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Android & iOS Development for International Calling Platform

“If I wasn’t available, they’d go for days without touching base.”

Quality: 
2.5
Schedule: 
2.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
1.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
May - Oct. 2018
Project summary: 

Intelbit came on board to provide backend iOS/Android development. They were provided with wireframes and demos, then tasked with connecting a mobile client to a server-side switch that enabled outgoing calls. This review was originally 2-stars overall for the initial delivery, but updated by the client December 7, 2018.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Irvine, California
Co-Founder, Slango
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Although responses to direct requests were answered promptly, communication was challenging and the project faced extended delays. Management and billing were also frustrating, with frequent estimate changes that inflated costs despite a no-overage clause in the initial contract.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the co-founder of Slango. We’ve created two telecom apps, one that provides the user with a phone number for two-way VoIP calls and one that allows international calling.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Intelbit?

We were looking for help with iOS and Android development. We have a small internal team with a frontend developer and a network operations engineer, but we didn’t have anyone on the backend.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We hired them to connect an iOS and Android client to our server side at Slango. On the server side, there is a void switch that connects phone calls. We needed the mobile client to connect to the switch so it would make outgoing calls. The client was meant to be a GUI for managing user accounts. We provided all the wireframes, source files, and designs from Adobe and Sketch, as well as assets and clickable demos. Despite all of that, they were unable to connect the calls for us, even though it didn’t seem like a complex project.

What is the team composition?

Our account manager was our main point of contact. We also had three developers working on the project: one for Android and two for iOS.

How did you come to work with Intelbit?

One of their co-founders had been a colleague of mine before he founded Intelbit. They also offered relatively competitive prices, but relying on that isn’t always the best strategy.

How much have you invested in them?

We spent around $30,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked with them from May–October 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Describe the impact this engagement has had on your business.

We’ve currently shifted our energy to another project that has some venture capital backing, as this one was neither delivered on time nor correctly. We spent quite a lot of time and money on it with very poor returns. The lost time was the most frustrating part, as that set back our plans.

We’re working with a new company now and it’s become obvious that the management and oversight at Intelbit were poor even though the coders were decent. Since we’re a small company that outsources our development, we need a partner who’s responsible and can effectively manage the coding and QA.

How was project management handled?

Communication was a struggle. If I reached out to them, I’d get a response within the same day, but they wouldn’t contact me otherwise. If I wasn’t available, they’d go for days without touching base. Consequently, they didn’t deliver on time. We had small sprints and small milestones that were laid out clearly, but everything went over the deadline by at least 10 days to two weeks.

Is there anything that the vendor did well or that you would consider a strength?

I can’t really think of any strengths.

In what specific areas can they improve?

The billing and invoicing were really confusing. There were times we’d be told we owed them more money or we’d receive an estimate for a component of the project that exceeded what was laid out on the original contract. It was a problem because, according to the contract, there weren’t supposed to be overages. Every time we had to reconcile the difference, it felt like haggling. We ultimately paid more than expected at each milestone.

In the end, it felt like the only way to make progress was to pay for more work, so it felt like we were throwing money away. We kept asking where their QA was, as well as other things, and they kept saying it cost extra when we simply asked them to fix errors that they’d coded themselves.

From a business standpoint, they should improve their invoicing and the way they keep track of records. There was no invoicing process throughout and they had no invoicing software, which made things very confusing. They asked us to provide them with the history of payments we sent them, which I found strange since we were the customer.  Someone on their side should have been keeping track of that.

What advice do you have for clients with similar needs to yours?

Make an effort to view a potential firm’s portfolio or even research their track record for launching projects that might be related to your particular goals. It’s also important to evaluate the quality of the management team in addition to the developers. Aside from that, be sure to get the contract and invoicing with Intelbit squared away up front in order to avoid confusion.

Updated Review

This review was updated on December 7th, 2018, by the client. The original star ratings were: Overall - 2, Quality - 2.5, Schedule - 2, Cost - 4.5, NPS - 1. New content is below.

Describe the impact this engagement has had on your business.

After Intelbit saw our review on Clutch, they deleted all of the code for our old and new projects on our Github account. We thought that we had removed access to our account once the engagement ended, but, unfortunately, we made a mistake. In total, they deleted three months of code. We were lucky enough to have backed everything up, but we're disappointed in the pettiness we've experienced. I would not recommend their services.

2.0
Overall Score They kind of delivered in the end. Although it isn’t functional, we got something.
  • 2.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 2.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 1.0 NPS
    Willing to refer