I just ran across the rip-off reports about IPA. I had not even told anyone about my experience with them in May, 2004 because I felt like such a fool.
I own a small auto parts business in WA state. I took that first unsolicited phone call others speak of. I then agreed to the meeting for them to analyze my company. Two suits showed up in a couple of days. They had flewn in from somewhere. I should have known better. If it sounds to good ..... You know the rest! By the time these two were done with me, I felt that I was going to loose my business if I didn't get their help quick. (By the way, the business was doing fine) I do remember they had some sort of guarantee that you would make more money than it cost to have them do a consultation. I of course never heard another word about that.
They were going to advise us on operations, labor costs, incentives, productivity, and taxes.
I cannot believe I agreed to pay $235 an hour per person to IPA!! I do not make that kind of money. Also $42 day per person, plus ground transportation, lodging, and airfare. I thought these other expenses would not be a factor because they would find someone close because they were such a "huge" company. "Close" to them was the Project Manager from Canada. I got to pay airfare for two full round-trip tickets. He flew home Friday night and came back Sunday night. What was I thinking? I would have flown somewhere if I had money for multiple airline tickets. I was into it so deep I actually let him come back. He also stayed at the Hilton. I must say I choose much cheaper hotels for myself, but he said they had the most comfortable beds.
The bottom line, I had a lot of money tied up in inventory, and he made sure I returned enough to make a big payment to IPA. He spent hours teaching me to build a useless spreadsheet that I never looked at again. It was to track my money so I would know day by day when I could pay bills. I never had a problem paying my bills! After he did the spreadsheet he could tell me what day to pay him though! I did not need to know what I had daily. Before he got there I didn't even have to look at my bank balance to write a check.
To diversify he came up with selling GPS related items and get into geocaching on the internet. How can a small independent compete with large discount stores to sell GPS equipment? It was not going to happen.
I paid them all of my spare cash and made payments on two different charge cards. My total was over $30,000. that I should have kept. I still cannot believe I did this. Do NOT let them come to analyze your company. Do NOT let them get their foot in the door. This company had nothing to offer me, but convinced me I needed them. I got nothing from them.
Maple Valley, Washington