• Report: #78294

Complaint Review: Wilhelmina Scouting Network

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  • Submitted: Tue, January 27, 2004
  • Updated: Wed, December 15, 2004

  • Reported By:Bronx New York
Wilhelmina Scouting Network
1701 Park Center Drive Orlando, Florida U.S.A.

Wilhelmina Scouting Network - WSN - Transcontinental - WebstyleNetwork ripoff dishonest literally selling dreams of success to up & coming talent Orlando Florida

*Consumer Comment: Tales of being scouted from scout from hell!!!

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: I have been there....on the dark side

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I was scouted by a Wilhelmina talent scout and made an appointment for interview where I was sized, weighed and photographed. I then was called and coerced into paying $1000 for representation by the company, then another $600 for professional digital photography and charged $20 a month for continued representation. I was promised work and told I'd make my money back in a month's time. I have not made $1 via the network. BEWARE!

Bronx, New York

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/27/2004 01:51 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Wilhelmina-Scouting-Network/Orlando-Florida-32835/Wilhelmina-Scouting-Network-WSN-Transcontinental-WebstyleNetwork-ripoff-dishonest-li-78294. 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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#1 Consumer Comment

Tales of being scouted from scout from hell!!!

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

As I read all these reports of this fradulent company it pains to see how as to how many people were ripoff by this company. Their hopes and dreams crushed by the lies that this company has told. The nature and the complexities of how far this fradulent company goes to some point of utter disbelief and comprehension. For me I was one of the few fortunate ones who narrowly avoided being scammed by this company due to the intervention of my best friend's husband who formerly worked for this company.

It was several months back, I was shopping around TJ Maxx on 23rd street in NYC when this short, fat guy wearing gold jewelry, pony tail and glasses came up to me asking if I had ever modeled before. I said I did, I just did a print advertisement for Fashion Fair Cosmetics a few months ago. He said he worked for a modeling company that Lou Pearlman(n'Sync, Backstreet Boys) was the CEO and he's trying to expand to modeling business. Being somewhat new to the industry, my eyes just lited up. He said he would like me to attend an open call that evening. I said it wouldn't be possible tonight since I was meeting friends for dinner. Though he was insistent that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity, I just I couldn't break my plans at the last minute. Then he said he didn't want me to miss this opportunity since I had a great look and would definitely get work, so he gave me his card and ask to give his office a call to find out when's the next one is and to ask for him, Jerold. So I took his card and said I would think about it. And then afterwards, he did something that I thought was incredibly sleezy and somewhat unprofessional: he asked me out to have a cup of coffee with me or dinner sometime. He said he worked for various other modeling and entertainment companies besides Trans Continental Talent and knew people and if (nod, nod, wink, wink) I was nice to him and went out with him he could probably talk to them and get me GOOD work. Though in the back of my mind I was disturbed by this, I took his personal card and said I would think about it.

Later that evening I met with my girlfriend and her husband for dinner and told him what had happened to me that afternoon. When I showed the cards to me girlfriend's husband he jumped up and told me to STAY AWAY!!! STAY AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY AND THAT GUY WHO SCOUTED YOU!!! He said he had worked for this company several months back for a few weeks and knew this guy cause he worked and was trained by him! He told me this company has compliants from the better business bureau, been on news and word on the street that this company was a scam from scammed customers and industry professionals. He said this company constantly covering itself up and changing its name and charging ridiculous upfront fees to have your photos (that you have to take yourself) posted on their website knowing with no chance in hell of getting you work. That this place is nothing more than a sweatshop and each week there hiring and training 35-80 new scouts each week for the ones that quit each week. And note my girlfriend's husband knew what he was talking about, he has been in the entertainment industry for many years and works for a well long established entertainment company with a reputable reputation and how this company operates is not how the modeling industry operates at all!! He said he knew that scout Jerold and to stay away from that guy he is a real sleeze and heard things about him around the office of trying to get into the pants of some of the female scouts promising to get them promoted in the company if he let him go out with them and heard something about him sexually assault one of them bathroom and quitting the next day a few weeks before he worked for the company. He has three small children from three different women and owes huge sums of money in alimony and child support. And that he also may served some jail time for petty larceny. While my girlfriend's husband was out training with him, he was constantly asking out all the female models he scouted out on a date (I do remember as he was talking to me he was constantly staring at my chest) and that he is in no way connected with the industry or work for any other company. He was nothing more than a poser and a bad example of how a fellow brother should behave. Later that night me, my girlfriend and her husband went to an internet caf and looked up all the the many complaints about this company. Boy was I shocked.

A word to the wise, this industry is a tough industry and there are a lot of disreputable companies and individuals that are out there wanting to abuse and take advantage of you. They don't represent the industry at all and the reputable companies and professionals know as a fact that they don't represent them. If you want to get into this industry, do your homework and research and don't invest yourself with a company or individual that isn't well established and has a good record of getting others work. Otherwise you end up wasting all time, your money, emotions or and even worse your self-respect.
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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I have been there....on the dark side

AUTHOR: M - (Sri Lanka)

I worked for TCT in the mother ship. I went to an interview, suprised it turned into a group interview. My spidey-senses were going haywire but hey, I was out of work and needed a job.

I honestly would not call the premise this company sells a scam. In the right context and presented the right way it can be a very successful endeavor. But TCT wants you to close everybody. Yes, I was the closer, errrrr, Talent Executive (HA). I was the one on the other end that was pressing for the money. It was challenging, but it also left me wit an empty feelign inside. The one case I can remember was when I had a 20 year old kid that really wanted to do this. He had the money, his rent money (which was due in two weeks). I put him on hold to talk to my manager about letting him do a payment plan or reschedule his call (Yes, they will do that, you think these guys are going to turn down any money?) My manager said "But he has the money?" I said "yea, his rent money" and she said "Then just tell him he is going to have a job that will make that money back in two weeks, dont promise him but make him beleive it."

As I read this site I remember my time there and feel extreme guilt. The only goood thought I have is that it has been so long that maybe most of the people I helped screw have recovered from thier loss and are wiser.
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