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Dispute about completed app

Hi all


I hired a company on Upwork to create me an app. Took 18 months - some their fault, some mine. Seemed ok and so released it and ended contract. Gave glowing review.


But now I find it is not really working for users. Many complaints - a 1 star review. It seems that while it works for my iphoneX (the one I always checked it on) it has many bugs for others. Now the company are saying they will fix - but it will cost me more to fix. So for example - a 7Plus iphone user had an issue and I paid the same compay 100 USD to fix, they are saying they have fixed it for the iphone 7Plus but are not necessarily guaranteeing that the work is being fixed in other formats and say that if it comes up in other types of phones that they will fix it for free 2 days following end of contract, but if not then, it will be then more money for them to fix it. Is that right?


They also say that their virtual devices can only see 90% of the issues - hence the bugs. Is that correct?


I got a tester in Australia to check it and he is now saying it would be easier to build from scratch that try to fix it.


Do I have any recourse? Or is an expensive lesson?


Also how do you actually speak to a person from Upwork?? Or don't they do that?

Community Member

I don't represent Upwork officially. I am a frequent user (as both freelancer and client) and these are my opinions:


re: "Or is an expensive lesson?"

As this is the first mobile app that you developed by hiring freelancers on Upwork, this was going to be a lesson no matter what the outcome was.


re: "Do I have any recourse?"

You may choose to continue working with the developers who created the original version of the app. They are more familiar with the body of source code than anybody else is.


But you have the choice, whether or not to continue working with them, or not. You could stop working with them entirely and work only with other people.


If you do continue to utilize their help, I strongly advise you against doing or saying anything to them that suggests that you don't want to pay them for any new work that they do on the project. As a client, you don't want people working on your project who don't feel that they are being paid for their work. When freelancers think they are working for free, or working for very little pay, then there is little motivation to actually do anything.


You can also bring in additional developers and other types of freelancers.


A project like this is of such size and scope that I never recommend working with only a single freelancer or a single agency.


Based on what you said, it sounds like one of the biggest problems with your development approach was that you didn't have adequate testing. You might benefit from adding some testers to the team who work on a regular basis, during the development process. They could test new and existing features as they are developed, from different types of devices.


It is always better to have multiple individuals working on a project this size. I strongly recommend working with an independent project manager, who can help keep the project on track and on schedule, while identifying the underperforming or poor-value freelancers who should be fired from the team.


Modifying an existing body of source code or "starting from scratch" are always two different options that you should consider.


Many, perhaps most, developers will prefer to "start from scratch" if you present them with a situation like this. But it's not actually necessary. And in many situations, it is NOT actually the best way to go.


There are plenty of developers for hire on Upwork (and elsewhere) who are adept at fixing problems in existing bodies of mobile app source code.


Even if you do decide to hire developers to create a completely new version of this mobile app, they wouldn't really be "starting from scratch." Much can be re-used from what has already been created. Business logic can be reused. Image files can be reused. Design can be reused. Database structure can be reused. Algorithms can be reused. There is no doubt much that has been learned in developing this original version of the app that is useful no matter how you move forward.


re: "Also how do you actually speak to a person from Upwork?? Or don't they do that?"

You are speaking to a live person from Upwork right now.

I am an Upwork user, just like you are.

Every person who participates in the Community Forum is an actual person who is a freelancer, or client (or both), or an Upwork employee.


Nothing in your original post seems to me like you have any reason to talk to Upwork Customer Support. I think you will be better off focusing on asking questions here, and reading related threads in the Forum.


But if you really want to talk to somebody in Upwork Customer Support, here are some tips:

- click the question mark icon that shows at the bottom right corner of this page: https://support.upwork.com/hc/en-us

- you may be asked what type of account you need help you

- go ahead and select the best option.

- if you don't receive the information you're looking for, you can click "Get Support" for more options, including contacting the support team.

Hi Preston (or anyone else with an opinion)


Wow Preston, you are a guru thankyou.


May I ask a few more questions please?


Are developers generally expected to check any mistakes found in one version of an app, and see if they are not an issue in most versions of iOS and Android? So if I find an issue in an iPhone X for the app, and I pay them to fix it (as I have done a few times) - can I expect them to be fixing in most versions of iOS and Android. Or can I only expect them to fix the issue as it appears in the app as it appears in that type of phone and it becomes my responsibility to to let them know each version it is an issue in?


If I can't expect that, what is the way around it? What, in your experience, is the best way to test an app to be really sure it is generally working for the majority of users? Is there a type of career/role/person/team that will test the app in most versions of iOS and Android? Is the virtual software reliable to find issues?


If I did still use the current developers but added a tester/s how many is ideal. Or can one test it across all versions?





re: "Are developers generally expected to check any mistakes found in one version of an app, and see if they are not an issue in most versions of iOS and Android?"

The short answer is: no.


Two points:

Upwork isn't a mobile app development platform. It is a general-use freelancing platform that allows many types of work to be done. So at the Upwork level, nothing is "generally expected" when it comes to mobile app development.


Outside of Upwork, what about the general practice of mobile app development? Are developers generally expected to check any mistakes found in one version of the app, and see if they are issues in other versions of iOS and Android?



That might be something that some developers or organizations do. But it is not a general expectation.


Some developers or organizations might develop for multiple technology targets, such as iOS and Android and Google Nest and Amazon Echo.


Others might develop for only one.


Some developers may test how a specific app works on multiple VERSIONS of iOS, or multiple sizes of screens (iPad, iPhone, etc.). Others might not.


There is not one standard methodology.

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