As anyone who has ever had their website redesigned by “experts” will testify, it can be a painful process but you get there in the end. Not if you are Hertz, it seems, which has just filed a $32m (£24.5m) lawsuit against Accenture for what is alleged to be one of the biggest design car-crashes in recent history.
The lawsuit states that in early 2016, Hertz set about to transform its digital presence and appointed Accenture to design, build, test, and deploy the car hire giant’s new website and apps.
The revamped website was scheduled to go live in December 2017, but the deadline was put back to January 2018 then to April 2018, which was also missed. By May 2018, Hertz had given up the ghost and fired Accenture. The lawsuit claims the car firm no longer had confidence that Accenture was capable of delivering the project.
Among the misdemeanors listed are claims that Accenture only created desktop and mobile versions of the site, when Hertz asked about the tablet version, the firm “demanded hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional fees to deliver the promised medium-sized layout”.
It is also alleged that Accenture ignored requests for a common core of libraries so Hertz could share information across all its websites and apps. “Accenture deliberately disregarded the extensibility requirement and wrote the code so that it was specific to the Hertz brand in North America and could not be used for the Hertz global brand or for the Dollar and Thrifty brands,” the suit reads.
Hertz adds that there were serious performance defects and security vulnerabilities in the code for the customer-facing ecommerce website. The company said: “The defects in the front end development code were so pervasive that all of Accenture’s work on that component had to be scrapped.”
Five months after missing its deadline, Accenture asked Hertz for another $10m (£7.6m), on top of the $32m it had already paid, to finish the project. Hertz is now suing to recover the money, along with “millions of dollars in additional costs that it has incurred in remediating and completing the project”.
A spokesperson for Accenture told The Register: “We believe the allegations in this lawsuit are without merit, and we intend to defend our position. Because this is an ongoing legal matter, we decline any further comment.”
No doubt adland will be laughing its socks off…
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