Linda Esteves, a representative from Wilhelmina Scouting Agency emailed me wanting to interview me to be a model. I was at first interested, but went to this site and noticed several folks had complained against them, especially Dateline NBC which aired a segment against the company not too long ago.
I wrote the rep back and told her this. I also told her I wasn't interested in their company's services. The following are the actual emails I wrote her and her responses:
Sorry I couldn't make it last Saturday. I was ill and called in to reschedule. However, I have been fortunate to find a site online in which folks tell of their negative experiences with companies. Some thoughts are true, while others are misleading. However (again), I typed in your company and noticed a lot of people were saying the following:
Not only did they raise their enrollment fee from $795 to $995 which is ridiculous. They are now raising their monthly fee from 19.95 a month to get this $59.95 a month!This is crazy.
I thought you told me your company didn't charge any money. CANCEL me for next Saturday. I'm NOT interested. If you want to see for yourself, go to:
www.ripoffreport.com and search for Wilhelmina. There are over 30 claims against your company (which is nationwide).
I don't want to take a chance and be scammed. See below:
BREAKING NEWS FLASHBACK
Wilhelmina Scouting Network Investigated by Dateline NBC
FRIDAY, APRIL 18, 2003
9:00 P.M. ET
Her Response to me:
I'm sorry to hear that you are easily convinced. We do not charge to be evaluated, but Actors and Models that are serious about their Career that decide to join our Company do pay for our service, and we do not charge $59.00 a month. However we now garauntee that you will recieve work within your first 6 months of enrollment & if you do not get at least one job within those 6 months we refund you your money and you are put on our site for ONE year FREE. Good Luck in your career.
Professional Talent Scout
Wilhelmina Scouting Network
My response to her:
Well it's hard not to be convinced when you find out that several people (not just one person) have been "taken" by your company. Also, your company's name has changed several times within the past few years. You should read the site I mentioned below. I'd rather be safe than sorry.
Her next response:
I suggest you do a little more research. We have not changed our name, we actually are a combination of many companies that represent talent. Including Musicians, Singers, Actors and Models. You have every right to question any company you consider to deal with. So again I suggest you do a bit more research. We invite and cater to serious Talent, that actually take the time to come see us and ask any questions one might have. Please do not bother to reply, I do believe you are a qualified talent but I will not waste my time any longer.
Wihlemina Talent Scout.
Forgive me for replying, but I couldn't help but mention you don't even spell the name of your company correctly at the bottom of your message....maybe YOU should do some more research on YOUR company. Check the website YOU told me to look at and check the name. Cheers. I will no longer write you, so don't worry. Cheers!
And finally the kicker that led me to write this report AND contact the Attorney General's office:
LOL, sorry to say that YOU probably won't make it in this Industry..Have you ever heard of the "Black List?"
I contacted the attorney general's office of California and have blocked her email address. I don't think it is illegal for a company to blacklist or even imply blacklisting anyone.
San Diego, California
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Wilhelmina