• Report: #678059

Complaint Review: Blackstone Consulting Inc.

  • Submitted: Mon, January 03, 2011
  • Updated: Thu, February 09, 2012

  • Reported By: interviewer — Minnetonka Minnesota United States of America
Blackstone Consulting Inc.
601 Carlson Parkway Suite 1525 Minnetonka, Minnesota United States of America

Blackstone Consulting Inc. Sales and Marketing Firm is Actually Door to Door Internet Sales. Warning! Minnetonka, Minnesota

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Update: Statement from my attorney

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Facts about Blackstone Consulting

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I was applying for sales and marketing jobs with CareerBuilder and was contacted by Blackstone Consulting Inc. Having been applying for jobs for a long time I was excited to hear back although I had never heard of the company.

After receiving an initial phone call from HR and setting up an interview time I wanted to find out as much as I could about the company from there website. This was very difficult because they have a very generic website that doesn't really describe what they do or what clients they work for. The position I interviewed for was the Project Manager position.

My first interview was with the newly appointed Assistant Manager of the company, Kendall. I found out during the interview process that he had been with Blackstone Consulting for less than 1 year and was previously in construction which I thought was strange because he moved up so quickly. The first interview lasted only about 20 minutes and consisted of Kendall asking me some very easy questions about sales and leadership. He also described the job functions which would be 60% current clients and 40% new business clients. I thought that this seemed like a good deal having an established territory. However, after my third interview was I realized how different the job actually was.

The second interview consisted of me and four other candidates and we all sat in on a company meeting. I was impressed because the company was in the Carlson Towers but also found it odd that during the company meeting about 50 people were crammed into a large conference room and stood while the president Jeremy gave a speech. His speech seemed a lot like a sales pitch to the candidates talking about the high sales people from the day before and possibilities of expanding to new markets and new clients. After the interview I sat down again with Kendall and we talked for maybe 10 minutes where he talked about the 2 weak training period and we set up a time for a third interview for the next day.

The third interview which was the final interview only lasted about 10 minutes consisted of him asking me some more basic questions about myself. Before even discussing pay, benefits, or scheduling he offered me the job and reached out to shake my hand at the same time. Almost like he was trying to trick me. I then had to ask him about compensation which i found out was 100% commission and no employee benefits. I also discovered that instead of meeting with current and new businesses I would be traveling door to door to customers' houses and trying to sell them Quest Internet. They didn't consider it to be cold calling because the home owners received advertisement flyers in the mail! I told him I would have to think about it.

Here are some of the reasons I believe this company is a scam:

-Assistant Company manager has been with company for less than a year and was in construction before this job.

-HR is also secretary

-Website if very generic with no actual information on what they do or what companies they do business with.

-The office is 10x too small to accomidate 50+ sales people. No one really uses it except for 1 daily meeting.

-Lots of different levels of managers but who are they really managing?

-Office in Denver, CO with no contact information.

-Very short and very quick interview process with not much screening of candidates.

-100% Commission based and Door to Door sales. Means nothing comes out of the pocket of the business.

Be very careful when dealing with this company. I am glad I found out about this sooner than later. If something doesn't seem right or too good to be true something is probably wrong. Go with your gut feeling!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/03/2011 10:40 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Blackstone-Consulting-Inc/Minnetonka-Minnesota-55305/Blackstone-Consulting-Inc-Sales-and-Marketing-Firm-is-Actually-Door-to-Door-Internet-Sal-678059. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Update: Statement from my attorney

AUTHOR: Blackstone Consulting Inc - (United States of America)

Statement from my attorney (I chose not to use the person's name):

On January 27, 2012, Blackstone Consulting, Inc. and Jeremy Reboulet, its owner and President, commenced civil litigation against the defendant, a former employee of Blackstone, in the Hennepin County (Minnesota) District Court.  The Complaint alleges that the defendant defamed Blackstone and Reboulet by publishing false statements to an internet website and elsewhere which harmed Blackstones and Reboulets professional, business and personal reputations.  The Complaint seeks compensatory damages, together with a declaratory judgment declaring that the defendants published statements concerning Blackstone and Reboulet constitute defamation per se under applicable laws.  The Complaint also seeks a temporary and permanent injunction commanding the defendant to remove the previously-published defamatory statements, to publish a retraction of such statements, and to take all appropriate actions to cause the delisting of the defamatory content and removal of the content from the internet.  The lawsuit was commenced when the defendant failed to comply with Blackstones and Reboulets demand that the defendant withdraw and retract the defamatory statements.
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#2 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Facts about Blackstone Consulting

AUTHOR: Blackstone Consulting Inc - (United States of America)

I would like to take this opportunity to clear up any confusion about Blackstone Consulting and what being a part of the staff entails. In most cases I would not dignify innuendo with a response, however I have been receiving concerned calls about these postings so felt it necessary to clarify what is fact and what is not.This is to address anything on this website about Blackstone, as they do not fact check any postings created. I will not address any personal attacks as people are entitled to their opinions. Although I could make my own speculations on what type of person anonymously gripes and disparages other people and companies they know little about on the internet. Not revealing their name is a way to protect themselves from getting sued for defamation, so I understand anonymity being preferred.However, thereareseveral conflicting complaintssoI will do my bestto be as informative as possible to clarify the truth.

History and Locations: The first and most basic issue to clear up is our company history. Blackstone Consulting has never done business under another name at any point of its existence, nor has it been owned by any other person. I personally worked with the company mentioned (Cumberland) but quickly discovered it was not a company I wanted to pursue a long term career with so started my own company with the same client: Qwest. The results I provided for them as an employee (as well asmy experience of running adevelopment and real estate company prior)gave them confidence in my abilities to begin a new endeavor for them. A few of the staff that I trusted and knew to be people of integrity came with me and we open Blackstone's doors in February of 2010. I also opened Blackstone with the mindset that we would be taking on other clients as well pending the right circumstances and timing.As we performed above expectations for Qwest they asked us to expand both within our Minnetonka office and in other states they would like representation in. Since then we have gone from a staff of less than 10 to over 50 and have opened a new location in Denver. These are undisputable facts. There were questions about whether or not wed be opening new locations, if we were relevant to our clients, and if it was really possible to advance in our company.It is a fact that the person running the new Denver office started off as an account manager and progressed through the training program and is now managing the new location.This should sufficiently answer those questions.

Once the advancement opportunities were proven true there was another posting concerned with the speed of the process and history of the current assistant manager.Apparently the fact that he came from a construction background and has only been in the company for less than a year seemed strange.This is what is meant when the job postings and employee materials note: no technical experience is necessarythere is no seniorityit is a performance and merit based positionthe training program is expected to run between 10-18 months.That complaint essentially solidifies that we do follow through with what we say were going to do.On top of that, (the only personal note I will mention) Kendall is a college graduate, extremely hard working, and is one of the most integrity driven people Ive ever met.He earned every inch of his promotion. Also, promoting people from within is not that novel of a concept.To progress at Nordstrom a person must start as a floor sales person.To become a store manager at Subway a person begins as a sandwich artist on the line first for a short period of time before being able to move forward.If that type of upward mobility makes a company a scam or pyramid scheme then logic would follow that a very large percentage of Fortune 500 businesses in the U.S. are shams.

Compensation:In the last post from a friend that worked here he seems to have the most to say and incidentally has the most false slanderous comments to clarify.No one on the staff ever makes money off of other employees.No one has to pay for their uniform, as there is no uniform. No one calls Mexico from their cell phone to place orders.No one gets paid less than what they are supposed to on their sales.The HR person is not the secretary, we have an administrative assistant and an office manager; they are two completely different people.We did not cease to furnish paychecks in order to put a down payment on our new space.This website does not regulate anything posted because it is meant to be a forum for opinions, not a credible source for facts as there are too many false statements to count in these postings.If we actually did any one of those things I doubt we would be in business at all, let alone staff over 50 people and work with the largest telecommunications company in the Northwest.

All aspects of compensation are covered during the second round interview, again in the third, and are detailed in writing and discussed when someone fills out their paperwork to be an employee.This paperwork is signed by both myself and the new account manager and then copies are provided in their employee manual.It would be impossible for someone to go through the whole process without knowing what the compensation and position are until their first day as claimed, and even more unlikely for us to employ such a large staff if they were only incoming $500: half of what is expected.The average account manager earns in between $750 and $1500 weekly.There is a 10% cancellation rate for the reps in our office.If someone has a larger than average rejection percentage it typically indicates the rep may be conducting themselves unethically with customers.It is something we take seriously and do our best to limit.Every representative is paid every single week and is provided a sales report detailing each individual customer included with every check.

We did initially, for a short period of time, work with T-Mobile.It was a test pilot campaign and every person assigned to T-Mobile was fully aware that it was going to be a salaried position for a few months so we could figure it out and move to commission eventually.That was made clear from the start.The compensation package is set as performance based as a benefit for our clients.Most businesses see the value in only having to invest capital in results and not merely the prospect of them.The commissions are set up so an average person with average results is able to earn at minimum $750.Stronger representatives gross $2k a week, which is well above the national average income for an entry level position.It does not benefit anyone to have reps in my office making less than that.To address the suggestion that because it is commission based I have nothing to lose in hiring people:I have much to lose.Its my name, my company, and my reputation.Besides the fact that there actually is monetary expense to hire someone (background checks, drug screens, training materials, training and administrative staff, etc) having someone in my office that does poorly is a great risk to the success of Blackstone.So in regards to the comments about people here not making money and me not caring either way: that just simply is not true.

The training pay was also detailed in writing and stated that $500 would be the amount given and if certain goals were hit it would be $750 for the week. So I apologize if that was confusing, but I would not risk my companys reputation for $250. If the person that wrote that (or anyone at all) felt they werent paid properly I implore you to call the office so we can correct any errors made.As the goals from Qwest increased I decided to conclude the T-mobile test pilot campaign so we could focus on growing for our flagship client.

Day to Day: In order to be hired a candidate goes through three different interviews, must be able to pass a drug screen, have a cleared background check, and have great references.I am not certain why someone would claim that we have no screening process. I dont know what kind of gauntlet they had to maneuver in the past to become employed, but our process has been sufficient enough to produce the results our clients expect and to have a positive environment with a staff that enjoys coming to work every day.Every individual working with Blackstone has the opportunity to advance, works in a learning environment, and has no income limit.So if it seems odd or cultish that people like coming to work here then I find it unfortunate that more people cant experience careers like that.Plus I purposefully hire people with extraverted and positive dispositions.It is a sales and marketing firm so we employ people that are likely to succeed interacting with other people on a daily basis.

Qwest provides all the leads for our account managers based off their high priority customers.We track and record every representatives territory so we know where they are every day.They make sure there are neither felons nor sex offenders on the lead sheets.We do not send people to dangerous areas.Account managers are also heavily encouraged to use their discretion and instincts if an account does seem unsafe.We have never once had any incident to indicate hazard.

Our website is designed for prospective clients, not solely for prospective employees. So if it seems too broad for one to understand what a position here would entail that is understandable.We have had several companies approach us through our website to discuss a potential partnership.However we are choosing for now to focus on meeting the needs of Qwest as they are a great partner to us and have the resources to support the financial goals and future growth.

It is my hope that I have clarified fact from fiction here, but if you do have any questions whatsoever please feel free to call my office and I will speak with you directly to answer any questions or concerns: 952-473-4000.

If you are in need of a reference the Regional Field Sales Manager of Qwest is willing to speak with anyone that needs further clarification. He is our direct controller from Qwest that handles the Minnesota division.His name is Jeff Johnson and his email address is jeffrey.johnson3@qwest.com.

Jeremy Reboulet

President of Blackstone Consulting

601 Carlson Parkway, suite 1525

Minnetonka, MN 55305


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