Dear Parents, Grandparents, Guardians or anyone walking around the mall with a small child:
You might be very tempted to sign your child up for a modeling session through InterFace. After all, the people approaching you say your little one is adorable and of course you agree. But do yourself a huge favor and walk away as fast as you can. And if you do give in and actually go to meet with them - do not sign anything and for pete's sake, don't give over your credit card.
Our story begins like most of the stories on here. My husband was approached in a mall with our then four year old. Our daughter loves the camera and has a smile that can light up Paris on a foggy night. Maybe if I had been with them that day, I could have prevented what came next. He returned home and said that our daughter was going to be a model and we had to call a number in NJ for an appointment. We called and drove the two hours into NJ for the "meet and greet".
The waiting room in East Brunswick was filled with other little children and parents. The foyer was very large and several stories high with photos of smiling children posing on catalog covers and movie/tv shows. The place was filled with high energy music. We signed in and waited our turn. About 30 minutes later, we were shown to the "Sr Director's" office.
The Sr Director had a stack of professional looking portfolios of children, in various catalogs. We were told success story after success story of children they had placed He complimented our daughter and said she had the "right look". He encouraged us to start picking out clothes for her fashion shoot. He offered specials, deals (5 pictures for the price of 4, extra time with the photographer) and more stories of residuals that would help pay for her college. We scheduled the photo shoot for the next week after handing over our credit card. The price to live the model's life for a day: $1600.00. We left on cloud 9, our little child was going to be famous!
Three nights later, a news story was broadcasted about InterFace and how the were part of a lawsuit filed by the State of NJ for consumer fraud. The next day, I contacted the company and said I wanted to cancel my photo shot. The Sr Director was not available, but I did speak with another individual that assured me our appointment was cancelled and they would refund the money.
About two weeks later, we received our credit card bill with the charges still intact. I called InterFace who said they had no record of the call I made and since they had arranged for the photo shot people to be on site, they were charging us. I contacted Discover, who investigated the issue. According to Discover, InterFace was claiming that because I did not give three days written notice, the charge stood. No photos, no NY talent scouts and 1600 dollars to pay off (with interest).
I would have filed this under "lesson learned" and have been done with it, however I just saw an InterFace ad on Facebook. Despite lawsuits and numerous complaints, this company remains in business. If I knew then about what others were posting, I would have never made the call.