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Barbizon School of Modeling & ActingAdditional Locations
Phone: (888) 245-7718 Fax: (717) 234-4369 875 Greentree Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15220
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Reason for Rating
BBB rating is based on 16 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.
Factors that raised the rating for Barbizon School of Modeling & Acting include:
- Length of time business has been operating.
- Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size.
- Response to 1 complaint(s) filed against business.
- Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business.
- BBB has sufficient background information on this business.
Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details
|Complaint Type||Total Closed Complaints|
|Problems with Product/Service||1|
|Total Closed Complaints||1|
This business is in an industry that may require professional licensing, bonding
or registration. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain
any requirements are currently being met.
These agencies may include:
Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market Street, Harrisburg PA 17126
Phone Number: (717) 783-6788
Fax Number: (717) 783-0583
Type of Entity
MODELING SCHOOLS MODELING & TALENT AGENCIES
The Barbizon School of Modeling & Acting franchise in Pittsburgh was purchased in 2009 by the owner of the franchised school located out of Lemoyne, Pennsylvania. For a BBB review on the Barbizon School of Modeling & Acting in Lemoyne, Pennsylvania click here.
Industry TipsModeling & Talent Agencies
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Problems with Product/Service
Read Complaint Details
Complaint: I requested a full refund from Barbizon because they failed to fulfill the service they promised to provide. I enrolled my daughter in the Barbizon school because they promised to market her once she finished the classes, which I paid for. She finished her classes and graduated their program, and no attempt to market her has been made. She has worked two jobs for them since her graduation, and the two jobs she did work, she lined up on her own. Barbizon posts openings on their Facebook page, and it is up to the graduate to apply for them. When I brought this to the attention of the company, I was told that they are obviously marketing her since she has worked. This is not true. The impression they give prior to paying for the classes is one that paints a picture of an agency that will go after contracts and jobs for their graduates. That they do all they can to market their talent and place them in the eyes of the people that are looking. I am attaching email correspondences that will show how we have been treated by Barbizon and the conflicting information that we have been given. They simply do not follow through with what they advertise prior to receiving payment. The inconsistent and conflicting information which we have received only supports their incompetence. As of this date, Barbizon should have on file for my daughter what they refer to as a Listing Agreement. She was told that no one goes on a job without a signed Listing Agreement. To my knowledge, my daughter has never signed any agreements, which only further proves my argument that this school is not what they claim to be, nor do they have competent or organized employees and records. I attached a document record of my correspondences between myself and two representative of the school. I want to point out that ******** **** claims in his response to me that he refused to go over and over the same issues, when in fact, I spoke to this man one time and one time only, and it was prior to the additional issues that I have had with the school. Our one and only conversation was to schedule my daughter for a make up class and he assured me he himself would contact me when the class was scheduled, which he failed to do. No further conversations took place other than the emails attached.
Desired Settlement: I am requesting a full refund of $2095.00.
June 27th, 2013On June 27th, 2013 we received your filed complaint with the Better Business Bureau in regardto your requested refund from Barbizon of Pittsburgh. We would like to apologize that youhave not been satisfied with your Barbizon experience. Despite numerous attempts to connectwith you to resolve this, we are sorry we have not been able to successfully resolve thismatter with you previously. We do appreciate your alerting us so we may offer a resolution.In regard to your stated unsatisfactory service in the area of post-graduate opportunities, weare sorry you feel your daughter has not been provided opportunities for employmentUnfortunately, we do not guarantee employment upon graduation from our program, asstated in the enrollment agreement you signed. As you stated in your letter, we do not have asigned Listing Agreement on file for your daughter, which we require to have in order to offeragency representation for your daughter.As a courtesy and in an effort to offer a resolution, we would like to offer your daughter theopportunity to attend our annual Capitol Barbizon Competition in Washington, DC so she mayseek representation and opportunities with industry professionals in attendance. And whilewe cannot guarantee employment or representation, she would have the opportunity to beseen by over 30 industry professionals from around the world and compete in modeling andacting competitions, as well as attend industry workshops. We are willing to offer yourdaughter a scholarship to attend the event and participate in the competition.While there is unfortunately not a refund due at this time, per the enrollment agreement yousigned, we hope you will accept our resolution offer of the scholarship to the Capitol BarbizonCompetition.We hope to resolve this situation to your satisfaction. We appreciate you providing us withthis feedback so we can improve our business practices.
Consumer Response: I am rejecting the agencies response to settle this matter. I believe Barbizon is missing the point of my refund request. I understand completely that they do not guarantee employment after completion of the program. That is NOT my complaint. Prior to signing my daughter up for these classes, we were told of how the agency would put their graduates “in touch with” industry leaders. The enrollment agreement I signed states, “Barbizon offers placement assistance.” THIS DID NOT HAPPEN. They simply post open opportunities on their Facebook page. It is on the graduate to respond to the opportunities. How is this placement assistance? Also, I have my own Facebook page and I friend requested Barbizon Pittsburgh months ago. They have yet to accept my request, but other parents of students that ****** graduated with have been accepted. Why is that? They post one photo of their graduates on their Facebook page listed under a “testing” album. Testing what? In addition, ******’s photo was not posted along with the other students. We had to contact Barbizon to ask why her photo was not included. We were never told why it was left out, but Barbizon did add it after we contacted them. The term used during our enrollment process was “market” not “placement assistance.” Either way, Barbizon failed to do both. We were told Barbizon would “represent and market” their graduates. Again, there has been no effort on Barbizon’s part to market my daughter in the industry. Their way of “marketing” is to book these kids on a cruise promising “exposure” to industry leaders, but only once they have paid more money to go on the cruise. In addition to paying for the cruise, they are ask to pay for additional competitions on the cruise, which they say will give them additional exposure. The bottom line is Barbizon doesn’t market their talent. They say they will, and then once the graduates are full of self-confidence and wishful thinking, they tell them about the cruise. Only those graduates that pay to attend the cruise and the other competitions are given the opportunity to be seen by these “industry leaders” they claim to know. These opportunities were promised to my daughter after graduation. There was no mention of a cruise or any other competitions that she would have to pay for and attend in order to be marketed. The offer to give my daughter a scholarship to attend the Capitol Competition does not in any way make up for the trouble they have put her and my entire family through. From not receiving her text book until months after graduation and several requests, when she should have had it the first or second class, to the total lack of professionalism shown during the classes, meetings, and so called “jobs” she attended, Barbizon has in no way marketed my daughter as a talent with their agency nor did they address any of my complaints when confronted. I spoke to two teachers about issues and was told they would get back to me, and never did. I ask for additional information on several things and was told I would receive it the next day, and never did. ******** **** himself told me he would get back to me on the make up class and never did. ****** had to contact Barbizon and make arrangements herself in order to get her diploma, her text book, and her one photo shoot picture posted. Nothing about this entire situation has fit the image Barbizon painted during the enrollment meeting. We no longer wish to be associated with Barbizon and I am firmly requesting a full refund. The refund terms listed on the enrollment agreement are designed for students that do not complete the classes and receive a diploma. I am requesting a refund based on Barbizons total lack of “placement assistance” and/or “marketing” which was the agreement and promise upon completion of the classes. If I do not receive a full refund, I will retain legal counsel.
Business Response: Administrative Office July 8th, 2013 RE: BBB Case #******* Dear Ms. ****, On July 8th, 2013 we received your filed complaint with the Better Business Bureau in regard to your requested refund from Barbizon of Pittsburgh and responded to that filed complaint. We are sorry you did not find out initial offer satisfactory in an attempt to resolve the stated issues. We felt some clarification in the details of our response may help in resolving your stated issue of marketing your daughter for post-graduate opportunities. As we stated in our last letter in regard to “marketing your daughter for jobs,” we do not have the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry required Listing Agreement on file for you daughter which we require in order to offer agency representation for your daughter and attempt to market her through auditions, castings, our web listings and other tools you cited. We would be happy to still offer this to you upon receiving a signed Listing Agreement. We would also like to continue to extend the scholarship opportunity for the Capitol Barbizon Competition, a $1,129.00 value. This is also an excellent way for us to market your daughter, as she will receive a photo shoot and the opportunity to meet nearly 50 industry professionals in attendance. She will have an opportunity to receive “call backs” on site from agents and managers interested in working with her. As we have stated in the past, there is no guarantee for employment. While there is unfortunately not a refund due, per the enrollment agreement you signed and the full attendance of the program, we hope you will accept our resolution offer of the scholarship to the Capitol Barbizon Competition and the continued commitment to market your daughter for the industry as long as we receive the signed Listing Agreement. We hope to resolve this situation to your satisfaction. We appreciate you providing us with this feedback so we can improve our business practices. Sincerely, ******** **** Barbizon Pittsburgh DETAILS OF RESOLUTION ATTEMPT: COMPLAINT DETAILS: Customer (******* ****) feels Barbizon of Pittsburgh did not effectively market daughter in an effort to obtain employment. Details: Barbizon does not have a Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry required Listing Agreement on file for daughter and must have this to move forward with process of “marketing for jobs.” RESOLUTION OFFERED: Barbizon has offered to move forward with marketing customer’s daughter should they receive the requested Listing Agreement. Barbizon has offered to help ******* ****’s daughter prepare for the industry and obtain opportunities through a scholarship to the Capitol Barbizon Competition in Washington, D.C. A $1,129.00 value, the Barbizon competition will provide her the opportunity to compete in modeling and acting competitions judged by top industry professionals including local, national and international agents and managers. The competition will also provide her an opportunity for callbacks with agents and managers interested in working with her. A complimentary photo shoot will also be included in the scholarship to the Capitol Barbizon Competition.
Consumer Response: Dear Mr. *****, I am writing to request that my complaint, ID *******, be re-opened. I am not satisfied with the response from Barbizon Pittsburgh. First, I would like to clarify that my complaint is that Barbizon did not provide services as promised. The service they promised to provide was “marketing” of my daughter as a model/actor upon completion of the course, NOT job placement. There is a significant difference between the two. By definition, marketing means the action or business of promoting and selling products or services. Job placement is filling particular jobs with people who are seeking them. I am not arguing that Barbizon did not place my daughter into jobs. The fact that Barbizon does not have a signed listing agreement with ****** is an entirely separate issue. Barbizon sent ****** out on two jobs WITHOUT a signed listing agreement. Mr. **** stated in his letter that Barbizon requires the listing agreement in order to attempt marketing, openly admitting to the fact that they have NOT attempted to market her. This is an excuse. Mr. **** is back-tracking to cover the agencies mistake in sending ****** out on two separate jobs, without a signed listing agreement. He would not even know that they didn’t have one if I had not told him that she never signed it. Therefore, the fact that there is no signed listing agreement on file bares no relevance on the fact that Barbizon has not provided the service they promised, marketing of ****** upon graduation. During the “interview” process to be accepted into Barbizon, we were repeatedly told of how Barbizon would develop and promote their graduates to “top industry professionals.” Ms. ***** clearly states in her letter, “... we promote our models and actors to other agents, managers and casting directors who are local, national and international.” This simply did not happen. There has been no effort on Barbizon’s part to “promote” (market) my daughter. Ms. ***** also stated that clients can view models on their website anytime. ****** is NOT on the website, nor has she ever been. Clearly, Barbizon has NOT provided the marketing service as promised. Ms. ***** goes on to mention, in her letter, that they use the Pittsburgh Film Office website to alert graduates of auditions. This is the first time I have heard this. We were never told about this. She also stated that they use email and Facebook to bring these auditions to graduates attention. No, they do not. At the last company meeting, which was our first company meeting, it was announced that email would no longer be used to notify anyone of opportunities. Facebook would be the only means of notification. Ms. ***** is addressing two separate issues in her letter. Again, she clearly stated that Barbizon does (or is suppose to) “promote” their models and actors. There is no mention of how this is done other than her mention of clients being able to view models on their website. AGAIN, ****** is NOT on the website, nor has she ever been. If this is the only way they market their graduates, then AGAIN, Barbizon has NOT provided the service which was promised. ******’s test shot from her class was posted on Barbizon Pittsburgh’s Facebook page along with all her classmates in a file marked “testing.” This is something completely different from the website that Ms. ***** mentions. The other issue she addressed was placement. Again, my complaint IS NOT PLACEMENT. We were told by ***** ****** that, “...the only way ****** would be seen...” (marketed) to the industry professionals that Barbizon claims to “promote” their graduates to was by booking a place on Barbizon’s Passport to Discovery cruise. The cruise was going to cost upward of $5000. Not only did we have to book ****** on the cruise, but an adult chaperone as well. We were also told that there were competitons on the cruise for which we would have to pay additional for, in order for ****** to compete. It was “highly recommended” that the additional competitions were paid for, since this would give her “more opportunity to be seen by industry professionals.” When I received the first response from Barbizon resolve my complaint, they offered her paid attendance to their annual Capitol Barbizon Competition. I had to Google this to find out what it was. There has never been any mention of this competition to us. Again, Barbizon is requiring additional payment for, as Mr. **** stated, “...opportunity to be seen by over 30 industry professionals from around the world.” When I Googled it, I found that the competition had taken place in May 2013. As you can see from Mr. ****’s responses, he never gave the dates for the competition. Once again, this will only cost more money. Travel, hotel, food, etc. will all result in additional money needed in order for ****** to attend. My point is that Barbizon should be marketing ****** as promised without us having to pay thousands of dollars for cruises and competitions. We have already paid for classes with the promise that she would be marketed by Barbizon upon graduation. Where in lies my complaint that Barbizon has not provided the marketing services as promised. I have researched the PA Attorney General’s complaint process, and I will be filing a formal complaint to the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. As I understand the process, it will not interfere with the processing of this complaint through your office, unless legal action is taken. Thank you so very much for your time and attention in this matter, and I hope you will consider this request to re-open my complaint. Respectfully, ******* **** Sent from my iPhone
Business Response: On Thu, Sep 5, 2013 at 1:13 PM, <************************> wrote: To whom it may concern, I am requesting this case be closed permanently. We have repeatedly addressed and answered each of ******* ****'s letters. We have offered a $1,129.00 resolution in this matter which directly addresses her complaint and she has rejected it. We have done everything we can to try to satisfy this customer. Please close this case permanently. Sincerely, ******** **** President Barbizon Modeling & Acting Administrative Office
BBB's Final Determination: After reviewing the position of all parties, BBB determined that the business made a reasonable effort to address the complaint. However the consumer remains dissatisfied.