Friday, January 18, 2008

Van Enterprises Scam?

I live in a suburb of Pittsburgh and I recently attended an "Open Session" of Van Enterprises. What follows is a summation of my experience.

I was called to return for a follow up visit but first warned that there would be costs starting at $150.00 for brochures.

"Quote 1": You can pay this with a Check, Money Order, Credit Card, or Post Dated Check if you don't have the money right now.

This triggered the first red flag for me. Someone who didn't know any thing about me is giving me an option that could be entirely irrelevant.

So I return for the follow up visit having done my homework on this company find fellow complains on this very page as well as other Yahoo! pages.

Below are some questions and answers:

Q: How many people do you have working in your Pittsburgh office?
A: 4

Q: Did you know that there is some bad information about your company online?
A: Yes I have seen those statements on Yahoo from some lunaticts who have claimed to have followed me to the river and other nonsense.

Now this is where the conversation changed I am assuming he decided that I had already made up my mind. He started to get quite rude with me, first by accusing me of having a very poor attitude. Next he told me that his company didn't want my money.

After some more rude statements from him I tried to steer the conversation back to the money and what I was actually buying.

Q: Can you show me what I am receiving for the $150.00 cost?
A: Yes we will talk about this at a later time more but you will get some flyers that we will circulate for you...(dodge).

Q: So you don't have anything now to give me?
A: No.

After this next disccusion things didn't go very well and he asked me to leave.

You stated in the first meeting that your company doesn't do anything with the internet because there isn't anything good that comes from it.

Q: Why do you feel there is no benefit from the internet? If not to publicly advertise surely to offer a secure, inexpensive, and efficient way to show client profiles to potential buyers?
A: All of out customers don't want to be on the internet they have families they don't want their pictures on some web site.

I don't think you understand the internet is capable of security this is how banks and credit cards are able to function through it.

Q: Don't you think the internet would reduce your costs since you wouldn't have to snail mail client profiles to potential buyers?
A: It doesn't matter we have been doing this for 35 years what do you think we did before the internet? The Internet is bullshit there is nothing good that comes from it and we will have no part in it!!

Once my mind fully processed the statement...

"The Internet Is Bullshit..."

I realized I wasn't dealing with any reasonable person. I decided I would finish up this conversation with two snide remarks...

Q: Just so you know I work for an internet startup company and we make millions of dollars a year in revenue. So does that make us bullshit too?
A: ......

Let's make a bet Sir. I will bet you that if I post my experience online and others do the same this "Bullshit" that you speak of may start to gum up your little operation your have going.

At that point he walked back into his room and I left the hotel.

Hopefully this will inform anyone thinking of investing in such a outdated and narrow minded "Company" if you would even call it that.

So in true internet fashion I spent the $9.99 to buy the domain

I will link this to a free blog where everyone can share their experiences.

Let this company see how powerful this "Bullshit" really is.

Yours Truly,

Offended Consumer


Mommyof3 said...

Thank you so much. I went to one of this guy's meetings tonight to take a friend and at the end wound up filling out an application for my 3 year old who just came along for the ride. afterwards at the store 2 people said this was a scam so I decided to do some research. as I began to use several search engines I noticed something that sent up a red flag for me. It was a typo on the fliers he handed out. Up top and in the first few paragraphs it says "Van Enterprise Inc." then in later paragrapghs and in the address at the bottom it says "Van Enterprises" with an "s" at the end. Would a company that's so professional and been around so long make such an error? I don't think so. I sure hope something can be done about him. People like that make me sick. Like my parents always taught me: if somehting seems to good to be true it probably is!!!

Sunny833 said...

To Atom in response to Van Enterprise Scam and Mommyof3:

To Successful Van Enterprises model If this is the only dirt you can dig up after 38 years you should forget about your grudge that Van Enterprises would use your internet service. Big deal, a customer Mommyof3 found a mispelled letter on the brochure. Apparently, Van Enterpises has an impeccable reputation. The fact of 38 years in business speaks for Van Enterprises. If your such a big million dollar internet start up company, why can you only afford $9.95 for a website? P.S. your client that is barking about a typo error spelled paragraph wrong in her blog. Why don't you move on to sell your internet services to another company. Van Enterprises is not interested in your services.I completed enough modeling assignments to finish my college education. Van Enterprises is too honorable to exploit models on your cheepo start up internet website.

roses said...

I'm sure that Van Enterprises has a impeccable reputation. But this one man show that Mommyof3 is referring to is using the name "Van Enterprise". I also just recently went to one of his model searches with my four year old daughter. Thankfully,I also did my research and found this website. At our meeting I asked perfectly reasonable questions. He got
defensive and irritated very quickly into our conversation. He knew that he wasn't going to get my money easily and I could tell I made him uncomfortable. He stood up several times trying to get me to leave because he really didn't have answers to my questions. Be very wary of this guy. Do your research. Thank you to the creator of this website. It posted questions that saved me money and grief.

MaMa33 said...

I have researched this company extensively. Thank goodness for the internet. I also checked with the Better Business Bureau and the are not accredited with them. There were a few complaints listed on the BBB website. This plus the feedback that I read has made my decision. No way! Also, this is supposed to be Christian based. My family and I are Christians and the feedback and backlash from those who are saying they are previous models of the company are not Christians with the nasty feedback. The person who wrote the blog was very detailed and professional, and I read some snide comments. Very disappointing and I am thankful to them as well for helping me make my decision.

BB said...

I must admit - Walter Vangenewitt, is a "smart?" scam artist. He has placed his prices just within of most people that have ever wanted to do something like his "brochure". Home photos (no expense to him) send to a printing company, make brochures, mail them to every address you can find, and you've fulfilled your promise to the client..... then you can rattle off all the names of the places you've sent to as if you've done jobs with them? You are right, he does get defensive at negativity. I only went as far as the phone call to set up the purchase, and YES - THANK YOU to the developer of this website!

babydinosmomma said...

I just took my 10 month old adorable little boy to his model search monday. My mom also took my younger 2 brothers. Apparently all the children were accepted but no adults were. I am leary about the $150 upfront because by what I have read online other reputable companies do not charge until you have been placed with a job. They also don't pay 100% and still charge the other company for placing you with a job. It just didn't make sense to me. They also aren't accredited with the BBB and with complaints I am really concerned what they were since we can't see that. My mom called him to get the license number which he stated was 126 with the commenwealth of PA in Harrisburg but I can't find anything stating that is the truth! He told us a website that it was listed at but there is no such website! I plan to go to the appointment just to see what all I can get him to say. I also have a huge complaint....if you are a well known company that has been around this long why do you still take 20 minutes of my day to read me the excerpt off the paper you handed me to begin with. He was also EATING lunch while he was on the phone with me! And told me that I shouldn't waste his time if I can't afford the $150. Thank you to the maker of this blog. Saved my mom tons of money since she was going to pay for it! Also I read stuff at and they had alot of good info. So you other mommies, I would check them out if you are serious about your kids modeling.

sunny83 said...

After signing on with this modeling agency, I received 6 jobs my 1st month. Everyone was very professional considering the office was overwhelmed with responsibilities. My chec for $3,000.00 was received in person at their office on the date and time it was promised. Great service, great money, great people.

Brandi McCracken said...

unfornately i read this to late about 4 years ago i was in tenth grade and my parents saw this add in the newspaper and they thought we should go check it out, well we went down stood in front of a video camera and said our name and age, well about 1 week later we got a call, they like me and wanted to meet me agian to sign me up for modeling jobs as long as i brought $170.00 with me so they could put my name and picture out in the buisness.. so of course my parents jumped on the opportunity of making me a star. well we went to the second meeting, sat down and talked to the guy for about an hour, and he said he would be in contact with us soon.............. well guess what? they never called me back!!!!!! go figure im looking through the newspaper today and guess what ad i see? the van enterprise modeling ad, well im going down when they have their meeting and im gonna let every one know they are fakes!!!!

hockeymom said...

Dealing with this guy right now and glad I did some research and glad I found this site. Sick that he now has video if my young children. May confront him with my husband. By the way, has it escaped everyone's attention that the only positive comments found on this company come from the same screen name, sunny83 or 833?

hockeymom said...

P.S. also found a "rave" review on insider pages from a "Smiley 83"- coincidence?

hockeymom said...

My husband and I actually went to Van Enterprises Pittsburgh location today. The "offices" were in the basement of a building that used to be a house that has several other businesses in it. We found the address and the hours of operation (9-4) on their website. The office had no interior or exterior windows and was behind a steel door, which was locked at 10:30am, and which no one answered when we knocked. I called the phone number listed on the site as well. It rang about 6 times,
went to musac, then a female answered. Funny, my husband was standing on the outside of the door and heard no phone ringing.....a front?

Roses83 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Smith said...

STOP BEING SLANDEROUS BECAUSE YOUR CHILD WAS NOT ACCEPTED! In reference to your comment of having an office in a lower level basement of of an office building... UPMC hospital has some of their cafeterias on the lower levels of basement, the University of Pittsburgh has some of their classrooms and executive offices on the lower levels or basement. Many businesses have offices on the lower levels of an office building or as you call a "basement." As to the aluminum metal door, this is an architectural design door made for some offices. Van Enterprises is rated A+ with the BBB, verified through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and licensed, bonded, christian-centered, and in business for 40 years. Therefore, who cares if their office is on the top floor or the bottom floor. After 40 years, clearly Van Enterprises is a big success. Stop picking because your child was not accepted. If you feel more comfortable working with a glamourous luxury office building, apply with the E. Ford agency in New York, New York.

nwestfall said...

My child was picked in 2009...this guy really got me for my money. He even gave me a portfolio for my son...then I never heard from him again. No returned phone calls. Wish this site was here then. This guy needs to be stopped! I hope this site is enough. And christian...ha ha, he never claimed this back in 2009. But as the bible says there will be false prophets and decievers.

Gloria Johnson said...

My experience has been any model client that has not received employment would receive an additional 2 years free if you would have made a request through Van Enterprises. Read your contract. Satisfied parent of child model on file.


Received the same old song and dance like everyone from Walter - Christian based my ass. I believe it is time to contact some authorities to find out if they are really a scam or not. You can't tell me in 40 years that if they got people jobs modeling that there wouldn't be more positive reviews from clients and the supposed stores that hire the clients (ie: american eagle, penny's, sears, k-mart) this coming from Walters mouth personally. No I am not upset that my son didn't get a call because I really didn't expect him to, not sure why I fell for this scam but was trying to make my son happy and didn't want him to get involved in some of the other sketchy modeling scams on the internet so i thought if you met with someone face to face it would be more less likely to be a scam.

Alexander Nagy said...

So, like everyone else I went to the open casting and naturally felt skeptical. I won't go into extreme detail because I feel like my report will be almost the same as everyone else's. I just thought I'd bring this fun fact to everyone's attention..... I googled the owners name Mr. Walter Vangenewitt and I encourage everyone else to do the same. Turns out he's dead, and his obituary mentions nothing about a modeling business. Now it could be someone else but with a name that unique, I really doubt it. Anyone trying to defend this company must be bogus.

Lynette Evans said...

Wish there was a like button on here for posts thank you for this site you saved me money and helped me so very much. I also took my little guy for a look see and got called today about it so thought i would look up some stuff for the company I do have an appointment tomorrow and im having the thought of still going and standing outside and letting all the other poor ppl that trusted this guy and letting them know about this site and that the owner is dead and the office pretty much isnt there. thanks again and hope other ppl read this.

MStern said...

This is the link that shows they are not BBB accredited.

Kim Miller said...

Van Enterprises Inc. obtained A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau due to working with the Better Business Bureau for 41 years.
A business is NOT REQUIRED to be certified with the Better Business Bureau. MEMBERSHIP CERTIFICATION FEES ARE VOLUNTARY. The FEW people with complaints on this COMPETITORS blog, compared to the thousands that were represented or not represented that Van Enterprises Inc. considered over the 41 years, 100% of the models will not always be satisfied. However, from this blog review, 99% are apparently satisfied, being there are very few complaints listed for 41 years of service.