Cactus Communications Reviews

Updated Jul 3, 2020

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3.9
93%
Recommend to a Friend
100%
Approve of CEO
Cactus Communications Co-Founder and CEO   Abhishek Goel (no image)
Abhishek Goel
1 Rating
Pros
  • "Amazing culture & facilities, Good work timings and option for work from home if necessary(in 53 reviews)

  • "I can always ask questions about the work and the resources for editors are always being updated(in 48 reviews)

Cons
  • "The editors are left to figure out on their own what is required for each editing service that CACTUS provide(in 144 reviews)

  • "Editors on contract are not actively involved in the company(in 92 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. Helpful (11)

    "Science Editor"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Science Editor in Remote, OR
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Cactus Communications for less than a year

    Pros

    Able to work from home

    Cons

    Sometimes slow response to questions

  2. "Best company to work for remotely"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Committee Administrator in Princeton, NJ
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cactus Communications full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Remote work offers flexibility and opportunities for travel.

    Cons

    Working remote can be a double edged sword. Sometimes it would be preferable to go to an office.

    Cactus Communications Response

    March 5, 2020Associate, Freelancer Engagement

    Thank you for your feedback. We are glad you like the flexibility we offer with this work. We understand that sometimes it can get lonely to work remotely, and to address this we are trying to do more community building activities for all our editors. We would be more than happy to involve you in these activities. Please write to me at tanvi.devpura@cactusglobal.com if you think this is something that might interest you. Best, Tanvi Devpura Associate, Freelancer Engagement

  3. Helpful (7)

    "Take jobs you're interested in, work as much or as little as you want"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Freelance Editor in Cuyahoga Falls, OH
    Recommends

    I have been working at Cactus Communications for more than a year

    Pros

    Great flexibility, good feedback to freelancers

    Cons

    No benefits and quality of submitted manuscripts varies wildly

  4. Helpful (35)

    "Recycling aluminum cans is more profitable"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     in Palm Bay, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Cactus Communications for more than a year

    Pros

    The staff is friendly and the training is clear.

    Cons

    You will make no money and waste tons of time learning their editing standards.

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  5. Helpful (65)

    "Dead-end job - low pay"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    Freelancer in Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working at Cactus Communications

    Pros

    The only pro is that you can work from home.

    Cons

    Cactus/Editage does not offer salaried positions or references to freelancers. Your name isn't given to authors so you cannot build a "reputation" for your editing services. Doing this job will not advance your career or earning ability in any way. Extremely low pay (less than US minimum hourly wage) for meticulous editing and what amounts to a semi-translation/semi-peer review. Constant demands that you do work for free. If you get these, you can email them and tell them you won't do the job but it's very annoying getting these requests. Lately, almost all assignments have less than a 48-hour deadline. Given the amount of work the documents need, this isn't reasonable. These jobs can't be accepted if you want to keep a good QFR and your deadline conformance at 100% (and they don't pay you for jobs that go over deadline). Even though there are a lot of jobs on the Whiteboard right now, no freelancer can take them because the time given is too short.

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  6. Helpful (57)

    "Slavery--today's trend, race to the bottom"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Editor, Psychology in Remote, OR
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Cactus Communications

    Pros

    They paid on time, which should be a given but...

    Cons

    Terrible pay, treated in a way that unskilled workers should not be treated, much less educated people who try to decipher the English language from mush, i.e. no dignity offered for the most part, (though some people were nice). Yes, the jobs can twist your brain. Yes, they ignore your times of availability. Yes, they send back work to be re-done w/o pay and on top of it you have no idea what to "fix" b/c nobody told you--that was when I quit, after attempting to re-do an ugly, long report on New Year's Day (I live in Calif.) which I had asked to take off and they had agreed, then sent me this monstrosity to be tortured by for the second time. I sent it back and said, "Happy New Year!"

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  7. Helpful (69)

    "Unfair rating system, and not enough work for US editors"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Copy Editor in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend

    I have been working at Cactus Communications

    Pros

    You can set your own hours and decline any work you don't want to take. You can let them know when you are unavailable.

    Cons

    There are so many. 1. First of all, the staff are terrible at getting back to you in response to queries, unless it's about an ongoing job (and therefore will impact them directly). Several times I've had to chase up to four times and wait three weeks to get a response to a simple email query. 2. The quality rating system is ridiculously inconsistent and unfair. For example, you could turn in a 5,000-word job in which the only feedback is '"world view" should have been "worldview,"' and your rating will drop from a 4 to a 3, even though the rest of the document is perfect. The tone taken by the reviewers is also very patronizing at times, considering that the editors they are rating are professionals who do this for a living. 3. As others have said, the quality they want is unrealistic given the pay rates – this is not a suitable job for slow or beginner-level editors. I've been working for Cactus for years now and when I asked them for an increase they flat-out refused, even though my process manager has told me multiple times that I'm one of their top editors. 4. I'm based in the States, and by the time I get up and log on all the work has pretty much already been taken. I'll wake up to around 50 emails per day from Cactus (25 work offers, 25 emails to say another editor has accepted the work), all of which I'll have to sift through and eventually delete, and then I won't get assigned anything at all during the day. I've raised this issue with management numerous times and (after taking several weeks to get back to me, of course), they send a token response that doesn't address the problem at all. 5. When they want you to do something for them (e.g. send them pages of personal info so they can tender for a new contract), they expect a response within the same day. That would be fine if this communication extended both ways, but it just doesn't. 6. Their "unavailability calendar" doesn't always result in work not being assigned. It's incredibly frustrating to get emails all day about work when you've updated the system to say that you are not available. Overall, I don't think Cactus fully realize that their editors are human beings, and they seem to have very little interest in making the work-assignment or the quality rating systems fair. I wouldn't usually take to an online rating website to vent this, but since I have raised all of these issues with Cactus directly it seems reasonable to provide my honest feedback in this case.

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  8. Helpful (26)

    "Challenging ESL editing with low pay"

    2.0
     in New York, NY

    I worked at Cactus Communications

    Pros

    Pros include the ability to work remotely according to your own speed and schedule and the ability to review and choose editing assignments. The job provides an opportunity to make a little extra money (but not a sustainable income in the US).

    Cons

    The academic ESL editing is very challenging and time-consuming, and the resulting hourly pay is low for the advanced education/experience required to meet tight deadlines. Communications with Cactus management is below average in terms of responsiveness and quality (of English). Payments could be more timely.

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  9. Helpful (22)

    "biomedical editor"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Biomedical Editor in Massillon, OH

    I worked at Cactus Communications for less than a year

    Pros

    Interesting work. Research papers include a broad range of topics. Work at your own pace from home.

    Cons

    Native English speakers receive incorrect criticism from those that speak English as a second language. Awkward sentence structures are considered normal at Cactus, if it makes sense to a native English speaker, it won't make sense to the reviewers. Reviewers do not seem to be highly knowledgeable in the field of science.

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  10. Helpful (68)

    "Not quite a scam, but close"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Copy Editor in Saint Louis, MO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Cactus Communications for less than a year

    Pros

    The contact people were very nice and were quite responsive within the constraints of the time difference with India. I loved the portal for picking up assignments and uploading finished work, filing invoices, and checking reference materials. Payment comes through in decent time. This is a good place to get schooled in medical editing and learn to work with authors who don't speak English as their first language.

    Cons

    For the degree of work that Cactus wants on these manuscripts, at the rate being paid, you're making far less than minimum wage by the time you finish an assignment—nowhere near industry standard, which helps bring down rates for freelance copyeditors everywhere. Cactus advertises itself as paying up to $4,000 a month, but I simply don't see how that's possible. I'm a longtime medical editor with a lot of experience in editing the work of non–native English-speakers, and I genuinely enjoyed the work, but I found the nitpicking by Cactus supervisors crazy-making. (Your pay is predicated on your quality rating, so even when you get great reviews from authors, it's in Cactus' best interest to find things wrong with your work and knock down your pay.) You will find yourself veering between having no work and having to tell Cactus to dial it back and stop inundating you with copy. The time difference with India can cause problems if you're needing help with some issue. I do not recommend working here unless you desperately need experience in medical/technical editing before moving on to a better-paying gig.

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Found 116 reviews