Picasso Home Art School/Amadeus Home Music School Complaint - Picasso Home Art School Fraud

Review by AmandaB on 2009-04-09
PARKVILLE, MARYLAND -- I am a tutor for the Picasso Home Art School (sister company is Amadeus Home Music School). I was contacted by one of their hiring coordinators in 2008 and contracted to provide art lessons to their clients when the need arose. I taught an eight-week session of watercolor lessons to a client in June and July of 2008 and was compensated without issue. The Picasso Home Art School had me sign a contract and we were in agreement that I would be paid $40 per session and would receive a check after every four sessions.

On November 19, 2008 I began teaching a new client. Her parents paid Picasso Home Art School for 16 lessons. I was to teach the client her lessons weekly and then receive a check in the mail from Picasso Home Art School after each 4 lessons. I received a check for the first eight lessons ($320) and that is when the payments stopped. I continued my obligation to my client and taught her all 16 lessons, During this time, I was also matched up with another client. That client wanted an eight week session of drawing lessons, and so I taught her weekly as well. Four sessions came and went, and then 8. By the end of each client's session, I was owed for 16 lessons (8 from each client). The amount I am owed is $320 (lessons 8-16 for the first client) and $360 (all 8 lessons for the second client- pay rate was $45 per lesson). I tried multiple times to contact the company to find out where my checks were. I was repeatedly ignored- voice mailboxes were full or calls went unreturned, and emails were unanswered as well.

The dates I taught lessons that are still unpaid are as follows: January 7, January 14, January 20, January 28, January 29, February 4, February 4, February 11, February 11, February 25, March 4, March 12, March 18, March 18, March 26 and March 27, 2009.

After multiple attempts to contact various employees of Picasso Home Art School, I was able to get in touch with [snip] in the accounting department. She sent me an email on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 stating that they were having payroll issues and hoped to have them resolved in the next couple of weeks. I emailed her again on April 9, 2009 to get an update and the email came back with an automated response stating that she no longer works for the company. Concerned, I put "Picasso Home Art School" into Google and it appears that many tutors around the country are having the same issues with this company. Additionally, clients who paid by credit card had their cards charged multiple times without reason or authorization and are having difficulty getting a refund. Calls to the company's owner are going unanswered.

This is a very serious problem and apparent scam. I am owed $680 and that is just a small fraction of the amount of money that has been stolen by this company. Picasso Home Art School/Amadeus Home Music School and it's owner [snip] need to be held responsible for their illegal actions and need to also pay their many debts to deserving, innocent people.
Comments:2 Replies - Latest reply on 2009-04-10
Posted by Soaring Consumer on 2009-04-09:
File a lawsuit in small claims court for unpaid wages, and also notify the Office of the Attorney General of your state about these scammers so that action can be taken against them.
Posted by IndianaArtist on 2009-04-10:
I've had the same experience except that I haven't been paid anything. When I went online to log my last class tonight, the site said that the company had been acquired and would honor all commitments -- we'll see.

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