Cactus Communications Employee Reviews

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4.0
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A good place to work in
Senior Associate Editor (Current Employee) –  AndheriSeptember 5, 2019
Work life balance is the only point that needs to be sorted. The managers are understanding. Flexibility is the biggest advantage working at Cactus. Overall, an awesome place to work at.
Pros
Good management and growth, good benefits, and easy-going environment
Cons
Stressful at times
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1.0
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Please stay away
Freelance Editor/Proofreader (Former Employee) –  ItalyAugust 27, 2019
Terrible company, worse pay. I cannot think of any pros working for Cactus. People who review your work are not scientists, they are not native English speakers, and they are most definitely out to reduce your salary. What they do should be illegal.
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2.0
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Difficult scoring
Freelance Biomedical Editor (Former Employee) –  Mumbai, MaharashtraAugust 18, 2019
It was very difficult to have esl workers criticizing the way in which I edited in my native language. Awkward wording and demanding supervisors created a very strained atmosphere. You could spend several hours on a journal only to be paid 10 dollars or so.
Pros
Work from home
Cons
Supervisor scoring
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3.0
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Very flexible company, but low salary by UK standards
Freelance Copy Editor (Former Employee) –  Home BasedJuly 8, 2019
Working as a freelance copyeditor, I was able to choose which assignments I wanted to take on and to work flexibly, as long as I met the deadline. The management staff were always available to answer queries, and I was promoted to the more senior assignments very quickly. However, even working extremely long hours it was difficult to make a reasonably salary as the rates were very low by UK norms.
Pros
Flexibility
Cons
Long hours to make any reasonable salary
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2.0
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Poor pay for the crushing workload
Freelance editor (Current Employee) –  IndiaMay 30, 2019
Editage pays editors a baseline rate of Rs. 0.40/word (=$0.0057-less than half a cent) while they charge authors $500-600 for 6-days or $600-700 for 4-days, $125 for formatting. The editors are not paid extra for formatting. This baseline rate is reduced if you get low QI ratings or there are deadline breaches. The freelance editors, the ones at the core of their business model, are treated shabbily. They pick freelancers (with Masters and PhDs in the subject area) after a rigorous process. They are given no training and have to get up to speed on Editage’ internal processes on their own. The reviewers' job is not ensuring that a near-flawless copy goes to the client but to point out the editor’s errors. While the editors have subject matter knowledge PLUS excellent English language skills, most of the reviewers are English Lit./Linguistics grads; most of them are non-native, greenhorns, with no publishing background. In terms of experience/qualifications, these reviewers are peers or juniors to the Editors. I had reviewed, as a staff editor, the work of one of their current reviewers, when he/she was a new joinee in my previous organization. When you question a reviewer's work, the Managing Editor is only concerned with justifying the reviewer. There are times when a job is given excellent rating (4, the highest) by the reviewer, but the client comes back with a complaint. Then there are occasions when the reviewer thinks the edit was either average or poor but the client gives an Outstanding feedback. The deadlines can get moved up anytime. When that happens Editage charges  more... extra from the author while, the editors have to do the same work in less time for no extra pay. For documents that are more than 9000 words, editors are paid even less, Rs. 0.32/word. Never mind the extra time and effort required. The flow of jobs Is not uniform. Some days, there is a crazy rush. When there are many jobs waiting to be picked up, the workflow managers start hassling the editors to pick up more work with no regard to the editor’s existing workload. And the editors are expected to turn in flawless work by the reviewers. There is no recognition/slack given to the editors for the load they carry.  less
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5.0
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Great place to work
Retail Sales Manager (Former Employee) –  Brooks, ABMay 27, 2019
Good environment to work in. Fair pay and great benefits package. Well managed. Great company parties. Good relationships within the community. Hours were great.
Pros
Great benefits package
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1.0
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Awful and subjective
Freelance Editor (Former Employee) –  Feeelance (London)March 8, 2019
When Cactus employers that review your work know best, then why don’t they edit it themselves? I found no matter how hard I worked at editing some very awful non sensical written papers, that I was scored a 3 or less QI index from the bunch of reviewers that work in the Cactus company with a check list. They assumed how a semi colon should be presented but on numerous occasions CACTUS YOU ARE WRONG, you are not professionals, you are employing professionals to edit work that is sent to you...remember that! The learning curve could of what cactus want could be taught better. I worked with cactus but was smart enough to join other freelancing companies. I found Cactus to be the worst of them all. I recommend other freelancers to do this type of work and that those that want to join as freelancers to know that Cactus are not the only company for freelance editing.
Pros
None
Cons
Really awful pay. QI index score is subjective, depends on internal staff who are not native English speakers but rate your overall score and pay
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1.0
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Inadequate for Academic Science Editors
Freelancer (Former Employee) –  AllFebruary 12, 2019
The quality of the manuscripts is very poor, and senior editors tend to give arbitrary and low quality ratings for your work to reduce already low pay.
Pros
Flexible work hours
Cons
Low pay, arbitrary feedback
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2.0
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Nice place to work but management is unprofessional
Scientific Writer (Former Employee) –  Mumbai, MaharashtraJanuary 18, 2019
Decent place to work; writers not given enough time to write and treated like machines; management is most unprofessional and need soft skill training
Pros
Freedom to operate; Trust on individuals
Cons
Lack of soft skill; Use and throw attitude; Not a people-oriented company
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4.0
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Good company but with next-to-impossible deadlines
Freelance transcriptionist (Current Employee) –  Tele-commuteJanuary 9, 2019
As I work on a freelance basis for transcription dept, there is no specific timing where I can expect an assignment.
General transcription assignments are really informative.
Never had a chance to talk to management.
Really strange deadlines. Sometimes ended up working 16 hours at a stretch, believe me!!
Payment, I think, is satisfactory (on an assignment basis) and on time.
Pros
On-time payment.
Cons
I bet they themselves cannot get the work done on deadline that they set for freelancers.
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2.0
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Work from home in the dark
Proofreader (Former Employee) –  everywhereDecember 23, 2018
It's nice to work from home, but the unstructured support network came to bite me when my work wasn't up to their standards and they offered very little in the way of steering me towards improvement. One day, a reviewer said my work was "very disappointing" and shortly after that I started getting only very small assignments that weren't worth the time necessary to process them. When I brought up this problem, they implied that it was because of the quality of my work. Again, without offering real feedback on how to improve.

If your work is up to their standards, it might work for you, though the compensation is pretty pitiful. I would have been better off not bothering with them.
Pros
work from home, they pay you
Cons
pay is small, poor training
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1.0
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Editorial Reviewers are Below Standards
Freelancer (Former Employee) –  United StatesNovember 25, 2018
They clearly do not have good editorial reviewers on board to critique the work or tests of experienced writers and editors. The contributions they receive from authors for publication in international publications are terribly-written work from people who are clearly not native English speakers. These people do not understand basic grammar rules.

For excerpts of a sample test they provided, I looked online and saw that the writing had actually been published in an international journal and was loaded with a lot of grammatical errors. I was shocked that something that was clearly below editorial standards had been published.

Anyway, they gave me a sample and I performed a miracle on the terribly-written work that was loaded with grammar mistakes and mathematical miscalculations. The response they gave me was that I had changed the meaning of the poorly-written work which would block publication.They wanted me to merely check for line and word spacing - apparently.

I would not recommend this company to experienced writers and editors because you'll have to lower your own standards to meet their subjective standards. Stick with a U.S.-based company that knows the English rules because these people clearly do not know what they are doing. They miss the mark. Don't even waste your time with them.
Pros
Communication. They stay in touch.
Cons
Bad editorial reviewers who lack knowledge of basic grammar rules.
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2.0
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If you are based in the US, don't bother
Editor (Former Employee) –  RemoteNovember 20, 2018
It is my opinion that the US contractors are traded harsher than the employees in India.

The online editing world is huge now, so don't waste you time with them. You are reviewed based on whatever the reviewer feels like using as a benchmark on that day. You pay decreases based on your review score.

Just don't bother, please. I know you may need money for that extra bill, but save yourself the stress and irritation.
Pros
Work from Home
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1.0
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Not worth the effort
Freelance (Former Employee) –  South AfricaNovember 5, 2018
I was freelancing for them for editing articles.

This is what will happen to you with them:
- you get to edit submissions, many of which are plain gibberish
- you will whack your head for hours, using your best academic abilities, trying to understand what the guy meant in order to reformulate in a legible way.
- you will get an average or poor rating (which is highly subjective as there will always something that can be reformulated), and realize your efforts/skills were worth 40USD. I made more bartending for the same time.
- you will soon stop because you have better things to do.
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5.0
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Excellent experience as a graphic designer
Graphics Designer (Former Employee) –  Addis Ababa, ETAugust 28, 2018
I had a great experience as a graphic designer which I would be able to entertain new ideas and concepts. I could be able to design number of brands for national & international companies which still be in use.
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4.0
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Good Company
SEM Manager (Former Employee) –  Mumbai, MaharashtraAugust 14, 2018
Good company, understanding management, flexible timings, pays well, I have learned a lot about project management at Cactus Communications under my team manager.
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5.0
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n/a
Senior Sharepoint Developer (Former Employee) –  Washington, DCAugust 11, 2018
the best company to work with if my contract finished
This is a great place to work if you want to earn some extra money editing scientific documents. There is a consistent supply of jobs offered. You can decide how much and when you want to work
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3.0
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Great place to make a little extra money
Scientific Editor (Current Employee) –  United StatesApril 21, 2018
This is a great place to work if you want to earn some extra money editing scientific documents. There is a consistent supply of jobs offered. You can decide how much and when you want to work.
Pros
Flexibility
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2.0
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Awful review system
Freelance Scientific Editor (Current Employee) –  HomeMarch 14, 2018
I took on a freelance scientific editing job to hone my editing skills. However, the feedback you receive offers little scope for improvement.
1. Their Quality Index system (assessment of your editing) is completely subjective. Although their company policy states some guidelines for the score assigned for a certain quality of editing, the reviewers apply their own, arbitrary set of rules. For the same quality of editing you can receive a QI of 3 or 2 depending on the whims of the reviewer.
2. The company states that the feedback should include both good and bad aspects of your editing but what you get is a bullet-point list of some "perceived errors".
3. The compensation is really low. They say they have a QI-based compensation but it looks like they can purposefully lower your QI to decrease your payment.
4. The no. of words indicated on the job board is often lower than the actual no. of words in the document. Compensation is based on the no. of words on job board.
5. Although the company policy states that the senior editor can communicate with freelancer, there is no such provision.

The only positive aspect is the flexibility to choose a job.
Pros
Flexibility
Cons
Arbitrary review system, low pay
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3.0
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Enjoyable
Freelance Translator (Former Employee) –  Porto, PortugalFebruary 5, 2018
Working as a freelancer gave me the opportunity to work on my own schedule. The staff at the headquarters could be a little incompetent at times.

The pay was comfortable.
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