Starz National Models and Talent
Complaints / Queries


To Whom It May Concern:

I live in Las Vegas, and on the radio I heard of an open call for Starz National Models and Talent.

I went with my sister who is younger than me to the call. Everyone got interviewed, and they said if you were good enough, they would call you back for later that night.

Both of us got picked, and we came back that night. When we got there, there were a room full of people who supposedly got called back. I figured it was a scam.

They put us in a room and the owner went off on an hour-and-a-half speech on the firm.

I am a marketing major, and I know some warning signs. She kept trashing modeling schools and model competitions, trying to make us believe that her agency was real.

She used a lot of games to make us feel vulnerable, and to show that we really wanted to be models.

Afterwards she said we could go, and we never got to meet the agents again. We were supposed to call in the morning to find out if we got a contract.

Basically, they don't charge a fee for joining the company, but you must have a comp card. I think this is what made it a scam: she wants us to use her photographer who she is flying in. He charges $650.

If we don't use him, then we must find a photographer who has his work published on a glamour magazine, and the shots must be 200 resolution. She is paying to fly in a stylist, makeup artist, and hairdresser for free.

So all we would pay for is the photographer. I don't know a lot about the industry, but I thought they pay for your photos if they want you so bad.

I called this morning and we both got contracts.

All the guy kept talking about is they have limited time with the photographer, and he needs me to sign the contract today.

Why are they in such a rush? I would first show the contract to my lawyer.

Is there anyway you could tell me if this is a scam, and if it is, maybe put their name on your list of scam artists?

Thank you for your time.


Hi,

Modeling Scams has received no complaints about Starz National Models and Talent.

It is interesting they called many people back. This strategy has been used for a modeling scam before, but it is hard to tell in this case if it is a scam, because it is not clear how many people were turned away (if any).

You are right to question the sales pressure and marketing strategy. What they did sounds a bit cheesy, trashing modeling schools and competitions, if even they have a valid point.

The price of the photography is not totally unreasonable, and they are not forcing you to use their photographer, but it still sounds from what you said as if there is a lot of pressure to use their photographer, and you might feel guilty if you don't.

Certain agencies will pay for your photos, others won't, so it doesn't necessarily mean they are a scam if they won't pay.

Bigger agencies have deeper pockets, so they are more likely to be able to afford to pay for modeling pictures.

In the end, you should not feel uncomfortable with your choices. There has to be more than one modeling agency in a city as large as Las Vegas, an entertainment capital of America, so you may want to shop around.

If the company has a website, try to find out more information, such as how long it has been operating, how many people they have got work for, all those kinds of things.

The important issue is not that they don't do modeling competitions or offer modeling schools, the bottom line is how many people they get work. The modeling photo expense has to pay for itself.

Redacted Info


To Whom It May Concern:

I was happy to find this website to know that I'm not alone in being scammed by Face National

I went to an open call in Portland, ME, and was offered a "contract" with Face.

I paid $600 for the photo shoot, and another $400 for comp cards, and in return I received poor-quality photos, and not even a call for an audition in 10 months.

In getting in touch with Face, I informed the booking agent that I knew I had been scammed, and I wanted my money back.

Basically, I was transferred from person to person, and nothing in my favor was accomplished.

The next step is a class-action lawsuit.

With regards to the Starz agency, it was started by people who were formerly employed with Face National Models and Talent.

One Starz representative (whom I know on a personal level from when she worked for Face) told me "Face National is a scam, and you should sue them."

She proceeded to tell me that she (as well as the other people that now make up Starz) are also suing Face National, because when they signed their employee contract, they were unaware it was a scam.

However, they seem to have left one scam only to start their own.

I was promised a free photo shoot and comp cards from the Starz agency, basically to make up for the screw-ups of Face; however, they have yet to deliver, or even return my calls.

Sincerely,

M.G.


To Whom It May Concern:

Do you know anything good/bad about Starz National Models? I am currently 'represented' and I smell fraud.

Thanks,

S.F.


S.,

The only Starz National Models and Talent listed in the Better Business Bureau files is based in Florida (see address below). Is this the company that is representing you?

STARZ NATIONAL MODELS & TALENT INC.
225 Mizner Blvd #300
Boca Raton, FL 33432

The BBB says the Starz National Models and Talent president is Jeffrey Helms and "This company also does business as Starz National Models & Talent Man Group."

The website address is:

http://www.starznational.com/

The BBB said complaints have been resolved, but Starz National did not respond to the BBB's request for basic information:

The Bureau has requested basic information from this company. The Bureau has not received a response. Without this information, the Bureau may not have current information concerning such things as the company's management or its nature of business.

Why hasn't the BBB received a response? Ask Starz National and see if you get a response.

If it's the same company that is representing you, you have a right to know the answer to the basic question, just like prospective models should also ask.

I didn't see many models on the Starz National website. Who are they representing? There were only five comp cards and two of them are kids. If they are representing you, why isn't your comp card on their website?

If you look at the websites of successful modeling agencies, you will see many models and tear sheets. I didn't see any tear sheets on starznational.com. Where are the tear sheets?

Redacted Info


To Whom It May Concern:

Our two grand-daughters were accepted by:

Starz National Models & Talent Management Group
225 Mizner Blvd. #300
Boca Raton Florida 33432
561-620-2677

They told us their comp cards MUST be done by a professional photographer who had been published in a national magazine.

We paid for the comp cards which were to be done in three weeks. It took four months.

For one of the girls we received three cards which had mistakes on it, but they refused to do them over unless we paid the full fee again.

The other girl has not received any cards.

We have called them repeatedly with no results.

The quality of the photos was not what I would expect of the photographer that they told us did Kate Moss and other famous models.

All the info they gave us seemed to be in keeping with a real agency, but now I am really concerned. We are not rich and this money was very hard earned.

F.S.


F.,

Have you contacted the Better Business Bureau?

The issue of quality or mistakes and whose fault it was could be a matter of debate, but the total failure to provide the product a customer already paid to receive is totally unacceptable.

You said one of the girls did not receive the comp cards and "we have called them repeatedly with no results."

If you cannot get anywhere on your own, contact the BBB, or a consumer protection agency, and show them your receipt, contract, or whatever you have which shows you paid for a product you did not receive.

They will present the complaint to Starz National.

Starz National will then have the choice to respond. If they do not respond, or do not provide the photos, there will be a black mark on their BBB record for potential clients to read in the future.

The whole concept of requiring "a professional photographer" who has been "published in a national magazine" is highly questionable. Most agencies do not set that requirement.

What is the name of the photographer who took the pictures? Did they provide it? Did you ask for his or her business card at the time of the photo shoot? Did it include a website address?

The bigger the claim made by an agency or any firm in the modeling industry going after your hard-earned dollars, the more diligently it must be checked.

Must you have comp card photos taken by a nationally published photographer? Are they going to appear in a nationally published magazine?

You may want to call around and find out how many agencies require a nationally published photographer for a new model's comp cards.

Did Starz National set the requirement so they can get high-quality comp cards or so they can charge extremely high prices? How much did you pay?

Redacted Info


Thank you for your reply to my letter.

The mistakes on the comp cards were:

The head shot was to be cropped to head and shoulders, but was not.

On the half sizes, such as shoe size, it was written "8fi."

When questioned they said this was the industry's code for 1/2. But the comp cards on their site list 1/2 sizes as 8.5.

The photographer was supposed to be one who has been published, to get high quality photos; however, they printed one on the comp card with the back light showing.

The name of the photographer was Nancy Rhodes. I knew that this was a pro, but I don't know if she was the one who ended up doing the photo session.

I was told that she had done Kate Moss and other high-profile models. They did not provide us with any business card or any other information.

We paid $650 for the first girl and $325 for the second girl, which was very reasonable for a photographer who had photographed famous models.

I am still trying to get action by contacting Trish Helms, but will soon contact the agencies you suggested if I get no results.

Thank you again for your time.

F.S.


To Whom It May Concern:

I have a complaint and need advice about how to handle my situation.

I read your announcement about Starz National Models and Talent, and, yes, I do believe now that they are not as legit as they say.

From the time my meetings were set up for the photo shoot, till the time I was supposed to see my composite cards, I have tried numerous times to contact them by telephone, but I kept getting their answering machine, and messages saying their office would be closed until September; and when I try to leave a message, their box is too full to leave it.

I have paid them approximately $649 for my photo shoot, but I have not gotten any response whatsoever; and I now want to get my money back.

I signed on with Starz National Models and Talent around June 2002.

On the day of my photo shoot, I was there from about 10:30 until 11 pm that night, with 12 other models who were scheduled for the same day.

I don't know who else to turn to concerning this issue.

If you are out to prove that they are indeed taking people's money, and committing fraud, and I could be of some assistance, please let me know.

All I wanted was to be a simple model, and earn some extra money while in college, but I see now that I lost even though I haven't even started!

If these people are up to no good, it's time that they are exposed and brought to justice.

Thank you for your time.

I look forward to your response.

God Bless!

W.L.


W.,

Did you sign a contract with Starz National Models and Talent? What did it say? Are you paying them for photos or their photographer? Are they in the same state as you? Can you visit their office?

Also, can you provide information about their advertising? What did they tell you? Did they provide any printed advertising like a brochure? What does it say?

If you cannot get through to Starz National Models and Talent, or you cannot visit their office, contact the Better Business Bureau in their city.

The BBB can help bring resolution. They should present your complaint to Starz National Models and Talent.

It looks as if the agency is either taking a summer vacation, or trying to avoid you. It could be too early to tell which is the case.

In any case, contact the BBB, and see if they have received complaints about Starz National Models and Talent trying to avoid customers who have either paid or want refunds.

Redacted Info


I will keep in mind the information you gave me and the questions you've asked.

Today I received a return email with the contact number of the person who is in charge of the comp cards, and I got to speak to him.

He said I will be receiving my pics in the mail, and that I must choose what I want, and pay for them, and then they will make the comp cards as previously discussed in their meeting.

I don't know as yet how much it will be, but I do know I will be paying a good bit of money for each copy.

I think it is about $3 and change or so for one comp card, and I was told by another model that we need to make about 150 comp cards to be distributed to various companies.

I will let you know if everything still works out, and I will be calling the BBB about them to make sure. But I won't be doing anything drastic now, because they wrote me back.

It was a month late, but they did write, so I guess I will pray for the best.

If anything goes wrong, I will know what I must do, now that I am alert about a possible scam from this agency.

Thanks once again for your time and cooperation.

W.


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