Wallingford, CT (PressExposure) September 17, 2008 -- If you are walking through a shopping mall, someone approaches you and tells you your children âhave the lookâ to be models or work in show business, beware.
Connecticut Better Business Bureau has received more than a dozen complaints since July about a South Norwalk company, InterFACE Talent Network, that has been using this tactic to attract clients, leaving a trail of unhappy consumers who feel they were bilked out of money by high pressure sales tactics, undelivered verbal promises and cancellation issues.
According to CT BBB President, Paulette Hotton Scarpetti, âWe have processed a significant number of complaints since July, 2008 and there is a clear pattern of questionable sales practices, advertising issues and cancellation problems. Parents should be made aware of these.â
While sixteen complaints about InterFACE were filed with Connecticut Better Bureau in July and August alone, 139 complaints were received by the Trenton, New Jersey BBB during the past three years against the New Jersey-based Industry Model & Talent Studios, which is run by the same principal as InterFACE, Roman Vintfeld.
BBB has given InterFACE Talent an unsatisfactory rating. The company also goes under a variety of names in Connecticut and New Jersey, including Industry Model & Talent Studios, LLC, Nijah Models & Talent, NIJAH, InterFACE World Group, and Interface SoNo, LLC.
Better Business Bureau case files show that company representatives recruit individuals, particularly children in major shopping malls in Danbury, Milford, Trumbull and Manchester. Parents are told their children have âthe lookâ to be models and that they should bring their children to the companyâs South Norwalk headquarters for a âfreeâ consultation.
BBB has moved quickly to warn shopping mall management about this companyâs business and selling practices.
Parents who have gone to the appointments with their children have complained to BBB about high pressure sales tactics, and that the sales representatives of InterFACE misrepresent the companyâs products, services and fees.
Complaints reveal the company offers packages ranging from $500 to $5,500, and that a photo shoot is required for composite cards and posting on the companyâs web site. Some parents complain that they were never told about these additional fees for those services. When some parents complained, the company arbitrarily dropped the price to accommodate the consumers and secure an on-the-spot deposit.
Moreover, parents also complained they were told they may cancel the contract, only to find out written cancellation was required, sent by certified mail and received within a specified time frame, which parents claim is impossible to meet.
Though the company has provided refunds to consumers who complained through BBB, it has not addressed consumersâ concerns about the companyâs high pressure sales tactics and misrepresentation of the companyâs products and services.
Scarpetti summarizes, âThis is another example where people will make a decision based on a verbal promise. BBB recommends consumers ensure that all verbal promises for all contracts be put in writing.â
InterFACE Talent Network operates a number of websites. For a full list enter the name InterFACE Talent Network in âSearch for a business or charityâ at the BBB web site.
Though visions of stardom may blind some people, consumers should steer clear of high pressure sales tactics and promises, and check companiesâ Reliability Reports at http://www.bbb.org