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1 South Africa Review updated:

Dear Sir/Madam

I was looking for employment for myself and my husband and came across an advert for agents on cruiseliners. I applied and found that my husband and I were invited to an interview. Upon further investigation, I discovered that the employment they were offering required that we pay them R2000 plus we have to pay for our tickets to Miami, and then we are not even sure that we will have a job. I have it all in e-mail form. Better hurry to catch these bugs. They are interviewing a lot of people on Thursday, 7th May 2009, here in Edenvale, Gauteng, South Africa. If I knew more about scams and such, I would know whom to contact, but unfortunately, I don't. I also googled Park West Gallery, whom we were supposed to go and work for, and found there to be a lot of discrepancies in their conduct. As there are not many laws that govern on the high seas, but there are laws in South Africa, I wish I knew whom to contact to warn the gullible people of this country that it is probably one in a million chance that they will get the job once they have paid all their expenses, and not only that, should they get the job, their work will be considered "piracy". I speak for myself and each one, of course, can make up their own mind. I've made up mine. I'm not going to waste good money and "pirate" my way across the oceans at the mercy of a captain and his crew who only benefit from sales upon their ship to their captive audience. Have I opened my big mouth too much again? You decide. Best wishes

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  • Ca
      19th of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    So you expect a free ride to an interview for a job you don't even have? Park West receives inquiries from all over the world. Why would they throw money all over for candidates who may have a polished resume but unpolished personalities, appearances and attitudes. Believe me, I worked in recruiting and I feel my time has been scammed interviewing those who can't cash the worth they build on their resumes.

    Park West partners with Carnival, Oceania, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and Celebrity Cruise lines. I doubt that these reputable cruise lines would do business with scammers for the number of years they have.

  • Ja
      24th of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    I would like to ask the lady whether they actually physically leave for miami for the training, If not is it not very judgmental and negative to decide beforehand that u are not going to get placed. If there is any facts to this story, I would love to know...

  • Dc
      13th of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    There are some personal stories from a number of people who have taken up employment with Park West as a result of their advertising for auctioneers and associates.

  • Go
      18th of Jun, 2009
    -2 Votes

    No its not true...
    About your recruitment agent in ZA asking for fee, i have no idea..
    But for reputation of Park West in the Art MArket.. NO DOUBT
    Park West is the largest art dealer in the world, only the best of you could get hired here.
    And if you read about anything that associate with its all totally WRONG, fine art registry is not something that you should believe, even a single word there...

  • Wo
      24th of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    Park West is under investigation in the U.S. for massive fraud by government agencies! There are several class action lawsuits also. I have been contacted.

    I have a family member who bought hundreds of thousands of art from them only to learn 1) Its worth pennies compared to their appraisels. Art sold for 500K, had a value if authetic and in good condition of maybe 50K... was neither! 2)All of its overpriced and can be bought on Ebay for almost nothing... He was told it was investment grade art worth more than he paid... and given Park West Aprraisels that confirmed that which he paid for ( done by Parwest employees.. which is thus not an appraisel)... all a CON. A Sothebys or Christies will not touch the stuff. Inside Edition took art a passenger bought and tried to sell it... No takers... their modrn masters ...well the work was called poster art by legtimate galleries. NY Times did a simliar research and published a story. There is no question that Park West is thus a very long running scam.

    3) Beware of positve post about Parkwest. It has been found that they have hired PR firms to post such positive stuff on the internet and of course their employees on commission have an incentive also. They also slam anypone who complains about Parkwest. By the way Buyer Beware is meant to warn people against criminals.. it does not do away with the criminal conduct. Believing in some one telling the truth is not a crime, lying to defraud some one is however a crime.

    We are talking about potentially billions of defrauded dollars over a 15 year period... peoples retirements, their kids college.. not just people buying one overpriced and/or phoney painting for a couple of hundred bucks although thats all many are out. They are the lucky ones! The cruise ship in this case got a high percentage of the ill gotten proceeds.. was a big money maker for them. Some cruise ships have now removed Parkwest. Hopefully by this time next year all will have done the same. They have stopped all of their land auctions by the way. Closed their frame shops.

  • Pa
      13th of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    In response to the original post made by Raine:

    Park West Gallery uses Plymouth Auctioneering to recruit potential cruise ship Auctioneer Associates. In South Africa, Plymouth Auctioneering relies on the services of Cruising Auctioneers Recruitment to find applicants interested in becoming Associate Art Auctioneers to represent Park West Gallery. Cruising Auctioneers Recruitment, in no fashion whatsoever, requires applicants to pay for an interview or placement.

    During the interview process, each applicant is informed of all out-of-pocket expenses related to participating in training. This enables candidates to decide for themselves if they wish to continue. These expenses are in line with the standards of most cruise line or concessionaire companies and include the following:

    1. Obtaining a passport
    2. Obtaining all necessary visas
    3. Obtaining a medical exam (required by the cruise lines)
    4. Obtaining a National Seaman’s book (required by the cruise lines)
    5. Airline ticket to the training facility in the USA
    6. Transportation from the airport to the hotel
    7. Approximately 10 dinners during training
    8. Transportation to and from the airport to join ship
    9. Cash for unexpected incidentals

    Cruising Auctioneers Recruitment offers a variety of services, all of which are completely optional to the candidate. These include training, assistance with securing the required visas and/or medical examination, assistance with arranging flights and transportation, etc. In many cases applicants prefer to utilize these optional services from Cruising Auctioneers Recruitment to make the process easier for themselves. Plymouth Auctioneering neither endorses nor recommends these services.

    All information is covered online in the FAQs section of the Cruising Auctioneers Recruitment website at

    In response to the posting made by Wolf1997

    In order to set the record straight, the facts regarding the allegations posted by Wolf 1997 against Park West Gallery are as follows:

    • The information posted by Wolf1997 has originally been published in a series of articles and forum postings at the website of Fine Art Registry, a company who Park West Gallery is suing for defamation.
    • This defamation suit will be tried in Michigan court in October of 2009. We fully anticipate being vindicated in court, as the claims made by Fine Art Registry (and repeated here) are baseless.
    • Park West Gallery has never in our 40 years in business sold an inauthentic work of art, and we have the most extensive customer satisfaction policy in the industry.
    • Park West continues to sell art on cruise ships around the world, and we are proud of the relationship we have developed with our more than 1.2 million satisfied clients.
    • For more information on this issue, visit our site at

  • Za
      21st of Jan, 2013
    0 Votes

    I have done extensive research about overseas employment (UK, USA, etc) and the truth of the matter is, any recruitment agency that offers you assistance in getting visas, booking flights, doing your medicals etc will charge you a fee(which varies according to the job offered). It's called business. Nothing is free and I certainly have not come across any agency that will just sacrifice their time and resources complimentary. They certainly would not be around for very long don't you agree? The cruise ship industry utilizes many such companies to do the leg work for them, especially in Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa and they recruit for a multiple of professions aboard the ships(mostly Food & Beverage and also Housekeeping).
    I went to one of the Cruising Auctioneers Recruitment interviews at their Johannesburg offices and I was very pleased at the professional and courteous way the entire process was conducted. They disclosed the full details of the job opportunity, all costs involved and the entire process of getting visas, ship medicals, flights, etc. They offered to do these services for me from beginning to end which they would charge a fee of R2, 000 for(payable only after everything was completed and all visas etc. was successful I might add!), or I could do it all myself at no charge.Unfortunately I could not pursue this opportunity due to family reasons, but would have loved to do it because my friend went through the process and he is now working on a ship and it looks amazing. He is having the best time over there!
    As for spending money and not having a job secured, well that is a half truth. It's pretty much like any other job in the world... After you get interviewed and get the job, you have to fly to the home office (Miami) for training. You receive a lot of study work which you are expected to be prepared on when you arrive. If however you arrive to job training unprepared or you did not have study or you did something stupid at training, they can refuse to proceed with your employment. Is there ANY company who would NOT do that? Pretty standard stuff here Raine...

    As for Park West Gallery and its affiliates being a scam? Are you kidding me? How stupid do you have to be to believe that someone can run a scam for 43 years over 1.4 million people AND win all the awards in their industry by doing so? Buying art, as with the purchase of ANY other product in the world is a conscience and FREE choice. So how can you try to make it out like people get "conned" out of their money. I don't believe anybody held a gun to their head when they selected their art!?!?
    ANYBODY who is dumb enough to listen to the opinions of people who write such garbage should rather go and talk to one of the thousands of people who love their lives working on cruise ships and make people like me jealous with their stories every time they come home!

  • Ka
      27th of Jul, 2013
    +1 Votes

    I worry about what they're doing with precious works of art - where this art is going and why they use mostly men as auctioneers? When they asked me for a Skype interview I declined.

  • Ka
      27th of Jul, 2013
    +1 Votes

    Isn't it about time they update MARITIME LAW ? Send these people off the plank...

  • Ra
      18th of Oct, 2013
    0 Votes

    I trust you found employment locally at a used car lot and believe your employer's claims that he sells only the best. Business is about more than making money at any or all costs. Having recently taken delivery of a Park West custom framed print that was supposed to be "museum quality" and found it to be framed in plastic with a plexiglass cover, I (now) understand this company is not about integrity as it claims. It is instead one that feeds on a captive clientele with limited resources (many cruise ships make www referencing difficult at sea) and knows they can get away with it because they are usually in international waters when these deals are done, and far from the home base of those to whom their lowly goods are delivered. I am just glad I listened to my gut and didn't buy the SA auctioneers firm assurance that the $10000 deal he was offering could not be beat... even when he subsequently tried to sucker me with an even lower price.

    I suggest the reason Park West recruits overseas is in part due to the naiveté of those it is targeting for employment. White SA recruits often have stars in their eyes for things American... and will jump awfully high to get a chance at the land of opportunity. I doubt many black SA are even invited for these interviews and that none are recruited. PW is looking for folks with a catchy accent and who "fit" with the majority of cruising clientele, who can't get a cheap and easy trip home if things don't work out (as can Canadians and UK residents) and who have little to worry about when it comes to retributions from dissatisfied customers when they return home. They are looking for marks to hit on other marks (cruisers) using a different scam.

    Many of the cruise lines appear as well to still employ a largely racially caste system. The only deck officer we saw on our recent trip who was not white was in charge of hospitality. With the exception of Russian engineering staff and a few eastern European waiters, all of the help was Pilipino, east Indian, West Indian or south Asian. From what we could gather they book on for a 9 month stint at $600 to $800 a month. Relatively good pay and accommodations perhaps compared to where they hale from, but no where near that would have to be paid staff in America for equal work.

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