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JB, The Piercer! Over 8 years experience scamming his apprentices.
It's time for me to disclose the truth about James Bernard, more commonly known as JB, the owner of Professional Piercers Of Maine in Lewiston, Maine and Ocean Blue Tattoo in Old Orchard Beach, Maine. I apprenticed with JB for ten months after working out my plan with him as far back as 2011. I understand that this complaint may not resolve my issues with James Bernard, but I hope it will prevent others from falling for the same deception.
This man has done nothing but take advantage of people by promising a full training program and apprenticeship in the body piercing profession. He has scammed me, and several others out of thousands of dollars. His sixteen hundred hour program is marketed as teaching everything from the sterility of a body-piercing studio to educating the apprentice about the tools, techniques, anatomy, and jewelry options involved in the business.
I wanted to become an educated, skilled professional piercer. I approached my time with JB in a serious manner. I began my training in good faith and I was kicked to the curb before I had the chance to complete our agreed upon training program. The biggest issue for me was money. After struggling to find the $5,000 in funds for JB's program I was able to start my training at his studio on September 11, of 2013.
I completed 947 hours of the 1,600 hours needed to complete my training. I did not receive any form of payment for any of the work I had done. I was used as a cleaning women for the ten months. I was treated poorly the entire time, but I sucked it up because I wanted to finish my training and move forward. In this case it didn't pay off.
JB continued making promises to me regarding my obtaining the body-piercing license and my blood borne pathogens certification the entire ten months. These documents were supposed to be included in the cost for his program and JB received my fee up front. I was under the impression that after six months of working for him I would move forward and obtain my license and begin practicing body piercing.
It became obvious to me that once JB realized he was running out of time and excuses to honor our agreement, he came up with a reason to let me go. He would yell at me and make rude remarks towards me in front of others. He eventually kicked me out of the shop and refused to give me an answer as to why he was doing so, and if he intended to have me back to finish my training. At this time a new student came forward with her payment for this so called training program, and because of this JB decided he could cut me loose. I haven't received any form of refund or certification as promised. Unfortunately, I am not the first person to run into this problem with JB.
Since this occurred I have learned about several other people that he has done this to. I've also learned that the cost for a piercing apprenticeship should not be more than $2,500, especially if the "training" is only going to involve cleaning up after everyone in the shop and being treated abusively.
JB was barely ever at the shop. After receiving the $5,000 payment he claimed he couldn't provide my licensing, blood borne pathogen test, or the rest of the training that was promised. Sadly I spent almost a year working at JB's shop in good faith and all I did was take care of his equipment, clean, and watch over his establishment while everyone else was "on call" (shopping, eating, drinking, and doing drugs).
Something needs to be done about people like this, and the public should be aware of scam artists like James Bernard before their time and money is wasted as mine has been. Unfortunately I have learned the hard way, as have several others. I hope that this communication will play a part in bringing such behaviors to an end.
SunJournal Article: http://www.sunjournal.com/news/lewiston-auburn/2015/05/18/students-say-lewiston-piercer-not-following-through-training/1704706