Exec Cranky Rants On AdvisoryCloud Scam (Formerly ExecRanks)
Can we talk about the AdvisoryCloud Scam? Mind if I get Exec Cranky about the AdvisoryCloud Scam?
First off what is AdviosryCloud and what is the AdvisoryCloud Scam (There ya go, I think I made enough AdvisoryCloud Scam references to get a good SEO ranking when people google AdvisoryCloud Scam)?
Advisory Cloud is a company that charges people who want a board seat but don’t have the reputation, network, and/or credential to qualify to sit on a board, thousands of dollars to sit on their butts, twiddling their non-board advisory thumbs while waiting an eternity to become board members to non-existent companies (That should be their elevator pitch). Their clients are put on a list that is most likely longer than the waiting list of people who signed up five years ago for the LifeFuels Connected IoT Kool-Aid bottle from Jonathon Perrelli. People on either list have a better chance of getting rich by investing in Danny Boice and Jennnifer Mellon’s Trustify than they do of ever being interviewed for a board seat or holding a LifeFuels bottle. They would have a better chance of being funded by Jason Feimster. They would have better odds of finding a thoughtful blog post on the 3SI blog site that wasn’t plagiarized.
I find it curious that while most companies try to build a strong brand name, the scoundrels at AdvisoryCloud are running away from their reputation (The title of the post made a lot more sense when it was Exec Cranky Rants on ExecRank Scam). In March 2019, this company changed its name from ExecuRank to AdvisoryCloud. Why would a company do that? Most companies spend tremendous time and treasure to build their brand name. AdvisoryCloud built a name for themselves over a decade as ExecRanks that they can’t run away from fast enough. Like another company, Communiclique changed their name to Clique and after a court determined Andy Powers was guilty of fraud. AdviosryCloud is running away from the toxic reputation they built as ExecRanks.
This company has serious credibility problems. Yet the shady, douchenozzle executives at AdvioryCloud constantly argue in response to reviews that they are a legitimate company. I’ll give them this… the company is legitimate if legitimate is defined as a company that is operating barely within the boundaries of the law. On the other hand, their business model is as legitimate a WWE wrestling match. Neither is illegal and yet no real work gets done at either.
AdvisoryCloud purports to be a company that empowers professionals to monetize their knowledge as an advisor. Let me tell you that the only monetizing going on is the AdvisoryCloud scammers monetizing the hopes and dreams of people with aspirations of being board members. According to the reviews I’ve read, the business model appears to be to charge a $200 per month subscription fee plus a one-time setup charge in return the subscriber receives nothing. Many former clients complain that the service is difficult to cancel.
While operating as a legitimate business their business model is illegitimate. So let’s shame the C-Suite! The “Business Professionals” in the C-Suite of this company are:
- Jonathan Aspatore, Founder & CEO – A man of no accomplishments of note.
- Dallas Bond, Founder & COO – Just another schmoo who has never been near a board room. But you have to admit he’s got a great name for a cheap-ass graphic novel.
- Chris Beaver, Founder & CMO – The Beaver is another person lacking any high-level business background.
The only board experience of guys with this background would be if they were Chai Boys to a board.
This may be a “legitimate” company in a legal sense. But this company is hated by its former clients and employees. Just a cursory search of Quora, Rippoff Report, The Better Business Bureau, Yelp, and Glassdoor is illustrative. The reviews are scathing as you will see by just a sample of the reviews below.
Some of the highlights!
“After 10 months and about $2,000, I’ve come up with nothing”
“I used it for almost 7–8 months and not only wasted the money but so much time.”
“This is a pure rip-off”
“These guys are crooks.”
So, if you get a call from someone at AdvisoryCloud, formerly the ExecRanks, sometimes known as ExecRank, tell them I said hello! And then ask, are you ashamed to be part of the AdvisoryCloud Scam?
A sampling of reviews can be found below.
Let’s Check Out the AdvisoryCloud Scam on Quora
Responder #1: I consider it a scam. I was approached by one of their agents, named David Kavrell, and just like the others, I got a highly scripted presentation that claimed I was an ideal candidate, would get all sorts of offers, etc. At no point was I asked if I had any questions, just went straight to the closing.
I had a question, however. I wanted to know why they used a subscription model of $200/month, rather than the more traditional model whereby they take a commission from successful matches. This question obviously upset him, as he quickly turned defensive, and made a rather obvious attempt at the whole “withdraw the offer” sales tactic.
That ended our call.
Responder #2: I can’t answer this question directly but I’d like to comment on ExecRank as a board candidate. I was contacted last summer to join and decided to do it because I am interested in board positions. After 10 months and about $2,000, I’ve come up with nothing and am canceling my membership. I never had a direct conversation with any companies and only received a series of perfunctory emails saying that my applications were “being considered” or that “the company decided to go in a different direction and filled the position”— with someone else.
I’m not sure companies take Execrank seriously and, after talking to friends who are on boards of large and small companies, I am convinced that most companies recruit board members from among those whom they know.
Respondent #3: I asked ExecRank for ANY evidence of their rate of success and they refused to respond despite repeated requests other than to point to the “case studies” on their web site. So, I called one of the persons listed who said he was dissatisfied, thought Execrank was unprofessional and had previously asked that his testimonial be taken down.
Execrank’s claims seem highly dubious would stay away
Respondent #4: Yes, I used it for almost 7–8 months and not only wasted the money but so much time. Don’t waste your money -Stay as far away as you can. Check Ripoff Report . I work with super growth VC funded startups and was totally misled even after I clarified them. This is a pure rip-off.
Let’s Check Out the AdvisoryCloud Scam on Ripoff Report
Respondent #1: I spent 5 minutes on the phone with them. They took my credit card and immediately charged my the first month’s subscription ($195) and a setup fee of $200 (Which they claim they told me about, but did not).
I called the next business day to withdraw my application and asked for a refund. They refused to give me my money back as I agreed to their terms.
All they did was take my credit card. They provided no further service. I have opened a dispute with my credit card company.
These guys are crooks.
Respondent #2: I just want to add my agreement with all of the other complaints about ExecRank. I gave it four months and received not one follow up. This firm represents itself as a professional executive/board placement firm but merely steals your money. To the extent, if does anything, it is to send spam t0 companies with 100’s or 1000’s of names. Avoid.
Respondent #3: They promise you that they’ll help you find board positions but all they really do is take your money. This is a patently dishonest company that preys on people. They take your money and deliver NOTHING. Beware, they have a 330-day cancellation requirement and when you get nothing from them insist on exercising it. Frankly, it’s not the money that got me so upset it’s the fact that they played me. Don’t make the same mistake.
Respondent #4: David Kavrell who claims to be a graduate of U Chicago Booth School calls people to offer them Board roles and is smart enough to con them to give away the credit card number and promised to revert and then I did not hear from them at all. Any organization that charges $2400 annual respects its members. Not Exec Rank. It just cheats.
Respondent #5: have to say they have great salespeople. They know how to sell and they know how to take your money. Unfortunately, this is the only good thing about them. They failed to deliver every step of the way. First, they scheduled an interview in 10 days (btw what I discovered later they would not refund after two weeks), then their consultant person suddenly got sick for another ten days. Apparently, he was the only one in the whole company who could do that. How big is a company I would ask? After he finally recovered he called and told me that I should be in front of my computer during this what they called to interview. Unfortunately, in all his previous correspondence he somehow failed to mention that. Surprise. Well, I was on the road and told this consultant that I could talk to him in two hours. Guy said no problems, two hours are fine (after checking with his calendar). Then in two hours, his manager called me to notify me that they do not have time this day or next day and maybe in a few days. At this point I asked for my money back, where they transferred me to the third and fourth person who both told me that due to the fact that 14 days are over they will not be able to give me my money back, but are willing to extend my service (service they failed to provide in a first place). Wow.
Respondent #6: Execrank markets itself as an online placement service for advisory and board positions. I purchased their services for six months which included them selecting and sending my profile, resume and related information for prospective board opportunities. During that time I received many emails about my opportunities and submissions for positions. I had one very unproductive call with my ‘relationship’ contact. Otherwise, no other communication. I found over time that the quality of the opportunities were sub-par and some seemingly far-fetched. In six months, I did not receive one lead, not one interview. Exiting from the relationship is also cumbersome. Contact numbers provided on their web site were not working or non-responsive. Email responses were equally slow and non-responsive. Upon giving notice of cancellation and finally receiving a response, I was informed that I would be charged another month because I had not given at least 15 days notice. Execrank is a sham service and a borderline scam. Stay away from Execrank.
Respondent #7: ExecRank is a scam. I wished I had checked the reputation of the company prior to signing up. I canceled after I realized that none of their so-called board positions were real, or at least none of the ones they connected me to. After months, I found no connection, and most of the positions that were even close to my skills were mysteriously filled prior to discussion. The few connections I made through ExecRank wanted money from me. And, as others online have mentioned I still got charged for one more month (another $200) because I did not cancel on the day before the billing cycle. This, of course, is contrary to the sales pitch they give you when they talk you into joining the service where they say you can cancel “at any time.” What is the good of being able to cancel “at any time”? In actuality, you can cancel the day before they charge you for the following month. You get a one day window to cancel (I canceled the day after that one day window, hence my chagrin). They claim the reason for that policy is that they don’t want people “poaching” opportunities. If ExecRank were a reputable company, they would be getting opportunities on a regular basis, there would be no arbitrary monthly tempo associated with “new” opportunities coming in. So, forcing members who have resigned the service to arbitrarily pay for the next month after they resign goes counter to their concern about poaching. If they really get “new” opportunities on a regular basis it would make the poaching risk even worse since that member, who knows he’s resigning, gets exposed to those (allegedly regularly coming in) opportunities. If they were really worried about poaching, they would let you go as soon as you know you want to go. Given this, I can only surmise that the majority of their revenue is gained from exploiting this hook in their contract and squeezing an extra $200 for those foolish enough, as I was, to join their service. It’s not the money. I am ashamed to admit it but I have paid over $200 for a tie. My advice: don’t do it. Months into it, nothing but emails and meetings that go nowhere. Essentially, I paid ExecRank money to set up meetings with people who further solicited me for money. I have relatives for that, don’t need to pay ExecRank.
Let’s Check Out the AdvisoryCloud Scam on Better Business Bureau
Customer Rating: 1 Star
Complaints: 21 in the last 3 years
Complaint#1: Signed up for this service Oct 2018, based on their claims of efficiently placing candidates on Advisory Boards and Executive Boards across the country. Their Sales process was slick and assigned sales person was strong… but once I had signed up, the lack of value became quickly apparent. The supposed customized referrals sent to me were nothing more than “cattle call” notices one could locate on the web. There were none of the “connections” that the Salesperson had claimed Exec Ranks had… it was a scam. Still, I was slow to cancel and thought maybe there would be artificial intelligence in their system that would better learn my Board strengths, and refine the referrals… but no – Exec Ranks is a complete scam. I called them today to not only cancel but to inform them I would not be paying the Feb or Mar charges – and their *** ********** was not helpful – just another Sales agent trying to explain that the issues were all mine. Meanwhile, I have already located and joined two Advisory Boards on my own, and have initiated work with those. This company not only needs to refund my last two charges – they should be penalized for being unethical in their advertising… completely untrue claims. Thank you for your time. ** *****
AdvisoryCloud Response: The reviewer is accusing The ExecRanks of being an illegitimate company by calling the company a scam. The ExecRanks is a legitimate company and service. We have attempted to reach out to this former member to help clarify, and resolve the misunderstanding. We are waiting to hear back from the former member at this time.
Thanks for your patience while we resolve this issue.
Complaint#2: The following correspondence was made to the company. I signed online after being promised a minimum two interviews per month. To date I have received ZERO *OBS AND ZERO INTERVIEWS. This company is a legitimate scam as I am the top of my trade and they did not do one thing to get me in touch with a legitimate company or Board. I would like a FULL REFUND of all fees – $750. I paid for a service and received NO SERVICE at all. On top of that, I spoke to ****** Renazco on Feb 19th at 1030a about my issues. She promised to get back to me with a resolution by week’s end. I have heard nothing since, now 5 weeks later. This company significantly overcharges for their services, which ****** admitted has many problems with their website and promises. It’s really in beta and should not be charging anything like they do. Or need to find another business model if this isn’t working for them. Thank you ***** Drummond NOV 29, 2018 | 01:06AM UTC ***** replied: Hi ******, this is not acceptable. I have never received the services promised to me. For all the time and effort put into applications, only one company even responded and they never got it together to interview me, plus Exec Ranks fouled up the invite. I have disputed what charges I can with Am*****n Express. I expect a full refund, otherwise I will be forced to report you to the better business bureau and post my experience on social media such as LinkedIn. ***** Hello *****, I am following up on behalf of ****** Per your request, I have started to process your cancellation. As per terms and conditions to our services, fees are non-refundable; the final payment due on your account occurred today, November 9th, 2018, as per our cancellation policy. After December 8th, 2018, your account will be set to our Basic level of membership, providing you with continued complimentary access to your inactive profile, in the event that you choose to rejoin in the future. For questions pertinent to your membership, please don’t hesitate to contact the Member Success Team for further assistance. We are reachable by phone Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm PDT at (**** ********* We wish you the best of luck with your current and future endeavors! Warm regards, ****** ******* ****** ******* ****** Success Team Lead (**** ******** ****** ** ******** ******* * ******* ** * ***** Find Advisors NOV 08, 2018 | 05:37PM UTC Original message***** wrote: Hi *****, I’m afraid this hasn’t been working out. It’s been alot of work and money for no return. The one request for a board interview still hasn’t been scheduled for 6 weeks or more. Despite the $50/month reduction, this service has cost me way too much money for nothing. I’d like a refund and let’s call it a day. I sincerely hoped for better. ***** On Fri, *un 22, 2018 at 7:01 AM ***** ********* < *****_**********************> wrote: > Hi *****, > > I wanted to reach out to you personally to introduce myself as the Manager > of your Member Success Team. I’m sorry to hear that you wish to cancel your > membership. > > I had my associate send over an offer to continue on our platform at a > discounted rate of $50 a month until you receive a paid advisory position > and I hope you take us up on it. You are the exact type of executive who > should have success on our platform and nothing bothers me more than a > missed opportunity with someone like yourself. > > If you’re interested in accepting the offer, simply reply with a “Yes” and > my team will handle everything for you from there. > > All the best, > > Where Leading Executives Connect With Opportunity > > ***** ********* – ****** ******* ******** *** ********* * * ******** ******* * ******* ** * ***** ** > > [image: Find Advisors] ***********************************advisors> This message was sent to ************************ ** ********* ** **** ** ******* ***** ******** *************************
AdvisoryCloud Response: We have been in contact with Mr.******** regarding his concerns. In reviewing the sales call we were able to determine that he was never promised the 2 interviews per month that he claims. We contacted him regarding this claim initially less than a month after he signed up, and offered him a promotional rate as a way of showing him that we value him as a member, which he accepted. Mr. ******** has since canceled his membership and has been inactive since November of 2018.
Complaint#3: Signed in early December 2018. At the end of December I applied for a few advisory board positions that ExecRanks suggested to me, but nothing has been moving to date. In fact, their dashboard keeps saying target companies have not even reviewed my application yet. Since I found this strange, I looked up those companies and found they are all 1- or 2-person companies that would hardly have a need for an advisory board. After reaching out to ExecRanks again, they claim it takes an average of 6 months for their companies to make a decision. I seriously doubt that a 1- or 2-person company would need that much time to review applications and make a decision. It is of course 6 months of billing for them. Hence, I am very suspicious about their business model. It looks like they recruit board candidates first and then you try to recruit companies and try to match them. That is likely where the 6 months delay comes from. Personally I doubt I will ever hear from the companies I applied to. And of course, their 15 day cancellation policy is ridiculous. I will let my credit card company deal with that. I asked for a refund but never got an answer. I will certainly discourage anybody who asks me if joining ExecRanks is a good idea
There are 21 of these kinds of complaints and in responses The ExecRanks, AdvisoryCloud Scam folks always say the claim is not legitimate and their business is.
Let’s Check Out the AdvisoryCloud Scam on Glassdoor Employee Reviews
Review #1: “Don’t Let the Positive Reviews or ‘Awards’ Fool You”
Former Employee – Anonymous Employee
Disapproves of CEO
I worked at The ExecRanks full-time
Pros: Bagels every Friday, Visa gift card incentives, – mostly nice people (besides upper management and C-Suites)
Cons: This company is selling something that doesn’t exist. They have changed their company product and offerings so many times in the last year alone, I don’t even think the CEO knows what they do anymore. This has created extremely frustrated and unhappy employees, who have little to no support from management navigating the changes.
Clear lack of communication from management on these changes causes even more issues, not to mention the horrific management of the IT side. Launching a new platform with NO beta testing caused more issues and angry customers and showed how uninformed and unprofessional the company really is. Who launches a site with no beta testing?
Don’t let the awards the company has won from organizations such as Inc5000 fool you. These awards have nothing to do with company profitability, culture, or success. They ONLY refer to the company size (number of employees). The culture here is terrible, people are stressed, overworked and underpaid and not given any guidance whatsoever. There is no culture, just stress.
Advice to Management: Learn how to manage. Stop selling a scam. Build your employees up instead of constantly telling them what they are doing wrong.
The ONLY thing anyone above the associate/team lead level cares about here is churn rate/cancellations. They will implement any little thing to keep members from canceling (except making a quality service/product?) They even incentivize employees to “save” members with spins on a ridiculous wheel to earn Visa gift cards. Whatever keep the peons silent, right? Not to mention some cheap, ugly trophies you get to display at your desk when you are the “Churn Champion.”
Review #2: “This is a boiler room selling a scam – steer clear”
Former Employee – Anonymous Employee
Disapproves of CEO
Pros: Pay is reasonable, in comparison to other SDR or AM-type roles
Cons: Product is largely fake. Some listings are real (mostly for non-profit boards), but most are not, and the customer testimonials on the website are also largely fictitious. Several customers listed by name have requested that their names be removed, but company management has refused, or dragged their feet. You will spend a lot of time either selling this B/S to prospects, or dealing with angry customers once they realize the whole thing is garbage.
Advice to Management: Close the boiler room!
Review #3: “Unethical and Unprofessional.”
Former Employee – Sales, Other in Novato, CA
No opinion of CEO
I worked at The ExecRanks full-time (More than a year)
Pros: Paychecks. Business world knowledge and BS-ing skills. The experience helps to eliminate the desire to ever work in a company again.
Cons: It’s a delusional place with a manic sales team (even more than usual.) I don’t know what they’re so cheerful about – it’s boiler room repetition, selling fluff and flattery. It’s telemarketing, not-so-subtle deception, and exclamations all day long about taking credit card numbers. Also, this company doesn’t utilize software technology that exists which could eliminate the huge backend team of employees, whose work existences are just scripted upkeep of the illusion. Seems that investing in programming of a good platform would’ve been a grander idea, but then, entrepreneurship in the Bay Area has a range of integrity. For every amazing app, with genuine service and mind-blowing tech, there are websites like this Execranks (not an app) that capitalize on the job hopefulness of customers and employees alike.
The managers’ main occupation is to come up with new ways to pretend the product works, change gears as the churn continues to climb, and ultimately mold the employees into their fear-based jobs.
Advice to Management: Data management school, and/or learn software developing.
Let’s Check Out the AdvisoryCloud Scam on Yelp Review
1 Review for 1 Star
They wanted to record my first phone call with them. Very strange. I’ve never had a recruiter (or any other business) want to do that. I requested twice by email in advance of our call that they not record the call. They ignored both those requests and began recording our call. When I put my foot down and insisted the recording stop, Dave hung up on me.
I would never do business with Dave Clark and ExecRanks.
AdvisoryClous (ExecRank) Summary
May 16, 2019 – Update: This post has been updated after I received a phone call from Gilbert J. Tsai, of the Hanson Bridgett law firm. Mr. Tsai wanted me to know that ExecMagic is not the same company as AdvisoryCloud which use to be known as ExecRanks. Based on the fact that both companies have similiar scammy business models, I corrected this post to reflect that change.
Apparently, The Scamming Schemers at Advisory Cloud do not want to be associated with the Scamming Schemers at ExecMagin. I can only assume ExecMagic is equally disturbed having their joke of a business model compared to the sleazy business practices of AdvisoryCloud (formerly ExecRanks).
I also make this offer to the team at AdvisoryCloud. If you would like to post a response to this post, I will gladly post your response here. If you can point to any verifiable factual errors, I will gladly correct them. Remember opinions are not facts and my opinions and the opinions of others expressed in this blog cannot be factually incorrect because opinions are not facts.
Disclaimer: I volunteer my time and am an independent contractor for many organizations. The Views on my blog post are my own and do not represent the views of any of the organizations with whom I dedicate my time. That includes my clients in my coaching practice, the members of my Driven Forward ThinkTank, the University of Maryland. Mach37, The Founders Institute. These views also do not reflect the opinions for any organization that I was formerly associated with including, James Monroe Elementary School, where I graduated with distinction from 6th grade, Lexitron which I left in 1982, Montgomery Youth Hockey or Vistage an organization was grateful to be a part of and of which I happily parted ways in 2014.