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7-ELEVEN: UnhappyFranchisee.Com Invites Views of 7-11 Franchisee Groups

July 25, 2013

7-Eleven franchise owners are disappointed that the leadership of their own franchise owners associations haven’t stepped up and defended their honor.

The image of 7-Eleven franchise owners nationwide has been tarnished by well-publicized crackdowns by Federal authorities on groups of franchisees and managers accused of human trafficking, enslaving workers in a “modern day plantation system,” and supplying illegal immigrants with the social security numbers of dead people and children.

Coincidentally (or not), 7-Eleven, Inc. had already initiated a crackdown in which it terminated the franchise agreements and attempted to seize stores of franchisees it says were cheating the system and illegally siphoning off millions of dollars.  The news media has featured dozens of detailed allegations regarding franchisees keeping separate sets of books, secretly buying inventory that was sold without reporting the income to 7-Eleven, Inc., and creative cash register manipulations designed to avoid franchise royalties.

Two of the alleged scammers were prominent leaders in the 7-Eleven franchisee community:  Karamjeet Sodhi, the current President of the NJ Franchise Owners Association, and Tariq Khan, the former President of the National Coalition of 7-Eleven Franchise Owners Associations.

“Why aren’t our Franchise Owners Associations speaking up?” – 7-11 Franchisee

On the pro-franchisee website UnhappyFranchisee.Com, 7-Eleven franchise owners expressed disappointment that their elected representatives have failed to issue statements defending the integrity of the vast majority of honest, rule-compliant franchise owners, and have not objected to store seizures by the Japanese-owned franchisor without giving franchisees warning or the right to appeal.

“Our FOA representatives have remained silent while SEI (7-Eleven, Inc.) throws us under the bus,” wrote one franchisee in an email. “We thought something would come out of the national convention in Las Vegas, but there was nothing but the company line.”

“7-Eleven franchisees are not liars, cheats & slave traders” – 7-11 Franchisee

“Why have the heads of our FOAs [franchise owners associations] allowed the media to insinuate that 7-Eleven franchisees are liars, cheats and slave traders without pointing out that, first, no one has been convicted of any crime and, secondly, a very small minority of franchisees has been accused of wrong-doing,” wrote one franchisee in an email.  “Their silence makes us all look guilty.”

Others have expressed outrage that the FOAs have not spoken out against the immediate, unilateral franchise terminations and store seizures enacted against franchisees 7-Eleven, Inc. claims have been “cheating” and violating their franchise agreements.  7-Eleven, Inc. has seized stores from successful owners, some of whom have been franchisees for 25 years, without giving them the benefit of a warning, a hearing, or the right to appeal.

“I’m not necessarily defending Khan or Sodhi,” wrote one franchisee.  “If they cheated, they should be terminated.  But shouldn’t there be some sort of process before this company can end its franchisee’s livelihoods and keep their investments whenever they feel like it?”

“Franchisees pay upfront fees in the hundreds of thousands of dollars for each store.  Is it right for 7-Eleven, Inc. to be able to seize their stores based on their word alone, so they can sell it to someone new for hundreds of thousands more dollars?” said one franchisee on condition of anonymity.

Marks & Klein law firm“7-Eleven franchisees are terrified their stores will be seized next.” – 7-11 Franchisee

“What if an employee was just making a mistake on the register but SEI thinks it’s cheating?  Franchisees do not defend cheaters, but they are scared to death because they could be next.  We can’t understand how our FOA leaders can remain silent and not speak up while 7-Eleven seizes the life savings of franchisees without as much as a hearing.”

7-Eleven franchisees are expressing fear and frustration that they are being intimidated and exploited by an abusive “imperial” franchisor that sees them as indentured servants.  Wrote one franchisee:  “When I first saw the headline about accusations of slavery at 7-Eleven, I thought ‘Finally, someone is writing about how the franchisees are being treated.’”

7-Eleven FOAs Invited to Comment

UnhappyFranchisee.Com has sent out an invitation to the heads of the local and regional 7-Eleven Franchise Owners Associations and to Bruce Maples, head of the National Coalition email us statements to UnhappyFranchisee[at]Gmail.com for immediate publication.

Individual franchisees are also invited to express their views in the comment section of any post, or by emailing us confidentially at UnhappyFranchisee[at]Gmail.com.

Also read:

7-Eleven Franchise Complaints

7-ELEVEN Class Action Franchise Lawsuit Brewing?

7-ELEVEN Franchisee Tariq Khan: Villain or Victim?

7-ELEVEN Franchise Owner Claims Franchisees Are Being Bullied

7-ELEVEN: Is 7-Eleven a Good Franchise to Own?

7-ELEVEN Franchise Owners Complain, Allege Churning

7-ELEVEN Franchises Raided by DOJ, Homeland Security

7-ELEVEN Downplays Japanese Ownership

7-ELEVEN Franchise Lawsuits 2013

7-ELEVEN’s Japanese Parent Posts Record Profits… Again

7-ELEVEN: How the 7-Eleven Franchise Works

WHAT DO YOU THINK?  ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH 7-ELEVEN FRANCHISE OWNERS AND THEIR FRANCHISE OWNERS ASSOCIATIONS?  SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.

Contact UnhappyFranchisee.com

TAGS: 7-Eleven, 7-Eleven franchise, 7-Eleven lawsuit, 7-Eleven lawsuits, 7-11 franchise, 7-11 lawsuits, 7-11 complaints, Tarik Khan, Tarik Khan lawsuit, KARAMJEET SODHI, 7-Eleven litigation, 7-eleven franchise complaints, National Coalition Of Associations Of 7-Eleven Franchisees, NCASEF, Bruce Maples, SEI, 7-Eleven Inc., Seven and i Holdings Co

Comments

17 Responses to “7-ELEVEN: UnhappyFranchisee.Com Invites Views of 7-11 Franchisee Groups”

  1. Tom in the trenches says:

    Good points! Where are our “leaders?”

    I don’t know any of the accused and criticized folks but dagnabbit the franchisees I know and associate with work their behinds off for a diminishing return…..our labor, dues and vendor support seems to go to people living high at my expense.

    I don’t fault the FOA’s and National Coalition needing to meet at nice resorts and such BUT when a brother or sister franchisee is in trouble……all we hear is…………crickets!!! That weak comment last month from the National Chair sounded like a Dallas person wrote it. What gives?

    Some of the larger FOA’s like Chicago do fantastic charitable work and get positive publicity for it…..why shouldn’t the average store owner have their efforts recognized too? I am afraid this will hurt ALL of us for a long time.

  2. singh says:

    I open my store last year. 7-Eleven give me good idea about sales but we can not get that sales. I contact 7-eleven about this and I got answer that it is my decision to open store at this location and now they give me suggestion that I can walk out from store. please give suggestions about this and any franchisee want to join me to file lawsuit against 7-eleven please e-mail me…
    thanks

  3. krishana says:

    give me your phone number mr Singh ..

    [NOTE: For your safety, we don’t allow posting of personal contact information in comments. If two commenters would like to exchange information, each must send a request to UnhappyFranchisee[at]Gmail.Com. Thanks! ADMIN]

  4. Ex says:

    As I can vision the future of 7-Eleven,I think I can say now that not only this company is getting greedy but now also loosing support of franchisees say by day.
    They are only waiting for surprise from their own people who works for them currently and who has worked in past for them.As I can also say their FC are also involved in this mess that has been created by 7-11 itself .
    They are also part of this illegal use of power and threats against the franchisees.
    I will request all the FC’s not be a part of their illegal threats and please be respectful to your FZ’S .Anyone who is fired by them for any reason please contact the NJ lawyer Mr Jerry Marks. As of now I heard many of them have already in touch with attorney
    As they are also insulted.we are all supporting entire northeast group and we will also soon join the northeast group very soon.
    As we are having meeting next week so I urge all FOA of all 7-11 franchisees to please support each other and unite together to challenge 7-11 to change their positions on their thoughts and treat all the franchisees fairly and equally not divide and torture individual FZ’S.managent team in Dallas needs to change their attitude towards FZ’S.if they don’t want FZ’S them please help all FZ’S to sale their store or buy them out peacefully.
    I urge all FZ’S throughout USA please be united and call your local FOA rep. And show your unity.

  5. Fl says:

    I urge all the local FOA of 7-11 to call their individual representative and ask them where they are standing as to showing the unity.
    Also very very important what is national coalition is doing
    Are they doing anything or what is there opinion as I have not heard a single message from national president Mr Bruce Maples
    If they are not supporting FZ’S then he should resign
    And let someone else support all FZ’S and be a positive unselfish spokesperson for all FZ’S. I belive national coalition president is probably waiting to see who is next victim of 7-11 as I have not heard or seem any powerful leadership from them.
    National coalition should very well understand the power and support of all estimated 38 association support. If nothing atleast unite all the members and show your unity with people who pays you for your responsibility towards all the FZ’S.

  6. N E Franchisee says:

    To National Chairman Bruce Maples

    At times no matter what, WE MUST STAY TOGETHER as a National Association in order to stay STRONG, or we will go DOWN on a road that has been very carefully and SKILLED by 711 to MAKE US WEAK.

    Think Mr.Maples we are at a crossroads of being a strong organization looking for EACH OTHER, for our rights or being simple a IRRELEVANT organization.

  7. Ex says:

    National Association have not even bother to even support any FOA organizations so far and I don’t expect MR Maples to even say a single word as he is probably not sure what to do.
    The best thing is he should immediately resign
    Again all FOA organization leaders you don’t need any leader who cannot even support you.
    UNITE individually and let’s become one strong group and be a business person not an employee of 7-11 inc. or even slave

  8. Workinboy48 says:

    With all due respect, to all those this may reach, it does you no good to plead to the “elected”/selected “leaders” of the National Coalition for ANY action in support of Franchisee rights against what SEI wants. In fact, it may be time to dissolve the National Coalition as it currently exists and start anew with EACH Franchisee having the right to vote individually rather than having a select few who are to afraid to go against SEI. Do away with the current organization, hire an ex-Franchisee or EX-SEI employee to represent all Franchisees. You’re paying Mr. Maples enough to get some results, and it is NOT happening. Please show me exactly how much progress Bruce has made in your defense since he has been elected! He’s had four years and now wants you to allow him two more years. Are all of you really that foolish???
    And don’t tell me how good a job he has done with the trade show and convention, and how much money they have accumulated, because it is all for naught unless it is put to use for something other than meeting and deciding to do nothing!

    Mr. Bruce Maples once said that he “was not going to do anything that would piss off Joe DiPinto.” Then I ask, WHAT THE HELL IS HE GETTING PAID SO MUCH MONEY FOR?” Is it just to raise more money to support those “elite” meetings?

    It is time to quit asking others to do for you, because they are trying to protect their own hides and do not have the time or inclination to protect you. Even though they were individually invited to comment or offer support, do you really expect those FOA “leaders” to respond in a show of support? I think NOT!

    Each and every Franchisee should be sending two letters right now! One to the judge ruling over the case where SEI is trying to “steal” back the stores from Tarik Kahn, and one to SEI shaming Joe and his henchmen for doing so.

    Don’t get me wrong, I do not ask you to support Tarik, rather I ask you to take action to try to prevent the same thing (or worse) from happening to you or others. Whatever Tarik may have or have not done, he deserves due process and Joe’s Gestapo is trying to deprive him from getting it. This is America and “innocent until proven guilty” still applies, even if you THINK someone may be guilty. If you all allow Joe to get away with this without being held to the same accountability, without screaming foul at the tops of your lungs, then I wouldn’t look around for help when it comes to your store.

    SEI is robbing you of your independence each and every day you are in the system! If you think it is bad now, just wait to see what comes if they get away with this new injustice. On the other hand, DON’T WAIT!!! TAKE SOME KIND OF ACTION NOW!!!

    Modify the current bylaws so you can hire someone whose livelihood isn’t dependent upon kissing Joe’s ass and who isn’t afraid to “piss him off”. Start a new organization. Hire someone who really will fight for you instead of giving you up to the Imperial Gestapo plunderers. Write letters decrying the current actions SEI is taking. Join and contribute to every Franchisee Blog you can. Call every Franchisee you know and start meeting to take action. Call Craig Kennedy or Jerry Marks to ask them to represent you against SEI. DO SOMETHING OTHER THAN WAIT AND SEE!! It’s not to late, yet, but that time is coming if you sit around and talk about taking action. That’s what the National Coalition under Bruce’s guidance is doing. Don’t depend on Bruce and his team, or you will continue to be disappointed. STAND UP, BE HEARD, AND MOVE FORWARD, NOT BACKWARD.

    Put this in your store window and car window, and maybe have some t-shirts printed….”SHAME ON YOU, JOE DIPINTO!!!”.

  9. Over and Out says:

    Truer words were never spoken……the National Coalition WILL NOT defend the franchisees:
    a) the DVR mediation, why is it stalled? To allow a complete rollout?
    b) financial support for targeted franchisee’s where is it?
    c)FIW packets and HQIA’s why did Bruce have “prior approval” as to who got them?
    d)when Bruce ran for Exec Board in 2008 he vowed to “stop BT”….has he done that? No he has worked tirelessly for implementation because it will never affect him in Tucson AZ
    The National Coalition desperately needs a leader who is NOT a current franchisee that can be bullied and intimidated

  10. bruno says:

    7 eleven Inc is actually the “master” in a master Slave(not servant, servant might have a bit of dignity), now the field consultants want to discuss our financials also, why you made what you made last minth campared to same period last year…

  11. N E Franchisee says:

    Bruce Maples, it can only get worse from now on. National Coalition MUST SUPPORT this issue against 711 from now on, or you will be recognized has a Joe de Pinto puppet like others past.

  12. Workinboy48 says:

    Here we go folks! I am going on the record and don’t mind if all of you quote me, even directly to Joe DiPinto or other SEI individuals.
    There are several things that need to happen here, and really soon.
    1) There needs to be a Federal Complaint against SEI, 7&I, 7-Eleven Japan, Mitsui, Joe DiPinto and the entire Board of Directors of each of these companies for Racketeering and Restriction of Trade violations.
    2) A Federal complaint for antitrust violations.
    3) A federal complaint for intentional miss-classifications of employees as Independent Contractors.
    4) RICO violations for intentional and systematic interference in the operations of recognized Trade Organizations and their respective Boards of Directors.
    5) State and Federal complaint for intentional and repeated violation of Uniform Franchise Agreements and the rights of individual Franchisees.
    6) Request for forensic audits by the IRS to determine the amounts of monies 7-Eleven is collecting from manufacturers and vendors which does not get shared by Franchisees.
    8_ Possibly a Federal Complaint of RICO (racketeering) violation naming SEI, Coca Cola International, Pepsico, McLane Inc., Red Bull North America, Monster Energy, and enough “Does” to cover each and every vendor/supplier who is participating with 7-Eleven (either voluntarily or under duress at the demand of SEI) to control and/or restrict product and services from individual franchisees and select areas/stores.

    It is time to begin in earnest all efforts to slay the Imperialist Dragons and all of their handlers. Bleed the Dragons dry and stop feeding them, and they will die.

    (I wonder if SEI is still contemplating doing an IPO this year or next??? I wonder how many big money investors would consider investing in a company so poorly managed with the potential for so many legal actions??)

    When is the National Coalition going to spend some of the 3 million dollars it has raised to defend the rights of all those Franchisees who are paying dues for them to do so??? What if each and every dues paying Franchisee, individually demanded a refund of their dues for non-performance by the national Coalition??? Why would you desire to be a member of such a dysfunctional organization??? Why don’t you get together to form Regional Organizations who you can hold accountable for action????

    If Bruce Maples had been hired by a private investment group to represent and protect their investments, he would have been dumped long ago. Well, you are a group of investors who continues to allow him and others to draw funds from you and go on great trips without performance goals or accountability. I can see why he would want to convince you to allow him to stay for another two years. But, CAN YOU AFFORD HIM FOR ANOTHER TWO YEARS?????

    If the National Coalition has over three million Dollars in it’s accounts, how much would each FOA get if they demanded an equal portion, and how much would that be if all the West Coast FOA’s combined their shares to defend against the violations being perpetrated by the likes of Ena Williams and Mike Austin???

    How much would that be combined if the East Coast FOA’s combined their shares to defend against the injustices like those playing out right now in NJ ans NY???

    The Beetle’s said it best! “COME TOGETHER, RIGHT NOW, YOU AND ME”……

    Give all this some thought and let me know if you agree!
    When do we stop our own bleeding and begin to take a toll on the Dragon and it’s handlers???

  13. krishana says:

    “Workingboy” remarkably said the best solutions here. Lets be united, Foce your local FOA to VOTE against Bruce maple and bring “any one” who has guts to stand up for franchisee rights.
    SEI collecting charity money from all the stores- and SEI take tax credit. Shouldn’t be splitted ?
    SEI cheats on franchisee. This is the time to get together and fight back.

  14. former nc board member says:

    The NC is still needed and still relevent. But time is running out. The Oct election maybe the last. Several major changes are needed.
    1. A non Franchisee Exec Director who is full time dedicated to the cause.
    2. The weighted vote where a few large associations control everything must end.
    3. The exucutive hoard members must have real responsibilities.
    4. Meetings must bring resolution to issues.
    5. Real value for vendor partners must be sought.
    6. Local associations need assistance in establishing 21st century communications for members.
    If the NC insists on the status quo of golfing at exclusive resorts and supplier shake downs…..then they will be irrelevant in about 3 yrs….and Suzuki’s dream will be realized.

  15. Los Angeles Franchisee says:

    Instead of wasting money on phony Franchisee Associations, Franchisees should each contribute a little every month to set up a legal counsel.
    Just like a team of 7-eleven lawyers work relentlessly every day to exploit every little loophole in the Franchisee Agreement to their benefit; Franchisees collectively can have even a larger team of lawyers who will actually work on our behalf.
    This way hundreds of thousands of Franchisee’s money will not go to waste by FOA’s spending on lavish trips/meeting just to spread 7-eleven’s word. Instead the legal counsel’s sole job will be to protect Franchisee’s interests.
    For example, if we had one legal counsel then recent NJ’s lawsuit could easily be replicated in other states as a class action lawsuit.
    Right now, some brave individual Franchisees are risking everything for the benefit of others.
    See NJ’s class action lawsuit below

    http://www.unhappyfranchisee.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/7Eleven-Complaint-FINAL-07-29-2013-2.pdf

  16. Ben Dare says:

    Franchise Associations are still necessary, but need to be responsible to the members and not be personal vacation/event planning organizations. FOA’s cannot sue SEI per se as they are not a party to a franchise agreement BUT by the power in numbers can and should support financially and legally franchisee’s who are under attack. Further, FOA’s get into sticky area’s by defending really bad acts committed by knucklehead operators. There is a very small window for the NC to get it’s act together and stand up and be a true trade association, but time is getting short.

  17. Dev Patel says:

    All I see when I read these comments is what we should do, how we should do it, and blah blah blah. Put your money where your mouth is. Follow us and file a suit against the Regime known as Seven-Eleven. If you want your rights, THEN FIGHT FOR THEM! If you don’t want to fight, then pack up and shut up.

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