Kids.com (JustOurKids.com)
Considered a Rip-off


To Whom It May Concern:

[TCTalent.com] sounds just like the business that Kids.com (www.justourkids.com) is doing in our own backyard (at 6510 N. Lincoln in Lincolnwood).

It's a similar type of situation. You bring your child/children in for a free consultation, they act like it's a big deal to be chosen, run you through the mill, and then they tell you that your child has been chosen to participate at the end.

You have the 2 options:

1) You can market your child yourself contacting all the agencies and getting your own photos then letting Kids.com try to place them, or;

2) Pay $595 for Kids.com to market them, photo them, put them on their site, find them work, etc.

You only get paid after a placement, if one ever happens.

I did my homework on this type of business and every legit publication (Parents mag, Parenting, etc.) said do not pay anything up front. If the company is legitimate, they will make the investment in your child and make their money on the placements at the same time you do.

So these places are basically preying on people's attachments to their children (don't we all think ours is the cutest?) and the hopes of an easy ticket to the bank (McCauley Caulkin?).

Just thought people should know in case they too are receiving Kids.com postcards in the mail and are tempted.

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To Whom It May Concern:

Is "kids.com" a legitimate firm? Have I been scammed?

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To Whom It May Concern:

I enrolled my child into Kids.com. Was I scammed? I enrolled three years ago and it is for a five year period.

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To Whom It May Concern:

I signed up my three-year-old just a few months ago. At that time, I looked on the internet to check up on the company but found out very little. It took a couple of months before they could schedule their photographer and when I spoke to him we realized that we knew each other from a few years back!

He then asked me how I got sucked into this "scam."

I then went back to the internet and found out so much more! I'm sure this is a scam. After reading other complaints and picking apart their contract which is so vague, it's ridiculous. I think I'm going to consult an attorney.

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To Whom It May Concern:

I have an appointment with kids.com in NJ on Saturday for my son who is seven months old. They said there is no charge for the consultation, but then they charge $500. Is this company legitimate? I don't want to get our hopes up and take our money and that's the end of the story. Any help would be appreciated.

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To Whom It May Concern:

Recently I received a letter from Kids.com, and both my children "passed" the phone interview. I took them in for a personal interview, and they were to be accepted into the program.

However, since it required a large downpayment (and I was not told I would have to pay that first day), I asked for time to think it over and come up with the money.

Needless to say, they were not happy, which made me suspicious.

Can you please give me some info on this company? Also, if you have any info, for another company called Ad Kids which has expressed interest in my children. I was told they were a company formed largely of people who used to work for kids.com but were unhappy with their business practices and decided to go out on their own. Can you give me any information regarding Ad Kids as well?

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To Whom It May Concern:

What information can you provide on kids.com aka justourkids.com? I received a letter in the mail and have spoken with them on the phone. I have an appointment with them early next week. Is this a reputable service?

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To Whom It May Concern:

Thank you for your prompt reply about Kids.com. We had an interview tonight and had felt very pressured to sign both our children. We insisted we needed the night to think it over, which they did not like of course. We couldn't understand why one or two days would make a difference. If our kids were that desirable/marketable now, would 24-48 hours make them less desirable/marketable?

Thanks for your information and for saving us $695 ($595 for one kid and only an additional $100 for the second kid).

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To Whom It May Concern:

Please send me any information you have on JustOurKids.com. My wife and I enrolled our daughter last month. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

I enrolled my daughter over seven months ago, paid $500 for them to manage her, but have not received a single job. I am asked every six months to go and get her picture taken, which is $20.

What another parent wrote is exactly how it was with us. The only thing is I fell for it. But what bothers me more is that my daughter is really into it. See asks me constantly, "Why don't they call?" That is what hurt me the most."

Tank you for your information, but while I was reading it I notice you mentioned that in Illinois is illegal to charge registration fees. What about Long Island, NY? I paid $500.00 for them to do all the leg work plus 15% of commission when my daughter get a job.... And where can I start investigating more about them and should I take them to court. Where do I start?

Thanks,

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Reply to:

Try the Department of Consumer Affairs or Eliot Spitzer's Consumer Protection office. The DCA deals with some modeling scams. They have in the past, and they have recently. But if they say they don't have jurisdiction, Spitzer does. The DCA has jurisdiction over modeling agencies, not Spitzer. If Kids.com says they are not a modeling agency—and if that is not a lie—they have to deal with Spitzer.

It's really a legal interpretation issue, and the legal interpretation is made by the DCA Commissioner, not the court. NY is weird, but that's the way it is. So start with the DCA, report a modeling agency operating without a license, and file your complaint of fraud in advertising. Even if the DCA does not confront them for operating with a license, Spitzer can go after them for Deceptive and Unfair Trade.

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To Whom It May Concern:

My wife and I had an interview with Kids.com. at their Lynbrook NY office regarding my daughter. Unfortunately, I paid the $595.00 for a five-year contract. I was unable to much research, because Kids.com only came into existence on 7/1/99. But after getting the former name, I was able to find out a little more about the company.

I did not cancel my agreement within the 3 business days which is stated on their contract, but I did ask for a refund 11 business days after initially signing the agreement which was on xx.

I have tried to dispute the charge with my credit card company but lost. I have spoken to Mr. Don Voight, who is the VP of the new company, and who will tell you that Kids.com is not NTA, yet they have adopted some of NTA's "mannerisms." He refuses to refund my money.

He obviously has no honor, integrity, morals or a decent bone in his body. Is there anything else I can do to try to get my money back? Please help.

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Reply to:

THIS SCAM HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR 30 YEARS. IT IS NOT JUST THAT THEIR MANNERISMS ARE THE SAME, IT IS MUCH MORE THAN THAT. ALL INDICATIONS ARE THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS A SUPERFICIAL NAME CHANGE.

I CAN GO INTO DETAILS ON THE SIMILARITIES IF YOU WANT. HAVE YOU READ THE DATELINE TRANSCRIPT? THERE'S LOTS OF FRAUD IN THAT.

I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU TOLD YOUR CC COMPANY. WHAT INFORMATION DID YOU GIVE THEM? A CC COMPANY BASES ITS DECISION ON FRAUD OR ILLEGAL BUSINESS. HOW MUCH FRAUD DID YOU SHOW THEM THE COMPANY COMMITTED?

MORE IMPORTANTLY, YOU SHOULD PROVE KIDS.COM MEETS THE LEGAL DEFINITION OF AN AGENCY, YET HAS NO LICENSE. THEREFORE IT'S ILLEGAL. THEREFORE THEY HAD NO RIGHT TO TAKE YOUR MONEY. THUS THEY MUST RETURN IT.

ALL YOU NEED IS THE CONTRACT YOU SIGNED AND A STATEMENT FROM THE ILLINOIS DEPT OF LABOR. I CALLED SAG CHICAGO. THEY SAID IT'S ILLEGAL FOR AN AGENCY OR PLACEMENT FIRM TO OPERATE WITHOUT AN EMPLOYMENT AGENCY LICENSE. CALL THE DEPT OF LABOR FOR MORE INFORMATION TO CONFIRM VIOLATIONS OF THE Private Employment Agencies Act.

Illinois Department of Labor
Fair Labor Standards Division/Private Employment Agency Section
160 N. LaSalle
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 793-2810

THEIR OWN WEBSITE SAYS:

An Agency license is required to engage "for gain or profit" in the business of securing or attempting to secure employment for persons seeking employment, or attempting to secure employees for employers (including "applicant paid" fee agencies, "domestic services" agencies, theatrical agencies, and all agencies that recommend individuals for placement who are under the age of 18 or who do not have a high school diploma).
 
http://spinotew1.commerce.state.il.us/dfsim.nsf/0/
d21d192ca3e6c814862562b900659d3e?OpenDocument

Kids.com engages "for gain or profit" in the business of securing or attempting to secure employment for persons seeking employment. Their contract says they take 15% commission and they have a Booking Department. Furthermore, they recommend individuals for placement who are under the age of 18—ALL the kids are under 18! How could this possibly not be illegal?

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I made photo copies of all articles related to National Talent Associates including a copy of the permanent injunction handed down in New Jersey. I even highlighted certain sections including the order of a refund within 10 business days. I was told that since it was related to the old company and not the new one, and because the contract states 3 business days, I was responsible. It is ludicrious to think that the CC company would go strictly by what the contract states but that is what they did. I have put in a complaint with the FTC and emailed certains news stations but I probably will have no luck. If there is anything that can be done by someone who has some pull, it would be greatly appreciated. I am an educated person but I failed to follow the old rule of thumb on paying something upfront. Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Help. Thank you.

P.S My work phone# is xx if someone would like to reach me. Again thank you for any help you can provide.

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Credit card companies can be annoying, but they can lose money on chargebacks, which could explain their reluctance to return your money. But, again, you have to think outside the FTC box. Think local and think Dept of Labor. Think clearly illegal versus probably unethical. Look to black-and-white issues like licensing. The FTC is off in another state. Your city and your state has more responsibility.

You can debate whether or not Kids.com is NTA as long as you want, but in the final analysis it's not an issue of whether Kids.com is like NTA; instead, it's whether or not Kids.com is breaking the law.


To Whom It May Concern:

I am just interested in knowing beforehand whether this is legitimate agency, do they have any questionable practices (i.e., photomill or fradulent fees)?

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Reply To:

If it is an agency, but it does not have an agency license, can it be legitimate?

Questionable practices are significant:

1) unlicensed employment agency;

2) false advertising ("referral letter");

3) mail solicitation;

4) secret failure rate;

5) secret leader's background;

6) upfront fees. Upfront fees must be authorized by the State.

7) copying the biggest child modeling scam in U.S. history.

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To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to get information on Kids.com. I received a letter from them regarding my son. I was curious to find out if they are a reputable company.

Thank you,

redacted


Reply To:

IS THERE ANY WAY YOU COULD SCAN AND EMAIL A COPY OF THE LETTER FROM KIDS.COM? OTHERS PREVIOUSLY SHARED THE SAME EXPERIENCE, GETTING A LETTER. IT SOUNDS MOST INTRIGUING THAT A MODELING AGENCY WOULD SCOUT WITHOUT FIRST SEEING THE POTENTIAL MODEL.

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I can scan the letter this weekend and email it to you.

I called to say that I received their letter (I wanted to hear their pitch). I was told that they get information from public records (birth certificates, mailing lists, etc.) and use those lists as their mailing list. They asked if my son had any stork bites, or blue veins on the bridge of his nose. When I said yes, they replied, "Do they show up in photos?"

I replied "no," and they went on with their questions.

They asked what size clothing he was in, what he weighed, did he appear overweight, & was he afraid of strangers?

Then they asked me to set up an appointment with their talent scout Monday - Friday 9:30 AM - 2:30 PM. I told them that I was not going to set up an appointment today.

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