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AMMS American Mall Model SearchScam, fraud, misrepresentation

First, I spoke to Carolyn [protected]), the owner of the company when I first got the call about my daughter auditioning. Tonya put her on the phone. I specifically asked, "After the runway initial audition, do you then ask us to buy anything like photos?" Her reply was along the lines of "...we are not a modeling agency. we do not train, we do not have modeling classes, we just represent the stores in the mall like Aeropostale, Macy's and get paid by the malls across America to advertise their clothes. At the same time, we take all of our photos and videos of the contestants and forward them to all of the major modeling agencies. We do not charge you anything if you are chosen to advance in the competition."
I then asked again, "So do you require a fee paid photo-shoot to advance?" Her answer was emphatically, "No!" She said that at the competition, there will be photographers and videographers and they would probably sell you their photos for $10 apiece, sort of like Santa’s photos at the mall… at your option. But that’s between you and them.
Satisfied with her answers that this was not your typical "sell fame and charge for services" SCAM, I took my daughter to the Mall.
Of course she was chosen along with everyone else that showed up (accept for one person who I suspect is a shill).
Now comes the real story. The Producer/Director said, "Although your daughter has been selected, she cannot advance without spending a minimum of $150 for online photos by our photographer or $300 for a book of the photos." I indicated that I have professional photos and she has professionally modeled and I would bring in her Bio/Resume and her portfolio. He said, "I don't care how good she is or experienced she is or how good her portfolio is, I guaranty that she will not get chosen to advance without buying one of these packages.
I conveyed to him about my conversation with the owner, Carolyn and he told me, "send everything to her then, but I guaranty that she will not get chosen to advance without buying one of these packages."
I argued that, "If you are truly looking for talent, then why would you restrict your search to the less talented just because they are paying?"
He said in a gruff and irritated voice, "Look! You just don't get it. Do you know people at Ford Modeling Agency? We do and if you want a chance to get there, then you need to buy one of these packages." and walked away.
As you can see, this is a scam. I've always had an agent in the entertainment business and they never charged me a dime until after I was booked and paid. They got a percentage.
Their business model is full of lies and misrepresentation and unethical business practices if not downright illegal.
I am contemplating a class action suit against this very large company and for those of you who have lost money, lost time, suffered family grievances due to the emotional upheaval of a child’s dreams, feel free to let me know at "ejtopp at in dot com"
Perhaps we can force them and others like them to behave in a legitimate manner or shut down.
They claim that 20, 000 candidates sign-up per month. At a minimum of $150 per person that is $3 million per month or $36 million per year. That’s big for photography but they are not selling photography. They are selling fame and delivering photography.

By the way, the only positive statements on this blog are probably originated by AMMS under false names and locations.

Responses

  • Mr
    mrsffcruzer Mar 02, 2012
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    First of all, have any of you even priced what it would cost to get 15 photos done for a portfolio? About $600-$1000 starting. Second, I am sure half of you spend $150 a month in junk, i.e... Food, movies, clothes, so this is a small fee for photos, practice, and the experience. If you are looking for an agent go to an agent. AMMS is not an agent. They are a scout to get you in the door. They do not make promises. Think of them as this: Monster.com, indeed, career builder... they are all your "helpers" to find a job right? Well that is what AMMS is. They assist in getting you ready for what may come. If you or your child go into this with the thoughts that your child is going to win big and get a contract right away you’re wrong. It takes time and effort. My daughters are about to do the photo shoot portion, and they are excited.. They do not scam you as you all claim... Even if my daughters do not get contracts… At least they had fun and got great pictures. If you put your child in sports what do you pay? What does your child gain? Fun and experience... and that is worth the small $150 you will pay. They are not asking you to pay thousands of dollars, just pay a reasonable amount for the photo shoot. The rest is free. And they are not even competing against other children; they are competing against their selves. It challenges them to let go and be creative and they even get to design their shirt to show their personality. So I am happy that we are paying the small fee, this is a memory that will last a life time.. Maybe the parents who complain are looking for a fast way to make a buck using their child or maybe you want so badly to make your child a star that you can't see that there are more important things like experiences.. And NO I am not a blogger for AMMS, I am a real person who loves to her daughters smile and have fun.

    0 Votes
  • Di
    dissappointedparent100 Jan 17, 2012
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I was also ripped off. Simply put DO NOT DO IT!~ SCAM!!! Do not waste your monies or time. Don't bother asking questions they will tell you what you want to hear. Especially do not let your child's dreams be throw to the wayside. FIND A REAL AGENT locally! The company is a cheat! They should be held accountable! They should be prosecuted for misrepresentation and fraud.

    0 Votes
  • Li
    Lisa133168 Jan 06, 2012

    I think it is funny, I email the Matt House guy with the email address on the business card he gave me and I get a response from a A guy named Matt Decker! Wow at least the guy could have used the same name that he uses on his business card!

    0 Votes
  • 2l
    2legit Dec 30, 2011

    AMMS was one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a parent for your child. Sadly, those parasites ripped me off of $150 for a CD of pictures. Look, if you want to get your kid started all legitimate agencies ask for is snapshots (a good headshot, full length and profile). You can even email your photos to some agencies. They'll also want measurements, these bozos didn't even do that. Then, if your called back they will interview your child and see how they fair face to face, take their own measurements, then recommend a photographer they work with that best suits your child's age group. Save your Money and do it legitimately :)

    To Amms bloggers: your words have NO validation when your action/lack of professionalism speaks in volumes

    0 Votes
  • So
    Southern_Belle85 Dec 30, 2011

    I don't agree or disagree. Maybe it depends on the location you go to, because I asked those questions about if it cost anything and they were honest and very polite about it all. Maybe if an attitude was presented to them first it would then be given back. I know I would if I worked at a place like that... Think about all the "snoody" people they have to deal with or dealt with before you had shown up. I Auditioned and I was picked. Yes, I already have a portfolio by a professional who does amazing work, and they accepted my portfolio. And YES, I did pay for a photo shoot with them (Which I also received my photo's, they weren't just online) and I did the cheapest package offered. It's not that they won't take your professional portfolio, but they need to see that the person auditioning can follow directions. And speaking as a mother for everyone of you saying AMMS broke your kids hearts or feelings... you might want to re-think that theory and look in the mirror at who let them audition in the first place. Second if it was a scam, then why would they turn anyone down BEFORE the photo shoot? I had really close friends that auditioned with me and not everyone made it and they were told upfront they didn't make it. However... I did make it and I am currently offered a 1 year agency contract. Everyone has their own opinions on this, but don't judge or talk crap, if you failed to go all the way to see the final results!! Everyone automatically assumes it's a scam because they ask for you to pay for a photo shoot, but MAYBE you're just cheap and already have it in your head that AMMS is a scam... You have to spend money to make money!! Not one person here has convinced me it is a scam nor can any of you provide any facts or evidence that it is; because not one of you did the whole thing or were offered a contract, then screwed over by AMMS to say it is a SCAM. I too am a veteran, so mind your mouth when you say certain things about being deployed when WE (SOLDIERS, MARINES, & SAILORS) are the ones fighting for this ungrateful country of ours " to have people like this ruining it. I feel it should be outlawed. It is one thing to disappoint an adult. It is another to crush the dreams of children." No disrespect, but everyone of you played a part in hurting your childrens' feeling's and or dream's. You as parents are the ones who put their own children in that predicament in the first place... NO ONE held a gun to your head and said to enter your child into the model search and when AMMS said it cost money, they never said you had to do it. Just a little food for thought... Don't put all the blame on AMMS. As for Maiden1267, Watch your mouth, all of these statements are opinions... there is no need to cuss at anyone!! Have a great day :0)

    0 Votes
  • Ju
    Jul123456 Oct 10, 2011

    Oh and I forgat to add, I think they made my daughters pic bad on purpose, because when they saw my profolio their so called manager went through the book 4 times and told me that it was one of the best kid profolio she ever saw . That's why I think they didnt let me use it and they made those horrible pic. My daughter takes gourges pic and she can pose like adult even she is only 5. Don't waste your money if you really have talent real agents will make everything's possible to make you famous and then they will get paid!!!

    0 Votes
  • Ju
    Jul123456 Oct 10, 2011

    I strongly agree it's a scam and lost $300 for the pic that was not even close to professional as they claim. I am I am senior pghotogropher student and I know what professional. I do 1000% better pic then they and I did my daughters profolio but they didn't accepted because they said they have to do it. When I showed my profolio that I did to pro photographers they all ask me who I used to do this because it was so good. They thought I spend fortune for that profolio. Don't waste your money go to real pros to do pic. They just want money from you, even those it's says in there book that you can use your own profolio they don't allow you to. THATS FIRST THING IT SHOULD SHAKe YOU UP IT'S JUST SCAM, if it's pro you should be able to present your stuff if you have it, they are far from professionals and the funny thing my daughter is excellent in posing and taking pic but they made her look afful her every day pic 100% better then so called professionals shots that they did. My advice maybe spend little more but do real professional profolio.

    0 Votes
  • Ma
    Maiden1267 Jul 21, 2011

    Rose145... you're full of ###.

    0 Votes
  • Ma
    Maiden1267 Jul 21, 2011

    I just left the Chandler Mall in AZ where the preschooler who was trying to run the thing copped an attitude with me when I asked if there was a fee. I was not going to sit through the whole ridiculous scam only to find out 2 hours later that it was in fact a scam. Mr. Attitude, after having to ask 3 times, finally admitted that there is a fee if my son made it as a finalist. I looked at him and said goodbye. I went through all of this 30 years ago!! My parents were scammed by a company in NY who did the same thing to me when I was 12! This is the same crap that goes on all over the country. I feel horrible because my son was hurt by my actions but I'll be damned if I'm going to sit through ### like that. I wasted my time, gas, and my son's feeling got hurt. I certainly wasn't going to waste money!

    0 Votes
  • Ro
    Rose145 Jun 28, 2011

    Its sad about these naive people would think its a scam. They never even talk to people who actually made it through. Your all stupid. You have to give and take. You give them some money and they will make you famous. I mean i made it through without paying a cent because of my SPONSOR!!! So if your just going to complain and whine no one will want you. I landed it on movies such as twilight. It was fun and I owe it to robin. I didnt even work for the company itself. They gave me something I couldnt give myself. HOPE so keep talking trash...But karma will bite you in the butt :/

    -1 Votes
  • Qd
    qd1801 Jun 27, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    My daughter is begging me to do the pictures. I was also told to just put anything down or she would have to reaudition. I knew it was a scam. The sad thing is there were so many people there that you could tell were poor. Probably spending their last to make their kids happy. I feel very sad for them. My husband is in Iraq fighting for this country and to have people like this ruining it. I feel it should be outlawed. It is one thing to disappoint an adult. It is another to crush the dreams of children.

    1 Votes
  • Go
    got played Jun 26, 2011

    I strongly agree this is a fraud. I also got a call for my daughter to audition, they explaned that she was to walk a runway and say a line.But when we first got there I asked do I have to pay or anything they said no just do the walkway and remember some lines to say thats it.Although my daughter didnt make it they called again for my other daughter to come I figured why not it was fun just trying out and we didnt have to pay, so i took my other daughter down. it was diffrent people except for one girl.My daughter made it she was so happy at the end they asked us to pay $150 or make three payments of $50 for a photoshoot I didnt think it was right at the time but I dont know the industry so i put $25 down. which was dumb on my part. they explained we dont get the photos they will give us a pass word for a web site to look at them.My daughter and I went for the photoshoot but they wanted $75 upfront we just left.They want more money each time you advance to the next step.I feel like if they are looking for talent and they see a person with it get them in and after they get paid get thier percentage or whatever out of thier paycheck but nothing upfront. Now I'm out $25 and my daughter is sad and not really understanding right now.I'm a mother of 8 I can't just be giving out money like that.Although there are other families that paid way more.

    1 Votes

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