully, because I coded it properly.

The fact is, hiring him took up far more of my time than it saved and I had to pay him into the bargain. Some of you might enjoy the juicy details, so he’d overbilled me by £200 across 3 invoices, and issued another £240 invoice for 12 hours where all he did was change firewall settings on a server and refused to give me a list of the commands he’d used to change the firewall settings.

So obviously I disputed. He’s now promising to tarnish my name all over the internet which is lovely. I can’t believe I trusted him. I’m not going to name his last name, but if you received the email of the article he just issued you’ll know it. Here’s his chat:

As you can see above, he’s threatening to write more of the same on other sites saying that Super Speedy Plugins is a scam. Obviously, we’re not a scam – if you want to know my background – been coding since I was 6, graduated from Strathclyde University with a Computer Science specialism in Software Engineering, helped Skyscanner build their awesome tech, including solving the performance for their browse views, building their database architecture and team and helping them through 2 funding rounds. Now I focus on WordPress performance. I coded ALL of the plugins that are listed on my site myself. One of his claims that the Rocket Stack is based on free software is partially true – it’s a combination of nginx, php7, mariadb, varnish and redis – all free – the point is that with the rocket stack they come pre-tuned and pre-configured. In any case, there will be a free guide to installing this yourself out soon, as soon as I finish it, just like I released a free guide for building the Mercury stack.

Anyway, after stopping his work 2 months ago I’ve completed thorough code inspections of the Scraping service and Price Comparison Pro and fixed all bugs he introduced. He still had an article to complete that I’d already paid for, hence why he still had privileges. I obviously shouldn’t have trusted him with that.

Anyway – enough of that.

Currently I’m working on an upgrade to the free Faster Datafeedr Product Sets plugin – I have some more speed boosts for it, and I’m introducing the recent code changes from Eric too. It also includes a boost to Bulk Image import, as well as an option to bulk import images at the same time as processing the product sets.

An option I hope to add too is to eliminate the creation of all the non-shop related image sizes that ultimately go unused and just consume your server CPU and disk.

Thank you for all being loyal customers and if you see him defaming me or my business out there in the wild, please let me know as soon as you can.

And please accept my apologies again – hiring him has put me way behind in my plans, but it’s just me coding now and for the foreseeable future so at least work will be predictable, if a little overwhelming.


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  1. Dave, it only took a second to figure out that either some contractor had hacked Jared’s account, or he had blown up at you. It’s clear even without the gory details that it was a workplace dispute, and his comments about not working out payment made it clear you and a contractor had an argument.

    My prediction is that this is going to backfire for him. First of all, his email was WAY more interesting than the technical stuff you share with us. [I’m in computer science, I ran a software development firm for 15 years, please don’t be offended, but no one is sharing emails about mySQL query optimization around the office. Everyone was trying to figure out how this email got sent out.] Second of all, it was so obviously lowbrow that you shouldn’t bother threatening to sue him. No one is going to avoid your business because of him, but he just got you into everybody’s mind. So you’re going to see more business.

    And as a guy who has contracted with people myself, I can tell you that you actually did him a really nice turn by deleting his last name. Would I want to hire a guy who, after a work dispute, decided to share it with all of his previous employer’s customers?

    So it’s all going to be good. You’ll see!

    • Thanks for the kind words – I’m not going to sue him, I really have no time for any of that nonsense. And like you said, it’s been an interesting break from the boring performance optimisation stuff!

  2. Dave, we all have seen your work, you have awesome ideas and make them come real life within wordpress! Keep up the good work. In Dave We Trust!!

  3. Wow, I read that and at first thought, it was a joke or a bit of tongue-in-cheek link bait!
    That is quite malicious and sadly tarnishes those contractors who do a good job.

    • Maybe some good link-juice will come of it. I’ve decided to keep his original article up for posterity, albeit with his name removed for his own benefit. Also, if he does follow through on spamming the rest of the internet that I’m a scam I need the SEO to cover it!

  4. You’re being diplomatic and he doesn’t deserve it. He’s a danger to anyone who hires him and deserves to be fully exposed. He’s broken that unwritten rule that you don’t sabotage, for any reason.

  5. I thought it was a satirical piece! lol. All good here, Dave. What he did was pretty crap though.

  6. Dave you rock! Sorry you went through that but please know you still have our trust.

    • Thank you. I don’t believe he’s nasty, just young and foolish. This was after I’d helped him through a tough period in his life by paying him in advance for work he was going to do so he could pay his rent. And the crazy thing is he’d just agreed a settlement with me less than 2 hours before he wrote that article.

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