Budget Blinds franchise horror story: A former Budget Blinds franchisee tells how he invested $65,000 initially and poured tens of thousands more to try to keep his business afloat.
His business plummeted when a local news station did a series of scathing exposes on another Budget Blinds franchisee in the same market.
The franchisee alleges that not only did the Budget Blinds franchisor fail to assist him with his PR nightmare, they threatened termination if he did not catch up with his overdue royalties by a particular Friday.
When the funds for his payment didn’t clear until the following Monday, the franchisor allegedly kept the payment but terminated him anyway.
The former franchisee believes that Budget Blinds was eager to terminate him so they could collect new fees when they resold his territory (an unethical practice known as franchise churning).
According to the Franchisee: “The bottom line after all of this is Budget Blinds will not support their franchisees when they run into difficulty even when it is not the franchisee’s fault. Their support is nonexistent and they are only interested in selling franchises, not supporting them to ensure their success…
“If you are considering buying a Budget Blinds franchise, my advice is to run away as fast as you can.”
What do you think? Are you familiar with the Budget Blinds franchise? Please share a comment – positive or negative – below.
Budget Blinds Franchise Horror Story
Here is the Budget Blinds franchise horror story:
I am a former Budget Blinds franchisee.
I purchased my franchise in November, 2003 and was terminated in May, 2006.
I lost the $65,000 investment in my franchise and tens of thousands of additional money I invested in the business just to keep it going.
In early 2005 a franchisee in the same city ran into financial problems and was not able to fulfill customer orders. However, he continued to accept deposits on new orders of up to 75% of the total sale and would use that money to fulfill orders for customers who ordered blinds several months earlier. He ended up on a COD basis from almost all his suppliers because he was not paying them on time. This situation went on for months and got worse.
Finally, a large number of irate customers, probably 40 or 50, contacted the local television stations and they began running stories every week on their prime time newscasts. At that time, my phone literally stopped ringing, except for the other franchisee’s customers calling me demanding that I fulfill their orders. In the meantime the other franchisee filed for bankruptcy protection and as a result, Budget Blinds was not able to terminate his contract.
I asked Budget Blinds corporate for help and all they would do is waive my royalty fees for a three month period. The value of that was a few thousand dollars, a drop in the bucket considering the financial losses I was now dealing with. The TV stations called the Budget Blinds corporate office and they would not even respond to their inquiries. They also refused to assist in fulfilling customer orders, saying that they were not responsible for the actions of franchisees. In the meantime, my business suffered huge losses and even after the bad publicity was over (about a year later), the damage was done and I was unable to recover financially.
I asked the corporate office of Budget Blinds for assistance, asking for a representative to come to my city and help me rebuild, but the answer was no. I reached the point where I was several months behind in royalty payments and was given a deadline of Friday to get caught up on royalties or else I would be terminated. I made arrangements to borrow money from a relative in another state, so I sent a $10,000 check to pay the royalties by the deadline of Friday. However, I did not receive the funds in my bank account until the following Monday. Budget Blinds corporate called my bank on Friday to see if the funds were available, and of course they were not, so they terminated me.
On Monday, however they deposited my check and it was paid, but they still refused to cancel the termination. While all this was going on, another new franchisee purchased the territory that the other franchisee owned after he was terminated. I had a verbal agreement to sell one of my territories to the new franchisee the same week that I was terminated and the corporate office was aware of this. I can’t prove it, but I believe that Budget Blinds corporate told the new franchisee not to buy my territory because they were about to terminate me. This way, Budget Blinds could sell the territory themselves.
The bottom line after all of this is Budget Blinds will not support their franchisees when they run into difficulty even when it is not the franchisee’s fault. In my opinion, their support is nonexistent and they are only interested in selling franchises, not supporting them to ensure their success. Everything that has been written on this post previously is true. Budget Blinds’ failure rate according to the SBA is 37%, but if you consider the failed franchises that did not borrow on a SBA loan (like me) the failure rate is much higher.
If you are considering buying a Budget Blinds franchise, my advice is to run away as fast as you can.
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