Academy of Cinema & Television


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Consumer Complaints and Reviews

At 6:00 pm on Friday, June 26, a woman came to my door with a flier and said that someone would like to demonstrate a carpet cleaner and that it will only take a few minutes. Well, a few minutes turned into 4 hours, and I was tagged teamed by two salesmen for a Kirby vacuum system. I did agree to purchase it.

On Tuesday, June 29, I lost my job and as soon as I came, I called ACT though the phone number was not provided to cancel the sale. I spoke to Rob, who told me I could bring the appliance back to the place of business the next day. No problem. I returned the Kirby along with all of the attachments on June 30 around 1:00 pm.

I signed the bottom portion of the agreement like I was told and gave them back everything that came with it. At around 4:30 pm, I got a call from the "owner," Sean, who told me I cannot return it under the terms of the contract. I explained what had just happened, but he said he would call the finance company and tell them I was still liable for the payments even if I didn't own the machine. I tried to explain that I had talked to Rob and was told there was no problem. I was not given a phone number to call Sean on the 29th nor was it explained to me that I would be put through this verbal assault when I spoke with the owner! I was instructed that I have to come and pick up the machine or they will keep it and I will still be responsible for the payments.

I don't know what the near future will bring, but I hope it will be some financial stability. In the meantime, this is one more bill that I do not need, and the lack of professionalism on the part of the staff from the owner to the salespeople is maddening. If I knew what I was getting into, I would have bolted my door and run the other way.

I signed up my daughter with the ACT in Secaucus, NJ and signed an Agreement on 1/31/2010 between 6:30 pm to 7pm (Sunday). Signed up for Level 3(6 lessons) which costs $4,900.00. The following day 2/1/2010 (Monday), I decided to cancel the program due to the conflict with my daughter extra curricular school activities. I called ACT's phone no. listed on the contract and left messages regarding the cancellation. Made several phone calls and with no success to speak to a live person but with the answering machine. Email was sent also on 2/1/10 about the cancellation.

Called AMEX on 2/1/2010 about the dispute charge to my account. As per answering service, no charge has been noted yet at that time. On 2/2/10 a.m, a certified cancellation letter was sent. Follow up emails were sent also regarding the cancellation.

Called AMEX and reported a dispute charge to my account. A copy of the certified letter that was sent to ACT was faxed to AMEX as per AMEX request.

On 2/2/10 at 3 pm, spoke with Kara about the cancellation and she directed me to Elizabeth whose assigned in accounting.

2/2/2010 at 3:10 pm, spoke with Heather and message left for Elizabeth. 2/2/2010 around 4-430 pm, spoke with Elizabeth. She stated that there will be no refund since per agreement the customer has only 24 hours to post a certified mail after the agreement was signed. Going ahead to file a complaint with the BBB regarding this matter. The contract was misleading and not supportive of customer rights.

My son heard the ad on Z100. We went to see what it was all about. It seemed to good to be true. They put you though a small screeen test and interview you. They give you a story that you must commit asap. We complied figuring we can always get a refund since the class has not started yet and the contract say you have the right to cancel. After retruning home and researchiong the company we have found that the classes are fraudulent and a scam. We have called several times but the compnay has not return our call.

On July 13, of 2009! I have made a payment of 2,150 to ACT with my credit card. On July 18, I sent a letter to them, to inform them that I would like to make a cancellation.. I tried to call them and every time I called the line were busy.I also tried to call Kari K, left plenty of messages and I waited for them to call me back, or to respond to the letter I had sent to them. Since I didnt receive a response from them, I called the credit card company on August 3rd, and I explained to them the situation. They told me not to worry all I had to do was fill out a paper send it back signed with proof and I would get my money back.

I did the following thinking that I would have the chance to get the money back. Then I am notified that I will not be able to receive that money back do to the fact that I had signed a contract with them. I even calling other numbers I found, and left them messages, but even after this I never received anything ba ck. I recently sent them another letter with the guaranty that they will receive it. While I was tracking down the shipment it said that there was no one there to pick up the paper, so the paper is now in the post office.

And the person named Lindy, which took care of the paper work, gave me her # I have called this number multiple times but no one answers, and I left her plenty of messages stating my cell phone number as well. On Monday September 14, 2009 I went there my self and at the front desk there were a guy and two ladies. He said to me is their anything I could do for you. And I told him I either wanted to talk with Lindy or Kerry. HE told me that they are gone for the day, mean while Lindy was in her own office because I saw her with my own eyes. I notified the guy that I have all ready seen her. He t old me to wait.

After a few minutes she came out. She apologized to me that she was flying and couldnt answer my phone calls. Mean while when I got there she was in her office and didnt even bother to call me back. After the conversation we had, she notified me not to worry, she was going to give me an email so that I can send a letter to an accounting person which name was Elizabeth S. And the email she gave me was a fake one and the email didnt go thru.

After Kari called me and told me that she never received any messages or phone calls from me. And I told her that I have left you plenty of messages with the following number, and she told me this number has been disconnected since a month ago. When I let her know the conversation with Lindy, she told me she didnt know who Lindy even was. Than I asked her, if you dont know Lindy and didnt get my messages, then how do you know about me? Than she set that I wasnt getting my money back and hung up the phone. If you would like to try the following # for proof that it still is connected you may, I also have proof that it is her number on the paper.

ACT advertised on Nick cable channel that they were doing a talent search for local kids to appear on Disney and other kid’s channels. I set up an appointment and went to their office in Secaucus, NJ that they rented from La Quinta Hotels on 5/31/09. We met with Lindy **. She gave us a 1 minute interview and then my daughter was supposed to meet with Brett ** from Sovereign Talent Agency. At that time I was told that I need to call her back on 6/2/09 and find out if they picked my daughter for a call back, which of course they did. Lindy told me that she's flying out the next morning and it was very important we meet with her again before she left, which I did. I was required to pay $1950 (I put on my credit card) for their workshops before they would introduce us to talent agents and managers.

When I got home, I had a feeling it seemed like a scam so I researched them on the Internet. I was horrified by what I saw. First of all, the workshops are taught by third rate instructors, Lindy ** was labeled as a scam artist and Brett ** was on their payroll moonlighting. I immediately called them to cancel and was told that my one day period for cancellation passed. I am disputing the charge on my credit card and, hopefully, I'll get a full refund. I also found out that they had the same scam going under a different name in Florida. I'm a single parent and this is a huge hardship for me. They preyed on the fact that I was single and wanted to do something for my child due to our family situation.

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I would like to file a complaint against Academy of Cinema and Television (ACT). I met with ACT in Newark, NJ. They told me they would work around my schedule but after 1 day from Nov 17 to 18, 2008, it was determined that we would not be able to attend this classes in 2009. My daughter is a competing Cheerleader and had several National Cheerleading Championships arranged for that time in 2009. Her training schedule would conflict with what would have been her ACT schedule for Jan. 2009.

So I withdrew from said ACT within my grace period the next day, 1 of 5 days. On the phone, I was given the runaround for 5- 6 days being told that Karii ** handled these matters on the 18th and that I would have to talk to this woman named Karii **. This ACT Reg Director, this woman was conveniently not around for 6 days. After Day 2, no one responded to my numerous voice messages until it would be and was profitable to charge my credit card account. I have disputed this charge and it's pending with Chase.

But now, I have found numerous websites which call ACT a scam?! I am having trouble recovering from this matter of being charged $1900 for no service and time notification. Also remember, they knew that we might have had a scheduling conflict / problem when they got me to sign up. I was told they could work around my time which was a lie or error. The scheduling conflict was confirmed that night on the 17th & 18th when I cancelled which was the 2nd day.

I sought out the services of the ACT clinic for the purposes of a psychological evaluation to clear my medical withdrawal from my college. My assigned psychologist, Cardellino, who apparently did not have a license to practice clinical psychology yet, displayed incompetence, insensitivity to the pain I've suffered in life, and subjected me to disparaging remarks with a racist overtone. The hourly sessions have made me more angry and upset than before. After a couple of months, I started to become suspicious about his motives and whether he only wanted to extend the amount of meetings to leech more money out of me. I asked and he said that he was unsure of how long it would take for him to finish evaluating me. I now want to request a return of the money I have spent for their poor services.

Their fees are $35 an hour. I have lost about $600 and would like it returned to me. I have also experienced a certain amount of emotional distress, but I doubt that could be quantified. I would simply like only the money I spent on services back, unless I am forced to go to small claims, in which case I would probably sue for more.

I was charged for a course for my daughter that was fully refundable within 24 hours if certified letter sent to cancel transaction. I followed through and did cancel with certified letter and my credit card company. Credit card company, Discover, disputed charge and fully refunded me but 2 months later, the merchant, Academy of Cinema and Television tried to recharge me $500 fee which I never approved. I have received no services from them and have had no interaction with these fraudulent people since the one meeting on 4/14/08.

I never received any signed contract from the person I did the meeting with until 4/17/08 via fax which was an ineligible signature and no written name along with it. I had already sent cancellation notice to them and to my Discover card company 2 days before this fax arrived. They are acting illegaly. I have reopened the dispute with Discover and I have altogether cancelled my Discover card so this company cannot charge any further fraudulent charges to me.

I have a pending charge of $500 on my Discover Card account which is now inactive.

After being a client with Discover for over 17 years, I now will do no further business with Discover and have since switched my purchasing via credit card to another company. I am very disappointed in Discover and their response to this matter. I notice Discover is also based out Phoenix Arizona. This is the same address where the so-called acting program is based out of.

My child heard of a talent search on the radio and pleaded with me to take her to the 'open call'. There were at least 200 kids 'auditioning' to get into this private acting academy called ACT (Academy of Cinema and Television). After the audition we were contacted the next day and informed that she had 'been selected and was invited to join' the academy and that only about 10% of kids were invited. Of course we were told to come the very next day and prepared to pay the tuition.

The impressive office and staff and tactics were seductive and convincing and we wrote a check that day for close to $8,000! It was a package deal with promised classes for 2 years and photo shoot. I tried to inquire on the qualifications of the teachers and if there were any background checks on them (since they claimed they were a school and any school my kids have gone to could verify they weren't predators-they would never let me into the class even to observe)...

Although the instructors were/are actual actors the quality of their classes are poor and their prices inflated compared to other schools who offer acting classes..I have also been told by an inside source that we (as parents) are really paying for the prestige and exposure of having agents flown in from LA for open call on the weekend; And if your child does get an agent,,,the real bottom line is; are you prepared to move to LA?

None of this is clearly spelled out. And they won't give you your money back after 1 or 2 classes because the contract only gave 3 days to backout...even if you do get an agent and MOVE to LA...they're just 'put on hold' indefinitely.

Now that we are in LA and have studied with real teachers who specilize in children (which is what ACT reports)and see that NOBODY charges $100/hr for GROUP ACTING LESSONS. In fact here in California there are laws to protect us from these types of one here would dream of charging for classes for 2 years in advance! I have sent a certified letter to request the unused money returned but was referred back to the I see them in MALLS and shudder! Are there certain licenses involved when you work with kids?

I checked the BBB and Attorney General before the original 3 day time period was up and all I got back was no record of ACT in BBB and 'there may be certain licenses required' with this sort of 'school'....thank you.

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Academy of Cinema and Television