VerticalResponse Reviews

Updated June 24, 2015
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2.8
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Lee Schram
5 Ratings

34 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

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

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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. Great place to begin your career

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    the job is very easy, the building is in a great spot in SF. they have philz coffee, the employees are great to work with, the managers are very easy going, and the environment is relaxed.

    Cons

    the employees believe the company has given up. the product is moving way too slow and the clients are leaving for competitors with more advanced features. Deluxe, the company that owns VR, seems to have forgotten about VR. When employees leave, they don't get replaced. There are some other cons, but these are the major ones.

    Advice to Management

    bring back the confidence! Make your employees proud of the product that they represent and make them want to stay at VR!


  3. Helpful (2)

    Sinking Ship

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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

    There are a few good people left despite that most of the leadership and talent has left. Despite Deluxe's initial discomfort, they still have beer and wine stocked in the fridge, and have some fun employee events.

    Cons

    Deluxe (VR parent company), sees employees as variable costs (so reducing salary equals profits), not as an investment, and their CEO complained at an engineering meeting that engineers are paid too much in SF, and that they are half the cost in Atlanta. Previously, VR was already well below market in salary/benefits, and after acquisition, the scenario is worse. Adding further aggravation, VR's HR has been more of a roadblock to employees rather than helpful (e.g. condescending, intimidating, antagonistic, disdainful, hourly workers treated as lower caste).

    In Engineering, previous management left legacy of aan anti-collaborative environment, and so you see lack of coordination and reinventing the wheel situations. Recently promoted leaders, seem to have misogynistic view, and seems to want replacement employees to be the ones that work overtime without question and don't take vacations. In Operations, the environment is positioned as pro-collaborative environment, but in reality, it is a restrictive hierarchical structure, with low-trust, without shared ownership. Overall, there is little opportunity for growth.

    Many people are leaving (more than 40% reduction in workforce), with more than half of Ops leaving (4 remaining), and all but one senior engineers have left (at least 5), along with numerous other engineers, and seasoned leaders in other departments have recently departed. There's widespread demoralization, and a culture of silence regarding the problems (such as restricting email lists so that employees cannot say goodbye). VR is loosing the machinery to develop the the product with loss of talent, and they have lost the culture that made the environment a fun place to work.

    Advice to Management

    For VR, bring in leadership than can implement pro-collaborative culture, inclusive of people that are different (women, minorities, disabilities), have competitive salary/compensation, replace HR with HR that enables success rather than a roadblock for employees. For Deluxe, need to adopt knowledge worker (Peter Drucker, Mythical Man Month, etc) understanding of technology work and modern best practices, engineers are not variable costs to get them in the cheap, because factory parts are in their minds, so when you lose senior engineers, you loose your capability to develop the product. The conservative practices that made Deluxe a success in check printing business will not work going forward long-term for a tech company.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Withering

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

    I worked at VerticalResponse

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

    Pros

    The company culture at one point was very employee focused and the vestiges that remained of it were nice. Lots of team building events, flexible time off. A lot of great people to be around.

    Cons

    Management was on cruise-control leading up to the acquisition and it got worse after. Some very poor micro-management and tendency to find and assign blame rather than focus on solving problems led to multi-year delays on product development. Management lost interest in employee growth, which prompted an exodus that shrunk the company by more than half.

    Advice to Management

    Get out while you still can.


  6. Helpful (2)

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

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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.


  7. Helpful (1)

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

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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.


  8. 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.


  9. Helpful (2)

    Not a good place to work. Look elsewhere.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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.


  10. Great Place to Work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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.


  11. Helpful (3)

    Started out great...

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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.



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