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SMS / sms, roi-na, ipa, abs, gps are all a scam

Buffalo Grove, IL, United States Review updated:
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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.

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Comments

  • Sh
      20th of Apr, 2008
    SMS - Send free sms to pakistan
    -
    India
    -

    I am receiving msges from 573333005 Can you please tell me the persons details who are sending me the MSG

    0 Votes
  • Ab
      29th of Jan, 2009
    SMS - Send free sms to pakistan
    FREE SMS PK
    Pakistan
    freesmspk.co.cc

    I think you can send free sms to pakistan from this website, try it and let me know if it works

    Www. Freesmspk. Co. Cc

    0 Votes
  • Ka
      22nd of Jan, 2011

    send sms to australia http://www.FreeSMS.net.au

    0 Votes
  • Bu
      9th of Mar, 2011

    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.

    +3 Votes
  • Pr
      11th of May, 2011

    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.

    +1 Votes
  • Th
      21st of May, 2011

    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 [protected]@myway.com.

    -2 Votes
  • Ti
      1st of Jun, 2011

    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...

    +4 Votes
  • Cf
      2nd of Jun, 2011

    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.

    +1 Votes
  • Di
      20th of Jun, 2011

    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?

    0 Votes
  • Ri
      16th of Jul, 2011

    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 ### a small business owner we hear enough of it on regular business, Nothing truely is free, and YOU NEED REFERENCES!

    +2 Votes
  • Pe
      21st of Jul, 2011

    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!!!

    +3 Votes
  • Jl
      3rd of Aug, 2011

    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!

    +2 Votes
  • Du
      16th of Aug, 2011

    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

    +2 Votes
  • Ne
      23rd of Sep, 2011

    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***!!!

    +3 Votes
  • Sp
      23rd of Sep, 2011

    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 ### 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%

    +4 Votes
  • Go
      28th of Sep, 2011

    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?

    +3 Votes
  • Sp
      28th of Sep, 2011
    Best Best Advice

    file a complaint with the Illinois AG's Office

    +5 Votes
  • Ja
      5th of Oct, 2011

    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.

    +2 Votes
  • Sw
      1st of Nov, 2011

    I met with a Senior Regional Manager last Thursday. I bought into the "no obligation" offer and signed up for the evaluation. I felt a little pressured to hurry and make a decision because they "happened to have a "business analyst" already in the area and were willing to reduce their "if I am happy" fee from $1, 050 to $800 and throw in some additional evaluation. A couple of things bothered me during the conversation, for example. The $1M minimum. What IS the definition of SMALL BUSINESS? I'm not sure what it is but $1M sounds high to me. The second thing was that I asked for references and was told that due to the confidential nature of their business, they could not give me references but that there were testimonials on their website. I thought, that makes sense. However, when I looked, there were no testimonials on their website. This led me to do more digging and I was not happy with what I found. Besides this blog, they ARE now listed on the Better Business Bureau with a C- rating for multiple complaints and they still are not a member. As a small business owner, my husband and I have been taken advantage of many times and we just have to be more guarded with our information and our finances. So when the "analyst" arrived yesterday, I had decided I would decline the meeting. If only it were that easy.

    Talk about not taking no for an answer. This guy was so aggressive, I finally had to tell him "I have told you I'm not interested like a 100 times, now I'm just going to have to ask you to leave". He kept hounding me about the service being "free" and there was no obligation. They only wanted to "help", yet I could not get this guy to leave my shop. It literally took me nearly an hour and a half of discussion to finally make him leave. Any question I had before about whether or not I was making to right decision to forego the meeting was confirmed by this guy's badgering of me. The icing on the cake? Before he left I asked him, "how long have you been with SMS?". He started some long drawn out explanation and I said, "Just answer the question"..."two months". I encouraged him to also investigate the company because he might not be getting a paycheck himself. He finally left.

    Do what you want, but we will NEVER do business with this "business".

    +5 Votes
  • Sm
      2nd of Nov, 2011

    I am a small business owner. SMS Consulting called and asked if we would like to hear their sales pitch by a consulting pro. in person. It was free so we said sure. Later that day a different person stopped by and wanted me to sign what amounted to being a purchase order. It was a ticket that had various charges crossed through and the person said it was a "confirmation" for the appointment we had already made on the phone. I said that I would not sign it because I saw no reason to. He left.
    Then the PUSHY and AGGRESSIVE "consultant" showed up for our appointment. He was a terrible person. Really, really, terrible. He continually wanted me to sign things. I said I would think about it and get back with him. He left.
    Then I got a call from first person who had come by. He continued asking me questions that we had already answered. I told him I had customers to attend to and that I had to go. He then got very sarcastic and rude. I asked him if he ever got business by treating people this way. He said they did 200 million a year and that I should go help my customers before they walked out the door (sarcastically).
    If working with people like that is how I can grow my business, I WOULD RATHER WORK AT MCDONALDS. I would rather do anything else. I would rather have cancer than work with those guys. I would rather be homeless. The kind of people they have working for them do not have souls. I feel sick that some of the air I will breathe in my life is shared with them. They are the worst kind of humans on the planet. I feel like I have been raped. I feel dirty for even having sustained a conversation with them. I feel like our world is doomed. I really want to go to the house of every person who participates with this company and berate them in front of their families. I bet their OWN DOGS HATE THEM. I bet they tell their wives they are going golfing and then just stay in the clubhouse and drink wine coolers. I bet that SMS gave all their employees gold wallet chains for a christmas bonus, and everyone was ECSTATIC. When you walk into the bathroom at a SMS headquarters, all the Urinals are full of guys with their pants around their ankles, and even if they weren't full, they would still be next to each other because they don't use buffers. I bet when they wipe up they smell their own fudge VERY INTENSELY and sometimes even taste.
    I would recommend that anyone who has these guys bugging him take up as much of their time as possible without signing or agreeing to anything. That way the company loses as much money as possible'

    +3 Votes
  • Jd
      7th of Nov, 2011

    Buyer Beware: SMS or SMS-NA, LLC from 1267 Barclay Blvd, Buffalo Grove IL 60089 (A.K.A: ROI, ROI-na, roi-na.com GPS, ABS).

    One only needs to spend a few minutes on the internet and compare their own personal experience with this company to know that something is highly wrong. To start with, as of this writing the BBB rates SMS with a C- with 12 complaints closed in the last few months (make that 13 as I just added one more). Next ask for the references of the "The Greatest Consultant, Tax Expert, Financial Genius” that has been especially reserved for your Company. If they were that great don’t you think the company would lead with their references as the best way to sale their services and capabilities. I am sure you wouldn’t hire someone without at least a resume to review, why would you let someone you know absolutely nothing about come into your business to advise you. If the super consultant was that good do you think they would be working for free just to help you. After repeated requests, I have not received any references on the reported experts and can only assume you will have the same experience! Next check the business card of the sale person for an Email address or ask for the name, phone number and contact information of the area supervisor or any of the other wing nuts that follow up with you to confirm or understand why you are not interested in their services. Basic contact information is the standard of any honest business and these guys go out of their way to make it hard to reach them. I assume this is because once you reconsider the high pressure sales pitch and research who they are; they know you will want to cancel the appointment. I have never claimed to be a business genius but having run 3 successful corporate businesses in excess of $1.3 billion per annum each over the last 40 years, completed over 30 acquisitions, turned around a number of businesses and now the owner of 3 private business entities, I can tell you one thing; anyone claiming that they can spend 45 minutes with you and can save you thousands of dollars for free is flat out lying and running a scam. They are selling BS and they will feed it to you as long as you want to listen to them. Depending on the complexity of a business, one can spend hundreds to thousands of hours to build a concrete understanding of the market and potential of a company. Anyone can say you’re paying too much in taxes, in fact I say it every month and work hard to understand how to reduce my liability ethically and legally. Anyone can give you the top 35 best business tips and stand back with their hand out for your hard earned money. The simple facts are, its takes hard work, sweat and effort to implement plans, build a positive company culture and run a successful business. Do yourself a favor, surround yourself with competent people and drive your business. Don't bet on someone promising the stars for free but then have a sales model to sell you worthless business recommendations and reports. As one business owner to another business owner --- I absolutely detest scammer and leeches preying on those who are doing nothing more than building a business, providing work for good employees and making a better life for their families. SMS is a leech; don’t let them drain the life blood out of your company.

    0 Votes
  • St
      12th of Nov, 2011

    These companies are all part of the original IPA model and a total scam. They now do business under the name of Corporate Business Solutions, (CBS). Very clever how they use these acronyms like CBS, (television network owned by Viacom), SMS, (name of mobile phone text messaging), GPS, (global position satellite, like the ones used to navigate to a location while driving a car), ABS, (used to describe anti-lock brake systems on cars and trucks). The use of these types of acronyms makes finding complaints about them via Google, Yahoo and Bing difficult, because there are bound to be complaints about problems with service on a car's brake system, a GPS not finding the destination you're looking for, problems with text messages going through, etc. Stay away from these companies...

    +4 Votes
  • Sp
      12th of Nov, 2011

    I agree no question about it...CBS, ABS, SMS, ROI, GPS, ...all equals SCAM, FRAUD, and more SCAMS and FRAUD. I'm a former employee worked in both inside sales and the PROGRAM BC tel-sales. They are not a business development company by the state of Illinois or any other state. They can not close deals of any kind...SCAM, SCAM, SCAM, SCAM, SCAM, FRAUD, FRAUD, FRAUD, FRAUD, FRAUD. Just Google IPA .

    +2 Votes
  • Go
      6th of Dec, 2011

    I was supposed to have a phone interview tomorrow. After reading all this intel and I also cannot find any information on the corporate owners or officers of the company. The web page not indicating who owns the company tells me they prefer to hide for a reason. A straight commision job always sends up the red flag.

    +3 Votes
  • Ip
      6th of Dec, 2011

    What particularly amused me was the guy who didn't know that IPS and SMS are the same company, just a different name. Of course, any company that has been sued as often as IPASMS changes names constantly. I believe the name changes are now double digit. But it is IPA that the Illinois Attorney General has filed suit on for unethical business tactics. A racketeering case against them is ongoing as well. Any positive comments on this page are indeed IPA shills as their MO is to invade companies, bill as many hours as possible, and then use ridiculous collection practices for services that were worthless. The owner of the company is a dis-barred lawyer for commmitting grand larceny. His record also includes soliciting a 16 year old prostitute. And most of the longterm management staff knows all this and will continue to rack in their ill gotten gains hoping their prison terms will not be to long. Lathespell, I name thee, IPA, an ill wind.

    +2 Votes
  • Mi
      8th of Dec, 2011

    I took a job there as a Business Consultant/Appt Setter. I began last Tuesday, and didnt return on Thursday. The employees are a bad looking crowd. The security guard came in and said to make sure to keep your belongings with you at all times. ie theft is a problem. The instructor was using every excuse to weed people out. During training yesterday, there was lag time A couple guys talked about their drug of choice, another girl talked to her friend that worked there and told her she cant keep coming to work high, or she wont get promoted, then I heard about a big coke problem there. If that wasnt bad enough, they do not take out state income tax. I asked the HR rep who clearly had an attitude problem and she said its the same form. for state and federal. I tried to explain it wasnt, but she wouldnt listen. They expect you to treat the business owners you call with no respect and be down right rude. The admitted that they change their name a lot because people get sick of them calling or realize its a scam. If they here a different name, then they think ti's a different company. They also just changed their website to www.americanbusinessmag.com what that has to do with SMS is beyond me

    0 Votes
  • Da
      15th of Dec, 2011

    It would seem the complaints come from two distinct groups. 1. short time employees 2. Business owners who were treated poorly in initial contact. As someone who have run a direct b2b business for 17 years now I have never changed my name, I have whoever had numerous former employees who made outlandish claims. I had one employee actually tell me that they believed the prices we charged were criminal, LOL as if they had a single clue on the cost of doing business. I checked the B2B which is not an ultimate guild, trust me it's run by local small business ours so don't get to excited they two are a direct high pressure b2b selling company . That being said their score was a B-. showing only two product complaints the rest had to do with sales tactic's to me I ignore those for a whole host of reasons. To you business owners out there you are not protected like privet citizens when it comes to calls there is no such thing as a no call list for business owners for those of you that don't understand this then I might say clearly you don't understand Business and maybe should consider working for someone who does. If it doesn't sell nothing happens. That being said I personal and my companies policy on people that say don't call me, they are done for at least 2 years, chance are they won't be in that business in 2 years anyways as 82% of all new business fail in the first 2 and and 95% in the first 5 it is what it is.
    Here are the legitimate issues as I see them, numerous name chances, as a former cpf and CLU their answer of tax reasons doesn't fly. The type of complaints I see show bad management in the calling room and a lack of respect of their prospects. I can not say what the company policies are but clearly they have issues for such a new company considering the name change to have 10 complaints so quickly in just one state seems like a management issue to me. Lastly references ... thats huge to me the first thing we do when we enter a business is brake out our customer list, that list is our badge of honor that list is the good the bad and the ugly for sure but it also tells the story of our commitment to our customers, no one is perfect but we sure try to be, some of our previous complaining customer are now some of our biggest fans, and certainly some of those customers never said word one to us about their problems we only discovered some complaints when folks who took their names as references told us of their complaints Our response wasn't to move forward and try to over come the objection I response was to thank them for the information and inform they we will contact them as soon as the issue was resolved. It's always better to solve your problems first before attempting to add a new prospect. IN every instance where this was the case invariably we got the deal, because every business owner respected our desire to solve the problem first before moving forward.
    Sounds to me like this company has some issues I would only recommend competent business owners to hear them out, if you are weak if you lack knowledge if you are easily lead it might be too much of a risk for you.
    If I might give some business advice to sms because we know you are reading this, face your problems change your business plan build off you clients successes, if not I've seen the movie boiler room and by all appearances you seem to be following that model.

    -1 Votes
  • Be
      6th of Jan, 2012

    I was recently approached by a Senior Area Manager of SMS - He was pushy and absolutely would not take NO for an answer. Even after I told him I was not interested (after 30 minutes of trying to close the discussion) he left only to return a few minutes later with a contract in his hand!!! In an effort to get rid of him I told him I would look it over... which I of course did NOT! I do not appreciate any sales person who displays this type of behavior!!!

    +1 Votes
  • Sm
      26th of Jan, 2012

    I just had a visit from one of their "Senior Area Manager"s and smelled something fishy right away. Plus her card has no email address and the phone number is not hers, just her main office. It reminded me of a visit I had from IPA. After investigating further, it seems to be one and the same. Very, very pushy and the guy I'll call the 'closer' is supposed to come monday. I told him to call before hand, after I had some time to research, and confirm. I'm quite certain they will not. When they show up again, they will be turned away. Small business people out there... if you've endured these rough times as I have, do yourself a favor and follow your gut instinct. It's probably correct as usual!

    +3 Votes
  • Ru
      30th of Jan, 2012

    Wow, do I feel like I had the wool pulled over my eyes by SMS. Along with the last month of my life wasted working for this SCAM!! My words of advice are to not take a job with them at all!!
    I started the job as a SAM (Senior Area Manager) and was very excited because they will set you 3-5 appointments a day in your area to run and I figured this should be great as I would assume you could close at least 1 per day with a payout of 91% commission which i thought was very good. Boy was I wrong, as I quickly learned that these were far from qualified appointments at all. (most the time it was just like a cold call walking in off the street) The brilliant "business coordinator" that sets these appointments completely misrepresents the company to people to get you in the door or just does not tell them anything as to leave the person confused as to why you are coming by or just tells them your in the neighborhood to drop off some information. Well, after weeks of working with the company one thing was sadly true. Once you got to the prospects office they were either a.) never there because they had no true reason to meet with you anyway according to how the appointment was set, b.) tired to tell the BC that they really did not need you to come by but that the BC insisted and was pushy, c.) just thought you were dropping off some info and they would look at it with no agreement to any type of true appointment, or d.) set the appointment because they were under the impression that we were coming in to do business (related to what they do) with their company but had no idea it had to do with advising or consulting. THOSE ARE NOT REAL APPOINTMENTS!!! Hell, even the BC told me himself that if he told the business owners who we are and what we really do we would rarely ever get any appointments. So because this was their style for getting you in the door you were pretty much on the defensive from the moment you stepped into the door for the "CONFIRMED" appointment.
    There were just so many red flags I should of noticed that I should have gotten out even soon. One would be the type of people they have working at the home office in the call center when we went on the company visit during the training week there. Most of the people working in the call center looked and dressed like thugs or ex-convicts. (And these were the people setting my appointments) The next thing that stood out to me was the business cards they gave you with no local phone or email info of mine. And the last red flag was that we were a huge company working with hundreds of top companies and we never had a "legitimate" way to show prospects who we had worked with in the past.
    Well, after leaving the company with more money spent on expenses then was every made I at least wanted to write this so that the next person considering working for this company has a heads up as to what kind of SCAM they are getting into. ALL GOOD AND BAD SALES PEOPLE NEED TO LOOK FOR ANOTHER COMPANY TO WORK FOR UNLESS THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT TO DEAL WITH EVERYDAY!! I just wish I would of read this page before I wasted the last month. Thanks SMS!!!

    +4 Votes
  • Sn
      1st of Feb, 2012

    My family business in NJ have been harrassed by this SMS company for the last month. We actually threw the guy out of our store back in december after we did some research online. Thank God my father hadn't paid them anything yet. My mother got 6 phone calls today from 6 different supervisors at SMS demanding that to schedule a follow up meeting. They were down right rude, yelling at her and cursing. She had some choice words for them which were well deserved. Is this company serious?? What an absolute joke. Bravo to all the businesses that are posting here. Keep it going. We are not letting them get away with this and will be notifying everyone we can in NJ.

    +5 Votes
  • Re
      6th of Feb, 2012

    My thanks to this site for helping me sort out my thinking on an experience that I just had with SMS. It started with the phone call from their 350 person phone room. I usually hang up on solicitors, but for some reason I gave the caller the time of day, and accepted an appointment for a representative to "stop by" for 10 minutes. Keith stopped by and we discussed a proposal for an "analyst" to come and visit for 1 to 3 days for $1, 500. I declined, but after a long conversation I agreed to a thorough business analysis, with the option to pay anywhere from $0 to $700 (my choice), after the analysis is complete. On Wednesday Nick came at 1 pm to begin his analysys. For the next 3 days Nick analyzed my operation, studied my financial records, made spread sheets, taught me basic cash flow analysis, made suggestions regarding my production and sales departments, met with my team leaders, and seemed to genuinely care about our success. I know where our weaknesses are, and he was right on with his ability to point them out. After the analysis he explained the consulting process, and told me that it could cost as much as $100, 000 to hire his team. I was not surprised, as I had a friend who worked in consulting who told me what to expect. Nick said that the next person to visit would be the project manager, who would lay out the entire project time line along with the expected budget for each phase. Nick said that we would be under no obligation to finish the project, and that we did not have to pay anything until we were happy with the results, and after we actually saw a 2 to 1 savings over the cost of their fees. When I asked for references, he didn't have any despite the claim that they had helped "thousands" of clients, and specifically "hundreds" of remodeling companies with revenues similar to mine (1.5M). When I said that I wanted to wait until I discuss the expense with my CPA, he said that it was a bad idea because the accountant would want the revenue for himself, and would recommend against consulting. I became confused by his comments, and declined to go to the next step. I paid the $700 because I felt that I received valuable advice on the running of my business (the value exceeded the price). I didn't trust the next step because it was for $5, 000 to set up the game plan, with no exact plan until after the game plan stage. It seems like a cash milking company, but I have not seen any comments on here from anyone who actually went through with their consulting services. Nick commented that with a little trust, (and a lot of money), I could take my company to the next level, making up to a million in extra profits over the next 5 years. Would you trade 100K for 1M over 5 years? It was tempting. I am looking for management consulting help, but they called me, and it made me suspicious. I'm going to look for help within my industry. I wouldn't call them scammers, but they are aggressive.
    Look around, and you'll see that the most successful companies are usually very aggressive. Fortunately for me, Keith and Nick were prompt, and professional, and I found this site to stop me from moving forward too quickly.

    +2 Votes
  • De
      9th of Feb, 2012

    Report everything to the AG. All the AG has to do is grab hold of the day to day telephone recordings and see for herself how all of these companies mentioned above orchestrate the the scam. The AG should get a list of past employees. The skeptics will argue that they are only disgruntled - I could agree with that argument if there were with only a few, but not a few hundred telling their stories. How does one explain that this same group(Under the IPA umbrella) were guilty of the largest sexual harassment case in America? They all still operate under the same roof and all that was done was that these shell(dormant) companies were acquired from different states in the US. The old IPA employees were then transferred to a company called SMI which in turn leases the employees back to CBS, ABS, GPS, SMS and GR. (The owner of the these companies is Tyler Burgess( Who is still under the direction of John Burgess.). The only way you can make sure that you can protect yourself if you do decide to use their management services is 1) Whatever the analyst or his boss( Called a Senex) promises you- make sure you write it down in your words not theirs on the agreement (Keep a copy)- be specific(especially how you intend paying) and secondly delay the decision by a week. If it still feels good after that period then move forward. Don't believe their canned references- most have been promised freebees to participate.

    +2 Votes
  • Th
      13th of Feb, 2012

    I came looking here for the same reasons most of you have. These guys tried to tell me I had to make a decision to use their services on the spot. Red flag #1.
    After their representative spent a day looking over our numbers, he definitely did bring some good suggestions as to how to improve our business. But promising the returns they do at a rate of $300/hr for their services I figured we should get some other quotes. This infuriated their sales rep who then became perturbed at us. So I decided to do some searching on the Burgess's & found Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court against International Profit Associates, Inc. (IPA)and its owner John R. Burgess.
    There are over 153 formal complaints through the BBB as well. Read the reviews for yourself:
    http://www.bbb.org/chicago/business-reviews/business-consultants/international-services-in-buffalo-grove-il-54000004

    +1 Votes
  • Ml
      20th of Feb, 2012

    This is the most pathetic company of all time. Advise, don't even take the first call. They keep calling back to confirm appointments. They try to confirm with others in my office. They sent one guy out, Mr. Gore. I was polite and gave him 15 minutes. I am 90% certain he was either drunk or crazy. Since then my office keeps getting calls to confirm appointments. I keep telling them "no, leave me alone". Just now I told Mr. Jeff Kent (assuming it is his real name) to stop calling me because the last guy that called was a complete ###. He then told nme he wanted to make it up to me and would confirm my appointment for 10am tomorrow. I don't have an appointment for 10am tomorrow! What? I told him to forget it. IF SOMEONE SHOWS UP AT 10AM TOMORROW MORNING MY PLAN IS TO PARK THEM IN MY CONFERENCE ROOM AND CALL THE POLICE! Somebody needs to real this group in. I wouldn't show them anything in my business except the door.

    0 Votes
  • Ra
      20th of Feb, 2012

    i lost my mobile

    0 Votes
  • Ma
      24th of Feb, 2012

    I have gotten information about the siminar they have for new employee recruits. I will keep this site posted and up to date. I will add something each day I attend next week.

    0 Votes
  • Bu
      1st of Mar, 2012

    Wow,
    I am so glad this blog is here. I just experienced the same bait and switch shady sales scam you all did.

    Same “Senior Area Manager” contacted the President of our company stating they had clients requiring our products/services and he wanted to discuss. The President of our company transferred the call to me (Sales Director) and the “Area Manager” and I set up a meeting. About 5 minutes into the meeting I realized this guy was selling me something and I informed him that I did not appreciate him misrepresenting himself and wasting my time. However, we are going through a buyout where I am buying out the owners of the company I work with, so I listened. The Area Rep was very weird, shifty, and elusive wanting me to sign documents for an analysis (of which I denied).

    I thank you all for posting this information I will follow my better judgment (and your postings) and will not be using their services!!

    0 Votes
  • Ca
      6th of Apr, 2012

    IF YOU WANT PROOF THIS COMPANY IS A FRAUD, READ:


    MADIGAN FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST INTERNATIONAL PROFIT ASSOCIATES FOR CHEATING HUNDREDS OF SMALL BUSINESSES OUT OF THOUSANDS

    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.

    -

    +1 Votes
  • Ca
      6th of Apr, 2012

    NO NEED TO READ ANYMORE. READ READ READ !!!


    MADIGAN FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST INTERNATIONAL PROFIT ASSOCIATES FOR CHEATING HUNDREDS OF SMALL BUSINESSES OUT OF THOUSANDS

    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.

    -

    0 Votes

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