• Report: #644769

Complaint Review: Model Placement Center

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  • Submitted: Mon, September 27, 2010
  • Updated: Fri, June 17, 2011

  • Reported By: Donna — Odessa Florida United States of America
Model Placement Center
126 - 3rd Avenue, #103 Safety Harbor, Florida United States of America

Model Placement Center A Model Placement Center Model Scam Safety Harbor, Florida

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: The truth

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An expensive lesson. 

I took my daughter to Model Placement Center ("MPC") after responding to an online ad for teen models, and looking at the casting calls on their website.  We met with a "talent director" and he liked her look, and asked if we would come back and meet the boss.  We did.  The boss liked her look as well, and said she wanted to do some test shoots to build a portfolio. 

Long and short, over a period of several months, we paid $600 for the first photo shoot, and the photos were crap.  They put way too much makeup on my daughter til she looked 21+, and put outfits on her that were not age appropriate or were just plain unattractive.  Then, I paid $450 for a plastic portfolio book and another $200 for comp cards.  Before the comp cards came in, and after having visited a number of agents, I asked for another photo shoot because the first photos simply did not do my daughter justice. [continued below]....

..... They set up a second photo shoot and gave me $100 off, so that one cost $500.  This time I chose the clothes, and insisted the makeup be more neutral.  The photos came out somewhat better, but only because the makeup and outfits were better....the photography itself was still not good, and the photos still did not do my daughter justice.  I know every parent thinks their child is the best looking thing in the world, but my daughter really is exceptionally pretty, has great skin, and has a very commercial and appealing look.  The photos were just amateur. 

I had hoped that some of the photos from the second shoot would be included on her comp cards, but they were not!  They used the worst photos from the first photo shoot, and when I expressed my displeasure I was given statements like "that's why we're the experts and you're not".  I was never taken seriously.

In addition to all of the above, they wanted my daughter to attend an acting workshop for $150.  They wanted me to attend a "business seminar" for another $150 and said it was mandatory.  I went, thinking I'd learn about residuals and buyouts and contracts, etc.  Instead, there was some guy there claiming to be a Hollywood producer and telling about his acting career from 20 years ago.  Totally useless to me and a complete waste of money.

Every time I turned around, they had their hands out for money.  They wanted me to pay $1800 to take my daughter to New York, but I would still have to pay air fare and hotel.  On this trip, they would take her around to different agents there and try to get her signed.  When I mentioned that she was just 14 and not ready for New York, and asked why couldn't they "introduce" her to Florida agents, I was asked questions like "don't you want her to succeed?"  etc.  Not the point....I always told them we werent' the kind of people who could just fly off to New York at the drop of a hat, or to go on auditions, etc.  OUR GOAL was for my daughter to work in Florida til she graduates high school, then she could go to New York with some experience under her belt.  I was just pooh-poohed as not knowing anything about the business.

One day I asked "Okay, we have the portfolio book and we have comp cards...at what point does my daughter get legitimate paying jobs?"  At which time they said I needed to pay $250 to have her photo on their website for a year and hope that agents would see it and call them, and I could pay another $400-something to get emails sent to me with casting calls.  I declined both.

Finally, they wanted me to pay $100 for my daughter to sit at their table at a back to school fair at a local museum, and show her portfolio book and try to get people to sign up for their scam.  Their lure was that Disney and Nickelodeon was going to be there and what a great opportunity it was going to be to "network" and give out their crap comp cards in the hopes of getting work someday.  Well, I paid, then a week later got notified from my daughter's school that she was going to have to attend a new student orientation the same day, so I called MPC and told them we couldn't make it and they wouldn't give me money back, and instead said we should come after the school function.  So we did.  What another waste of time.  NO one was interested in the model portfolios.  Disney and Nick were NOT there, and the kids were told to go around to all the vendors that were there and collect business cards, so that the kids could mail letters and comp cards to the vendors in the hope of getting work.  Then they said that the kids would get a "free" one-look photo shoot (not free, I paid $100 for it).  My daughter was totally disgusted and told me she didn't even want to bother. 

One agent after another told me the photographs taken by MPC were not good, the comp cards appeared to be homemade and were NOT industry standards, and that I had been scammed.  Finally, one very reputable local agent referred me to a photographer.  He charged me $135 for a 45 minute session and we had 9 sheets of proofs that were some of the best photographs I've ever seen.  The agent was totally blown away and has sent my daughter out on a number of auditions since then. 

Out of curiosity, I googled MPC and found a website that does company reviews and found that there was a bad review there.  So, I left my own personal experience.  Two days later, I got a voicemail from the "talent director" at MPC saying that someone from a magazine had seen my daughter at the back to school fair and was interested in her for a paid gig for their parenting magazine.  I called back and instead of any discussion about a paid gig, I was talked to most nastily about my online review.  The next day, somehow, both reviews were gone. 

I had my lawyer send a demand letter to MPC stating that I felt I had been taken advantage of and planned to litigate to recover my money, and report them to the BBB and all the consumer protection agencies, but if they wanted to avoid that, they could simply refund my money.  They have not responded to that letter, naturally.  So, here we go.  I am creating this Ripoff Report, and will next go to the BBB website, and then on to the consumer protection websites, and all the online review websites I can find, and then it's on to small claims court.  It's just shameful to take advantage of someone in this way, and they are not going to get away with it.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/27/2010 07:12 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Model-Placement-Center/Safety-Harbor-Florida-/Model-Placement-Center-A-Model-Placement-Center-Model-Scam-Safety-Harbor-Florida-644769. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 REBUTTAL Owner of company

The truth

AUTHOR: MPC - (United States of America)

Agencies and Management
Companies all we can say is watch out, 
Be warned !!!!

Look out for Donna Harkness and her daughter Jayne Hall.  All that we post is in fact the truth. They work as a rip off team. They came to Model Placement Center in March of 2010 to get into the modeling business, having no prior experience.  MPC loves to help those that really want this
business.  Jayne is an adorable girl and we had great faith in her that she could do well.  BUT her mother wanted everything for nothing, little did we know. Jayne got tear sheets from magazines, did hair shows, and work within 6 months and was signed with a major agencies.  Model Placement Center helped Jayne get marketable photos through MPCs development team.  MPC also gave the family $300.00 in grant money to help pay for their photo shoot. A booklet was given to them on the right kind of clothes to bring to the shoot. First off they were late, our staff let that go with out say, Mrs. Harkness brought the most inappropriate clothes for a young teen age girl.  Own crew was very concerned and had to use other talents clothes so Jayne would
look presentable.  MPC even afforded to
do another shoot for free. Or course they accepted that, costing MPC more
money. 

Professional photographers and make up artist already established in the business for years, took them under their wing and got Jayne some fantastic photos.  Everyone worked with Jayne and taught her how
to go on castings and meet with the agents. Mrs. Harkness would call and e-mail us on how to succeed in the business thanking us as we have all her letters and e-mails, stating just that.  We never turned her questions down.  We helped her do resumes and cover letters for Jayne. Once Jayne was agent/client ready, having her comp cards and model book, MPC sent her out on numerous castings, hair shows, fashion shows. Jayne was seen by designers, and did get signed with Emerge and signed with the top sag agency in Florida, Louise People as a result in model placement centers actions.

After Jayne was signed and made money the mother, Donna wanted all her
money back, saying our images did not work and were awful.  MPC wants everyone to know the truth.

These images belong to mpc corporation.

 

 Before
 After     

MPCs staff took over 600 images of Jayne.  Jayne was also featured in
Destinations Magazine with a name credit: Jayne Hall.  If anyone does not believe any of this, you are welcome to call our corporate attorney: Mark Stopa in St. Petersburg, Florida.  Stopa Law Firm.  Mrs. Harkeness did receive letters from our attorney saying her statements were false and defaming with disparaging comments. MPC did everything and more that they said they would do. Services rendered.  They should be grateful for all the wonderful things that mpc did for them. Mrs. Harkness did admit to that fact she was wrong and had taken down all her false statements on the internet.  Mrs. Harkness posted this statement six months after thinking no one would find out. One can not report false information.  So
everyone be careful of these two.  Jayne Hall is the girl all in white on the boat.

Again proof of work!

 
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