Layer.com Reviews — What is the cost of fucking around?

Well, if you are reading this probably, you are evaluating Layer.com as a messaging platform service for your product.

Well you are at the right palace and do read everything very carefully before you make your call. I had a nightmare with these guys, and here is our story.

I reached out to Layer to build our messaging platform couple of months back. My first disappointment came when they didn’t display the pricing on their website. I knew a lot of product companies who would like to be unfair would do this. I went into a series of discussions with their sales team and took a commitment of pricing.

Below is the commitment from the Layer Team.

Post this we went into using their staging account and worked on 3 months of rapid development. On the go live date when we asked for a new production account, access. The Layer team sends us a new pricing structure which was 5X of the original commitment.

We were quite surprised, as on Golive date you would not expect this from any of your partners. I myself jumped into the situation and wrote to Alex at Layer. Alex’s response to my email was pretty cold about we investing 3 months on development of tech.

After series of discussions, Alex did agree on giving us the committed price but only for 6 months. Since we had to go live we didn’t bother much and agreed.

Then comes the next shocker, the price per user was increased by 5X in the contract in very small font hidden in the contract, and I was pushed to sign it soon. This was the most disappointing and annoying activity in the entire episode. We had never ever faced such issues with any other brand. I again went to Alex and asked for it to which as usual his response was pretty cold and you can read it below.

This was quite annoying for us as we were already delayed in our release by a week and there was no clarity on anything. There was enough of time investment that my tech team did and as a feature, chat was important for our release. I was completely pissed off by now and finally wrote them an ugly email. I will not shy away from even sharing the one I wrote to them. Here it is below.

To my surprise John responds back to me, instead of accepting that they have been at fault, for not disclosing information clearly, committing and defaulting, then finally committing over emails again but changing numbers in the contract.

Well he did misspell Thrillophilia and I will forgive him for this but not for wasting our 2.5 months of engineering time of multiple developers. Not for that we can’t go live today, not for the sake of any other company who would go through this nightmare.

What is the cost of fucking around ?

Building successful startups is one of the hardest thing to do, and I truly respect every single founder or teams who are giving their blood and sweat towards the ecosystem. While every founder should stand with his employees but should be humble to accept their or their team’s mistake and not defend them for wrong.

I am sending this article to all my friends in press, to all the investors of Layer, to each of their customers. If a company cannot withstand a commitment it makes to its customers, if it plays around with the clauses in the contract, if it tries to fool around with its customers, I certainly would not suggest them to anyone, you really need to think before using Layer as a product.