• Report: #195396

Complaint Review: ACI Advanced Communicationc

  • Submitted: Thu, June 08, 2006
  • Updated: Tue, April 15, 2014

  • Reported By:flint Michigan
ACI Advanced Communicationc
5711 Research Dr. Canton,Michigan 48188 Pontiac, Michigan U.S.A.
  • Phone: 800-825-4224
  • Web:
  • Category: Employers

ACI Advanced Communicationc Contractors For Comcast Cable Cheating there employees out of pay, over working, and mass overhiring to pay their employees less ripoff Canton, Michigan

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: aci a joke

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: yes, you wait and see

*General Comment: Long time no see, Joseph

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: you had me, then you lost me Lori

*General Comment: LOL I'm still out here

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Don't walk, run! NO FEW CHAH! (future)

*UPDATE Employee: Just as bad probably WORSE

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: inquiring minds lori...

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: lori apologizes, sort of, on other aci thread

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Sad apologist

*Consumer Comment: eye opener

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Details

*General Comment: Lori returns

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Palatine/Illinois Shut down

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: ITS ONLY GOTTEN WORSE!

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: long manager's hours

*UPDATE Employee: My Experience with ACI

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Eat while driving, lori (charlie) suggests?

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Just a theory

* : LECOM COMUNICATIONS IS THE SAME WAY AND WORSE!!!!

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Business as usual

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Business as usual

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Business as usual

*UPDATE Employee: Time for a change

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: New Office Office

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: it's amazing they are still in business

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: The Philosophy Was RIGHT ON - But Greed Got In The Way

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: The Philosophy Was RIGHT ON - But Greed Got In The Way

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: The Philosophy Was RIGHT ON - But Greed Got In The Way

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: The Philosophy Was RIGHT ON - But Greed Got In The Way

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Wow, this thread never stops

*Consumer Suggestion: Employee wage theft is a growing trend

*UPDATE Employee: They're reachin into our pockets again!

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: ACI Was Good......and Leah, I am Sorry........

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Very sorry to hear...that's too bad

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Moving Forward

*UPDATE Employee: Please Accept My Apologies

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Lori...

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: ACI is a joke

*UPDATE Employee: Scratching my head.

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: I miss your comments "Lori", where are you now? Two new ACI thread on this site, too!

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: I miss your comments "Lori", where are you now? Two new ACI thread on this site, too!

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: I miss your comments "Lori", where are you now? Two new ACI thread on this site, too!

*UPDATE Employee: come on...

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Advanced communications treats workers bad, ex workers worse

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: 100-210% turnover

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: ACI Advance Communications is not a bad company to work for.

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Forgot one more thing indicative of how 'employee friendly' they are

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Cable contracting is a tricky business, that is for certain

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Cable contracting is a tricky business, that is for certain

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Cable contracting is a tricky business, that is for certain

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Cable contracting is a tricky business, that is for certain

*UPDATE Employee: L2R Secrets...

*UPDATE Employee: GET OVER IT...

*Consumer Comment: ACI information

*UPDATE Employee: Welcome aboard William

*UPDATE Employee: 5 days....

*Consumer Suggestion: I'm a Tech for Comcast in Indiana

*Author of original report: 5 Day work week???

*UPDATE Employee: All of the negative comments...

*Consumer Suggestion: 5 Day Work Week

*Consumer Suggestion: I TOLD YOU WHAT TO DO!

*UPDATE Employee: Once again!

*UPDATE Employee: Lori is right about one thing.

*Consumer Comment: HMMM, where do we go from here

*UPDATE Employee: Dear Mr. Lori

*Consumer Comment: Let's look at this issue more closely....

*UPDATE Employee: ACI is dishonest and very high and mighty for themselves

*Consumer Comment: Greg, one more thing

*Consumer Comment: Thanx for the clarification

*UPDATE Employee: Unfair is...

*Consumer Comment: Well, we gotta start somewhere....

*UPDATE Employee: The economy may be bad but...

*UPDATE Employee: The economy may be bad but...

*UPDATE Employee: The economy may be bad but...

*Consumer Comment: Let's look at the economy......

*UPDATE Employee: Taking money from employees

*Consumer Suggestion: I am a communications tech for Comcast in Indiana

*Consumer Suggestion: WOW!

*Consumer Suggestion: WOW!

*Author of original report: sorry I couldn't respond sooner

*Consumer Comment: Off Topic for Troy

*Consumer Suggestion: this must be one of those that will never end

*Consumer Comment: Good Heavens

*Consumer Suggestion: I am a communications tech for Comcast in Indiana

*UPDATE Employee: HAHA That's all very funny!!!

*Consumer Comment: Troy

*Consumer Comment: ACI isn't for everyone

*UPDATE Employee: I am a communications tech for Comcast in Indiana

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I truly have never had a problem like this out of any employer in all my years of working, but the worst thing is it's my husbands employer and I just have to sit back and watch while this company suckers people into there promises of a Great Career that gets them reeled in and spits them out after there exhausted and way overworked. My Husband worked at a plant and was pretty happy but always wanted better benefits for our family.

One day I was online and saw this wonderful job ad that said cable installers, make $10-$13 dollars an hour with great benefits! I looked online at the company and everything seemed to look fine. I didn't find anything bad about them and the benefits section fit what we had been needing and wanting perfectly. So I submitted my husbands resume just to see if he would get a call back and maybe talk to someone about this company one on one.

Well less than 2 days later a guy named Greg Wolfe called my husband telling him he would be a great candidate for there work team and would love to give him an interview. We were excited and thought why not, he would just go to the interview and we would compare the 2 jobs when he was done.

Well when he came home from the interview he was very excited with what this company had to offer him. He told me about there benefits program and how they didn't have exact prices that day but Greg Wolfe told him they were some were in the range of 60 dollars or a little more for a whole family a week which was awesome for Blue Cross Blue shield (who knew that would be so far from the truth!

He went on telling me how they pay a base of $10 dollars an hour starting and small commission on every job you do so you will make the $13 dollars a hour they advertise on the job ads. he said after 90 day's they give you a raze and you will always move up from there. I said it sounded wonderful and told him to go for it.

He called them the very next day and said he accepted the job and was told he would start training in 2 weeks because he wanted to give his notice at his current job and the training would last for 4 weeks. Well 2 weeks came and he was at training. All went well, he finished his training in which they pay $9.50 an hour, but no biggie even though they forgot to tell us that until we received the check 3 weeks later we could handle it because he would soon be making $13 dollars and hour LOL!

Well the first week came. They told him the first couple months he would be working allot so he could really get the hang of what he was doing. My husband was OK with that even though he was used to a 40-45 hour work week and the 60-65 hour work week was a little unpleasant, but he dealt with it cause we knew it would go to around 55 after a couple of months.

Well after about 3 months my husband asked about the hours being cut back and they told him he needed to wait because they were going to go from a 6 day work week like they had to a 5 day work week but they had to hire some more guys to make it happen. Well we were so excited and even though he had been working 60+ hours he had been brining home about $600 dollars a week and that was fine with us as long as we knew he would get a break soon.

Well with every check that came his pay had the same hours but was getting lower and lower. He never reached the $13 dollars a hour like promised but started making $12 there for the first little bit, but was gradually decreasing even though his hours and work load didn't. So I told him he needed to speak with someone about this pay structure. My husband said no matter how many times he asked about the pay scale no one would ever explain it the same and it seemed they didn't even know what it was. Supervisors were asking other supervisors and it just didn't seem right he said.

So when he went to ask once again the supervisor said, "we are having a meeting this week, I will explain it to you then", so we waited. Well in the meeting they explained to all there loyal hard working men that they were lowering there pay to pay for the extra trucks they had to buy to give them a day off.

The problem was even though this was hurting every one financially they were so exhausted and needed a day off they only argued this for a moment until the management said, "then you wont get a day off", and people said fine and couldn't argue any more. At that time about 1/3 of there staff quit because they just couldn't handle the pay decreases anymore.But my husband noticed it didn't;t affect them at all because they had prepared for this. They knew these men would be unhappy with the new pay so for about 2 months before they started this Mass hiring as they are doing today.

They will hire any one and every one just to get them in there for a couple of weeks then if they don't work out it's OK cause they have a next batch literally every 2 weeks. So any loyal valuable employees they have are very easily replaced with more and more each week.
Well they gave my husband his 5 day work week and we were happy even though the pay had dropped so bad just from one work day being taken out. 5 days dropped his pay to around $368.00 a week and he was still putting in 55+ hours so it was not making any sense.

See even though they were Mass hiring all those guys were flakes because of such little pay so all the dependable loyal workers got stuck with all the over load every time a couple employees would drop off a week.
So one day I said give me all your pay stubs I want to examine them one more time (as I did so many times before in confusion).

Well I noticed on his pay stubs it kept saying $9.50 an hour and asked my husband what is this? He asked his supervisor and they told everyone in the next meeting that it was base pay and the L2R (which is there commissions) is making it higher, but when asked a question about it would beat around the bush saying stuff they only half understood.

Well one day my husband had enough and wanted to learn this pay thing if it killed him so him and a group of guys went to a supervisor and said show us please why we are making so little. Well they were told they would hold a meeting and would explain this all again as if they were such a nucense(even though they never did in the first place). So the meeting comes and every one is there because they all want to know how this pay thing really works.

Well a couple of the guys really believed they understood and knew they were getting cheated and this meeting confirmed it all. The guy said that they had changed the pay structure and here was the new pay structure. Well one guy stood up and said when were you going to tell us this? He said," This is why I am holding this meeting, I am telling you now", even though it had been noticeable for weeks on there checks.

Well basically the Supervisor said take it or leave it stay or quit, and with guys with family's and with the current state of Michigan's employment they knew they would have no where to go so they had to stay. To this day my husband works for ACI and his last check was around $402.00 and that was for 56 hours. They have told the men they are cutting out the 5 day work week now because they got more jobs from Comcast and they want them done, BUT they will still keep paying the way they do now even with no 5 day work week!!! EVEN THOUGH THE REASON THEY CUT THERE PAY WAS TO PAY FOR THE OTHER EMPLOYEES AND TRUCKS THEY HAD TO GET FOR A 5 DAY WORK WEEK! Crazy how that company scammed those guys out of there pay and within 3 months took there day off right back with still the low pay.

When my husband called me this morning to tell me everything we scheduled even our vacation had to be canceled because the days off that were pre-scheduled were taken away, I was appalled. After screaming in his poor ear about them for 10 minutes I decided that was not going to help anyone and bring him down more than he already is. The only thing left now is to warn people. If you see a Employment Ad saying ACI, Advanced Communication, or ACI direct and you still would like to work with them make sure to have them explain there pay scale FULLY and I bet when you ask them they will give you a very quick brief example and tell you that you will learn more once your in training. And also ask them about how many hours and days you will work a week and try not to take a good amount for a answer.

My husband leaves at 6:45 in the morning and I don't see him until 8 or 9 p.m. at night and certainly don't get compensated for what he does especially when the average Comcast cable installer make from $12-$13 dollars an hour with set hours.

This company wears Comcast uniforms and basically when you have a cable problem and think a Comcast employee will be there to fix it, half the time it's this company ACI who is a subcontract to Comcast. Comcast gives them the jobs there employees don't want or passes on cause they can't fit it in on there work schedule and ACI picks them up and does them for the set price.

My husband basically works for Comcast without and benefits of Comcast and without actually getting to go to Comcast and get treated like a human being instead of a slave for this company that is opening up all over America now and quickly because of there Mass hiring methods and there pay Scam. And if anyone from ACI ever reads this, please think about the children and wives and home having to work doubles because you keep talking away money and benefits from our family.

All your promises have hurt these family's so much and you can only do people wrong for so long till they catch on and Comcast stops giving you so many jobs. If you treated your employees right and payed them right you would never have to mass hire and keep good hard working employees that value there company instead of dread to speak there name. When I ask a Comcast cable guy who came to fix my Internet about ACI, his exact words were," tell him to go work at McDonalds he will get treated better"!

How can you pride in your company when you work so hard to build it then you get to a point where you think you have hit success but the only success is the fact you learned how to take from the people helping you to achieve that success? I have learned in life god can give you blessings, but when you abuse them they can all be taken away and all these men are proof to a blessing gone bad and taken for granite!

Yours truly, A very upset wife and a exhausted Daddy!

Mandy
flint, Michigan
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/08/2006 08:11 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/ACI-Advanced-Communicationc/Pontiac-Michigan-48341/ACI-Advanced-Communicationc-Contractors-For-Comcast-Cable-Cheating-there-employees-out-of-195396. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 REBUTTAL Owner of company

aci a joke

AUTHOR: mike - ()

I work there a year and its time in my life I won't get back everything about it sucks

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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

yes, you wait and see

AUTHOR: Joseph - (U.S.A.)

Lori, I gotta tell you:  you never disappoint.  Never.

Instead of googling the lawsuit, let me send you an actual copy of it.  Shoot, it is funny.  Funny meaning amazing.  Incredible.  It might 

I am sure new ownership are super interested in the management of an ethically and financially bankrupt enterprise.   Here's a free tip:  Falsetti doesn't care about you or your family.  

and you're right, don't apologize to the people who were treated unfairly that you antagonized.  Again and again and again.  You are a real piece of work, hun.  I've never met you, but going to guess you are a 280 lb troll.   I mean, you are a troll on internet, just guessing your actual lifestyle could not be much different.  Not sure if antagonizing trolls also makes me a troll (it's complicated), but I do enjoy our little exchanges....don't know why.  

I am sure there are ex marines that are not overweight POS's who have not seen their genitals without the benefit of a mirror in 15 years--they just don't work at ACI.  

Speaking of which, please be sure to tell Charlie:  Sempre Fudge!    


 
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#3 General Comment

Long time no see, Joseph

AUTHOR: Lori - (U.S.A.)

The new investor is out of Ohio, the announcement was made in Oct.  Many changes are being made, including the naming of a new CEO.  This is going to be a 'wait and see' situation at this point.  Mr. Falsetti no longer owns the majority percentage of the company.  Hopefully this will all help bring ACI back to a good company that appreciates it's workers and once again respects the fact that family and work must find a happy balance.  
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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

you had me, then you lost me Lori

AUTHOR: Joseph - (U.S.A.)

Lori, you agree the company is but a shell of its former self, the future probably bleak.  You also admit they stopped training/retaining talent. Yet, you make no apologies for antagonizing people who were trying to point out the things that were/are wrong there?  Puzzling, yet not surprising.

I'm so  happy to hear about the possibility of new investors.  Let's see if there's an investor who want's to buy a (poorly run) company with 38 million dollars missing.  Golly, I bet they are LINING UP!! Nobody would rather start from scratch.  Of course, there are investors who will buy all their capital for 10 cents on the dollar at auction.  Then start a working company.

Oh gosh, that was a good one. Have to wipe tears from eyes.  Yes, there ARE investors out there, lol.

And yes, this magical happy new investor will certainly keep the current management, too.  h*o h*o.  They've done such a great job. Oh gosh.  It's such a booming industry in a robust economy.    

You're right, I did miss you.  Sempre Fudge!
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#5 General Comment

LOL I'm still out here

AUTHOR: Lori - (U.S.A.)

Nice to see that I was missed!  For those that are so interested in what's been going on:  Yes, hubby is still with ACI, and as has been pointed out by others, is NOT Charlie (I've only met him once at our son's funeral), and he (my husband) is currently a tech.  Actually, not a bad place to be, because as someone pointed out, tech's used to make more money than supervisors, and they don't have to carry as heavy of a load either.  

Many things have changed over the past couple of years, as has been pointed out by anon in Petoskey.  I truly feel bad for the new Sup that is taking over up here, because if he looks at past history, he will figure out that he probably won't have this job for very long.  He will be the third Supervisor in this area in just short of two years.  

To some extent, the owner of the other contracting company is right.  SOME of the issues are the MSO, but not all.  ACI must bear their share of the blame in this one.  Instead of hiring and retaining knowledgeable, hard working people, it's all about the bottom line and who will do the work for the least amount of money.  If you have worked your way up, and are actually making money (for both the company and your paycheck), forget about it.  Training times have dropped, more techs are going into the field without enough of the basics, and quality then suffers.  Our insurance benefits have changed (in the middle of a year no less), making for higher deductibles and co-pays.  IF you get a raise you can rest assured that the increases in the deductions will be more than the pay increase.  PDH is no where as lucrative as L2R, especially when we are being told that the MSO has lowered their reimbursement rates to the company (as stated by another poster).  NPT is often left off your checks and has to be corrected, you are still required to claim a lunch, and job's tend to be scarce a lot of days.  Back in 'the good old days' techs were given their route in the morning, and took care of it accordingly.  Now you get one or two jobs at a time, and may pass one and have to make a LONG trip back to hit another, even in the same time frame.  This is a wasteful practice that costs both the company AND tech money.  

Yes, Dan Kanaan has left the company, and is currently suing Mike under the RICO act.  Currently there is a short 'stay' on the suit to determine if a criminal investigation/charges will be filed.  This is public information and can be googled under Kanaan v Falsetti.  There are currently rumors of an investor...... hope that the company/guy has a good atty to avoid getting caught up in a messy situation.  

No, I'm not going to apologize for previous comments.  At one point, ACI was a great company to work for.  At one point, they paid good wages and cared about their employees.  In the years since, these same loyal employees have had many things taken from them..... and there is simply no excuse for that.  All must adjust for economic changes, but you can only give so much.  If things don't turn around soon, ACI as a company will no longer exist. 

BTW, no BBQ this year...... we did that as a thanks to all the techs that worked under hubby, trying to show the appreciation for the job that they did...... As a tech, no employees under him.  Pretty sad, cause it was a good time! 
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#6 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Don't walk, run! NO FEW CHAH! (future)

AUTHOR: Joseph - (U.S.A.)

Don't despair, it's not about your efforts, technicians.  Owner Falsetti is being sued by the previous co owner Kanaan for cooking the books.  There's only about 20 or 30 million missing.  That's a lot of drill bits and tires.  And Lori is still quiet.  If you read this and see Charlie, tell him "Sempre Fudge", and to not forget to give Will a reach around.  I tried to warn him about instant karma.
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#7 UPDATE Employee

Just as bad probably WORSE

AUTHOR: anonymous2011 - (United States of America)

In response to the most recent OP, Mr. Crofoot is the biggest two faced liar I have ever heard. Recently, he came to our office to say, if we needed anything he would get it for us. Acting as if he would run to Home Depot to get it himself, after the meeting a tech asked for wood drill bits. A tool which the company is supposed to provide for each tech and Mr. Crofoot
responded, get the bits from Home Depot but keep the receipt and you will be reimbursed. However, it takes the company 3 months to reimburse if you hound them and threaten to quit. The company vehicles are in terrible condition, recently a technician had a complete tire blowout at a customer's house because the company refused to replace them. I am currently working on trying to quit this company. The problem being, and I think they do this on purpose, is it's hard to look for or take interviews when you work 6 days a week, 10 to 12 hours or more each day. The call in policy has changed about 3 times in 2 months with no notification or signing of an agreement from it's employees. Apparently, the new company standard
is if you call in, with or without a doctor's note, you will be written up. The explanation given for this, was so that Charlie
Crofoot could keep track of them when all it does is make the employees feel they've done something wrong or give the company a reason to fire that individual. The only employees treated with any respect are those who've been there for many years, the rest of us have to deal with crappy equipment that may or may not work, the oldest company vehicles with multiple problems and denied personal time almost every time. A technician recently had to call in just to attend his own wedding because half of his personal time he had requested 6 months in advance was denied. The only thing we had going
for us in our office was our supervisor who wouldn't put up with the crap they pulled and fought it as much as possible. He will be leaving in a week. Even though they've interviewed the experienced technicians in our office for the position about a week ago, they still haven't filled it and I have a feeling they are going to get a dog on a leash type supervisor who will do anything without question.
In a final note, if you are thinking of working for this company please don't. They will blatantly lie about how much you will make a week and confuse you with the pay structure that is literally designed to screw you out of your hard earned money. We recently had an new guy quit after 1 day in the field because he basically got screwed out of his training. The mass hire process they have designed  literally leaves new guys in the field with no idea what they are doing and they will refuse to give you anymore training after your 2 weeks and the rest of us are either busy or too burnt out to help you. Believe me when I say don't even try to call your supervisor or your elite tech because they won't help you. This is the worst company I have ever worked for and I am warning you now not to waste your time, because it will drain you mentally and physically and they
will use you for everything you have and then spit you out like your dirt.

Sincerely,

A hard working employee done with this employer's BS
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#8 UPDATE EX-employee responds

inquiring minds lori...

AUTHOR: Joseph - (U.S.A.)

So how are things at ACI?  Backyard BBQ good this year? only slightly curious to find out how it's going for Charlie and the gang lately.  Sempre fudge!!  So Lori, please, pretty please, if you get an email that there's a response, don't be such a coward.  Own your mistakes.  Face them.   It's a fair bet a few following the thread  think you owe a little more of an explanation, frankly.  I mean, after all the mama's boy talk and such.  
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#9 UPDATE EX-employee responds

lori apologizes, sort of, on other aci thread

AUTHOR: Joseph - (U.S.A.)

on the ACI thread where they are spelled 'advanced communicationc' with 'c' at end instead of 's'.

oddly, she's still misses the point.
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#10 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Sad apologist

AUTHOR: Joseph - (U.S.A.)

Why doesn't one of your fellow contracting company owners reply to any of this dissent? Different symptom of root problem: they don't care. Their gaps in performance in management and ethics runs from the top down. You can make money in the industry--even in bad times--but it doesn't take long for the customers or the workforce to figure out the scam. Then it's time to pack up shop and start another company with the same people, only a different name. If they stuck with that formula, they'd still be doing fine, but they went for the big scam and it fell apart. Or is falling apart. A childhood relationship with someone at Comcast will only carry you so far, he's not that big of a cog anyway. JG isn't going to risk his sweet sweet payday to prop you up anymore.

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#11 Consumer Comment

eye opener

AUTHOR: SHOCKED employer - (United States of America)

I am an owner of another local contracting company (Michigan) and it is very sad to hear about the complaints against ACI and I'm surprised no owner or upper management has chimed in to defend the company (and Lori...you REALLY sound like a lawyer or a robot so you DON'T count). What techs, consumers, etc fail to realize is, 99.999% of these "issues" aren't caused by ACI but rather the customer we work for. ACI, as well as our company fall victim to the demands of our unrealistic client(s). It isthe cable company who doesn'tcare.. We couldn't do a THING without our techs, and we love you all whether you believe that or not. And poor Leah.. I feel so bad reading about what's happened to you... You probably have some WONDERFUL business insight as to the mistakes (business related) of your husband, and it is from those mistakes that an up and coming company attempts to improvise, adapt and overcome all of the obsticales thrown at US daily by the cable providers. Best wishes to you all, and PLEASE try and see the big picture. The most difficult part of our managers job is finding QUALITY people. Michigan especially is saddled with workers who WANT to do the bare minimium to get by and rarely try to excel. No offense to you TRUE PROFESSIONALS, and you know who you are as you are the guys whotake up the slack of the dead weight on your respective team and make it ALL happen for the rest of us. We couldn't do it without you.

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#12 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Details

AUTHOR: Joseph - (U.S.A.)

Lori, that's a fantastic business model you have put together.  Did you get your MBA at Harvard?

If you have a workforce that is 100% effective and knowledgeable in all aspects of telecommunications, this might be all you need.

But if you are hiring every high school drop out who can't remember to recharge drill batteries you are going to have to provide a few things.  Leadership for one.  Training is another.  Effective supervision is good, too.  Reward high performers always retains good help, yeah.   

Comcast is wise to their ways, aci offices dropping like flies. You know, if the installs worked when their technicians left (for 60 days or so), nobody would care about the billing for splitters not changed, drops not hung.   If you don't have experienced workers, you won't last very long. Problem is, ACI treats their employees like cattle and it shows in their turnover figures.   The idea that 'techs just leave after two years' is non sense.  You spend more money training and retraining new chimps that get it 75% right (which is pretty good for chimps, terrible for metrics).  How about this model:  Take half of that training/recruiting money and allocate it to the best installers somehow.  They'll be leaders for the new techs, who will in turn improve.   Or, just keep closing offices.

Of course, no matter what 'model' you put to work for you,  it would still require the proper leadership and supervision.  Accountability. Teamwork.  Stuff they teach in military.  I heard.  Good luck with that.


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#13 General Comment

Lori returns

AUTHOR: Lori - (U.S.A.)

Im BAAAACK! Glad to know that I was missed. LOL Dave, are you one of those that showed up at one of the backyard bbqs at the house?

Dave is correct, Im married to an ACI supervisor. Correction on the time period, my husband and I were in cable prior to ACI, and my husband has worked for ACI for nearly 8 years. Pretty amazing, right? My own experience and knowledge comes from working within the field, as well as being interested in what my husband now does. Im sure the information that I impart are not trade secrets, simply explanations of information that should have been ingested when the guys were trained. All other information is simply common sense and widely known by ANYONE that has ever worked in the field, be it construction, installation or service calls.

Im not going to tell you that some of the changes within the company couldnt be better. As a company grows, changes and adapts to economic climate, things must change at all levels. When something doesnt work, changes occur again. These changes affect everyone in the food chain, from the top to the bottom.

Since I was last here, yes, some have lost their families, many have found that they simply arent cut out for the job. This is true of any company. The best that we can do is the best that we can do, planning for the worst outcome while praying for the best. Just as all of you look out for your families bottom line, so must a company.

For the record, my husband is a good man, dedicated to making things work. Yes, he still runs routes, he still helps his guys out, he still stands on the front line. He works 7 days a week, long hours and dealing with the stress that comes with the job. As with his techs, he comes home exhausted, yet gets up in the morning to do it all again. Id also like to point out that ACI still offers benefits to its employees (again, try getting them on your own, because they are expensive), full time, steady employment (try getting that at McDs) and a weekly paycheck. Some like it, some dont (or their significant other doesnt) and some just arent cut out for the job. No one has ever told you that life was gonna be easy, but I was always taught to hang in there and make things work.

For those out there that think they could do a better job, why all the complaining instead of suggestions to improve? If youre not a part of the solution, youre a part of the problem. Now folks, Business 101: If you want the contract, you make concessions to obtain same. You have companies B, C, D and E competing for the same money. Obtain contract, make money, pay employees. Lose contract, no money, no employees. Which end of this scenario do you really want to be on? You can always move on to a fast food joint for 20 or 30 hours a week, then go to your second and third jobs (all btw, without benefits available) or you can work through the hard times with one job and be happy that your mortgage is paid and your kids have food and heat.

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#14 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Palatine/Illinois Shut down

AUTHOR: Rusty - (U.S.A.)

Hard to believe the geniuses they had running the shops in Illinois ran them into the ground.  Maybe that's why they are EX marines.   


Haha (times 1000).  

Metrics are HARD!

haha (etc.)
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#15 UPDATE EX-employee responds

ITS ONLY GOTTEN WORSE!

AUTHOR: "DAVE" - (United States of America)

 As an ex-employee of ACI i feel i have alot to share on this topic. I was employed by Aci for over3 years, at first they were using an L2R payscale which i myself LOVED. I usually worked 50-55 hrs a week and made 900-1150 per week. I was one of the stand outs in the pay scale area because i had/have a full understandig of how it works,i-e THROW EVERY SINGLE CODE POSSIBLE ON EVERY SINGLE JOB YOU CAN! BILLABLE REVANUE RAISES YOUR PAY, WHETHER YOU ACTUALLY DID THE WORK OR NOT! ACI CAN BILL CHARTER JUST FOR YOU SAYING YOU DID IT! Apparentlly not enough guys were doing this because for whatever reason aci came up with PDH, production driven hourly, which is basically saying that for every dollar you bill for we will give you a % usually around 28-30. sounds great right? NOT WHEN THEY LIE ABOUT WHAT THE ARE BEING PAID! By knocking of 30-40% of what they are getting paid and then paying employee 30%. Basiclly we bill charter 1,000 for your work, we then tell you we billed 600.00 and 30% of 600 is 200.00(NOT 333.33) so once we charge you 60.00 for using our truck,10.00 for safe driver program,52.50 for damages last week and you uniform rental....aww sorry you owe us money!  


    AND FOR THE RECORD LORI IS MARRIED TO AN ACI SUPERVISOR WITH 5 YEARS EXP! Not just ow i know a few of the guys! LMFAO!

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#16 UPDATE EX-employee responds

long manager's hours

AUTHOR: Joseph - (U.S.A.)


The only thing I ever saw the managers ever do was sit behind their desk going over the phone bills, charging the employee's ten cents a minute for what were calculated to be personal calls, watch baseball, surf the internet and play fantasy sports leagues.  Yeah, once in awhile they would have to talk to an irate customer.


The phone charges could eat away most a check if tech was dumb enough not to use your own phone.  And you can't tell me nextel charged them ten cents a minute.
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#17 UPDATE Employee

My Experience with ACI

AUTHOR: Lee - (United States of America)

I work in Columbus, and I love my job. My manager cares about his
"people". He comes into work every morning by 6am and does not leave til at least 6pm. He works 6-7 days a
week. There has not been one time that I have called him that he has
not answered his phone(even at 10pm). He is always here. I don't think
he has a vacation at all this year. I have seen him buy tech's
boots (that we are required to wear) when they could not afford them. He
has paid a tech's damage charge(which would have came out of the tech's
check) he has paid for c.o.d.'s that tech's have lost(or spent). He
listens to their problems. If they complain that they are not making
money, he sits down with them and tells them how to make money. You
could not ask for a better work environment. The hours are long and
it's not an easy job, but you can make money. Good money. It takes a
few month's, but once you know what your doing you can make good money.
I won't comment on what others have said on this site. I can only speak
of my experience. And my experience is, you get what you give. If you
work hard, have pride in your work and do what your paid to do, you
won't have any problems.
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#18 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Eat while driving, lori (charlie) suggests?

AUTHOR: Rusty - (U.S.A.)

Charlie, I mean lori, you suggest the technicians eat while they drive?  Is that part of the company safe driving policy?  Actually, that is against company policy.  You jags want it both ways all the time now, don't you?
 
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#19 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Just a theory

AUTHOR: Rusty - (U.S.A.)

Lori, for someone that doesn't work there, you sure have a lot to say and have pretty intimate knowledge of the inner workings of the company.   Ever consider this:  they keep all these incompetent managers around because it's pretty clear the owners have some sort of Marine fantasy going on--nothing else can really explain it.


Is it more than just fantasy?  I shudder to think...ewwwwww, I just did.
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#20

LECOM COMUNICATIONS IS THE SAME WAY AND WORSE!!!!

AUTHOR: for your info - (USA)

PLEASE DONT TELL YOUR HUSBAND TO GO TO WORK FOR LECOM COMMUNICATIONS:

 BECAUSE THEY ARE JUST LIKE ACI, BUT WORSE BECAUSE IMAGINE THE LITTLE MONEY YOUR HUSBAND MAKES FOR THE AMOUNT OF HRS. HE WORKS, WELL LECOM COMMUNICATIONS PAY IS DECIEVING AS WELL FOR JUST AS MANY LONG HRS., BUT THEY ARE WORSE BECAUSE THEY ACTUALLY MAKE THE GUYS BUY THE ALL THE TOOLS THE COMPANY NEEDS ANYWAY TO DO THE JOB, AND THEY TAKE IT OUT OF THEIR tiny CHECK,  THESE ARE NOT ACESSORIES IM TALKING ABOUT, THESE ARE WHAT THE COMPANY NEED TO GET THE JOB DONE, FOR EXAMPLE; WHEN YOU INSTALL CABLE, RUN A DROP, YOU MUST FASTEN THE LOOSE CABLE TO THE HOME, AND RUN IT INTO THE HOME, WELL, LECOM COMMUNICATION MAKE THEIR EMPLOYEES BUY THOSE FASTENERS OUT THERE tiny PAYCHECK, EVERY REAL COPANY, THE COMPANY PICK UP THE TAB FOR TOOLS, UNIFORMS, LUNCH BREAKS ECT. THEY SAY CAUSE THEY USE TO MANY, WHAT!!!!! WE DO WHAT WE NEED TO TO TO GET THE JOB DONE!!!!! BUT THEY PUT THE BURDEN OF BUYING THE EQUIPMENT ON THE GUYS!!!!! SHAMEFULL, SO THE QUALITY OF WORK IS EXTREMLY POOR, THE MORALE IS POOR LIKE A RE-OCCURING CYCLE, AND WHO SUFFERS, THE CUSTOMER!!! WITH MORE AND MORE PROBLEMS CAUSE THE TECH. IS OVER WORKED JUST TO MAKE NORMAL PAY AND TRIED, SO WE CUT A LOT OF CONERS, AND TELL THE CUSTOMER ANYTHING JUST TO GET OUT THE DOOR TO OUR NEXT JOB SO WE CAN AT LEASE KEEP MAKING THE tiny CHECK CAUSE WE WORK BY JOB, AND AS FAR AS A LUNCH BREAK HA!!!! THEY TIME OUR JOBS ONLY ONE HOUR BEHIND THE NEXT, SO WE ARE ALWAS RUNNING BEHIND, WHICH MEANS NO TIME FOR LUNCH, BECAUSE NO ONE JOB IS THE SAME, SO IF WE HAVE THE LUXURY OF EATING IN THE TRUCK ON THE WAY TO THE NEXT JOB, IT WAS A GOOD DAY! BUT THE AMAZING PART ABOUT THE LUNCH BREAK IS THEY MAKE YOU PUT ON YOUR TIME SHEET THAT YOU TOOK 1.5 HRS. FOR LUNCH, EACH DAY, WHEN THEY KNOW ITS NOT TRUE, JUST TO MAKE THEM LOOK GOOD TO THE LABOR DEPT. AGAIN, IF WE GET TO EAT IN OUR TRUCK ON THE WAY TO THE NEXT JOB, IT WAS A GOOD DAY!!!!!!

SO IF YOU HEAR THAT A CABLE MAN GOES POSTAL ON A CUSTOMER FROM STRESS ON THE JOB YOU KNOW WHY.

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#21 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Business as usual

AUTHOR: Rusty - (U.S.A.)

don't expect this tiger to change its stripes. the die is cast. just don't work here (or remain married here) if you have any other options.

you always have options.
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#22 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Business as usual

AUTHOR: Rusty - (U.S.A.)

don't expect this tiger to change its stripes. the die is cast. just don't work here (or remain married here) if you have any other options.

you always have options.
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#23 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Business as usual

AUTHOR: Rusty - (U.S.A.)

don't expect this tiger to change its stripes. the die is cast. just don't work here (or remain married here) if you have any other options.

you always have options.
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#24 UPDATE Employee

Time for a change

AUTHOR: Saw The Light. - (U.S.A.)

ACI is not great and it is not terrible. I feel they definitely don't pay well. I'm in NY and they pay you commission or hourly, whichever is higher. They start you out at 30%. In 6 months they MIGHT move you up to but no higher than 34%. And over time they move you up to 40%. But something I've noticed which shows how scandalous they are, when/if you get up to around that range, 38-40%, they make you a supervisor. Why? Because supervisors make less than a good tech in that pay range because they get low salaries. And people are quick to jump over to being supervisors because they are generally lazier than techs. I may not be that objective as far as pay goes because I come from an industry that paid me an obscene amount of money, but regardless you know what fair is.

On top of that, they want you to pay for their leases on the trucks(they don't actually come out and say that though)! They are charging the employees $260 a month to take home the trucks!!!! Understand that is how much it costs to lease a decent car but you can't drive it ANYWHERE except to and from work. I've asked around in other contracting companies and they are pretty much starting you off at 40% as an employee contractor, more if you're an independent contractor. One of the companies is actually telling me they require me to take home the truck and they still pay for it and everything. A stark contrast. The hours are disgusting, but that is up to you...to an extent. 6 days is pretty much standard throughout the industry, and the hours are really as fast as you get your jobs donewhich is really no excuse and still not acceptable. If you don't want long hours, you don't take very many jobs, although you'll make next to nothing; which leads me to the next thing about ACI. They do so much over hiring that some days some people might not get many if any jobs. So what does ACI do? They take some jobs away from techs who do well and get a lot of jobs from Cablevision (because cablevision actually assigns jobs to the techs every morning or the night before based on that techs history and then ACI just distributes the routes) and gives them to the people who may have gotten one or two jobs or none. So you're penalizing someone who is doing great and is recognized by cablevision and passing their jobs off to other people. So where I may have made $1,000-$1,500 at the end of the week, that is cut down because of their over hiring.

Basically I think the whole thing is messed up, you MAY make a killing during the summer but then in the winter it's hand to mouth on top of everything else. I've pretty asked just about all the techs where I am (about 75% of them) and they all say the exact same thing, they hate working for ACI, the pay fundamentally is bad, but if you kill yourself, you can do OK, and they like being out on their own on the road. That doesn't sound too good for a company.

Where I am it's Cablevision and Time Warner Cable. And the in-house techs (Cablevision and Time Warner Cable) are just as good/bad as contractor techs. You got the good/bad/lazy/diligent/thorough. I've heard complaints to no end on both ends of the spectrum.

Personally I would say not to work for ACI as a company until they start treating/paying their employees better.

Screwed By Mike from San Francisco California, if you're still around, I'd love to talk to you about some stuff. If you have an email or IM or some other way to get in touch, I would appreciate it.
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#25 UPDATE EX-employee responds

New Office Office

AUTHOR: Screwed By Mike - (U.S.A.)

They were building the new office in Canton just about the time I was "laid off". Mike and Dan were paying big bucks for the office in Westland. At that time Mike and Dan were fat cats (or at least they played like they were). I saw the building going up....then I moved out of state.

I hope things work out for the people who work there and took Mike/Dan at face value. They are BOTH excellent speakers....they could sell you swamp land in FL and make you feel good about it.

Lots of good people lost their jobs because of their greed. Now they have gone the way of "most" contractors..

The MSO's still say.....

ACI = Always Confused Institution
ACI= Another Crappy Install

It wasnt always that way!!
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#26 UPDATE EX-employee responds

it's amazing they are still in business

AUTHOR: Rusty - (U.S.A.)

Bad decisions after bad decision. I guess there's a lot bigger margins than we thought.

Well, screwed by mike, here's a funny one: they built this nice shiny office in Canton to be close to Comcast's division offices (where I assume they have stroke/contacts). Last year comcast closed all their division offices. hardy har har har.

I wish them success--a lot of families are depending on it.
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#27 UPDATE EX-employee responds

The Philosophy Was RIGHT ON - But Greed Got In The Way

AUTHOR: Screwed By Mike - (U.S.A.)

I see Rusty found some of my insights interesting. After being with ACI for nearly 10 years total time I "saw" many things that I liked and some thing that would make your skin crawl.

My main focus while with ACI was the Techs. As a tech myself (started in 1981) with a contractor and worked my way through the MSO ranks over the years, I came to find ACI a refreshing change in CATV contracting. It was like working for the MSO with better pay and freedom. This was when "employee based contractors" were something new. Mike and Dan had the right ideas and surrounded themselves with the RIGHT people back then. This is what made them so sucessful. It seemed to turn a corner when first they had a falling out with a former partner Jeff G, this cost them dearly in money. Then the "points" pay system got under the maginfying glass by the State and they were forced to pay back overtime to hundreds of people. Thus came the Labor/Revenue system. It all actuallity, its not a bad plan.

They (Mike/Dan) set up a standalone training facility, they wrote their own in-house training program for installers and construction staff, had a dedicated person overseeing the facility, had some gov't funding and ran hundreds of people through the program. It WORKED!! Other companies wanted to send people to ACI for training. Then they closed this down....why I have no idea....maybe $$$ issues.

Then back to "field" training, which RARELY works. Then using the fatally flawed idea that a GOOD INSTALLER meant GOOD SUPERVISOR. Might as well SHOOT themsleves in the head. ACI even had a management training program that they never used. Maybe they should dust off those books and try it. I read them and they were good!!

The days of drug use on the job ran rampant, even when they KNEW about it. ACI had a drug intervention program at one time. Im sure that was phased out too. ACI policy and structure at that time. Its was adheard to 95% of the time. Managers were autonomous and knew their jobs.

IN the late 1990's they began to bring in ALL of their relatives and MSO cronies (many of who HATED ACI......or were fired from MSO's and needed work). Frank P (related to Mike), Gary C (his wife was related to Mike), Brad B (this guy hated ACI when he was at the MSO level!!); Tom J (Dans Drinking Buddy...another talking head!) Cleon B was another pet who couldnt put a thought together but made nearly $100K a year and all the MSO hated him.....and the list goes on.

The admin gals were hired based on looks first and brains second. Im sure Leah has figured this out by now. I always remember Karen Yales, CFO (dont know if she is with ACI any longer...im pretty far out of touch with current info. Although I do keep in touch with a few techs who work there now) and she said "Mike, if you want to be a big company you need to ACT like one". I think Mike tried, but the stress of getting too big too fast got the best of him. Not to mention some of the BIG salaries being paid during the late 90's.

If Mike or Dan reads this....SHAME ON YOU FOR SCREWING WITH PEOPLES LIVES just so you could line your pockets and keep buying your friends. There are those people both past and present (myself included) who would have gave you 120% and in return the got very little respect and recognition. Instead you either laid them off, demoted them, fired them or simply continue to string them along with your pack of lies.

We had a saying amoungst us dedicated staffers...."cut me open and I bleed ACI"....this was because when your staff was "hurting" ACI was there to offer support and comfort. Now when your staff is hurting (especially in todays financial times) you are picking there pockets and treating them like dogs***.

Well Mike when you said "Have I Ever Let You Down......I Never Will".......That will now be registered as the 4th biggest lie in the world followed by "Checks in the Mail" and the 2 others I will not type in here...lol!!!

If any of you have questions, post them here and if I can answer them for you I will.
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#28 UPDATE EX-employee responds

The Philosophy Was RIGHT ON - But Greed Got In The Way

AUTHOR: Screwed By Mike - (U.S.A.)

I see Rusty found some of my insights interesting. After being with ACI for nearly 10 years total time I "saw" many things that I liked and some thing that would make your skin crawl.

My main focus while with ACI was the Techs. As a tech myself (started in 1981) with a contractor and worked my way through the MSO ranks over the years, I came to find ACI a refreshing change in CATV contracting. It was like working for the MSO with better pay and freedom. This was when "employee based contractors" were something new. Mike and Dan had the right ideas and surrounded themselves with the RIGHT people back then. This is what made them so sucessful. It seemed to turn a corner when first they had a falling out with a former partner Jeff G, this cost them dearly in money. Then the "points" pay system got under the maginfying glass by the State and they were forced to pay back overtime to hundreds of people. Thus came the Labor/Revenue system. It all actuallity, its not a bad plan.

They (Mike/Dan) set up a standalone training facility, they wrote their own in-house training program for installers and construction staff, had a dedicated person overseeing the facility, had some gov't funding and ran hundreds of people through the program. It WORKED!! Other companies wanted to send people to ACI for training. Then they closed this down....why I have no idea....maybe $$$ issues.

Then back to "field" training, which RARELY works. Then using the fatally flawed idea that a GOOD INSTALLER meant GOOD SUPERVISOR. Might as well SHOOT themsleves in the head. ACI even had a management training program that they never used. Maybe they should dust off those books and try it. I read them and they were good!!

The days of drug use on the job ran rampant, even when they KNEW about it. ACI had a drug intervention program at one time. Im sure that was phased out too. ACI policy and structure at that time. Its was adheard to 95% of the time. Managers were autonomous and knew their jobs.

IN the late 1990's they began to bring in ALL of their relatives and MSO cronies (many of who HATED ACI......or were fired from MSO's and needed work). Frank P (related to Mike), Gary C (his wife was related to Mike), Brad B (this guy hated ACI when he was at the MSO level!!); Tom J (Dans Drinking Buddy...another talking head!) Cleon B was another pet who couldnt put a thought together but made nearly $100K a year and all the MSO hated him.....and the list goes on.

The admin gals were hired based on looks first and brains second. Im sure Leah has figured this out by now. I always remember Karen Yales, CFO (dont know if she is with ACI any longer...im pretty far out of touch with current info. Although I do keep in touch with a few techs who work there now) and she said "Mike, if you want to be a big company you need to ACT like one". I think Mike tried, but the stress of getting too big too fast got the best of him. Not to mention some of the BIG salaries being paid during the late 90's.

If Mike or Dan reads this....SHAME ON YOU FOR SCREWING WITH PEOPLES LIVES just so you could line your pockets and keep buying your friends. There are those people both past and present (myself included) who would have gave you 120% and in return the got very little respect and recognition. Instead you either laid them off, demoted them, fired them or simply continue to string them along with your pack of lies.

We had a saying amoungst us dedicated staffers...."cut me open and I bleed ACI"....this was because when your staff was "hurting" ACI was there to offer support and comfort. Now when your staff is hurting (especially in todays financial times) you are picking there pockets and treating them like dogs***.

Well Mike when you said "Have I Ever Let You Down......I Never Will".......That will now be registered as the 4th biggest lie in the world followed by "Checks in the Mail" and the 2 others I will not type in here...lol!!!

If any of you have questions, post them here and if I can answer them for you I will.
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#29 UPDATE EX-employee responds

The Philosophy Was RIGHT ON - But Greed Got In The Way

AUTHOR: Screwed By Mike - (U.S.A.)

I see Rusty found some of my insights interesting. After being with ACI for nearly 10 years total time I "saw" many things that I liked and some thing that would make your skin crawl.

My main focus while with ACI was the Techs. As a tech myself (started in 1981) with a contractor and worked my way through the MSO ranks over the years, I came to find ACI a refreshing change in CATV contracting. It was like working for the MSO with better pay and freedom. This was when "employee based contractors" were something new. Mike and Dan had the right ideas and surrounded themselves with the RIGHT people back then. This is what made them so sucessful. It seemed to turn a corner when first they had a falling out with a former partner Jeff G, this cost them dearly in money. Then the "points" pay system got under the maginfying glass by the State and they were forced to pay back overtime to hundreds of people. Thus came the Labor/Revenue system. It all actuallity, its not a bad plan.

They (Mike/Dan) set up a standalone training facility, they wrote their own in-house training program for installers and construction staff, had a dedicated person overseeing the facility, had some gov't funding and ran hundreds of people through the program. It WORKED!! Other companies wanted to send people to ACI for training. Then they closed this down....why I have no idea....maybe $$$ issues.

Then back to "field" training, which RARELY works. Then using the fatally flawed idea that a GOOD INSTALLER meant GOOD SUPERVISOR. Might as well SHOOT themsleves in the head. ACI even had a management training program that they never used. Maybe they should dust off those books and try it. I read them and they were good!!

The days of drug use on the job ran rampant, even when they KNEW about it. ACI had a drug intervention program at one time. Im sure that was phased out too. ACI policy and structure at that time. Its was adheard to 95% of the time. Managers were autonomous and knew their jobs.

IN the late 1990's they began to bring in ALL of their relatives and MSO cronies (many of who HATED ACI......or were fired from MSO's and needed work). Frank P (related to Mike), Gary C (his wife was related to Mike), Brad B (this guy hated ACI when he was at the MSO level!!); Tom J (Dans Drinking Buddy...another talking head!) Cleon B was another pet who couldnt put a thought together but made nearly $100K a year and all the MSO hated him.....and the list goes on.

The admin gals were hired based on looks first and brains second. Im sure Leah has figured this out by now. I always remember Karen Yales, CFO (dont know if she is with ACI any longer...im pretty far out of touch with current info. Although I do keep in touch with a few techs who work there now) and she said "Mike, if you want to be a big company you need to ACT like one". I think Mike tried, but the stress of getting too big too fast got the best of him. Not to mention some of the BIG salaries being paid during the late 90's.

If Mike or Dan reads this....SHAME ON YOU FOR SCREWING WITH PEOPLES LIVES just so you could line your pockets and keep buying your friends. There are those people both past and present (myself included) who would have gave you 120% and in return the got very little respect and recognition. Instead you either laid them off, demoted them, fired them or simply continue to string them along with your pack of lies.

We had a saying amoungst us dedicated staffers...."cut me open and I bleed ACI"....this was because when your staff was "hurting" ACI was there to offer support and comfort. Now when your staff is hurting (especially in todays financial times) you are picking there pockets and treating them like dogs***.

Well Mike when you said "Have I Ever Let You Down......I Never Will".......That will now be registered as the 4th biggest lie in the world followed by "Checks in the Mail" and the 2 others I will not type in here...lol!!!

If any of you have questions, post them here and if I can answer them for you I will.
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#30 UPDATE EX-employee responds

The Philosophy Was RIGHT ON - But Greed Got In The Way

AUTHOR: Screwed By Mike - (U.S.A.)

I see Rusty found some of my insights interesting. After being with ACI for nearly 10 years total time I "saw" many things that I liked and some thing that would make your skin crawl.

My main focus while with ACI was the Techs. As a tech myself (started in 1981) with a contractor and worked my way through the MSO ranks over the years, I came to find ACI a refreshing change in CATV contracting. It was like working for the MSO with better pay and freedom. This was when "employee based contractors" were something new. Mike and Dan had the right ideas and surrounded themselves with the RIGHT people back then. This is what made them so sucessful. It seemed to turn a corner when first they had a falling out with a former partner Jeff G, this cost them dearly in money. Then the "points" pay system got under the maginfying glass by the State and they were forced to pay back overtime to hundreds of people. Thus came the Labor/Revenue system. It all actuallity, its not a bad plan.

They (Mike/Dan) set up a standalone training facility, they wrote their own in-house training program for installers and construction staff, had a dedicated person overseeing the facility, had some gov't funding and ran hundreds of people through the program. It WORKED!! Other companies wanted to send people to ACI for training. Then they closed this down....why I have no idea....maybe $$$ issues.

Then back to "field" training, which RARELY works. Then using the fatally flawed idea that a GOOD INSTALLER meant GOOD SUPERVISOR. Might as well SHOOT themsleves in the head. ACI even had a management training program that they never used. Maybe they should dust off those books and try it. I read them and they were good!!

The days of drug use on the job ran rampant, even when they KNEW about it. ACI had a drug intervention program at one time. Im sure that was phased out too. ACI policy and structure at that time. Its was adheard to 95% of the time. Managers were autonomous and knew their jobs.

IN the late 1990's they began to bring in ALL of their relatives and MSO cronies (many of who HATED ACI......or were fired from MSO's and needed work). Frank P (related to Mike), Gary C (his wife was related to Mike), Brad B (this guy hated ACI when he was at the MSO level!!); Tom J (Dans Drinking Buddy...another talking head!) Cleon B was another pet who couldnt put a thought together but made nearly $100K a year and all the MSO hated him.....and the list goes on.

The admin gals were hired based on looks first and brains second. Im sure Leah has figured this out by now. I always remember Karen Yales, CFO (dont know if she is with ACI any longer...im pretty far out of touch with current info. Although I do keep in touch with a few techs who work there now) and she said "Mike, if you want to be a big company you need to ACT like one". I think Mike tried, but the stress of getting too big too fast got the best of him. Not to mention some of the BIG salaries being paid during the late 90's.

If Mike or Dan reads this....SHAME ON YOU FOR SCREWING WITH PEOPLES LIVES just so you could line your pockets and keep buying your friends. There are those people both past and present (myself included) who would have gave you 120% and in return the got very little respect and recognition. Instead you either laid them off, demoted them, fired them or simply continue to string them along with your pack of lies.

We had a saying amoungst us dedicated staffers...."cut me open and I bleed ACI"....this was because when your staff was "hurting" ACI was there to offer support and comfort. Now when your staff is hurting (especially in todays financial times) you are picking there pockets and treating them like dogs***.

Well Mike when you said "Have I Ever Let You Down......I Never Will".......That will now be registered as the 4th biggest lie in the world followed by "Checks in the Mail" and the 2 others I will not type in here...lol!!!

If any of you have questions, post them here and if I can answer them for you I will.
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#31 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Wow, this thread never stops

AUTHOR: Rusty - (U.S.A.)

Love the posting a couple up from 'screwed by mike'. A very interesting post.

I just hope when things are going badly for Mike and Dan, they ask themselves "why is this happening to me" they can pause and say "oh yeah, because I deserve it".

Just for unleashing "duece" on the company, they should be flogged. Here's a tip--have the boy work his way up as a tech before giving him management position. That way he will have an idea of what he is talking about. Possibly. Doubtful.
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#32 Consumer Suggestion

Employee wage theft is a growing trend

AUTHOR: Unjustenrichment - (U.S.A.)

There are a few new and interesting things employees are doing these days to recover lost/stolen wages/monies from an employer. 1. Class action flsa (fair labor standard act) lawsuits against employers. This gets really expensive for any employer to defend as judgements are sometimes triple the damages.

2. Reporting to local prosecutors/state attorney general offices that employer is extorting/fleecing employees. May have to go through state's wage and hour department first. Last October New York's attorney general arrested an employer on three counts of grand larceny in the 4th degree by extortion which is a class E felony in that state which is punishable up to four years in prison. Some prosecutors are also going after employers for what they call
larceny by conversion. 3. Unjust enrichment lawsuits/quantum meruit claims. These
are on the rise throughout the country. 4. If working on state or federal projects,
employees are reporting their employers for false claims/offering a false instrument for filing. Still others are reporting their employers for tax evasion such as treasurey, unemployment benefits, etc. most states have websites where you can report them. New York's attorney general created a know your contractor website -

(((Redacted))) More states should do that.

CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.
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#33 UPDATE Employee

They're reachin into our pockets again!

AUTHOR: Alwayschanginginc - (U.S.A.)

Now that we've all read the tales of the sleazy business practices of ACI, this next tidbit shouldnt shock anyone. On top of the 500.00 a week we all pay in case we are involved in an accident and the 60 dollars a week we pay for the "privilege" of driving their trucks, we are on the verge of yet another cut in our wages. ACI will be doing away with holiday pay for all hourly employees. Yes, you heard right. No more holiday pay. The whopping 60.00 you were paid (before the tax man gets his share) is no more. The 360 extra dollars you earned per year was too much. You will all be informed soon enough. Oh, and that nice 50.00 credit you receive at the ACI e-store to purchase uniforms... You will have to pay that back if you use it. Whats next? A weekly charge for the privilege of working for the company? Maybe we should all pay a per fitting charge as well. Soon we will all end up OWING the company money at the end of the week. This used to be such a great job. Hard work used to get rewarded. I guess we should all be happy to be working, even if we are doing twice as much for less than half as much. Thanks a lot ACI. Way to show your appreciation!
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#34 UPDATE EX-employee responds

ACI Was Good......and Leah, I am Sorry........

AUTHOR: Screwed By Mike - (U.S.A.)

As a former employee and senior manager for ACI (1992-2000), I can say that when ACI was in its growth stages it truly was a good...maybe even a GREAT company. Mike Falsetti and Dan Kanaan the owners record, Dan S, Karen Y, Gary C. Mike K and Danny in construction and many other top level managers/VP's were GOOD people.

I was lucky to be part of there growth period in Farmington Hills, MI and can truly say I loved my job, the people I worked with were TOP NOTCH and excellent mentors.

As many companies, ACI fell into the same trap......too big too fast! From installs and light networking to massive constuction....they has to have the WHOLE pie instead of specializing and working that aspect of the business.

I have spent many days and nights with Mike and Dan. Been for dinner with their families and traveled the world for them as a manager for the company. But greed and their "good ol boy" network took precident over good business practices.

Leah....I am not surprised about of the infidelity. While I didnt have knowledge of any when I travelled with Mike and Dan....I cant say as I am suprised. The coporate culture was one of sexual harrassment (quietly of course)....but as I saw unfold some actual accusations came to light in the mid 90's to which ACI was found liable.

I was a victim of Mike and Dans greed and need to "take care of their friends", even though the so called FRIENDS were as qualified to be with the company as a my 16 yr old was to be a rocket scientist. Nevertheless....to help people understand ACI and their pay structure..

It is unorthadox to say the least. The higher your AVERAGE the higer your hourly rate....but for all of you who think (or were SOLD) that CATV is a 9-5 job.....let me tell you IT IS NOT and IT WILL NEVER BE!!

60 hours a week is about right. Its not for everyone and ACI isnt the only company working those hours within the industry. If you bust your hump and do a good job...it will come back to you 10 fold. Unfortunatley winters are a b***h!! If you can handle CATV in the winter without quitting, then you are the right person for the job.

ACI isnt bad....just the owners lost sight of their main resource....the employees!! Only when they go back to the OLD Values will they find themsleves back on top of the pack. For now, they take their place as just another "contractor".

I miss my job and my work with ACI, even after being gone for nearly 10 yrs. I would have retired there, but Mike and Dan had to make room for their drinking buddy who needed a job (and then paid him 100K a year, when I was happy at $60K). Im happy to know he didnt last and screwed up the job.

Good luck Leah, you are a wonderful person and hope your kids are doing OK through all of this
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#35 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Very sorry to hear...that's too bad

AUTHOR: Rusty - (U.S.A.)

Not difficult to believe that someone that would run such an unprofessional, unscrupulous company would also have gaps in morality at home, too.

He's such a nice, likeable guy, too. I guess that's what makes it a hustle. Don't feel too badly, certainly his character defects help pay for a lot of nice things that you and your family have. A lot of nice things.

I hope that Lori is still doing well. Always good to hear back from her about what time Charlie gets up in the morning and whatnot. Nice to come back and visit and see the new comments, check out the new ACI threads that other people have posted. Please come back, Lori!

It's pretty much the same story across the country. Don't walk--run from this company.
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#36 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Moving Forward

AUTHOR: Jeremy John - (U.S.A.)

Leah,
I am sorry you have been forced to cope with such a difficult thing as a divorce, especially when its related to adultry. You and your family are in my prayers. Life does get better. Keep your thoughts centered on god...

Romans 12-19:
Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord.

Jeremy
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#37 UPDATE Employee

Please Accept My Apologies

AUTHOR: Leah - (U.S.A.)

I would like to apologize to each and every one of you on this site. My name is Leah Falsetti, Michael, my husband (soon to be ex) is the President and CEO of Advanced Comm. Inc.

In the past, I wrote to you all on here in defense of my husband. I would like to retract everything that I said.

Although I love the man, I can not defend him. I obviously didn't know him at all.

And to all of you who knew what he was doing behind my back. Thanks for nothing! It hurts to be the last to know.

Leah Falsetti
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#38 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Lori...

AUTHOR: Are You Kidding? - (U.S.A.)

I want to make this post to clarify my complete disgust, and concern with the person posting as "Lori". How is it that this person; the wife of a management level employee has access and opinions on so much confidential internal information?

Lori you have no idea what you're talking about! What is it you're trying to defend? Your husband's inadequacy? Your husband in my opinion as well as many others; is the foremost reason why ACI does not deliver the technical, educational, or professional quality concerns for the system of which he is responsible.

I am very confident that your husband will soon join his former OBU manager; UNEMPLOYED! I am very interested to see how loyal you remain once your husband is sitting on the couch right next to you unemployed.

I truly feel bad for your 10 children, and the hardships unemployment will no doubt create for them. I hope all the current and future employees of ACI serving the company and its customers will prosper with his departure.

I would like to conclude that Advanced Communication's does employ many great people. The company has potential, and the Cable TV industry is without question a very demanding industry.

I hope that anyone considering a career in communications will look at ACI as a very capable stepping stone into a much more diverse and complex communications platform. ACI and the work they perform will help you build a very basic knowledge of today's robust communication systems.
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#39 UPDATE EX-employee responds

ACI is a joke

AUTHOR: Matt - (U.S.A.)

I have worked many years in cable, installing, supervising, managing, and now sales. Many of you in this thread know exactly who I am, and that is fine. Lori, you for one should look back at what your husband has been through with this company. He is a supervisor, now he's not, he is, now he's not, now he is again, but not in the same town. What does he get for the time he loyality he shows every day? A foot in the a*s and a job to show up to, and I understand the situation you spoke of in earlier posts, that is why I shut my mouth and did my job for 5 years under these idiots.

I never had the pleasure to meet Mr. Falsetti, but everything I hear about him is positive and he seems like an honest man. That being the case I wonder daily how he can run such a dishonest, rip off of a company. The work is good work, the pay was good, before ACI got involved in the whole thing. Now they want you to do more and more work, drive further and further, not take any days off, and take less pay than what you would make showing up for the same hours at most Mc Donalds.

Leah I appreciate that you are offering the direct contact to your husband, but the fact is that either he doesn't care, or he is paying no attention to what is going on at all.

Lori I can appreciate that you are trying to stick up for the company that has provided for your family for years now, that is honorable. But as far as the techs being well trained and quality technitions and next to no turn over at this office, that is a joke. These "techs" as you called them are idiots. One showed up to a customers house and told them he was a mercinary before taking this job and used to kill for pay. High quality individual. How many jobs does a "tech" have to show up to and tell the customer "I don't know how to do this install" before your husband would consider getting him trained? And not even return a call to the customer regarding when they might be able to get someone with half an ounce of sence out there to take a look at the job.

It is work, that is the best I can say for it, I guess if you make a paycheck at the end of the week you are supposed to be happy with your job. If you needed a job just to say you have a job then this company is for you. Other wise save your self time and money if you are considering working for ACI go get a fast food job. You will face 1/100 of the stress and bullshit and get 80% of the pay.

Be smart if you work for this company, move on, move up and get paid. Don't mess with ACI they will push you in front of the bus and ruin your name with the MSO rather than fess up to the fact that their company sucks. Can't even count how many decent guys and gals I saw this with.
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#40 UPDATE Employee

Scratching my head.

AUTHOR: Smylinc - (U.S.A.)

Wow, there are some really irked people out there. I read alot of the threads regarding ACI, that is until my eyes started to hurt but I got the gist of it.
I am relatively new to the company and I cannot vouch for other ACI locations but where I am at, I have to say that its a great group of guys. I have not seen one iotta of dishonesty regarding what I was told when I hired in. I was told the first few months were going to suck....and they did! My first week on my own, I worked 69 hours, that was not fun but the reason for the long hours was due to inexperience. You cant just expect to jump into a job and be proficient at it. As you get better, more complicated jobs come your way which pay more in reference to your L2R. Once the supervisor feels that you can handle a full boat, you will always get enough jobs to make your L2R. My last check I had 39 hours in and was paid 14.85 and hour and I have only been with the company less than 5 months. I know of guys bringing home $1000.00 a week and only working 50-55 hours....and they have families. If your unable to get in and get out while still doing a good job, you will never cut it as an installer. Its like with any job these days, if your willing to put in the time, its going to pay off for you. Its time we wake up and realize that the days of cushy union lever pulling jobs that pay 25$ and hour are long gone. I am just thankful I have a job.
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#41 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I miss your comments "Lori", where are you now? Two new ACI thread on this site, too!

AUTHOR: Rusty - (U.S.A.)

Still business as usual at ACI--still 100%+ turnover. Gosh, why are people leaving faster than being hired if they treat everyone so fairly? Lori, I really need to know! Also, how is Charlie doing? Well, I hope!

If this company offers you a job, don't walk- RUN! The local cable company will hire you with no experience, too. Of course, ACI will hire you even if you fail the drug test (weed, anyway), so you'd actually have to guzzle the tea or stop smoking for a month before you apply for a job at the cable company. Personally, I think you have to be high to work for this place.

check out the two other threads on this--one from Illinois, the other from Minnesota. Aw yeah, they're bad, they're nationwide. Well not exactly, but you get my point, this isn't even an isolated incident. Those other threads speak to the same issues.
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#42 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I miss your comments "Lori", where are you now? Two new ACI thread on this site, too!

AUTHOR: Rusty - (U.S.A.)

Still business as usual at ACI--still 100%+ turnover. Gosh, why are people leaving faster than being hired if they treat everyone so fairly? Lori, I really need to know! Also, how is Charlie doing? Well, I hope!

If this company offers you a job, don't walk- RUN! The local cable company will hire you with no experience, too. Of course, ACI will hire you even if you fail the drug test (weed, anyway), so you'd actually have to guzzle the tea or stop smoking for a month before you apply for a job at the cable company. Personally, I think you have to be high to work for this place.

check out the two other threads on this--one from Illinois, the other from Minnesota. Aw yeah, they're bad, they're nationwide. Well not exactly, but you get my point, this isn't even an isolated incident. Those other threads speak to the same issues.
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#43 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I miss your comments "Lori", where are you now? Two new ACI thread on this site, too!

AUTHOR: Rusty - (U.S.A.)

Still business as usual at ACI--still 100%+ turnover. Gosh, why are people leaving faster than being hired if they treat everyone so fairly? Lori, I really need to know! Also, how is Charlie doing? Well, I hope!

If this company offers you a job, don't walk- RUN! The local cable company will hire you with no experience, too. Of course, ACI will hire you even if you fail the drug test (weed, anyway), so you'd actually have to guzzle the tea or stop smoking for a month before you apply for a job at the cable company. Personally, I think you have to be high to work for this place.

check out the two other threads on this--one from Illinois, the other from Minnesota. Aw yeah, they're bad, they're nationwide. Well not exactly, but you get my point, this isn't even an isolated incident. Those other threads speak to the same issues.
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#44 UPDATE Employee

come on...

AUTHOR: Jim - (U.S.A.)

Are you for real? are you really complaining about having a job? Or actually, your significant other having a job? It would seem to me, if you, or he did not like the job, then quit, as easy as it is to find another, it would be the logical solution. If any of you are working for aci, and work 62 hours a week, and only see $450, then you definatly dont know how to bill, your underbilling, which is losing not only aci money, but you yourself. I have worked as a cable contractor for a few years now, for a couple of different contracting companies, and no, I am not saying that aci is "the best", or they come without problems, but all jobs and all companies do.
Oh and Troy....come on man, are you for real? You talking about going back to contractor's mishaps? Thats a riot man, you know that is the furthest thing from the truth, even our in house contractors up here know most aci tech's are good tech's, and are the reason that you in house guys get all your vacations, sick days and just plain "I dont feel like working today, cause I stubbed my toe" days off. If you really believe Clomcast or any other major communication company will get rid of contractors...or cut back on the amount of work they give them....your not paying attention, actually, it is quite the opposite, they dont pay us any gas, bennies or anything else, they just give us the jobs.......much easier than dealing with the in-house mess.
Being a cable contractor is demanding, and anyone who thought when they hired in with aci or any other contractor, that it was a nine to five job, should of done their homework, its not, nor will it ever be. Sounds like there are a few people who just need a change of employment?
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#45 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Advanced communications treats workers bad, ex workers worse

AUTHOR: Mike - (U.S.A.)

I worked for ACI for over three years, made money for them in construction. they dontmake much money installing cable in houses, truckloads of it building it. they have to have both.

They collect 500 dollars at 10 bucks a check to cover potential accidents from every employee. you are supposed to get that back in accident free bonus every year. I never saw it, but would never complain when there. Now that I am gone I can especially since i never got it back when I quit like supposed to.

they make their construction guys work mandatory at 10pm sometimes, then have to be in again at 8 am on two hours sleep, but if you go over 40 hours, they send you home. managers wife gets overtime working from home and nobody says anything about that. shes not there anymore but whatever.

they dont give you all the safety gear you need, you have to use your own tools to get any job done.

will tell everyone about this site so they can tell their stories when they leave too and they are leaving because another company hiring like crazy that is union where workers dont have to put up with this stuff.

they wont return calls about cobra or my 500 bucks. I want my 500 bucks back.
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#46 UPDATE EX-employee responds

100-210% turnover

AUTHOR: Rusty - (U.S.A.)

Such a good company to work for, they have to hire twice as many people as they keep in many of their markets to keep up with volume of work promised to be completed. Of course, most can see problem with this--new people won't perform quality or quanity of work, so terrible cyle goes on and on and on....

A little concerned Lori hasn't chimed in lately, leaving those following thread to come to one of two conclusions: her husband no longer works at this 'wonderful' place, or she is charlie's spouse (how else would she know what time he gets out of bed for work).

To last comment: why did you leave, money too good? Better opportunity 1000 miles away? Didn't have to go that far, certainly. The only techs that stay there have no place else to go.

Love the Michigan attitude: be glad you have any job.
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#47 UPDATE EX-employee responds

ACI Advance Communications is not a bad company to work for.

AUTHOR: Christopher - (U.S.A.)

I have been in the cable installation for about 3 1/2 years and have worked for 3 different companies including ACI.

I would say that 99% of the companies out there pay out in what we call in the industry as "Piece work". Generally the company that you work for pays out between 28-33% of what THEY bill for the job. Now as an employee of ACI I know how the pay scale works. It is not that hard, and if you can add, subtract, multiply, and divide, then you can figure out how much money you would be making before you even get your check. I have folders for weeks and weeks of what I billed for, for the company, copies of my time card, and figures that told me how much I got for the week.

As far as the work week goes in the industry of cable installation subcontracting, you are very lucky to get a 5 day work week and many people will tell you that.

Now for the hours. At first yes the hours really seem like they suck. Well this is the type of job where depending on how good you are at your job depends on how much time is spent in the field and how much money you make. I was generally working around 50 hours a week. Not to bad, specially when I looked at my paychecks.

The issues that you have with this company aren't against the company. It is against the entire industry the revolves around cable contracting.

With those hours and that little pay I would say.... is your husband really working?
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#48 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Forgot one more thing indicative of how 'employee friendly' they are

AUTHOR: Rusty - (U.S.A.)

I was thinking about this as ran out of something this morning: Toilet paper. Paper towels. Hand soap. Warm water. Flushing toilet. Some pretty basic things that most people take for granted where they work.

Management in Palatine felt that employees used more than necessary toilet paper--so it was not replenished in a timely fashion. Often there was none.

The two bathrooms available for technicians (the clean one with toilet paper upstairs for "management" requires a key) had issues other than lack of soap and toilet paper. The one downstairs smelled like an outhouse and was generally filthy, the one in the locker room area required you take lid off tank and reach in to flush.

Certainly, the repair would cost 5-10 dollars and 10 minutes of effort to repair. In hindsight, it was just a daily reminder of how much employees were valued--so it worked on a couple different levels.

The pleasant lady's room that accomodated the ONE woman out of 70 or so employees was nice, in their defense.

Defend them all you want "Lori", person who seems to know way too much and has way too much passion about defending this company for someone that does not even work there. I tell you what "Lori": get a job there and tell everyone what you think in three months. Nepotism and mismanagement run amok.

Can't get a job there? Well how about stopping by a couple of the offices and talking to a few real people, instead of this fabricated husband and his ficticious coworkers.

Or better yet, how about some names? At least the owner's wife above used her real full name--as misguided and uninformed as she seems to be.

Rebut this "Lori".
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#49 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Cable contracting is a tricky business, that is for certain

AUTHOR: Rusty - (U.S.A.)

Cable is not for everyone. if you are not good at installing cable, you have gotten yourself a crappy paying job with long, long hours. If you are good at it and enjoy the customers, you have a decent job. You'll never get rich installing cable, but you can make a living at it if you are good at it--and there will always be work for you with unlimited overtime. Somewhere. Hopefully not this place. Most technicians worth their weight get good experience here and move on to someplace that pays better. Leaving management scratching their heads: gee, why are these good techs leaving? We had a bbq for them last summer.

You have to go into sweaty attics, nasty crawlspaces, foul homes just about everyday. Customers can be hostile. Supervisors/managers can be unsympathetic to your plight. All the companies want (any cable/contracting company) is for techs to STFU and do the job. Management is minimal, the squeaky wheel does not get the grease--it gets replaced.

ACI is no exception. However, their management style is more abrasive (or non existant) than most cable contractors that I have witnessed in my many, many years in the communications industry. Like ACI, I also started in cable in the 80's.

The original poster's story is not an unfamiliar one, nor are many of the other rebuttals. However ACI is a real piece of work; they barely train their technicians or give them the necessary tools to perform the work--yet they are expected to perform without complaining.

As far as their L2R (or whatever they are calling it this week) it's not a bad system--if work was distributed equitably among the employees. you are responsible for roughly 1500 to 2000 in revenue a week. Each job has a dollar value and time allotted. If you are just going to do something simple, the revenue might be 20 bucks for the job; if you are installing a 'triple play' (phone, video, internet), one job might be 200 bucks or more.

if it takes you 80 hours to produce what should be done in 40--you won't get paid too well. It is a business. If you need help, it will only be to the door; they won't train you or help you improve where you are weak. they would rather just route you poorly until you quit--this makes for less unemployment claims.

If you don't get the revenue jobs (like two or three triple plays a day), you are stuck doing ten or fifteen 20 dollar jobs a day--including driving between the jobs--which may not be in the same area.

it's hard to say what has to take place to get these jobs; in one of the shops in the chicago market, speaking Polish seems to help, since the person handing out work is from Poland. But revenue is king: if you can get the jobs done, you will eventually get the money routes. However, most people can not live on what they pay in the time it takes to prove one's self. And being treated like garbage in the meantime sure doesn't help either.

They have an immense turnover problem (rumor has it 150-200% at some offices), because most people are not prepared for the initiation period or lack of proper training. It doesn't help that they charge for tools, gas if you drive the truck home (because they don't have enough parking), and take money out of check for potential accident deductible, which supposedly is paid back after an accident free year or when you quit--however I never heard of anyone leaving getting that back, frankly.

It's a trial by fire, and if you survive, you might make 15-20 bucks an hour. But it takes time to get good at installing cable--not any idiot can do it, rather it takes a special sort of idiot; one who can take abuse with a smile.

If you are good enough to make money at this company, you generally leave and get more elsewhere first chance you get.

Does that make sense?
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#50 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Cable contracting is a tricky business, that is for certain

AUTHOR: Rusty - (U.S.A.)

Cable is not for everyone. if you are not good at installing cable, you have gotten yourself a crappy paying job with long, long hours. If you are good at it and enjoy the customers, you have a decent job. You'll never get rich installing cable, but you can make a living at it if you are good at it--and there will always be work for you with unlimited overtime. Somewhere. Hopefully not this place. Most technicians worth their weight get good experience here and move on to someplace that pays better. Leaving management scratching their heads: gee, why are these good techs leaving? We had a bbq for them last summer.

You have to go into sweaty attics, nasty crawlspaces, foul homes just about everyday. Customers can be hostile. Supervisors/managers can be unsympathetic to your plight. All the companies want (any cable/contracting company) is for techs to STFU and do the job. Management is minimal, the squeaky wheel does not get the grease--it gets replaced.

ACI is no exception. However, their management style is more abrasive (or non existant) than most cable contractors that I have witnessed in my many, many years in the communications industry. Like ACI, I also started in cable in the 80's.

The original poster's story is not an unfamiliar one, nor are many of the other rebuttals. However ACI is a real piece of work; they barely train their technicians or give them the necessary tools to perform the work--yet they are expected to perform without complaining.

As far as their L2R (or whatever they are calling it this week) it's not a bad system--if work was distributed equitably among the employees. you are responsible for roughly 1500 to 2000 in revenue a week. Each job has a dollar value and time allotted. If you are just going to do something simple, the revenue might be 20 bucks for the job; if you are installing a 'triple play' (phone, video, internet), one job might be 200 bucks or more.

if it takes you 80 hours to produce what should be done in 40--you won't get paid too well. It is a business. If you need help, it will only be to the door; they won't train you or help you improve where you are weak. they would rather just route you poorly until you quit--this makes for less unemployment claims.

If you don't get the revenue jobs (like two or three triple plays a day), you are stuck doing ten or fifteen 20 dollar jobs a day--including driving between the jobs--which may not be in the same area.

it's hard to say what has to take place to get these jobs; in one of the shops in the chicago market, speaking Polish seems to help, since the person handing out work is from Poland. But revenue is king: if you can get the jobs done, you will eventually get the money routes. However, most people can not live on what they pay in the time it takes to prove one's self. And being treated like garbage in the meantime sure doesn't help either.

They have an immense turnover problem (rumor has it 150-200% at some offices), because most people are not prepared for the initiation period or lack of proper training. It doesn't help that they charge for tools, gas if you drive the truck home (because they don't have enough parking), and take money out of check for potential accident deductible, which supposedly is paid back after an accident free year or when you quit--however I never heard of anyone leaving getting that back, frankly.

It's a trial by fire, and if you survive, you might make 15-20 bucks an hour. But it takes time to get good at installing cable--not any idiot can do it, rather it takes a special sort of idiot; one who can take abuse with a smile.

If you are good enough to make money at this company, you generally leave and get more elsewhere first chance you get.

Does that make sense?
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#51 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Cable contracting is a tricky business, that is for certain

AUTHOR: Rusty - (U.S.A.)

Cable is not for everyone. if you are not good at installing cable, you have gotten yourself a crappy paying job with long, long hours. If you are good at it and enjoy the customers, you have a decent job. You'll never get rich installing cable, but you can make a living at it if you are good at it--and there will always be work for you with unlimited overtime. Somewhere. Hopefully not this place. Most technicians worth their weight get good experience here and move on to someplace that pays better. Leaving management scratching their heads: gee, why are these good techs leaving? We had a bbq for them last summer.

You have to go into sweaty attics, nasty crawlspaces, foul homes just about everyday. Customers can be hostile. Supervisors/managers can be unsympathetic to your plight. All the companies want (any cable/contracting company) is for techs to STFU and do the job. Management is minimal, the squeaky wheel does not get the grease--it gets replaced.

ACI is no exception. However, their management style is more abrasive (or non existant) than most cable contractors that I have witnessed in my many, many years in the communications industry. Like ACI, I also started in cable in the 80's.

The original poster's story is not an unfamiliar one, nor are many of the other rebuttals. However ACI is a real piece of work; they barely train their technicians or give them the necessary tools to perform the work--yet they are expected to perform without complaining.

As far as their L2R (or whatever they are calling it this week) it's not a bad system--if work was distributed equitably among the employees. you are responsible for roughly 1500 to 2000 in revenue a week. Each job has a dollar value and time allotted. If you are just going to do something simple, the revenue might be 20 bucks for the job; if you are installing a 'triple play' (phone, video, internet), one job might be 200 bucks or more.

if it takes you 80 hours to produce what should be done in 40--you won't get paid too well. It is a business. If you need help, it will only be to the door; they won't train you or help you improve where you are weak. they would rather just route you poorly until you quit--this makes for less unemployment claims.

If you don't get the revenue jobs (like two or three triple plays a day), you are stuck doing ten or fifteen 20 dollar jobs a day--including driving between the jobs--which may not be in the same area.

it's hard to say what has to take place to get these jobs; in one of the shops in the chicago market, speaking Polish seems to help, since the person handing out work is from Poland. But revenue is king: if you can get the jobs done, you will eventually get the money routes. However, most people can not live on what they pay in the time it takes to prove one's self. And being treated like garbage in the meantime sure doesn't help either.

They have an immense turnover problem (rumor has it 150-200% at some offices), because most people are not prepared for the initiation period or lack of proper training. It doesn't help that they charge for tools, gas if you drive the truck home (because they don't have enough parking), and take money out of check for potential accident deductible, which supposedly is paid back after an accident free year or when you quit--however I never heard of anyone leaving getting that back, frankly.

It's a trial by fire, and if you survive, you might make 15-20 bucks an hour. But it takes time to get good at installing cable--not any idiot can do it, rather it takes a special sort of idiot; one who can take abuse with a smile.

If you are good enough to make money at this company, you generally leave and get more elsewhere first chance you get.

Does that make sense?
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#52 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Cable contracting is a tricky business, that is for certain

AUTHOR: Rusty - (U.S.A.)

Cable is not for everyone. if you are not good at installing cable, you have gotten yourself a crappy paying job with long, long hours. If you are good at it and enjoy the customers, you have a decent job. You'll never get rich installing cable, but you can make a living at it if you are good at it--and there will always be work for you with unlimited overtime. Somewhere. Hopefully not this place. Most technicians worth their weight get good experience here and move on to someplace that pays better. Leaving management scratching their heads: gee, why are these good techs leaving? We had a bbq for them last summer.

You have to go into sweaty attics, nasty crawlspaces, foul homes just about everyday. Customers can be hostile. Supervisors/managers can be unsympathetic to your plight. All the companies want (any cable/contracting company) is for techs to STFU and do the job. Management is minimal, the squeaky wheel does not get the grease--it gets replaced.

ACI is no exception. However, their management style is more abrasive (or non existant) than most cable contractors that I have witnessed in my many, many years in the communications industry. Like ACI, I also started in cable in the 80's.

The original poster's story is not an unfamiliar one, nor are many of the other rebuttals. However ACI is a real piece of work; they barely train their technicians or give them the necessary tools to perform the work--yet they are expected to perform without complaining.

As far as their L2R (or whatever they are calling it this week) it's not a bad system--if work was distributed equitably among the employees. you are responsible for roughly 1500 to 2000 in revenue a week. Each job has a dollar value and time allotted. If you are just going to do something simple, the revenue might be 20 bucks for the job; if you are installing a 'triple play' (phone, video, internet), one job might be 200 bucks or more.

if it takes you 80 hours to produce what should be done in 40--you won't get paid too well. It is a business. If you need help, it will only be to the door; they won't train you or help you improve where you are weak. they would rather just route you poorly until you quit--this makes for less unemployment claims.

If you don't get the revenue jobs (like two or three triple plays a day), you are stuck doing ten or fifteen 20 dollar jobs a day--including driving between the jobs--which may not be in the same area.

it's hard to say what has to take place to get these jobs; in one of the shops in the chicago market, speaking Polish seems to help, since the person handing out work is from Poland. But revenue is king: if you can get the jobs done, you will eventually get the money routes. However, most people can not live on what they pay in the time it takes to prove one's self. And being treated like garbage in the meantime sure doesn't help either.

They have an immense turnover problem (rumor has it 150-200% at some offices), because most people are not prepared for the initiation period or lack of proper training. It doesn't help that they charge for tools, gas if you drive the truck home (because they don't have enough parking), and take money out of check for potential accident deductible, which supposedly is paid back after an accident free year or when you quit--however I never heard of anyone leaving getting that back, frankly.

It's a trial by fire, and if you survive, you might make 15-20 bucks an hour. But it takes time to get good at installing cable--not any idiot can do it, rather it takes a special sort of idiot; one who can take abuse with a smile.

If you are good enough to make money at this company, you generally leave and get more elsewhere first chance you get.

Does that make sense?
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#53 UPDATE Employee

L2R Secrets...

AUTHOR: Disgruntled - (U.S.A.)

I have studied the L2R system that ACI uses currently. Please note I have ben with ACI for 5 years now and am fully aware of how they operate. Check the gross pay after bonus with a -5% bonus, 0% bonus, and 5% bonus... compare that to the top level bonus you can make... I guarantee that -5,0,5 make the most... the highest for our area 12% is less than the 0%. Strange that a company offers less total money as a max bonus, than running 0% (aka overtime with no bonus at all).

Of course, with the load that ACI run here, we are out late... 12am-1am on average. So if you think 9pm is late... lol think again!
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#54 UPDATE Employee

GET OVER IT...

AUTHOR: Netty - (U.S.A.)

I can't believe that your complaining about your baby's daddy having a job. Do you know how many people would trade places with your (boyfriend). Some people would gladly work 15 plus hours to bring home a paycheck.

Shame on you.. get a hobbie and let your boyfriend be a man and work without you complaining...
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#55 Consumer Comment

ACI information

AUTHOR: Angie - (U.S.A.)

My fiance started here almost 8 mths ago, he was told training would be 4 weeks, it turned out to be 6 because they said they didn't have a truck yet had a fleet of brand new vans sitting in a parking lot accross the street. As far as the tools being supplied they have to pay for them out of thier checks they are not just given to them. As far as lunches they don't have the time he gets home between 9-10pm every night and was just informed they have to work an extra day which means 2 weeks before they get a single day off. As far as mass hiring no doubt, they hire anyone who comes for an interview. He though tthis job was going to be wonderfull till he got hit with 15 hrs a day 6-7 days a week and is forced to help others so no it isn't because he's slow!

We have a baby on the way with a high risk pregnancy and now I am informed I can not even call him if I need him! If these hours continue exactly when is he going ot see his kid? He's already exhusted. I recognize so many things in Mandy's comments down to what he was told at the interview and before. That's all I have to say I hope others are prepared if they choose to work for these people.
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#56 UPDATE Employee

Welcome aboard William

AUTHOR: Lori - (U.S.A.)

And thank you for the clarification and support from your home area. Mandy (Amanda) has been posting here since June, but we've yet to hear from her husband (boyfriend, fiance???) who is the actual employee.

Cable techs are a different breed, you either love it or hate it. As for the work week specs, that goes on the system that you work in. Some guys work 7's, yet 6's are complained about by Mandy. In our area, 6 days a week are standard, and we are thankful that we are no longer on 7 days a week.

Once again, this is a SERVICE industry. Our guys work to meet the demand of the consumer. Just as many stores have gone to seven days per week, we have to work the hours that are most convenient for our subs.

No amount of explanation seems to satisfy Mandy. I would think that she would be thankful that she's not involved with Charlie, who rolls out at the butt crack of dawn when called upon to do so, traveling to whereever it's necessary to accomplish whatever is needed, doing so without complaint.

Michael & Leah, Charlie, Pete, and all of our management/tech teams out there, Happy New Year, and best wishes for a great year to come!! And again, William, thanks for the input, and wishes for many happy years with ACI!
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#57 UPDATE Employee

5 days....

AUTHOR: William - (U.S.A.)

I don't know what area you're talking about, but in our office it is still posted on our wall which day you get off... up untill christmas. But who knows what's going to happen after the new year, maybe we'll keep it, maybe not... but that's all part of the job, and they tell you that when you get hired in.
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#58 Consumer Suggestion

I'm a Tech for Comcast in Indiana

AUTHOR: Troy - (U.S.A.)

As the person just said in the post previous to yours they are working 6 days a week because they are have people calling in sick and or not enough techs, what ever way it is that is the job and it is not for everyone although if they did accept more work from us without having enough techs to cover the new routes then that is a big mistake.
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#59 Author of original report

5 Day work week???

AUTHOR: Mandy - (U.S.A.)

Well to be short and sweet the 5 day work week that you posted about, where is it??? I would love for you to tell me where it is? They gave them a 5 day work week then took it away 2 weeks later go figure. So please can you tell me which city this 5 day work week is in cause it's not Pontiac as you stated. If I have to I can show all the letter where they told us sorry after 2 weeks we are taking it again because we accepted more jobs from Comcast. They said they didn't have to but decided they would. So as I asked above where si this 5 day work week?
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#60 UPDATE Employee

All of the negative comments...

AUTHOR: William - (U.S.A.)

I hate to bump this back up again, but I happened to stumble across this report when I first hired in earlier this year, and it quite frankly made me wonder what I was doing here. I still work for ACI today, and I actually like waking up to go to work every day. The hours aren't exactly "long" but it is definately more than a mon-fri 9-5, but it does pay off.

About the Negative L2R that was rolled out... well I think it's actually a good idea. It never affected me because I actually do my job, and focus on completing each job in a certain amount of time, so that I would make the revenue, but not spend all day doing it. That's where it pays off. I would be doing the same thing if I were the owner because I saw a lot of people working 7:30am to 11:00pm every single day... god only knows what they were doing the entire time, probably going home to sleep, or taking their time and getting paid the minimum hourly, but it didn't matter because they technically weren't working the entire time "free money." I couldn't do that to a company that has given me an awesome job when I really needed it, and great benefits... not to mention paid vacations from the day you start.

Most companies won't give you paid vacations untill 6-12 months. But as stated somewhere above, it's definately not for everybody, but the people that actually stick around for more than 2 months before judging that will find out that it's actually a great job. Just make a goal for yourself every day on how long you're going to spend at each job, and you will be done at a reasonable time.

As for the 6 day workweek that everybody is unhappy with, if people would stop calling in "sick" and still having their regular day off, it would probably stay around. There are a certain amount of routes required by us, and when they plan on a certain amount of people working on that day, it will cover all of the jobs.. but when people call in, everybody is all stressed out trying to find people to cover the routes that are left.

The company is also big on promoting from within, I mean if you have a hard time doing what you do, they will work with you. I've seen many people move positions in the company, and plenty of people have moved up by doing their job the right way. Don't be lazy, and complain about everything, and it will pay off. The money isn't bad at all if you're doing it right, and the people I work with are very good people, so I couldn't ask for a better job, and I plan on sticking around and making a career out of it.
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#61 Consumer Suggestion

5 Day Work Week

AUTHOR: Leah - (U.S.A.)

Greg,
I told my husband about your frustration. He e-mailed Charlie at 3:30 AM. Charlie was on his way to Pontiac by 5:00 AM. The signs were taken down and the five day schedule was in the process of being produced. Hang in there!

Sincerely,
Leah
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#62 Consumer Suggestion

I TOLD YOU WHAT TO DO!

AUTHOR: Leah - (U.S.A.)

Amanda,

I would like to give you a tiny bit of advice, YOU SHOULD NEVER EMASCULATE YOUR MAN!!!! Most people, when they have a problem will deal with it directly. Your husband has the means to do this. So what is he waiting for? Call ACI in Canton and tell them you would like to set up a meeting with Mike Falsetti, so he can address your issues. If he (your husband) doesn't want to do that, maybe you can loan him your balls for awhile, until he grows his own.

Sincerely,
Leah

Lori,
I would really like to meet you one day. Maybe we can take the kids out for pizza or something.
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#63 UPDATE Employee

Once again!

AUTHOR: Greg - (U.S.A.)

ACI has ONCE AGAIN backtracked on it's employees! We were told that they were suspending the 5 day work week until October. The "luxury" of a 5 day work week was postponed yet again even though they have admitted that it is needed in order for most of us to make our L2R. Today as I came in from another day guess what I find posted all over the walls....

You got it. The week before we are supposed to go back on a 5 day work week we are told that "Due to the number of people quitting and hurt we cant do the 5 day work week yet" Well Duh! People are sick of working overtime they aren't getting paid for! They are tired of having no life so ACI can get that 6th day out of them.

So ACI...what are we supposed to do? Those of us that have promised our wives that this craziness would end this week? Those of us that swore to our kids that we could spend some time with them? Once again you are playing the "oh we couldn't see this change coming!" card. I wish you could have seen the look on my wife's face when I told her this latest bit of news.

I should have known that you people would pull this stuff. Its what you always do. You make promises that you can't or won't keep. Maybe if you kept your word once in a while you wouldn't have people running out the door.

I've had to defend my decision to stay here time after time and each time I do I get left with egg on my face. I look like a fool everytime I try to trust you. I've tried using the excuse that things would get better THIS time. I've tried saying that things aren't much better anywhere else.

I've pointed to new management that was going to turn it around. They CAN'T turn it around until the people at the top let it happen. You can fire all the supervisors and managers you want. The ones that come in still can't squeeze blood out of a stone!

Maybe instead of trying to fault everyone at the lower levels for not putting out enough you should rethink the demands that you are putting on people from the VP's on down. Why must you always overstress everyone? What you think of as being efficient is being viewed by your employees as abuse.

We are sick and tired of being taken for a ride. The promises are always going to happen in just a little while and they are broken before they ever get here. Maybe you are relying on the turnover rate to hide the fact that your promises go unkept? If nobody is there that heard the original promise who can complain?

Well you can color me gone. This is the last straw. I'll go pump gas or flip burgers. Why not? I can make just about as much when it's all said and done. At least I'll have time to look for a decent job that way. There are new technologies about to hit the market that will be creating a demand for WELL PAID installers. I'm done with this thread and with ACI.
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#64 UPDATE Employee

Lori is right about one thing.

AUTHOR: Greg - (U.S.A.)

Lori is right to say that as long as we are working there, then ACI is our company. Since the supervisors get a slice of the profits I can see why she thinks of it that way.

Amanda is right that many of us come and go to work seriously sleep deprived. I'm absolutely sure that laws against impared driving are broken every day because of it.

My own take on it is that ACI has a habit of making rules that you can't comply with. Regardless of the LAW on lunches, ACI has a policy that you can take a lunch. It states in the handbook that you may NOT drive and eat at the same time. It has been said many times that we are required to take a lunch even though they know full well that it just isn't an option on most days.

The attitude shown by Lori is very typical of the company as a whole. They want and want and want and if you can't keep up with it then they act like there is something wrong with you. The bottom line answer to everything is if you don't like it then hit the road. Of course when the faster techs try to move on to something else you'll see them begging them to stay. For the rest of us we are just throw away employees. If you doubt it just look at the turnover rate. They bring em in, burn em up, and spit them out.

I'm not sure of what it costs to hire a new employee and train them and cover them while they get up to their maximum speed but it has to be expensive. Beyond the cost that you pay that tech you are also paying the techs that have to go clean up after them. Then there are the damages and QC issues not to mention the Cable company customers that have to suffer through a tech learning their job on the job. Maybe thats where Troy gets his numbers.

Why not use that money to pay a good tech well for his good work? Once you get rid of ACI's image problem and the turnover rate drops, you will have solved a number of problems. First off you've eliminated the race with the clock. The tech would have more time to actually fix any problems and make sure the customer is happy before leaving. Secondly, if you increase the value of the job you can keep good techs. Those techs will also have more of an incentive to see ACI do well. It would also be nice to come in someday and not hear people starting off the day with all the negative comments about ACI and how bad they are screwing us over. This could all be done with the same money they are spending today. It would mean a drop in profits for a time period but if it would be worth it to the owners...thats a question only they can answer.

I do know that most of us are here because it is the only option that we have right now. At this point I feel I have been lied to and cheated out of money. Would I leave if I had an offer that could replace this? You bet. I would much rather see ACI turn around and become a place I could be proud to be a part of. I just don't see it happening anytime soon.
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#65 Consumer Comment

HMMM, where do we go from here

AUTHOR: Lori - (U.S.A.)

Amanda,

I've come to the conclusion that you are angry because you aren't getting the answers that you want to hear. I've been trying really hard to make this a constructive, informative conversation, hoping to arm you with enough information to help yourself.

I've noticed throughout that you throw out comments, 'jabs' if you will, hoping that this will make your case seem stronger. For the record, my name IS Lori, I am NOT an employee of ACI, I AM married to an employee, and I DO personally know several ACI techs. As you've said, being an ACI employee requires a lot of hours, and since it is such a large part of my husbands life, it will naturally be a big part of my life as well. That which affects my husband is going to affect myself and our family. Knowing how the job works, what it entails, names of pertinant persons, policies that affect what they do (company, cable service, OSHA, state).... this knowledge allows me to be a better partner to my husband.

I've never felt the need to post under a different name, or location, nor in any way shape or form conceal my true identity. Would I work for ACI? As a matter of fact, I would. Unfortunately, my stature prohibits me from being a tech, our family situation doesn't allow me to work outside of the home (for practical and financial reasons), and at least as of this date, ACI doesn't currently have any positions that would allow me to work from home. The reason for this (my willingness to be an employee) is that I have done my homework, if I don't know the answer to a question, I'll look until I find it, if I think that something is unfair or wrong, I want to know why that policy is in place. ACI is a growing company, with a presence in several states (TN doesn't seem to be one of them at this point), that provides decent wage/benefit packages to it's employees. You do not hear any talk of downsizing, merging, or bankruptcy. You know that you'll have a job to go to each morning.

I haven't deliberately 'talked around' anything. I've tried, to the best of my ability, to help you get an answer to the question regarding L2R (which is more than 'vindybella' got on another forum that surfaced during my search the other day). I wasn't making insinuations as to whether your fiance (husband?) and Greg were doing their jobs, only pointing out that it takes some time to get up to speed. As for my comments concerning the labor laws, you brought up the UPS lawsuit, and since I wanted to know the answer to the question that you posed, I spent an afternoon researching the issue. After doing that research, I was very surprised at the laws that govern business in this state. Seems to me however, that your issue is with the state, not a company that follows its (the states) directives. The state is the one that governs breaks, lunches, maximum hours/days worked etc. If the state were to change those laws concerning mandatory lunch periods and maximum hours allowed per pay period, I'm sure that you would hear complaints about how the state is now 'dictating' what is or is not acceptable for an adult. In the manner that the law is currently written, as an adult, you are free to choose where you work, the conditions that you work under, how many days that you work.... in other words, you enjoy the freedom that is guaranteed you by the constitution. The controversy that surrounds the seatbelt and helmet laws is an excellent example as to what happens when the state starts telling you how you're going to do things 'for your own good'. The state (and fed) does however protect the workers right to what they (meaning government) believe is a 'fair' wage (minimum wage laws), which workers are entitled to overtime pay (and who is exempt from same, including management) and have regulations in place to avoid discriminatory hiring practices. In short, as an employee, you have the right to CHOOSE whom you work for, based on whether or not you accept their conditions of employment. By the same token, if you don't like the current terms of employment, or your needs change at any point, you are free to move to a company that better suits your needs.

We seem to be right back to where we started, which is getting us no where. If your fiance's supervisor gained some knowledge that he didn't previously have, thats a good thing. If my statements were incorrect, I'm sure that you would have corrected me. I'm truly sorry for the exhaustive state that your fiance is in. As a wife, I can commiserate. My husband leaves for work at 5am and most nights he doesn't get home until 630 to 9pm. If he's been on the road all day, he then checks his email, answers them, finds out how many jobs are scheduled for the next day, and if there's paperwork to be done, he finishes it. His phone rings from 530a to 1130p. Yes, I understand exhausted. As for inviting me to join this conversation, I'm sorry Amanda, you brought this conversation to a public forum. I can't, in good conscience, sit idly by and not educate and defend what I know. As you have the right to educate others as to your experience, I reserve that right for myself.

If you need to vent, feel free, that is your right. If you truly seek change, you've been given the information to accomplish that as well. I will concede to you that in the true sense of the word 'partner', I am. My husband is an employee, and it serves our family for ACI to be successful, so we do have a vested interest in that success. To that end, I will reply to posts that need clarification in regards to 'our' company.

Have a wonderful day!
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#66 UPDATE Employee

Dear Mr. Lori

AUTHOR: Mandy - (U.S.A.)

Ok Lori I see that you are doing everything possible to bring attention to your very much repeated comments a countless number of times stating that you are not familiar with this nor that, yet you seem to know more than my fiances supervisor??? I know you will counter that with something, because I am seeing that is how you work your words and comments. To you this has nothing to do with concerned wife named Lori who knows about her husbands job. All this is, is a manager/owner working his butt of to prove everyone wrong! Not once have you agreed on any issue that even my fiances supervisors have totally agreed on to be problems. You also said you stated that your husband worked there but to be honest your first little made up story was:

"Amanda, I'm not an owner of ACI, nor am I an employee. I do, however, know quite a few of their techs",

Now correct me if I'm wrong (which I am sure you will do wrong or not) but that is far off from a dedicated wife who's husband works there all of a sudden??? Also what wife knows things about ACI that when reading this one of my fiances supervisors said, I didn't know that hmm..., then burst out with a loud laugh saying, Hell maybe this Lori should come train all of us!!! Sounds like your employees knowledge of there jobs don't come any where close to your knowledge of how to turn the laws put there to protect them right back against them in your own selfish benefits!! While abusing Michigan's Laws and using them against your employees you have taken there rights to not be over worked as well as there rights to EAT!
Also, about your comment telling me my THEORY was basically starting to look false because if we really emailed him then he hadn't been fired so I was making up some story???? When in my comment on that did I say he used his name when he complained??? The biggest part of that though was WHO LORI am I trying to convince and prove my supposed THEORY??? See Lori I don't have to convince people of ACI faults, they do a GREAT enough job of that themselves. I was communicating on this board with others of a problem I was having. I never remember inviting you to correct and try to talk down to every person on here who has felt the same way as I do. We don't need your solutions because as far as I can see and read you have NONE! In fact Lori, all you have done is showed everyone the exact example of what you get from them when you ask for help or clarification. You get blame and knock downs. By the time you are done trying to communicate with them you are so frustrated from talking in there little fighting circles (Like the ones Lori has presented before us) that you might as well know they aren't going to help anything so you give up. Have you all seen how with his/her words Lori will beat around the main topic and still won't answer the big question of pay??? Like Greg sympathizing with my fianc about the amount of money they make here and discussing the issues present at there current company and all Lori had to say was comments pretending to be compassionate but really knocking him down in his/her own way try to say it was Greg or my fianc that was not doing there job to make all they could possibly make. That is exactly what they do to you there as well. Now since I really am a wife and know nothing about putting in cable and all the labor parts of the job like our dedicated LORI (LOL) I can only understand and share your frustration for this company that is so openly ripping people off one by one. I watch my fianc go to work exhausted and come home exhausted. He has to call me from the car saying please talk to me I am falling asleep and that is just awful. A question you asked earlier Lori was:
You didn't say why you thought your bf was mistreated, only that he was. Because he has to work long hours?
Now if you actually read these posts instead of skim through the parts you can base a argument off of here's a good one for ya; MY HUSBAND IS SO TIRED FROM WORKING 14 HOUR DAYS AND HE WAS PROMISED A 5 DAY WORK WEEK THAT HAS NEVER COME, PLUS HIS PAY HAS DROPPED LITTLE BY LITTLE EVERY WEEK BECAUSE OF THERE NEW PAY LAW THEY ENFORCED EVEN THOUGH HE WAS NOT HIRED IN ON IT. ALSO MY FIANC CAN DIE!!! YES LORI PLEASE READ IT ONE MORE TIME SO YOU CAN ENTER THIS INTO YOUR HEAD, MY FIANCE CAN DIE IF HE FALLS ASLEEP ON THE ROAD BECAUSE THEY ONLY CARE ABOUT MORE & MORE JOBS!!! THEY PROMISED THE EMPLOYEES THEY WOULD TAKE NO MORE JOBS BECAUSE THEY COULDN'T HANDLE THE OVER LOAD RIGHT NOW AND HE COMES TO THE NEXT MEETING SAYING THEY NEED SUNDAY GUYS BECAUSE GUESS WHAT LORI?????? DID YOU GUESS???? THEY TOOK MORE JOBS...GO FIGURE WHO WOULD HAVE EVER THOUGHT THAT THEY MIGHT NOT LIE FOR ONCE??? I GUESS I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER THAT THIS OUTSTANDING COMPANY WOULD NEVER LIE HUH LORI???
Well I hope you can read that Lori, I tried really hard to reach your level and I think that was just right, but I know you will help tell me if I didn't!!!!! seems like that's just what your good for.

Also I see you have done your research on the labor laws huh Lori...... I guess for any contractor reading this now you will know why you don't get a lunch LOL As you can tell the owner/manager knows all the laws on that and makes sure when they cut your eating time they won't get in trouble for it.
Lori it don't take me coming out here and speaking up for your employees to show the cable world what low life respect & personalities you and your partners that own the company have. Especially after that lunch comment, nothing with this company will amaze me anymore.
Yours Truly,
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#67 Consumer Comment

Let's look at this issue more closely....

AUTHOR: Lori - (U.S.A.)

Good Afternoon Amanda.

I'm sorry that you feel the way that you do. For the sake of clarification (again), I'm not an owner of ACI, nor do I work for them. As I said in a previous post, my husband is an employee, and has been for several years.

As for my comments about up here and down there, it's not a judgment, nor a slur. ACI is broken into different OBU's, and works for different cable systems. As I've said, I only know what happens up here, with our cable system, and give that as an example.

It's never been my intent to lure anyone into a situation that would result in another family losing their source of income, nor would I be comfortable icing over a situation just for the sake of appearances. I understand that you and your husband are frustrated, but unfortunately, there can be no resolution if the right people aren't aware there's a problem. This is what Leah was trying to point out and correct. And I have to point out that I don't believe either one of us (Leah or myself) are trying to identify your husband to target him for firing. I'm sure, based on your comments that you've already contacted Michael Falsetti, that your husband is already known, and apparently, still has employment with ACI. This tends to lead others to discount your theory that by pointing out problems within the company your husband would lose his job.

You mention 'all' of the people that have posted on here, yet really, there have been very few. There is Mandy/Amanda (which reading through the posts again seem to be the same person), and Greg. Best case scenario, this is three employees out of 1200-1400? That seems to be a pretty good track record.

All humor aside, ACI provides much needed jobs, not just in Mi, but in many other states as well. Yes, there may be quirks here and there, but this is true with any company that you work for. Whether the issue is wages, benefits, or attitudes in the work place, no company is perfect. For those of you that have issues, I ask again that you take it up the management line so that there is an awareness of the problem, and attempts can be made to resolve the problem. ROR is a wonderful forum but simply posting on here is not going to 'fix' what may be broken. Reading through many of the other posts, I'm sure that you'll see that those complaints that actually found resolution were those where the poster persisted in making things right with the company in question.

As for the UPS lawsuit, there are different labor laws to be considered here, which will have an influence in how a company is run from state to state. In CA, there are mandatory meal and rest periods for adults, per their labor laws. There is no such requirement in MI. According to a website that I found by using the words 'michigan adult labor laws', Michigan (MI) wage and hour laws state that a 30 minute meal break must be given to workers 14 to 17 who work a shift of 5 or more hours. Companies are not required to pay for this meal break. In addition, companies are not required by Michigan law to give breaks to employees 18 and over. However, provisions are made for adult workers if they are given a break.If companies decide to give workers 18 years old and older a short rest period that time must be paid. In turn those employees may be required to return back to work during that break. Employers may also choose to give their adult workers unpaid uninterrupted meal breaks of 30 minutes or more. However, they are not required to do either according to Michigan (MI) wage and hour laws or according to federal wage and hour laws. If you look up the labor laws in CA, you will find that they are quite different, therefore, UPS did have a problem with it's employee practices. The website that I found contained additional information, but it is too extensive to include here, but as you can see, not giving sufficient meal time is NOT illegal in the state of MI (as is also the case in 30+ states through the US). If you are truly from another state, the labor laws there may be different, and typing in your state name and 'adult labor laws' will give you the answers that you are looking for.

I'm sorry if I seem to be taking a hard line here, but I feel that if you're going to try and rally support for a cause, you should be informed as to whether that cause exists. If you should find that the information that I found is incorrect, please let me know. In closing, I'm simply a wife of an employee, and I have no power to effect change in ACI policies. If you want to see change of something that you feel is unfair you have to give management something to work with. YOU (your husband) have the power if you choose to use it! Have a great day!
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#68 UPDATE Employee

ACI is dishonest and very high and mighty for themselves

AUTHOR: Amanda - (U.S.A.)

Well I'm sorry I haven't commented in a while. I kept seeing this lady Lori write on here a lot and I think all that would go through my mind every time I would see her comments are, "sure does know a lot to not work for ACI LOL", but anyways back to the topic.

I am so sorry for all you out there that have to take ACI's abuse, and Lori I have seen you refer to up there & Down there a countless number of times and if you are insinuating down there means southern = to lower class, then you are just as rude and selfish as your comments that you have made on this topic. And Troy I have to once again applaud you. You have taken so many words right out of my mouth, when it comes to ACI!

I think I feel helpless sometimes when I start writing on here because I could say so much to these people in person and I hate expressing myself over the computer with people like Lori (Owner) to come and make things sound like it's all ok. Then like a perfect plan the wife comes in to be the compassionate one and say how her husband would never allow this (even though he is allowing it) while in reality she was probably writing cause they are begging me to write them to see who my husband is so they can get rid of him a.s.a.p. LOL!

I also noticed that once people started seeing this site on here they finally had somewhere to go to tell people about what kind of abuse and unfair labor they were going through. So Leah if your husband was so easy to talk to why are all these men turning to here? And 150 emails a day? He must hear an awful amount of complaints..Go Figure! Though in one way I am happy you are on here to read this Leah because my husband knows your husband. Well he has never met him because he is just a simple labor tech compared to all those 9-5 guys who get to go home and spend time with there families everyday, but I'm sure someday he might considering they're 30 miles apart LOL.

Sorry to be so harsh but I think if your babies saw there daddy 3 hours a week before he went to bed from being so tired you would be on here defending your great husband as well.

Well enough with the personal stuff, sorry it hits a soft spot with me when talking about ACI. I want to move onto a bigger subject I have just recently been looking into. If there are any ACI guys out there I really want you to read this cause I think I have finally found the one thing ACI is doing to show the labor law just how bad they are. See they cover up there stealing with all this we changed rules every week talk, but this is nothing they can change.

How many of you men TRULY have time to take a lunch break in the day???? Now when they give you 8 a.m. shifts and you are running late on one because they sent you out there with a bad box and then you are rushing to get to all your other jobs how many of you eat??? Hmmmm.... I have a feeling I am sounding a lot of men's alarms when they say you are right we don't eat but they take it out of our pay.

Well men UPS just got sued for this just so you know. Not providing a sufficient lunchtime is ILLEGAL especially when you get penalized with ACI resulting in a loss of pay for taking to much time. So ACI's message is work fast and don't eat or eat and we will take your hourly down and you're L2R!!!!!

Now here's the thing, I don't really think suing is something people should do unless last resort, but if I can at least fight for all for your rights and prove something in the process I will certainly do all I can to do so. We have hit last resort with these people. They will not change anything other than there supervisors once a week LOL.

Sorry had to throw a little ACI humor in there I would really like to find a way people can contact me so I can try to get some help for all of us. I will start calling attorneys and if I have to I will fund it (thank god for my job is all I have to say!) My Husband is scared to death to lose his job and knows if they found out I disliked there ways as much as I do they would fire him so I know they have intimidated all of you the same. So what I will do is do it all myself so then I can report what the lawyer says to me so you will all know your legal rights when they cut your base pay for eating!!!

And Leah, I would love to think your husband knows nothing about how they are treating these guys, but if he is the CEO of ACI in Canton then I highly doubt he don't know about this conduct in a office less then 30 miles away from him? Also just so you know before I came to this board I wrote him first to try to give him a chance to help us and his response was so arrogant that when I came to this board I came with a mission to help others that are in the same boat as my husband and I so they would never have to go through this like we have again.

I know this sounds crazy and I am so sorry for all of you out there who are president Bush fans but I felt like I was getting a response back from the president after telling him to bring back our troops. I felt very helpless and it felt as though I was talking to someone so high powered in there head that all middle class people just take up too much of there time to waste on a decent response that deserved his attention.

So I will be leaving for now but if anyone wants my yahoo email or messenger name I will find a way that rip off report will let me post my info for real people and not owners to contact me who would like to help in this case. Once again thank you Rip Off Report for helping people like us tell our story and get things done. If there's any attorneys that would like to contact me to help just reply to this with your information in the email address they will give you. Until next time reporters
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#69 Consumer Comment

Greg, one more thing

AUTHOR: Lori - (U.S.A.)

Please make sure that you note your concerns through the ACI website. I believe that there is a place to submit suggestions, and you are also always free to contact Michael Falsetti with any concerns. I realize that you have concerns about going above the head of your immediate management, however, there are times when your concerns simply need to be addressed at a higher level. If you truly want action to be taken, complaining amongst ourselves will not accomplish anything meaningful.

Please step up and take a place in helping to shape our companies future.
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#70 Consumer Comment

Thanx for the clarification

AUTHOR: Lori - (U.S.A.)

Ok, Greg, in respect to negative L2R, I see your point. 'Commission' for production should be an incentive for getting the job done, properly and without rollback. This should be paid above and beyond your 'base' rate for the hours that you work. L2R can be a wonderful tool for the company that uses it, allowing them to estimate costs and productivity for a given area. When used this way, it's apparent when there's a problem that needs to be addressed. When there are consistently a majority of techs that fall into negative, there would seem to be a problem within that system.

An example of this would be: Underutilization of the current workforce (ie:not enough jobs assigned in the area by the contracting cable system). If you have 40 scheduled jobs and 10 techs working full time, obviously NO ONE is going to make enough revenue to cover what it costs to employ them. Taking this perspective, if it is only one or two techs that are consistently falling into the negative, then perhaps there are problems with the individual tech that need to be addressed. A green tech is more likely to be slower, both in travel and hookups, making him more likely to go into the negative. Maybe a bit more training will help, maybe he just doesn't have the aptitude to get up to speed. Taking steps to correct the problem should be the first step.

I honestly believe that the concept behind the L2R is a good one. By employing this method, you give the employee the opportunity to 'set' his own wage. From personal experience (not within the ACI system) I've heard comments that have molded my attitude. A guy gets hired into a company for a straight wage of $10.00 per hour. He accepts the position feeling that he's worth more than that, and therefore does the amount of work he FEELS he's being paid for. Working 10 hours per day, he makes $100.00, divides that wage by the number of jobs he feels it's worth. Four jobs later, he's done for the day (there's no incentive for him to get the job done and move on, he'll milk a 30 min job for 2 hours because he makes the same wage for 4 jobs or 10). However, under the L2R method, he's being paid $10.00 per hour, plus an additional amount for the work he gets done during the day.


In this scenario, it PAYS him to get more done so that he brings home a larger paycheck. Both the company and the tech win in this situation, because as he brings in additional revenue for the company, he also adds to his paycheck for his family. As for taking an extra few minutes to make sure the customer is happy, this prevents rollbacks and reflects well on both the tech and the company. If the job is done properly, you don't have to roll back. Five minutes to verify that everything is working and connected properly is better than rolling back and taking another hour out of your day. I don't understand how helping another tech harms you (remembering that I am only going on what I know from the system that we're in). If a tech rolls on another techs jobs, the job is reassigned to the tech that does the work, filling his daily, not the tech that gave up the job.

Lunches are another subject that may be area based. Our techs have a lot of drive time, as the area covered is quite large. They can pull into a drive through, and eat lunch as they are driving to the next job. Not quite the same as sitting in a restaraunt for 30 min, but they are cutting their time to get to the next job while eating, and in 'multi-tasking' getting done 30 min earlier, which means they get to go home. Some of the guys may simply take their lunch to their trucks, and do paperwork.... anything to cut down on the time it takes them to finish their day. As for waiting for dispatch, I can commiserate with you. If you're just trying to close a job (without equipment), can you wait on hold while you're driving to your next location? If you still haven't gotten through, you're at least finishing another job in the meantime, and closing more than one job when you do get through.

I can see this argument from both sides, both the good and the bad. I agree with you that you should get paid for the hours that you work as an employee, and that your paycheck shouldn't reflect anything lower than the base wage that you were hired in for. In defense of ACI, as I stated above, I believe that L2R is a valuable tool, put into place to benefit the employees and the company. I honestly don't think that it was a major consideration that techs would move into the negative on a consistent basis, therefore creating discontent with the techs. At the risk of once again repeating myself, if a problem isn't brought to light, it can't be fixed. If you have a solution, it might be worthwhile to advance it.
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#71 UPDATE Employee

Unfair is...

AUTHOR: Greg - (U.S.A.)

Thanks (Lori) for your ideas of what unfair is, but they really have nothing to do with the issue that we are discussing here. The unfairness I was talking about is being told you will be paid one price for doing your job then getting a much lower figure after you've done it.

I don't have any questions about how I'm being paid. The problem is I see exactly what they are trying to pull with this negative L2R stuff. Thats what I meant about the techs being forced to take on the risks of a contractor. It used to be that if an employer had poor sales in whatever they were selling, they didn't go around to each of their employees and take a chunk of their paycheck so that they would be guaranteed a certain profit margin. ACI has done extactly that. If 10 service calls have been completed, they are going to get their $274 even if they have to take money away from the techs to do it.

Now its true that some techs will go along all day long and complete only a few jobs and try to bill for way more than they bring in. Thats what supervisors are for. They should be dealing with those techs on an individual basis.

You can defend the negative L2R policy all you want but it wont change the fact that the people working under it are feeling cheated. It becomes a quality issue because under L2R the ony way to make money is to rush through all your jobs and clear the field as quickly as possible. Help another tech? Forget it! Take that extra 10 minutes with a customer to make them happy...not happening. And go back later? No way...doing any of that is going to cost me money. I know first hand because I've done all of those things. As an example:

Say it's friday and you have completed 10 service calls in 10 hours. Since I'm on overtime, that means they owe me $150. Oh wait! I forgot, they are only going to pay me $131 for that work. Looks like I'll have to SHAVE an hour. Now I get a call from a supervisor asking me to go help someone else? I'm already an hour in the hole. By the time I pick up the job and go do it, I may be another hour or more or it may be NA'd or something may happen to put me even more behind. Remember that no matter what my pay rate is, I'm only going to get $13 for completing that service call. On overtime I'm making $15. I could burn up that much time just waiting on hold for dispatch.

As for lunches thats another sore spot. We also have days that we get slammed. It's true that you don't have time for lunch on those days. Don't feel bad though because ACI will TAKE that half hour from you anyway. The law was written to be sure you got a break for lunch. ACI sees it as a way to get another half hour a day of free work out of you.

Whats right is right and when you are working that hard for that many hours, you deserve to be paid for it. It's a concept most other businesses seem to grasp without any problem. They don't come up with some convoluted way to lower your pay scale after you've made them a nice profit for the week.
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#72 Consumer Comment

Well, we gotta start somewhere....

AUTHOR: Lori - (U.S.A.)

I understand that you're frustrated. However, could you please explain how you feel that you take the same business risks as an independant? You have a truck, gas is provided, insurance is available, work comp is paid for you....All expenses that are paid out of pocket by the sub contractors. You also get paid holidays, vacation time, and overtime....Again, perks not available to the subcontractors. As for the long lunch hours, you're correct, I'm not familiar with those because the routes don't allow that 'luxury' in our area.

Once the guys up here roll out in the morning, they're busy until they finish their routes at the end of the day. I know that they do occasionally 'early access' a job, if the sub is home and available before the scheduled appointment. As for the pay rates, to the best of my knowledge, there have been no complaints from the guys that work locally, as they all make more than their base rate with their L2R. Occasionally you'll hear complaints of being dog tired, and on those occasions, my husband makes that extra day off happen.

As for the supervisors, and the hours that they work, I can't speak for any other area but this one. I know how many hours a week that he works, I know the jobs that he does, which include doing not only an occasional job, but in fact running entire routes as needed. If one of his guys is having trouble, he's the one that goes out to help, not someone else. He is ALWAYS available to his guys by phone (including an additional cell phone, and the home phone), and that means ALWAYS. He has gotten calls from 5am until after midnight from his guys. If, for some reason, he happens to get home before all the guys are in, and someone has a problem, he rolls back out to take care of it (as happened Saturday, when he rolled in with one guy left out in the field with one job left. Unfortunatly, that one job was a nasty one, so he rolled back out to his tech and helped him finish the job.)

He also covers a large geographic area, which means that he may have to roll anywhere from 45 miles in one direction, to 60 miles in the other. In addition to the field work that he has (tech support, damage claims, qc's), he also has his paperwork, truck inspections, coordinating truck repair and maintenance. If he's called because there's jobs that need to be done (such as storm damage), he asks for volunteers to work that day, and if he can't find enough guys, HE goes out and gets the job done. Being on salary, that means that he, in effect, donated that day away from his family so that his techs didn't have to.

ACI, and the cable company that they contract for, could indeed be considered to be in the 'entertainment' industry. However, they are more importantly in the SERVICE industry. They work on Saturdays because that is more convenient for their subscribers (especially in areas where there are a lot of seasonal hookups, such as a tourist or college area). Think of this as job security.... there's always someone who wants their MTV. Sundays and holidays are worked ONLY when there is an outage or storm damage to deal with. As far as McDonalds goes, we also have a daughter that works there, and believe me when I tell you OVERTIME is a 4 letter word, and the MOST that you will make there is $10.00 per hour, with few, IF ANY, benefits (none for crew members, limited for some management). They can't screw you out of something they make sure you can't get!

If you have questions about how your pay is figured, have you asked your supervisor to explain? If you have a lot of routes with big gaps in them, does this happen to all of the guys, or just a few? Are you allowed to pick up jobs from any of the other guys, or perhaps trade jobs between the routes to tighten them up? How many jobs are on the average route in your area? Is this the reason for the big gaps?

I'm not trying to sound condescending to any tech or supervisor, so I apologize if I come off that way. I can only defend what I know, which happens to be our area. Before ACI, my husbamd was an independant contractor in cable construction, traveling all over the US. He got paid production (piece work and footage), not hourly. They worked Sundays, holidays, nights....you name it. There was no overtime, no paid time off, and no perks. He was away from the family for weeks at a time. He assumed all of the business risk of being self employed (which is why I question what risks that you are talking about). My husband has been an ACI tech, which he truly enjoyed. There were very few nights when he rolled in past 8:30, and those were the days when he had a heavy route (15-20 jobs). Now, as a supervisor, he does carry a much larger workload.

As to 'fair', I was always raised that no one has ever told me that life was fair. Perhaps you can give me an idea of what you think 'fair' is, that would at least give us a starting point. Running a business in the state of Michigan is not a cheap venture. Do you truly understand what you REALLY get paid? To get an idea of your 'true' wage, figure in what the company pays out in social security, medicare, work comp, liability insurance, and benefits (not just your insurance, but your paid time off for holidays and vacations). You also benefit from training, uniforms, tools provided for your use (and I can tell you that even when my husband worked in a factory up here, he had to purchase his own tools, they were not provided for him.)

No, life isn't fair, but I don't think that the issues here have anything to do with fair. Unfair is working for a company for 30 years and then being shut out because the company can't afford to do business here anymore. Unfair is working your field from sun up to sun down for 5 months, only to have your crop wiped out a week before harvest, leaving you with nothing to show for months of intensive labor. Unfair is paying for insurance for years, being wiped out by Hurricane Katrina, then having your insurance company tell you that the damage is excluded because it was caused by water. The above fit into unfair.... the situations were totally outside of a persons control.

As outlined above, there are things that you can do pertaining to your employment with ACI. Believe me, no supervisor wants an unhappy tech. But if they don't know you're unhappy, they can't fix it. If you have suggestions to improve things, talk to your supervisor. A happy tech=a productive tech=a happy supervisor.
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#73 UPDATE Employee

The economy may be bad but...

AUTHOR: Greg - (U.S.A.)

A bad economy is no excuse to get away with stealing money from your employees only because you can. Sure employees will put up with a lot more abuse when the economy is down in the dumps.

"What ever happened to the days when you expected to work to bring home a check? No one ever claimed being a tech was an easy job."

Well Lori, I'd ask you "Whatever happened to the days when you expected to bring home a check for hard work?" And as for how ACI is different from any of those other companies you mentioned...here is a big one...NONE of those companies will promise you $10/hr then tell you that your pay will be dropped as soon as you go on overtime. Imagine McDonalds trying to pull a stunt like that.

For someone that claims to know what it's like being tech for ACI, your husband must be in some far out in the boonies office. It's true that Supervisors come in earlier than the techs. But there is NEVER a supervisor there when the last tech comes in. Most are at home by 5 or 6 and most of those seem to have phone problems when you need to get ahold of one. I've had days where I got stuck on a job and didn't get back to the office until midnight. Then I drive the hour or so home, get to bed by 2 and have to be back up at 6 at the latest to make it in to work for the early shift. Try stringing a couple days like that together and see how sorry you are feeling for a supervisor that only puts in a 10 hour day and calls it a tough job! Most of them consider it a big burden to have to pull their ladder off the truck once a week. Their biggest headache is figuring out who they are going to dump the real work on.

I'm not trying to knock the supervisors here either, it's just that you are making it sound like they carry some sort of monster workload compared to a tech and they don't. My problem with ACI is that they want it both ways. They want you to assume all the business risk of an independant contractor while retaining the right to make demands on you as an employee. And that is the second area where ACI is different than most other companies out there.

What other company that is mostly an ENTERTAINMENT company demands that you give them so much time that you have none to spend with your family? As techs we've been told over and over again how cable is not brain surgery. Well I agree it's not on par with surgery or any other job that is of life and death importance. So why is it that we are expected to work Saturdays, some Sundays, and holidays? As one guy told me "Every day is a cable emergency at ACI". All the techs want is FAIR treatment.

If you take 68 hours of my life in a week then I expect to be paid for each and every one of those hours if I'm your employee. That is 68 hours that I don't get to spend watching my kids grow up or spend doing things that make my life better. If I'm forced to drop 20 hours off my time sheet to meet some magical formula that makes ACI happy, then those are 20 hours of my life that I just gave away for free. As soon as I climb in that truck in the morning I'm no longer able to do the things that make life worthwhile.

This stuff of getting very early jobs and late jobs with a huge gap in the middle of the day are expected to be "donated" by the tech. They'll tell you to take a long lunch even though cant do anything with that time since you are in a company truck. I won't even get into how they are breaking their own rules by doing that. Are you going to try and tell me thats anything close to fair?
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#74 UPDATE Employee

The economy may be bad but...

AUTHOR: Greg - (U.S.A.)

A bad economy is no excuse to get away with stealing money from your employees only because you can. Sure employees will put up with a lot more abuse when the economy is down in the dumps.

"What ever happened to the days when you expected to work to bring home a check? No one ever claimed being a tech was an easy job."

Well Lori, I'd ask you "Whatever happened to the days when you expected to bring home a check for hard work?" And as for how ACI is different from any of those other companies you mentioned...here is a big one...NONE of those companies will promise you $10/hr then tell you that your pay will be dropped as soon as you go on overtime. Imagine McDonalds trying to pull a stunt like that.

For someone that claims to know what it's like being tech for ACI, your husband must be in some far out in the boonies office. It's true that Supervisors come in earlier than the techs. But there is NEVER a supervisor there when the last tech comes in. Most are at home by 5 or 6 and most of those seem to have phone problems when you need to get ahold of one. I've had days where I got stuck on a job and didn't get back to the office until midnight. Then I drive the hour or so home, get to bed by 2 and have to be back up at 6 at the latest to make it in to work for the early shift. Try stringing a couple days like that together and see how sorry you are feeling for a supervisor that only puts in a 10 hour day and calls it a tough job! Most of them consider it a big burden to have to pull their ladder off the truck once a week. Their biggest headache is figuring out who they are going to dump the real work on.

I'm not trying to knock the supervisors here either, it's just that you are making it sound like they carry some sort of monster workload compared to a tech and they don't. My problem with ACI is that they want it both ways. They want you to assume all the business risk of an independant contractor while retaining the right to make demands on you as an employee. And that is the second area where ACI is different than most other companies out there.

What other company that is mostly an ENTERTAINMENT company demands that you give them so much time that you have none to spend with your family? As techs we've been told over and over again how cable is not brain surgery. Well I agree it's not on par with surgery or any other job that is of life and death importance. So why is it that we are expected to work Saturdays, some Sundays, and holidays? As one guy told me "Every day is a cable emergency at ACI". All the techs want is FAIR treatment.

If you take 68 hours of my life in a week then I expect to be paid for each and every one of those hours if I'm your employee. That is 68 hours that I don't get to spend watching my kids grow up or spend doing things that make my life better. If I'm forced to drop 20 hours off my time sheet to meet some magical formula that makes ACI happy, then those are 20 hours of my life that I just gave away for free. As soon as I climb in that truck in the morning I'm no longer able to do the things that make life worthwhile.

This stuff of getting very early jobs and late jobs with a huge gap in the middle of the day are expected to be "donated" by the tech. They'll tell you to take a long lunch even though cant do anything with that time since you are in a company truck. I won't even get into how they are breaking their own rules by doing that. Are you going to try and tell me thats anything close to fair?
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#75 UPDATE Employee

The economy may be bad but...

AUTHOR: Greg - (U.S.A.)

A bad economy is no excuse to get away with stealing money from your employees only because you can. Sure employees will put up with a lot more abuse when the economy is down in the dumps.

"What ever happened to the days when you expected to work to bring home a check? No one ever claimed being a tech was an easy job."

Well Lori, I'd ask you "Whatever happened to the days when you expected to bring home a check for hard work?" And as for how ACI is different from any of those other companies you mentioned...here is a big one...NONE of those companies will promise you $10/hr then tell you that your pay will be dropped as soon as you go on overtime. Imagine McDonalds trying to pull a stunt like that.

For someone that claims to know what it's like being tech for ACI, your husband must be in some far out in the boonies office. It's true that Supervisors come in earlier than the techs. But there is NEVER a supervisor there when the last tech comes in. Most are at home by 5 or 6 and most of those seem to have phone problems when you need to get ahold of one. I've had days where I got stuck on a job and didn't get back to the office until midnight. Then I drive the hour or so home, get to bed by 2 and have to be back up at 6 at the latest to make it in to work for the early shift. Try stringing a couple days like that together and see how sorry you are feeling for a supervisor that only puts in a 10 hour day and calls it a tough job! Most of them consider it a big burden to have to pull their ladder off the truck once a week. Their biggest headache is figuring out who they are going to dump the real work on.

I'm not trying to knock the supervisors here either, it's just that you are making it sound like they carry some sort of monster workload compared to a tech and they don't. My problem with ACI is that they want it both ways. They want you to assume all the business risk of an independant contractor while retaining the right to make demands on you as an employee. And that is the second area where ACI is different than most other companies out there.

What other company that is mostly an ENTERTAINMENT company demands that you give them so much time that you have none to spend with your family? As techs we've been told over and over again how cable is not brain surgery. Well I agree it's not on par with surgery or any other job that is of life and death importance. So why is it that we are expected to work Saturdays, some Sundays, and holidays? As one guy told me "Every day is a cable emergency at ACI". All the techs want is FAIR treatment.

If you take 68 hours of my life in a week then I expect to be paid for each and every one of those hours if I'm your employee. That is 68 hours that I don't get to spend watching my kids grow up or spend doing things that make my life better. If I'm forced to drop 20 hours off my time sheet to meet some magical formula that makes ACI happy, then those are 20 hours of my life that I just gave away for free. As soon as I climb in that truck in the morning I'm no longer able to do the things that make life worthwhile.

This stuff of getting very early jobs and late jobs with a huge gap in the middle of the day are expected to be "donated" by the tech. They'll tell you to take a long lunch even though cant do anything with that time since you are in a company truck. I won't even get into how they are breaking their own rules by doing that. Are you going to try and tell me thats anything close to fair?
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#76 Consumer Comment

Let's look at the economy......

AUTHOR: Lori - (U.S.A.)

What ever happened to the days when you expected to work to bring home a check? No one ever claimed being a tech was an easy job. You roll to a scheduled AM appointment, only to find the sub isn't there, or they have left a minor to oversee the install (big NO-NO). Maybe they leave a note that says "Cable guy, I'm not here, but go in and do the install" (WOW, think about THAT liabilty!). Now the tech has to verify 'not at home', and roll to the next job.

And of course, when the sub rolls in at 2PM, they want to know why they aren't hooked up, and we have to either get back there and take care of them, or reschedule them for the next day. As a tech, you also must be a people person, especially when dealing with a 'new install' that can't be completed because there is no cable to connect to, when a sub can't be hooked up because of improper ground, when you have to collect a COD that the sub wasn't expecting.... and the list goes on.

HOWEVER, please tell me how this is any different from any other job that you may find yourself working. Try McDonalds during the dinner rush, a groc store when the computers malfunction, or maybe a factory when the production line has put out 100,000 bad parts. Every job has it's ups and downs. Given the state of the current economy, when there are so many out there looking for a decent job, where you actually make a living wage, has benefits, and is FULLTIME, ACI tries it's best to be a company that not only takes care of it's customers, but it's employees.

When other companies are cutting medical benefits, they are still offered for an employee. Cost of benefits? Yes, the employee pays a portion. Try obtaining medical insurance privately and tell me that paying that portion isn't worth it! Other benefits (already listed above), come at a small cost, and are offered, again, when many other places are cutting them.

As an ACI employee, you also have a truck, tools, and uniforms provided for you. Yes, you launder your own uniforms, but you have no wear and tear on your clothing. Tools are expensive, and a cost that would be out of reach for most guys. I'm sorry, but I think that there is too much taken for granted in todays workplace, and that many 'perks' are overlooked.

Mandy, it's not a weird coincidence that I have friends that work for ACI. I'm the PROUD wife of a man who works for them. As a supervisor, he works his tail off from 6am-between 7-9pm six days a week. He takes care of his crew, whether it be running equipment to them, covering routes (yes, I mean he runs the route), picking up jobs from those that may be behind that day, and being the sounding board for the guys that are having a bad day (and that doesn't mean just job related either!).

He also coordinates vehicle maintenance and repair, tech/customer relations, quality control, trouble calls, and does paperwork. He has no problem defending his techs, going to bat for them, praising them for a job well done, or taking them aside, alone, to explain what needs to be done differently in the case of a job not so well done.

I also take exception to Troy's characterization of tech performance and training. We have very good techs working up here. If they don't know the answer to a question, they ASK. If they need a day off, he finds a way for them to get it. My husband is very aware of family issues, being the father to 10 children, 8 whom still live at home. I'm a stay at home mom, unable to work because we have special needs children.

We understand not only the financial aspects, but the family aspects, and if a guy (or gal, given that he also has a female tech), needs time off because of family issues, he makes it happen. If they pick up a job from another guy, that job is theirs to claim as their own. If no one is available to pick up a job, my husband does it.

As I said before, ACI and cable isn't for everyone. Cable guys are a breed of their own. You either love it, or hate it, there's no in between. Remember, the grass always looks greener......Until you get to the other side and realize that it's artificial turf.
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#77 UPDATE Employee

Taking money from employees

AUTHOR: Greg - (U.S.A.)

ACI has been my employer for the past 7 or 8 months. I was told I could make up to 13/hr. I was not on that negative L2R when I started because they give you 3 months to get up to speed. During that time I had checks that were coming up short by 10 to 20 hours. When I looked into it I discovered that the supervisors there just lopped of those extra hours on my time sheet!

Once I got on L2R my paychecks dropped even further. L2R works like this...you take the amount they pay you for the day then divide it by the money you made for ACI. If you make $300 in jobs and you do it in 10 hours then your L2R is 33%. Since we regularly work 10-12 hours a day we are on overtime for a good part of the week. The same amount of work that produces a 33% on Monday will put you at 50% on Friday!

In effect they have their employees working overtime and only pay them for straight time. Once you go over 35% or so they start reducing your hourly wage. The minimum is NOT 9.50/hour. I've seen guys with checks that dropped to 6 and 7 dollars an hour. If you go to help another tech you are working for free or costing yourself money. They will write you up if you don't.

If you have a family don't even think of working here or you'll never get to see them. You leave early and come home late. They require a 21 day notice for a day off yet will tell you on 2 days notice that you have to work on a day off. I can honestly say that this place is the closest thing to legalized slave labor that I have ever seen. They harp on about "commitment to our customer" and how we need to meet those commitments but I'll bet you won't see any managers or VP's working on their days off.

As for Troy's comments about shoddy work by contractors...I am highly offended by his characterization of contractors. In our area, we see shoddy work by in-house techs all the time. We have to pick up the jobs they can't or won't do such as wallfishes or hard installs. Any work they have at the end of the day is dumped off on someone else.

And as for the tech that was fired for falling asleep on the job, what if he had stayed awake? An hour on hold to dispatch is not the fault of the tech! They made a scapegoat of that guy for the lack of support by Comcast. It was unprofessional of the tech (who may have just spent an hour in a crawl space or hot attic) before this job but let's not overlook where the real problem lies!

The bottom line is that any good cable tech works very very hard for their money even in the best of times. It's hard physical labor and the hours are long. It's understandable that anyone that works that hard is going to be upset when you think that the company you are working for is stealing your money from you.

In fairness to the owners of ACI, I don't think they are being told the entire story by the people that report to them. It's a game of cover your own *&*&. Everyone up the line wants it to seem like there are no issues coming from the way they are running things. Nobody dares to say a word against the people that are their bosses when the owners show up because their bosses will find a way to get rid of them. Some of the people that have been there a while have told me that ACI used to be a good company to work for but I sure wouldn't recommend it to anyone now.
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#78 Consumer Suggestion

I am a communications tech for Comcast in Indiana

AUTHOR: Troy - (U.S.A.)

To Mandy. Thanks for responding. First off the Indianapolis office is hiring, all you have to do is log on to the comcast.com site and search jobs in the area that he wants to work and it will tell him if there are any positions opened or not.

I know the contractors that work down here and my friend Jon that works up in your area sometimes tells me about the problem that they have with the contractors there like we do here, Jon works in-house like I do. If he can get on with us his pay will be more than he is making now. Comcast just introduced a new pay scale that raised the pay for Comcast techs.

And as to your first question about if it is illegal to take money from them after they work so many hours? I am not sure but I know when we go back to a job that a contractor was at and have to fix a problem, depending on what we find that was wrong the contracted tech will have the money for doing the install deducted from their next check, or they will have a certain amount of money taken out. I don't know if that is what has happened to you or not. Hope I may have been of some help.
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#79 Consumer Suggestion

WOW!

AUTHOR: Leah - (U.S.A.)

My Name is Leah. My husband (Michael) is the President and CEO of ACI. I must say that I am truly shocked about these allegations.

I urge you to immediately contact my husband directly. You can e-mail him through the ACI website. I have been married to this man for 20 years and I can assure you that he will address your issues.

Mike is an awesome guy and I wish people wouldn't be so afraid to confront him with their problems. If it is that bad he needs to know the specifics so he can fix it. Now granted he gets about 150 work related e-mails a day but he WILL get to it eventually!

Sincerely,
Leah
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#80 Consumer Suggestion

WOW!

AUTHOR: Leah - (U.S.A.)

My Name is Leah. My husband (Michael) is the President and CEO of ACI. I must say that I am truly shocked about these allegations.

I urge you to immediately contact my husband directly. You can e-mail him through the ACI website. I have been married to this man for 20 years and I can assure you that he will address your issues.

Mike is an awesome guy and I wish people wouldn't be so afraid to confront him with their problems. If it is that bad he needs to know the specifics so he can fix it. Now granted he gets about 150 work related e-mails a day but he WILL get to it eventually!

Sincerely,
Leah
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#81 Author of original report

sorry I couldn't respond sooner

AUTHOR: Mandy - (U.S.A.)

Thanks Troy!

I'm so sorry I couldn't respond sooner, but I can truly say I am working 6 days a week and I am exhausted. Since they inforced this new NEGATIVE L2R(there way of saying commission) We have been making les and less! My Fiance worked 65 hours last week and his paycheck was 492.00!!!!! I about died! Well I guess his hourly is 10.20 an hour now BUT if you don't get enough jobs from them now or if they have you help tons of people and you can't leave they will start taking away from your hourly. MY GID! Isn't this against the labor law troy? I asked my mom and she thinks this is, but who knows. All I know is taking money from people who have more hours(even though they don't want the hours!)Is soo sad and disgusting to me!
I wanted to answer the question why don't he leave. Well first ACI did figure something out, if you pay your employees like crap and start taking there pay after they are there for so long they probably won't have ANY time to even think about finding a new job and don't have the money to take a 2 weeks loss for a new job to hold you a wek behind. I would be estatic if he could leave here and would probably take a 4 week pay loss to find him a good job with a company that appreciates him, but with us working to make ends we don't have time.
You also said you know quite a few contractors how? If you don't work there do you just have a bunch of friends that are by weird chance employees of ACI? And if so do they all sit down with you and tell you how great it is there? When I read that I had to call up my sweety at work to read that to him(9pm still coming home just clocked out from helping another NEW contractor!)he laughed and said he would love to know what state those guys work in because it sure isn't anywhere near here. He has not met ONE person who hade anything good to say about ACI and that's sad when it includes the employees of Comcast especially! Comcast has contracts with ACI so they can't just drop them because of errors and surly need to. I am actually thinking about doing my best to gather all of the people that told me they wanted to contact Comcast because of there dislike for the crookedness of ACI and getting a protest going. i'm sure with enough people they might take a closer look at ACI, but who knows. Sorry for the spelling it's 3am and I'm soo tired, but once again Troy thank you for answering my questions and sticking up not only for me, but all the good working guys who don't have a chance in defending themselves because of this company! And by chance are Comcast hiring where you are located? He is such a hard worker and willing to stick through some really tough stuff. He deserves more than slaving for nothing and being used.
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#82 Consumer Comment

Off Topic for Troy

AUTHOR: Lorraine - Geek Consumer Advocate :-) - (U.S.A.)

I was given one of those guns you techs use to nail up coax cable to walls and such, but he didn't tell me where I need to buy the U shaped 'nails' it takes. I wanted to redo the cables I have stung thru the living room that keep the computer network connected. Do you know if they are sold at any hardware store or will I have to go somewhere special to get some?

Thanks for helping if you can. Sorry I'm not sure what the tool is really called. It looks like a staple gun, except it uses the plastic U shape things that go around the coax to nail it to a wall. The guy I got it from has since moved out of our building, so I can't ask him and am kicking myself for not doing that when he gave it to me after he got out of the biz and was moving. I was so thrilled to get it, I totally spaced on asking where to get more of them from.
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#83 Consumer Suggestion

this must be one of those that will never end

AUTHOR: Troy - (U.S.A.)

The reason the MSO's have to keep the contractors is at least in most cases they are under a contract with that company to do work for them. Also Lori maybe Amanda's BF has no other options that are worth quitting for especially if he is going to be able to get on at the MSO he is contracting for. Yes I have seen that video of the tech sleeping on the customers couch many times on my own and it amuses me. But any way that was in Washington and he got fired shortly after that. I just can't figure out how he got away with wearing shorts to work. But as to the 5% rollback # I heard it was more like 17% from my friend Jon who works up there, and he is the one that has told me about a lot of the problems. You are right cable work is not for everyone, long hours, hard work, etc.

And I didn't mean to get to technical with you but it just seemed funny that you mentioned filters as part of the training like it was something that was so hard to understand lol. Just for my own personal amusement don't for get to Diplex filter, AGC, surge pins, EQ, and power combiners. Alright then didn't mean to make you think I was an a-hole, but if you do, I guess oh well then.
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#84 Consumer Comment

Good Heavens

AUTHOR: Lori - (U.S.A.)

Amanda, I'm not an owner of ACI, nor am I an employee. I do, however, know quite a few of their techs, and the way it works (at least up here). I fail to see why ANYONE would want to call up the cable provider and ask leading questions about their contractors, and further, if those employees are giving you the rundown on how BAD their contractors are, then why would they keep them? Professional courtesy should play a role here, but apparently it doesn't. Sounds like a lot of bad blood there. You didn't say why you thought your bf was mistreated, only that he was. Because he has to work long hours? Thats the nature of the business. Does he have to continually pick up other guys routes? Is it his management that is the problem? Other techs? Comcast? Two years is an awful long time to be mistreated, so why does he stay if it's so awful?

Troy, so glad that we got that squared away. I wasn't trying to 'lower' you in any way, so if it came across like that, I apologize. I don't find it necessary to demean or degrade ANY company or tech without personal knowledge of same. (There was a certain video circulating the internet a couple of weeks ago, but we won't go there)

Yes, the techs up here ARE well trained, and are good techs. Hacks don't last long. To the best of my knowledge, ACI doesn't work down in your system, so I'm assuming (correct me if I'm wrong) that you use another company for your contractors. I have no doubt that you may have problems within your system, depending on which contractors are used down there. Both in house (ACI) and sub contractors are used in our area, but hacks are not around long regardless of their employment status. Thats why there aren't many rollbacks (less than 5%) in this area. There's also little griping between the cable providers techs and the ACI techs.

As for all the so called complaints about ACI, sorry, but I don't see them. ANY company is going to have a few disgruntled employees, but all in all, ACI seems pretty solid. As I said in my previous post, this job isn't for everyone. You either LIKE being in cable, or you don't. If you don't, it's time to find different employment.

And as for the filters, since most people wouldn't understand the difference, I didn't find the need to be technical. If I did that, I'd have to expand to nodes, AC, RF, splicing, suck outs, head end, etc...... There just isn't enough space to explain it all.
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#85 Consumer Suggestion

I am a communications tech for Comcast in Indiana

AUTHOR: Troy - (U.S.A.)

See that Lori I am a communications tech level 4 for Comcast. Says nothing about being a contractor to Comcast or a subcontractor, I work for Comcast the MSO directly they sign my paycheck just so we are clear so you know that I am not any type of contractor, cause it sounded like you were unclear on the matter even after reading my post heading. Well now that's over with.

First off you speak of all the great training provided and how great the work that your company does, but yet we read all of these stories of employees of your company that are done wrong. But you did make me laugh after reading this (The techs up here are well trained in all aspects of the job. Cable and modem installs, new drops, wall fishes, outlets, dcp's and dct's, line filters, etc.)

They may have all the training in the world but that doesn't mean that they are good at it. Which from my experience most of them are not. I mean you say line filters. Do you even know what that is? You have at least in most systems positive filters, negative filters, and high pass filters which block the return path to cut down on noise in the cable plant. And you had better not try to put in internet or digital service with a high pass filter on the line because you will have real trouble getting it to work.

But anyway I'm sure you already knew that, but now we will never know. Now as fare as paychecks go I make quite a bit more than any of the independents or in-house contractors. And I'm not so sure what you mean by (As for the training, you must live in quite the area down there.) what is that supposed to mean.

We and as in we I mean the Comcast techs further more the service techs, have to go back to contractors mishaps all the time to fix something that should have been done during the install. And know it doesn't sound like it's different all over; we do have 7 day rollbacks as well as 3 month rollbacks depending on the problem.

Here is the real problem these big MSO's like Comcast and others need to not renew the contracts with these contracting companies and get rid of using them all together. They need to hire more in-house techs that work directly for the company such as Comcast or any other MSO. That will get rid of almost all the customer dissatisfaction and cut down on the number of go back trouble calls.

OH yeah let me tell ya Amanda - Jacksboro, Tennessee, your husband may not have much longer to wait to get on at Comcast. I've heard that we are going to be cutting way back on the amount of work that is assigned to the contractors in the Midwest and southern regions making a need for Comcast to hire in more techs.

Now this is just what I have heard so far and I really hope that it works out because it will save me and my co-workers a lot of headaches. Well I've already took up too much room , and Lori I could keep going on and on and on and on and on, get the picture but there just isn't enough time in the day.

Well good luck Amanda, hope your husband will be joining our family soon. And Lori good luck with all that extra special training ya got goin on up there, because you're going to need it. Pardon the pun.
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#86 UPDATE Employee

HAHA That's all very funny!!!

AUTHOR: Amanda - (U.S.A.)

I was just reading your posts Lori or should I say one of the owners of ACI LOL. Anyways don't let those good words fool you I was just looking this up because my boyfriend has worked for them for 2 years and have never been treated worse in his whole life!!! I would love to go there and speak for him but he always says as soon as he can he will get into Comcast so he don't want to ruin his chance by telling them the way he really feels.

And just so Mrs. lori or whatever fake name the owner comes on here tring to be, if he says this is not true just ask. All you have to do is simply ask! Call up comcast and get a sales person or dispatcher on the phone. Then chat for a second with them, and then ask, " Have you ever heard of ACI or Advanced Communications",? Then sit back and hear the awful tales from Comcast themselves. when I found this blog I was doing research because I decided I was going to take a stand the second he leaves that god for saken place and saw this and just had to post what I found a bit earlier.

(((ROR REDACTED LINK FOR SECURITY PURPOSES))) I saw that page where a poor guy worked for them and made a diary of it. If a job is that bad to where a guy had to make a diary of his awful experiences then something needs to be done! But anyways i need to go back to my search of this company. I have found alot of things from employees that just should be heard so hopefully I can help out some of these poor guys like my boyfreind who sits back and gets crapped on until the next guy is hired!


CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.
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#87 Consumer Comment

Troy

AUTHOR: Lori - (U.S.A.)

In your response, you noted that you are a cable tech in Muncie. For Comcast, or an independant? There are different payscales and standards depending on your actual employer. In this case, I'm going to assume that you're an independant, please correct me if I'm wrong.

The hourly wage mentioned in the ad placed by Greg Wolfe was based on what your potential to earn between base pay and L2R. Dependant also on the tech experience.... The MINIMUM you're going to make is $9.50 per hour base, but most in house techs make more than that. The techs DO get overtime, and if you take the figures that Mandy provided, minus taxes and deductions for things such as insurance, it comes out to $9.50 per hour at the overtime hours as she described. However, as I said, his pay is going to be affected by the number of jobs that he completes in a day.

If, however, you are a subcontractor for ACI, your pay will differ from these figures. Quite often, the independants see much larger paychecks than the inhouse guys. Why? Because they have to pay for their own vehicles, gas and maintenance costs, tools and insurance. They don't have medical, or anything else, since they are considered 'self-employed'. While it's probably nice to have the bigger paychecks, in the overall scheme of things, for those with a family, having the smaller paycheck and the benefits that go with it is preferable. Despite the differences in the paycheck, the pay across the board is comparable when everything is taken into consideration.

As for the training, you must live in quite the area down there. The techs up here are well trained in all aspects of the job. Cable and modem installs, new drops, wall fishes, outlets, dcp's and dct's, line filters, etc. Basic troubleshooting is a daily thing, so if a guy/gal doesn't know it, they learn very quickly. No, our guys don't handle trouble calls, thats left to the cable provider. And in our area, rollbacks/back charges are 7 days, not three months.

Pretty much sounds like it's different all over to me. Although different areas with different contracting cable providers have different ways of figuring pay, I think it's pretty much dependant on the current contract held, and pretty much even compensation across the board. My problem with the OP's post is that it sounds to me like an upset wife, that was hoping her husband was going to be making X amount of money and isn't. When she noted that she had a comcast tech out to fix her internet, my first thought was why hubby didn't fix it instead of calling in another tech? Some of the things that she wrote just don't ring true, but maybe she'll clarify in an update.....
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#88 Consumer Comment

ACI isn't for everyone

AUTHOR: Lori - (U.S.A.)

But overall, they're a good company if you enjoy installing cable. The OP mentions base rate + L2R, and with the combination of the two, a good tech can make good money. Yes, the hours can be long, especially during peak periods, but the compensation is worth it.

Yes, you pay a portion for your benefits, as is the case for most companies that even offer insurance anymore. This will lower your net check, but would you really want to be without that benefit? Probably not.(Check out the prices for your current coverage if you were to pay it as an individual instead of through the company, I think you'll be surprised at the actual cost!) You also have the option for long/short term disability coverage (at a small cost), life insurance coverage and 401(k). Although these will all make your paycheck a bit smaller, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, especially if you have children in your household.

Base rate and L2R is fairly easy to understand. You make your base rate, then they add in your piece work, and the end result is your weekly hourly rate. After 1-3 months of working on their own, most techs have exceeded their base rate on a consistent basis. If you're an independant contractor, working for ACI, the pay and benefits are different, because you don't get some of the perks of an actual ACI employee (such as medical coverage, insurance coverage, access to a 401(k) plan, company truck, uniforms, tools etc). Most of the techs up here have been with the company for quite some time, and have few complaints. The most complaints come from the occasional new guy, with less than three months, who wasn't ready for the long hours (6 days per week has been standard for quite awhile now), and isn't up to par in his installations (it takes him longer than more experienced techs) so his paycheck isn't reaching it's full potential yet. Those that stick it out find that they start making money fairly quickly once they've become familiar with the installations, and whats involved. As for the hours, have you taken into consideration the time frames that the techs have to work with? AM, PM, 10-12, 3-5, 5-7? If your husband has a 5-7 time frame, or has run into a difficult job during the day, you're correct, he's probably not getting home until 8-9 pm. This is the nature of the job. This isn't a bank or a government job, this is the service industry. 9 to 5 isn't gonna cut it.

I also have to disagree that as a company ACI is happy about hiring for a 'couple of weeks' then replacing them. This makes no business sense. It takes time and money to get these guys trained up and out on their own. It's not financially feasible to hire them on, and have them leave after they've been trained. ACI requires that all prospective employees pass a drivers check, have a clean background check and pass drug screening BEFORE they're considered for employment. This costs money! For the first few weeks, they are riding out with another tech to be trained. In essence, ACI is paying to have 2 guys in 1 truck for however many weeks it takes to get the guy out on his own. This also has the effect of slowing down the training tech, since now he/she is doing 2 jobs instead of one.

Your contention that they massively overhire also has to be questioned. Because of the nature of the business, you have to hire more guys initially, knowing that the ratio that can handle the job is like 1:3. Hire six, you may keep 2, the rest either find they don't like the job, don't like working with subs (or are inept in doing so), or don't want to work the hours that are required. You claim that they didn't have enough guys to cover the routes, then you say that the guys took a pay cut because of the new hires. Can't be both ways. How many guys work in your husbands system? How many of those are ACI employees, and how many are independants? How many jobs does your husband receive on a daily basis? All of these things will affect the work environment as well as the pay he receives.

It's difficult to discern from your post how long your husband has been working for ACI, and whether or not he's been there long enough for a performance review. These reviews are on a timetable that is adhered to, and based on his performance, which determines his raise. Damage claims, whether or not he's recieved any Smithsafes, showing up on time, and attitude are only part of the things that affect his performance review, and therefore, his pay increase.

As to management (ie: supervisors and or managers), these guys work their hind ends off doing a lot of things that you rarely see. Their day starts at LEAST an hour before the techs, and doesn't end until the last tech is cleared for the evening. They are responsible for paperwork, routing, damage claims, quality control, counseling the techs, calming angry subs, scheduling, troubleshooting, and helping out the techs that need extra equipment, tools, have broken down vehicles, or are lost and need help finding a location. They are out there at oh dark thirty to help run drops across busy roads. They cover for techs that have emergencies and have to leave. The work many more hours than the techs do AND they are on salary....meaning that they get paid for 40 hours, yet put in double. They are often in the middle (techs/management above them, techs/subs, techs/cable provider, subs/cable provider). Despite all the hours, and the responsibilities, they show up to work everyday with the attitude that they expect their techs to have. When policies change, they explain it to their techs, regardless of whether or not its going to be a welcome change, or a not so welcome one. They deal with the disappointed techs as well as the happy ones, for policies that they have no control over.

And yes, there are always going to be policy changes, based on the company that they contract for, new contracts, and employee behavior that leads to new rule changes (um, believe it or not, one or two techs that can't seem to use common sense can result in a new policy that affects the entire company. This includes gas usage, cell phone usage, damage policies, lost tool policies, and even driving policies.) Better understanding comes with better knowledge. Running a company in this business has to take into account so many things that most people don't understand, such as gas (at $3.00+ per gal.), cell phones, insurance for the vehicles as well as the techs, what the market will bear, the current economics of the company that is contracted for, safety.... and the list goes on. Policies that are put into effect that don't work are replaced by ones that do.

Look around through the employment ads. McD's hires a lot, if thats what your husband truly wants to do. The funny thing about that statement is that I have a daughter who is a manager at McD's. She has no benefits, works all different shifts, and the treatment the employees get is horrible. They truly hire ANYONE, the turnover is horrendous, and the employees who are loyal and stay often pick up the slack for the new hires that couldn't care less. If your husband is willing to work in a place working 30-40 hours per week for half the pay, no benefits and where employees are treated as slaves, tell him to apply there. After a couple of weeks, I'm sure that your opinion of ACI will change. It takes all kinds to make the world go round, and there will always be people that think the grass is greener on the other side..... until they get there and find out that it's painted turf, not the lush green grass they were expecting.

Sorry, but I fail to see the 'ripoff' here. You're complaining about a company that pays you an above average wage, with benefits and perks (including overtime....most companies don't even allow overtime anymore), and job security (people want their mtv).
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#89 UPDATE Employee

I am a communications tech for Comcast in Indiana

AUTHOR: Troy - (U.S.A.)

I understand your situation and you are right in saying that it is not just in that one area, it is all over.. I have been working on the plant I live in for around 6 years now, when I hired in it was Adelphia, then Comcast took over after I was here about one year or so. But anyway Comcast already had this contract with a communications contracting company. They started sending these contractors into our system to install services, and almost instantly we noticed a problem, the guys where not getting paid by the hour but buy the job and the ones that where paid by the hour just did disconnects and they only made about 9.50 an hr plus they have very little training on how a cable system worked and how to install the services we provide. This is the way the pay structure is set up here, and I would assume it would be the same where you are, being that comcast is the CO. that they are workin for... So here is goes, First the hourly guys just get about 9.50 an hr to just do service disconnects or non-pay disconnects.. Now the installers do not get a hourly wage, just get paid buy the job, and that is why the are always so loaded down with work and have to work so many hours because I bet there is not a overtime worked section on the check that is filled out. Now if they do extra work at a install like run a new drop line to the house from the main cable tap they get like a extra $20 dollars for that. But say your husband installs a house with the cable services and the customer calls in for a service problem with in 3 months of him installing it he will be back charged for the work that had to be done by the service tech to fix the problem if it was something that should have been fixed during the install. The hourly amount that they quoted on the ad was most likely an approximation of what the average contractor makes with a full route.
Comcast usually doesn't let the contractors do service calls because in most cases they do not have the tools nor the knowledge to trouble shoot more advanced problems. No offense intended to your husband its just that I have seen their training and it is lets say below average.
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