Report: #150742

Complaint Review: George S May International

  • Submitted: Thu, July 21, 2005
  • Updated: Sun, December 02, 2012
  • Reported By: Charlotte North Carolina
  • George S May International

    Park Ridge, Illinois
    United States of America

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I am a former employee of GSM, luckily I didn't give them too much of my time before quit. I purposely didn't read the Rip-Off Reports about them while I was in training for an analyst position because I wanted to give them a fair chance.

After the training, which was a week and a half of long hours being indoctrinated (brainwashed) with their materials, we weren't even allowed to return home before we were put out on an assignment. People were there from all over the country and had to travel with two week's worth of baggage because they said it was important that we got "right out on the job".

In reality, there was no reason to be treated that way other than to at least get us on one job before we quit; and as is their tactic with clients, not give anyone think to evaluate and think!

I stayed with the company for a few weeks and never did get a "go ahead"; however, I refused to "hound" people until they signed up for something that was obviously not in their best interest; and in EVERY case, the sales person had mis-represented what the analysis was going to cover and what it was going to lead to. In hindsite, I am SO glad that the 2 or 3 clients that almost took the service did not take it. I don't think I could have lived with myself.

The first and major problem is that the clients are lied to by the sales people. If the clients were told the truth up front, probably 90% of them would never let the "analyst" in the door. None of them know that the real "solution" will cost them THOUSANDS of dollars, and that they will be required to make the decision to spend this money in ONE DAY!

No one in their right mind makes a decision to spend thousands of dollars without "sleeping on it"--but that is GSM's strategy exactly--don't let them have time to think about it--AND make them think they're doing a dis-service to their business and their family by not taking immediate action.

As an analyst, we are not allowed to have further contact with the clients, so we never know if what we sold for thousands of dollars happened or not, but in most cases, it does not happen. Sure, they have a booklet that advertises 10-12 happy clients, but what happened to the other thousands of clients that they say they serve each year.

Also, they don't tell you that they MAKE a client sign a paper that they were happy with the service before the consultant will leave. So to get them out the door and stop the meter from running, you HAVE to sign the paper.

This company is horrible to work for. You are treated like scum--yelled at, belittled, told to stay on an assignment when you know that it is not going to be a go. You are told to make yourself a pest until they sign up just to get rid of you. They want you to stay when the analysis is obviously over for any number of reasons--they even want you to track people down who are decision makers if they are out of town and the sales person didn't tell them they had to be there!

They tell you in the beginning that it is NOT a sales job; but, believe me, this is the most high pressuring sales job you could ever have--and anyone who has ever been successful at this job has been very good at high pressure sales, with the ability to do the psychological twist of actually making the client "ask" for help, i.e., that's how they call it NOT a sales job, because you have to get the client to ask you for help before you can "recommend" their company for the services.

However, it is even worse for the poor companies that are scammed into taking the service. At least when you work for them, you are only out your time for training and the time you spend trying to sell the service until you realize what it really is, come to your senses, and quit. The poor businesses who buy the service are out thousands of dollars for little more than a few excel spreadsheets and the embarrassment of having been scammed.

Obviously, the main reason people apply for and go to work for GSM is because they promise the ability to make lots of money. Well, if you can get them to tell you their annual sales, (which they won't, but you can make an educated guess when you read their materials and go thru the training), use the number of consultants they say they have, and do the math--people are not making huge sums of money. I suspect the only ones making the money are the few people who are actually running the company, which really isn't very big when you actually look at the place and consider the people they have training and acting as SENEX's.

I could go on & on, but I won't. Please just BEWARE!!

Amy Beaumont, Texas

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/21/2005 02:39 PM and is a permanent record located here: 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

GSMIC, not a scam, just outdated practices

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


I attended the George S. May International Company's Executive Analyst's training in early July '05. I walked away with a different impression than your's.

GSMIC paid for our airfare to attend their training. We were provided a nice room at a La Quinta hotel during the 10 day training. And, we were provided a $20.00 per day per diem to cover our lunch and dinner [a complimentary breakfast was provided by the hotel]. We had one person in the course whose sole objective was to get a free seminar in sales tactics. He pointed out that a seminar would cost seveal hundred dollars, and up to a couple thousand. GSMIC provided it for free and covered all the associated expenses.

When going out on a survey, it should be pointed out that GSMIC did pay for your airfare. And, they did provide you with a $90.00 per day per diem as well as 40 cents per mile between the airport and the city where your survey was conducted.

Most businesses begin with someone who is good at his profession, but has little or no business training. GSMIC provides these small businesses with that business experience. Over that last century, universities and academics and disected business. Business and management have been reduced to a few scientifically defined elements and principles. One can go to school to learn these principles; or one can work for most of one's life to gain the experience to realize these principles with insight.

Most small business cannot afford to hire MBAs with the necessary knowledge. Nor do small businesses usually have the time for the owner to go back to school. The alternative is to hire business consultants. The business consultant imposes the scientifically defined principles upon the business. This is the business strategy. Along with the owners input, the consultant creates the tactics necessary to fulfill the strategy.

Just as someone would go to an attorney for professional legal advice for legal problems, the business owner turns to professional business advice for business problems. Attorney professional fees are $200, $500, or more per hour. GSMIC charges $182, which is quite within the market range of similar professional fees.

One thing that many struggling small business have to contend with is discipline. The typical small business owner is very well skilled; but he did not want to work within the discipline imposed by his former boss. One central feature to establishing the business processes and procedures is to also impose proper business discipline. So, GSMIC is big on formality. The Executive Analyst represents the institution of business, which is commonly refered to as - corporate America.

There is a need for business consultants. And, GSMIC has a niche among them.

I do agree that GSMIC has its problems:

- The training lacked structure. Having no syllabus suggests that things were not planned out very well.

- GSMIC has an extremely high employee turnover ratio. GSMIC tells its clients that high employee turnover indicates problems that need to be corrected.

- Senexes do improperly pressure analysts. Modern free-will employment theory requires flexibility on the part of the company to cater to the employees wants. GSMIC interpretations tend to be outdated, from the 1950s.

- Also, GSMIC's technology is quickly becoming outdated. They need to advance their surveys to PDA technology and email, not laptops with fax ports.

- With the new generation that will not tolerate the old high pressure work conditions of the last generation, GSMIC needs to rapidly modify its workplace to keep pace with the times. After all, business consultants help business with the latest trends. GSMIC must be a trendsetter, not a dinosaur slowly moving towards extinction.

- GSMIC is reactive, not proactive.

I argue that George S May could use a little George S May. How can GSMIC expect to provide clients with skills that GSMIC, itself, does not practice.

I appreciated my time with GSMIC. I did not earn any money; but I did not lose money either. I am too accustomed to the liberal atmosphere that propelled Citigroup to the world's largest company. GSMIC has been stagnant too long to be a viable choice for employment. But, GSMIC gave me insights into common feature in sales practices. There are very distinct similarities between the scripts and processes used in GSMIC and Primerica.

When running a legal search on GSMIC, there is not an extraordinary amount of litigation taking place. Nor would a scam operate for 80 years while earning $1,150,000 per year without the government taking notice. GSMIC has its usefulness in providing small business with basic business structures. Unfortunately, its methods are quickly waning in the culture of the newly rising generation.
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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

How can you believe that this company benefitted you in any way?

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

I am always amazed when I see a posting from anyone who had a positive experience with GSM. I usually write them off as an apologist for the company that is probably still employed there and trying to curry favor with his/her higher ups or someone that is trying to justify what they are out there doing to their clients.

I lasted far longer than anyone in my class (six months) and can attest to the accuracy of all that has been posted by former employees. Rather than rehash what Amy, or any other truthful ex-employee has said, I wish to address one question that I know people must ask themselves when they finally stumble onto this site;

why don't more ex-employees come forward?

Let me give you some personal background before I dive into my response. I am probably the typical GSM recruit. I had a degree in

business, I had succeeded in reaching the officer level in a fortune 500 company and I had "the look," the white shirt, dark suit,

polished shoes, expensive watch and the graying temples that just screamed integrity and knowledge. Oh yeah...and I had been laid off

from my $100,000 plus position due to downsizing, and for the first time in my life had been forced to really look for a job.

After six months of sending out a couple of hundred resumes and getting very few calls of interest from anyone really reputable or being told at interview after interview that I was too experienced or wouldn't be happy starting

at such a great reduction in salary (truth be told I would have been happy just to work) the George S. May Company called me. I felt absolute relief at hearing that "one of the oldest and largest consulting firms in the world" was interested in me and was discussing a position where I could make, "as one of their top

performers over $175,000." It got even better, my plane fares would be covered and I would receive a per diem to cover my travel expenses, and INSURANCE!!! I was directed, very carefully, to their website to investigate the position further and then set up with an appointment to meet their recruiter.

If you have actually applied to GSM or have been contacted by them in response to your resume being posted on Monster then you have undoubtedly received the same spiel...I know, because on occasion I was the person calling you up to set the appointment! That's right,

even the recruiting call is scripted, and in such a way as to sound enticing without giving too much information. In retrospect I heard

in your voices the same relief that I know I had in mine when I eagerly accepted the invitation to meet with the recruiter (the psychology that these guys use is truly frightening).

I watched the video on the website and realized that this was truly my calling; I was going to be helping small to mid-size business

owners get back their dreams! I would be traveling to wonderful locations and meeting with people who have decided they needed the

help of outside experts and since I would undoubtedly be one of the top producers I would be paid at the level that I was used to. What

could possibly be the downside, right?

Evidently this initial scam works quite well amongst its target market; the desperate displaced executive. In my class we had

M.B.A.s, lawyers, bankers, former business owners, Silicon Valley casualties and a couple of young, aggressive wanna-bees that fell

for the pitch too. After the well documented training sessions with the lovely Diane Gill, we were sent out, one at a time/one to a

taxi, to travel home before leaving for our first assignment the following week. I probably should have paid a bit more attention to

the cab driver that took me to the airport because believe me, he knew more about the company, its turnover rate, and the probability

of my failure than I ever did.

I honestly felt, initially, that I was doing good for the business owners that I was calling on. The reality of the small business owner is that very few of them have the business skills or discipline, as Mr. Primerica states,to

effectively run (by business school standards) their own operations, . I met people who had no idea how to read their Profit and Loss statements, didn't know their profit margins, had employees stealing them blind, truly were heading down the path to bankruptcy and had

no one to turn to for help. I was the answer...I followed the script because I knew that, even if the methods seemed canned, the ultimate goal was to get these people the help they needed from the experts that would be following me. I was good...I could make the clients laugh or cry and I was getting closer to attaining that auto pilot attitude where I could mouth whatever "the council" wanted me to say. I was set on my new career with GSM except for one part; how would these people pay for the $40,000 in services

that I was telling them they needed?

That's right, I could beat them into submission, get them to admit their faults, recognize that they had to call us in or face certain ruin, I just couldn't buy into the concept that we would take their last bit of cash flow to help them. I had Senexs tell me to get them on a certain credit card website to see if they could qualify for a new card to finance the services (at 18% annual interest). I was told to "roll up my sleeves" and call their overdue accounts to see

if we could generate enough cash flow to "just get started." It was suggested that they call their families to see if there was a way to

pool finances to get us in the door, to cover just one day (so that the next crew could have an opportunity to locate the money for the

rest of the contract). Well, I couldn't do it...oh at first it made sense, after all I was saving their company, but after awhile I

realized that if these people actually had the cash flow to finance our services they probably didn't need us and if they had no money, how on earth were they going to pay us?

I also began to question the quality of the "experts" from Management Services that followed me when I began to notice on my

commission statements that very few of my jobs actually ran for the full term. Granted there were a couple that did, and a couple that

ran over but by and large the vast majority ended very quickly. What was going on after I left? We were forbidden by the company from

contacting our clients after we left their premises so I couldn't call to find out but I did have to do a couple of personal turnovers

(where the Analyst turns over the account personally to the Management Services people at the business with the client present).

I found out that these weren't the advanced specialists that we were led to believe...they were simply analysts that couldn't cut it in

the field and for whatever reason stayed on with GSM for a while longer. There job was just to print out the boilerplate notebook, eat up

billable hours and stay on as long as the client could tolerate them. It sounds harsh I know, but in my mind the one justification for my actions was that I was bringing in experts,....yeah,....right.

I got quite a few go aheads but because I was never able to make it to the elusive "x contract" the money was truly negligible. In the

time I was there my commissions never went over $22,000, I did qualify for their insurance, which incidentally is very good...probably because no one ever gets to use it. I realized early on that what I was doing wasn't entirely right but I managed to convince myself that it wasn't entirely wrong either and then the company

psychology kicks in... my Senex informed me that I was being considered for a management trainee position!! That's right after just a few short months they saw in me the talent necessary to

become a Senex! That would mean I wouldn't have to leave my family every Sunday night, I wouldn't have to stay in flea bag motels (which Mr. Primerica, are all you can afford after paying for your car, out of the $90 per diem), I

wouldn't have to drive till two or three in the morning to get to the small town where my unsuspecting victim's business was located.

I just needed to play the game a little better, and get a little more ruthless at taking peoples money.

Wow, essentially if I gave up all semblance of integrity in just a short time I could be the idiot screaming at bewildered, former professionals reduced to being Executive Analysts! I actually got to shadow these people (Senexs) and believe me they are every bit as

intimidated by their higher ups as an analyst is. The difference is that they know they are selling crap...and for that they can not be

forgiven. I was almost willing to make this compact with the devil until a client brought the Rip-off Report to my attention (in a not

so subtle way, I might add). I was astonished, this had never been discussed in training, and what made it even more disturbing was that everything I read rang true. The Senex I was working with just had the same, lame excuse cited by others, its just disgruntled ex- employees,...even Disney has complaints on this website,...don't worry about it, most people will never even read it.

Well I did, as often as I could, and the more I read the more ashamed I became of what I was doing. Here it was in black and white, the whole horrible "act," and not just for me to see but also my friends, my previous co-workers, and my family. Never had I been ashamed of what I did for employment until I joined the George S.

May International Company. It has taken some time to admit to myself that I was duped by this ridiculous operation. It took many nights

in many "fleabag" motels, many hours sitting bored out of my mind at airports awaiting my next assignment, many holidays and birthdays

away from family, and many months of facing virtual financial ruin to realize just how badly I had been had. I can not say that I ever

look forward to meeting any of my former clients again because I simply can't face them knowing the economic hardship I undoubtedly put them through.

I do not nor can not justify my actions or those of GSM. They are a highly effective organization when it comes to preying on the fears of both the small business owners they call on and the unemployed business professionals they hire. What this company does and the money it makes are two separate issues. I imagine a drug dealer is very profitable as well but the effect he has on his client could hardly be called beneficial.
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#3 Consumer Comment

How Can You Compare?

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

I don't see the connection between the billing rate of an attorney that has completed four years of college plus law school and that of someone from an unknown background that has been trained for ten days.
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