Okay, I admit it, I fell for the Haldane song and dance, and I fell hard. I was an upper level operations manager who had declined a transfer to NJ and opted instead to try my luck at finding new employment in sunny Tampa Bay.
After months of unsuccessful internet searches, Bernard Haldane appeared on my radar. Just what I needed, a company specializing in "getting me in front of the decision makers." I made it clear at my first meeting, I had no intention of cold-calling anyone. I was assured that this was "not the Haldane way".
I knew my weakness, having lived all my life in Boston, was my lack of contacts in Tampa, I explained this to Carol Grim, I believe she calls herself VP of Client Services (SALES). She assured me that "Bernard Haldane has hundreds of contacts in Tampa Bay" that I would have access to, for a price.
So after confirming Haldane's ability to get me into a "career, not just a job", my wife agreed that it sounded helpful...we needed the contacts and the promise of a "hidden job market" was alluring 3 weeks before Christmas with two kids waiting for Santa.
So I forked over the $5,004 on plastic, of course they use the 10% up front discount to encourage the financially savvy among us to cough it all up on day one.
Never did I wonder, "why all the financial questionnaires at the first meeting?". I was so happy to be accepted, to be wanted, to have someone finally respond to a resume!
So the process began. I rewrote my resume, same general text, just a new snazzy format. I created lists of contacts in NY, LA, Boston and Chicago...all previously tapped, but I had no one else to list.
I was ready for all of the interviews, I was careful not to jump at the first offer, I was rearing to go...nowhere.
By January, I was asking my advisor for the promised contacts and "targeted industry lists". I was sent home with more busy work, lists and forms and photo copied handouts.
In February I asked point blank for a contact at one of the largest companies in Tampa and was told by my "advisor" that he knew no one there, he seemed shocked that I would ask. I informed him of my initial conversations with Carol Grim regarding contacts and he told me that "Haldane doesn't give you contacts, we show you how to make them for yourself". His only advice for increasing my network was attending Chamber of Commerce meetings and handing out business cards listing my Sterling Hightower website. Another scam if ever there was one.
In March, I changed advisors, I was told I was now with the best advisor on the Haldane team. He gave me one name of a former client responsible for hiring entry level employees in an industry I have no familiarity with. Two other names he gave me could never be located. So $5000 for ONE contact, a nice guy I likely would have met through my alumni association eventually for free.
In April I requested a meeting with Carol Grim. She told us (my wife and I) that Tom and Chuck, my "advisors", had simply done everything they could for me. I wasn't holding up my end of the agreement. She cited my lack of contacts as an example, I responded that she had assured me that Haldane had all the contacts in all the right places to practically guarantee my successful campaign. She said, "we gave you many contacts", I said, "you gave me one", she was sure it was more, just couldn't locate their names in my folder. Then she added, "we are not here to give you names, you need to find them on your own". So which is it?
Next I asked for my "targeted industry list", she reported she was sure it had been done, it just wasn't in my file either. Because it was never done!
So I asked for a full refund. She suggested I send a letter of complaint to Ian McClure. So I did. I got a response from Robin Upton in Dallas. She said I had filled out 2 QA forms stating my satisfaction with services provided by Haldane. One dated, December 3, 2002, the other December 5, 2002, the dates of my first two meetings with my advisor. The third QA form I was asked to sign and date blank and my advisor filled it out. I assumed it was an evaluation of my efforts, not his. So this is their "proof" that I am a satisfied customer.
I called a local news station. The investigative reporter was VERY happy to come to my house and film an interview. It will air shortly. The next day I received an offer from Haldane,a "good will gesture", a 25% refund. Of course, in accepting the offer, I must sign a gag order and retract all of my publically made greivances.
Funny, we have all been told the same lines, all over North America. Today, McKenzie Scott called, they are a Haldane spin off-beware of them as well. Today, I will be contacting the Florida Attorney General. I have already spoken to my own counsel who feels the case is solid.
I was duped, I am a college educated, experienced professional who was taken advantage of during a low point in my life by con artists specializing in stealing from the down and out. Nothing like "kick 'em while their down."
But I am not going to stay here silently. I am unemployed with nothing else to do.
If anyone would like to join me in bringing Bernard Haldane's era of deceit to an end, please contact me through Rip-Off Report.
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