Elen's Kids modeling & talent management agency scammed us out of $595. Elen's Kids operates very similar to Kids.com. On May 13, 2004, our family had an appointment at their office. During this appointment Elen said how much their agency has done for children in general and how well our children would do in the industry. She boasted about how cute your children and how much work they would get.
Since we were new in the industry we had no idea at that time that they were not supposed to charge any fees nor have us use a specified photographer. When Elen mentioned the price $595 to us we told her that we had our own pictures of the children, however she said that we had to use her photographer. We wanted the best for our children so we paid apprehensively.
When we went to the photographer we were charged an addtional $18 per child siting fee which totaled $36. The people in his office were not nice and when my children went to the bathroom the secretary gave all these rules about the bathroom. The photographer kept trying to sell us packages. Unfortunately, we went to him again and he was much more agressive with us in regard to wanting us to purchase packages which I informed Elen's kids about and they said to ignore him.
Elen's Kids has gotten our daughter 3 go-sees and our son 1 go-see. During one of my daughters go-see I found out they were looking for children my son's age so I went and got him for the appointment. In order for children to get jobs they have to go to go-sees. I am home with the children and am always available to take my children to appointments. The pictures on the website of elen's kids are awful.
We subsequently signed with other republable model agencies and talent agencies in New York and New Jersey and were never charged a fee, received many go-sees from these agencies and have received jobs from these agencies. Actually, I found out from these agencies that it is illegal practices what elen's kids is doing.
One of the ways I found out about this scam was by reading the rip-off report.com information. I did write elen's kids in January in a two page letter outlining the above and also what I wanted to happen now which include but was not limited to a refund, being removed from their site, etc.
Their response in general was to say that they got my two children a total of 5 go-see's in a 10 month period and to claim that I was not available for several appointments. That is ludicrous. My children are now signed up with 6 reputable agencies who did not charge us a fee and has gotten us work.
Actually we just signed up with a management company last week and they got us a job the next day. They also offerred to change the photographer and tried to force the information on me. They did not get the point that they are not allowed to make you use their photographer or charge a fee.
"No legitimate agency takes an advance fee, which is sometiems called a "registration fee" or a "consultation fee." This practice is prohibited in the State of New York by the New York General Business Law Section 396-n"
In there letter they did not acknowledge my request for a refund and just ending by saying they would remove the childrens pictures from their website until I contacted them if I wanted to continue to be represented by their agency. They totally missed the point regarding the $595 charge which they should not have charged me.
I have taken the next step and contacted the FBI, BBB, Attorneys General and the I-team. Any additional suggestions would be appreciated.
Guttenberg, New Jersey
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