JustAnswer

www.justanswer.com

JustAnswer Reviews

Updated December 2, 2014
Updated December 2, 2014
73 Reviews
3.1
73 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
JustAnswer CEO Andy Kurtzig
Andy Kurtzig
48 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • A positive work-life balance is not just encouraged, it is mandated (in 12 reviews)

  • Beautiful location, with parking, dog friendly (in 9 reviews)


Cons
  • No career development, 0 training, crazy turn-over rate (in 4 reviews)

  • It is very unfortunate because the business model is fantastic but the execution is extremely poor (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Satisfying

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at JustAnswer

    Pros

    Wonderful people. Smart and yet so warm.
    There is ample opportunity for growth for the company. That naturally gives individuals opportunity to grow and take on new challenges. Management is very supportive of new ideas and letting individuals take on new roles/tasks within the company.

    Cons

    Unfortunately pros also happen to be the cons here. Management is so nice and supportive that sometimes not so good ideas are supported that end up (or will eventually end up) hurting the business in long run.

    Recommends
  2. 7 people found this helpful  

    Great potential and opportunities but currently being squandered

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at JustAnswer full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    -Beautiful surroundings on the Presidio
    -stocked kitchens, catered lunch twice a week
    -frequent fun team offsites
    -good work/ life balance
    -majority of the employees are very intelligent, hard working yet fun
    -average benefits

    Cons

    -lack of transparency! The CEO and senior management *talk* a good game about being transparent, listening to employee input, etc. The fact is almost all decisions are done behind closed doors with little input and then announced by formal proclamation. The CEO pretty much makes all his decisions seemingly without heeding employees' concerns and advice and then the management carries out his orders. Senior management that disagree with him are removed.
    -high turnover which the CEO tries to spin as being standard in the industry
    -a used car salesman mentality towards both its customers and employees; try to milk as much as possible from them while offering the lowest acceptable return.
    -some projects are started with much gusto and then dropped too quickly; several teams working on the same thing unbeknownst to each other.
    -lack of a learning curve; and when things don't turn out as the *CEO* expected (even though employees try to correct his expectations), the blame game sets in. Either that or some of the worst spin control I have ever seen. The CEO is perfectly capable of admitting he is wrong when the results are undeniable and I commend him for that. However, the same mistakes keep getting repeated.
    -deceptive business practices constantly introduced while other teams work diligently on trying to better the user experience: complete cross purposes and the all mighty dollar wins out. This is a particular pity in that almost every single employee and senior manager feels a sense of shame regarding the shadier side of things and they truly do try to rectify these aspects. But in the end it is always Andy's way or the highway.
    -inability to keep a CFO for any real length of time
    -slow progression away from the more casual but results-producing "smart, fun, get things done" culture to an intermediate stage of no culture and forced attempts at fun

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It is not uncommon for great innovators to not be the greatest at managing their innovations. The better ones have a sense of *humility* and know when to get out of the way or even step down. Ego is commonly the culprit of CEOs that don't know when to exit stage left and I fear that is what is going on here. The idea behind JustAnswer is phenomenal and the potential to do truly great work is limitless. However, if this company continues on the path that it is on without a radical shift, other players WILL step in to your arena, and having learned from your mistakes, build a better mouse trap. There is great hope and potential there: stop blowing it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 12 people found this helpful  

    Awesome idea, poor execution, greedy leadership

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at JustAnswer full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The idea has real potential and some day a company like JustAnswer will be as large as Amazon.

    There is freedom to experiment here, though the best ideas often don't get developed past a poorly made MVP.

    The work-life balance is exceptional and the Presidio location is unique.

    There is an inordinate amount of intelligent, engaging and caring people who work here.

    Cons

    The leadership, mainly CEO Andy Kurtzig, lacks imagination and a vision. Most products are developed based on his decisions. This means most products end up being different billing schemes or confusing subscription plans intended to squeeze money out of the customer.

    In one instance, an entire product team sent a letter of dissent to the executive team regarding a "feature" that would result in misled customers. They were forced to release the product anyway.

    There is an intentional disregard for quality product development; priority is always placed on the next billing plan or confusing up-sell that will bring in instant, short-term money. The desire for revenue, at all costs and all goodwill, is insatiable.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The board of directors (which includes the CEO) should consider replacing the CEO. This seems unlikely since some of the board members are close family friends of the CEO, but it should be attempted.

    Focus on products that will improve the customer's core experience.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 7 people found this helpful  

    Disorganized and Lack of Strategy

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at JustAnswer full-time

    Pros

    - Great work/life balance
    - Convenient, scenic location (if you drive)
    - Dog friendly
    - Catered lunch 2x a week; tons of free snack
    - Opinions are heard and respected no matter position/level
    - Supportive HR team

    Cons

    - Leadership lacks vision and fixated on unrealistic goals
    - Disorganized product group with no overarching road map
    - Rather than fully invest in a few big opportunities, employees spend time constantly testing minor changes to the website and/or introduce features that add no value to the user's experience
    - No employee mentoring or personal growth development plans

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Recognize that the business/market has changed since JustAnswer's inception. Deliver a strategy/plan that the company can get behind. Get realistic about the goals and what's achievable. It is demotivating to work in a place where you are constantly failing to measure up. Be self aware of what you know and what you don't...hand over the reigns to experienced leaders and let them do their job.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 7 people found this helpful  

    Lack long term strategic vision, no career advancement, not value talents, bad business model, no growth

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at JustAnswer full-time

    Pros

    1. The company is situated in the nice Presidio Park, but the cost of parking is 7 dollars per day.
    2. The benefits package is decent, with perks such as lunches twice weekly and snacks.
    3. Work hours are flexible, and the work is usually not very stressful, providing somewhat good work/life balance.
    4. There are some friendly, smart co-workers who may help you personally and professionally.

    Cons

    1.The company is hitting a cap in terms of revenue growth primarily because of the nature of its business model, cutthroat external competition and its mediocre product , which, by the way, will soon become outdated against the trend in the ever-evolving tech world.
    2.Promotion or advancement often occurs within the people favored by the management, and not all the times based on merits, technical capability and performance.
    3.Lack long term strategic vision on how to grow the business. Only focus on short term revenues despite they are at the cost of customers' trust.
    4.Lack transparency on the financial well being of the company. Disregard of employees' happiness. Make efforts in managing the employees' perception of the company , rather than focusing on the reality. Office politics and BS is not uncommon.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more transparent. Pay more attention to employees' growth. Focus more on getting things done, instead of managing perception. Put more resources to make good radical changes to the product from the engineering side or change the business model, instead of spending time doing things that predictably can never grow the business.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Passionate Teams, Innovative and Integrity

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Innovate Team in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Innovate Team in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at JustAnswer full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Very passionate employees eager to help each other and their teams meet and exceed goals. The mission of the company gives me something that I can stand by and recommend to friends and family- for me that's a huge PRO.

    Cons

    Legacy reporting systems make information gathering a chore.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 9 people found this helpful  

    It really could be great but sadly I do not think it will be unless they make some major changes asap.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at JustAnswer full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good work life balance and some great coworkers, payment is good.

    Cons

    The main con, is that the website is a con itself, full of dark patterns. They continue to roll out scammy features in order to confuse and take advantage of the most desperate and computer illiterate folks on the internet.

    People can and are actually helped on the site by the experts but just answer takes every opportunity to steal from it's experts and customers. It is not uncommon for a customer to place a deposit to ask a question and then vanish and never reply to their expert or ask for their money back. Usually because they don't even know what company they just paid. What happens then? Just answer keeps their money. Do they actually assume someone just wanted to drop by give them money and receive no help? Then they have the nerve to make the customer go through a horrid refund process and blame the customer for the confusion.

    Often a customer will be helped by an expert but if they do not rate the expert with the misleading rating system just answer again keeps 100% of the money robbing from the expert. They have zero respect for the experts who they would not exist without.

    Just look at the positive reviews on this website. They are so obviously fake, that says it all. It says they are aware that they rob people and are trying to cover it up. The potential to have an honest successful website is there but they would rather concentrate on short term income gains that build zero customer base.

    What you have here is legalized stealing. They steal from customers and experts and are allowed to do so by hiding behind pages and pages of terms and conditions that no one would ever read as well as a multitude of website bugs that are never repaired.

    I did for a minute think that they were going to get themselves together by building the new pearl.com site and changing the name but we all know how that went, it went nowhere and was a waste if millions I would imagine.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Upper management likes to boast about "how we help people" I got news for you. Stealing money from a confused 80 year old is not helping anyone aside from you and your bank account. My advice is for upper management and the CEO to bite the bullet and take the financial loss needed to fix the website so customers and experts can communicate easily and properly and most importantly fairly.

    And for the love of god stop with the scammy features! Do you really think someone wants a monthly subscription to a service they never used before? Also not to mention I would say 80% of them don't realize they even signed up for it.

    Seriously how do you sleep at night? I would imagine by lying to yourself and thinking of your growing bank account. I would be more happy if you were at least honest about it rather than watching Andy lie about helping people and changing the world. Andy have some pride, look at the site, imagine your grandmother being taken on JA for a few hundred dollars and then having to spend hours trying to figure out how to refund. It's not cool. Be a good human it's as simple as that. Stop misleading people and pretending you care about them. So long as you assume that a person who does not rate an answer or leaves a deposit behind because they are lost belongs to your company I will never believe anything you say because that is down right wrong.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    Top notch professionals, friendly environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Special Projects Lead in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Special Projects Lead in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at JustAnswer full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    I really enjoyed my time at JustAnswer. Everyone was extremely friendly and helpful. The atmosphere was exciting, but maintained a relaxed attitude. The company is doing exciting new things and is focused on innovation and quality. Still, they manage to treat everyone, and their opinions and contributions (and personal life!), with consideration and respect. I was given a lot of discretion in my projects and tasks, which suits my working style. There are no closed doors - even the founder and CEO Andy works at open stations, often moving around the office so he was close to different divisions. I was especially impressed with the quality of the management and employees - these are smart people. I worked a lot with the General Counsel, Emily, who I found to be particularly impressive. The office in the Presidio is beautiful - a national park and view of the Golden Gate right outside the front door.

    Cons

    This is an internet company, so its business model must be flexible and responsive to its market realities. This means employees must also be flexible and responsive. If you want the same job duties day in and day out, this is not the place for you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep the atmosphere you have already so carefully cultivated.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 5 people found this helpful  

    Best Job I've Ever Had!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at JustAnswer full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    JustAnswer cares for its employees as much as it cares for its mission. Both are treated with the utmost respect and esteem. There is also a real sense of comradery here as well as a true sense of purpose. The people here like coming to work and like making a difference. They respect their coworkers and enjoy themselves while helping those people that use the JustAnswer site. I have had many jobs over the years, but this, bar none, is the best.

    Cons

    No cons. I know that sounds unlikely, but I truly love what I do and what JustAnswer does.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 8 people found this helpful  

    A roller coaster ride with a disappointing finish

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at JustAnswer full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The location is beautiful. I never got tired of driving through a forest to get to work.

    Work / life balance is excellent. Everyone is very understanding if you need to take some time off for personal issues, and the hours are fairly flexible. You can reasonably work a 40 hour week here.

    Everyone is very nice, and despite all of its problems, the company has done a good job attracting smart people.

    The idea behind the product is great. It feels like a service that people appreciate having available.

    Cons

    Management likes to claim to be data driven, but for most of my time at JustAnswer, (1) we didn't track data like refunds and chargebacks, and (2) nobody ever had good confidence in the data being collected. This meant that many features were pushed through because they moved the revenue needle without much respect for the full scope of its impact. While this drove revenue up significantly, the company has always had a problem with customer retention and high rates of refunds/chargebacks. Things have certainly improved, but the company is left with a ton of dark patterns that it can't get rid of without significantly impacting revenue. It's hard to be proud of the product, despite its good premise.

    This is not an engineering-focused company. For the most part, engineers are focused on delivering minor features. Not every team has product managers, but for the feature teams, PMs essentially dictate what engineers work on. This includes being the final decision makers behind purely technical aspects, like reducing technical debt and introducing automated tests. Engineers only get to give feedback during trade off discussions, after features have already been well defined. And the trade offs are usually discussions about how to cobble together the quickest hack to get the feature out quickly. This leads to a lot of conflict between engineering/product, and a deep sense of mistrust. High level management has repeatedly used the mantra "engineering is a tool for product" to alleviate conflict, but all it has done is made engineers feel under appreciated.

    For being so small, it is surprising how much process has been put in place. It feels like each time a mistake is made, a new process is put in place to help alleviate making that same mistake in the future. But what you end up with is a checklist a mile long in order to get code pushed to production, and nobody has a holistic view of all the processes.

    Engineering managers are not involved in the daily activities of the people that they manage. They meet once a week with the engineers that they manage and don't generally step in or help out unless specifically asked to.

    The codebase here is in a terrible mess. There was a large attempt to refactor the code, but most of the newer/better code has been abandoned along with the failed rebranding of Pearl.com.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Trust your employees.

    Empower teams to create processes that work for them.

    If quality is not a priority, be honest about it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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