• Report: #376393

Complaint Review: Model Productions

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  • Submitted: Fri, September 26, 2008
  • Updated: Wed, February 13, 2013

  • Reported By:Woodstock Georgia
Model Productions
5900 Sugarloaf Pkwy Lawrenceville, Georgia U.S.A.

Model Productions Employee Reporting Model Productions Lawrenceville Georgia

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Former "Employee" Wants In On A Class Action

*Consumer Comment: your are right.......RUN !

*Consumer Suggestion: If a booth is set up in a mall....RUN!!!

*Consumer Suggestion: GET YOUR FACTS MR. JUSTIN...

*Consumer Suggestion: Extremely satisfied Model Productions Consumer

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I am currently one of the Top Directors in the Model Productions Firm. I quit today in disgust of what this company has been doing to people. I recently signed nearly 700 people in Augusta, GA netting the company roughly $70,000. You will see on this site a recent post of an intern who worked for me on this trip and they dealt with myself and my co-director who put forth great effort but alas we were unknowingly leading them into a company who unfortunately makes no effort to help hopefuls make it anywhere in this industry. In light of the company's actions I submitted the following Resignation to the owners of the Model Productions today. It was my belief that I could help turn this company around, but it has become ever so apparent that they have no intentions of changing.

This is the resignation email sent by me, a Top Model Productions Director, as of today: Sept 26th, 2008. It is very long, detailed and thorough so please read it in its entirety. Thank you.

To the entire Model Productions "Team,"

I would highly recommend reading this email in its entirety.

In light of the current, recent and past events that have occurred within the framework of the Model Productions company;
I feel morally obligated to express my feelings as both a professional, and as a virtuous human being.

The very basics of business knowledge explain that a company must maintain three objectives above all else in order to sustain itself in a given industry.

1. Maintain a quality product
2. Ensure complete customer satisfaction
3. Maintain employee morale and satisfaction

Without these three qualities, any company will perish. I already know that as the Waldbueser family reads this email, each of you is already finding ways to justify your actions and negate the things that will be said henceforth. Regardless of that arrogance, what is about to be told to you is the complete and indisputable truth.
You can take these words and advice in order to truly change and improve your business, or you can allow arrogance to close your ears and lead you down a grim path to destruction.

Whichever road you take is your choice, but nonetheless it is a path on which I will not accompany you.

It is my belief that at one point Model Productions gave people the opportunity to make something of themselves in an industry of which they knew nothing.
I believe that when originally set out, this company strove to make the dreams of many hopeful beings come true. It has become clear and apparent through the actions of the corporate stakeholders that this is no longer the case. Twisted by greed and arrogance, Model Productions has taken a slow spiral into an immoralistic and inhumane fraud.

The very video used on Model Production stages every day, speaks of how this company gave Ashley the ability to become a famous model. What the family members know and don't tell their employees is the fact that Ashley was given a sympathy "Wish come true" contract on Opera and was never able to travel the world modeling because shortly thereafter she became pregnant.

What was to be given to her as a gift has been maliciously exploited. The very essence of your sale and foundation is a false advertisement stated to both your employees and customers. I find this to be atrocious and appalling.

Nonetheless, lets move on to the actual product. For $150, Model Productions gives their customers a t-shirt, a handful of pictures, and the "opportunity to be scouted by professional scouts" and be cast for some of the biggest shows on television.

The t-shirts provided cost Model Productions $2.50 per shirt and excessively fade the first time they are washed.

The pictures are unprofessional, shot in front of a white paper background and more often than not of very poor quality.

When the company previously printed these pictures they were produced EXTREMELY poorly with cheap materials and terrible resolutions in only black and white.

The professional scouts they speak of representing their companies are the family members who run the Finals show and not even they, take the time to really give anybody a real shot.

The scoresheets then provided by Danielle are scribbled and impersonal. I know this because i watched as she circled the same exact things on a countless number of scoresheets regardless of whether they applied to the given contestant or not.

A score is then given in the photoshoot competition without ever even seeing one photo of the person or a single pose in front of a camera.

After all this, when the contestants do come to get their "New Face Contracts" which nearly every single person gets, if we don't have that contestants scoresheet I have watched in horror on numerous occasions as FAMILY MEMBERS OF THE COMPANY (Lance and April) turned their back and scribbled down a completely fake scoresheet and awarded the person a "New Face Contract."

After all these unbelievable atrocities, these people then pay MORE money for childlike designed and completely unprofessional casting cards in order to audition for jobs.

The jobs they are expected to find on the casting board are very few, often outdated, outlandish and many times pasted directly from an unconfirmed Craigslist ad.
All of these actions are absolutely preposterous and I am completely ashamed of myself for ever aiding a company who would treat people this way, especially kids.
These are people's dreams. These are their children's dreams. How would you feel if somebody toyed with your child's dreams and aspirations like this?

Right now the family members are justifying that they do scout and to look at their success stories. For one, you scout people for free walking down the street. It doesn't take $150 to know whether someone has the right look or not. This is completely apparent when we sign models whom have never even seen a Model Productions stage. As for the other, I can't hardly call
riding on the coattails of 4 successful people over 25 years to be a success story at all, especially when the majority of their success was due to their own dedication and hard work. How dare you
take credit for their effort and claim it as your own.

Now let's talk about customer satisfaction. Every person reading this knows how many problems are rampantly consuming this company. Almost all of these complaints are completely valid because customers could easily reproduce better results with simply a digital camera and a decent printer at home. Nonetheless, when they are spoken to by a corporate stakeholder, customers generally come into contact with arrogance, rebuttal and often times outright degradation by some of the family members. I wish Bill were there to hear his son Lance yesterday as he belittled a woman on the telephone to the point of near tears when she chose to call Model Productions a scam. Lance arrogantly and repeatedly chastised her for even saying something as such and the poor lady hadn't even brought her daughter in to be cast for the "Hannah Montana" audition she was expecting. I have seen Lance speak angrily to children. I have seen him degrade my interns in Augusta. He has degraded and manipulated employees repeatedly to their faces and to other employees such as Tori, Geoff, Carmen and a host of others. I'd be willing to bet that if Bill and Carol were to see the way Lance, Danielle and April treat customers and even kids, that they would be shocked and appalled that their own children were capable of such disgusting behavior.

So now let's move on to why so many of the Model Productions employees are upset.

One, I personally can not sell a product which I know is a fraud. My conscience weighs too heavy on my mind to do it any longer.

Two, there are employees who go weeks without being paid, especially new trainees. Even then, many people have their pay docked out of greed when they don't work all of the scheduled hours.

For starters, if you have agreed to a salary then that means they get the same amount regardless!!! Also, if you are paying 1099 Independant contractors then it is ILLEGAL for you to force them to a set weekly schedule. That would make them EMPLOYEES!!!

Three, For when many do actually get paid, it is more often than not incorrect, or often not on time. You cannot deny this because it is a fact. Almost every single person working for this company has had
a multitude of problems acquiring they're pay from Model Productions.

Four, you greedily gouge the pockets of your employees even further by upcharging the cost of stage materials so you can make more profit for yourselves
I almost fell out of my chair when Doug so arrogantly stated that he was teaching us how to be professionals. YOU CALL THAT PROFESSIONAL??? Please. Your ignorance is amusing.

Speaking of amusing, let's talk about all of the ideas that have been stolen from myself and other employees and presented as your own. How about the professional one? Doug said that all emails and messages were to be confirmed when received. Oddly enough this was something I had been doing to him for the last several weeks because I didn't know when he received my reimbursement emails or not. Which I still didn't receive because I also did not get paid yesterday. This was a general practice used in my former marketing company and even on the same day this was said... I sent a message requesting confirmation from Doug himself and did not receive any response and still have yet to receive response from any further requests as such

Continuing on both concepts of being professional and stealing ideas.

I laughed as I viewed the awkward and adolescently constructed Powerpoint presented by Doug and Lance here in Atlanta in regards to the new District Management system. Carol always says that "imitation is a form of flattery." Well I must say guys that I wasn't exactly flattered by your feeble attempt to look professional in the face of someone who truly is.

That being said, I would also like to say how conveniently the "professional" siblings have posted the entire company supply list in open view at your so-called "corporate office." This means that anyone who would like to purchase director's chairs, stages, bulbs, tables or even stage trusses has complete access to ALL company items, where to obtain them, even how and who to contact when ordering them. It would be very unfortunate for this kind of information to fall into a competitor's hands. With that being said, I'm sure that several family members are thinking back to the conference when they had everyone sign the Model Productions non-compete agreements. I'd be willing to bet you are missing a couple you wish you had right about now. Of course, this wouldn't matter either way because they were not legally binding and Georgia is a right to work state. In explanation this means that any employee working for this company can easily duplicate and improve the process to directly compete with Model Productions and there is not one single legal thing that can be done about it. So much for being professional.

Let me explain this fact to you. This company and its employees are suffering immensely due to poor management, unprofessionalism, arrogance and greed.

The ONLY reason I am not exposing you as of right now is because I don't feel that the innocent families who work for you should suffer.

I am not motivated by anything other than my need as a good human being to do the right thing. I don't even care if i receive my final check.

It is my suggestion that these problems be immediately remedied for both your employees sake and your own.

If immediate action is not taken:

1. I have a team of volunteers ready to go through all of the rosters I have and tell every single customer what you are doing to their children. I know how often people threaten to expose Model Productions to the press but its going to be an entirely different story when a driven former employee backed by hundreds of angry parents shines the light on what you are doing.

2. I will report your company immediately to the IRS for Tax Fraud.

3. I will open a class action lawsuit on behalf of the Model Productions customers on the basis of false advertisement.

Of course, last but not least.

You may consider this my formal resignation from the ranks of Model Productions. For you "professionals" who don't understand that... this means I QUIT.

Have a Great Day!

Justin
Woodstock, Georgia
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/26/2008 08:18 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Model-Productions/Lawrenceville-Georgia-30043/Model-Productions-Employee-Reporting-Model-Productions-Lawrenceville-Georgia-376393. 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 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Former "Employee" Wants In On A Class Action

AUTHOR: AmidimA - (United States of America)

If you really were going to file a Class Action, I'd be more than happy to testify to the things I saw and the business practices attributed to the stage in North Carolina. I was an employee for a year, starting when the company was "The American Mall Model Search" and into when they became "Audition America". I saw  many many things in the year I worked for them, and would love to help in any way possible make a dent in this fraudulent business.

I was let go because I failed to make enough sales. I would be severely reprimanded each day when I failed to "sign someone" (make them pay their initial $50 or $100). It was like the lottery, rich people refused to play and the poorest people were the ones to try and make an investment to better themselves. You have no idea how gut renching it is to try and weedle money out of single moms and people on unemployment, but they were the ones who usually payed the most. The company took advantage of foreigners too, my boss loved them because they didn't know really what was going on and were too ignorant to know the company wasn't going to make them super-star famous over night.

I can give first hand testimony to a lot of things that happened during the year I worked there. I met my now-current girlfriend while working there as well, and she was an employee for a few months too. She'd love to help too were a class action filed.
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#2 Consumer Comment

your are right.......RUN !

AUTHOR: Ana - (U.S.A.)

Well, I am glad we have all of this technology to do research. I feel bad for people whose dreams have been used by this model scout agency. I went to the mall with my 3 year old daughter. She is cute but she has not quite developed stage talent yet. They announced at the end of the show that we both had passed and were ready to move on to the next step....a talent show. It was then when I was asked to take the photos. When you are 30 or more, you have a different perspective about this things. I think she is too small and needs to be a kid and enjoy life and its simple things and so I decided not to sign her up for photos. On the other hand, I have always pursuit a movie extra opportunity and I thought....why not. Yes, you have to pay for the pictures. I came back for the photoshoot a week after.

I arrived 10 minutes prior. Two teenagers aproached the stage and asked one of the interns what is it that they needed to do to sign up. I was shocked when I heard the intern say that all they had to do is buy a portfolio for 150.00 dollars and then sign up for a talent show. They both went: "150??? - why?. The internt explained to them that this was the cost of a professional portfolio because sometimes auditions happen in LA, NY or other cities and this will serve to help their faces get out without having to pay for travel expenses each time (what a sharp answer). This meant that there wasnt really any contest going on, anyone can voluntarily "register" for 150.00dollars (which I have now found out it is illegal under Florida Statutes).

That is when my mind started to wonder. Then, I noticed the girls helping on stage looked alike......they also looked like the coordinator of this whole thing. The photographer.....looked like their mom. At this point, all I am thinking is.....how nice, they get to work together. What a great way for parents to encourage their kids to work in their own family owned business.

I received the one year contract in the mail a couple weeks ago. I had it checked with an entertainment attorney since I have never worked in this industry before. I have decided to look for a legitimate agency that finds you the jobs and represents you well for less commission. Companies like this are very smart, I can imagine how much money they are making....the concept is not bad, but is very less human. No wonder they scout in small towns, were people are still naive right?.

Always, always do your research. Get feedback, references and check if talent agencies are bbb.org accredited. These people will never get caught unfortunately (unless Oprah takes action) because they know how to play their cards right. You will always loose your time, your money and more importantly your dreams. Become street smart, don't let them fool you !. If you know you have talent, show them you are the one in control.

Good luck to everyone in pursuit of a modeling career.
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

If a booth is set up in a mall....RUN!!!

AUTHOR: Educated Mom - (U.S.A.)

I returned from the mall....Coral Square Mall in Coral Springs FL, with the worst taste in my mouth with this so called "Modeling Production" company. Not only should you not have to pay money up front for anything, the woman who greeted us had a very nasty response when I started questioning fees, etc. Needless to say, I did not go through with the registration, but watched as child after child was put on display to only be "approved" to fork over the $150.00. Yes, every parent wants to believe that their child is the one.....who would'nt, but research before you go. I googled Modeling Productions and it does seem that they are under investigation for fraud.....comsumer beware.
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

GET YOUR FACTS MR. JUSTIN...

AUTHOR: Nicole Ann Tankers - (U.S.A.)

i actually knew ashley berens here in knoxville when she received the contract on oprah. i don't know much about model productions but i do know about ashley. i got to watch that girls life change forever!

she was just a girl in high school until they came to knoxville center mall about 6 years ago, found her in their model search thing and brought her to meet with oprah. you need to get your facts straight. she was 15 when she received a contract. she modeled for 4-5 years in new york, miami, overseas in germany and has the portfolio to prove it. she got to travel the world and with their help she really made something of herself. plus her beautiful daughter is only 1 year old. ashley is 20 now. so cleary she didnt start her family at 15. my guess is you're either terrible at calculating the months it takes to have a baby... or your some angry pretty boy whos vomitting useless and most importantly FALSE information in attempt to make yourself feel important.

MODEL PRODUCTIONS IS THE BEST THING TO COME TO KNOXVILLE TN IN YEARS. they help kids like ashleys dreams come true everyday and i hope they come back soon.

by the way, "top director with model productions" is a bit of a stretch. under your picture on the staff page it said you were just a trainee.

-Nicole
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

Extremely satisfied Model Productions Consumer

AUTHOR: Sweet Angel White - (U.S.A.)

As a mother of Model Productions New Face contract winners, I feel the need, to share our experience with this company. We are very impressed with the company, its people, its products, its price and its promise. Our children fully enjoyed their experiences with showing their talents in front of the agents and they speak often about how special Lance made them feel at the photo shoot. The company promises that any person with energy and enthusiasm, who puts effort into showing their God-Given talents, is eligible for a one year modeling and acting contract with their company. They become part of the Mall Fashion Board. As I recall back to the time when my children got their contracts, there were many adults and children who did not win the competition and were visibly upset. My children did as they were supposed to and EARNED the contracts. They have gone on to have parts in an ABC series (October Road), a television commercial (Rooms to Go), catalogs (Highlights Magazine and a clothing ad for a commissary), have done mall fashion shows and have modeled as live mannequins in shop windows. We have only been with the company for one year and have gained much experience. Their confidence levels have skyrocketed. Since the company increases the contract by three months for every job they actually do, our contracts continue to be extended. Wow, and we only paid the Search fee of $150.00. I pay that much for many of their extracurricular activities.
Justin, an ex employee of Model Productions, has obviously been deeply affected by our economy. His rage toward this Christian-based company appears to be directly related to his missing a paycheck by 24 hours. I personally would like to offer Justin advice in a loving manner.
Dear, it is time that you create some savings and get set for the hard road ahead of you. From your letter, it appears that the misdirection of anger has caused you to use your loquacious semantics to slander a company who has proven to deliver what it promises. Your FACTS are ridden with malice, hatefulness, and defamation. Although you state that you offer advice. I do not see how your misguided anger on the website is advice at all. You sound like a young, very inexperienced kid who lacks business savvy. I am surprised with all of the information that you offer, you fail to include your last name. This is somewhat like a child who leaves anonymous, negative comments about people on bathroom walls for others to view and make judgments about them, as if they are fact.
The company is probably better off without people like you. Choose your words carefully and remember that what you put in writing is what sticks with you forever (especially on the World Wide Web). I can only hope that Model Productions never releases what you have written about their company to any of your future employers. If I were your employer, I would never keep you on because you tend to regurgitate company information when angered.
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