June 26, 2011
(UnhappyFranchisee.com) Home Helpers franchise complaints: Are you familiar with Home Helpers senior care franchise? Please share your opinion below! Thank you.
According to its franchise listing at Entrepreneur.com, “Home Helpers provides care and companionship services for: seniors, new moms, working parents, those recuperating from illness or injury and those needing continuing care for lifelong challenges. These services include assistance with meals, light housekeeping, transportation, errand services and much more… Home Helpers is affiliated with Direct Link, an in-home emergency monitoring system.”
Senior care is one of the fastest growing segments in the franchise industry. Yet while many senior care franchises have shown significant growth in recent years, one company has seen many of its franchises cease operations: Home Helpers.
In fact, since 2008, more than 200 Home Helpers franchises may have ceased operation. This chart shows the number of U.S. Home Helpers franchises in operation, by year:
|YEAR||Home Helpers U.S. Franchises|
* Home Helpers stopped providing Entrepreneur with franchise numbers in 2011. A recent press release simply states there are “more than 500” Home Helpers locations currently.
Why did so many Home Helpers franchises fail?
It’s hard to find the exact cause. A recent franchise prospect asked their sales representative about recent closures and was told, shockingly, that “the bottom 20% always fall off.”
There are numerous complaints on Rip-off Report website, though most are dated.
Back in 2008, Anonymous wrote on RipOff Report:
“Home Helpers is a big scam franchise and its parent company Strategic Franchising. Anybody who wants to buy a franchise should stay away from buying a Home Helpers franchise or any of their franchises for that matter. They are a complete waste of time and money and they are only interested to take your money and squeeze you dry. They say that they are low cost, but they charge you for all kinds of fees. There is no national advertising but you get charged through the nose for the non-existent national branding.
“Their marketing products are overpriced and any and all advertising you do as a franchisee is all out of pocket. They send you to all sorts of companies in which they have a ‘partnership’, but they do not guarantee success and the ’discount’ you get is negligible. You do not get any support, unless you count calling other franchisees and asking their permission to use their own formulated flyers.
“The ‘operations’ department are composed of non-franchisees and people with NO EXPERIENCE running a business or even in Home Care. They are hardly ever there and have no idea about any questions that you might have 99.9% of the time. You are on your own…which completely defeats the purpose of buying a franchise in the first place.Your fellow franchisees are your biggest competition even if you have a set “territory”. They will backstab you and ruin your business any way they can because they are all hungry and need any and all clients they can get. They are not above personal attacks either.
“They are a high pressure sales franchise and call you relentlessly during the sales period even at 10PM. Even if you ask them to remove your name, they call you even more. After you buy a franchise, you can never get a hold of anybody. LITERALLY. They talk down on you on the phone literally and talk to you like you are some kind of idiot. Not surprising as the VP for Operations, Emma Dickison looks down on everybody , never provides any answers and talks condescendingly to anybody and everybody who raises a concern.
“They guarantee money in 90 days. Obviously the guarantee does not work but they do not do anything about it, they just tell you that you didnt follow their “success formula” even if you did to the letter. It is just more bogus advertising to draw people into their web of half truths.
“They say that they will happily buy your franchise back if you don’t think the business is for you. They say that it is a ‘NO RISK’ franchise. They don’t tell you that you have to pay all the fees for the next six months while they try to sell your franchise for you for current market value and pay you for how much you originally paid for your franchise, MINUS $10,000 transfer fee to the new owners.
“They are relentless and money grubbing. They are number 1 in entrepreneur magazine for 2008,2007 and 2006 because of all the lies and half truths they push down your throat during the sales period. All they are is number one in sales. Nobody keeps track of how many there really are. Home Helpers Franchising is like getting on the Highway to Financial Bankrupcy.
“They say that their business model is designed for financial independence and you, as the franchisor, not to be operating the day to day. The truth of the matter is that their top franchisee do not even operate in his own territory and operates out of a run down building in a very bad area of his town. Another ‘successful’ franchisee just recently moved out of his own home office to rent an outside office and was finally able to afford an assisstant after 6 years of operation. Do the math, it clearly shows hollow promises and misleading advertising. A lot of the newer ones are not even operational after 18 months and eventually sell or surrender.
“They do not show franchisee income unlike Goddard Schools franchising. Probably because their franchisees do not make as much as they would like to portray.
“They have a 5 day training class where they basically encourage franchise owners to spin stories and basically LIE just to ‘relate’ to the people they are marketing to. A whole afternoon of workshop is dedicated to this story-telling event, anywhere from having a fictional father suffering from cancer to a fictional child with down’s syndrome.
“Bottomline, you are paying Home Helpers franchising $45,000 of your hard earned cash for a few books, a day of bashing its ‘competitors’ and how to bad mouth them, a 5 day “training class” where all they do is present vendors and get you to spend more money and little else. Nothing that you can’t learn at your local SCORE, nothing you can’t learn from any marketing textbook and obviously, an expensive way to buy yourself some disappointment, harrassment and headaches for months to come.
“This is a totally worthless franchise. Some are successful while a whole lot are not. The few that are just happen to be lucky, more power to them…but they are still a far cry financially from what they tell you during the selling period. They are more than happy to take your money, but it will be till kingdom come if you need your money back. They will find all sorts of fees to charge you just to hang on to your money. Time and time again.”
What do you think?
Anonymous definitely has an axe to grind, and his/her allegations are a bit dated but… there also must be some explanation for the rash of franchise failures other than “the franchisees didn’t follow the system,” or “the company wasn’t selective enough in accepting franchisees.”
ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE HOME HELPERS / DIRECT LINK FRANCHISE? IS HOME HELPERS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY OR A FRANCHISE SCAM? SHARE A COMMENT – POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE – BELOW.