Saturday, June 12, 2004

Scam Report: Bernard Haldane Associates

This report, due to circumstances, must remain a Buyer Beware report.

I simply don't have enough information to prove any wrong doing by the company Bernard Haldane. All I have is a very bad taste in my mouth from the bait dangled before me.

I received and invitation to an 'interview':

We have had the opportunity to screen your resume on [websiteName] and upon review would like to invite you in for a consultation meeting/career evaluation

Right away, I thought, "This is some head hunter," so I was already on my guard. So I googled the company up and investigated their career change form (the one that offered a report). After three pages of forms, they referred me to the local Bernard Haldane office.

Okay, so I phoned the number from the original email. The lady asked me to set up an appointment, and, wanting to practices my new-found phoning skills, I proceeded to ask what I could expect to get out of the consultation. I was surprised when the woman's hackles went up.

Her abrupt change of tone rang warning bells and I pushed a bit harder for more information. She said that "if I didn't already know what kind of service they were offering, then perhaps the consultation wasn't for me."

What? Now who was sounding out-right rude?

So I canceled the interview.

And did some more research.

I was surprised to locate at least 12 different web addresses that hit on a google on company's name. The sites were all variations on haldane or jobhunter. The websites vary from very professional-looking to clunky and old-school. The hype level is high but actual company information is sparse. My first visit to the highest hit was professional and stated that this 50+ year old company has offices in North America, Europe and the UAE.

What I didn't see on my first exploration was that there are other people complaining about or suing this company. One guy said that the company are members of the US BBB but that he had found 500 complaints about this company.

My search of the Canadian BBB also found a lawsuit from 2002.

Like I said, I don't have any proof that this is a bad company, but I certainly don't regret canceling my appointment with them. I don't need practice saying no to high pressure sales and a fee of excess of $1300

[edit] This post has languished as a 'draft' post for more than a month now. It is time to post it and move on.

On digging a bit deeper, I have found a little bit more information about this company.

  • I found a transcript of a W-Five program about the practices of this company.
  • I found a reference to the original company in the latest copy of What colour is your Parachute?, 2004: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters & Career-Changers by Richard Nelson Bolles.

Mr. Bolles states that Bernard Haldane, the founder of this company was a brilliant man who started a job placement company just after the second world war. Haldane sold the company about a decade ago and it has grown exponentially to 90 locations. Mr. Bolles couldn't recommend the new company services either.

So I leave it to you. If you are desperate enough, perhaps you want to spend $3,000 to $7,000 getting a spruced up resume and some job search pointers. Apparently, this is the only service they provide and there is no guarantee that you will be successful landing that perfect job.

Or you can pick up a copy of Parachute for $17.00 and it will give you the skinny on how you REALLY can get the job of your dreams. The choice is yours.

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