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United Talent Group / Fraud and cheating

1 United States Review updated:
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Wow, I can not believe this group, they totally ripped me off and I found out they have ripped off several other people from rip-off as well. I wish I would have read this before I started working with them. The funny thing is they used to be called 'W Talent' and now they changed their name to United Talent Group. They probably had to since they were getting such a horrible reputation. Rather than whine on my own I will quote what some others have said on this board about them as I think that will speak for itself. I have only added in brackets for their name change as to not confuse people who read it.

'Listen up folks, this is the first hit on this company and I definitely forsee the complaints growing. W Talent [United Talent Group] in Salt Lake City is an unprofessional, pretentious, wannabe New York or Los Angeles based business but were not in LA, were in Utah for the love of gosh.'

'Ive never even met this CEO, Evan Walker. Hes passed me several times when Ive been in their studio and keeps walking. Other agencies Ive been with the CEO will pass me in the hallway and say hello, welcome to my agency, glad your with us. But no, the majority of the staff walks around with their nose in the air. The New Faces director, whom I dealt with, and signed with, was more than pleasant, but then again, she was getting a commission, so again, where is the integrity of W Talent [United Talent Group]?'

'Im sure [United Talent Group] has done a lot of great things for a lot of great people, but for me they have done absolutely nothing, and I urge you to do research on this company before you make the big mistake of signing with them.'

'I am sure that W Talent [United Talent Group] has helped some people but I just feel that I am not one of them. I think that W Talent completely misrepresented not only it's ability to help talent but also their faith in me. If W Talent [United Talent Group] is not willing to run a professional business then I think others deserve the right to know before signing with them.'

'3 months passes and not one follow up call, email, or letter. Then my debit card gets charged for the monthly renewal charge for $95. My fiance calls, leaves a message to have someone call her... no return call again.'

'A real talent agency would never force you to do business with them! In my conversation with the accounting lady she kept comparing them to a gym. If I'm paying $95 a month for a gym membership then I think they could return a call, place a call, or acting like they even cared. If you are looking to get into the model or acting business stay away from W Talent [United Talent Group]!!!'

Again, this company changed from W Talent to United Talent Group so keep that in mind when you read the above. If anything at all at least do your research on them; hopefully there are some people who are satisfied with their services out there but it doesn't seem like it to me. I would suggest finding a few of their clients on your own somehow and talk to them about their experience before signing with United Talent Group.

Ri

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Comments

Ma
  5th of Mar, 2009
0 Votes

I visited there and they do have a tight game. Want money upfront. I was under the impression that you should NEVER pay for representation. Hmmm. They do brag about alot of casting directors that they are close with. How would we know John from Adam, they could be anyone. Do your homework.

Mo
  13th of Mar, 2009
0 Votes

actually i have been a model with this agency for over 3 years and they are amazing. you have to work hard to get to the top anywhere and they are no exception. the ceo you mentioned above is not the ceo of the company, UTG is part of a national talent agency network with many owners so you have your information wrong.

Mo
  23rd of Mar, 2009
0 Votes

All I know is UTG is the best solution to getting into the business that I've been able to find. Its hard to get an agent. Try living in LA for a while and you'll see what I mean. It's extremely inexpensive by allowing monthly payments, and the longer you stick with their program the more likely you are to succeed.

People in Salt Lake really don't understand the business. An agency isn't supposed to make you famous...you are...it's your career not there's. I doubt any of you were good enough to be signed with them. Just because you take a couple classes does not mean you should be a somehow gifted an acting or modeling career . I think it's a joke how many people get started and think it should be handed to them.

The people that don't stick with it long enough don't see results. To truly be a model or actor means you make it a life long commitment.

Ge
  17th of Apr, 2009
0 Votes

I am just shocked at how many people have the attitude that they are God's gift to everything & that for anyone to pass on them is the biggest loss or mistake ever. Work is work whether you want to except it or not. You don't sit on your butt doing nothing & expect them to come to you with a silver tray in hand. Get off your butts & make something of your selves. There are far too many who feel that they are made for this industry & truth be told YOU ARE NOT. Get over it. I would love to an actress or a model but it's not my cup of tea. I also am not going to live my dreams through my children so if that is your intention STOP! Your kids will hate you forever. Every agency has it's strengths & weaknesses. From the truth I was told from UTG I would say that they are the most honest because they weren't going to take my money & try to make me something I could never become. So to you [censor]ers...MOVE ON!

So
  17th of Sep, 2009
0 Votes

If you are having a problems or have had a problem with W Talent, Wilhemina UTG or United Talent Group ripping you off or not doing what they said they would do, please call 801.824.7118 and ask for Troy. I am tired of watching my girlfriend struggle because of the unnecessary financial burden they have placed on her. They say they don't guarantee results, but they sure talk a big game!

So
  17th of Sep, 2009
0 Votes

I enrolled my son in acting classes and thought of all the choices I had W Talent was the right choice, I couldn't be more incorrect! They seemed at first that they cared and then I paid them... They are so unprofessional and in one year the They managed to NOT show up 3 times and was late several times... They want more money I didn't want to give it to them because of poor performance on their part! I got a call from a collection agency today for my 5 year old son!!! That is the last straw, I want to find people that have had the same or similar problems with W Talent, United Talent Group or Wilhemina UTG. I am not going to stop till I get paid back my hard earned money! Anyone want to join my mission? email makeastand@thatworks.com.

Jc
  22nd of Sep, 2009
0 Votes

im glad i found this!! im 19 years old & ive always wanted to sing & act, get out there and do what i love.. so i found UTG & thought '' this is it .. this could be my chance to actually get out there & do what i love & get discovered'' but after reading this i think ive made my choice to find some other way & other people that will be honest with me, who will help me make my dreams come true... to be honest right now ive had my hopes, dreams & everything crushed.. i feel like ive been let down as im sure many of you feel the same way!!!.. i can't beleive people would do that '' get your hopes up .. gettin you thinking this could be your shot & then crush you like a bug'' leaving you & your dreams smashed into the ground.. :*( I ALSO HOPE THAT REST OF YOU THAT HAVE BEEN LET DOWN WILL ALSO FIND SOME REAL, HONEST DESENT HELP TO GET OUT THERE & DO WHAT U LOVE TO DO.. GOD BLESS - J.C

Wi
  3rd of Dec, 2009
+1 Votes

The above negative statements are exaggerated and false. Wilhelmina UTG denies the allegations and claims made from the above negative statements. These comments are clearly attempts to avoid taking responsibility for someones actions and in some cases avoid financial responsibilities and agreements that have been made. Slandering and tarnishing the name of an agency such as Wilhelmina is not the correct way to resolve concerns. We employee the highest level of standards and have the time tested ethics to run a successful agency and are part of one of the most dominant agencies in the world.

We encourage all who read negative postings to remember that there are always two sides to any story. Wilhelmina UTG is an agency built on a strong network of professionals in the entertainment business who care about their good name and the talent they represent. They have the expertise and have shown the ability to provide real opportunities from legitimate clients who expect the highest level of talent. Please disregard slanderous and malicious comments and have the good sense to understand that you no one can be everything to everyone. There are expectations that some people create that are unrealistic and unfeasible. If you have had the pleasure of working with our agency and have had the Also if you would like to hear the other side to any comments above, give us a call. Best regards, Wilhelmina UTG

Us
  6th of Jan, 2010
0 Votes

Then why does Wilhelmina UTG require you to take and pay for acting classes if you are not suppose to pay anything up front?

Us
  8th of Jan, 2010
0 Votes

http://www.bbb.org/utah/business-reviews/modeling-agencies/wilhelmina-utg-in-salt-lake-city-ut-22168833

W Talent aka Wilhelmina UTG
6415 South 3000 East Ste 210
Salt Lake City, UT 84121-6958
View Report | File Complaint
Modeling - Advance Fee No BBB acceptance

Wilhelmina UTG

BBB Rating F


Ratings ExplanationEnd Business Review Header
BBB issues Reliability Reports on all businesses, whether or not they
are BBB accredited. If a business is a BBB Accredited Business, it is
stated in this report.

BBB Accreditation
This business is not a BBB Accredited Business.

Based on BBB files, Wilhelmina UTG has a BBB Rating of F on a scale
from A+ to F.
Reasons for this rating include:

* BBB concerns with the industry in which this business operates.
* Length of time business has been operating.
* 7 complaints filed against business

Us
  8th of Jan, 2010
0 Votes

Read their "contract" which states that even if you "cancel" you must pay for their photos and classes, even if you don't want the photos done or attend any class. That's a fraudulent practice...they frighten the "members" by saying they will ruin their credit if they don't pay.
Avoid this business, it isn't BBB accredited.

The "code of ethics" that Wilhelmina International Incorporation, does not cover their "affliates" listed on their website. They sell their name to these dummy companies, but don't have any connection with them. Beware!!!

Di
  18th of Mar, 2010
0 Votes

1. For those of you who do not quite understand business (which i feel should be taught in high school)... When you sign a contract you are making the decision to abide by it. I have worked in many businesses which require contracts/promises and I am always amazed at how many people think that a business should just say "nevermind" and just rip up a contract upon request. That is not how business works. Of course in a perfect world our word would be good enough... but that isn't currently an advantage.

2. In my interaction with WILHELMINA UTG, I have found that they are the best agency in the area, and there are a lot of opportunities for personal growth here in Utah. It seems when someone is unhappy... they seek out blame... and who wants to put that on themselves?? Wilhelmina UTG provides a service, which is up to you to take advantage of the opportunity to pursue or not. Wilhelmina UTG is available to give you the skills that you need, and if you have them, then representation for you. For those of you who are not familiar with these agencies, try going to New York and L.A. and then you will be thankful that you have an agency here in Utah like Wilhelmina UTG, with passion, experience, loyalty, dedication, and drive to help you.

3. Go see for yourself. Don't always believe what you hear.

Re
  30th of Mar, 2010
0 Votes

This business has horrible ethics. Beware, read the fine print. They are in it only for the money. DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING. I was pressured into signing, the next morning wanted my money back and now have to fight for it. Once they get your name on a piece of paper, they'll wring you for all you got. Find a legitimate agency, that doesn't require classes, bogus fees, or registration costs.

Do
  25th of Jan, 2011
+1 Votes

wilhelmina utg is fraud fraud fraud, everybody that works there kows this.i have been a victim and they collected a lot of money from me, made me work for them and didnt pay me.you all deaf ears out there, doubting thomas u are the next victim.they force u to sign a contract and withdraw money from ur account without ur concent and the account states golds gym not wilhelmina utg.worst of all they promise to give u jobs and contract but that is a huge lie.i was stupied.no modeling agency ask u for an upfront payment.how do they get there money?if they see u have potentials they train u for free and when a company books you for a job they take a percentage out of your pay for jobs, u are not required to pay a dime.wilhelmina utg says u have to sign a contract worth about 1000dollars and u must still pay even if u choose not to take there stupid clases plus there will be an interest added if u default payment, they take ur name to a stupid collecting agency that calls you 1000times in a day.they will make u sigh there contract no matter what, whether u are tall, short, fat or slim it doesnt matter to them, they are just after your money.who have ears to hear let them hear.i dont know why the governmet does nothing about this business.they are deceptive and they do nothing for u.i hear they sign even mexicans that are illegal immigrant that have no documentations.this is against to law to make illegal immigrant or undocumented individuals work for u because they are not permitted to.they are scam scam scam.from w talent to wilhelmina utg.there website has false material that make u think they are real.people will not just write these things about them if it is not true.

Ic
  15th of Mar, 2011
0 Votes

People of Utah, I give you The Truth:
The so-called "CEO" of Wilhelmina/UTG/W Talent/Dewey, Effum, & Howe, Evan Walker, has a history of attaching his slapshod business "brands" like a parasite to other already established and respected business brands (i.e. W Hotels, United Talent Agency of Los Angeles, and now buying the "Wilhelmina" franchise name to attach to his "United Talent Group" that was formerly known as "W Talent" that was formerly known as "W Models").
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book. It's easy to attach yourself to an established brand when you are too lazy or inept at building your own on a solid reputation. And people will subconsciously trust a pseudo-similar brand that seems familiar. That's basic Marketing Psychology 101. Evan Anderton/Walker knows this, and so should you (His real name is Evan Anderton. He changed it to "Walker" to try to attach himself to Walker Lane, the former Walker Bank, etc.). Do you see a pattern here?
The Holladay agency is now closed and is apparently a restaurant. Good riddance. If Mr. Wanna-Be Anderton/Walker/Shyster should resurface, remember this: Buyer beware. Research, research, research. And there are only two respectable model/acting agencies in Utah: TMG and McCarty. That's it. An agent takes 20% (industry standard) of what you make. You may have to pay for photos yourself, because face it people, this ain't NYC or LA (there aren't enough big-name clients here anymore for agencies to be able to foot everyone's photo and comp card expenses), but find a good photographer and ask your agent what is needed. They may give you a list of photogs they work with, but you ALWAYS have the option of finding your own and negotiating your own price with a reputable photographer who can deliver a decent beginner's portfolio. Your photos will sell you. Never pay until they are delivered and you are happy with them. You will get what you pay for too, so don't think your Cousin Vinny can deliver just because he knows Photoshop. Invest in yourself, but wisely.
With some perseverance you could get a respectable, working beginner's portfolio for less than $500. Generally speaking, agencies need to showcase your range. A black & white headshot is standard, a full-length body shot, 3/4 body shot to show clients your body type and model type. There are Editorial (High Fashion) Models - tall & skinny, yes, skinny not anorexic, generally 5'9" and over. Good face, but editorial models don't have to have perfect faces, oftentimes the more interesting the face the better.
Then you have Fit Models (think athletic, healthy, the kind you would see on any exercise equipment or exercise program videos or infomercials), Beauty or Glamour Models (think symmetrical features, Cover Girl types, etc., mainly used in the beauty industry, but also include Bombshell/Swimsuit Types) who don't necessarily need to be tall either, but an exceptional body, great skin and hair is a must; Glamour models are usually the standard in LA where there is a lot of plastic surgery; they will do a lot of lingerie or conventions (the pretty girl who shows you the latest car or boat, etc.). There are also Commercial/Catalog models (think J Crew, approachable, mainstream, not high-fashion) and Petite Models, who really will rarely work other than locally as either an extra or they can do commercial work. Petite Models are generally between 5'7" and 5'5" at the minimum.
The brutal truth is anything shorter than 5'6" rarely photographs well. If you are short and want to model, don't delude yourself or your child and waste your money or set them up to crush their dreams. Encourage acting or something not height-dependent that won't destroy your child's self-esteem.
Modeling is a cruel world, in all honesty I wouldn't recommend it to anyone but the thickest-skinned people out there who meet the requirements physically and have the photogenic qualities that might actually give them a shot at a career, or maybe just some college money, because the half-life of a working model, if they're lucky, is ten years. The chances are MINISCULE that you'll actually make it in this industry more than a hobby in Utah, much less become a working "supermodel" because those genetic freaks of nature are one in a billion and any reputable agency will immediately send them on to NYC to agencies like Women, DNA, Ford, Elite, IMG, etc.
The odds of working beyond 20 years as a model are even more miniscule, so save your $$$ and go to college instead!
How do I know this? I was a model in the late 80's/early 90's, I am a former agent and I always adhere to three rules.
1) ALWAYS DO YOUR HOMEWORK (aka research EVERYTHING, ESPECIALLY the owner of an agency)!
2) ALWAYS TRUST YOUR GUT, OR YOUR FIRST INSTINCT and...
3) NEVER, NEVER, NEVER SIGN ANYTHING!
Take a copy of the contract, take it home, give it to your attorney or an informed person/friend/respected businessman or woman to look over, no matter what they say, whatever line they feed you that you must do it today, blah blah blah... if they don't let you take paperwork with you or they tell you some nebulous answer or pressure you to sign, then leave. There's your answer.

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