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  • Report: #144022

Complaint Review: International Profit Associates

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  • Submitted: Wed, May 25, 2005
  • Updated: Mon, August 14, 2006

  • Reported By:Louisville Kentucky
International Profit Associates
1250 Barclay Blvd. Buffalo Grove, Illinois U.S.A.

International Profit Associates - IPA - IBA, Beware of Company EX Employee WARNING ripoff Buffalo Grove Illinois
*UPDATE: Rip-off Report Investigation - International Profit Associates recognized by Rip-off Report as a safe business service - IPA pledges to resolve all complaints, 100% commitment to customer service and satisfaction, feel confident and secure when doing business with IPA

*UPDATE Employee: I was an employee of IPA's BC, telemarketing, department

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: There were dime bags of weed being sold there and many guys that were high on heroin passing out at their desks!! I swear it's all true...

*Consumer Comment: IPA Ruins Families

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I am ashamed to admit that I did actually work for this company. The owner John Burgess is not only a convicted felon, a sexual harraser and a disbarred lawyer he has the tactics and employees in place to take you for every penny you will foolishly or under duress give him.

The telemarketers he employees are bused in from the south side of Chicago and have the knowledge of a commen cockroach. They bring handguns and other weapons to work and use them on a regular basis against other employees. The reason why some of them still work there is because Burgess will advance them money for everything from hookers to drugs to bail money. If they leave the comapny before these advances are paid off Burgess makes it clear he will hunt them down and make them wish their mother was never born.

At his time the Chicago branch of the EEOC has a class action lawsuit, of which I am involved in, for Sexual Harrasment. There are approximately 100 - 150 women in this lawsuit for things like "If you want to keep your job you will(enter sexual favor here)", bringing strippers into the lunchroom doing normal business hours for the telemarketers birthday, groping etc. The woman that went to the EEOC was written a check for an enormus sum to "keep her mouth shut" about the harassment she endured by the telemarketer's head manager. She kept the check, cashed it and then went to the EEOC. I have first had knowledge of this check as I was working in the payroll department when this check was authorized and I cut the check.

The men and women that are sent to companies are regurgatating the same information to any company they go to. They are instructed to not leave your company without getting every penny they can scare you into giving. These people continue to work for IPA for the same reasons that the telemarketers do...they are in to deep monatarily to the company.

If you are getting calls from the legal department you should know that there is no such department. It is one man by the name of Brian Rubenstein who will call you time after time and harass you. He will use different names everytime he calls and if he feels that you are catching on he will have his assistant do the calling.

Do know that although IPA may threaten with a lawsuit in Illinois for the owed fees, they will never and I mean NEVER file in court.

Burgess is all about the allmighty dollar and will not spend it even if he feels he is owed money, which he never is. Also, because of the developments with the EEOC they can not even show their faces in a courtroom because the judge will throw out the case.

Bottom line, the contract with IPA you may have or will get is not enforceable by law. IPA does not have a legal leg to stand on and they know it. They will use every tatic availiable to them to try and get their "fee" but if you push back hard enough they will drop the subject.

If you have been a victim of IPA you need to file a report with the Illinois Attorney General and your state's Attorney General. They will take the case on and fight for your monies back. If IPA reps show up at your door wanting to come in after you have decided you do not want them there call the police immediately.

If you are getting calls from the "collection department" tape each one of the calls and file telephone harassment charges with your local authorities. I have heard their tactics over the phone and know that at some point and time during the conversation they will threaten your life, your business life or your family's life. This now becomes a federal case instead of a civil one and they will be stopped. If you do not tape the calls your authorities may still look into it but it will not go as far in court as if you had a tape of the calls.

Bottom line? Do not let IPA through your doors. If you have fallen victim to this company please know that you are not the only one. I know this does nothing to make you feel better but know that there is recourse. A class action lawsuit will be taken on when enough business owner's report this company to the Illinois Attorney General as they are looking for a way to shut this company down forever and bar them from listing under a different name.

Stand up, let the Attorney General know and do not let them get away with any of this.

Anonymous
Chicago, Illinois
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/25/2005 10:17 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/International-Profit-Associates/Buffalo-Grove-Illinois-60089/International-Profit-Associates-IPA-IBA-Beware-of-Company-EX-Employee-WARNING-ripoff-144022. 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 UPDATE Employee

I was an employee of IPA's BC, telemarketing, department

AUTHOR: Undercover - (U.S.A.)

I was an employee of IPA until just a few weeks ago, in the telemarketing, or "BC" (Business Coordination) department. My employment there lasted roughly 4 months, after which time I was so disgusted with my job that I dreaded going to work every morning. There was an inescapable feeling that I was doing something very wrong that was hurting the people I was supposed to be helping. So I had to quit.



During training at IPA, we were told that small business owners need us, that most of them are good people and experts their own field, but they know next to nothing about how to manage a successful business. We were told that these owners need IPA-IBA to take them by the hand and show them how real businesses should be run, to "increase profits, market-share and ease-of-operations" so that their company will run itself while they relax on their private boat or out on the golf course. We were told that they need us so much, many of their businesses are destined to fail within the next few short years, yet they themselves don't even realize it! So thank goodness and God bless John Burgess' sweet soul for providing this indispensable service for them. We saw videos with former U.S. presidents Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton proclaiming that IPA is a beacon for small businesses everywhere, and that IPA-IBA was partially responsible for our nation's rapid economic growth during the 1990's. What we weren't told is that these appearances were paid for by campaign donations totaling in the millions.



We were also told that within a month or so we could be making thousands of dollars a week, as long as we weren't afraid to put in long hours dialing the phones.



The corporate culture at IPA is extremely sleazy and is based solely on greed. BCs (business coordinators) who prove their ability to separate business owners from their cash are treated with the utmost respect. Some are even worshipped like pop stars. All BCs are ranked monthly according to their performance, and a list of the top 85 BCs is posted prominently in the office, to stimulate morale. There are rankings for most appointments set, most sales, most sales resulting in "GOes" (meaning that the business owner was sold on consulting services after the initial survey was completed), largest total annual sales volume of companies sold, etc. I was told by one of my managers that "The numbers speak louder than words," and that pretty much sums it up. Any amount of abuse and disruption will be tolerated from the "top performers," as long as they rake in the bucks, yet the newbies are treated like little more than slaves--constantly being yelled at, threatened, etc. In some sections of the telemarketing office, it is demanded that the BCs ask for permission even to use the washroom! One day I was talking in measured tones with another BC while one of the top salesmen was on the phone in a nearby cubicle pitching to a business owner, and this guy slammed down the phone and started yelling at me at the top of his voice in the middle of the busy office. When I complained to my manager about this, he said, "Well, he's one of our top BCs. He can afford to be an ***hole." In another incident, a fistfight occurred right in the telemarketing office between two BCs. Both were fired, but the one who'd been there the longest (and had a better sales record) was re-hired shortly thereafter. In this environment, the top BCs are treated like gods among us. They're asked to give speeches to the new recruits in the training seminar, their names are posted prominently at the top of the performance lists, there are special plaques all over the walls proclaiming their greatness with their pictures beside John Burgess himself in his slick tuxedo.



Once we got on the phones, however, the true nature of the company wasn't hard to figure out. We would spend a couple days on the floor listening to other "successful" BCs running their pitches and setting appointments for their sales reps (called "Senior Area Directors" or "Regional Managers" when talking to the prospective customers). The BCs would say that "We've just opened a new office in your area" to business owners who have been receiving solicitations from IPA for many years. They would call IPA "a development firm" when talking to construction company owners, and "an industry resource firm" when talking to manufacturers. They would be making the most outrageous claims about the scope of the services IPA provides, including "finding better employees," "profits engineering," "networking within your industry to bring you more business." IPA is NOT a headhunter, nor a market research firm, nor a job broker.



There was a joke around the office that IPA really stands for "I'll Promise Anything."



Among the employees at IPA, there's an atmosphere of denial regarding the ethics of the company's business practices. When you spend your entire day calling business owners at random all over the same town, you will inevitably come upon a few here and there who've had prior experience with IPA and are not too shy to tell you about it. Out of all of these, I never had a business owner give me a glowing review of his IPA experience and welcome us back into his office. Every time I have spoken with a business owner who's dealt with us, the impression was the same, "I know all about your company. We've dealt with you before. Don't ever call me again."



When I asked my managers about these kinds of replies, their response was inevitably the same. They said, "Do you know how many dissastisfied customers a company like Sears has, or Best Buy? We have served over 15,000 companies in the past few years. Of course there are going to be a few who will claim to have had trouble with us. Besides, if they've hired us for consulting and failed to follow our recommendations, of course they're going to be unhappy with the results! Just don't worry about it. They're probably lying. They've probably never even dealt with us anyway!"



Most of the other IPA employees I've talked to about this would just laugh and say, "Yeah, that's IPA!"



One business owner told me, "IPA, huh? Yeah, buddy, you tell your guy to come on in here tomorrow. I wanna have a few words with that boy. Y'all's company took me for $25,000 last year! You send him in here!"



When an appointment is made with a business owner, it goes through a "confirmation" process. A 2nd telemarketer (the "confirmer") will call the company back, attempt to speak with the business owner, and verify all the information about the company that was initially taken down by the BC (including the company's address, the owner's name, the number of employees, the company's yearly gross revenues, etc). Sometimes, if the business owner sounds too friendly and is a bit too forthcoming with all this information, the confirmer will become suspicious and the lead will be flagged as a possible "set-up." This means it is suspected that the business owner has endured so many cold-calls, he has finally decided to take action and will be waiting for the sales rep with the police in his place of business, all ready to arrest him for phone harrassment! I have heard that this has happened quite a few times, and now the confirmers have a process in place to deal with this possibility.



As to the stories of drugs being dealt in the telemarketing office, yes, it's true. I've witnessed it. Although I have never partaken of it myself (I personally feel that being high at a job like telemarketing for IPA is a waste of good dope) I have seen the bags being exchanged, the joints being rolled in the cubicles, the long group walks in the parking lot during breaktime... There are even a few cases of hard drugs being used on company time. One guy was reportedly shooting up in one of the bathroom stalls when he dropped his syringe on the floor, in full view of the washroom attendant (who is actually more of a security guard, placed there primarily to make sure that nobody spends too long away from his desk and phone). That employee was escorted out of the building and fired. Another girl caught nodding at her cubicle was escorted out, but allowed to return tthe following day, since no actual drugs were found on her person. I have been told stories of top BCs snorting lines of cocaine at their cubicles with no negative repercussions whatsoever. There are lots of people around that place who certainly act like they're high on something, but it might just be the effect of all the money they're making, or that certain IPA magic in the air.
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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

There were dime bags of weed being sold there and many guys that were high on heroin passing out at their desks!! I swear it's all true...

AUTHOR: John - (U.S.A.)

I used to work for IPA in 1996. Could you believe they hired a 15y/o kid to call business owners?? Well they did, and me and my whole crew of friends(teenagers) were working for IPA. We loved it, there was ample supply of drugs in the office from the folks shipped in from the south side of Chicago.



There was even a guy that would go buy us liquor at 10am and we'd be in the office drinking. The company is a scam I stayed there for 2 years but hey I was living at home not really needing to make real money.



There were dime bags of weed being sold there and many guys that were high on heroin passing out at their desks!! I swear it's all true...Crazy job man...I believe everything written here. IPA is not an upstanding company!!



They offered my friend a company car, then forced him to work there for the next 3 years to pay it off. They do that with all employees that they like. They'll give you a car then soon enough you'll be an indentured servant(sp). The first full row of cars is jaguar, cadillac, mercedes etc... The people driving those cars are slaves to IPA. Interesting experience to say the least.
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#3 Consumer Comment

IPA Ruins Families

AUTHOR: Terri - (U.S.A.)

My soon-to-be-ex husband works for IPA. Swears he's going to make a million before he's 30. All I see is a man who believes IPA's false promises. They have told him repeatedly that "you will make at least $30,000 when this deal closes" and then when the deadline comes and goes it becomes "Oh, sorry buddy, the deal fell through." So, needless to say, my husband had to get many "green checks" and/or cash advances. Good thing he had me, with my steady income, to always bail him out of financial difficulties.



It seems all of the employees are getting divorced. We are certainly not the only ones. In fact, everyone in his dept. is divorced or going through one now. What exactly goes on in that place? Are the office romances running rampant? Or do the employees just like the strippers that come in for lunch? My own divorce came out of the blue! One day (2 weeks after we had a baby) he just moved OUT. We also fought a lot because his bosses always "ordered" him to go out to the bars after work. He was rarely home before 8pm. His boss took the phone from my husband when I called him at the bar, screamed at ME "he's working for Christ's sake" and then when my husband left to come home shortly thereafter, Shane (Wetherall) KICKED his car door and left a dent. Then he started screaming that my husband was fired. My husband did not go in the next morning, and around 9 am, Shane called asking "What's going on Buddy? Why aren't you here?" When Stewart said "you fired me" Shane just laughed and claimed he was "only kidding".



My husband has been "promoted" and "demoted" numerous times. When he starts making a steady, decent income, they come up with a stupid excuse to tear him back down and take away his "power position". IPA is indeed a SCAM, but it is also a bad place to work for anyone with a family or sense of morals and values. My husband has fallen victim to their lies and promises. My family has been ripped apart because of IPA and God knows what goes on in that place during working hours.



If anyone you know is contemplating working for IPA, STOP THEM. It will ruin your life. You will NOT make the money they promise you, you will become a part of their strange "cult" and families will be ruined.
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