Last September, We hired one of the agencies listed on bubble.io to build my first Bubble App.
The total project cost is about was estimated to be finished sometime in December at the latest. It’s clearly well past that, and they’re specifically stuck with some API issues. These last couple weeks they even begun to be a bit unresponsive.
I am looking for some guidance on some options in order to get this complete. I am skeptical about hiring another agency, only to get put back many more months. I’m also worried about potential knowledge transfer issues if we change devs/agencies. I feel stuck and unsure how to proceed.
Any advice would be appreciated!
Sorry to hear about your difficulties.
I hope the app is in your bubble account, and if not, I would strongly recommend that you have them transfer the app over to you (even if it is unfinished). I come across clients with apps that are in the agency’s account and this would make a situation like yours even more untenable.
I’m really sorry that you’ve had this experience. Unfortunately, I hear very similar stories all the time and really wish Bubble would add some sort of agency profile / rating system to their agencies page. The same bad actors continue to do this time and time again. It really sucks
If it makes you feel any better - I had this exact experience several years ago with an agency who built my MVP (although with code). Lovely people, but after 6 months and an eye watering amount later, I had a very poor excuse for a product. It’s actually what prompted me to learn how to code, and then eventually no-code, and then eventually open my own Bubble agency.
At this point I think it’s safe to say that your energy is better spent moving forward, and after 5+ months past your deadline your best option is going to be to cut your losses and move on.
The hard truth is that in each occasion where I’ve stepped in to help out in these situations, my advice has been to wipe the floor clean and start again, even though we’ve been able to get the app transferred across eventually.
Now this is absolutely not about redoing things for the sake of it - but the issues preventing the app from being finished are usually fairly minor and quickly solved, but what lies beneath the surface is a very poorly built app that is so far from MVP that would take more time to fix and iterate than it would to start with a new blank app. It may not be the case (and I hope it’s not for your sake), but it’s what I see time and time again
Some suggestions on next steps:
If you’ve paid for most / all of the app already (usually the case) then insist on having it transferred to your Bubble account.
Needless to say if there are any outstanding invoices - do not pay them in the hopes they’ll finish.
Book a time with me on my website. I offer a free Bubble app audit service, so once you have access to the app I’m happy to have a quick look over and let you know what state it’s in and give you an idea of whether it’s salvageable or not. If it is just a minor API issue I may be able to help you solve that quickly
I’m fairly busy at the moment in terms of new work - but if you did want to bring in a new person/team I’m happy to make some recommendations of some really awesome Bubble developers that come with client testimonials. I think the key to bringing in someone new is spending some time upfront to make sure they have at least a couple of happy clients and you can see that they’ve created apps to the level you expect.
The focus of my business is supporting founders and teams to build their own no-code apps. So if you’re crazy enough to feel inspired by my story and want to de-risk the situation of hiring another bad agency - then I’m happy to work with you to help you build you own app
Josh @ Support Dept
Helping no-code founders get unstuck fast save hours, & ship faster with an expert on-demand
I post daily about no-code and Bubble on Twitter
@kyle10 that is a really shitty situation but I’m sure more than a few of us have been in the same boat.
I thought I’d reply as I’m not an agency, I just use Bubble to build my own stuff, so have no skin in the game.
I would definitely cut and run and follow what @josh24 has said.
try and get the app off them and into your Bubble account
don’t pay them any more (if they want paying to transfer the app, then don’t and write it off)
Then if you don’t want to finish/start the build yourself or you don’t have the time, hire someone with a solid reputation behind them (this forum is a good place to establish that).
I would urge you though to try and build at least some of it yourself and then get help where you are stuck. That’s really the advantage with Bubble, you can do it yourself, and you’ll have a much better understanding of how it all works and won’t be entirely on dependent on someone else. The learning curve is pretty steep to actually build something decent but it’s worth it.