Starz National Models and Talent
Complaints / Comments


To Whom It May Concern:

We appear to be in a similar situation as the people that have written you regarding Starz National Models and Talent, as well as the many people who do not know where to turn.

Our three daughters attended an open call with my wife in response to a flyer which our oldest daughter received in the mail.

The rest of the story is similar to the numerous emails that you have already posted: a fee for the photo shoot, an additional fee for the comp cards, no CD of the photos, no comp cards, and no return calls from the company.

I only have one request; I share the same sentiments as the person who wrote about their three daughters. I would like to stop these individuals.

Is there a way that the individuals who have written to you can be placed in contact with each other to pool our efforts in finding these individuals? I am interested in seeing these individuals stopped.

I can be contacted via email (readers may email Modeling Scams for the email address). I will be happy to provide additional contact information as required. 

Thanks for any help that you can provide.

J.S.


J.,

If you have not already done so, you should consider filing a formal complaint at the BBB, because the BBB complaints are in the Sentinel crime network used by law enforcement agencies and the federal government.

If a company fails to provide products or services after payment, it is theft.

Generally speaking, when a company is doing something unethical, they should be reported to the BBB. But when they are doing something illegal, they should be reported to the authorities.

The authorities who could be contacted directly in the case of this company include the Attorney General of the state where the company is based (North Carolina); the state government agency which gave them a talent agency license (Department of Professional and Business Regulation in Florida); and the federal government agency which investigates and prosecutes companies which engage in deceptive, fraudulent, and unfair business practices (Federal Trade Commission).

(Telephone numbers and contact information for each of these parties is online and easily found through search engines.)

You suggested working with a group of victims. There was an agency in the news earlier this year which was hit with a lawsuit by a group of people led by a man who wanted to put a stop to what the agency was doing. His daughter was a victim and the agency was also taking money for photos. The point is there is precedent for group legal action against a modeling agency. The group was formed through networking on the internet.

Redacted Info


To Whom It May Concern:

I am in the same situation as these other folks and I would greatly like to put a stop to this BAD BUSINESS!

I had photos taken back in June 2002. I have spent $1,000 and still to this day, nearly five months later, I have seen or heard nothing.

I have left numerous Emails/Voicemails (10 every day for a week two weeks ago), and have still heard nothing.

The research I did back in May did not lead me to believe anything strange was going on with STARZ at that time.

I am so bummed. At least I did not quit my good paying day job for this (as I imagine some hopefuls may have).

D.B.


D.,

If the company refuses to respond to their clients, and they refuse to respond to the BBB, you can either sue them, or report them to the Attorney General.

Have you called the Office of the Attorney General in North Carolina?

Starz National sounds awful similar to Model Select International.

Do you know what the Attorney General of NC did to MSI? He sued them.

The website address of the AG of NC is:

http://www.jus.state.nc.us/

Contact info

Tel: (919) 716-6400

Consumer Protection:

(919) 716-6000 (voice)
(919) 716-6050 (fax)

Are there ANY modeling agencies in North Carolina which are not scams?

Redacted Info


To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing in regards to your posted letter from J.S. in reference to Starz National Model and Talent.

I am in the same situation with my daughter. We spent almost $1,000 on a so-called photo shoot and composite cards. We have yet to receive anything. 

I am a single mother and my money is important to me. How do these people sleep at night, knowing that they are stealing money out of the hands of all these hopeful parents?

These people, namely Trish and Jeff Helms, need to be put out of business, and, in my opinion, jailed.

Anyway, I am interested in getting in contact with J.S. regarding the idea of a class-action suit.

H.L.


To Whom It May Concern:

I have been in contact with the photographers who stated they still have not been paid. Starz has still not sent the comp cards!

We have found out, however, that Starz is now known as PST or PROMO STAFFING TEAM in Surfside SC.

843-232-1066  or 888-262-6368.

The 888 # stated that it cannot be completed as dialed. I am believing that this number can only be reached from certain areas.

I have also called the 843 # and reached Jeff on the voice mail. I worked in the phone industry for years and have an ear for voice to know exactly who they are. It is Jeff from Starz!

Hope this helps anyone who can be helped.

Also, if you remember your photographer, chances are Starz screwed them also... So you can probably contact them, too.

Thanks!

L.L.


To Whom It May Concern:

I would like to join the chorus of victims who are outraged and wanting action against Starz National. I would also like to become a part of any class action suit filed against the scum that represents itself as a talent agency.

For us it began with a call in Providence, RI, in June 2002. After a 1 1/2 hour presentation by Jeff Helms, my daughter was interviewed by the "heir" Josh Helms.

He asked her about her interest in modeling and a couple of questions regarding her size. We then went home with a phone number that we had to call at an appointed time.

She made the call, and was, of course, offered the "opportunity" to sign with Starz National. She had to return to the venue to sign a contract and to leave a deposit of $250 for the photo shoot. Two other payments of $200 would be required to pay for the photographer.

When we arrived at the signing and looked around, we were somewhat stunned. It seemed as if everyone that we had seen at the call (and then some) were being offered contracts.

Jeff explained that fear away by stating that he works with all kinds of agencies, and you never know the type of talent that the client wants.

The photo shoot was an early sign of trouble. Rather than the suite promised, the agency rented a hotel room, where 10-15 people waited at any one time.

The hairdresser had apparently quit during the previous day, and the agency couldn't seem to replace her.

The makeup artist worked furiously (without so much as a lunch break).

The photographer came in and out of the room collecting different hopefuls to watch the shoot, participate in the shoot, or just help with the equipment.

While we (parents, spouses, etc.) waited, and WAITED (my daughter's shoot which was scheduled for 11 am ended at 4:45 pm), Josh Helms wandered in and out talking on his cell phone.

At one point, the hotel management threatened to stop the shoot due to one model hopeful exposing more than the hotel was comfortable with.

Josh proceeded to get on his cell, purportedly to call the hotel's attorney, and kept shouting, "Do you know who I am?" into the phone.

That was another missed warning sign.

We were told to return to the original scouting venue in approximately three weeks, so that we could select the photos for the comp cards.

We were met by S.C. (an independent agent who also has claims against Starz), so that we could make selections and final payments for the comp cards. The cost was $350. The comp cards were to be received in August.

I waited 10 days before making my first call.

Several subsequent calls were answered by the perky voice mail message, "Be the star you are!"

Still no calls returned.

Finally, at the end of August, a human informed me that there was a "breakup," and that Jeff was trying to get our cards. He was surprised that I did not get a postcard explaining the delay, but promised the cards.

I kept calling a full voice mailbox, until one day the phone number was disconnected.

It was then that I called S.C. and was told by her that she, too, was scammed, the FBI might be involved, and that she had heard of a possible raid on the Starz agency.

I hope so.

I hope Jessie, Trish, and Josh end up getting their very own portraits, courtesy of the states of North Carolina, Florida, Rhode Island, and/or the federal government.

I would be more than happy to participate in any class action suit that will bring these sleazy crooks to justice.

K.L.


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