ED Magedson – Founder
A-1 Technology115 Broadway, 13th Floor New York, New York United States of America
We hired a company called A-1 Technology to create an i-Phone game as part of a branding project for our company. Just to give you a background of this company, they basically outsource all their labor to India, but they have 1 or 2 account managers in NYC. Their work is below average, and the end product you receive is not worth the money you spend. In our case, our contracted amount was $8K for 2 months of labor. The contract also stated that they will not charge us any more then this amount if they go past the deadline. We made sure of this before signing. It was signed on 4/30/09, and the deadline for the project was 7/10/09. On Aug 3rd (24 days after the deadline), we receive an email from the account manager stating that there is a major bug in the game, and they were looking to "avoid" the bug since it would not impact game play. The account manager's exact words were "...there is a major bug outstanding that they have been working on....".."As for the bug, we are looking to avoid it rather than fix it".
The bug basically does not allow users to start from any level, rather users have to complete each and every level at one sitting, otherwise they have to start all over again. Also, if someone receives a phone call, the game doesn't pick up where it left off, rather restarts. Based on the scope of work, the proposal was for the development of an iphone game with similar game play of a game we had shown them. Sample functionality based on the original game allowed users to switch different levels. This requirement was completely in scope of the project, and a standard requirement for any game. However they are now arguing that it was "out of scope" of the project, just because they crossed their deadline, and do not want to dedicate additional manpower to solve the bug. I spoke with Gary Toor the CTO of the company, and he started telling me in a very demeaning tone of voice how we were trying to "misrepresent" the scope of the project. Now he wants to claim the amount of time and labor already spent on this project less what we already paid. The company also refuses to provide us with the source code. Based on the following excerpts directly from the contract:
"Client owns Work Product. Work Product is a work for hire made by A-1 Technology for Client. " - However now, according to Mr. Gary Toor, they reserve the "right to the source code".
"All work is being done at Client directions and will be done on a time and material basis as set forth below" - Contract was signed 4/30/09, deadline was 7/10/09. However completed game was still not received, and they did not complete it as per our directions.
"A-1 Technology will fix all bugs related to coding issues. Any bugs related to design and specification will be considered as enhancement to the scope." - The account manager clearly stated that this was a major bug, however they were trying to "overlook" it rather then fix it. If they were already "working" on fixing this bug, how is it suddenly "out of scope"? They simply did not want to waste any more money on hiring additional manpower to fix this bug.
My executive consultant had already advised me twice not to work with this company, because of other bad experiences with various other companies. However, I gave them a chance based on good faith. Little did I know that this company is out to scam people of their money, and provide their clients with a faulty product. They try to justify what they are doing by putting the blame on the client. Our company is now getting duped out of our money with an incomplete, bug infested product, which they do not want to give the source code to. They also went close to 2 months past our deadline, which means lost sales. They stopped sending status reports, they also put this case into litigation saying that we have to pay them additional money for time and labor (even though the the contract specifically states it's a set price.) I spoke to Mr.Toor on the phone and he told me to email him whatever the account manager had told me, so after I did, he responds saying "I did not request any email from you".
I'm really not sure what kind of scam business these guys are doing, but our business wasted $8K on these con artists. I could have avoided this mess if I listened to my consultant to begin with. I'm warning ANY potential customers about the dishonesty and lack of service A-1 Technology provides. Their account managers will try to quickly put together a contract, take your money, and give you a faulty product. After that, they'll put together some kind of excuse and try to brush it off if they can't get it done by the deadline. To top it all off, they will try to extort more money from you.
My advise it to stay away from this company. They might seem like they're offering a reasonable price, but what really happens is they trap you in their contract by charging you for things they mark off as "out of scope" (even though it's completely in scope). You will then get a bug-infested product, and they will bill you for any additional hours they spend trying to fix their own bugs. It's better to pay the extra money and hire a professional company, rather then a company that outsources all their programming to coders in India.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/26/2009 12:59 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/A-1-Technology/New-York-New-York-/A-1-Technology-A1Technology-A1-Technology-iphonesoftwareprogrammingcom-A-1-Technology-485623. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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