ED Magedson – Founder
smartData EnterprisesInternet United States of America
smartDatainc.com, smartData software development, smartData web design, oDesk Provider, Elance Provider
Use Caution When Dealing With smartData Enterprises, Inc.
Using an offshore development firm can save you thousands of dollars vs using a web development firm you might find here in the United States. However, the savings can be deceptive and the months, even years of aggravation can test every fiber of your being. Let me share with those that have such an interest with the hopes of saving you the countless sleepless nights and the aggravation that will shave years off your life. After dealing with several small web development firms in India that promised me the world and delivered far less, I was courted by a large group based in Mohali,India by the name of smartData. I was promised a world class site, top notch designers and developers, attention to detail I wouldnt find anywhere else, a reasonable development timeline (8-10 weeks) and all at a very attractive fixed price.
I provided smartData with an extensive and detailed feature list and an outline explaining the relationships and functionality needed and expected. After several weeks, they cam back with a few questions, followed by a slick proposal filled with boiler plate content and general functionalities. Agreeing to their service contract, and sending their first required payment (and by the way, not through oDesk where I had posted and was contacted through) their team was introduced to me and work began. Rule 1: Make sure your specs, required features, functionality expectations, etc are always attached to any agreement as part of the overall project understanding. Rule 2: Make sure your payments are made through a middle man organization like oDesk or Elance. This is only an assumption, but it seems that most projects at smartData are assigned 3 people (resources as they term their personnel); A project manager, a programmer and a designer.
My experience was that the project manager did little more than try to up sell you and/or request payments. The programmer seemed to be the lead talent and as far as design... well, their attention to detail was horrible. It took almost 2 months to get a designer full time on my project and when one was finally assigned, the quality of work was far less than world class as smartData assured me Id enjoy. But let me be fair, design is a subjective aspect to any project and I have a very detailed eye when it comes to design.
Any way, time marches on, 4 weeks, 6 weeks, 10 weeks.. and it seems things are beginning to bog down and the design work is barely moving forward at all. Because design was taking so long and what was being delivered was what I considered to be elementary at best, I started creating jog mockups of every page and every page element. When I state I spent 10 hour days for months creating everything, I did. I did this so there was no further question as to what I expected, easy right- just copy the mockup. Nope, it took at time a week for 1 single page to be duplicated properly; spacing, text, spelling, colors, placements, sizes all seemed to be ignored.
But oh, it gets better Okay, so were well into the 4th month, the deadline of 8-10 weeks long past and a new deadline establishedwell, to save a long story, the new deadline wasnt met, nor the next, or the next or even the next. The project promised in 8 to 10 weeks was now in its 7th month. In that time, there were various designers, one that took leave for over 3 weeks and a replacement was never assigned. Then comes the real surprise. The lead programmer, the person I spent so much time explaining and going over every aspect of the project with is found out to have resigned from smartData 2.5 months into the project. Why? Well, it was said to me he resigned because smartData failed to provide him a designer to work with for almost 2 months and it was causing too many delays for the project.
It gets better. As most know that have dealt with offshore development, a great deal of communication happens via chat. Here I am chatting back and forth daily with the programmer I thought I originally started with. smartData never told me he left and had been replaced. I even questioned via chat one time if I was in fact chatting with the same person because they didnt have a clue what I was referring to when I spoke about past conversations and guidance given. Okay, it gets even better. I not only discovered the first senior programmer left smartData but others that followed him. All along smartData remained steadfast in its claim that the original senior programmer was still on the job. They lied and continued to do so even when given the chance to tell the truth.
Now, theres a whole lot more to this story. Not only about the poor design quality, but functionality and structure that would make anyone in the know just gasped in disbelief. I can only suggest to anyone considering the services of smartData Enterprises to consider some other provider. My experience with smartData has taught me that these people are very dishonest and have little regard to deadlines and quality.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/30/2010 07:43 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/smartdata-enterprises/internet/smartdata-enterprises-they-are-an-odesk-provider-and-an-elance-provider-dont-let-their-si-587252. 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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