Poor Communication from Justworks

By @zachfeldman
Written on Apr 28, 2016

Yesterday morning I was waiting to get a haircut when my cellphone rang. In my line of work I sometimes get calls from unidentified numbers, so I hesitantly picked up the phone.

The below isn’t an exact transcript but should give you an idea of how the call went.

Unidentified Caller: “Hi, this is Kirk* from Justworks.”

Me: “Hi, how did you get this number?”

Kirk: “Uh, we found it on your website, on one of the pages of New York Code. Do you have a moment to speak about your HR needs?”

Me: “Wait, I didn’t think I’d posted my personal cell phone number on my company’s website. Are you sure that’s where you got it?”

Kirk: “Yeah, it’s uh, listed right there on NYC…on the Code Design website. Are you the right person to talk to?”

Me: “I really don’t appreciate spam phone calls and I don’t think I requested for someone to call me.” Hangs up

I tried to be as nice as I could to someone who thought it was ok to just call me out of the blue at 9:15AM on a weekday without permission. Every time I get a call like this I just wonder which person sold me out and gave out my cell phone number! Then I wonder why someone would continue trying to sell me something when I’m clearly agitated.

I checked with a quick Google search of my site but I’m pretty sure that my personal cell phone number isn’t publicly listed there?

Some may ask, “well, isn’t this how sales cold calling is supposed to work? The guy had a list.”

Sure, I’ll concede that to some degree even though I’m pretty sure there are rules against calling someone unsolicited with a commercial offer like that. But clearly Kirk knew that calling me like that made me agitated from the way I acted, right? Why else would I ask where he got my number? In a perfect world he would’ve sensed my agitation, apologized for wasting my time, and politely hung up the phone. Or of course not called me at all.

I guess normally I would’ve just kind of dropped it at that. But this morning I received an unsolicited email from Justworks from Kirk, “following up on our call”.

More unwanted communication

I did a further search in my e-mail this morning and found another unsolicited e-mail from Wendy* from Justworks, who said the following:

Hi Zach,

I saw NYCDA is going to be exhibiting at TechDay this week! I’ll also be there representing Justworks and wanted to drop you a line and see if we could chat for a few minutes while we’re there.

I help small businesses streamline their HR processes (compliance, payroll, etc) and access really great healthcare benefits at better costs than you can get on your own or through a broker.

Either way, I’m always looking to expand my network of companies who provide services in the IT industry since I spend all of my time speaking with (mostly tech) startups who have a variety of needs and there may be some overlap!

What’s the best way to connect with you at the event?“

I replied mentioning that I don’t appreciate unsolicited pitches like this. Yes, someone from my company will be representing us but I wasn’t even going to the event and definitely hadn’t signed up to go this year. If every single company there had sent me an e-mail like this, wouldn’t that kind of clog up my inbox?

I don’t know what’s going on over there at that company but it would seem that they’re training people to follow a manual literally to the T without any consideration for the goodwill that will be lost with potential customers that do not want to be contacted. Obviously my first introduction to the company was really not a good one and I’d tell friends about it if they were asking me about the company.

I’ll end it there because I don’t want to overreact but just wanted to get these thoughts down somewhere! I don’t meant to offend, just to point out that Justworks’ sales tactics are not working for me and I question if they work for others.

*Name changed

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