WiredTree Reviews

Updated February 6, 2015
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2.5
17 Reviews
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Zac Cogswell
10 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Great opportunity to grow admin skills in a challenging environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Linux Systems Administrator in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Linux Systems Administrator in Chicago, IL

    I worked at WiredTree full-time (less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    You will be surrounded by skilled admins and shift coordinators who are willing to extend their knowledge when asked; The experience you gain will be extremely useful to better your career as a systems admin; The range of tasks you take on don't stop at console work (ie, hardware and data center work will be a part of your day-to-day); Communication skills, critical thinking, and focus will be sharpened in order to complete your tasks as an admin here; Management is very experienced and professional, and are excellent trainers in acclimating someone to the work life of a web hosting admin; compensation is fair and is open for growth if you keep with it multiple years.

    Cons

    The shifts are long (12 hours) and the customers aren't always in a great mood or great communicators. Be prepared to take on a night shift if you are getting worked into the schedule (this could be a plus for some); The size of shift teams seem a bit light on shifts that get very busy; The vacation hour policy is stingy if you haven't worked there for multiple years; Some issues may be above your skill level and there may not be an immediate superior available to help sort the issue out quickly.

    Advice to Management

    Better cohesion or positive reinforcement to admins would be helpful and encouraging during long periods of time where communication between employee and manage does not exist or is difficult to have regularly (ie, night shifts). It may be beneficial to offer quarterly or half-year salary reviews to help keep employees dialed in to the company...which is also good for feedback on skills/admin status.

    WiredTree Response

    Sep 19, 2014VP of Customer Service

    Thanks for your review of WiredTree and for your hard work while you were with us! We are glad that you found the on the job training and overall experience here to be a positive one. We are trying ... More

  2. Helpful (1)

    WiredTree Explained

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Linux Systems Administrator in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Linux Systems Administrator in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at WiredTree full-time (more than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Chances are you will assuredly learn things, both technical and not. You will get hands on with some current equipment and software, deal with reckless management, and learn to work under stress with difficult customers. These are things only experience can teach. They have fantastic chairs, which is good because you will be in them 12+ hours a day. Also, you will undoubtedly lose weight because you cannot eat during those 12 hours. Being thin is a plus.

    Cons

    WiredTree management is woefully apathetic. You can get nothing accomplished by attempting to work out any issues with them. Once you address issues they recognize you are a problem. This is especially troubling if there is a 'batch' of new hires recently; you can be assured one is going to be slotted for your spot. This is not an opinion. I have seen it happen dozens of times. Management tends to get their feeling hurt if you do not agree that you are happy. They take your issues personally and seek to end the relationship.The big thing that the management does care about is negative tweets. If you are the cause, look out! Staff is made to do impossible things in order to mitigate any troubling feedback.

    Most reviewers have mentioned this and I reiterate because it is fact. There are no lunches and there are no breaks. If you get up to use the restroom, you are glared at. When you get hired, you are told you get 45 minutes over an 12 hour shift. This simply has never occurred. You instead can watch them eat breakfast, lunch, and potentially dinner. You are allowed to smell their food, but to never eat your own. Most folks will wait until the managers leave and smuggle food to their desks and hope 'HR' does not walk in.

    There is a genuine rift between sections of staff. There is the group that was friends when the venture was launched, and there are the hires. You should be aware that you will be working in a hostile environment, moreso until you figure out who is on which side of the fence. You will not see this during the 'training period'. It will take a few months before the backbiting becomes obvious.

    Taking your grievance up with HR will not only get you a blank look, but now management is aware you have a gripe. I already explained how this will end for you. Likely there are some regulations not being followed between an obvious conflict of interest and the lack of being allowed a lunch. We might need to follow that up with the proper channels.

    The people you work with are great. In most cases they will extend help to you. Some weak ones manage to slip through the cracks. One in particular really stands out. She will duck and dodge any issues of relative difficulty. She targets tickets that are simple; password resets, firewall allows, etc. This allows her to have inflated counts of resolved issues, while you actually have to work to get resoolution with the issues you get stuck with. If a ticket goes sour she will duck out on it, and it becomes your issue. Managers are aware of this behavior and have never attempted to resolve it, regardless of the amount of complaints.

    WiredTree hiring practices include hiring large amounts of workers at a time. This is because of how fast people quit; most wash out during 'training' or soon after. The ones that stay are used to replace the admins that they are getting ready to fire. We are always short staffed. We cannot hire people fast enough. I have seen the workers roll 3 times fully since I started here. It is the most acute employee atrition I have ever seen. Forget about taking sick time or vacation. This must be approved in order to be used. As we are always short staffed, you are always needed in that chair.

    Shifts are 8AM-8PM and 8PM-8AM. You need to get out of the office quickly. At 8:01 you are on your time, you have to be back again before 8. Transportation, food, shower, sleep etc need to be budgeted into that 12 hours.

    Wages are low, and bonuses are small and done via a lottery system. It is a good start in the industry and as soon as you quit you can expect your wages to double. The key to working here is to know the truth, and know that it is a very temporary job. Management will try to sell you the dream, but it is not to be had here. If you have the chance look into the eyes of both the management and the employees. You will see exhaustion and desperation. Nobody here is happy(from what I saw week after week). As long as you know what you are really get into, go for it! I did.

    Advice to Management

    Start the healing process by discontinuing your campaign of inaccurate replies to negative reviews. Saying that there has been a change, and that the reviewer worked there long ago is wrong. It is this inaccuracy that made me step forward and alert curious and cautious people to what is *currently* occurring. If you constantly run people into the ground, not allow them to eat a lunch, and make them to work in low temperatures, they will inevitably leave you.It makes sense to polish your staff into a well oiled machine, a unit capable of cooperation and leveraging talent, skill, and experience. However, talented personnel quit nearly as soon as start working, and the experienced get driven away. The reason medical insurance is free after 2 year is because no one stays that long. So, to remedy this, treat employees like they mean something to you. Attempt to be competitive with pay. Consider letting employees have a day off on Christmas. Stop yelling like its the Marine Corp and start hearing what we try to tell you. Happy workers make you more money because they want to see you succeed. Success is a 2 way street. Please do not reply to this review with verbal smoke and mirrors hoping to mitigate my statements in the eyes of readers.

    WiredTree Response

    Feb 19, 2015VP of Customer Service

    I am sorry that you seem to be so upset with your time at WiredTree, but there are some gaps in your review. You state that you are a Current Employee - Senior Linux Systems Administrator and have ... More

  3. Helpful (2)

    Completely Tricked

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Linux Systems Administrator in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Linux Systems Administrator in Chicago, IL

    I worked at WiredTree full-time (more than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Up to date technology and you get to take your laptop home with you. There's a bar literally downstairs and across the street. Good places to eat. Train drops you off a block away. Chairs are comfortable.

    Cons

    Management yells at you, talks behind your back, and prevents you from eating lunch. HR is the owners wife which if you ask me is completely unprofessional and a conflict of interest. HR also doesn't seem to have a clue on how to answer any questions you may have. Management even talks behind managements back A LOT. The infrastructure there is terrible. Cable management in non-existant. 12 hour shifts are very trying especially when you don't get a real lunch break. The turn around rate is about a year. They either fire you after that time or you will quit. There are employees there merely to snitch on others. The promises they make when you are first hired become mere dreams. Senior Admins have a god complex and almost laugh at you when you have a question. Training is terrible. Training was a workbook while the trainer surfed the internet not even helping with the queue. Floor manager is a nice guy but he is probably the one you want to watch what you say to the most. Many false misleading things have come from him too often. It seems like management is overworked just like everyone else. Pay isn't great and receiving a raise is almost impossible. Even if you are approved for a raise, they make sure to wait 3-6 months before actually giving you a raise. Employees have been fired unjustly with no warning or reason. You cannot eat at your desk so you starve until management leaves even though Management and other senior eat at their desks. Prepare for coats and gloves all year around. Even when people complain about numbness in their hands from the cold it is disregarded without even a simple compromise. If you increase the heat when management leaves they yell at everyone for electricity cost when all the employees are trying to do is stay a little warm because the temperature is set to 60 degrees.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your admins, stop yelling at them, actually give people raises and make room for shift changes and employee needs. LET YOUR ADMINS EAT!! depriving employees from lunch breaks regardless of if they're salaried is LAW not an option to contemplate about.

    WiredTree Response

    Oct 22, 2014VP of Customer Service

    I am sorry you felt tricked. That is the last thing we want people to feel. It sounds like you were with us a while back based on your pros listed and we have changed and improved a lot of things ... More

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  5. Helpful (5)

    Worst company in Chicago to work for!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Linux Administrator in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Linux Administrator in Chicago, IL

    I worked at WiredTree full-time (more than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    there is nothing positive I can say about this company - not one. I take that back. The company is very easy to get to by the CTA or Metra. There really isn't any perks I can think of. Those that don't know to much about Linux at least they will give you a chance but if you screw up they will fire you immediately! If you aren't mentoring then you are not leading!

    Cons

    Screamed at on a daily basis! Extremely unprofessional management! They either love you or hate you. Very high turnover rate. The managers MUST have some type of personality disorder. I've never worked in such a horrible place in my life.

    Advice to Management

    treat your employees like an asset. I tell all my friends to avoid your services. Your reputation eventually get out and your business will go under.

    WiredTree Response

    Sep 29, 2014VP of Customer Service

    I am sorry you feel that there is nothing positive to say about your time with us here at WiredTree. That is the last thing that we want anyone that parts ways with us to feel. I can say that we try ... More

  6. Helpful (4)

    Wretched little sweatshop

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Linux Systems Administrator in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Linux Systems Administrator in Chicago, IL

    I worked at WiredTree full-time (more than a year)

    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    WiredTree is an awful place to work, but it is a place to work. It's pretty easy to get hired there, if you seem to know your way around linux they'll give you a chance. And the people who survive more than a few months are quite remarkable, smart and hard-working and funny without exception, and somehow they deliver a high quality of service in spite of everything.

    Cons

    Severe, chronic, almost criminal understaffing. They're trying to compete against larger companies with a skeleton crew and the workload and stress level are off the charts. Every single day you feel like you're skirting the edge of disaster, and nothing ever gets better.

    Upper management is cheap, dishonest, erratic, unprofessional and almost comically disorganized. I think they're smart nerds who got picked on a lot and grew up to be frightened, angry and mean. They seem to be unaware of, or unconcerned with, the constant frustration faced by employees and refuse to take responsibility for anything. Their solution to every problem is to "push harder", "dig deeper", "go the extra mile".

    Training is minimal and largely irrelevant. Documentation consists of the google and a hit-or-miss wiki. Support policies are ill-defined, usually ex-post-facto and sometimes contradictory. There is no solutions database, no issue tracking, no trends analysis. Admins are constantly re-inventing the wheel.

    Back-end infrastructure is held together with chewing gum, velcro, and ebury worms. Like everything else about the place, it was thrown together in great haste and without a plan.

    Pay is very low and benefits almost non-existent.

    Bottom line, everybody, and I mean everybody, eventually gets fed up and quits.

    Advice to Management

    If they don't realize there's a problem by now, they never will. At some point the revolving door will turn into a mass exodus and that will be the end of it.

    WiredTree Response

    Jun 23, 2014VP of Customer Service

    Thanks for your review of your time here at WiredTree. I can say that that we have been working hard on fixing any pain points that our staff may feel. I wish you would have provided this feedback in ... More

  7. Helpful (2)

    Interesting way to learn things

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - WiredTree in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - WiredTree in Chicago, IL

    I worked at WiredTree full-time (more than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    You'll learn a lot and work with other great admins. A really diverse amount of skills and environments

    Cons

    Most of the management doesn't care if you learn or not; only that you know and don't let down customers

    WiredTree Response

    Jun 23, 2014VP of Customer Service

    Thanks for your feelings about working with us here at WiredTree. I am sorry you felt that management doesn't care about your personal growth as a Linux Systems Admin. We are always trying to improve ... More

  8. Helpful (1)

    Be prepared to work towards what you want, don't expect handouts.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Linux Systems Administrator in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Linux Systems Administrator in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at WiredTree full-time (more than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great opportunities to gain experience where you may not have had any, or the credentials on your resume to get you the opportunity in the first place.

    Lots of room for growth within the company if you work at it. This isn't a place where you can come to work, do the minimum, and expect to get ahead. If you work hard you will. Pretty simple.

    Lots of support from senior admins and managers available.

    Cons

    It's not going to be an easy ride. The first year is going to be tough for some people. Be prepared for some bumps along the way, especially if you are inexperienced. There are plenty of people to ask for help, but it can still be very stressful until you get the hang of things. Keep at it and get through this period, and you'll be fine.

    Advice to Management

    Keep hiring. Every employee who has been with the company for an extended period of time knows the opportunities that are available, they just may not be obvious to everyone.

  9. Helpful (1)

    No easy rides here, be prepared to work and be held accountable.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Billing Department in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Billing Department in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at WiredTree full-time (more than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Open work environment, casual attire, many employee perks (free lunches, refreshment, holiday parties), great environment to learn a lot about Linux even if you don't have much knowledge coming in. Employees are held accountable for their actions, poor performance and poor attendance is not permitted.

    Cons

    If you are not prepared to be held accountable for your actions / attendance, you will not have a good time.

    Advice to Management

    Keep weeding out the people that aren't ready for a real-world job, lazy people with chips on their shoulders only drag others down.

  10. Helpful (1)

    Lots of opportunity

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Linux Administrator in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Linux Administrator in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at WiredTree full-time (less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    If you like to work in this field, this place will keep you busy. Wide variety of work. Challenging work.

    Cons

    Hard work if you are not pursuing a career with Linux and hosting.

    Advice to Management

    No advice. Keep up the good work!

  11. Helpful (1)

    Get paid to learn!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Linux Systems Administrator in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Linux Systems Administrator in Chicago, IL

    I worked at WiredTree full-time (more than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The biggest upside is that you will learn a lot in a very short time (if you work hard). Web Hosting is a fast paced environment, so expect to learn new things every day and even gain a niche in the long run. Also, the managers at WiredTree (Joe/James/Adam/Alexis) are hard working, understanding, and easy going people. They will work from home if you need assistance in any given situation, and most are a call or Instant Message away. They will teach you new things everyday so absorb all that you can. Zac is also a great boss. If you work hard, listen and put in a 100%; he will notice and will reward you. In regards to the staff, you will work with a diverse and brilliant group of individuals, who each have their own knack or specialty. You will learn a lot from your fellow admins, as WiredTree has a tendency to hire team players. Never be afraid to ask questions. It will make working at WiredTree a smooth ride.

    Cons

    Hard work (if you are lazy). Seriously, if you are looking for an easy check and a place to slack off, this place is not for you. Yes, there will be moments of downtime, but even then you should be working on something proactive. With that said, WiredTree is a great place to work at if you are hard working and motivated. Dress attire is casual, the environment is laid back, and the rewards and play times(Christmas/holiday parties, and in-house pinball tournaments) are just terrific. But you must put in effort to be rewarded. Hard work will not go unnoticed. If you are a new staff member, bring your A game and you will be golden.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work. Only real advice I could give is to keep hiring! WiredTree is twice as busy compared to when I started, so you are going to need a bigger staff soon :-)

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