BTW, BBB did nothing!!!
August 5, 2000
Better Business Bureau
2330 Devine Street
Columbia, SC 29205
Dear Better Business Bureau,
I would like to file a complaint against Bernard Haldane Associates. I have tried to discuss this with them directly, but with little luck. The Columbia office has referred all questions to their national and regional offices.
I have tried to reach a ?decision-maker? in the Haldane firm, without success. I started by calling the National Headquarters in New York. I called them in early March, when a human voice told me that all complaints had to go through the regional office. That woman took my information and promised to forward my complaint to St. Louis for action. Six weeks later (a reasonable response time) I called the regional office in late April. I left my messages on their voicemail (no humans were available). It is now five months since the first request, and Haldane has still not contacted me or addressed my complaint.
Haldane?s services leave a great deal to be desired. I may be an unusual client (computer experience, Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago), and I probably should have chosen to settle elsewhere?but my wife teaches here at the University. I did not know much about the local labor market, and decided that hiring experts would be the way to find an appropriate position quickly. I have come to regret that decision, and the $4,200 dollars it cost.
What did I get for $4,200? Haldane did puff me up, but apart from a couple of hours of cheerleading and some resume help, there was very little in the way of products and services. A great deal of trouble and expense on my part would have been spared had they just told me that they could not help me. I was advised not to tell anyone here that I have advanced degrees. The list of potential local contacts was little more than a phone book-like printout, and headlined local of firms in significant financial trouble (Affinity, NCR, PMSC, UNUM).
I did try Haldane?s strategies, and travelled and bought meals for local and national decision-makers in order to learn about local opportunities. I discovered that what I feared was true?Columbia companies did not have appropriate positions available. The rosy scenario described by Haldane never did appear. I had hired Haldane, but the local decision-makers were not hiring people with my qualifications. The local computer industry is characterized by small firms with a shallow hierarchy, and they were searching for entry-level programmers. I applied for a number of positions with the state (policy, education, social control), and for some reason state decision-makers were not interested in someone from Chicago.
I had initially checked out Haldane on your data bank, and was relieved to find only one complaint. I must add to that total, as I have received no indication that Haldane is willing to talk to me. I had made the following suggestions as appropriate solutions when I talked to the woman in New York, but twelve weeks is plenty of time for a response.
1) A refund of $3,000, which would both compensate them for their limited activities and punish me for wasting my money.
2) A partial refund, and the payment of tuition (about $2000) for Oracle software courses at Midlands Tech. This is a growing field here, and would allow me to gain more employment-appropriate skills. I have learned from local firms that there is a strong preference for locally trained people.
I am including the paperwork you requested.
Is it a good idea to also contact the Attorney General?s Office, or should I give Haldane more time to address my complaint?
Thank you for your time.
138 Seafarer Lane
Columbia SC 29212