Alpha Model Group: Controversial Photo Sales to Models

Pay Alpha Model Group in Pennsylvania $1,000 for photography and comp cards? Get no modeling jobs? Want your money back? Call Linda (Department of Labor and Industry): (717) 787-4134

Pay Alpha Model Group in North Carolina $1,000 for photography and comp cards? Get no modeling jobs? Want your money back? Call Assistant Attorney General Harriet Worley: (919) 716-6000

Pay Alpha Model Group in Texas $1,000 for photography and comp cards? Get no modeling jobs? Want your money back? Call Pedro V., Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation: (512) 463-7364

Modeling Agency Caught Referring Clients to Comp Card Printer It Owns

On Track Modeling aka Alpha Model Group

Sunday, August 8, 2004

Just yesterday, On Track Modeling / Alpha Modeling Group came to my town. I sat through their speech about modeling and the need to buy portfolio pictures and it was almost completely the same as the Face modeling speech (I sat through that one two years ago). I was wondering: are the two groups affiliated?

Also, I just wanted to say thanks for having Web Sites like this. It's a shame that more people aren't reached with this information, because they don't research before they go to an open call.

Answer

It looks as if On Track Modeling / Alpha Modeling Group has copied the FACE photo sales technique, etc., and use the same photo sales pitch and even the same photo sales pitchman, Kerry Killowitz. Even the prices are the same. Read the case against Face.

PLEASE SEND A PHOTO OF THE PHOTO SALESMAN Kerry Killowitz. THANK YOU.

February 7, 2004

I have been a client of On Track Modeling / Alpha Modeling Group based out of Philadelphia, PA. I have paid all the money for the photos/comp cards. I was told that I would get bookings faster if I used their photographer, the quality of the photos would be better. They also said that if I went somewhere else another photographer would charge all kinds of outrageous fees for hair and makeup.

What they were saying sounded like it made sense, so I signed up and paid three payments ($183, $268, $268) for the photo shoot, then made another huge payment for the comp cards.

I was also told that if I didn't go to the photo shoot or had to cancel, they would not refund my money. I just wanted to know what I could do to get my money back.

I have not heard from them since they took my last check for the comp cards, that I find out later are horrible shots, and the photographer took them as if he didn't know what he was doing.

Is there anything I can do?

February 9, 2004

The photographer was [...] Photography in Philadelphia. Business was conducted at 2 locations - OTM Model Management @ 4190 City Avenue, Suite 528 Philadelphia PA 19131 and then at Alpha Model Group @ One Neshaminy Interplex, Suite 306, Trevose, PA 19503.

I tried to contact the company before, because no one had ever called me after they received my last payment. I still haven't heard from them despite the calls I made. No one ever got back with me when I left messages. Then I just thought I got scammed and I started doing research.

I wanted to know what my options are. I feel horrible about this and I am out $1,200. Is there anything I can do?

February 10, 2004

The first check was for $183 and I believe the check was made to OTM. Once I made the payment, they said if I tried to back out of the shoot, I couldn't get my money back. The second payment of $268 was taken at a "workshop." They swiped my debit card there. I have a receipt. Then the last payment of $268 was taken by the photographer.

About four months later someone called and told me that my slides were in and I needed to order 200 comp cards. That was the best deal they said and that is the best way to get me work. That payment was $475.94. I thought that was a lot, but I didn't know. Needless to say I have never heard from them again. That payment was taken at an Alpha Model Group office.

February 16, 2004

OTM said we couldn't do our own hair and makeup and so when I got there I hadn't done my hair. And no one did my hair either; the girl just pushed it back. She did that to everyone's hair. If you see my pictures, they look like my hair wasn't done.

OTM charged me $719 for the photo shoot. I also found out that OTM owns the printer of the comp cards down in South Carolina. They charged $475.94 for the comp cards. Is there anything I can do?

I called and asked the girl that answered the phone. She said she didn't know [who owns the printer] and that no one had ever asked that before. She put me on hold, then got back on the phone and said that OTM owns the printer. I asked her what the name of the printer was and she put me on hold again. She got back on and said there wasn't a name, OTM owned it.

I will call them again to see if I can find out more information.

February 17, 2004

I called the office again to find out the name of the printer. The girl told me OTM owns the printer and that is in North Carolina, not South Carolina (that was my mistake). I called back to double check. [The photographer] has a studio, but when I took those comp cards to another agency they said they looked [...] and said I should [...]. His website is [...]. All the girls I was there with, he took the same type of pictures of all of us. The same background, stance and pose.

February 23, 2004

I finally spoke to someone at OTM. The guy who is in charge told me that I can't speak to the printer, that OTM is the printer, and I would only be speaking to someone who works for OTM. In order to get the name, I told him I didn't like my comp cards, and he said I needed to send one to him, so he could take a look and they would print more. I really believe they stole my money from me. They have not once called me since I signed up with them.

February 24, 2004

I spoke to Bill McMullen who is the New Face Director and handles the comp cards, but he didn't know what to say when I told him I didn't like the comp cards, so he put Jim Riggerio on the phone. I do think it's weird they wouldn't let me speak to the printer. I asked for his name and number three times, and he kept saying, "For what? OTM owns the printer . . . you'll only be speaking to us."

I will call David Ecksmith. I would not have paid all that money if I knew they owned the printer, because they can charge whatever they want. And that's what they did without getting me any work at all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

March 1, 2004

I talked to "David Ecksmith" down in North Carolina. I wasn't sure what to say to him, so I just asked him to give me prices. OTM in PA charged me $475.94 for 200 comp cards. David Ecksmith quoted me a price of $215 for 200 cards. He said the cards are only $1 per card. So they overcharged me for the photoshoot and the comp cards. What can I do?

The markup on the photography was: OTM charged me $718, but the photographer said for hair and makeup it was $600 and for no hair and no makeup it was $400. I didn't get my hair done and the makeup girl that did my makeup did a horrible job. So OTM marked up the price by at least $200.

They charged me an additional $475 for comp cards. And didn't do anything to find work for me. I would go to the media, but I need to get everything in writing first. I would like to go to the media and warn other people as well as get my money back if I can. I am going to try to get a price list.

March 5, 2004

I called David Ecksmith, but he wasn't in. So I spoke to Sandy (David is her manager). She quoted a different price and also said that they don't send out a list of pricing for the comp cards.

March 10, 2004

The second quote was $215 for 100 comp cards and $375 for 200. I am trying to get in touch with a news station regarding this.

March 24, 2004

So, what can I do? I want my money back, but I would also like to see them stopped from doing this. It's not right what there doing. I saw mothers with their young daughters paying all this money for something they will never get through this so-called modeling agency. The comp cards are hideous and all the girls' photo shoots are the same. Same background, same pose, everything. What can I do?

March 25, 2004

Another thing: I paid for 200 comp cards and they said they would send me 100 and they would keep 100 to send out for jobs. How do I know that they didn't just print 100 after charging me for 200?

March 29, 2004

I called OTM to tell them what I found. I spoke to Jim Riggerio. He is the one I always talk to. He gives me the run around. He told me to speak to Jane Broderson, who is the booking agent as well as the attorney for OTM. I called her but she wasn't there. I also told him I spoke with Ecksmith. He said he is the president of OTM, but he still said I need to talk to Jane. He also said I had a choice when I "chose" to use them. I don't feel I had a choice. They also said once you sign up you won't get your initial deposit back. So I really didn't have a choice, and I didn't know they were going to jack up the price of the comp cards.

April 7, 2004

The contract says that On Track Modeling / Alpha Modeling Group will collect all monies and 80% of the total amount would go to the talent. So they would keep 20%.

I called Linda at the Dept of Labor. She told me not to talk to them anymore, that she would handle it. I told her my story and she told me to send her a letter so she could have the facts and dates in writing when she calls the agency. She said I may have a case and she is going to look into it.

------

March 28, 2004

My photos were expensive as hell, $719, and that wasn't including composite cards. I signed with OTM in June of 2003, and still haven't made enough $$ off of promotions to even pay for composite cards! I am an aspiring model/actor, and all OTM did was took my money. Also, the picture quality of my photos was horrible.

See also Modeling Agency Caught Referring Clients to Comp Card Printer It Owns

Xtreme Talent LLC of Fort Mill, SC by Allison Goebel (listed owner)


Dallas Talent Agency Fined $12,500
Agreed Final Judgment and Permanent Injunction Issued

April 8, 2008

AUSTIN – A Dallas talent agency ordered to pay a $12,500 fine will also receive permanent injunction against it for violations found during a complaint investigation by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR).

On Track Modeling, Inc., through its principal, (Rickard) Richard Ecksmith, signed the Agreed Final Judgment. The judgment requires payment of a $12,500 fine and a permanent injunction against the company to be filed in Dallas County District Court. The permanent injunction prohibits On Track Modeling from operating as a talent agency unless they are registered with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. Three agencies operated by Ecksmith are included in the orders: On Track Modeling, Inc., d/b/a Alpha Modeling Group, d/b/a On Track Modeling Agency.

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation launched an investigation into activities of On Track Modeling, and Mr. Ecksmith, on behalf of approximately 300 Texas artists and former clients. Evidence was conclusive the talent agency violated Texas talent agency registration statutes and rules by unlawfully collecting advance fees, misrepresenting services offered, and failing to maintain sufficient financial guarantees.

“This business practice is not acceptable. These artists trusted On Track Modeling to fulfill their commitment and the agency abused that trust. We believe our action against the company is necessary to protect Texas consumers,” states William Kuntz, TDLR’s executive director.

TDLR referred the investigation to the Attorney General of Texas for enforcement and a suit was filed against On Track Modeling in early of 2007. In addition to violations of the talent agency statutes and rules and deceptive trade practices the Attorney General’s office found On Track Modeling repeatedly failed to protect personal information of former clients.

Created in 1909 as the Bureau of Labor Statistics, TDLR protects the public welfare and safety and promotes a fair and competitive business environment by regulating twenty-six diverse industries and programs, including boxing, air conditioning contractors, and architectural barriers.


 

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