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Avion Technology / I feel this situation is a classic case of bait and switch

1 United States

I hired Avion Technology in March 2009 to build a website for my company. Once we had conducted several phone meetings, they presented a proposal to me for a cost of $2000 with a 2 month time frame for completion. There was a clause in the proposal that stated if either party were to make any changes to the original agreement, we needed to go through a "change control process."

After 1 month of work they only completed the Functional Design Specifications and no development had begun. As things progressed they continued asking for payments even though the work completed was not enough to necessitate the payment nor was the payment in line with the payment plan in the proposal. Each time a payment was requested, Avion would promise to complete the next item shortly after the payment was received.

At one point Avion told me they had to start a second phase of the project and role several items from the first phase into the second phase and would also need to charge me additional fees. At this point it had been 7 months and I had a very incomplete website that was nowhere near functioning. They continued to promise me items would be completed once I made additional payments. I continued to do so in good faith. I allowed Avion to start the second phase of the project and gave them a down payment (even though phase 1 was not complete.) They told me it would be completed by middle November 2009. By the middle of January 2010, the site was still not complete. I felt held hostage by this company as I had invested so much time and money over 9 months. I eventually realized that work had completely stopped on my site and I was wasting valuable time waiting for items to be completed and for progress to be made. Unfortunately, Avion did not hold up their end of our contract. I made more payments than the original agreement of $2000 and after 9 months I had a website that was far from complete. They began telling me a couple of months into the process that what I had originally requested and what they agreed to, was no longer possible for the time period and the money I was paying. They expressed that what I wanted would cost much more and a lot of the functionality was no longer possible. Even though it was all outlined in our original contract? I had no leverage and had to eventually walk away. At this point I believed I was being had and attempted to seek a refund on the monies paid as I had a no-functioning website after almost a year. The deposit made for the second phase was made through American Express. I went through the dispute process they offer their customers. American Express did a thorough investigation and requested information from Avion Technology. Upon completion of the American Express investigation, they made their decision in my favor and refunded my money of the second phase down payment.) I approached Avion Technology about a refund since I still had no working site and it had gone 7 months over the original completion date. Their response was that I demanded things out of scope and they delivered them anyway. I thought they were ludicrous to tell me they would do items out of scope for free yet not complete the items in scope for the agreed price? They also demanded additional payments for items that were part of the original agreement. We had a process for change control and nothing could be changed or added without this process. All parties needed to sign off on any changes proposed. This was never done for any of the items they were now claiming were out of scope. I thought they were playing games with me and had no intentions of ever getting me the functioning website we agreed to in our original contract.

I feel this situation is a classic case of bait and switch. They agreed to build a website for $2000. When they realized it was underbid or not something they wanted to do any longer, they made excuses and tried to charge me more. I feel the appropriate response is for Avion to refund my money as they did not hold up their end of the contract and I have a completely useless, non functioning website. Hopefully, this posting will prevent others from making the same mistakes I made by trusting this company. I do believe now they had no intention from the beginning to follow through on their end of the contract.

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