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Dealing w/ Relocation Package Bait and Switch?

Cliff posted more than 7 years ago | from the dispicable-practices dept.

Businesses 443

An anonymous reader asks: "I got a R&D job offer with a large company in Philadelphia area last week. It includes a relocation package that they told me was standard for my position. After I accepted the offer and made plans to terminate my current job, the recruiter handed me off to their relocation department, where I was told that my relocation package is significantly less than what I was promised. The relocation manager tells me that whenever there is conflict between their relocation policy and the offer, their internal relocation policy supersedes. Is this type of switch-and-bait common practice in corporate America? If you have gone through this nightmare before, any advice on how to respond to it?"

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You do (5, Interesting)

mattboston (537016) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754730)

what anyone else would do, and post the name of the company on Slashdot.

Re:You do (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17755276)

Maybe you weren't serious, but you certainly ought to be.

The only way to prevent this kind of crap from continuing and spreading (c'mon, do you really think there aren't HR people reading this right now and drooling?) is to make it public. Maybe after they have a lot of problems getting people to even interview with them they will rethink their policy.

I urge the original poster to publish the name of these asshats!

Re:You do (5, Insightful)

avronius (689343) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755358)

Always [that's ALWAYS] get your COMPLETE offer in writing first. Ask for a couple of hours to review it [not unreasonable]. If the relocation dollar amount is not there, get it added. Accept NOTHING on faith where money is concerned.

Re:You do (2, Insightful)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756062)

> get your COMPLETE offer in writing first

Oh? You wanted the complete offer in writing? I'm sorry. You must accept and sign that offer in one week or it will be retracted. We're sorry. We can't make any changes to the language of the offer. That's dictated by the legal department. Would you like to be homeless instead? That's the only offer you're getting.

Maybe you've never been screwed. Maybe you've always been handed a prime piece of pie. The fact is this: companies love to play hardball to screw employees especially when it comes to NDAs, pre-employment agreements, and relocation packages.

Re:You do (4, Insightful)

B'Trey (111263) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756276)

Certainly they're not obligated to put anything in writing. However, refusal to do so is at least a strong clue. Ignore anything they've told you during interviews or negotiations, and consider the offer they actually give you - the one that IS in writing. If you're willing to accept the offer as it exists in writing, then consider anything extra you were promised that actually comes through as a bonus. If you're not willing to accept the offer as written, then tell them so and walk away.

Re:You do (0, Offtopic)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756472)

I understand your sentiment. Don't you think the companies know all that though? Don't you think they're playing it that way, on purpose, because they know that the majority of potential employees don't have any better option?

What do you suggest? Standing firm until one becomes homeless? Heck. I'm _IN_ that situation.

Re:You do (2, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756360)


never EVER trust your employer or future employer. If you don't have it in writing they are going to jack you.

Finally, giving your notice at your current job is silly if you do not have a full written offer in hand, especially on a relocation type job. What if the company said, Nahh, we dont want to pay for your relocation?

You are now screwed, you either relocate yourself at your cost, or sit home jobless for a while.

BTW, like the new company now? they are screwing you before you get your first paycheck! gonna really like working for a company like that!

Re:You do (5, Informative)

rutledjw (447990) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756406)

I heartily agree with this. I've never had a company back-off from a request to get everything in writing prior to acceptance.

The other thing I'd do is bring this up with the manager/director/whoever that hired you. As a manager, and I am one, I would not be amused with an internal bureaucrat who underminded a legitimate offer with the result of a new hire coming in the door angry. That's no way to start things off. Give this person a chance to address the issue.

Another point is that his/her reaction will likely give some idea as to what degree they will support thier team. It may be that he/she can't do anything, but give them the chance and make them aware

Re:You do (3, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756486)

Always [that's ALWAYS] get your COMPLETE offer in writing first.
Here's what would have happened if he got it in writing:

Employee: wait! the hiring manager said the relocation benefit would be $X! This says it's only $Y.
HR: It's company policy.
Employee: but I have it in writing. In Writing!!
HR: But there's nothing to say we still have to give you the job. If you want to be pedantic we'll hire you for 5 minutes and then fire you. Now do you want the new deal or not?
Employee: but I already quit my job and sold my house!
HR: just sign on the dotted line.

You forgot to add (5, Insightful)

passthecrackpipe (598773) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756114)

That you quit. Right now. They may promise you more money, more women, more booze, anything to make you accept the offer while look for someone else that is "less trouble". Trust me, you don't want to work for them. If they screw you around before you even start, then they will be even worse when you actually turn up. You will probably be miserable there anyway. If you are still unsure what to do, go out for a beer with you new co-workers. After a few drinks, you will be in a much better position to gauge the mood of the workforce. Something tells me it won't be positive.

Re:You do (5, Insightful)

lcsjk (143581) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756354)

Talk to the HR manager, and tell them the problem. If the recruiter is not part of the company, then he/she can say anything and the company has no control. However, an honest HR manager will stop using the recruiter, and may even intervene on your behalf if company policy permits.

Sometimes your new manager will intervene, but the main thing is to make sure the person you are working for is given a chance to help.

An external recruiter may possible have mis-interpreted the information, or may be using old information.

Finally, were you so interested in a new job that you did not hear or read? It could be your own fault if you were listening and not reading the information from the company.

If you don't have it in writing.... (3, Informative)

jalewis (85802) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754736)

I think you're screwed.

There's more to this: (5, Insightful)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755120)

Even if you have it in writing, this first taste of the job is already quite sour. If you do have it in writing, do you really want to work for this company?

If you don't have it in writing, talk to the person that extended you the original offer. Depending on what they do, you may or may not decide to take it/stay. Make sure whatever you agree to is in writing. Basically, any company that did something like this would be way in the hole and would have to work to keep any reasonable person.

If you haven't quit your old job, or you gave notice but haven't left and they're really sorry to see you go, indicate you might be interested in staying. This would involve playing the "what can you do for me" game. You certainly don't want to be honest about why you're reconsidering. Say something to your boss along the lines of "I would have liked to have seen project X to completion. It is going to be great!" or something like that. Perhaps they can sweeten your current job and you can both save face and your sanity by "accepting" the offer.

Seriously consider not taking the job (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17754742)

I would seriously consider not taking the job if they don't try to fix it quickly. If they're going to screw you over before you've even started, imagine what they'll do once you're there.

FWIW, I took a job cross country about a year and a half ago that included a relocation package. They handled it very professionally, and followed through with everything that they had promised. So far, it's been a good company to work for.

Re:Seriously consider not taking the job (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754904)

And if the original offer was in writing, QUIT AND SUE. If it wasn't in writing, quit and take this as a lessons learned to always get everything in writing.

Re:Seriously consider not taking the job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17755302)


Yes! SUE EVERYBODY!!! ... That's the spirit!

Weird Al - I'll Sue You []

... and COMMUNICATE this to them! (5, Informative)

mr_luc (413048) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755328)

First, you describe it as a 'nightmare'. Is this a deal-breaker, or not, for you?

If it's not, and you'd honestly take the job even without the better relocation package, then your goal is just to try to negotiate, right?

If it IS a DEFINITE deal-breaker, call them up and tell them that, bluntly but softly: "I'm sorry, but that's what I was promised. I don't want to cause any trouble, but for me right now this is definitely a deal-breaker. Please talk to whoever you need to talk to," get info on how long it will take them to make a decision and arrange to call back, and then call back.

If it's not a definite deal-breaker but you want to negotiate, the procedure is the same, but use softer wording.

"Bob, you told me that there was [blah] to help me get there and get going, and they're telling me [blahrg]. I'm just really concerned, and I wanted to let you know where I'm at with this. I'm really excited about coming on board with you guys, and I'm really looking forward to it, but my situation right now is that without an adequate relocation package like the one you described, it just might not make sense for either of us."

Also, mention to them that there are two ways that this is bad -- first, that the financial hit you'd take from the lower relocation package is enough to make taking the position a lot less attractive. But second, that taking that hit -- a substantial financial penalty -- is enough of a negative for you that it just might not make sense to start off what you *had* hoped would be a long and mutually rewarding career by being asked to take a big financial penalty.

You didn't quit your job yet, right? You haven't yet taken a dump on your supervisor's desk, right? So you can survive. If your prospective new bosses react to these kinds of reasonable concerns unreasonably, you're better off where you are, so expressing your concerns can only help you.

Re:Seriously consider not taking the job (1) (245670) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756370)

Unless "made plans to terminate my current job" = "told my old boss to go screw him/herself", he should just walk away. There will be other jobs. This company's already shown that they're going to overpromise and underdeliver. Today, it's the relocation package. Next, they'll hint at performance bonuses that never materialize and reviews that are just short of what he needs for that big raise. They'll promise training that never happens, new equipment and resources that never arrive.

Walk away, dude. Walk away.

Told you so ? (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754746)

It includes a relocation package that they told me was standard for my position.

Get it in writing next time, and sue the heck outta them if you get less than what's on the paper.

Re:Told you so ? (1)

Duckz (147715) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755290)

That sounds like an excellent start at a new job.

Re:Told you so ? (1)

Cocoronixx (551128) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755504)

Yeah true. It's much better to start out with you getting screwed before you even walk through the door!

Re:Told you so ? (1)

Duckz (147715) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755824)

He can definitely work it out with his new company, but starting a job with a lawsuit following is just building bad character for the person starting the lawsuit.

Piss poor sue happy Americans.

Re:Told you so ? (1)

Cocoronixx (551128) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756034)

How does asking for something in writing equate to starting a job with a lawsuit?

Re:Told you so ? (1)

manifoldronin (827401) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755748)

I think the OP meant that the "it's standard for your position" part was expressed verbally, but not necessarily the package itself. From what I read, the problem doesn't seem to be that he found out the package wasn't standard for the position, but rather whatever actually implemented was far different from the package at all.

new one on me (4, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754768)

I've never run into a problem like that. However, if I were in a situation like that and had already quit my previous position, I would probably

1) take the job
2) start job-hunting immediately
3) see if this was an anomaly or business-as-usual for a company without a moral compass.

If it's business-as-usual I'd jump ship as soon as I got another job.

If it's an anomaly I'd work from within to make sure this never happened to anyone else.

Re:new one on me (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17755374)

start job-hunting immediately

As long there's no term of service clause. Meaning, unless you work for the company for X amount of years or months, you have to pay back the moving expense or a pro-rated amount.

Watch out!

Re:new one on me (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756150)

As long there's no term of service clause. Meaning, unless you work for the company for X amount of years or months, you have to pay back the moving expense or a pro-rated amount.

If you ask me, the company lost any expectation of enforcing the term-of-service clause when they reneged on providing the relocation assistance package as originally promised.

(You should not ask me, though. You should ask a qualified attorney, if your plan is to accept the job and then leave soon after.)

Re:new one on me (1)

rblancarte (213492) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756348)



Realize this, if you take the job, you are going to probably sign a ton of paperwork. I would bet that one of those papers will be a term of service contract.

And if they are quoting you chapter and verse Relocation policy, you better believe they will go after you if you do break that clause.

Fact is, this was not in writing, he is, more than likely, SOL on that front. But if you break any sort of contract, then you have problems.


Re:new one on me (2, Interesting)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756192)

> I've never run into a problem like that

ImClone, working through a recruiter, did the exact same thing to me in 2003. The salary quoted on the phone was "in the low 80s" and the relocation package was "we'll arrange the process". When the offer showed up in the mail the salary, in print, was 56 (for New York!!!)and the relocation package was reimbursement up to $2500.

I politely refused to sign the offer and instead got screwed by the other company, Battelle. They were more honest about the salary, in a less expensive area, and they arranged for the full relocation. The job itself, though, turned out to be bait and switch. After four months doing what I'd been hired to do I was thrust into a position which would be more suitable for a high school graduate with some excuse blaming some vaporous upper management decision requiring that resources be reallocated, blah blah blah. There's always some lame excuse.

Stock reply to almost all Ask Slashdot questions (4, Insightful)

corbettw (214229) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754778)

Go ask a lawyer.

Re:Stock reply to almost all Ask Slashdot question (4, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755004)

There's that, but an earlier step that's also missing in almost all of these questions is -- did you ask anyone before flying off the handle and coming here? In this case, did you go back to the recruiter and ask him what's going on and whether he can untangle it?

Re:Stock reply to almost all Ask Slashdot question (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755042)

Mod Parent Up. Ask A Labor-Law Specialist.

Re:Stock reply to almost all Ask Slashdot question (2, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755342)

Go ask a lawyer.

*looks over previous Ask Slashdots*

What Do You Do for New User Orientation?
Music Sequencing Software for Unix?
Where Does Google's Hardware Go to Die?
What Breakfast Gets You Going?
Where Do You Go for Worthwhile Product Reviews?
Engineering School Grads - Tradesmen or Thinkers?
Which Rechargeable Batteries Do You Use?
Best Ways to Learn Graphics Design for the Web?

I can see why this comment was marked "insightful"

Note: This is intended to be funny. It actually appears that "ask a lawyer" is a reasonable answer to quite a few Ask Slashdots.

Re:Stock reply to almost all Ask Slashdot question (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756338)

Problem is: amount in dispute = X. Lawyer consult = X + a zillion. That is how it always works.
  The deck is stacked, the house always, wins, and as long as you keep that firmly in mind you are never disapointed.

In writing? (2, Insightful)

nacturation (646836) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754794)

Was the offer made in writing? If so, they are obligated to honor it and you'll need to take whatever steps you deem prudent to see that they do. Taking a new employer to court might start things off on the wrong foot, but you shouldn't let them walk all over you especially if it's a larger company. Check into whether or not there are any government agencies who can intervene on your behalf. If the offer wasn't in writing, you're probably screwed for the most part.

No No No (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17754950)

thats simply not true. typical liberal entitlement mentality

Re:No No No (2, Insightful)

Johnny Mnemonic (176043) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755900)

thats simply not true. typical liberal entitlement mentality

It's wrong to think that you're entitled to something that somebody, reasonably empowered to do so, told you were going to get, in writing? Can you please explain that logic to me? Apparently somebody else agrees with you too, as you're currently +1 Insightful.

If a liberal mentality means refusing to be screwed over by an employer that can't get it's representatives on the same page with regards your compensation, then I'm happy to be a liberal. I guess conservatives are happy with being compensated at less than the agreed on rate? Or was I simply trolled?

Re:No No No (1, Insightful)

_damnit_ (1143) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755918)

What's not true? There are labor boards in many states who enforce labor laws on your behalf which do not interfere with your tort rights. Stupid troll. When did Rush Limbaugh get mod points?

Re:No No No (1)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756208)

thats simply not true. typical liberal entitlement mentality

Haha, flamebait now. When I saw it, it was at + insightfult.

Anyway, there's a reason we have written agreements- and the reason is so people don't walk all over them. If that's entitlement, damn right, mark me liberal!

Re:In writing? (2, Informative)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755896)

Even if it wasn't in writing, a verbal contract is a valid binding contract unless superceded by a written contract (IANAL, just remembered from a course)... of course, proving that a verbal offer was made is nearly impossible.

Do you have anything in writting? (2)

CajunElder (787443) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754848)

If you have something in writting, you should be able to hold them to it. Of course, you have to wonder about the company if their first offical act is to screw you over.

verbal contract = contract (1)

kcurtis (311610) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756488)

IANAL, but I'm pretty sure here in Massachusetts a verbal contract is still a valid contract. Maybe a lawyer can step in and add more or tell me I'm off base?

Can't be trusted, hope you havent quit the old job (3, Insightful)

nietsch (112711) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754862)

Why would you trust a company that makes these opening moves? My take on it is that use as a selection method and what they most need is sheeple that do not squeal too hard when they get done in the *rse. By screwing them even before they take the job they are weeding out theones that would. But be shure to tell the recruiter that this is why you are declining his offer. If it was an honest mistake he should be able to get it fixed, otherwise he will just don't care.

Sheeple (1)

Zaurus (674150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756152)

> what they most need is sheeple

Sheeple! That's my new word for the day.

Sheeple: n, people who tend to act like sheep. Contraction of sheep and people. ex. Listen up, sheeple! I want you all working 'til midnight tonight so you can make me look good for the presentation tomorrow.

Mmmm. Sheeple.

Re:Sheeple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17756448)

You took the words right out of my mouth.

Which I think makes this a "m'e'e'e'e'e'e to" post.

Is it in writing? (1)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754902)

First question: do you have the original offer including the relocation package in writing? If you don't, you're screwed. If you do, however, that written offer will trump their policy. You accepted that offer, if they try to change the terms after the fact that's a material change that opens the whole thing up again. If the relocation package was actually part of the final paperwork you signed to accept the offer then the change isn't just a material change in the offer, it'd be an attempt to breach the agreement and they can be held liable for damages. If you have the original package offer in writing, I'd start with presenting the matter to HR as an attempt to change the offer after acceptance. HR will be rather nervous about that since they know what kind of havoc you could wreak if you wanted to.

refuse the job offer (2, Interesting)

tmannes (873891) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754922)

This hurts you personally, but if I were in your shoes, and I was able, I would refuse the job offer. I know it isn't an answer anyone wants to hear, but if everyone did this, it would be extremely effective at stopping this kind of manipulation! The problem of course, is that few of us are able to do this, as most of us live hand to mouth, with little savings. And lets face it, the IT industry isn't as fertile as it was even recently.

Perhaps the next best thing to do would be to publicize the companies with these kinds of practices. That is also very risky, since the company can then turn around and fire you without a reason, and I expect most would do that. So perhaps you don't publicize this practice until you have procured another job.

Perhaps you can talk to a lawyer, but I expect there is little that can be done legally, unless you have a contract which spelled out what you were actually promised...

At the very least you should consider looking for another job. Any company with these kinds of practices won't stop at the relocation packages they promise. I would expect more of this kind of behaviour, and by staying you are rewarding this kind of practice.

asdfassdffdsd (2, Interesting)

DingerX (847589) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755186)

If it's a genuine case of the offers being different, as you say, do not under any circumstances work there unless it is resolved to your satisfaction. Tell them up front. It might be an honest mistake, but it establishes a bad precedent, and sours the relationship from the start.

So write this out and send it off:

Dear Big Company,
I'm afraid the apparent change in conditions of my employment makes it impossible for me to accept the job. While I understand and appreciate that this difference may be an honest mistake, no effort to provide an explanation has been given, and this issue has soured our relationship. While I incur great personal hardship in making this decision at this date, I cannot in good faith accept work for a company that unilaterally changes the terms of my employment.

If you need to, spend a couple hundred bucks on getting a lawyer to write it up for you.

Best approach... (5, Funny)

pegr (46683) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755404)

Take the job, learn all of their internal systems and processes, steal them blind. Bonus points if you can frame the guy who hired you.

If you get caught, insist on a management position. You'll likely get it.

Re:Best approach... (1)

powerlord (28156) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755764)

No fair! You must have spied on HP to steal their super secret internal "Management Track" documentation!

Talk to the person who offered the package (5, Insightful)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754992)

Before you peg yourself as someone who's unreasonable to work with --

Contact the person who originally told you about the relocation package, and tell them that the 'Relocation Manager' isn't offering the same thing. Ask them to deal with the issue, or make a counter offer and tell them what you're willing to take in exchange for the lower package (eg, higher pay, alternative benefits).

I've gotten the bait & switch on jobs before (my second day on the job, job responsibilities changed dramatically)-- my suggestion is deal with it as soon as possible, but don't become adversarial with the HR department -- have the person who hired you deal with them.

Re:Talk to the person who offered the package (5, Interesting)

oyenstikker (536040) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755068)

Good advice. Remember, the HR department works for the company, not for you; and by HR's name alone, they are putting you in the same category as servers and office supplies.

Why don't they call it personnel anymore?

Re:Talk to the person who offered the package (4, Interesting)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756182)

It is possible that the recruiter shares some if not all of the blame, maybe he said things that he knew were not true just to get the recruiter bonus or met the recruiting target etc. Some post later on down said to contact the head of HR to see whats going on. It's always a good idea to get all sides of an issue before assigning blame.

Re:Talk to the person who offered the package (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755300)

This is exactly the proper response. As a side benefit, you will find out (a) how badly they really want/need you and (b) find out how much pull your supervisor has with top management. Both are critical to how well you will be treated once you come on board. For a throw-away position, they can re-interview without much of a big deal (though if there's relocation in the offing, it means they're having problems filling it locally, or at all). Knowing how much your future supervisor can do for you will let you know how much power they have to truly negotiate your future performance increases and bonuses. It will also show how much he or she can shield you from upper management politics.

It's hard to go without a job (presuming you've already resigned) but if your skills are good take the time off and get a headhunter to help get you placed. Given the circumstances, your unemployed state may not be much of a negative, and may be significantly offset by your ability to start work immediately. That's usually a big relief to companies who often need new talent asap (that would be all companies, by the way).

Re:Talk to the person who offered the package (5, Insightful)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755906)

I second that motion. While this certainly smells bad for the company as a whole, it's quite possible you've just got a jobsworth or jackass in HR dealing with you, so don't write the whole company off just yet. HR never made a penny of profit for any company, their job is to save money by ensuring staff retention and quality recruitment. In this instance, they are not doing either and are just getting in the way, so bypass them. Speak (as in phone, not email - practice what you need to say and make notes if you're not great on the phone) to whoever actually wants you to work at the company - the person who gave you the technical interview. Let them know you're unhappy with the situation (you evidently are) and how significant a factor the relocation package was in your decision to take the job (it evidently was significant), then give them some time to deal with the situation. Expect to have to negotiate to some extent - the person who hired you will likely be negotiating within the company too (it may have been their screw-up giving you incorrect information or exceeding their power).

I'm assuming, as you've posted to slashdot, that this is a technical job. If it's HR or admin take the job anyway - you'll have more power than you deserve and will enjoy weilding it! But let us know where it is your new job is, so the rest of us can avoid it :)

Re:Talk to the person who offered the package (1)

_damnit_ (1143) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756082)

Very good suggestion. Remember, the recruiter only gets credit for employees who stay for some period of time usually. A close friend of mine is a recruiter and tells me should would be VERY upset if all the hard work she put in to get a recruit through the hiring process was undermined at that stage. Use the recruiter and your new manager to get the situation resolved. Also, NEVER quit your first job until you have everything in writing. All the "i" dotted, all the urine tested, before you mention to your employer that you have an offer. There will likely be a counter from your employer if they like or need you.

Anyway, hope it works out. I relocated for a job a few years back. My new manager actually went above and beyond what I was promised. He got me extra money for "unforeseen" expenses and such. Great guy. Dying company.

Re:Talk to the person who offered the package (1)

radtea (464814) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756436)

I've gotten the bait & switch on jobs before (my second day on the job, job responsibilities changed dramatically)

There's a doctrine called "constructive dismissal" that may apply to cases like this. The idea is that substantially altering job responsibilities without your agreement is like asking you to leave the company. I don't know how it applies in the U.S., but in some jurisdictions it might allow people in the situation to describe to the same benefits as if the company had induced you to join them and then fired you on your second day there.

In general, a non-adversarial approach to HR is the best route to go in any of these situations. Make it a matter of policy, not politics or personalities.

How to deal with workplace issues (4, Funny)

Kohath (38547) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755010)

Burn the building down.

Re:How to deal with workplace issues (2, Funny)

slashbob22 (918040) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755130)

Is that you Milton?

Re:How to deal with workplace issues (2, Funny)

RPGonAS400 (956583) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755198)

Burn the building down.

But don't forget to get your stapler first!

Re:How to deal with workplace issues (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17756174)

Ah..... Life imitating Art!

'It's Beautiful Man!!!! Beautiful!'
/The sharp glow of the fire grew, as the support beams weakened under the crackling blaze that now fully engulfed......

Guacamole (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756238)

Don't forget about the Guacamole !

Mumbling to self ... "I'll put Strychnine in the guacamole"

Uhm (2, Insightful)

Iamthefallen (523816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755020)

While everyone seems to want you to quit, sue, or play hardball, they're not the ones in the middle of it.

So why not try talking to the hiring manager first? It could be that someone doing the relocation is just taking their duties a little too seriously.

Never ascribe to malice (1)

C10H14N2 (640033) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756444)

...that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Yes, talk to the hiring manager. Often, these things are compartmentalized and the occupants of said compartments may have histories you're not aware of -- and your polite "excuse me, but" to one person may result in an immediate burning of the phone lines to everyone as far up to the top as is required to beat the tar out of the moron(s) causing you grief. It doesn't necessarily reflect a systemic flaw in the company, it just identifies one possible idiot in the ranks--one that you may never have to deal with again.

Speak personally to someone senior (5, Insightful)

currivan (654314) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755034)

Call the VP or Human Resources and tell him what happened. Chances are he'll be furious that this is happening and straighten out the recruiter or whomever gave you the wrong information. He'll probably also be able to arrange an exception to give you what you expected, or at least a compromise. No large company would do this as a matter of policy. No one wants employees who feel cheated; they don't work hard and might steal from the company.

Re:Speak personally to someone senior (2, Funny)

archeopterix (594938) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756096)

No one wants employees who feel cheated; they don't work hard and might steal from the company.

Wink, wink, nudge, nudge...

Re:Speak personally to someone senior (1)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756222)

> Chances are he'll be furious that this is happening and straighten out the recruiter or whomever gave you the wrong information

Chances are he was in on the whole thing and was rubbing his hands together thinking about how many thousands of dollars he had just saved the company--to be funneled directly into his department's holiday party fund.

Re:Speak personally to someone senior (2, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756466)

I'm pretty much guessing that he took a job with Comcast and this IS their normal operation procedure. They typically do not know wha the left or right hand is doing, managers will make offers that are outside what HR accepts as normal and never push through the right paperwork to make the exception. I know guys there that after starting work were being paid less than they were offered and it took months to fix.

Some of the other reasons I left the place.

Where are the papers? (0, Redundant)

mnmn (145599) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755040)

So, to accept anything and resign from your current job, isn't it reasonable to get that all signed on paper?

So where are the papers?

Look at your offer letter! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17755060)

Read your offer letter and what came with it. If it says you get X. You get X. They signed it and sent it to you certified probably, and then they wanted a signed copy back.

It's a contract. That's what matters. Anything else is just people's lips flapping.

Talk with your hiring manager (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17755096)

Explain what you were promised and agreed to as part of the agreement to join the company. Explain what HR told you. Make it his problem.

If the company does not end up delivering what was promised, DO NOT join that company. DO NOT move your entire life for a company who renegotiated the deal after you accepted it. Even if it wasn't in writing, even if the company might not have even made the offer (maybe it's a contract recruiter talking out of his...?), it doesn't matter. There was a deal on the table, you accepted it, and now after that you're being told, gee, sorry, standard policy, we're not going to honor our end of the deal.

Don't go to work for a company where there's any question about ethics on day one. Usually it takes a while to decide that a company is crooked or incompetent or disorganized. You haven't set foot there and you're already personally getting screwed by this. That bodes poorly. Joining a company and then immediately leaving looks bad on your resume and can haunt you for future reference checks. If you get a bad enough vibe, don't even go.

But give the hiring manager a chance to make it right. If he goes to bat for you and gets the problem fixed to your satisfaction, you owe him. But at least you are coming on board knowing that (a) you have a manager who's going to work to take care of you and do what's right, and (b) your company is not so disfunctional that "policy" trumps doing what's right. If he shrugs and says he can't do anything, what do you think he's going to do the next time the company tries to screw you? Your manager's job is to be your advocate, here's a chance to see if he tries to do his job and whether the company lets him.

So take this as an opportunity to let your potential future employer demonstrate to you their true colors. Think of it as their employer interview.

You may not be able to just up and leave (1)

simm1701 (835424) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755386)

Not everyone is in the position to just up and leave. If you have a family, wife, kids, morgage, bills, commitments then you can't risk not being in work for a few months. There is also potential damage to your career, jumping ship too often does not look good on a CV

In your position I would go back to the agent and tell them the full story, they may be able to get it sorted out for you, though it is unlikely, but otherwise tell them you are back on the market looking for another job - tell the other agencies the same.

The one reason the agent may be inclined to help is not any altruism on their part, but purely self interest. You quiting doesn't look good on that agency, and agencies are very competative. Also depending how they negotiated the contract the agency may only get their commision (or all of the commision) based upon a certain retention period.

I wish you the best of luck either way!

Re:You may not be able to just up and leave (1)

amuro98 (461673) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756098)

I wouldn't worry about jumping around too much. So long as there's a good reason it's not usually a problem. I've also left a few jobs off my resume completely and simply put "miscellaneous contract positions".

Don't Forget (3, Insightful)

WebHostingGuy (825421) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755398)

That while many posting here think the company is screwing this person, maybe the fault really lies in the hiring manager. Quite often the hiring manager may make promises or say things they don't have a clue about.

In any of these questions there are not enough facts to really figure out what happened. Yes, while this person accepting the new job may get screwed don't jump to the conclusion that the company is backstabbing and that the new employee should quit. This just might be some dumb manager who doesn't have a clue--or maybe a smart manager who didn't get the email on what the standard relocation package is now. There is way too much missing information.

Legally, there may or may not be a contract. You can have a verbal contract which is binding, however, the hard part is proving the existence and details of the contract. Also, the newly hired employee might have a claim for induced reliance--the company induced him to quit his or her old job (maybe, because we really don't know when things happened) and because of that promise of relocation money he is out of a job. There is a potential claim here, but there is so much more that is needed before the new employee heads off to court.

Like someone pointed out he should go back to the hiring manager and find out if they can do anything. But the real lesson is that you don't quit your old job before you have all the details of the new job worked out first.

Re:Don't Forget (1)

eltonito (910528) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755700)

I'm also curious if the recruiter was a member of a third party and not a direct representative of the company. That might explain a lot if they aren't reprenting the company and are making assumptions based on prior recruiting.

The company I work for now relocated me halfway across the country. Weeks after confirming that I had the job, the offer was finalized and delivered to me in writing. It took this long because manager hiring me had to get everything signed off by HR, which seems to be common practice.

In my experience most companies large enough to offer relocation are wise enough to have the final offer approved before they make it in writing. It sounds like a recruiter or manager was making off the cuff promises that were not yet approved.

As someone else said, if this is a deal breaker then don't take the job and beg your current employer to let you stay. If it isn't a deal breaker, start negotiating.

It doesn't matter whose fault it is (2, Insightful)

Rix (54095) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756262)

The hiring manager was authorized to speak for the company, and they have an obligation to honour his commitments. The proper response to him overstating things is to discipline him, not renege on their commitments.

similar but different (1)

hAckz0r (989977) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755472)

I had a similar situation only it was during the switch of one Government contractor company to the newly awarded contractor. They made small promises of 'educational reimbursement' just to keep me onboard but later made excuses, and finally reneged on those promises altogether. We are not talking about big bucks here. Within two weeks of that realization I had another job and they were left hunting for someone who even had a clue about doing my job. For me it was not a matter of money, but moral principal. I just won't work for anyone who can't be trusted to keep their word. Period. As for my coworkers who did not do anything deceitful, I kept in touch and helped keep them personally out of hot water when they needed it, for the better part of two years. So I do know how long they were looking for a replacement. In the short run the company saved the cost of one semesters course tuition, but in the long run they paid dearly for their shameless deceptive behavior.

It's simple. (1)

rhartness (993048) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755474)

R&D, huh? Easy.

1. Take the job and suck it up.
2. Start working on a project.
3. Make yourself indespinsable.
4. Feverishly look for work for their competitors.
5. Dump the company to work for "the other guys" when you land a position.
6. Profit! (In the form of the sweet feeling of pay back)

Run. (3, Insightful)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755512)

Run, don't walk, out the door.

This kind of bullshit is endemic to a company, if you have to deal with it here, you'll have to deal with it once you get there and start working. This is how you end up stuck in a job you hate, and stuck in the city they moved you to.

From a contract point of view, his claim is utterly false. It dosen't matter if it's not in writing, since you relied on the promise, it was reasonably foreseeable that you would do so, and this has harmed you - but that means suing your employer. That never ends well.

Seriously, don't work for these people.


Turn up, start work, but don't sign anything. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17755532)

In addition to talking to the hiring manager, you can show up and start working, but refuse to sign all that glop they shove at you the first day or two, until you're given what you're owed. That puts the problem back on them in a big way: you're actually in the building and doing the work, so it would be a huge nuisance for them to find someone else. I did this when someone gave me a job offer and then stuck an unacceptable employment contract under my nose. They pretty much had to make the changes I asked for (which weren't financial), because it would have been too disruptive to fire me.

Relocation Package? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17755538)

Hrm.. I can't offer any input there as I have NEVER seen/had a company offer a relocation package... that is "part" of the reason I am still working where I am.

A look through most the jobs have "no relocation" listed on them.

I would almost say "Be happy you got something!"

After you work it out . . . (4, Interesting)

arnie_apesacrappin (200185) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755866)

After you talk to the parties involved (recruiter, relocation department, hiring manager, HR) and make a decision to accept or reject the offer, document everything and publish it. If someone clearly wronged you in the process, try to save others from having to go through the same ordeal.

I will tell you a related story. I was a consultant on an open-ended contract for 2.5 years. The company re-organized and I was given less than two weeks to either take a 30% pay cut or leave. I immediately started looking for other work, but stuck around for a couple of months while I found a new position. The one thing I did do was to calmly, rationally let everyone that was in a similar position know what had happened. After I left, they gave a whole group of consultants (about 20 people) the same ultimatum. Since they were prepared for the new offer from my story, all of them resigned, simultaneously. The company back-pedaled on the ultimatum and allowed those consultants to stay on under their current terms. It was still detrimental to the company, however, because 10 of the 20 left anyway.

Several of those 20 people thanked me for sharing my troubles because they were better prepared. The details of your experience may help someone else not make the same mistake later. It may even make the business involved change their practices.

lessons learned over time (1)

jim_redwagon (845837) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755974)

this is one of the most annoying things you will learn out in the corporate world. the person who actually wants you, will tell you almost anything that he/she thinks you want to hear. I have been burned in the past by taking someone's word, thinking that what they say will become reality. However, burned i became, especially once dealing with corporate.

so, my lesson for you grasshopper, get anything discussed in writing in your offer, or copies of policies they refer to and you will be much happier.

This could be an honest mistake by the hiring manager, I'll wager it most likely is, but sadly, the 'corporate' policy is what will win, unless of course, it's in your letter. After being burned, I have held up job acceptances going back and forth numerous times on what some HR people may deem insignificant. What they have lost sight of is that if it means enough to me to bring it up? It is nowhere near insignificant.

Did you offer letter mention your relocation... (1)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756012)

...package in detail? If not, you should not have signed it.

Honestly, this is common sense. If you get an employment offer that does not stipulate the exact terms of your employment and compensation, then you do not sign it. If you did not sign an employment offer or receive one prior to accepting in some other factor, you're naive. I don't say that to sound harsh but to re-align your expectations for business behavior. In all honestly it probably isn't a bait and switch as much as a stupid recruiter and poor communication with the company.

I had the opposite happen (1)

MojoRilla (591502) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756036)

When I started a job in a different city, I was told that I could only get a certain amount of relocation assistance. I needed to push the envelope of this because my wife couldn't relocate as fast, so I blew my budget on housing instead of on moving expenses. I was frugal with moving costs (I packed myself, etc), and I ended up having a small amount of moving expenses I paid out of pocket.

When the VP of our group heard I had additional expenses, he said "just continue submitting your receipts." So though I knocked myself out to fit what they said was my budget, they were willing to give me more. I guess the moral is that it never hurts to ask, and it is better to ask for forgiveness than permission.

Another approach (1)

otacon (445694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756064)

Maybe they aren't trying to be sinister, maybe the person who made the offer simply didn't know what he could and couldn't offer you, maybe their relocation policy recently could very well had been an honest mistake...which doesn't make it "ok" by any means, but possibly give the company a chance to confirm their business practices.

Uh, Hanlon's Razor? (5, Insightful)

jalbro (82805) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756112)

Uh, did everyone forget Hanlon's Razor?

Make a polite phone call to the person who made the original offer and tell them what happened. Maybe they can straighten things out. If they can't fix it, or they don't admit they promised it, you have learned something useful about a possible future employer with no risk to yourself or reputation.


Call list (4, Insightful)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756124)

Step 1. Call your new boss and tell him: 1. The company is refusing to honor the terms of the offer, and 2. If the company does not honor the terms of the offer, your acceptance is rescinded. Wait 48 hours and find out if he has good news for you.

Step 2. Call the HR Director, tell him you're hopping mad and you expect him to honor the relocation terms specified in the job offer. Wait 24 hours and spend the time tracking down the phone number of the relevant office at the state corporation commission for the state in which you were to have worked. Call and get the name of an actual case worker there. If the HR Director does not have good news, advise him that you have spoken with so-and-so at the state corporation commission and intend to file a fraud complaint.

Step 3. Beg your current boss to keep you on for a while. You'll still have to find a new job pronto but at least you'll keep the paychecks coming for a while.

Step 4. Call your would-be boss again. Advise him that you rescind your acceptance of the offer due to fraud on the part of the HR department.

Step 5. Spend $200 with a lawyer to see if you are entitled to any damages as a result of the company's fraud.

Step 6. Post a hate-page on the web, but stick to the straight facts so they can't sue you for libel. Step 6 is optional but it feels so good.

Note that if they refuse to honor the terms of the offer they made you, the job is lost. I know you don't want to give up on it but do yourself a favor: walk away. If they'll screw you this blatently at the front end, they'll screw you far worse down the line when you're already moved.

Re:Call list (1)

V. Mole (9567) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756394)

Step 6. Post a hate-page on the web, but stick to the straight facts so they can't sue you for libel.

They can still sue for libel. If you did stick to provable facts, they probably won't win, but you'll spend a lot of time and money in the meantime. So, while it may feel good, decide ahead of time how much you're willing to pay for that good feeling.

piece of cake (1)

MrJerryNormandinSir (197432) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756202)

1.) Talk to the person that hired you, and the person that you are going to report to.
2.) Don't send out your resignation letter.
3.) tell personell you can't afford to relocate without the relocation package deal that you agreed upon
4.) All else fails, keep your old job, file a small claims suit for the max that you can get, that way a sleezeball
laywer doesn't get any money.

Get it in writing? (1)

nege (263655) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756234)

You should have been provided with an offer letter detailing the amount of relocation (at least in terms of $$ and vendor) that you would sign. If they did not provide this and the offer was purely verbal then I imagine it would take the form of any other verbal agreement. I used to work in HR and this was standard practice to include the total amount (i.e.: Offer relocation services with Company X not to exceed X dollars over X amount of time). Offer letter should include other details such as annual salary, sign on bonus, benefit plan, retention bonus and annual bonus if applicable.

Other possibility (2, Interesting)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756256)

Everyone here is assuming the guy is giving an accurate description of what happened. Honestly, I don't know that, I wasn't there. I beleive that he THINKS that is what happened. I also believe that it was discussed and he was told he was getting the standard relocation package.

But what it comes down to is which person made a mistake:

A. The recruiting person described the standard package badly or

B. The employee heard/remembered it incorrectly.

Without something in writing, the employee may in fact be in the wrong. That is part of the reason why it is so hard to prove in court. For something like a relocation package, I would definitely want a written, signed copy of what was offered.

If you have that, show it to the relocation guy and say "This is what I was promissed. If I don't get it, I have a valid cause for legal actions. The fact that you have a company policy of ignoring written promisses is neither a legal justification nor is it an ethical act. It will cause the company many problems. Please explain the siutuation to your boss and have him call me back to discuss this extremely important ethical issue."

If you don't have that, your only hope is to call the recruiter and discuss with them what was originally promissed and any compensation you can get if the recruiter agrees the company has reneged on his original offer.

This is what a friend of a friend of my sister did (0, Flamebait)

crvtec (921881) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756278)

I heard about this story where these guys were getting screwed over by their job. So they came up with a plan to steal from the company, but where it would go unnoticed. See, every financial transaction had fractions of a penny associated with it. They take those fractions of a penny and deposit it into their own accounts, through a program that my super elite hacker friend of my sister's friend wrote. I heard they ended up with over a million dollars in a short period of time. True story. I think they even based a movie off of it. Maybe you can do something like that?

Sign before you act (1)

flibuste (523578) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756306)

The relocation package amount is always specified in a contract for a new hire, should he be elligible for such a package. If you did sign it, you knew about the amount. If the amount didn't appear in your contract, you should have known and not sign anything. Unfortunately, it's as simple as that and you should be more careful next time to secure your rear end before doing any move.

Around here, verbal contracts are binding (3, Informative)

Medievalist (16032) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756310)

In Delaware at least, a verbal contract is binding. Legally, the company must honor it.

The problem is that you have to prove the contract was made, and without a written copy that can be difficult.

Minimize Your Losses and Develope an Exit Strategy (1)

TrueRock (853297) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756326)

The recruiter probably made an mistake. It is unlikely a recruiting tactic. Communicate you situation to Human Resources in writing. Save copies of all communications. Keep the tone of your communications positive. If you don't have an immediate alternative, figure a way to make a low cost relocation to your new job, and then start looking for a new job immediately. Unfortunately, it is unlikely you have enough evidence to support legal action against the company and/or the recruiter, and even if you do it is probably not worth the time and effort. Try not to make a bad situation worse. Stay positive and friendly as much as possible. Cut your losses and move on to a different company as soon as you can. Put a negative experience like this behind you and concentrate on the future.

Better Than Offered (5, Interesting)

airship (242862) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756350)

About five years ago I actually got a relocation package that was BETTER than offered.
I accepted a promotion with the company I had been with for two years, but in a different city. They offered full moving expenses, days off and travel expenses to look for a place to live, etc.

Turns out that my wife and I decided to split at that time. Since she got the majority of the household goods (which was totally okay with me), the company agreed to move her to a town that was actually 100 miles further away than my destination, AND reimbursed me for a self-move rental truck for my stuff.

While the split (and subsequent divorce) were tough, my company's compassionate attitude made an unpleasant experience much less stressful.

Run while you can... (1)

moorley (69393) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756374)

Hahahaha... No... Seriously.

If you have a written contract and they contest it, it just makes the offense more aggregious. If they are not willing to honor their terms when they are trying to hire you on, what do you think they'll do when you are hired?

I'd say if they don't fix it toot sweet you best keep looking. Jobs hardly ever get better when you're hired on, they decline the longer you work. You'd best find out their true face now.

My current job they welched on my drug test and made me pay for it myself. 3 rounds of wage cuts later.. *SIGH*

Get a lawyer (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756422)

It is how companies do things.

This should only be an issue between your lawyer and HR. It is a bad excuse and an abuse of you to make you an offer and then say "oops sorry are policy doesn't allow for it." It is their responsibility to know and apply there policy. You should not have to baer the burden of there error.
I ahve been through situations where what was promised got 'superceded' by policy. My lawyer handled each situation with a simple phone call or letter.

Eye for an Eye (1)

digitalamish (449285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17756458)

Start taking boxes of staples and pencils until the amounts even out. If that's not fast enough, look for other ways to waste money anonymously. Egg the building, driving up maintenance fees. Begin to send enormous amounts of unsolicited internal company mailings. Not emails, but those inter company envelopes. Fill them with viagra adds, or photocopies of your butt, and send them to various departments.

Some times Karma needs a little help, just ask Earl.
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