Who is Aerocomm?

J

Joeydutton

Thread Starter
Member
Apr 25, 2004
14
0
I'm an installer and recently changed from working for a local retailer to a new fulfillment company called "Aerocomm" that set up shop in our area. But after only about a month I'm beginning to think it has been a mistake.

A lot of crazy things are coming down the pipe from this company. For one thing we've been mandated by Aerocomm to work at least 6 days a week. I can only wonder how they think they can tell subcontractors to do such a thing? They take 4% of your paycheck for their own insurance purposes. And you have to work for FREE during your first week, then wait two more weeks before you get paid. There are lots of other strange things they say and do, but you get the idea.

I think they have a website (www.aerocomminc.com/), but it is incredibly lame. Bad sign. These guys really give me the impression it is just a corporate office run by suits and bean-counters who have never installed a dish in their life. Any clue on who or what Aerocomm is all about?

At this point I'm woefully underimpressed.

Joey Dutton
 
cpdretired

cpdretired

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Dec 6, 2003
691
271
Lemont, Il.
This is who the site is registered to. I can understand a training period but not for free.
aerocomminc.com Back-order this name


Registrant:
General Fiber Communications (QFMZZGRFYD)
100 West Elm Street
Suite 300
Conshohocken, PA 19428
US

Domain Name: AEROCOMMINC.COM

Administrative Contact, Technical Contact:
Russo, Mark (35794451P) mrusso@comcast.net
Callwalker Data
108 ellis rd
Havertown, PA 19083
US
610-772-2116 fax: 610-772-2200

Record expires on 16-Nov-2004.
Record created on 16-Nov-1999.
Database last updated on 29-Apr-2004 19:52:05 EDT.

Domain servers in listed order:

NS1.TENXCAPITAL.COM 64.0.82.94
NS2.TENXCAPITAL.COM 207.155.184.82
NS7.TENXCAPITAL.COM 12.164.72.94
 
GaryPen

GaryPen

Rich or poor, it's good to have money.
Supporting Founder
Joey - Are you an emplyee or a contractor?

If you are an employee, they MUST pay you for that first week. It is the law. As for the 4%, they cannot deduct anything above and beyond standard government sanctioned withholding, or employee-aproved benefits.

Now, if you are a contractor, then there should be no withholding at all. Paying estimated taxes would be your responsibility quarterly. Also, the amount you are paid, and any deductions, would have to be agreed upon by the contractor. In effect, you are selling your services to Aerocomm at whatever rate you agree to.

That being said, it is highly illegal for a company to classify you as a contracvtor, if you perform the duties of, and are treated as, an emplyee. I believe their are employee/contractor guidelines at the US Dept of Labor site, if you do a search, as well as your local state Dept of Labor, or whatever it's called there.
 
ken

ken

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 8, 2003
296
0
I think he needs to be more clear about the insurance, it probably is liability. As for the the week of training, they can get away with it as long as they find anyone crazy enough to do it.
 
GaryPen

GaryPen

Rich or poor, it's good to have money.
Supporting Founder
I repeat...Employees MUST get paid for that first week, by law. He said nothing about training. If I'm not mistaken, they can't be forced to work 6 days either.

Of course, this is dependant on whether or not they are emplyees. This company is probably trying to get around labor regs by classifying their emplyees as contractors, which is also illegal.
 
ken

ken

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 8, 2003
296
0
GaryPen, why is it illegal to make them contractors? (he did say subcontractor) We do it all the time in the security industry. They provide thier own tools, TRAINING (can be trained by general contractor) & insurance (workers comp & liability). BTW, the general contractor can set times of operation, its up to the sub to set hours for the employees (even if only one) they have so six days is ok.
 
GaryPen

GaryPen

Rich or poor, it's good to have money.
Supporting Founder
It is illegal IF they are treated as employees. It is viewed as a way for the employer to duck out of the appropriate obligations of SS, Disability, Workman's Comp, etc.
It may not be the case in all states, although there are certain federal labor laws covering it. However, in NY and CA, two pretty decent states when it comes to protecting workers' rights, it is definitely illegal, and I would recommend to any worker being taken advantage of in that way to file a copmplaint with their state's labor regulation inforcement bureau.

What you do sounds like you hire vendors (contractors) to perform work, and those vendors have employees. Well, those employees need to be treated as employees, not sub-contractors, unless they are considered "businesses", and are free to conduct their business as they wish. They cannot be forced to work six days, or told what to wear, or what hours to work, or any of the rules and guidelines that would apply to an employee. You see...that would make them an employee, and they would need to be treated as such.
Nothing pisses me off as much as working people being taken advantage of by employers.
 
S

satInstaller

New Member
Apr 29, 2004
3
0
most contractors in this business work six days a week. the key word is "contractor" you don't have to work six days if you don't want to. they don't have to give you work if they don't want to. as for the insurance.. go get your own insurance, it protects you and them, by the way 4% is CHEAP i've seen places that go as high as 15%. As for their 2 week wait before you see your first check, most of these companies do. I contract for very reputable companies and it takes them 21 , yes 21 days for them to cut me a check... nature of the business.
 
J

Joeydutton

Thread Starter
Member
Apr 25, 2004
14
0
satInstaller said:
most contractors in this business work six days a week. the key word is "contractor" you don't have to work six days if you don't want to. they don't have to give you work if they don't want to. as for the insurance.. go get your own insurance, ...


Well, that's just it; they now say we MUST accept jobs 6 days a week or we will be given no work at all. I think the IRS would probably say that is changing our status from a subcontractor to an employee. I don't have a choice to not work or take a day off at this point.

As for the insurance, I do have my own with one million dollar liability, but they are taking 4% out of my check anyway for some unexplained reason involving insurance. I couldn't get hold of anyone to tell me why.

And, of course, the day to day stuff is really hard to take. If we show up at at a home at an appointed time but the customer isn't home, we MUST take a photo of the home to prove we were there, but we get paid NOTHING. The subcontractor eats the loss, while the company just simply reschedules. But by golly you had better bring back that picture to prove you made that 40 mile drive out to their house! Crazy crap like that has been going on every single day.

I decided to snoop around and call the corporate office and ask questions and find out who these people really are, but much to my amazement I couldn't even find a coporate office! The one regional manager I got hold of said they were in the process of moving it to another state (Penn. to Tenn.).

I have decided to bail out of this situation. It is too flakey. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, I think they are a new company that is in its infancy stage and making all the standard mistakes. If so, here's one hard lesson for them; workers aren't going to continue working and earning you profits if you jack them around. I'm taking my skills to your competition! Hasta lavista, baby!
 
S

snathanb

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Feb 26, 2004
2,580
1
DFW
Good. That's what it is all about.. don't like the job or working conditions... move on.
 
D

DSS4Free

Member
May 10, 2004
9
0
Aerocomm IS flaky

After 3 month's of working for Aerocomm...I just quit. We have had several people out of the St. Louis dispatch quit, and I am good friends with one of them. Evidently, the people who run Aerocomm's dispatch (d.b.a Audio Video Solutions) filed for bankrupcy under their old company name, so they are now using AVS. NOW, AVS is up to their old tricks and is doing it again. They are changing over to DigitalOne.

As for the 4% that they were taking from you, you are lucky. They were taking 8.5% of mine for that insurance. The paperwork was also rediculous. I would get home at night and have 2-3 hours of paperwork to do. So basically...work and sleep.

Moving on, I had a problem today trying to cash my payroll check. The check cashing place called the bank to verify funds and they said there was INSUFFICENT FUNDS to cover a measly $700 check. I called Jon Jones (Manager of operations) and he was really snotty with me and said "What, do you think I write the paychecks"? I was then told to call a phone number and speak with some woman. When I called the toll free number, much to my supprise, they answered "General Fiber Communications".

All in all, this sounds like a pyramid scheme to me. At least that's what it looks like. Dish pays General Fiber, General Fiber pays Aerocomm, Aerocomm pays the area manager $5 per job that the subcontractors do (and the area manager just sits at home and collects the checks), and we as subcontractors get the short end of the stick

I am just voiceing my opinion on Aerocomm, not trying to bash them, just giving everyone a heads up
 
J

Joeydutton

Thread Starter
Member
Apr 25, 2004
14
0
DSS4Free said:
The paperwork was also rediculous. I would get home at night and have 2-3 hours of paperwork to do. So basically...work and sleep.


I had the same experience with the paperwork and legal details. It was endless! It literally added at least 2 hours to my day. And there was no mercy if you didn't get every detail correct and submitted on time. Never mind the fact I had just spent 12 laborious hours crawling through a swealtering attic to install a 522 and 322,...the paperwork wasn't complete and turned in on time so NO WORK FOR YOU TODAY!

Unfortunately, I came away from Aerocomm with the feeling it is just a distant branch of General Fiber and is run by bean-counters and lawyers. They really didn't seem to know much about satellite systems, customer service, or how to relate to their laborers. Over and over again I got the impression that protecting themselves from the lawsuits was the most important detail we were to address. The customer's wishes or happiness didn't even seem to be of much concern. Instead it was all about getting those X22's installed in those houses, system grounded to code, paperwork signed, and photos taken as proof. Everything else was small potatoes.

Oh well, there's lots of other companies out there to work for so I'm out of that mess. It is just sad that stuff like this is so common in the satellite industry.
 
D

DSS4Free

Member
May 10, 2004
9
0
I got to the point that I said screw the grounding crap. I just didn't send the pictures of the ground block, and they don't seem to care. The comapny I work for now doesn't care if we ground or not, and we don't have to deal with the x22's. They sell their own stuff and they won't sell 522 or 322 receivers. they say it is a "waste of coax" which it is
 
SimpleSimon

SimpleSimon

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Feb 29, 2004
5,692
3
Florissant, CO
DSS4Free said:
I got to the point that I said screw the grounding crap. I just didn't send the pictures of the ground block, and they don't seem to care. The comapny I work for now doesn't care if we ground or not, and we don't have to deal with the x22's. They sell their own stuff and they won't sell 522 or 322 receivers. they say it is a "waste of coax" which it is
Guess there's no electricity in the air where you are.

I've seen what happens to systems that aren't grounded properly.

Do it right or quit the business - you're giving the rest of us a bad name.
 
J

Joeydutton

Thread Starter
Member
Apr 25, 2004
14
0
DSS4Free said:
I got to the point that I said screw the grounding crap. I just didn't send the pictures of the ground block, and they don't seem to care.

Some of the guys at our local Aerocomm branch have been doing the sort of thing. They just got fed up with the excessive rules and regulations we were supposed to follow and started cutting corners. Much to my surprise nothing has happened to them. It seems as long as the paperwork is signed by the customer and a photo or two is taken then you've done your job. Again, I think it is pretty clear that Aerocomm is all about making money and making sure their butts are covered legally. That's all that seemed to matter. Sad.
 
bcshields

bcshields

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Nov 28, 2003
1,458
0
Delaware
SimpleSimon said:
Guess there's no electricity in the air where you are.

I've seen what happens to systems that aren't grounded properly.

Do it right or quit the business - you're giving the rest of us a bad name.

Amen...

The law is not on the side of the installer for shoddy workmanship. A judge won't react kindly to 'waste of wire' excuses.

We QC our own techs, half the time I do it. All it takes is a digital camera and 1 customer complaint. Then instead of getting a full route the next day, you get a QC paper and one less job to do.
 
D

DSS4Free

Member
May 10, 2004
9
0
Evidently the guys that posted the comments about me can't read. For one, the "waste of wire" thing is what my new company says about x22's....NOT GROUNDING!!! Also, I can tell that you have never worked for Aerocomm before due to the fact that you don't understand the grounding thing. It takes alot of time to ground those things, and when you have 4 jobs to do...those jobs consisting of (1x 522, 2x 311) (2x 522) (3x 311) (1x 322 1x 522) now, tell me how you have time to do so.
 
SimpleSimon

SimpleSimon

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Feb 29, 2004
5,692
3
Florissant, CO
DSS4Free said:
Evidently the guys that posted the comments about me can't read. For one, the "waste of wire" thing is what my new company says about x22's....NOT GROUNDING!!! Also, I can tell that you have never worked for Aerocomm before due to the fact that you don't understand the grounding thing. It takes alot of time to ground those things, and when you have 4 jobs to do...those jobs consisting of (1x 522, 2x 311) (2x 522) (3x 311) (1x 322 1x 522) now, tell me how you have time to do so.
Then maybe you should turn them in - or maybe someone that lives in that state should send a copy of the post to the appropriate state board.

NOT GROUNDING IS PHYSICALLY DANGEROUS TO THE CUSTOMER. period.

As for the amount of time - I can properly ground an installation in 15 minutes. Five if a suitable ground is handy.

Finally, I've never heard of a company that would try and schedule a 10 receiver, 15 tuner, 4 location install for a single installer in a single day. I think someone is way overstating things. :eek:
 
S

SummitAdvantageRetailer

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 11, 2004
665
0
East Coast
GaryPen said:
It is illegal IF they are treated as employees. It is viewed as a way for the employer to duck out of the appropriate obligations of SS, Disability, Workman's Comp, etc.
It may not be the case in all states, although there are certain federal labor laws covering it. However, in NY and CA, two pretty decent states when it comes to protecting workers' rights, it is definitely illegal, and I would recommend to any worker being taken advantage of in that way to file a copmplaint with their state's labor regulation inforcement bureau.

What you do sounds like you hire vendors (contractors) to perform work, and those vendors have employees. Well, those employees need to be treated as employees, not sub-contractors, unless they are considered "businesses", and are free to conduct their business as they wish. They cannot be forced to work six days, or told what to wear, or what hours to work, or any of the rules and guidelines that would apply to an employee. You see...that would make them an employee, and they would need to be treated as such.
Nothing pisses me off as much as working people being taken advantage of by employers.

You really should try to work a day as an installer. Not everyone know the labor regulations or frankly even care. As long as the jobs are given, completed, and paid, few contractors will complain about these "regulations" given to them. As long as you're a contractor, you have the right to break the contract if you don't like the terms. No one's forcing anyone here. If you don't like the hours or the insurance, then no contract. Simple as that.

For my retailer, we just make sure that the installers (contractors) have insurance with worker's comp, be SBCA-certified, ground the outside equipment, and be on-time. We give the installers work for 6 days or even 7 days sometimes but that's because they want the work. Like you said, they're not our employees and can do what they want. But if the job's not done the way it should be, there are penalties. So even if our installers are contractors and not employees, the penalties in the contract still protect us so that the contractors don't sabotage any installations or use poor workmanship. There's little difference between employees and contractors in the satellite business. And let me be the first to tell you that news, GaryPen. ;-)
 

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