Are You an Unhappy Franchisee? Tell us why.

How has your experience as a franchisee differed from your expectations? Share your story so others can learn, offer guidance or just commiserate.

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15 thoughts on “Are You an Unhappy Franchisee? Tell us why.

  • April 21, 2008 at 11:51 pm
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    Cuppy’s Coffee and Elite Manufacturing we want our $35,900.00 deposit back!

    On Oct. 9, 06 my wife sent the deposit of $35,900.00 to Elite Manufacturing. We did not receive the Uniform Franchisee Offering Circular before the deposit was made. That was in clear violation of FTC rules! Had Cuppy’s sent the UFOC we would have not pursued this franchise opportunity because of the non refundable deposit. I found out that I could not get a loan in Aug. 07. Cuppy’s knew in Apr. 07 that I could not qualify and never wrote or called us regarding the manner. I received an email from Steve Wesolowski of Medina Management on Dec. 17, 07 showing that the SBA broker could not get us a loan and stated that we should not have been approved for a franchise. I wrote a letter to Doug Hibbing the president of Cuppy’s. He did not respond nor was he available everytime I called. I called Danny Jones of Elite, and asked why he could not return my deposit in full, his response was “It’s impossible and not in the budget”. I tried to work out an amicable agreement but it was to Elite’s advantage. Mr. Jones was all talk but no action. I gave him an ultimatum of Jan. 15, 08 to deliver something to me so both sides would be happy, he did not respond. I put my story out there by putting it on ripoffreport.com.
    Cuppy’s and Elite has found a loophole to victimize innocent people. We are struggling to pay back the 2nd loan on our house. Cuppy’s and Elite has our money interest free. Its sad when the Florida State Attorney General’s office Florida Dept. of Consumer Affairs and the FTC can’t or won’t do anything.

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  • May 7, 2008 at 1:42 am
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    I have been studying the franchise world for months now and I am amazed how many people have been hurt. People losing their life savings, homes and their ability to live a normal, not wealthy life style.
    123 fit is started by the same people who developed Quiznos. Does that say alot? Thousands of people on a larger scale have lost so much.
    ;123 Fit is a good product, circuit training yet the coporation is not people I would recommend signing an agreement to be in business for 10 years. The sales people lie and puff material facts. Including tell you an icon is in the business. Ray Wilson has been gone way before we signed the franchise agreement. Yet his name is on the 2006 UFOC.
    People need to know that a sales representative of a franchise does not need or have to be honest about anything. They can misrepresent and puff material facts to their hearts delight and enduce you into signing your life away.
    People need to take at least 6 months or longer to decide and do their due diligence,. Which is a thorough investication on this company and Quiznos. They will not treat you any better than the Quiznos people treat their franchisees. Even though most of 123 Fit clubs have failed including their CEO’s 2 clubs they will continue to conn people into something that looks good. They will even say the clubs that went out were lousy sales people when many have been in sales most of their lives. Many of the former franchises have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars and many have gone bankrupt. If you are still interested insist you work in a club for 6 months. You will see the truth what happens in a club. People are not dedicated to exercise. Many will drop out and many will ask to go on hold. Please call the first clubs and all the former zees.
    It is my opinion after the first 5 clubs failed they should of shut down. Instead of still conning and selling a system that obviously has hurt many people. Good franchisors develop a system on their own buck and if it is a success than sells the system. 123 fit copy- cated the Curves circuit and made it better and it is coed. If you go in business with bad people that is what you’ll end up in an unbearable situation. Buyer Beware! Skip sales people go right to due diligence which is a long process. Study the world of franchising before you sign on the dotted line. Have a franchise lawyer review the FDD and help you with your due diligence. If they rush you- STOP. Be cautious. Do not trust anyone associated with this corporation. I am sure many Quiznos people will back me up. Look at the “Is That All There Is Video.” Stores keep closing and they keep selling. If you are still interested than work in their club for 6 months and you’ll see it doesn’t work. Insanity is doing something over and over and it is not working. This system business wise is financial suicide. Barbara

  • May 7, 2008 at 1:48 pm
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    Barbara:
    I wish I could say you are wrong.
    Cuppy’s Coffee took more than $100K from Criston, Robyn & Lina and won’t give it back because they don’t want to. They don’t deny that the franchisees have a legal right to it… there’s just no one to make them give it back. In fact, they are rewarded by the AAFD with a “Fair Franchise” award.

    Read about the Make & Take Gourmet franchise on FranchisePick.Com. They have opened 16 franchises and 4 of them have closed so far. Michele Bellso cheerfully says that failures are expected, and proceeds to sell more franchises.

    http://www.franchisepick.com/why-the-meal-prep-meal-assembly-kitchen-franchises-are-failing-part-3/#comments

    It’s unconscionable that someone like that should be allowed to sell franchises.

    If anyone wants to help create awareness, please register on this site with your real email address. We’ll notify you of who and what you can email to help bring awareness and justice for cheated franchise owners.

  • May 7, 2008 at 5:36 pm
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    If the AAFD gave Cuppy’s a “Fair Franchise” award what does that say about the AAFD? Zee’s need to speak out and stop feeling sorry for themselves. That is one thing I have learned from sites like BMM. Lawyers say zees never do anything.
    My life has changed drastically since we got misrepresented in a franchise scheme. I have no money but I have written my story over and over to warn others. Buying a franchise is not like buying a house. It is more serious because you do not have a title company and inspector to do your due diligence. I believe that is why I and many others got conned into something that looked good. You have to know the people you are giving your money to.
    I really hope and pray Cuppy’s people get their money back. I have a few ideas but I need to talk to zees who have been burned and maybe we can execute a plan. What do you think?

  • May 7, 2008 at 7:15 pm
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    If the AAFD gave Cuppy’s a “Fair Franchise” award what does that say about the AAFD?
    I think you know the answer.
    Zee’s need to speak out and stop feeling sorry for themselves. That is one thing I have learned from sites like BMM. Lawyers say zees never do anything.
    As soon as there’s litigation, the lawyers tell their clients NOT to say anything. No doubt some franchisors appreciate the silent time… so they can continue to sell franchises unimpeded while they draw out the lawsuit forever.

  • May 7, 2008 at 7:34 pm
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    You are right. Even if you are in litigation you can post without giving your name. You can still warn people about certain companies and other knowledge you may have to help people know what to do before they sign. As long as people do not tell their true life stories the public will not know. More people will get hurt until we do something. I know there must be more hurt zees out there. Zees seem to go away in a quiet desperation and die.
    Personally I don’t want to be one of those people. I want to fight to make sure no one else gets hurt. I have to believe there are good zors out there. There is at least 800,000 franchises out there. There has to be successful zees out there. But I want to investicate further. Are there concrete reasons for their success? Besides they know how to hussle. I am learning more and more everyday.
    One thing I know is I hate to see good people of our country having to suffer after a life time of hard work to accomplish something to have it taken away because of greed.

  • May 15, 2008 at 6:58 pm
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    If you are thinking of buying the franchise Java’s Brewin, think again. I did not heed the advice of a franchise lawyer that advised me not to go with them. The sales rep talked me into it and I have regretted it ever since. You want to give your money away give to some country that really needs it. I will never get my franchise fee back, but I am thankful I did not open up a store with more problems and debt.

  • May 21, 2008 at 9:09 pm
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    look no further than Bakers Delight or COBS bread overseas……google Bakers delight lies. here you will see similar stories of franchise misconduct and the complete ineptitude the accc and the governing body the FCA.

    its all big rip off and an opportuinity for franchisors to make big bucks off the backs of the franchisee…. getting involved with BD or any other franchise in australia is simply an unsafe option.

  • June 20, 2008 at 5:18 pm
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    ACTIONS OF ALLIED BRANDS AND BASKIN-ROBBINS AUSTRALIA UNDERMINE FRANCHISEE

    This is a bit long but please read it as it may help you understand the calibre of the people who hold your future in their hands.
    I am the former owner of the Baskin Robbins Oasis store at Broadbeach on the Gold Coast. I was the one who found the site and presented it to the Grahams. I have been a Franchisee for 12 years, in fact the longest Baskin Robbins Franchisee in Australia so I have seen a lot happen in my time here….most of it bad for the Franchisees. I am writing this to put right some misconceptions that Allied Brands are saying about my staff my store and myself, plus a few other observations.

    Firstly the thing about Allied Brands, mainly the Grahams and Lachlan McIntosh, is that every time their is a dispute with a Franchisee or a store fails to meet the turnover that they have said it would reach they blame the Franchisee. They are quick to spread their version of events to the other Franchisees. It’s always the Franchisees fault, anyone who has a problem or stands up to them is labelled a bad manager.

    According to them the problems never stem from the outrages claims of future turnover and consequently profits that the unsuspecting Franchisee has been told the store will produce, never the lack of marketing or the money that is wasted on poorly researched campaigns. Never the ridiculous flavours and product changes they force us to take on board. Never the mismanagement of Allied Brands that impacts on the Franchisees. They refuse to accept any responsibility for the bad decisions they make and force onto the Franchisees. The most notable case of mismanagement being the attempted takeover of Wendy’s, how they ever thought they could pull that one off astounds me. They never had the funding in place, would never receive funding and now in case you don’t know their Financial position they haven’t got much if any money left and have had to defer the payments of money owed to their creditors.

    This brings me to the reason I don’t have a store anymore. Allied Brands are saying that my store was not clean, that my staff do not wear uniforms, that I was a bad manager. That is absolute rubbish, in fact I challenge them to show a store inspection report over the past 5 years where any of those clams were supported. As to management, my sister or my daughter were in the store most days, my daughter worked in the store for 10 years, my sister for 7. They knew how to run the store better than anyone and they ran a tight ship. Most of my staff have been with me for years. I was also in my store at least once nearly every day for 12 years, I worked every public holiday including Christmas day and New years eve for those 12 years. To claim that the store was under bad management is an absolute insult to my staff and myself.

    Pure and simple, they wanted my store to gain money to prop up their business. They wanted it so they could resell it for the Franchise fee and the overpriced store fitout that they will do. Proof that they don’t care about us Franchisees is that they are now offering the store for sale at a much higher rent than the centre agreed to with me. The Lease I had negotiated was for 7 years, they have accepted 5 years. The site is smaller. They just don’t care and will accept anything on offer, the term negotiate is alien to them. After all it’s not them paying the rent, it’s an unsuspecting new Franchisee. Incidentally Marc Fritzche was at the meeting with me when those negotiations took place, so they know they are accepting a lease with conditions that are much worse than they should be. Also don’t believe the turnover figures they are quoting, they are totally incorrect.

    I have documented the chain of events that led to my losing my store.

    There is legal action pending over my predicament, it’s a slow and expensive process but my Barrister is making sure all the i’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed before we instigate proceedings….so if anyone buys my store in the meantime they might also lose there money when the site is returned to me…..and then they will have to spend at least 50k going through the court process to force the Grahams and Thakral to repay them. Of course by that time Allied Brands will probably be insolvent. The saga continues and people continue to lose their money.

    I have seen many Franchisees lose their stores and even their homes over the 12 years I have been a Franchisee. I think every Franchisee has a story to tell about how they have been unfairly treated by Allied Brands. How many of you have a store that meets the turnover projections you were given when inquiring about the store. Even worse, does anyone get anywhere near the profit that was quoted. Turnovers have increased over the years but profit margins have decreased significantly. Despite all the crap Peter Graham comes out with, often contradicting himself, the fault lies squarely at the feet of Allied Brands management.

    How many of you have taken over a store that had been running at a loss but were assured that it would become profitable because the previous owner was a bad manager. There’s that term again “bad manager” that they love to throw around. How many have bought new stores that are located close to where a previous store had failed. You only find that out after you are up and running and it is too late to pull out.

    Now that the conference has been and gone…. waste of time attending that wasn’t it…..I suggest the Franchisees get together and put a plan of action in place. Get some assurances out of Allied Brands or better still get rid of them, I know that in the past agreements have been made but they have failed to keep their side of the bargain every time.

    If you all stand together Allied Brands can’t afford to take against all of you. Get rid of them and take your chances with Baskin Robbins International. I know they are very concerned with what is happening in Australia but their hands are tied because of the present agreement they have in place with Allied Brands. Send an email to tony.pavese@dunkinbrands.com and let him know you are not happy with what is happening in Australia under Allied Brands.

    The funniest part of this whole story is that the Oasis store has now again failed and has been taken over by Baskin-Robbins Australia. The key fraudster is now Lachlan McIntosh, the new “chairman of the board” who is also busy screwing up franchises like Cookie Man and Awesome Water.

    WITHOUT PREJUDICE

  • June 30, 2008 at 12:26 pm
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    From it sounds like companies like Cork&Olive at least began as legitimate businesses trying to follow the law.
    That is not true for Imagine Savings Magazine/ imageinesavings.com/ Imagine Media Marketing. They are currently selling franchises nationwide, but there is no mention of a UFOC. I tried to visit their office at the address on their web site, and it is a box at a UPS store. Their local number is not in working order, yet the president of teh company, RM, is selling advertising and pushing the franchises.
    Stay away. I don’t know what university the president of the company graduated from, if he even did go to college, but he is the most unprofessional young men I have ever met.
    I would stay as far away from this company as possible, and I woudl urge you not to buy into advertising with them.
    No true physical address for their office, no true working number? Sounds a bit shady to me!

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  • April 9, 2010 at 3:42 am
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    A member of my family is a franchisee for a company which just expanded into franchising recently. As a third party I’d rather not name the company at this point, but I’m at my wit’s end trying to help her work through an awful situation.

    She’s worked extremely hard for three years, used all her savings and burned the candle at both ends. She was making a great success of the business when the crash of ’08 brought things to a shocking slowdown (the business fell off by almost 80%). Although she continued to work tirelessly and managed somehow to break even for another eighteen months, ultimately she concluded that she couldn’t carry on and notified her franchisors of this decision.

    While they’ve always been unreasonably demanding in my view, now they’re actually treating her as if she’s an indentured servant and must work off some imaginary debt before they will release her from the contract. They claim she must keep the business going at full tilt and reach continuing (and unrealistic) goals set by them, until such time as a new owner takes over – and Oh yes: they must sign off on the new owner as well (which I can understand to some extent, but come ON). Their requirements for anyone new are virtually impossible to live up to, which of course has resulted in several prospective buyers backing out once they find out what they have to do to please “the Big Kids.”

    In addition, they continue to require their full percentage of her meager sales, as well as complicated, hugely time-consuming (and redundant) reports and forecasts. (This is a one-person business with only a part-time helper.) They are giving her no assistance in finding a buyer, and in the meantime she has (of necessity) resumed her old job as well – so now she’s working more hours than ever. (She works her job at night and the business during the day.) It’s impossible to put enough time into finding a buyer – dicey at best right now – although she’s trying hard. She also spoke to a lawyer who was little or no help.

    I find it extremely hard to believe that what these folks are demanding is altogether legal, and in any case it positively screams poor business practices! They would be far, FAR better off to let her bow out, pass the baton to someone else or liquidate entirely and get on with it.

    Does anyone have advice or perhaps clarification about franchise contract law? She seems to have been convinced by the franchisors that they hold all the cards and she has no choice but to knuckle under until she can find a way out. I know that ideally, she should sell the business with all its assets to someone new – but if that proves impossible (and it’s been six months already since she announced her intent), what would happen if she simply walked away (liquidated, cancelled customer orders) and told them she has exhausted every possibility? They keep threatening to sue her if she doesn’t fulfill their ongoing requirements, but that seems Draconian to me. I can’t believe they can get away with this – someone help me understand!

    At this point I’m fearful for this woman’s health. She’s exhausted, stressed to the maximum and unhappy. Every effort she’s made to have a reasonable, rational conversation with her franchisors has resulted in them bullying her by phone. I’m about ready to fly to their city and grab someone by the lapels.

    Sorry for the long posting – but it’s very difficult to watch someone you love putting up with this irrational approach to a business that’s already on thin ice. It defies logic in the first place: it would plainly be in their best interests to ease up on her, then allow her to do what’s necessary.

    Help….???

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