Report: #26647

Complaint Review: Options Talent Group

  • Submitted: Sun, August 11, 2002
  • Updated: Mon, July 12, 2004
  • Reported By: Peru IN
  • Options Talent Group
    7037 East 98th Street Suite 270
    Indianapolis, Indiana

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

I think it may be in the best interest of other consumers to put my experience down on this website that I had with Options Talent Group. My story may look long but should there be anybody out there being persuaded by these a**holes and are interested in information about Option Talent's business and it's practices - please read what I have to say. Please pay particular attention to the phone conversation I had with their "executives". It will make the long read worth your while.

My experience began on July 5, 2002 when I accidentally rear-ended a lady (scout) in an auto accident. The lady was very nice to me for what had just taken place and before long she led me into a discussion about modelling. She complimented me on my looks and suggested that I go down to one of their open calls - that I might have what they are looking for.

Later that evening I drove 70+ miles to this open call with one of my friends and showed up at the scheduled time. They had me sign a paper that said something about it being OK for them to install cameras for security reasons or something and I waited in line with a handfull of other young people that were scouted. One by one they had us go into a room, have our shoulder measurements taken, and then have a couple pictures taken (one smiling and one not smiling). After this we were led into a small room with seats in it and a TV. We sat there and watched a video for a little bit that basically showed models being given awards, etc.

Once everybody got into the room a lady came in and began giving a presentation. At the beginning of this presentation a male and female who were very nice dressed and had the appearance of (in my opinion) of models came in and walked down the center aisle to have a seat at the rear of the room. After the lady speaking introduced herself she showed a video that had (suposable) success stories and it talked about the advantages of being with Options Talent. It briefly touched on the costs ($595). After this video the lady speaking described the process by which models normally go through to get work and how expensive it is to send all these composite cards in to agencies, etc, vs the cheap and effecient method of going through Options. She was also sure to point out that this was a very difficult business and that very few make it big.

I don't remember what all she said but she basically described how all these big agencies would be scoping out our pics on their site. She told us we were being evaluated during the presentation and afterward we would be given a brief interview where they'd tell us whether or not we'd be recieving a phone call the next day. She said there would be some of us that would not be moving forward with them and that this is nothing personal. She basically said it's due to the fact they are looking for somebody to meet a certain criteria. She said when we go in for our brief interview we should tell them whether or not we wanted to do modelling or acting.

We were called on one-by-one and when I was called on I went in there and the one model-looking lady that had sat at the rear of the room during the presentation was the one that gave me my "interview". As I entered the room she was gazing at me as if I were some sort of god or something and asked me how serious I was about it - on a scale of 10. I said if there was a lot of good potential in it for me I'd say at least a 9. They took my shoulder measurements again and this lady asked me to turn around in a 360 so they could get a better look at me. She said they were going to go ahead and set me up with a phone interview with their executives from Florida for the next day.

She gave me a pamphlet and told me to study it really good that night because when their executives gave me my interview I would be quized on it to see how serious I was about this.

I went home that night and read their pamphlet. It looked mostly good except for a few small things that just sounded really strange and false to me. I decided to check them out on the internet and I found all sorts of information on Options Talent (look at all entries for Options Talent - the majority of entries will show an unsatisfactory record with the Better Business Bureau)

At this point I knew they were a fraud but I decided to see how far they would take it - so I took the phone call when they called the next day. The talent executive, by the name of Rashida Coleman, that I spoke with sounded like a telemarketer. I asked and was told I would be able to work with JC Penny, Sears, and Wal-Mart through them. I was told I would definitely have a $70+ job an hour working in print advertising in no time at all. I was told they would give me a three week notice before I got set up with any jobs.

This woman even made a statement that involved them (Options Talent) actually booking me with a job even though they aren't supposed to be an agency that does that sort of thing. She mentioned the costs and asked me if I was serious about this. Through this part of the conversation I acted very unsure of whether or not I wanted to do this because of my current financial situation and the fact that I had just lost my job recently.

She told me she was going to speak with the executive director about me and review with her the discussion that she had with me to see if I could join them. When their executive director got on the phone I began coughing really bad and put her on hold to get a glass of water. Once I got my water I listened over the phone and observed this executive director and the first lady I was speaking with (Rashida) making comments about how I couldn't make up my mind and laughing about it (making fun of me).

When I got back on the phone I was coughing so hard I could barely speak, while suggesting I might need to go to the hospital. She told me she would put me back on the phone with Rashida to get their corporate number and address and even began trying to coax my credit card information out of me without my direct consent to pay this huge $595 bill while I hacked away on the phone.

After she asked for this I asked her to put me back on the phone with Rashida so I could get their corporate number and address. The conversation barely moved forward as I was screeching and coughing so hard on the phone at each word I tried to get out. I got their information and then Rashida suggested I go to the hospital, but not before she made an appointment for them to call me back the next day. They never did call back.

I did some research to see if they actually worked with the businesses I mentioned. It's hard to do because these stores usually go through agencies. JC-Penny has several agencies they go through. I called Sears' corporate office and they've never heard of OT. I called the photography and marketing division of Wal-Mart and was told that Wal-Mart uses it's own employees for models. This comfirms that I was lied to.

I wrote this long story to demonstrate that their open calls and general method of scouting gives the appearance of an audition and that they let on like they are sellective in who they pick to join their site. In reallity they will take anybody willing to pay. This combined with the fact that I was lied to by virtually all levels of their business (scout, open call session, executives) is ample evidence that they are operating a fraud.

I have filed a complaint with the FTC, the BBB, and my state's attorney general. I also have spent quite a lot of time discussion this matter on the that mysteriously disapeared. I noticed that OT seems to have online scouts or reps trying to discredit people's complaints and stories about them - just as I noticed some of them responding in rebuttles on this site.

I welcome any Options Talent representative to discuss this matter with me IN DETAIL.

Anybody thinking about signing up with these guys should save their money. If there is still any doubt - just go to and then go to the models news section. You will find several "success stories". Notice that they are either vague or mostly contain no specific names. The few that do show specific names really can't be considered a true success in my opinion. For example - check out Porschla Coleman and her site.

All you have to do is read between the lines.....

Peru, Indiana

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/11/2002 01:20 PM and is a permanent record located here: 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. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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Updates & Rebuttals


#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

first name but not last

AUTHOR: james edward - (U.S.A.)

You metioned that when you do click on a models name that you would only get there first name and there last initial. I would hope that is correct because I believe that is the agency trying to protect the models interest. How would you like it if you were a model and ever one in the nation had your First and Last name and area that you lived! I dont think so. I am willing to bet that if you were a lisenced agency that you would be able to get access, if you and formed a partnership(free) with Options Talent.

From being in the industry for several years I have come to realize that ALL forms of getting your name and photo's out there in the world cost money. Options to my understanding just cost way less. You said it yourself that they told you that it was a very difficult buisness and that they warned you of that. Seems like to me that they are honest, because it is a difficult buisness. Another point is that you said they called you the next day before asking for the money right? It seems to me that they were giving you a chance to think it over.

Some places would try to make the sale that night, not the next day when you have had time to think. Last but not least they were honest with you and said that it was a very difficult job, and then ultimatley did not call you back. Sound like you did not have the talent required. I do want to say if your story is true about them laughing at you on the phone, that is obviously rude and uncalled for and they should say that they are sorry. But other then that if you have any knowledge of the industry at all, then they sound pretty d**n reputable.
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#2 UPDATE Employee

Talent Scout Response

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

I just got into this company a few weeks ago, currently known as Trans Continental Talent.

I have not yet discovered all the scams associated with the company, but myself and a few other scouts are just now realizing the poor set up of this company.

When I asked my supervisor about the web site (under construction pages, dead links, and blockades) the responce I was given was it is all because of the new merger with trans continental records. the site has to be updated, and they are currently working to solve the problem....I have not seen any indication that that is the case.

Inside this company, none of the departments talk with one another, each office has an office director who speaks with a rep from the coorporate office regularly to keep updated with the company events. A whole office conference call is conducted about every 2 weeks or so. Durring the conference call, all employees sit in the "fly by night" office, and listen to an unidentified coorporate rep talk about the statistic of the enrolments that month, and any upcomming plans or events, which seem to always be "in the works" or "not ready to make comments about". We are told nothing about the rest of the company, we as scouts are told the same things the talents are told. We have several agency's on our site that represent out models, and we have several clients that directly book out clients.

In out training manual it lists:

Boss New York
LA Models
Karin Models
City Model Management
Fusion Model Management
New York Model Management
T Management
Sony Music
Marie Claire Magazine
WB Network
Empire Magazine
Cartoon Network
Michael Jackson
Fox Network Televison
Bride's Magazine

From my research I have done tonight alone, I have discovered that several of the clients listed have disputed with TCT, and claim that they have never signed, or used any models from the site. I don't know what is or isn't true yet. I am going to approach coorporate with the information I've gathered tonight.

I'll see if I can come up with some more answers for you. I'm very sorry for the anguish the company caused you, please don't blaim the scouts most of us are as ignorant as most of the "talent" approached on the street.
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#3 UPDATE EX-employee responds

OH Danny Boy

AUTHOR: Tey - ()

Okay Danny Boy, now that you have responded to the question..... explain to everyone out there why this 'under construction' site has a problem when Alex owns Spectrum Dreams and other technology companies that create and support the sites?

AND why does this company think it is okay to continue to tell potential and enrolled talent that they are getting this service now when it is not up and running? (and has not ever been)
Aside from that Danny? Do you get charged back your commision when a talent de-enrolls? Did not think so! AND why is this company only worth 6 cents on the stock market if it makes soooo much money?

Of course you probably can not answer this question because you have been comfortable being a part of a rip off! OR do you and so many others simply still believe in what you are doing? I actually feel bad that I ever convinced anyone to enroll with this company.

What are they going to do with all the people who have paid their non-refundable fees when they are out of business?

One last question Danny. Why has the site changed titles from Options Talent to Options?
Why is there a new copywritten name of Options models?

Or are you like the rest? Not realizing the fine details which subtly take over without question!

I believe that would be enough to keep you seeking for a little while. I am sure that they have a good 'reason' that they will be prepared to tell any who ask.(and why should employees have to ask after the facts anyway?) Of course the most obvious reason may be that they sold the sports franchise to Tom Weinerd (or however you spell his last name)(or did anyone realize that either?) and with this they must change from talent to models due to this split.

Good luck to you Danny Boy.
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#4 UPDATE Employee

To Answer your questions

AUTHOR: Danny - ()

The represented side of the site is not for models signing through Options that have gotten representation. Options is allowing any legitimate modeling agency to post their models on that part of the site. As part of tyhe service Options builds a website for the agencies posting their models.

It is all part of Options' mission to help the industry go digital. The reason the section is taking a whle is it is being launched with over 100 agencies and each of those sites must be built before it launches. Once it is launched any model that is sighned by one of those agencies will have their composite posted on that models site as well as on the Options site.

So a model could then be represented by several agencies and have multiple digital composites (each with different pictures) for just $20 per month (after the initial $595)
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#5 Author of original report

..out of curiousity I would like for one of Option's reps to answer at least one question that I have.

AUTHOR: John - ()

This forum has a lot of information in it that includeds how their scouts were paid per each enrollment and other interesting discussions. When searching for "options talent" in yahoo or google a thread titled Warning: Options Talent would be the #7 search result. The forum was mysteriously taken down a couple weeks ago.

Really though, out of curiousity I would like for one of Option's reps to answer at least one question that I have. I can care less how much a regular model has to pay to get in the business. If Options Talent isn't an agency and only provides an online database for pictures - why in the HELL does it cost $595 + $30 per month + $15 per additional picture to have a picture posted on a website? 50,000 or so members (according to one of their reps that posted on the above forum by the name of Scout) and a few ridiculously cheap and vague success stories - how can Options Talent justify these costs?

One last thing for now - When are you guys going to fix the Represented section of your View Models page to where it doesn't say it's "currently undergoing major performance upgrades." It's been like this since I first checked over a month ago.

This is where the real truth is concerning the BS success stories are isn't it?
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#6 0

Represented? And when ever will Options Talent joke respond?

AUTHOR: - ()

Options Talent:

I have checked this site regularily and have noticed no rebuttals or responses to my report. Does this mean it's OK for your telemarketers to continue trying to swindle somebody over the phone who may obviously be having a medical emergency? Is it also OK for your "executives" to request credit card information to collect payment for your "service" even though they may not be authorized to do so? Is it OK for your executives to falsely state that somebody could be getting a modelling job with a certain company due to option's services. What's next? Will options be assisting NASA in getting pictures of our solar system? Maybe they'll have a "pay us $50,000.95 and get a chance to BE ONE OF THE FEW BIG STARS" contest.

Once and for all - When you have your open calls do you take any and everybody that is willing to shell out $595+, or is it actually a process that involves sellecting certain people based on traits like an audition?

Just out of curiousity - how many people are actually in your "Represented" section? Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe that "represented" means that they are signed with at least one agency due to option's service - and so HAVE A JOB WITH A CREDIBLE AGENCY. unrepresented models are the ones that are not signed with an agency aren't they? So if I'm right - then your website is a fraud in itself in that it doesn't provide the services it supposably provides. When you go to click on "view models" and then when you get to the models page when you click on the "Represented" section you get the following error message: "This section of the site is currently undergoing major performance upgrades...".

According to the reps at the open call -agencies access the composite cards and pictures via your website with a username and password. The New Faces, Featured, and Unrepresented links all ask for a username and password. So anybody who is in your so called "Represented" section hasn't been getting seen by any of those big agencies that you claim would be accessing your site. Well..... I guess you could always go to the "Model News" section. I see quite a few new faces and vague info popping up on there. 10 to be exact, but they all have only first name and last initials -I'm guessing that they are phony.

It's kinda funny how your BS news section gets more "performance upgrades" than the part of your site that is supposed to provide actual service to your models... if there are any represented models on your site. Are there?

Seriously though - If anybody from Options Talent feels my information is false in any way - I welcome them to discuss these things with me so that any false pretenses on my part that may exist be corrected. If anybody from Options Talent sees this and feels they may be able to answer any of my questions - please answer any and all that may apply to you. Only answer though if you can give details and facts - NOT BS.
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