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Zappos Pays Its Employees to Quit

Here I thought Zappos was just the best accomplice to indecisive shoe junkies like myself, with its generous and fast free shipping and free return policies, but it turns out there's more to this online shoe company than meets the eye. Zappos is obsessed with customer service and understands that there are several other sources online for customers to get their shoe fixes.

After an intensive four-week training period that compensates new employees with their full salary, the company presents the freshly trained group with something called The Offer: “If you quit today, we will pay you for the amount of time you’ve worked, plus we will offer you a $1,000 bonus.” Zappos tests the commitment of its employees from the get-go, because it realizes the importance of a strong call-center team when that's the only customer service experience an online customer will get. Makes perfectly good business sense to me!


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shanimalcracker shanimalcracker 9 years
Wow, I guess we have an invasion of Zappos-happy people (I don't know anything about the company so I have no opinion on that); remind anyone of the flood of newbies that came just for the tax rebate conversation?
zaphappy zaphappy 9 years
As an employee of Zappos, I would just like to add a few things. I recently completed my training, I too was given "the offer". But it was not put out there as is being suggested. Actually it was very nice, The class was told that once you work for Zappos, even if you leave you are thought of as part of the family. They understand how hard it is to leave a job that you have just started due to financial obligations. But this job and this culture is not for everybody. If after going through the training, you find yourself feeling trapped in this job, because you need the money, they are offering to pay you for what you have already worked, plus the $1000 as a cushion to help you out until you can find another job. However, if you take the $1000 you can never work for Zappos again. The culture here is the most important part of Zappos. When I first started, I thought this is too good to be true. Free lunch and all the soda, snacks, juice, you could ever want all day. Insurance paid for after your 90 day probation. Free library, stocked will all the self help and business books you could ever want. It is like going to college for free. Ongoing classes to enrich your life. Parades? Yes indeed! Just go to Utube and type in Zappos to get an idea. Have an Idea? guess what? They will really listen to you! But it is real. The CEO is right here along side us to talk to, support or on occasion even cook us all breakfast! But if you have people here that are just here for the money it is very hard to maintain that culture. I Love it here at Zappos. I wake up and can't wait to go to work. I LOVE my customers!!!! Zappos customers are the BEST! I have worked other call centers and nothing can compare. Where else can you go to work, and get to talk to happy people all day? Any one who has worked call centers knows what I mean. You spend most of your call explaining why you CAN'T help them. Here at Zappos, WE are given the authority to help our customers! You need an exchange? No Problem! Wedding this week and you just broke your heel? No problem! The shoes will be there! More than likely by tomorrow, at NO extra charge. I get to hear all day how much customers love us and how we made a difference. I get to hear how these shoes, or PlayStation, or camera, is a gift for someone special in their lives. Our customers treat us like family and we feel the same way. Have any doubts? Just call us, we are here 24/7.1-800-927-7671 I think you may be pleasantly surprised.
lady14 lady14 9 years
239sunshine4u - I think you are completely being unfair that employee and to the company. As a former employee, the time spent in training does not cover the 2,750,100 total products that Zappos carry. It is spent learning the systems, policies, and how to deal with customers. The product information they have access to is very limited unless you speak with someone from a Specialty department, who have limited hours. I think the representative did everything in her power to locate the information you were looking for. They have some information on certain products. They are also taught to search online for answers they may not have, which is why it may have taken a while for her to look around for the information you wanted. You can't expect the clerk at a grocery store to know all of the information about the products in the store so it's unfair to expect a representative to have knowledge about all of the products the company carries. Just a thought.
239sunshine4u 239sunshine4u 9 years
Potential customers shouldn't be given INCORRECT product information if they don't know what they're talking about. They should just provide the manufacturer's phone # and admit they are clueless. Did I enjoy typing in Live Chat with a CSR for 1/2 hour and not get any accurate product information? No. WOW factor for their customer service? I haven't seen it.
tacogoe tacogoe 9 years
i just visited and found everything the representative said to be true. 1-WOW 2-a lot of things had changed since last time I was there 3-it was fun...but a little weird! I think there was a parade going on while I was on the website. 4-"Once again creative!" 5-I thought it said "purse," and not "pursue," and I had a whole response written out for "purse." Unfortunately, I really didn't have anything to say about "pursue." 6-I saw a picture of the writer of the response and CEO Tony sharing the same desk--she wasn't lying! 7-As I was browsing online, I basically felt like I was a member of the family, and also very warm. My heater is on. 8-I have never seen a lighter with a bottle opener on it, but as a smoker who drinks, I like the idea (no pun intended) 9-10-I felt that all the shoes I looked at were very passionate and humble! THANK YOU ZAPPOS! How do I get one of those opener/lighters?
Sancho-Panchez Sancho-Panchez 9 years
Actually 'Shoe Smitten', I don't want to be nit-picky or anything but to be accurate, $1000 is not really a penny to the folks at's $1000. Just making sure we all agree on the math.
tacogoe tacogoe 9 years
diana627 diana627 9 years
What a funny joke. The Core Values are even a bigger joke! The managers lead with a wooded stick and threats. The managers and supervisors are all drinking buddies. The best manager that place ever had was Ned!!!
Zapposmr Zapposmr 9 years
Wow! It's important to know that Zappos is for real. The atmosphere here is electric, people do their jobs, and get promoted for their efforts. Surely you can not believe that you can sleep your way into knowing how to buy or merchandise shoes! The people are here because they want to be...everyone is right, what is a $ that to the reality of walking into work everyday and being glad you are at Zappos. I am 60 years old and have worked here for almost 2 years, I have been given every opportunity that every 25 year old has, I have moved into a great position because of what I can it Nervana...No...but I can tell you from experience it doesn't get much better than this...when the sour grapes are gone and you stop and think about everything in your later years, you'll realize what you gave up!
merryderry1 merryderry1 9 years
Are you happy to go to work every day? Are you able to bring up controversial issues without fear of reprisal? Do you work with a group of people who are more like friends or family than just co-workers? Are your ideas truely valued by upper management? Are your suggestions frequently taken, sometimes within hours? Are you rewarded for good attendance? Then you must work at Zappos. I am and I have proven (to myself) that all the above is true. I have never been asked to do anything that would compromise my standards and integrity and I have always been treated with the same respect and courtesy that every other employee receives. Zappos isn't perfect, but it is wonderful! Zappos comes very close to the ideal work enviornment. I have worked in places that do not care about their employees many times, Zappos is the opposite. Within the company anyone can grow, change positions and become better in their work and personl life. When you're a happy at work, it's easy to treat customer's well. Valueing our customers is a natural progression (in most cases) of being valued. Most of our customers are big fans of Zappos....because they are feeling the love! People like to gripe, and we will always have nay-sayers and malcontents among us. I'd like to stand up for a company that makes a concerted effort to do better, to inspire and to enable and empower their employees.
Zapfan08 Zapfan08 9 years
As an employee with I would like to put my insight on this. Zappos has a culture. A culture we thrive on not only to better the company but to better our life in general! Our culture is powered by our Core Values which represents the company we have become. I would like to give everyone a little information about our 10 Core Values. 1. Deliver WOW through service- We honestly want our customer to be WOW'd by our customer service. We are here for our customer by all means! 2.Embrace and Drive Change- Since we are an expanding company change is often with us; with our policies (external and internal) and just as a company in whole we are constantly changing. We don't want employees to take change as a negative but as an opportunity to do things differently. To embrace the change and drive it to be better. 3. Create Fun & a Little Weirdness- Who wants to work at a company that doesn't do this? Not me! We want you how you are and as who you are NOT as what the "corporate" business wants you to be. You shouldn't have to change your attitude, creativeness and your personality for your job. It's almost like you living 2 lives. One at home (who you really are) and one at work. Also we have parades that the different departments go around clapping and cheering, just creating a fun work place! 4. Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open Minded- Be all of the above! Join the groups Zappos offers (i.e hiking, sky diving). Once again creative! Your desk is YOUR desk. Decorate it with whatever you want, make it you! Open minded because you never want to say no to anything without trying it first or at least taking it into consideration. 5.Pursue Growth & Learning- Since Zappos is growing we always have positions opening and they hire from within! We have many departments you can choose from and learn from. The good thing about this is you get to see from every point of view on how everyone works and how we need all the departments to keep us running! It gives you an insight on what everyone else does besides your position. There called skill sets. 6. Build Open and Honest Relationships with Communication- They utilize with core value to the fullest extent! If you have an idea about anything! About the policies, web site, core values, what should be on the site they really want to know! Not only about the good and how to improve but also about the bad. If you have an issue or concern about anything you can go to anyone! And I mean anyone (even the CEO Tony) He sits in the same desk I do as a customer loyalty representative, Everyone has his email address and you can follow everything hes doing on twitter! No desk, no appointments needed! Awesome!! 7. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit- We are a family here. Everyone knows everyone and we say hi to each other walking through the hall way and welcome visitors. We want positive attitudes so work is better for you! It also takes a toll at home! If you like your job then your in a better mood and not dreading waking up saying, "Awe man! I have to go to work". I feel if you like your job your in a better mood not only at your job but you bring it home as well! Big bonus for me! We love Sundays :) 8. Do More with Less- Perfect example! We made a lighter that also has a bottle opener on it! You can do 2 things at once. 9. Be Passionate and Determined- About EVERYTHING you do! Not only in your job but in your life as well! 10. Be Humble!- Don't take things for granted! Be appreciative about what you have and not for what you don't have. We offer the $1,000 because we want our employees to embrace these core values and live by them! We don't want someone here who hates Zappos or hates talking to our customers! We are here for our customers and if someone is here who hates their job can you imagine what could happen to our culture Zappos has lived on and been so successful on?! Disastrous! We will have more irate customers, and a lot more! So we say if this is not the right job for you or you think you will not like it here and this is *just* a job to you here we will give you the time you have worked plus $1,000 to help you until you can find another job. They are very humble about it. They say thanks for trying us out their sorry they weren't the right job for you and wish you luck! This job has changed me in a huge way! I'm a better person in general because of these core values and our culture! Just thought I would let everyone know a little bit on what happens inside Zappos and the way we do things! Have a great day! :)
Shoe-Smitten Shoe-Smitten 9 years
Zappos is a great company, that's where I buy most of my shoes. You can't beat their customer service. They are obviously confident in their company's appeal to both their employees and customers, and if an employee doesn't like it, it benefits the company to get rid of that person, even if it means they loose $1000 (that's a penny to them!)
scotte scotte 9 years
Great incentive as I bet it helps retain employees and not detract them from leaving. If they are willing to pay $1,000, I wonder what they will receive as a year end bonus? I think they should at least receive the $1k they declined and hopefully receive more based on sales.
diana627 diana627 9 years
I was never fired from Zappos I QUIT because I could no longer take their favortism to those who were sexually open to their Zappos way or was a kiss ass! They only promote friends and sexual partners! The prices are sky high, customers receive the shoes overnight but they are also paying for the shipping cost. Also they fire people for any reason maybe one day you wear a blue shirt and they do not like the color. Former employee that was smart enough to get away and leave on my terms and still keep my morals!
Sancho-Panchez Sancho-Panchez 9 years
I once paid a thousand dollars for some girl to quit......calling and bugging me all the time!! It wasn't exactly "business", but i did take care of BIZ-NASS ;) know what i mean! haha On the serious tip, I love Zappos and i think this customer service tactic makes a lot of sense from a business perspective. Not only does it give those not fully dedicated to the company an incentive, albeit small, to leave, but it sends a wonderful symbolic message to employess and customers alike. I'm recently divorced and I am dating quite a bit. I buy shoes from Zappos for many of my 2nd dates. By studying my dates' feet during a meal, movie, min--golf, driving, making dinner, or just sitting on the couch during the first date...i've learned to judge sizes and buy shoes as a nice surprise:) Woman tend to LOVE shoes! Zappos makes this very easy for me. Thanks Zappo!
abbbbbbba abbbbbbba 9 years
Oh Zapposam - just hang in there a little while longer. it is only a matter of time before you realize that you are working for self centered people who are manipulating you into thinking that those benefits are good. it is a total joke - something the uppers work on, exploiting people they think are stupid is the one thing they do well. you wont buy into it too much longer if you keep your eyes open and see the politics and ass-kissing. too bad - but the bottom line is that at crappos you will only get anywhere if you are fake and pretend to buy into that contrived culture. The uppers bank on you being too stupid to figure it out. This policy is just another example of the bs. lame company period.
lvkiwi lvkiwi 9 years
I love love love Zappos. Turning down 5 other job offers so I could actually be HAPPY when I go in to my job was not a hard decision. I love my co-workers, my bosses, the customers, and what we do! I turned down "the offer" - I would have turned down $10,000 over and over again! We have fun at work, and you can't buy that. Any time you contact Zappos, we will do everything that we can to assist you and leave you saying "wow." That's what we do!
Kchotty Kchotty 9 years
I am not sure I like this Idea there is no customer service retention, So new agents take a while to familiar themselves with products and service. Crappy idea for customers.
rosemary47 rosemary47 9 years
I think that's a very smart idea when you're hiring that many call center people, especially for a web based company like Zappos. Our client, LL Bean, hires tons of call center people who come back to work for the holiday season every year just because they love the company. If you're going to work for somebody, the first rule is to like your job, call center or otherwise.
Please note, employees (disgruntled or not) who are fired from companies will never have anything positive to say about their employer and/or their staff. We all have free will and if we do not agree with the management of a company and/or their style, then simply quit and go elsewhere. We all make choices in our lives, we all make sacrifices and we all pick the battles we wish to fight. If you are not (or were not ) happy, then you need ( needed) to make a change. Please review the success of ZAPPOS.COM financially and most recent article in FORBES JUNE 2008. We lead by example.
zapposam zapposam 9 years
I actually work for Zappos. It really is a great job. With the whole $1000 offer, you may say you would take it, but when the time actually comes and the offer is on the table. Every single person that was in my training class denied it right away. Why? Cause this is a type of job that you will NEVER find anywhere else. I can promise that.
wildreign wildreign 9 years
I just read Kzello's comment about protecting zappo's from the hater's and I just want to say---YOU GO GYRL shoot you make me want to buy a pair of shoes just so I can talk to cust srvc rep their shoes are 2 high 4 me ---but I should just call and say Hi
wildreign wildreign 9 years
That is BRILLIANT! more companies and not just online ones should give this one some thought. Pay not so good worker to quit now before they cost you millions later with bad days and attitudes. They still leave with skills to use elsewhere WHEN and IF they come to the realization that they played themselves since $1000.00 doesn't really go that far!
ms-foxy-girl ms-foxy-girl 9 years
I absolutely love this site.. i found great shoes that I couldnt get in my size at store.. I'm a size 3.5 Big Kids... they rarely carry my size in store... so this was great!
Kzello Kzello 9 years
As someone who is very familiar with i feal the need to stand up for this company and let everyone know what they are all about. Although that offer is great it is rarely taken because in the long run it is not worth it. Four weeks of training is way more than a thousand dollars and is not worth loosing the shot to work for one of the best companies ever. Their stock is great and the customer service is amazing.Buying things online is not an easy thing to do but zappos makes it very accessible and easy to navigate.I will protect zappos from the haters any day. ALl the other online companies wish they could be as great as zappos.
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