5 On Your Side

Want Ad Offers Headache, Not Job, For Raleigh Woman

Posted February 23, 2005 4:57 a.m. EST

— Whether they already have a job or not, most people go through the job ads from time to time to see what is out there. One woman wishes she would have only looked at one particular ad because answering it led to problems.

It started with the words: "Now hiring airport security -- $13 to $33 hourly," so Anita Wygonik called the number.

"It sounded very appealing," she said. "I thought I was applying for a job."

The number rang at Florida-based Continental Job Information. The company did not have jobs to offer. They had sample test books that were supposed to help Wygonik pass the Transportation Security Administration exam, and then get a job. The cost is $55.

"I knew then that I probably had been scammed," Wygonik said.

Wygonik felt even more certain when she received something in the mail -- two "books" of pages apparently made on a copy machine.

"Some of it was just -- you couldn't read it -- so you couldn't even figure out what answer you wanted because you couldn't even read the print," she said.

Wygonik said some pages were blank.

"I think it's a waste of paper," Wygonik said.

Wygonik wanted her money back, not just $55, but also the $25 shipping and handling charge she said Continental never even told her about. To get her money back, she had to answer the practice test questions and fail the test.

"The test I actually, physically took -- there wasn't anything in this booklet that would have prepared me for that test I actually took. Nothing was related," she said.

Wygonik failed her test, but when she mailed everything back to Continental, it was returned "undeliverable." Wygonik called Five on Your Side, who called Continental Job Information. Owner Ken Eller told Five On Your Side he never received Wygonik's paperwork.

Eller then called Wygonik and promised a credit. Almost a month later, she received her $80 back. Wygonik said she did learn something from the books -- something she wants to pass on.

"You shouldn't have to pay just to apply to get a job," she said.

Continental Job Information has an unsatisfactory record with the Better Business Bureau. Also, a TSA representative told Five On Your Side the agency's attorneys looked into similar job ads, but found the companies operate just within the law.