ArtistPR Buyer Beware (Time lapse nerd blog)

Update 3/21/14
I think it’s only fair to note that ArtistPR keeps trying to post on this blog and let people know that they are totally legit. Here’s the thing, this is MY experience. It doesn’t mean you’ll have the same experience. You know, maybe they hired a really bad service to make their calls. Maybe the 3 or 4 emails I get a year from totally different  ArtistPR reps that are word for word the same (except for the part where they insert a different random song in the blank) are just their way of saying they really, REALLY, love my music. Fine. They want to post their clean record with the Better Business Bureau? Thanks for reminding me that I should have filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. This is what I’ve learned since I wrote this blog: you are going to hear about the best PR services because artists you know will be using them and talking about them. The ones that spam you on Reverbnation and email are most likely trying to make a buck by casting a wide net. And, if they are casting a wide net, what are the chances they believe in you as an artist and will really push your music? And, what are the chances they are just trying to make as much money as possible from as many artists as they can get in the net? You decide.
Original post March 23rd, 2011




Phone rings. Unknown number from San Rafael, CA. That’s the second call this week. I’m in a writing session with Mr. Jake Owen (super-guitarist-songwriter) so, I don’t pick up.


1:38pm Central Time


I got curious and returned the call from San Rafael, CA. The caller said she was from Here is the skinny:


Maybe I submitted to them or maybe I didn’t. I submit to a lot of things. I honestly couldn’t recall whether or not I submitted to be featured on their “artist spotlight” but, they told me I had and that I was chosen.


The cost: $2.95 for the week I was to be featured in the “spotlight” (slightly misleading and I’ll explain why in a bit)


They would also need a CD and press kit in hand to give to licensors who might inquire about my music.  I told the caller that I would not give my credit card info over the phone and that I wanted to do it myself on the website. She asked if I could do it while we were on the call because she would need the approval code in order to upload me in to “the spotlight”. I said, I would be available to do it in a few hours and she said she’d call me back. (My guard was up since this number had called me twice and hadn’t left a message. Also, the caller sounded like she was reading from a script) 

Well, in the meantime, I went to look for the details on the site. Here they are:


1. Charges and Use of Service. You acknowledge that offers a free membership with limited access to resource and services. You also aknowledge and agree that if you choose to upgrade your account to a premium membership that you will be billed $2.95 for 5 days then automatically recur every 30 days at $60.00 until you cancel. You can also choose to sign up for $60.00 a month without the $2.95 trial. Both memberships recur at $60.00 very 30 days. The $60 a month provides you access to our premium members area at Each member is provided a unique username and password at the time of signup that allows you access to our premium members area.. The services provided by are listed at and  You can automatically cancel your account 24/7 by going to our cancellation page You can also access this page by clicking here. You can also cancel your account by calling customer service at xxx xxx xxxx and your membership will be canceled within 24 hours.


Is that a one time charge of $2.95 for 5 days or $2.95 each day? Also, there was no link on “here” for the cancellation page. The caller said nothing about a recurring charge. So, maybe this wasn’t the deal she was trying to tell me about. I’m waiting for the call back to ask her and will keep you updated. But, right now, I’m thinking that this was a way of selling their upgraded membership. If not, I wish they would have found a more personable, professional caller or at least contacted me by email about my being “selected” before calling. And, if this is how they are trying to get people to opt in to their upgraded membership, bad move. A bit tricksy if you ask me.




Oh, no….here we go
So, she calls back and asks me for my credit card number again. I say, “No, I want to do it online”. I ask her if I’m going to have a recurring charge on my credit card. She insists that this is a one time charge. She tells me to go to the following link:




This clearly says there is a recurring charge. Does she think I can’t read?


Me: “It says that this is for monthly membership.”
Her: “No, it isn’t”
Me: “Yes, that’s what it says!”
Her: “You won’t be charged.”
Me: “You know, thanks for the offer but, no thanks.”
Her: “Ok” hangs up…



ArtistPR? Not so much…

31 thoughts on “ArtistPR Buyer Beware (Time lapse nerd blog)

  1. there are a lot of people trying to capitalize on the combination of two things: 1) the artist’s will to succeed and be heard, and 2) a large number of artists knowing very little about how the industry works. it’s sad, but we have to be on guard.

  2. I hope people pass this on. It’s too easy to miss the fine print in these things. It’s happened to me before but with a gas card, which is why I’m so protective over my info. After the visiting the website I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to have anything to do with the offer but I wanted to see if it was legit or not. Guess not. At best, it’s misleading. At worst, a scam. I’ll let you decide.

  3. I’ve seen sites for "Make Money on eBay" and "Make Money with Google" that have a similar fine print and membership scheme. They offer a low cost trial which then renews at an exuberant amount per month. They make it a huge pain to cancel ones membership as well. The information or service they offer is usually not worth much either.This is the first time I’ve seen this type of sign-up scheme (scam) targeted at people with an interest as a professional musician. Their site not only seems shady, but it is poorly designed as well. I wouldn’t trust them to market my music since they can’t do an adequate job of marketing their own product.Thanks for the heads up on this, Laura. I retweeted your tweet out to my followers.

  4. You rock too, Mad!Japheth, thanks for reposting. This was not the first scheme targeting musicians that I’ve come across but, it was one of the most ridiculous. I don’t want to see anyone fall into a trap of recurring charges to their credit card. My rule of thumb is not to give my credit card info over the phone no matter how nice the caller is. This caller was obviously reading from a script so, it made it easier 🙂

  5. <html><head></head><body style="word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; -webkit-line-break: after-white-space; ">You’re welcome. I almost did too. The deal breaker was them asking for my credit card number over the phone. That’s something I just won’t do.&nbsp;<div><br></div><div>:)</div><div><br><div><div></div></div></div></body></html>

  6. <html><head></head><body style="word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; -webkit-line-break: after-white-space; ">Excellent idea!!! Yes, great way to spot a scammer. Thanks for the tip!<div><br></div><div><br><div><div></div></div></div></body></html>

  7. I just got a call from this company, and got the same sales pitch from a guy named Dan. They wanted to feature my band too as if we are special to them or something. He also wanted to take the $2.95 on a credit card right away. I then stopped him, told him we’ve recently been scammed by a promotor, and we’re very cautious about whom we do business with. Then he got snotty after I told him I wanted to check out their company to see what they are all about. I was polite and honest with him, so not sure why he took an attitude. It then became clear he was only out to make a quick buck.

  8. Yeah, they just keep trying every musician they can. I guess they figure they can scam enough of them to make it worth their while.

  9. This organization is a scam. After I told Dan that I was going to check the org out online and not pay 2.95/day for nothing, he told me " I guess you really don’t want to make it in the music business". You guys are fucking losers!

  10. Ron, wow…just wow. Seriously, this is the same kind of arrogance I encountered. Great idea with filing the complaint. We could use a whole lot less of people trying to capitalize off of our dreams 🙂

  11. I just got a call 2 days ago. Frank Martin told me I was chosen for the Spotlight as well. He told me about the 2.95, but I didn’t have a credit card at the time. So when I said that he said well maybe you could ask a friend to loan you the three dollars, I said I’ll see what I can do by the 20th. He said okay, call me back when you pay. So I hangs up, goes & buys a prepaid master card tries calling him all Sunday evening, then again all Monday, but Monday night I googled it after I found it stange for him not to answer the phone. All I got was his voicemail. I found this along with another site saying the same thing. Then I found this redneck rapper on youtube promoting the wesbite, LOL I laughed so hard when I seen that, that was the most poorly done video I’ve ever watched.

  12. Same sense of fraud. She didn’t want me to conduct the purchase on their website. She was insisting on my card number and the 3-digit on the back over the phone. I think I’ll cal the company to see if they know anything about her.

  13. They also called me, they said that other "people" were calling but that he only wanted to speak to me. He exclusively played a song that I had posted on a website that was just meant to be a sample and was of absurd quality and said it was really good. Lol. He then proceeded to ask for my credit card information and like anyone, I started getting suspicious of him, not only because not one person would give their credit card details to a complete stranger who calls you out of random for a music "opportunity", but also because of all the bad reviews on the internet saying their a scam and they tell the same thing to everyone. Like they also wanted to put me on the "Spotlight". LOL. I told him I was 17 and he no longer wanted to speak to me, he didn’t proceed with conversation, just urged to talk to my mom. Which I never even told to begin with because these fuckers aren’t legit.

  14. Always great to see musicians blogging about this. I, too, just got a call. I am expecting a call for an interview so I accepted the call.Same deal, only when I asked for the persons full name they told me it Eugene Song…from Hollywood.I almost chuckled. I am grateful to being alive long enough to have been a few times around the block. This saves me having to pick up the phone tomorrow when I asked him to call me back.Thanks for caring enough to help others! Blessings~Shine on~

  15. I have had first hand experience with the company cause I used to work for them.

    ArtistPR owned by John Mahoney everyone in the industry knows he is a liar and alcoholic
    John Mahoney is using the fake name John McAlister

    This site is a scam and you should find another ways to promote yourself.

    They just take your money and don’t do anything with your music. They just scammed my musician friend. He spent $180 for 3 months and got nothing, just like I saw when I use to work for John Mahoney

    After you start charging you the $60 monthly fee, they actually do not promote and or submit to radio stations or any of the promotion they promise you.

    Next, when you get tired of spending the $60 or figure out that you aren’t getting what you paid for you cancel, will call you and tell you that you have a e-zine that is interested in writing a review of your music. They propose to give you a discount price or stick you with the $60 again and sell you E-zine that they say will write a review of your music is actually owned by John Mahoney the owner of

    Read more about their scam

    Don’t be fooled by the promises – this is a pure scam

    • Thanks for your input, James. They did try to contact me and offered to show me that they are legit. My life was very busy at the time and I didn’t take them up on the offer. I suppose, if they offer again, I may take them up on it just for fairness but, we’ll see.

  16. Had the same experience. My subscription lapsed as my credit card was maxed out when they tried to charge me. I did receive an email stating that I wouldn’t be charged again. Then I got a call saying that suddenly my album has aroused interest and some mags want to review it. Then I looked for some info on them online, something I should have done before hand. They seemed legit when I read their information on their site, now I know better.

  17. I was list contacted by these people and it seems that everything is corresponding with every one else posts on the $2.95 business. Has anyone every paid and really got recognition with this company? Has any major artist every got sign or there music licensed threw this company? Please help.. we pay the money sometimes for the love of our music we create not because some one is trying to sell us a dream!

  18. ArtistPr are still hard at work taking money from musicians, while giving back little to nothing!

    Here is another review of ArtistPr that sheds more light on them.

    P.S. I can verify that they DO call you after you cancel and tell you that (magically) several magazines are interested in interviewing you. Don’t fall for it. I wish I had never given them a dime!

  19. Music is an influence profession and a lot of young people are foolish enough to think that if they get a how-to book on how to expose their music (ie: it takes money) then they’ll get somewhere. I wish they’d just leave people alone.

  20. I keep on getting emails from John at ArtistPR promising to promote my music. Thank you for this blog warning of the problems in dealing with these guys.

  21. is a fraudulent company and the strangest thing is that they are promoted by . That’s why I thought they were credible. They lie that you press release can reach over three thousand something plus online blogs, ezines, radio stations, etc. My press release was approved however, upon a google search, I only found it on their damn, deserted website! Upon bringing the point up to them in email, they never responed. They took two months of payments from me which totalled, $92. You can sure as hell bet that I got none of it back.

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