Legitimate companies do not hire other companies to sell consumers information about getting employment with them. Purchasers of this service should be aware that the company is not offering employment but merely listings of possible jobs offerings. Therefore earnings claims cannot be guaranteed. Some companies listed in such guides require an additional investment. Some consumers have reported the information they pay for is generally worthless or is information that is freely available from public sources.
The Better Business Bureau advises that it regularly receives inquiries and complaints about firms, called job listing or job advisory services, that sell information about obtaining employment in the United States or abroad. The information sold may include lists of job openings, advice on conducting successful job searches and interview, or guidance on how to write resumes.
Some listing and advisory firms has placed misleading ads in newspapers and magazines in the "help wanted" columns. These ads appear to offer jobs when, in fact, the firms are selling information about employment. Many of the ads promise high pay and great benefits, even for those with little experience or training.
Advisory companies usually require an advance fee-although this charge may not be disclosed in advertisements. Usually the fee, which may run into the hundreds of dollars, is charged whether or not a job is found through the company's services.
Problems reported to Better Business Bureaus include complaints about misrepresentation regarding availability of advertised positions and/or difficulty in obtaining refunds. Some job listing firms have claimed access to "confidential" employment opportunities when, in fact, these lists were compiled from readily available, public sources, including government listings, reference directories and newspaper ads. In some instances the company requires the client to frequently contact the firm by phone or in person to obtain any new listings. Eligibility for a refund may depend on fulfilling this obligation. However, some complainants have alleged their calls to the company were not answered, or the refund requirements had changed. In other cases the company had gone out of business before the period of contracted service was completed.
Listing/advisory services differ from employment agencies which place applicants in specific jobs and receive a fee from the employer only after placement.
Be wary of listing/advisory firms advertising in the "help wanted" section of the newspaper. Any ad under this heading should lead you to particular job opening or an employment agency with openings.
Job listing and advisory services usually charge advance fees, possible in the hundreds of dollars. Determine if any such fee is required before committing yourself.
If you are calling a 900 telephone number, be sure you know precisely what the cost will be before you call and remember, you may still be paying for vague or worthless information.
Find out what your obligations are before you sign an agreement. Your ability to obtain a promised refund may depend on how closely you follow the company's instructions. Determine if you can obtain a refund if you find a position on your own while under an agreement with the company.
No employment firm can "guarantee" that you will find employment.
It is illegal for an employer or agency to require a payment from anyone to obtain employment.