Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Don't Rile A Journalism Graduate - Ben Dudley v Arcedia Direct

When you graduate from university, the first thing you want to secure is a full-time job within the industry you're familiar with. With the job market being so very useless and saturated with minimum-wage call centre dross, stumbling across a vacancy that suits your talents can be about as exciting as riding a llama around a Christmas pudding factory. What I'm trying to say, is that jobs are hard to come by.

Ben Dudley, a 2010 Journalism graduate and fellow Leeds Trinity and All Saints botherer, was recently given a taste of how it would feel to be wanted by a successful company. It was exciting. They asked him to turn up for an interview almost immediately, giving off the distinct flavour of we-want-you desperation. Here is Ben to describe exactly who Bristol-based Arcedia Direct actually are.

"Basically they advertise a job as a 14k - 16k a year advertiser," he says "and everyone who applies gets invited to an interview. They ring you up as soon as they get the application, and offer you an interview the same day or the next day.

"Once I got to their office, there were about 25 other people there at the same time as me. You get taken into an office in groups of 3 - 4, and they promise you the world. They say they are looking for managers who will be paid 90k a year within 6 months of joining the company, and a whole lot of other promises.

"When I questioned them on salary vs commission, he got very defensive and ended the interview as soon as possible, telling us to come back the next day. I asked around, and everyone who was interviewed was invited back the next day and offered the job.

"When I got home I researched the company online, and they make people go around the streets knocking on doors trying to sell things to vulnerable people such as the elderly. Then the managers take all the commission people make. I found one story of a guy who worked for almost two months and was paid £30 in total."

It turns out that around this time last year, the Daily Mirror in a freak incident of real investigative journalism delved into the murky waters of Arcedia Direct. Here is the article, in which reporter Johnny O'Callaghan went undercover (sort-of) to find out more about the allegations of extortion and under-pay by getting himself a job with them. While on the job he noted:
* Some young staff earning below the minimum wage.
* Agents on self-employment contracts with no right to a minimum wage and no access to benefits such as sick pay, holiday pay or redundancy payments.
* Staff encouraged to work harder to win promotion and earn extra money from the sales of junior colleagues.

 So, on finding out this information, what would you do? Would you go to the second interview anyway? Would you confront them? Would you simply not turn up?

 "Being that I'm more likely apply to the Chilean federation of Miners than to one of their jobs again, I didn't go. That's when I sent the angry email."

Below is the torrent of awesome that Ben decided to send Arcedia Direct, to explain why he would not be present at their second interview stage.

Arcedia Direct have yet to reply.

[If you have any experience with Arcedia Direct, or you are a representative and would like to defend your frankly, reprehensible behaviour, please contact me at]

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