• Report: #716320

Complaint Review: S3 Entertainment Group LLC

  • Submitted: Mon, April 11, 2011
  • Updated: Thu, April 14, 2011

  • Reported By: Anthony — Birmingham Michigan United States of America
S3 Entertainment Group LLC
1100 Woodward Heights Ferndale, Michigan United States of America

S3 Entertainment Group LLC Jefferey Spilman defraud FIT training fee from Government and Individual. Ferndale, Michigan

*Author of original report: S3 Entertainment Group LLC Jeffrey Spilman (Jeff Spilman) defraud FIT training fee from Government and Individual. Ferndale, Michigan

*Author of original report: detail

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Better Communication would help resolve this complaint

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I took "FIT(Film Industry Training)" that S3 Entertainment Group (hereinafter referred as "S3") provides.
http://www.filmindustrytraining.com/
I enrolled 8 courses but S3 didn't provide only 2 courses. I asked many many times to refund but S3 have no will to refund.

There are 8 courses, the fee of each course is $1850, "unlimited course" fee is $5000.
Before I enroll I heard there are Spring, Summer and Fall term. In each term, S3 said they provide 8 courses. S3 said if I enrolled "unlimited course", I could take all courses and retake any number of times in one year.

I paid $5000 because I was supposed to take 8 courses in 3 month according to S3 said.
But these courses are postponed again and again and again. I could only take following two courses.
One started delayed 2 weeks, another started delayed 2 month.
It already passed almost a half year, other courses are not taken place at all. S3 says they are gathering people.

6 month later, at last I asked to refund 3 times but S3 staff said "I don't know the process, ask Jeff"
I asked to refund but Jeffrey Spilman who is the head of S3 said "the next schedule is firm" So I waited for 1 month. But even it became the course starting day, no one informed me about place and time. I sent email to S3, called S3 office and staff's personal cell phone, others and at last I got the information S3 doesn't have any class on that week, 3 hours before of the class start time.

S3 is keep selling courses with showing dummy schedule and dummy courses.
I also asked again and again to refund to S3. But they just ignore.
The courses have been kept putting off for unusual longtime.

But most of applicants can't complain about this because Michigan States pays the fee as job training and they think to complain about this is not good idea. Because they believe S3 has authority, if they complain, they will not get any job.

For example Kevan could only take one course. Richard could take 3 courses with no internship. Mike could only take 2 courses with one internship like me.
They also expected to take 8 courses. But only a few courses were provided. Nobody could take camera course in this one year.

Each class has internship program.
S3 says
------------------------------------------------------
In addition to 40 hours of classroom time, students are guaranteed a film production or industry related internship as part of this program. After the initial internship, there may be additional internship or job placement assistance based upon previous internship performance.
------------------------------------------------------
http://www.filmindustrytraining.com/courses/into-to-the-film-art-department/

Actually after 40 hours classroom of the 2nd course, I don't take internship yet. Richard couldn't take any internship though he took 3 courses.
I just got sudden phone call from whom I don't know. She asked me whether I could come next day to east side of Michigan. They needed free laborer who paint the wall for their film. I found out S3 gave my contact info to them. So I contacted them but they said "We already finished painting. You don't need to come"
Properly speaking, I don't get full service of even 2 courses yet.

Some of students are also couldn't take any internship.
After we finished 1st, I interned at S3 but in fact, I worked in the name of "internship" and I provided not film related work that usually I got a lot of money for free for more than 3 months.

Brandon also worked 3 and a half month from early morning till late. He got only $100 after 3.5 month. Not $1000 but $100. In his case it was still film work and he got credit. It can be called "paid job".

Other students interned at film shooting place. I asked how was the field internship, then 2 of students said with depressed face "Just standing whole day. That's the job training"
That's the reality of the "job training" internship.

Students doesn't sue S3 because Michigan government pays $5000 for their course fee and they don't want to stand S3's wrong side because they want job!!
But I paid course fee by myself. I want to money back.

I asked to refund but Jeffrey Spilman said "There is no guarantee to any particular courses being offered. The program is non-refundable."
It is all-out fraud.
In contraction, there is following description;
--------------------------------------------
CANCELLATION POLICY: We reserve the right to cancel any class, with or without reason, anytime prior to the first day of class. All tuition monies paid by students will be refunded if a class is cancelled. Cancellation notices will only be given to students who have already registered and paid for the class. Class dates, times and prices are subject to change at anytime. Any changes that affect a student contract will be revised and both the student and the school will have to sign the new contract.
--------------------------------------------
What Jeffrey Spilman said is absolutely breach of contract and very different from the story I heard when I enrolled .
It's fraud. S3 shows 8 courses and gathers people and get Government or individual money $5000 and provides only one or two courses.

(victim's name is assumed name to protect from retaliation)

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/11/2011 11:43 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/S3-Entertainment-Group-LLC/Ferndale-Michigan-48220/S3-Entertainment-Group-LLC-Jefferey-Spilman-defraud-FIT-training-fee-from-Government-and-I-716320. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
2Author 0Consumer 1Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

S3 Entertainment Group LLC Jeffrey Spilman (Jeff Spilman) defraud FIT training fee from Government and Individual. Ferndale, Michigan

AUTHOR: filmmaker - (United States of America)

I took "FIT(Film Industry Training)" that S3 Entertainment Group (hereinafter referred as "S3") provides.
http://www.filmindustrytraining.com/ I enrolled 8 courses but S3 didn't provide only 2 courses. I asked many many times to refund but S3 have no will to refund.

There are 8 courses, the fee of each course is $1850, "unlimited course" fee is $5000. Before I enroll I heard there are Spring, Summer and Fall term. In each term, S3 said they provide 8 courses. S3 said if I enrolled "unlimited course", I could take all courses and retake any number of times in one year.

I paid $5000 because I was supposed to take 8 courses in 3 month according to S3 said. But these courses are postponed again and again and again. I could only take following two courses. One started delayed 2 weeks, another started delayed 2 month. It already passed almost a half year, other courses are not taken place at all. S3 says they are gathering people.

6 month later, at last I asked to refund 3 times but S3 staff said "I don't know the process, ask Jeff" I asked to refund but Jeffrey Spilman who is the head of S3 said "the next schedule is firm" So I waited for 1 month. But even it became the course starting day, no one informed me about place and time. I sent email to S3, called S3 office and staff's personal cell phone, others and at last I got the information S3 doesn't have any class on that week, 3 hours before of the class start time.

S3 is keep selling courses with showing dummy schedule and dummy courses.
I also asked again and again to refund to S3. But they just ignore. The courses have been kept putting off for unusual longtime.

But most of applicants can't complain about this because Michigan States pays the fee as job training and they think to complain about this is not good idea. Because they believe S3 has authority, if they complain, they will not get any job.

For example Kevan could only take one course. Richard could take 3 courses with no internship. Mike could only take 2 courses with one internship like me.
They also expected to take 8 courses. But only a few courses were provided. Nobody could take camera course in this one year.

Each class has internship program.
S3 says
------------------------------------------------------
In addition to 40 hours of classroom time, students are guaranteed a film production or industry related internship as part of this program. After the initial internship, there may be additional internship or job placement assistance based upon previous internship performance.
------------------------------------------------------
http://www.filmindustrytraining.com/courses/into-to-the-film-art-department/

Actually after 40 hours classroom of the 2nd course, I don't take internship yet. Richard couldn't take any internship though he took 3 courses.
I just got sudden phone call from whom I don't know. She asked me whether I could come next day to east side of Michigan. They needed free laborer who paint the wall for their film. I found out S3 gave my contact info to them. So I contacted them but they said "We already finished painting. You don't need to come" Properly speaking, I don't get full service of even 2 courses yet.

Some of students are also couldn't take any internship.
After we finished 1st, I interned at S3 but in fact, I worked in the name of "internship" and I provided not film related work that usually I got a lot of money for free for more than 3 months.

Brandon also worked 3 and a half month from early morning till late. He got only $100 after 3.5 month. Not $1000 but $100. In his case it was still film work and he got credit. It can be called "paid job".

Other students interned at film shooting place. I asked how was the field internship, then 2 of students said with depressed face "Just standing whole day. That's the job training"
That's the reality of the "job training" internship.

Students doesn't sue S3 because Michigan government pays $5000 for their course fee and they don't want to stand S3's wrong side because they want job!!
But I paid course fee by myself. I want to money back.

I asked to refund but Jeffrey Spilman said "There is no guarantee to any particular courses being offered. The program is non-refundable."
It is all-out fraud.
In contraction, there is following description;
--------------------------------------------
CANCELLATION POLICY: We reserve the right to cancel any class, with or without reason, anytime prior to the first day of class. All tuition monies paid by students will be refunded if a class is cancelled. Cancellation notices will only be given to students who have already registered and paid for the class. Class dates, times and prices are subject to change at anytime. Any changes that affect a student contract will be revised and both the student and the school will have to sign the new contract.
--------------------------------------------
What Jeffrey Spilman said is absolutely breach of contract and very different from the story I heard when I enrolled .
It's fraud. S3 shows 8 courses and gathers people and get Government or individual money $5000 and provides only one or two courses.

(victim's name is assumed name to protect from retaliation)
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#2 Author of original report

detail

AUTHOR: filmmaker - (United States of America)

To help people's correct understanding, I add another relevant fact.
 
>The student who issued the complaint, purchased a class
>package that allows the student to take as many classes
>that are offered in a 12 month period. This student has
>taken two classes so far and is entitled to take
>additional classes over the next 6 months. We expect to
>offer several more classes over the next few months.
 
The course name is "unlimited courses". The fee was $5000.
Before I enrolled FIT, I asked about "unlimited courses" and got the reply email message from S3 employee at 9:27pm on 26th August 2010. S3 employee clearly said;
 
Thursday, August 26, 2010 9:27 PM
--------------------------------------
1. We offer 8 courses. If you decide to sign up at the $5000 level, you would be able to take all 8 classes if you wish. You also are welcome to retake a class if you feel the need/desire. This offer is good for one year from the start of the first class.
--------------------------------------
 
The course schedule was following.
 
9/13-9/23   Film Industry Training Overview
9/27-10/9   Intro to the Film Art Department
10/11-10/23 Script Supervising
10/11-10/23 Grip/Electric/Generator
10/25-11/4  Costume & Wardrobe
11/8-11/18  Intro to Production Accounting
11/8-11/18  Intro to the Camera Department
12/6-12/16  Intro to Special FX
 
That's why I enrolled unlimited courses.
 
But only 2 courses were provided behind the schedule in this half year.
And other courses were postponed and postponed every two weeks.
 
Film Industry Training Overview (starting date 9/13 delayed -> 9/20)
Intro to the Film Art Department (starting date 9/27 delayed -> 10/25 -> 11/15)
 
As they didnt provided the courses in a timely manner, I asked to refund the rest of course fee.
And Mr. Jeffrey Spilman wrote;
 
Tuesday, March 08, 2011 4:11 PM
--------------------------------------
There is no guarantee to any particular courses being offered.
So far, you have taken 2 courses and you have the ability to take more
courses as we offer them. The program is non-refundable.
--------------------------------------
 
Tuesday, April 12, 2011 10:33 PM
--------------------------------------
We would like to resolve this amicably but your contention that you were entitled to 8 classes is ridiculous and without any basis.
--------------------------------------
 
About the reason of postponement, Mr. Jeffrey Spilman wrote;
 
Monday, March 07, 2011 10:35 AM
--------------------------------------
I have postponed all classes for a couple of weeks so we can focus on the
battle to preserve the incentive. Things are beginning to work on our
favor and we need to preserve the industry as our first priority. New
schedule is coming out tomorrow,.
--------------------------------------
 
According to another student who enrolled FIT May 2010, he wanted to take Camera Department course but the camera course was never provided in this one year.
 
> This same student was also offered a paid position on a film project on February 8th
> but turned down the offer because she was busy working on her own film project. See Below:
 
On 8th February, I got offer of helping Uptown Film Festival position.
I got the message "The gig will pay $10 per hour, probably entail around 30 hours per week, and run until the conclusion of the festival shortly after 3/12." I already had plan until 16th February. I told Mr. Jeffrey Spilman so. Then Mr. Jeffrey Spilman wrote "We will consider you for a later position." "X(S3 employee name) will get back with you shortly."
So I was waiting the contact but S3 never got back.
 
On 3rd March, when I met Mr. Jeffrey Spilman at Michigan Film First, I asked Mr. Jeffrey Spilman whether he still needed help for Uptown Film Festival and he said "Yes, I'll send you email about this later." So I changed my schedule to help the Festival and was waiting for his email but he never sent me. I'm very disappointed he broke his words again.
 
> This same student has continually demanded gas money for partaking in
> internships or paid work. Unfortunately, this is not how the film industry works.
> It is the intern's or assistants obligation to get to and work.
 
After overview class, I worked at S3 as an intern from 10/4/2010 till mid of Jan 2011.
I was expected film related work, but mostly I worked as IT engineer.
I worked 33 days as an intern in 2010. I worked as IT engineer 19 of 33 days.
When I was IT consultant, I earned hundreds dollars per hour.
I worked for S3's system for free. I did intern because I wanted to enter film industry. But the gas cost strangled my economy because I don't have any income at that time.
So at last I asked Mr. Jeffrey Spilman like following on 16th November;
 
Tuesday, November 16, 2010 9:46 AM
--------------------------------------
I used to earn $300/hour to provide system service as system consultant and now provide free service in the name of intern.
At least could I claim expense for gas when I come here for system work? I spent so much gas. It would be very helpful for me.. Thank you for your consideration.
--------------------------------------
 
Then Mr. Jeffrey Spilman replied to me like following;
 
Tuesday, November 16, 2010 9:57 AM
--------------------------------------
We will pay for gas. No problem and thank you for your help.
--------------------------------------
 
So I claimed expense for gas, only when I went S3 office for system work and was ran an errand for S3.
At first I claimed expense on 23rd November 2010.
But it was not processed by Mr. Jeffrey Spilman for more than 2.5 month.
Even I asked other employees in S3, they just said they already processed and just need Mr. Jeffrey Spilman's approval.
I asked Mr. Jeffrey Spilman but he said he doesn't know, I should have asked XXX(accountant name).
The accountant said already posted and was waiting Mr. Jeffrey Spilman's approval.
So I asked Mr. Jeffrey Spilman many times to approve as he said on 16th November.
 
These are a part of date that I followed up with S3 to process my expense.
 
Friday, December 17, 2010 1:15 PM
Wednesday, January 19, 2011 2:50 AM
Tuesday, January 25, 2011 11:22 AM
Friday, February 04, 2011 11:52 AM
Wednesday, February 09, 2011 10:29 AM
Thursday, February 17, 2011 11:44 AM
Thursday, February 17, 2011 1:09 PM
 
And at last, He cut the check and I got it for my expense on 25th Feb, though the cost I was owed and claimed was $207.23 but what S3 paid was $176.21.

Anyway It is very simple case. About training, as the service that I paid for was not provided, Im asking the refund. That's it.
Now Im asking S3 to refund the rest of course fee that they didnt provide in a timely manner through State of Michigan Office of Attorney General.
But if S3 keep refusing to refund money paid for services that have never been rendered, Ill also ask help from Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Action Website.
I hope they restore my faith in S3's honest intentions by providing refund without further delay.
 
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#3 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Better Communication would help resolve this complaint

AUTHOR: FIT Film Industry Training - (USA)

FIT Film Industry Training is the leading film industry training in Michigan. Over 500 students have attended our classes since 2009 and the majority of them are now working in the film industry, many in highly paid union positions, and others are working on smaller film projects. We receive excellent evaluations from our students and this is one of the only complaints we have received in over two years.

The student who issued the complaint, purchased a class package that allows the student to take as many classes that are offered in a 12 month period. This student has taken two classes so far and is entitled to take additional classes over the next 6 months. We expect to offer several more classes over the next few months.

The student who complained has already had internships and was offered an additional internship on a tv pilot but she traveled outside of the Country for over 6 weeks.  Since that time, very little filming has taken place in Michigan but this student is eligible to work on a tv pilot that will be filming in early May. The student is aware of this opportunity.

This same student was also offered a paid position on a film project on February 8th but turned down the offer because she was busy working on her own film project. See Below:

"But actually Im working on some CG scenes for the Japanese film that I mentioned before and have not so much time, so Id like to make sure the detail.
 
- From when do you need help?
(I dont have enough time especially until 16th because of CG work.)
 
- If you already have detail schedule of this project, please let me know.
 
- Is the working time, around 30-hour/w, flexible?
 
- Will the gas expense be paid....."

This same student has continually demanded gas money for partaking in internships or paid work. Unfortunately, this is not how the film industry works. It is the intern's or assistants obligation to get to and from work.

FIT students have worked on virtually every film that has been shot in Michigan. We hope that this student can also build her career in the film industry and we have suggested that she meet with us to see how we can best help her accomplish her goals.
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