Fiverr Forum

Scam-Alert / My experience with an app developer


#1

A few weeks back, I was in need of a couple of apps for one of my businesses and trusted one seller that was able to provide past work samples which came very close to what I needed to work on my project.

Frankly, I did not use the cheapest gig and expected good work. After several days I placed my order (the seller was terribly sick, hence the delay), I received the initial draft of the design as a delivery forcing me to accept or request a revision. Apparently the order has been delivered “by mistake” but even worse than that, the design was so bad that I was convinced he used crayons.

The gig included the source code but for some reason the seller wanted me to complete the order before he would send me any codes. I set him straight about that one and finally received the apps and codes to look at before accepting anything. Turns out, the apps are from an already published app called “taxi” hence me having “delivery boy”, “route-planning”, “driver-routes” etc. all over within the codes (I ordered a simple music app, completely unrelated to any taxi deal). Along with that mess he did not include the main part of the app which handles all of the requests between app and server (missing endpoints), making it completely non-functional and it turns out, he “forgot” to include that part of the code - which is basically the most important part. So I thought that was already bad enough but taking a closer look, the app itself needed permission to manage and make calls. Never in my life have I came across any music app that needs to call someone, but whatever.

Also, the code is so poorly written and there are some serious vulnerability concerns which I am not sure about, if they are there for malicious reasons or if the “developer”, who seems to outsource, just codes so poorly. Generally, he allows any app-user (not just the admin) to upload ANY type of file - meaning someone could easily inject a shell and run some serious scripts, spyware, malware, you name it - the sky is the limit. Throughout the last few weeks, I asked for a cancellation twice (once already as soon as I had seen the crayon draft of a design) but of course he would insist on continuing this job and declined to cancel.

I wrote CS about all of this, leaving no detail out and asking them to look into it but all I received was one of these copy and paste responses including the info that I can still request a cancellation and work it out “amicably” with the seller.

So here I am, I am a seller and a buyer at the same time and I must say I am not sure anymore if any party is being protected and I value all of you out there in the forum who face chargebacks on a regular basis but honestly, I as a buyer do not see any attempt by fiverr to fix anything. So as a buyer I have the choice to support a scam or to dispute my order beyond fiverr.

I am not a coder, I understand generally what a code does and am good enough to look up functions - on top of having issues with the seller, I engaged a second developer outside of fiverr to fix whatever needs to be fixed and even he is coming to his limits and wants to trash the entire code because it would be easier to rebuild it from scratch. Note, I already paid well over $800.00 just to have a second dev go through the code, provide me with reports and fixes.

Sorry for the long post, just needed to rant a bit :confused:


#2

I’d have stopped here to be honest.

What you get as a delivery should be the ‘final’ version, not a draft.

:arrow_up_small::arrow_up_small::arrow_up_small:This.


#3

Yes, as a seller I know that and after that, i immediately contacted CS (the first time I did) and informed them about me receiving a draft as a final delivery). They wrote (template response) forwarded this to their trust and safety team. But yet, the seller is still here and active and my problem was never solved :confused:


#4

If you’ve got taxi app code throughout your app, you’ve basically been sold a copy and pasted app from somewhere else with a new UI slapped on top. If I were you, I would bombard Fiverr with a demand for a refund. Your service has not been delivered as described. I’d also recommend contacting the taxi company used for inspiration for your app and expaining the situation. If you do, they will likely go straight for the copyright jugular.

On a separate note, I find it very odd how buyers can get $70 orders from me refunded without question by CS, but you can’t get a legitimately shoddy $800 order refunded. Is it possible Fiverr thinks you are complaining as a seller and not a buyer?


#5

But did you manage to cancel the order, without CS and by yourself - you should still have had that as an option?


#6

Yup, that seems to be the case here. I assume he had somehow created that draft himself for me to approve; so he could forward it to the actual “developer” who, basically ripped an already existing app to adjust a bit. I could go the route to contact the app owner but; in the end, that would not necessarily fix my problem. In my opinion, it would be logical for fiverr to step in. Obviously fiverr does not need to take my word for it but, they must have an development-team that could maybe even spare a few minutes to look over what has been delivered. I do not know how your buyers get away with demanding a refund, looking at your work, you don’t hit me as being shady or in any way questionable. Maybe fiverr just doesn’t like me :slight_smile: I hope they know I am the buyer in this case.

The order as of now, is not cancelled and I am juggling between revisions. Generally speaking, my developer needs time to look at all of the code which takes time especially since we already found some vulnerabilities. You want to look at every singe line of code. We are barely done with the android app but still need to work on the iOS version which is not so easy because they use a completely different language and have their own work environment (xCode).

Every two days I just pick something that needs to be fixed out of the endless list from my developer so that I can request a further revision until he can tell me for certain what to do with these apps. Once we know for a fact what kind of scope we are looking at, I will be able to decide if the delivered work here by fiverr is to be trashed altogether or if it makes more sense to keep investing into fixing the delivered work. Right now, we did not even get the iOS version to open yet, it is a mess.

I think it is obvious that I am not having such a great time right now. I am not only losing money but also a lot of time and I must admit, I am looking at fiverr a little differently now. I hoped for some involvement as this situation is so clear and easy to investigate.

I will keep you guys updated with the development, if I need to trash all the code I will be contacting CS again for a refund -if i will be able to use parts of the code, I hope CS will assist in finding a fair solution.


#7

Fiver takes copyright issues really seriously so if you can somehow prove that the code has been copied from another app illegally , it should help your case a lot.


#8

That is quite possibly the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me. :slight_smile:

To be honest, I’d cut your losses and run. It really doesn’t sound like your seller can do anything but copy and paste code from pre-existing apps, in order to create some kind of Frankenstein application. If this is the case, you are just going to run into more problems the longer things carry on for.

What you could do is save time and money by grabbing a few FOSS app templates from Github and going full DIY using software like Bluestacks. This is possibly exactly what your seller is doing and if so, it simply doesn’t make sense paying them.

I had a similar experience recently. I bought a premium WP theme with added support. (Not from Fiverr.) I then spent a couple of weeks building a website using it and then… Disaster.

Whoever the developer was had just created a Frankenstein theme out of other themes and the whole site was an SEO mess. I then spent more time trying to fix it than I should have, before finally shooting it and starting from scratch myself. Now I have the site I wanted but my window of free time to populate it with content and start marketing it has closed. (For the time being.)

Sometimes you just need to know when to cut your losses.


#9

If you haven’t already, I’d recommend that you make it painfully clear/obvious to them that you are the buyer here and that you got absolutely shoddy work delivered to you and that it doesn’t really help with Fiverr’s reputation if they side with the seller in this particular case.


#10

:joy:

Thanks, I have to check it out. I’m also eyeballing “Apppresser” which works directly with Wordpress - may need to decide soon as I just want this to be done now.

Yea, been there unfortunately myself. Guess we may be both talking about EM aka TF. Wound up using Genesis after calling quits, needed lots of adjusting but it is a light and very solid theme overall.

But you know, this is exactly what gets to me. When someone advertises one thing but gives you something that is up to no standard or non-functional which in my book is simply put a scam.

I once purchased some SEO-Software for $1740.00 which had several modules to it and while some were great, one of the main modules was not working. I had to contact support every other day and they went unresponsive pretty quick and once I filed for a PP dispute, they revoked access to the software altogether rather than trying to fix it. I wound up losing the dispute since PP does not protect intangible items so I was literally stuck with a non-functional software and lost all of my funds.

Had a similar experience with a backup and migrate solution for Wordpress which stored corrupted backups and, even though they offered a 30 day money back guarantee they were not going to issue a refund. Fortunate for me, PP stepped in here.

Overall, I am observing a gradual decline when it comes to customer service and the quality of products. Most of what I buy keeps it’s promise and does what it is supposed to do but it seems today one never knows and even reviews can not always be trusted.


#11

You are so right! And yet in my case, sometimes trusting an underdog company can pay dividends.

I have had some serious issues with some propriety animation software I use from a niche company. However. I can’t fault their customer service one bit. I’ve been given feebies, asked to submit user information and suggestions (not the automated kind) and now when bugs occur, they get remedied super fast.

Conversely, my experience with big brands has been going downhill for a number of years.

Just a few examples:

A certain well-known freelancing payment processor decided to reissue me out of the blue this year with a new ATM card. I then realized that this company was sending my new card to my old address. (Despite me having updated my address details months previously).

Long story short, every time I sent a message to their CS pointing out the problem, they sent an automated reply and dispatched a new card to the same old address. In the end, six cards were dispatched over a 3-month period until I must have triggered some kind of security alert. Then I was warned that I had 48-hours to update my details and confirm my identity. After that a new card did reach me like it should have originally, however, I still didn’t receive anything but automated responses to further queries.

My trust in this company now? Zero.

I also invested in a Surface 3 tablet earlier this year. After a few weeks, it stopped charging. Support from Microsoft simply didn’t happen. In the end, I shelved it and bought a $150 cheap tablet with near identical specs. To date, I have had no problems.

Trust in MS products? It was already shaky but now its zero.

Then there are big brand consumer goods. I seem to be cursed with buying boots and clothes and even kitchenware which just fall apart after a few weeks of use. In this case, I now completely steer away from big brands. I’ve been using a backpack which I bought for $35 in New Zealand for over 10-years. Recently, I decided to replace it. Two weeks after delivery of said replacement, the plastic clippy things started snapping. In this case, I’ve binned it and will stick to using my old one.

In my opinion, businesses (Fiverr included) seem to now bank on the presumption that it doesn’t matter if people are unhappy with their products. There are millions of other people online who will keep on buying from them anyway.

Thankfully, smaller brands and more niche brands still seem to take pride in real customer service. The trick is finding and migrating to them.


#12

We may need to have a talk :grinning:

Same here and once you dig deeper you will find that a lot of these big apples are just as sour as the lemons.

Looking here alone, a lot of gigs are so superficial and may fool someone that has no idea. Selling copyrighted work as their own, spinning articles and sell it as unique hence in my niche (music) there are people offering music as their own and when I look at it I recognize lots of samples that are free to begin with. It must be very lucrative for fiverr to not step in but it becomes a challenge when you try to improve your image as a brand but then not support the seller and in some cases the buyer to avoid scams. So fine, they just want to make sure they get paid.

I absolutely love to make music but the idea to work on an original piece here and in the end face a possible chargeback, was enough for me to uppen my pricing to riduclous amounts. Was lucky with most of my buyers but had to struggle with two that demanded endless revisions. I don’t want to be hostage of any review or badge system which in my opinion is a ridiculous system designed to make people slaves to their work. There are many other ways to build up passive income which in the end makes much more sense to me. If I ever get bored and am up for the adventure I may lower my pricing again but for now, thanks I already know enough people that want stuff for free.

So my seller aspect to this platform is figured out now I just hope for some protection as a buyer. I am telling you, in any business school this would be such a perfect example of how not to run your business but then again, the trend proves me wrong.


#13

Update: seller refuses to accept the cancellation. Provided lots of info to CS, replied requesting for even more information to elaborate

on which in my opinion is not needed.

Update to follow…


#14

I like the way state things so clearly.

You could consider this a robot/seller CS bias test. I see no legitimate reason why CS shouldn’t side with you on this. In fact, I think your seller deserves a warning to boot

Good luck!.


#15

Update: Order cancelled by CS. Not an easy process but finally a decision has been made.

Not too much of an happy end because even though I received a fiverr credit, I also spend money on the second developer who basically gave up fixing and going through all of the codes.

But that’s life :confused:


#16

Well done! - At least the system does work to some degree.

As for your credit and extra costs… Ouch.


#17

I know that dev for quite some time, he also works for WP Rocket and has some reputation, hence him not being so cheap. Who knows, maybe he will cut me a deal for my next project.