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BBB Cautions Locals On Talent Agencies

A modeling and talent agency has made its way to Idaho Falls in search of children and young adults with the hope of fame and stardom.

For 14-year-old Brittney McNeely, singing is one of her passions. When she heard an advertisement on the radio for the John Robert Powers School System, she said she begged her mother to take her to the auditions.

“They said that I was their first pick in my age group,” said Brittney.

Her audition went well, she said. But when the agents asked her for nearly $7,000 to try to make her a star, Brittney and her mother got a little uneasy. After doing some research and consulting with friends, they uncovered some unsettling complaints from clients around the country.

“I want to save other families,” said Alaire McNeely, Brittney’s mother. “If we would’ve agreed to that, my daughter wouldn’t have a college fund right now.”

We found out through the BBB that hundreds of complaints varying from the business misrepresenting themselves, to low-quality instructors and refunds not being received were common. BBB officials said because of this, they’ve flagged the company in their database as an alert to potential clients.

“Don’t just take a simple, ‘We are a modeling agency and we’re going to get you a modeling job,'” said Robb Hicken, a representative from the BBB. “Ask a lot of questions.”

The John Robert Powers Acting School is in fact, a business. Not a scam. The BBB says the company just doesn’t follow good business practices.

Officials say there are ethical and legitimate talent and modeling agencies out there but before becoming involved with one, it’s important to do thorough research.

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