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SMS, Buffalo Grove, Illinois Complaints & Reviews - SMS , ROI-NA, IPA, ABS, GPS are all a scam

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SMS

Posted: 2011-01-21 by    

SMS , ROI-NA, IPA, ABS, GPS are all a scam

Complaint Rating:  89 % with 215 votes
89% 215
SMS offers a complete business analysis compiled with a one day study on your business and it takes 45 minutes or so to talk to them and that's it. SMS is known to increase profits. Better known for giving an analysis on their own merit, hoping that you will hire them and pay for their services should you feel you need them. I own a contracting company in Arizona and just in the first 15 minutes I knew the analyst had an eye for my business and much experience.
There is no catch. Instead of sending someone by to try and sell you, they basically give you a free analysis (done on their time and their own money) that shows you how to increase profits not modify your operations. If you don't see benefit in the analysis you don't have to pay or ever talk to them again.
I didn't pay for the analysis because the first few things I learned from the analyst in our focus meeting before the analysis opened my eyes to a few things and honestly, I make cabinets. 80% of my business is operational and 20% is financial. These guys study many businesses every week and they are proven to increase profits. I have never seen a company do this kind of work and put so much money up front to try and impress and they did.
No development/resource firm gives you a no obligation benefit. I was very wary of who they were. I figured out they have 3 different divisions and that there were a few issues they ran into in the past, but since I am open minded and looking for way to improve constantly (even though i make money every year) I gave it a shot and learned a few very good things about the business side I didn't understand. I guess it's true, you can't teach a guy how to make cabinets (been doing it for 40 years) but you can teach him how to run a business (which I always hated doing but I love making my cabinets and seeing people happy). After a month I am going to try and get some tax work done from them to educated my CPA (who is just a compliance officer).

Love SMS and I would recommend them to anyone.

Everyone has issues with the other firms out there but I honestly didn't see a drawback and they have a database of where I'm actually saving around 34, 000 a months by using other venders for my glue and nails. Very much knowledge contained there. If you have any questions they will answer them in the meeting and make sure you ask A LOT of questions. Good firm especially for their Tax division which helped my CPA tremendously.
Complaint comments Comments Complaint country United States Complaint category Business & Finances
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 20th of Apr, 2008 by    0 Votes

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 29th of Jan, 2009 by    0 Votes

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 15th of Feb, 2009 by    +1 Votes
no
 17th of Feb, 2009 by    0 Votes
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 22nd of Jan, 2011 by    0 Votes
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 9th of Mar, 2011 by    +3 Votes
I agree...I use to work for SMS they are a well put-together SCAM they can not help anyone, they don't have the expertise they clam to have. They have no financial backing at all, nor do they have ties with any financial or investment banking firms any where on earth. They are a SCAM no question about it. I worked both in inside-sales and the what they call the Programs BC. Please alert all of the Building Association across the US.
 11th of May, 2011 by    +1 Votes
That comment from the cabinet maker is someone inside the business of SMS/IPA/GPS (et all)... I worked for them during a brief time from July/07 thru Feb/08... I was the only person from my class to make it and when I learned what was really going on with my 'clients' I couldn't represent IPA (the company name at the time) any longer. The reason I know the positive comments above are from someone inside the company is pretty simple actually. There is a not a business owner I have ever met that would use the term "compliance officer' for a CPA... that is a phrase used as part of the sales process to keep the business owner from getting his accountants approval. The fact is, IPA/SMS/GPA makes their money from praying on companies who have great potential but are to busy to educate themselves (that is why you have a to have a min of $1mil in revenue for them to look at you). I have turned around multiple companies since 2008 at much lower cost to my clients and by only providing services that they can't do for themselves. Most companies have the desire to change, they just need a little guidance... you don't need to pay $20, 000 for someone to implement boiler plate procedures and processes... Check with your loan officer or accountant to see who they recommend in your area... I am sure you can find someone better and more ethical then IPA/SMS/GPA to help you and your business.
 21st of May, 2011 by    -2 Votes
In 2005 I went through the training at IPA and found it to be a very rewarding experience. I went out into the field and went on 8 business analysis appointments of which 4 agreed to consulting services. Unfortunately I had a car wreck and some health issues while on an assignment. I was fired by my manager at the corporate office and as has been stated I was not paid most of my commission because I was in that 4 week window. The expense stipend is not enough to cover expenses as was promised. But even with all of that said you would think I would have hated my experience at IPA but it was the best learning experience I have ever had from any source. Yes! They are high pressure and Yes! They push their people hard! But if a business owner is mired in the pain of being overwhelmed by their business in order to help them they must realize their condition. I had 6 of my 8 visits with businesses include my findings report being accompanied by tears and anger. They realized that they were headed to Bankruptcy court and their families would be ruined. 4 of them choose to take the positive step of letting the IPA consultants come in to their businesses. Two business owners after crying (One tried to through me out after I gave him an ad I tore out for a bankruptcy attorney) decided they would try it on their own. After I was fired and recovered I had the opportunity to be in PA where both were located and they both were out of business so they were not able to correct there bad management. Of the four that accepted services I know one is still in business in Michigan and has opened 2 more stores so IPA must not have hurt. One called me after seeing me speak in my current business and said he thought I was great after (Even though I was more than likely one of the few people to make this architect cry and admit he was not perfect) my visit but the consultants did a fair job but were not as good as he hoped for at the start of the project. He did pay a total of $55, 000 to IPA. He hired my firm to advise his clients on security planning in regards to disaster relief. The other two I do not know what happen to them. But business is tough and some people can't make the corrections themselves and IPA fills that need. Even though they might be aggressive and have problems they do help some. I wonder it seems many people on here are like myself and have been fired or had IPA maybe take money out of services they wanted to bill the IPA client for but the client choose IPA. But it is understandable if you are not up to the job and they make you realize your own failures a person gets upset and blames the messenger. I wish IPA had not fired me I loved the job but I can never repay them for the tools they gave me. Since leaving IPA I have partnered with Intelligence and Counter Intelligence former officers to form a security and threat assessment business that caters to helping companies put together disaster plans to keep operations going in disasters, Corporate security, threat assessment, DOD contracting, IT security issues and other things that help medium to large companies be ready to act to anything that may try to hurt their revenue stream. I could not have done this without the training I received from my trainers and John Burgess. I still remember a short conversation I had with him and his advice I use to this day. Business owners that hire IPA and then complain maybe they just can't accept the changes necessary to make their businesses survive. Complaints about their collections activities are just plain dumb. If a business signs the paper work that is very clear then stops paying for worked performed they need to be aggressively pursued up to the constraints under the law. You may scoff at IPA saying many complaints are from people that owe money and laugh that off but what if someone owed you money would you just write it off and bend over? If so lend me some money and I am sure John Burgess might take a loan to if you start making them. Many times I have thought about contacting IPA and offering to partner with them to offer our services to businesses for disaster planning, security analysis or other services businesses need to ensure their survival in a disaster or terrorist attack. Because I would not be ashamed of their representatives selling our services because how else do businesses know about the platforms that are out there for businesses unless they go market it. Someone mentioned sending businesses to the SBA well that would be great but a business that is about to hit a wall does not have time or the mental ability to wait weeks for SBA to offer help one hour at a time. So give IPA a break and lay off John Burgess for his problems in life like being disbarred or lawsuits. Because we all make mistakes you might not be surprised to learn I was disbarred from the practice of law. I made mistakes we all have but if a person is out there fighting for success we all might make a few. The government does I hold a security clearance so even the government looks at the whole person. I have always found I learn more from people that have lived a real life and made mistakes than from a person that has never lived. The same is true in Business. Sorry for this rant but I just happen to come up on this web site while flying back from Iraq and it got me thinking what I owe IPA for the success I have had since being fired. Instead of hating and dumping on IPA for trying to help small businesses why don't all the downers go out and help small to medium size businesses. If you can't then maybe that is why you left IPA and just shut up! If you would like to get pissed at me email me at ThankyouIPAandJB@myway.com.
 1st of Jun, 2011 by    +3 Votes
They are out in Washington state now, in the past couple months they called at least a dozen times, always asking for the owner by first name like a friend calling, but then wanting to set up an appointment, which we told them over & over we did NOT want. Then, just today, their rep came unannounced & unwanted, claiming we had asked for him to come (fat lie, we specifically told them we didn't want them to come & to quit calling us). I looked their phone number up on the white pages website, & no office listing or street address. If you get a call from SMS 425-533-0040, don't answer... Not listed with the BBB...
 2nd of Jun, 2011 by    +1 Votes
These guys just called me. I had their valuation done 3 years ago and they want to do a followup for free. From these comments I am confused now whether to let them come or not. I am located in Canada close to WA state so I would think a consultant from there would be the one they send. The fax they sent has all fees crossed out and says paid in full because I am a "previous client". They are obscure on the web so that concerns me also.
 20th of Jun, 2011 by    0 Votes
Well I'm going to interview for a similar company called SMS (which I'm told is just like IPA) and while I'm concerned about the complaints I can't see where exactly the issue is. The first posting is very compelling but I also need to be careful of angry employees. The Better Business Bureau does have them listed but it has no score because no one has complained. How is a business running, hiring, interviewing, etc. if it's a scam? Consulting services are in fact tricky, especially for failing businesses. People are angry, they don't know how to run a business, little cash flow, and then they have to pay even more to get out of the mess by using services like IPA or SMS. This seems really logical to me but I would be pretty mad if I showed up at a business that didn't ask me to come. Can someone can explain the real issue on why the services don't work?
 16th of Jul, 2011 by    +2 Votes
just met with sms-na or sms, same spiel as IPA, empty promises, only pay if your happy with our findings. Of coarse there is a contract. and Surprisingly enough no references. NO REFERENCES. May be me the little independent business owner can teach them a thing or two for FREE. don't bull shit a small business owner we hear enough of it on regular business, Nothing truely is free, and YOU NEED REFERENCES!
 21st of Jul, 2011 by    +2 Votes
I was called by an SMA solicitor a couple days ago; one of those "I'm too busy and important to call myself so I'll have my secretary call and then hand me the phone if you answer " routines, which immediately pissed me off. What a joke. Wouldn't take "NO" for an answer, so a "Senior Area Manager" shows up to talk to me about how they can improve my business. We're one of the top 43 (and officially recognized as such) growing businesses in the state of Indiana ... like I need help from someone I've never heard of. They offered a Utopia of all good things.. how they can improve everything about my business. Not one product, but the whole ball of wax. I swear even so much as the garbage taking itself out to the landfill. We can't even get our top government officials to agree on a BASIC financial strategy, so how is it someone's going to tell me how I can run everything about my business better when I'm already one of the top companies in Indiana? Pure BS.

The creme de la creme, which finally gave me a laugh out of this STUPID meeting, was this "Senior Area Manager" didn't even have a local phone number and NO email address. REALLY?????? I think I could offer some really BASIC advice on how THEY can run their business better!!!
 3rd of Aug, 2011 by    +1 Votes
Pete from Indiana who's company is in the top 43 of growing businesses in Indiana? If you are such a financial wizared then you would know that financial efficiencies are very important tools for a small to medium size business to run effectively in the business environment of today. Do you know how many companies overpay their taxes on an annual basis? The majority of them have hired CPA's to assist them and the CPA does not properly advise them or prepares any tax planning for them! Also, you could learn alittle bit about business writing. Maybe English 101 would be a great tool for you since your comment's are all over the board. All because someone is a great cook, doesn't mean they should own a restaurant...Small to Medium size companies are the "heart" of America Industries, not the Fortune 500 companies...so any small business owner the more help you can get from any consulting firm to run your business more efficiently - don't let pride stand in your way let people with the expertise in the financial arena assist you so you toooooo can become one of the fastest growing companies in your state, like Pete from Indiana. BUT when you are at that growth rate make sure you mention your company name so people know who you are...instead of being rude and put another company down...Is he a financial company or just someone that doesn't use telemarketers or salespeople. Remember your telemarketers and salespeople are "real" people who need jobs today too!
 16th of Aug, 2011 by    +2 Votes
I've spent the last 24 hours looking all over the internet for background information on this company. It's unfortunate, but they do appear to be as stated above a "well put-together SCAM". I came across a similiar company last week that operated in a similiar manner with several names - as if they were different companies. BE VERY CAREFUL out there!!! Get multiple references and check those references out! Don't stop there either. Be very careful before signing any contracts or wasting your time with scams! Good luck and good profits to you all! Michael
 23rd of Sep, 2011 by    +3 Votes
I totally AGREE with everyone except the ones who think sms isnt a scam i use to work at sms and i only worked there for a week and really i didnt like the job it felt like it was all bs!!! then had me calling the same places over and over i was like really this is not what the hell i see my self doing. Sms is really just full of S***!!!
 23rd of Sep, 2011 by     Best Advice +4 Votes
SMS...is the biggest scam in the US, they present them self as a BUSINESS development in the business of ????????? The true fact of the matter they are a band of FOOLS pretending to be financial consultants and business development professional. They are a BULL SHIT tee-marketing company that hires any-one. I work in both inside and the program BC for almost six months. They give a bad name to the consulting industry. They can not close deals of any king nor do they have anyone their that has the scholastic wherewithal to do any of the things they claim. STAY AWAY SCAM 125%
 28th of Sep, 2011 by    +2 Votes
I am a small business owner. They first called me saying they are some type of business networking outfit so small businesses can get together and learn for mutual benefits and would like to send someone by and tell me more about the program. When the person showed I realized they were trying to sell me business consulting services which I immediately told him I do not need (I could tell within a couple of minutes they were not what they said they were on the phone). After telling them the next 30 mins I don't need their services, the fellow got on the phone with his "supervisor" with the excuse that his supervisor needed to speak to me to confirm that he was there. The "supervisor" proceeded to ask all the same questions all over again and then told me I was being deceived to think that I don't need their help...I told him I don't appreciate this type of aggressive selling and hung up. The next day, another guy saying he was one of the managers at SMS called and continue to pester me as to why I think I could not benefit from their services, at which point I told him I do not have time and to please remove me from their call list, to which he responded by saying they do not maintain any call list so there is nothing to remove from. He basically ignored my request not to call again and so I had to hang up. I got another call today saying again he is yet another manager at SMS and wanted to find out why I asked to be removed from their call list and why I thought I could not use their services. I automatically screamed "Jesus" and hung up. These guys are like the viruses that cause genital warts - they just won't die and keep coming back...what can I do make them stop calling?
 28th of Sep, 2011 by    +3 Votes
file a complaint with the Illinois AG's Office
 5th of Oct, 2011 by    +2 Votes
I recommend not working with SMS or any of the other names they go by (ROI-NA, IPA, ABS, GPS). Follow your instincts if you run across these folks. If your BS radar doesn't go off I recommend googling them and reading opinons from other customers online. I think you will find that they don't have a good reputation.

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