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Cheaper//Neopets

//Let’s take a closer look at downsized Neopets and our JumpStart CEO, David Lord. His Altador Cup representation “Dark Lord” may be closer to the truth than you might think.

//Following the layoffs, the site went through (yet another) rough patch of missing or delayed content and broken features. The good news is that many of these features are slowing being fixed and reestablished. We still have promises of species clothing, and upcoming content. And even the Neopian Times returned… for a few short weeks.

//Sadly, we have lost yet another long time TNT member to layoffs. But she is not the only one missing. With the Altador Cup underway, the Staff Tournament returned and gave us a look at who remains and who is new. The general consensuses on the Neoboards shows a strong loyalty to the remaining true TNT members. They are being chosen over the replacement TNT staff.

Long time TNT members listed are:

DJ Skellington, SenorMalo, Bancha Ninja, Droplet, Kikocat (first time in a tourney, but long time TNT), Binary Supagoo (has been staff for roughly 2 years) and Breik.

(If any of the others have been there longer, I can’t confirm it.)

Although not publicly announced, Breik’s neopet account hasn’t been marked as a staff account for a month prior to the start of the AC. And he has not logged in to that account for that long as well. I was surprised to see him listed as a tournament player.

DJ Skellington’s account is no longer marked for staff as well. I’m unaware of how long it has been inactive. But it doesn’t seem he logged into the staff account for some time. He could have also used another personal account. But when the staff account goes unmarked, that is clear indication that they are no longer staff.

Droplet has announced on the Neopian Times Writers Forum that she has joined the ranks of the former TNT. Looks as though her maternity leave only delayed the inevitable.

I can confirm that Kikocat, SenorMalo, Binary Supagoo and Bancha Ninja’s accounts are still staff.

Lawyerbot is not the previous Viacom lawyer who had an Usuki obsession. Jumpstart has brought on a new lawyer.

//The ‘Rookie’ in this years tourney brings up an interesting subject. Shortly after the layoffs, rumors started flying that Neopets was to be outsourced to India.

The only proof of this, was the grammatical nightmare of New features the first few weeks. It was painful to watch. And I think I fell in with the majority that thought it was written by someone who was not a native English speaker.  I didn’t want to presume this so early. Being short on staff, the least experienced person got handed the task, and blundered it up until someone more up to the task took over.

I however didn’t believe the outsourcing rumors until the Paper Hearts Garland was released. Why is this item so important? Lets take a closer look at the swf.

The thing to note here is that Dudumon and Chindumol were married in Bangalore, India in the month of January 2015. And that they have decided to add this information to Neopian history.

This also confirms that at least one employee is from Bangalore, India.

Why India? Well, Knowledge Adventure already owns properties in India. India’s minimum wage is pocket change compared to salaries in California, where Knowledge Adventure has it’s main location in Torrence, California.

While doing a bit of research, I came across this news article where workers from India were paid $1.21 USD an hour. As that is the comparative convergent rate to India’s minimum wage. This company however violated federal labor laws, as the workers were flown in to state soil to do the work, and therefore should have been paid the proper wages.

I have been attempting to find some legal representation on how Jumpstart can hire remote workers from India to work for a company that is based in Torrence, California. I wonder if this is done legally with proper documents, or if there is some under the table IRS tax evasions going on.  Are they hired as consultants, or full time employees? (if you have more information, my comments remain hidden and are not published)

//During the past few months, even Jumpstart employees have been let go. This employee’s resume states that she worked for Jumpstart, but her portfolio shows a number of Neopets items she worked on before being let go as well. In fact these items (fig. 1 fig. 2 fig. 3) were still being released in the news after she was laid off. She was let go, while the artist from India remains?

I have to say, as a US citizen it is sad that our unemployment rates go up, yet we have companies like JumpStart that will hire outside of the country, for jobs that were previously occupied by our own citizens.

//What are the salaries for the cheaper labor in India? With even the remaining TNT members being let go to be replaced with cheaper salary driven labor, will the lore of Neopets be lost to those who just don’t know what they are doing? Will all the silly British nuances be lost? Or are we doomed for drone responses and a half-assed product?

//Anyway, my time has run out on this post. I shall try to do some more digging for later.

 

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  1. December 8, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    I agree that the art is most likely being outsourced. Did you notice the new NP dress in new features on Dec 7th? “Get exactly what you want in the Month of Celebrating, while visiting the Clothing Shop! Uni’s even serving up this radiantly red dress adorned with a cherry on top.”

    Except it’s not a cherry. It’s holly.

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