Crimes of Persuasion

Schemes, scams, frauds.

Modeling School Complaints and Experiences

To Whom It May Concern:

I'm a 16-year-old girl that just recently graduated from a modeling school and I was not completely satisfied with this school at all.

First, the school took place in a conference room in a hotel and it was very unorganized.

Secondly, at the very first interview the women made it clear that after graduating we would have pictures to start our portfolio at no cost; however, this was not written on any papers; we all fell for it.

Tuition costs about $2,000. Out of that I got a $2,000 bag with a set of brushes and a book we opened twice. Photoshoot came... we find out that in order to get our promised comp cards it's $300-$600 more.

Finally, the promised professional graduation ceremony did take place in a conference room that only fit 200 people when each graduate was allowed to bring 15 people; 40 grads together from two classes is over 400 people.

In my opinion going to a modeling school is definitely not worth all the money. I have been researching professional photographers and you get so much more out of their work for less than what the school charged. (Great website for photographers:

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To Whom It May Concern:

I am a former Modeling School Graduate.

When I went to the open call they said that not many girls would make it and that only a select few make it but that is b/s. Everybody that was in that open call made it. Even a girl with a prosthetic leg would have a high chance of making it as well.

So that goes to prove that these companies make it seem like their agency, school or whatever it really is takes only "the best." They accept everyone because they need money.

For example, one of my friends who is only 12 years old and has no experience whatsoever has just landed a contract with a top modeling agency, and now she is going to do an ipod commercial for about $27,000.

But the modeling school says that you must have training to be a model. Ya, right!

And another thing. How come they don't have any specifications for models who want to be in their agency? Simple, they don't really run an agency.

What they do is make innocent people who want their kids or themselves to become models pay up first a fee of $150.00 for what I really don't know.

Then they make you pay up to $1,695 for classes, and, yes, they guarantee that your child will become a model at the end of his or her training duration.

They even give you packets that supposedly show how many of their so-called students received jobs after training and graduation.

They inflate everyone's head with the idea that you are the best and if you don't take their classes you're going to regret it. Not true.

They're everywhere, fashion malls, beauty pageants, teen magazines, etc., to hook these girls that don't know better.

To groups of teenage girls roaming through the malls they say: "You are the look that we are looking for" or "Have you ever considered modeling?"

Some walk away while others unfortunately stop by their booth to get the information to pass on to their parents.

Since parents don't want to be a dream-breaker, they are going to drive their kid to the open call and maybe in some cases get them a new outfit so that they can impress the agency directors.

When I began to take my classes, I didn't feel comfortable at all. Personally, I disliked my modeling coach. She was very mean to me especially because my walk wasn't as great as the other girls, or my shoes weren't always the right ones.

I spent so much money on their stupid classes that I couldn't even buy shoes that were appropriate for runway classes. The makeup classes are the worst.

They make you seem like an alien if you have any sort of skin problem such as acne. I was dealing with a very chronic case of acne and they are supposed to boost your confidence when they made me feel like crap.

They were very stingy with the makeup so you would literally get a drop of foundation and concealer and have to use their crusty, used makeup that probably had expired.

In the contract it clearly stated that everyone was to receive a makeup kit. No one did because the rules changed. All you get is a bag with the company logo. Wow, I feel so special.

So you really had no other choice but to buy makeup. I react to makeup when worn a lot so they would make us put it on every other Saturday so I would literally break out in rashes and pimples which made my face look so nasty and my coach didn't care.

Well, enough with them. I am currently going to another modeling agency that has way more opportunity for me.

I hope this nonsense will stop. I think that if you have money to burn and you're not looking forward to getting any work, take their classes; it's the thing for you.

But, if you're going through some kind of financial issue, their offerings aren't for you.

You might as well go to a photographer, make a portfolio and send them out to various agencies. It's way cheaper than spending six months in some low-budget "modeling school."

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To Whom It May Concern:

My daughter just graduated from a modeling school.

For the graduation they gave the wrong directions to this country club. Everyone was so disappointed in being late.

Then we found out the place did not even have a runway. This was the focal point of the evening. The girls had to walk on top of tables that were put together.

Every girl was scared to walk on that so-called runway. The very first girl who came out slid and almost fell down in front of everyone.

The girls were pushed for time. They told everyone in the letter that it would take up to 1-2 1/2 hours for this graduation show. It took 1 1/2 hours.

When my daughter came out on stage, she was not nervous about being in front of people, but was so afraid of slipping on the so-called runway, she did not even look up for having to look down to see if she was going to fall.

When the cowgirl show came on, her group only had 10 seconds, when all the other girls had 30-40 seconds to show off.

When we first arrived there, the reps were so disorganized, it was terrible.

My daughter was so upset with the runway, she was crying when we left.

And you know what? We spent lots of money to have my daughter to cry at this graduation.

I figure that for $1,800 for 120 girls that graduated and then some, the modeling school could have chosen a place with a runway.

Most modeling schools suck... don't let them fool you... keep your daughters in gymnastics or whatever they are doing.

Please do not make the mistake that we did, or if you should choose your daughter to be in modeling school, be careful who you select.

I used to consider myself an educated type of consumer; however, since we have now been ripped off by the modeling school we chose, I guess I was wrong.

My teenage daughter wanted to do some modeling (she is on the tall side, very nicely built, and very pretty), so we contacted one of the schools.

She was invited to an open audition, and selected to take part in a series of classes. We were also told that the $1,700 we were spending would be all we had to pay, for life.

They said she could return anytime in the future and take classes of all different types for no extra cost.

We decided to sign her up with the idea that even if she never modeled, she would gain self-confidence, which she needed badly.

The classes were so badly taught that it took my intervention and phone calls to get the teacher changed and add extra classes to match the original schedule we had been given.

At the end, the models attended a "graduation" which cost a tremendous amount for us to watch, and we had to supply all the various outfits she "might" wear.

The graduation was a joke and a disaster; however, our daughter had learned poise, how to dress, how to properly use makeup, and gained a lot of confidence.

We were told there would be the opportunity to audition to be represented by the school's own modeling agency, once they set up their local office.

Five months after graduation, they called asking us to allow her to audition for attendance at the International Talent and Modeling Association's (IMTA) upcoming convention in Los Angeles.

We were told it would cost around $4,000 (airfare and the hotel were included in this plus special training from out-of-town persons in the business, and a photo shoot), but we could get sponsorships to defray the cost.

We traveled an hour every weekend for two months and then several times a week during the final weeks of preparation before the trip.

We had to supply all her clothing, including an evening gown, which had to be approved beforehand, and money for food. We also had to pay for comp cards.

We received very little sponsorship money, but I console myself by the fact that the trip was a once-in-a-lifetime adventure she never would have had otherwise, and she was able to see relatives in L.A. she had never met before.

Within two weeks of her return, we were shocked to find that the modeling school at the location she had been attending was closed down, all employees let go, and there was no way to contact them.

We paid $25 for a video made on the trip, which we never received, and were left with a massive amount of comp cards which we couldn't use because of the agency watermark.

Suffice to say, if I had known then what I know now, I would have made some very different decisions.

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To Whom it May Concern

If I sound hostile towards these schools, it's because I feel that they rip you off and steal your money.

I never attended a course in modeling and so far a couple of reputable agencies want to represent me.

Ford (which is one of the most prestigious agencies) told me: "You don't have to pay money to be discovered. Models are not made."

So don't let some crappy modeling school make you spend thousands, and please don't let them eat away at your self-esteem by saying crap like, "You need us to make it."

You can do it on your own. Also, don't spend over $350 on a portfolio, because that's also a rip-off if you're just starting out.

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To Whom It May Concern:

I attended a modeling school and found it was just a waste of my time and a waste of my money. I paid over $1,000.

I have learned that it is not necessary for you to attend a modeling school, or even a modeling scouting event like ProScout, BAM USA, and many more. They just want your money.

Yeah, they do put you in front of many top agencies in one spot, but it's not worth it, because most of the people who attend these seminars don't get signed.

And have you ever noticed that the seminars are never in your home city, it is always in another city.

What I suggest people do is look up some top agencies, use the Better Business Bureau, and find out how to submit your photos and contact info, and see what happens.

You do not have to pay any money to anyone just because they tell you they can make you a model.

To all of the people who are thinking of attending a modeling school, or going to a talent convention such as IMTA, you should think about it before you go to one.

God Bless and good luck to all of you,

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Consumer Complaint

Modeling schools routinely buy student information from marketing companies and mail off flyers saying they have an important message for the addressee.

These postcards tell the individual to call as soon as possible and a “Lindsey” signs the card.

There isn't a Lindsey. She's imaginary.

When people call in they are read a script telling them a friend or family member recommended them and everything is free, they will never have to pay any money.

They also say an agent from New York is coming to interview them and this is a "once in a lifetime opportunity and he will be in town only this once."

The caller is given two times to choose from and they usually meet in a hotel. These people come in thinking they are meeting a real agent. But they are just a sales person.

At this "interview" they get you excited, tell you that you have potential and they definitely want you.

Then they hand you a packet that has fictional success stories on the front page and the last page ask for $1,600 to attend classes.

They tell you to call in to get results and for those that do call in they tell them you are part of the 15% that made it. However, no one ever seems to notice everyone that attended the interview that could cough up $395 within the next three days is in attendance.

No one is turned away. Not a single soul.

Why would you tell an 18-year-old girl that is 5’4” with below average looks that she will be a runway supermodel?

Why do you tell them that they must have an ‘A/B’ average in high school to attend when I saw you accept an ‘F’ student that is disrespecting and cursing their mother right in front of your face and you tell them they have a great personality?

What is worse is when they smile in people's faces but as soon as they walk out the door they are laughing at them.

When students ask where are the items they are supposed to receive, instructors have to tell them buy it then you will get it, it is not in your tuition.

They use every tactic to make the sale. They have you max out your credit cards, postdating checks, 'chopping of your limbs,' 'selling your soul to the devil,' anything to get your money and get you in debt.

They will promise you free makeup and lots of paying jobs.

The instructors are not real industry professionals. They are former students that couldn't make the cut in modeling. They will work for little pay and babysit.

The teachers don't have a clue what they are doing. They will tell you. "I don't know what I am doing," and they will even tell the students, "You are wasting your money because nothing will come out of this."

There are students that haven't been paid for jobs that they have worked months ago. Many students have not received jobs like they were promised.

Don't waste your time calling the accounting department regarding a refund. You might as well kiss those funds goodbye because they will make up fake class dates and give you all kinds of excuses.

They will even say they have had a system break down and don't have any record of your information so they can't issue a refund.

Whenever you call and leave messages for the imaginary accounting department you will never receive a call back. The same is with the so-called agency part.

No one will ever call you back because if it involves you receiving money . . . they don't want any part of you.

There are girls that have paid for Comp Cards and have never received them and never will. You will only hear from them when they want your money.

They have a competition which takes place at a casino. Which costs $650. They tell you the cost covers flying in agents from all over the world.

The sad thing is that they don't know any real agents. The so-called agents are their friends and family.

At this competition the models are given fake callbacks. The fake agents get the models' hopes up, telling them they really have potential and the tell them to compete in IMTA.

Another rip-off competition convention. You pay $4,000+ just to be let down.

What the agency doesn't tell you is that they get to pocket most of that money and have no intention on helping you sign with a major agency. They receive a kickback on the number of people that go and they don't care if you go to IMTA or not.

If you can't come up with the entire $4,000, they get to keep whatever you have paid because they have forced you to sign a [...] contract saying you can't get your money back.

And if you decide not to go you can't get your money back. They just force all the money they can out of you to fill their bank account.

They never tell you that out of the 1000's of models and actors at this convention only three will actually get signed.

Some agencies will even tell you they gave you a callback because they felt sorry for you and you spent money to come.

I could go on and on about this so called Modeling School/Agency. But I will leave you with a warning.

Watch out. If you ever get approached to attend that first interview, run like Hell and don't look back.

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Modeling School Endorsements

Are Modeling Conventions a Scam?

Books on Modeling School Scams

The Inside Scoop on Modeling Schools

Do Modeling Schools Teach You How to Become a Model and Get a Modeling Job?