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Kelly Services


Bait and Switch

Complaint Rating:  100 % with 1 votes
100% 1
Contact information:
Kelly Services - Fort Collins, CO
3500 JFK PKY STE 206
Fort Collins, Colorado
United States
Phone: 9702233955
Incompetent, unprofessional, and out-of-this-world ridiculous are the first three things that come to mind when thinking about my experience with Anita at the Fort Collins branch of Kelly Services.

We worked with a salesperson from Denver, arrived at an agreement on a deal that seemed fairly sweet to us. We were going to be hiring one of their employees (under Temp-to-Hire), and the salesperson set us up with the local account manager, Anita.

We had a conference call on 7/13/12 with all parties involved, including 3 managers from our company. At the end of the call, they asked "Can we visit your warehouse to take a look around?". Sounded like a typical plant tour of our facility.

And, that is how it felt too. I walked them around our 3000sqft warehouse, showed them what happens where, and they were friendly pointing out the products we carry that they liked. At the end of the walk-through, I asked how we looked compared to similar businesses. The response: Average.

Fair enough.

Any problems? They literally voiced NO concerns. Then said they would have 3 candidates for me on Monday.

When Monday came, instead, they sent an email to our main company inbox (not to the three managers that they wrote down our email addresses, and had already had email communication) an email that said that the offer for Temp-to-Hire was being retracted.

"We checked with our corporate compliance team regarding the safety assessment check we did on our visit on Friday.

Do to safety issues, we cannot allow anyone to climb on ladders or do repetitive lifting over 50 lbs.

The only way we can provide you an employee is by doing a Direct Hire placement. This means that we would find someone for you, you would review the resume & then you would interview with them. If the candidate is selected, then he would be a Debnroo employee not a Kelly employee. There would be a 20% direct hire fee based on his or her annual salary."

There had been NO mention of the visit to our warehouse being a safety inspection. None. Not in the documentation. Not in any of the meetings from February thru July, not in the last conference call. They simply arrived at a judgement that appeared to be about ladders not being safe (wtf?) and claiming our employees had to regularly lift boxes over 50 pounds. They don't.

So, we called Anita for an explanation. She THEN tells us that, in fact, the whole purpose was the "safety inspection", and that there was actually a 7-page form filled out. The ladder and box issue cited in the email wasn't the ONLY reason - there were pages of reason.

OK, then why not give us a chance to resolve whatever issues you had, and then we proceed?

Nope, you failed. Oh, and they said that I was not allowed to see the 7-page report. It was corporate policy. I asked then for her to put the concerns in her own words. She initially refused, then said "You don't have a fire alarm".

Really? A fire alarm? THAT is required before Kelly Services. Well, no, she backpedals. It's because that was an issue AND, all the other stuff. What other stuff? Well, she can't tell me. Can't fax a list. Can't verbalize the other concerns.

So, we asked Anita if she had these concerns when she was standing there with us, and if so, why she didn't verbalize them when we were face-to-face. She admitted she had her concerns, but felt the need to instead keep them to herself, then go consult "with corporate", and that resulted in her filling out a 7-page form with checkboxes. A form I'm not allowed to see.

I said that amounts to back-stabbing. You came into our place of business under the pretense that it was just a harmless walk-through to see what our business was like and about, but in reality it was about a very serious review that could interfere with our ability to gain access to services AT THE DISCOUNTED PRICES THAT WERE ALREADY AGREED UPON - IN WRITING.

I said, of the three things that she's brought up so far, none of them amount to even the slightest evidence that we actually have a work environment that is unsafe for a Kelly Services employee. It sounded to me like they didn't want to honor the original deal, and were making excuses to back out of it - CLASSIC BAIT AND SWITCH.

Oh no, she said. She would check with corporate to see if I was allowed to the the 7-page diatribe that she filled out about how unsafe our business was.

She sent an email apologizing for her first email, but failed to get the approval by the end of the day.

On Tuesday 7/17, she called me at 830am and said she got approval to send the documents by fax. It was a 133-point test about our business. She filled it out by hand, and scored it. We got 77 points out of 133. The cut-off for their business to work with ours was 80.

So, we went through the list, point by point. And, this is where the INCOMPETENCE comes in. There were so many errors, that after going through it all, it turns out we scored 111, not 77. The range of 80-107 required corporate approval. 108 and higher was literally "acceptable performance".

Among the errors:

1. The system is set up so that if a question is "N/A" or not-applicable, you get the points. They checked many of these boxes - 19 in all. But we didn't get any points for 16 of 19 them - and most were 2-pointers. Simple math error, but they amounted to demoting us from a viable candidate to be their client to being judged negatively.

2. Anita mis-scored a whole section about "powered industrial vehicles" (we don't have any), because she thought a piece of equipment that lifts pallets up and down was a forklift that you drive. She said "I could have sworn I saw exhaust". No, you didn't. It is battery operated, and it has one function - up and down.

3. There were no less than 15 questions on the 7-page form that REQUIRED that they asked us the question. Example "Will the customer provide Kelly employees with ergonomic training?" Anita checked "no". She never asked us ONE of the questions, let alone gave us notice that this was an inspection/test. Yet, she felt the need to GUESS and ASSUME over and over on this form.

At the end of the review of her work, Anita admitted her errors, apologized, but instead of responding positively to moving forward on Temp-to-Hire, she continued to push for the program where we pay them 20% of an annual salary (measured in thousands of dollars) vs. the one we SIGNED that would allow us to buy out the employee for $250.

Floored by her unwillingness to simply move forward positively after her gross incompetence, or come up with ANY resolution that would allow us to buy the services promised at the price promised, I asked if it was her final answer. She said yes. So, I said I would be taking this to her supervisor. And, that I would come by her office to speak to the supervisor face to face.

20 minutes after getting off the phone, I got a call from Leah, her supervisor. Anita immediately went to Leah to badmouth me, so that Anita had her heels dug in against me before I could even explain what had happened. She was shooing me out the door. Doesn't matter that Anita did her inspection under false pretenses. Doesn't matter that she checked the wrong boxes, made assumptions, or flat-out lied. Or that she couldn't do the math right. I was not welcome at Kelly Services. Click.

So, with that, thought we were done. But, it gets better. 30 minutes later, I get a call from the Fort Collins Police. Yep, Anita thought it would be a good idea to trump up my statement to come in to the office TO SPEAK TO HER SUPERVISOR ABOUT A LEGITIMATE COMPLAINT into a "he threatened to come in here - and I am scared for my safety."

Yep, that's right, she now wanted to go a step further, and publicly drag my name through the mud with the police. After 30 minutes on the phone explaining to officer Bill what she had done, he, of course, deemed this a "civil matter", which it is. Of course, I call it harassment via the police, and intentional intimidation, but we will save that for the judge.

I tried to have the old salesperson talk to someone sensible, but they refused to take her calls. She too was flabbergasted that her former co-workers were treating me in this way.

So, I called Kelly Services HR, and spoke with the head of that department, Juanita. While she initially gave me the time to explain, eventually she started defending what Anita and others had done. I made clear that I wanted them to simply right what they did wrong, and to send a letter of apology, to explain to the police that Anita overreacted, and to put something in writing that countered their ill-conceived email claiming our entire business was unsafe because of a ladder and the wrong-headed assumption that every product we sell is in excess of 50 pounds.

Juanita decided that since most of the interaction was verbal, "we don't know what REALLY happened", and therefore, she would get back to me about what Kelly would actually do. Not by email. Not by fax, only verbally. And, I was warned that she was in Michigan, and if I tried to record what she said, she would go after me for that. She wanted NO documentation of the response.

And, I told her that, in itself, was suspicious. I am being bait-and-switched, having ridiculous erroneous emails telling my employees that the mere presence of a ladder makes the entire business unsafe, having people "inspect" my business under false pretenses to create a report riddled with errors and outright wild guesses that turn out to be lies designed to facilitate getting out of a deal that they probably didn't like the commissions on.

So, I'm taking them to Small Claims Court in Larimer County. Look up the public records to see the outcome in a few weeks/months. It should be interesting to see how they dance around that.
Complaint comments Comments (14) Complaint country United States Complaint category Employment, Staffing, Recruiting Agencies


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N  18th of Jul, 2012 by    0 Votes
There is nothing here that they do not already know - they are clear on both what they did, as well as being confronted regarding their actions. There is no hand to top. I operate openly and honestly.

You can label it however you please (interested in what you feel is the appropriate label) if you don't like bait and switch. The facts are clear: They offered one service (Temp-to-Hire), and marked down the cost to buyout the employee. When it came time to act upon that offer, and once we are in a timeline where we would be pressed to find a matching offer and/or act on our own (what we have been doing for 12 years in business), they surprised us with this bogus claim to back out of the deal. And, were PUSHING the more expensive option in lieu of what was originally offered.

I call that bait and switch.

Regardless, they engaged in a process with us that required us to have out-of-office meetings with them (their choice), required an on-site meeting that turned out to be an inspection, and then stalled us for multiple hours on the phone for two days, in some cases tying up 3 of our managers at a time in conference calls to go over their surprise "safety inspection", which was at best incompetently done. There's no question whatsoever on that, as Anita has admitted to the errors multiple times with multiple witnesses. This is also not to mention there is documentation in her handwriting showing which boxes she checked, how she mis-scored the form, and the obvious issue of questions on the form that required that someone at our company be asked before she checks "no" in a checkbox.

Here's a question: If they "decided not to do business with us", then why do the following:

After putting in writing that "Temp-to-Hire" is not available (due to the "safety evaluation"), why spend 45 minutes on the phone with myself and my GM going through the written documentation point-by-point, only to, at the very end of the call, say "yes, I made these errors" but "no, we won't offer that product to you any longer"?

That is wasting our time (which is money), not to mention interfering with the planned and actual operation of our business (also money + liability due to the erroneous email, for which we already have a written apology).

I understand your point. From a corporate legal perspective. The problem with that approach is that it's actually a poker game, where the company with the most chips bullies the opponent by either using stalling tactics (which would drive up my legal costs at several hundred dollars per hour), or by using methods of intimidation as a bluffing action.

Small Claims court is different. You appear before a mediator, without lawyers, and either work things out, or have the official make a binding decision. The poker game of lawyer vs. lawyer isn't part of that process.

If the case is decided against us, the cost is $45 and a few hours at my local courthouse in my jurisdiction. But the greater point is served - there is a permanent public record of the dispute and their business practice that they can't sweep under the rug, or pay to go away (as with the corrupt BBB). Furthermore, it sets an example for other small businesses that may consider engaging Kelly Services, so that they can have their eyes wide open when Temp-to-Hire is promoted strongly in the sales process, and they ask the sweet and innocent question of "can we just see your place and look around". They will now know to proactively ASK whether it is a safety inspection, and have the right to ask for the form WHICH HAS MULTIPLE PLACES FOR THE CLIENT TO SIGN THE FORM, indicating it was never designed to be done in secret, behind the back of the client.

Only by educating future victims of this practice will there be any effect on how Kelly Services offers and then actually provides these services at the cost they quote. There is no authoritative body that will stop them, or slow them down. They are obviously not going to change their practices, when the head of HR is defending what happened here.

It's ethically wrong, and I think, even though you are critical of my actions, agree.

My goal is to be a guinea pig of the Small Claims legal process, to see whether it can be successfully used to recoup the very real costs to my business. If they "didn't want to do business with us", then step 1 should have been an open/honest evaluation (could be the same form), filled out properly (no assumptions that turn out to be wrong under examination), and then, if we exceeded the "acceptable" threshold, not used as the weak "it's not me, it's corporate policy" reason to then try to push the secondary product when they know we have a business timeline and business plan that requires we hire somebody in short order.

This is no different than a mortgage lender that, 12 hours before closing, surprises the people who have already moved out of their old apartment with a new set of interest rates 2% higher with double the down payment, even though they already signed documents locking in the rate and down payment. That's not a hypothetical, I've seen it happen not only to us, but to others. That's not "they decided not to do business with us", it's an unethical business practice by people who are motivated to make more money by springing a surprise on people who they know are boxed-in in some way. Plain and simple. I call it Bait and Switch, you can call it whatever you like.
N  18th of Jul, 2012 by    0 Votes

I own the company. Sounds like you have taken a side. That's fine. Meanwhile, doesn't seem like there is much substance to your position - you want this behind closed doors or swept under the rug. Exactly what Kelly Services wants. Typical corporate position. It doesn't make it "wiser", objectively. It simply means you are one who takes orders, follows rules, no matter how unethical or quasi-legal.

Let me guess: You are a republican who has taken some time from posting over at FreeRepublic to razz me.

In the meantime, the purpose of being thorough in public posts is education. Consider this a donation of my valuable time for the benefit of the wider community of business consumers of their services. I did research prior to engaging with Kelly Services, and nothing on the Internet I had found gave me warning about what they were doing prior to doing it. Now there is something to help those who might be confronted with those practices.

If you can't appreciate doing something for the greater good, sounds like you believe in a different world than I do. Meanwhile, if you have any defense of the specific actions taken by Kelly Services, feel free to write up what they are.
N  19th of Jul, 2012 by    0 Votes

You can make this personal, call me names, take things out of context. Yet, not a word about what they actually did. There's a name for what you are doing, and it's been around for a while. You are apparently this website's troll-de-jour.

There is plenty of negative commentary about Kelly Services. Glass Door offers a good perspective on what the employees think from the inside too.

http://www.glassdoor.com/Overview/Working-at-Kelly-Services-EI_IE1564.11, 25.htm

They have a 3.1 rating out of 5.0. Not exactly stellar. 54 of the 204 reviews from employees are dissatisfied or worse. That's a pretty poor record, relative to other companies on the site. Citigroup gets a 2.9, and has similar bad reviews. Apple gets a 3.8, and you can see their employee reviews are skewed towards positive.

No public rating system is perfect, but they do tell a story. And, for Kelly Services, their public record is poor. They mistreat their employees and their customers on a regular basis. Are there good people in the organization? Yep, there always is. However, when the culture becomes dominated by negative folks, and their managers back up the negativity by shooing complainers out the door (or calling the police on them when they demand apologies or fixing the mess they create), then it crosses a line.

That's where Kelly Services is.

The caveat in my statement you miss is that there isn't anything SPECIFIC about the practice of offering Temp-to-Hire, then taking away the sweetheart offer and pushing for the traditional 20% of annual salary to hire with a 30-day guarantee (two different products). That is what is missing from the Internet, and what my public complaint (that they had plenty of time and options to avoid by apologizing, cleaning up their mess, and offering to pay for the lost/wasted time) is here to accomplish.

That specific practice is the heart of the complaint. And, not one word from you about their practice, other than to say "they didn't want to do business with you." You are right. They didn't. Which they could have said before wasting my time. Before dangling a product that was enticing, that they didn't really want to follow through on delivering. Before interfering with my business by sending an email to my employees making a false statement about the overall safety (which they have owned and apologized for in writing). You keep ignoring all that.

Now, troll, besides sitting around all day calling people names and being a right-wing corporate apologist for corporate bad behavior, what is it that you do?

We can presume you use the name Cary Grant (indicating your age, as most people under 30 wouldn't even know who that was) because you want to spew your bile behind the safety of your anonymity. The biggest problem on the Internet, IMHO.

My name, in contrast, points directly to me and my business. I live in the open public square, and I own the material I post and write. And, I stand up for what I believe. I don't snipe at people from behind the presumed safety of fake names and avatars. And, you are free to look up online my "trailer". The one with the garden that I blog about. The one we built in 2007, and there's a blog about that too. Feel free to post a picture of your home.

So, troll, why don't you reveal yourself a little bit, and then comment on the issue rather than make personal attacks?
N  19th of Jul, 2012 by    0 Votes
Of course, CaryGrant. I am a nut. More of a freak. Actually, my first entrepreneurial business had a business card that said Chief Executive Freak (which is still on my LinkedIn profile for that era).

Attached is the other half of debnroo. I assume you'll have something negative to say about me and my wife besides where we live, and our mental state of health. Anonymous trolls always do.

Feel free to show your face and let us know where you get your position of superiority to judge others.

N  19th of Jul, 2012 by    -2 Votes
You two are stupid. Releasing personal information like that. Also, I call ### on Cary. You have no proof,
N  19th of Jul, 2012 by    0 Votes
Here's a picture of our unsafe warehouse, and the suspect ladder.

N  19th of Jul, 2012 by    0 Votes
So, Descartes. They "determined" this via a form that they filled out incorrectly. They admitted that. So, that wasn't the real reason.

Again, cut-off for "acceptable business" was 107 points out of 133. We scored 111, when it was scored and totalled correctly. Anita Hall admitted she screwed up the form, and used as an excuse that she was "new to the business".

The original scoring was 77 points, and she excluded points that did not apply (aka Not Applicable or N/A). On some sections we got the points, on others we didn't. She was inconsistent. Also, she conveniently checked "no" for boxes that required asking us if we were "willing" to do something. You can't check "no" when you haven't even bothered to ask us if we are "willing". It makes absolutely no sense.

So, given the fact that we were absolutely within the "safe" parameters even by their own evaluation, it's clear from how they shut down pursuit of the sweetheart deal that they were using that as bait to get us in the door, and then they were planning to push the other more-expensive product upon us, once they knew our timeline would put pressure on us.

You miss again the point that we began meeting with them 5 months before we needed to hire our next employee. The secret surprise safety inspection was 1 day before the hiring process was to begin. If they were so concerned about our safety, then why not perform the safety inspection way back in February before EITHER of us wasted any time on this.

Oh, and to the point of "they didn't want to do business with you", they DID. They kept insisting that we HAD to choose the 20% Hire option, and only when I said "I am not interested in that product", and requested that they fix the problem of sending the original email did they start the process of shutting down the entire relationship. It changed to "we don't want to do business with you anymore" when I pursued TALKING TO ANITA HALL'S SUPERIOR, LEAH.

As far as I am concerned, that is an employee that knows they screwed up, and are using the police and any other means possible to simply sweep it under the rug.

N  19th of Jul, 2012 by    0 Votes
More pictures of the "unsafe" warehouse.

N  19th of Jul, 2012 by    0 Votes
Aww! Sweet pic! You're a cute couple.
N  19th of Jul, 2012 by    0 Votes
So Cary,

Maybe the problem is WPM - as in words per minute. I'm at my desk, working on accounting today. When I do an upload, or there is something else in Quickbooks that takes 2-3 minutes, I swing over to my other computer and type. These long posts you are complaining about take me a couple minutes. Perhaps you are a hunter-pecker, and such writing would take you hours. That's not my problem.

Glad to hear that you are concerned for my time.

So much so, that you ignore the core issue. If they didn't want to do business with me, the time to say so was BEFORE wasting my time. Think of all the crazy rants I could have typed in that time! Oh my!

Meanwhile, not one peep from a reported professor of ethics at CSU (really Colorado State, we are neighbors?) about the ethics of what these folks over at Kelly have done. Not even a token "Well, they WERE wrong, but in spite of it, you should move on."

I am moving on, in terms of the task at hand - hiring a new employee. We've always direct hired, but were interested in staying focused on our operations vs. trying to do what these "professionals" do every day.

I am not, however willing to let go of the incident due to the time I have or will spend. Because that means that the next person/company that the Fort Collins office treats in this manner received that treatment because management apparently approves of this practice. No government official is going to stop them.

The only thing that will is documentation so that future potential clients can find this information when they do their due diligence online, and perhaps in the public records created by a Small Claims case, which doesn't allow the poker-game lawyers play trying to drain the other party of resources. It's just two parties with their stories and documentation, and a binding decision. Despite your naysaying (and for all I know, you are working for Kelly Services), I am still willing to have my day in court (or a mediator's office, which is actually more likely).

Shame goes a long way to correct some behaviors.
N  19th of Jul, 2012 by    0 Votes

Kinda proves that you are here on troll duty. Zero to add to the conversation about the topic at hand. In order to judge me as "easy", you'd have to have experience harassing others.

Meanwhile, seems a bit odd for an ethics professor to be marking up photos calling people names. Just sayin'.

Yes or no, do you have anything to say about what Kelly Services did?
N  19th of Jul, 2012 by    0 Votes
No Cary, I am doing what I said and explained. But, thank you for admitting you are here for no other purpose than to stir up trouble, and perhaps tell off people with whom you disagree with generally.

You ask what am I here doing - I've explained. Now ask yourself what, exactly, you are accomplishing for yourself, or anyone else.

I do appreciate a devil's advocate - if you were actually engaging the topic. But, you are making broad assumptions about me, and doing nothing more than making personal attacks. You are wild guessing as to my state of mind, and projecting perhaps what you think are emotions you might have yourself in similar situations. You don't speak for me, so don't try.

In the meantime, if you have nothing else to say about the case I've brought up, perhaps you can go bother someone else, since that is your only reason for being here.
N  20th of Jul, 2012 by    -1 Votes

Apparently you didn't read the OP. They didn't determine that the risk posed to a person in their employ was higher than what their tolerance was for potential liability. When Anita reviewed the form, she admitted that she incorrectly scored us at 77 points, when the actual score was 111 points. So, there was no such assessment. I have the form, in her handwriting, as well as the admission of error in an email from her.

You are mistaken.

Does that change your opinion?
N  20th of Jul, 2012 by    -1 Votes

You'll be hearing from the site administrators shortly. Or perhaps your mommy might find out what you are up to in your bedroom all day first.

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