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 Feedback Requested: Creative Agency Services Team, Inc. (CASTFORCE)
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Sandie_CA
Valued Contributor

CA
USA
152 Posts

Posted - 03/08/2013 :  10:39:50 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robbie23

Since this is my first time working for this company, I had no idea that I would have to print out over 50 pages (most of it in color)


I have recently started printing my call sheets in black and white. They don't pay enough to warrant the use of all my colored ink.

Sandie * MSPA Gold
I have video equipment and love route shopping.
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AngelaN
Valued Contributor

USA
134 Posts

Posted - 03/09/2013 :  12:59:47 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Try also using the Draft of Fast Draft mode on your printer. It is fine for text but photos will be poor quality. It saves a lot of ink
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1642 Posts

Posted - 03/09/2013 :  05:53:07 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I haven't even printed 10 pages for any of my projects. 50?! no way. No, color is not needed whatsoever. That uses way too much ink. I always use fast mode and I use generic ink. I spoke to someone at Staples about using generic ink and he said it makes no difference.
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1642 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2013 :  08:24:16 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I cannot open ny pdf files so I cannot print specs or invoices. Can someone help or have any suggestions?
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Big Sue
Star Contributor

USA
781 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2013 :  08:36:22 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MCBarb

I cannot open ny pdf files so I cannot print specs or invoices. Can someone help or have any suggestions?

Do you have the latest edition of Adobe Reader installed?
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1642 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2013 :  08:49:47 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I got it all printed. I spoke to Jason and he helped me. WHEW, what a nightmare. It took me 1.5 hours to print the specs and all 9 invoices. Thanks for your reply, Sue!!
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Nick_S
Valued Contributor

Los Angeles, California
USA
166 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2013 :  07:49:47 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MCBarb

I haven't even printed 10 pages for any of my projects. 50?! no way. No, color is not needed whatsoever. That uses way too much ink. I always use fast mode and I use generic ink. I spoke to someone at Staples about using generic ink and he said it makes no difference.



MCBarb, in my case, I had several reset jobs. So once I printed out the basic instructions and the store specific paperwork, I had over 50 pages of paperwork.

In regards to name brand ink vs. generic, I personally do see a difference. I notice that when I make signs and banners with generic ink, the ink fades within a few months vs. the name brand ink, that lasts for months without fading. From time-to-time, the signs I make are put up in windows, but the daily sun exposure is very hard on the ink on those signs . . . yet quite amazingly, Iím very impressed that when I use Epson ink (I have an Epson printer) when making those signs, the ink is just as sharp and bright 6+ months later and the signs do not need replacing. Whereas I noticed that when I use generic ink, the ink on the signs fades badly within 4 to 6 months, and the signs badly needs replacing. Over the past 10 years, I have tried various types of generic ink, but all of them seem to fade quite quickly and are never as sharp and brilliant looking like the name brand ink.

Now with that being said, when it comes to printing regular paperwork, I use the generic ink . . . I do notice that the ink is not as sharp and brilliant looking as the name brand ink, yet for my daily printing needs, I donít care.

Sandie, I do not have a print in black ink only option on my printer. I can copy in black ink only, but I can not print in black ink only. Most of the paperwork I had to print out for my CAST projects was all in color.

Nick
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Nick_S
Valued Contributor

Los Angeles, California
USA
166 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2013 :  08:06:58 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Okay I finally received my check from Cast AND the check cleared a few days ago, so now I feel free to talk openly about MY personal experiences with CAST. First of all, I will never ever work for them again!

Since I had never worked for them before, I was not use to their work orders, so I will admit that I did make mistakes on my paperwork where I had to go back out to several locations to make corrections, before they would pay me. Yet I did not care for their nasty threat tactics that if I did not go back to make the necessary corrections, that they would assign my work to another merchandiser so that they could make the corrections, while implying that they would not pay me. For those newbie mistakes I made, I do not fault them and it was a huge pain in the side to spend a few hours to drive back out to each location to do the fixes, yet if I were to work for them again, I now know how not to make those mistakes. Yet one thing I found very aggravation initially working with them was, they were late shipping my reset materials (to work the several locations I was awarded to work), yet when I contacted them about allowing me a few extra days to get the work done, they basically told me to work what I could and they claimed that they would adjust the due dates (so I would not get dinged) if I was unable to meet the deadline date. Yet in the meantime, about 3 days before my due date on these projects, I got an automated telephone call EACH DAY on my home phone on my cell phone and an email EACH DAY telling me that my projects were coming due. Talk about micro managing! Getting 2 separate telephone calls and an email EACH DAY reminding me about my upcoming due date was enough the try the patience of a saint! If I am late, I feel they should let me be late and ding me for it and never award me any more work! BUT, do not sit there and flood me with useless notifications of something that has not happened. I am a grown man and I do not need to be micro managed the way that this company did me! By the way, even though I went online and manually changed the dates to the due date (as to when I would personally work, complete and submitted each project), I STILL received the daily telephone calls and emails, about my projects were coming due. For sure, I did not appreciate being bombed DAILY with these harassing auto generated telephone calls and emails.

The 3 reasons why I would never work for them again are. I am not an expert photo taker. So as a warning to those of you out there, unless you are an expert photo taker, there is a very good chance that they will reject your photos and give you grief over them. Case in point, I worked several reset jobs for them. They require that you get the entire section of shelving (that was reset) AND the store number and project number ALL in 1 photo. So basically, what I had to do was write the store number and project number on a sheet of paper in BOLD lettering with a black marker AND I had to have this information down in the lower left hand corner of the shelf I reset WHILE getting the area above the top of the self. Yet if you do not have this all captured clearly in ONE photo, there is at least a 99% chance that they will reject your photo! They rejected about 25% of my photos, even when I went out of my way to take 3 photos at different angles so that they could see the entire reset job I did, along with the store number and project number information in the photo. I am sorry that I can not stand back 3 feet from a display or shelf section with no further room to back up to take such photos that this company demands! Getting this type of photo is very unreasonable (in my book), since it is almost impossible to get ALL of what they require in one photo, when you have very limited small space to take this type of photo in! Luckily, when I called to tell them about this problem, they reluctantly accepted the photos. So at least I did not have to go out to retake photos. Personally, I think I take satisfactory photos when any of my merchandising jobs require them. I have been working as a Merchandiser since 2010 and I have taken over a 1000 photos for my jobs, and I never once had a complaint about my photos from any company I worked for until I worked for CAST. Secondly, there is just no way I will ever again print out (at my expense) all of that paperwork that CAST requires to do their projects. Again, I do not mind printing out a couple of pages for the project instructions and maybe 1 page per location, but that is all that I am willing to print out (at my expense), unless the company pays for printing the paperwork, when projects require me to print out an abundance of paperwork before I can do a project. This is 2013! What happened to being GREEN and saving a few trees?

Lastly and the third thing is, they have locked me into a late / past due rating, when I was NOT late. In this case, I applied for a project (that was unrelated to the projects I had done for them previously) that was past due when they posted the project on their website. I think the project was like 17 days past due at the time I applied for it, yet keep in mind that I had to wait for the reset materials to be mailed to me before I could go to the store to do the reset. So I applied for the project and I got awarded the project within less than 1 hour. Then BAM!!! The project showed that I was 17 days past due as soon as I got it!!! Then about 5 hours later, then I got an automated telephone call (on my home phone AND my cell phone AND an email) telling me that my project was past due! The materials arrived about 7 days later, but I got a call EVERY day on my home phone AND every day my cell phone AND I got an email EVERY day all to remind me that my work submission was past due. This went on EVERY DAY, until I submitted the completed paperwork online. To make matters even worse, whenever I go into my online account now, it shows that I was late on one assignment, which will stay on my permanent record with CAST and which would probably have been a bad mark for getting future work with them, IF I were to ever work for them again, which I will never work for them again. So I no longer care about this unfair rating on my account. Yet on a side note, I did telephone CAST about all of this (before I received my reset materials for this one project) and they told me that their system is automated and that there is nothing that they can do about it, but they claimed that they would make notes in their database to show that I was not past due on this one project. However even after 30 days of talking to them, their system STILL shows that I was past due on this one project. Yet at this point, since I have got paid and the check has cleared and since I will never work for them again, I do not care what they do with my account. Yet if you ask me, they should never re-offer work until they have physically gone into their system and given a brand new due date BEFORE advertising the project and letting who ever gets awarded the project eat all of the past due time on these projects. Talk about doing bad business! I know that they can go in their system to override it and correct the mistakes that they have made, but they are too lazy and do not care about us independent contractors that work for them AND nor do they care about fixing bad data and bad ratings that they impose on their independent contractors, as far as I am concerned.

Yet if you do not already know, this company has a NET 30 pay date. I am sure by them having a NET 30 pay date, that will give them time to critique all of your submitted work (especially your photos), to see what they can do to avoid paying you while they threaten to assign your unsatisfactory work (in THEIR opinion) to another merchandiser, so they will not have to pay you at all.

Being a merchandiser since 2010, I have worked for a lot of different merchandising companies and I will say that CAST is by far the worst company I have ever worked for!!! After my very bad experiences with them, I would not even recommend CAST to my worse enemies!

Nick
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Maralyn
Star Contributor

USA
626 Posts

Posted - 04/09/2013 :  06:47:36 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Cast has over 30 towns list on Narms in my area, and they don't say what store, I can tell by the areas it is Dollar Generals. Just what are they doing in those stores, anyone?????
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DChristine
Valued Contributor

USA
220 Posts

Posted - 04/09/2013 :  07:02:57 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Maralyn they have the same listed on Narms for all the towns I work too. I know they already have quite a few people already working this area. Recently they sent me a survey asking me to complete but I don't feel comfortable answering the questions they are asking.
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MargieG
Valued Contributor

USA
141 Posts

Posted - 04/09/2013 :  2:50:13 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
One day last week they posted the same position over 100 times on my NARMS profile. It was the same thing over and over just for a different town each time. Some locations were over a hundred miles away. Places I would never go. I performed one job for them long ago and the phone call and email every day telling me the project was not done yet even though I wasn't scheduled to do the project for several days was enough to drive me away.

Margie
MSPA Gold Certifed since 2004
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LarryT
Star Contributor

USA
688 Posts

Posted - 04/09/2013 :  6:37:00 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Maralyn

Cast has over 30 towns list on Narms in my area, and they don't say what store, I can tell by the areas it is Dollar Generals. Just what are they doing in those stores, anyone?????



I have done very litle work for CAST but I look at what they have to offer quite frequently. They never have any DG work in my area. Mostly it is Walmart (and mostly ASOTV endcap work) and Kohls here and there

quote:
Originally posted by DChristine

Recently they sent me a survey asking me to complete but I don't feel comfortable answering the questions they are asking.



Not sure what made you uncomfortable. They simply asked how they compare to other companies you work for & how you think they could improve and what you think of the way they currently do things. And that pretty much the jist of it all. Sure, they asked you to choose companies from a list that you work for, but you do not have to answer that truthfully. It's really none of their business anyway an dthey already probably realize that most people will lie on that.

I was happy to put in my 2 cents becasue I would love to pick-up more work from them. However, they way they currently award jobs is really just a waste of my time so that's why I rarely pick-up any jobs from CAST.

Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake, at least I'm done with merchandising... for goodness sake.
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DChristine
Valued Contributor

USA
220 Posts

Posted - 04/09/2013 :  7:20:31 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Larry you gave one explain of what I felt was out of line, asking what companies we work for and name them. Plus, asking which company is the best to work for, what grossed in a service hour with this company, asking if we service gift cards with other companies and if so name them, etc. I work as IC for CAST and I don't feel they should be asking these questions on a survey, with our names on them. I get your point but I'd rather not answer it vs lie.
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1642 Posts

Posted - 04/10/2013 :  06:01:36 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I did not do the survey either.
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MindyZ
Star Contributor

Hesperia, CA
USA
512 Posts

Posted - 04/10/2013 :  06:37:15 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Just an FYI, in the last 2 days I have received 2 narms E-mails with a gazillion locations for ICs needed from castforce, after signing up last year I didn't feel like playing their lotto game, we have work to do and can't afford to sit around waiting for notifications.

Besides I do better playing lotto scratchers.

HubbyZ

Mindy
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LarryT
Star Contributor

USA
688 Posts

Posted - 04/10/2013 :  11:46:22 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MindyZ

signing up last year I didn't feel like playing their lotto game, we have work to do and can't afford to sit around waiting for notifications.



That's exactly why I haven't donemuch work with them. I think I only did 2 projects and that was only because I was very desperate for work at the time as I did not work for many companies then.

Not only did it take them forever to get back to you to tell you that you were awarded the project, but if you were not awarded the project, they just left you hanging and never notified you to that effect. I can't waste my time with that kind of game either.

Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake, at least I'm done with merchandising... for goodness sake.
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DChristine
Valued Contributor

USA
220 Posts

Posted - 04/10/2013 :  12:23:01 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
They no longer have you wait to be assigned their projects. I started accepting work for them again late last year and since then I receive a computer generated email I have been assigned within a minute or two. Like all self assign you have to see them first to get them
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MindyZ
Star Contributor

Hesperia, CA
USA
512 Posts

Posted - 04/11/2013 :  8:19:37 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I was finally able to log into my narms profile, there are at least 60-70 jobs posted in there from castforce, THAT I'M NOT INTERESTED IN!!! what a PITA!!
Anybody know a recruiter or somebody that I can contact and tell them to post to somebody that is???
HubbyZ

Mindy
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LarryT
Star Contributor

USA
688 Posts

Posted - 04/11/2013 :  8:24:56 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
As far as I know, those job postings you see are not for you personally, but for everyone that has a zip code within a certain radius from the posted jobs. So there is no way you can stop them, except to close your profile, of course.

Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake, at least I'm done with merchandising... for goodness sake.
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Tony DeOliveira
Member

Kearny, NJ
USA
48 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2013 :  1:29:05 PM  Visit Tony DeOliveira's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Just FYI. I have been working with them for years. I purchased a small dry erase board for about $2 and that's what I use at the stores. As far as the large amounts of paper being printed. I don't print the instructions. I copy it to my phone as a PDF and view it when I'm not sure of something. I really hope that helps.

On a separate note, the pay really stinks. They expect you to rest to POG all three sides of a gift card rack and then go to the other rack by the pharmacy and do the same thing -- all for $11. Not happening. Way back when they used to Retail something or another, they paid me $25 a store and mileage. I had $400-$500 weeks just from them. That was sweet....

Tony DeOliveira
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