Connecticut Attorney General's Office

Press Release

Attorney General, DCP Announce Children's Talent Event Offering Last Minute Refunds, Will Forfeit $25,000

May 4, 2009

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today announced that the operator of a children's talent competition has agreed to grant consumers full refunds before the event on Thursday and forfeit $25,000 to the state.

Earlier this year, parents paid THE, a Phoenix-based company putting on the event, an average of $3,500 to $4,000 for their children to participate in the four-day competition. THE told parents that the singing, dancing and acting event could help their kids break into show business.

"This settlement resolves claims that the organization's contracts are defective and flawed and provides for changes in business practices, as well as refunds," Blumenthal said.

The settlement was reached in conjunction with Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Jerry Farrell, Jr.

Blumenthal said his office is today sending overnight letters to about 95 Connecticut residents who signed up informing them that they can receive full refunds if they withdraw before the event's Thursday morning start. Blumenthal is working with the company to contact as many of the approximately 240 out-of-state families also scheduled to attend as possible.

In addition, participants who arrive at the event Thursday morning will receive a notice that they can withdraw and request a refund that morning.

THE also agreed to forfeit $25,000 to the state of Connecticut to settle allegations that its contract clause for refunds violated state law.

Blumenthal added, "Consumers can receive full refunds, every penny back that they paid. I urge consumes wanting to withdraw to immediately phone, fax or email the company for a refund.

"I will continue to closely monitor THE to assure that all those who withdraw receive full refunds. Consumers with questions and concerns should contact my office for assistance."

To withdraw from the competition and receive a full refund, consumers can:

  • Call THE at 702-494-7750;

  • Fax THE at 602-522-2225;

  • Send written notice to THE by U.S. Mail or recognized overnight courier at 2355 E. Camelback Road, #610, Phoenix, AZ 85016;

Consumers must give notice of their cancellation before the event's start on the morning of Thursday, May 7. Consumers will not be charged a cancellation fee.

Consumers with questions or needing assistance should contact the Attorney General's Office at (860) 808-5400.