Portland Systems Steel Buildings — Scam & Rip Off/Poor Business Ethics
I was contacted via telephone initially by Portland System's Mike Schultz approximately August 2009. He said that my company was chosen as one of a few to be selected to be "Preferred Contractors" to sell their steel Buildings. He said that currently Portland does not ship to California but that they were opening up now to start shipping here.
Mike told me that he found my company through the internet "Yellowbook" pages. He said that they had gotten some very favorable comments regarding my company. He said that if I were interested & accepted by Portland then I would have to act quickly because there were only 10 companies in his list and they were only choosing a few. I was advised to send a profile of my company via Fed Ex/Priority Mail and RUSH RUSH it. They requested a blank piece of my company's letterhead, envelope, business cards broshures etc. I sent in the information as requested. I was re-contacted after this submission and was advised that my company had been "chosen" but that I needed to send in info of local newspapers from all communities where I live. I was told to submit more business cards and a check for $5850. I asked what the $5, 850. was for and was told that it would cover my training, advertising and education of Portland. I sent in the required amount and was told that my company and Portland would be working together. My acceptance letter consisted of a short note acknowledging the receipt of my $5850.check which they now called "an investment".It was NEVER referred to as such during the sales pitch If it was an investment doesn't that mean that
I am now a small part of the Portland Systems? I thought that it might be a good thing (given the state of our economy)at the time and how business was very slow.Mike seemed sincere at the time. It appears Portland was just looking for a sucker. I even added them to my advertising and my internet web page.
They intended the entire time to rip me off. Mike disappeared after that and Doug was introduced by phone.I spoke to Doug on a few incidents and then was introduced to Brock. Brock was working in the capacity of Training me and would be my OFFICIAL Sales Rep thereafter. After giving them my money, my training consisted of approximately 7 fifteen minute morning phone calls. Again nothing in writing but Portland Forms and phone calls.I was instructed by Brock Miera that I was not to ask any questions during the so called "TRAINING"...just sit and listen. I took notes but it was over the phone so not much was retained. I was advised that Portland would place ads in our local papers with my name & contact info for the steel buildings. The ads were placed in local cheap want ad papers not the daily newspapers of my area that I provided him with. In a short time I located an individual interested in buying a steel building for his new business. I contacted Brock who sent me some Portland Systems forms via the internet. He told me that he was now going to train me on how to use the order forms. We went through the form box by box filling it out. I told Brock on 3 occassions that we had not yet applied for permits required by San Bernardino County and I later provided him with a copy of the Inspector's report that indicated PLANNING APPROVAL REQUIRED. Brock nevertheless told me that the appropiate box to check was the "PRODUCTION" box. I now know that the proper box to check is the PERMIT HOLD box. He said we were checking PRODUCTION so that we could secure the price of the building. Actually that happens to be a VERY common remark by individuals who conduct scams. Its on the list of many scam "look out" for sites. I did not know then that there would soon be a problem between myself & Portland by checking that box. I thought we were "working together". I was instructed to fax or email the forms back to Brock. The rest of the form was filled out pretty easily as it pertained to color, size, windows, doors etc. The forms were sent in to Brock and before I knew it I was asked for a deposit. I got $5000. from the individual ordering the building Mr Crain and I had to submit another $2700. Brock then ordered the building. He said we had to "lock in" the price. Again at that time our relationship was friendly and I was sure that is how it would stay. After that things changed and so did Portland's attitude and relationship with me. I did not tell him to order the building. I told him again and again that we had to get the permits. I was in training to do this ordering and was tricked/trapped in to ordering a building because I trusted Brock to be honest. I believe This company preyed upon me and I also believe that I am not the only one that they've done this to. They lied about the initial amount to send and kept on changing what the amount was needed for. They called me in a solicitaion call via telephone. They knew exactly what they were doing. They were just phishing for somebody to fool. I feel embarassed that I allowed this company to do this to me but I feel strongly that others should be alerted of this company. After trying to straighten this all out with Brock he became abrupt and uncaring and before I knew it Brock was no longer the guy to talk to me. Now the only contact is with the owner of Portland Systems Don Canale & Doug Sedivec. They don't talk by phone.They don't TALK at all. All Don does is email or sends me demand letters through the US Postal Service.I have tried to fix this mistake but they are unwilling to work with me even after I told them my customer still wants the building but we had to get the planning department's approval first. I even put Portland in direct contact with the Planning Department but to no avail.Now I am receiving "DEMAND" letters from Don who is asking for even MORE money. They told me that I could store the building until the Planning Department approved the plans (approximately 90 days) for another $9, 000. This company scammed me & my company. All I know is that everything that was supposed to happen, didn't. I have tried to remedy this through the Better Business Bureau but still Don will not relent. They sure aren't the people they pretended to be when they originally called me on the phone. All he keeps saying is that he has a contract to order the building but as I stated it was Brock who told me to check Production as he taught me how to fill out the forms and it was Brock also who prompted me to send in additional forms like color change etc. I do not have any more money to give him. They have $13, 550. of my and my client's money. The only thing they put in writing is when I sold the first building. They offered me nothing in writing about our 2 companies working together other than the receipt of my $5850. investment letter. I paid them by checks. Portland says that they are not responsible for any statements made by any of their employees oral or otherwise. If a contract is arrived at through deceit then how can that be valid? In addition there is a Force Majeur clause in the fine print of the contract. It states that if I am prevented by a government agency from carrying out the contract by the date stipulated, that I cannot be held accountable to that date. The County Planning Department says that I cannot continue without planning approval.
Don Canale refuses to acknowledge that it is his responsibility what his employees say & do especially when money is involved. Some companies don't mind taking money that they did not EARN.He continues to tout his Company's A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau which means nothing. The Better Business Bureau does only what you pay them to do. They charge you yearly for membership so a company's rating is paid for. Beware of this Steel Building Company. There are many others to choose from. It looks like alot of them use the same poor business ethics. I'd stay away from this one.