Report: #331033

Complaint Review: John Robert Powers & Pacific Talent Academey

  • Submitted: Wed, May 07, 2008
  • Updated: Wed, July 02, 2008
  • Reported By: Los Gatos California
  • John Robert Powers & Pacific Talent Academey

JRP John Robert Powers Also Pacific Talent Academey Stole thousands $, chged co names opened new school out of state, contract useless San Jose, Marin County, Seattle Washington, Nevada Nationwide

*Consumer Comment: JRP Just After Your Money?

*Consumer Comment: You can't sue someone simply because you are a failure...

*Consumer Comment: Albuquerque Scool did the same to us.

*UPDATE Employee: JRP San Jose insider

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I paid 7900 Program 4.0 for Fundamental Development this was to include Head Shot and Zed Card 1 or 2 workshops a week, Celebrity Training and workshops once a month and two (2) talent showcases for multiple Hollywood Agents per year.

What I got was two classes, one with a teacher who openly discussed his rehab with 12 year olds. He also yelled and humiliated students and had no prior training as a teacher. He was a "Life Skills" Teacher... nice huh... want you kid to hear that kind of stuff? Who are these teachers that JRP will not allow you to talk to directly until your child has been exposed to them for three months?? Would you leave you kid with just anyone?? Well we found out that thats just what JRP was doing, and not letting us into meet these people. Now the owner closed the school and took off with the money to open another school under a different name and will probably do the same thing to others.

So classes started in September 2007 and ended in December, (2) then JRP did a housecleaning of all the staff, and cancelled our classes and jerked us around for months, and my daughter floundered until one day I called the school in anger to find, they were closed down by corporate - liscence to operate was being revoked, then the next day a new message, that JRP was changing ownership... different stories.... at anyrate the NEW OWNERSHIP is NOT giving the same level of service that was agreed to by the contract. And as a franchise, I strongly believe if you order a BIG MAC you should get a BIG MAC not a cheese burger...... I'm offered a cold cheese burger...

Stanley Robinson owned JRP and now is starting in WA and Nevada - Watch out people, hold your wallets!

1,600 families have signed a contract with John Robert Powers (JRP) each paying between 2,000 and 12,000 dollars for acting classes, photos, celebrity workshops and private instruction and have recently been left with an UN-rendered service.

The only way this class action law suit will work is with mass numbers of families doing something. We can talk all day long about the things we want to see changed, but nothing will change unless we actually DO something about it and take ACTION!

There has been a conflict within JRP and nobody is taking responsibility! Now us parents are taking responsibility and are moving forward as a unified group!

For those parents that attended the new owners parent meetings: YOU HAVE BEEN LIED TO!

The flier given out to parents with Stanley Robinsons information will lead absolutely nowhere. The statement given "JRP has nothing to do with this, you signed a contract with Robinson Pozos and Associates" is a complete lie. How can this have nothing to do with JRP? This has everything to do with JRP.

John Robert Powers is not a charity or a non-profit. They are a money making machine.

The purpose for Steve Thompson to give out "free classes" is to:

1.) Hopefully receive re-enrollments from prospective families that believe Steve is the Good Guy.

2.) Direct parents toward Stanley Robinson for their refund and steer the blame away from JRP Corporate for any class action law suit.

3.) I believe Steve has a contract with JRP Corporate and has been planted to run and cover up what has been done to Santa Clara and Marin and if parents choose to take these "free" classes, this may jeopardize any legal recourse you may have.

All parties are to blame. Corporate is involved in this transfer AND Stanley Robinson has taken nearly 3 million dollars of client monies and transferred it into other schools that are currently operating. This is where your money has gone:


-Steve Thompson stated at a parent meeting "Class action lawsuits don't happen, I am not a lawyer but it doesn't work that way"

Well actually Steve, it DOES work that way.

Contrary to popular belief, this circumstance is 100% worthy of a class action law suit. Each family has purchased services and those services have gone UN-rendered. Each and every family can be a part of this lawsuit. This lawsuit costs you nothing but your time filing your complaint. Without your complaint, we don't have a lawsuit.

Now this kind of thing has happened before with JRP and will happen again unless parents actually do something about it. The reason why this JRP system falls apart over and over again is because it is based upon a lie, a bait and switch marketing plan. It is based upon deceit and a marketing lie that only leads to more lies until you have an entire system that is completely untrustworthy. Not only is JRP based upon a marketing lie, they operate under absolutely NO private or secondary school jurisdictions. Within the entertainment industry, it is very well known that JRP is not a reputable schooling system. In fact most agents will tell newly signed clients to take JRP off their resume. We had to!!!!! We were laughed at at an audition!!!

The reason why JRP has lasted so long is because parents have always become frustrated as a single entity and has never had the power of numbers. There are thousands of families across the country that have become frustrated and then exhausted because they could not do anything about it by themselves. There are potentially thousands more families that will enter a system that is actually set up as a trap. It is a bait and switch operation that preys on the hopes and dreams of children and the wallets of their parents.

This circumstance is very different because we have parent support and greater numbers of families that are willing to come forward with their complaint than ever before. There are many families involved, the Santa Clara County DA is working on this Norm Levy, and soon to be Civil Class Action Law Suit, and now the public must become involved. This is the only way to create instant change and public support. JRP has existed for a very long time under this business plan because nobody has done anything about it. Well we are doing something about it!


Los Gatos, California

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/07/2008 01:47 AM 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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#1 Consumer Comment

JRP Just After Your Money?

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

My daughter attended an open audition with a special NY talent scout for JRP in Albuquerque. The scout believed my daughter had huge potential in modeling and possibly acting. She received a call back, then a second call back later that day, at which time I was presented with a contract. The scout encouraged me to sign my daughter up for the "Elite" program--unlimited classes for 3 yrs for $5900. She then said that she was going to give her a scholarship of almost 50% (but don't tell the other parents) and it would be a shame to see such talent as my daughter's wasted. I signed on the dotted line.

I wish now I had researched a bit into the classes and especially the "coaches." A few are great with kids while others lack skill; my daughter was informed by one coach that her posture seemed "crooked" and she should talk to me about seeing a chiropractor! (No, this woman is not medically trained and even if she were, it is grossly inappropriate to dole out such information to a 10 yr old child!) Another coach was pretty harsh with criticism of a monologue that my daughter had written herself and was actually having a lot of fun with--until he cut her down because he didn't feel her southern accent was good enough. In addition, I have found out that modeling for youth doesn't begin until the age of 16.... so why recommend she take classes now, instead of 3 yrs from now?!

JRP in my city does hold monthly auditions with casting agents from NY and LA, but it seems that even if you receive a call-back, the only way to really get work is to relocate. I signed my daughter up more for basic training and to develop skills she can use in the future; however, this is of course dependent on quality instruction and so far, I'm under-impressed.

I know that the company is a franchise and only as good as its owners/staff, but still... All in all, I feel like they do use high-pressure sales techniques, inconsistent pricing, and don't provide a lot of up-front information about the classes, instructors, and what to expect. It's more about the credit card and indeterminate "potential", and I'm now wondering if the "scholarship" was just a way to sell me something that would fit my single-parent budget.
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#2 Consumer Comment

You can't sue someone simply because you are a failure...

AUTHOR: Global310 - (U.S.A.)

JRP Talent is a school and NOT and Agency. They also create oppourtunities for people who live in the 'boondocks' to get seen by casting directors, talent agents, and talent managers. What part of this do people not understand. I laugh when I hear all of these 'sour grapes' stories from people who couldn't cut it at JRP Talent. Believe me, if you can't make it through the acting and developement courses that John Robert Powers offers (YES for a shocking) then you are are not going to cut in this business period. If you are living somewhere other than Hollywood ( i.e. you live in the middle of nowhere) and you have no training or skills...JRP Talent is simply the only opportunity you are going to have.

I see a lot of complaints about John Robert Powers on the internet and they are usually very emotional and offer a lot of scathing criticism ...yet I never hear about how these complainers went on and found a better way...or got discovered, or found someone to pay their way, or found someone to give them free acting classes, or got an agent to represent them with no previous experience or training....The only thing I hear them saying is that that they quit and gave up. Then they get on the internet and blame John Robert Powers for crushing their dreams and for their miserable lives.

I myself have never attended JRP. I am however, an actor who has been around the block. Several times. Acting takes more dedication, persistance, and talent than any other occupation out there. With no guarantee of success or even pay. JRP Talent uses the images from previous clients who went on to stardom in their marketing materials. My question is ....where are the success stories from all those people who dropped out of John Robert Powers? There are none because they are they are just a bunch of quiters. Hollywood is about survival of the fittest. JRP Talent trains people for success and naturally some people are not going to have what it takes. Sorry. Your "report" is nothing more than LIBEL and should not be allowed to continue. Blaming others for your failures is bad karma...and it sounds to me like that's exactly what your living through now.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Albuquerque Scool did the same to us.

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

In Albuquerque New Mexico, the exact same thing just happened. Under the Pacific Modeling and Acting name, we signed for the exact same services as the original complaint... Fundamental development, photo shoot, head-shot and zed cards, workshops once a month on Saturday and Sunday, celebrity training with Dylon & Cole Sprouse, and two (2) talent showcases for six (6) Hollywood Agents.

We understand that this is a school and don't expect any more than a school should provide. However after just two classes, the company disappeared. It took me two solid days to track the company to the following address:

Pacific Modeling and Acting Academy
5201 Great America Parkway
Suite 441
Santa Clara, CA 95054

My credit card report lists the company that charged my card as Pacific Modeling and Acting Academy, but the phone number listed when called answers as John Robert Powers. This is all under the ownership of Stanley Robinson.

As I read numerous complaints and reports, the story seems to all have a very similar pattern...

For us the time line is:
March 16th 2008 - we attend an audition for my child

March 17th 2008 - we received a call back and interview was scheduled

March 17th 2008 - we paid for tuition, $9,900. We had to pay in advance, for a year of training once per month (two classes Saturday and one class Sunday)

March 25th 2008 - We received an email with a scheduled photo shoot with a reputable local photographer. Shoot was scheduled for April 27th

April 17th 2008 - We received an email stating that the photo shoot was postponed while they look for another photographer

April 26th & 27th 2008 - 1st set of classes held in the Doubletree hotel.

May 17th & 18th 2008 - 2nd set of classes held in the Doubletree hotel. This time the Director of the school did not show up, but classes continued

May 23rd 2008 - I was informed by a teacher that the school closed and he, the teacher, was laid off

May 24th 2008 - I spoke to a former employee from the Santa Clara office that on Monday May 19th the doors were locked as the employees arrived and they were laid off

I spent the rest of the 23rd and 24th trying to contact anyone at the school, but to no avail.

At first, it can be understood that there were bad business situations that may cause a school to close. But just the mere fact that my money was processed by John Robert Powers as traced by my American Express credit card bank and the phone number on the credit card charge is traced directly to the address I gave above, gives me suspicion that the John Robert Powers franchisor and franchisee may be playing a very elaborate play of "Cash-N-Dash". Start a franchise under an LLC than pay all the franchise fees, draining all the funds raised for a start-up, triggering a bankruptcy of the LLC in the different name.

At the bare minimum, John Robert Powers should have a much more stringent franchise qualification for franchise applicants. But since JRP is such a well established company, and there are so many exact similar stories, it is very suspicious that this is intentional.

There may be a number of John Robert Powers franchises that are legitimate but this particular person seems to be fraudulent.

I am willing to partake in any class action that that the Santa Clara courts have on file on any of these companies. Anyone who wishes to discuss this with me further may contact me through the proper channels of this web site. It is evident that this fraud is crossing state lines into New Mexico.
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#4 UPDATE Employee

JRP San Jose insider

AUTHOR: Xyline01 - (U.S.A.)

I am currently employed by JRP under new ownership located in San Jose, CA. The franchise did indeed relocate about 2 months ago from Patrick Henry Dr. In Santa Clara, to Oakland Rd in San Jose, due to unforeseen circumstances involving the previous owner, Stanley Robinson's surrender of the school. Myself and the employees who were employed by JRP (Robinson pozos and associates LLC) like many of thousands of families were completely left in the dark when we were laid off an told we would be contacted by Stanley with further information. None ever came. For weeks we wondered what would become of the thousands of dedicated, hard-working families who had invested so much of their time and money, (some parents drive up to 4 hours to bring their children to our classes each week) and what would become of us. It was only until Steve Thompson, the new owner of that particular Franchise of JRP called us did we get the real story. I do not know Stanley personally, and it is still not clear whether he willingly abandoned the Santa Clara franchise, or if he was legally forced to do so. What I do know is that the thousands of families who have signed a contract with JRP Santa Clara (previously Patrick Henry Dr.) are still considerably irked, and rightfully so. Some families paid for head shots that they never received due to the change in venue, hiatus of classes, and obviously, the change of ownership. Many were never contacted by the new owner and were never notified of the new location, or given any information about the continuation of classes. After paying thousands of dollars, and driving for hours to drive their children to classes, (especially when gas is well over $4 a gallon....) it is to be expected that many will be upset. The problem is that many parents are blaming the new current owner for the past owner's, well, for lack of a better word, mess. Though I do sympathize and truly understand the concern and anger of many parents who think JRP as a whole is to blame, I must respectfully point out that the contract that the parents signed was with JRP Robinson Pozos and Associates LLC, NOT with Steve Thompson. I urge parents to remember this and consider contacting Stanley Robinson to inquire about head shots, financial issues, and any other concerns pertaining to concerns regarding JRP formally located in Santa Clara. One of the reasons why it was extremely difficult to contact most of the parents of enrolled students was due to the fact that Stanley had all students' contact information and we were physically unable to obtain it. We are trying to move forward, as classes have now been in session at the new (and completely improved) location for several weeks. We also know that it will be a long journey ahead, as there are still concerned parents who feel that they have been "ripped off".... and maybe they have. But I can promise that if any of them have been ripped off, it has NOT been by the new owner who abides by good ethics and runs the establishment with poise, culture, and professionalism. If any parents feel that they have been ripped off, I respectfully ask them to reconsider their attitude toward the new JRP in San Jose and consider contacting the former owner with any questions. I think I speak for most of the employees here at JRP San Jose when I say that we enjoy working with every child and we take all parents and this situation with extreme seriousness.

I also wanted to add that JRP is a SCHOOL, not an AGENCY. I'm a little bit irritated when I read about parents complaining about being "ripped-off" because their child didn't get any gigs, didn't get call backs, or didn't "make it" in the industry. We are a professional school, folks. Not an agency. Please consider this before signing any contracts with us. We have got some of the top modeling and acting instructors around, some of our teachers having resumes that have pages and pages of staggering credentials including working on major motion pictures (Matrix, etc) and long-term modeling contracts with big-name agencies in Los Angeles, and overseas. We have a tremendous success rate (JRP alum. include Brenda Song and hundreds more!) and continue to train children, providing them the proper tools to wow casting directors, agents, and more. We are NOT an agency, and obviously every child is different, so we cannot ensure that all children will have their own tv show within the year. That is up to the child themselves. We provide the training. And having working there for several months, I have seen first-hand that the training is top-quality and many of the employees even enroll their own children in the program. It is anything but a scam. The people who are saying that JRP is a "scam" must be confusing JRP with an agency. We are a school. We teach. And we do an excellent job at that.

I must address a statement that was made by a woman who wrote a rip-off report recently about JRP: "John Robert Powers is not a charity or a non-profit. They are a money making machine." Again, I do understand the frustration, surely I can detect it in this attack. I must respectfully point out, however, that JRP, like ANY other business, does INDEED make money. Of course JRP is not a charity organization. Nor do we tell people we are. We are a business. Is it a crime to make money at our business? But we also care. We care about the children and when we go home, we talk about our students at the dinner table, and we call each other up to discuss our classes.

I am deeply sorry to all parents who feel cheated by the previous owner of the Santa Clara JRP. Please note that this is not an attack on Stanley Robinson, either, as much of his story remains untold. JRP San Jose will continue to provide the best services to all parents and their children to help make the transition between schools as comfortable as possible.
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