Cactus Communications Translator Reviews

Updated 21 Apr 2020

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3.1
65%
Recommend to a Friend
26%
Approve of CEO
Cactus Communications Co-Founder and CEO   Abhishek Goel (no image)
Abhishek Goel
7 Ratings
  1. "Translator"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Translator 

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

    Pros

    Flexible work Great induction and training for new translator Friendly project managers

    Cons

    Work varies a lot depending on the time of the year

  2. Helpful (7)

    "Decent work for students"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Freelance Translator 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Cactus Communications

    Pros

    I'm an undergraduate who has some publishing experience. The work at Cactus was definitely helpful, in that the nature of it still revolves around my field. Also, some of the papers are interesting, and the pay boiled down to around 20 - 25 USD/hour, which is pretty good (I've also seen some benefits from the current exchange rate.).

    Cons

    While this is in contrary to some of the other reviews, for me, at times, the work was excessive. I was completely exhausted for some time. Perhaps this applies to my department only, but given the number of names that appear as reviewers/crosscheckers, there is a severe lack of freelancers. Also, surprisingly, the original text to translate is often written very badly in the original language to be translated from as well.

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  3. Helpful (2)

    "Business model designed to devalue and scapegoat translators"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Freelancer - Freelance Translator 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Cactus Communications for less than a year

    Pros

    I cannot say anything positive about this company.

    Cons

    Translations are reviewed by in-house reviewers, who are non-native English speakers with no expertise in the subject area incentivized to give out wildly disproportionate and unfair scores (so-called Quality Indexes, QIs) to cut translators´ pay. Every time a low QI is given, the translator is asked to send an E-mail in his / her defense (otherwise, work dries up) - so I ended up having to spend numerous unpaid hours responding to completely unfounded comments about my translation. Further, every time a client is unhappy with a project, an "external editor" is hired by Cactus to "assess" the validity of the client´s complaint. This "external editor" is hired to validate the client´s negative feedback and is on a mission to nitpick anything that could be used to scapegoat the translator. If there is nothing to nitpick, reasons will be fabricated to give the translator a bad rating. The translator is then required to defend his / her position, having to again expend a lot of time without being paid. The most frustrating thing about the entire process is that no matter how well one explains how utterly unfounded the in-house reviewers´/ external editors´ claims are, the translator will be the one receiving punitive measures, i.e. receiving work no one wants or no work at all. Towards the end, I was allocated translation projects that no one wanted for $8 that required circa 5 hours´ work. I can´t speak for other job positions, but if you are contemplating becoming a freelance translator at Cactus Communications, please stay away from this company, no matter how desperate you are - they will treat you like garbage and throw you under the bus at every given opportunity.

    Cactus Communications Response

    June 4, 2020Associate Vice President, Translations

    Hello and thank you for your feedback. Firstly, I am sorry to hear that you’ve had a negative experience with us. As an organization, we are quite conscious of our association with our freelancers and are constantly working towards improving their experiences. However, I do wish to clarify a few misconceptions from your feedback, so that we can then constructively work towards making your future experiences better. To start with, I assure you that the perception you’ve shared of our quality process is not accurate for the translation department, although I can understand the reason for this misconception stemming from piecing together information about other departments. Our quality process involves a senior native translator who objectively checks the quality from a bilingual perspective, followed by an academic English editor who checks the output for English language quality. Having said this, I understand that your experience with us did not reassure you of our process. Hence, if your point of contact has been unable to address this issue, I invite you to write to me at saroshs@cactusglobal.com and I will be glad to work with you. Secondly, I would like to clarify this misconception about work being withheld as a punitive measure. No company actively restricts its own business processes or affects its customers’ experience. It would be absurd to prioritize penalization over running processes smoothly. Similarly, we make it a point to allocate work to all freelancers that provide quality as needed by our customers. In fact, in the translation department, there are scores of confirmed examples of translators getting work that suffices their month’s requirements. With this, I assure you that we are always looking forward to strengthening our associations with our freelancers. Do write to me or your point of contact on how we can do this together! Warm regards, Sarosh Syed, AVP, Translation

  4. "Potential to be better"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Freelancer - Freelance Translator 

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

    Pros

    Flexibility and Smooth communication

    Cons

    Hard to have life and work balance

    Cactus Communications Response

    March 5, 2020Associate, Freelancer Engagement

    Thank you for your feedback. We are glad your overall experience with us has been good. I am sorry to hear that it has been difficult for you to maintain a work life balance. However, I would like to let you know that as a freelancer you have the right to pick up as many assignments as you like according to your schedule. If you do think that your workload is getting too heavy for you, please feel free to write to me at tanvi.devpura@cactusglobal.com and we can look into it and help you out. Best, Tanvi Devpura Associate, Freelancer Engagement

  5. "Good opportunity"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Freelancer - Freelance Translator 
    Recommends

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

    Pros

    Gained experience and experience with academic papers and non-academic writings

    Cons

    Can be out of work from time to time

  6. "Good Place to Get a Start"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    Current Freelancer - Freelance Translator 

    I have been working at Cactus Communications

    Pros

    A good place for new translators to get a start Extremely flexible Good task management system

    Cons

    Assignments are not always based on subject area expertise Translation assignments seem tailored to minimize cost at the expense of quality sometimes Time constraints are at times unreasonable

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  7. "Good"

    4.0
    Current Freelancer - Translator 

    I have been working at Cactus Communications

    Pros

    Good work amount, payments are on time

    Cons

    Ratings by other translators are harsh

    Cactus Communications Response

    December 5, 2019Associate, Freelancer Engagement

    Thank you for your review. Sorry to hear that you found certain ratings harsh. If there are any particular ratings that you would like to discuss, please feel free to write to me at tanvi.devpura@cactusglobal.com . Best, Tanvi Devpura Associate, Freelancer Engagement

  8. "Under paid"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Freelancer - Translator 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Cactus Communications for less than a year

    Pros

    I could pick the ones I wanted to do

    Cons

    There is mo communication with the client so hard to translate. If you decline work a few times you end up with nothing. Takes too much time what your getting paid for

  9. "Flexible schedule"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Freelancer - Freelance Translator 

    I worked at Cactus Communications for more than a year

    Pros

    Flexiable schedule to work on meaningful projects.

    Cons

    Slow communication between translators and original authors.

  10. Helpful (2)

    "Pay is okay, but the terms I'm not sure"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Freelancer - Translator 
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Cactus Communications for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - Pay was okay. - Work volume was quite stable, even though it can vary between 1,000 USD from month to month (this happened a few months) - Go for it if you want to gain a good freedom of working from home and the digital nomadic life style. Even though they will reach you dozen times a day for a favour for small urgent issues that are not your responsibilities.

    Cons

    - If you are good, diligent, and dedicated, they start abusing your favour and you may be alerted for many small chores that are irrelevant to your projects. - Even though the contract states the translator has the right to reject offers, it is often not the case. There is an unspoke pressure for conditionless acceptance which may affect your performance for subject unfamiliarity. - They have no systematic terminology pool, and resources database developed at an organisational level for all translators to share other than the generic resources page. - They can reach you anytime even at 2 in the morning. They don't care if you are human, you are just a translating machine. - When they don't want you anymore, when dispose you like dumping trash.

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Found 31 reviews