November 19, 2014
1-800-Vending / Healthy You Vending is suing competitor Chris Wyland of Grow Healthy Vending for defamation.
(UnhappyFranchisee.Com) 1-800-Vending claims that Wyland seeded the Internet with bogus complaints about its company, its vending machines and its owner Jeff Marsh.
In a comment responding to our post on the lawsuit (CHRIS WYLAND, GROW FRANCHISE GROUP, SPROUT HEALTHY VENDING Sued by 1.800.VENDING, HealthyYOU VENDING), Grow’s Wyland denies that either he or any member of his household posed as disgruntled customers and left Internet comments about 1-800-VENDING or Jeff Marsh.
Wyland says that he believes that 1-800-Vending filed the lawsuit in an attempt to discredit Grow and to discredit “all reviews ever written against them regarding poor equipment, poor locations, poor services as a way to distance themselves from their own past.”
Chris Wyland further states that Grow Healthy Vending is “currently filing a lawsuit against 1800 Vending and Healthy You Vending”
WYLAND: Healthy Vending Competitors Are Deceptive, Predatory
While Wyland vehemently denies placing the online comments about 1-800-Vending & Jeff Marsh (including one characterizing Jeff Marsh as a pedophile), he does not hold back when it comes to criticizing competitors in the healthy vending industry, including 1-800-Vending / Healthy You Vending.
First of all I do not deny that in the past I have made very specific comparisons to not only our business model and 1-800 Vending/Healthy You but also to other competitors in our industry.
I do so because I believe these companies do not always tell the truth, they overcharge for inferior equipment, they use last minute discount offers to pressure prospective operators into doing business with them and ultimately their operators fail because of it.
We run into equipment all the time offered at a steep discount from what the operators originally purchased them at because the equipment is of a much lower quality than they expected, they overpaid for it and then didn’t receive qualified locations to place machines.
Wyland states that the 1-800-Vending / Healthy You Vending lawsuit is a desperate response to the fact that Grow Healthy Vending “provides better equipment and services but we do so at a lower cost than anyone else in our industry.”
Regarding the lawsuit, he states:
I personally believe based on recent events and after speaking to some potential operators that 1-800 Vending/Healthy You Vending is only using this lawsuit as a way to steer prospective clients away from us and to them.
I think it is the only ammunition they have.
I have expressed more than once that I would compare our equipment and business model one on one against this company anywhere in the country.
WYLAND: 1-800-Vending machines are inferior, overpriced & made in India
Grow Healthy Vending CEO Chris Wyland states that the vending machines provided by 1-800 Vending/Healthy You Vending and Jeff Marsh are manufactured in India, are of inferior quality, and are sold to inexperienced, trusting business owners at a “ridiculous” mark-up.
Chris Wyland states:
We have never stated anything that we do not believe to be 100% factual.
1. The 1800/Healthy You Vending Machine is manufactured by Seaga.
2. I have personally purchased machines from Seaga and visited their location in Frankfort, IL. I did not see machines being manufactured there and have been told that this machine is actually made at their facility in INDIA. A company by the way that we are actually suing because of the poor equipment and services we received while doing business with them.
4. The snack coils are welded in so the snack portion cannot be re-configured. I believe this puts operators at a dis-advantage.
5. The machine has an “upper” snack portion which is not refrigerated and has a “lower” drink portion and does not have the ability to vend yogurts, smoothies, fresh fruit, vegetables, etc.. It is not health and safety rated.
6. The machine uses lexan plastic instead of glass. The machine in comparison to the Grow equipment uses a lower quality metal and compressor.
7. Operators who purchase machines from 1800/Healthy You Vending must pay 100% in advance for their equipment prior to securing locations.
8. The cost of this machine from the manufacture is I believe in the range of $2000. They routinely sell this machine for between $8000 -$9000 per machine. I personally believe this markup is ridiculous and takes advantage of new business owners.
9. This machine has less capacity and offers less variety than our standard G3 machine which is priced much less. In fact it costs us more money to purchase our machine from our factory and we sell it for less markup than any other company in our industry.
10. The 7 year “limited” warranty is exactly that. “Limited”. Essentially when an operator needs a part they must pay 50% of the “list” price of that part. The “list” price is created by the company, which is typically marked up to cover 100% of their cost.
Chris Wyland claims, it seems, that his passion arises from his concern for individuals who are seeking to build legitimate businesses in healthy vending but are being preyed upon by his unscrupulous competitors.
He contends that his Grow Healthy Vending / Sprout Healthy Vending company is different than his dubious competitors in the healthy vending racket:
I believe that we have a great industry that operators can be very successful at if they receive high quality equipment and services that they do not overpay for.
I will not apologize for attempting to build a model and protect our brand because I know that over the past 4 years we have always had the best interests of our operators at heart.
We are not perfect but when issues arise we fix them quickly…
Grow Healthy Vending
ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH CHRIS WYLAND, GROW FRANCHISE GROUP, or SPROUT HEALTHY VENDING?
WHAT ABOUT 1.800.VENDING, HealthyYOU VENDING OR JEFF MARSH?
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Tags: Chris Wyland, Grow Franchise Group, Sprout Healthy Vending, 1-800-VENDING, HealthyYOU Vending, Healthy you Vending, Jeff Marsh, Jeffrey Marsh, Seaga Vending machines, Online Defamation Lawsuit, Healthy Vending franchise, Healthy Vending machines
CHRIS WYLAND, GROW FRANCHISE GROUP, SPROUT HEALTHY VENDING Sued by 1.800.VENDING, HealthyYOU VENDING
November 16, 2014
Chris Wyland, Grow Franchise Group, LLC, Sprout Healthy Vending LLC and Grow Healthy Incorporated are being sued by 1.800.Vending Inc. which also operates as HealthyYOU Vending.
(UnhappyFranchisee.Com) The suit was filed October 3, 2014 by attorney Richard D. Burbridge of Burbridge, Mitchell and Gross in The United States District Court for the District of Utah.
The lawsuit alleges that Chris Wyland posed as disgruntled customers of his competitor 1.800.VENDING and posted defamatory statements about the company and its principal, Jeff Marsh, on complaint sites such as PissedConsumer.Com.
You can read the full complaint by clicking on the link at the bottom of this post.
According to the lawsuit, Chris Wyland sells business opportunities that “weren’t properly registered in all states in which they do business. After their lack of registration became a competitive issue for Defendants, Wyland threatened to spread rumors critical of [1.800.VENDING] on the Internet.”
The suit alleges that defamatory statements regarding 1.800.VENDING and one of its owners, Jeff Marsh.
One such statement, posted on the complaint site PissedConsumer.Com, stated that 1.800.VENDING is run by “crooks and pedophiles” and that owner Jeff Marsh “has been indicted for lewd acts with children.”
Vending Wars: Chris Wyland Called Jeff Marsh a Pedophile?
The suit claims that after initiating a legal process, the comment was traced back to an IP address assigned to Dawna Wyland, Chris Wyland’s wife and an employee or agent of one or more of his companies.
The anonymous comment, allegedly posted by Chris Wyland, reads, in part:
[1.800.Vending] is a complete scam ran [sic] by crooks and pedophiles …
Their owner Jeff Marsh has been indicted for lewd acts with children and I am sure they are under investigation by the government for stealing money from people.
They took my money, sent me to some locating service company that promised good locations and a year later I still don’t have any and they won’t return my calls.
The suit alleges that Chris Wyland planted defamatory comments around the Internet, then encouraged his prospective healthy vending customers to seek out the online comments about Jeff Marsh, 1-800-Vending and HealthyYOU vending.
Wyland’s marketing materials allegedly state:
[Healthy YOU/1-800 Vending] is widely known for its heavy handed sales tactics and drastic discounts to get consumers to buy.
The machines are manufactured overseas …
Another quick search of the internet under the various rip off reports and complaint boards will find several negative postings regarding the equipment and services Healthy You/ 1800 Vending Operators have experienced.
Chris Wyland’s Honesty Has Been Questioned Before
UnhappyFranchisee.Com has encountered Chris Wyland before.
In 2011, when Chris Wyland was sales director of Fresh Healthy Vending, he assured the Administrator of UnhappyFranchisee.Com and prospective customers that Mark Trotter and Nick Yates were not connected to that company.
A prospective customer of Wyland’s provided what he claimed was an accidentally sent email from Chris Wyland that showed that he was making deceptive claims as to Yates’ and Trotters’ involvement.
Other 1.800.VENDING / HealthyYOU Vending Complaints May Be Valid
UnhappyFranchisee.Com has done a confidential audit of the comments left about 1.800.VENDING on our post 1-800-VENDING Complaints.
We flagged one comment that may have been posted by Chris Wyland posing as a disgruntled customer of HealthyYOU Vending.
However, an audit of more than 10 negative comments left regarding the company appear to be left by others from all over the country.
Commenters who left negative posts were posting from such states as Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, Virginia, Tennessee, Utah, California, Arizona and Texas.
So while the accusations that Chris Wyland seeded the Internet with some especially nasty and defamatory comments, that doesn’t mean that other complaints lack validity.
As with all franchise and business opportunities and especially with vending opportunities, conduct extensive, independent research and draw your own conclusions.
When in doubt, err on the side of caution. (In other words, grab your checkbook and run!)
ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH CHRIS WYLAND, GROW FRANCHISE GROUP, or SPROUT HEALTHY VENDING? WHAT ABOUT 1.800.VENDING, HealthyYOU VENDING OR JEFF MARSH? SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.
Tags: Chris Wyland, Grow Franchise Group, Sprout Healthy Vending, 1-800-VENDING, HealthyYOU Vending, Healthy you Vending, Jeff Marsh, Jeffrey Marsh, Chris Wyland Lawsuit, Online Defamation Lawsuit, Richard Burbridge, Burbridge Mitchell and Gross, Healthy Vending franchise, Healthy Vending machines
June 5, 2011
1.800.VENDING Complaints: Have you had any dealings with the 1-800-VENDING business opportunity or 1-800-VENDING vending machines? Please share a comment about your experience – good or bad – below, as well as advice for those considering investing with 1-800-VENDING.
1.800.VENDING marketing – from its website to the Google ads which may be appearing on this page – is impressive.
The bios of founders Michael Burnett and Jeff Marsh are impressive.
The pictures of its headquarters in Kaysville, Utah are impressive.
And the 1.800.VENDING sales pitch is impressive:
1.800.VENDING provides everything you need to successfully establish, upgrade or expand your vending business. Our goal is to provide you with your own “up and running” business from day one. In other words, you don’t have to waste time reinventing the wheel. We can assist the beginner to the seasoned operator with a successful business. Let us show you how 1.800.VENDING can help you generate immediate and long-term cash flow!
1.800.VENDING: A little too impressive?
To a newcomer, 1-800-Vending has a very impressive image. To those who are aware of the controversial past of 1.800.VENDING and its founders, it might seem a little too impressive.
A little too orchestrated.
For example, if you do a Google search of the term “1.800.VENDING scam” you’ll see some red flags:
You’ll see that numerous complaints about 1-800-Vending on Rip-Off Report have been sanitized, scrubbed clean and given that cheery endorsement reserved for those, one assumes, who have worked out a financial agreement with the site owner.
You’ll see numerous listings for phony blogs (called splogs) that use the terms “1.800.VENDING” and “scam” in their titles, urls, tags and body copy. This is a common technique used by those who have, or expect, a lot of scam complaints on the Internet. The intent is to flood Google search results with these sites and posts in order to bury legitimate scam warnings or complaints.
Be wary of those who “Splog.”
Here are a trio of suspected “splogs” that appear to be designed to dilute search engine results for the terms “1-800-Vending Scam,” “1-800-Vending Complaints,” and “1-800-Vending Ripoff,” respectively:
Each of the URLs are registered to a “private party” using a premium ownership masking service (Hmmm… wonder who owns these?). Each of the supposed blogs uses the offending term in its url, title and as a keyword in the single awkward article that appears on the site. The blogs are so phony the authors didn’t even change the generic WordPress sample posts (Hello World!).
While there’s nothing illegal about splogging, it is certainly a red flag that a company would need to manage its reputation in such a fashion.
“We are seriously considering laying the stupid machine on the tracks and watching a train obliterate the *** thing”
Despite the suspected Internet countermeasures, some complaints have snuck through to the top page of Google. On ComplaintsBoard, Norman wrote:
I cannot explain how much of a HEADACHE our experience has been with 1-800-VENDING. There are railroad tracks across from our business and we are seriously considering laying the stupid machine on the tracks and watching a train obliterate the *** thing. The machine didn’t work from day 1, and trying to get customer service that was actually helpful was impossible. We were sent various parts, chips, circuit boards… NOT worth the headache it’s caused. The company’s communication has been terrible, we’ve gotten jerked back and forth and given the run around for weeks now… Don’t go with 1-800-vending! Not worth the headache!
Sins of the Past: Turnkey Vending, FTC & Connecticut Legal Actions
According to Wikipedia entry for the 1-800-Vending opportunity, founders Michael Burnett and Jeff Marsh seem to have a good reason for covering their Internet tracks. Prior to 1-800-Vending, the partners founded and operated Turnkey Vending. In 2003, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sweep titled Project Busted Opportunity led to the U.S. Government filing a complaint alleging that Turnkey had operated a fraudulent business opportunity. The FTC filed a permanent injunction against the company and its founders.
When the dynamic duo started fresh with a new entity and name (1-800-Vending), it seems they hadn’t abandoned their scurrilous ways. According to Wikipedia:
After Turnkey’s dissolution, the two men founded 1.800.Vending. The latter has been fined by the State of Connecticut. Specifically, the agency accused the defendants of ‘misrepresenting its prior Connecticut business opportunity sales activity’ and alleged that the company’s disclosure documents:
- failed to include financial statements as required by law;
- failed to make adequate disclosure concerning 1.800.Vending, Inc.’s affiliates and predecessors;
- failed to describe in sufficient detail the employment histories of Michael S. Burnett and Jeffrey L. Marsh;
- failed to adequately set forth the risks involved in the business opportunity venture;
- lacked sufficient information on the employment and disciplinary histories of 1.800.Vending, Inc.’s sales representatives; and
- did not mention the fact that purchaser-investors might have to pay retailers for the use of space for the purchaser-investors’ vending machines.
The State of Connecticut also accused the company of “making earnings claims on its web site without including documented data to substantiate such claims and disclosing such data to prospective purchaser-investors at the time such representations were made.”
Despite its legal difficulties, the company remains in business today, spending large sums on advertising. It is one of the first sponsored links to appear in the results when a Google search is done on vending-related topics.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? IS 1-800-VENDING AN HONEST COMPANY THAT LEARNED ITS LESSON? ARE MICHAEL BARNETT AND JEFF MARSH “THE TWO MOST APPRECIATED MEN IN VENDING” LIKE THEIR WEBSITE STATES?
SHARE A COMMENT BELOW!