VerticalResponse Reviews

Updated February 20, 2015
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3.0
31 Reviews
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Lee Schram
3 Ratings

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  1. Helpful (2)

    Decent company, but the culture has changed quite a bit ever since the acquisition by Deluxe...

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

    I worked at VerticalResponse full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    - Lots of fun people to work with
    - Excellent location in the Embarcadero
    - Overall nice benefits package

    Cons

    - Upper Management often has trouble prioritizing product features/improvements
    - Growth within the company seems stagnant right now, unless you're an engineer
    - They used to provide better health care options, but those were replaced with much more expensive ones

    Advice to Management

    Show more appreciation of your employees so you don't lose them, continue working on improving morale, and don't let Deluxe fully dictate the prioritization of features and release schedules.

  2. Helpful (2)

    If you just need a job this is for you. If you want a growing career look elsewhere.

    • 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 VerticalResponse full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    - Upper management are friendly
    - Stocked beer and drinks
    - Easy work and life balance (since the company is not growing)

    Cons

    - No career growth (the only way a career grows is if the company is doing well and growing.)
    - The most employee turnover due to quitting I've ever seen
    - Can't attract or retain top engineers (as well as other departments), which is why they are always reactive in competing with Mail Chimp and Constant contact.
    - Small company so gossip spreads fast
    - Benefits downgraded after being acquired from a multi-billion corporation. Holiday and PTO is below average.
    - No bonuses

    Advice to Management

    Nothing since Deluxe gets final say. Try to get the okay to raise the salary for engineers so you can attract top talent and keep them. If not, you'll never compete with Constant Contact or Mail Chimp.

  3. Helpful (1)

    Deluxe has ruined this once amazing company. There is a reason why everyone is jumping ship.

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

    I have been working at VerticalResponse

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The people that (used to) work at VR were great.
    Work/life balance is amazing because they can only offer non-monetary benefits at this point to try to keep what employees they have happy. If you have kids you can WFH frequently.
    Ping pong, beer, bagels, fruit and snacks weekly.

    Cons

    Pay: Plain and simple they CANNOT pay even within 15-20% of market rate. Most employees that leave VR get at least 20% pay increase for a similar job. HR and VR Leadership know the pay is low, but Deluxe will squash any pay bumps to keep employees/ reward employees.

    Benefits: VR used to give full benefits, but Deluxe removed that for a pay plan that costs most people several hundred dollars a month.

    PTO: VR used to give bonus days off like Xmas Eve or the day after Thanksgiving and even your birthday! That was a really cool thing that made people feel valued by VR. As you might guess, Deluxe removed that and even reduced how quickly PTO racks up for newer employees. They also don't give any traditional holidays off like MLK Day, President's Day, etc and instead you get "floating holidays" which you can take whenever. This only makes employee morale sink lower on the days when they are working and all their friends are off.

    Employee Turnover: VR/Deluxe tries to side step this and will not face the facts. I started over 2 years ago and the company had ~115 employees and upon my departure they were into the 60s. People leave in droves of two or more a week. It seems that Deluxe will let VR die on the vine at this point because they aren't doing ANYTHING to prevent employees from leaving.

    Added workload for low pay: This all snowballs, but the high turnover causes other employees to have to pick up the slack, so you will find yourself doing the job that 2-3 people used to do, but for way less than market rate pay.

    Deluxe: Simply put Deluxe is a huge con of working for VR. They don't understand how an SF tech company works and upper management at Deluxe seems to really not like Millennials and will let everyone know it in an All Hands Meeting.

    Employee Moral: Because of all the turnover, lackluster product and many other factors the moral is quiet low. Employees are always chattering about who is interviewing around and going to leave. There is little to zero motivation for anyone to work to get stuff done.

    The Product: The product (VR2) was about 2-3 years over due and when it came out it was vastly subpar from the original VR Classic and not to mention an competitors' products. It is pretty buggy and I wouldn't recommend it to my friends and family.

    No Growth: VR is not going to grow. With high employee turnover, Deluxe's kiboshes, and a subpar product there is no room for growth here. If you are wanting to grow a team, advance your career or get anything done in general this is not the place to be.

    Advice to Management

    There is more than enough advice on Glassdoor alone to make some changes.

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  5. Helpful (1)

    Great place to add bullet points to your resume....then move on ASAP

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at VerticalResponse

    Pros

    - the people will make you forget you're at work sometimes. seriously, they're amazing
    -

    Cons

    - management has no idea what's going on...ever.

  6. Helpful (1)

    Not a good place to work. Look elsewhere.

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

    I worked at VerticalResponse

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great people, great location. You will make some good friends here.

    Cons

    Nearly everything else. Rock bottom morale, poorly made product, noncompetitive compensation and perks and benefits. Upper management is completely inaccessible and the former CEO recently jumped ship, following in the footsteps of many others in the past 12 months. The engineering team is a skeleton crew and there is practically nobody with any institutional knowledge left in that department. On-boarding for new devs is minimal because nobody has the knowledge or the time.

    Advice to Management

    Better pay. Former VR employees saw 30% or higher increases in salary for similar positions at other companies.
    HIRE ENGINEERS. DO WHAT IT TAKES.

  7. Great Place to Work

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

    I worked at VerticalResponse full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    * People. This is probably unanimous for everyone who worked at VR. It's got a great group of people who you would find yourself wanting to spend time with regardless of if you worked together or not.
    * Potential. I spent a nice chunk of time at VR and was promoted. My work was recognized and valued. The company is still small enough where you feel your impact.
    * Conscientiousness. There is a true conscientiousness and caring for the SMB customer and the community.
    * Work/life balance. The company does a nice job of accommodating its employees in times of need. Also, I think outside of huge engineering releases, most people work a pretty steady 40 hour week, give or take a few hours.

    Cons

    * Agreement. For some time there was a lot of back and forth about product direction, which caused some frustration and strife. I think this was taken care of after I left.

  8. Helpful (2)

    Started out great...

    • 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 VerticalResponse full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - Great People. This has already been said.
    -For the first two years of my employment this was the best company I had ever worked for.

    Cons

    - Most of the good of this company has been sucked dry since the Deluxe acquisition.
    - Selfish leadership that is not transparent.
    - Really bad compensation. I got a 60% raise moving to a job a level down from what I was doing. That alone should tell you something.

    Advice to Management

    Get your heads together and look at the people that have the domain knowledge that can actually make this successful. You have lost and/or forced out the majority of the people with this, so hold on tight to the ones you have left.

  9. Helpful (8)

    The best day I ever had at this company was the day I gave my notice.

    • 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 VerticalResponse full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - Your coworkers will be good people. VR has a knack for finding the type of people you enjoy working with, and it's easy to build friendships with your coworkers. This is also a bit of a con, though (in more than one meaning of the word "con").

    Cons

    - Upper management is not trustworthy. Ultimately I waited a long time to write this, because I wanted to just move on, and leave this place behind. But upon seeing the high rating that VR has managed to get here, I felt that people seeking jobs deserved a warning of what they're getting into, particularly because many of the reviews here are untrue. A while back Glassdoor was a problem for VR, and the rating here was pretty low. How did they respond? Did they actually make things better? Nope. The company has actively been telling employees, for a long time, to come write positive reviews so that they could get new hires in. Let me say that again: Upper management directed employees to stuff the ballot box with good reviews of VR. Never in writing, mind you. What does that tell you?

    - Your coworkers will be good people. This makes it very hard to see them continuously mistreated, maligned, ignored, and ultimately made to feel as if they have less potential than they actually do.

    - Upper management seems to have very little idea what they are doing, or, in some cases, don't seem to care, as if with the recent acquisition they are just counting down to the end of retention bonuses or something.

    - OFFICE POLITICS. The atmosphere of this company is so toxic it should be quarantined. There is a continuous effort at covering the behinds of upper management and hiding their mistakes that it can even get to the point where an employee is punished for taking initiative and solving a problem affecting customers and revenue, if solving that problem makes the missteps of management visible. This is a problem that comes all the way from the top, as the executive management of the company looks to shift blame for issues downward, it puts middle management in the kind of position where backstabbing and assigning blame to their employees is inevitable. There are also a few people in positions of authority that seem to actually enjoy this sort of politicking, to the point of marginalizing and sabotaging people they see as either some sort of threat or just don't like.

    - Morale. Oh man, morale. Former employees talk about time at VR the way people talk about time in jail, and when we see our friends who are still there, and hear about the things that are happening, all we can do is feel bad and try to work our own connections to get them out of there. The turnover rate was already bad when I left, and from what I hear has only gotten worse.

    - Deluxe. A hundred-year-old check printing company bought themselves a software company, and have no real idea, from all appearances, of what to do with it. They said they'd leave the culture alone; they didn't. One of their upper management actually came to VR and told people in a meeting, flat-out, that people working in San Francisco weren't worth their asking price, and that they could get cheaper employees elsewhere (see "morale" above). It's pretty obvious that this is the ultimate plan, as they haven't replaced any of the Customer Service side people who've left, and that team is down to a skeleton crew. My guess is that they're planning to move it somewhere cheaper in the hands of people who don't know the software well, which is sad because the CS team was one of the selling points to the customers.

    - Low pay. Very few employees seem to be making market rate, and if ever they talk about promoting from within, this is the real reason. It has little to do with developing employees, but instead filling seats while paying less than they could possibly bring in new talent for. The worst part of that is, you might not even know, working there, how badly you're being underpaid. I was shocked at the increase I was able to get when I left, until I spoke to others in the tech industry and discovered how much lower my salary was than it should have been. I'd heard from others who left that they did research on this sort of thing prior to leaving, and they said the same thing. Also, when you bring that up when you leave, they argue with you about it rather than taking it as honest feedback. Which brings me to my final point:

    - The company seems to be more interested in maintaining a false image than facing reality and changing. This is personified in the way the company handles people leaving. They do their best to keep employees' exit a secret until the last minute, to the point where you might find out a colleague is leaving literally the day before it happens. For those who you did know, it usually was presented like this: "Hey, I just gave two weeks, but don't tell anyone, nobody is supposed to know." That says a lot, in my opinion. My experience in my exit interview was also pretty telling, I think. I was asked why I was leaving, and I told them, and rather than listening and taking note, they basically wanted to argue every point. Why? They weren't going to change my mind, so why waste the opportunity to get actual, unfiltered feedback from someone who doesn't have to hold anything back anymore? I've asked around, this experience is pretty consistent if you criticize things on your way out.

    Advice to Management

    Honestly? I don't know what to tell you. I also don't think you'd listen. Your employees are overworked, unappreciated, underpaid, and leaving in droves. When you bring new people in it's with a false picture of what the company is actually like and where it is going. Some of you are so smug and rude it leads me to believe you could care less, ultimately.

  10. Helpful (1)

    Great People; Leadership is Improving

    • 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 VerticalResponse full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I left VR because I felt things had slowed to the point where no real progress could happen. Not long after, they were acquired by Deluxe, dropped two individuals who were creating most of the roadblocks and hired a replacement who has moved the team forward in some exceptional ways. I adored my co-workers and have kept in contact with them. The tone has changed for the better, and I'm very impressed.

    Cons

    There are still some issues with upper management, and the Deluxe acquisition - though it sounds like it's gone smooth - has not had as full an impact in expanding the business as was once hoped. That, however, is likely to change an improve with time.

    Advice to Management

    I feel like you listened and took the advice of many of the people who left. Stay involved, stay connected to your employees and all should go well.

  11. Helpful (3)

    The CTO called me stupid to not stay with VR

    • 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 VerticalResponse full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The actual working tech employees are great, helpful for the most part as well as the support team.

    Cons

    Too much upper management, too many divas, salary was not to par with the market Changes that should have been made were always rejected. Basically a lot of shadiness and there was not much room for growth/eduation.

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