I have just read the most recent complaints against the Barbizon Agency and I was absolutely horrified to read the exact same horrific experience that my daughter and I have experienced with Barbizon. Word for word the experiences are identical leading me to realize the the Barbizon employees use a script when attempting to recruit new students..which is the true reason they hold their "auditions" and "seminars" they purposely mislead people....they hold their "auditions" and "seminars" for one reason only and that is to acquire new students for their tuition based program...Negative reviews from victims are all over the internet and I am disappointed in myself for not checking the reviews before handing over $1000 yesterday to Barbizon.
Initially my 17 year old daughter was contacted by Sarah from Barbizon Modeling Agency in Manhattan after my daughter had responded to an internet ad stating that they were looking for actresses and models.. Sarah contacted me and asked my daughter and and I to come in for an 'AUDITION" that was being held yesterday 10/2/16 in Manhattan... We first, along with about 100 other participants and their parents were told a little about the industry and how children just like our children were being paid $20,000 per commercial after attending Barbizon..my daughter and I then were asked to step into Sarahs office and my daughter was asked by Sarah to audition for her by reading a script and walking down an imaginary runway . Sarah then informed us based on her observation that my daughter had that "something" that would appeal to the public particularly in advertising..she repeatedly emphasized that out of the hundreds who audition only 5 or 6 would be chosen..this statement was very powerful and created a feeling of urgency in decision making..my daughter and I were so excited we were crying..she then said she needed to speak to her talent manager to discuss if my daughter would be "accepted" into their "program" We were so excited.
After what seemed an eternity Sarah returned with what we thought was the most exciting and blessed news we had ever heard...She said that the agency was interested in working with my daughter...and that they would like to sign her that same day and have her start immediately because we lived 150 miles away and had traveled so far.. we again were so very excited..she then showed me a contract agreement ..and for the FIRST TIME SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THIS ENTIRE EXPERIENCE WEEKS EARLIER, MENTIONED TUITION....The tuitions was $4790 for 12 classes ..she again emphasized what an honor this was and congratulated us on being "accepted" into the Barbizon ..she told us how many successful actors and actresses had been in their program...and intentionally mislead us into believing that my daughter would be doing commercials..print ads...acting if she worked with Barbizon...she said she herself was a graduate of their program and pulled out 5 professional ads that she was in...she again reminded us of how only 5 or 6 of those children auditioning would be accepted and they couldn't possibly accept everyone into the program..there was a constant sense of urgency...and a constant sense of "my daughter being special"very very high pressure ... I do not consider myself to be a naive person...but these people are VERY PROFICIENT at what they do...this is a smooth polished ***... We were not given any attendance schedule or further information..My daughter was so happy and excited..I read in the contract that i would be refunded in full with no penalty if I wanted to withdraw from the contract within 3 Business days which is the law in NY State..so I signed the contract...and I paid them $1000 cash and I was required to give them my debit card information so that they could take out the remaining balance of $$3790 on Tuesday 10/4/16....at that time she said she wanted my daughter to attend another meeting that night (SHE DID NOT REFER TO IT AS A CLASS) and they wanted to give her a make over and take some photos so we could get the ball rolling immediately...again very high pressure...I had to change our train reservation to return home until later that night....We were then escorted into another part of the building..where some other parents and children were...I was surprised confused by how many (applicants) remained and were moving onto the next phase of acceptance..
..there were probably 80 of them and they were all discussing how high the tuition was...they had ALL BEEN ACCEPTED....I felt my first tinge of terror...basically everyone who agreed to pay the thousands of dollars had been "accepted into Barbizon..this was very upsetting because I realized I had been lied to ...but my daughter was still so excited and I figured I had 3 days to back out...we were at that time (after signing the contract) told that she needed to attend 12 biweekly classes BEGINNING SATURDAY 10/5/16 at 9 am..and that I wouldnt be permitted to wait for her in the building..I was expected to wander around New York City for 6 hours each time....Had I known that, I would never had signed the contract...that would mean that we would have to leave Albany every other Saturday at 5:30 am to arrive in Manhattan by 9am for the next 6 months..they also never bothered to tell me that there was actually a Barbizon in my own home town....I also would have NEVER SIGNED THE CONTRACT IF I KNEW THAT THEY WERE LYING ABOUT SELECTING ONLY 5-6 APPLICANTS...this was all heartbreaking....I was asked to leave after that and could not sit in on anything that was happening...3 hours later I returned to pick up my daughter...her make over consisted of them putting blush on her ...her existing make up and hair had not been touched..they told me they would post 2 photos of her on their Face Book page on Tuesday...hardly the "professional photo shoot and head shots that were promised" On the train home I began reading horrific reviews all over the internet concerning Barbizon and this scam...today I broke the news to my absolutely devastated 17 year old girl..She is still crying..I called Barbizon and told them that I would like to exercise my legal right to with draw from the program...The employee immediately changed her tone of voice and attitude..she said I would not be receiving any of my $1000 payment back because my daughter had already attended her 1st class (only now they were referring to the "meeting" last night as a class) and the employee stated that our registration fee of $990 was NON REFUNDABLE) this fact is ABSOLUTELY not stated in the contract;;she was very rude. I have no doubt that this has happened to 100's of victims...and they count on the fact that most people do not know how to go about filing the proper complaints with the Attorney General of the BBB...Victims do go to the internet however, and their heartbreaking stories are on page after page of review sites. I am a single mother..I am not wealthy...As difficult as it would have been I was willing to do what I could to help my daughter reach her dreams...
, but this is wrong..they have carelessly harmed my child ..that is not acceptable.. I am requesting a full refund of my $1000 due to the fact that I was given purposely false and misleading information concerning the entire program beginning with the very misleading "audition"
Reason of review: Return, Exchange or Cancellation Policy.
Monetary Loss: $1000.
Preferred solution: Full refund.