How bugs impact your business. With real-life examples

by Asha Jane Brown | September 5, 2019 6:40 am

Have you ever thought what is a bug in the software and how it could impact your business? Do you know the real cost of errors in your application? What consequences could you face if not taking care of the quality of your software?

App failures affect businesses of all sizes and across all industries, from gaming to telecom[1]. It happens because users find bugs in more than half of all the software. In most cases, they put up with them and consequences are minor. But in some cases, companies incur significant losses or even face bankruptcy because of a single software glitch.

Let’s look at the possible business problems the company can suffer because of software failures.

Monetary Losses

According to a study at Carnegie Mellon University, 60-80% of the cost of mobile application development[2] is spent on fixing bugs. Moreover, the longer it takes to find and fix a bug, the higher is the cost. However, the bug revealed after release can cost a hundred times more than fixing it during development stages and can cause financial losses not only for the company but for the software users as well.

A good example is a well-known Amazon bug. In December 2014, when there left about 10 days to Christmas, the cost of some goods on Amazon site dropped to one single penny because of a glitch in the software. Moreover, due to Amazon’s automatic delivery and services on warehousing, plenty of products have already been shipped before sellers could cancel purchases. As a result of the bug, several not big businesses suffered losses of about £100,000 and appeared on the threshold of bankruptcy.

Brand Damage

With the dawn of modern technology, people got used to the high speed and good performance of software and apps. Quality nowadays is something customers take for granted and expect to see in every app.

According to Google statistics, 48% of people think that a poorly performing app means the company doesn’t care. In case your software doesn’t work well and has faults or UX defects[3], users will churn. Actually, 72% of people who use apps complain during the first 90 days of the application download (buildfire). Moreover, they will probably share their bad experiences with friends and via social networks.

As a result, you lose potential customers, and the reputation of your brand is damaged. Also, if the glitch is critical, you should be ready for public announcement and media coverage, which is absolutely not in your favor.

A good example is Facebook, the most popular social network ever. However, its reputation has frequently been damaged by numerous glitches and bugs.

In September 2018 a photo API bug made photos of almost 7 million users available to third-party apps. That affected people who used Facebook login to sign in other apps and allowed access to their photos. The exposed photos included those users who never finished sharing to the site as well.

The glitch worked for 12 days, and during that time, about 7 million accounts were affected.

Suspended Growth

According to statistics, more than half of users would fully quit the application if they met 1 or more glitches during a day. (QualiTest)

When you have spent lots of time and money on creating an application for your business, you won’t probably expect that users uninstall it. Still, it happens very often due to a large number of applications, high competition and the absence of bug finding app. If the app is buggy and unreliable, it is always better to search for a more successful alternative.

Such was the case of Donald Daters, dating software for those who supported Trump. The application allowed users to find a partner with similar political views.

“Make America date again” became a motto of the newly created dating app. People of different ages and likes registered their profiles and looked for a person to date with. The one thing they definitely had in common – deep admiration for President Donald Trump.

It was one of the most awaited dating apps, however, it had been released with a bug. The bug in the software caused users’ personal information (including users’ names, photos, and private messages) to be leaked out on the launch day.

As a result of the leakage, the app was poorly accepted and rated by the users.

Post-Bug Lawsuit

When bugs in your software cause financial or moral damage, you have a good chance to get a lawsuit and subsequently lose a court. In this case, your business doesn’t only suffer financially but puts your reputation in jeopardy.

Modern history knows a lot of examples of post-bug Lawsuit. One of the recent examples of software bugs happened with Uber, a ride-hailing taxi app. French businessman sued the company after his wife discovered his adultery because of a software glitch in the Uber app. The Frenchman used to regularly visit a mistress who lived in the same city in the south of France. It lasted until the day the man used Uber on his wife’s phone. He signed in application with his personal credentials and logged out after using the app. But because of a bug, his wife began to receive notifications about her husband’s rides. The angry ex-husband sued Uber for up to $45 million in damages.

Better Testing

As far as there is no software without bugs, it is hard to keep the company safe from the above-mentioned outcomes. Trying to mitigate business risks pay more attention to proper QA and testing of your software. Fixing bugs at early stages saves your business from negative implications. Engaging a professional testing provider in the development process is one of the most effective and proven QA solutions.

If you would like to make a step toward the bug-free software of your dream, you can always apply to QATestLab – an independent provider of QA and testing services[4]. The company knows how to find bugs in web applications and provides a full range of software testing services, including test management, consulting, test documentation, and quality assurance. Having more than 12 years of experience, we test on different stages of the development cycle and take care of your app after release.

Learn more from QATestLab

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