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Geeks on Call franchise, Richard Artese

September 19, 2011

Geeks on Call President Richard Artese is promoting the newly relaunched franchise as a low-cost, high-potential opportunity.

The new Geeks on Call franchise, according to Rich Artese, does not require technical expertise,  just a love for sales, “helping others,” a $20,000 franchise fee and a flat monthly fee of $500.

In exchange, according to Artese, Geeks on Call franchise owners receive use of the “trusted brand,” as well as “back-end support including national brand marketing, sales advisors, a national call center, access to a national network of technical experts and partnerships with several telecom and IT Service products.”

A number of former Geeks on Call franchise owners have expressed concern, dismay and warnings about the rebirth of the Geeks on Call franchise program, which ceased selling franchises a few years ago amidst financial turmoil, lawsuits and controversy.  Many of the former franchisees expressed concern about the leadership and ethics of Richard Artese, the controversial president of the Geeks on Call.

On 9/17/2011, commenter Luis wrote:

As long as Richard Artese is part of this organization, I would highly recommend not becoming involved with this venture.

The original concept was a sound business model until Richard Artese and Richard Cole took the company down a very unethical path. That is one of the reasons so many of the executives who started and grew this company into a leading franchise brand left the company.

The company has fallen far from those days with Artese running the show.

By 2005 over 350 franchise locations were granted or operating but today that number is well under 100.

There have been many failures and many people have lost money betting on the current management team.

My advice – While the new model and low monthly franchise fees may be attractive, do not do business with Geeks On Call while Richard Artese is still involved due to ethical reasons.

Are you familiar with Geeks on Call, or the leadership of Richard Artese?  Are the warnings justified, or is the new Geeks on Call franchise a great low-investment opportunity in the dynamic service sector?  Please share a comment below.

Read past posts and discussions on Geeks on Call here:

GEEKS ON CALL Franchise: They’re Ba-a-ck!  September 15, 2011

GEEKS ON CALL Notice of Default & Foreclosure November 5, 2009

GEEKS ON CALL: Latest Franchise Rumors, Allegations October 14, 2009

Geeks On Call Franchisees Allege Their Franchisor is Breaking Law December 26, 2008

Geeks on Call Franchisees Sue Struggling Franchisor December 20, 2008

Email the author or site admin at UnhappyFranchisee[at]gmail.com.  Commenter’s opinions are their own and are neither endorsed nor necessarily shared by UnhappyFranchisee.com.

GEEKS ON CALL Franchise: They’re Ba-a-ck!

September 15, 2011

(UnhappyFranchisee.com) The Geeks on Call franchise opportunity is not only back, according to the company, it’s stronger than ever.


Really?  It’s stronger than in 2007 when Geeks on Call still had 300 operational franchisees from coast to coast?

It’s stronger now, after the implosion of the company & the tarnishing of the brand via financial turmoil and franchisee lawsuits?

The new Geeks on Call franchise sales team must be hoping the franchise and business communities have short memories, and neither use Google searches nor read old blog posts such as these:

GEEKS ON CALL Notice of Default & Foreclosure  November 5, 2009

GEEKS ON CALL: Latest Franchise Rumors, Allegations  October 14, 2009

Geeks On Call Franchisees Allege Their Franchisor is Breaking Law  December 26, 2008

Geeks on Call Franchisees Sue Struggling Franchisor  December 20, 2008

Are you familiar with Geeks on Call, Rich Artese, Glenn Davis and/or On Call Holdings International?  What do you think of the new franchise opportunity? Will Geeks on Call get a second chance to get it right?  Share a comment below.

Here’s the press release from the company:

Geeks on Call is Back, Stronger Than Ever and Offering New Franchise Opportunities

“PRWeb – 9/7/2011

“Geeks on Call, the Virginia based IT service provider to small and mid-sized businesses and residential customers, is once again making franchise opportunities available to entrepreneurs hoping to tap into the nation’s growing need for affordable technical expertise and access to more affordable phone and Internet services.

“We took two years to build a new model, and we believe the result is an opportunity that is unique to our industry and attractive to entrepreneurs, says Rich Artese, President of Geeks on Call.  Artese says millions of business owners and residential consumers need a dependable trusted advisor to provide support and advice for all of their technology needs.

“Being part of the On Call Holdings International family of companies, Geeks On Call is able to arrange cost-effective telecom and Internet services from a broad array of reputable companies,, says Glenn Davis, CEO of On Call Holdings International. That’s good for small business owners because they are able to work with one knowledgeable technical team for all their IT and communications needs. And its great for the Geeks on Call franchisee because he can count on a residual monthly income stream, which enhances the long term value of his company.

“In addition to the trusted Geeks on Call brand, the company supplies its franchisees with back-end support including national brand marketing, sales advisors, a national call center, access to a national network of technical experts and partnerships with several telecom and IT Service products. These relationships, training and on-going support offers entrepreneurs with little or no technical experience the opportunity to build a business in the ever expanding world of IT services.

“The cost to acquire a new Geeks On Call franchise is just $20,000 for a single territory. There is no royalty fee based on revenue. Rather, Geeks on Call charges a flat monthly membership fee of $500.

“You do not have to be a technology expert to be successful with the new Geeks on Call, says Artese. You just have to love sales and helping others by creating solutions that make technology work for them. The relationships we have with technology experts and major telecom companies throughout the United States make Geeks On Call a truly unique opportunity. These relationships enable our franchise owners to provide support and service that is a cut above other IT service companies thereby enhancing the client relationship and franchisee profit potential.

“At its height in 2007, Geeks on Call had more than 300 franchisees across the country and was routinely ranked among the top franchise business opportunities in America. The company, under new ownership, has reformulated the franchise offering and is excited about bringing its well established brand back to the market.”

HELP US WITH AN UPCOMING POST: WHAT QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS DO YOU HAVE ABOUT THE NEW GEEKS ON CALL FRANCHISE OPPORTUNITY?

Email the author or site admin at UnhappyFranchisee[at]gmail.com.

 

GEEKS ON CALL Notice of Default & Foreclosure

November 5, 2009

Geeks On Call Holdings, Inc. – FORM 8-K – October 27, 2009

UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

____________________________________________________________

FORM 8-K  CURRENT REPORT

Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

___________________________________________________________________

Date of Report (Date of earliest event reported): October 23, 2009

Geeks On Call Holdings, Inc.

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Charter)

  

(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation) Delaware

(Commission File Number) 333-143931

(IRS Employer Identification No.) 20-8097265

(Address of principal executive offices) 3502 Pacific Avenue Suite 200 Virginia Beach, VA 23451-2874

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (757) 466-3448

Formally at 814 Kempsville Road, Suite 106  Norfolk, Virginia 23502

  • Written communications pursuant to Rule 425 under the Securities Act (17 CFR 230.425)
  • Soliciting material pursuant to Rule 14a-12 under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.14a-12)
  • Pre-commencement communications pursuant to Rule 14d-2(b) under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.14d-2(b))
  • Pre-commencement communications pursuant to Rule 13e-4 (c) under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.13e-4(c))


Current Reporting Obligations

  • Completion of Acquisition or disposition of Assets, Including but not Limited to Mergers.
  • Triggering Events That Accelerate or Increase a Direct Financial Obligation or an Obligation under an Off-Balance Sheet Arrangement.

Geeks On Call Holdings, Inc. has been served notice of default and foreclosure from a senior creditor on a note secured by  substantially all the assets of the corporation.  The Geeks On Call Holdings, Inc. Board of Directors, acting with regard to their obligation under the security agreement of the promissory note in default, passed a resolution to surrender the assets upon the request of the secured creditor. As a result of the foreclosure and surrendering of substantially all of the assets of the corporation the Board of Directors has determined that the Company can no longer continue operations.

· Departure of Directors or Principal Officers; Election of Directors; Appointment of Principal Officers.

The Board of Directors has accepted the resignations and termination of the Employment Agreements of Mr. Robert Crabb Secretary and Chief Marketing Officer, Mr. Keith Wesp, Vice President of Finance and Assistant Secretary and Mr. Richard Artese, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. The termination of these agreements is effective upon the surrender of the assets. On October 23, 2009 Mr. Robert Crabb tendered his formal resignation from the Geeks On Call Holdings, Inc. Board of Directors.

SIGNATURES

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Registrant has duly caused this Report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized.

Date: October 27, 2009

GEEKS ON CALL HOLDINGS, INC.

By:  /s/ Richard Cole

Name:  Richard Cole

Title:  Chief Executive Officer

Read more: http://www.faqs.org/sec-filings/091027/Geeks-On-Call-Holdings-Inc_8-K/#ixzz0Vzw27ImT

ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH GEEKS ON CALL?  WHAT DO YOU THINK?  SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.

GEEKS ON CALL: Latest Franchise Rumors, Allegations

October 14, 2009

Geeks on Call news, rumors, opinions and comments continue to come in regarding the downward spiral of this once-promising franchise company.  The comments below appeared recently on Franchise Pick blog posts Geeks On Call (GOCHE) Troubles Deepen and GEEKS ON CALL: Franchisee Geeks Squeal on Papa Geek.

Do you have any insights or opinions on the Geeks on Call franchise or company?  Share it below.  Also read Geeks on Call Franchisees Sue Struggling Franchisor & Geeks On Call Franchisees Allege Their Franchisor is Breaking Law.

On October 12, 2009, Geek Expert wrote:

Has anyone heard that Geeks on Call has left their offices of 10 years and now have a virtual office in some building while their dispatchers answer the phones from their own home? They have also co-located their IT infrastructure and customer records with some other IT company. They say they are doing it to provide better services to their franchise owners but say nothing about the lawsuit against them for not paying their rent.

2009/10/12 at 5:52pm

Om October 14, 2009 “Dick Artese” wrote:

Looks like the GOC corporate offices are no longer at their 814 Kempsville Rd location. A big moving truck came in the darkness of night and moved all the stuff out of there.

Calls to the call center and asking for a mailing address they will still provide the 814 Kempsville Rd address, but when pressed will admit that they are no longer at that location.

 2009/10/14 at 10:03am

October 12, 2009, X Geek Stockholder wrote:

What has happened is that GOCA management forced these owners into bankruptcy by continuing to take their large royalties and advertising fees and did not provide the services or the TV ads the owners were being told every month they were getting.

GOCA put the owners in Phoenix, Portland, KC, Boston, DC and Chicago out of business so they could take over their revenues and all of the hard work they did in building a customer base that was loyal by using top of the line techs.

Since GOCA controlled the phone number and email addresses and our bank accounts they decided to put their largest owners out of business and to put ONforce techs in our place for what their 10Q called “a more profitable 3rd party tech model”. Instead of getting 11% royalty for each invoice GOCA is now able to pay these non certified, inexperienced 3rd party techs a small fee per call and keep the rest for themselves. Most of these Onforce techs do not have background checks and none of them have to drive company cars.

GOCA let us build the regions with our monies and sweat then forced us out of business to take over the good will and brand we were able to hold on to through their myriad of bad decisions and brand changes.

As they say what comes around goes around and the lawsuits against GOCA are not over and are just beginning once the other owners across the country find out that Richard Cole was working with one of their largest franchise owners to buy up failed franchises to keep them off of the UFOC and to hide their failing business from them and and prospective investors.

The Geeks on Call system did not work from the beginning and this was a constant concern of many but GOCA kept selling franchises to unsuspecting investors and then their stock which is selling for less than a penny per pink sheet the last I checked having been delisted.

 2009/10/12 at 10:40am

ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH GEEKS ON CALL?  SHARE A COMMENT BELOW!

Geeks On Call Franchisees Allege Their Franchisor is Breaking Law

December 26, 2008

United We Geek filed a complaint with Virginia’s Division of Securities and Retail Franchising regarding Geeks on Call America, Inc.
Reston, VA December 23 2008.  They issued this press release:
United We Geek, the Independent Owners Association of Geeks on Call America, Inc. franchisees is pleased to announce that more than 30% of all franchise owners have joined the Association representing roughly 50% of the active territories. United We Geek was incorporated in September 2008 to provide Association members with a voice and to address Geeks on Call America, Inc.’s ineffective advertising, inadequate systems, deteriorating business processes, and also a distinct lack of urgency in addressing the franchisee’s needs.
Patrick Blasz, general counsel for United We Geek, learned that in 2008, Geeks on Call America, Inc. abandoned efforts to renew its franchise registration with the State of Virginia. Concerned that Virginia Geeks On Call franchises would no longer be salable, Mr. Blasz filed a formal complaint with the Virginia Division of Securities and Retail Franchising alleging Geeks On Call America, Inc. was entering into new franchise agreements while failing to comply with the registration requirement imposed on all franchisors by the Virginia State Corporation Commission. Mr. Blasz further drew the agency’s attention to the faltering financial condition of Geeks on Call America Inc.
Geeks on Call America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Geeks on Call Holdings (Ticker: GOCH), Inc. United We Geek, the Independent Franchise Owners Association is the first such association in the company’s 10 year history.

Geeks on Call Franchisees Sue Struggling Franchisor

December 20, 2008

A total of 10 Geeks on Call franchisee groups filed lawsuits in federal court in Norfolk, alleging that the Geeks On Call America Inc. company breached its contracts and engaged in fraud.

According to a news report by The Virginian-Pilot, each of the suits contends that “Geeks On Call took business away from franchisees by operating a competing online repair service. Meanwhile, the installation of a new system for routing customers to specific franchisees has hampered their customer service and ability to communicate with Geeks On Call, the plaintiffs said.”

The franchisees also contend that the company abandoned its Geeks On Call trademark for the brand 1 800 905 GEEK, creating brand confusion and deflating the value of their franchises.

Seven of the plaintiffs are seeking $1 million for damages that they said they suffered; the other three plaintiffs are asking for damages of $1.4 million, $4 million and $5 million.

The franchisee lawsuits hit at the worst possible time.  Earlier this month, Geeks On Call Holdings Inc. reported a net loss of $4.96 million on revenue of $5.24 million for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31.

What do you think about the Revenge of the Geeks? Share a comment below.

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