ED Magedson – Founder
McKenzie Scott Career Transition Services (AKA) McKenzie Scott mckenzie scott+its+complaintsMultiple Physical Locations - Headquarters In Colorado (?) Nationwide United States of America
McKenzie Scott Career Transition Services (AKA) McKenzie Scott ripoff, inattentiveness, unresponsive, incomplete campaign, invalid services Nationwide Locations And Internet Nationwide
McKenzie Scott enrolls its clients by essentially telling them what the client wants to hear in terms of potential earnings and positions the client desires - regardless of qualifications. They also reference a number of nationally and internationally known big companies that they reportedly have assisted in placing these company's former employees after a mass layoff or downsizing. In retrospect, this leads one to ask a couple of unanswered questions. Was MCKS successful in helping the downsized clients in getting a new position elsewhere? How successful was MCKS in assisting clients who did not necessarily have experience with large and or widely recognized companies? Let's face it, as impressive as it sounds not everyone has experience in the big companies or the like that MCKS reportedly has helped in the past. So where does it leave these prospective clients?
McKenzie Scott leads one to believe that they will be pro-active in your search as a coach however in my experience, MCKS is re-active at best. The term reactive is relative, as the client must initiate all contact and is frequently required to call or e-mail several times in order to get a response from the MCKS representative or coach to the extent that it should be more aptly titled delayed reactive. Even when the client is fortunate enough to get a response, it quickly becomes clear that the MCKS representative is not leading the client in a marketing campaign, it's more of a quick answer session just to satisfy the client's immediate questions and get off the phone they just don't want to be bothered because their fee has been already received from the client (but actually not really earned!)
Shortly after enrollment, my MCKS coach (Jim Zuzzolo) left the company without telling me. I was in the midst of following up on a couple of job leads and needed some advice from my coach. Many e-mails and voicemail messages were left over the course of approximately a month or so - no response. I finally had to contact (Hugh McDermott) the MCKS representative that "enrolled" me at the Roseland, NJ office to find out what was up. This contact was also not easily accomplished as, in retrospect, it seems that inattentiveness, for lack of a better term, is a common theme regardless of which MCKS office or representative you are working with.
Nevertheless, once I did contact the person who enrolled me I informed him of my abandonment. I was reassigned to another representative (Gerry Burton). As I was working with my new representative (#2) for several months, I continuously experienced problems with the level of attentiveness and communication. This affected our ability to utilize all of the facets or functions that MCKS reportedly has available as part of their campaign to market me to prospective employers. It was if I reportedly had a high performance 8 cylinder engine (the campaign as a whole) but was only able to get 4 cylinders to function at any particular time. It was very frustrating.
After an extended period of no communication with MCKS representative #2, I complained to the headquarters in Colorado. After several weeks, Jack Bailey, SVP of Client Services working out of the Pittsburgh office eventually offered me an opportunity to extend my contract by 1 year as well as additional mailing distributions to venture capitalists and recruiters. These additional distributions were reportedly to occur electronically which leads me to another problem with the McKenzie Scott program to be discussed herein later.
I was then assigned to representative #3 (Linda Burke) who was located in a 3rd satellite office. Please note that every time I changed MCKS representatives, I would have to start over with them in terms of bringing them up to speed as to where I was in my campaign, my address and contact information and otherwise again getting all cylinders in the engine primed and fueled. Each time it became readily apparent that regardless of whom I was working with, MCKS was not keeping notes on what I was doing, how to contact me, what my complaints were, whether my contract was extended, who I was interviewing with or anything else that would assist an MCKS representative in satisfying my campaign or customer service needs. Another point to keep in mind is that throughout my campaign I was and still am working a full-time job so my time is very valuable to me. It is therefore very important to spend my time maximizing my exposure to potential employers rather than waste it on housekeeping issues like bringing one MCKS rep after another up to speed or chasing my MCKS rep for advice or information.
Nevertheless in most cases, I was not given an opportunity to start the program from the beginning. Meaning that if I was originally entitled to a number of electronic (e-mail?) distributions as well as US (snail mail) mail distributions, I was not permitted to do them again because my program was essentially starting over with a new representative. Due to the passing of time caused by the typical cycle of inattentiveness, MCKS housekeeping issues and the prolonged process of resolving a problem or being transferred to another MCKS representative, my campaign as a whole was negatively affected.
Although I agreed to a new representative #3 as part of my extension of my contract, the start of this relationship was also needlessly delayed to the point that the representative found the time to send me a note in the mail but could not find the time to either e-mail me or simply pick up the phone. This was obviously a sore point based upon my prior experience at MCKS, yet nobody at MCKS really seemed to care. It should be noted that prior to that time the abandonment feeling was verbalized to MCKS in no uncertain terms which was part of the reason my contract was extended.
After working with MCKS representative #3 for only a brief amount of time, she informed me that she was leaving the company. She was in the process of reportedly getting 1 of the electronic distributions done (as agreed in the contract extension) when she left. There was never any actual proof provided to me that this distribution was completed. In my experience with MCKS and prior to being involved with MCKS, any time I did an electronic or snail mail mass mailing to employers, recruiters or the like, I would receive a number of replies. These "replies" were not necessarily expressing interest in me as an employee - although some did. I would, at the very least, receive an acknowledgement from some of the companies or recruiters merely thanking me for expressing interest in them and stating that they would keep my resume on file for future consideration - or something to that effect... In the case of the electronic mailing that representative #3 reportedly arranged for prior to her leaving MCKS, I did not receive a single e-mail, post card, letter or any correspondence that would lead me to believe that the mailing actually occurred.
To date, the other electronic distribution that I was promised in conjunction with my written contract extension through Jack Bailey, SVP of Client Services, has not taken place. This was mentioned to subsequent MCKS reps but never addressed. In other words, I have never been provided with any acknowledgement from MCKS that representative #3 or any MCKS representative since then has completed this distribution as agreed in Mr. Bailey's January 5, 2005 written contract extension. In addition, from a practical standpoint, I again have not received any replies or acknowledgments from any prospective employer or recruiter that they even know of my existence let alone have a copy of my resume and contact information
Based upon my insistence, representative #3 made a point of letting me know who would be my next MCKS representative (#4) - Paul Bokelmann. This gentleman (#4) established contact with me faster than the previous replacement representatives had done, but relatively speaking that is not really very impressive. During the course of working with him for a couple of months, I continued to experience a lack of timely response or miscommunications that were probably based upon a lack of sharing of my information within MCKS but nevertheless out of my control.
There was a time in which I could not gain access to the MCKS client website which allows clients to order research on companies and recruiters and so forth and search for job listings. The website is the hub of the wheel for MCKS clients in terms of their services and campaign resources. Apparently, with all the distractions that I was experiencing in getting a new representative, doing my own mailings and follow-ups based upon earlier MCKS sponsored research, my website password was deactivated due to inactivity - at least that is what I was told. This was probably the 2nd or 3rd time I was unable to access the MCKS client website for one reason or another. This website is different than the website utilized to market or recruit new MCKS clients- it is mcks.net rather than mckenziescott.com. As simple as it should be for me to reach my representative at MCKS or any MCKS rep to assist me in getting my password reactivated or resolving my access problem to the client website, this was usually a multi-day if not week(s) long ordeal. Yet another mechanism that interrupts or damages a campaign another cylinder of the engine that is not running.
Eventually there was a period of 2-3 weeks in which I could not reach representative #4 or he always claimed he would call me back shortly and then fail to do so. This was at a critical time in which I was in the process of interviewing with a prospective employer and I could have used some information on the company as well as some coaching advice about handling the interview process... Bear in mind, that throughout my involvement my training was lacking and I simply am unaware of all of the resources that are available to me as part of my campaign much less how to utilize the resources. It is therefore imperative that I am able to speak with my MCKS rep or coach to learn of the resource and how to use it as well as get the coach's perspective on the situation
After leaving several messages with representative #4, I finally was handed off to representative #5 Melissa Kendrick. This was at a point in which she could no longer assist me with the interview process referenced above. I then learned that representative #4's wife was experiencing health problems that apparently affected representative #4's work. With all due respect, under the circumstances this could and should have been handled better because it went on entirely too long and probably affected too many MCKS clients including myself... A simple voicemail left on his office and cellular phone which redirected his clients to another MCKS representative would have been just fine. An automated return e-mail message to the same effect would have been good too.
These are simple fixes that literally could have taken representative #4 a couple of minutes to do and if he did not have the time, another MCKS representative could have done so easily on his behalf. If it was not for the length of time that rep #4 was unavailable, I would feel terrible about the health circumstances as an excuse for being abandoned. But based upon the length of time and the track record of all the MCKS reps or coaches, I resent being placed in a position that I appear to be an insensitive person.
Representative #5 and I began to move ahead in my efforts to get all cylinders of my marketing campaign up and running. This effort was again interrupted, this time for good reason, by an extended period of interviewing and negotiation with an employer that took a couple of months. When that was beginning to stall, I continued my own efforts of searching on the internet (using other non-MCKS search engines) and I sent out my own mass mailings using information that I had previously obtained from MCKS website research sources. These mailings and searches are time-consuming. Once they were completed I consulted with representative #5 to see what other things should be done to get all 8 cylinders of the campaign engine working. She suggested that I order more research off of the MCKS website. When I tried to do so my password was not working reportedly due to inactivity again.
I requested that it be reactivated. This was requested several times over the course of several days. I was told that this was a simple thing to rectify but it was not getting done. I turned up the heat and was eventually told that my contract had lapsed. This was not true - my contract does not expire until March 19, 2006. It was at this point that I began to realize that none of the MCKS representatives kept any cohesive notes about me or my campaign. Both rep #4 & 5 readily admit that they were completely unaware of my contract being extended until 2006. This was despite my efforts to brief them of my history at MCKS when I began working with each of them.
It has also grown apparent that MCKS is not truly interested in getting a complete and cohesive marketing campaign out to the public on my behalf. They are merely doing as little as possible to justify their ridiculously high fees while they count the days until the client's typical one year contract expires. If there are any complaints along the way, they have no interest in changing their behavior, they merely extend their contract and if anything, grow more inattentive.
If a client complains at any moment in time, they cite the terms of their fee agreement requiring arbitration and/or a small incremental refund that the client is reportedly entitled to at any particular time. This does not consider MCKS' inaction, inattentiveness or failure to act in the execution of the campaign or corresponding with clients.
From day one, MCKS' focus is more based upon sales rather than service. This was apparent in that they clearly do not have a central file or database set up on a client and/or simply do not refer to or update this file. Every representative that I have dealt with needed to get all of my contact information and few were apparently aware of the contract extension or its terms. When a change in representative occurred the new one did not know what I was doing with a potential employment lead or what research had been ordered... It was up to me the client to get them up to speed. I paid over $8500 for this service and I am basically serving as the coach, the team leader, the quarterback when I do not know all the players, playbook, resources, or the rules to the marketing game. I hired MCKS based upon their level of expertise and the resources that they reportedly have available. Yet I do not know all of those resources, I was not given adequate access to their expertise, nor do I know when, where and how to utilize the resources that are reportedly available. Let's not forget that I am working full-time at my current job.
It leads me to ask one question - who's the coach and who's the pupil? There seems to be no motivating factor for anyone at MCKS after the money has been paid up front. In order to get that, they fill your head with whatever you want to hear - puffing the whole way. When you ask what happens if your search takes more than the typical one year of your contract - they say in most cases they'll work something out to extend it (insinuating at no additional cost).
The training on the use of the website was in my case not sufficient. Perhaps part of this is attributed to being abandoned by my representative within a month of signing on or just being with so many reps in the last year or so. Nevertheless, there were reps that could not assist me in the use of the website or just did not want to be bothered when I was experiencing problems ordering research for yet another of my own mass mailings. I was referred to the Colorado headquarters for assistance but these people were only interested in technical problems not actually assisting me in setting up a search criteria as assigned to me by my rep or coach. Other reps were more knowledgeable with how to actually input the parameters into the website based research tool to get what we wanted. They would walk me through it or actually do it for me. You should note that I am very computer literate and I have experience in a number of programs as well as networking.
Training in all aspects the MCKS campaign occurred, in my case, at the Roseland office, over the course of a day - some of which was utilized for the completion of my contract and payment arrangements. Over the course of this time, things are done entirely too fast for you to retain the information long term. It seems like there is so much information or resources that you feel that you'll get a good marketing campaign into effect and receive a number of viable career paths to follow. In my case, my training was ineffective because of the volume of information that had to be covered in such a short time frame and also due to the fact that I had so many representatives and too many housekeeping issues to address. I simply feel that I never had a complete and cohesive campaign or marketing package on the street at any moment in time.
Job hunting in general is about churning up prospects via a number of different resources and constantly following up throughout the process of qualifying for the position as well as qualifying the employer as someone you'd like to work for and then moving through the interview and negotiating process. My abandonment issues can be categorized in essentially 3 ways. The first is when I experienced a true lack of an MCKS coach or representative assigned to manage my campaign as in the case of representative #1 and #3 when they reportedly left MCKS. The second is a constructive abandonment issue which is the result of not being able to reach my assigned MCKS coach or representative for a couple of days or more as in the case of all of the representatives at times but most notably reps #2 & #4. The third is an actual abandonment issue which is the result of not having access to the client website for job search leads and research purposes. This lack of client website access occurred for days, if not weeks, at a time for at least 3 instances.
While these issues of abandonment were inflammatory enough on their own, it is especially inflammatory when faced with a number of other housekeeping issues that kept me from devoting time to my actual campaign gaining exposure to qualified potential employers.
Throughout the description I have detailed above, I mention that I was involved with 5 McKenzie Scott representatives since March 2004. This is merely the number of coaches I have worked with at MCKS. There were a number of other MCKS employees with whom I had contact including a salesperson who enrolled me, one or two people that attempted to follow-up with me shortly after enrollment but with whom I never spoke to in detail. These people appeared to be some sort of quality assurance people who never really completed their follow-up. Frankly, the timeframe in which these people contacted me was relatively soon after enrollment. So soon that based upon the departure of representative #1 and the resulting abandonment and delay of my campaign, I could not give an informed evaluation.
There is another interesting thing that I noticed about MCKS. It seems that everyone has an impressive title usually they are at least a vice president or senior vice president. There are apparently a lot of MCKS offices nationwide if not worldwide and it is extremely difficult to figure out whom reports to whom. The titles are apparently there to lend additional credibility and otherwise impress clients - which in retrospect is not earned. There is little accountability or culpability in the ranks. I would venture to guess that at least some of this is by design.
Another issue that I have considered is that the changing of some of my representatives was an effort to limit my interaction or utilization of the coach's time as a resource in and of itself. Maybe some of my reps were merely going on a sabbatical rather than leaving the company. The way the agreement is written by MCKS it is difficult to quantify any of their guarantees. In my case, in the timeframe that is provided in the agreement as an evaluation time in which 100% is refundable, I could not make a true and accurate evaluation because of the abandonment issue and subsequent stalling of my campaign that resulted when coach #1 was MIA. I strongly believe that under the totality of the circumstances outlined above, no one, including an arbitrator or a jury of my peers, would conclude that I got what was promised
Long story short is that McKenzie Scott's customer support and level of communication is terrible. Their references to working with different high-profile companies are hard to verify due to bureaucracy. Their references to different electronic and snail mail mailings that they reportedly will do for a client are also hard to verify because they will not disclose the names of these recruiters, employers or the like to the client so there is no way of actually knowing whether this actually occurred or more importantly, whether these contacts are someone in a suitable market given the client's needs or qualifications.
Further, MCKS claims to have access to hidden jobs not yet publicized. Again, there is no proof.
It is a downright rip-off of the highest proportions. I have spent too much money and too much of my time trying to deal with the website and the multiple MCKS representatives on housekeeping issues rather than marketing myself to prospective employers. Based upon the fact that I am working a full-time job in addition to being the campaign leader. this was a waste of my valuable time in and of itself. I don't think my situation is terribly difficult based upon my background and education.
Frankly, I would not be upset if I did not land a new position in a year or so. I am upset in that I hired MCKS to develop and manage a marketing campaign for me at a cost of $8500+ and have not gotten the complete marketing campaign out to the general public due to countless problems in-house @ multiple branches with multiple representatives of MCKS.
I did not purchase the most expensive MCKS package on their menu but mine was pretty darn close to the top of the line. I hate to see what other less-expensive packages would have resulted in. And further, I would hate to think about how even more short-changed or ripped-off those clients that purchased a more expensive marketing campaign from McKenzie Scott now feel.
Here's another interesting point to keep in mind. As I made this complaint known to MCKS representatives #4 & 5 referenced herein, they requested a copy of the contract extension letter. They gave me the typical speech or veiled threat about saying something inappropriate and the need to go to arbitration as well as the likelihood of winning. They also expressed a desire to resolve this in a gentleman-like manner which I initially agreed to.
Since then, I have found a hard copy of the letter and have faxed it to them - as they requested. They have not acknowledged receipt of the fax, nor have they returned my phone call or e-mails requesting a confirmation of the fax. This is yet another reason why this complaint is being filed and is a prime example of the abandonment and other customer service issues. At this time, I am sure it is of no surprise for you to learn that my password for the mcks.net client website has still not been reactivated.
Terence Vineland, New Jersey
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/08/2005 12:35 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/mckenzie-scott-career-transition-services-aka-mckenzie-scott-mckenzie-scottitscomplaints/nationwide/mckenzie-scott-career-transition-services-aka-mckenzie-scott-ripoff-inattentiveness-un-167237. 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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