New Jersey unemployment website – an embarassing example of not caring about unemployed workers?

EDIT: I have now been hung up on 3x when trying to get any sort of resolution to this.

EDIT 2: I actually received a message from Governor Christie’s office connecting me with someone to help me. That person was able to reset my PIN but was not able to tell me what it was reset to. She said the system doesn’t give them that information. She told me I had to put my PIN number in or create one but there was no way to do that. I tried every PIN combination I could think of and 2 browsers but nothing worked. I kept telling her this and she just got quiet or repeated that I have to put my PIN number in. Which still wasn’t working. I tried both FireFox and Safari with no luck.

I asked if there was anyone in IT that might be able to figure out the problem and I was told that they don’t have an IT department. Then I was told that maybe the snowstorm we are about to get is “breaking the website lines” which or that it was something with my machine which I know is impossible in this context as I build IT products like this for a living (when I had a job). It hasn’t even started snowing yet.

GAH! I’m a bit disheartened that it sounds like the people in charge of this system don’t have a basic understanding of internet technology nor the power to escalate these issues for a proper resolution. The person I talked to was very nice and none of this was her fault. At least they are able to manually pay me for my benefits. Geez…


As many of you know, I recently lost my job and I am looking for a new one. I am entitled to unemployment benefits. Every time I’ve lost a job I’m terrified that I won’t get them due to the bureaucracy surrounding the embarrassing NJ Unemployment website.

You log in with a username and password which it recognizes, but the PIN code seems to never work if you are opening a new claim. Unlike every website on the internet, you can’t reset your PIN on the site. You have to waste someone’s time by calling them. There is a 2 hour wait at which point the person on the line may just hang up on you.

Like I needed this stress in addition to job hunting. I have no idea if I’m getting my check or not right now.

I just sent this letter to Governor Christie:

Governor Christie,

I am writing to you because something needs to be done about the embarrassing and wasteful NJ Unemployment website. I am an IT Professional who works in contract jobs. This means I use this website every 6 months to a year when my contract expires.

Every single time I attempt to use the NJ Unemployment website it fails to recognize my PIN code that I had set up before. Websites today allow you to reset such things without picking up the phone. For some reason the NJ Unemployment website does not. This is resulting in many hours of wasted time and money for those staffing the unemployment call center.

Today (after a 2 hour wait) I received a callback regarding resetting my PIN code from a representative who was surly and unhelpful. She disrespectfully hung up on me instead of attempting to help me. Now I have another 2 hour wait to speak to a representative to try this again. Hopefully they will not hang up on me.

When you are unemployed anywhere it can be scary. In NJ it’s terrifying. I have no idea if my claim is being processed or if I will be getting my unemployment benefits that I am entitled to. The people of NJ are entitled to more than this kind of disrespectful treatment couced in a website that is no better than Fred Flintstone.

P.S. I am an unemployed IT Professional. I’d be more than happy to help you with this website problem.

Oni Hartstein

Oni Hartstein is a Los Angeles-based CMO and entrepreneur that is obsessed with progressive rock / metal, marketing, and nightlife. Please direct all business inquiries or review requests to the "Contact" tab on the top nav bar.

Hang out with me:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/onezumi
Instagram: http://instagram.com/theonezumi
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/onezumi

- Share this post:

2 Responses to “New Jersey unemployment website – an embarassing example of not caring about unemployed workers?”

  1. Doug Roberts says:

    That was a very professional letter to the governor Oni. Wouldn’t it be a hoot if you actually did get a job out of this!
    Hope you get your claim straightened out. I am actually surprised that you can claip unemployment if you are working contract jobs.

    • onezumi says:

      Yeah it’s odd – how it work is that I am employed by the contract house which matches me up with companies. So I fill out a W2 and all of that and they take out the necessary taxes and things. In some cases if you are truly independent it is not the case but I don;t go that route – its too much trouble. :)

  • Onezumi face logo and Web Motto text Trademark Onezumi Studios LLC 2003-2017.
    All logos, Characters, artwork, text, and audio/video performances in this site are property and copyright of Onezumi and Harknell of onezumi.com © 2003-2017. All external videos are copyright their original creators.
  • Recommended

  • AWSOM Powered