• Report: #23538

Complaint Review: Options Talent

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  • Submitted: Thu, June 27, 2002
  • Updated: Thu, October 05, 2006

  • Reported By:San Francisco CA
Options Talent
1701 Park Center Drive Orlando, Florida U.S.A.

Options Talent= Transcontinental Talent scam, swindlers, deceptive sales, misrepresentation of models and agencies ripoff abused & mistreated Orlando Florida *EDitor's Comment

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Wow- Options/TCT/WSN/ect. reports

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: san diego

*Consumer Suggestion: Nina, Nina, Nina... If your training at John Casablancas was so great and wonderful.... who is representing you today?

*Consumer Suggestion: Just Some Information: Hidden Cameras Expose Talent Agency Scam

*Consumer Suggestion: Food For Thought. ...don't give a rat's a*s how much money one spends using "traditional media"

*Consumer Suggestion: Just A Thought.

*Consumer Suggestion: Just A Thought.

*Consumer Suggestion: Just A Thought.

*Consumer Suggestion: Just A Thought.

*Consumer Suggestion: TCT Scam!!

*Consumer Suggestion: Please... Make Me A Star!! I Want To Be The Next Justine T.

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Thanks (and off-topic response)

*Consumer Suggestion: Some Things To Ponder.

*Consumer Suggestion: Hatchet burried. Just a little about myself.

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: *sigh*

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: *sigh*

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: *sigh*

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: *sigh*

*Consumer Suggestion: Malinda, you are so beautiful to me! Can't you seee-e-e-e-e?

*Consumer Suggestion: What does TCT's not being an agency have to do with anything?

*Consumer Suggestion: Beware!! Major Shill Action Going On.

*Consumer Suggestion: My Apology To Malinda.

*Consumer Suggestion: My Apology To Malinda.

*Consumer Suggestion: My Apology To Malinda.

*Consumer Suggestion: My Apology To Malinda.

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Dear Reid

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Whatever! It would behoove "Jay" to address specific complaints

*Consumer Suggestion: Discredited!!

*Consumer Suggestion: This company is a SCAM, because they are providing absolutely nothing of value in exchange for the "up front fee" they charge.

*Consumer Suggestion: This company is a SCAM, because they are providing absolutely nothing of value in exchange for the "up front fee" they charge.

*Consumer Suggestion: This company is a SCAM, because they are providing absolutely nothing of value in exchange for the "up front fee" they charge.

*Consumer Suggestion: This company is a SCAM, because they are providing absolutely nothing of value in exchange for the "up front fee" they charge.

*Consumer Suggestion: Consumer advocate, or Devil's advocate?

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Malinda

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Malinda... I remember you, we used you like a toilet!

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Addenda to the above comments -- I was... directly involved ...inflicting anti-musical crap on the world

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Addenda to the above comments -- I was... directly involved ...inflicting anti-musical crap on the world

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Addenda to the above comments -- I was... directly involved ...inflicting anti-musical crap on the world

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Addenda to the above comments -- I was... directly involved ...inflicting anti-musical crap on the world

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Follow-up

*Consumer Comment: Something interesting I found....."Pearlman rescinds model scouting company deal"

*Consumer Comment: I'm 15 ..THIS IS A RIPOFF----EXPERIENCED IT

*Consumer Comment: This was really helpful!!

*Consumer Comment: TCT Worked for me...

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Clarification

*Consumer Comment: Caveat Emptor ...reccommend the training that John Casablancas offers. It is very very very ...tied

*Consumer Comment: Wilhelmina Scam

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Wilhelmina Transcontinental Talent Edge Options tis all the same bad business

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Trans CON! As an ex-employee I finally got tired of seeing KIDS and TEENS being taken advantage of by these vultures.

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Trans CON! As an ex-employee I finally got tired of seeing KIDS and TEENS being taken advantage of by these vultures.

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Trans CON! As an ex-employee I finally got tired of seeing KIDS and TEENS being taken advantage of by these vultures.

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: And the trend continues...

*UPDATE Employee: Edge Athletic Scout

*UPDATE Employee: The majority of people commenting here have misconceptions about the nature of the company

*UPDATE Employee: The majority of people commenting here have misconceptions about the nature of the company

*UPDATE Employee: The majority of people commenting here have misconceptions about the nature of the company

*UPDATE Employee: The majority of people commenting here have misconceptions about the nature of the company

*Consumer Comment: EDGE TALENT WORKS

*Consumer Comment: Notes from someone who barely escaped...

*Consumer Comment: Same Scouting Nightmare in Detroit found on Monster.com

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Edge is Just that!

*Consumer Suggestion: Edge Talent?

*Consumer Suggestion: Don't let these scam artists waste your time

*Consumer Suggestion: Don't let these scam artists waste your time

*Consumer Suggestion: Don't let these scam artists waste your time

*Consumer Suggestion: Don't let these scam artists waste your time

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: All offices are not the same

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: All offices are not the same

*Consumer Comment: Thanks to all

*UPDATE Employee: Oh yeah, no surprise here, it's a rip-off!

*Consumer Comment: Did You Ever Wonder What Is Done With the Money???

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Transcontinental Talent = Options Talent

*Consumer Comment: "No thanks" to that job interview offer this Thursday!

*Consumer Suggestion: A real model speaks ...NO ONE needs to pay a company $600

*UPDATE Employee: Scam against talent & scouts

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: To Mark in Tampa. Even the Best scouts are screwed!

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: To Mark in Tampa. Even the Best scouts are screwed!

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: To Mark in Tampa. Even the Best scouts are screwed!

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: To Mark in Tampa. Even the Best scouts are screwed!

*Consumer Comment: Killing the artistry of America

*0: EDitor's Response to the above Rebuttal: tacit compliance IS unethical

*UPDATE Employee: Mis-INTERPRETATION, not Mis-representation... and Spielberg IS NO SAINT

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: scouts and models are scammed

*UPDATE Employee: To the Editors of ripoff.com

*0: EDitor's Response to this crock above from Renea

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Put Your PROOF Where Your Mouth Is!

*UPDATE Employee: Current Employee of Options.

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: And there are so many more lies

*UPDATE Employee: options

*Consumer Suggestion: Options Talent ...they'd go broke in a week or two.

*UPDATE Employee: What Scam?

*UPDATE Employee: I am a Model for eModel/Options for about 19 months.

*UPDATE Employee: These reports are preposterous!

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Cortes Randell Options talent top executive
Cort Randell is still in charge of ALL the money with the company, he make all the decisions and anything money related has to go through him. He is now listed as a "contractor" so he has limited libility.


I was scammed by Options Talent which claims to be the world's largest scouting company for the entertainment industry. I was "scouted" at a mall by a "talent scout" who invited me to an "open call".

The San Francisco Bay Area is currently new market for Options. I was told that thousands of modeling agencies use their service and that I only had one chance to decide at a "second interview" to become a member for $595 or lose the opportunity for one year. That is not true. The truth is that open calls are held at various offices and hotels and anyone can go anytime.

It's also not true that thousands of agencies use Options' service. Options cannot back up that statement. It is also not true that agencies use Options' service to the extend they claim in their statements and brochure. The service is a digital comp card with one photo. Additional photo slots cost $15 each, then the "talent" pays a $19.95 monthly maintenance fee.

The company claims more than 86% are contacted by an agency. That is a lie and Options cannot back up that claim. Several agencies listed on Options' web site and brochure say in a report that they have never agreed to the use of their name by Options and do not even intend to use their services.

Options' brochure pledges honesty in all aspects, to exceed customers' expectations, charge a fair price, outwork their competitors and admit their mistakes. Customer service could not answer my questions as to How they determine that $595 is a fair price? or Who their competitors are? or How is that they exceed customers' expectations? and Why I cannot meet other talent online? And why models cannot have a forum online? and Why can I not contact these agencies?

The whole point is to create contacts and network but Options does not allow it. Upon research I discovered that the scam has been reported in the Bay Areas's Surf Metro, Fox5 Atlanta and KRON Bay Area. Here are the links to the reports: http://www.surfmetro.com/pagegen.php?pagename=article&articleid=21303

http://fox5atlanta.com/iteam/options.html

http://www.kron.com/Global/story.asp?S=780825

5-7000 people are scammed every month by this company. People need to know about their con business. Parents are bringing their kids and teens, young adults and older adults also get lured into these open calls and sign up. We all bought the "become a model" dream and got scammed!

I have filed a claim through the FTC, BBB and will also file a claim to the Santa Clara County, Alameda County and San Francisco County District Attorney. Options' advertising campaign is false, misleading. They misrepresent talent and misrepresent agencies.

Options' tactic is extremely similar to the FTC v. Model 1, Inc., The Erickson Agency, Inc. case.
I actually found a legitimate modeling web site called models.com. They are certified by the BBB and have had 0 complaints. They only charge $59.95/yr for 3 photos and $119.95/yr for 20 photos. The site lists their Masthead, provides a forum for models AND agencies AND photographer. Every model called by agencies is listed and the agencies listed on their site legitimately use their services.

Options charges altogether the first year $834.40 for 1 photo and no way of networking with other models, no way of getting a list of national agencies or contacting them, customer service that cannot answer questions from their own brochure. The answer I got was that they're the world's largest scouting company! and they're traded in the stock market! I got no concrete answers as to why they do not allow models to network with each other and why they discourage models from contacting agencies directly and how they came up with $834.40 as a "fair price" and they refused to give the name of any more agencies other than the handful listed on their brochure. In the legitimate modeling business, many if not most models seeking work go directly to agencies.
The BBB has an unsatisfactory record from Options. Many cases remain unresolved.

Potential talent are told in the open call that models need to meet certain strict criteria, such as straight teeth and even facial features. The "talent scout" are "trained" to find these special people. I was told "You have such a unique look, you will get calls in no time. I wouldn't be surprised if you got a call in just a few weeks!" The potential talent's hopes, dreams and ego are inflated by these types of statements. The truth is, there is no strict requirements.

I found people with uneven facial features crooked teeth
in the "Unrepresented" section. The web site also has a "Represented" section but curiously it is "under major reconstruction". It probably doesn't even exist.
The fact is, Options doesn't scout model type people. They scout anyone who will pay $595 which is unrefundable.

Due to the amount of complaints, I can see why Options would not want to refund the money. They would be refunding left and right!

In addition to the second interview, I was called in for a third interview from a local Options Talent Coordinator to answer any questions and see how to market me better. I drove 36 miles out to the San Ramon office only to hear another sales pitch to buy a photographer's package and again I was pressured to sign up now with the only their photographer or lose any chance of being "squeezed in". Interestingly they only have a list of 2 photographer to choose from and they both charge the same price. A model should feel free to shop around and use whatever photographer she wishes.
Options' pledge to strive and give the opportunity is slim to none. They leave their talent hanging on their web site for a phone call from no one.

Options' advertising is misleading and based on misrepresentation of talent and misrepresentation of agencies to lure new talent in. Options has failed to adhere to the highest standards in ethics, to exceed my expectations, to charge a fair price for what they offer and does not employ ethical standards by any means. Their best interest is not their talent or even scouting quality talent but only getting as many people to sign up with Options as possible.

Options needs to be put out of business. Too many people are getting swindled.

Options purports to be the World Leader in the Entertainment Industry and purports that they are highly selective in scouting, screening and reviewing consumers for marketability as models and actors. Options purport that they provide talent services such as agency contacts--thousands!--and photographers. Talent scout are said to have special training to the "look" that significantly increases their prospects of finding work as a model or actor.

The truth is that Options is not selective in scouting, screening and reviewing consumers for marketability as models. Therefore Options is deceptive and injurious to innocent customers.

Liuba
San Francisco, California

Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Options Talent Emodel.com

STOP! ..before you think about using the Better Business Bureau (BBB)... CLICK HERE to see how other consumers were victimized by the BBB's false or misleading information. Don't be fooled! It has been reported, when there are thousands of complaints and other investigations underway by authorities, the BBB has no choice but to finally give an UNsatisfactory rating to a BBB member business that is paying the BBB big membership fees every year. When a business is reported that is NOT a BBB member, BBB files WILL more likely show an UNsatisfactory rating, then reportedly shake down that company to become a member of the BBB. One positive thing about the BBB is, either way, if a business has an unsatisfactory rating with the BBB, you can be sure, the business is bad. But what about all those BBB member businesses that had complaints filed against them? Consumers never get to hear about them. What about the BBB advertising to the public? Is this a false and misleading perception they are giving about consumer confidence when dealing with a business? Click here to understand more of what consumers and business alike are saying about the BBB. You decide. ..Remember. The BBB membership is not earned, it's paid for!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/27/2002 04:12 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Options-Talent/Orlando-Florida-32835/Options-Talent-Transcontinental-Talent-scam-swindlers-deceptive-sales-misrepresentatio-23538. 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.

Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report.

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#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Wow- Options/TCT/WSN/ect. reports

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

Oh the memories.
I just wanted to say that some of you people were the most fu**ed up people that I have ever known. I just skimmed through some of the reports for laughs. You people are evil. I hope none of you people posting are still working in this industry. Most of you are total and complete crooks. Half of you are completely insane. And why would any of you post your real names? Very very very brave of you. Dont you know that these people are crazy?

Everyone else, read these posts if you are ever considering working a job in this industry.
Many of the new scams out there are being run by the same people that ran this one.

And never agree to work a job for a modeling company that isnt paying you a real salary, like all of these poor scouts did.

All of the scouts got ripped off.
They worked there asses off and didnt get paid.

Only the people with the fancier office director, talent coordinator, public relations, or whatever jobs were making money.

These "fancy job" people would also go out drinking and out to dinner on the company all the time.

You scouts were paying for their meals and aiding their drinking problems.

You were out there busting your a**es looking for models while all of the "important people" were out getting drunk off of the money that you were bringing in.

Welcome to the wonderful world of the model scamming business, where not only the customers get scammed, but the majority of the employees aka "scouts" get scammed even worse.

You poor poor ex scouts.

You didnt make any money. They scammed you worse then they scammed the customers in my opinion.
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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

san diego

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

Renea of San Diego! I think we worked together back then at Options. I believe you left before I did. Many things mentioned in this report were true in my experience, and many were not. Out of the approx 10 scouts who were hired when we were, only one that I know of remained who went on base salary. All others quit or just never showed after a period of time. I personally was there probably about 4 months and received a total of $40 commission. There were many "unclaimed" checks kept in a drawer of scouts who quit and never went back to get their pay. I saw them and recognized the names when I went to get mine.

As Renea of San Diego said, we were trained to search for certain types of people who fit certain criteria listed in our employee brochure. Additinally, I was there at "open calls" when scouted individuals were not accepted. As the TE explained to me at the time, "we need to sign up as many as we can but we have to maintain our reputation too and can't just take anyone." So no, not everyone fits their requirements.

my take??: I believe that many time people make decisions based on business needs. this business concept is unique and makes sense, that's why I tried it. But most, if not all company's will say half truth's just to make the sale. Do they lie in their promises? Not that I saw. Were some people disappointed and disgruntled. Yeah. Heck, the company's I have worked for have ALL promised a delivery date to their customer, knowing full well that it can't be done. But if they didn't, they would lose the sale to their cometitor who is doing the same. Is that lying? Yep! Is that wrong? Yep! Is it a scam? Nope! Unfortunately, it's business in America.

As far as "cattle calls", thats the nature of the business. My son signed up with Malibu Talent and never got anything from them either. He said Options was similar in their interview process. Aparently, "open calls" or cattle calls as many of you put it, is normal. He was also on American Idol and did well, which Options was quick to point out that he did have a good voice before he even considered going on the show.

All in all, it was an experience and I would never go back. But I would never point the finger to anyone working there. They all were very curteous and helpful.

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#3 Consumer Suggestion

Nina, Nina, Nina... If your training at John Casablancas was so great and wonderful.... who is representing you today?

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

Nina, you said, last yr: "JC is a reputable school and they are tied with Elite (at last I heard) a very reputable NYC firm."
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Riddle me this: If your training at John Casablancas was so great and wonderful.... who is representing you today? What agents have represented you in your career? What credits do you have?

Also, I don't have time to address all the naiveness in your post (you are very much like these 'schools'...running at the mouth about how much you know about 'the industry', just to get clueless people to listen to you)...but as to your claim that JC is 'tied with' Elite...Have you CALLED Elite?!? You might be surprised. :)
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

Just Some Information: Hidden Cameras Expose Talent Agency Scam

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

Hey there Everyone,

I hope that this rebuttal finds you in good spirits and health.

Below is a story about an investigation regarding TCT. I hope you enjoy reading it and find some, if not most, of the information contained within it useful in some way.

Hidden Cameras Expose Talent Agency Scam
Local 4 - Detroit/November 15, 2002
By Ruth Spencer
Hidden cameras exposed the conniving side of the catwalk inside Transcontinental Talent's Ferndale office, Ruth Spencer reported. Local 4's undercover producer and dozens of other model-wannabes attended a model open call after being selected by a TCT talent scout. Local 4's producer was reportedly pressured inside a private room to pay up.

Aspiring model Brandy McFadden said that she paid TCT almost $1,000 to have her pictures posted on the TCT Web site and she is reportedly not alone.

"I thought this was a dream that was actually going to come true for me," McFadden said.

Dozens of TCT clients told Local 4 that they have all been taken by the company.

TCT hires talent scouts to hit the streets searching for new faces, Local 4 reported. The Web site says that these scouts are highly trained and skilled, but Local 4 learned that may not be the case.

A former TCT scout, who asked Local 4 to conceal her identity as just "Corie," said that it is a job she regrets taking.

She said that she feels guilty and that it was basically just about money. If you want to make money, "you'll bring people in here," she said. She said that they told people that they work with the largest agencies and MTV, when none of it was true.

Ruth to the Rescue put TCT's recruiting practices to the test. The undercover producer filled out a TCT scout application online. Within hours, he received a letter from the TCT telling him that he would be a tremendous asset to the company. He has never scouted or worked in the entertainment business, but that doesn't bother TCT, the station reported. A Local 4 photographer and a volunteer also signed on, and received the same letter.

Ruth also signed up her 10-year-old dog, Lochie Spencer, who also received the same e-mail.

Local 4 visited the TCT office to get answers.

A TCT spokeswoman said that dozens of clients have gone onto successful modeling careers. Local 4 asked for specific names and numbers of Detroit success stories. She did provide a few names, but would only release first names and would not help contact the clients, Local 4 reported.

Until next time, take care cause I care, Aloha from Hawaii and God Bless.
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

Food For Thought. ...don't give a rat's a*s how much money one spends using "traditional media"

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

Hey there Everyone,

I hope that this rebuttal finds each and every one of you in good spirit and health.

Posted below is a message that some d!ckhead posted on another website regarding a gentleman named Rosenberg.

"Understand that, unlike the cost to get your message in the traditional media, there is almost no cost to posting something on the web". "And there is no editor checking the accuracy of web postings".

I'd hate to rain on this d!ckheads parade but, I don't give a rat's a*s how much money one spends using "traditional media", it doesn't mean, that company or it's offer are legitimate. Cost of advertising don't PROVE a d**n thing to consumers!!

Using "traditional media" only proves one thing and that is a company has PAID to get it's message across. It literally means nothing! How many infomercials do you suppose are marketing something of value and according to the truth in advertising laws?

And he was right about one thing, there is no editor checking the accuracy of web postings, and that goes for his as well.

Until next time, take care and God Bless Everyone.
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#6 Consumer Suggestion

Just A Thought.

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

Hey there Everyone,

I hope that this rebuttal finds you in good spirit and health.

This fat piece of $h!t "Pearl Man" and the many other scam artists like him, really get's my goat. I don't know this guy personally, but really don't care to.

They say that "success breeds success", however I have to disagree, success DOES NOT breed success, NEVER HAS, NEVER WILL. "Success buys success."

This world revolves around money. "Money is power", "money is the root of all evil", etc, etc, are all just meaningless sayings. Broke people would have everyone believe, that "money is the root of all evil" while the rich would have you believe, that "money and greed means power.

"Money can't buy hapiness?" Well, how would one know, if he or she has very little of it, or none at all. Bottom line is, neither can poverty.

As far as the wealthy are concered, they literally buy everything from their fancy clothes, automobiles, homes, etc, etc, while often being featured in advertisements requesting donations for impoverished countries.

Do they deserve all this wealth and recognition? Of course they do! That's not even a question. What most people often fail to realize, are all the expenses involved with being a celebrity. Not only monetary expenses, but tremendous lack of time and freedom.

Everytime a celebrity leaves their home, they are constantly pursued by a band of picture taking leaches. Celebrities often pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for items, just because it has a NAME affixed to it, items in which are probably worth no more than half the asking amount.

Ever ate a $30.00 cheesburger? I havn't. How many celebrities do you suppose have, only because they can? As I mentioned earlier, they truly deserve all of this. Any celebrity will tell you the long and grueling hours they commit to the industry.

They'll probably also tell you, that the lack of free time and privacy can be very taxing at times. I am not an actor, but have done some extra work and also appeared in a national television commercial a few years back, so I'm well aware of the amount of stress that's involved.

My point is, fat and disgusting "Pearl Man" should not be placed in the same category as the rest of Hollywood's celebrities, but rather, the same category as the rest of the thieves in this world.

What makes matters even worst for fatso, is that he's already a millionaire. What does fatso want? What the f#ck is fatso trying to accomplish? He can literally BUY anything he wants, and by looking at his grotesque face, I'm sure he already does this to begin with, including his women.

You see where this is going? For many like fatso, money creates a false sense of greatness. I mean, if you were to see fatso walking down the street with a beuatiful woman (sort of like beauty and the ugly beast), you would immediately be able to determine, that she was a rental.

People like this fat piece of $h!t "Pearl Man" pi$$es me off, because I'm a nice guy and I'm still broke. I'm not jealous, but rather irritated, because of the fact, if I had this crooks wealth, I would do things to better this world, instead of playing a scam game of monopoly with the poor.

Until next time, take care Everyone cause I care, Aloha from Hawaii and God Bless.

P.S. No for real... success is not based on someones wealth, but rather ones hapiness. One could have all the money in the world, but it doesn't mean a d**n thing, if he or she aren't happy. Fat turd is living proof of this.
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#7 Consumer Suggestion

Just A Thought.

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

Hey there Everyone,

I hope that this rebuttal finds you in good spirit and health.

This fat piece of $h!t "Pearl Man" and the many other scam artists like him, really get's my goat. I don't know this guy personally, but really don't care to.

They say that "success breeds success", however I have to disagree, success DOES NOT breed success, NEVER HAS, NEVER WILL. "Success buys success."

This world revolves around money. "Money is power", "money is the root of all evil", etc, etc, are all just meaningless sayings. Broke people would have everyone believe, that "money is the root of all evil" while the rich would have you believe, that "money and greed means power.

"Money can't buy hapiness?" Well, how would one know, if he or she has very little of it, or none at all. Bottom line is, neither can poverty.

As far as the wealthy are concered, they literally buy everything from their fancy clothes, automobiles, homes, etc, etc, while often being featured in advertisements requesting donations for impoverished countries.

Do they deserve all this wealth and recognition? Of course they do! That's not even a question. What most people often fail to realize, are all the expenses involved with being a celebrity. Not only monetary expenses, but tremendous lack of time and freedom.

Everytime a celebrity leaves their home, they are constantly pursued by a band of picture taking leaches. Celebrities often pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for items, just because it has a NAME affixed to it, items in which are probably worth no more than half the asking amount.

Ever ate a $30.00 cheesburger? I havn't. How many celebrities do you suppose have, only because they can? As I mentioned earlier, they truly deserve all of this. Any celebrity will tell you the long and grueling hours they commit to the industry.

They'll probably also tell you, that the lack of free time and privacy can be very taxing at times. I am not an actor, but have done some extra work and also appeared in a national television commercial a few years back, so I'm well aware of the amount of stress that's involved.

My point is, fat and disgusting "Pearl Man" should not be placed in the same category as the rest of Hollywood's celebrities, but rather, the same category as the rest of the thieves in this world.

What makes matters even worst for fatso, is that he's already a millionaire. What does fatso want? What the f#ck is fatso trying to accomplish? He can literally BUY anything he wants, and by looking at his grotesque face, I'm sure he already does this to begin with, including his women.

You see where this is going? For many like fatso, money creates a false sense of greatness. I mean, if you were to see fatso walking down the street with a beuatiful woman (sort of like beauty and the ugly beast), you would immediately be able to determine, that she was a rental.

People like this fat piece of $h!t "Pearl Man" pi$$es me off, because I'm a nice guy and I'm still broke. I'm not jealous, but rather irritated, because of the fact, if I had this crooks wealth, I would do things to better this world, instead of playing a scam game of monopoly with the poor.

Until next time, take care Everyone cause I care, Aloha from Hawaii and God Bless.

P.S. No for real... success is not based on someones wealth, but rather ones hapiness. One could have all the money in the world, but it doesn't mean a d**n thing, if he or she aren't happy. Fat turd is living proof of this.
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#8 Consumer Suggestion

Just A Thought.

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

Hey there Everyone,

I hope that this rebuttal finds you in good spirit and health.

This fat piece of $h!t "Pearl Man" and the many other scam artists like him, really get's my goat. I don't know this guy personally, but really don't care to.

They say that "success breeds success", however I have to disagree, success DOES NOT breed success, NEVER HAS, NEVER WILL. "Success buys success."

This world revolves around money. "Money is power", "money is the root of all evil", etc, etc, are all just meaningless sayings. Broke people would have everyone believe, that "money is the root of all evil" while the rich would have you believe, that "money and greed means power.

"Money can't buy hapiness?" Well, how would one know, if he or she has very little of it, or none at all. Bottom line is, neither can poverty.

As far as the wealthy are concered, they literally buy everything from their fancy clothes, automobiles, homes, etc, etc, while often being featured in advertisements requesting donations for impoverished countries.

Do they deserve all this wealth and recognition? Of course they do! That's not even a question. What most people often fail to realize, are all the expenses involved with being a celebrity. Not only monetary expenses, but tremendous lack of time and freedom.

Everytime a celebrity leaves their home, they are constantly pursued by a band of picture taking leaches. Celebrities often pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for items, just because it has a NAME affixed to it, items in which are probably worth no more than half the asking amount.

Ever ate a $30.00 cheesburger? I havn't. How many celebrities do you suppose have, only because they can? As I mentioned earlier, they truly deserve all of this. Any celebrity will tell you the long and grueling hours they commit to the industry.

They'll probably also tell you, that the lack of free time and privacy can be very taxing at times. I am not an actor, but have done some extra work and also appeared in a national television commercial a few years back, so I'm well aware of the amount of stress that's involved.

My point is, fat and disgusting "Pearl Man" should not be placed in the same category as the rest of Hollywood's celebrities, but rather, the same category as the rest of the thieves in this world.

What makes matters even worst for fatso, is that he's already a millionaire. What does fatso want? What the f#ck is fatso trying to accomplish? He can literally BUY anything he wants, and by looking at his grotesque face, I'm sure he already does this to begin with, including his women.

You see where this is going? For many like fatso, money creates a false sense of greatness. I mean, if you were to see fatso walking down the street with a beuatiful woman (sort of like beauty and the ugly beast), you would immediately be able to determine, that she was a rental.

People like this fat piece of $h!t "Pearl Man" pi$$es me off, because I'm a nice guy and I'm still broke. I'm not jealous, but rather irritated, because of the fact, if I had this crooks wealth, I would do things to better this world, instead of playing a scam game of monopoly with the poor.

Until next time, take care Everyone cause I care, Aloha from Hawaii and God Bless.

P.S. No for real... success is not based on someones wealth, but rather ones hapiness. One could have all the money in the world, but it doesn't mean a d**n thing, if he or she aren't happy. Fat turd is living proof of this.
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#9 Consumer Suggestion

Just A Thought.

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

Hey there Everyone,

I hope that this rebuttal finds you in good spirit and health.

This fat piece of $h!t "Pearl Man" and the many other scam artists like him, really get's my goat. I don't know this guy personally, but really don't care to.

They say that "success breeds success", however I have to disagree, success DOES NOT breed success, NEVER HAS, NEVER WILL. "Success buys success."

This world revolves around money. "Money is power", "money is the root of all evil", etc, etc, are all just meaningless sayings. Broke people would have everyone believe, that "money is the root of all evil" while the rich would have you believe, that "money and greed means power.

"Money can't buy hapiness?" Well, how would one know, if he or she has very little of it, or none at all. Bottom line is, neither can poverty.

As far as the wealthy are concered, they literally buy everything from their fancy clothes, automobiles, homes, etc, etc, while often being featured in advertisements requesting donations for impoverished countries.

Do they deserve all this wealth and recognition? Of course they do! That's not even a question. What most people often fail to realize, are all the expenses involved with being a celebrity. Not only monetary expenses, but tremendous lack of time and freedom.

Everytime a celebrity leaves their home, they are constantly pursued by a band of picture taking leaches. Celebrities often pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for items, just because it has a NAME affixed to it, items in which are probably worth no more than half the asking amount.

Ever ate a $30.00 cheesburger? I havn't. How many celebrities do you suppose have, only because they can? As I mentioned earlier, they truly deserve all of this. Any celebrity will tell you the long and grueling hours they commit to the industry.

They'll probably also tell you, that the lack of free time and privacy can be very taxing at times. I am not an actor, but have done some extra work and also appeared in a national television commercial a few years back, so I'm well aware of the amount of stress that's involved.

My point is, fat and disgusting "Pearl Man" should not be placed in the same category as the rest of Hollywood's celebrities, but rather, the same category as the rest of the thieves in this world.

What makes matters even worst for fatso, is that he's already a millionaire. What does fatso want? What the f#ck is fatso trying to accomplish? He can literally BUY anything he wants, and by looking at his grotesque face, I'm sure he already does this to begin with, including his women.

You see where this is going? For many like fatso, money creates a false sense of greatness. I mean, if you were to see fatso walking down the street with a beuatiful woman (sort of like beauty and the ugly beast), you would immediately be able to determine, that she was a rental.

People like this fat piece of $h!t "Pearl Man" pi$$es me off, because I'm a nice guy and I'm still broke. I'm not jealous, but rather irritated, because of the fact, if I had this crooks wealth, I would do things to better this world, instead of playing a scam game of monopoly with the poor.

Until next time, take care Everyone cause I care, Aloha from Hawaii and God Bless.

P.S. No for real... success is not based on someones wealth, but rather ones hapiness. One could have all the money in the world, but it doesn't mean a d**n thing, if he or she aren't happy. Fat turd is living proof of this.
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#10 Consumer Suggestion

TCT Scam!!

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

Hey there Everyone,

I hope that this rebuttal finds you in good spirit and health.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, especially when it involves being scammed by a company. Opinions regarding scams become factual, when the companies cannot and does not come foward to prove the many opinions against them otherwise.

TCT for example is definitely a scam. Any and all businesses, that finds it a problem to come foward in the public eye to lay it all out in the open are scams. Simple fact of life, no if ands or buts and definitely without a doubt, NOT JUST AN OPINION!!

To make matters even worst, TCT after not being willing and able to address and resolve ANY of the MANY reports against them, have the f#ck!ng audacity to attempt to sue rip off report or anyone else, that speaks out against their fraudulent operation.

Any attorney, that would even consider taking on one of TCT's frivilous "libel" lawsuits, after witnessing the fact, that TCT is totally unwilling and unable to prove any report against them wrong in a public setting, are crooked and deserves everything that's thrown their way.

It seems as though, many attornies are using their position to do bad things. They think that they're above the law for some reason.

Until next time, take care Everyone cause I care, Aloha from Hawaii and God Bless.

P.S. Remember the song Cop Killer a few years back? The song that had been so controversial and many found disturbing, because it supposedely promoted violence against crooked cops? Well, I'd like to someday hear a song similar to it titled, Crooked Attorney Killer. That would be f#ck!ng awesome!!
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#11 Consumer Suggestion

Please... Make Me A Star!! I Want To Be The Next Justine T.

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

Hey there Everyone,

I hope that this rebuttal finds you in good spirits and more importantly health.

Ignore any and all rebuttals, that are in favor of this fraudulent company. They're all rubbish. Any and all legitimate companies, that are confident in what they're selling, would definitely feel comfortable coming foward to lay it all out in the open.

Any and all legitimate companies, would NEVER allow this many reports to accumulate against them, had they been able and willing to prove, that what they are selling is legitimate.

Why do you think this fraudulent company finds this website such a threat to their business? Why do you think, that this fraudulent company is so overly concerned about what is said about them, when in fact, they are unable and unwilling to do anything about it?

Any and all legitimate businesses, that have nothing to hide, would definitely not find consumer advocacy sites a threat to their business in any way shape or form, simple fact of life, no if and's or but's, and is definitely NOT JUST AN OPINION!!

Also, disregard any and all rebuttals, that contain threats of libel lawsuits. The truth is an absolute defence against libel and any company that is unable and unwilling to correct THEIR wrong doing in the public eye, stands very little or no chance of winning a libel lawsuit.

Libel is a written untruth, that is malicious in nature as to intentionally cause damage to ones reputation. This fraudulent company's reputation speaks for itself. It's no one elses fault by their very own, that they are perpetuating a scam and cannot prove that they are not.

If anyone's causing damage to this fraudulent company's reputation, it's them and only them, for all of this fraudulent company's rebuttals, contain nothing but excuses and has proven absolutely NOTHING to the contrary.

It's not illegal, nor will it ever be, to post one's true experience, regardless of how horrific it may have been.

The last I remember, it was totally legal to tell a friend, or many friends, about a $h!ty movie you've seen, or about a really bad dining experience. No different than posting a true experience on this website.

I don't recall anyone ever being sued for doing
so. Hell if that was the case, Siskel and Ebert's "at the movies" would've been booted off the air a long time before Siskel's passing.

There are many scam companies, that cry about having to pay a measly $25.00 to post four rebuttals. Who's fault is it, that their rebuttals contain nothing but garbage? LOOK OVER YOUR F#CK!NG REBUTTALS!!

Trust me, $25.00 means absolutely nothing to a company, that was willing and able to prove, that the products and or services they are selling are legit. Any legitimate company, that was able to prove themselves, would waste no time and would immediately do so.

Had I been the creator and owner of this website, I would charge $2,500.00 for each and every rebuttal submitted, by the company in question. I would however, be willing and would offer to refund the entire amount, only after the company has proven, that the situation has been resolved.

This would be to minimize the amount of space wasted, by shills, that post nothing but senseless rebuttals. Even a refundable $2,500.00 per rebuttal, would be absolutely no problem for a company, that had nothing to hide and knew that their product, service or program wasn't a huge scam.

NO AMOUNT OF MONEY is ever too big for a company that was certain it was legitimate!! Yes it's true that all businesses receive complaints, it's how they are handled, that separates legitimate businesses from scams.

Any consumer advocacy site deserves to profit from any and all fraudulent companies, that are incapable of proving the worthiness of their existence.

Legitimate businesses, that have nothing to hide are always willing to conduct and disclose everthing about their business out in the open.

Besides, this fraudulent company is far beyond just an explanation of their company and their bogus offer at this point (they are totally unable to even do that). People want to now start seeing some ACTION.

They can wipe their a$$e$ with all of their pathetic excuses, as to why they believe, their fraudulent company and their bogus services are not scams.

I have experience in the modeling/talent agency, including a principle role in a national television commercial.

This company wishes to have everyone believe, that they are NOT recognized as an agency, only because of many agencies having had bad reputations in the past, therefore, not even wanting to be associated with the word.

A nickels worth of free advice: Having no rebuttals, far beats having many senseless, pointless and meaningless ones.

So if I was the owner of this fraudulent company, I would gather up all of their shills, and give them all a good spanking, for making my fraudulent company look even worst, than it has before.

Until next time, take care everyone, Aloha from Hawaii and God Bless.

P.S. Hey there "Pearl Man", how's the Fatkins diet coming along? Loose some weight, so that you can feel better about yourself, and also so that you may someday finally put an end to being the laughing stalk of HOLLYWOOD. You sure are a greedy man, as your weight definitely indicates it. Lay off the f#ck!ng shrimp already!! You are depleting the Atlantic ocean.
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#12 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Thanks (and off-topic response)

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

Hey, I knew it had to be a misunderstanding somewhere down the line. I know I write looooong posts and it can be easy to miss something I wrote if someone's in a hurry and skims, or if you're in a P.O.'d frame of mind at the time.

So we're cool.

I forgot to answer your question about degrees, if it even matters anymore.

I have a BA in English with an emphasis on British Literature and poetry.

I also have a BA in Fine Arts with an emphasis on Illustration and graphic arts.

I graduated within four years, but had I taken two more classes, I would have also had a BA in Communications (Business Management). I lacked two credits but wanted to graduate when my friends and classmates did and I also did not want to pay for an additional amount of school time.

I have worked for hospitals, consulting firms, jewelers. I have occasionally worked multiple jobs by working part-time at restaurants or in retail.

I've been anb editor of a literary journal and a medical newsletter (ophalmology) and have organized, hosted and participated in performance art, poetry readings, concerts, art parties, etc.

I've worked as a personal asistant for a phycologist, a copywriter, a software developer and a photographer.

When I took the job at TCT, the economy was so awful in my area that I was desperate to pay my bills. I had gotten no other leads for weeks. I was NOT happy with them (in addition to the above mentioned behavior) because I FINALLY got some job leads AFTER I accepted a position with TCT and had to ruen them down because, at that time, I thought I was off the job market.

Not only did they scam me and their clients, it is probable they also kept me from getting a legitimate, resume-enhancing, benefit-including position.

I am in grad school for Interactive Design right now, would bore you with the independent studies I have done (e.g. Video, Illustration, Life Drawing, more), and I take care of my elderly grandmother.

Speaking of which, she has a doctor's appointment I am taking her to.

Keep up the good fight.
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#13 Consumer Suggestion

Some Things To Ponder.

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

Hey there Everyone,

I hope that this rebuttal finds you in good spirits and health.

Ignore all rebuttals, that are in favor of this fraudulent company. They're all rubbish. Any and all legitimate companies, that are confident in what they're selling, would definitely feel comfortable coming foward to lay it all out in the open.

Any and all legitimate companies, would NEVER allow this many reports to accumulate against them, had they been able and willing to prove, that what they are selling is legitimate.

Why do you think this fraudulent company finds this website such a threat to their business?

Any and all legitimate businesses, that have nothing to hide, would definitely not find consumer advocacy sites a threat to their business, simple fact of life, no if ands or buts, and is definitely NOT JUST AN OPINION!!

Also, disregard any and all rebuttals, that contain threats of libel lawsuits. The truth is an absolute defence against libel and any company that is unable and unwilling to correct THEIR wrong doing in the public eye, stands very little or no chance of winning a libel lawsuit.

Libel is a written untruth, that is malicious in nature as to intentionally cause damage to ones reputation. This fraudulent company's reputation speaks for itself. It's no one elses fault by their very own, that they are perpetuating a scam and cannot prove that they are not.

If anyone's causing damage to this fraudulent company's reputation, it's them and only them, for all of this fraudulent company's rebuttals, contain nothing but excuses and has proven absolutely NOTHING to the contrary.

There are many scam companies, that cry about having to pay a measly $25.00 to post four rebuttals. Who's fault is it, that their rebuttals contain nothing but garbage? LOOK AT YOUR F#CK!NG REBUTTALS!!

Trust me, $25.00 is absolutely nothing to a company, that was willing and or able to prove, that the products and or services they are selling are legit.

Had I been the creator and owner of this website, I'd charge $2,500.00 for each and every rebuttal submitted by the company in question. I would however, be willing to refund the entire amount, only after the company has proven, that the situation has been resolved.

This would be to minimize the amount of space wasted with nothing but senseless rebuttals. Even $2,500.00 per rebuttal, would be no problem for a company, that had nothing to hide and knew that their product, service or program wasn't a huge scam.

Until next time, take care everyone, Aloha from Hawaii and God Bless.

P.S. Hey there "Pearl Man", how's the Fatkins diet coming along? Loose some weight, so that you can feel better about yourself, and also so that you may someday finally put an end to being the laughing stalk of HOLLYWOOD.
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#14 Consumer Suggestion

Hatchet burried. Just a little about myself.

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

Hey there Malinda and Everyone else,

I hope that this rebuttal finds you in good spirit and health.

Say Malinda-thank's for accepting my aplology. I was just being sarcastic and didn't mean it at first, but have come to realize, that it doesn't make sense for any of us to be bickering amongst ourselves.

This scam company feasts on others disageeing with one another, for it makes them feel as though, they now have some newly restored credibility, when in fact the only thing that could ever restore this company's credibility are acknowledgement and resolutions to all of these reports filed here.

After reading through my rebuttal, I've come to realize, that I have started the bashing. I'm a man that can and will always admit fault. I disrespected you, by trying to impose my "don't act like you got my back" mentality.

I've learned through MANY years of experience and by being employed at MANY different companies, that the people who often complain the most about their job, may it be the boss, the hours, working conditions, etc, etc, are always the least likely, willing and able to do anything about it.

They were always the ones, for some very strange reason, against the idea of standing up for themselves and union representation. I have attempted several times to establish union representation at several companies, in which I worked, but have failed miserably due to no fault of my own.

I have been told by numerous shop stewarts and union reps, that I'm perhaps the most spearheaded person they've ever seen.

These same union employees also told me, that I was just wasting my time, for the same people who ever agreed to stand behind me, will eventually turn against me and stab me in the back. Totally sad but true. Comparable to that of the "battered women syndrome".

For some very strange reason, battered women very often end up going back to their alleged abusers. You always here the same crap! "But I love him", "maybe he'll change", "look on the bright side, he don't need a heavy bag", blah blah, blah blah.

My point is, although someone may feel greatful and appreciative in someones pursuit to make things better, there's also a very good chance, that he or she becomes very complacent with their employer, or in their abusive relationship, thus preventing them from ever fully letting go to take any appropriate corrective measures.

That's what I meant by "both sides of the fence".

This caused me to become a little more calus, synical and jaded. The fact that the fraudulent John Beck Mentoring Institute tried to jack me earlier this year, only adds much fuel to my anger.

Regarding education. I have no degrees, because I refuse to spend two years in college, only to repeat similar courses, which I have studied in high school (liberal arts). I did however, obtain a certificate from an accredited bartending academy about two years ago.

I'm also a graduate from the Columbia School Of Brodcasting, and most recently from an establised and accredited real estate crash course, in which very often, less than fifty percent of the attendees pass. I am very confident, that I would've succeeded in college, had I decided to go that route.

I am currently attending an advanced disc jockey training course, studying real estate law and recently took on a part-time job at a nearby restaurant.

As far as employment is concerned, I have an enormous array of experiences. Everything from numerous different retail outlets, supervisory positions, restaurants, nightclubs, car sales, carnival experience, catering and banquets, demolition, painting and a few other things, I may have inadvertantly ommitted.

My hobbies include, but are not limited to, fine dining, hiking, fishing, singing karaoke, hunting, martial arts, reading, writing, bowling, throwing darts, billiards, video games, and just kicking back at home watching television.

As I have stated above, I recently became employed at a restaurant and will have less time to post rebuttals. I have tremendous confidence however, that everyone including Malinda, will continue to stay atop of this company to monitor it's behavior.

Until next time, take care everyone, Aloha from Hawaii and God Bless.

P.S. Clearly just a misunderstanding. I'll definitely be back to shoot down any and all false rebuttals posted by any shills.
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#15 UPDATE EX-employee responds

*sigh*

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

Good grief, Reid. If you really think that TCT would be thrilled about anything I wrote (with the possible exception of ONLY my first post), you're deluded. Hell, they didn't even like it when I wrote that initial positive report.

That first post, which I wrote after a few DAYS as an employee, with an obviously limited amount of information at my disposal at the time...well, you'd think they'd be okay with that, right? But no, they weren't.

SO...I sincerely doubt they would be thrilled with my subsequent follow-up commentary, and I certainly don't except any brownie points. (Why would I want any from a bad company that I chose to leave?)

First off, my initial research didn't uncover anything negative about TCT *except* the Ripoff Report. I suspect this was because they had just changed their name and because they were new to my area. At any rate, I wasn't expecting to find anything bad. I was a new employee and things looked pretty good the first day or two. Also, I didn't have much time to really dig around, but when I found the Ripoff Report, it was, AT THAT TIME, the first and ONLY negative commentary I'd seen.

As a result, I decided that either some ex-employee must have posted a negative post for whatever reason, and thus it could be dismissed, OR some recruited talent was misinformed about what TCT offers. AT LEAST AT FIRST I believed that. It was the first negative commentary I'd found, after all.

This is why I keep mentioning that TCT doesn't claim to be an agency. This is not in any way meant to excuse them. It is related to the first post I read, and it explains why I responded as I did. I believed that the complainant wasn't listening closely, perhaps because she was overly excited by the glamorous (ha) videos shown at open calls. That she therefore believed TCT was an agency and that the only reason she griped was because TCT wasn't BEING an agency.

Then it occurred to me that a new employee might have misled the poor girl, either by forgetting to stress what TCT claims to be (i.e., not an agency, right) or by being morally bankrupt and deliberately misleading her that TCT WAS an agency.

So I wrote my first report and spouted the party line. Didn't have any other information to go on, as a newbie. Only had the one negative post to refer to. So I truly believed that TCT wasn't evil, and that the complainant was mistaken on some level. Either she lied to herself (by wanting to believe she was a potential model, I mean) OR someone failed to make it clear to her what TCT did (or, rather, what AT THAT TIME I believed and was told they did) OR a new employee was overly eager to get warm bodies to show up at an open call and thus they lied (which I thought--and STILL think--is wrong...which is ALSO why I stress that I never lied to potential talent).

That is why I wrote what I did, and that is why I continue to mention those things. I am referring to prior discussions in earlier reports on this page, all of which I have read prior to responding to them. It is BECAUSE I have read each post and made an attempt to figure out who is responding to what, a courtesy some people perhaps don't bother with, that it comes up at all. It is NOT because I am taking TCT's side about it.

I honestly am baffled about why I'm having to re-re-re-re-clarify something I thought I had already made clear, but the perception apparently STILL remains that I'm excusing TCT in some way RATHER THAN clarifying earlier points in prior postings.

At any rate, when I found that first negative report, I was such a happy little camper during those first few days that I innocently re-posted my report (thatg would be the FIRST one I posted here) defending TCT to the intranet forums TCT employees have access to.

And it was censored.

Yep. It defended them and was still censored. That confused me, since I was a happy newbie, and I couldn't figure out why they felt a need to censor ANYTHING, especially not a post SUPPORTING them. Which I did, the first few days I worked there.

So. I asked questions and was told that even just TALKING about someone posting ripoff reports would only encourage other newbies to GO DO RESEARCH.

Now, you're probably thinking exactly what I thought then: WHY would it be bad if newbies did research? Right? Why on earth would encouraging people to check out their new company be a BAD thing?

Well, it would only be BAD if they had something to hide. If they were, in fact, a CRAPPY SCAM of a business. Correct?

Whereas a GOOD company would be more than happy for you to investigate them to your heart's content AND post what you found. Because they'd have nothing to hide. Logical, no?

Hello! That was a BIG warning bell!

Therefore I told my boss at the time that I thought that censoring posts--especially SUPPORTIVE ones!--sent the wrong message and explained why I thought so. I said to her that it looked like maybe the naysayers had a valid point (WHICH THEY DO!). I also just plain disagreed with censoring non-abusive, supportive, business-related information on the business-related forums.

Guess what? She argued with me. And that is what encouraged me to look further into things. Like I said, I couldn't figure out why a GOOD company would be afraid that employees might do some looking around online.

So, I could maybe attribute ONE site with ONE bad report to a disgrunted ex-employee with an axe to grind...MAYBE they were a bad employee.

Or, I could perhaps attribute ONE bad report to somebody who got recruited and wanted so badly to hear what they wanted to hear and believe it was a real model agency that they were pissed to find out it wasn't after they bought the service...PERHAPS they should have listened better before signing anything.

Those speculations were reasonable ones AT THE TIME, given the information I had. NOW, of course, neither of us would make those assumptions. There have been too many additional complaints and comments.

So I could assume that the ONE and ONLY bad report I'd ever seen (AT THAT TIME) was a fluke...UNTIL I found more. And I could NOT explain SEVERAL sites with negative information about TCT, which is what a more in-depth search revealed to me. Not just ONE angry person. Not just TWO. There were and are dozens, if not HUNDREDS, of angry people--both ex-employees as well as unhappy recruited talent.

That isn't something you can explain away to yourself, even if you WANT to believe your new company doesn't suck. ONE negative post, yes. That MIGHT be just one person angry with TCT for whatever reason....even Microsoft, which is reputable, has pissed-off former employees and product purchasers.

But when I found not just ONE but MANY, MANY, MANY posts? Hell, no. That's not a fluke or a personal agenda. That's a problem being exposed and discussed.

So, after the censorship issue acting as a wake-up call, I got online again one morning, still curious about the company that just hired me and for which I was slaving away, and I quickly found out that TCT was not offering a legitimate service. I also read some horror stories and news articles.

Now, I was already annoyed that I'd put in long hours and had nothing to show for it but more expenditures than income.

The censorship issue peeved me even more. It was the first big wake-up call, one I didn't get from the ONE AND ONLY complaint post here that I'd read. And I have explained why that ONE negative post didn't act like a warning bell the way the censorship did. If it wasn't the first and only complaint that I had seen (AT THAT TIME), I would not have written a post defending TCT. But it WAS the first and only that I had seen, and I was a newbie scout, and I thought I was being told the truth.

Frankly, it never occurred to me to even THINK about whether or not I was being told a lie--I don't expect to be lied to by my new boss. All of my former bosses, other than those at TCT, had always been truthful with me about what their company did / does and what they expected me to do.

Anyway.

I was additionally annoyed that, as a new employee, I had exceed the goals set for me regarding recruited talent coming to open calls and supposedly won a cash incentive prize which then was downgraded into something far less useful or desirable (IMVHO), e.g., my Very Own TCT Online Account, for which I'd get to pay $20 a month to maintain it, blah blah blah. Well, hold me back. Woo! (Not.) Note that I had and have no desire to do any modeling these days. So why would I want this, even if I WASN'T already starting to have suspicions about things? Answer: I wouldn't. Give me the promised award.

But that last thing's a minor quibble. It only demonstrates that TCT doesn't play it straight with anyone, not even their employees. Basically, getting money to flow OUT of TCT is next to impossible, whereas they are always up for having more come in (even from their GROSSLY underpaid newbie employess who have zero personal interest in their services).

At any rate, I was already suspicipous because of the censorship, and I was now armed with more than one complaint. I'd made time to get online and sniff around after the censorship issue made me wonder. I found more complaints and bad reviews and so on.

So, armed with NEW information that contradicted much of what I'd been told, I went back in that afternoon at open call and asked my bosses some pointed questions. I did not receive any useful answers.

THEN I was further annoyed to find out about the Lou Perlman connection.

Again, prior to TCT, I hadn't ever worked for an employer that didn't provide a useful service, that misrepresented itself, or anything like that. It never occurred to me that I'd be hired by a scam company. I hadn't ever been scammed myself and it simply isn't something I anticipated. In the past, when I got a good job, I worked my butt off to please my new boss(es) and did well. I had no reason AT FIRST not to want to go out and do my best.

Naivete--and being mis- or un-informed and then sharing what information you have been given--is quite different from indulging in deliberate deception and I never deliberately deceived anyone. In fact, I was VERY clear to potential clients that I was not an agency rep but instead I was working for a company that (CLAIMED they) provided a service for agencies.

I don't know what about all that is so difficult to fathom. I don't know why anyone would think it was appropriate to be insulting or derogatory, no matter how angry they are with TCT. I am not TCT. I haven't worked for them since, what, January or February of 2002? I was there long enough to get one crappy paycheck, and I left after I could not get any decent explanations for my concerns.

Now. I COULD have left my initial rah-rah-TCT-yay post stand unamended. In fact, I would have forgotten all about posting it at all, but someone added a report and I got an e-mail nudge about it. Since I then had additional information, I shared it. I did not have to.

It is ironic that I did not get ANY abuse for the pro-TCT post, but I have gotten REPEATEDLY crapped on now that I am posting additional reports admitting that hey, I got fooled and taken advantage of, too. That I actually worked for those buttmunches and that didn't protect me from getting scammed, albeit in a different way.

And for my effort, I had people here (who AGREE with me that people should be warned about TCT!)expending a great amount of their energy trying to insult or discredit me and complaining because I chose not to use more toned-down language than they would choose to use when discussing my former employer.

It really isn't in my nature to bash anything, much less a former job. I don't make a point of going out of my way to complain or be negative, especially on a public forum. I would vastly prefer that my former employer was reputable and that I COULD let the initial supportive comments stay up there without clarifying myself later on.

But I did clarify things regardless of my dislike of negativity because my initial report was glowingly supportive enough of TCT that I could not in good conscience leave that up there with my name attached without ALSO sharing what I learned AFTER I posted it. That, yes, BOTTOM LINE, TCT scams people. Not just potential talent--which is HEINOUS and EVIL enough--but also their employees.

All of which sucks on so many levels that I don't even have to go into it. You KNOW it sucks. It's all been said, over and over. It sucks, it's vile business practice, and it is just self-destructive and stupid to boot--you'd think that a company indulging in scam behavior would try to keep employees happy rather than giving them a reason to re-think their decision to work for them. When you give people a reason to poke around--because they finally sense that they are being misled--it no doubt inspires at least SOME (like me) to go do some additional research homework on their own time.

To put it in elementary vocabulary, a happy employee is more than willing to believe they are being told the truth and that their new job is super cool. An unhappy employee starts trying to figure out why, specifically, they are unhappy and how to fix it and whether or not they want to continue to work at a job that contributes to unhappy feelings rather than happy ones.

So what do we, in essence, agree about? Let's see:

Yes, they are a scam. Bottom line, you can't get away from this basic truth. THEY--meaning whatever name TCT is calling itself now--ARE PERPETRATING A SCAM.

Yes, they walk a fine line when they point out they aren't an agency. It makes it hard to nail them legally, but it is certainly an ethical lapse. And it's what I thought the original poster's gripe was all about--that she had somehow gotten the wrong idea. Or, perhaps, that a former employee was committing mischief. NOW I know different.

Yes. Anyone who KNOWS they are a scam and continues to work for them is a jerk. If you don't know they are a scam and you work for them, you're not evil, just uninformed. So GET informed--just go do some research. You won't want to work for them after you do.

Yes, their "service" is, at best, about as helpful as buying a lottery ticket. It is, I guess, TECHNICALLY possible for talent to get jobs and make money, but what percentage of them actually do? And how many of THOSE jobs are for non-TCT-related events?

Guess what else? They tell their employees that their clients give them high approval ratings. As a new employee, you think that's a sign that they DO offer a good deal to clients. The numbers sure LOOK good!

What they don't tell you is how they select the sample of clients they poll. The few that actually get some work are the ones that are polled, and they are always polled as quickly as possible--before disenchantment sets in. Think also about this: if you ask only one person their opinion, and you pick one of the few that are happy with your service, then STATISTICALLY whatever that person says will give you a sampling of 100% positive results. What they do is choose a very select and small sampling of all paying clients to poll. And I think it was Mark Twain who said "there are lies, and there are d**n lies, and then there are statistics".

It's also technically possible for employees to last more than a couple of weeks, to tell the truth (at least the truth as they know it) to people they try to scout, to try to show a good work ethic and thus stay employed, and to eventually come to the realization that they were lied to and that everything they were told as a newbie is, at best, suspect.

For one, senior scouts all swear that they started out as newbie scouts. But that isn't true. Some people are recruited right into management positions. And, as I said, solely to give my former co-workers every benefit of the doubt, SOME of those people might very well be deluded as to the nature of the company. I don't BELIEVE this, but it is POSSIBLE.

It's not that hard to understand why people get rooked, be it potential talent OR employees. They keep newbies incredibly busy for the first few weeks. You have hours and hours of meetings nearly every day of the week when you first are hired. You are sent out with a senior scout and hustled about as you try to learn how to approach total strangers with what is essentially a sales pitch. If you're naturally shy, that alone takes all of your attention: getting over your own introversion in order to perform your job duties. You then work and work until your feet and back hurt from tromping around malls and clubs and god knows where else and then you go home when the bars close at 3 or 4 AM (where everyone BUT you was having a drink and having fun while you were trying to workworkworkWORKwork) and you collapse into your bed. You certainly don't want to putter around on the Internet doing research when you feel dead on your feet. And you are so busy, initially, that you really don't have time to ask yourself if you're happy, much less any more involved questions.

In fact, I would bet that, out of the few people who DO do research after they get the job, most only get online after their first paycheck arrives (IF it arrives, that is--TCT seems to have a problem with paying people for their time OR their so-called commissions). After that first disappointing payday, you naturally start reassessing your new position and deciding whether or not to bother to stick with it or quit.

It's not evil to try to stay employed and work your butt off, especially when you haven't learned that you're being lied to yet. It WOULD be evil to continue to work for a company AFTER you found out that they were scamming people. The DAY I got online and found out they were a scam, the DAY I got some additional information that filled in some gaps in the information I already had and which revealed that there was a lot the company was lying BY OMISSION about (and a lie is a lie), I went in and asked my boss some questions. She could not answer them to my satisfaction. Thus I quit. I didn't hang in there and continue to try and recruit people. I left and didn't darken their door again or return calls from co-workers. I don't like being lied to.

Now. Is that more clear?

How about we focus on TCT, now, and not each other? Sound like a good plan to you?

Like you said, neither of US is the Bad Guy. But the Bad Guy sure benefits if we're sniping at each other rather than actually discussing how TCT scams people and why we think that is a bad thing. We could even discuss what victims could DO about it. Anything rather than wasting time NOT discussing the real issue.

When we b***h at each other, TCT benefits. Every minute spent fighting with other posters is one less minute we spend talking about what TCT does. It does not help. Strangers wandering onto the site are likely to discount the very valid points and observations made precisely because of the nasty off-topic comments.

So yeah, I accept your apology. I just hope you meant it.

Keep fighting the good fight, kid.
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#16 UPDATE EX-employee responds

*sigh*

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

Good grief, Reid. If you really think that TCT would be thrilled about anything I wrote (with the possible exception of ONLY my first post), you're deluded. Hell, they didn't even like it when I wrote that initial positive report.

That first post, which I wrote after a few DAYS as an employee, with an obviously limited amount of information at my disposal at the time...well, you'd think they'd be okay with that, right? But no, they weren't.

SO...I sincerely doubt they would be thrilled with my subsequent follow-up commentary, and I certainly don't except any brownie points. (Why would I want any from a bad company that I chose to leave?)

First off, my initial research didn't uncover anything negative about TCT *except* the Ripoff Report. I suspect this was because they had just changed their name and because they were new to my area. At any rate, I wasn't expecting to find anything bad. I was a new employee and things looked pretty good the first day or two. Also, I didn't have much time to really dig around, but when I found the Ripoff Report, it was, AT THAT TIME, the first and ONLY negative commentary I'd seen.

As a result, I decided that either some ex-employee must have posted a negative post for whatever reason, and thus it could be dismissed, OR some recruited talent was misinformed about what TCT offers. AT LEAST AT FIRST I believed that. It was the first negative commentary I'd found, after all.

This is why I keep mentioning that TCT doesn't claim to be an agency. This is not in any way meant to excuse them. It is related to the first post I read, and it explains why I responded as I did. I believed that the complainant wasn't listening closely, perhaps because she was overly excited by the glamorous (ha) videos shown at open calls. That she therefore believed TCT was an agency and that the only reason she griped was because TCT wasn't BEING an agency.

Then it occurred to me that a new employee might have misled the poor girl, either by forgetting to stress what TCT claims to be (i.e., not an agency, right) or by being morally bankrupt and deliberately misleading her that TCT WAS an agency.

So I wrote my first report and spouted the party line. Didn't have any other information to go on, as a newbie. Only had the one negative post to refer to. So I truly believed that TCT wasn't evil, and that the complainant was mistaken on some level. Either she lied to herself (by wanting to believe she was a potential model, I mean) OR someone failed to make it clear to her what TCT did (or, rather, what AT THAT TIME I believed and was told they did) OR a new employee was overly eager to get warm bodies to show up at an open call and thus they lied (which I thought--and STILL think--is wrong...which is ALSO why I stress that I never lied to potential talent).

That is why I wrote what I did, and that is why I continue to mention those things. I am referring to prior discussions in earlier reports on this page, all of which I have read prior to responding to them. It is BECAUSE I have read each post and made an attempt to figure out who is responding to what, a courtesy some people perhaps don't bother with, that it comes up at all. It is NOT because I am taking TCT's side about it.

I honestly am baffled about why I'm having to re-re-re-re-clarify something I thought I had already made clear, but the perception apparently STILL remains that I'm excusing TCT in some way RATHER THAN clarifying earlier points in prior postings.

At any rate, when I found that first negative report, I was such a happy little camper during those first few days that I innocently re-posted my report (thatg would be the FIRST one I posted here) defending TCT to the intranet forums TCT employees have access to.

And it was censored.

Yep. It defended them and was still censored. That confused me, since I was a happy newbie, and I couldn't figure out why they felt a need to censor ANYTHING, especially not a post SUPPORTING them. Which I did, the first few days I worked there.

So. I asked questions and was told that even just TALKING about someone posting ripoff reports would only encourage other newbies to GO DO RESEARCH.

Now, you're probably thinking exactly what I thought then: WHY would it be bad if newbies did research? Right? Why on earth would encouraging people to check out their new company be a BAD thing?

Well, it would only be BAD if they had something to hide. If they were, in fact, a CRAPPY SCAM of a business. Correct?

Whereas a GOOD company would be more than happy for you to investigate them to your heart's content AND post what you found. Because they'd have nothing to hide. Logical, no?

Hello! That was a BIG warning bell!

Therefore I told my boss at the time that I thought that censoring posts--especially SUPPORTIVE ones!--sent the wrong message and explained why I thought so. I said to her that it looked like maybe the naysayers had a valid point (WHICH THEY DO!). I also just plain disagreed with censoring non-abusive, supportive, business-related information on the business-related forums.

Guess what? She argued with me. And that is what encouraged me to look further into things. Like I said, I couldn't figure out why a GOOD company would be afraid that employees might do some looking around online.

So, I could maybe attribute ONE site with ONE bad report to a disgrunted ex-employee with an axe to grind...MAYBE they were a bad employee.

Or, I could perhaps attribute ONE bad report to somebody who got recruited and wanted so badly to hear what they wanted to hear and believe it was a real model agency that they were pissed to find out it wasn't after they bought the service...PERHAPS they should have listened better before signing anything.

Those speculations were reasonable ones AT THE TIME, given the information I had. NOW, of course, neither of us would make those assumptions. There have been too many additional complaints and comments.

So I could assume that the ONE and ONLY bad report I'd ever seen (AT THAT TIME) was a fluke...UNTIL I found more. And I could NOT explain SEVERAL sites with negative information about TCT, which is what a more in-depth search revealed to me. Not just ONE angry person. Not just TWO. There were and are dozens, if not HUNDREDS, of angry people--both ex-employees as well as unhappy recruited talent.

That isn't something you can explain away to yourself, even if you WANT to believe your new company doesn't suck. ONE negative post, yes. That MIGHT be just one person angry with TCT for whatever reason....even Microsoft, which is reputable, has pissed-off former employees and product purchasers.

But when I found not just ONE but MANY, MANY, MANY posts? Hell, no. That's not a fluke or a personal agenda. That's a problem being exposed and discussed.

So, after the censorship issue acting as a wake-up call, I got online again one morning, still curious about the company that just hired me and for which I was slaving away, and I quickly found out that TCT was not offering a legitimate service. I also read some horror stories and news articles.

Now, I was already annoyed that I'd put in long hours and had nothing to show for it but more expenditures than income.

The censorship issue peeved me even more. It was the first big wake-up call, one I didn't get from the ONE AND ONLY complaint post here that I'd read. And I have explained why that ONE negative post didn't act like a warning bell the way the censorship did. If it wasn't the first and only complaint that I had seen (AT THAT TIME), I would not have written a post defending TCT. But it WAS the first and only that I had seen, and I was a newbie scout, and I thought I was being told the truth.

Frankly, it never occurred to me to even THINK about whether or not I was being told a lie--I don't expect to be lied to by my new boss. All of my former bosses, other than those at TCT, had always been truthful with me about what their company did / does and what they expected me to do.

Anyway.

I was additionally annoyed that, as a new employee, I had exceed the goals set for me regarding recruited talent coming to open calls and supposedly won a cash incentive prize which then was downgraded into something far less useful or desirable (IMVHO), e.g., my Very Own TCT Online Account, for which I'd get to pay $20 a month to maintain it, blah blah blah. Well, hold me back. Woo! (Not.) Note that I had and have no desire to do any modeling these days. So why would I want this, even if I WASN'T already starting to have suspicions about things? Answer: I wouldn't. Give me the promised award.

But that last thing's a minor quibble. It only demonstrates that TCT doesn't play it straight with anyone, not even their employees. Basically, getting money to flow OUT of TCT is next to impossible, whereas they are always up for having more come in (even from their GROSSLY underpaid newbie employess who have zero personal interest in their services).

At any rate, I was already suspicipous because of the censorship, and I was now armed with more than one complaint. I'd made time to get online and sniff around after the censorship issue made me wonder. I found more complaints and bad reviews and so on.

So, armed with NEW information that contradicted much of what I'd been told, I went back in that afternoon at open call and asked my bosses some pointed questions. I did not receive any useful answers.

THEN I was further annoyed to find out about the Lou Perlman connection.

Again, prior to TCT, I hadn't ever worked for an employer that didn't provide a useful service, that misrepresented itself, or anything like that. It never occurred to me that I'd be hired by a scam company. I hadn't ever been scammed myself and it simply isn't something I anticipated. In the past, when I got a good job, I worked my butt off to please my new boss(es) and did well. I had no reason AT FIRST not to want to go out and do my best.

Naivete--and being mis- or un-informed and then sharing what information you have been given--is quite different from indulging in deliberate deception and I never deliberately deceived anyone. In fact, I was VERY clear to potential clients that I was not an agency rep but instead I was working for a company that (CLAIMED they) provided a service for agencies.

I don't know what about all that is so difficult to fathom. I don't know why anyone would think it was appropriate to be insulting or derogatory, no matter how angry they are with TCT. I am not TCT. I haven't worked for them since, what, January or February of 2002? I was there long enough to get one crappy paycheck, and I left after I could not get any decent explanations for my concerns.

Now. I COULD have left my initial rah-rah-TCT-yay post stand unamended. In fact, I would have forgotten all about posting it at all, but someone added a report and I got an e-mail nudge about it. Since I then had additional information, I shared it. I did not have to.

It is ironic that I did not get ANY abuse for the pro-TCT post, but I have gotten REPEATEDLY crapped on now that I am posting additional reports admitting that hey, I got fooled and taken advantage of, too. That I actually worked for those buttmunches and that didn't protect me from getting scammed, albeit in a different way.

And for my effort, I had people here (who AGREE with me that people should be warned about TCT!)expending a great amount of their energy trying to insult or discredit me and complaining because I chose not to use more toned-down language than they would choose to use when discussing my former employer.

It really isn't in my nature to bash anything, much less a former job. I don't make a point of going out of my way to complain or be negative, especially on a public forum. I would vastly prefer that my former employer was reputable and that I COULD let the initial supportive comments stay up there without clarifying myself later on.

But I did clarify things regardless of my dislike of negativity because my initial report was glowingly supportive enough of TCT that I could not in good conscience leave that up there with my name attached without ALSO sharing what I learned AFTER I posted it. That, yes, BOTTOM LINE, TCT scams people. Not just potential talent--which is HEINOUS and EVIL enough--but also their employees.

All of which sucks on so many levels that I don't even have to go into it. You KNOW it sucks. It's all been said, over and over. It sucks, it's vile business practice, and it is just self-destructive and stupid to boot--you'd think that a company indulging in scam behavior would try to keep employees happy rather than giving them a reason to re-think their decision to work for them. When you give people a reason to poke around--because they finally sense that they are being misled--it no doubt inspires at least SOME (like me) to go do some additional research homework on their own time.

To put it in elementary vocabulary, a happy employee is more than willing to believe they are being told the truth and that their new job is super cool. An unhappy employee starts trying to figure out why, specifically, they are unhappy and how to fix it and whether or not they want to continue to work at a job that contributes to unhappy feelings rather than happy ones.

So what do we, in essence, agree about? Let's see:

Yes, they are a scam. Bottom line, you can't get away from this basic truth. THEY--meaning whatever name TCT is calling itself now--ARE PERPETRATING A SCAM.

Yes, they walk a fine line when they point out they aren't an agency. It makes it hard to nail them legally, but it is certainly an ethical lapse. And it's what I thought the original poster's gripe was all about--that she had somehow gotten the wrong idea. Or, perhaps, that a former employee was committing mischief. NOW I know different.

Yes. Anyone who KNOWS they are a scam and continues to work for them is a jerk. If you don't know they are a scam and you work for them, you're not evil, just uninformed. So GET informed--just go do some research. You won't want to work for them after you do.

Yes, their "service" is, at best, about as helpful as buying a lottery ticket. It is, I guess, TECHNICALLY possible for talent to get jobs and make money, but what percentage of them actually do? And how many of THOSE jobs are for non-TCT-related events?

Guess what else? They tell their employees that their clients give them high approval ratings. As a new employee, you think that's a sign that they DO offer a good deal to clients. The numbers sure LOOK good!

What they don't tell you is how they select the sample of clients they poll. The few that actually get some work are the ones that are polled, and they are always polled as quickly as possible--before disenchantment sets in. Think also about this: if you ask only one person their opinion, and you pick one of the few that are happy with your service, then STATISTICALLY whatever that person says will give you a sampling of 100% positive results. What they do is choose a very select and small sampling of all paying clients to poll. And I think it was Mark Twain who said "there are lies, and there are d**n lies, and then there are statistics".

It's also technically possible for employees to last more than a couple of weeks, to tell the truth (at least the truth as they know it) to people they try to scout, to try to show a good work ethic and thus stay employed, and to eventually come to the realization that they were lied to and that everything they were told as a newbie is, at best, suspect.

For one, senior scouts all swear that they started out as newbie scouts. But that isn't true. Some people are recruited right into management positions. And, as I said, solely to give my former co-workers every benefit of the doubt, SOME of those people might very well be deluded as to the nature of the company. I don't BELIEVE this, but it is POSSIBLE.

It's not that hard to understand why people get rooked, be it potential talent OR employees. They keep newbies incredibly busy for the first few weeks. You have hours and hours of meetings nearly every day of the week when you first are hired. You are sent out with a senior scout and hustled about as you try to learn how to approach total strangers with what is essentially a sales pitch. If you're naturally shy, that alone takes all of your attention: getting over your own introversion in order to perform your job duties. You then work and work until your feet and back hurt from tromping around malls and clubs and god knows where else and then you go home when the bars close at 3 or 4 AM (where everyone BUT you was having a drink and having fun while you were trying to workworkworkWORKwork) and you collapse into your bed. You certainly don't want to putter around on the Internet doing research when you feel dead on your feet. And you are so busy, initially, that you really don't have time to ask yourself if you're happy, much less any more involved questions.

In fact, I would bet that, out of the few people who DO do research after they get the job, most only get online after their first paycheck arrives (IF it arrives, that is--TCT seems to have a problem with paying people for their time OR their so-called commissions). After that first disappointing payday, you naturally start reassessing your new position and deciding whether or not to bother to stick with it or quit.

It's not evil to try to stay employed and work your butt off, especially when you haven't learned that you're being lied to yet. It WOULD be evil to continue to work for a company AFTER you found out that they were scamming people. The DAY I got online and found out they were a scam, the DAY I got some additional information that filled in some gaps in the information I already had and which revealed that there was a lot the company was lying BY OMISSION about (and a lie is a lie), I went in and asked my boss some questions. She could not answer them to my satisfaction. Thus I quit. I didn't hang in there and continue to try and recruit people. I left and didn't darken their door again or return calls from co-workers. I don't like being lied to.

Now. Is that more clear?

How about we focus on TCT, now, and not each other? Sound like a good plan to you?

Like you said, neither of US is the Bad Guy. But the Bad Guy sure benefits if we're sniping at each other rather than actually discussing how TCT scams people and why we think that is a bad thing. We could even discuss what victims could DO about it. Anything rather than wasting time NOT discussing the real issue.

When we b***h at each other, TCT benefits. Every minute spent fighting with other posters is one less minute we spend talking about what TCT does. It does not help. Strangers wandering onto the site are likely to discount the very valid points and observations made precisely because of the nasty off-topic comments.

So yeah, I accept your apology. I just hope you meant it.

Keep fighting the good fight, kid.
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#17 UPDATE EX-employee responds

*sigh*

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

Good grief, Reid. If you really think that TCT would be thrilled about anything I wrote (with the possible exception of ONLY my first post), you're deluded. Hell, they didn't even like it when I wrote that initial positive report.

That first post, which I wrote after a few DAYS as an employee, with an obviously limited amount of information at my disposal at the time...well, you'd think they'd be okay with that, right? But no, they weren't.

SO...I sincerely doubt they would be thrilled with my subsequent follow-up commentary, and I certainly don't except any brownie points. (Why would I want any from a bad company that I chose to leave?)

First off, my initial research didn't uncover anything negative about TCT *except* the Ripoff Report. I suspect this was because they had just changed their name and because they were new to my area. At any rate, I wasn't expecting to find anything bad. I was a new employee and things looked pretty good the first day or two. Also, I didn't have much time to really dig around, but when I found the Ripoff Report, it was, AT THAT TIME, the first and ONLY negative commentary I'd seen.

As a result, I decided that either some ex-employee must have posted a negative post for whatever reason, and thus it could be dismissed, OR some recruited talent was misinformed about what TCT offers. AT LEAST AT FIRST I believed that. It was the first negative commentary I'd found, after all.

This is why I keep mentioning that TCT doesn't claim to be an agency. This is not in any way meant to excuse them. It is related to the first post I read, and it explains why I responded as I did. I believed that the complainant wasn't listening closely, perhaps because she was overly excited by the glamorous (ha) videos shown at open calls. That she therefore believed TCT was an agency and that the only reason she griped was because TCT wasn't BEING an agency.

Then it occurred to me that a new employee might have misled the poor girl, either by forgetting to stress what TCT claims to be (i.e., not an agency, right) or by being morally bankrupt and deliberately misleading her that TCT WAS an agency.

So I wrote my first report and spouted the party line. Didn't have any other information to go on, as a newbie. Only had the one negative post to refer to. So I truly believed that TCT wasn't evil, and that the complainant was mistaken on some level. Either she lied to herself (by wanting to believe she was a potential model, I mean) OR someone failed to make it clear to her what TCT did (or, rather, what AT THAT TIME I believed and was told they did) OR a new employee was overly eager to get warm bodies to show up at an open call and thus they lied (which I thought--and STILL think--is wrong...which is ALSO why I stress that I never lied to potential talent).

That is why I wrote what I did, and that is why I continue to mention those things. I am referring to prior discussions in earlier reports on this page, all of which I have read prior to responding to them. It is BECAUSE I have read each post and made an attempt to figure out who is responding to what, a courtesy some people perhaps don't bother with, that it comes up at all. It is NOT because I am taking TCT's side about it.

I honestly am baffled about why I'm having to re-re-re-re-clarify something I thought I had already made clear, but the perception apparently STILL remains that I'm excusing TCT in some way RATHER THAN clarifying earlier points in prior postings.

At any rate, when I found that first negative report, I was such a happy little camper during those first few days that I innocently re-posted my report (thatg would be the FIRST one I posted here) defending TCT to the intranet forums TCT employees have access to.

And it was censored.

Yep. It defended them and was still censored. That confused me, since I was a happy newbie, and I couldn't figure out why they felt a need to censor ANYTHING, especially not a post SUPPORTING them. Which I did, the first few days I worked there.

So. I asked questions and was told that even just TALKING about someone posting ripoff reports would only encourage other newbies to GO DO RESEARCH.

Now, you're probably thinking exactly what I thought then: WHY would it be bad if newbies did research? Right? Why on earth would encouraging people to check out their new company be a BAD thing?

Well, it would only be BAD if they had something to hide. If they were, in fact, a CRAPPY SCAM of a business. Correct?

Whereas a GOOD company would be more than happy for you to investigate them to your heart's content AND post what you found. Because they'd have nothing to hide. Logical, no?

Hello! That was a BIG warning bell!

Therefore I told my boss at the time that I thought that censoring posts--especially SUPPORTIVE ones!--sent the wrong message and explained why I thought so. I said to her that it looked like maybe the naysayers had a valid point (WHICH THEY DO!). I also just plain disagreed with censoring non-abusive, supportive, business-related information on the business-related forums.

Guess what? She argued with me. And that is what encouraged me to look further into things. Like I said, I couldn't figure out why a GOOD company would be afraid that employees might do some looking around online.

So, I could maybe attribute ONE site with ONE bad report to a disgrunted ex-employee with an axe to grind...MAYBE they were a bad employee.

Or, I could perhaps attribute ONE bad report to somebody who got recruited and wanted so badly to hear what they wanted to hear and believe it was a real model agency that they were pissed to find out it wasn't after they bought the service...PERHAPS they should have listened better before signing anything.

Those speculations were reasonable ones AT THE TIME, given the information I had. NOW, of course, neither of us would make those assumptions. There have been too many additional complaints and comments.

So I could assume that the ONE and ONLY bad report I'd ever seen (AT THAT TIME) was a fluke...UNTIL I found more. And I could NOT explain SEVERAL sites with negative information about TCT, which is what a more in-depth search revealed to me. Not just ONE angry person. Not just TWO. There were and are dozens, if not HUNDREDS, of angry people--both ex-employees as well as unhappy recruited talent.

That isn't something you can explain away to yourself, even if you WANT to believe your new company doesn't suck. ONE negative post, yes. That MIGHT be just one person angry with TCT for whatever reason....even Microsoft, which is reputable, has pissed-off former employees and product purchasers.

But when I found not just ONE but MANY, MANY, MANY posts? Hell, no. That's not a fluke or a personal agenda. That's a problem being exposed and discussed.

So, after the censorship issue acting as a wake-up call, I got online again one morning, still curious about the company that just hired me and for which I was slaving away, and I quickly found out that TCT was not offering a legitimate service. I also read some horror stories and news articles.

Now, I was already annoyed that I'd put in long hours and had nothing to show for it but more expenditures than income.

The censorship issue peeved me even more. It was the first big wake-up call, one I didn't get from the ONE AND ONLY complaint post here that I'd read. And I have explained why that ONE negative post didn't act like a warning bell the way the censorship did. If it wasn't the first and only complaint that I had seen (AT THAT TIME), I would not have written a post defending TCT. But it WAS the first and only that I had seen, and I was a newbie scout, and I thought I was being told the truth.

Frankly, it never occurred to me to even THINK about whether or not I was being told a lie--I don't expect to be lied to by my new boss. All of my former bosses, other than those at TCT, had always been truthful with me about what their company did / does and what they expected me to do.

Anyway.

I was additionally annoyed that, as a new employee, I had exceed the goals set for me regarding recruited talent coming to open calls and supposedly won a cash incentive prize which then was downgraded into something far less useful or desirable (IMVHO), e.g., my Very Own TCT Online Account, for which I'd get to pay $20 a month to maintain it, blah blah blah. Well, hold me back. Woo! (Not.) Note that I had and have no desire to do any modeling these days. So why would I want this, even if I WASN'T already starting to have suspicions about things? Answer: I wouldn't. Give me the promised award.

But that last thing's a minor quibble. It only demonstrates that TCT doesn't play it straight with anyone, not even their employees. Basically, getting money to flow OUT of TCT is next to impossible, whereas they are always up for having more come in (even from their GROSSLY underpaid newbie employess who have zero personal interest in their services).

At any rate, I was already suspicipous because of the censorship, and I was now armed with more than one complaint. I'd made time to get online and sniff around after the censorship issue made me wonder. I found more complaints and bad reviews and so on.

So, armed with NEW information that contradicted much of what I'd been told, I went back in that afternoon at open call and asked my bosses some pointed questions. I did not receive any useful answers.

THEN I was further annoyed to find out about the Lou Perlman connection.

Again, prior to TCT, I hadn't ever worked for an employer that didn't provide a useful service, that misrepresented itself, or anything like that. It never occurred to me that I'd be hired by a scam company. I hadn't ever been scammed myself and it simply isn't something I anticipated. In the past, when I got a good job, I worked my butt off to please my new boss(es) and did well. I had no reason AT FIRST not to want to go out and do my best.

Naivete--and being mis- or un-informed and then sharing what information you have been given--is quite different from indulging in deliberate deception and I never deliberately deceived anyone. In fact, I was VERY clear to potential clients that I was not an agency rep but instead I was working for a company that (CLAIMED they) provided a service for agencies.

I don't know what about all that is so difficult to fathom. I don't know why anyone would think it was appropriate to be insulting or derogatory, no matter how angry they are with TCT. I am not TCT. I haven't worked for them since, what, January or February of 2002? I was there long enough to get one crappy paycheck, and I left after I could not get any decent explanations for my concerns.

Now. I COULD have left my initial rah-rah-TCT-yay post stand unamended. In fact, I would have forgotten all about posting it at all, but someone added a report and I got an e-mail nudge about it. Since I then had additional information, I shared it. I did not have to.

It is ironic that I did not get ANY abuse for the pro-TCT post, but I have gotten REPEATEDLY crapped on now that I am posting additional reports admitting that hey, I got fooled and taken advantage of, too. That I actually worked for those buttmunches and that didn't protect me from getting scammed, albeit in a different way.

And for my effort, I had people here (who AGREE with me that people should be warned about TCT!)expending a great amount of their energy trying to insult or discredit me and complaining because I chose not to use more toned-down language than they would choose to use when discussing my former employer.

It really isn't in my nature to bash anything, much less a former job. I don't make a point of going out of my way to complain or be negative, especially on a public forum. I would vastly prefer that my former employer was reputable and that I COULD let the initial supportive comments stay up there without clarifying myself later on.

But I did clarify things regardless of my dislike of negativity because my initial report was glowingly supportive enough of TCT that I could not in good conscience leave that up there with my name attached without ALSO sharing what I learned AFTER I posted it. That, yes, BOTTOM LINE, TCT scams people. Not just potential talent--which is HEINOUS and EVIL enough--but also their employees.

All of which sucks on so many levels that I don't even have to go into it. You KNOW it sucks. It's all been said, over and over. It sucks, it's vile business practice, and it is just self-destructive and stupid to boot--you'd think that a company indulging in scam behavior would try to keep employees happy rather than giving them a reason to re-think their decision to work for them. When you give people a reason to poke around--because they finally sense that they are being misled--it no doubt inspires at least SOME (like me) to go do some additional research homework on their own time.

To put it in elementary vocabulary, a happy employee is more than willing to believe they are being told the truth and that their new job is super cool. An unhappy employee starts trying to figure out why, specifically, they are unhappy and how to fix it and whether or not they want to continue to work at a job that contributes to unhappy feelings rather than happy ones.

So what do we, in essence, agree about? Let's see:

Yes, they are a scam. Bottom line, you can't get away from this basic truth. THEY--meaning whatever name TCT is calling itself now--ARE PERPETRATING A SCAM.

Yes, they walk a fine line when they point out they aren't an agency. It makes it hard to nail them legally, but it is certainly an ethical lapse. And it's what I thought the original poster's gripe was all about--that she had somehow gotten the wrong idea. Or, perhaps, that a former employee was committing mischief. NOW I know different.

Yes. Anyone who KNOWS they are a scam and continues to work for them is a jerk. If you don't know they are a scam and you work for them, you're not evil, just uninformed. So GET informed--just go do some research. You won't want to work for them after you do.

Yes, their "service" is, at best, about as helpful as buying a lottery ticket. It is, I guess, TECHNICALLY possible for talent to get jobs and make money, but what percentage of them actually do? And how many of THOSE jobs are for non-TCT-related events?

Guess what else? They tell their employees that their clients give them high approval ratings. As a new employee, you think that's a sign that they DO offer a good deal to clients. The numbers sure LOOK good!

What they don't tell you is how they select the sample of clients they poll. The few that actually get some work are the ones that are polled, and they are always polled as quickly as possible--before disenchantment sets in. Think also about this: if you ask only one person their opinion, and you pick one of the few that are happy with your service, then STATISTICALLY whatever that person says will give you a sampling of 100% positive results. What they do is choose a very select and small sampling of all paying clients to poll. And I think it was Mark Twain who said "there are lies, and there are d**n lies, and then there are statistics".

It's also technically possible for employees to last more than a couple of weeks, to tell the truth (at least the truth as they know it) to people they try to scout, to try to show a good work ethic and thus stay employed, and to eventually come to the realization that they were lied to and that everything they were told as a newbie is, at best, suspect.

For one, senior scouts all swear that they started out as newbie scouts. But that isn't true. Some people are recruited right into management positions. And, as I said, solely to give my former co-workers every benefit of the doubt, SOME of those people might very well be deluded as to the nature of the company. I don't BELIEVE this, but it is POSSIBLE.

It's not that hard to understand why people get rooked, be it potential talent OR employees. They keep newbies incredibly busy for the first few weeks. You have hours and hours of meetings nearly every day of the week when you first are hired. You are sent out with a senior scout and hustled about as you try to learn how to approach total strangers with what is essentially a sales pitch. If you're naturally shy, that alone takes all of your attention: getting over your own introversion in order to perform your job duties. You then work and work until your feet and back hurt from tromping around malls and clubs and god knows where else and then you go home when the bars close at 3 or 4 AM (where everyone BUT you was having a drink and having fun while you were trying to workworkworkWORKwork) and you collapse into your bed. You certainly don't want to putter around on the Internet doing research when you feel dead on your feet. And you are so busy, initially, that you really don't have time to ask yourself if you're happy, much less any more involved questions.

In fact, I would bet that, out of the few people who DO do research after they get the job, most only get online after their first paycheck arrives (IF it arrives, that is--TCT seems to have a problem with paying people for their time OR their so-called commissions). After that first disappointing payday, you naturally start reassessing your new position and deciding whether or not to bother to stick with it or quit.

It's not evil to try to stay employed and work your butt off, especially when you haven't learned that you're being lied to yet. It WOULD be evil to continue to work for a company AFTER you found out that they were scamming people. The DAY I got online and found out they were a scam, the DAY I got some additional information that filled in some gaps in the information I already had and which revealed that there was a lot the company was lying BY OMISSION about (and a lie is a lie), I went in and asked my boss some questions. She could not answer them to my satisfaction. Thus I quit. I didn't hang in there and continue to try and recruit people. I left and didn't darken their door again or return calls from co-workers. I don't like being lied to.

Now. Is that more clear?

How about we focus on TCT, now, and not each other? Sound like a good plan to you?

Like you said, neither of US is the Bad Guy. But the Bad Guy sure benefits if we're sniping at each other rather than actually discussing how TCT scams people and why we think that is a bad thing. We could even discuss what victims could DO about it. Anything rather than wasting time NOT discussing the real issue.

When we b***h at each other, TCT benefits. Every minute spent fighting with other posters is one less minute we spend talking about what TCT does. It does not help. Strangers wandering onto the site are likely to discount the very valid points and observations made precisely because of the nasty off-topic comments.

So yeah, I accept your apology. I just hope you meant it.

Keep fighting the good fight, kid.
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#18 UPDATE EX-employee responds

*sigh*

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

Good grief, Reid. If you really think that TCT would be thrilled about anything I wrote (with the possible exception of ONLY my first post), you're deluded. Hell, they didn't even like it when I wrote that initial positive report.

That first post, which I wrote after a few DAYS as an employee, with an obviously limited amount of information at my disposal at the time...well, you'd think they'd be okay with that, right? But no, they weren't.

SO...I sincerely doubt they would be thrilled with my subsequent follow-up commentary, and I certainly don't except any brownie points. (Why would I want any from a bad company that I chose to leave?)

First off, my initial research didn't uncover anything negative about TCT *except* the Ripoff Report. I suspect this was because they had just changed their name and because they were new to my area. At any rate, I wasn't expecting to find anything bad. I was a new employee and things looked pretty good the first day or two. Also, I didn't have much time to really dig around, but when I found the Ripoff Report, it was, AT THAT TIME, the first and ONLY negative commentary I'd seen.

As a result, I decided that either some ex-employee must have posted a negative post for whatever reason, and thus it could be dismissed, OR some recruited talent was misinformed about what TCT offers. AT LEAST AT FIRST I believed that. It was the first negative commentary I'd found, after all.

This is why I keep mentioning that TCT doesn't claim to be an agency. This is not in any way meant to excuse them. It is related to the first post I read, and it explains why I responded as I did. I believed that the complainant wasn't listening closely, perhaps because she was overly excited by the glamorous (ha) videos shown at open calls. That she therefore believed TCT was an agency and that the only reason she griped was because TCT wasn't BEING an agency.

Then it occurred to me that a new employee might have misled the poor girl, either by forgetting to stress what TCT claims to be (i.e., not an agency, right) or by being morally bankrupt and deliberately misleading her that TCT WAS an agency.

So I wrote my first report and spouted the party line. Didn't have any other information to go on, as a newbie. Only had the one negative post to refer to. So I truly believed that TCT wasn't evil, and that the complainant was mistaken on some level. Either she lied to herself (by wanting to believe she was a potential model, I mean) OR someone failed to make it clear to her what TCT did (or, rather, what AT THAT TIME I believed and was told they did) OR a new employee was overly eager to get warm bodies to show up at an open call and thus they lied (which I thought--and STILL think--is wrong...which is ALSO why I stress that I never lied to potential talent).

That is why I wrote what I did, and that is why I continue to mention those things. I am referring to prior discussions in earlier reports on this page, all of which I have read prior to responding to them. It is BECAUSE I have read each post and made an attempt to figure out who is responding to what, a courtesy some people perhaps don't bother with, that it comes up at all. It is NOT because I am taking TCT's side about it.

I honestly am baffled about why I'm having to re-re-re-re-clarify something I thought I had already made clear, but the perception apparently STILL remains that I'm excusing TCT in some way RATHER THAN clarifying earlier points in prior postings.

At any rate, when I found that first negative report, I was such a happy little camper during those first few days that I innocently re-posted my report (thatg would be the FIRST one I posted here) defending TCT to the intranet forums TCT employees have access to.

And it was censored.

Yep. It defended them and was still censored. That confused me, since I was a happy newbie, and I couldn't figure out why they felt a need to censor ANYTHING, especially not a post SUPPORTING them. Which I did, the first few days I worked there.

So. I asked questions and was told that even just TALKING about someone posting ripoff reports would only encourage other newbies to GO DO RESEARCH.

Now, you're probably thinking exactly what I thought then: WHY would it be bad if newbies did research? Right? Why on earth would encouraging people to check out their new company be a BAD thing?

Well, it would only be BAD if they had something to hide. If they were, in fact, a CRAPPY SCAM of a business. Correct?

Whereas a GOOD company would be more than happy for you to investigate them to your heart's content AND post what you found. Because they'd have nothing to hide. Logical, no?

Hello! That was a BIG warning bell!

Therefore I told my boss at the time that I thought that censoring posts--especially SUPPORTIVE ones!--sent the wrong message and explained why I thought so. I said to her that it looked like maybe the naysayers had a valid point (WHICH THEY DO!). I also just plain disagreed with censoring non-abusive, supportive, business-related information on the business-related forums.

Guess what? She argued with me. And that is what encouraged me to look further into things. Like I said, I couldn't figure out why a GOOD company would be afraid that employees might do some looking around online.

So, I could maybe attribute ONE site with ONE bad report to a disgrunted ex-employee with an axe to grind...MAYBE they were a bad employee.

Or, I could perhaps attribute ONE bad report to somebody who got recruited and wanted so badly to hear what they wanted to hear and believe it was a real model agency that they were pissed to find out it wasn't after they bought the service...PERHAPS they should have listened better before signing anything.

Those speculations were reasonable ones AT THE TIME, given the information I had. NOW, of course, neither of us would make those assumptions. There have been too many additional complaints and comments.

So I could assume that the ONE and ONLY bad report I'd ever seen (AT THAT TIME) was a fluke...UNTIL I found more. And I could NOT explain SEVERAL sites with negative information about TCT, which is what a more in-depth search revealed to me. Not just ONE angry person. Not just TWO. There were and are dozens, if not HUNDREDS, of angry people--both ex-employees as well as unhappy recruited talent.

That isn't something you can explain away to yourself, even if you WANT to believe your new company doesn't suck. ONE negative post, yes. That MIGHT be just one person angry with TCT for whatever reason....even Microsoft, which is reputable, has pissed-off former employees and product purchasers.

But when I found not just ONE but MANY, MANY, MANY posts? Hell, no. That's not a fluke or a personal agenda. That's a problem being exposed and discussed.

So, after the censorship issue acting as a wake-up call, I got online again one morning, still curious about the company that just hired me and for which I was slaving away, and I quickly found out that TCT was not offering a legitimate service. I also read some horror stories and news articles.

Now, I was already annoyed that I'd put in long hours and had nothing to show for it but more expenditures than income.

The censorship issue peeved me even more. It was the first big wake-up call, one I didn't get from the ONE AND ONLY complaint post here that I'd read. And I have explained why that ONE negative post didn't act like a warning bell the way the censorship did. If it wasn't the first and only complaint that I had seen (AT THAT TIME), I would not have written a post defending TCT. But it WAS the first and only that I had seen, and I was a newbie scout, and I thought I was being told the truth.

Frankly, it never occurred to me to even THINK about whether or not I was being told a lie--I don't expect to be lied to by my new boss. All of my former bosses, other than those at TCT, had always been truthful with me about what their company did / does and what they expected me to do.

Anyway.

I was additionally annoyed that, as a new employee, I had exceed the goals set for me regarding recruited talent coming to open calls and supposedly won a cash incentive prize which then was downgraded into something far less useful or desirable (IMVHO), e.g., my Very Own TCT Online Account, for which I'd get to pay $20 a month to maintain it, blah blah blah. Well, hold me back. Woo! (Not.) Note that I had and have no desire to do any modeling these days. So why would I want this, even if I WASN'T already starting to have suspicions about things? Answer: I wouldn't. Give me the promised award.

But that last thing's a minor quibble. It only demonstrates that TCT doesn't play it straight with anyone, not even their employees. Basically, getting money to flow OUT of TCT is next to impossible, whereas they are always up for having more come in (even from their GROSSLY underpaid newbie employess who have zero personal interest in their services).

At any rate, I was already suspicipous because of the censorship, and I was now armed with more than one complaint. I'd made time to get online and sniff around after the censorship issue made me wonder. I found more complaints and bad reviews and so on.

So, armed with NEW information that contradicted much of what I'd been told, I went back in that afternoon at open call and asked my bosses some pointed questions. I did not receive any useful answers.

THEN I was further annoyed to find out about the Lou Perlman connection.

Again, prior to TCT, I hadn't ever worked for an employer that didn't provide a useful service, that misrepresented itself, or anything like that. It never occurred to me that I'd be hired by a scam company. I hadn't ever been scammed myself and it simply isn't something I anticipated. In the past, when I got a good job, I worked my butt off to please my new boss(es) and did well. I had no reason AT FIRST not to want to go out and do my best.

Naivete--and being mis- or un-informed and then sharing what information you have been given--is quite different from indulging in deliberate deception and I never deliberately deceived anyone. In fact, I was VERY clear to potential clients that I was not an agency rep but instead I was working for a company that (CLAIMED they) provided a service for agencies.

I don't know what about all that is so difficult to fathom. I don't know why anyone would think it was appropriate to be insulting or derogatory, no matter how angry they are with TCT. I am not TCT. I haven't worked for them since, what, January or February of 2002? I was there long enough to get one crappy paycheck, and I left after I could not get any decent explanations for my concerns.

Now. I COULD have left my initial rah-rah-TCT-yay post stand unamended. In fact, I would have forgotten all about posting it at all, but someone added a report and I got an e-mail nudge about it. Since I then had additional information, I shared it. I did not have to.

It is ironic that I did not get ANY abuse for the pro-TCT post, but I have gotten REPEATEDLY crapped on now that I am posting additional reports admitting that hey, I got fooled and taken advantage of, too. That I actually worked for those buttmunches and that didn't protect me from getting scammed, albeit in a different way.

And for my effort, I had people here (who AGREE with me that people should be warned about TCT!)expending a great amount of their energy trying to insult or discredit me and complaining because I chose not to use more toned-down language than they would choose to use when discussing my former employer.

It really isn't in my nature to bash anything, much less a former job. I don't make a point of going out of my way to complain or be negative, especially on a public forum. I would vastly prefer that my former employer was reputable and that I COULD let the initial supportive comments stay up there without clarifying myself later on.

But I did clarify things regardless of my dislike of negativity because my initial report was glowingly supportive enough of TCT that I could not in good conscience leave that up there with my name attached without ALSO sharing what I learned AFTER I posted it. That, yes, BOTTOM LINE, TCT scams people. Not just potential talent--which is HEINOUS and EVIL enough--but also their employees.

All of which sucks on so many levels that I don't even have to go into it. You KNOW it sucks. It's all been said, over and over. It sucks, it's vile business practice, and it is just self-destructive and stupid to boot--you'd think that a company indulging in scam behavior would try to keep employees happy rather than giving them a reason to re-think their decision to work for them. When you give people a reason to poke around--because they finally sense that they are being misled--it no doubt inspires at least SOME (like me) to go do some additional research homework on their own time.

To put it in elementary vocabulary, a happy employee is more than willing to believe they are being told the truth and that their new job is super cool. An unhappy employee starts trying to figure out why, specifically, they are unhappy and how to fix it and whether or not they want to continue to work at a job that contributes to unhappy feelings rather than happy ones.

So what do we, in essence, agree about? Let's see:

Yes, they are a scam. Bottom line, you can't get away from this basic truth. THEY--meaning whatever name TCT is calling itself now--ARE PERPETRATING A SCAM.

Yes, they walk a fine line when they point out they aren't an agency. It makes it hard to nail them legally, but it is certainly an ethical lapse. And it's what I thought the original poster's gripe was all about--that she had somehow gotten the wrong idea. Or, perhaps, that a former employee was committing mischief. NOW I know different.

Yes. Anyone who KNOWS they are a scam and continues to work for them is a jerk. If you don't know they are a scam and you work for them, you're not evil, just uninformed. So GET informed--just go do some research. You won't want to work for them after you do.

Yes, their "service" is, at best, about as helpful as buying a lottery ticket. It is, I guess, TECHNICALLY possible for talent to get jobs and make money, but what percentage of them actually do? And how many of THOSE jobs are for non-TCT-related events?

Guess what else? They tell their employees that their clients give them high approval ratings. As a new employee, you think that's a sign that they DO offer a good deal to clients. The numbers sure LOOK good!

What they don't tell you is how they select the sample of clients they poll. The few that actually get some work are the ones that are polled, and they are always polled as quickly as possible--before disenchantment sets in. Think also about this: if you ask only one person their opinion, and you pick one of the few that are happy with your service, then STATISTICALLY whatever that person says will give you a sampling of 100% positive results. What they do is choose a very select and small sampling of all paying clients to poll. And I think it was Mark Twain who said "there are lies, and there are d**n lies, and then there are statistics".

It's also technically possible for employees to last more than a couple of weeks, to tell the truth (at least the truth as they know it) to people they try to scout, to try to show a good work ethic and thus stay employed, and to eventually come to the realization that they were lied to and that everything they were told as a newbie is, at best, suspect.

For one, senior scouts all swear that they started out as newbie scouts. But that isn't true. Some people are recruited right into management positions. And, as I said, solely to give my former co-workers every benefit of the doubt, SOME of those people might very well be deluded as to the nature of the company. I don't BELIEVE this, but it is POSSIBLE.

It's not that hard to understand why people get rooked, be it potential talent OR employees. They keep newbies incredibly busy for the first few weeks. You have hours and hours of meetings nearly every day of the week when you first are hired. You are sent out with a senior scout and hustled about as you try to learn how to approach total strangers with what is essentially a sales pitch. If you're naturally shy, that alone takes all of your attention: getting over your own introversion in order to perform your job duties. You then work and work until your feet and back hurt from tromping around malls and clubs and god knows where else and then you go home when the bars close at 3 or 4 AM (where everyone BUT you was having a drink and having fun while you were trying to workworkworkWORKwork) and you collapse into your bed. You certainly don't want to putter around on the Internet doing research when you feel dead on your feet. And you are so busy, initially, that you really don't have time to ask yourself if you're happy, much less any more involved questions.

In fact, I would bet that, out of the few people who DO do research after they get the job, most only get online after their first paycheck arrives (IF it arrives, that is--TCT seems to have a problem with paying people for their time OR their so-called commissions). After that first disappointing payday, you naturally start reassessing your new position and deciding whether or not to bother to stick with it or quit.

It's not evil to try to stay employed and work your butt off, especially when you haven't learned that you're being lied to yet. It WOULD be evil to continue to work for a company AFTER you found out that they were scamming people. The DAY I got online and found out they were a scam, the DAY I got some additional information that filled in some gaps in the information I already had and which revealed that there was a lot the company was lying BY OMISSION about (and a lie is a lie), I went in and asked my boss some questions. She could not answer them to my satisfaction. Thus I quit. I didn't hang in there and continue to try and recruit people. I left and didn't darken their door again or return calls from co-workers. I don't like being lied to.

Now. Is that more clear?

How about we focus on TCT, now, and not each other? Sound like a good plan to you?

Like you said, neither of US is the Bad Guy. But the Bad Guy sure benefits if we're sniping at each other rather than actually discussing how TCT scams people and why we think that is a bad thing. We could even discuss what victims could DO about it. Anything rather than wasting time NOT discussing the real issue.

When we b***h at each other, TCT benefits. Every minute spent fighting with other posters is one less minute we spend talking about what TCT does. It does not help. Strangers wandering onto the site are likely to discount the very valid points and observations made precisely because of the nasty off-topic comments.

So yeah, I accept your apology. I just hope you meant it.

Keep fighting the good fight, kid.
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#19 Consumer Suggestion

Malinda, you are so beautiful to me! Can't you seee-e-e-e-e?

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

Hey Everyone,

I hope that this rebuttal finds you in good spirit and health.

Thank you much Ed and the rest of the rip off report staff, for all your hard work, and support.

Hey Malinda, are you through, trying to win brownie points from the company, in which you claim is a bad business? If so, pull your pants up, leave the forces of evil and join the the forces of good.

Please don't feel that I'm against you, or that this is a personal vendetta. I have no beef with you, but will do everything in my power, to warn the public about this scam and will allow nothing to stand in my way.

I don't ever wish to see this company make it's way out here to Hawaii and if I ever do, will warn as many people as I possibly can about it.

You see, there are not too many scam operations out here in these beautiful islands and the majority of people that do get scammed, do so as a result of scams floating around the mainland. F#ck!ng infomercials, fraudulent mail order programs, magazines, etc, etc.

So I will not just stand around and do nothing about it. I've recently been scammed by the fraudulent John Beck mentoring Institute and I would love to see this scam company or any others like it, come out here and set up shop.

I would highly recommend the Kuhio Park Terrace area, Halwawa subdivision, or the beautiful Waianae coast. Three beautiful areas for the discustingly obese "Pearl man" to park his piece of $h!t and may actually feel safe doing business. LOL

Whenever someone conducts a search on a specific company and comes up with a few hundred negative results, before even getting to the company's own website, it's not good!!

Until next time, take care cause I care, Aloha from Hawaii and God Bless.
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#20 Consumer Suggestion

What does TCT's not being an agency have to do with anything?

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

Hey Everyone,

I hope that this rebuttal finds you in good spirit and health.

Let's all assume that TCT is NOT an agency, for all the adamant imbisil's sake. Now what? Yeah, nothing just as I suspected. How does TCT's not being an agency, make their scam any better?

How does TCT's not being an "agency" prove any of these reports against them false and or to the contrary? What does TCT's not being an agency have to do with anything? How would TCT's not being an agency prove, that their program is not a scam?

So get off of trying to justify this scam with excuses already, for the only ones that could possibly prove that this program is legitimate are the owners themselves.

They're still a scam, for collecting their "up front fee" from MANY, while delivering nothing of value to MANY.

Until next time, take care everyone cause I care, Aloha from Hawaii and God Bless.

P.S. We believe you already!! TCT is NOT an "agency". So what??!!! Find some new excuses and lame justifications already.
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#21 Consumer Suggestion

Beware!! Major Shill Action Going On.

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

Hey Everyone,

I hope that this rebuttal finds you in good spirit and health.

This company is a scam, but hey, they have every right to run their business the way they wish, just as I, or anyone else, has the right to warn the public about their scam.

They know it's a scam, that's why no one has come foward to defend it with any REAL rebuttals. It's also the reason for Alec (fat egyptian) wanting to post phony rip off reports. Supposedly so that rip off report "looses credibility" he states.

Legitimate businesses feel comfortable conducting business in the open. Don't believe me? Go to your nearest shopping center. Scam operations on the other hand, hide and desperately search for things to frivilously sue people for.

Slander and libel seem to be the lawsuit of choice nowadays, for it has become far too easy for fraudulent businesses to hire "HITMEN" attornies, who enjoy nothing better than reaming innocent people behind "closed doors".

Legitimate businesses would definitely be more than willing to come foward and explain their business and offer and would most certainly not send out shills on their behalf.

If this scam operation or any other are interested in suing anyone regarding any libilous statements, they should consider all of their spineless, bend-over, fudge-packing and genetically imbreded shills.

If anyone is ridiculing their business, making it look bad or possibly even ruining it's reputation, it's none other than the fault of SHILLS.

Until next time, take care everyone, Aloha from Hawaii and God Bless.
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#22 Consumer Suggestion

My Apology To Malinda.

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

Hey Malinda,

Exactly how many degrees would you LIKE everyone to believe you have? I am laughing my a$$ off.

Gee, all these degrees and you still CANNOT seem to comprehend the difference between right and wrong. How long exactly, should it have taken someone with as many degrees as you "supposedely" have, to figure out, what he or she was doing was unethical?

My kindergarten cousin could have figured it out in far less time than you have, so I guess I don't believe you.

Please do everyone a favor and list all the degrees you "supposedly" have, and also be sure to list all the universities, in which you've obtained them from, for I believe the standards are obviously not stringent enough.

If anyone is attacking anyone on this website it is you, for I see not one, but two names attached to your rebuttal. You seem to be interested in remaining on both sides of the fence here. If it's true you're being attacked, it is for this very reason.

Anyone who has a degree would realize, that by positioning themselves in the middle of a scam, they would be doing absolutely nothing but contridicting themselves. I'm sorry, I guess a degree in fast foods, can't teach someone common sense.

If it makes you feel any better about yourself, you win! I believe you have as many degrees that you want people to believe you have. Also, if it's any consolation, I thank you for agreeing with me and being on my side part time.

Now can we all get back to the topic at hand?

If this company is not an "agency", what is it?

What kind of guaranteed product and or service (something of value) do clients receive in exchange for the "upfront fee"?

There must be something of value exchanged for any money received, otherwise this company's service would be left to chance, which is nothing short of gambling and also illegal in many, if not most states.

Legitimate businesses NEVER charge "upfront fees" of any kind. Legitimate businesses profit only after a service has been rendered. Legitimate businesses are also able to justify any and all fees and would definitely have no problem coming out in the open to do so.

Legitimate agencies would also not find consumer advocacy sites a threat to their business in any way and would definitely not attempt to post phoney reports in order to sue someone.

No one is interested in hearing the word photography either! Any casting director will tell you, that a cheap headshot would suffice and that no amount of money spent on photography, would ever better someones chances of being casted.

No one is interested in hearing the word website marketing either! Any marketing and or advertising are the sole responsibility of said company and NEVER the clients.

Casting directors are much more interested in individuals and any talents he or she may possess and place very little emphasis on someones "quality of photos". Most legitimate agencies would even accept ordinary snapshots.

It's been proven many times in the past, that many agencies, that placed much emphasis on "portfolios" were scams and this is obviously the only reason, why this company chooses not to be associated with the word "agency".

Does this company expect to profit once again, if and when it has found a client work? If so, why?

Why has no one ever come foward to defend this company with any REAL rebuttals?

I mean, if this company honestly believes, that the services they're offering is legitimate, why are no one willing and or able to come foward to once and for all, lay it all out in the open?

Why is that, whenever someone lists a bunch of questions, someone always attempts to sway the discussion elswhere?

How many people have actually found success as a result of this company?

Anyways, I'm going to sleep for now. Can you please find it in your heart to forgive me Malinda? You still love me don't you? I'm sorry for insulting your intelligence and degrees and hope that you'll continue to remain on my side, even if it's just part time.

Until next time, take care everyone cause I care, Aloha from Hawaii and God Bless.

Nighty night!
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#23 Consumer Suggestion

My Apology To Malinda.

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

Hey Malinda,

Exactly how many degrees would you LIKE everyone to believe you have? I am laughing my a$$ off.

Gee, all these degrees and you still CANNOT seem to comprehend the difference between right and wrong. How long exactly, should it have taken someone with as many degrees as you "supposedely" have, to figure out, what he or she was doing was unethical?

My kindergarten cousin could have figured it out in far less time than you have, so I guess I don't believe you.

Please do everyone a favor and list all the degrees you "supposedly" have, and also be sure to list all the universities, in which you've obtained them from, for I believe the standards are obviously not stringent enough.

If anyone is attacking anyone on this website it is you, for I see not one, but two names attached to your rebuttal. You seem to be interested in remaining on both sides of the fence here. If it's true you're being attacked, it is for this very reason.

Anyone who has a degree would realize, that by positioning themselves in the middle of a scam, they would be doing absolutely nothing but contridicting themselves. I'm sorry, I guess a degree in fast foods, can't teach someone common sense.

If it makes you feel any better about yourself, you win! I believe you have as many degrees that you want people to believe you have. Also, if it's any consolation, I thank you for agreeing with me and being on my side part time.

Now can we all get back to the topic at hand?

If this company is not an "agency", what is it?

What kind of guaranteed product and or service (something of value) do clients receive in exchange for the "upfront fee"?

There must be something of value exchanged for any money received, otherwise this company's service would be left to chance, which is nothing short of gambling and also illegal in many, if not most states.

Legitimate businesses NEVER charge "upfront fees" of any kind. Legitimate businesses profit only after a service has been rendered. Legitimate businesses are also able to justify any and all fees and would definitely have no problem coming out in the open to do so.

Legitimate agencies would also not find consumer advocacy sites a threat to their business in any way and would definitely not attempt to post phoney reports in order to sue someone.

No one is interested in hearing the word photography either! Any casting director will tell you, that a cheap headshot would suffice and that no amount of money spent on photography, would ever better someones chances of being casted.

No one is interested in hearing the word website marketing either! Any marketing and or advertising are the sole responsibility of said company and NEVER the clients.

Casting directors are much more interested in individuals and any talents he or she may possess and place very little emphasis on someones "quality of photos". Most legitimate agencies would even accept ordinary snapshots.

It's been proven many times in the past, that many agencies, that placed much emphasis on "portfolios" were scams and this is obviously the only reason, why this company chooses not to be associated with the word "agency".

Does this company expect to profit once again, if and when it has found a client work? If so, why?

Why has no one ever come foward to defend this company with any REAL rebuttals?

I mean, if this company honestly believes, that the services they're offering is legitimate, why are no one willing and or able to come foward to once and for all, lay it all out in the open?

Why is that, whenever someone lists a bunch of questions, someone always attempts to sway the discussion elswhere?

How many people have actually found success as a result of this company?

Anyways, I'm going to sleep for now. Can you please find it in your heart to forgive me Malinda? You still love me don't you? I'm sorry for insulting your intelligence and degrees and hope that you'll continue to remain on my side, even if it's just part time.

Until next time, take care everyone cause I care, Aloha from Hawaii and God Bless.

Nighty night!
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#24 Consumer Suggestion

My Apology To Malinda.

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

Hey Malinda,

Exactly how many degrees would you LIKE everyone to believe you have? I am laughing my a$$ off.

Gee, all these degrees and you still CANNOT seem to comprehend the difference between right and wrong. How long exactly, should it have taken someone with as many degrees as you "supposedely" have, to figure out, what he or she was doing was unethical?

My kindergarten cousin could have figured it out in far less time than you have, so I guess I don't believe you.

Please do everyone a favor and list all the degrees you "supposedly" have, and also be sure to list all the universities, in which you've obtained them from, for I believe the standards are obviously not stringent enough.

If anyone is attacking anyone on this website it is you, for I see not one, but two names attached to your rebuttal. You seem to be interested in remaining on both sides of the fence here. If it's true you're being attacked, it is for this very reason.

Anyone who has a degree would realize, that by positioning themselves in the middle of a scam, they would be doing absolutely nothing but contridicting themselves. I'm sorry, I guess a degree in fast foods, can't teach someone common sense.

If it makes you feel any better about yourself, you win! I believe you have as many degrees that you want people to believe you have. Also, if it's any consolation, I thank you for agreeing with me and being on my side part time.

Now can we all get back to the topic at hand?

If this company is not an "agency", what is it?

What kind of guaranteed product and or service (something of value) do clients receive in exchange for the "upfront fee"?

There must be something of value exchanged for any money received, otherwise this company's service would be left to chance, which is nothing short of gambling and also illegal in many, if not most states.

Legitimate businesses NEVER charge "upfront fees" of any kind. Legitimate businesses profit only after a service has been rendered. Legitimate businesses are also able to justify any and all fees and would definitely have no problem coming out in the open to do so.

Legitimate agencies would also not find consumer advocacy sites a threat to their business in any way and would definitely not attempt to post phoney reports in order to sue someone.

No one is interested in hearing the word photography either! Any casting director will tell you, that a cheap headshot would suffice and that no amount of money spent on photography, would ever better someones chances of being casted.

No one is interested in hearing the word website marketing either! Any marketing and or advertising are the sole responsibility of said company and NEVER the clients.

Casting directors are much more interested in individuals and any talents he or she may possess and place very little emphasis on someones "quality of photos". Most legitimate agencies would even accept ordinary snapshots.

It's been proven many times in the past, that many agencies, that placed much emphasis on "portfolios" were scams and this is obviously the only reason, why this company chooses not to be associated with the word "agency".

Does this company expect to profit once again, if and when it has found a client work? If so, why?

Why has no one ever come foward to defend this company with any REAL rebuttals?

I mean, if this company honestly believes, that the services they're offering is legitimate, why are no one willing and or able to come foward to once and for all, lay it all out in the open?

Why is that, whenever someone lists a bunch of questions, someone always attempts to sway the discussion elswhere?

How many people have actually found success as a result of this company?

Anyways, I'm going to sleep for now. Can you please find it in your heart to forgive me Malinda? You still love me don't you? I'm sorry for insulting your intelligence and degrees and hope that you'll continue to remain on my side, even if it's just part time.

Until next time, take care everyone cause I care, Aloha from Hawaii and God Bless.

Nighty night!
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#25 Consumer Suggestion

My Apology To Malinda.

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

Hey Malinda,

Exactly how many degrees would you LIKE everyone to believe you have? I am laughing my a$$ off.

Gee, all these degrees and you still CANNOT seem to comprehend the difference between right and wrong. How long exactly, should it have taken someone with as many degrees as you "supposedely" have, to figure out, what he or she was doing was unethical?

My kindergarten cousin could have figured it out in far less time than you have, so I guess I don't believe you.

Please do everyone a favor and list all the degrees you "supposedly" have, and also be sure to list all the universities, in which you've obtained them from, for I believe the standards are obviously not stringent enough.

If anyone is attacking anyone on this website it is you, for I see not one, but two names attached to your rebuttal. You seem to be interested in remaining on both sides of the fence here. If it's true you're being attacked, it is for this very reason.

Anyone who has a degree would realize, that by positioning themselves in the middle of a scam, they would be doing absolutely nothing but contridicting themselves. I'm sorry, I guess a degree in fast foods, can't teach someone common sense.

If it makes you feel any better about yourself, you win! I believe you have as many degrees that you want people to believe you have. Also, if it's any consolation, I thank you for agreeing with me and being on my side part time.

Now can we all get back to the topic at hand?

If this company is not an "agency", what is it?

What kind of guaranteed product and or service (something of value) do clients receive in exchange for the "upfront fee"?

There must be something of value exchanged for any money received, otherwise this company's service would be left to chance, which is nothing short of gambling and also illegal in many, if not most states.

Legitimate businesses NEVER charge "upfront fees" of any kind. Legitimate businesses profit only after a service has been rendered. Legitimate businesses are also able to justify any and all fees and would definitely have no problem coming out in the open to do so.

Legitimate agencies would also not find consumer advocacy sites a threat to their business in any way and would definitely not attempt to post phoney reports in order to sue someone.

No one is interested in hearing the word photography either! Any casting director will tell you, that a cheap headshot would suffice and that no amount of money spent on photography, would ever better someones chances of being casted.

No one is interested in hearing the word website marketing either! Any marketing and or advertising are the sole responsibility of said company and NEVER the clients.

Casting directors are much more interested in individuals and any talents he or she may possess and place very little emphasis on someones "quality of photos". Most legitimate agencies would even accept ordinary snapshots.

It's been proven many times in the past, that many agencies, that placed much emphasis on "portfolios" were scams and this is obviously the only reason, why this company chooses not to be associated with the word "agency".

Does this company expect to profit once again, if and when it has found a client work? If so, why?

Why has no one ever come foward to defend this company with any REAL rebuttals?

I mean, if this company honestly believes, that the services they're offering is legitimate, why are no one willing and or able to come foward to once and for all, lay it all out in the open?

Why is that, whenever someone lists a bunch of questions, someone always attempts to sway the discussion elswhere?

How many people have actually found success as a result of this company?

Anyways, I'm going to sleep for now. Can you please find it in your heart to forgive me Malinda? You still love me don't you? I'm sorry for insulting your intelligence and degrees and hope that you'll continue to remain on my side, even if it's just part time.

Until next time, take care everyone cause I care, Aloha from Hawaii and God Bless.

Nighty night!
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#26 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Dear Reid

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

Actually, I did NOT know it was a scam at first. I was given the same information that all new employees are given.

I was not until I had been there a few more weeks that the nature of the company became obvious.

As for being uneducated, I daresay I have more degrees than you do. Why attack me on fronts you have zero information about, especially as I (in general) support your claims? It just makes your own arguments look bad to attack the character of someone who disagtrees with you rather than attempting to stay on point and make your argument based on evidence.

It's not hypocritical to come forth and admit that I, too, was misled. That's not even the dictionary definition of hypocritical. I posted what I knew (ages ago) when I was an employee. Later, after I had left the company, I posted what I had leaqrned after I posted my original statement. I could have let my statement stand uncorrected. It was accurate at the time. When I got more information, I amended my original statement but did not contradict anything of substance in it, just clarified some areas after getting more information. People who cannot admit that they do NOT know it all are frightening. I shared what I knew at the time, then amended my statement to add more information based on what I learned subsequently.

As for being a shill, I was always careful to tell potential talent that TCT was NOAT an agency, and to be clear about what they offered and I still got interested clientele coming to open calls. At that point I had merely been a greeter at open calls, not a part of the interviewing process. When they did have me participate in interviews, I, like 99% of the other participants, had ZERO credibility as an actual talent scout because our training, such as it was, was solely based on watching videos which were primarily concerned with making us excited about the company, not actually training us on how to spot legitimate talent. I did have an "eye" for it, because I frequently approached working models with contracts at agencies. In other words, they didn't have an interest in a service that offered only potential online exposure because they were already working and making money in the industry.

If you actually READ what I wrote, Reid, rather than acting like an a*s and attacking me personally, you'd see that we are basically on the same side of the issue. The only area in which we seem to part ways is that I continue to comment that TCT doesn't claim to be an agency or promise work. That does not, I agree, make it less of a scam. It's a fine line at best, and most hopefuls don't really absorb that information even if the scout is very clear about it up front.

And how am I a shill if I do not currently support the company? You need to read more carefully before attacking people who support your point of view. My biggest mistake was being naive and overly enthusiastic when I was a new employee. My second biggest was feeling bad about potentially leading others astray, as my statements were written when I had a limited amount of information to work with, and choosing (at no benefit to myself, I might add) to return and clarify my earlier statement after I had learned more and had chosen to quit TCT. I was actually doing well by their standards, winning contests, getting fresh meat in the doors, and, when it became clear to me that it was not providing service that justified the cost to potential customers, I could not continue to work my butt off for that company.

What do I base my reports on? A roommate who signed up, got leads for jobs, then finally went on one and found out it was far less than she'd been promised. It was basically a TCT event. I was an employee and wrote what I knew at the time and then came back as an ex-employee who had done some more extensive research and shared what new information I had. What do you base your reports on?

I can see why few people contribute more than once or twice to ripoff warning sites. Their desire to help others is quickly squelched by having to endure personal attacks from people who apparently have limited reading comprehension and have to resort to personal attacks and bullying to
try to squelch legitimate contributions from anyone other than themselves, for whatever reason.

Again, the biggest irony is that, whereas I don't know what "Jay"'s problem is, other than being a foul-mouthed insulting dishonest character-assasinating crank, I have generally posted things that are IN SUPPORT of what Reid says.

Some people just can't read, apparently.
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#27 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Whatever! It would behoove "Jay" to address specific complaints

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

It hardly merits a response, but I didn't work with a Jay (and I still have all the e-mails and contact numbers of people I *did* work with), I never co-scouted with a male scout, I haven't ever been to Tampa in my life, I don't know any Alec associated with TCT (my recruiter and senior scouts were all women), nor was the Atlanta office actively soliciting faux rebuttals on this site when I worked for TCT. I honestly don't know if that office ever did join in on that particular bit of nonsense.

And I certainly wouldn't be as unprofessional as "Jay" implies. I mean, REALLY. Hee!

If that is the only kind of defense TCT advocates can come up with, to imply that I had sex with someone at ANY job...that's just ludicrous and sad. I live in the real world where that kind of behavior is seen as being beyond reprehensible and idiotic.

The sad thing is that I actually still defend TCT...TO AN EXTENT...as per my earlier statements. So it tickles me that out of all the people on here who are not even doing that much, "Jay" decided to try to amuse himself at my expense. I already noted that TCT doesn't claim to be an agency. TCT doesn't promise work. But they also don't train new employees very well nor pay them a fair wage. Prizes you legitimately win suddenly turn into something far less exciting and useful. In part this is because they set the goal bar so high that they don't seriously expect you to win.

Relative newbies pose as experienced model / talent scouts after cattle calls (which are loooong and no food or drink is provided, possibly because hungry, thirsty and tired people are more inclined to be unable to think clearly) and imply that they know more about the business than they do...not a sin, per se, but certainly misleading. Your test shots are taken by people who may have never held a digicam before. You are measured (but only your height and shoulder size (for men)) and asked your shoe size by people who may have never measured anyone before and with damaged, ancient, cheap plastic measuring tape.

It would behoove "Jay" to address specific complaints rather than trying to attack the reputation of a total stranger. I also think that anyone reading these comments will make a decision about who is being more reliable and to-the-point.
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#28 Consumer Suggestion

Discredited!!

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

Hey Everyone,

I hope that this rebuttal finds you in good spirit and health.

Disregard all rebuttals posted by Malinda. She has lost all credibility by posting nothing but her OPINIONS about TCT, then later turning on TCT.

She obviously knows very little about the industry and what constitutes a legitimate business. Malinda, did you all of a sudden get tired of sucking d!ck? What's the real reason for your change of heart?

No one believes you, in that you've all of a sudden decided to terminate your employment with TCT, because you all of a sudden found out that TCT is a scam. You are a hypocrite, a shill, uneducated, lack morals, ethics, credibility and are an overall bad individual.

Your stupid rebuttals are only wasting much space and if I were the employer of TCT's scam operation, would hold you personally responsible for the "SLIP".

We're all aware, that the real reason for you turning on what you knew was a scam from the beginning, has nothing to do with your conscience. So stop insulting our intelligence.

I explained to everyone from the beginning, that TCT is a scam and no one from this company is willing and or able to prove otherwise.

It will remain a scam until someone with a decent amount of credibility, takes it upon him or herself to come foward and lay it all out in the open.

If anyone are able to obtain a photo of this unintelligent, spineless, shill, please attach it to this rebuttal.

Until next time, take care cause I care, Aloha from Hawaii and God Bless.

P.S. I apologize for the remark above. It needed to be stated.
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#29 Consumer Suggestion

This company is a SCAM, because they are providing absolutely nothing of value in exchange for the "up front fee" they charge.

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

Once again, if TCT is not an agency, then what is it? What's their service?

This company is NOT offering EXPOSURE which a few people so adamantly claim, because their "up front fee" more than covers the expenses of any and all advertising and marketing.

This company is a SCAM, because they are providing absolutely nothing of value in exchange for the "up front fee" they charge. If it's true that this company was offering and providing "EXPOSURE", what is the "up front fee" for?

Any and all companies that charge ANY unjustified "up front fees" are scams, plain and simple. TCT's clients are obviously receiving nothing of value in exchange for the unjustified "up front fee", which clearly makes it a scam.

TCT may not use photography, website marketing, or any other marketing and or advertising, as a legitimate justification for their "up front fees", because anyone could market themselves for far less, which clearly proves that TCT often profits quite handsomely, for providing and or rendering absolutely nothing.

Photography, website marketing, etc, etc, are all considered BUSINESS marketing expenses. So why is TCT passing these expenses on to their clients? Does TCT expect to profit yet again, after have found their clients work, in which they would have profited twice, for possibly doing nothing?

Why haven't anyone come foward with some REAL answers? Any legitimate business would definitely have come foward by now with some REAL answers. All rebuttals thus far, have proven no reports false in any way shape or form, or to the contrary.

As a matter of fact, the previous rebuttal, only helped solidify everthing I've already mentioned about this scam.

The victims of this scam demand answers and full disclosure in the public view, not half truths and avoidance.

What's the "up front fees" for?

Since this company insists on charging "up front fees", all in which are considered business expenses and should be incurred by the company, they should be very willing to offer some sort of guarantee.

Legitimate transactions, contain an offer and exeptance, and a product and or service must be rendered in exchange for all monies charged in order for a transaction to be considered valid. Something of value (consideration) must be received, by the individual for his or her monetary investement.

As it stands, paying TCT's "up front fee" is nothing short of gambling on oneself, which by the way happens to be illegal in most states. SCAM ANYWAY YOU LOOK AT IT!!

Until next time, take care everyone, Aloha from Hawaii and God Bless.
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#30 Consumer Suggestion

This company is a SCAM, because they are providing absolutely nothing of value in exchange for the "up front fee" they charge.

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

Once again, if TCT is not an agency, then what is it? What's their service?

This company is NOT offering EXPOSURE which a few people so adamantly claim, because their "up front fee" more than covers the expenses of any and all advertising and marketing.

This company is a SCAM, because they are providing absolutely nothing of value in exchange for the "up front fee" they charge. If it's true that this company was offering and providing "EXPOSURE", what is the "up front fee" for?

Any and all companies that charge ANY unjustified "up front fees" are scams, plain and simple. TCT's clients are obviously receiving nothing of value in exchange for the unjustified "up front fee", which clearly makes it a scam.

TCT may not use photography, website marketing, or any other marketing and or advertising, as a legitimate justification for their "up front fees", because anyone could market themselves for far less, which clearly proves that TCT often profits quite handsomely, for providing and or rendering absolutely nothing.

Photography, website marketing, etc, etc, are all considered BUSINESS marketing expenses. So why is TCT passing these expenses on to their clients? Does TCT expect to profit yet again, after have found their clients work, in which they would have profited twice, for possibly doing nothing?

Why haven't anyone come foward with some REAL answers? Any legitimate business would definitely have come foward by now with some REAL answers. All rebuttals thus far, have proven no reports false in any way shape or form, or to the contrary.

As a matter of fact, the previous rebuttal, only helped solidify everthing I've already mentioned about this scam.

The victims of this scam demand answers and full disclosure in the public view, not half truths and avoidance.

What's the "up front fees" for?

Since this company insists on charging "up front fees", all in which are considered business expenses and should be incurred by the company, they should be very willing to offer some sort of guarantee.

Legitimate transactions, contain an offer and exeptance, and a product and or service must be rendered in exchange for all monies charged in order for a transaction to be considered valid. Something of value (consideration) must be received, by the individual for his or her monetary investement.

As it stands, paying TCT's "up front fee" is nothing short of gambling on oneself, which by the way happens to be illegal in most states. SCAM ANYWAY YOU LOOK AT IT!!

Until next time, take care everyone, Aloha from Hawaii and God Bless.
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#31 Consumer Suggestion

This company is a SCAM, because they are providing absolutely nothing of value in exchange for the "up front fee" they charge.

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

Once again, if TCT is not an agency, then what is it? What's their service?

This company is NOT offering EXPOSURE which a few people so adamantly claim, because their "up front fee" more than covers the expenses of any and all advertising and marketing.

This company is a SCAM, because they are providing absolutely nothing of value in exchange for the "up front fee" they charge. If it's true that this company was offering and providing "EXPOSURE", what is the "up front fee" for?

Any and all companies that charge ANY unjustified "up front fees" are scams, plain and simple. TCT's clients are obviously receiving nothing of value in exchange for the unjustified "up front fee", which clearly makes it a scam.

TCT may not use photography, website marketing, or any other marketing and or advertising, as a legitimate justification for their "up front fees", because anyone could market themselves for far less, which clearly proves that TCT often profits quite handsomely, for providing and or rendering absolutely nothing.

Photography, website marketing, etc, etc, are all considered BUSINESS marketing expenses. So why is TCT passing these expenses on to their clients? Does TCT expect to profit yet again, after have found their clients work, in which they would have profited twice, for possibly doing nothing?

Why haven't anyone come foward with some REAL answers? Any legitimate business would definitely have come foward by now with some REAL answers. All rebuttals thus far, have proven no reports false in any way shape or form, or to the contrary.

As a matter of fact, the previous rebuttal, only helped solidify everthing I've already mentioned about this scam.

The victims of this scam demand answers and full disclosure in the public view, not half truths and avoidance.

What's the "up front fees" for?

Since this company insists on charging "up front fees", all in which are considered business expenses and should be incurred by the company, they should be very willing to offer some sort of guarantee.

Legitimate transactions, contain an offer and exeptance, and a product and or service must be rendered in exchange for all monies charged in order for a transaction to be considered valid. Something of value (consideration) must be received, by the individual for his or her monetary investement.

As it stands, paying TCT's "up front fee" is nothing short of gambling on oneself, which by the way happens to be illegal in most states. SCAM ANYWAY YOU LOOK AT IT!!

Until next time, take care everyone, Aloha from Hawaii and God Bless.
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#32 Consumer Suggestion

This company is a SCAM, because they are providing absolutely nothing of value in exchange for the "up front fee" they charge.

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

Once again, if TCT is not an agency, then what is it? What's their service?

This company is NOT offering EXPOSURE which a few people so adamantly claim, because their "up front fee" more than covers the expenses of any and all advertising and marketing.

This company is a SCAM, because they are providing absolutely nothing of value in exchange for the "up front fee" they charge. If it's true that this company was offering and providing "EXPOSURE", what is the "up front fee" for?

Any and all companies that charge ANY unjustified "up front fees" are scams, plain and simple. TCT's clients are obviously receiving nothing of value in exchange for the unjustified "up front fee", which clearly makes it a scam.

TCT may not use photography, website marketing, or any other marketing and or advertising, as a legitimate justification for their "up front fees", because anyone could market themselves for far less, which clearly proves that TCT often profits quite handsomely, for providing and or rendering absolutely nothing.

Photography, website marketing, etc, etc, are all considered BUSINESS marketing expenses. So why is TCT passing these expenses on to their clients? Does TCT expect to profit yet again, after have found their clients work, in which they would have profited twice, for possibly doing nothing?

Why haven't anyone come foward with some REAL answers? Any legitimate business would definitely have come foward by now with some REAL answers. All rebuttals thus far, have proven no reports false in any way shape or form, or to the contrary.

As a matter of fact, the previous rebuttal, only helped solidify everthing I've already mentioned about this scam.

The victims of this scam demand answers and full disclosure in the public view, not half truths and avoidance.

What's the "up front fees" for?

Since this company insists on charging "up front fees", all in which are considered business expenses and should be incurred by the company, they should be very willing to offer some sort of guarantee.

Legitimate transactions, contain an offer and exeptance, and a product and or service must be rendered in exchange for all monies charged in order for a transaction to be considered valid. Something of value (consideration) must be received, by the individual for his or her monetary investement.

As it stands, paying TCT's "up front fee" is nothing short of gambling on oneself, which by the way happens to be illegal in most states. SCAM ANYWAY YOU LOOK AT IT!!

Until next time, take care everyone, Aloha from Hawaii and God Bless.
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#33 Consumer Suggestion

Consumer advocate, or Devil's advocate?

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

Hey Everyone,

I hope that this rebuttal finds you in good spirit and health.

Do yourselves a huge favor and disregard the above rebuttal. It makes absolutely zero sense.
Below I have pasted a copy of it, along with absolute proof below it, that it makes zero sense and have either been posted by a shill or someone of very little intelligence.

Copy of contradictive rebuttal: I seem to be reading a lot of postings that say things like " no AGENCY should charge you for representation" etc... I would just like to clarify for the record that Options has never claimed to be an agency. It is true that all they have ever claimed to offer is EXPOSURE. I am by no means defending the company. As you may have read in my earlier posting, I was burned by this company too. But lets be correct in our criticism. It should be noted that what this company DOES do that is so unethical is it greatly exaggerates and misrepresents the relationships it supposedly has with various agencies and has done a superb job of creating the illusion that they have a solid reputation among industry giants. Part of this problem stems from our tendency as Americans to only want to do business with very large and very old companies.We seem to believe that if a company has been around for a hundred years, then that automatically means they're ethical. But look at Enron and Arthur Anderson. New businesses have an extremely difficult time trying to compete in todays market so what they do in order to try to stay in business is create illusions about how "well-connected" they are, and rattle off lists of impressive clients. I know. I worked for a start-up, Dot-Com in 1999 that did the same thing. The only way anyone would do business with them was they wanted to know if any of their competitors were using them. So the had to lie.
Illusions are nothing new. To anyone who wants to avoid being scammed not just by this company but by ANY company in the future, I would strongly suggest picking up a copy of the book "Toxic Sludge is Good for You" by John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton. You will be amazed how much you learn about where your money goes. It's not just shady outfits like Options that use Glossy brochures and slick advertising to build your confidence. Old, established and supposedly legit companies skillfully manipulate us every day. You can't even believe half of what you see on the "news" anymore.

1. If this is not an agency, then what is it?

2. This company is NOT offering EXPOSURE, because their "up front" fees more than cover the expenses of any and all advertising and marketing.

This company is a SCAM, because they are providing absolutely nothing of value in return for the "up front" fees they charge. If it's true that this company was offering and providing "EXPOSURE", what are the "up front" fees for?

Are you now openly admitting that you believe, it's nothing but pure profit? Any and all companies that charge ANY unjustified "up front" fees are scams, plain and simple. TCT's clients are receiving nothing of value in exchange for the unjustified "up front" fees, which clearly makes it a scam.

TCT may not use photography, website marketing, etc, etc, as a legitimate justification for their "up front" fees, because anyone could market themselves for far less, which clearly proves that TCT is very often profiting quite handsomely, for providing and or rendering absolutely nothing.

Besides, photography, website marketing, etc, etc, are all considered BUSINESS marketing expenses. So why is TCT passing these expenses on to their clients? Does TCT expect to profit yet again, after have found their clients work, in which they would have profited twice, for possibly doing nothing?

3. You said: "Part of this problem stems from our tendency as Americans to only want to do business with very large and very old companies.We seem to believe that if a company has been around for a hundred years, then that automatically means they're ethical".

You think?!!! Isn't that the idea? Isn't that the intent and purpose of HONEST and LEGITIMATE advertising and marketing? Why are you all of a sudden attempting to shift the blame on our "tendency as Americans"?

4. I find it very hard to comprehend, why anyone would write a report about a company, then come back and totally contridict everything that he or she had written. You can't possibly be both a victim and a supporter of a business at the same time. What you are doing, by trying to justify this company's unethical practices with all the excuses and examples you have posted, are condoning and opposing their practice at the same time.

So what's the verdict, did you get ripped off or not?

Until next time, take care cause I care, Aloha from Hawaii and God Bless.
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#34 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Malinda

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

Oh snap! Oh snap yo! No he didn't! Oh no he didn't! Girl he just said you were a h*o yo! Yo Malinda he said everybody was all up in that shiznit! For real if you be hoing it up on the real that's no joke! Yo if you have pics of this h*o Malinda for real post them so I know her if I see her rollin up in da club. That aint even right yo you be getting used and abused Malinda. Peace!
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#35 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Malinda... I remember you, we used you like a toilet!

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

I can't believe this $h*t, now that you no longer have a job, because it was shut down, now you want to change your tune? What a hypocrit! At least the rest of us knew what we were doing and didn't pretend it wasn't for the money.

You were one of those, right there up front cheering when Alec gave instructions to file rebuttals on this website. After all, truth be told, that's the reason for the previous post, huh?

And you were such an easy s***k. Your legs flew over your shoulders, almost like an automatic reaction. We used to joke about you. And you thought you were getting all that attention because we thought you were pretty?

Get a realtity check!
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#36 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Addenda to the above comments -- I was... directly involved ...inflicting anti-musical crap on the world

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

I forgot to mention another big factor involved in my decision to leave TCT (in addition to not getting paid beans).

For the first week or two, I had no idea TCT was claiming a partnership with Lou Perlman. I personally despise the whole concept of manufactured boybands and, by extension, anyone directly involved with inflicting that kind of anti-musical crap on the world. I was a lot more polite about my dislike of this type of "music" while I was an employee, but I didn't hide it, either.

We were told that Lou Perlman was supposedly involved with some kind of promotion that (at various stages) was described as a balls-out media assault promoting TCT, some kind of reality show (though I never got the impression it was to focus on the SCOUTS, as I read on this site for the first time, but on the scouted TALENT), or merely an in-house supportive rah-rah motivational speaker who would get online during the many conference calls (linked to several other offices across North America) and spur us to new heights of industriousness re: talent scouting. What really made my gorge rise was that they presented us with the idea that we were o go out and call ourselves members of "Lou's Crew". I immediately sought out my senior scout / boss and asked her if I would HAVE to imply that I was an emplooyee of Lou Perlman, whether directly or by implication. She said I did not HAVE to, but then spent a significant amount of time trying to convince me that this was a good thing and it was to my own benefit if I chose to mention it to prospective talent.

I hear that the Tampa TCT office has Perlman-associated "artistes" piped in, a la Muzak, for the delectation of the employees and staff. Had the Atlanta office played any Perlman-associated groups at any time while I was there, it would have saved me a lot of time, effort, and grief. I admit that I am perhaps overly adamant about my hatred of non-musical "pop" crap, due to me having actual music talent and internationally-famous and acclaimed musician friends and what I've been told is very good taste. I still think that boybands (and the Barbiedivas) are the musical equivalent of spraycan-dispensed cheese-flavoured product as compared to the Brie that is actual music. And it was bad enough to be paid an embarrassingly low wage (I think abused workers in third world garment factories earned more than I did), but to have to willingly spout Perlman's name like it was a GOOD selling point to prospective clients? Oh, no thanks. I think not. (Notably, we did not have a functional musician talent online database set up ANYWHERE at the time but we were still recruiting wpuld-be musicians and bands and were even considering branching out into sports scouting (!!!)...and how could a person trained for 2-3 days be able to judge someone genuinely talented in sport or music without any background in either field? Bad enough that we scouted models and actors, but at least with models, I think most people have the ability to recognize facial symmetry and attractiveness, if not marketable model qualities.)

Other than in the initial promotional brochures given out in the initial scout recruiting meetings, nothing salary-related was ever written down for posterity. Even McDonald's gives you an idea of what you'll earn, and they withhold the legally required percentage of your salary for Uncle Sam. All promotions and contests involving monetary reward were verbally outlined only, and mysteriously the rules changed after the contest was declared over. We were repeatedly told that other cities had better scouts and thus it wasn't unusual for them to always win all the promotions. But when we did win a contest, the rules shifted so that no money was ever awarded, and instead, as mentioned above, I (and others) were the "happy" "winners" of an unwanted product that was free for the company to give us (a free digicomp, woo!) which would require us to pay them for the privilege of maintaining it to the tune of $20/month (not counting whatever it cost to get decent photos).

Frankly, after being paid $75 for backbreaking, exhausting work (and I spent more than that $75 on gasoline, cover charges, food, etc. while out scouting), I'd have been far happier with the promised monetary prize.

So, after working for less than 80 cents an hour for weeks on end (including weekends) and being scammed out of a prize I legitimately earned (all while being HONEST about the company and not misrepresenting it (at least not deliberately so, as I went only by what we were all told)), being told that I'd have to present myself as an associate of Lou Perlman's was the final straw.

I'd like to add that future employers were not impressed by that entry on my resume, and I didn't secure a good job -- despite an impressive skillset and great references -- until I wised up and deleted all mention of TCT.

Lastly, they contacted me through Monster.com, I did not fall for their deceptive advertising. When I was contacted, the person who called implied that my resume showed skills that were perfectly suited for TCT. I probably don't have to tell you that not one of my skills ever got put to use. Well, I take that back--their in-house forms (such as sign-up sheets, nothing legal or promotional) were photocopied from photocopies so many generations removed from the original that they were nigh unto unreadable, had spelling errors, and were difficult for prospective talent to understand. I did a new layout for these forms, unasked and uncompensated, and they happily used these new forms from then on. For all I know, they still do.

I will say that the few staff members I met at my TCT branch office were all very professional and kind to new hires, and I have to wonder if they were fully cognizant of what was going on. One female senior scout in particular claimed to have uprooted herself from a successful well-paid career elsewhere to work for TCT and I hope she didn't end up emotionally crushed and impoverished afterwards. My sympathy is probably misplaced, but if not, well, at least I don't feel personally victimized by my senior scouts, just by the company in general. FWIW.
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#37 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Addenda to the above comments -- I was... directly involved ...inflicting anti-musical crap on the world

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

I forgot to mention another big factor involved in my decision to leave TCT (in addition to not getting paid beans).

For the first week or two, I had no idea TCT was claiming a partnership with Lou Perlman. I personally despise the whole concept of manufactured boybands and, by extension, anyone directly involved with inflicting that kind of anti-musical crap on the world. I was a lot more polite about my dislike of this type of "music" while I was an employee, but I didn't hide it, either.

We were told that Lou Perlman was supposedly involved with some kind of promotion that (at various stages) was described as a balls-out media assault promoting TCT, some kind of reality show (though I never got the impression it was to focus on the SCOUTS, as I read on this site for the first time, but on the scouted TALENT), or merely an in-house supportive rah-rah motivational speaker who would get online during the many conference calls (linked to several other offices across North America) and spur us to new heights of industriousness re: talent scouting. What really made my gorge rise was that they presented us with the idea that we were o go out and call ourselves members of "Lou's Crew". I immediately sought out my senior scout / boss and asked her if I would HAVE to imply that I was an emplooyee of Lou Perlman, whether directly or by implication. She said I did not HAVE to, but then spent a significant amount of time trying to convince me that this was a good thing and it was to my own benefit if I chose to mention it to prospective talent.

I hear that the Tampa TCT office has Perlman-associated "artistes" piped in, a la Muzak, for the delectation of the employees and staff. Had the Atlanta office played any Perlman-associated groups at any time while I was there, it would have saved me a lot of time, effort, and grief. I admit that I am perhaps overly adamant about my hatred of non-musical "pop" crap, due to me having actual music talent and internationally-famous and acclaimed musician friends and what I've been told is very good taste. I still think that boybands (and the Barbiedivas) are the musical equivalent of spraycan-dispensed cheese-flavoured product as compared to the Brie that is actual music. And it was bad enough to be paid an embarrassingly low wage (I think abused workers in third world garment factories earned more than I did), but to have to willingly spout Perlman's name like it was a GOOD selling point to prospective clients? Oh, no thanks. I think not. (Notably, we did not have a functional musician talent online database set up ANYWHERE at the time but we were still recruiting wpuld-be musicians and bands and were even considering branching out into sports scouting (!!!)...and how could a person trained for 2-3 days be able to judge someone genuinely talented in sport or music without any background in either field? Bad enough that we scouted models and actors, but at least with models, I think most people have the ability to recognize facial symmetry and attractiveness, if not marketable model qualities.)

Other than in the initial promotional brochures given out in the initial scout recruiting meetings, nothing salary-related was ever written down for posterity. Even McDonald's gives you an idea of what you'll earn, and they withhold the legally required percentage of your salary for Uncle Sam. All promotions and contests involving monetary reward were verbally outlined only, and mysteriously the rules changed after the contest was declared over. We were repeatedly told that other cities had better scouts and thus it wasn't unusual for them to always win all the promotions. But when we did win a contest, the rules shifted so that no money was ever awarded, and instead, as mentioned above, I (and others) were the "happy" "winners" of an unwanted product that was free for the company to give us (a free digicomp, woo!) which would require us to pay them for the privilege of maintaining it to the tune of $20/month (not counting whatever it cost to get decent photos).

Frankly, after being paid $75 for backbreaking, exhausting work (and I spent more than that $75 on gasoline, cover charges, food, etc. while out scouting), I'd have been far happier with the promised monetary prize.

So, after working for less than 80 cents an hour for weeks on end (including weekends) and being scammed out of a prize I legitimately earned (all while being HONEST about the company and not misrepresenting it (at least not deliberately so, as I went only by what we were all told)), being told that I'd have to present myself as an associate of Lou Perlman's was the final straw.

I'd like to add that future employers were not impressed by that entry on my resume, and I didn't secure a good job -- despite an impressive skillset and great references -- until I wised up and deleted all mention of TCT.

Lastly, they contacted me through Monster.com, I did not fall for their deceptive advertising. When I was contacted, the person who called implied that my resume showed skills that were perfectly suited for TCT. I probably don't have to tell you that not one of my skills ever got put to use. Well, I take that back--their in-house forms (such as sign-up sheets, nothing legal or promotional) were photocopied from photocopies so many generations removed from the original that they were nigh unto unreadable, had spelling errors, and were difficult for prospective talent to understand. I did a new layout for these forms, unasked and uncompensated, and they happily used these new forms from then on. For all I know, they still do.

I will say that the few staff members I met at my TCT branch office were all very professional and kind to new hires, and I have to wonder if they were fully cognizant of what was going on. One female senior scout in particular claimed to have uprooted herself from a successful well-paid career elsewhere to work for TCT and I hope she didn't end up emotionally crushed and impoverished afterwards. My sympathy is probably misplaced, but if not, well, at least I don't feel personally victimized by my senior scouts, just by the company in general. FWIW.
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#38 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Addenda to the above comments -- I was... directly involved ...inflicting anti-musical crap on the world

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

I forgot to mention another big factor involved in my decision to leave TCT (in addition to not getting paid beans).

For the first week or two, I had no idea TCT was claiming a partnership with Lou Perlman. I personally despise the whole concept of manufactured boybands and, by extension, anyone directly involved with inflicting that kind of anti-musical crap on the world. I was a lot more polite about my dislike of this type of "music" while I was an employee, but I didn't hide it, either.

We were told that Lou Perlman was supposedly involved with some kind of promotion that (at various stages) was described as a balls-out media assault promoting TCT, some kind of reality show (though I never got the impression it was to focus on the SCOUTS, as I read on this site for the first time, but on the scouted TALENT), or merely an in-house supportive rah-rah motivational speaker who would get online during the many conference calls (linked to several other offices across North America) and spur us to new heights of industriousness re: talent scouting. What really made my gorge rise was that they presented us with the idea that we were o go out and call ourselves members of "Lou's Crew". I immediately sought out my senior scout / boss and asked her if I would HAVE to imply that I was an emplooyee of Lou Perlman, whether directly or by implication. She said I did not HAVE to, but then spent a significant amount of time trying to convince me that this was a good thing and it was to my own benefit if I chose to mention it to prospective talent.

I hear that the Tampa TCT office has Perlman-associated "artistes" piped in, a la Muzak, for the delectation of the employees and staff. Had the Atlanta office played any Perlman-associated groups at any time while I was there, it would have saved me a lot of time, effort, and grief. I admit that I am perhaps overly adamant about my hatred of non-musical "pop" crap, due to me having actual music talent and internationally-famous and acclaimed musician friends and what I've been told is very good taste. I still think that boybands (and the Barbiedivas) are the musical equivalent of spraycan-dispensed cheese-flavoured product as compared to the Brie that is actual music. And it was bad enough to be paid an embarrassingly low wage (I think abused workers in third world garment factories earned more than I did), but to have to willingly spout Perlman's name like it was a GOOD selling point to prospective clients? Oh, no thanks. I think not. (Notably, we did not have a functional musician talent online database set up ANYWHERE at the time but we were still recruiting wpuld-be musicians and bands and were even considering branching out into sports scouting (!!!)...and how could a person trained for 2-3 days be able to judge someone genuinely talented in sport or music without any background in either field? Bad enough that we scouted models and actors, but at least with models, I think most people have the ability to recognize facial symmetry and attractiveness, if not marketable model qualities.)

Other than in the initial promotional brochures given out in the initial scout recruiting meetings, nothing salary-related was ever written down for posterity. Even McDonald's gives you an idea of what you'll earn, and they withhold the legally required percentage of your salary for Uncle Sam. All promotions and contests involving monetary reward were verbally outlined only, and mysteriously the rules changed after the contest was declared over. We were repeatedly told that other cities had better scouts and thus it wasn't unusual for them to always win all the promotions. But when we did win a contest, the rules shifted so that no money was ever awarded, and instead, as mentioned above, I (and others) were the "happy" "winners" of an unwanted product that was free for the company to give us (a free digicomp, woo!) which would require us to pay them for the privilege of maintaining it to the tune of $20/month (not counting whatever it cost to get decent photos).

Frankly, after being paid $75 for backbreaking, exhausting work (and I spent more than that $75 on gasoline, cover charges, food, etc. while out scouting), I'd have been far happier with the promised monetary prize.

So, after working for less than 80 cents an hour for weeks on end (including weekends) and being scammed out of a prize I legitimately earned (all while being HONEST about the company and not misrepresenting it (at least not deliberately so, as I went only by what we were all told)), being told that I'd have to present myself as an associate of Lou Perlman's was the final straw.

I'd like to add that future employers were not impressed by that entry on my resume, and I didn't secure a good job -- despite an impressive skillset and great references -- until I wised up and deleted all mention of TCT.

Lastly, they contacted me through Monster.com, I did not fall for their deceptive advertising. When I was contacted, the person who called implied that my resume showed skills that were perfectly suited for TCT. I probably don't have to tell you that not one of my skills ever got put to use. Well, I take that back--their in-house forms (such as sign-up sheets, nothing legal or promotional) were photocopied from photocopies so many generations removed from the original that they were nigh unto unreadable, had spelling errors, and were difficult for prospective talent to understand. I did a new layout for these forms, unasked and uncompensated, and they happily used these new forms from then on. For all I know, they still do.

I will say that the few staff members I met at my TCT branch office were all very professional and kind to new hires, and I have to wonder if they were fully cognizant of what was going on. One female senior scout in particular claimed to have uprooted herself from a successful well-paid career elsewhere to work for TCT and I hope she didn't end up emotionally crushed and impoverished afterwards. My sympathy is probably misplaced, but if not, well, at least I don't feel personally victimized by my senior scouts, just by the company in general. FWIW.
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#39 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Addenda to the above comments -- I was... directly involved ...inflicting anti-musical crap on the world

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

I forgot to mention another big factor involved in my decision to leave TCT (in addition to not getting paid beans).

For the first week or two, I had no idea TCT was claiming a partnership with Lou Perlman. I personally despise the whole concept of manufactured boybands and, by extension, anyone directly involved with inflicting that kind of anti-musical crap on the world. I was a lot more polite about my dislike of this type of "music" while I was an employee, but I didn't hide it, either.

We were told that Lou Perlman was supposedly involved with some kind of promotion that (at various stages) was described as a balls-out media assault promoting TCT, some kind of reality show (though I never got the impression it was to focus on the SCOUTS, as I read on this site for the first time, but on the scouted TALENT), or merely an in-house supportive rah-rah motivational speaker who would get online during the many conference calls (linked to several other offices across North America) and spur us to new heights of industriousness re: talent scouting. What really made my gorge rise was that they presented us with the idea that we were o go out and call ourselves members of "Lou's Crew". I immediately sought out my senior scout / boss and asked her if I would HAVE to imply that I was an emplooyee of Lou Perlman, whether directly or by implication. She said I did not HAVE to, but then spent a significant amount of time trying to convince me that this was a good thing and it was to my own benefit if I chose to mention it to prospective talent.

I hear that the Tampa TCT office has Perlman-associated "artistes" piped in, a la Muzak, for the delectation of the employees and staff. Had the Atlanta office played any Perlman-associated groups at any time while I was there, it would have saved me a lot of time, effort, and grief. I admit that I am perhaps overly adamant about my hatred of non-musical "pop" crap, due to me having actual music talent and internationally-famous and acclaimed musician friends and what I've been told is very good taste. I still think that boybands (and the Barbiedivas) are the musical equivalent of spraycan-dispensed cheese-flavoured product as compared to the Brie that is actual music. And it was bad enough to be paid an embarrassingly low wage (I think abused workers in third world garment factories earned more than I did), but to have to willingly spout Perlman's name like it was a GOOD selling point to prospective clients? Oh, no thanks. I think not. (Notably, we did not have a functional musician talent online database set up ANYWHERE at the time but we were still recruiting wpuld-be musicians and bands and were even considering branching out into sports scouting (!!!)...and how could a person trained for 2-3 days be able to judge someone genuinely talented in sport or music without any background in either field? Bad enough that we scouted models and actors, but at least with models, I think most people have the ability to recognize facial symmetry and attractiveness, if not marketable model qualities.)

Other than in the initial promotional brochures given out in the initial scout recruiting meetings, nothing salary-related was ever written down for posterity. Even McDonald's gives you an idea of what you'll earn, and they withhold the legally required percentage of your salary for Uncle Sam. All promotions and contests involving monetary reward were verbally outlined only, and mysteriously the rules changed after the contest was declared over. We were repeatedly told that other cities had better scouts and thus it wasn't unusual for them to always win all the promotions. But when we did win a contest, the rules shifted so that no money was ever awarded, and instead, as mentioned above, I (and others) were the "happy" "winners" of an unwanted product that was free for the company to give us (a free digicomp, woo!) which would require us to pay them for the privilege of maintaining it to the tune of $20/month (not counting whatever it cost to get decent photos).

Frankly, after being paid $75 for backbreaking, exhausting work (and I spent more than that $75 on gasoline, cover charges, food, etc. while out scouting), I'd have been far happier with the promised monetary prize.

So, after working for less than 80 cents an hour for weeks on end (including weekends) and being scammed out of a prize I legitimately earned (all while being HONEST about the company and not misrepresenting it (at least not deliberately so, as I went only by what we were all told)), being told that I'd have to present myself as an associate of Lou Perlman's was the final straw.

I'd like to add that future employers were not impressed by that entry on my resume, and I didn't secure a good job -- despite an impressive skillset and great references -- until I wised up and deleted all mention of TCT.

Lastly, they contacted me through Monster.com, I did not fall for their deceptive advertising. When I was contacted, the person who called implied that my resume showed skills that were perfectly suited for TCT. I probably don't have to tell you that not one of my skills ever got put to use. Well, I take that back--their in-house forms (such as sign-up sheets, nothing legal or promotional) were photocopied from photocopies so many generations removed from the original that they were nigh unto unreadable, had spelling errors, and were difficult for prospective talent to understand. I did a new layout for these forms, unasked and uncompensated, and they happily used these new forms from then on. For all I know, they still do.

I will say that the few staff members I met at my TCT branch office were all very professional and kind to new hires, and I have to wonder if they were fully cognizant of what was going on. One female senior scout in particular claimed to have uprooted herself from a successful well-paid career elsewhere to work for TCT and I hope she didn't end up emotionally crushed and impoverished afterwards. My sympathy is probably misplaced, but if not, well, at least I don't feel personally victimized by my senior scouts, just by the company in general. FWIW.
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#40 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Follow-up

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

As an addenda to the above note:

I shared what I wrote with my bosses and was unpleasantly surprised when they decided to censor it, despite the fact that it was, overall, supportive of TCT. I had posted it to the employee's forum. It soon became clear, while watching the boards, that they regularly censored any and all discussion, positive or negative, that addressed any whiff of disatisfaction from either (ex-)clients or (ex-)employees. After I'd read some thought-provoking questions and requests for clarification from both current and former associates of TCT, I began to feel like I'd been lied to. Perhaps not directly, perhaps not in a way I could prove, but there seemed to be a lot of lying by misdirection or omission going on. The censorship of posts was really a big warning sign.

Also, they tend to promise employees the moon and stars. If hard work and dedication are all you need in most jobs to succeed, then me going out up to 110-120 hours a WEEK (without base salary, mind you) and telling prospective clients the truth and nothing but (see my longwinded note above) should have made me some decent wages to live on. I made $75 for 480 hours of work. Your pay, see, is based solely on whether your clients you recruit choose to enroll. And you have no say in how people are enrolled, whether someone else will lie to them somewhere down the line, or if an experienced recruiter will ever talk to them. Part of TCT training involves raw recruit employees being required to attend open calls where they measure, sometimes ineptly, only the height of the recruited prospective model. Prospective musicians and actors are treated identically. Someone who may never have used a digital camera before takes some pictures. Someone else who has perhaps only used the official database once before, if that, enters in responses to questions a slightly more experienced employee asks the prospective client. The brochures are glossy, the video presentation overwhelming and somewhat intimidating, and the sales pitch comes after people are lulled into a stupor of boredom after being squeezed into a cattlecall room for the presentation, which may last an hour, and after they wait up to three hours to get their height verified, their digipix snapped, and their "interview" done.

Granted, some folks do legitimately get work. But I only met two working (print) models the time I was there. They were in with a request to meet one on one with a talent coordinator to discuss some unspecified issue that couldn't be handled over the phone. I do not know if they were dissatisfied or not. My inference is that they were not complaining, but were not getting the work they hoped for, either. But I admit I could be wrong about that.

What induced me to quit, in addition to the lousy pay for grinding hours of work, was the bait and switch tactic I fell victim to. We were told that whoever got the most talent / prospective clients to show up for a particular open call would win a substantial cash prize. I believe it was $500. So we all worked our butts off and I got the most prospective clients in. I was then told I'd won, but that the cash prize was going to another office, the winner had brought in one more prospective client than I had. The problem was that we were not told we were competing against all other offices. In fact, I'd be willing to assume I misheard, but we'd all been excited and asked pointed questions, and all of us were under the same impression that we were only competing intra-office. I was then given the option to "win" the $800 compcard, for which I'd have to buy or provide photos and for which I'd have to pay $20 a month to maintain. If I had any aspirations towards being a model or actress, MAYBE this would be a good deal. But I had no such aspirations. I was in my thirties, reasonably attractive, and reasonably slim, but by no means was I athletically fit or "fashionably" styled. Maybe I am being overly self-deprecating or modest, but I doubt it. I modelled when I was in my early 20's and didn't have the look then when I was 10 pounds lighter and 10 years younger. I also generally did leg and hand modelling, which TCT doesn't bother with.

We had been given cards to hand out that, I later found, had a false name or the name of a former or transferred employee on them. We had to handwrite our own name and number on the back, which looked really professional (not). Months after I quit, I kept getting calls from the thousands of people I recruited, all calls going to my personal mobile (as you have to survive on $75 a month plus recruit thousands of enrollees to get any kind of raise or security or cards or company phone), some of which had some interesting and eye-opening negative experiences to share. I do not trash my former employer, mind you, but I am very careful to be honest at all times about how things work (as far as I can tell).

I do think many of the biggest problems come from prospective talent being confused about what TCT is actually offering. This can be due to over-eager talent scouts deliberately or ignorantly misleading people they approach, or it could come from people being overwhelmed with the very slick videotape full of exciting "success stories".

I think Randy Travis (the consumer reports newsman mentioned above) would have been best served by playing things straight: there is enough to warn consumers about without manipulating the video transcript to worsen the case against TCT. The best way to discover exactly what TCT is like is to go in as an employee even if you think you'd rather be talent. If, after working for them (for nearly nothing, mind you) for a few weeks doesn't turn you off as to the likelihood of your chances, then go for it. Just be sure you understand what they really offer. Also, ask some hard questions of your senior scouts. They all swear that they started off without base salary and were promoted solely through recruiting enrolled talent, but I have my suspicions about several of them. Not all, some.

You are not allowed to post fliers, advertise online or in newspapers (but a never-seen Tampa-area recruiter CAN do these things and take credit for prospective talent), etc. You can do little to round up talent except randomly accost people in malls, in bars or clubs, at concerts or sporting events, or at grocery stores. Expect one out of about 200 to actually follow through. (They claim one in 10 will respond in some way, and 1 in 35 will show up for open calls. Not even close. Unless, as I suspect, people are lying by omission and the prospectives believe they've been "discovered" by an actual decison-maker in an actual talent AGENCY as opposed to a drone from a company that does not get you work but instead sells you a slot on an online talent database.)

As with all companies that do not offer something tangible in simultaneous exchange for your cash, let the buyer beware. It's in essence a lottery of sorts. You MIGHT be scooped up and put to work and make enough to recoup your $800+, but how realistic is it? You'd be best off going directly to a reputable agency yourself rather than relhying on a passive device like a website to market you. It's harder to get a job by sitting on your fanny responding by spamming your resume via the Internet than it is to get dressed nicely, make an appointment, and show up to hand over a hard copy of your resume in person. It CAN happen that the passive method will work, but it's not the best method, is it?

If you choose to work for or buy anything from TCT, just make absolutely sure you know what, EXACTLY, you are being offered. Ignore the promises and possibilities and what-ifs and focus on the concrete FACTS. Get everything in writing, especially contest prize promises (announced verbally and casually, usually). Verify what you can REALISTICALLY expect to earn.

Take care.
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#41 Consumer Comment

Something interesting I found....."Pearlman rescinds model scouting company deal"

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

This is something interesting I found. An article in the business journal regarding Lou Pearlman repealing the agreement he has with Options.

"Boy band king Lou Pearlman on Friday officially repealed the agreement under which he took over Options Talent Group more than a year ago. "We are now out of the scouting business, a practice I never advocated or approved of," Pearlman says in a written statement. Pearlman explains that he rescinded the agreement because he believed he was misled by certain individuals in the 2002 deal. Under that agreement, Pearlman merged his Trans Continental Classics Inc. with a newly formed subsidiary of Options and says he lent the operation several million dollars. Pearlman's decision comes on the heels of an Oct. 23 amended complaint he filed against the model scouting company's former associates in Orange Circuit Civil Court. The lawsuit contends certain Options' franchisees, founders and consultants were engaged in deceptive and unfair business practices, trademark infringement and defamation, from which Pearlman says he suffered $100 million in damages. The defendants have not yet responded to the original complaint, filed on Oct. 10, or the amended complaint. The main defendants in the suit could not be reached for comment."1

1. Jill Krueger, "Pearlman rescinds model scouting company deal," Orlando Business Journal, Oct. 31, 2003.

http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/stories/2003/10/27/daily48.html
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#42 Consumer Comment

I'm 15 ..THIS IS A RIPOFF----EXPERIENCED IT

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

HELLO-

My name is Michael. I'm 15 y/o..125 lbs, and 5'11''...I live in Alaska (great place to be discoverd eh?) I was recently in Las Vegas, NV on family vacation in DECEMBER OF 2002-2003 where I was scouted by a "scout". Who said im very well proportioned and am Model Material, and left me w/ a WILHEMINA SCOUTING NETWORK CALL. She told me to call so many times it was ridiculas.

I called because I thought it was an experience that I shouldn't let pass me by. I called and explained I was from Anchorage, AK and they said that they do no have an "OPEN CALL" service up there so they will be sending me a Package.

I reseived the package w/ a Wilhemina Scouting NEtwork booklet type thing. That Explains the MONEY and the comp cards etc....within the booklet on the 5th page onthe lower left hand corner is a example of somebody named ERIN P.'s COMP CARD. It said CONTACT INFORMATION on the botton using a telephone number and a email adress of AOL-... I have AOL, so i thought i'd add the person to my buddy list so we could instent message eachother--so i could ask her questions about the network. The next day i was online when the AOL NAME (NOT GIVEN) was online also I approached myself in saying "HEllo my name is Michael Schmidt, recently scouted. I saw your name in the BOOKLET, i was wondering if I could get some advice". then they resonded thinkin it was ERIN P. the young women in the picture by the COMP CARD EXAMPLE. Come to fact it wasn't ERIN P. The contact information they said it was. It was a fellow employee (NAME NOT GIVEN) Email adress. He asked if I had paid yet. I said no, but said as soon as my OVER THE PHONE INTERVIEW I WOULD. The cost was 995.- SCANNING AND PLACEMENT FEE and 20$ per month, and a 30 dollar charge per picture updated.

I thought it was ridiculas but if it was going to make my dream come try i would be more then happy to pay the cost...

So on w/ the instent message convo w/ the X Employee...he said call him ASAP-gave number w/ a parent there listening.

As soon as my mother called, he said that WSN is a crock of bull-----...he said that he used to take people's money, he said that at the end of the Day no matter what all he was looking for was a CREDIT CARD #..he would see people who where sitting next to him, fellow employees take money from people he knew from there pictures that wouldn't have a chance in hell of becoming a model. He said that if I could send him the book, and he'll talk to his attorney. So I AM- i hope that company that company gets sued the S___ out of. They're using completely innocent people, BRAINWASHING THEM, making them think this could make them millions and make there dream come true. When the employee knows that all there doin is giving them there money thats it. How do the people on the "site" no personally that there are ACTUAL agencies looking @ there pictures...sure thing- YOU DONT-

Thats all i have to say--if you know any one who is in it, who wants to be in it. TELL THEM DONT---ASAP-

To you employees who are lying your azz's off or dont know the real deal- get your head on, stop hurting innocent people- put yourself in there position-

WSN DIDNT GET A DIME FROM ME- NEVER HAVE AND NEVER WILL-----
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#43 Consumer Comment

This was really helpful!!

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

Hey everyone. I just wanna say thanks for all of u who posted. I was approached by a wihlelmina scout in the mall. said he liked my smile. HA! I'e just recently been noticing how the real world works. See i'm 15 and have been to barbizon and john roberts powers whatever-you-call-its...cattle calls i think. I did notice they're all the same. It really is so sad how young the ppl are that go there! When i was at the john roberts powers call, i saw this boy who wasnt a day older than 6, and seemed to be really potentially good as an actor. His parents seemed like they supported him and i had a feeling that they would be paying the money: 2.900 and something for acting and modeling! Im betting that boy is going to be ripped off really bad. THere were alot of kids, because they claim to be affliated w/disney. o well, i hope more people come across this site. I think i may print out some of the responses and show them around to ppl, and spread the word about this site. Thanks again everyone, its good that us consumers can band together! I hope we can get all these scammers shut down!
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#44 Consumer Comment

TCT Worked for me...

AUTHOR: David Lee - (U.S.A.)

Wow.... It's interesting to hear what much of the outside world has to say about things. I don't even know where to begin.

Okay, I was scouted just like all the other people you guys have been talking about almost 2 years ago. Of course I was skeptical at first as I payed the 5 or 600 bucks to get started still as a college kid. However, I must stress this to the utmost:

BEFORE I PAID, I SIGNED AN AGREEMENT STATING THAT I AM NOT GUARANTEED TO MAKE ANY MONEY AT ALL IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY.

My scout looked me straight in the eye after evaluating me and told me that I am not guaranteed to make money using the talent service that they provide. The reason I signed up and paid so much money is because I had faith in myself to utilize the service they provide to become successful in the entertainment industry. Come on people... It's not rocket science. So many people don't make it big and blame it on the company. Well, that's what we all sign before we pay! I was there and went through the whole process. That's what all these complainers fail to tell you! Getting mad at TCT/WSN after knowing what they signed is just like getting mad at those abdominal infomercials for selling us stuff that we say doesn't work. You knew it said "individual results may vary." Well, why the heck did you buy the d**n thing? Did you think that just by buying the product, overnight you were going to become sexy and beautiful? Gimme a break...

TCT/WSN is a business. They exist to make money, just like a pizza man who sells pizzas. If you want a pizza, you ask him and he makes you a pizza for a certain price. In the same way, TCT provides first class tickets for a chance to get into the entertainment industry for a certain price. Now, once you get to the doors of the industry, it's entirely up to them to take you. I think some of these people should think more about their chances before paying so much money for one way tickets... Especially parents who sign for their kids!

I must say that at first, I was not entirely satisfied with the service of TCT since it took them forever to post my pictures on their site. Since the company has been growing at an enormous rate in such a short time, it's natural for things like computer disks and such to get misplaced. It all depends on the particular office of TCT. Some offices are better than others depending on the management. However, since the money I paid was MY investment, I called the corporate office and got it straightened out. The cool thing was that they gave me my money back and allowed me to be on the site anyway. That's funny because I remember someone on this forum saying that TCT never gives money back. What if the pizza man burns the pizza? He gives you your money back! Well, since I paid so much money, I jumped on MY investment and took care of the problem. Maybe they worked with me because I was calm and collective and wasn't ranting and raving even though I was upset.... Hmmm, just a thought.

A few months later, I was contacted about a Spokesmodel Search being held in the Bahammas. The grand prize for the competition was $150,000 in spokesmodel contracts. The judges were agents from MANY top agencies including Wilhemina, Ikon NY, Boss NY, Arlene Wilson Management, Maxim Magazine, Fusion NY, LA Models, Paolo Tomei Milan, etc. I was there and met and hung out with ALL these agencies. I was able to talk with them 1 on 1 and walk the runway for them too. I met the actual man, Paolo Tomei, and talked with every representative of all the top agencies. By the way MTV WAS THERE TOO! I met the casting director for MTV, Mike, who gave me valuable advice to help me in this industry. Hmmm, glad I got to talk with so many valuable people in the industry. Maybe that's why it costs so much???

Well, I figured I didn't have a chance, but I ended up winning the Male Spokesmodel contract for $50,000. I also signed with an agency in San Francisco and have been doing runway shows for them and even did a hair show just the other weekend in San Jose CA at the West Coast Beauty and Fashion Expo. TCT even holds more contests now for chances to win contracts or prize packages in acting and music as well. That's probably why the scouts don't appear to be being selective as much now. They look for singers, actors, and actresses as well, and they still get comp cards like everyone else too.

I've also read here about TCT/WSN not having a forum. Actually, they do have a forum for all the models of TCT/WSN to post messages back and forth and discuss their entertainment experiences. It's a great way to share and get great advice from others who are doing good in the industry. I check it everyday...

Well, with all that said, I believe TCT works 100%. TCT NEVER SAID ANYONE WAS GOING TO BE A STAR. THEY SIMPLY OFFER WAYS FOR FUTURE STARS TO CAPTURE THEIR DREAMS. I knew from the very beginning that there was a chance for me to loose all the money I paid and be heartbroken. In the end I figured why not take the chance now and see what happens?

I might regret it later, and besides, I sure as hell don't want to be caught behind a desk in some cubicle for the next 50 years till I retire. Life's too short for that. Well the gamble paid off for me and I'm here to say it works! I've made so much more than what I've paid to be on the site, and am looking forward to even more success in the industry... Hope you all see me somewhere later in life on the big screen or maybe hear me on the radio. With my utmost sincerity to all those who have posted here...
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#45 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Clarification

AUTHOR: Bridget Mundwiler - (U.S.A.)

I seem to be reading a lot of postings that say things like " no AGENCY should charge you for representation" etc... I would just like to clarify for the record that Options has never claimed to be an agency. It is true that all they have ever claimed to offer is EXPOSURE. I am by no means defending the company. As you may have read in my earlier posting, I was burned by this company too. But lets be correct in our criticism. It should be noted that what this company DOES do that is so unethical is it greatly exaggerates and misrepresents the relationships it supposedly has with various agencies and has done a superb job of creating the illusion that they have a solid reputation among industry giants. Part of this problem stems from our tendency as Americans to only want to do business with very large and very old companies.We seem to believe that if a company has been around for a hundred years, then that automatically means they're ethical. But look at Enron and Arthur Anderson. New businesses have an extremely difficult time trying to compete in todays market so what they do in order to try to stay in business is create illusions about how "well-connected" they are, and rattle off lists of impressive clients. I know. I worked for a start-up, Dot-Com in 1999 that did the same thing. The only way anyone would do business with them was they wanted to know if any of their competitors were using them. So the had to lie.
Illusions are nothing new. To anyone who wants to avoid being scammed not just by this company but by ANY company in the future, I would strongly suggest picking up a copy of the book "Toxic Sludge is Good for You" by John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton. You will be amazed how much you learn about where your money goes. It's not just shady outfits like Options that use Glossy brochures and slick advertising to build your confidence. Old, established and supposedly legit companies skillfully manipulate us every day. You can't even believe half of what you see on the "news" anymore.
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#46 Consumer Comment

Caveat Emptor ...reccommend the training that John Casablancas offers. It is very very very ...tied

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

I'm not an employee/ex-employee, but I have worked with the eModel/Options group more than once on the production crew for their annual model search shows.

I also am *very* familiar with the entertainment industry. I'm an actor/performer and have attended modeling school with John Casablancas of Winter Park as well as being a former beauty queen. I've seen it *all*.

A few points here:

1) Anyone who *believes* that they can be a well-paid model just by paying for an internet site w/pictures, etc is just plain looney. There's a saying in the entertainment biz: "It takes 20 years to be an overnight success." That is so true. If you think that anything is a magic pill that negates hard work, then cash in your chips now because the road to being a "working" model/actor is tough, never mind being "stellar". There are many places that offer services for a fee. Only you can decide if the fee is too much for you to pay or the time/results are not to your liking. Caveat Emptor. Buyer Beware. Incidently, the monthly fee for the website is for maintaining the site. Did you know that you (a potential model) can change your page as many times as you'd like - 20 times a day if you want to? Do you also know what it would cost to do traditional mailouts to agencies (postage, comp cards, headshots, resumes, etc). Do the math. A few hundred dollars for a *chance* isn't all that much in the grand scheme of things. Anyone who tells you you don't need to spend a dime to be a model is plain silly. Headsheats cost money, stamps cost money (last time I checked, the rates went up), envelopes cost money. Photographers, make-up artists all these things cost money. Sure, you can go to Wal-mart or some other like place and get a nice picture to send to grandma, but it won't get you work in the industry. You have to make an investment in your future. Only YOU can decide how musch is too much. At least they aren't going to "train [you] to be a model... or just look like one..."

2) eModel/Options/TCT/whatevertheirnameisthisweek is not a "modeling agency". Period. They may have certain individuals claiming that they are in fact an agency as well as a scouting firm for *other* agencies, but that is not the case. Their sole raison d'etre (reason for being) is to be an internet site for models to post their pertinent info so that they are more accessible to agencies/companies looking for models.

3) At the innaugural eModel model search in 2000, there were HUNDREDS of models/potential models at the search and there were reps from Ford, Elite, Maxim, on and on and on. These reps were the judges of the event (over 32 in all). Even though there were only two models awarded deals with "Models Only" (a makeup line), approx 85% of the models had call backs with the agencies. I was there and saw the callback lists. The place was SWARMED! BTW Kim Alexis was the spokesmodel for that event.

At the 2nd annual event in Nassau there were approx 1000 models for the event and a similar number of udges as the last event. Willa Ford was the sokesperson for this show (filthy mouth and all). They showed up on a Carnival cruise ship for the prelims at the Nassau Marriott Hotel & Casino (we were there a week - what a trip!) and then went back to Miami on the ship and had the finals on the ship. It was a HUGE event and I had lots of fun. Well, after working til 4 aqm every night for 4 nights, I deserved a little R&R... LOL

---------------------------------------------

Ok, that said, I've seen the so-called investigative reports, and you have to take everything with a grain of salt. There are disreputable people in every industry and you have to exercise due dilligence before signing *ANYTHING*!!!

The main thing to remember is this: if it seems to good to be true, it probably is. If you think you have potential to work in the entertainment field, get a plain old 8x10 black and white decent photo of yourself - no glamour shots PLEASE!!! and submit it to a well known (reputable) agency with your name and contact information on the back. If you have a resume of work you've done in related fileds, attach that, but if you have no experience, just send the photo alone.

If the person at the agency who handles incoming photos thinks you have merit, they will call you back. If they don't, don't despair. Call the agency and ask them politely if they can refer you to someone who works with aspiring actor/models to train them in the industry. Or, just buy the For Dummies book about breaking into Acting. The advice in it also applies somewhat to models as well as actors.

That training will cost $$$. Pretty much everything does. Ask for an honest appraisal. Be realistic. If you are 5'2" tall, overweight and buck-teethed, you will most likely *not* become a supermodel.

As a side note, I've come to realize (the more I'm in the industry) that America is **full** of people who are terribly impressed with themselves when they have absolutely no right to be. Anyone remember the "Best of the Worst" American Idol episode???? If you honestly have talent/looks/ability, you may have a shot, but if you *don't*, don't be surprised if you get the equivalent of a Simon Cowell-style reply. Not everyone can be a super-model.

I highly reccommend the training that John Casablancas offers. It is very very very comprehensive and really helped me (oh so many moons ago). JC is a reputable school and they are tied with Elite (at last I heard) a very reputable NYC firm.
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#47 Consumer Comment

Wilhelmina Scam

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

First I want to thank all of you for your comments. When I first got the Wilhelmina "be here at 10am, it's the only time I have open... stay all day till 4..." email from them it looked fishy.



Did some checking and these folks definitely look fishy (several company name changes, lawsuits, several unhappy models and scouts saying they were ripped off). I can't even find a website for this "top talent agency", which should really raise your eyebrows.



I am going to save myself a lot of headaches and not get involved with them as a "marketing rep" aka scout. I would suggest you do the same.
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#48 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Wilhelmina Transcontinental Talent Edge Options tis all the same bad business

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

I responded to a E mail from these con artists in Irvine California. Having been in the enterainment business in the U.S. for 10 years I thought it was my big jump in the industry I went through the cattle call interview,3 open calls and after 4 days on the job was offered along with the remaining "scouts" a position paying 100000 a year to re-open the Carlsbad Office. That raised an eyebrow because if it is to good to be true it is. So I ran a google search and found your report dated 2 days earlier showing that the District Attorney had shut these swindlers down so needless to say I haven't returned to work for these clowns It just sucks that they use the same tactics that legitamate talent agencies use to sucker Hopefuls out of their $ BEWARE of These shysters
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#49 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Trans CON! As an ex-employee I finally got tired of seeing KIDS and TEENS being taken advantage of by these vultures.

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

Anybody who belives this company benefits models or actors was probably manipulated by a Trans CON EMPLOYEE! As an ex-employee I finally got tired of seeing KIDS and TEENS being taken advantage of by these vultures.



They prey on the dreams and insecurites of their talent by letting them think they have a chance in the entertainment industry. Some of the lies include the agencies they claim to work with on their web sites.



When in fact multiple major television networks have proven otherwise. NBC, FOX, ABC, ect. local affiliates have reported and investigated and found the same info that any ex-employee can tell you. The company is full of lies and deception! Why would television networks target this one company unless it was really a BAD company. They hire anybody with half a brain to become a scout. Scouts are given NO restrictions!



Anybody short can work in print, fat they can be plus size, skinny, they can be petite, and if the person is absolutely horrible looking no problem we'll make them an actor. Those are they explanations they give when asked if they accept anyone to be talent.



Some people may feel comfortable with this but people with morals know this is wrong and unjust. To put it simply the company will let anybody who has the money be a model or actor. This is why innocent people are being taken advantage of. In other words beware and stay away from Trans CONtinental AKA Options Talent AKA Wilhelmina Network.
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#50 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Trans CON! As an ex-employee I finally got tired of seeing KIDS and TEENS being taken advantage of by these vultures.

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

Anybody who belives this company benefits models or actors was probably manipulated by a Trans CON EMPLOYEE! As an ex-employee I finally got tired of seeing KIDS and TEENS being taken advantage of by these vultures.



They prey on the dreams and insecurites of their talent by letting them think they have a chance in the entertainment industry. Some of the lies include the agencies they claim to work with on their web sites.



When in fact multiple major television networks have proven otherwise. NBC, FOX, ABC, ect. local affiliates have reported and investigated and found the same info that any ex-employee can tell you. The company is full of lies and deception! Why would television networks target this one company unless it was really a BAD company. They hire anybody with half a brain to become a scout. Scouts are given NO restrictions!



Anybody short can work in print, fat they can be plus size, skinny, they can be petite, and if the person is absolutely horrible looking no problem we'll make them an actor. Those are they explanations they give when asked if they accept anyone to be talent.



Some people may feel comfortable with this but people with morals know this is wrong and unjust. To put it simply the company will let anybody who has the money be a model or actor. This is why innocent people are being taken advantage of. In other words beware and stay away from Trans CONtinental AKA Options Talent AKA Wilhelmina Network.
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#51 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Trans CON! As an ex-employee I finally got tired of seeing KIDS and TEENS being taken advantage of by these vultures.

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

Anybody who belives this company benefits models or actors was probably manipulated by a Trans CON EMPLOYEE! As an ex-employee I finally got tired of seeing KIDS and TEENS being taken advantage of by these vultures.



They prey on the dreams and insecurites of their talent by letting them think they have a chance in the entertainment industry. Some of the lies include the agencies they claim to work with on their web sites.



When in fact multiple major television networks have proven otherwise. NBC, FOX, ABC, ect. local affiliates have reported and investigated and found the same info that any ex-employee can tell you. The company is full of lies and deception! Why would television networks target this one company unless it was really a BAD company. They hire anybody with half a brain to become a scout. Scouts are given NO restrictions!



Anybody short can work in print, fat they can be plus size, skinny, they can be petite, and if the person is absolutely horrible looking no problem we'll make them an actor. Those are they explanations they give when asked if they accept anyone to be talent.



Some people may feel comfortable with this but people with morals know this is wrong and unjust. To put it simply the company will let anybody who has the money be a model or actor. This is why innocent people are being taken advantage of. In other words beware and stay away from Trans CONtinental AKA Options Talent AKA Wilhelmina Network.
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#52 UPDATE EX-employee responds

And the trend continues...

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

Well I feel foolish. After wasting 3 weeks of time that could have gone into my career, I opted for the "dream job" which is just littered all over the Monster.com site. Oh yeah folks just do a search on Monster for scout and see how many opportunities turn up. Don't feel so special now do you?



Oh yeah models get a digital comp card put up and they can add and remove pictures from it anytime they want. Plus having the luxury of having 5 agencies to choose to represent them. Oh and let's not forget the "affiliation" contract with Wilhelmina. (interesting note: Wilhelmina's President said this to TCT owners at Fashion Rock, "I spent 18 years to get to where I am and none of you are going to ruin the name. You are not and will never be Wilhelmina.")



Yeah and Lou Perlman and John Daly are with the company too, but so what? The problem I have with the company is that they put too much of an emphasis on the product that they treat the backbone, the employees, like replacable scum. Do they really care about us? No they dont have overhead from us in the first place so why should they.



Yeah we have a month to "prove" ourselves. *snicker* Add that they keep some people fed with the notion that they will be promoted to a TE and life will be better. Bull****.



Even as a TE and Senior Scout, you still have to make your quota of shows and enrollments or else you get downsized. Oh yeah you get your own office to conduct an exit interview with. But is it worth it? Getting people to actually show up is one thing, but trying to also sell someone on the idea of paying $995 with guilt to get noticed is another.



I added guilt because the new script TEs have to use does just that to the potential models. Offering them a false sense of urgency and seriousness when all they really care about is if they have the money.



I can understand the debate about how the industry works and all and the argument that you are not guaranteed work. However from a realistic standpoint, you do have to spend money to get somewhere in this business.



Some people spend a lot, others a lot less. Either way you still have to pay and if anyone tells you something is free, you just bought an expensive course on how to be rich. And any office that does not have a bottle of whiteout or a pair of scissors...you make the conclusion.

Thankfully I left that job last week. Got sick of some of the facetious egomaniacal co-workers there as well.



I apologize for my whining and crying with this post. Yeah that's what I'm doing. Now here's a knife and fork. Eat me. But for those of you that are new and doing research on the company, I wouldn't advise working for them unless you enjoy doing internships or working for free. As for the product, it works but only do it if you have the money and the look (height requirements, straight teeth, attitude, etc.). Don't spend your life savings on this either. I really do hope my ex-scouting partner RP reads this and contacts me right away. Mr. Penn State knows who I'm talking about.
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#53 UPDATE Employee

Edge Athletic Scout

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

I am a new athletic scout in the Houston area. I would like to hear more of what any of you know of Edge Tallent. I know it was formed from TCT Trans-Continental or whatever name it is going by. I have noticed that one athlete said he was signed with a Div 1 school, but we were told only one has signed but had a different name. We were told he was a junior college student and got in some where in Arizona.



I also noticed the person that said he signed didn't give the name of the Div 1 school. I have scouted some athletes, and mostly no shows to the open calls. When some did show, I couldn't help but feel guilty for having such nice people and hopeful athlete at this sales pitch.



I understand nothing is free, and services cost, but i couldn't help but think that something is just not right. If I feel this way inside, then something has to be wrong, or I just havn't seen enough facts or success stories. I know that the company has great athletes on the advisory board like Tony Dorset, but anybody can get paid to say a few inspiring and good words about a company. I am also aware that this company is new at least in this area.



I havn't got paid, so I take it none of the athletes signe up. If it is a rip off, Then I would love for someone to let me know. I do enjoy attending these games, but find it hard to aproach these kids with something I know little about.



Traing was only two days, which I feel for an athletic scout should be long and informative, rather than a sales pitch. They said to scout qualified athletes one time and another time they say any athlete, just get them here. They even offer to pay out of there pocket if we have at least 10 shows each. Which is impossible unless you round the whole team up at the same time.



It sound like it has great intentions for these kids, and If I were a parent and did not know anything about this industry, I probably would have been happy for my son, until I showed up for the open call.



Sports at the college level is every kids dream, and they shouldn't have to be swindled for their money. I only did this search for this company that I am employed by because of a news report I saw tonight about TCT. I was already feeling something before this news report.



It is sad for the people loosing money, and sad for me since I always wanted a job in the sports industry. I plan on enrolling in college to earn a degree in sports. I guess I will be considering moving on if my resaerch on Edge comes back as foney.
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#54 UPDATE Employee

The majority of people commenting here have misconceptions about the nature of the company

AUTHOR: Malinda McCall - (U.S.A.)

Options (and Edge) have both been purchased by TransContinental Talent.



What TCT is NOT:

1. TCT is not a modeling agency. This means that talent that enroll with the company do not have to pay TCT a fee if / when they are requested for work.



2. TCT is not a photography studio trying to "bait and switch" scouted talent into buying an expensive package of photographs.



3. TCT does NOT promise that every enrolled person will ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY get work.



4. Lastly, TCT does NOT scout "just everyone". There ARE industry standards that scouts must be aware of and follow.



Explanations:

1. TCT makes it clear to both scouts and to those people who are invited to Open Calls that they sell a MARKETING TOOL. They promise talent ONLY that they will be given global exposure. They do NOT promise that everyone will be dicovered and made rich and famous. Instead of being a modeling agency, TCT's service gets interested talent EXPOSURE to over 5,000 (soon to be close to 6,000) agencies, casting directors, reputable photographers, and other entertainment industry decision makers. Since TCT's service is FREE for any agency or individual in the entertainment business who is in a position to hire talent, more and more decision makers are choosing to use the service. It is true that not all of these decision makers and agencies are "big name", but a large percentage of them are (as noted above), e.g., Wilhemina, Aziza, producer John Daly (Platoon, Terminator), Nouveau, Hip Hop, Maz Azria, and many more. An interested prospective enrollee is cordially invited to go to the TCT website (http://tcttalent.com) and to look at Model News and Actor News. Non-interested persons, of course, are welcome to look out of curiosity. These listings show the enrolled talent that have gotten exciting jobs or have been signed by major modeling agencies RECENTLY. For example, Courtney Cooper from Atlanta was scouted as a model by TCT, enrolled, and won guarranteed modeling work worth $100,000. (I believe that her total is over $400,000 at this point.) However, realistically, not everyone is a Courtney Cooper. What you are purchasing from TCT is a tool that WILL be seen by industry decision makers. Whether a particular person gets hired is out of TCT's hands, as they merely provide the searchable database to their clients, they do not actually hire talent directly themselves. All scouts and scouted talent are told that more than 85% of all enrolled talent get REQUESTED within the first 90 days. A REQUEST is not a guaranteed job. However, many do find work. (Again, see the Model News and Actor News sections.)



2. A. There are two clarifications to be made here. Some disreputable photographers and photography studios lure people into "open calls" and take their picture, and then try to force them to purchase the "professional" shots they just had taken. TCT does not do this. The digi-comp (digital composite card) can have whatever photos you prefer, and you can use a professional photographer or take your own. (TCT has access to photographers, of course, and can, if asked, refer talent to one and the photographer often rewards referrals by pricing photographs far below his or her normal retail rate. But this arrangement is not something that is automatically offered to every scouted person.)



2. B. Professional models and experienced actors are well aware of the high costs of getting their "head shots" and "comp cards" done. Whereas it is possible to run down to Kinko's and slam something together that doesn't look half-assed, many inexperienced people who want to break into the business don't even know what tools they need to have. They don't know why agencies prefer certain types of cards over others, for example. Once they have the pictures taken, then developed, then design or have someone else design the card itself, and have it proofed and printed (estimate: approximately 50-100 cards per agency you want to work with), talent then needs to get the cards in front of people in agencies who are in a position to hire. Unsolicited comp cards end up in File 13, the Circular Bin (e.g., the trash) more often than not. And that means that you have just spent $$$ for 50-100 nice comp cards that are going to end up in a landfill somewhere. If you lose or gain weight, change your hair colour, get a prestigious job or in any other way need to update your stats, you must then start at the beginning again and spend more money for new comp cards. It is no exaggeration to estimate the cost of PROFESSIONAL comp cards, printing, distribution, etc., at being anywhere from $1000 - $5000 dollars EACH and EVERY time you alter your appearance or have new information to add. TCT's digicomp is fully customizable by the enrolled talent and instead of having to dig up possibly disinterested agencies to drop your cards of to, TCT's talent's digi-comps are SOUGHT AFTER by people who have used the TCT database to look for a person with a specific look. In other words, the clients seek the talent, the talent does not have to beg local agencies to give them a fair shake. THIS is what is being sold, NOT 100% guarranteed wealth and stardom. And experienced models and actors are well aware that the cost of a digi-comp is PEANUTS compared to a traditional comp card, and that they are going to get GLOBAL exposure when they enroll, which they certainly aren't going to be able to afford to do on their own--the cost of printing up 50-100 comp cards for every agency in their own hometown ALONE would be, no doubt, astronomical.



3. Again, TCT does NOT promise that every enrollee will be hired. They discuss possibilities and share success stories. This is not evil or immoral. They don't invent fake people and fake agencies. There is no need--enough people find jobs through TCT that lying about success stories would be stupid and counter-productive.



4. If someone who does not fit industry standards is dead set on purchasing a digi-comp, they are allowed to. Like every company, TCT is in the business of turning a profit. BUT someone who does not fit industry standards is not likely to have been scouted in the first place. If by some chance they were, possibly by an over-eager new scout who has not familiarized themselves well enough with the standards they are supposed to follow, a Talent Coordinator is going to gently tell them that they are not likely to become the next Cindy Crawford.



More information:

My roommate signed up with Options (now part of TCT). She is slender, relatively tall and not unattractive but she is definitely not a supermodel type. Even so, she gets one to five requests every single week (mostly for promotional modeling or print work). One sample: near Hallowe'en, she was asked to consider working for a client who needed people to wear a costume for four hours at a large corporate party. She'd be fed and allowed to have some drinks. To attend this party, she would be paid $300 for four hours of "work".



I think that part of the problem is that people come in to Open Calls and see some non-supermodel types sitting in there as well.

First, models are not all supermodel or runway types. Fashion and runway modelling makes up only 10% of the industry, actually.

Second, many of the non-model types may have been scouted because they were musicians or actors, not models per se.

Third, many of the non-models may be guests of scouted talent. Open Calls are by invitation only, but about half of the scouted talent choose to bring along a guest, and are urged to do so. Their guest may not be very attractive.

Fourth, even if you see non-supermodel types, there is a market for petite and plus modeling. (It also makes up about 10% of the industry.) So someone you think is too short or fat to model could be exactly what a client is looking for, provided they fit petite or plus model standards.

Fifth, if you look at print ads (this makes up 80% of the industry and includes television work), many of the people getting jobs are NOT supermodels. Madge the Palmolive lady, the annoying teenaged boy for Dell, the fat bald middle-aged man for a sweetened cereal, the motherly looking woman in most cookie or cleaning supply item ads...the list goes on and on. Atlanta, for instance, is the second largest print modelling market in the country right now. If you were to go to an Open Call in Atlanta, you might see some pleasant-looking but not stunningly ethereal people attending. These people stand a decent chance of getting work from folks who need to sell, say, an umbrella or toaster. (Those products are promoted best by people who are comfortingly "average" but pleasant-looking, because buyers can relate more to the fat bald guy eating sugary cereal than they can to a seven-foot-tall twig with cheekbones who looks like she never eats anything whatsoever.)



As for disgruntled scouts...well, yes. It's VERY hard work. And you have no control over whether the talent you scout will enroll, therefore you have no control over who much you will earn from paycheck to paycheck. A smart scout increases his or her odds by not wasting time approaching people who they sincerely don't feel are within industry standards, and by explaining up front that TCT is a talent scouting NETWORK (NOT an agency) selling a marketing tool that WILL get enrolled people EXPOSURE (NOT guaranteed work.)



There ARE frequent Open Calls (it depends on the size of the office and number of scouts in it as to how many and how frequently they are held) but in Atlanta, at least, they are ONLY held in the office and ONLY invited parties (and their guests) may attend.



Options / TCT can and will back up their assertion that thousands of clients (NOT 100% of them agencies!) use their service. Just ask a senior scout, Talent Coordinator or Office Director and they will gladly produce the documentation you wish to see.



86% are contacted, but not necessarily by an AGENCY and not necessarily with guarranteed work. 86% are get a REQUEST within the first 90 days. There is a difference. I believe that wanting to hear "agency" and "guaranteed work" when no one ever had said that is part of Liuba's problem. She apparently did not understand the distinctions and did not ask anyone to clarify them if she was confused.



Customer service would have a hard time answering Liuba as to why TCT's fee is competitive because she seemingly is confused about what is being offered. First of all, TCT is the largest network of talent on the planet, and there really isn't a similar company to compare rates with. Secondly, if Liuba has never purchased comp cards before, then she has no basis of comparison and can't recognize that a digi-comp costs far less, is endlessly renewable when your stats change, and gets more exposure. That's an understandable confusion, but during Open Calls, these clarifications are made. Repeatedly. And talent is urged to check the website, ask questions and state concerns. If they choose not to do so, TCT can't do anything to help them.



The FOX 5 interview with Randy Travis' "Problem Solvers" was heavily spliced and re-edited. When there is no actual problem, there is no news. It's only newsworthy if you can make the company in question look bad.



Try this experiment.



Pretend you're being interviewed. During the interview an exchange similar to this:



Newsperson: So you think people are happy with your services?

Company Spokesperson: Yes, absolutely they are, no doubt about it!



can become, in an editing suite, something like this:



Newsperson (footage shot hours later): So you agree with our assertions that your company is providing a fradulent service?

Company Spokesperson (spliced in): Yes, absolutely they are, no doubt about it!



This is foul journalism, but it certainly isn't an uncommon practice. Incidentally, when TCT called FOX 5's Travis down to Orlando and requested that they be re-interviewed *live* on camera (with both parties clearly shown in the same frame at all times), he refused. There is video documentation of Randy vs. TCT personnel, actually. If you have an opportunity to visit the TCT office in Atlanta, ask to see it. Chances are you will make someone's day, because it is funny stuff.



Incidentally, the BBB in Atlanta shows that TCT Atlanta has a clean slate. Call and see.



I urge concerned parties to talk to a TCT employee, preferably one in a position to acquire documentation for you, if you have any questions.



I hope this helps.
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#55 UPDATE Employee

The majority of people commenting here have misconceptions about the nature of the company

AUTHOR: Malinda McCall - (U.S.A.)

Options (and Edge) have both been purchased by TransContinental Talent.



What TCT is NOT:

1. TCT is not a modeling agency. This means that talent that enroll with the company do not have to pay TCT a fee if / when they are requested for work.



2. TCT is not a photography studio trying to "bait and switch" scouted talent into buying an expensive package of photographs.



3. TCT does NOT promise that every enrolled person will ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY get work.



4. Lastly, TCT does NOT scout "just everyone". There ARE industry standards that scouts must be aware of and follow.



Explanations:

1. TCT makes it clear to both scouts and to those people who are invited to Open Calls that they sell a MARKETING TOOL. They promise talent ONLY that they will be given global exposure. They do NOT promise that everyone will be dicovered and made rich and famous. Instead of being a modeling agency, TCT's service gets interested talent EXPOSURE to over 5,000 (soon to be close to 6,000) agencies, casting directors, reputable photographers, and other entertainment industry decision makers. Since TCT's service is FREE for any agency or individual in the entertainment business who is in a position to hire talent, more and more decision makers are choosing to use the service. It is true that not all of these decision makers and agencies are "big name", but a large percentage of them are (as noted above), e.g., Wilhemina, Aziza, producer John Daly (Platoon, Terminator), Nouveau, Hip Hop, Maz Azria, and many more. An interested prospective enrollee is cordially invited to go to the TCT website (http://tcttalent.com) and to look at Model News and Actor News. Non-interested persons, of course, are welcome to look out of curiosity. These listings show the enrolled talent that have gotten exciting jobs or have been signed by major modeling agencies RECENTLY. For example, Courtney Cooper from Atlanta was scouted as a model by TCT, enrolled, and won guarranteed modeling work worth $100,000. (I believe that her total is over $400,000 at this point.) However, realistically, not everyone is a Courtney Cooper. What you are purchasing from TCT is a tool that WILL be seen by industry decision makers. Whether a particular person gets hired is out of TCT's hands, as they merely provide the searchable database to their clients, they do not actually hire talent directly themselves. All scouts and scouted talent are told that more than 85% of all enrolled talent get REQUESTED within the first 90 days. A REQUEST is not a guaranteed job. However, many do find work. (Again, see the Model News and Actor News sections.)



2. A. There are two clarifications to be made here. Some disreputable photographers and photography studios lure people into "open calls" and take their picture, and then try to force them to purchase the "professional" shots they just had taken. TCT does not do this. The digi-comp (digital composite card) can have whatever photos you prefer, and you can use a professional photographer or take your own. (TCT has access to photographers, of course, and can, if asked, refer talent to one and the photographer often rewards referrals by pricing photographs far below his or her normal retail rate. But this arrangement is not something that is automatically offered to every scouted person.)



2. B. Professional models and experienced actors are well aware of the high costs of getting their "head shots" and "comp cards" done. Whereas it is possible to run down to Kinko's and slam something together that doesn't look half-assed, many inexperienced people who want to break into the business don't even know what tools they need to have. They don't know why agencies prefer certain types of cards over others, for example. Once they have the pictures taken, then developed, then design or have someone else design the card itself, and have it proofed and printed (estimate: approximately 50-100 cards per agency you want to work with), talent then needs to get the cards in front of people in agencies who are in a position to hire. Unsolicited comp cards end up in File 13, the Circular Bin (e.g., the trash) more often than not. And that means that you have just spent $$$ for 50-100 nice comp cards that are going to end up in a landfill somewhere. If you lose or gain weight, change your hair colour, get a prestigious job or in any other way need to update your stats, you must then start at the beginning again and spend more money for new comp cards. It is no exaggeration to estimate the cost of PROFESSIONAL comp cards, printing, distribution, etc., at being anywhere from $1000 - $5000 dollars EACH and EVERY time you alter your appearance or have new information to add. TCT's digicomp is fully customizable by the enrolled talent and instead of having to dig up possibly disinterested agencies to drop your cards of to, TCT's talent's digi-comps are SOUGHT AFTER by people who have used the TCT database to look for a person with a specific look. In other words, the clients seek the talent, the talent does not have to beg local agencies to give them a fair shake. THIS is what is being sold, NOT 100% guarranteed wealth and stardom. And experienced models and actors are well aware that the cost of a digi-comp is PEANUTS compared to a traditional comp card, and that they are going to get GLOBAL exposure when they enroll, which they certainly aren't going to be able to afford to do on their own--the cost of printing up 50-100 comp cards for every agency in their own hometown ALONE would be, no doubt, astronomical.



3. Again, TCT does NOT promise that every enrollee will be hired. They discuss possibilities and share success stories. This is not evil or immoral. They don't invent fake people and fake agencies. There is no need--enough people find jobs through TCT that lying about success stories would be stupid and counter-productive.



4. If someone who does not fit industry standards is dead set on purchasing a digi-comp, they are allowed to. Like every company, TCT is in the business of turning a profit. BUT someone who does not fit industry standards is not likely to have been scouted in the first place. If by some chance they were, possibly by an over-eager new scout who has not familiarized themselves well enough with the standards they are supposed to follow, a Talent Coordinator is going to gently tell them that they are not likely to become the next Cindy Crawford.



More information:

My roommate signed up with Options (now part of TCT). She is slender, relatively tall and not unattractive but she is definitely not a supermodel type. Even so, she gets one to five requests every single week (mostly for promotional modeling or print work). One sample: near Hallowe'en, she was asked to consider working for a client who needed people to wear a costume for four hours at a large corporate party. She'd be fed and allowed to have some drinks. To attend this party, she would be paid $300 for four hours of "work".



I think that part of the problem is that people come in to Open Calls and see some non-supermodel types sitting in there as well.

First, models are not all supermodel or runway types. Fashion and runway modelling makes up only 10% of the industry, actually.

Second, many of the non-model types may have been scouted because they were musicians or actors, not models per se.

Third, many of the non-models may be guests of scouted talent. Open Calls are by invitation only, but about half of the scouted talent choose to bring along a guest, and are urged to do so. Their guest may not be very attractive.

Fourth, even if you see non-supermodel types, there is a market for petite and plus modeling. (It also makes up about 10% of the industry.) So someone you think is too short or fat to model could be exactly what a client is looking for, provided they fit petite or plus model standards.

Fifth, if you look at print ads (this makes up 80% of the industry and includes television work), many of the people getting jobs are NOT supermodels. Madge the Palmolive lady, the annoying teenaged boy for Dell, the fat bald middle-aged man for a sweetened cereal, the motherly looking woman in most cookie or cleaning supply item ads...the list goes on and on. Atlanta, for instance, is the second largest print modelling market in the country right now. If you were to go to an Open Call in Atlanta, you might see some pleasant-looking but not stunningly ethereal people attending. These people stand a decent chance of getting work from folks who need to sell, say, an umbrella or toaster. (Those products are promoted best by people who are comfortingly "average" but pleasant-looking, because buyers can relate more to the fat bald guy eating sugary cereal than they can to a seven-foot-tall twig with cheekbones who looks like she never eats anything whatsoever.)



As for disgruntled scouts...well, yes. It's VERY hard work. And you have no control over whether the talent you scout will enroll, therefore you have no control over who much you will earn from paycheck to paycheck. A smart scout increases his or her odds by not wasting time approaching people who they sincerely don't feel are within industry standards, and by explaining up front that TCT is a talent scouting NETWORK (NOT an agency) selling a marketing tool that WILL get enrolled people EXPOSURE (NOT guaranteed work.)



There ARE frequent Open Calls (it depends on the size of the office and number of scouts in it as to how many and how frequently they are held) but in Atlanta, at least, they are ONLY held in the office and ONLY invited parties (and their guests) may attend.



Options / TCT can and will back up their assertion that thousands of clients (NOT 100% of them agencies!) use their service. Just ask a senior scout, Talent Coordinator or Office Director and they will gladly produce the documentation you wish to see.



86% are contacted, but not necessarily by an AGENCY and not necessarily with guarranteed work. 86% are get a REQUEST within the first 90 days. There is a difference. I believe that wanting to hear "agency" and "guaranteed work" when no one ever had said that is part of Liuba's problem. She apparently did not understand the distinctions and did not ask anyone to clarify them if she was confused.



Customer service would have a hard time answering Liuba as to why TCT's fee is competitive because she seemingly is confused about what is being offered. First of all, TCT is the largest network of talent on the planet, and there really isn't a similar company to compare rates with. Secondly, if Liuba has never purchased comp cards before, then she has no basis of comparison and can't recognize that a digi-comp costs far less, is endlessly renewable when your stats change, and gets more exposure. That's an understandable confusion, but during Open Calls, these clarifications are made. Repeatedly. And talent is urged to check the website, ask questions and state concerns. If they choose not to do so, TCT can't do anything to help them.



The FOX 5 interview with Randy Travis' "Problem Solvers" was heavily spliced and re-edited. When there is no actual problem, there is no news. It's only newsworthy if you can make the company in question look bad.



Try this experiment.



Pretend you're being interviewed. During the interview an exchange similar to this:



Newsperson: So you think people are happy with your services?

Company Spokesperson: Yes, absolutely they are, no doubt about it!



can become, in an editing suite, something like this:



Newsperson (footage shot hours later): So you agree with our assertions that your company is providing a fradulent service?

Company Spokesperson (spliced in): Yes, absolutely they are, no doubt about it!



This is foul journalism, but it certainly isn't an uncommon practice. Incidentally, when TCT called FOX 5's Travis down to Orlando and requested that they be re-interviewed *live* on camera (with both parties clearly shown in the same frame at all times), he refused. There is video documentation of Randy vs. TCT personnel, actually. If you have an opportunity to visit the TCT office in Atlanta, ask to see it. Chances are you will make someone's day, because it is funny stuff.



Incidentally, the BBB in Atlanta shows that TCT Atlanta has a clean slate. Call and see.



I urge concerned parties to talk to a TCT employee, preferably one in a position to acquire documentation for you, if you have any questions.



I hope this helps.
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#56 UPDATE Employee

The majority of people commenting here have misconceptions about the nature of the company

AUTHOR: Malinda McCall - (U.S.A.)

Options (and Edge) have both been purchased by TransContinental Talent.



What TCT is NOT:

1. TCT is not a modeling agency. This means that talent that enroll with the company do not have to pay TCT a fee if / when they are requested for work.



2. TCT is not a photography studio trying to "bait and switch" scouted talent into buying an expensive package of photographs.



3. TCT does NOT promise that every enrolled person will ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY get work.



4. Lastly, TCT does NOT scout "just everyone". There ARE industry standards that scouts must be aware of and follow.



Explanations:

1. TCT makes it clear to both scouts and to those people who are invited to Open Calls that they sell a MARKETING TOOL. They promise talent ONLY that they will be given global exposure. They do NOT promise that everyone will be dicovered and made rich and famous. Instead of being a modeling agency, TCT's service gets interested talent EXPOSURE to over 5,000 (soon to be close to 6,000) agencies, casting directors, reputable photographers, and other entertainment industry decision makers. Since TCT's service is FREE for any agency or individual in the entertainment business who is in a position to hire talent, more and more decision makers are choosing to use the service. It is true that not all of these decision makers and agencies are "big name", but a large percentage of them are (as noted above), e.g., Wilhemina, Aziza, producer John Daly (Platoon, Terminator), Nouveau, Hip Hop, Maz Azria, and many more. An interested prospective enrollee is cordially invited to go to the TCT website (http://tcttalent.com) and to look at Model News and Actor News. Non-interested persons, of course, are welcome to look out of curiosity. These listings show the enrolled talent that have gotten exciting jobs or have been signed by major modeling agencies RECENTLY. For example, Courtney Cooper from Atlanta was scouted as a model by TCT, enrolled, and won guarranteed modeling work worth $100,000. (I believe that her total is over $400,000 at this point.) However, realistically, not everyone is a Courtney Cooper. What you are purchasing from TCT is a tool that WILL be seen by industry decision makers. Whether a particular person gets hired is out of TCT's hands, as they merely provide the searchable database to their clients, they do not actually hire talent directly themselves. All scouts and scouted talent are told that more than 85% of all enrolled talent get REQUESTED within the first 90 days. A REQUEST is not a guaranteed job. However, many do find work. (Again, see the Model News and Actor News sections.)



2. A. There are two clarifications to be made here. Some disreputable photographers and photography studios lure people into "open calls" and take their picture, and then try to force them to purchase the "professional" shots they just had taken. TCT does not do this. The digi-comp (digital composite card) can have whatever photos you prefer, and you can use a professional photographer or take your own. (TCT has access to photographers, of course, and can, if asked, refer talent to one and the photographer often rewards referrals by pricing photographs far below his or her normal retail rate. But this arrangement is not something that is automatically offered to every scouted person.)



2. B. Professional models and experienced actors are well aware of the high costs of getting their "head shots" and "comp cards" done. Whereas it is possible to run down to Kinko's and slam something together that doesn't look half-assed, many inexperienced people who want to break into the business don't even know what tools they need to have. They don't know why agencies prefer certain types of cards over others, for example. Once they have the pictures taken, then developed, then design or have someone else design the card itself, and have it proofed and printed (estimate: approximately 50-100 cards per agency you want to work with), talent then needs to get the cards in front of people in agencies who are in a position to hire. Unsolicited comp cards end up in File 13, the Circular Bin (e.g., the trash) more often than not. And that means that you have just spent $$$ for 50-100 nice comp cards that are going to end up in a landfill somewhere. If you lose or gain weight, change your hair colour, get a prestigious job or in any other way need to update your stats, you must then start at the beginning again and spend more money for new comp cards. It is no exaggeration to estimate the cost of PROFESSIONAL comp cards, printing, distribution, etc., at being anywhere from $1000 - $5000 dollars EACH and EVERY time you alter your appearance or have new information to add. TCT's digicomp is fully customizable by the enrolled talent and instead of having to dig up possibly disinterested agencies to drop your cards of to, TCT's talent's digi-comps are SOUGHT AFTER by people who have used the TCT database to look for a person with a specific look. In other words, the clients seek the talent, the talent does not have to beg local agencies to give them a fair shake. THIS is what is being sold, NOT 100% guarranteed wealth and stardom. And experienced models and actors are well aware that the cost of a digi-comp is PEANUTS compared to a traditional comp card, and that they are going to get GLOBAL exposure when they enroll, which they certainly aren't going to be able to afford to do on their own--the cost of printing up 50-100 comp cards for every agency in their own hometown ALONE would be, no doubt, astronomical.



3. Again, TCT does NOT promise that every enrollee will be hired. They discuss possibilities and share success stories. This is not evil or immoral. They don't invent fake people and fake agencies. There is no need--enough people find jobs through TCT that lying about success stories would be stupid and counter-productive.



4. If someone who does not fit industry standards is dead set on purchasing a digi-comp, they are allowed to. Like every company, TCT is in the business of turning a profit. BUT someone who does not fit industry standards is not likely to have been scouted in the first place. If by some chance they were, possibly by an over-eager new scout who has not familiarized themselves well enough with the standards they are supposed to follow, a Talent Coordinator is going to gently tell them that they are not likely to become the next Cindy Crawford.



More information:

My roommate signed up with Options (now part of TCT). She is slender, relatively tall and not unattractive but she is definitely not a supermodel type. Even so, she gets one to five requests every single week (mostly for promotional modeling or print work). One sample: near Hallowe'en, she was asked to consider working for a client who needed people to wear a costume for four hours at a large corporate party. She'd be fed and allowed to have some drinks. To attend this party, she would be paid $300 for four hours of "work".



I think that part of the problem is that people come in to Open Calls and see some non-supermodel types sitting in there as well.

First, models are not all supermodel or runway types. Fashion and runway modelling makes up only 10% of the industry, actually.

Second, many of the non-model types may have been scouted because they were musicians or actors, not models per se.

Third, many of the non-models may be guests of scouted talent. Open Calls are by invitation only, but about half of the scouted talent choose to bring along a guest, and are urged to do so. Their guest may not be very attractive.

Fourth, even if you see non-supermodel types, there is a market for petite and plus modeling. (It also makes up about 10% of the industry.) So someone you think is too short or fat to model could be exactly what a client is looking for, provided they fit petite or plus model standards.

Fifth, if you look at print ads (this makes up 80% of the industry and includes television work), many of the people getting jobs are NOT supermodels. Madge the Palmolive lady, the annoying teenaged boy for Dell, the fat bald middle-aged man for a sweetened cereal, the motherly looking woman in most cookie or cleaning supply item ads...the list goes on and on. Atlanta, for instance, is the second largest print modelling market in the country right now. If you were to go to an Open Call in Atlanta, you might see some pleasant-looking but not stunningly ethereal people attending. These people stand a decent chance of getting work from folks who need to sell, say, an umbrella or toaster. (Those products are promoted best by people who are comfortingly "average" but pleasant-looking, because buyers can relate more to the fat bald guy eating sugary cereal than they can to a seven-foot-tall twig with cheekbones who looks like she never eats anything whatsoever.)



As for disgruntled scouts...well, yes. It's VERY hard work. And you have no control over whether the talent you scout will enroll, therefore you have no control over who much you will earn from paycheck to paycheck. A smart scout increases his or her odds by not wasting time approaching people who they sincerely don't feel are within industry standards, and by explaining up front that TCT is a talent scouting NETWORK (NOT an agency) selling a marketing tool that WILL get enrolled people EXPOSURE (NOT guaranteed work.)



There ARE frequent Open Calls (it depends on the size of the office and number of scouts in it as to how many and how frequently they are held) but in Atlanta, at least, they are ONLY held in the office and ONLY invited parties (and their guests) may attend.



Options / TCT can and will back up their assertion that thousands of clients (NOT 100% of them agencies!) use their service. Just ask a senior scout, Talent Coordinator or Office Director and they will gladly produce the documentation you wish to see.



86% are contacted, but not necessarily by an AGENCY and not necessarily with guarranteed work. 86% are get a REQUEST within the first 90 days. There is a difference. I believe that wanting to hear "agency" and "guaranteed work" when no one ever had said that is part of Liuba's problem. She apparently did not understand the distinctions and did not ask anyone to clarify them if she was confused.



Customer service would have a hard time answering Liuba as to why TCT's fee is competitive because she seemingly is confused about what is being offered. First of all, TCT is the largest network of talent on the planet, and there really isn't a similar company to compare rates with. Secondly, if Liuba has never purchased comp cards before, then she has no basis of comparison and can't recognize that a digi-comp costs far less, is endlessly renewable when your stats change, and gets more exposure. That's an understandable confusion, but during Open Calls, these clarifications are made. Repeatedly. And talent is urged to check the website, ask questions and state concerns. If they choose not to do so, TCT can't do anything to help them.



The FOX 5 interview with Randy Travis' "Problem Solvers" was heavily spliced and re-edited. When there is no actual problem, there is no news. It's only newsworthy if you can make the company in question look bad.



Try this experiment.



Pretend you're being interviewed. During the interview an exchange similar to this:



Newsperson: So you think people are happy with your services?

Company Spokesperson: Yes, absolutely they are, no doubt about it!



can become, in an editing suite, something like this:



Newsperson (footage shot hours later): So you agree with our assertions that your company is providing a fradulent service?

Company Spokesperson (spliced in): Yes, absolutely they are, no doubt about it!



This is foul journalism, but it certainly isn't an uncommon practice. Incidentally, when TCT called FOX 5's Travis down to Orlando and requested that they be re-interviewed *live* on camera (with both parties clearly shown in the same frame at all times), he refused. There is video documentation of Randy vs. TCT personnel, actually. If you have an opportunity to visit the TCT office in Atlanta, ask to see it. Chances are you will make someone's day, because it is funny stuff.



Incidentally, the BBB in Atlanta shows that TCT Atlanta has a clean slate. Call and see.



I urge concerned parties to talk to a TCT employee, preferably one in a position to acquire documentation for you, if you have any questions.



I hope this helps.
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#57 UPDATE Employee

The majority of people commenting here have misconceptions about the nature of the company

AUTHOR: Malinda McCall - (U.S.A.)

Options (and Edge) have both been purchased by TransContinental Talent.



What TCT is NOT:

1. TCT is not a modeling agency. This means that talent that enroll with the company do not have to pay TCT a fee if / when they are requested for work.



2. TCT is not a photography studio trying to "bait and switch" scouted talent into buying an expensive package of photographs.



3. TCT does NOT promise that every enrolled person will ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY get work.



4. Lastly, TCT does NOT scout "just everyone". There ARE industry standards that scouts must be aware of and follow.



Explanations:

1. TCT makes it clear to both scouts and to those people who are invited to Open Calls that they sell a MARKETING TOOL. They promise talent ONLY that they will be given global exposure. They do NOT promise that everyone will be dicovered and made rich and famous. Instead of being a modeling agency, TCT's service gets interested talent EXPOSURE to over 5,000 (soon to be close to 6,000) agencies, casting directors, reputable photographers, and other entertainment industry decision makers. Since TCT's service is FREE for any agency or individual in the entertainment business who is in a position to hire talent, more and more decision makers are choosing to use the service. It is true that not all of these decision makers and agencies are "big name", but a large percentage of them are (as noted above), e.g., Wilhemina, Aziza, producer John Daly (Platoon, Terminator), Nouveau, Hip Hop, Maz Azria, and many more. An interested prospective enrollee is cordially invited to go to the TCT website (http://tcttalent.com) and to look at Model News and Actor News. Non-interested persons, of course, are welcome to look out of curiosity. These listings show the enrolled talent that have gotten exciting jobs or have been signed by major modeling agencies RECENTLY. For example, Courtney Cooper from Atlanta was scouted as a model by TCT, enrolled, and won guarranteed modeling work worth $100,000. (I believe that her total is over $400,000 at this point.) However, realistically, not everyone is a Courtney Cooper. What you are purchasing from TCT is a tool that WILL be seen by industry decision makers. Whether a particular person gets hired is out of TCT's hands, as they merely provide the searchable database to their clients, they do not actually hire talent directly themselves. All scouts and scouted talent are told that more than 85% of all enrolled talent get REQUESTED within the first 90 days. A REQUEST is not a guaranteed job. However, many do find work. (Again, see the Model News and Actor News sections.)



2. A. There are two clarifications to be made here. Some disreputable photographers and photography studios lure people into "open calls" and take their picture, and then try to force them to purchase the "professional" shots they just had taken. TCT does not do this. The digi-comp (digital composite card) can have whatever photos you prefer, and you can use a professional photographer or take your own. (TCT has access to photographers, of course, and can, if asked, refer talent to one and the photographer often rewards referrals by pricing photographs far below his or her normal retail rate. But this arrangement is not something that is automatically offered to every scouted person.)



2. B. Professional models and experienced actors are well aware of the high costs of getting their "head shots" and "comp cards" done. Whereas it is possible to run down to Kinko's and slam something together that doesn't look half-assed, many inexperienced people who want to break into the business don't even know what tools they need to have. They don't know why agencies prefer certain types of cards over others, for example. Once they have the pictures taken, then developed, then design or have someone else design the card itself, and have it proofed and printed (estimate: approximately 50-100 cards per agency you want to work with), talent then needs to get the cards in front of people in agencies who are in a position to hire. Unsolicited comp cards end up in File 13, the Circular Bin (e.g., the trash) more often than not. And that means that you have just spent $$$ for 50-100 nice comp cards that are going to end up in a landfill somewhere. If you lose or gain weight, change your hair colour, get a prestigious job or in any other way need to update your stats, you must then start at the beginning again and spend more money for new comp cards. It is no exaggeration to estimate the cost of PROFESSIONAL comp cards, printing, distribution, etc., at being anywhere from $1000 - $5000 dollars EACH and EVERY time you alter your appearance or have new information to add. TCT's digicomp is fully customizable by the enrolled talent and instead of having to dig up possibly disinterested agencies to drop your cards of to, TCT's talent's digi-comps are SOUGHT AFTER by people who have used the TCT database to look for a person with a specific look. In other words, the clients seek the talent, the talent does not have to beg local agencies to give them a fair shake. THIS is what is being sold, NOT 100% guarranteed wealth and stardom. And experienced models and actors are well aware that the cost of a digi-comp is PEANUTS compared to a traditional comp card, and that they are going to get GLOBAL exposure when they enroll, which they certainly aren't going to be able to afford to do on their own--the cost of printing up 50-100 comp cards for every agency in their own hometown ALONE would be, no doubt, astronomical.



3. Again, TCT does NOT promise that every enrollee will be hired. They discuss possibilities and share success stories. This is not evil or immoral. They don't invent fake people and fake agencies. There is no need--enough people find jobs through TCT that lying about success stories would be stupid and counter-productive.



4. If someone who does not fit industry standards is dead set on purchasing a digi-comp, they are allowed to. Like every company, TCT is in the business of turning a profit. BUT someone who does not fit industry standards is not likely to have been scouted in the first place. If by some chance they were, possibly by an over-eager new scout who has not familiarized themselves well enough with the standards they are supposed to follow, a Talent Coordinator is going to gently tell them that they are not likely to become the next Cindy Crawford.



More information:

My roommate signed up with Options (now part of TCT). She is slender, relatively tall and not unattractive but she is definitely not a supermodel type. Even so, she gets one to five requests every single week (mostly for promotional modeling or print work). One sample: near Hallowe'en, she was asked to consider working for a client who needed people to wear a costume for four hours at a large corporate party. She'd be fed and allowed to have some drinks. To attend this party, she would be paid $300 for four hours of "work".



I think that part of the problem is that people come in to Open Calls and see some non-supermodel types sitting in there as well.

First, models are not all supermodel or runway types. Fashion and runway modelling makes up only 10% of the industry, actually.

Second, many of the non-model types may have been scouted because they were musicians or actors, not models per se.

Third, many of the non-models may be guests of scouted talent. Open Calls are by invitation only, but about half of the scouted talent choose to bring along a guest, and are urged to do so. Their guest may not be very attractive.

Fourth, even if you see non-supermodel types, there is a market for petite and plus modeling. (It also makes up about 10% of the industry.) So someone you think is too short or fat to model could be exactly what a client is looking for, provided they fit petite or plus model standards.

Fifth, if you look at print ads (this makes up 80% of the industry and includes television work), many of the people getting jobs are NOT supermodels. Madge the Palmolive lady, the annoying teenaged boy for Dell, the fat bald middle-aged man for a sweetened cereal, the motherly looking woman in most cookie or cleaning supply item ads...the list goes on and on. Atlanta, for instance, is the second largest print modelling market in the country right now. If you were to go to an Open Call in Atlanta, you might see some pleasant-looking but not stunningly ethereal people attending. These people stand a decent chance of getting work from folks who need to sell, say, an umbrella or toaster. (Those products are promoted best by people who are comfortingly "average" but pleasant-looking, because buyers can relate more to the fat bald guy eating sugary cereal than they can to a seven-foot-tall twig with cheekbones who looks like she never eats anything whatsoever.)



As for disgruntled scouts...well, yes. It's VERY hard work. And you have no control over whether the talent you scout will enroll, therefore you have no control over who much you will earn from paycheck to paycheck. A smart scout increases his or her odds by not wasting time approaching people who they sincerely don't feel are within industry standards, and by explaining up front that TCT is a talent scouting NETWORK (NOT an agency) selling a marketing tool that WILL get enrolled people EXPOSURE (NOT guaranteed work.)



There ARE frequent Open Calls (it depends on the size of the office and number of scouts in it as to how many and how frequently they are held) but in Atlanta, at least, they are ONLY held in the office and ONLY invited parties (and their guests) may attend.



Options / TCT can and will back up their assertion that thousands of clients (NOT 100% of them agencies!) use their service. Just ask a senior scout, Talent Coordinator or Office Director and they will gladly produce the documentation you wish to see.



86% are contacted, but not necessarily by an AGENCY and not necessarily with guarranteed work. 86% are get a REQUEST within the first 90 days. There is a difference. I believe that wanting to hear "agency" and "guaranteed work" when no one ever had said that is part of Liuba's problem. She apparently did not understand the distinctions and did not ask anyone to clarify them if she was confused.



Customer service would have a hard time answering Liuba as to why TCT's fee is competitive because she seemingly is confused about what is being offered. First of all, TCT is the largest network of talent on the planet, and there really isn't a similar company to compare rates with. Secondly, if Liuba has never purchased comp cards before, then she has no basis of comparison and can't recognize that a digi-comp costs far less, is endlessly renewable when your stats change, and gets more exposure. That's an understandable confusion, but during Open Calls, these clarifications are made. Repeatedly. And talent is urged to check the website, ask questions and state concerns. If they choose not to do so, TCT can't do anything to help them.



The FOX 5 interview with Randy Travis' "Problem Solvers" was heavily spliced and re-edited. When there is no actual problem, there is no news. It's only newsworthy if you can make the company in question look bad.



Try this experiment.



Pretend you're being interviewed. During the interview an exchange similar to this:



Newsperson: So you think people are happy with your services?

Company Spokesperson: Yes, absolutely they are, no doubt about it!



can become, in an editing suite, something like this:



Newsperson (footage shot hours later): So you agree with our assertions that your company is providing a fradulent service?

Company Spokesperson (spliced in): Yes, absolutely they are, no doubt about it!



This is foul journalism, but it certainly isn't an uncommon practice. Incidentally, when TCT called FOX 5's Travis down to Orlando and requested that they be re-interviewed *live* on camera (with both parties clearly shown in the same frame at all times), he refused. There is video documentation of Randy vs. TCT personnel, actually. If you have an opportunity to visit the TCT office in Atlanta, ask to see it. Chances are you will make someone's day, because it is funny stuff.



Incidentally, the BBB in Atlanta shows that TCT Atlanta has a clean slate. Call and see.



I urge concerned parties to talk to a TCT employee, preferably one in a position to acquire documentation for you, if you have any questions.



I hope this helps.
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#58 Consumer Comment

EDGE TALENT WORKS

AUTHOR: Jon Beers - (U.S.A.)

I am an athlete on the Edge Talent site, and BOY DOES IT PAY OFF!! I spent $1500 to send out letters and videos and all i got was two letters saying thanks but no thanks. I paid 995 for edge, and within 3 days, 20 college coaches were reauesting access to my site.

I just signed a FULL SCHOLARSHIP to a DIVISION 1 school. I was on the site for ONLY 2 MONTHS!!
I would have had to join the army had it not been for EDGE!!
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#59 Consumer Comment

Notes from someone who barely escaped...

AUTHOR: John - ()

I also attended one of the cattle-call meetings when I was first starting out, and I even took the first step and handed over a check for $595. I did so with the caveat that I could go home and think about it, and I guess I was lucky - they agreed. I went home, thought about it, called them the next day and told them to cancel the check.



Now here's what's important: I have since become a model, and the process is extremely different, and available to anyone.



There are many different fields to get into, but if you want to be a "model" - then make sure you've got the look. If you think you do (and even if you're not sure) just go to a modelling agency, and ask them what to do. In my case, the agency I went to accepted photographs (family-album quality) one morning of the week, the president of the company looked thme over, and anyone who submitted that day returns a few hours later, and is told "go" or "no go". It's that simple. And a "no go" doesn't mean you're hopeles, it just means that for whatever reason, that agency doesn't feel they would make much money with you.



If you have an interesting look, but aren't perhaps the typical ideal of beauty, there are agencies that specialize in placing people with interesting looks into ads and spots... Word of advice - it takes more than an interesting look to act. I know many people in the industry who make a living off TV commercials, and they are full members of the Screen Actors' Guild, and they take their line of work very seriously.



Once you've found your agency, it is very easy to tell if they are legitimate or not... If they ask you for any money up front, they are in fact illegitimate. Simple as that. I've worked with an agency in Boston, where I live, and agency in San Francisco where I've spent a lot of time, and the same for Zurich, Switzerland. None have asked for money up front - the point is that if they accept you, it's because they hope to make money off you.



Typically, what will happen is the agency will front any expenses it might take to get your started - a photoshoot (the photographer will come with his own make-up artist most often), comp cards, a "book". And it's true, the price of these up-front costs are many hundreds of dollars, but you will never be asked to front it. Instead, the agency will take it out of your first few paychecks - but you will work. You will gan exposure, hopefully more photos for your book, and soon you become another one of the millions of models out there - a runway here, a catalogue there, a fashion shoot here... It's a great way to supplement, say, going to college or grad school.



And then you will find that if you want to make a profession out of this, you will have to put in a lot of extra effort... contact noname photographers who want to improve theri portfolio for free pictures, expand on your book, forge relationships with your agency and the people who hire models, etc. etc.



Meanwhile, however, just keep in mind that it's actually quite easy to spot a legitimate business from an illegitimate one... If they are asking for you to front cash - move on. Simple as that.
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#60 Consumer Comment

Same Scouting Nightmare in Detroit found on Monster.com

AUTHOR: Jason - ()

It's strangely comforting to hear all of these testimonials about what a rip off Trans Continental Talent (formerly Options, eModel, etc etc) is for both aspiring models and "scouts".



I live in metro Detroit area and like many of you, I responded to the "Dream Job" ad on monster about 6 months ago. At this time, it was still Options -- it is now Trans Continental Talent. I went to what I thought would be an interview in Ferndale, which turned out to be a cattle-call.



I'm an independent filmmaker, and I'm no idiot when it comes to the entertainment biz, so the sly, fast-talking "interview" cattle-call really made me raise an eyebrow. Plus, in past years, I've looked into other... well, not scams, per se, but at least multi-level marketing businesses... So I'm well aware of all the tactics places use to entice you to become part of their company.



So when I started hearing the same kinds of tactics... the urgency ("we need you to start right away, and do training all next week - we don't care if you have a full-time day job")... the way they make you sound like you'll be part of the elite risk-takers, who are, of course, the only ones who are successful in life, they tell you. Generally, the Scout Executive leading the meeting was very sly and sleazy, and every time I asked polite, legitimate, specific questions, he simply said "We'll get to that later."



I looked around and the poor shmoes in the room who, unlike me, couldn't read the signs of what was going on, and weren't the least bit skeptical. In fact, when we broke for lunch, I clued several of the people in on what I thought (at the time I had no proof of course) was going on. I hated draining all the hope out of these people -- some of whom were broke college students, some had lost their jobs and were desperate to find anything -- but I was pretty skeptical. The only thing that made me stay for the second half was the fact that it didn't cost us anything up front to become a scout -- most multi-level marketing scams make you pay an initial fee to become part of their company.



Well, I'll cut to the chase. After the cattle call was over, they said they were going to meet with us individually to see if we were qualified to be scouts. So I went in the private office of what seemed to be one of only two employees there, to supposedly be interviewed. I handed her my resume, and she didn't even look at it -- she just gave me some manauls and a a Scout ID code and said congratulations. She didn't even know my name.



That was enough for me. Think about it -- if you're a scout, you're theoretically the person who gets money for the company (in the form of unsuspecting starry-eyed aspiring models). If you're a *legitimate* company, why in the world would you trust your revenue to a scout that you know nothing about, haven't interviewed, and have not idea of their qualifications? Like a previous poster said, they don't care, they have these mass interviews every week, so if you don't work out, they can replace you with some other poor sap.



Stay away, folks. TCT is a rip-off for models and scouts alike.
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#61 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Edge is Just that!

AUTHOR: Tara - ()

Hey John, Know that Edge may have some technical seperation as far ownership and responsibility, however it is ALL under the same Company. I believe that the last time I was investigating the names of so called corporate ownership of the company that the gentleman whose name appears as the owner of Edge is simply one of the old 'trainers' who has himself in the circle of those who decieve!



Tom is one within the whole picture. You can look under the registry of businesses and find that Terri Bears, who is one of the vice presidents of TC Talent signed the documents which give any power to Tom at all!



To the best of my knowledge I believe there was a clause which states that if there is any unsatisfactory situation financially,(not remembering the exact clause) that Edge will return to the original controlers.



Hey, you do not need to go scamming those athletes of Sachem High school : )



If you want to scout talent for athletics get involved with a College or with a professional sports franchise directly. You will be a pawn if you step over the Edge! Good luck.
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#62 Consumer Suggestion

Edge Talent?

AUTHOR: John - ()

Guys, I hope someone can give me some information on Edge Talent. I recently submitted my resume ot be a ahtletic sout for the company. The job entails recruting high school athletes to use the company to give me exposure in hopes of a scholarship offer. Now I got an interview and the company's address isn't available. The only available information for that specific address is Options Talent. I found this page by searching Options Talent.



Now my question. Anyone think this company is doing the same thing as Options and TCT and is it worth going on the interview?? THANKS ALOT!
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#63 Consumer Suggestion

Don't let these scam artists waste your time

AUTHOR: Bob - ()

I received an e-mail after taking this so called scouts test on the web and scoring really high on something I know absolutely nothing about. Susan Mathews also sent me an e-mail confirming an interview time and date on short notice, and that I would be an enormous asset to the company.



Excited about the possibility of starting a new career in these ecomonic times was exciting to me because I have never been afraid to try anything new.



So I went to this interview, thinking well they will be selecting a few candidates out of probably 10 people attending. It turns the room was packed with people with the same promise and similiar dream. I am a systems programmer and I had to schedule my entire day around a bunch of (well I will be nice) to go to an interview that she told me I need to be prepared to spend the day with them to a screening process where only the young and very in-experienced are selected for the scam.



They read out about 10 people who get the priveledge of coming back and really getting scammed. All the others are released and told to leave their resumes with the desk in the hopes of another scamming call back. My advice to even young people that are checking out this scamming company be really careful. Do some checking out like I have. Before I even went to this interview I had already done some preliminary checking around and wanted some confirmation. For the people that work at this company that I know are reading this I would have never accepted the job at any price.



To those wishing to break into this industry please remember this. There are millions of people wanting to break into stardom. A true talent agency DOES NOT need scouts to help them in their business. They have people lining up outside their doors all the time looking to break into the industry.



And a true talent agency does not have to ask for money up front in the hopes the client will reach stardom. A true agency gets paid a commision based on the client getting work not placing millions of pictures on a website hoping to get noticed out of the millions of faces.



Do your homework first before you interview to work with them, and before you sign up with this firm as potential talent. Also make sure to check with the Screen Actors Guild in the state you live in and the fact that they also have to be licensed properly in that state. The screen actors guild in Dalls was instrumental with me dropping this company like a burning hot potato.
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#64 Consumer Suggestion

Don't let these scam artists waste your time

AUTHOR: Bob - ()

I received an e-mail after taking this so called scouts test on the web and scoring really high on something I know absolutely nothing about. Susan Mathews also sent me an e-mail confirming an interview time and date on short notice, and that I would be an enormous asset to the company.



Excited about the possibility of starting a new career in these ecomonic times was exciting to me because I have never been afraid to try anything new.



So I went to this interview, thinking well they will be selecting a few candidates out of probably 10 people attending. It turns the room was packed with people with the same promise and similiar dream. I am a systems programmer and I had to schedule my entire day around a bunch of (well I will be nice) to go to an interview that she told me I need to be prepared to spend the day with them to a screening process where only the young and very in-experienced are selected for the scam.



They read out about 10 people who get the priveledge of coming back and really getting scammed. All the others are released and told to leave their resumes with the desk in the hopes of another scamming call back. My advice to even young people that are checking out this scamming company be really careful. Do some checking out like I have. Before I even went to this interview I had already done some preliminary checking around and wanted some confirmation. For the people that work at this company that I know are reading this I would have never accepted the job at any price.



To those wishing to break into this industry please remember this. There are millions of people wanting to break into stardom. A true talent agency DOES NOT need scouts to help them in their business. They have people lining up outside their doors all the time looking to break into the industry.



And a true talent agency does not have to ask for money up front in the hopes the client will reach stardom. A true agency gets paid a commision based on the client getting work not placing millions of pictures on a website hoping to get noticed out of the millions of faces.



Do your homework first before you interview to work with them, and before you sign up with this firm as potential talent. Also make sure to check with the Screen Actors Guild in the state you live in and the fact that they also have to be licensed properly in that state. The screen actors guild in Dalls was instrumental with me dropping this company like a burning hot potato.
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#65 Consumer Suggestion

Don't let these scam artists waste your time

AUTHOR: Bob - ()

I received an e-mail after taking this so called scouts test on the web and scoring really high on something I know absolutely nothing about. Susan Mathews also sent me an e-mail confirming an interview time and date on short notice, and that I would be an enormous asset to the company.



Excited about the possibility of starting a new career in these ecomonic times was exciting to me because I have never been afraid to try anything new.



So I went to this interview, thinking well they will be selecting a few candidates out of probably 10 people attending. It turns the room was packed with people with the same promise and similiar dream. I am a systems programmer and I had to schedule my entire day around a bunch of (well I will be nice) to go to an interview that she told me I need to be prepared to spend the day with them to a screening process where only the young and very in-experienced are selected for the scam.



They read out about 10 people who get the priveledge of coming back and really getting scammed. All the others are released and told to leave their resumes with the desk in the hopes of another scamming call back. My advice to even young people that are checking out this scamming company be really careful. Do some checking out like I have. Before I even went to this interview I had already done some preliminary checking around and wanted some confirmation. For the people that work at this company that I know are reading this I would have never accepted the job at any price.



To those wishing to break into this industry please remember this. There are millions of people wanting to break into stardom. A true talent agency DOES NOT need scouts to help them in their business. They have people lining up outside their doors all the time looking to break into the industry.



And a true talent agency does not have to ask for money up front in the hopes the client will reach stardom. A true agency gets paid a commision based on the client getting work not placing millions of pictures on a website hoping to get noticed out of the millions of faces.



Do your homework first before you interview to work with them, and before you sign up with this firm as potential talent. Also make sure to check with the Screen Actors Guild in the state you live in and the fact that they also have to be licensed properly in that state. The screen actors guild in Dalls was instrumental with me dropping this company like a burning hot potato.
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#66 Consumer Suggestion

Don't let these scam artists waste your time

AUTHOR: Bob - ()

I received an e-mail after taking this so called scouts test on the web and scoring really high on something I know absolutely nothing about. Susan Mathews also sent me an e-mail confirming an interview time and date on short notice, and that I would be an enormous asset to the company.



Excited about the possibility of starting a new career in these ecomonic times was exciting to me because I have never been afraid to try anything new.



So I went to this interview, thinking well they will be selecting a few candidates out of probably 10 people attending. It turns the room was packed with people with the same promise and similiar dream. I am a systems programmer and I had to schedule my entire day around a bunch of (well I will be nice) to go to an interview that she told me I need to be prepared to spend the day with them to a screening process where only the young and very in-experienced are selected for the scam.



They read out about 10 people who get the priveledge of coming back and really getting scammed. All the others are released and told to leave their resumes with the desk in the hopes of another scamming call back. My advice to even young people that are checking out this scamming company be really careful. Do some checking out like I have. Before I even went to this interview I had already done some preliminary checking around and wanted some confirmation. For the people that work at this company that I know are reading this I would have never accepted the job at any price.



To those wishing to break into this industry please remember this. There are millions of people wanting to break into stardom. A true talent agency DOES NOT need scouts to help them in their business. They have people lining up outside their doors all the time looking to break into the industry.



And a true talent agency does not have to ask for money up front in the hopes the client will reach stardom. A true agency gets paid a commision based on the client getting work not placing millions of pictures on a website hoping to get noticed out of the millions of faces.



Do your homework first before you interview to work with them, and before you sign up with this firm as potential talent. Also make sure to check with the Screen Actors Guild in the state you live in and the fact that they also have to be licensed properly in that state. The screen actors guild in Dalls was instrumental with me dropping this company like a burning hot potato.
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#67 UPDATE EX-employee responds

All offices are not the same

AUTHOR: tey - ()

A note to Lisa from Sarasota.

All the offices are not owned by Corporate!

The office in Sarasota is owned by a Franchiser. I have heard that she does pretty well for herself. She runs on minimal staff and does just fine without any 'newbees'.

When I was training scouts, I would train some who would then go to the office in Sarasota. Mostly I never heard from them again.



The money troubles sort of begin with the fact that this company has Corporate AND Franchise offices with different rules.



If you are in a Franchise office, corporate can barely touch you. However if you are in a corporate office they can change the rules and quotas at any moment and use it for an excuse to fire anyone they think is 'on to their scam'



Good for you not wasting much of your time getting involved in the caos.
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#68 UPDATE EX-employee responds

All offices are not the same

AUTHOR: tey - ()

A note to Lisa from Sarasota.

All the offices are not owned by Corporate!

The office in Sarasota is owned by a Franchiser. I have heard that she does pretty well for herself. She runs on minimal staff and does just fine without any 'newbees'.

When I was training scouts, I would train some who would then go to the office in Sarasota. Mostly I never heard from them again.



The money troubles sort of begin with the fact that this company has Corporate AND Franchise offices with different rules.



If you are in a Franchise office, corporate can barely touch you. However if you are in a corporate office they can change the rules and quotas at any moment and use it for an excuse to fire anyone they think is 'on to their scam'



Good for you not wasting much of your time getting involved in the caos.
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#69 Consumer Comment

Thanks to all

AUTHOR: Lisa - ()

Just wanted to express a "thank you" to all those who took the time to report about their past experiences with this company. I had taken a chance and applied to the ad on Monster.com a few weeks ago. Twice now I have received e-mail from a Susan Matthews telling me what an asset she thinks I'd be. I was asked to come for a meeting at 10:30 two different days at a Sarasota address near where I live but Sarasota 411 has no number in which you can call and talk to these people. I got a little suspicious when there was absolutely no contact information anywhere on the e-mail nor on the website. Something told me to do some research and I'm so glad I did. Thanks again to all the people who shared there experiences.



Lisa Gooch
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#70 UPDATE Employee

Oh yeah, no surprise here, it's a rip-off!

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

This company is run worse than a carnival side-show.



There are basically no rules. I worked there for a week when it was still called Options in the San Ramon office. It's listed all over Monster.com and some other sites as a "dream job." Yeah right!



Just about anyone who comes in gets hired. Basically, the job of a scout is to bring as many people into the office. The thing is you are paid commission for everyone you sign up and your probationary period isn't over until you get a certain number of people signed up. Everyone in my group was having problems getting people to come in. There were only about 7 scouts, and we'd be lucky if we had 10 people. The sad thing is, bringing people in doesn't bring you any money. They actually have to sign up and pay their $600 fee before you get paid.



After a couple days of unsatisfactory "work," the person in charge, Tina Faye, would give us some pointers on how to trick the people to come to the office. The cards they give scouts have fake names. For example in San Ramon the business cards they give you say "Erin Connor: VP of New Faces." It's fake. The first letters in the name stand for the location in which you are. Erin Connor means East Bay. Anyway, the woman in charge would tell us to lie and pretend Erin Connor was a real person and to say stuff like, "you have really beatiful eyes, I just HAVE to get you in to see my manager." Another method mentioned was to pretend to actually call a manager and describe the potential model and act as if the manager was impressed. For example, you get your cel phone and pretend to talk saying, "Yeah she's about 5'10, blonde hair... Hmm... Yeah..... Definately. Okay. Hold on. (talking to model) Excuse me ma'am can you smile for me? Okay great. (back on cel phone) Yes she has a fantastic smile. You want to see her? Okay I'll try and get her in."



I could go on with other things wrong with this company. If there's ever a trial I would love to help the plaintiff.
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#71 Consumer Comment

Did You Ever Wonder What Is Done With the Money???

AUTHOR: R. - ()

I have been reading these reports for days now and have been absolutely astounded by what lies below the tip of the iceberg with these people.



I could tell you stories about my less than two weeks with this shady company, but that is, to me, only a small part of what the history is behind some of these individuals.



I would like to make a couple of comments to Melissa, Tampa, Florida and then I will get on with what I am concerned about.



First, I was told by an office employee, Susan Matthews is a code name. It isn't a person. It refers to the San Diego office. The woman also said Sharon Matthews means it is the Carlsbad office. So I don't understand why you got a letter with the Susan Matthews in Florida. So what gives with this? Does anyone know?



Secondly, in the Options Talent Group: Scout Training Manual, it states that putting our email addresses on the business cards is unacceptable. When I questioned my Model Scout Trainer, she told me that she realizes it says that, but management feels it is appropriate. This is how we, the Model Scouts get our callbacks from potential clients. We ALL have our email addresses written on the cards in the San Diego office.



As I said, I could go on about company practice, but I have a FAR GREATER concern.



Please do your own research on past histories. Names to look for that I know of are:



Google search:



Mohamed Hadid

Mohammed Hadid (Maxxam) Mohammed spelled incorrectly

Cortes W. Randell

Options Talent + Mohamed Hadid

Trans Continental

Emodel

Whymodel

efashion

whytalent

Castnet

EnterVision

Horseback

Ritz-Carlton

Erickson Agency

The Virginian Pilot article

Savanah Limited Partnership

Adams National Bank

Yolanda van den Herick (Hadid's wife-Still, I don't know)



Do + sign searches such as:

Mohamed Hadid + financial

Mohamed Hadid + address

Options Talent + board

+ scam

+ fraud

etc.



You get the picture. Please see for YOURSELVES. There are people who are telling the truth here. You want website addresses??? I have tons!!!



My conscience would not allow me to work for this company for one more minute. It is a depressing thing, to learn what you have helped to support. I'm sorry to those I approached and asked to attend our so-called 'open calls'. What a farce!



I was actually afraid to post this. That is why I have taken so long to contribute my comments.



R. Courtney
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#72 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Transcontinental Talent = Options Talent

AUTHOR: Johnny - ()

You are right. They changed their name. Does Lou

Perlman having anything to say about this? Ha ha. They also have another site hhtalent.com and Transcontinental Talent is tctalent.com. Listen,

I know for a fact all involved in this long-running scam are going to get busted. It will come to an end soon. I can't explain the details right now but you'll see.
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#73 Consumer Comment

"No thanks" to that job interview offer this Thursday!

AUTHOR: Melissa - ()

I am really glad I accidentally ran across this site tonight. I filled out some silly questionnaire and was sent an email just yesterday about how "We think you'd be a great asset to our company and would like to schedule an interview with you Thursday at 10:00am!" by one Susan Matthews - Asst. director of scouting.



After reading all of the info I just read, I don't think that is the way I want to spend my day (seeing as how I need to plan on being there at least until 4pm.)



I worked for an agency a few years back called Elan Models/Casting America, I felt uncomfortable most of the time because I was the receptionist and took messages all day long, handed them to the "Talent Coordinator" and most were never called back because they weren't worth the time due to their not wanting to spend money. That pissed me off.



The owner of the company sat in his office with his door shut whenever he did decide to actually drop in the office, oh, and did I mention, he was also the photographer!!!! Tell me now, if this man was SO d**n successful, and made SO MUCH money for people, why the hell was he the photographer?? This is just an example of the kind of thing that goes on in this industry. By the way, at that "successful" company, I made $6 an hour and after I quit, I went back approximately a week and a half later to pick up my last paycheck and mysteriously the company was no longer located there and no one in that building knew where to find them. Coincidence? I think not.



Anyway, I will not be attending this "interview" on Thursday and I have this site to thank for it. I am a makeup artist and an esthetician anyway, I should never have even considered this joke.
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#74 Consumer Suggestion

A real model speaks ...NO ONE needs to pay a company $600

AUTHOR: Erin - ()

I have been a professional model for several years and have been a freelance model since April, 2002. No one, and I mean NO ONE needs to pay a company $600 to put their picture on a website. There are portfolio listing sites on the internet that are either free of charge or cost $40 a year for the same basic principle, only you can post more photos and clients actually use the sites. They are fantastic ways to network with other models and photographers. For $600, I could get plane fare to New York City, a room at a motor lodge in New Jersey, comp cards and taxi fare to hit open calls at all of the major agencies. Get real!



The initial portfolio that I had cost me only the $20 in gas that it cost me to get to TFP (Time for Prints) shoots and some basic supplies. Anyone with a basic knowledge of Photoshop or a page layout program can design composite cards and they can be printed very inexpensively at a local printing shop (or a home printer, if you have one capable of photo quality prints.) The days of $2,000 comp cards are over and Trans Continental Talent (Formely Options, E-model, Studio 58, WhyModels... Lotsa name changes there, folks) missed the boat, so to speak. Comp cards are how agencies will notice you, not a bad scan on a modeling site that few people use.



From what I hear about this company (whatever name they feel like using this go round), they've landed a few models representation with agencies. Wilhelmina, I believe, has signed two models from this site. Most of the other jobs that are coming to Trans Continental models are promotional jobs that pay $10 an hour. These jobs are disgustingly easy to get, as are print and fine art jobs that often pay 5-10 times that an hour. Their promotional cruises are rumored to be rigged, with the winner being an agency model who was approached and contracted long before the contestants boarded the ship. The companies that they hold these contests for are also subsidiaries of the parent company. So, models who attend these events are paying for what, exaxctly?



I know that people dream of living a models life and see it as glamourous and easy. Believe me, it's not, in most cases. I don't shoot in New York... I shoot in Cleveland. I don't jet off to Paris... I drive to Podunk. But, the money is great and the freedom is amazing if you're willing to work VERY hard and really make a comittment to it. It's much more that just having a pretty face. It's about having business sense, dedication, goals and the determination to succeed. Modeling is a job, just like anything else.
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#75 UPDATE Employee

Scam against talent & scouts

AUTHOR: Kristin - ()

I am a new scout with Options (just 3wks). In just my first week, I should have received a nice healthy paycheck. However, when last Friday arrived, no checks in the office. I called them again on Monday & every day thereafter. My office director & scout manager kept telling me that Airborne Express had lost them yada yada yada.. & that corporate was going to reissue the checks & overnight them. On Wednesday they told me it would be Saturday at the latest. So this morning I went in to get my check - & after going thru several lists, my name was not listed for a check. Then she checked the reports & realized how much I should be getting. So what does she do - pull out a wad of CASH & hands me my pay. (After changing the rate of pay 3 times on me over the course of 2 weeks).



I will still have one paycheck left from the past 2 weeks. They won't be large, but it's money. I haven't scouted since Tuesday & don't plan to do any more. For now, I'm just hanging low til I get my next paycheck (supposed to be next Friday). I also have an interview on Monday for a REAL job!!!



My advice if you're a scout - get the heck out & get a real job!!!
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#76 UPDATE EX-employee responds

To Mark in Tampa. Even the Best scouts are screwed!

AUTHOR: Bridget - ()

I was one of those rare exceptions to the rule. the place has an astronomical turnover. So much that they have to "hire" about thirty new scouts a week for each office. But I lasted six months. I got my own cards, was referred to as a senior scout and was and still am on the scout orientation video (Which they started using in June 02 without my knowledge or consent)



In April I was put on "Base" and told I had been recognized by the corporate office in Orlando and that I was going to be flown out there to meet with the Directors and the President, but first all I had to do was do a brief interview on video.



Of course after having just been told I was put on base, promoted and being sent on an all expense paid rip to Orlando, I went in singing the praises of the comapny. To my dismany however, once the video was made the trip was never mentioned again. I've still never been to Florida and I've even been taken of base salary and put back on comission.



To my surprise I went into a mandatory scout meeting in June and Lo and Behold there was a 45 minute long, commercial grade video touting this company to new scouts with me on it telling everyone what a great company this was. By then I had already been kicked off of base and was looking for another job.



they are still using the video to this day. So don't even believe the video. I'll bet most of the people on it don't even work for the company anymore.
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#77 UPDATE EX-employee responds

To Mark in Tampa. Even the Best scouts are screwed!

AUTHOR: Bridget - ()

I was one of those rare exceptions to the rule. the place has an astronomical turnover. So much that they have to "hire" about thirty new scouts a week for each office. But I lasted six months. I got my own cards, was referred to as a senior scout and was and still am on the scout orientation video (Which they started using in June 02 without my knowledge or consent)



In April I was put on "Base" and told I had been recognized by the corporate office in Orlando and that I was going to be flown out there to meet with the Directors and the President, but first all I had to do was do a brief interview on video.



Of course after having just been told I was put on base, promoted and being sent on an all expense paid rip to Orlando, I went in singing the praises of the comapny. To my dismany however, once the video was made the trip was never mentioned again. I've still never been to Florida and I've even been taken of base salary and put back on comission.



To my surprise I went into a mandatory scout meeting in June and Lo and Behold there was a 45 minute long, commercial grade video touting this company to new scouts with me on it telling everyone what a great company this was. By then I had already been kicked off of base and was looking for another job.



they are still using the video to this day. So don't even believe the video. I'll bet most of the people on it don't even work for the company anymore.
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#78 UPDATE EX-employee responds

To Mark in Tampa. Even the Best scouts are screwed!

AUTHOR: Bridget - ()

I was one of those rare exceptions to the rule. the place has an astronomical turnover. So much that they have to "hire" about thirty new scouts a week for each office. But I lasted six months. I got my own cards, was referred to as a senior scout and was and still am on the scout orientation video (Which they started using in June 02 without my knowledge or consent)



In April I was put on "Base" and told I had been recognized by the corporate office in Orlando and that I was going to be flown out there to meet with the Directors and the President, but first all I had to do was do a brief interview on video.



Of course after having just been told I was put on base, promoted and being sent on an all expense paid rip to Orlando, I went in singing the praises of the comapny. To my dismany however, once the video was made the trip was never mentioned again. I've still never been to Florida and I've even been taken of base salary and put back on comission.



To my surprise I went into a mandatory scout meeting in June and Lo and Behold there was a 45 minute long, commercial grade video touting this company to new scouts with me on it telling everyone what a great company this was. By then I had already been kicked off of base and was looking for another job.



they are still using the video to this day. So don't even believe the video. I'll bet most of the people on it don't even work for the company anymore.
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#79 UPDATE EX-employee responds

To Mark in Tampa. Even the Best scouts are screwed!

AUTHOR: Bridget - ()

I was one of those rare exceptions to the rule. the place has an astronomical turnover. So much that they have to "hire" about thirty new scouts a week for each office. But I lasted six months. I got my own cards, was referred to as a senior scout and was and still am on the scout orientation video (Which they started using in June 02 without my knowledge or consent)



In April I was put on "Base" and told I had been recognized by the corporate office in Orlando and that I was going to be flown out there to meet with the Directors and the President, but first all I had to do was do a brief interview on video.



Of course after having just been told I was put on base, promoted and being sent on an all expense paid rip to Orlando, I went in singing the praises of the comapny. To my dismany however, once the video was made the trip was never mentioned again. I've still never been to Florida and I've even been taken of base salary and put back on comission.



To my surprise I went into a mandatory scout meeting in June and Lo and Behold there was a 45 minute long, commercial grade video touting this company to new scouts with me on it telling everyone what a great company this was. By then I had already been kicked off of base and was looking for another job.



they are still using the video to this day. So don't even believe the video. I'll bet most of the people on it don't even work for the company anymore.
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#80 Consumer Comment

Killing the artistry of America

AUTHOR: melanie - ()

Well, I have read enough! I had an interview set up this Wednesday for Options...for a talent scout position...HA!!! Does anybody know how depressing it is for the individual who is told their whole life "you have so much talent..you should do something with it?" and then finds out that EVERYTHING in America is to make money no matter how many people you crush or push aside to get to the top?



Yeah, I got ripped off by a talent agency in LA about ten years ago. I am very skeptical of not only the "industry" but also of Corporate America. Seems you can put a good name on anything, and put a determined sales-person(brainwasher) on it, and it will make money. Isn't that the REAL point here that everyone's trying to make?



As a performance artist: musician (as I am), actor, model...(and NO! actor and model are NOT interchangeable, trust me) dancer, you've already chosen the hard road. You need someone you can trust...which is exteremely hard to come by these days. I wanted to work for an agency where I could honestly be on the other end of that. I've been worked over so many times with manipulations and lies, that unfortunately, after years of scholarships and awards in music and theater, I quit. That's why I wanted to check this out before I drug my family through another scam. The industry is too artificial already, who needs companies like this?



So I guess my answer is Options...kiss my ***!

It's hard enough being the "different" one in life as a performer. Who needs more people to to life you up with false promises and lies? I KNOW what talent is, and you just don't see it in EVERYBODY.....otherwise, it wouldn't be an elitist society.



Oh and one more thing: if so many people are trying to break into the industry, then why has being an artist so looked down upon for thousands of years? I can't believe I even tried this again to find out it's all LIES! VERY discouraging...but glad I surfed before I went. This is only one of NUMEROUS reports against this company.



My advice... NO agency that asks for money UP FRONT before they even get you in an audition is worth it!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for reading my rant!
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#81 0

EDitor's Response to the above Rebuttal: tacit compliance IS unethical

AUTHOR: - ()

You, Missy, are the reason we real actors have a union and laws to protect us. You are willing to work for free to and you are willing to find all of your friends who are willing to shake it for free. If the Man Show can get an amateur for free do you think they will pay a professional? Now don't you think that is a real exploitation of women?



As to your comment about being unethical: How do you, as a SCOUT, justify bringing people to the CATTLE CALLS, knowing they will be high pressured, and lied to? Just because you don't do the pressuring or the lying? Tacit compliance is still unethical. This is a common theme in CORPORATE AMERICA. The real lesson is in the pictures on the evening news of corporate executive being lead away in handcuffs.



EDitor@ripoffreport.com
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#82 UPDATE Employee

Mis-INTERPRETATION, not Mis-representation... and Spielberg IS NO SAINT

AUTHOR: Courtney - ()

I am currently a scout with Options. Before this, I pursued acting in the Bay Area. I took acting classes, classes given by local Casting Directors, Agents, etc. I helped cast all the brides in "The Bachelor" and appeared in several independant films. I never got paid a cent, I did it to try to build up a resume... I also paid a great photographer $175.00 to take pictures, and then paid to have 300 copies made of my headshots. That cost at least $300.00 I then got pregnant, and needed to change my headshots after 9 months as my hair had grown 5 inches, and I had lost 15 lbs!



In a matter of 9 mo.s, I had spent about $1,000.00 to serve one agency and 2 casting directors with my headshots. I also only was approached by these people because I paid to be trained,and to have a connection with a San Fransisco based company which gathered talent and industry professionals together for a showcase.



It has been my dream to be successful in the industry,as well. And I have spent the money it takes, not to be swindled, but to even be considered in this industry. Welcome to entertainment, people. That is why when I interviewed for a scout position, I was very satisfied with what I heard, because they don't promise to represent anyone, and they don't promise to get you work! Everything they said rang true with my experiences in Nor. Cal.



In legitimate agencies,you can send your comp cards in, or headshots, and you are lucky if you hear back, because everyone is doing the same thing, and they are busy finding jobs for their current talent... so they go in the garbage, unopened! No strict req.'s a complaint? Have you seen the pine-sol lady? Have you seen the ugly red-head kid in Harry Potter? I wouldn't have scouted him, but someone thought he had a special look and he's making money, right? So you think for that casting call they asked for 5'11'' 120 lb.blonde bombshells? No!



In case you haven't noticed, entertainment is based on characters that we can identify with,and most of us are not supermodels, so a lot of characters don't call for that kind of look.



Thank God places like Options are teaching thier scouts(like me) that the 'industry standards' can sometimes vary... look at Cameron Manhiem (the Practice)thank God our entertainment industry didn't overlook her, she's a very real look, and she's a joy to watch! As an aspiring actor, I don't want to be able to 'connect' with people in the network, so the fact that Options doesn't allow networking/contact with other talent, is to protect the privacy of people like me! And if you want to contact agencies, then you really don't know much about the entertainment industry, because agencies don't want to be contacted!



If they think you're special enough, they'll contact you! Options is doing all of us hopefuls a favor...they are putting your face in front of agencies, period! Back in the day, when no one breathed a word about how to break into the industry,people walked into places like Ford and Elite and made fools of themselves. And most agencies don't have scouts walking around like Options, so how else do you expect to get work?



So do you all think you're so special that you shouldn't have to pay AT LEAST something so that agencies can look at you? Even if Options only had 5 agencies that access their models/talents pictures, it would be more than you had to begin with. Also, can someone tell me why you're picking on Options, when 5 zillion people sign up for John Robert Powers and Barbizon,and pay 2-4 times as much as they would with Options, and they are an absolute JOKE in the entertainment industry? I have 3 friends that did one or the other, paid an astronomical amount of money, and have never had a single job.



There were also complaints about the fact that scouts tell individuals that they have one chance to come to an open call, when in fact they have several. So do a lot of agencies, but you have one shot...what makes you think you're so special that you should be able to waltz in any old time? Who cares?



If Steven Spielberg called me up and said "I have one time slot for you to be able to do a screen test to MAYBE have a shot at a bit role in my next movie..." and then I found out that he actually was doing auditions for a two months, would I contact the bbb? No way! Take your opportunity, try to maximize it, and shut up... welcome to real life! And if you say that Mr. Spielberg has a pristine reputation, than you know even less about this industry than I thought. Yes, he is talented and amazing and his work is reputable, but he is also a force to be reckoned with, and he has done many an unethical thing to be where he is. People who say otherwise are just avoiding being blackballed from the industry.Because he has been known to do that, too.



Fees are told up front on the video,and you might not know this, but if you pay for a year, and you are not happy, you get two years FREE! I am not claiming that Options is the 'perfect answer' to people who want to be sucessful in this business, but I do know that I trust in it as an employee, and as an aspiring actor/model.Sarah Michelle Gellar, Natalie Portman, Pamela Anderson, they were all scouted by someone, and it wasn't all the big names you hear of, either. Remember that!

I cannot stand generalizations... for those of you saying that Options is horrible and should be put out of business because one scout said the wrong thing, or because you got your panties in a wad over the excitement of possibly being 'discovered' that you misunderstood what was being said. I cannot tell you the parents that bring in their 2 year old saying that I told them they should, when I actually scouted their 4-year old, and said, "Gosh, the 2 year old has a really cute look too, but 4 years old is the youngest that we will consider..."



I have learned that people take from the conversation what they will. And I don't doubt that some dumbass scout promised some poor person fame and that poor person knew so little that they actually believed it. But I doubt that person is still employed.



But saying that all scouts are trying to scam you is wrong. That is like saying that all white people with shaved heads are members of the kkk, all preists are child molesters, all african-american people are gangsters, and all Christians bomb abortion clinics. Bad people do bad things. Good people do good things. Just because some people who are employed by Options have had poor judgement, doesn't mean the company as a whole should go down.



Hold individuals responsible for thier actions... instead of trying to slaughter the whole lot of us, track down the scout and file a complaint. Call the president and be pro-active about getting jobs, or find out why this isn't working for you. Riddle me this, who made y'all so insecure and paranoid when you were in your formative years? I personally have not been asked to do anything unethical, or to give anyone false hope. I have seen a lot of happy people who have made some great money and have great experiences to share.
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#83 UPDATE EX-employee responds

scouts and models are scammed

AUTHOR: tiffany - ()

I worked for Options just a couple weeks before I realized what was going on. They were wanting us to scout 40+ models a day. They were wanting us to work everyday for about 10 hours a day. Yet we only would get paid if someone signed up. When we started we were told there was no direct selling.



If that was the case, how come one would only get paid if they made a sale!!! I did witness that info for models would be changed it they didn't qualify the first time. I was given business cards to hand out with a fake name on it. For the 2 weeks I worked there I never got any money.



I quit when one girl was supposed to go on salary, had a supposed argument with someone from corporate and never came back. That made me realize that when it came time to go on salary, you would be disposed of. I started feeling bad about having to get so many people a day just to make the quota. I know some people that are model material but I would not send them to options!
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#84 UPDATE Employee

To the Editors of ripoff.com

AUTHOR: Renea - ()

If you are going to run a website, at least conduct yourself as an adult. I said I am a new scout with Options. The information I give is the information I am given as an employee. I do not appreciate your headline about "the crock above" Are you an ex-employee who has been there? I thought not. Unless you have personally experienced something, keep your catty comments to yourself. If you do not beleive me--thats fine. but learn how to respectfully state your opinion.



I am still in my training week, and so far, I do not understand what the problem is. Everything that is being complained about we are told up front. We are told to look for models, not just anybody. We are told never to go onto private property. We are told that malls are private property and that there is a chance of beng arrested. We are told to never promise any degree of success. I have been at the open calls where they say "We do not promise any success" So what the heck is everyone bitching about???



I understand that emodels has a horrible reputation. But did it ever occur to anyone that maybe Options is trying to build a legitimate company. If you read the article written by "Karma" magazine when they interviewed Mark Tolnar--he basically said that since buying out emodels,that the whole staff would be terminated. Options is starting from scratch. They have been totally honest with me about everything.
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#85 0

EDitor's Response to this crock above from Renea

AUTHOR: - ()

We have viewed the pitch which was surrepticiously videotaped where it was verbally stated that most of their clients get work in the first few months with their service. I would say that is proof.



As for the scam on the scouts, most wash out before 30 days are up. They tell you to be aggressive and send you to malls and public places which often prohibit solicitation. They don't always warn you about that and some scouts get arrested or detained. Very quickly the scouts learn that it isn't as profitable as once thought and drop out. Meanwhile, Options get full advantage of all the hopeful "pigeons" eager to make it big in the business. Options ends up keeping the terminated scouts' commissions and the mega profits from the victims that come in and fall prey to the pitch.
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#86 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Put Your PROOF Where Your Mouth Is!

AUTHOR: Keaton - ()

I was a scout with Options Talent. I wasn't a very good one, so the job was kind of short lived. But, I think that Options Talent is getting a remarkable amount of unsubstantiated bad press.



I have been a performer for years and was very skeptical about the company. I asked the Australian Managing Director straight out to prove all of the claims he had made about agencies and individuals affiliated with the company.



The next day he provided me with my OWN copies of written testimonials and legal documentation signed by Martin Landau, John Daly, Max Azria, and reps from Elite Singapore, Warner Bros, Disney, Paramount, Marie Clare and the list goes on. There were 27 in total and he asked if I needed more and that he would be happy to provide them for me. Not bad for a total scam.I think there is a misconception in what people pay for with the Options Service. They offer a marketing service which can make it easier for talent to get exposure. Sure there are other websites out there, but who looks at them? Options has offices all over the globe which promote the site and explain the services to users. How many other website owners do that on a global scale? Exactly, none!



All I know is that I had concerns and they were answered. Sure, everyone can't be a model, and those that lose money marketing themselves can often times be disgruntled. In the end, you were the stupid one who didn't think enough about whether this service was right for you. I don't think anyone from Options ever put a gun to anyone's head to get them to enrol. I think the best way to resolve these issues is for individuals to take some responsibility for their actioins. If you have questions, just ask the company to put it in writing. I did, and they didn't have a problem with it at all.
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#87 UPDATE Employee

Current Employee of Options.

AUTHOR: Renea - ()

I am currently a nre scout for options talent. I need some ansers for ex-scouts. I have read all of the information and reports and them, and I a not too shaken. The things people complain about are not truly relevent. Options does not claim to be able to get anyone work at all. We just give you exposure--thats it! If you can prove that you do not get exposure--well thats the onyl legitimate complaint there can be.



Also, I am not trained to scout just anyone at all. We look for certain looks, features, height, and weight requirements.



My question is in regards to scouts getting paid. Does anyone have any info on if they truly make any money? They claim you receive a base salary after 30 days--does anyone know if this ever transpires??
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#88 UPDATE EX-employee responds

And there are so many more lies

AUTHOR: Tey - ()

As a prior employee who was trashed once I "really caught on" to the deception, lies and such from the corporate office, I have a lot of information.



ONe of the things that corporate tells Scouts is that 'everyone' starts with the company as a scout. LIES!!!!! NOw, they have individuals walking in off the street.



The first priority for Options to hire or promote an Office Director or Assistants, is 'their look'.

Judgement goes as far as letting scouts go each week during the 'cattle call' for scouts simply because someone is overweight, or too old!

I have even witnessed a comment or two of the individuals sexual preferance as a reason not to hire them.



Presently there are reasons for Franchise owners to have major conflict with the corporate office due the fact that models were enrolled and credit never given to the office, hence the scouts, managers, directors and owners did not get paid!!!

The trouble with the "search for wrongdoing" is that there are too many individuals at Corporate who are not who they say they are and have successfully hidden some obvious information from not only the media, but from Directors and other employees.



Monster.com should stop its endless advertising for a "dream job" as it is a continual cattle call all over the United States and now probably over seas in Australia and Europe.



Has anyone considered that the Dallas Cheerleader affiliation and the LA Look model search was not directed to Option talen models? You do not even have to attend an Open call to get into these events. The link and use of LA Model search is only one more thing that Options uses to "attempt" to lure individuals to the open-calls. Recently I spoke to a talent who fit the LA Model search criteria to a T ! He said he knew nothing about this search and was a "paying model" on the Option site!

Go Figure!



People need to get all of their brains together and jump into Options all over the US on the same day unexpectedly.



OH, there is word that they may change their name again!!!!



So PAY ATTENTION!!!
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#89 UPDATE Employee

options

AUTHOR: renee - ()

For anyone who thinks that you can be properly represented by an agency online that charges $59.95, you are sadly not only not model material, but are stupid as well. The $500.00 you are paying for a top photographer who has worked in the fashion industry, a top make-up artist who has been working in the industry, and a top stylist that has been working in the industry. If you feel that you are only worth $60, a still shot photographer and a fashion-make-up intern, you deserve what that amount will get you. Absolutely nothing
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#90 Consumer Suggestion

Options Talent ...they'd go broke in a week or two.

AUTHOR: John - ()

If you do some digging out on Yahoo you'll find where Options Talent is just a reincarnation of a previous modelling scam operation.



If these folks are so successful why aren't the 'fees' just deducted from the many, many, many modelling assignments that Options gets for its people ???



Simple, they'd go broke in a week or two.
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#91 UPDATE Employee

What Scam?

AUTHOR: Lisa - ()

You claim that this is a scam, that they do not show true to what they say. How are you prooving this theory?



I know that for them to say they work with the people they do, they have to be factual otherwise these agencies could take legal action against them. Options doesn't guarantee "you" work.



They guarantee you exposure and that's what you get. If you have facts stating that you are not receiving the most exposure possible then you have something to complain about.



Maybe you don't have what it takes to be a model, did you ever think that?



The lady I spoke with who did my interview was very honest in saying that this is an investment are you sure you are ready for this? Why would she potentially lose a "sale" by saying that if she didn't want to make sure I was ready for it.



And on another note, answer me this...why would they purposly take people who have no chance what so ever to make it, knowing it would tarnish their name? That wouldn't make much sense now would it?
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#92 UPDATE Employee

I am a Model for eModel/Options for about 19 months.

AUTHOR: Mark - ()

I have also done the Talent Scout thing. First, there is no "Lee," I would know. Next, I saw the news magazine expose eModels/Options about 5 months ago and that was very accurate. People are told that an extremely high percentage of their people work. They lie! They screw all but the best scouts, too.



To be on the inner circle you get to know all the dirt. In the scout training they have the testimonials from the super scouts that make you think that's the way it is for everyone.



They tell you to hit everyone even if they aren't real model quality. The scout get paid on quantity not quality. "Hi, are you a model with representation?" "Well, you should be and this is your lucky day. I'm a scout." People fall all over you.



It's amazing and it really works, from a sales perspective. You give "the mark" a number to make an appointment and they feel all special. Everyone is good looking and dressed real nice. Then they all pass the initial screening and come to the mass meeting. The rest is history.
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#93 UPDATE Employee

These reports are preposterous!

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

EDitor's Comment:

This rebuttal is from a shill.




We could not verify the identity of the author of this Rebuttal, who provided a bogus e-mail address. We are including the information with this caveat:



:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

I am model on the Option's Talent website and I have FACTS that back their legitimacy.

Options' job is not to make superstars out of everyday people, but to give them the opportunity to make extra money on the side.



I have received offers from modeling agencies, Hip-Hop Models & LA Looks, and companies, Hawaiian Tropic & the LA Lakers Dance Team, and I have only been on the website for 3 months. I have never modeled and have only 1 picture on the site. From these offers, I have already made back my $595 and then some.



Do you really think that the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleadrs would choose a company that is a "scam" to be their search engine for their new recruits? How about a company that is a "scam" sponsoring the LA Looks Nationwide Model Search? Well, Options has proven themselves to these reputable companies that sought OPTIONS out.



Is that still not sufficient evidence for you? Do your own research, call these companies and find out for yourself what the facts are. Obviously the general public is more inclined to jump on the bandwagon of bad press that to dig a little deeper to find out the real truth. Are you part of this group or are you independent? And if you are going by what the BBB says. . . well, they say negative things about Disney and BMW, too.



The BBB is nothing but a website for disgruntled people. There is nothing positive on their site! If we were to go by what the BBB says, we shouldn't trust any company, car, product, etc. But don't take my word for it, I'm just one of the thousands of satisified models that actually strayed from the heard and did their own research!
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