If only I had found the numerous complaints about R. L. Stevens & Associates on Ripoff Report before contracting their services, I would have saved $5,625.00 and a lot of wasted time and effort. This experience turned out to be the most expensive resume rewrite of my life.
I had taken an early retirement in 2003. My family and I moved to Indiana in the fall of 2006 and the following February I decided to look for employment again due to mounting expenses from some unforeseen circumstances. I came across an ad in a newspaper for executive positions. I realized later that it was just a sales gimmick to draw people into calling R. L. Stevens. I made an appointment and told the salesman that I was seeking assistance in locating a position commensurate with my extensive experience. He said that with my background they could help me to find a local job that paid $100K - $120K per year.
The entire balance was due upfront. This should have been a red flag. The salesman was very high pressure; we felt emotionally worn down after his presentation. This should have been another red flag. He told us that giving him the last of our credit was the smartest thing we could do. Yet another red flag. He was really good at what he does and we were caught off guard.
The salesman promised before I signed the contract to also help me obtain a good-paying bridge job since finding a full-time position in that salary range would probably take a few months. Their solution after I signed the contract was to suggest that my wife and I go deliver pizza. There is nothing wrong with delivering pizza, but that was not going to begin to cover our family living expenses. He also promised before I signed the contract to provide targeted leads to suitable jobs that were not yet advertised. Their solution after I signed the contract was to have me write hundreds of letters to a random selection of local companies in the hope that one of them might have a suitable job and want to hire me. I was also sent to networking meetings that were of no use to someone with my background.
It became obvious fairly quickly that what R. L. Stevens had promised was mostly hot air. Rather than continue relying on their assistance and hoping for the best while running out of money, I prepared a cover letter and used a $200 fax service to obtain an executive level job on my own within a matter of days. Too bad I didn't think of that sooner.
R. L. Stevens allocates their fees in percentages across ten service areas. Even giving them the benefit of the doubt for the resume rewrite, a seminar and some reading materials, I requested a refund for the remaining services that they clearly did not provide. They refused even the slightest compromise, except to extend the time limit on their services at no charge. No thanks.
When I contacted the salesman and requested a partial refund, he indicated that they had never received any complaints. I then searched the Internet and found complaints about R. L. Stevens on Ripoff Report, which I pointed out to him. Shortly thereafter, he forwarded to me an email with an attachment from an R. L. Stevens Executive VP who smeared the owner of Ripoff Report in an attempt to make me think that the complaints were bogus. I thought this was highly unprofessional and defamatory.
Just stay away from R. L. Stevens. Despite the fact it was heavily implied that I would never be able to find the job I desired without their help, and was told that recruiters wouldn't help me change careers, I quickly found an executive position on my own and a year later a recruiter helped me (at no charge) to obtain an even better job in an entirely new career field.
Oh, and don't bother contacting the BBB with a complaint about a company. Trying to work through them was an exercise in futility.