Describe the impact this engagement has had on your business.
R1: They told us that the app was done and we should do UAT testing. During that time, if the core functionalities of the app were not working, then they’d revaluate UAT testing. The two core functionalities of the app were video and tests, and they weren’t working during UAT testing. When we told them this, they said that it was working, and we should try it another way. I remember going crazy at the time, thinking that I was doing it wrong. I just didn’t understand what was going on.
I’m not a techie; I just have a passion for mental health, psychology, and helping people. I don’t really know these things, and I doubted myself. I told them to just be honest with me and tell me if they’re having issues. I used that approach more than anything, and I think that that’s why they felt it was okay to continue this. They told us that it was because of our devices, and I kind of believed that.
R2: We got a very bad deal from Magora. Right from the beginning, the verbal agreements were never executed properly. For example, we were never told that it would be a bunch of freelancers working on our projects, and not Magora’s staff. Basically, Magora was doing nothing but subcontracting the whole project to a bunch of freelancers, which wasn’t good for us in any way.
R1: They were charging us something like $60 or £60 per hour. I remember that the name of one of the freelance developers came up during a conference call. I looked him up, and he was charging $20 per hour. I asked them why they were charging us this much and asked for a discount, given that the quality was so low, but they told us that that was the usual price of development. I told him I looked him up on Upwork and he was $20, and he told me he had nothing to say about that.
R2: The core problem was that we were promised a lot and nothing was delivered they committed to deliver. I don’t know how, but they have a very good reputation and reviews, and we were carried away by that. It was a very bad experience. An app that should’ve taken around six months to complete took more than a year and still wasn’t completed. We’ve had to rework a lot of functionalities.
The architecture was a mess because, since it was made by freelancers, they weren’t coordinating between themselves very well. Different pieces of code were written by different people in different ways.
How was project management handled?
R1: Sometimes, people who are in higher positions, especially men, tend to pressure you in a way, when you’re younger and you don’t understand. It’s been two years and a half, and I feel I understand the business better, and I’ve learned a lot of things.
I just felt like they took advantage of the situation. They saw me as someone that’s vulnerable, and they took advantage of that.
It’s been two years, and I’m still kind of traumatized. I just moved to another application company, and they’re great. Comparing the two of them, I think everyone should have the same kind of experience I’m having with the new application company.
Is there anything that the vendor did well or that you would consider a strength?
R1: Valentine (Senior Product Manager) was the only person I really liked, and who I felt was suffering with us and didn’t know what to do.
In what specific areas can they improve?
R2: The freelancer structure was the root cause of all our problems. Neither did the quality come out well, nor were our requirements plotted out and executed in a fashion that we wanted. Everything went haywire because they weren’t committed to delivering what was promised. Everything was a mess.
What advice do you have for clients with similar needs to yours?
R2: We also took proactive measures in finding solutions, rather than breaking off. What happened was that many of the issues happened toward the end of the project, and the time and cost for fixing them went beyond any acceptable means.
We were running out of time, and each change request would increase the cost. We were trying our best from our side to proactively help out, but it really didn’t work. The last six months was just trying to work out things, but it never happened.