ED Magedson – Founder
McKenzie Scott Partners5000 Executive Parkway Suite 550 San Ramon, California U.S.A.
McKenzie Scott Partners Ripoff Expensive over stated and underperformed service designed to prevent a refund regardless performance San Ramon California
After viewing the McKenzie Web site and marketing material and after several discussions with the Managing Director Tom Smith, I elected to contract with McKenzie Scott to provide executive marketing services designed to find my next position. I paid $13,500 for their service using a VISA credit card. The selling process involves strong representation of aggressiveness and speed on their part that will produce job success that can not be found in compeetitive solutions. In reality, they are slower, less accurate, and reflect little if any agressiveness once the contract is signed and a client has passed the date where a refund can be requested. Once that date is passed performance and attention to detail disappears. There is a clear unwillingness to compensate a customer for missed action plan milestones and quality of service. The service has not been as described in marketing materials, meetings prior to contracting and in the McKenzie Scott Service Agreement and Marketing Action Plan. The claims they have consistently made about the aggressiveness of their search process, the ease of use, and the powerful resources available to me have not proven to be consistent with that actually delivered in the following ways. One, McKenzie Scott has not been aggressive about schedule or the quality of mailings specifically contracted for - Dates have been missed with little or no apparent awareness on their part. Two, their system for finding companies with emerging job opportunities was unable to produce sufficient leads to meet my weekly commitment of mailings set by McKenzie Scott - they could not make recommendations to resolve correct this problem, Three, One mailing was completed with less mailings than contracted for - I discovered the shortfall only after requesting a copy of the database. Four, the McKenzie Scott "Powerful Resources" were consistently unable to produce lists of contacts for custom mailings critical to their proposed marketing strategy. Five, Lack of project management on their part required that I play that role which was very inconsistent with the claim of easy, convenient, everything needed, and the removal of the hard work. The following summarizes major aspects that are at the root of the difference between the services that were described and contracted for and those that were delivered. McKenzie Scott describes their service as focused on "aggressive searches which are normally executed over an 8 to 10 week period." My Marketing Action Plan established specific dates for various mailings critical to this kind of "aggressive" search yet all of the mailings were late due exclusively to reasons relating to McKenzie Scott processes - nearly 2 weeks in each case. The breaking news/emerging job agents were very difficult to use - hours of trial and error produce little results - very inconsistent with claims made regarding the easy of use and the millions spent in creating the online and research capabilities that differentiate McKenzie Scott form its competitors. No one could resolve the issues. Not one member of my team watched the progress reports indicating the difficulty I was having, as described in the service. The research system described by McKenzie Scott as a very important tool supporting the "Micro" distribution campaign ("by far the most important distributions in the campaign") is substantially less effective than described. The research team was consistently unable to develop quality lists of contacts in sufficient numbers to complete the mailings consistent with the terms of the Marketing Service Agreement. The Custom Board mailing ($3,500) was recommended by Tom Smith, Managing Director, because Board Chairmen would be a critical decision maker within the process of finding my next position. The research system, proclaimed to be part of the McKenzie Scott "Powerful Resources" was incapable of identifying more than 50 board chairmen for all of the San Francisco Bay Area. It seems Tom Smith sold me the option to complete the custom mailing when he new, as did the rest of the team, that the McKenzie Scott database had insufficient contacts in it and the research team was incapable of or unwilling to complete the research needed to assemble an "aggressive" mailing in a timely fashion. This mailing was never completed. The McKenzie Scott commitment to customer satisfaction and quality control falls short of that described in of the marketing pieces entitled "A Better Way to Find the Right New Job". As part of an effort to find a way to get back on schedule and eliminate the causes of the original quality problems, I asked Paul Bokelmann, VP of Client Services, during a telephone conversation on January 18, 2006, for the changes he would implement to prevent future problems. McKenzie Scott claims they will do "everything possible to resolve remaining complaints - even if we felt the requests were unreasonable." After such shortfalls in schedule and quality, it seems reasonable to ask for corrective action, given the tight timeline of their "aggressive" marketing program. Paul expressed an unwillingness to do anything but continue the process they were following. I indicated that I needed to have his change recommendations in order to be able to continue with the service. He indicated that I always had the option to terminate if I wished. As of January 23, I had not received any recommendations, putting my aggressive marketing campaign still further behind. During my discussions in November, 2005 with Tom Smith, prior to contract signing, and in November and December with Sue Sramek Marketing Director assigned to me), both indicated we should start my marketing campaign as quickly as possible in order to take advantage of CEO job openings that frequently occur at the end of calendar years. All McKenzie Scott team members knew of the importance of on-time schedule completion yet no one on the McKenzie team took ownership of the growing schedule and research problems until I expressed a desire to terminate the services. Given what happened since the beginning of the Service Agreement, I found that I was spending more and more of my time managing McKenzie Scott to make sure timelines were met and mailings reflect quality contacts. The McKenzie Scott claim to have "Everything you need to find the right new job with greater speed and convenience" has not been true in my case. The claim of "Powerful Resources" and "have the hard work of job hunting handled for you" is also very inconsistent with my experience). In summary, critical schedules were missed, research data was poor and there was little or no apparent concern on the part of any of my team members regarding corrective action follow-through. I asked for corrective action and received none. The facts above suggest that McKenzie Scott has overstated its ability to meet my search needs. Clearly the services they have delivered were substantially inconsistent with those they described and very inconsistent with a the premium price they charge. There business process is set up to avoid any penalty if they fail to perform. Don't let your sense of urgency respond to the heavy sales pressure you will get and the demand for immediate payment in order to lock in a space in their process. They want you to believe their process is superior, limited in capacity due to its popularity and requires 100% payment to get started. What seems to be too good to be true generally is. This was true for me. Pay for performance or go find another source. George Pleasanton, California
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on McKenzie Scott
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/07/2006 02:44 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/McKenzie-Scott-Partners/San-Ramon-California-94583/McKenzie-Scott-Partners-Ripoff-Expensive-over-stated-and-underperformed-service-designed-t-209946. 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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