After retiring from public service, I relocated to the Tampa, Florida area with the intention of starting a second career in the private sector after taking some time off. In January of 2002 I responded to an ad for Bernard Haldane Associates that appears regularly in the Tampa Tribune. I did so because I felt I might need some help making the transition from the public to the private sector. In addition, I was unfamiliar with the Tampa job market and realized that my age (50) might become an issue. I thought some professional advice would save me time, effort and money.
After submitting my resume, an appointment was set with Vice President George Feldkamp. I outlined my job goals and concerns in detail. Mr. Feldkamp minimized my concerns about my lack of private sector experience and my age stating that I had "transferrable skills" that are highly sought by private sector employers. Mr. Feldkamp further stated that I present myself well and that I should have no problem securing a high level position. Mr. Feldkamp went on to explain the "hidden job market" that would be opened to me by becoming a Haldane client. Mr. Feldkamp intimated that there were numerous previous Haldane clints in decision making capacities in the area that seek current Haldane clients when they need to fill openings. By becoming a Haldane client, an alternative process for finding a job would be opened to me that would offer greater success than the traditional methods.
As reported in other accounts on this site, a second appointment was set where my wife was to attend, supposedly to assess her willingness to support me in this process. Mr. Feldkamp gave her the same assessment of my employability and told us for $5,900 the process would begin. While both of us were excitied about the prospect of starting a new and meaningful career in a new area, I was taken aback by the cost of the service. I told Mr. Feldkamp I wanted to think about it before deciding. He told us that the cost for the service is set by the home office based on what they feel the minmum one month's salary for the prospective clint will be. I ultimately decided to work with Haldane about one week later thinking that the contacts promised by Mr. Feldkamp would be worth the cost. Of course there were no contacts and the services were virtually non-existant.
I spent a great deal of time completing a workbook on line and using some of that information to re-write my own resume. It was only after completing the "Marketing Seminar" that I fully understood how empty the promises were that had been made by Mr. Feldkamp. The only contacts with decision makers I was going to have was with those I dug up myself through a letter writing campaign. I subscribed to a web site specializing in security management positons. The web address was given to me by my advisor, Chuck Wilcox, who I believe genuinely tried to help me. I, like others I have read about, was encouraged to consult the Internet and newspaper for openings despite Haldane indicating that a very small percentage of jobs are found through these avenues.
Without going into extended detail what I found was that my age is a negative factor and that my lack of private sector experience is something employers are not going to over look. All of the concerns about my employability I expressed to Mr. Feldkamp during our meetings were valid. Mr Feldkamp knew or should have known the true situation and should have communicated that accurately. During meetings at Bernard Haldane Associates I have met other men in my exact situation who have run into the same obstacles. I have been told that the Haldane clientele locally is filled with 50ish men.
After trying the Haldane method for several months I realized I was trying to overcome some major obstacles and I was unlikely to succeed. While I was disappointed at my prospects, I was more upset with the way that Haldane services had been portrayed. I did a web search to try and find a home office address to write a letter about the sales practices at the Tampa office when I found this web site. After reading the other Haldane stories it is clear that I received the same empty promises that apparently are part of a canned presentation that is given across the country. My complaints are not all that different from many others. The realization that my situaion is merely one episode in a series and not an isolated case makes me even more angry.
I sent a registered letter to Mr. Feldkamp last week outlining my complaints, and demanding a refund. The return receipt shows that he received it on May 30,2002. Of course I have not been contacted about the matter, leading me to file this report so others will know the truth and not make the same mistake I did.
Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Bernard Haldane AssociatesCLICK 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