Face National Models and Talent - Consumer Advice
To Whom It May Concern:
Face National Models and Talent was recently here in Oklahoma City (July 12-14) holding a model search.
I was one of the supposedly 81 to get a contract with a spot reserved to use their photographer after a first payment of $170.
I believed Face to be a legitimate company until I tried to go to their website last night, and could not find it, nor could I find a listing of Face in the online yellow pages.
After searching I came across your website, and I was blown away by the number of people who had bad dealings with Face.
Face National Models and Talent put an ad in our local newspaper on July 7 stating that they would be at the Marriott Hotel July 12-13 from 3-7 pm only.
I went on July 13 at about 4:30 pm, and when I arrived they gave me a piece of paper to fill out with my personal info, and what type of modeling I wanted to do. Then they told me to go in and sit down because the next meeting was about to start.
A lady named McKlayne Haugen spoke about how they were looking for models and talent to sign.
After she spoke, she and another man sat in the back of the room at a table and called names from the info sheet.
When I was called back by McKlayne, she asked how old I was and told me to smile. Then she had me turn sideways and turn my torso towards her. She scribbled some stuff on my sheet, and told me to come back later that night at 8 pm with a picture of myself, and gave me another info sheet to fill out.
When I went back at 8 pm, there was a table where you had to sign in at up under a group 1-8 that was on my info sheet that I was given.
After I signed in there was a guy standing in the doorway with a camcorder having everyone state their name and age.
I did that and went in to sit down in a room that was already full with a lot of people still coming in.
Kerrie was already talking and he continued to talk for about an hour. He talked about how they were different from Model Search America and other agencies; how their website was state of the art; and how much money you would make with promotional, runway, trade show, and informal modeling.
He also talked about how Face had their own photographer, and they had 16 spaces left for the shoot that they were going to be doing here for the models who needed to get composite cards made.
After he finished talking, McKlayne came up and gave each group a number to call and a time to call the next day to find out if you were going to get a contract. After that the meeting was over.
I was in Group 5, and I was told to call between 10 and 10:30 am. I did call several times and kept getting a busy signal, but after about 10-15 minutes I got through.
McKlayne answered the phone (I recognized her voice), and she said, "You got the contract," and asked if I wanted to reserve a spot for their photographer. I said, "Yes."
She then told me that in order to reserve my spot I had to come back to the hotel at 3 pm and bring $170 with me.
When I went at 3 pm there were about 10 people in the room looking over the contract and the payment agreement for the photographer.
After I read over my papers I went to the back of the room to a table where McKlayne was sitting, and she spoke with me and another lady at the same time.
She asked if we had any questions about either papers; then she had us sign both papers and give her the money for the first payment.
I paid in cash, and when I asked her for a receipt she said that my receipt was the payment agreement sheet.
She then gave us a packet of papers stapled together, and told us to bring it with us to the workshop on July 30, and that she would see us then.
I did try to contact Face National Model and Talent by phone, but a recording came on stating their business hours and the extensions of their employees.
When I punched in the Melanie Warner extension, her answering machine came on with a message for July 17 saying that she was either out of the office or on the phone, and to leave a message.
I did leave a message and have yet to hear from her, but I will let you know what happens.
I am very upset that Face National Models and Talent has not been shut down, and I am going to do everything that I can to get them shut down.
I really thought that this was going to be my big break, and it has disappointed me very much, but I will continue to try to do modeling, because it is something that I have always wanted to do.
My name is Melanie Werner with Face Models, and I am one of the Event Coordinators.
I am responding to the letter that was sent into this website, Modeling Scams, concerning Oklahoma City.
If I have not already contacted you back since you have written this email to Modeling Scams, please contact myself again if possible, because I would love to help you with any of your questions or concerns.
I do return every single phone message that is left on my voice mail here at the agency.
Thank you again.
To Whom It May Concern:
I, too, like so many other people who have written your website, am a "model" now for Face National Models and Talent.
I have done all the same things every other person has described, and two days ago I bought the composite cards for $388.
I am so disappointed that I did not see this website sooner. However, I am still not ready to accuse Face of being anything they are not.
I have been happy with their service so far. My pictures were great, and I have personally met other models who have signed the FACE contract, but used their own comp cards.
What I do wish to know is if there is ANY model out there who has gotten ANY work from FACE.
The only person I have read about is this Monique chick, and she works for them.
Has anyone gotten work?
To Whom It May Concern:
I have just allowed my 10-year-old daughter to sign a contract with Face National Models and Talent here in Oklahoma City. It was signed at the same time as another person who wrote.
I paid them the first $170, and I am supposed to be at the workshop on July 30 with the second payment of $213.
Am I stuck here? I don't really know what to believe now.
Is there a way to cancel using their photo guy and use another one? If so, can I get my $170 back?
I don't want to jump to conclusions, but more and more people are writing letters to this site about Face.
Even if I contact Face personally, who's to say a line of bull isn't being used to pacify me?
Do you have any suggestions? With so many people coming forward, is there a legal road to pursue if needed?
Thank you for your help.
Since you have not actually paid for anything, either a service (photography) or a product (photos), they should return your money. Especially since the workshop is not dependent on you. Others will attend with or without you. Your cancellation is not going to waste their money; although not cancelling could waste your money.
You questioned the possibility of being fed a line. This is exactly right. You cannot tell. You don't know these people.
The problem here is they are from out of town, they are basically complete strangers, traveling salesmen, if you will, and they can avoid the accountability that comes with having an office in OK city. Can they just leave town?
Generally speaking it is advisable to stick with local agencies unless the others have a perfect record. Face does not have a perfect record.
Legal action is possible. But only after other options have been exhausted. Face apparently does respond to at least some BBB complaints. You may want to contact the BBB in Charlotte if they don't return your money.
A class-action lawsuit is one option if a number of people conclude they have been tricked.
There was a company in FL which has received similar complaints as Face National has received, and the parent of one aspiring model, a retired firefighter, filed a lawsuit against the "agency." The story was in the news; it was then sent to this site by the model's father.
There are people out there who "don't take crap from nobody." They managed to get a large group of people to testify or sign affidavits to support the case. The man who filed the lawsuit actually wanted the company to be shut down.
When complaints add up at the BBB, they can show up on the FTC radar, because they all use the same fraud database network. Furthermore, the FTC does visit websites to find or monitor fraud. And it has effectively shut down scam companies, including scam modeling companies.
Small claims court is another possible option, although that may only be possible if the offending company is in the same state. You'd have to check OK law.
Scams can last a long time when the amount lost is relatively small. The scam artists figure people will just let it go.
The people who do take legal action generally do it on principle; money isn't the most important thing to them. It can cost more in legal fees than the amount which can be returned.
In such cases there is a higher purpose. They are fighting for Americans. The prevailing attitude is: "This is America, and we are not going to put up with this in our country."
Thank you for your quick reply.
One problem with not paying them the rest of the money is a contract. The night we signed for my daughter there were actually two contracts. One was for them to represent us, and the other was to use them for the photo shoot.
The contract states that no refund will be given if not cancelled within three days of signing the contract.
I will call FACE and request a refund, and if it doesn't work, I will take further measures to make sure this doesn't happen to another city.
I would try to get the media involved some more and request a petition be signed by all that believe they have been misled or scammed.
If this is a scam or just a bad business decision, it needs to be stopped.
Do you have any comments on this type of action?
Any help is appreciated. Thank you, and I will keep you posted on the reply, if any, from FACE.
Face National Models and Talent gets you to sign a contract before you can check their BBB record, check user complaints, read published news reports, read state warnings, or ask for and check client and model references?
Federal or state laws require at least a three-day cooling-off period. The rules offer consumer protection giving three days for contracts to be reviewed, etc. The cooling-off period is designed to deal with sales pressure and emotional manipulation by scam artists.
It looks as if they are covering their ass by giving you the bare minimum of what the law requires: three days.
Does Face misrepresent its ability to obtain modeling positions for its clients? Complainants who signed Face contracts said they did not receive modeling positions or modeling jobs after being led to believe they would get work.
The Federal Trade Commission prosecuted a scam modeling agency called National Talent Associates, and required it to have a three-day cooling-off period for contracts to be reviewed, etc.
In FTC vs. Screen Test USA, the FTC argued:
The FTC website said:
It sounds as if Face National does not have permanent offices outside Charlotte, NC.
I can't advise you to break a contract. But do you really think your 10-year-old daughter is going to get work through Face National?
They can't force you to make additional payments. You can't force them to return the money you already paid.
If you ask for your money back, and they refuse, contact the Better Business Bureau. The BBB is very familiar with Face National. One of the BBB leaders has already spoken out against Face as cited in a news report.
The BBB is not just about filing complaints; it is also about dispute resolution.
Companies which are scamming people often do nothing unless they are challenged. Sometimes when challenged by a BBB complaint, they will offer refunds, because they know there will be a penalty against them in the BBB file which others will see. In other words, it could cost them more to resist the refund than to give you your money back.
If it ever gets to this, your idea of a petition with signatures could do something, but what would really shut everything down in a city would be complaints to the advertisers. Perhaps a signed petition sent to the advertisers?
If the radio station or newspaper where the advertising would be seen refuses to advertise, because the company is considered a scam, it cannot effectively enter the city. If they don't have an office in the city, nobody would know they are holding a meeting, and nobody would show up.
To Whom It May Concern:
Last year around April I went to an open call for Face National Models and Talent.
A speaker named Carey was there. He was very flamboyant about how he used to model, and said he had modeled everything under the sun.
Carey did his sales pitch and asked us to individually come up to the front and do a pose. He asked us questions, smiled, and asked us to be seated.
Then after everything was done he asked those people who had call backs to attend the second open call later that night.
At the second open call, Carey did his spiel again and told us how many companies needed models in my area (San Jose, California), and that they needed models right away.
He insisted on getting pictures done, but I already had my portfolio and comp cards done, and I had them in hand.
Well, he didn't look very happy, because I wasn't going to do my cards with them.
He took my card and gave me a number to call in the morning.
I called in the morning and I was told that I was one of the models that had been chosen.
So I handed them my comp cards and went on my merry way.
Three months went by and I received no call...
Six months went by and I received no call.
After six months I had finally had enough.
I called their office. I was told that the reason why I had not heard from them was because they had a new booker of clients.
I asked her: "How many cards do I have on the wall?"
"Fifty," she answered.
So I knew they were not going to find me work.
I asked for my cards back and they returned them. That was the only thing they did right.
I learned my lesson. Now I am signed with three legitimate agencies and I have done some work.
in San Diego, CA
To Whom It May Concern:
My five-year-old daughter was chosen by Face National Models and Talent in Houston.
I took her to the open call for the first interview on a Wednesday. We filled out a short one-page form, put it in a basket, and then waited for an hour to be called.
While waiting in line, there was a young lady (about 19) who had signed a contract with Face the night before.
I should have thought twice, after looking at her, but I didn't.
Our interview consisted of my daughter walking up to a table for a young man to look at her. He handed me a blank form identical to the first form I had filled out.
While waiting we were informed that if we received one of these forms we were being asked to come back that evening.
Our first interview was at 5:45 pm, and we had to return at 8:00 pm dressed to impress in business attire.
We were told to be on time or too bad. I live approximately an hour from the hotel, which gave me very little time to get back.
Once we came back, we entered into a room of 187 call backs along with many parents.
The room didn't accommodate enough sitting room, so about 50-75 people stood.
Carrie began to ramble on about how Face is the best, and how your looks were everything in this career.
I modeled briefly as a young teen and know what this business is about, but I never expected to hear what I heard.
I give the guy credit; he was very humorous and to the point regarding looks.
He bashed several other companies and their modeling camps. However, he never once really focused on money Face makes off their photo shoots.
He made it sound as if you could use your own hand-picked professional or theirs.
Being the skeptic that I am, I phoned their office to verify the business, and I also went to their website.
After reviewing their website, I bought in. I made my call back time the next day and she was in.
I was asked if I wanted to use their photographer, but declined. Then I was told to have my pictures/comp cards in hand by my next meeting in August 2002 (two weeks to be exact).
I've been frantically searching for a good photograper since mid-July. I also went shopping to buy a few new outfits and shoes.
I found one photographer, but after meeting I didn't feel secure with the outcome.
After my meeting, I came home to find a letter from Face in the mail. What this letter said is not what we were told in the meeting with Carrie.
The letter contains sentences such as:
I came back to look at the Face website again and here I am. I was linked to this site first. This site made me call a friend who knows the in's and out's of the Texans football team to check up on a statement made by Carrie during the initial meeting.
Carrie had stated that they'd been contracted to do promotional work for the Houston Texans, but from what my friend has said they have not.
I'm glad I dug for information, because tomorrow my daughter would have been at an expensive $400 photoshoot with someone I'm unsure about to begin with.
But at least I now know that I have enough connections here to find someone legitimate.
I only took my daughter to the Face National Models and Talent open call because I was not thinking clearly.
Thank you for your website.
P.S. I have a correction to make. The one photographer I found was very nice and seemed great with my kid. She was the one who made me go back to the website, by asking me for the web address. Had she not asked for it, I wouldn't have tried to go back. This is what me made unsure.
When trying to go back, I got Modeling Scams. She emailed me this morning wanting the exact name of the company, because she has another young lady coming in for a very hasty photoshoot. She said she wants to make sure the girl knows this information if she's using the same agency.
I have every intention of informing the Houston Police Department of this agency's scam.
I will also inform the radio station 104-KRBE and the Radisson Astrodome Hotel. They need to know that they are contributing to the problem.
I myself did not become a victim, but I could have.
I hope everyone begins to notify the authorities and anyone contributing to the problem. There are very young teens and parents of small children that keep getting scammed.
Crimes of Persuasionon