Customer Service Under Fire at F4WOnline

Controversy is again swirling at F4Wonline, as the question of customer service has been raised in the wake of the banning of a discussion forum member who used Figure Four Weekly writer David Bixenspan’s image without his consent.

According to F4W Board member Squeemish, Kenneth Nida sent a message at 11 pm requesting the removal of the offending image because Bixenspan was “really mad” and demanding action and consequences.

The image in question was a standard profile image of Bixenspan, which the writer had used for some time, publicly, while writing for the Bleacher Report.

When Squeemish attempted to log in and comply with the request,it was too late. He had already been banned as of 9:40pm—nearly an hour and a half prior to Nida’s request for the image’s removal.

Noting the disconnect between Nida’s warning to take the image down, and having actually already been banned, Squeemish sent an email explaining to Nida that he couldn’t remove the image has the banning precluded him from logging in to the site.

Nida informed Squeemish that site co-owner Bryan Alvarez had requested he be banned. Bixenspan had complained directly to Alvarez, and requested the banning citing the terms of service that restricts the posting of member images. Despite being a writer on the site, Bixenspan reportedly still likes to play the “regular member” card whenever he disagrees with someone’s behavior

RELATED STORY: Squeamish Bixenspan Confronts Image Issues

Nida referred Squeemish to Alvarez directly, so he wrote an email to the site owner explaining it was a public image and therefore didn’t think it violated the forum ToS.

Alvarez did not respond to this correspondence.

In addressing the issue later on, Alvarez would claim not to have received the explanation and apology from Squeemish.

“I never got an email.” Alvarez wrote curtly on the Board in a discussion on civility and being respectful on the Board.

“With that said,” he continued, “don’t use the guy’s pic. If you have a problem with that, I have a problem with you on the board.”

When asked about what had previously been perceived to be a general rule about writers for the cite regularly being spoofed or parodied through images, often times including their own unflattering likenesses, Alvarez clarified:

“There is no general rule. Staff was fair game only because many staff did not care. But Bix was really upset about it and there’s no reason to do it except to be a dick.”

When the question of the site’s poor customer service record came up, Alvarez glibly dismissed his poor track record, and the lack of clarity with which he deals with his customers, by deflecting back onto his customers—a pattern oft repeated over the years.

“…I love when people act like a dick on the board, and they get punished, and then someone pulls out the ‘POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE’ card.”

Customer service has long been seen as a major weakness on due to the frequent dismissal of valid complaints, or requests for clarity.

His blatant disregard for the issue in his above statement is glaringly apparent.

One of Alvarez’s personally appointed forum moderators asked a member to remove and offensive image, and didn’t even have a chance to remove it before being banned.

Upon trying to clear up this issue was told to email Alvarez—who claims not to received the email.

Alvarez, notoriously lax in fielding any questions or service complaints from board members, is strongly suspected to have deleted it the email unread.

What this shows is a pattern of carelessness when it comes to interacting with members of his site, who are also Board regulars. Which is appallingly shortsighted, given the Board as a major selling point of the premium service provided at F4Wonline.

It is among the more highly trafficked and utilized wrestling discussion boards, particularly among pay sites. In comparison to, for example, the PWtorch members’ the BOARD~! boasts five-times the activity.

Many forum members continually cite the Board as a primary selling point of the site, and a reason to stay even amid a sharp decline in the quality of premium content offered on the site. Which is a risky proposition for the site’s proprietors, who’ve shown increasing hostility in threatening to shut the forum down rather than address the valid concerns of its members.

That Sandwich will continue to watch this situation closely as it develops.


  1. Great article Les.

    Bix is a major problem for F4W. Why he was hired is baffling. His news updates are atrocious compared to Dave’s and I can’t tell you the last time I read the Figure Four newsletter.

  2. I am so tired of people complaining about bans on the board. It’s Bryan’s board, he can do whatever he wants. If you don’t like it, don’t go there.

    Using Bix’s pic was just a way to make fun of the guy, Squeemish was being a dick. That’s all there is to it. The board is full of man-babies who can’t handle any sort of boundaries. It’s common sense. Don’t be a dick. Wrestling fans are the worst, even on a “smart” site.

    That said, Bix does seem like a meltdown waiting to happen. I think he does a good job with the updates, but it feels almost inevitable that he is going to self-destruct. The guy is immature, plain and simple.

  3. I’m a former, long-time subscriber, but never had the time to be an active member on the board, so I don’t really have a dog in the Chico/Squeemish/Nida/Bix angle. However, Bryan’s increasing disrespect for customers is what prompted me to cancel my subscription a couple months ago and vow to never re-subscribe.

    He’s always been a rude dick, and I think up until a point it was an almost-endearing quirk. But it seems like the last couple years it’s shown itself to be more insidious – he really doesn’t give a flying fuck about his customers at all, except for their $11.99 monthly payments. (A price that gets more absurd the more I think about it.)

    I really wish there was an option to get the Observer newsletter without having to give a dime to Alvarez, because I love Dave, but his business partner is utter scum.

    • Amen. I tried reaching out to Mr Alvarez on twitter he blocked me. I tried emailing him he never responded.
      I then in a last ditch effort took to the board to ask simply why I was referred to as a geek and a dumbass. Alvarez terminology for a member with criticism of his “services”.
      My thread got put in MPI, and I vowed to never again subscribe to that website. I would buy the newsletter or subscribe to a site owned by Dave in a heartbeat, Bryan treats his customers like a dick so I stopped giving him my money.
      It is free ways to get his audio I just tried to do the right thing.
      I get my coverage off the f4w on here and the audio u know where and Bryan don’t get a dime, my life is so much better 😉
      Great work Les looking forward to your podcast!
      Much love from Norway


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