Cactus Communications Reviews | Glassdoor

Cactus Communications Reviews

Updated August 18, 2017
123 reviews

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3.2
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Cactus Communications CEO Anurag Goel
Anurag Goel
48 Ratings

123 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • You can work from home and choose your own work hours, so long as you meet the deadline (in 23 reviews)

  • Since Cactus is strict regarding deadlines, I learn to be more disciplined and I do my best to deliver high-quality work given the time constraints (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • But I guess there are enough smart, educated, under-employed native English speakers out there that they don't really need to pay more (in 13 reviews)

  • If you want a job done right, it takes a lot of time and you might end up with less than minimum wage ( (in 18 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Fun place to work, but stressful"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Cactus Communications full-time

    Pros

    Great culture, friendly, helpful, hardworking people

    Cons

    Too stressful, no work-life balance


  2. Helpful (6)

    "Editor at Cactus Communications"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Cactus Communications part-time

    Pros

    Flexibility. Can work from home, choose the nature and volume of work.

    Cons

    Low pay. Subjective reviews of work, usually by rude senior editors.

    Advice to Management

    Establish a standard for reviewing assignments to avoid bias and antagonism.

    Cactus Communications Response

    Jul 26, 2017 – Editor Engagement

    Thank you for your feedback. We are happy to know that you appreciate the flexibility. However, we are concerned that you found some of the communication rude. I would really like to look into this... More

  3. Helpful (5)

    "Publication Support Freelancer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Cactus Communications part-time

    Pros

    Can work from home, they pay on time.

    Cons

    Low pay per assignment, especially when most of the freelancers have terminal degrees in their respective fields. Communications and decisions that are made by in-house senior staff, at times, demonstrate that many of them have not personally published a great deal in the scientific fields.

    Advice to Management

    Provider competitive pay per assignment to freelancers. Some assignments are difficult due to client's lack of knowledge and unrealistic preferences; thereby, it can easily take 3 times longer to complete these assignments and this equals to below minimum wage per hour.


  4. Helpful (6)

    "The cons ultimately outweigh the pros"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Interesting work if you like editing scientific pieces and learning along the way. Good way to sharpen your editing skills.

    Cons

    It is difficult to obtain assignments if you are in the US, as many of them come through in the early morning hours. On top of that, many editors are competing for assignments, so you typically only have a few minutes to decide whether or not you are able to take the assignment. Furthermore, in order to do a good job on the assignments, a fair amount of time and effort must be put into them. Given this, editors are ultimately compensated at about minimum wage. Finally, internal reviewers provide feedback and ratings on the assignments, which affects your overall score and the rate that you are paid. There are some guidelines, but many of the requirements/expectations are unclear and are only discovered once you've received feedback accompanied by a less than perfect rating. Given this, seemingly minor issues can have a huge impact on your score. For example, a reviewer may say "it seems that the author wanted x, y, or z", without there having been any indication that this was the case. Subjective reviews thus lead to lower scores and lower pay. In addition, reviewers provide inconsistent feedback, which is troubling when it affects your overall score. Finally, when disagreement over a rating is expressed, the original reviewer simply re-explains his/her feedback, as opposed to having someone else look at a review that the editor feels is unfair.

    Advice to Management

    Pay should not be directly influenced by the rating that is given by internal reviewers. This policy can easily lead to dishonest and unfair reviews.


  5. Helpful (9)

    "Poor communication"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Cactus has very detailed and helpful articles on how to edit documents. I found their interface very easy to use. Applying was easy and the response was timely.

    Cons

    I agree with many of the comments, the pay is very low and the feedback was confusing and lacking. I got contradicting instructions, asked for clarification, then was given a poor evaluation for following what I thought was the correct instruction. Then I stopped getting any communication from the company, even after directly emailing my supervisor. I got the distinct feeling that they were only interested in people who could churn out a copious amount of work.

    Advice to Management

    Please give clearer directions and if you are displeased with someone, at least communicate.


  6. Helpful (20)

    "Dead-end job - low pay"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Freelancer in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Freelancer in Los Angeles, CA

    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.

    Advice to Management

    Don't ask someone who isn't a salaried employee to do work for free, It's annoying and makes you look bad.
    Increase pay. Provide some avenue for hiring your best freelancers and offer the others references. As it is, there is no incentive for talented freelancers to work for you.
    Be honest with authors about how long it will take to give them a professionally edited document. Quality takes time and offering editors a "premium" isn't going to change that. A difficult document isn't magically going to become less time-consuming because you added extra dollars to the amount you're paying the editor. If someone rushes to finish it, it's just going to be a rush job of low quality.


  7. Helpful (26)

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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Editor, Psychology in Remote, OR
    Former Employee - Editor, Psychology in Remote, OR
    Doesn't Recommend

    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!"

    Advice to Management

    Watch how you treat people. Your turn will come.

  8. Helpful (8)

    "Challenging ESL editing with low pay"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    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.

    Advice to Management

    Improve communications with freelancers and provide more timely payments.


  9. Helpful (31)

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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Copy Editor in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Copy Editor in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend

    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.

    Advice to Management

    Implement a system that assigns work all the time, not just during Indian standard time. Improve the QFR system so that editors aren't getting marked down for tiny (and potentially disputable) errors, and ensure that grades lower than 4 are THOROUGHLY explained and justified.


  10. Helpful (6)

    "Freelance Translator"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Cactus Communications part-time

    Pros

    - Flexible hours, you can work whenever you're free
    - You learn from the works you're translating

    Cons

    - Jobs are very infrequently assigned, never know when you're gonna get a new assignment
    - The pay is pretty low
    - Very tight deadlines
    - instructions can be pretty unclear from time to time

    Advice to Management

    - Gotta be more lenient on deadlines if you expect higher quality of work
    - Mangers are also pretty poor at communicating


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