In My Opinion:
Rapidsoft Systems operates unprofessionally.
The CEO made rude comments in e-mails.
You should refrain from doing business with this company.
Rapidsoft Systems did not completely research the feasibility of my apps development.
They made statements they could not later keep.
They used the English language in a way that I could not understand.
They made misleading and conflicting statements.
They deemed a key functionality "unfeasible" half way through the development.
They failed to provide an adequate solution to the unfeasible functionality.
They failed to provide working builds.
They never completed the app.
The CEO refused my request for a refund and claimed I still owed the company money. [continued below]....
Let's face it. Creating an app by using a development company in the US can be quite expensive, especially compared to companies' offshore whose pricing is very competitive. Better yet, down right cheap!
Like me, you've probably done your due diligence in researching these offshore app developers and probably found one you've liked. Great reviews, maybe you were even shown some of their apps found on platforms like Apple, Android and BlackBerry.
After an exhaustive on-line search for a company who could develop my app at an affordable price, I ended up unknowingly being sucked in by a company in India called Rapidsoft Systems and their sister company Mobisoft Technologies.
Yes, I expected there to be a slight language barrier, but initially did not think it would be a problem. Boy, was I wrong! I also assumed that their development skills would be on par with the US. You guessed it, another bad assumption on my part.
In the beginning, I was communicating with someone at Rapidsoft Systems named Manny Srivastava. He was probably the worst of all of them when it came to answering my questions. His English left a lot to be desired and he only answered about half of my questions. I tried writing them again and this time was contacted by the CEO of Rapidsoft Systems (Dr. Brijesh Kumar).
I liked the fact that Mr. Kumar had a Ph.D. and had worked in the industry for many years. He answered all of my questions in a complete and reassuring manner. After spending considerable time looking over my wireframe documents he assured me that my app could be developed. He was prompt, courteous and more or less promised me the world with regard to developing my app. I eventually signed a contract with Rapidsoft Systems for a price tag of just over 8K. I felt very comfortable at that time.
I should add that there were actually several contracts drawn up as there were many mistakes made by Rapidsoft Systems for the first few drafts. In retrospect and prior to the signing of the final contract, there were so many red flags thrown up at me, but for some reason I could not see them.
The fact that Rapidsoft Systems had only developed a few apps for BlackBerry (the chosen platform for my app).
Because of my dealing with Manny Srivastava, I had asked Mr. Kumar that I not work with Manny Srivastava for obvious reasons. However, when I read the initial contract, my point man for the commercial side was listed as Manny Srivastava. Not a good sign.
There were also mistakes in the pricing and which phone my app was to be developed for.
There was also a question regarding T&M (Time & Materials). I had asked Mr. Kumar: "Am I to understand that I will still have to pay for T&M if the app should fail and cannot be rectified?" His response was "It is a standard clauseif a particular feature cannot be implemented because of absolute technical difficulties then we will either suggest alternatives or advise you to cancel the project. Only one case has occurred like that in nearly seven years." (Another huge red flag missedthis by the way is exactly what happened to me later on in the apps development).
According to the final contract, my project manager was to be Himanshu Sharma. However, over the course of time I received updates and comments by several people including him. On the surface this may seem harmless, but hearing from as many as four different people only added to the confusion. Most of the time I not only had to deal with a horrendous language barrier, but often times found all of them contradicting each other and/or providing information that was far less than accurate.
The sample builds that were sent to me over the span of many weeks had always contained flaws. Again, as sample builds you may find this to be expected, but when they told me that a particular feature worked just fine on their end, but not on mine, well, you can see how that would add to my frustration and concern. At one point when I questioned why something was not working, they informed me that a featured they assured me they could develop was all of a sudden "unfeasible". Needless to say I was outraged at hearing this. Especially when this particular feature was a key element to the functionality of my app. They even went as far as implementing a work-around without first running it by me. They made several futile attempts at a work-around, but in the end, nothing was acceptable to me as they compromised my design.
When all seemed lost and I realized that they could no longer develop my app per my specs, I wrote Rapidsoft Systems and gave them their required 30 day notice to terminate the contract. Shortly after the 30 day period I heard from Mr. Kumar. He stated that I was not allowed to terminate the contract and that I was to be held responsible for the balance of the contract which was another 4K. I retained an attorney and was advised of my rights under the law pertaining to the contract. I learned very quickly that I was well within my rights to terminate the contract and in fact could sue for the 4K I had already paid them.
This company has been an absolute nightmare to deal with. I feel that I've been taken advantage of from the start. I do not believe that this company is in the business to provide good customer service, as this was hardly the case with me. In my opinion, Rapidsoft Systems will promise you the world and say anything to get your business. They certainly didn't spend enough time initially determining whether my app could be fully developed. If they did, they would have seen that their development skills weren't up to the task. No, instead they led me to believe otherwise and unfortunately it ended in a disaster.
I do not recommend this company to anyone looking to have an app developed for market. My advice is to pay a little more and shop locally within the US. Your chances are much better if you do.
I would suggest the following before signing a contract with anyone:
Fully research the company you're looking to hire.
Scour the Internet for reviews.
Check with the Better Business Bureau.
Make sure the company has developed apps that can be found on your chosen platform.
Check the ratings of the apps you do find.
Make sure that the company has a full understanding of your apps functionality and can fully develop it per your specs. Get that in writing!
Run the contract by an attorney and make sure that you are fully protected against mishaps.