I contracted with CMPro for consulting services in order to perfect my two company processes for Grace Plumbing Services, Inc. and Faith Restoration Inc. (herein called Grace/Faith) at a cost of approximately $30,000. Please find attached to this letter the only remaining unsigned copy of the contract between CMPro and myself. The following is a brief synopsis of my current situation with CMPro as a result of this service agreement: | 1. Grace/Faith purchased a program upgrade that didnt work as promised and cost us $10,000s in lost calls with one of our biggest clients, and destroyed our rating with them. The program was very expensive and tim consuming to set up. | 2. CMPro have completed only 25% of the promised contractual work according to the contract I have still within my possession. | 3. CMPro had representatives of their company that were unprofessional in appearance and work performance, to the extent of verbal and mental abuse on both my wife and myself, and my staff. | 4. In attempting a resolution with the CMPro owner, we were threatened that he would slander our company with our customer base. | 5. The work contract between Grace/Faith and CMPro was altered and returned different than the signed original contract. | 6. A sub-consultant of CMPro had verbally informed me that CMPro was preparing to do the same underhanded work ethics with another client of CMPros, taking the minimal work from them for us and using it as the new companies work. Stating to me that he told Kent Wilson he wouldnt do it anymore because it reeked of a scam. | As a result of this situation, I want to make sure that this does not occur to any other company. If we were not successful enough companies then this could have crippled my us. I would like to have my money refunded and I would never consider doing business with this company again. I advise all who are using CMPro or would in the future be considering them to consider another company for the services. | Below please find an in-depth review of exactly what had occurred over the 12 week duration of our contract with CMPro. | CMPros first service consultant came in and told me to buy a program upgrade that he guarantees will work for us. It was expensive to set up and did not work. In addition, over the next four weeks, we witness the consultant spend 4-weeks in my office doing personal work during this time period. This was at a cost of almost $5,000/week. When I complained, the consultant yelled at me and told me that he had finished the work. So we proceeded to go over the contract per each line item detail. I complained about the work not being done and they sent someone else over and the new person proceeded to take my contract and give it back to me in a different form. He had removed the line item detail of what I had originally received and had put personal notes on, and returned me a newly printed contract with no signatures on it. I now have no way to hold them accountable to the line items promised me within the original contract. The cost of implementing the program was enormous, much more than anticipated and extremely time consuming. The time spent trying to implement the program causes my biggest customer to suffer and they stopped sending us 25+ calls/day for over a month. I brought my complaints to the owner of CMPro, and he offered me a $1200 credit for just the cost of the program. Please keep in mind that this program, the implementation within my company and the lost calls as a result of implementing the program has cost me tens of thousands of dollars, all predicated on their guarantee. When I called the owner of CMPro to tell him I am going to complain to the BBB he proceeded to threaten me that he will slander my company to my entire customer base. I was horrified by this experience and I have only received about 25% of what was promised me to date. | Before the presence of CMPro within our lives, Grace/Faith had contracted with our biggest client for an additional 3000 service calls this year and I knew that we needed to improve our current corporate procedures in order to handle the new work load. Also, I had promised my employees for several years to set up a retirement plan. Prior to CMPro there were no problems within my company and the current staff had brought Grace/Faith to the place of being the top rated vendor for 3 home warranty companies, including our biggest client, and that before we brought in CMPro we were considered by many to be the best in our profession. I also had met with consulting services in the past and they promised that they could establish systems and processes that will allow me and my wife not to be in our offices to run things every day. | As a result, I set up with CMPRo services to do this work for me within Grace/Faith. I had told my employees all about it. I told all of my employees that we were having some high powered corporate headhunters come into establish new SOPs, systems and employee incentive bonus programs. I told them that they were going to evaluate each employee to see if they were the right person for their jobs at the right pay. This is what I had been promised by CMPro. We met with one of the owners, Kent Wilson from CMPro to contract with his consulting company to fix corporate issues within our office that runs 2 companies with almost 40 employees, 20 each. The promises from CMPro by Kent included complete financial reporting, standard operating procedures (SOP), training videos, evaluation of each employee to determine if they were qualified for their jobs, and many other things that painted a picture of a perfect corporation when he was finished. All of these things and more promises were made to get my companies to where they can run themselves and I and my wife wouldnt have to be there every day, all day, to run them. I explained to Kent during our first meeting that I needed his services, but I didnt know how I could pay him. I asked him to first tell me how much its going to cost me. As Certified Public Accountants I wanted them to show me in terms of our budget and cash flow how we could pay them. He said he would and not to worry and that he wouldnt give us a hard time about paying them, and that we could pay them as we go when we could. Kent and I both signed our contract which spelled out everything they were going to give me and he made a black/white copy of it on my copier and gave it to me. Later, this same contract would be taken from me by Steve Watzek, changed and brought back to me reprinted in color, minus our signatures and the line item detailed list that I had been holding them accountable to in the past conversations. This happened in Week 7 of this fiasco. However, this will be discussed later and it is more appropriate to start with Week 1. | Week 1 began and in stepped Carl Eckenbrecht. Carl showed up with his hair literally flapping off of his head more than 6 (like you would see in a movie where someones toupee is flapping up, except hes not wearing a toupee). He was in wrinkled clothes and appeared as if he has been drinking all night, but honestly my memory of him is completely skewed by how he looked the last time I saw him at the end of Week 4. He proceeded to show up every weekday for a month straight looking the same way. He came in and got with our bookkeeper and started to go through our books and our system. He immediately caught an issue with our payroll service that if not changed would have cost me close to $17000 by year end (good job), and he determined that our entire problem with financial reporting could be solved with a dispatching software program that we have already used for more than 5 years. However, we could never get the program to work with our QuickBooks program. He told me he would download a test of the program and go through it to completion to make sure it would do what we needed it to do. End of the first week and Carl hands us a bill for the agreed $4,295 which had additions of per diem charges, hotel charges, gas charges, and others, totaling $5052. We look at our books and determine that we could give them only a $2000 payment. We hand the check to Carl and he gave us a dirty look and acted all mad. I explained to him that this is what we and Kent had agreed on. He said he would come in the next week and do a 12week cash flow report to determine how we could pay him. | Week 2 – Second week started and Carl showed up looking the same as usual. He proceeded to completely check out the service ledger program and the issues we had with it, so he said. I would like to take this time to say that starting the end of the first week I had already noticed that Carl was not actively doing anything. It was clear he was just checking and writing emails all day, reading the news on his computer, web surfing, working on other projects, and doing CMPros books. You see, my entire office is set up for the monitoring of every employee and what they are doing without them being aware they are being watched. Carl produces a 12week cash flow spreadsheet showing how I can pay them large sums of cash weekly, but this cash flow forecast leaves out many important things that need to be paid. He later says that the information is what he received from my wife and bookkeeper, 2 people that do not know anything about a cash flow forecast or what needs to be on it. The cash flow forecast is not at all accurate, not even for the first week of its implementation and fails to take all our expenses into account and therefore the first payment we make from it on the second week drives our companies into the negative immediately. By Wednesday it becomes completely apparent to me that Carl isnt really doing anything at all. Especially since the scope of phase 1 requires 4 weeks of onsite work at $4295+expenses and is a very intense scope that appears all encompassing and would require diligent hard work for more than 8 hours a day for any 1 man to complete. So, I ask Carl what he is doing and where we are at. He tells me he has completely checked out Service ledger and its integration with QuickBooks and that it will work for us and that we need to purchase an upgrade for the program at a cost of more than $1200. My wife tells him that she is completely against it, that it wont work and that she had already tried it and doesnt want to try to get it set up again. Carl assures us that he checked it out; that he has more than 30yrs of computer experience and that he can make it work. We are skeptical at this point and hesitant, so I ask Carl in front of my entire office staff and my wife, Do you guarantee it will work. He says yes, he can absolutely make it work. We suggest then that instead of installing an upgrade to the program over the one that we have been using for more than 5yrs, that we should install a new copy and get it set up, so as not to cause problems with the one we are using and to eliminate the 5yrs of info that is in the old version. He says that is not necessary and he can work around it. Based on his guarantee I purchase the upgrade and they schedule to install it over our old program. Carl spends the rest of the week perfecting the Service Ledger/QuickBooks integration, or so he says that is what he is doing since at this point I am leery to believe anything he says. But the opinion of my wife and I and our entire staff is that he is doing nothing but the same old web surfing stuff he is always doing. End of week 2, he hands us an invoice for $5024 and we pay him as he stated we could on his incomplete 12week cash flow report. This puts us in the negative immediately and an important tax payment wasnt able to be paid. At this point we have arrived at the end of the 2nd week and because of Carls appearance, suggestions, and work ethics, I approach Kent with my concerns that Carl isnt doing anything and I am concerned that we arent going to be able to complete our entire scope of phase 1 within the time frame agreed to. (At this time it had already become apparent to me that at the end of the 4 weeks Carl was going to say that he needed more time to finish and that it would cost me more. I have been in business for a long time and this is not the first time I have seen this type of thing happen.) My wife and I spoke with Kent and he agreed to come in and speak with us. But before I can speak with Kent, Kent calls Carl and tells him there is a problem and Carl storms in my office and claims he is a managing partner of CMPro and the lead consultant on this job. I am unable to speak with Carl, and really unsure how to accuse him of doing anything wrong since his emotional outburst and I trust Kent and so I dont talk to Carl and ask him to leave my office. Kent comes and he assured us that there is nothing to be worried about and that he would make sure that things were right. (Because of our common religious background, I take him at his word, even though every feeling was telling me to back out of the agreement.) | Week 3 Week 3 started and Carl arrived looking the same as usual. He proceeded to do his usual web surfing and alternative work all day, with the few exceptions of speaking with my staff about Chicago and remodeling his house, weather and other stuff. Now by this time I have instructed my staff to observe him and report to me what they think he is doing. I have 9 office staff members of which all of them report back to me daily for the rest of the time he is in our offices; 2 more weeks of their opinion of what he is doing in the office. All said the same thing: web surfing and not doing work. I now know I should have just sent him away and cancelled the agreement, but on the word of Kent I let it go on. By Wednesday we got the Service Ledger upgrade installed. Now to set up the Service ledger program and integrate with QuickBooks required entering into the program 100s of codes for every service we performed and 1000s of inventory items that could only be entered and then copied for every inventory location we had and with 12 service vans and the shop, this was an enormous costly undertaking. In addition, every technician needed to be set up in the program with their skill levels and locations and all the equipment they had. I instructed my entire office staff to do whatever it took to get it set up and going ASAP, including all of them working 20-30hrs of overtime to get it set up. As a result of the upgrade, the new version of Service Ledger had a different format and the ability to monitor where incoming service calls came from was gone. This became a major problem that I will explain more in-depth later. Now with my entire office staff extremely busy with the new task, Carl retired to my conference room and under our complete scrutiny, began his same routine of web surfing doing nothing related to our companies. I want to take this time to explain that we were having trouble with our bookkeeper before CMPro came and my involvement in their processes as a result of CMPro being onsite immediately revealed to me that I needed to replace her. I explained to Carl that because I needed to replace my bookkeeper and that because we need to get Service Ledger set up that they should pull off the job and let my staff get straightened out and get Service Ledger up and running, especially since their consulting services require total involvement with my bookkeeping staff and all the operating procedures that will change with the implementation of this program. He said that is not necessary and that my bookkeeper is just backlogged as a result of our current processing system and is completely competent to do her job. I disagree, but take his advice, because I am under contract for more than 30k for his consulting services and after all he is an expert at this stuff and I am not. End of week 3 and Carl handed me an invoice for $5231, close to $1000 of added expenses. I am furious at this point. I call Kent in and explain that Carl hadnt done anything and there is only one week left for the completion of Phase1 and I didnt want them coming to me at the end of the week saying they need more time to complete the job. He again assured me not to worry. | Week 4 – Week 4 started and Carl showed up looking the same as usual, but now he is rushing around with a purpose of completing my job. He took old job descriptions for some of my employees that my wife had made years ago, cut and pasted them on their forms. Most of these duties dont apply anymore or have been changed but this is what he distributed to some of my Grace Plumbing employees and none for Faith Restoration. Faith Restoration to date had absolutely nothing done for it by CMPro. It is a comparable sized company with lots of employees and doing almost $2 million a year in sales. It has no systems, no processes established, and nothing that would make it self- running. I stay out of Carls way this week because he seems really busy, and to be honest I cant even bring myself to talk to him because I feel he is trying to rip me off. By this time I had realized that all the verbal promises from Kent were worthless and I had been reading the written scope of phase 1 and studying it to see what I am truly supposed to receive from them. It is a very broad scope with lots of things to be accomplished and up to this date I had never been presented with any of the things in the scope. Thursday comes around and it is completely apparent to me that Carl is going to tell me he is done the next day and I still have never received anything in the scope and none of the verbal promises had come to fruition either. I tried to go over the scope with Carl that afternoon and he got up and stormed out of my office. I called Kent and asked him to come in the next day to discuss my concerns. Friday morning came and Kent and Carl showed up, Carl looking the same as usual, except today he was wearing large mirrored sunglasses and had a real mean and dirty look on his face. With trepidation, I enter the meeting with them and my wife to go over the scope of work outlined in the contract and to address the verbal promises that were made. I started by trying to be peaceable and just go line by line through the scope of work that was promised me. Carl got verbally abusive and started yelling at me in front of my whole office staff. He said he had saved me 20k on payroll expenses and that he gave me back 2 days of accounting time to get financial reports (referring to the time saved on processing invoices if we could get service ledger to work which to date still hasnt been able to be done). I asked him what about my other company, he has done nothing with it and hasnt even spoken to 1 employee there. I ask doesnt it need systems and processes since it has nothing and he said, It doesnt need anything. I asked him if he was saying that the company is perfect and he doesnt answer me. So, I continue to go line by line and he couldnt show me or give me anything. He continued to glare at me and my wife with a mean look on his face, continuing to wear his sunglasses. He began to insult me and said that none of my employees like me (a lot of them have worked for me for many years and I know that this is not truth.) I am completely taken back by this verbal abuse treatment. I tell Carl to leave my office because he is yelling at me. I explain to him that I am just a customer that is concerned with what I have received for the amount of money billed to me and I am complaining that I havent received what is promised. Instead of understanding my complaints, I was yelled at and treated like crap in front of my wife and employees and that for those reasons alone I could complain to the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Carl left and Kent promised he would again make it all right with me. I again trust him due to the common religious background we share. Meanwhile I have just been handed another invoice for $5923 which includes airfare for Carl to go back to Chicago, which I was told at the beginning that I wouldnt have to pay as he was already in town to work with someone else. Kent assures me that he will have someone in my office on Monday to work to complete the entire scope of phase 1 at no additional charge. With these words I agree to let it continue.
This review (CMpro Review) was originally published at Skeptic Files.
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