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Member Since 22 Sep 2011
Offline Last Active Aug 28 2014 06:52 AM

#154190 A Review of 4sprung

Posted by quicksilver1024 on 01 February 2013 - 05:12 AM

tl;dr: Incompetent developers with managers who are eager to push the blame to the client rather than facing serious incompetency and quality issues. Stay far away.

This is a quick review of 4sprung, who's services I had used extensively for my online store throughout a period of 4 months.

Before I begin my review, I should mention what types of development help I had asked of them:
  • Design implementation to CS-Cart
  • Custom development of add-ons
  • Malware/virus help
I had contacted 4sprung to implement a custom design produced by a professional web designer to CS-Cart 3.0.1. Having experienced working with outsourced developers from developing countries like Pakistan and India, I was looking for a native English speaker with a development from first world countries, hoping that the quality of work would be much better.

So, I came across 4sprung and seeing that they're from "Australia" I contacted them and chose them for the project after speaking with 3 other companies. Before I had signed anything, I wanted to make sure the development team was indeed from Australia and not further outsourced to development teams elsewhere. The reply I got from the owner of the business was that they do at times outsource their work if they needed extra help.

This was the first sign that something was wrong.

Not only was my website completely developed by an outsourced team in India as IP records show, the quality was horrendous and feedback/suggestions to improve quality was not taken seriously. Here's a short list of things they should have known better (and which even a rookie developer should know is sub-par work):
  • Buttons and button text as images instead of plain text styled in CSS
  • noindex, nofollow was not removed from the template after the website went live which lead to several weeks of SERP
  • Hooks were not properly used to facilitate future updates to core despite me asking (and being reassured) that it'll be done
  • Newsletters and subscriptions stopped working after a week or two when the website went live
  • Minor details in design files were not implemented into the implemented CS-Cart site, showing a lack of care and lack of focus in details
And this is just a short list. I could go on and on but I'll stop. Basically, wherever there's a corner they've cut it and it shows in the quality of the work.

When confronted with these issues, the manager - Steve - was willing to help and suggested that one single spreadsheet listing the issues would suffice. I thought so too but then came the seemingly endless cycle of feedback. When one issue was fixed, another popped up. I waited for all the "fixes" to be made and then created another spreadsheet listing the fixes that were "fixed" but weren't actually as well as issues that have been created after the "fixes" were applied. In the end, I think we had came up with something like 4 of these spreadsheets.

What did their management (CEO/founder) think of this long process? They blamed it on me, not sending them one single spreadsheet detailing ALL OF THE ISSUES. I tried explaining that this wasn't possible due to issues that weren't actually fixed and new issues that had popped up due to the fixes. But, he simply waved it off and kept to his notion.

Now is the part where it gets worse. Immediately after the website went live, I discovered that there were pop-under ads embedded into my store! These are 3rd-party ads which linked to text that were in a couple of our pages. When confronted of the issue, the management said it could well have to do with us using Wordpress and that the CMS gets hacked often. That would sort of make sense if the ads were showing on our blog, but this was on our CS-Cart installation. Of course, management waved this off and said that we should have somebody maintain our website since obviously it wasn't being managed well enough (they also offer website management services).

It was simply too convenient that the website started showing these ads after our server details were given to 4sprung. And, we had only given it to them - no other provider had them.

Anyways, this would have been "fine" as I could simply search for the malware and remove it myself BUT THEN THE VIRUS APPEARED. This virus injected malicious code to randomly selected visitors to our website, created forwards in the htaccess that point to malicious web pages etc. When asked for emergency assistance, all that came back was...silence.

I'm not saying that 4sprung knowingly injected the adware, malware/virus to our server, but based on their lack of attention to detail in their work it's a possibility that there was a security breach on their end which resulted in malicious access to our server.

All in all, I would stay away from 4sprung.

#138903 Amazon Marketplace & E-bay Integration - Lags Behind X-Cart, Opencart, Ma...

Posted by quicksilver1024 on 18 June 2012 - 08:46 AM

Hello everyone,

This is an official statement: Amazon & eBay integration will be developed.

After taking a closer look at this task and accurately weighing all the pros and cons we have eventually come to the decision no to drop the development of this functionality as we have earlier.

We would like to apologize for the long delay we had to take in the development. Developing CS-Cart 3 was a real challenge and we had to prioritize properly in order to succeed with it, so Amazon & eBay integration had to be put off.

The details will be disclosed later. It will probably be a paid annual subscription-based module.

We have started working on the scope statement, and as soon as it is finished we will be able to announce the estimated release date.

I'm extremely happy to hear this. Like others have already said, integration with other channels is crucial in today's ecommerce world.

However, as most small retailers (whom make up the majority of CS-Cart users) would agree, we do not want another monthly paid service. What exactly is a recurring cost for CS-Cart to provide Ebay/Amazon integration? If there are no significant recurring costs, then asking for monthly payment doesn't make much sense. I expect the complains will flood back concerning the Ebay/Amazon integration if the cost for this integration is too much and is recurring.