Explore your opportunities! Create an account or Sign In
The most trusted and popular consumer complaints website



Bogus compensation allegations, no repayment of expenses

Complaint Rating:  84 % with 43 votes
84% 43
Contact information:
United States
Worked for the company for six months as a Senior Sales Manager and made just $13, 500; incurred expenses that they did not pay; ABS pays just $0.25 per mile when traveling for them for the privilege of working for them; promised a bonus with written contract (that never came) for training but then company started having financial problems and then withdrew the bonus structure that they identified as $20-50, 000 per year depending upon hitting sales figures; ABS/GPS claims may top reps make over $100, 000 per year when in fact they are lucky to make $20, 000. In fact one of their top 10 reps in cash collect in one year made just under $13, 000 for the entire year. ABS/GPS just hired forty new analysts because of the high attrition rate (August 2010), no one is making any money and accordingly jobs I had scheduled they did not send an analyst to complete the sale so that I could make back end money from consulting. Company run by the Peter Principal; most in management are incompetent without experience at managing people or problem solving. Managers are promoted for simply attendance, longevity, being friends with Tyler Burgess (son of the owner) or related to top management, and going with the flow and by not making waves. Management typically hires High School educated people so that they do not question the way they do business which is crazy because they advise other businesses on what they should do when they cannot manage themselves or be profitable and pay a decent commission for their employees. Complaints? They view that as your "attitude problem", not as a management failure for lack of accountability, process control or failure to communicate on their part. You work with a Business Consultant, a "BC" that makes $8 an hour and is under pressure to write so many leads a day, regardless if they are good leads or frankly fictitious. Nobody cares in management, and your Zone Manager doesn't care about your gas money or time, and they don't think you are sincere unless you are willing to run all over town to satisfy them that you have "commitment" to succeed; all from people without any history of success or achievement, frankly they are losers if you ask them what they have done in their careers, lifers with IPA-ABS. The BC's are young, uneducated and told to get you in front of someone as their only criteria for success. If you didn't make it happen, the BC has done their job even if the contact was generated by false pretense: "I have fleet work I can bring to your company", or "can you take on more work at this time?" When the business owner figures out the rouse, they are infuriated. And what if you sell a job? Management is tied into sales and sales numbers, regardless if the job actually sells or if it goes to consulting, they could care less if you get paid. No one pushes the jobs to go to consulting unless the analyst pressures the client and there isn't anyone watching over the jobs because management isn't incentivized to care. If you say you aren't making money working for the company and are thinking about making a change, they tell you that you need to follow-up to make sure the job is scheduled with an analyst through your SENEX (Senior Manager of Sales, aka "Snake Oil Sales Manager") or perhaps you did not do enough to merchandize the need to the client which is your fault, not management. The company has no interest whatsoever in seeing that you succeed or can make a wage to sustain yourself, they don't care. Company management/leadership cannot tell the truth about numbers, accountability, compensation, or anything. Terribly run sales organization and I cannot image worse leadership or management. If the truth fit, they would tell a lie just out of habit. Worst experience of my life in the workforce for over 25 years!
Complaint comments Comments (13) Complaint country United States Complaint category Business & Finances


Sort by: Date | Rating
N  10th of Nov, 2010 by    0 Votes
email me, emalin8826@yahoo.com please, gotta question for you
N  15th of Nov, 2010 by    +1 Votes
Re: Yellowjacket, Ohio's opinion/complaint regarding IPA, ABS, IBA and the countless other names they seem to dream up as " no concious business vultures/ prey mantus is a great way for a niave business person to get a solid punch in the mouth from a business owner.
My evidence is quiet simple; I worked for them for a very short time, realizing that my Zone Manager was nothing more then a heartless pitbull in a woman's dress. Much of what Yellowjacket is factual and correct and to add more gasoline to what he said, I was always in a constant fight with my manager regarding creditable and ethical business practices, in-proper client qualifying, an insufficient business portfolio on the prospective client, little time to properly access the firms operational procedures and the pressure to get in and get out a.s.a.p. A big red flag went off when I was told in a firm manner that I was never allowed to go back to a previous assignment to see how the owners business is doing. Why not? If we did a great job for them, why wouldn't we want to go back a smile at the fruits of our labour and see that our collecctive efforts paid off? It's just good business and it shows that you really do care about their success. There may be a few business owners who did benefit from the recommendations, and all the power to them if they did indeed turn around their business negatives, but with the amount of BBB complaints, the negative comments posted on the net and so on, one has to begin to wonder if any of these companies really do have a heart, because it is obvious that they don't have a soul!
So in closing, many of their past BA's and present BA's will only tarnish their business credentials by associating all these constantly changing names companies to their current CV/Resume. It's too bad, as I had the pleasure of associating with a fair number of trusting, well educated, honest, ethical and nice people who just wanted to make a decent living doing a rewarding career in an honest, ethical and professional manner. For John Burgess and company, you may all be predators, but one day you WILL become the prey, and the sooner the better. In the business world of Business Analysis, John Burgess is the business consulting version of Bernie Madoff. And to all those BA's, yet another one of lifes learning experiences.
A  14th of Jan, 2011 by    +1 Votes
http://www.bbb.org/chicago/business-reviews/business-consultants/international-profit-associates-in-buffalo-grove-il-54000004 Just copy and paste. It says it all, and, that, along with the Attorney Generals lawsuit, showing all the connections between businesss. Same addresses and the fact that "anonymous" kudos on this site show up with no ability to verify, or, their copy/paste "separate entities with separate ID numbers" etc. They all know each other, work with each other and the AG even says they've gone from one business to the next. I truly feel sorry for those that aren't able to turn on their computer and do the smallest amount of investigating before using this company. I told the rep that I wouldn't use them or "see their rep/professional who just happens to be in the area with other appointments and can squeeze a dollar out of 10 cents", unless, they can give me a name/ website to use. Their $250 million company should have to have at least a website, right? so, the company he used, SMS was different from the website, ABS. Funny and sad at the same time. I did keep the phone rep on the phone for 15 minutes, playing the game, then I started reading some of the "complaints" and the "F" rating that ABS has. Hmmm. An "F" at the Better Business Bureau, and, they're a Business Consultant. I'll keep my "A" rating and stay away from their "F"
A  25th of Mar, 2011 by    +1 Votes
100% correct. Every so called lead I visited stsrted out hostile, because the business owners said to the callers on the phone, do not send anyone to my office. I have never in my 30 years in sales been physicall thrown out of an appointment, before joining ABS. All the leads were re-treds, and the leads knew what I was going to say, to the T, before I said it. I never felt dirty, before joining ABS.
N  26th of Apr, 2011 by    0 Votes
You should check out this site ...


Like to hear your comments there too.
A  14th of May, 2011 by    +1 Votes
If ABS calls ... RUN!!! RUN as fast as you can!! I almost fell for the scam. I feel so stupid!! Don't do business with these guys. IPA head John Burgess is still in charge although it is officially his son Tyler Burgess. They kept most of their employees. Same office. They are con men through and through. Walt Master is their smooth talking salesman. Don't believe a word he says. He is lying! Dan Danzig is also involved in the scam. Sexual harassment, prostitution, fraud they've done it all.
N  21st of May, 2011 by    0 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.

N  9th of Jul, 2011 by    0 Votes
Website has returned

Feel free to continue or expand any conversations there.
N  1st of Feb, 2012 by    0 Votes
Wow. Our experience with ABS was exactly what we feared. My husband and I are both trained in sales and communication and know the routine. As a matter of fact my husband has trained for years on sales, communication and behavior. But they entered at just the right time as the recession had hit us hard and we were exhausted and looking for help to assess what was working and what wasn't. We could sell, we could build, we were struggling with management issues. They were slick, they were well trained, they are relentless. I find it interesting that on pissedoff.com the positive recommendations are all anonymous. There is no doubt that the men we worked with knew what they were talking about and presented logical solutions that we already knew, we just didn't know how to implement them in a timely fashion to make a difference. They could possibly made a difference, but we will never know. We initially signed up with them with strong controls built in on how, what, where and when and we thought we had an out clause built in., but we could not control the slick machine that they are. From day one of the contract a timeline clicked into place. The minute one hurdle was crossed, plane tickets were purchased and people were put into motion before we agreed to anything definite on the extent of the contact with their services. They had people set up to come in on specific days over specific timeframes that were a structured format that they were strictly adhering to in regards to "providing us with guidance and solutions". We were blown away and felt that we were about to be consumed. On top of that, a "manager" that oversaw that the first 2 initial visits to access what our problems were did not do anything but walk around our store for 2 days and talk on the phone. When they handed us the bill for the first 2 days, there was a tidy sum of $5000 tacked on for his services. Major short circuit and that was the end of trying anything they had to dish. We knew we were taking a chance. And shame on us for being so foolish. We thought we could manage them and we thought we would be able to weigh the actual value of what they offered. They moved so quickly you could not think fast enough to post objections. We are both Alpha control freaks and they ran us over. We immediately cut our losses, got out of the agreement and kick ourselves everyday since for being sucked in by the shysters. Without them we resolved our problems, got out of debt, structured our issues and are doing well...DO NOT GET TAKEN IN! There should be laws as they prey on those among us that are at the lowest point in their lives and feast on the bones.
N  1st of Mar, 2012 by    +1 Votes

Attorney General Says Buffalo Grove Consulting Firm
Practiced Wide-Scale Fraud

Chicago—Attorney General Lisa Madigan today filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court against International Profit Associates, Inc. (IPA), a Buffalo Grove, Ill.-based management consulting firm, and its owner John R. Burgess. The suit alleges that the defendants use wide-ranging deceptive practices to ensnare hundreds of small-business clients into consulting service contracts that fail to fulfill the defendants' promises to boost their clients' bottom lines.

"International Profit Associates takes advantage of small businesses by painting an inaccurate and dismal picture of their financial condition and then conning the business owners into hiring IPA consultants who promise to turn things around, " Madigan said. "It is an unfair and deceptive scheme that has played out hundreds of times as reflected in the considerable number of complaints that my office has received from small businesses that lost tens of thousands of dollars to IPA."

"Small businesses are vital to our state's economy and are already struggling to weather the current difficult economic conditions. The last thing small business owners need is to be targeted for consulting services that simply will not benefit their operations, " Madigan said.

The suit also names as defendants: International Tax Advisors, Inc., Integrated Business Analysis, Inc., and Accountancy Associates, LLC, all based in Buffalo Grove, Ill. Burgess is the majority owner of all of the defendant companies.

Madigan's lawsuit alleges that IPA employs deceptive, high-pressure sales tactics to trap small businesses into management consulting contracts by falsely promising that the businesses will earn increased profits as a result of IPA's consulting services. Contrary to these promises, IPA typically charges the small businesses tens of thousands of dollars for services that fail to provide any constructive or useful information and do not result in any increased profits.

The complaint describes IPA's business practices in detail. IPA allegedly targets businesses through telemarketing, offering an initial evaluation of a prospective client's business for a nominal fee ranging from $300 to $2, 500. Once on site for the initial analysis, IPA sales associates allegedly convince small business owners that their companies are in serious financial trouble if they do not immediately retain IPA for consulting services.

IPA allegedly promises to prepare specialized, industry-specific recommendations that will help to improve a company's performance. The sales associates often promise that the businesses will see a three-to-one return on their investment in IPA consulting services and allegedly assure business owners that they will be able to afford the IPA services as a result of increased profits in the future. However, according to Madigan's lawsuit, the small business owners rarely realize an increase in profits and often are left in worse financial condition as a result of IPA's costly consulting services. One small business owner cited in Madigan's complaint paid IPA nearly $70, 000 in fees for consulting services that provided no meaningful advice to optimize business operations and, thus, failed to improve the company's profits.

As Madigan's lawsuit details, after a small business agrees to a consulting project, IPA consultants arrive, usually in pairs, and bill the small business at $275 each per hour, plus travel, hotel and per diem expenses. The consultants often produce reports and charts that appear to be based on boilerplate or generic data and do not provide specialized recommendations for the small business client as originally promised.

The complaint further alleges that IPA sales associates promise that business owners will not have to pay for consulting services if they are unsatisfied with the results. However, IPA allegedly uses aggressive collection practices to compel clients to pay for unsatisfactory service. Madigan's suit alleges that IPA demands immediate payments and, if a business owner does not make immediate payment, IPA consultants allegedly are trained to refuse to leave the business premises until their demand for a post-dated check is honored.

Since 2004, 215 consumers have filed complaints with Madigan's Consumer Fraud Bureau. During that time, more than 400 consumers have filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau.

Madigan's lawsuit asks the court to permanently enjoin the defendants from engaging in this conduct. The suit also asks the court to order the defendants to pay restitution for the small business owners, civil penalties of $50, 000 for violations of the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, an additional $50, 000 for each violation committed with the intent to defraud, and the costs of the investigation and prosecution of the case.

Consumer Fraud Bureau Chief James Kole, Special Consumer Counsel Charles G. Fergus and Assistant Attorneys General Anshuman Vaidya, Katrina Wanzer Derhake and Joshua Orenstein are handling the case for Madigan's Consumer Fraud Bureau
N  12th of Oct, 2012 by    0 Votes
These people are disgusting. Stay far away. It is so sick to see there are people out there that will go through all this talk to ROBB poor innocent hard working business owners that earn their money the honest way. They are sick.
These so called business “consultants” talk about their families, grand children, wives etc... and give you an image a first they are respectable people. Stay FAR FAR FAR away from these sickos.
I’m a small business owner and lost a few thousand hard earned money to these freaks.
They came to our office, sold us a story that they can help our business.
They are a joke. They are low lifes with no real careers. so sad people like this are out there. They are the ones that need help!
N  8th of Sep, 2013 by    0 Votes
I think it is very easy to attack a company who takes on the hard jobs, such as saving a small business from total failure. Change is hard and many have a difficult time making changes even when they know they are not doing the right things or they do not know what to do to save their company.

If I have a bad experience with a company, the first thing I do is look at the behaviour of the employee, sometimes employees act in ways not totally supported by the employer.

I am a very ethical person and I was offered a job with ABS. I ask tough questions and I do my due diligence, just like when you hire someone to come into your house to fix something, you get 3 quotes as a minimum and go from there. I do not hear many of the people on here taking responsibility for the fact that they did not due their research in order to protect themselves from a situation where they could be taken advantage of.

My mother use to have this saying and I have always kept it in the back of my mind, it is a very true statement and I hope it is helpful for all of you who feel hard done by " There are 3 sides to every story, because each person can only see things from their perspective but somewhere in the middle there is the actual truth" You see I would not vouch for anyone, not knowing how the were treated or treated the person they were dealing with. When you are not a part of the initial cycle of things, how do you know things actually went down the way they say?

I mean I would never doubt that what is true for them is true for them as I am not into the invalidation of any being as we are all created equal, but I can tell you this. If you have had children and family drama where someone does not like someone else, things get said and false comments and assumptions are made that the upset person themselves eventually start to believe just because of how often they told the story. Bits and pieces get added on here and there that never even happened.

Desperation, frustration, fear, anxiety, facing the unknown and trusting a stranger and or company rep no matter how good you think they are, having all of the answers, it's just not a huge surprise to me that these incidents have taken place. What surprises me the most is that even with the all of the negative press and reports on ABS, people still look to them for help.

Maybe it is because at the end of the day, they know they do not have all of the answers or skills needed to fix the shortfalls of their business and so they jump in with both feet and take a leap of faith. Frankly I commend those people for taking the risks they needed to when trying to save their businesses.

It takes huge guts to to that, and whether it worked out of not at least they tried. You weren't suckers, or weak. You weren't stupid or fooled. You took a risk and in business it is what people do everyday at a chance of success, this time it may not have worked out, but don't let that stop you from taking the next risk needed, this tim you might just make the right one. It isn't worth it in life to have regrets, in fact they aren't regrets at all, just bad choices and life experiences, chalk it up to that and don't focus to much attention on it, granting it that level of importance minimizes your own.

I wish you all the best in your future endeavours risk takers, dreamers and bungee jumpers. Life is for the living " You better get busy living or get busy dying" Taking risks, feeling pain, broken hearts, joy etc are how we know we are alive!

Jazz Williams
SongBird, Mom, Teacher
Wise one (###) lol
D  10th of Jul, 2014 by    -2 Votes
I work at GPS now. I'm in inside sales. I have been here for 4 years. So much that has been said is just lies. It's funny to me that people complain about pay. Let me remind everyone the people that are speaking are salespeople. They make their money on commission as do I. They are leaving out the part that in order to make money you have to first get the sales, if you don't you don't make anything. Now as in every other sales job in the world you have to produce. The company is not just gonna give you a hundred grand a yr for being here. I have a beautiful house a boat a motorcycle and a nice car. I got these because I produce. I make over a hundred grand a yr as do many other closers here. Everyone wants something for nothing. I have a wonderful life and make a great living here. Sales jobs are some of the hardest jobs in the world. Very few can do it, but the ones who can, make a great living doing it. It's not fair to beat up a company because you cant sell. You're not a closer and that's fine but stop bashing companies because you suck. Now the company consultants are far from uneducated. Each consultant is required to have a 4 year degree in order to work here. Analysts and consultants are different. The people who actually make the changes and stay in the clients business for extended periods are the consultants. I work with tons of past clients, most people who follow are plan are very happy with the end result. So sick of everyone badmouthing something they know nothing about. Any questions feel free to call me.877-269-0820EXT4088

Post your Comment

Please check text spelling before submitting a comment
Your attitude towards Complaint Agree Neutral Disagree
Comment text
Attach photos (optional)

Contact Us

Reply to