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Miss Cleo
by - Tom Martino
The Internet Home of Consumer Advocate Tom Martino

In the TV commercials she says "Call me now!"

The woman behind that familiar phrase is self-proclaimed "Master Psychic" Miss Cleo.

Does she really provide insight to those who call her Psychic Hotline?

The answer may surprise you. My investigation into Miss Cleo’s operation revealed that she is nothing more than a paid spokeswoman and she seldom (if ever) takes phone calls. I also found out that it’s easy to get a job as one of her telephone psychics. We know this because my TV producer got a job after a 10-minute phone interview and absolutely no psychic credentials of any kind!

While Miss Cleo is one of the most recognized personalities on TV … she doesn’t deliver on promises … like this one:

"Call now for a free reading and learn the truth," – Miss Cleo TV Commercial

But what is the real truth about Miss Cleo?

To begin with … Miss Cleo has more aliases than predictions … among them: Youree Perris, Youree Harris, Rae Dell Harris and Cleomili Perris.

Miss Cleo claims the callers in her commercials are real but we have found evidence that actors are paid to play those roles.

The real brain of the operation is Steven Feder – known as the "Psychic Hotline King". His company "Access Resources" reportedly makes around $400-Million a year!

When people call Miss Cleo their calls are forwarded to freelance psychics around the country. My TV producer served as one of those psychics to get an inside look at the organization.

On her application, which asked for her "gift" she put down "woman’s intuition". In her short phone interview they asked very basic questions … then approved her instantly.

The orientation material encourages "psychics" to keep callers on the line for an average of 17 minutes. Those who have low call-time averages are terminated. And while callers pay around $5.00 a minute … the telephone psychics are paid around 17-cents a minute. They are given bonuses if they can collect personal data like a mailing address, email address and phone number. That information is then used for future solicitations.

Colorado resident Lola Chism called the hotline because she got an email supposedly from Miss Cleo.

"They said that they had an urgent message for me, that they needed to get a hold of me, that it was important that I call," Lola said.

The email also stated the call would be free. It was wrong on both counts: There was no urgent message and the call wasn’t free! The hotline billed her $159 – which Lola later got reversed after raising a stink.

By the way … this is a common complaint about the psychic hotline. Those so-called free calls end up costing people a lot of money.

One of the calls my producer took (while posing as a psychic) was from a woman who had gotten mail (supposedly from Miss Cleo) stating that Miss Cleo had important information about a "secret admirer". Another lie.

If you want to spend around $5.00 a minute (that’s around $300 an hour) … I suggest you hire a professional psychiatrist, psychologist or counselor … or just go out with friends for a good time. It’ll be a lot cheaper.

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