As many girls that are on the stage during pageant weekend, about the same number of girls who paid their first sponsorship installment ($240) at the pageant prep training session, but who didn't make the second payment of the same amount, dropped-out, and were not granted a refund.
It is my opinion that the same ratio/numbers apply at all NAM state pageants. And the kicker is that these girls' parent/guardian signed the application at Open Call, but most don't realize that NAM's legal clauses are on the back (some are on the front, but the "refund policy" is in tiny print and, well, it doesn't even say "refund policy"...you have to know that the one (buried) sentence means "refund policy) which means most signers are clueless that they are signing a binding contract and won't get their money back if they turn in the first sponsorship installment, activate the application into a legally binding contract, and then come to understand at the pageant prep training session all of the true pageant expenses involved with the pageant. that they were not aware of at Open Call.
It is at this time that they want to back out of the pageant and get a refund. But sadly, this is when they find out that they signed a binding contract and cannot receive a refund. In California, the director said in his Better Business Bureau rebuttal about this exact complaint that about 50% of the girls who paid their first sponsorship installment, didn't pay the second, and were not in the pageant on pageant weekend.
And those girls, including the complaints' daughter, L. Gomulka, who turned in a report to the BBB, were not granted a refund.
Imagine if there are 500 girls (combined from the five age divisions) who are on the stage. About the same number of girls (who aren't featured on stage) paid at least 1/2 of the sponsorship fee ($240) but didn't pay the second and dropped out. 500 x $240 = $120,000 in silent income that NAM keeps if what the California director replied to the Better Business Bureau is true. And the California directors had more than 500 girls in all age divisions combined that year.
Why would the California director lie to the BBB? He wants to keep his NAM California state pageant at an "A" rating, and not go up to an "F," as once did the NAM National directors but who have since then increased their rating to a "C."
And the BBB is clueless to what the California director replied, because they don't understand pageant numbers -- financial or otherwise.
Product or Service Mentioned: National American Miss Beauty Pageant.
Reason of review: Pricing issue.
Preferred solution: To not be transparent to young girls and their families, as was noted to NAM via The Washington Post's The Fact Checker http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/, regarding NAM's transparencies on its prize package and "college scholarships." .
National American Miss Cons: Transparent in much of how it operates.