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tavenger5
, 11-01-2013 at 08:36 AM (6482 Views)
Some of you may have noticed that we use vbulletin software here on cellphoneforums.net. You may have also noticed that it has been heavily customized with addons that are available for free and others that are custom, like the Phone Database. From time to time we will hire new programmers to implement new features. Unfortunately the last feature we tried to have made was met with difficulty, disappointment, and ultimately nothing to show for it. I felt the need to outline what happened here since this programmer continues to do business, and to teach others how the development process should NOT happen.

It started back in January 2013 when I had been talking with a member of vbulletin.org that goes by the name Gio~Logist. He also runs http://provb.org & http://www.modernvb.com I outlined a specification for a feature in detail and sent it to him. We agreed on a price and I paid half of it as a down payment for the work. He seemed easy to work with and made himself available. I had previously worked with him on a smaller feature that had gone well, so I didn't think twice to hire him again for a slightly larger project.

By the end of January he said he had most of the coding done for one part of the modification and just needed some more information on our system. I gave it to him. Toward the middle of Feb I had not heard back from him and asked for an update. I got the update and I assumed work was progressing.

Nearing the end of Feb I asked him to put work on hold due to some possible software changes on my end. It wasn't until the end of March that I asked him to continue work. He agreed and I again assumed that everything was okay.

My mistake here was assuming that he was doing work. In the month that I had him stop work he explained at the end of April that he had taken on a lot of new work. He assured me that he would get back to working on my project. To be fair, I didn't expect him to suddenly start working again on my project when I had him stop for a month.

So, another month passed and I didn't get any update on what was going on. At this point it was June, and I had been waiting 2 months for any work to be done. I threatened to open a Paypal dispute (down payment was made with Paypal) if he didn't respond. He didn't respond, so I opened the dispute. Unfortunately after so much time Paypal will not do anything so it was dismissed. He finally responded and told me that things were delayed because I put things on hold. He also explained that he was working on a startup business. He promised to resume work. At this point I should've just demanded that he return my deposit knowing that he was overloaded with work, but he promised that work would continue.

Now it's August and he's finally gotten me something I can see. It's a very basic part of the modification that doesn't really do anything yet. It looks like maybe a couple hours was spent on it, but I don't know because he never sent me any code. Another month goes by with no response from him.

At this point I demand he return the deposit. He explains why he can't do that, and offers to continue work. I basically say no, and that I do not trust him. It ends with me requesting that he at least sends me what he has completed. Of course I never received anything from him.

I'll admit that I was not easy to work with during this process. I had him stop work for a month, and wasn't always easy to get in contact with. On the contrary, all he did was make promises and not deliver. He did not give me updates without me asking and was obviously too busy with other projects to complete what we agreed on.

The moral here is to not wait around for 7 months while a programmer strings you along. Set deadlines and expectations and if they are not met, do not compromise. Break down payments into multiple stages if you can. Hire people that you know you can trust. Look at their reputation and their previous work. Get references and talk to other people if possible.
DustenRust likes this.

Updated 02-21-2014 at 01:06 PM by tavenger5

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  1. DustenRust's Avatar
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    Quite a story. Thanks for sharing

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