Consumer Complaints and Reviews
YFA approached me and my children at the mall to ask if we would be interested in an opportunity to audition for Nickelodeon TV pilot and got our contact information. We were then invited to the YFA office and had an audition with a staff to evaluate if we were eligible for the pilot.
We were contacted the next day and they congratulated my 11-year old and 18-year old daughter and we were asked to visit the office. Then, YFA spent about 30 minutes praising the kids and telling them how great they were and they told them of the opportunities that lies ahead. The kids were very excited to be selected for the audition until YFA presented us with a brochure of high-priced acting classes which was mandatory. They advised that we must sign immediately or we would lose the chance. Ultimately, we were pressured to sign the contracts.
But they failed to conduct the classes on the days they indicated on the schedule they provided us when we signed the contract. The contracts contained clauses that prevented cancellations after three days and recourse for any refunds under any circumstances. YFA did far more than just fail to deliver on their high-priced promises, they canvassed malls and ran radio ads in search of targets to defraud. By using flattery and the age-old allure of getting children into show business, they deceived consumers into spending thousands of dollars for nothing more than high-prices acting classes.
YFA mislead consumers into believing that they are attending an audition when they are actually selling high priced acting classes and misrepresenting to consumers at the time of initial contact that there were no fees involved.
YFA has violated the Consumer Fraud Act through unconscionable commercial practices, false promises and omissions of fact as, as well as failing to provide classes as promised per contract.
We took the YFA to court for breach of contract. We talked to some YFA clients who had similar experience and won judgment against YFA. However YFA appealed the case. The legal fees are very high, it became the reason that many disappointed consumers did not proceed with legal action. YFA is a corporate entity who has fund to cover their fees, which is an advantage for them. I would also like YFA to show how they accounted for all the revenue they received as they do not provide service. This is unearned revenue and should be given to the state.
We attended an "audition" for youth talent in Tysons Corner, VA at Youth Film Academy. We were told that "producers" were in town and looking for new talent. My daughter heard the commercial and wanted to go. When we arrived, there were more than 300 kids at the "audition". Everyone was told that after the audition, that if the "producers" were interested, that we would be called back on Sunday.
On Sunday, YFA called and said that our daughter had been selected for another "audition" that day before 5:00. We loaded up and drove the 2.5 hours back to Tysons Corner where she "auditioned" again. They said that the "producers" were very interested in making a commercial with our daughter, but that we would have to sign up for the "classes" offered at YFA before the producers would consider her. We were presented with a contract for 52 weeks of "classes" at a cost of $8,000. We were told that we had to sign the contract that day in order to be considered. The sales pressure was extreme, "your daughter will miss the opportunity of a lifetime if you don't do this!"
Being good parents, we caved and signed the contract, borrowing money from my mother-in-law's retirement account. After the first 6 weeks, we realized that the "classes" had nothing to do with getting a job in the industry, and that the guys who were the "producers" were actually just the Corporate officers of YFA. We went to the YFA Director and requested a refund of the unused portions of the 52 week program. We had used 6 weeks, and were prepared to pay for them.
I requested a 46 week refund of the program costs. We were told that we would have to write a letter and send it to him, and he would forward it to the "Corporate" office for review. We complied with the letter request, and sent a certified letter to the director. A few weeks later, I called the Director and asked about our refund. He informed me that "Corporate" had denied our request, and that they would keep 46 weeks of classes for our daughter to use at a later date, 46 weeks of useless classes that do nothing. I would like my money back. Do not believe anything that these people say. Everything is a lie! Don't let the chance at stardom for your child blur your vision to the truth.
Youth Film Academy Company Profile
- Company Name:
- Youth Film Academy