How Our Company Was Ripped Off Jo Coddington!
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Our company, "The Surfboard - Internet Web Site Design & Hosting", is a small two man operation based in Eagan, Minnesota. We have designed web sites for more than forty-five clients over the past several years, and also provide hosting, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) services, upkeep and maintenance, and much more.

We were introduced to Jo Coddington by a mutual friend who explained that street rod designer, automotive industry legend and star of the Discovery Channel series "American Hot Rod" Boyd Coddington had met an untimely and sudden death, there was no will in place, and that his widow, Jo Coddington, was in need of someone to migrate, repair and rebuild their "BoydCoddington.com" web site. The web site was important to both preserve and promote the legacy and reputation of Boyd Coddington, as well as to maintain, rebuild and expand his various business associations.

Jo Coddington's previous web site designer had been charging her usurious rates and had now walked away from the project. It was easy for us to quote Ms. Coddington a monthly fee that was less than one-fourth of what she had been paying and we were excited about working on a web site for such an illustrious client. But there was a great deal of work to be done and hundreds of pages to build and repair that would require a huge investment of time, effort, and money over the first six months, and so we asked for and Jo Coddington agreed to a one year contract, which we both signed.


We soon learned that Jo's three stepsons, Chris, Boyd Jr., and Gregg Coddington, were competing with Jo to keep the legacy of their father alive and to rebuild and expand some of his various business operations, based off a new web site and domain, called "SonsofBoyd.com" and a couple of existing domains, particularly "BilletWheel.com". We never understood why more than a year after Boyd's death four attorneys working for Jo Coddington and one or more retained by the "SonsofBoyd.com" could not resolve a single issue dealing with probate issues for Boyd Coddington's estate. We even made an unsolicited offer to try and mediate between Jo and her stepsons, but nobody was interested.


With the death of her husband and the loss of business and income since that time, Jo was struggling to make ends meet. Her first and second quarter payments were both late in arriving, but were nevertheless eventually paid in full. We continued working long hours to rebuild the BoydCoddington.com site, since we both saw the potential business and income expansion that might be possible through this domain. We even worked with Jo and our mutual friend to try and build an affiliated events promotion business, using a web site called "PromorEvents.com". Extensive work was done and many hours were invested in attempting to get this new business off the ground, for which Jo was never billed.

The third quarter payment was due on April 1st and conversations with and e-mails from Jo Coddington made us wonder if any of the money agreed to in our previously signed contract would be forthcoming.

Her e-mails would say that:

April 09, 2009
"Hello Robert,
I am trying a guy had said that he would give me up front money for the race car...I am trying to get an appraisal so I can push forward. I am truly in the same boat as you, both of my homes are delinquent, my car and electric, phone and all utilities are in arrears, I have no idea what to do, with each step that I take forward and keep hoping for something to turn into a bit of money it seems I keep hitting road blocks, I am cleaning homes, and trying to find a job....get the web site off of the ground, pro-mor and just doesn't seem like I am able to hit a ball to first base let alone a home run....
I was told that I would have the appraisal by the end of this week, I hope it is true and the money will be there as I have my last tank of gas in the vehicle. I don't want to string you along nor can either of us afford emotionally.....I am at a loss for what to do or say.
I will let you know if Don Montgomery gets the appraisal done that is my only hope to get the monies to you and groceries in the home!"

April 13, 2009
"Good morning Robert,
I have spent the week end from hell....not really I guess you could say that is how my last year has been with all of the issues that Boyd left me with.
I got the appraisal for the race car and a my attorney will be meeting with them today to see if I can do a loan against selling and just where we stand on that.

My son said that he has requested passwords from you as he gave you our passwords and that they have been changed as I wanted him to get the adsence going as soon as possible.
Anyway I will be grateful if you can either send me the pass codes so Thomas can set up the headers to generate income, and as soon as I hear I will telephone you, e-mail you about the money.
I think we are both in the same boat, but if we can just get something anything to generate cash we will both be ok! Let me know how much the monthly payment is please so I can see if I can just get that off to you!"

It was curious that Jo and her son were suddenly interested in password access to our servers at this point in time. We were very willing to add the Google "AdSense" coding to the BoydCoddington.com web site and did so as soon as we got the relevant information. But now she wanted to put her son Tom to work and to have him do some of the work that our company was NOT being paid to do for her. Passwords and user names soon became a frequent topic of Jo's e-mails.

April 15, 2009
"Thanks Robert,
You should be getting a call from Chris Cano about the store putting that up will also help us, I am sorry about the adsence they approved me right away and I was just hoping that things could start rolling, I have met with the guy getting the loan and begged for your sake and mine that he assist in this anyway he can. He said he would....I know we are both living on air right now!
I'll keep you posted!

April 22, 2009
Hi Robert,
I hope this finds you doing well, I have yet another call in about the loan against the race car....I sorta feel like I am watching an egg timer with the grains of sand running....
Hey Thomas my son and I were going over some paper work, passwords, and server information and I don't have any of the passwords that you have set up, he said that he thought you had changed them and I do want to keep as much updated as I can, this whole issue with Boyd has shown me that one must have things in order at all times if possible.
Who is our hosting company? User Id and password? Registrar account, and password?
I think all of the other passwords I have, but if you have them and they are different than the ones I have set up could you please forward them to me.
Thank you,
I'll call as soon as I hear from Paul"

It seems strange that Jo has taken such a sudden interest in user names and passwords for our servers. They have the user name and password for their registrar and their domain name host, as they should have. But they have no real reason or need to access the web site servers directly, unless...

April 23, 2009
"Hi Robert,
Well this deal and loan was suppose to be overnight....what has transpired I have no idea! Karl is the one who brought this up and we had talked about placing a reserve on it for the amount of the loan.
I didn't receive the pass code, and user id's for my password book, perhaps you forgot.
I will place another call this morning."

No sign of a payment and three weeks late - but they sure want that password! Could they be up to something they're not telling us?