INFOTRAK: A LETTER BY A CONCERNED EMPLOYEE

 

Posted By Dennis Itumbi  |  May 22, 2012
(NB: SENT UNEDITED AS RECIEVED)

Dear Concerned Client/Potential Client,

Greetings to you, hoping this finds you well. Unfortunately it has come to this level that I have to let all clients and interested parties of Infotrak & Harris Research Company in Nairobi know what’s happening inside there in terms of their services and field work. Am talking on behalf of other field researchers who work at Infotrak. I left last year following conditions that I could no longer bear with.

 

Please help us we are many field researchers working these research firms who are suffering but we cant come out openly because we wont be employed again. All these commercial firms are the same but INFOTRAK is WORSE, for Steadman/synovate my informer tells me Maggie has brought a lot of quality and integrity there and even the pay has come up from 300/= during Waititu’s rein.

 

There is alot of corruption in research firms, yet they say there are there to make profits and not NGOs for charitable work. So I wonder why do they charge millions to their clients yet the field staff are paid peanuts. Clients pay millions and millions for projects to be researched on or even opinion polls but the work done is compromised because less money is issued to the field interviewers who in return due to stress of less pay, late pay and overwork the work is compromised and thus the quality too. At the end the client is given a report that is 50% true and 50% cooked data.

 

Last year and early this year, I personally emailed to Angela Ambitho herself (angela.ambitho@infotrakresearch.com) but she didn’t reply to me, neither did she bother to pay us. She only made few payments two weeks ago after her last payments in October last. How can a human being with this harsh Kenya stay without pay for over 4 months while someone goes for holidays abroad.

 

Infotrak is the worst employer I have ever worked for. She is worse than the Indians in Kenya. I would kindly advise on those potential clients not to bother with their millions there is they want the real data from the ground or field. Use other research firms. I wish I had a sponsor so that I could publish this on the newspapers for everyone to read countrywide.

 

Anyone who can forward this to Mohommed Ali of KTN to go undercover and use someone to work as a field researcher in Infotrak so that what am saying comes out clearly from some other source.

I speak on behalf of the voiceless and those who cannot access the internet especially those in the regions. Last year alone Infotrak bought 2/3 small saloon cars, 1 Pajero, I Mercedes Benz yet all these goes on under the name of PROFITS IN – QUALITY DATA OUT. Forward on your contact list for ALERTS!

 

NATIONAL BANK OF KENYA Investigate this Customer. Unless something else is cooking in that bank alongside this research firm.

 

THE NAIROBI STAR – Contrary to what you published last week on Infotrak taking Research a notch higher it’s very different from the corridors of that said company. Recheck your publications and please stop confusion the public please.

 

 

TO MPS

Don’t use this company for any Opinion Polls and don’t trust their media briefings on the same, the work is being compromised out there and its all thrash data. I have done my part, its now your part to place as honorable members of this country and to help your constituents since most work for the said company too. Think and think very hard before you send your money to them, if you want lies about your constituency ratings then go ahead and write that million cheque.

 

I rest my case there, if there is any one out there who can come to the rescue of the field supervisors and interviewers then it will be a Million THANK U.

 

The following are my Observation, Challengers and Complaints against the said CEO and Company:

 

General

Ø  It’s a one man show

Ø  Her office lines don’t have working lines, I understand its last month that they got 2 office mobiles that only them know their nos. But my inside informer says there is a Telkom handset line also working NOW!!

Ø  The official landlines are all not working and the CEO does not bother to repair them, maybe she wants it that way for less stress for her dissatisfied field causal researchers

Ø  The few management staff and the CEO are interested in the profits gained after cheques are paid to them and not quality is brought to the office.

Ø  Money is also a big problem there, one is given less and so has to rebudget while in the field thus the supervisor is forced to reduce the field interviewers or their fares

Ø  In summary everyone is not happy there. Its because people have no other alternatives but to bring COOKED data back to the office.

 

Challenges out in the field – both supervisors and interviewers

Ø  Payment for the field interviewers and pay for the supervisors is later paid months and months later

Ø  Delays in payment for the RAs is a big issue, thus some even end up holding the work so the supervisor has to find their own money to clear them so that work can be delivered in the office.

Ø  Payment for the supervisor and her/his team for that project are combined and banked through the supervisor’s account, unfortunately its up to the supervisor to find out from the office how much was banked, which project was paid etc. No extra monies is paid to mpesa the field interviewers who worked on that project. No calls are made to inform the supervisors that money has been posted in their accounts etc (National Bank)

Ø  Payments for projects done is paid months and months after the field work has been completely. Its very stressing and indeed inhuman for someone who was once a field researcher and knows what hell the field people go through to also open her own company and do more harm to her field staff.

 

Challenges out in the field – both supervisors and interviewers

Ø  Field work is alot, the pages are too many and questions too many for a respondent to answer satisfactorily without the interviewer being compromised to ask only the 1st page and last. Last year they had value trak and opinion poll that had over 150 questions per questionnaire and one field interviewer was supposed to do more than 15 a day of 8 hrs. The work was compromised and later she refused to pay all the people involved upto now questionnaires are still under interviewers’ custody in different regions.  i dont think a normal person can sit and answer such a long questionnaire.

Ø  Time allocated is less e.g (2/3 days for over 150 questionnaires per region) that includes training the RAs, travelling back, editing the workload

Ø  No training fares is given, no recruiting airtime is given, after the 3rd day no night out is given incase work ends late in the evening.

Ø  During the field the supervisors are emailed on an hourly rate yet no allocations for emails is reflecting on the budgets

Ø  Only qualitative research reflects the true picture on the ground because its usually a group discussion but the other quantitative because its household with huge questionnaires no truth picture reflects

Ø  Mostly supervisors travel with less monies and the other is banked later.

 

Challenges during briefing or training day/sessions

Ø  Research executives call supervisors to come for training/briefing yet they are not ready. The briefing starts 5 hours later, no logistics are ready, questionnaires are not ready, no staff is explaining what is happening, whoever called people is out for a meeting or presentation and most of the times, the briefings/trainings are pushed to the next day. No fare refunds are offered. Imagine the fares wasted to and fro and yet

Ø  No enough seats to use during briefing, few present are all broken

Ø  No shade incase its raining during briefing

Ø  No tissue in the toilet or water and the only washroom stinks and is all strained, yet its near the reception

 

Challenges at Infotrak when out in the field for supervisors

Ø  The budget given during briefing is reduced when you receive it in the bank and no explanation is given

Ø  Less rural and local fares are given to cater for both supervisor and RAs

Ø  Introduction letters, contracts etc are always emailed afterwards yet some people have no access to emails in the field

Ø  No field staff has an official identification document

Ø  No monies for emails/printing/photocopying those letters is given

Ø  Work given is always more than the days allocated

Ø  No fares is refunded to bring back the work or even emailing the report

Ø  No landline is working or any office lines, you have to use the office staff personal lines which they refuse to pick if they know you asking for more monies while in the field

Ø  No extra day or monies is given to train the field interviewers once the supervisors are in the regions

Ø  No airtime is given in advance to recruit the field interviewers

Ø  Always insist on the supervisors travelling at night so that they don’t pay extra night out for them, so they start work on the same day they have arrived from Nairobi which is very tiring

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