AskSunday – Not the right virtual assistant for me

Note: AskSunday is a legitimate company, however there is a scam that uses the name of AskSunday (and variations including MakeSunda, Ask-Sunday, 5 Star Concierge LLC) to defraud people. See the comments below this post for lots of information about the scam. I also wrote up a short summary in this ost.

I am currently looking for a virtual assistant that can help me with simple everyday tasks such as scheduling meetings, dealing with call centers, organizing travel and simple research tasks. After hearing good things about AskSunday I decided to give it a try. Overall it was a disappointing experience. Ask Sunday feels very much in beta and the staff doesn’t seem to be up to the task. The basic test assignment (schedule a haircut) was not successfully completed after one week and 25+ emails. If anyone has a better experience with another service, please let me know.

Going into this experiment, my thinking had been that the two biggest challenges when working with a virtual assistant would be context and security. The problem with context is that an assistant knows very little about me, my job(s), where I live, how I organize my life etc. For the assistant to be successful I need to provide a lot of detail (e.g. it takes 30 minutes from Stanford to the place I get a haircut , leave that much buffer please) which reduces the time saving. The second problem is security. Assume I want to call my dental plan about a billing issue. At a minimum the assistant needs access to my health records, social security number, credit card information,  address and online credentials. The perfect Identity Theft Starter Kit. But it turned out with AskSunday I never got far enough to even get into these issues. Details below.

To set up AskSunday you basically provide account and payment info, and you are good to go. Unless you need to reset your password. I lost mine (password manager snafu),  went through a standard reset process, but never received the confirmation email. A quick check on my incoming MTA logs showed that the AskSunday  emails from 125.16.9.10 were rejected by the mail server as spam. Why is that?

root@server [/var/log]# host 125.16.9.10
Host 10.9.16.125.in-addr.arpa not found: 3(NXDOMAIN)

Their mail server has no reverse DNS entry. Ouch. Today this is makes it almost certain that the mails will get rejected. I twittered about it, and shortly after got a friendly mail from Peter, their VP Ops asking for details. He eventually tracked down the issue. Not bad, the AskSunday ops team is definitely on top of things.

With that out of the way I provided my Google Calendar credentials to their portal, and sent my first request:

Dear Ask Sunday Team,

could you schedule a haircut for me with […] in Menlo Park as soon as possible. Please make sure I have time (in my Google Calendar, you have access to it) and allow 20 minutes time for travel between Stanford and […]. Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions via email if you have any.

Guido

20 minutes later at 10:17, the reply from Vern (I assume not his real name, his accent sounded South Asian which is where I believe their call centers are) arrived:

Hi Guido,

Per your request, I called […] and spoke with […]. I was informed that she has made an haircut appointment for you today at 11:00am with […].

I was unable to access your Google Calender, please provide us with your
login credentials.

Vern McDonald

I just did provide my login credentials, so something went wrong here. Also, scheduling without looking into my calendar is usually a bad idea as I tend to be mostly booked. Lastly, while I said as soon as possible, sending an email about a meeting in 43 minutes with 20 minutes travel time is cutting it a little close. In this case I had a conflict. I asked him to cancel the appointment and re-entered the credentials. Then it was time for attempt #2:

To: “Sunday Agent (Vern McDonald)” <request@asksunday.com>

I re-entered my Google Calendar credentials. Please have a go and see if looging into Google Calendar works now.

Shortly after that I receive a message from his supervisor:

Hi Guido,

My name is Michael and I am the supervisor for the said agent. There are
somethings which I would like to clarify about the autologin feature –

Generally what happens is, we use a script for autologin commands and
unfortunately, these scripts, at times, would be rejected by the website
(such as in this case) and so we have difficulty in accessing them.

[…]

So I would request you to please consider the stated fact and share your
information with us to help you better.

Ok, so their login script doesn’t work and they ask me to send them my Google Account credentials directly. This is a slight problem because a bunch of other services (Google Checkout, Google Voice etc., Analytics, Mail) are on the same account and I don’t want to give them access to it. But it is also the wrong model. Google Calendar has great sharing and delegation functionality, you don’t need to share credentials. While we are sorting this out, I get this:

I have again called […]I spoke with Joanne and canceled the appointment which was scheduled at 11:00am today. I was also informed that they do have availability at 4:00pm and 4:30pm. Please advise.

He is still trying to schedule without being able to access my calendar. I politely ask him to hold off for now. In the mean time we found a solution to the credential issue. I create a new Google Calendar account, give them the credentials and give that account access to my calendar:

Michael,

given how many different services I access through my email account, I don’t feel comfortable sharing its credentials.

However I found a different way of accomplishing the same:
– I created a new account on Google that has access to my Google Calendar
– I am happy to share the credentials for this account

The account is […]

IMPORTANT REQUEST: When adding an appointment, do *NOT* add it to the default calendar for “[…]”. Instead add it to the calendar “[…]”.

After one more iteration (which was my bad, I sent them a wrong password) and two more mails confirming that they should go ahead and try scheduling again, I get this update:

Per your request, I called 1[..] and spoke with representative. I was informed that your haircut appointment is confirmed for […]

I logged into your Google calender account and added the appointment into
your Guido-Private calender

Looks good. Except that the time he picked conflicts with an appointment, and that the meeting was not added to Guido-Private but to the main calendar of the new account.  Still not making much progress, it is time to be a little more direct:

1. On October 8 my calendar Guido-Private there is a meeting called “Churchill Club Event” which collides with the time you picked for the haircut appointment. Please always look at my calendar to make sure the time slot you schedule for is available. […].  If anything is unclear about this, please let me know.

2. The appointment was added to the default calendar of guido.assistant […]

I’ll spare you the details, but we tried again and while we eventually got the calendar was right, all attempts ended in scheduling the hair cut for a time slots that was already taken. At this point I gave up and calceled my account. After 25+ emails over one week I still haven’t booked my appointment. While I am pretty confident that we would eventually get it right, it seems unlikely that in average using AskSunday would save time. Equally important, it raises doubts on how AskSunday would perform on more complex tasks. Google Calendar Sharing can be confusing, but compared to booking a multi-hop  international flight with an on-lap toddler, it is comparatively easy.

One other thing that I found strange were the assumed European names. I know this is a common practice in call centers. But an assistant (even a virtual one) is a trust relationship. Knowing he uses a fake name runs counter to the spirit of that.

Ask Sunday today is definitely not a service that is useful to me.  At this point the service feels “beta” with site functionality not working and at least in my case an agent that seemed under-prepared for their task. If anyone has a better experience with any other Virtual Assistant service please let me know. I am still hopeful for this category.

Comments (33)

  1. Barak Reeves

    Your post is right on! I just signed up with AskSunday this month based on the good reviews. The missed deadlines and lack of communication is driving me crazy.

    You are right, “context” probably one of the least understood factors of a good VA relationship. My opinion with AS is that they were a ‘stable release’, experienced a lot of growth, hired a bunch of new VA’s where even the 20 “Michael’s” are new, and have since become a weak “beta”. In the end, I believe they will succeed. However, I may end up going to one of the original VA’s called Brickwork. I love the fact they can do bookkeeping, etc. But for calendar management, I may end up choosing someone stateside (US). There is a VA I am following, she is Dallas-based like myself. I may contact her company for help. For research, I may choose someone from China.

    I honestly was not expecting my VA engagement to become this bad. Even more sad- I am not alone.

    –Barak
    twitter: twitter.com/bastre

    Reply
  2. Pamela

    I have been contacted by Ask Sunday about a job. I live in the US. I have recently taken an early retirement package (even though I am only 47) and am looking for some type of concierge position working from home. I have my resume on Career Builders, which is where they must have found me. The email came through as spam mail. I have asked numerous questions, via email, about their company. All I get is an email back with their website. The website doesn’t show me much and doesn’t give details about the company. Like you, I am hesitant to give them information about myself, like my SS#, driver’s license number. They have no phone contact. After reading this blog, I don’t think I will go forward with them. A month and a half ago I received an email similiar to this one, but it was a company named Dream Service’s. The are somehow connected since it mentions that company name in the email, and the supervisor I would have, is the same person that contacted me previously and offered me a job. Have any of you found a legitimate company doing this type of work? I would like to work at home part time. I have lots of call center and customer service skills. I am looking at it from a different point than you are, but thought maybe you might have some information.

    Reply
    1. Guido Appenzeller

      Edit: My original reply below. It turns out someone is using AskSunday’s name to scam people. Be on the lookout.

      @Pamela: I think AskSunday is a legitimate company, although I have no idea how it would be to work for them. I don’t know any virtual assistant company I can recommend, but I’ll be on the lookout.

      Reply
  3. Barak Reeves

    @Pamela: I agree with Guido. AskSunday is a good company. A good company needs to have good employees- and you could could be the type of worker they need. They started out strong but they have gotten weaker, likely due to so many people asking for a VA. As I said in my post, I really believe they will turn around. I will cheer them on, while using the services of another VA. There are actually 3 of them I’m looking at right now: @EsteDiaVA (Dallas TX), AceConcierge, and @KimBeckers. My suggestion is to submit your resume to AskSunday and contact the other companies. I am sure you have a lot to offer a company. I wish you the best!

    Reply
  4. Doug

    Attn: people signed up with Career Builders!
    You may be contacted by a corp posing as ASKSUNDAY, LLC for employment with them but they are a scam. The corp has the name of Ask-Sunday. See the difference. A person by the name of Brian Clark will send you e-mails. This is not the real ASKSUNDAY! They will eventually ask you for your bank acct number. That should be a red flag to everyone! I was told by the real ASKSUNDAY team that this business/scam is already being investigated by the FBI. Good luck and be careful!

    Reply
  5. Kim

    Hello everyone,

    I dont know all about Asksunday LLC and Ask-Sunday to be two different companies. It seems Ask Sunday is the main website for businesses and individuals to sign up looking for assistance. They uses Make Sunday LLC in the email for hiring people to work for them. I went on BBB and (Ask Sunday and Sunday LLC) Original Business Start Date was on 1/1/2006 and Date Accredited by BBB was 10/22/2009.
    I’m currently living in the HamptonRoads and I rec’d an email from them a couple weeks ago but it looked too good to be true so didn’t really pay it no mind. I decided to respond to the ad “it said dont respond unless you can start the position within 10 days”. Well I sent them back the application on Tues afternoon, They sent me an email the following morning with my first assignment that needed to be done by Thurs (thanksgiving day) 11Am.
    I finished my assignment on Thurs and sent it back to them. Haven’t seen any new emails nor responds to my emails/questions. Well see..

    Reply
  6. Scam Spotter

    Hi Everyone…

    To piggy-back on what was said from Doug and Pamela added above, the person by the name of Brian Clark or Brian Moore sends an email based on whatever info you have saved in Career Builder and sends you an email about a job opportunity as a personal assistant. I received the same, except they were calling themselves ‘Makesunday,llc.’

    Please beware of these types of scams! They are targeting people because they think they can capitalize on the stress our people are under due to the fragile economy. Here is what was included in the email I received, hope this helps:

    ‘Having studied your resume/profile at Monster.COM we believe you obtain all skills required for a part time position available in our company. Let me briefly restate the main points that the following position does entail at Make Sunday LLC (licensed, bonded and insured lifestyle management agency specializing in the management of personal & business affairs and concierge services for VIPs, celebrities, athletes, entertainers and corporate executives). We provide customers with access to a team of personal assistants accessible by email, phone, and the web to handle both small daily tasks and handle complicated assignments. Feel free to study our corporate website http://www.MakeSunday.com for a better understanding of what this job is about.
    P.A. Requirements
    -Age 21-60 years (male/female)
    -Very sharp and a quick learner. A go-getter and non quitter
    -Ability to anticipate needs of client. -Possess fluent knowledge of the city and geography of surrounding areas. Knowledge of the restaurants, amenities, clubs and tourism industries to provide to our guests.

    This position is available national wide (90% home-based). Make Sunday is looking for talented, career-oriented assistants. You will be a key player in every stage of the process-from collecting information and making pre-arrangements to assisting with personal requests during customers stay.
    The responsibilities of the position include
    -Organizing and research (when no clients visiting your area)
    -Planning (Events, Entertainment, Meetings, Social events)
    -Make all pre-arrangements for our customers and provide assistance with any request during stay
    -Errand Running
    -Shopping and Acquisitions
    -Household needs and family needs

    Benefits
    – $31,200.00 Annual Salary ($600.00 every week) + Bonuses
    -Automatic pay increases at six-month intervals
    -Five-day workweek, no Sundays required
    -Medical, dental, disability, and life insurance with dependent option after 60 days
    -Employee Purchase Plan
    -401(k) with company match

    This position is available immediately. Apply now for more details by replying to this email.
    Sincerely, Brian Moore, Jr
    HR manager
    MakeSunday.com – A Personal Assistant Dedicated to You.

    CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, disclosure, distribution or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please promptly notify the sender by reply email and destroy the original message. This email transmission (and/or the attachments accompanying it) may contain legally privileged and confidential information, and is intended only for the use of the individual or entity named above.
    IMPORTANT: 1) It’s recommended to login into your email account and add info@MakeSunday.com to verified sender’s list. This is necessary to prevent delivering our messages into spam/bulk folder.
    2) Make Sunday LLC will never share any of your private information to any 3rd parties.’

    Reply
  7. Leilani

    Thanks everyone for your comments. I think I just had the same experience as Kim, except I told them I couldn’t do the assignment until I returned from Thanksgiving holiday this week. They said that was ok. I sent my assignment this morning and have not yet heard back from my “supervisor”. Like Kim, I too checked them out and everything seemed to be legit, including the salary. Fortunately, if this ends up being a scam, they don’t have any additional information other than what they got from my resume. It will be interesting to see if I ever hear anything back.

    Reply
  8. Kim

    That’s funny b/c as Doug said, the person by Brian Clark will send you email about the job. Get this, the guy that sent me the emails named Brian Moore, Jr. “HR manager” Make Sunday. That’s the same dude changing his name. That’s not his real first name either. Why would he change his name around unless he has something to hide?? I would never become one of their customers nor employee. You can’t trust them either way.
    I went along with his “assignments” just to see. The 1st assignment they’ll send is a normal research information assignment. The 2nd assignment seems to be the same but the 2nd assignment turns into a “Purchase Assignment”. BE WARE!!! Serious you guys notice how they send out emails to how many ppl close to the Holiday time, they figured you’ll do anything to get a pay check. He wanted me to give them my bank acct # so he could have the “customer” to transfer the money into my bank acct. I refused to do so, he then told me to open a brand new acct with 0 balance LOL. I told him why would that be any difference. Old or New acct it still has my name on it. He made it sound like this is an “Urgent” assignment that I should hurry and give up my bank acct b/c when this is complete. The “customer” will pay me a bonus of “$300”. I told him that the contract never says I have to give out my personal bank acct# to use on the job. He said “we have rules” haha!! The contract will tell you that after your 2 wks they’ll issue a “Corporate Card”. They don’t acually have anyone that’s been with them no longer than 2 wks. That’s b/c everyone figured they’re pulling some scam.
    Please people I am writing this to warn you guys. I know it’s hard these days and we all want some extra money. I will be writing BBB and I hope anyone else that experencing this will do that same.

    Reply
  9. Sarah

    It’s a total scam I am afraid. I too fell for the whole assignment/probation/purchase assignment schpeel (I’ve been looking for work for forever and I am desperate for the money – I guess the sheer excitement at the actual prospect of earning money clouded my judgement). I am at the stage where I am waiting for my first (non-exsistent) pay check. I got so frustrated that I actually called what I now know is the real Ask Sunday and I spoke to a guy who was very helpful. As soon as I said ‘probation period’ and requested a number for their HR dept. – he actually said ‘please don’t tell me you are working for a guy called Brian’.

    Apparently he gets lots of calls from people who Brian has scammed and explained that his company (Ask – Sunday) is a Philippines outfit that is riding on the real Ask Sunday coat tails – using their website etc in order to attract potential employees which he will then go on to scam. I spoke to my bank and they confirmed that he can actually take money from your account using your acc number, wire routing number and swift code. If you have given these to Brian – the best thing you can do is close your account asap. You can do it instantly in branch or over the phone (the latter taking up to 3 days).

    It’s good to know that the FBI are looking into this (any update on that by the way?) as I would love to see Brian get what he deserves As I speak this, he’s actually just emailed me to ask if I am available to complete the purchase assignment tomorrow – what a cheek! I obviously haven’t let on that I am aware of his scam. I am trying to think of ingenious ways to make life very hard for him – any ideas??????

    Reply
  10. Fabien

    Hi all, I am in the same situation, but he actually deposited the money into my account to finish the transaction. He also deposited the commission of $300. Can he do something to my account even if I leave no money in it??
    any more comments??

    thanks!!

    Reply
  11. Sarah

    Fabien – you need to act on this quickly! The scam is that Brian will deposit the money into your account (including the $300) and will then withdraw it again, AFTER you have confirmed that you have taken care of whatever transaction he has asked you to take care of, so you then end up out of pocket (as you have already sent the money). Banks will take up to a week to clear deposits from unknown vendors (AKA Brian) so although the money shows on your statement – it’s not actually there and Brian can withdraw it at any time.

    My advice to you is to call you bank asap and speak to the preventative fraud dept. Explain the situation and ask for a block to be put on your account (or even close it) so that money can be deposited but not withdrawn. Your bank should be able to take it from there. My bank is going to reverse the transaction so that the money is not in my account and then trace it back to him.

    If any of this doesn’t make sense – please feel free to ask more questions. In the meantime – call your bank!

    Reply
  12. Tom

    AskSunday is “not” Ask-Sunday. As clearly stated above, Brian Moore/Brian Clark are one in the same and a scammer. I allowed them access to my account only after 2 other (seemingly legitimate) assignments. Brian wasn’t happy because the transfer never completed. They did ‘something’ wrong and the funds never cleared my bank. He threatened to pursue legal action and I invited him to do just that.

    AskSunday doesn’t seem to be a great service. Ask-Sunday is a total scam. The scam uses a duplicate site to AskSunday, but the logo is different and, because I’m a Web developer I can see some differences in the code. The bottom line is people should steer clear of “both” services! As a developer I’m seriously considering posting a ‘new’ Web site that does nothing more than “bust” both businesses. It’s sad that during times when things are tough, the a–holes come out in force to take advantage of those who already have nothing.

    Reply
  13. Kim

    I’m thinking the money that’s being deposited into your bank is the money from real customers that think they’re buying an item/something from a website. The scammer is using random ppl bank accounts to make these customers think they’re transferring the money to the acual company’s account. Do you guys know where the money is being tranferred from to your account? I’m wondering? The scammer will then withdraw the money from your bank acct and disappear. I’ve see this crap all over the internet. The reason why he deposited that “$300” into ur account is b/c he’s waiting to find the biggest customer of his to deposit the most money into ur account before he withdraw it and disappear. I’m guessing here but becareful please.
    Also just b/c your account has a $0 balance, you’ll see that’s where you’re wrong, he doesnt want “your” money. He only uses your account for a “bigger bate”. He said the same crap to me “if you want to just open a new account with no money in it”. I told him “what difference does it make, it’s still under my name”.
    So after a couple weeks or months, when these “customers” are not getting what they “paid for”. Who do u think they’re going after?? As far as these customers concerned “their money” was transferred into “your account” not some Brian dude. They contact their banks, their banks contact your bank and your bank contact you. What are u going to say to them??
    What Iam saying here is. Like Sarah said, go close your bank account. Gosh I hope this guy get caught.

    Reply
  14. Kim

    Sarah, to play game with this dude. Give him some bull bank account numbers LOL He’ll eventually know but it’s still fun to do.

    By the way, I found The Top Five Legit Customer Service Work at Home Jobs, you guys can check them out.

    1. The website is http://www.wahm.com. I have decided to share some of the legit work at home jobs with you. All of these are legitimate jobs. Some restrictions do apply such as they may require you to have a land line phone, high speed internet access, etc. The jobs may or may not be hiring at this time.

    2. ACD Direct is phone work. You will be processing calls for telethons and charitable organizations. They have campaigns that they run certain times of the year so there may not always be work. They are legitimate. Check out their website at http://www.acddirect.com/jobs/

    3. VoiceLog. This company has a variety of jobs available to work. You can work as a verification agent, customer service representative, and more. Some of the positions offer guaranteed hourly pay. You can apply online at http://www.voicelog.com/careers.html

    4. Working Solutions is a great company to be an independent contractor for. This company processes calls for some of the top companies in America. If you sign on with them you will be taking calls at home for orders for products. Their website is http://www.workingsol.com .

    5.Liveops is one of the leaders in the telecommunications industry. They do require a $30.00 background investigation fee. But it is well worth it. They are an excellent company to work for. You can make a lot of money with them. Here is their website http://www.liveops.com

    Good luck!!

    Reply
  15. Diane

    I just got invited to work for Ask Sunday as well. I looked up info concerning the company and found your blog. Thanks for putting the word out. I am not replying to the invite. Like you guys i need work too and its very disheartening knowing that some poeple will go to such lenghts to take advantage of people who really are willing and trying to work for a living.

    Reply
  16. Kit

    Hi everybody! Thank you all for such useful information.

    I have also recently received a job offer from Ask Sunday LLC. And when I applied for the position of Personal Assistant the HR manager named now Thomas Moore!!!! (He changed his name again) send me a big e-mail with the most often asked questions and the 2 weeks probation period, so now I have to fill in the application and send it back. He also sent me the link to the company’s web site. When you go to Ask Sunday LLC site you basically see the same web site as the real Ask Sunday. com (I searched that in Google), just the logo is different. This is a definite scam! People be aware.
    I wonder how this story will end up with Asksunday LLC

    Reply
  17. Sarah

    I spoke to the real Ask Sunday twice and explained the situation to them, warning them that they’re company name and website is being used in a scam and may end up affecting their business somehow. Did they care? Not one bit! I just kept getting told that their website is very secure blah blah blah. I’ve also emailed CareerBuilder (I am assuming that is how Brian contacted everyone else?) to alert them to this to see if they can do anything to prevent users receiving his emails.

    I received confirmation from the bank today that Brian’s deposit of close to 9k has been returned to the sender. I haven’t heard a peep out of him since last week (27 phone calls and numerous emails) although I do know that he tried to withdraw the money twice over the past 7 days to no avail. The only consolation I have is that those few days must have really stressed him out as he couldn’t access his money. He has it now, but to be honest I feel better that way as I don’t want anything to do with him.

    I’m sure karma will catch up with him soon 🙂

    Reply
  18. Tina

    So glad I read this! Per “Kit’s” reply: I too received an email from Thomas J Moore with Ask Sunday LLC, inviting me to apply for the position. Thanks to all who posted warning of this scam.

    I do, however, freelance as a Personal Assistant, offering Concierge & Virtual Assistant Services. I know of
    several people in the Dallas, Fort Worth area who offer Virtual Assistant Services. Go here: http://www.meetup.com/vadfwtx/ to learn about them. And here: http://designsbytinamarie.blogspot.com/ to learn more about me.
    Best wishes to all,
    Tina

    Reply
  19. Caitlin

    I got the same email from “Thomas Moore,” glad I checked out the company before applying! Thanks for all the great info. Did anyone get any response when they tried to contact careerbuilder about the scam?

    Reply
  20. Shannon

    Hi all, I got the same email from Thomas Moore & decided to check them out before I responded. I found this blog & read everyone’s comments. Now I am not going to respond so I appreciate the heads up so I don’t get involved with a scam. I normally google these work from home companies or go to the BBB site to check them out before I respond or reply. So far all of them have not been very favorable so I haven’t responded. Its very important to do your research before you respond & get involved with any of them. I know there are a handful of good ones that are legitimate. Unfortunately you have to weed through some of the rest. There are VA jobs on Elance that I’ve looked at and have considered bidding on but haven’t yet. Hopefully, they will have some legitimacy.

    Reply
  21. Kyle, Marietta,GA

    I too have been contacted online several times from the Company AskSundayLLC and I read Mr. Moore’s message to me concerning an opportunity….I would like to be able to work for something as an actual PA. However, I had a slight hard time with the idea of feeling like I was truly applicable and mentioned that to him. ” I want to know more about your company .” Sorry this is long…his new name is “Tomas Moore.” lol ..He almost had me consider until he thru out the one line any applicant in their right mind would not do!….” You don’t insist that you allow someone to have access to your personal credit card. You don’t tell an applicant that you as a HR manager will place money into your account to cover expenses for the customer and how the customer wishes to pay. lol…You don’t go back and tell an applicant that after a probation period that you will be given an official company credit card to spend.” lol…Send the company a personal photo to show that you are good looking towards the client you are instructed to help out. lol…What is this Match.com and enjoy my bank account horse’s ass?”
    here is his explanation to me….lol..thank you for this blog.

    Flag this messageRe: personal assistant – more information and your application form!Friday, December 18, 2009 5:49 PMFrom: This sender is DomainKeys verified”Tomas Moore” Add sender to ContactsTo: jimmy090301955@yahoo.comMessage contains attachments1 File (64KB)ApplicationForm.doc

    Hi and thanks for your interest. Per your request – I am giving you more information about Ask Sunday LLC, Personal Assistant position and how to Apply.
    Ask Sunday is a licensed, bonded and insured lifestyle management agency specializing in the management of personal & business affairs and concierge services for VIPs, celebrities, athletes, entertainers and corporate executives. To find out more about this job offering, please visit our corporate website http:// AskSundayLLC. com/
    (skip spaces)
    Below are most frequently asked questions: PERSONAL ASSISTANT POSITION

    Q: What exactly will I be doing? A: Personal Assistant is a home-based part-time job. You must have Internet access, phone number, and be available to receive assignments during the day. Our clients are our most important asset and are held in the highest regard. Big or small, every customer Request needs to be done quickly, correctly, and on time. – Make other arrangements over the phone/Internet (research, arrangements for VIP or out-of-town guests, planning, organizing, booking, shopping and acquisitions). Attached you will find a typical research/data collection assignment and report. – Make all pre-arrangements for our customers and provide assistance with requests if customers stay in your area. PS: Feel free to study our corportate website www. AskSundayLLC.com / hire.htm (skip spaces) and watch video to find out more about this employment great employment opportunity for you!

    Q: How much and when am I paid?
    A: – $31,200 Annual salary (weekly payments)
    You may also be receiving additional bonuses directly from our clients up to their opinion. – Automatic pay increases at six-month intervals.
    – We start with two week approbation/test period. It is also paid ($1,250.00 fixed compensation). Upon successful completion of the test period you are suggested a long term contract.
    – You can either be paid by check or a bank transfer to your account.

    Q: Where is this job located? Will I need to move somewhere? A: Most assignments are handled from home on the phone/internet or by visiting places and meeting people in your locality. You do not need to move anywhere. There are open positions in your state.

    Q: What’s my schedule? How much time a day would I be spending?
    A: Personal Assistant is a part-time position. Your working schedule looks as follows: – Assignments from home: 3-4 hours, flexible schedule. – Assisting customers if they visit your area: 3-4 hours a day

    Q: What are primary communication means? A: Due to a large number of applications, it is not possible to arrange an interview with every applicant. The primary communication means are Internet and/or telephone.

    Q: Why do you need my personal photo?
    A: You must be good looking, since you may have direct communication with our customers. Your photo is required solely for HR department and will never be disclosed. Please attach couple personal photos to your application.

    LOL!! OKAY, “You need a pretty boy photo to keep your place in the company and because of possible contact, face to face with he/she….However, your photo is for our personal use soley. What!! I guess if I looked like a Monkey’s ass….all bets are off and the customer goes to therapy because I am from planet, Uranus!” lol…..That even sounds like prostitution sort of….really…lol”’ If you are ugly it’s over! LOL!
    Maybe I misread the meaning…lol

    Q: I am interested. What next, how do I apply? A: 1) Fill in and send your APPLICATION FORM (please return it in the same Microsoft Word format as received)
    2) Attach your personal photo(s). Please provide only high quality images only!
    3) Feel free to attach additional information you consider useful (CV, Cover letter etc). 4) Our Hiring department representative may call you to perform a phone interview or to ask some additional questions.

    Q: When will I be able to start?
    A: This position is for the immediate employment! You must be ready to start within couple next days. Please do not apply if you cannot start within next 10 days.

    Q: Am I responsible for paying taxes? A: When you fill out the W-4, make sure you are withholding enough money. Federal taxes should account for at least ten percent of your income. Specific rules differ for each state, but you can find complete federal information by visiting http://www.irs.gov/.

    Q: What education and experience is required to apply?
    A: – High School, College or University Diploma – Previous Experience as Concierge, Customer Care Rep., RND, PA / EA is well appreciated.

    Q: Is there any interview required?
    A: There’re no fixed arrangements of the interview procedures for this type of hiring program. Our HR Department receives over 1,000 applications daily. We are not able to meet with everybody in person. Upon successful completion of the test period you will be required to meet with our agent in your state or visit our corporate office for an interview.

    Q: How does this “test period” work?
    A: There is a test approbation period. It lasts for a two week period and this time is also paid ($1,250 for two weeks). – You will be assigned a supervisor to help you perform incoming assignments. This period is required for you to understand if this is the type job you have been looking for and also help our supervisor determine if you fit all requirements to continue part time employemnt as a personal assistant as Ask Sunday LLC. – To make it simpler, you will be receiving all assignments directly from your supervisor. All requests are from our customers directly, or for our company internal needs (such as local infrastructure research).
    – Upon successful completion you will be suggested to sign a long term contract, granted access to our online client area, and issued a corportate card to cover customer expences if required.

    Q: If I need to order certain service(s) or pay for something on behalf of the customer – how does it work? I mean, do I have to pay out of my pocket in advance? A: You do not have to pay for anything in advance. – Every spending during your approbation period (list of items, travelling expenses, shipping, additional expenses, total cost etc) must be confirmed with our customer first. Once confirmed, the required amount is transferred to your credit card or bank account so you can take care of everything. -Upon successful completion of your approbation period, you are provided with a credit card to cover all required expenses. Make sure to provide all receipts before 25th every month.

    Q: I do not meet one of the requirements (age, or no internet access). Can I still apply? A: Every applicant should meet all requirements specified in the job offering.

    I am looking forward to receive your application and guide you through the employment process.

    Sincerely, Thomas J. Moore
    HR manager
    Ask Sunday LLC – Personal Assistant & Concierge Services
    —————————————————————————————————-
    www . asksundayllc . com (skip spaces)
    info @ asksundayllc . com Phone (646) 257-5840 (please contact us 9:00AM – 2:00PM Mon-Fri EST)
    Fax (510) 588-0463 410 Park Avenue, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10022
    IMPORTANT: 1) It’s recommended to login into your email account and add info @ AskSundayLLC . com to verified sender’s list. This is necessary to prevent delivering our messages into spam/bulk folder.
    2) Ask Sunday LLC will never share any of your private information to any 3rd parties.
    12/18/2009

    Is there is a separate entity out there that is an official PA service named the same…how can you compare notes really??? Above all..seeing that Mr. Moore’s name last week was Brian and now Tomas??? Siamese twins?? lol…..Now I know…what an asshole.lol

    Reply
  22. Cheray

    Hi all, same story, got the email from Thomas/Brian/Peter Moore. Disturbing that I actually found good ratings for Ask Sunday on BBB’s website, but I guess that was for the real company, not these thiefs. Anyways, completed one assignment, got another one this morning to contact some “artist” in Russia. Guess they didn’t expect me to begin translating the language on their Russian website to find out the deal. Researched the artist, who doesn’t exist, which led me to find much info about this scam, including this blog. It shouldn’t be this hard to find legit work as an assistant that happens to be located at home.

    Reply
  23. Christina

    My thanks to all of you, I would have fallen for the same scam but something just didn’t seem right about this company. When they asked for a bank account and such I just knew I had to look into it further and this post helped me to avoid making a tough Christmas in Michigan to a Devistating New Year. I wish careerbuilder and monster would ban these types of adds from being posted. Happy holiday’s to everyone!

    Reply
  24. Fabien

    I guess all this money is going to Russia. Las week I finished half of my assignment sending money to this artist “Alex” in Russia/Ukraine. I was supposed to do the other half the same week but never heard back from Brian. I started a process with a debt collection company to see if I can get the money he owes me for the 2 weeks… at least. Any recent information from this guy would be appreciated as I need to give the collection office all these info up to date. Thanks to all of you… we might be able to get rid of this scam!! The last time I talked to Brian he said that he used to work for the real company but then they went separate ways.
    Good luck to all and happy holidays!!

    Reply
  25. Sarah

    Fabian – did Brian try and take the money back out of your account once he had confirmation from you that you sent the money to Russia?

    Reply
  26. Sarah

    Sorry – meant Fabien 🙂

    Reply
  27. Sue

    My daughter was told to apply with AskSunday LLC by Career Builder, so she did. She also has a business in event planning and thought the two would dove tail nicely. She was also going to be laid off the end of January so this would have worked fine. She did the research assignment (kept the info for her business) and then got the assignment to get a vase from an art dealer in Russia. Two bells rang for me – one, that she had to have all her calls to the client made through another person and that she had to open her own account. The premise is that the client had to wire Western Union money, over $7000, and could only do $1000 per day to Russia, so they were to put it in her account, then she would wire it from there. Which begs the question – if you were purchasing something for over $7000, why not wire the money yourself? After talking with a lawyer friend, I went back and did some research and found this blog. I then called my daughter and told her. She promptly closed the account, and no money had changed hands yet. We did check out the business first with the BBB, and it seems legit. The bogus company is doing something called “brandjacking” – even Exon Mobil had it done to them. They take the web site and duplicate it, so you are dealing with them. When people call them about the scam, I wonder who they REALLY are talking with when they are being told that the FBI is looking into it. And with money going out of the states, and the headquarters of the scamming business offshore, the FBI would probably not be the agency to go after them.

    Bottom line – beware. If there is a real AskSunday, they had better change things soon, so the public knows which one it is dealing with and working for. Luckily, we found out in them and I thank everyone above for the information.

    Reply
  28. Fabien

    To respond to your question Sarah, the money was not withdrew back from my account, and the weird thing is that even Bryan suggested me to withdraw the money in cash from my bank account, and to go then to a Western Union office to process the wire transfer! I just recently closed my account and reopened one the same day with my bank to be safe.
    By reading your post Sue, it looks like the scamers keeps on going and contact people who obviously seek legitimacy a job online (I would advise to remove any profile on Monster. com, Career Builder, etc., because the only companies really contacting you directly will either ask you for money, make you work on commissions or even scam you like Ask-Sunday has done to so many people).

    Reply
  29. Carlo

    I also was contacted about a position, but it was with 5 Star Concierge LLC, web site is 5 concierge.com. The text of the email also stated that Ask Sunday was a bonded, blah, blah company, but it didn’t mention that 5 Star was a subsidiary. Below are the questions they listed as most common and the answers, and this was from Jamie Bountres, HR…..sure sounds like the same scam, but now using 5 Star……

    Below are most frequently asked questions: PERSONAL ASSISTANT POSITION

    Q: What exactly will I be doing?
    A: Personal Assistant is a home-based part-time job. You must have Internet access, phone number, and be available to receive assignments during the day. Our clients are our most important asset and are held in the highest regard. Big or small, every customer Request needs to be done quickly, correctly, and on time.
    – Make other arrangements over the phone/Internet (research, arrangements for VIP or out-of-town guests, planning, organizing, booking, shopping and acquisitions).
    Attached you will find a typical research/data collection assignment and report.
    – Make all pre-arrangements for our customers and provide assistance with requests if customers stay in your area.
    PS: Feel free to study our corporate website http://www.5concierge.com/hire.htm and watch video to find out more about this employment great employment opportunity for you!

    Q: How much and when am I paid?
    A:
    – $31,200 Annual salary (weekly payments) You may also be receiving additional bonuses directly from our clients up to their opinion.
    – Automatic pay increases at six-month intervals.
    – We start with two week approbation/test period. It is also paid ($1,200.00 fixed compensation). Upon successful completion of the test period you are suggested a long term contract.
    – You can either be paid by check or a bank transfer to your account.

    Q: Where is this job located? Will I need to move somewhere?
    A: Most assignments are handled from home on the phone/internet or by visiting places and meeting people in your locality. You do not need to move anywhere. There are open positions in your state.

    Q: What’s my schedule? How much time a day would I be spending?
    A: Personal Assistant is a part-time position. Your working schedule looks as follows:
    – Assignments from home: 2-3 hours, flexible schedule.
    – Assisting customers while they stay: in average 2-3 hours a day

    Q: What are primary communication means?
    A: Due to a large number of applications, it is not possible to arrange an interview with every applicant. The primary communication means are Internet and/or telephone.

    Q: I am interested. What next, how do I apply?
    A:
    1) Fill in and send your APPLICATION FORM (please return it in the same Microsoft Word format as received)
    2) Attach your personal photo (optional)
    3) Feel free to attach additional information you consider useful (CV, Cover letter etc).
    4) Our Hiring department representative may call you to perform a phone interview or to ask some additional questions.

    Q: Why do you need my personal photo?
    A: It was not possible to arrange an interview with you, so your photo is appreciated. It is not necessary to attach your photo, of course. However, applications with personal photos are preferred. You personal information is received by our HR department and will never be disclosed.

    Q: When will I be able to start?
    A: This position is for the immediate employment! You must be ready to start within couple next days.
    Please do not apply if you cannot start within next 7days.

    Q: Am I responsible for paying taxes?
    A: When you fill out the W-4, make sure you are withholding enough money. Federal taxes should account for at least ten percent of your income. Specific rules differ for each state, but you can find complete federal information by visiting http://www.irs.gov/.

    Q: What education and experience is required to apply?
    A:
    – High School, College or University Diploma
    – Previous Experience as Concierge, Customer Care Rep., RND, PA / EA is well appreciated.

    Q: Is there any interview required?
    A: There’re no fixed arrangements of the interview procedures for this type of hiring program. Our HR Department receives over 1,000 applications daily. We are not able to meet with everybody in person. Upon successful completion of the test period you will be required to meet with our agent in your state or visit our corporate office for an interview.

    Q: How does this “test period” work?
    A: There is a test approbation period. It lasts for a two week period and this time is also paid ($1,200 for two weeks).
    – You will be assigned a supervisor to help you perform incoming assignments. This period is required for you to understand if this is the type job you have been looking for and also help our supervisor determine if you fit all requirements to continue part time employment as a personal assistant as 5Star Concierge LLC.
    – To make it simpler, you will be receiving all assignments directly from your supervisor. All requests are from our customers directly, or for our company internal needs (such as local infrastructure research).
    – Upon successful completion you will be suggested to sign a long term contract, granted access to our online client area, and issued a corporate card to cover customer expenses if required.

    Q: If I need to order certain service(s) or pay for something on behalf of the customer – how does it work? I mean, do I have to pay out of my pocket in advance?
    A: You do not have to pay for anything in advance.
    – Every spending during your approbation period (list of items, travelling expenses, shipping, additional expenses, total cost etc) must be confirmed with our customer first. Once confirmed, the required amount is transferred to your credit card or bank account so you can take care of everything.
    -Upon successful completion of your approbation period, you are provided with a credit card to cover all required expenses. Make sure to provide all receipts before 25th every month.

    Q: I do not meet one of the requirements (age, or no internet access). Can I still apply?
    A: Every applicant should meet all requirements specified in the job offering.

    I am looking forward to receive your application and guide you through the employment process.

    Sincerely,
    Jamie M. Bountres
    HR manager
    5Star Concierge – Personal Assistant & Concierge Services
    —————————————————————————————————-
    http://www.5concierge.com
    info@5concierge.com
    Phone ((347) 394-2727 /please contact us 9AM – 2PM Mon-Fri EST/
    Fax (661) 554-1524
    245 Park Ave, Manhattan, New York City,
    New York 10167

    Reply
  30. Guido Appenzeller

    @Carlo: Great post, thanks. It seems like the scammer again uses the name of another (I would guess legitimate) site ( Five Star Concierge) and an old rip-off of the AskSunday site. It would be great to hear from Five Star Concierge if they are aware of the scam and if they are doing anything about it.

    Reply
  31. Tweety

    I had 5 Star Concierge. But I know tht when you click on a legit email that comes through CareerBuilders it takes you straight to careerbuilder login page and this email did not and this is how I knew it was a duplicate. At the bottom it said to apply now and I clicked the button and it opened for a new email. Careebuilder does not work like that. Thankfully Ive been on Career builders for years and I know how their emails come in. Evryone be careful and always investigate before giving away your information or doing something that appears unlikely.

    Reply
  32. tlt

    I was *that* close to falling for this today. Thanks.

    Reply

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