Out of State Modeling Agencies


Many of the complaints against modeling agencies sent to this site were made by people who do not live in the same city or even the same state as the modeling agencies which represent them.

Out of state modeling agencies, indeed, pose a serious financial threat to aspiring models. If they take upfront fees, either for registration and/or photos, and leave the state, returning to their office, there is little consumers can do. They are ignored.

After waiting for job offers, but receiving none through the agency, they attempt to contact the agency. They send email to contact the agency. They are ignored. They make phone calls. The phone number has been changed. Or if the phone number is still valid they leave messages. But they are ignored, too. They send mail. They are ignored.

The same scenario is repeated for those who did get work, such as handing out flyers. After waiting for payment, but receiving none, they attempt to contact the agency. They send email to contact the agency. They are ignored. They make phone calls. The phone number has been changed. Or if the phone number is still valid they leave messages. But they are ignored, too. They send mail. They are ignored.

Seemingly the only option after being ignored is to visit the company. But the company is in another state, too far away, and the cost of airfare or travel and accommodation to the company could be more than the amount owed by the agency or paid to the agency. It is simply not a cost-effective decision to deal with the agency in person.

Entering into a business relationship with a company without being able to hold them accountable is not likely to be a wise decision. This is yet another reason why the focus of an aspiring model should be local agencies.

If a local agency does not pay you, or does not get you work, there is so much more you can do, starting with going to the agency, and demanding to speak with the owner.

If that fails, you can call the local police. You can consult the local media, visit the district attorney, and so on and so forth. There are more and more significant options to deal with the agency.

Finally, you can take your case to a small claims court. How could you do that if the agency is in another state?

The Attorney General of North Dakota issued a warning about out-of-state modeling companies:

Modeling companies aim their pitches at your vanity. Some recruits do get substantial work from their services; most do not. All end up paying the modeling company for its services, making it the only entity in the transaction that is "guaranteed" paying work.
 
The Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division investigates allegations of fraud in the marketplace. Investigators also mediate individual complaints against businesses. (http://www.ag.state.nd.us/TGTBT/4-11-01.pdf)