How to get your money back from Kids.com LLC (www.JustOurKids.com) Child Modeling Agency
Money Back Demand Letter (Send by certified mail or by FedEx)
June 30, 2005
Alfred Bagwell, President
Dear Mr. Bagwell:
I am writing to ask you for my money back. I paid Kids.com after misrepresentations by your child modeling agency. There was fraudulent inducement by Kids.com which led me to signing a contract with Kids.com and paying a fee on a five-year contract for $595.00.
Your fraud began with your Kids.com introduction letter which said, "Your child has recently been brought to our attention." The truth, I have since discovered, from the statement you made to Fairfield Police officer Richard Filipow, recorded in his police report, is that my child was not brought to your attention; instead, you purchased my child's personal information from a public records company! Richard Filipow wrote:
You misled me into thinking a model scout or similar professional or at least someone had brought my child to your attention, giving the false impression my child had been recommended to your agency as someone qualified and capable of getting work as a child model.
The Department of Consumer Affairs has already recognized that this type of misrepresentation in a solicitation letter for the purpose of setting up a sale is illegal, and because it is so egregiously deceptive they took action against the National Talent Associates child modeling agency, your predecessor:
Secondly, you charged me fees which I have discovered were unauthorized. No modeling or employment agency in New Jersey is allowed to charge advance fees. One of the prohibited acts says you cannot: "Accept payment of a fee or attempt to collect any fee for a service rendered or product sold where employment has not been accepted" (N.J.S.A. 34:8-52). You accepted payment from me in the amount of $595.00 for a service where employment had not been accepted. You had no legal right to charge the fee; therefore I have a legal right for the fee to be returned.
Thirdly, you are operating an employment agency in New Jersey without a license. New Jersey law clearly says that an employment agency is a company that books jobs and/or acts as a placement agency. An "employment agency" is broadly defined as "any person who, for a fee, charge or commission" "procures or obtains, or offers, promises or attempts to procure, obtain, or assist in procuring or obtaining employment for a job seeker or employer . . . or acts as a placement firm" (N.J.S.A. 34:8: 1, 4).
Kids.com is clearly, by its own admission, engaged in procuring/booking and/or placing kid models. "Kids.com works with agencies in order to secure assignments . . ." and "Kids.Com (justourkids) provides child models to agencies . . ." And yet you do not have an employment agency license. Part of your business activities included charging me a fee. But your business is illegal, because you do not have the employment agency license, so that fee you charged me was illegal. Therefore I have a legal right for the fee to be returned in full.
You may claim that your agency is not an agency, but a personal management company, yet the fact remains the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs has already stated on the record that National Talent Associates, whose assets you bought and whose advertising, contracts, and business model you copied, was illegal.
Since there are so many similarities and no known differences between NTA and Kids.com, there is no reason to believe a contention that you are not an employment agency. In any case, if you still believe you are not subject to the laws of New Jersey with respect to the employment agency law, kindly provide me with your legal argument citing state law with particularity, or the name and contact information of your employment attorney or the attorney who approved your company's business plan and can provide a legal argument, and I will discuss this matter with him/her.
Finally, I believe you and Kids.com have deceived me by misrepresenting your ability to get child models paying work. The statistics for National Talent Associates show that about 99% of those who paid that child modeling agency based in Fairfield, New Jersey did not receive paying work worth the cost of the advance fee; it was obviously a highly egregiously, totally unfair, twisted business.
You have provided me with no statistics to show you are better, and I see no reason to believe you are any better than NTA, especially since Jerry Ashfield's record was a 99% failure rate after working full-time for 30 years as a model agent, and you were not a model agent for one year, let alone 30 years, before you became president of Kids.com. You were just a Certified Public Accountant, a totally unrelated field.
Furthermore, according to your brother and Kids.com CEO Larry Bagwell, you hired to work with you the same people who worked for National Talent Associates, who were equally incompetent with the disastrous 99% failure rate. If they at NTA had a 99% failure rate, why should I believe they at Kids.com don't also have a 99% failure rate?
Deliberately withholding critical facts is fraud. You deliberately did not provide the material information of your failure rate, even though you knew the FTC recognized this type of material information should be provided to parents as was the case with NTA. Had you provided it, I would not have signed up, and I certainly would not have paid Kids.com $595.00.
In summary, you and Kids.com have misled me from start to finish. You started by lying about how you heard about my child in the first place; you then committed fraud in marketing by omitting your failure rate; you charged fees before my child worked which were illegal; and you don't even have the required employment agency license.
If you do not return all my money in the next seven days, I will proceed to file a complaint with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs for the illegal activities of Kids.com as stated above, and join with other parents who have already filed complaints to build the complaint record against Kids.com at the NJ DCA for the State of New Jersey to take action and enforce the laws of New Jersey. The same with the FTC and possibly the Fairfield Police Department at 973-227-9290 for the Kids.com Fraud and Scheme to Defraud.
I will also consider looking into contacting the media, any outlet from my local news station to Dateline NBC, to do a report on Kids.com. Your business and your fees are totally unjustified, unethical, and illegal. For the vast majority of parents and kids, Kids.com is totally worthless as an investment, and the public should be warned.
Why should you take and keep money you have not earned which should be spent on my child's health and welfare? Why can't you accept the modeling industry's ethical standard for agents and managers that they are not paid unless and until they get a model work? Why should there be a different standard for Kids.com, so you are given money easily, when others have to work hard to earn it?
Crimes of Persuasionon