Before you sign a contract or pay anything to a career consulting company you have seen advertised, take the following precautions to protect yourself and your livelihood:
- Be skeptical of any employment service firm that promises to get you a job for an up-front fee and guarantees refunds to unhappy customers.
- Consider the cost versus the likely benefit of their services.
- Ask to meet with the representative in his or her office, rather than a hotel room or other temporary location.
- Get a copy of the firm’s contract and review it carefully prior to signing. Understand the terms and conditions of their refund policy. If oral promises are made that do not also appear in the contract, reconsider doing business with them or, at a minimum, have these written into the contract.
- Check the company’s track record in Georgia and nationally through the Better Business Bureau. Remember, even if there are no complaints, they may have changed names or may be too new for complaints to have been registered against them.
- Follow up with the corporate office of any employer listed in an employment service ad to confirm that the company is really hiring.
- Be wary of firms promoting “previously undisclosed” federal government jobs. All federal positions are announced to the public.
- Do not give out your credit card or bank account information on the phone unless you are familiar with the company and agree to pay for something. Anyone who has your account information can use it to take money from your account.
- If you call an 800 number, you cannot legally be transferred to a 900 number. If this happens, you will be charged excessive fees in violation of federal law.