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  1. #1
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    Arrow What a waste of my school holidays...

    Hi everyone,

    Unfortunately, my school holidays have practically gone down to waste waiting for one vBulletin design, to be both designed and coded. I'm not the type that likes to spend all the school holidays sitting in front of the computer, I like to go out, but I'm also not the type to waste my time waiting for things to be done, especially when it's the holidays.

    First of all, it was designed by Michael Novikov, a member at TalkFreelance. I have no complaints though. Michael done the job on time and exceeded my expectations.

    Shortly after receiving the PSD for the design, I began to seek a coder. He had recommended a coder from vBSkins.com, but at that time he was not online. Michael said that he would be online within a few hours. I didn't have time to wait, so I proceeded to making a post at TalkFreelance looking for a coder for the design. I specifically mentioned that I'd like to hire a coder to start coding the design right now, and not leave it till a few days. I also specifically mentioned that it was urgent and that I was looking to pay $100-$250 to get it coded, an amount I believe would be more than enough for QUALITY coding.

    Ok, now straight to the story and the frustration:

    I ended up hiring Matt from FreshCoders.com, obviously there is a typo on the site, unfortunately is spelt wrong, but I ignored that. People make mistakes sometimes. He seemed very knowledgeable at the start and looked like he knew what he was doing. He was also recommended to me by UKMatt (a member here) and a few other people. I also had someone reply to my thread saying that Matt was a good choice and one of the "best".

    Matt told me it would be done by Wednesday, the LATEST. Here is a chat log to prove it:

    Quote Originally Posted by Chatlog
    [08:21:26 AM] ScriptSHOCK.: Cool.

    How soon do you think you'd be able to get this done
    by?
    [08:22:06 AM] (WordPressin: Wednesday
    [08:22:10 AM] (WordPressin: By the latest
    He wanted a down payment of 50%, but I went out of my way and just sent the full amount as I wanted to get this done as soon as possible. And I wouldn't want him to slack off the work because he hasn't received "full payment" yet, not that it's likely, but it can happen. I sent full payment, so that shouldn't be an excuse for him to slack off on the coding and instead to make it a priority.

    This was all on Friday, when I was looking for a coder and found Matt.

    2 days later, basically no updates whatsoever, nothing on what he has done and what still needs to be done. He just told me not to worry and that the coding WILL be done. Me being me, I didn't worry much, since I thought I had hired the "best" coder. After all, it's his responsibility as the coder to update me, and not me as the customer to remind him.

    Wednesday comes, he is not able to send me the completed design as Gmail had "problems". He could've gone out of his way and uploaded the ZIP file of the design to one of his websites and linked me to it as I believe he does own a few websites. We are in different time zones so it's a bit hard to get in contact with Matt. I have to stay up until 6:00 AM in the morning just to be able to talk to him. It's the holidays, that's no problem, but it's getting close to school and I CAN'T keep doing that.

    This is what I get for all the waiting, for going out of my way and sending the payment in full, and for trying to be patient:

    http://www.pimpmywalk.com

    Username: demo
    Password: demo

    As you can see, upon visiting, there are ALREADY problems with the skin. Things are out of place and it looks NOWHERE near like the design originally done by Michael Novikov:

    http://www.pimpmywalk.com/forum.gif

    Look at the spacing, the alignment, the sidebar content, the tutorials category (which is supposed to be split like TalkFreelance's marketplace), ask yourself, does it look anywhere NEAR like the design made by Michael? I'm afraid not.

    He said he is working on things and trying to find "mods" for the sidebar. That's not what I'm concerned about, what I'm concerned about is that he said it would be done at wednesday the LATEST, I waited and tried not to disturb him, and look what I get in return?

    A poorly coded design, with problems everywhere, and looking nowhere near like what Michael had originally designed it to look like. I mean, just compare the original design to the outcome, you'll know EXACTLY what I mean.

    I really can't say I'm impressed at all by Matt's work attitude. I mean, I sent full payment, there is no reason to slack off and get off schedule.

    I'm not sure if I'm entitled to a refund right now, but since I paid $200 for the coding, I believe I am ATLEAST entitled to some QUALITY coding, don't you guys think?

    I am going to try and work with Matt for a few more days on this simply because I really need to get this done and I'm not looking to waste anymore time on this.

    This is just a little warning for anyone who is considering hiring Matt. It is not meant to defame him or his company, but to provide you, a potential customer, with my experience working with FreshCoders.


    If you've managed to read up until here, I thank you for your concern about this issue, and am sorry to have made the complaint so long.

    Well.. nothing I can do now, except say "wow.. what a waste of my holidays"..

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Sounds like both of you had quite unrealstic expectations for this project.

    Your developer should never have agreed to a 3 working day turn around - most developers will pad out expected delivery times to account for unexpected problems, for example; unforseen browser bugs, emergencies occuring on other client's sites, or plain and simple personal problems that mean they cant work for the days they said they would.

    Equally, you should realise that paying $200 for what I would consider an extreme rush job is not a very large amount of money to pay. In fact, it's a complete bargain, even if the coding took a month. Also I think you are jumping the gun somewhat, coming onto a public forum and slating the guy because he's 2 days late in delivering. You should try a little harder to sort out the problem between yourselves first - communication is always the first step, and you'll have to accept that sometimes it is the client who has to do some of the chasing, especially when the sums involved are so small

  3. #3
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    Hello there,

    I have matt on msn and was refered to him, i havnt used him yet, but it will make me think before paying 50% upfront, ( more than anyone else would request ).

    Good Luck with your site and i saw webmaster trades on google the other day very nice!

  4. #4
    Non-Member crunchi's Avatar
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    why do you not code it by yourself, when you have nothing to do i suggest you read some tutorials on vbskin coding theme and try it by yourself..

    then you should ask for a refund..

    i hope you'll succed with pimpmywalk

    regards,
    crunchi

  5. #5
    The I's for intelligent silver trophy iTechno's Avatar
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    In response, I'd say things come up, such as friends who have serious operations and I kind of felt out of my way to visit him, My biggest problem is not being able to say no to friends (Thanks Jonathan ) Anyway, I'm sorry about the time delay and I'm sorry I haven't got it done but when I've being in I've worked as hard as I can.

    In all honesty, it wasn't really incomplete, it was just the left hand side and I need to work on the homepage, but I didn't deliever on time so his claims are true.

    I told him if it isn't completed for tonight he can have his money back.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by crunchi
    why do you not code it by yourself, when you have nothing to do i suggest you read some tutorials on vbskin coding theme and try it by yourself..

    then you should ask for a refund..

    i hope you'll succed with pimpmywalk

    regards,
    crunchi

    I don't have the time.. that's why I'm hiring a coder...

  7. #7
    doing my best to help c2uk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowbox
    Equally, you should realise that paying $200 for what I would consider an extreme rush job is not a very large amount of money to pay. In fact, it's a complete bargain, even if the coding took a month. Also I think you are jumping the gun somewhat, coming onto a public forum and slating the guy because he's 2 days late in delivering. You should try a little harder to sort out the problem between yourselves first - communication is always the first step, and you'll have to accept that sometimes it is the client who has to do some of the chasing, especially when the sums involved are so small
    I agree completely, good and clear communication about what's going on between you and your client/partner/contractor/any other person is just so important and I also think Skribblez, you should have not come here and slate someone personally but ask for advise what you can do in such a situation. This portrays you even worse then the coder you want to slate.
    Dan G
    Marketing Strategist & Consultant

  8. #8
    The I's for intelligent silver trophy iTechno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by c2uk
    I agree completely, good and clear communication about what's going on between you and your client/partner/contractor/any other person is just so important and I also think Skribblez, you should have not come here and slate someone personally but ask for advise what you can do in such a situation. This portrays you even worse then the coder you want to slate.
    I did communicate with him to tell him that it wouldn't finished he said that he would give me 12 hours 2 hours before he posts this? I aren't bothered though as I was late at thats the end of it.

  9. #9
    doing my best to help c2uk's Avatar
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    I wasn't solely referring to you, more to Skribblez as should have been clear by what I added just afterwards.
    Dan G
    Marketing Strategist & Consultant

  10. #10
    The I's for intelligent silver trophy iTechno's Avatar
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    I know, mine was to all.

  11. #11
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    I didn't post this to try and defame him. I posted merely to share my experience and to ask for people's thoughts and advice. This is the first time I've had a problem working with someone to get a design coded..

  12. #12
    doing my best to help c2uk's Avatar
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    Well, in your long post, you did not ask once for any kind of advice, this is the closest to it:
    I'm not sure if I'm entitled to a refund right now, but since I paid $200 for the coding, I believe I am ATLEAST entitled to some QUALITY coding, don't you guys think?
    You are angry and disappointed but still it was not your place to do what you've done. Learn from it and approach those kind of issues differently next time, otherwise no one wants to do any business with you anymore.
    Dan G
    Marketing Strategist & Consultant

  13. #13
    SitePoint Enthusiast homesonsale's Avatar
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    Ahh you've really wasted the whole of your 10 week holiday haven't you? And how hard it must be having to stay up until 6am, you chose Matt knowing he was from the UK.

    I think you should cut Matt some slack - the design is nearly complete, just needs a few tweeks. Personally I would give you a refund and wash my hands with you, Oh I would remove the design too!

  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skribblez
    I didn't post this to try and defame him. I posted merely to share my experience and to ask for people's thoughts and advice. This is the first time I've had a problem working with someone to get a design coded..
    If you just wanted advice and didn't want to slate him in public, why name names?

    Anyway, that design is pretty much finished, you should give the guy a break. I still can't see how the design being 2 days late has ruined your entire school holidays - that's a bit over-dramatic to say the least.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Evangelist Unit7285's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skribblez
    I didn't post this to try and defame him.
    Yes you did. It's a disgraceful post. Not to mention whiny and self-pitying.

    Hopefully Matt and other coders will stay well clear of you in the future.

    Paul

  16. #16
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    My opinion:

    You do seem a bit whiney. Waste of your school holidays? What were you doing while he was coding, sitting in your chair waiting and watching paint dry?

    Heres what you should have done. First, ask for previous work. Look at his portfolio of skinning history, ask for a sample code if necessary. Secondly, come up with realistic terms. If you have an absolute deadline, maybe that needs to be clearer, maybe you should ask for status updates every day. Work that into your deal. Dont pay 100% upfront, include late penalties or bonus pay for time performance, discussed BEFORE he starts working. Something you can agree on.

    If you think a couple days is bad, you've never really gotten screwed over then. I've had programmers just lie about progress for weeks, then end up saying they are too sick, they have problems, whatever thats gets in the way and suddenly can't do the project anymore. The key is to pick quality programmers from the start, the ones whom are responsible and communicative.

  17. #17
    SitePoint Guru hifigrafix's Avatar
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    Without going too outside of the scope of this thread - this is why I only hire designers/developers in town that I can do business with face to face. Never had this problem - also I would always add 2 weeks expectancy to pretty much ANYTHING that I hire someone new to do.

    Once you DO find someone reliable and good - pay extra to keep them around. It's worth it in the long run.

  18. #18
    Resident Grump BillyParadise's Avatar
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    I agree (mostly) with hifigrafix. While I've never met the designer I use and the code team I use (I live in the middle of nowhere), I use the same ones repeatedly. I've gone through several before finding a team I feel comfortable with.

    Business is about relationships - find people you can work with, and keep using them. If you hear of any work they could do, pass on the lead. The busier you keep them, the less you will be "just another client" and the more you will be part of a team.

    Now, back to the topic at hand. Skribblez. Grow the #### up. You haven't wasted your entire summer holidays.

    I encourage all designers who find jobs through this site to do a check on their customers. Some jobs just aren't worth it.

    BP
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