While applying for jobs online in the insurance industry, I completed information and sent the same to Bernard Haldane based on their internet sites information. One of their sales associates contacted me (Michael) and informed me they have access to more than 80% of the unadvertised market and that they could find me a career making more money and much faster than if alone. (Keyword he used was they) I signed a contract with them for their services because I was assured the acknowledgment attesting to "no promises or guarantees being made for any specific interviews" was just that, only for specific interviews.
Michael informed me they put this in the contract because they could not actually promise or guarantee me an interview with say...
State Farm or AllState... because that was part of their
research and database information included in my contract price. He said they could investigate the same and promised an interview with an insurance company doing what I have groomed my entire career towards but assured me it was only to protect them from a specific guarantee or specific promise.
I feel Haldane has played on the wording within their agreement and that there was never a "meeting of the minds". Furthermore, I feel they misrepresented their abilities, as they have not been able to prove to me (or anyone else I have spoken to) their ability and network connections to all the "hidden and unadvertised jobs" they claimed. Andrew states I have a password, but they have never taught me how to access their databases. Moreover, Sheri (my assigned career counselor) informed me there was another password I needed but have yet to be provided.
I was convinced by the national and internet ads including their office personnel's statements that the company could place me in a high-paying position, and paid $4,500 in advance on February 18, 2003. After my first visit, I contacted their office and told them the program was not as it was represented to me and I wanted a complete refund. This is because Michael assured me they had "strategies, tactics and expertise in placing their clients in this hidden job market" and that my attempts to obtain a position in today's market by internet, newspaper or just plain word of mouth was getting me nowhere and would not. He insisted I needed their help, their resources, and their contacts to find a job.
Michael assured me their program was unlike any other and would teach me all kinds of things I never before knew. Their "Fee Breakdown" discussed 75% of my money being spent in the 1st phase of their program which includes appraisal of my qualifications, development of my career goals, establishing immediate career objectives, establishing long-range career objectives, development of a marketing program, development of a program to assist in establishing appropriate level contacts, preparation for interviews and development of effective interview techniques to induce job offers. This has all been a smoke screen, as I provided my own personality profile and results at my own expense (which they told me my contract monies would pay for), and skipped the other stages in the 1st phase because the career counselor they placed me with (Sheri) told me I obviously knew where I was going and was much more focused then many of their other clients (before
ever starting their program).
Andrew (the president and licensee of the Haldane name)
called me back after my initial visit and told me he had
already spent $1600+ of my money on software licenses to
Dunn and Bradstreet and other things which he could not
refund my money for, but that if I wanted the difference
he would give me a few thousand back. The gist is he made me feel trapped and compelled to continue in their
program. He insisted I needed to give them more time and
that he would refund my money if I was not satisfied in a few more weeks.
I have given the program an additional 2 weeks, and I
am "spinning my wheels" doing things I already know and
have done before ever coming in contact with Haldane. I
have had 4 job interviews since I started this program,
and they have not assisted me with any company
information, inside company decision-maker contacts, or
other help as they promised I would receive upon receipt
of my payment. I feel they have clearly breeched their
verbal and written contractual agreement(s) with me and do not know where else to turn.
I have also not been introduced to a private network of
corporate bigwigs, but instead have been encouraged to
spend hours copying names from newspaper ads, internet
sites and databases to create another network for myself
as I had told them I had already exhausted mine. This is
why I contracted with them to begin with, as they told me they had a network with corporate bigwigs already in place.
When asked about their reputation and any complaints,
Michael told me they were the number one office in the
country (and had just received Birmingham's highest
company award) and had nearly a 99% success rate in
placing people with companies in better positions and in
better paying positions. He assured me they had no
complaints and that everyone they (Haldane) dealt with was completely satisfied with their program. I have since spoken with friends of mine at the law office I work at and learned of numerous nationwide complaints against Bernard Haldane in Kansas, and many of their other offices nationwide. The Kansas AG's office had to get involved to assist customers with a refund of their monies. Virginia, California, Colorado and Kansas have taken legal action against Bernard Haldane. The states alleged, among other things, that the firm exaggerated its access to executives and unadvertised jobs and I feel this is the same thing occurring in Alabama. Also, in May of 1999 national Bernard Haldane officials (and the former owners of the Overland Park franchise) agreed to pay $80,000 to settle complaints and legal costs without admitting wrongdoing, and agreed to refrain from using deceptive sales pitches in the future.
They try to make you feel they are this huge company that has a secret network of people, but they don't have any network that can help me. After signing up for their
program, Sheri told me they were not even use to dealing
with someone with my experience and background in the
insurance claims industry (just the opposite of what
Michael had assured me before signing their contract)!
I attempted to contact their customer service hotline and email site with no response as promised and finally found a corporate number. I called and spoke with their customer service representative and he called me back stating Andrew would pay me $3,000 which he felt was more than fair. I emailed Andrew and offered $3,500 as a compromise between his $3,000 and my initial $4,000 request but he did not respond today as I was told he would. I am tired of being jerked around and truly feel I should not have to compromise or negotiate out of hollow promises and a fraudulent/breeched contract.
I would have never signed their contact except I was told they had connections with almost every company of any size in Birmingham and that they could place me even quicker if I was open to relocation. Michael told me he felt they could find me a job in as little as three months depending on how quickly I was willing to move through their program.
My discussions with Andrew and others about their "special connections" with "decision makers" in a wide range of professions has been answered with "oh, your still not ready" or "your just being negative". They have most recently alleged I insisted on deviating from their program which is an outright lie. I have only done as advised which has proffered me nothing.
They lead people to initially believe they are an
exclusive employment agency, even though they will tell
you they are not an employment agency. I have recorded
multiple telephone conversations with them and would be
glad to provide you with this information if you feel it
may assist me in obtaining a refund. I just don't know
where to turn because Andrew insists the contract was
drawn up by Judge Black and that I'm screwed unless he
wants to let me out. Furthermore, he told me he helped
find a job for the son of the man in charge of the BBB in Birmingham and could care less if I wanted to file a
complaint with them (his name is also on the recorded
statement). Andrew McGreer also claims a strong
association with the Republican party (I am also a member of) and stated that contacting your office would be of little use due to his contributions to Bill Pryor's campaign (this is also in the recorded statement).
There are even more examples of issues and concerns I have had with this company but feel the information provided gives a good foundation for my position. They have done there best since I listed a complaint to turn everything back on me, yet I have done everything they have asked me to a "T". I am not sure what I need to do at this juncture short of filing a lawsuit, but would appreciate any assistance you could give me to secure a full refund before having to take that final measure.
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Bernard Haldane Associates CLICK HERE, You must read this!! ..Financial Post Article LINK - Haldane not up to the job ..exposing this company for what it really is - a huge scam