FORT MILL, SC (WBTV) - Darren Adams needed a break.
"I've put in a bunch of applications," said Adams.
Like many he has struggled to find work. It's why he jumped when saw an ad in the Gaston Gazette. It said good paying jobs with great benefits were available. The ad said show up at McKenney Chevrolet in Lowell the next morning.
Doug Conn saw a similar ad in the Gaffney newspaper. This one lead to Burns Chevrolet Chrysler.
Conn says several people showed up for training seminars set up by World Wide Consulting Services of Fort Mill, SC.
"We were there and ready to go to work," said Conn.
Several people who showed up tell us they were told they would all land a job.
"Lifetime placement through the company," said Conn.
"Yeah, they said it was guaranteed," said Adams.
Any promises were made by trainers. They were not made by the dealerships.
"The first thing he (Burns Chevrolet employee) asked me was 'did the trainer tell you that if you paid the fee that you had a job?'" said Conn. "Yes, that's the only reason we paid the fee.
Conn paid a $479 training fee. Adams was being charged $629, but he didn't have it. He asked his 85-year-old grandfather for help.
"I didn't want to just give my money away," said George Adams.
Before using his credit card for the very first time, George Adams took a trip to the dealership to talk to the World Wide Consulting Services representative personally.
"He assured me he (Darren) had a job," said George Adams. "He said as a matter of fact they hired them all."
They didn't hire them all. Neither Darren Adams, nor Doug Conn got a job.
"They've been on our radar for a number of years," said Tom Bartholomy of the Better Business Bureau.
Bartholomy says the BBB has taken dozens of complaints against World Wide Consulting Services. He says the company tells the BBB it doesn't make promises and the trainers are independent contractors.
"Here's the dealership, here's the trainers, we've created the training manual for you to be trained, but then we're done," explained Bartholomy.
As for the dealerships, Bartholomy doesn't think they know all the details of what is being said to the potential new hires.
"I don't think the dealerships are doing a very good job of vetting (World Wide Consulting Services)," said Bartholomy.
WBTV did speak to representatives from both McKenney and Burns. McKenny did hire a couple people, but both said they would never use World Wide Consulting again.
Peter Ferrigan is the owner of World Wide Consulting Services. He declined WBTV's request for an interview. He did send us a statement. He says his company has placed tens of thousands of people since its inception.
As for guarantees the statement said, "Even though we do not guarantee placement, we will place any and all individuals that participate in our program. This will require some cooperation and effort on the part of the individual. Some individuals will take more time than others."
Ferrigan's statement also said the fees are a fraction charged by traditional colleges and trade schools. It goes on to say the fee is 100% reimbursed by the employer after 90 days on the job.
You can read the entire statement below.
George Adams was able to get his money back by working with his credit card company. Doug Conn who paid with a cashier's check has not been able to get his money and he is still looking for work.
The Better Business Bureau says red flags should go up any time someone says you have pay first to get a job. Bartholomy suggests you do some due diligence and check the company out carefully before giving any money.
Copyright 2011 WBTV. All rights reserved.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Statement from Peter Ferrigan, World Wide Consulting Services.
Since our inception, World Wide Consulting has placed tens of thousands of individuals who, for the most part are unskilled and/or minimally educated into positions that pay a solid living wage and offer health, dental, 401(k) and other benefits. During the past two years, when our country has lost literally millions of jobs, we have kept moving forward, placing people in positions that have allowed them to support their families and keep their possessions. Naturally our mission has become somewhat more difficult in this extraordinarily poor economy. Even though we do not guarantee placement, we will place any and all individuals that participate in our program. This will require some cooperation and effort on the part of the individual. Some individuals will take more time than others.
In response to the BBB inquires, we believed that having a record of tens of thousands of people gainfully employed verses ten or so with issues should indicate to anyone that we are serious about fulfilling our obligations. If you will notice, as of today, we have only one active complaint with the BBB and we are diligently working to resolve that issue.
Regarding the fee that is charged for materials, it is a small fraction of the tuition charged by traditional colleges and trade schools and THE FEE IS 100% REIMBRUSED BY THE EMPLOYER AFTER 90 DAYS. I don't know of any colleges or trade schools that refund any fees charged. Further, we will stake our placement record against any institution in the country.
I hope that this response will satisfy any remaining questions that you may have regarding our company. We hope that you will represent our company with the respect we deserve for helping the thousands of satisfied people in finding dignified and gainful employment especially in these hard economic times.
I now consider this matter closed and I will have no further comment.