We would say that, for the most part, volume-based representation companies have been a VERY BAD thing for problem taxpayers.
You see the ads on TV..."settle for pennies on the dollar." You get the endless bombardment of mail once you have a tax lien on record. You call up the phone and get a very slick sales pitch from a person who, for all you know, could be some unemployed actor in Los Angeles. The fee is $5000.00 to get you an Offer in Compromise! Two months into the system, clients learn that they DON'T qualify for an OIC. Or that their unemployed actor consultant got a job in the film industry and isn't answering his phone! Or, worse, the company is shut down by the IRS!
In fact one very large firm - the largest that we know of based in South Carolina - lost a class-action lawsuit to 58,000 customers. Sadly, each customer only received $69 after paying their lawyers. (UPDATE 2015: THIS COMPANY IS NOW CLOSED - IT WAS JK HARRIS.)
It's a bad scene out there. Please check out our list here -- A review of 150 tax resolution companies If our company doesn't suit you, we think you would be safe to AVOID any company based in the Los Angeles area - particularly those with a name ending in "TAX RELIEF" OR the aforementioned company in South Carolina. Check out the http://www.bbb.com/ on anybody else.