• Report: #805395

Complaint Review: Power Brands Consulting LLC

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  • Submitted: Mon, December 05, 2011
  • Updated: Mon, March 31, 2014

  • Reported By: James_B — Byron Bay Australia
Power Brands Consulting LLC
16501 Sherman Way, Suite 225 Van Nuys, CA 91406 Van Nuys, California United States of America

Power Brands Consulting LLC http://www.beverageformulation.com/ Failed to deliver on contract. Terrible Service. Van Nuys, California

*General Comment: please send

*Consumer Comment: Company details

*Consumer Comment: Company Name

*Consumer Comment: Was considering them... now am not

*Consumer Comment: me too

*Consumer Comment: Similar problem

*Consumer Comment: Name of the company James went on to use...

*Consumer Comment: Referral

*General Comment: Please Share

*Consumer Comment: James new co. Info

*Consumer Comment: New company

*General Comment: Other consultants?

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Information

*Consumer Comment: Referal Request

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: referral please

*Consumer Comment: Thank you.

*Author of original report: OK

*Consumer Comment: About other Info

*Author of original report: Glass Houses

*Author of original report: Glass Houses

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Poor Conduct On Every Level

*Author of original report: Bad service

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Power Brands Rebuttal

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We contracted Power Brands Consulting LLC to work on an organic energy drink that we wanted to introduce to the Australian market. When I met with the CEO Darin Ezra in California (July 2011) he told me how enthused he was about working with my company and personally assured me that they would "nail" the project.

I went back to Australia and wired them the money - a $10800 deposit on the total fee of $17000. I also engaged them in a separate transaction to oversee the production negotiations and manufacturing logistics. For this I paid $7500.

From the moment I handed over the money I had the feeling that the enthusiasm level dropped substantially. I started to notice that, if I sent them an email, I would often  not receive a response. If I did it would rarely acknowledge or address what I had said in the email. If I had to described it simply, I would say that the tone in which they treated me was 'annoyed'. 

When we got the first round of samples - well over the deadline - they were terrible. They tasted bitter and acrid, were too bubbly and the caffeine gave us all a headache. One of the things I had been insisting on was for us to use natural caffeine but this didn't seem to be the case when the samples arrived. For some reason they seemed completely incapable of working from the brief or meeting our needs. The project manager seemed to know "the best way" and anything that didn't fall into that category seemed to annoy her a lot!

I would have been cool with this if there had been an attempt to acknowledge that the samples were not great or even an attitude of "we will work hard to fix them". Mistakes are fine, an inevitable and essential part of business. But the response I got I could only describe as denial, resentment and derision. Like it was my fault.

I was told that they couldn't get some of the ingredients needed to improve the samples in the way I wanted so I set about trying to do it myself. After a few hours I had managed to track down those ingredients in the US (even though I was in Australia). Ironically one of the ingredient suppliers told me he had heard of a lot of people with similar experiences of Power Brands and he thought I should go elsewhere.

So, after tracking down the ingredients,  I began to email the project manager to organize delivery. None of my emails were answered.

Howver, when I finally got one back after several attempts, it was from her email auto-responder saying she had gone on long service leave for an indefinite time. They obviously didn't think this was important enough to warrant telling the client (me). I had to find out from an auto-responder.

After emailing the CFO trying to find out was happening I was told I had a completely new project manager. By this stage I was pretty over it and decided to contact the CEO Darin Ezra and CFO Marty Molina to voice my concerns. After receiving a pretty cold response with no level of accountability or  willingness to address the problems I decided to terminate the contract and go somewhere else. I'd already taken a big hit on the project timeline and couldn't afford any more delays.

I thought that - even though they totally neglected to deliver the services which they outlined in the contract - I would cut my losses and let them keep the $10800 deposit for formulation. However, the amount I paid for Manufacturing Supervision - $7500 - I felt should be refunded to me given that we never got anywhere near that part of the project and that they had completed absolutely no work whatsoever on those services. 

Unfortunately this did not suit them. They insisted that I owed them the remainder for the formulation, despite not making it past the first stage, and they would subtract it from the $7500. Then they advised I could have the remainder in "Sell sheets, Distributor buyer contact lists, Retailer buyer contact lists, Beverage Sales training, Retailer/Distributor, Buyer Presentations, etc"

To me that is like saying we will refund your rotten apple with two more rotten apples. I'll pass thanks.

So here is my advice to anyone thinking of using these guys for a beverage project. Don't. Under any circumstances. Since leaving we have found another formulator who has been absolutely brilliant. Really innovative and responsive and the samples we received from them blew us away.

As I am learning, there are quite a few sub-standard operators in the beverage industry and I think these guys are at the top of the heap.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/05/2011 08:02 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Power-Brands-Consulting-LLC/Van-Nuys-California-91406/Power-Brands-Consulting-LLC-httpwwwbeverageformulationcom-Failed-to-deliver-on-contr-805395. 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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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
4Author 15Consumer 4Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 General Comment

please send

AUTHOR: ...2014 - ()

James, 

can you please share the name of the company that you had a good experience with?

Thank you --- mjspine@yahoo.com

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#2 Consumer Comment

Company details

AUTHOR: LinS - ()

Hi, please could you send me new company details too, lindi.strang@gmail.com - thank you. 

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#3 Consumer Comment

Company Name

AUTHOR: Greenseed - ()

Hello James,

I'd also love to know the name of the second company you went to.  My email is: getbevvy [at] gmail [dot] com


Thanks so much!

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#4 Consumer Comment

Was considering them... now am not

AUTHOR: spawn4525 - ()

James if you are available i would really appreciate it if you shared the company you ended up going through. If anyone else out there already has that information if would be very much appreciated.

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#5 Consumer Comment

me too

AUTHOR: J.a. - ()

James, 

I'm going to join the list here and thank you for speaking out. Please send me the info for the other company. Much appreciated.

Best,
(((email redacted)))

CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.
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#6 Consumer Comment

Similar problem

AUTHOR: Scoopy - ()

Dear James

I have also handed over money to this South African bloke. Shocked to say the least at what a crook he is. The weirdos he has working for him are something else too.

So I am with all the others who have commented in saying
"Thank you so much for this report!! Can you please share the company you went with and any advice you may have?" Joey@joeyreidy.com

All the best 
Scoopy

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#7 Consumer Comment

Name of the company James went on to use...

AUTHOR: jmartin - (United States of America)

James or someone that has commmunicated with James,

Can you please share the company you went with and any advice you may have?

I can be reached at: jmartin8080@yahoo.com

Thx JM

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#8 Consumer Comment

Referral

AUTHOR: Melissa - (United States of America)

James,

Can you contact me regarding the company you went with after your dismal experience with Power Brands? Their typo-ridden comments about your father calling them as well as their unkind speculations about you are very telling about the level of professionalism at that company. My email is melissarossi199@hotmail.com. Thank you.
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#9 General Comment

Please Share

AUTHOR: Sally - (United States of America)

James,

Thank you so much for this report!! Can you please share the company you went with and any advice you may have?

Thanks!

duong.sally@gmail.com
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#10 Consumer Comment

James new co. Info

AUTHOR: New business - (United States of America)

James, I am going through the same process now. Can you email me the name of the new company you're having success with? (((ROR redacted)))

Thank you
CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.
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#11 Consumer Comment

New company

AUTHOR: Drinkchick - (United States of America)

I would also like the name of the company you used. Thank you for your comments. Trying to figure out who to go with for my own drink.

Kirderm@gmail.com
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#12 General Comment

Other consultants?

AUTHOR: emailssx - (United States of America)

Dear James,

MUCH thanks for sharing the experience that you had with Power Brands.
 
May I please get the name of the company who ultimately helped you? 

My email is emailssx@gmail.com

Thanks
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#13 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Information

AUTHOR: AWOO - (United States of America)

Hi James,
Could you send me the name of the other company as well? Thanks! andichi@gmail.com
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#14 Consumer Comment

Referal Request

AUTHOR: vaninc - (United States of America)

Thank you James for your honesty and report. I am going through a similar process and would greatly appreciate a referral to your current company and any advice. you can reach me at vandlelay @ yahoo.com

Thanks again!
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#15 REBUTTAL Owner of company

referral please

AUTHOR: Biji Pro - (United States of America)

Dear James,

Many thanks for sharing the experience that you had with Power Brands.  May I please get the name of the company who ultimately helped you? 

My email is bijipro@gmail.com
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#16 Consumer Comment

Thank you.

AUTHOR: infinity - (Thailand)

Hello James,

Thanks a lot for your help. Here is my email.

info@artjouel.com
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#17 Author of original report

OK

AUTHOR: James_B - (Australia)

Do you have an email address? Happy to help
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#18 Consumer Comment

About other Info

AUTHOR: infinity - (Thailand)

Hello James,

I'm interested in beverage industry. Could you please advise me for other company that you mentioned.

Thank you. 
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#19 Author of original report

Glass Houses

AUTHOR: James_B - (Australia)

That's great Darin but I am not your first complaint on this website (or BBB) and I suspect I won't be your last. Instead of becoming abusive and defensive maybe you should just try tolisten and take a bit of responsibility. As I've already stated - the experience we had with your replacement was easy and  the outcome absolutely amazing (I'll send you guys a bottle) so it can't be all my fault as you suggest.

The reason my dad called was because I just wanted to 'call it a day' with you guys but he thought, given his experience, he may be able to get through to you. After your initial emails I actually told him not to bother. Yes my family invested in my business - hardly a world first - but I've still worked extremely hard to get where I am. What I do find telling is that you can burst into a tirade of personal insults and slander in one breath, and then turn around and give a sermon on business ethics, principles and professionalism in the next. I think you should take some of your own advice.
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#20 Author of original report

Glass Houses

AUTHOR: James_B - (Australia)

The reason my dad called was because I just wanted to 'call it a day' with you guys but he thought it was too much money to let go of. Yes my family invested in my business - hardly a world first - but I've still worked extremely hard to get where I am. What I do find telling is that you can burst into personal insults and slander in one breath, and then turn around and give a sermon on business ethics, principles and professionalism in the next.

Anyway, I am not your first complaint on here (or BBB) and I suspect I won't be your last. 
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#21 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Poor Conduct On Every Level

AUTHOR: Power Brands - (United States of America)

For the sake of the public let it be know that as far as we can tell James is a spoiled brat who is spending his fathers money. (Yes daddy called us) probably par for the course when working with James I,m pretty sure his father has been wiping his nose all of his life. As with most spoiled children James has no idea how to conduct himself in a business situation and gives up if anything doesn't go just the way he would prefer. We first thought he was just an unusual boy but as time progressed it was very apparent that he has no business being in business. I thought the public should know this so they can put his comments in the proper context. The team he was working with are an award winning beverage development team that has created over 2000 beverages many of which have gone on to become multi million dollar brands. The very nature of research and development will offer many challenges, its not for quitters, less than 1% of our clients are dissatisfied with our service and most of those are not satisfied with anything, for them its personalities not ethics and principals that guide their behavior. My only issue here is that someone with no grounds whatsoever can fabricate the truth in a public forum. What a shame. James learn some manners and try and grow up you act like a child.
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#22 Author of original report

Bad service

AUTHOR: James_B - (Australia)

At the end of the day I only have two experiences to go by - the one I had with your company and the one I had with the people who replaced you. They are worlds apart.

For example, the only reason I wrote that "sorry to be a demanding client" comment was because every interaction I had with your team I left feeling like I was demanding. And that is because every suggestion or question I asked I felt was greeted with derision or at least mild annoyance... But as I learned soon after leaving you guys - the whole thing should be easy and enjoyable. The new formulators were enthusiastic and creative - often making suggestions or thinking outside the box to make my product a better product.  I never felt at anytime with them that I was being demanding or asking too many questions because they always treated me with great professionalism.

But obviously you are never going to come around and see our point of view so I should save my breath..

I will add though - I jdon't know how you could possibly argue that we owe you money on the second contract. I asked Marty to do a simple task (track down some copackers) and he did absolutely nothing. Never heard from again despite checking in twice via email. Would you guys like to speak to that or are you just going to deny it too?

Anyway, I think you know this to be true because of the deal you offered me essentially admitted that you didn't do anything (i.e subtract the remainder of the formulation fee from the consulting fee and give me the remainder in services). Only problem is I don't place a great value on the services you provide or the way in which you provide them.

Anyway, I'm sorry it didn't work out. Good luck in the future.
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#23 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Power Brands Rebuttal

AUTHOR: Power Brands - (United States of America)

James  while we wish you success with your future endeavors, your summary of our experience is simply inaccurate and misleading.  While you represent that there was poor communication between yourself and Power Brands after your receipt of the first sample round, allegedly until the receipt of an out-of-office message from a food scientist, the truth is there were several email exchanges between yourself and our lab team discussing the quality of the first sample round along with specific feedback.  In contrast to your posting here, on Aug 24 you stated via email the grapefruit was actually not bad and [any flavor issue] is probably half on me for putting a limit on calories.  Our food scientist replied to you on Aug 25 and stated potential cost and supply issues with your request to use organic fruit juice concentrates.  You claimed to have a source of organic grapefruit juice concentrate and would arrange to have samples sent to our lab for the next round of formulation work.  After two weeks no juice concentrate samples had arrived and our lab team received no response from you on a possible ETA, which held up any formulation work.  On Sept 14, two and a half weeks after your initial offer to provide organic juice concentrate, which never arrived, you began asking for refunds. 

We have developed award winning brands and have worked on over 400 beverage projects. 
Not every project is going to go perfectly, but we have an exemplary record with very few complaints. 
Unfortunately this project did not work out to your satisfaction and given our experience with you (by your own admission, Sorry to be such a demanding client!) we prefer to be paid in full for the contract work agreed to by both parties.
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