Helios Media: Is This Non-Phone Job Worth It ?

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non-phone jobUPDATE:  Helios has, in fact, changed their name to eDegree Advisors.

When it comes to non-phone jobs, people tend to migrate in flocks to the lead. And Helios Media, aka eDegree Advisors is no exception. I have been getting a lot of questions regarding Helios, so I decided now is the perfect time to share what I know. In fact, thanks to an inquiry last week from one of my readers, I have spent a ton of time reading and was able to muster-up some useful information.

This is not a bash-Helios article. I just want to provide as much information as I can so you, the one seeking a non-phone job, can make an informed decision.

To bring us all up to speed, Helios Media eDegree Advisors hires independent contractors to work as telemarketers, aka Work at Home Phone Agents, to either answer calls that have been transferred to them or make calls to people who requested someone call them back. This may contradict the non-phone lure, but the calls are done online via Skype – a telephone is not required. The responsibility of this position is to find schools suitable to the caller.

So I decided to apply for an Agent job with Helios to see what it was all about. There are two ways to apply:

  1. By emailing your resume from a link on their main website (near the bottom right edge).  Sorry…only option 2 is available right now.
  2. By going to their Career Opportunities website

I opted to apply through the Career Opportunities page, which has a link boldly displayed in the upper left corner. The instructions told me to listen to the audio file of the job description and then fill out the 7 question form.

Simple enough, I thought, but there was no audio file. I answered the questions on the form, hit the submit button and was presented with a new page thanking me for my interest in working with eDegree Advisor.

Huh? I thought I was applying for a job with Helios.

Slightly confused, I continued on with the application process with Helios, thinking to myself “if they ask any questions that turns me off, I’m done with ‘em.” I was now staring at a second ‘form’ thanking me for applying and telling me to proceed to the next step. Ok, no problem.

It turns out I had to install Skype and let Helios know my username. After doing this, which only took about a minute, I was presented with yet another form asking me for my not-so-personal personal information (name, phone number, email). Harmless enough.

I was then taken to a fourth ‘form’. Nothing for me to fill out; just a thank you for completing the training and a Human Resources Representative would contact me within 24 hours.

What? What training? Remember, the initial audio file did not exist.

So I waited patiently to be contacted by Helios.

Within minutes I received an email (from eDegreeadvisors, not Helios) asking me to take an internet speed test via speedtest.net. In order to proceed with further contact, orientation and training, I first have to prove I am able to live up to their internet speed standards. I suppose this is to ensure call clarity and minimize dropped calls.

Well, as it turns out, my internet speed is waaaayyy too slow, so I could not proceed. In fact, the email clearly stated not to proceed with the application if my speed was not at least 1.45mbps.

Oh well.

But the story doesn’t end here.

I still wanted to know more about Helios AND find out who the heck eDegreeadvisors is. So I sent out a few inquisitive emails to both companies. Here’s hoping I hear back soon.

Meanwhile, I continued on with my sleuthing

Because I cannot work as a contractor for Helios, I cannot personally attest to the rate of pay, shifts, or flexibility. That said, I have done enough reading about this company to safely state the following:

  • They pay $10.00 per hour.
  • You have to be able to work at least 20 hours per week, and you can break up the work day in groups of hours.
  • Apparently, if you work on Saturdays you are paid $13.00 per hour.
  • It is my understanding that you can increase the number of hours you work, but you first have to prove yourself and your work performance.
  • The orientation process can last anywhere from 5 to 7 hours, with about 1.5 hours of training and another hour for Q&A. Makes for a grueling day, if you ask me.

At first glance it seems that Helios has a bad reputation when it comes to firing their contractors. There are online complaints of contractors being fired if they don’t read the script verbatim,  fired when calls are not made when it was the equipment’s fault, fired for not working the expected shift.

Wow. Really? That sounds horrible!

Additionally, there are online complaints of Helios not paying all the wages earned.  These complaints were later resolved when the contractor realized they had to contact Helios’s Payroll Department to resolve any issues.

I tend to take all complaints, as well as overly positive reviews, with a grain of salt.  Still…come on Helios, you don’t fire people when there are issues outside their control, do you? Let’s see if they respond.

There are several complaints about the high rate of turnover and the company being disorganized. Again, I take these complaints with a grain of salt – heck, you can’t please everyone. However, I don’t doubt that they are disorganized. Heck, with a lot of turnover it’s hard to be organized all the time.

So…I’m still wondering about eDegreeadvisor. What is the relationship between them and Helios?

I went to their site and they are hiring for the exact same position – Phone Agents.  EDegree calls them “Customer Service Representatives”. Curious as to the process, I decided to apply through their website.

The application process was a bit more streamlined and looked more professional than the process with Helios Media. Unfortunately, because my internet speed is still too slow, I could not continue with the application. Now that I think about it, I suppose this is a fortunate thing – I didn’t waste my time filling out unnecessary information.

I did, however, listen to their audio file, which was a brief description of the position and the pay.  To be honest, I was surprised the audio file actually worked.  Just like with Helios, a phone line is not required. Calls will go through your computer and internet connection. You will be receiving transferred calls from people interested in furthering their education, and you will gather information from them, find schools and submit to them.

EDegree claims they pay on the 5th and 20th of each month at $9.00 per hour, $10.00 per hour guaranteed after first month. After 2 months you may be paid $12.00-$13.00 per hour depending on performance.

As far as hours, details about the company, and any issues contractors have experienced, there really isn’t too much information worth noting. They are not BBB (Better Business Bureau) accredited , nor BBB rated. Additionally, there are currently no complaints against them on the BBB website.

When pulling up complaint information about eDegreeadvisors on ripoffreport.com, I get the same complaints as with Helios. Yep, the names of Helios and eDegreeadvisors are used interchangeably.

I am still curios, though. What is their relationship?

On a slightly more technical side, I did a domain name search on both companies. It’s still not clear to me if they are two separate companies. Their domain registration information is different, so I assume they are separate companies, but one may be under the umbrella of the other.

I’m not convinced this is a bad job, or a bad company – Helios Media or eDegreeadvisors. Sure, there are problems, the pay isn’t the greatest, and the hours may not be as flexible as many would hope. The plus of pluses: it is a non-phone job that can be done at home.

If I had a better internet connection I would be content working with them, at least until something better came along.

 

 

 

Image courtesy of stuart miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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About Kathleen Lewis

After many years of working for someone else, I was faced with the opportunity of doing my own thing. I grabbed the chance to develop my skills and share my knowledge in the areas of working at home and finding online work.
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2 Comments

  1. I am so glad I found all this information you have available. I wanted to learn more about EDegree as well. I passed the speed test but they aren’t hiring in New York. I don’t know if they aren’t right now or never will but I will keep checking.

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