Check the bottom of the page for several updates!
This morning I received the following email from Zirtual, where I have been a customer for about six months using their “Zirtual Assistants” or ZAs to help me manage my business without hiring a full-time assistant.
Dear Zirtual Clients,
It is with an incredibly heavy heart that I have to send this message. As of today, August 10th 2015, Zirtual is pausing all operations.
Due to a combination of market circumstances and financial constraints we must re-organize our current structure if we are to successfully serve you in the future.
I realize this news comes incredibly fast and I am truly sorry for the Z-shaped hole this will leave in your lives and business.
We know that many of you care deeply about your Zirtual Assistants. If you would like to connect with your assistant independently, please reach out to:email@example.com.
Thank you from the very bottom of my heart for the support you’ve shown Zirtual and my deepest apologies for the speed and inconvenience of this announcement. We will communicate any further updates as soon as we have them.
Maren, Erik, Collin + the Zirtual Team
I was pretty shocked when I read the email this morning, primarily because I was just charged the monthly renewal of $750 over the weekend for the next 30 days of service. Since ZAs don’t work weekends, I haven’t received any services for the $750 they charged me.I replied to the email to firstname.lastname@example.org asking about the charge, but didn’t want to wait as I’m sure there were a lot of people wanting a refund, and they are probably pretty strapped on cash or they wouldn’t have shut down.
You have to wonder about people who paid for an annual plan. Several people have reported on Twitter and in comments that Zirtual was still signing up new customers as recently as last week. How many people signed up for an paid thousands of dollars up-front for an annual plan? Losing $750 is pretty bad, but I can’t imagine losing $7500!
I went ahead and called my credit card company and filed a dispute. The representative from my credit card company was very understanding and even tried to call the Zirtual offices, but was told by a receptionist that no one was in the office. She was literally the only person working. Zirtual has completely shut down.
I also emailed my Zirtual assistant to see if she knew more about what was going on. Her @zirtual.com email address bounced, but I happen to know her personal email address too, fortunately. I emailed her and she was just as shocked as I am. ZA’s also received an email this morning, but supposedly much different than what clients received. I asked for any information on Twitter and received a few replies, including the one below.
— Not Maren Kate (@NotMarenKate) August 10, 2015
After asking on Twitter I was sent this email that was sent to all Zirtual employees:
In 2011, Zirtual was created with a vision to impact the future of work. We imagined a world where good help was not hard to find—and we have been trying to create that world for the last four years, in the process building a community and culture that connected us all in ways beyond the founders’ dreams. This has been more than that: a family, a team, and we came together to accomplish some amazing things.
Unfortunately, we have some truly heart breaking news today, news I never, ever thought I’d have to say. This is the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do, and we’ve been fig