Southern Star, Inc. Employee Reviews

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Worst job ever!!!
Technician (Former Employee) –  Pine Bluff, ARFebruary 14, 2019
First off, they tell you just enough to have you interested in the job and benefits. You'll discover that ANY conversation you have with your boss about anything personal becomes EVERYONES business. They'll threaten your job anytime they have a problem with you.
The "master techs" get away with murder, they can pretty much talk to you however they want to without fear of losing their jobs. As far as I can tell the CEO cares about profit and profit only.
My boss met me at a gas station and had me park my van and clock into lunch so we could go hang a tv on a wall, it took over an hour and a half to do so and mind you I was clocked into lunch the whole time and didn't get paid for it. When I reported it to HR they said theyd look into it but when I tried following up on it the lady acted surprised to hear about it, then told me they looked into it and said I was lying and that if it was true I was the one who would be in trouble for doing it not my boss so I'd better not try and push it.
They send other techs to your house when you're off to get equipment and don't transfer the equipment to that tech so you end up paying for that equipment.
You never really have a day off because if a tech isn't calling you needing equipment, they're calling you asking you questions about jobs they need advice on (even though you may not be a master tech).
You are required to work in pouring rain and lighting and THEY DONT PROVIDE RAIN SUITS. You'll work in some of the most unhealthy, unsafe and nastiest conditions.
They send you to extremely rural houses without any cell service
  more... even though the only way to activate the boxes is with the phone they provide, and tell you to figure it out. I've been asked to leave a house by the customer because they changed their mind about the service and my boss threatened my job if I didn't stay and convince the customer to let me complete the job.
I've been sent an hour and 45 minutes from home at 9pm on a last minute job that a master tech didn't want to do, and was required to do a full install with only a head lamp for light. I didn't get home until 12:15 and had to get up at 4:30am to get my inventory the next morning and didn't get off that night until 9:45pm. I even told my boss I was so tired I was falling asleep while driving and he laughed at me while adding more jobs to my route while he sat at home eating dinner with his family.
They tell you the pay is well worth the job and that the goals arent that hard to hit but in reality you work your tail off to try an hit 5 different metrics and half of the metrics you have ZERO control over. I was employed for 9 months and always ended up not hitting at least one of those metrics which always makes you lose the bonus pay so you might as well of not hit any of them.
The training is a joke and you learn almost nothing because your trainer is more worried about trying to hit his metrics rather than making sure you understand the process and get the proper training. My trainer warned me about all of this and I figured it was bs until I got on my own and seen it first hand.
I literally could go on and on. My advice to anyone who has thoughts about working here, I wouldn't waste your time with these scum bags. I tried turning in a 2weeks notice because I finally got another job offer and they fired me on the spot, took my 40 hours of vacation time plus my last 950$ check and said they don't take 2week notices and that I owed them for lost equipment.
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Pros
You get a van to drive to the jobs. Some customers are nice, SOME not all.
Cons
Read the statement below for detailed cons!! VERY IMPORTANT!!
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3.0
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If you like money this is the job for you, provided company vehicle
Master Technician/Lead Technician (Former Employee) –  Austin, TXNovember 18, 2018
Went through tons of management, you worked from 8 am until you were finished, no regular set schedule, great if you like working alone. Learned new things
Pros
Made a lot of money
Cons
Lack of support from management, no benefits, no home/work life balance
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Rushed and No Family Time
Technician (Former Employee) –  Longview, TXNovember 19, 2018
Sometimes you'll have short days others long they don't care about you as far as what says u need off cut throat for new employees no time for family. Def wouldn't recommend working here, Fsm understanding but not someone to make mad. Other than that if u enjoy working long hours and having to worry about making units per job and have no family job for you. You'll see the company phone they give you have been used by other people they don't stay long and either did I.
Pros
Van, gas card, benefits after 90 days
Cons
Hours, rushed, management
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If you are reading this, this company is not worth your time!
Technician and SALESMAN!!! LOL!!!! (Former Employee) –  El Dorado, ARJanuary 20, 2019
Be prepared to work long hours and have no family/ social life! You become a slave once you get hired. The training this company provides is a joke! You are given only 4-6 weeks of training with a current technician, and he could have only been there a year! Your trainers will not take the time to train you properly, always rushed by the FSM. Watch and learn, little hands on. So expect to only learn 30-40% of your job. Once you start your solo date, you are on your own. FSM will act like they care but don't. Only if you sale something. For example, was on a install job and having issues and called my FSM only to be told "Try the best you can, but make sure you sell them a sound bar!" FSM will constantly call you like clock work to tell you to sell something, no "Hey man, how is your day going" That is the only time they will call. Be prepared to have no equipment on your van or always running low. FSM don't care, they tell you to call another technician, which could be a hour away in the wrong direction, putting your UPH score down. Then being harassed by dispatch asking why you were not at your job at 8am. Lets not forget the customers. Some are ok, most or rude and act like you owe them something. Be prepared to move furniture/ asked to dust of furniture, move dirty clothes, boxes (Video movers are the best/ sarcasm) and deal with kids/ pets. Outside is the same story. Be prepared to setup new TVs(From box to setup), hook up VCR/DVD players and game consoles. When all you are there to do is installed dish network equipment. Repairs jobs are the best to/ sarcasm, customers  more... blame you and the equipment for damaging their TVs LOL! when the tv is 20yrs old. Also, try selling something on a repair job is fun when the customer is already cussing at you. YOU ARE NOT A TECHNICIAN, BUT A SALESMAN, especially when your FSM begs you to sell somthing or he will lose his job. You feel like you have to put a gun to the customers head to sell something. Joking of course, but its that serious. And one final thing(that i can think of) is don't ever get hurt on the job, the FSM will ask your if you are OK to drive yourself to the hospital LOL!! Dish Network needs to end their contact with these people.

So, in short, if you like long hours, no life, FSMs that don't no how to do their job, rude customers and SALES! SALES! SALES! then this is the place for you.
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Pros
Work van, Gas card
Cons
Poor management, Long hours and drive time, dispatch, rude customers, always short on equipment. SALES! SALES! SALES! or no job.
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Official response from Southern Star, Inc.
January 21, 2019

We are very careful to outline all aspects of the job from the first communication with any candidates. (As commented on by another former technician below.) It is a core belief of ours to be fully transparent about what is expected of every member of the Southern Star family. One aspect discussed with all candidates is that sales is a very important part of our business, as it has become with most companies performing in-home services. Additionally we have found hands-on training to be the best method of learning. Once on their own, technician workload is incrementally increased with most technicians well versed in the vast majority of tasks by 6 months. There will always be interesting situations come up that even the most extensive training will not have covered.

We are unapologetic about our expectations to service our customers professionally and efficiently as we are guest in their homes. Our customers are who allow us to be in operation and we will always respect and honor them. Since it appears you feel differently we wish you the best in your future pursuits outside Southern Star.

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Sales, sales, sales
Installation Technician (Former Employee) –  Abilene TexasOctober 20, 2018
My FSM was a great individual but lacked management skills in the civilian world(former military). It also was hard to meet the metrics for sells when a majority of your service area is low income homes. I could be the best at all the other metrics but oh you can’t sell so you are the worst tech of them all. As far as pay goes. I’m making more for an ISP with no metrics then I could ever have imagined with Southern Star. There are also these lovely things called “Mandatory 6 day work weeks” not aloud to call in or risk getting a write up. Company vehicles are in poor shape. Family life suffers from the long hours. You can get paid for drive time but it counts negatively towards your metrics. Dispatch isn’t very great at their job. Lots of Cons for this job. Would not recommend.
Pros
Company tools
Cons
Long hours, Poor management, poor vehicle maintenance, metrics, dispatch, poor travel pay and hotel choices, forced to work off the clock in order to meet metrics
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Bad place to work
Technician (Former Employee) –  Dardanelle, ARAugust 8, 2018
Only work here if you want to be a sales man and not a tech if you don’t sale the minimum they will fine a way to target you to get you fired for what every the fill is correct I worwd for them for almost 2 yrs and enjoyed the work just not the sales no write up past writin warning until my last month and then I was fired for not have on a bump cap that wasn’t provided lol what a place to work a bunch of liars
Pros
Having a job
Cons
Management don’t care about the employees only there bonus
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5.0
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Good paying job long hours
Technician (Former Employee) –  Longview, TXJuly 18, 2018
I would work here again long hours long days but good pay and benefits. Be prepared to be up at 6:30 am and be gone as late as 2am. Also you have a company van and phone
Pros
Good money steady work
Cons
Long hours 6 days a week no time for home
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2.0
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You’re told upfront what your getting into.
Installer (Former Employee) –  Wichita Falls, TXDecember 31, 2018
Definitely told from the beginning what the expectations were, such as up selling products during each installation. It’s not a surprise to be pushed by managers to get sales at every opportunity. So expect to be a salesman and an installer.

Expect to climb in and out of attics of peoples houses. It’s a dirty but fun job. As long as you’re meeting your goals, to include sales, management leaves you alone.

Really the only downside was the lack of “full time hours” if your installs were canceled due to no shows, or weather, then you didn’t get any jobs to make up for the loss of hours. Getting you 40+ hours was 50/50.
Pros
Independent work environment
Cons
Everything else
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Official response from Southern Star, Inc.
January 21, 2019

Thank you for your comments. We understand this is a very difficult job and not for everyone. For those who love this type of work; it can be very rewarding both internally and financially. It is a complement that you illustrated we share this with candidates up front. It is concerning you did not consistently receive 40+ hours. Our goal is to average 45 per week with some weeks more and others less depending on customer job volume. Thank you again. We'll take this feedback and apply it to our improvement efforts.

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Stay away..
Delivery Driver (Former Employee) –  Fort Worth, TXJune 23, 2018
They lack leadership, they pick favorites give them the best routes so they go home early. And the others struggling with long day packages. The pay is not good.The other tables next to them pay alot more. Plus they leave early to deliver packages.. southern star express makes you get there at 8:15 but many times you don't leave till 9:30ish. They get upset with you when you take a break. They will yell at you for not going faster. They don't care it's 105 degrees outside and want to work faster. And telling you can't take a break. Bunch of bullcrap. You will lose sleep, have no life, and be stressed. Not a great company.
Pros
Drive a van
Cons
Benefits, long Days, pay, management
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3.0
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Good job ,good benefits
Satellite Installation Technician (Former Employee) –  Temple, TXApril 19, 2018
You get your jobs on you company ,provided phone ,head to the warehouse to get equipment if needed , be at your first job by 8am complete all your work orders within the time frames, grab some lunch finish the rest of your jobs close out your work orders and head home
Pros
coworkers, benefits, company vehicle and phone, independance
Cons
long hours, salary cap, poor advancement oppurtunity
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Worst company you can work for
Master Technician (Former Employee) –  San Antonio, TXSeptember 7, 2018
This is the worst company you can work for
A lot of master technicians and technicians had left this company for pay and poor management
And the dispatchers are not in San Antonio so they have no knowledge of how far distant are the calls they route you
There are times that you do almost 4 hours of drive time
You are scheduled far from home and come home late
And they also do not like paying drive time
And the company trucks don’t even make it due to lack of maintenance services
Worst company ever
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A very stressful job
Field Technician I (Former Employee) –  Little Rock, ARAugust 29, 2018
Working for Southern Star Incorporated has it's benefits. However all the cons attached to this job more than outweigh every single benefit you can acquire. For starters, you have the opportunity to make around $2000 dollars per weekly paycheck after about a year of employment with the company, as long as you are meeting your metrics. The metrics consist of; Smart Home Sales, Customer Satisfaction surveys, R12 incidents, and units per hour. The Smart Home Sales goal is $18 per work-order completed. You have to get all 9's out of 9 on all of you customer satisfaction surveys. Acquire no more than 8 R12 incidents per monthly work cycle. Complete at least 8 units per hour. The metric goals are graded on a monthly basis.

Just looking at these metric goals they may appear very simple to reach. However when actually on the job they prove quite difficult.
Smart Home Sales is the biggest goal you have to meet. It is pressed the hardest by your Field Service Manager. In fact if you continually fail to meet the goal Southern Star will fire you very quickly. Your customer satisfaction surveys are the next biggest thing that Southern Star looks at. If you continually fail to meet the goal of all 9's out of 9 on all of you customer satisfactions surveys, Southern Star will terminate you. R12's are the next statistic in the metrics that Southern Star inspects. R12's are attached to you if the work order you completed has to have extra work done anytime after 12 days of you being there. For example, let's say you get a new install work order on your route and you complete it correctly,
  more... 4 days later a big storm comes through and knocks the satellite dish out of alignment, you get an R12 if they have to send you, or another tech back out there to fix it. As long as you are continually meeting the prior metric goals your units per hour can suffer a little below 8. Each work order you receive from dispatch is worth a different amount units. Southern Star calculates your units per hour by taking the amount of jobs you had that day and adding up all the units you acquired from each job. Afterwards they then look at how long it took you to complete each job then they divide the units acquired by the time it took to complete the work orders.

Another con of this job is travel time, which you do not get paid for unless your first work order is over an hour away from your home. Then you travel pay only starts after the first hour. Meaning if you have to travel and hour and thirty minutes away you only get paid for 30 minutes of travel. Not to mention if you clock into travel time if kills you units per hour making it harder to meet the metric goal. You will spend anywhere from 8-12 hours sometimes more completing your route for the day. Depending of if the equipment you are installing wants to function how it is supposed to. The first day I was with my trainer we were out until 10P.M because the equipment we were installing didn't want to function correctly.

So far I have just discussed all the cons I could think of off the top of my head. Despite all the cons working for Southern Star it does have some Pros. You get a company issued van and a gas card you get to keep at your house to travel to your work orders, a company issued phone which keeps track of your work orders, and a full set of tools you will need to complete your jobs. After you get through your initial 4 weeks of ride along training with your assigned trainer, and your 8 weeks of limited routes Southern Star does offer 401K, and Health, dental, and vision insurance. As well as paid time off. Not to mention the company does work well with members of the Armed Forces, I never had any problems getting off for drill or annual training.
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Pros
Company issued van, Issued gas card, Issued tools
Cons
Long work hours, long travel times, Tough metric goals
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Run
Installer (Current Employee) –  TexasAugust 26, 2018
You work long days in the heat and have no support from anyone. The routing team and management could care less about your drive times. Management only cares about you selling products and is constantly trying to get you to sell something.
Pros
Equipment and tools are provided
Cons
Everything else
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3.0
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Enjoyed the job but...
SATELLITE TECHNICIAN (Former Employee) –  Heber Springs, ARJuly 20, 2018
Enjoyed the work and the money that I could make. Management was never satisfied and pushed up quotas above what is attainable making it a very stressful workplace with little recognition.
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Ok company to work for
Trainer/Technician (Current Employee) –  San Antonio, TXDecember 31, 2018
Fast pace company. Starting pay is ok, they have a path you can take if you meet the requirements. Which put you at unit pay, paid by the job. That is where you make great money. Free uniforms, company vehicle to take home after training.
Pros
Free company vehicle to take home and drive for work.
Cons
Higher demands than dish network
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Official response from Southern Star, Inc.
January 21, 2019

Thank you for this feedback. We review all comments to determine how we can continue to improve our processes and policies.

5.0
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Souther
Dish Network Technician (Former Employee) –  Warren, ARJanuary 28, 2019
Dish network was a great company to work with if your are interested in being outside all the time and spending one on one time with customers and improving your customer interaction
Pros
People skills
Cons
The winter
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Stay away from here
Installer (Current Employee) –  TexasDecember 8, 2018
Pretty much a horrible place to work. All this company cares about is if you sell something. They don't care about you are the customer. They want you to sell something on every job. They could care less on how you install the equipment. Your not an installer your a sales man. Also they make you work on your days off with no notice at all. So if you have plans they are canceled. I can't wait tell I find another place to work. Pretty much dread getting up knowing I have to work for this place. Stay away
Pros
They supply tools and van
Cons
Everything
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Poor management/poor company
Field Service Technician (Former Employee) –  Fort Smith, ARMarch 19, 2018
I wouldn't recommend this place to work for anyone. Direct manager's ideal leadership is through bullying. Corporate office and upper management will not listen to complaints on managers. You have a very limited availability to advance, unless you are in good with upper management's circle of friends. Company only cares about certain metrics that give them the highest bonuses, that you see nothing from. If you care about customer satisfaction, this is not the place for you. Pay was cut in half several years ago to save company money and to keep paying corp management same if not more. Owner has seemed to step back and let people run the company that cant even do a technicians work at the rate they expect.
Pros
Ins. Benefits, 401k, pay is ok but not great
Cons
Everything else
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Hostile work environment
Field Service Technician (Former Employee) –  Wichita Falls, TX/Lawton okNovember 3, 2018
FSM was picking fights with Technicians horrible leadership he doesn't care your just a number the Vans smell there junkie they don't maintain them very well. I had van that was a safety hazard, they don't supply all of your equipment your inventory is never correct they rush you on job's constantly harras u with text messages and phone calls in front of customers. I believe that Dish Network should not work them anymore a waste of money.
Pros
None
Cons
Everything there horrible people
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This place sucks.
Dish Network Installation Technician (Former Employee) –  Batesville, ARMay 22, 2018
Promised things and didn't carry through. Cut hours to zero in the winter months. Horribly managed company. No life working for this company. Management is terrible. Hours are terrible. Either zero hours or 15 hours or more a day.
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2.6
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