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
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.
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!