• Report: #32195

Complaint Review: Bernard Haldane Associates

  • Submitted: Wed, October 09, 2002
  • Updated: Sun, May 20, 2012

  • Reported By:Akron OH
Bernard Haldane Associates
3250 West Market St. Akron, Ohio U.S.A.

Bernard Haldane Associates ripoff con-artists took us for all we had Akron Ohio

*Consumer Comment: hahahaha

*Consumer Comment: Satisfied with Bernard Haldane Services, my expectations were met

*Consumer Comment: GLAD I DIDN'T!!!

*Author of original report: Bernard Haldane Associates - How long can they continue to rip off the public? Use the ripoff reports to get media and your Attorney General's attention

*Consumer Suggestion: I have sound advise for all of you who were thinking about paying a recruiter to find you a job, DON'T DO IT!!!!

*Author of original report: two-year investigation by the Kansas attorney general's office that resulted in the company paying $300,000 fraud charges

*Author of original report: two-year investigation by the Kansas attorney general's office that resulted in the company paying $300,000 fraud charges

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Steve Stromp, Bernard Haldane Associates "henchman" Director of Client Services who threatens the unhappy clients that have been deceived and want a fair refund.

Bernard Haldane Associates has a horrendous reputation across America for deceiving and abusing their clients. Once they have your $4000-$20000 fee for their "services", the client will quickly find out that they were deceived by the salesperson (Vice President-Catherine Slemenda (in Akron, Ohio)).

Bernard Haldane's salesperson will tell you everything you want to hear to sell you their expensive program and make a huge commission. They make promises of access to the "HIDDEN JOB MARKET" and tell you that the companies they have connections with will refund their huge fee when you are hired. These are all lies, since they have NO CONNECTIONS AT ALL!!!

Their universal sales pitch is made to make you feel "special" and cared about, while all they care about is getting your money and having you sign their "iron clad" contract that holds them unaccountable for their deceiving sales pitch and broken promises. They make it impossible to get a refund after you realize you have been deceived and are unhappy with their program.

The Kansas Attorney General forced Bernard Haldane Associates on September 13, 2002 to refund $300,000 to the cutomers they deceived (probably all of them). They were also fined $100,000 for their deceptive sales practices. I encourage anyone that has been victimized by Bernard Haldane Associates, to file a fast, simple online claim with their Attorney General to let them know you were deceived and that your consumer protection rights were violated. Also, they should know what the Kansas Attorney General has done for their citizens.
People in Ohio can file an online complaint at: http://www.ag.state.oh.us/consumer/howhandl.htm

Here is a recent article about the Kansas settlement.

By PAUL WENSKE Columnist (Kansas Star)

Bernard Haldane refunds aren't limited to Kansans People who live outside Kansas who think they were misled by Bernard Haldane's career-counseling offices in Overland Park and Wichita also can get refunds, Kansas officials said last week.

The career-counseling giant agreed last month to refund $300,000 to clients who complained to Kansas Attorney General Carla Stovall's office that they were cheated out of thousands of dollars with false promises of getting an inside track on a "hidden job market. "The initial refund announcement referred only to Kansas residents. But a spokesman for Stovall said last week that it should have explained that it applied to anyone -- including people outside Kansas -- who bought services from the Kansas franchise offices.

To get refunds, people must file complaints that fall within the violations that the attorney general's office documented at the Overland Park and Wichita offices.Among other deceptions, Stovall's office found that career counselors falsely said they had exclusive access to jobs, allowing them to bypass normal business channels.

The franchise offices also solicited clients with advertisements disguised as job openings. Bernard Haldane's New York office and Reed Freeman Management Group Inc., which owns the Kansas franchises, agreed to the settlement without admitting any wrongdoing. Mary Tritsch, a spokeswoman for Stovall's office, clarified the settlement announcement after I told her I was receiving numerous calls from Missouri residents. Most voiced the same complaint: They paid upfront fees of $4,000 or more for career counseling but spent most of their time combing newspaper ads and Internet sites for jobs, search exercises they could have done themselves for a lot less money.

Tritsch said, "Any consumer who paid for services at either Kansas office can file a claim for a refund. "The deadline is Oct. 28. Tritsch said 109 new complaints had been filed since the settlement was announced Sept. 13. The office already had 47 pending complaints.

Akron, Ohio

Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Bernard Haldane Associates

CLICK HERE, You must read this!! ..Financial Post Article LINK - Haldane not up to the job ..exposing this company for what it really is - a huge scam

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/09/2002 09:45 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Bernard-Haldane-Associates/Akron-Ohio-44333/Bernard-Haldane-Associates-ripoff-con-artists-took-us-for-all-we-had-Akron-Ohio-32195. 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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#1 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Rodney - (Australia)

as for clients feeling misled, it only takes a little common sense to realize BHA's pitch is exactly that... a sales pitch. Take it with a grain of salt. There is nothing misleading about it, what you mean is that the BHA pitch is Full of s**t.  they no longer exist
due to continual fraud.  they were a fraudulent organisation forced to close by this site

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#2 Consumer Comment

Satisfied with Bernard Haldane Services, my expectations were met

AUTHOR: S - (Canada)

I am a client with Bernard Haldane and Associates and I listened to the same pitch by BHA as most clients have reported, but my experience was quite different as my expectations were met. It was clear to me BHA is not a search firm but a group of career advisors with access to resources.

I gained access to numerous career-search resources, including publications, CDs and internet-based tools, and received guidance from a professional career advisor with many years of experience in industry.

To be fair, one selling point that never realized itself was the anonymous posting of a career profile to avoid discrimination based on age. No leads came from my posting, but it was not of great concern since I had focussed my energy on networking for local job leads instead.

A group like BHA has much experience to offer so the client must focus on the areas he feels are most beneficial. Take advantage of the available training, guidance, feedback and resources and in doing so you take responsibility for your own future.

As for clients feeling misled, it only takes a little common sense to realize BHA's pitch is exactly that... a sales pitch. Take it with a grain of salt. There is nothing misleading about it, but it is obviously an enthusiastic and ambitious spin on the process. Even if you expected it, why would you ever want to relinquish responsibility for your own career path? Anyone interpreting the sales pitch enthusiasm as an approach that requires no work is lacking common sense.

Did I ever expect that I would be handed a magical list of contacts upon signing up? Of course not, because who of any quality would ever agree to be included on such a list? If I was a career advisor holding a list of executive contacts and you are a job-seeker who can't even get it together for 15 minutes of networking per day, there is no way I would risk my reputation by passing you along to one of my contacts. My contact would never allow me to use him again and the list would be exhausted very quickly. Nothing worth having comes for free or without work. Why would you ever expect otherwise?

BHA helped me develop a career-search strategy that was well structured. As a result, using this clear plan relieved my anxiety of being faced with the overwhelming pressure of finding a new career. Yes, it required a lot of work on my part to complete the various stages within the workbook. Being proactive about taking advantage of the services offered at Haldane allowed me to develop new job search skills that will last a lifetime... a fair return on $5000. Clearly, as with anything in life, you get out what you put in.

I take credit for my success through the BHA program since I worked hard to do well. Of course I am clever enough to find a job on my own, but the package BHA offers is convenient and comprehensive. BHA provides a structured plan and valuable feedback throughout the career search process. I learned how to use a resume and cover letter to my full advantage, improved my interview and salary negotiation skills and built a network of contacts. Job seekers need to take responsibility for their futures and stop looking for the quick fix or magical solution.
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#3 Consumer Comment


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

When I relocated back to Louisville, KY from Virginia, I was skimming through the classified and saw an ad from Bernard Haldane's company. I called andd made an appointment. Greg Byrne, my Career Counselor, did exactly as was stated in the previous complaint. He tried to make me feel so special. He stated that other companies would under use my talents and that Haldane Associates would be able to find me an executive position in the se-called "Non-reported" job market that would properly make use of my skills. When I started asking questions about the cost of this service Greg Byrne was very hesitant in answering and stated that once I decided to sign up with the service he would divulge the cost. But I kept asking and finally he told me the cost was $2000. I told him he had to be kidding and he kept telling me beneficial Haldane Associates would be in improving my search for a position. I'm not sure how many people Bernard Haldane Associates has scammed in Louisville, Kentucky, but I'm glad I didn't give them my money.
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#4 Author of original report

Bernard Haldane Associates - How long can they continue to rip off the public? Use the ripoff reports to get media and your Attorney General's attention

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

I look at this site about every other week just to see if BH is continuing to RIP OFF vulnerable, unsuspecting people, looking for help.

It is mind blowing to believe that they continue to get away their practices. I am also blown away to continue to hear, and read, statements by their corporate spokesperson Liz Vogel.

MS. Vogel continues to tout how they are a good, caring, upstanding company. I picture MS. Vogel sitting at her desk with firemans suit on answering the phone. It appears they only react, if at all, when attorneys, newspapers, and government agencies threaten to get involved.

I do not know how any of these BH people sleep at night. I wonder how well they would sleep in a jail cell? I BECAME A VICTIM OF BERNARD HALDANE ABOUT 6 MONTHS AGO. If you have been a victim, I would encourage you to do the following:

1. Contact your states Attorney Generals Office. (this is what they are there for.)

2. Contact the investigative reporters of your local news TV stations, and newspapers, (they eat up this kind of thing.)

3. Consult with an attorney on your own. Most upstanding lawyers will supply you with a free consultation. If they feel you have a good case, most will take the case on a percentage basis of any recovery. (File a lawsuit against BH.)

4. Tell everyone you know about this company, especially anyone you know that is unemployed (they are the target victim of BH.) Bad news travels faster than good news.

Lastly, print out 20 or 30 of the postings from this site where people have been ripped off, and send that information to whom ever you have made a contact with at the newspaper, TV, Attorney Generals Office, etc. It will certainly get peoples attention. Also, if you do go to see an attorney on your own, also bring copies of the postings. This without question will increase your chances of a private attorney representing you in filing a lawsuit against BH.

You also have to say this to yourself, how many people have really been ripped off by BH. I would guess that 99% of them do not even know about this site. This site of complaints is probably just the tip of the mountain.

GO AFTER THEM and good luck.
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

I have sound advise for all of you who were thinking about paying a recruiter to find you a job, DON'T DO IT!!!!

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

After reading about Bernard Haldane and their poor business practices I have sound advise for all of you who were thinking about paying a recruiter to find you a job, DON'T DO IT!!!!

I have been a successful "headhunter" for the past 10 years and it is well known that any ligit recruiter will be paid by the company, not the candidate. There are a lot of firms out there like a Bernard Haldane who will take your money and will provide you nothing but false hope. This just adds to the agony of being unemployed. They prey on the weak and the desperate. Contact a ligit recruiter that you feel comfortable with. They should be honest with you, and tell you whether or not they can help you or not.

I dare anyone employed by these ripoff firms to reply. I would love to hear what these maggots have to say.
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#6 Author of original report

two-year investigation by the Kansas attorney general's office that resulted in the company paying $300,000 fraud charges

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


Bernard Haldane Associates business practices are UNSATISFACTORY according to California Better Business Bureau Offices

Better Business Bureau File Experience #1

We rate Bernard Haldane Associates as having an unsatisfactory business performance record. The rating is based on a pattern of complaint allegations of unfulfilled contracts.

Bernard Haldane describes itself as a career counseling service. They do not secure or promise to secure employment. Nor do they send out resumes or contact potential employers on behalf of clients.

Complaints allege that the company misrepresented their ability to secure employment for clients. Others allege general dissatisfaction with the services. After the fees were paid, no jobs were offered. The company responded to most complaints by making full or partial refunds. Some complaints are closed as unresolved, meaning the complainants are not satisfied with the company's response.

We urge careful review of the company's agreement. If the company or its representatives promise employment, be certain to obtain that promise or guarantee in writing. Do not rely on verbal promises or representations.

Better Business Bureau File Experience #2

Based on BBB files, Bernard Haldane Associates has an unsatisfactory record with the Bureau due to its failure to honor an arbitration award after committing to do so.

In March 2001, this company has failed to comply with an arbitration decision within the timeframe allocated by the arbitrator. This company also has had several complaints concerning difficulty in understanding their contracts and refund practices where there is a long delay in receiving a refund.

Bernard Haldane Associates employee in England admits there isn't the type of direct access to jobs that he was led to believe as a client and there are incentives to take on as many clients as possible


Bernard Haldane Associates

Anyone who's mapping out a career knows to expect twists and turns along the way. Insider information is often the route to finding the perfect job.

In 1999 Adrian Smith saw a Bernard Haldane Associates job hunting advertisement which promised to help him find "one of the non advertised better jobs that are available".

What Adrian Smith didn't expect when he signed up to Bernard Haldane Associates was that the career path they would map out for him would be a road to nowhere. Adrian explained to the program that he wanted to emigrate to Canada. Bernard Haldane advertised that they had offices in the United States and Canada. Adrian didn't have any contacts in Canada so he contacted Bernard Haldane Associates.

The company market themselves as the "oldest and largest career management organization in the world." Over 50 years of experience doesn't come cheap, this service cost Adrian 3,700. Adrian told Watchdog that he was assigned an adviser, who spent six weeks in discussion with him about his strengths, his weaknesses, and what path he wanted his career to take, this formed the basis for him writing his own CV. What Adrian really needed was access to the non advertised jobs, as he explained:

"I said well, how are we going to market me to Canadian companies and the first thing that they said was, 'Do you work for a company that's Canadian. Have you got any friends or family there?' The reason why I'd chosen Bernard Haldane is because I don't have any friends or family who can help me. "Adrian was also given a list of Canadian recruitment agencies. For more than 3,500 he was expecting a bit more.

Feeling lost, he went back to his contract."

He'd been promised, "a full program of career consulting, career development and contact development which the client implements" Adrian took this to mean he'd be in the frame for jobs only Haldane's experts knew about, that he was buying that specialist knowledge. But in his experience, they didn't seem to know much more than he did.

Ian Stoner, a purchasing manager from Cheshire, also signed up to Bernard Haldane Associates three years ago. He paid 3,172 for what he hoped would be a foot up the career ladder. Ian explained that he was told during his interviews with BHA that they had a way of opening doors in the unadvertised jobs market -which they claim account for something like 75% of all job movements during the year.

Although he found the career adviser's exercises interesting, that step up the career ladder remained elusive. Within a year from when Ian signed up he had one contact from an agency - which he feels he could have organized for himself.

Frederick Finch has sat both sides of a Bernard Haldane desk, as a client and as a sales consultant. Once he became an employee of the company he saw the whole program from a very different perspective. Frederick told Watchdog that as a client he had believed a lot of work would be done with you and for the client by Haldane.

The reality was that most of the work was done by the client.

Frederick also said that there isn't the type of direct access to jobs that he was led to believe as a client. Frederick told Watchdog that there are incentives to take on as many clients as possible because all Haldane sales consultants are paid on a commission only basis. He said that as a consultant if you don't recruit clients then you don't get paid.


Bernard Haldane Associates' Record in America

Bernard Haldane Associates are a franchise, with their head office in New York. According to Steve Rarrick, Deputy Attorney General in Kansas, it seems they have already made a name for themselves at home.

He explained to Watchdog:

"We prosecuted with them in 1999 and ultimately settled with them for about $80,000 for deceptive practices with regard to their employment services. And then entered into another settlement, but this time we finalized it with an official court consent decree here. They were ordered to pay $300,000 to consumers and did not admit any wrong-doing."

Steve Rarrick continued: "that the general gist of complaints were that they were being promised things that the company wasn't providing. That they would bypass personnel, get them in touch with the decision makers. That they had this 'secret network' that just simply did not exist."

Back in the UK, having failed to find work in Canada, Adrian Smith was still looking for a job. He told Bernard Haldane Associates he didn't want to work in London, they sent him three job vacancies - two of them in London. When Adrian complained, BHA offered him an unwelcome six month extension to his contract.

Adrian now has a new job, one that he found all by himself.

Having spent three years and over 3,000 Adrian feels he's got very little from Bernard Haldane Associates. Perhaps the oldest and largest career management organization in the world could do with some career advice itself.
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#7 Author of original report

two-year investigation by the Kansas attorney general's office that resulted in the company paying $300,000 fraud charges

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

Former client sues career counselor Bernard Haldane & Associates


The Kansas City Star

A former client has sued career counseling company Bernard Haldane & Associates for $75,000, alleging he was misled into paying $7,425 for services he never received.

Kevin Kemmerer of Overland Park claims in his lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Johnson County District Court, that Haldane falsely promised it had access to "hidden job markets" and to "hiring decision-makers" that would allow him to bypass normal job interviewing processes.

A spokeswoman for Bernard Haldane's national office in New York said she could not comment on the lawsuit. But she said that the company's Kansas offices are now under new management and that the company has initiated reforms throughout the country.

Kemmerer's lawsuit is the first to be filed in the wake of a two-year investigation by the Kansas attorney general's office that resulted in the company paying $300,000 to settle allegations of fraud. Haldane did not admit any wrongdoing.

More than 450 former clients complained to the attorney general about Haldane after stories detailing client woes first appeared two years ago in The Kansas City Star. Kemmerer also filed a complaint with the attorney general's office.

Kemmerer said he opted out of the attorney general's settlement and decided to sue after learning he would only get a fraction of his money refunded. Refunds amounted to about 13 percent of what individuals paid Haldane in fees.

"That just seemed to add insult to injury," Kemmerer said in an interview. "At first you feel like it was a costly mistake on your part. But the more I read about it, and heard stories about other people, the angrier I got."

Kemmerer's attorney, Nathan Harbur, said Kemmerer's story is typical of other consumers who have contacted him.

"They were led by advertisements that appeared to offer jobs, as opposed to job counseling," he said. "And it wasn't just financial. The experiences affected these people emotionally."

Kemmerer said he approached Haldane in October 2000 when the company he worked for filed for bankruptcy.

"My head wasn't where it is now. I was beat up mentally," he said.

Kemmerer said he was pressured by the company into paying upfront fees.

He said that the assistance he received from Haldane was superficial and that he was never put in touch with job sources.

Kemmerer said he eventually stopped attending Haldane meetings and found a job through his own contacts in the financial services industry. He is now a vice president of a financial planning company.

Elizabeth Vogel, a spokeswoman for Bernard Haldane's headquarters in New York, acknowledged the lawsuit but said she could not comment. But she said: "I can tell you we do now have a new management team in place (in Kansas) since November 2002."

The original owner of the Bernard Haldane franchises in Overland Park and Wichita was Reed Freeman Management Group, which also is named in the lawsuit. A request for information from the Overland Park office was referred to New York.

Vogel also said the bad experiences of clients in Kansas had resulted in an effort to ensure they don't happen elsewhere.

She said that, among other changes, the company has hired a director of quality assurance to make sure its offices adhere to stated company standards. She said it has also initiated a new client care campaign and installed a toll-free hot line, which is promoted on its Web site, that clients can call if they have a complaint.

"We looked very hard at what happened in Kansas," Vogel said. "We hope there is good that will come out of this."

She said the company will place a greater emphasis on showing clients the value of networking and better explain the concept of a hidden job market, which she said some clients misunderstood.

Kemmerer doesn't feel appeased, however.

"In my opinion, it was smoke and mirrors. They hung these catch phrases out there for people to latch on to, and in reality there was nothing to it," he said.

No hearing dates will be set in the case until after Bernard Haldane has a chance to respond to the lawsuit.
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