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7-Eleven Attempt to Seal McCord Whistleblower Document Rejected

May 16, 2014

7-Eleven, Inc.’s request to seal whistleblower Kurt McCord’s allegations has been denied by U.S. Magistrate Judge Joel Schneider.

Schneider claims that  7-Eleven attorney Stephen Sussman failed to provide “a single fact” to support his conclusions, and that the document is already publicly available on the Internet anyway (See 7-ELEVEN Bombshell: Insider Accuses 7-11 of Predatory Franchise Practices )

(UnhappyFranchisee.Com)  Franchisee attorney Jerry Marks claims that Kurt McCord is as important to exposing 7-Eleven’s predatory mission to steal its franchisee’s equity and goodwill as Deep Throat was to exposing the Watergate scandal in the 1970s.

Kurt McCord worked as a 7-Eleven Corporate Investigations Supervisor for 7 months in 2013.

McCord provided a 25-page certification in the lawsuit of 7-Eleven, Inc. v. Karamjeet Sodhi, et. al., alleging that the convenience store giant has assembled a covert team whose mission is to illegally seize franchisee stores for profit and eliminate respected franchisee association leaders they deem to be a “pain in the ass.”

The McCord  Certification is also relevant in other related Marks & Klein cases against 7-Eleven, including Sam Younes, et al v. 7-Eleven, Inc. and Neil Naik, et al v. 7-Eleven, Inc., which share discovery and case management with the Sodhi case.

7-Eleven Denies McCord’s Allegations; Sought to Seal his Certification

According to Judge Schneider, 7-Eleven attorney Stephen Sussman of Duane Morris flip-flopped on the basis of his request to seal McCord’s testimony, but failed to support either one.

Wrote Judge Schneider:

7-Eleven originally argued that McCord’ s Certification should be sealed because it contained “sensitive business information.”  Now, however, 7-Eleven argues the Certification should be sealed because it allegedly contains attorney-client privileged and work-product information… 7-Eleven has not even demonstrated that McCord’ s Certification contains privileged or work-product information.  7-Eleven’s broad and unsubstantiated claims do not satisfy its burden of proof. Accordingly, 7-Eleven’s motion to seal is denied.

Schneider went on to further admonish Stephen Sussman’s Declaration:

Sussman’s Declaration provides no facts to support 7 -Eleven’s arguments but instead it merely sets forth broad boilerplate assertions… Sussman does not set  forth a single fact to support his conclusions. Broad boilerplate assertions are insufficient…

Internet Publication Made McCord Certification “Part of the Public Record”

Even if 7-Eleven had proven that McCord’s Certification contained privileged information that could cause serious injury if disclosed, Schneider says he would still have ruled against 7-Eleven because the Certification had already been published on UnhappyFranchisee.Com and other Internet sites.

Wrote Schneider:

Rightly or wrongly, McCord ‘s Certification has already been published and is available on the internet. Thus, even if the Court granted 7-Eleven’ s motion, which it is not, McCord’ s Certification would still be available to anyone who wanted to see it. The Court will not undergo the pointless exercise of sealing a document that is and  will continue to be publicly available.

“It is well established that once confidential information has been published, it is no longer confidential.” Janssen  Products , L.P.  v . Lupin  Ltd. C.A…

Like the Court in Janssen Products, the Court does “not have the power to put the genie back in the bottle.”

Judge Schneider concluded:  “McCord ‘s Certification is now irretrievably part of the public record even if the Court grants 7-Eleven ‘s motion. A sealing Order at this time would be pointless.”

Read:

Certification of Kurt McCord (PDF)

Judge Schneider Decision Denying 7-Eleven Motion (PDF)

Also read:

7-ELEVEN on UnhappyFranchisee.Com (Index of Posts)

7-Eleven Franchise Complaints

7-ELEVEN Bombshell: Insider Accuses 7-11 of Predatory Franchise Practices

7-ELEVEN Stole Our Store – Dev Patel’s Story

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE 7-ELEVEN FRANCHISE, 7-ELEVEN INC. AND 7-ELEVEN LAWSUITS?

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TAGS: 7-Eleven, 7-Eleven franchise, 7-Eleven, 7-Eleven lawsuit, Karamjeet Sodhi, Jerry Marks, Marks & Klein, Stephen Sussman, Duane Morris,  7-Eleven litigation, 7-eleven franchise complaints, 7-Eleven Asset Protection, Kurt McCord, Judge Joel Schneider

7-ELEVEN Bombshell: Insider Accuses 7-11 of Predatory Franchise Practices

May 7, 2014

by Sean Kelly  Former 7-Eleven Corporate Investigations Supervisor Kurt McCord has dropped a bombshell in the lawsuit of 7-Eleven, Inc. v. Karamjeet Sodhi, et. al., alleging that the convenience store giant has a covert team designed to illegally seize franchisee stores for profit and to eliminate respected franchisee association leaders they deem to be a “pain in the ass.”

UnhappyFranchisee.Com has received court documents supplied by an unnamed reader that have reportedly been filed by attorney Jerry Marks of the law firm of Marks & Klein on behalf of his client, 7-Eleven franchisee Karamjeet Sodhi.

In June, 2013 7-Eleven, Inc. attempted to terminate Karamjeet Sodhi’s franchise agreements and seize control of his 6 profitable 7-Eleven convenience stores with no prior warning or opportunity to “cure” the alleged defaults.

7-Eleven, Inc. sued the 26-year franchisee (See 7-ELEVEN Sodhi Lawsuit to Proceed to Trial), alleging that Sodhi had fraudulently failed to report hundreds of thousands of dollars in merchandise sales, thereby cheating the corporation of its share of the stores’ revenue.

However, the Certification of Kurt McCord, just submitted to the court by Marks & Klein, alleges that Sodhi was the victim of an internal 7-Eleven hit squad (my words) that maliciously targets the profitable stores of respected franchisee leaders, and seizes them for later resale.

The 7-Eleven hit squad allegedly kills two birds with one stone by generating tens of millions of dollars through the resale of seized stores from uncompensated owners, and eliminating long-term franchisee leaders that were disliked by upper management.

Does 7-Eleven Have a Secret Hit Squad Targeting Franchisees?

KJerry Marks 7-Elevenurt McCord, who previously worked with Target and Burlington Coat Factory, is a loss prevention professional  who served as 7-Eleven’s Corporate Investigations Supervisor in 2013.

According to Kurt McCord’s Certification, 7-Eleven has a covert department designed to implement its “unfair, illegal and predatory practices” against its own franchisees.

According to McCord:

7-Eleven, Inc. has designed and implemented a predatory program to increase corporate profits by unethically stealing the equity and goodwill of its franchisees. In some cases, these franchisees spent decades of hard work and financial investment building their businesses.

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7-Eleven’s scheme was to use its superior financial, legal, and corporate strength to seize the stores of profitable franchisees without providing them fair compensation for the years of goodwill they accumulated. The 7-Eleven Corporation would then resell those stores at an enormous profit.

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Using an internal team masquerading as an Asset Protection (Loss Prevention) Department, 7-Eleven set a yearly number of stores to take back, prioritizing locations in areas with the highest resale values or, in some cases, operated by respected franchisees who had spoken out about the corporate giant’s corrupt practices.

7-Eleven Alleged to Have a Franchise “Churning” Strategy

According to Kurt McCord, legitimate asset protection departments are intended to prevent losses for store operators and the parent corporations, but are NOT regarded as profit centers or generators of new revenue.

However, McCord contends that 7-Eleven’s asset protection department was used as a cover for its franchise “churning” (seizure and resale of franchise stores) operation.

McCord states:

[The] relentless quest for higher profitability and greater control led 7-Eleven, Inc. to adopt a strategy of “churning” franchise locations. This acted as a way to generate tens of millions of dollars in additional profits, and as also became an effective way to rid the system of “pain in their ass” franchisees who dared question 7-Eleven’s predatory practices.

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In order to deploy an aggressive churning initiative, 7-Eleven, Inc. needed to disguise it as something more professional and benign.

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7-Eleven decided to conduct their churning initiative under the guise of an Asset Protection (Loss Prevention) department. They named the two teams that acted as the warhead of the scheme the “Centralized Investigations Team” (CIT), and a covert mobile surveillance team that they dubbed the “Profit Assurance Team” (PAT Team)…

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…Their goal was not to prevent retail theft, but to create a new profit center to acquire franchisee stores at no cost through tactics that sometimes consisted of false charges of franchisee wrongdoing and intimidation of franchisees.

7-Eleven Allegedly Targets The Most Valuable Stores for Seizure

McCord contends that 7-Eleven, Inc. prioritizes franchisee stores in California, New Jersey and New York for take-back, since those markets generate the highest resale value.

He states:

So, for example, even if evidence existed that a franchisee in the Midwest was committing more fraud against 7-Eleven than a store in California, New Jersey, or New York, the priority for take-back would go toward the stores in California, New Jersey, and New York. These stores are more profitable to refranchise and will be prioritized, even if crimes are less severe than the franchisee in the Midwest.

7-Eleven Allegedly Targets “Pain in the Ass” Franchisees for Termination

According to Kurt McCord, another major criteria in the selection of stores for take-back was whether the franchise owner was deemed (in the words of asset protection head Mark Stinde) a “pain in the ass” by top management.

McCord states:

Several long-time franchise owners were designated as high-priority targets for fraud investigations by top executives because of their roles as heads of regional Franchise Owners Associations (FOAs), and their advocacy on behalf of fellow franchisees.

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Stinde and top executives continued to pressure the CIT staff to “dig up dirt” on prominent financially successful franchisees such as Jerry Sahnan, head of the Arizona FOA, and Karamjeet Sodhi, head of the New Jersey FOA. Even after investigators reported not being able to find evidence of fraud or other improprieties, top executives insisted they remain “Top Priority” targets.

7-Eleven’s Case Against Sodhi Deemed “Unwinnable”

7-Eleven Kurt McCordKurt McCord claims that 7-Eleven’s lawsuit against franchisee was driven by personal and professional animus, not legitimate charges of fraud.

He claims that 7-Eleven, Inc. upper management had targeted Karamjeet Sodhi, who was head of the New Jersey Franchisee Owners Association, for political reasons, and instructed the Asset Protection team to find evidence of fraud the could use against him.  They never did.

According to McCord:

“Sodhi” was a name we heard almost daily after Tariq Khan (TK)…

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I was told by Art Lazo, the current Director of Investigations and SSC Operations at 7-Eleven, that Sodhi was “Public Enemy #2″ after Tariq Khan. Sodhi was the case that was on deck after the successful removal of Tariq Khan.

…after Mike Aldridge took over the case from Lazo, he was told to investigate Sodhi for fraud and payroll.

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No fraud was ever found.

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So, Mike came to me on many occasions comparing Sodhi to Sahnan [another innocent franchisee targeted for termination].

So, he and I had many talks about the Sodhi case being unwinnable…

So, despite no fraud being found and the investigators deeming a case against Sodhi “unwinnable,” 7-Eleven proceeded to seize Sodhi’s 6 successful stores anyway.

Is 7-Eleven Asset Protection “A Weapon for Vengeance”?

Kurt McCord concludes his Certification in a bold and dramatic fashion, stating that he left 7-Eleven because he could no longer be used as a “weapon of vengeance.”

McCord states:

Cases like Sodhi and Jerry Sahnan, are THE reason I left 7-Eleven.

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I could not be a weapon of vengeance for 7-Eleven executives. I did not sleep well at night after managing a case load that only had an agenda for silencing well respected franchisees who were rebelling against injustices they were enduring….

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Working for 7-Eleven, I felt that I, and most importantly, I felt like the honest and hardworking individuals I recruited to the CIT (like Mike Aldridge) were using our expertise for unethical and even unlawful missions.

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What I witnessed at 7-Eleven were not the actions of a legitimate Asset Protection/Loss Prevention program, and I feel it is my duty to expose the injustices that I witnessed.

Read:

Certification of Kurt McCord (PDF)

Letter to Judge Schneider (PDF)

 

Also read:

7-ELEVEN on UnhappyFranchisee.Com

7-Eleven Franchise Complaints

7-ELEVEN Stole Our Store – Dev Patel’s Story

7-ELEVEN Franchise Owner Claims Franchisees Are Being Bullied

7-ELEVEN Franchise Owners Complain, Allege Churning

 

WHAT DO YOU THINK? ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE 7-ELEVEN FRANCHISE, 7-ELEVEN INC. AND 7-ELEVEN LAWSUITS?

PLEASE SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.

Contact UnhappyFranchisee.com

TAGS: 7-Eleven, 7-Eleven franchise, 7-Eleven, 7-Eleven lawsuit, Karamjeet Sodhi, Jerry Marks, Marks & Klein, 7-Eleven litigation, 7-eleven franchise complaints, 7-Eleven Asset Protection, Joe DePinto, Mark Stinde

7-ELEVEN on UnhappyFranchisee.Com [UPDATED]

May 7, 2014

7-Eleven is possibly the most contentious franchise in America at the present time.

With 7-Eleven’s Japanese owners wanting to quadruple the number of U.S. locations in coming years, the fireworks have just begun.

UnhappyFranchisee.Com is the only place to get the real, uncensored story on 7-Eleven, as franchisees, employees, vendors and other insiders here can comment and discuss the issues openly, candidly, and anonymously.

Please read & share your views here:

7-Eleven Breaking News:

7-ELEVEN Bombshell: Insider Accuses 7-11 of Predatory Franchise Practices

Will 7-Eleven Help Terminate Donald Sterling’s NBA Franchise? (Humor)

7-ELEVEN: Outspoken 7-11 Franchisee Hashim Syed Gets “Retaliatory” Visit and Warning

NPR Reports on Franchising & Franchise Problems

7-ELEVEN Franchise Owners are Glorified Managers, Franchisee Tells NPR

 

7-Eleven Featured Posts:

7-ELEVEN Stole Our Store – Dev Patel’s Story

7-ELEVEN Patel Franchise Lawsuit Alleges 7-11 “Storm Trooper” Tactics

7-ELEVEN Franchise Lawsuit Alleges Stalking and Harrassment of 7-11 Franchisee

7-ELEVEN Protest Over 7-11 Franchise Store Seizure (Pictures)

7-ELEVEN Stole My Store – Tyrone Carr’s Story [UPDATED]

7-ELEVEN Dev Patel Radio Interview on Riverside Franchise Seizure (Audio)

7-ELEVEN Franchise Ads We’d Like to See (Parody)

NJ Lawsuit Claims 7-Eleven Franchise Program is an Employment Scam  (NEW!)

7-Eleven Franchise Complaints (Most comments)

7-Eleven Franchise Complaints

7-Eleven Franchise Complaints

7-ELEVEN Franchise Owner Claims Franchisees Are Being Bullied

7-ELEVEN Franchise Owners Complain, Allege Churning

7-ELEVEN Cyber FOA Franchisees Post “Declaration of Independent Contractor”

7-ELEVEN Manhattan Group Protests 7-11 Expansion

NY Group Protests & Mocks 7-11; Debuts “Margaret Chabris” Skit

7-ELEVEN: No 7-Eleven Protest Group Holds NY Bodega Walk

7-Eleven Lawsuits Against Franchisees

7-ELEVEN Franchise Lawsuits 2013

7-ELEVEN Targets Portland, OR Franchise for Seizure

7-ELEVEN Franchisee Sodhi Can Operate Stores Despite 7-Eleven Court Battle

7-ELEVEN Franchisee Tariq Khan: Villain or Victim?

7-ELEVEN Franchise Lawsuit Against Franchisee Pursharth Kapoor

Franchisee Lawsuits Against 7-Eleven, Inc.

Franchisee Sues for Fraud, Labor Violations, Unfair Dealings

NJ Lawsuit Claims 7-Eleven Franchise Program is an Employment Scam

7-ELEVEN Class Action Franchise Lawsuit Brewing?

7-ELEVEN Upcoming Lawsuit Claims 7-11 Franchise is an Employment Scam

Immigration Enforcement Actions Against 7-Eleven

7-ELEVEN Franchises Raided by DOJ, Homeland Security

7-Eleven’s Imperial Japanese Overlord, er, Parent Company

7-ELEVEN to Open up to 21,500 New U.S. Stores

7-ELEVEN: UnhappyFranchisee.Com Invites Views of 7-11 Franchisee Groups

7-ELEVEN Downplays Japanese Ownership

7-ELEVEN’s Japanese Parent Posts Record Profits… Again

7-Eleven – General Information & Discussions

7-ELEVEN: How the 7-Eleven Franchise Works

7-ELEVEN: Is 7-Eleven a Good Franchise to Own?

7-Eleven Franchise Lawsuit Documents

7-Eleven, Inc. v. Kapoor Brothers Inc. et al

7-Eleven, Inc. v. Khan et al (Complaint),Declaration by Tariq Khan

Atalla, Naik, Patel, Patel et al v. 7-Eleven, Inc., Seven-Eleven Japan, Seven and I Holdings Co. Ltd.

 

WHAT DO YOU THINK?  ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE 7-ELEVEN FRANCHISE, 7-ELEVEN INC. AND SEVEN AND I HOLDING CO.?  PLEASE SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.

Contact UnhappyFranchisee.com

TAGS: 7-Eleven, 7-Eleven franchise, 7-Eleven lawsuit, 7-Eleven lawsuits, 7-11 franchise, 7-11 lawsuits, 7-11 complaints, convenience store franchise, 7-Eleven litigation, 7-eleven franchise complaints, National Coalition Of Associations Of 7-Eleven Franchisees, NCASEF, SEI, 7-Eleven Inc., Seven and i Holdings Co

CANDY BOUQUET Franchise Complaints

May 6, 2014

Candy Bouquet was founded in 1989 by Margaret McEntire and franchised in 1993.

According to Candy Bouquet franchise disclosure documents, the chain grew to 415 U.S. franchises in 2000, and continued growing to a peak of 762 in 2006.

Then Candy Bouquet started its steady decline.

Candy Bouquet had fallen to about 228 U.S. locations by the end of 2011 when it was acquired by franchisees Dr. Jim Wheeler and his wife Janet .

Franchises continued to close under the Wheeler’s ownership, reportedly falling to 114 domestic franchises by the end of 2012 and to just 79 by the end of 2013.

As of May, 2014, the Candy Bouquet website lists just 77 U.S. locations, at least 10 of which seem to have their phones and/or emails discontinued.

CANDY BOUQUET Franchise Failures Documented on Blue Mau Mau

In May, 2008, franchisee “Candy Lady” published the post Nothing is Sweet about Candy Bouquet! on the website BlueMauMau.org.

The post prompted more than 3000 comments, many by frustrated and despondent franchise owners who claim they were misled by Candy Bouquet International (CBI) founder Margaret McEntire, and were sold an unsustainable, unprofitable business model.

There was a glimmer of hope expressed at the take-over by the Wheelers (who were fellow franchisees), but that glimmer soon disappeared from the discussion thread.

Here is a sampling of the franchise complaints from the Blue Mau Mau page left since last year.

Keep in mind, these are anonymous complaints that reflect the unsubstantiated opinions of the respective commenters.

We have asked Candy Bouquet franchisor Jim Wheeler to address these and other complaints.  Mr. Wheeler’s responses will be featured in upcoming posts.

Candy Bouquet Complaint:  Unprofitable Business Model

On 5/27/13 one commenter wrote:

Have any of you looked at the cost to buy into this franchise? Just for an average size territory of 100,000 to 125,000 population, it now costs $37,500. If memory serves me correctly, it was at one time around $18,000 a couple of years ago. And the monthly association fees for that size territory is now $565!!! WOW! Again, just a couple of years ago it was just under $200 per month for association fees! If you do the math – the average store (if they are lucky) might just sell $2500 a month in bouquets alone – again if they are lucky! That’s about 22% of bouquet sales going to pay monthly association fees – what are they getting in return – same old bunch of nothingness! Anyone who buys in to this franchise today with the attrition rate and all is just downright dumb!

On 7/7/13, commenter “ex franchisee” claimed that even the Wheeler’s own franchise closed [again, unconfirmed]:

Oddly the Houston TX CBI franchisee that was the largest franchise ever sold is no longer in business according to CBI’s locator. This Houston franchise was owned by the Wheelers the current owners of Candy Bouquet International. Wondering what really happen to that franchise?!? Could be like all the other closed franchises just never made any money.

Candy Bouquet International is just a losing battle even for the current franchise owners who spent their life savings, including their entire retirement to Margaret McEntire the only person to make any money off the backs of her former franchisees.

8/8/13 “Guest” wrote:

…The franchise needs to go away because it is not sustainable as a true business. Cute hobby, yes. Does it have value, yes, but not as a business.

Candy Bouquet Complaint:  Website Not Updated

October 7. 2013, “Visitor” complained that the CBI website was displaying Spring and Summer bouquets:

It’s no wonder CBI’s are failing just look at the homepage for Candy Bouquet International. CBI is still displaying Spring, Mother’s Day and other summer bouquets. I’m about ready to quit paying my franchise association fees since I’m not getting anything for all the monthly money CBI is getting from me… Can’t wait for my contract to end!

7/18/13 “ex franchisee” wrote:

Nothing has changed much at CBI it seems…franchisees were always after Candy Bouquet International (Margaret McEntire) to update the website bouquets.   Just like the current website we would complain about Halloween bouquets that should have been changed to holiday bouquets…they never were current…

10/29/13 “Visitor2013” added:

Seems history continues to repeat itself with CBI

Same thing happened when I was a franchisee their website could not be changed because they fired their webmaster and not one person knew the password for updating the CBI website. Well at least one season of the year will be right since they only have Easter, Spring and Mother’s Day Bouquets on the Candy Bouquet International homepage… would never put money into this company knowing it’s past history.

Candy Bouquet Complaint:  Website Down at Critical Time

A distressed franchisee reported that, during their peak selling season of 2013, the store locater on the Candy Bouquet website was not working for at least 9 days right before Christmas.

12/22/13, “Visitor” wrote:

How is it Candy Bouquet “where to order” is still down…what a mess!!! The lost sales is driving me crazy as we have to use candybouquet.com disclosures on all our bouquets! I’m mad and there is nothing I can do it’s out of my control. It’s just about the end for me unless I make good money for Valentine’s Day. Feel it is all going down the drain for me. Just how did I get myself into such a mess, all my savings gone, my retirement gone, may even lose my home over this, my family is not very happy with me either.

12/24/13, “Visitor” wrote:

Candy Bouquet website “Where To Buy” down for 9 plus day…

Well, well, well it’s now 12/24/13 and the Where To Buy on CBI’s website was reported down 12/15/13 on this site – the good thing for franchisees is the locator is once again up and running – the bad is the critical week (more than 9 days) of bouquet and gift basket sales lost for the franchises they will never get back.

Once again Candy Bouquet International SUCKS at helping franchisees with their bottom line – CBI continues to be the Grinch who STOLE Christmas.

Candy Bouquet logoCandy Bouquet Complaint:  Franchisor Not Providing Value

8/29/13 a commenter wrote that CBI does not provide cost savings for products:

I was a franchisee for the whole 5 years, I borrowed $25,000 and after 5 years I still owed $8,000 which I have now paid off. I never drew a check and was home-based. I had a lot of returning customers, I would make some money and then spend at the CBI warehouse. I found I could find most products a lot cheaper elsewhere.The idea was awesome but I believe the novelty has now worn off. I loved making my bouquets but the money was just not there. Yes I made money but then had to spend for next lot of orders, I didn’t seem to get in front. I did not renew.

10/7/13 a commenter wrote that marketing support is lacking:

I am so disappointed in the new owners! I got an email last week saying they were having a “$5.00 per bag” sale on candy. You know it’s got to be old! Great way to support your franchisee’s and help them to grow their business!

10/17/13 Visitor2013 wrote:

Candy Bouquet International…same ole, same ole, same ole thing…nothing ever changes.

No call backs

Nothing for your franchise fees

Old outdated seasonal bouquets on website

Selling old candy – can’t ever forget when the bay door was hit and MM had them sell the melted candy to franchisees at a discount.

2/26/14 a commenter wrote that CBI no longer has a phone number to call:

CBI is on it’s way out!

… The number they have listed on the CBI website is out of service. They now list their corporate offices as being in Houston, but there is no phone number to actually talk to a person, you can only email via the Contact Us link. They are still offering franchises though and the website talks about being trained in Little Rock, which is obviously not true. I could go on, but all I can say is if you’re thinking about buying one of these franchises, do yourself a favor and don’t!!!

10/17/13 a failed franchisee claims not to have heard from the franchisor in over a year:

I have 2 1/2 more years on my 5 year contract, and have closed my doors. Of course, CBI hasn’t figured this out, because I haven’t spoken to them in over a year! I would love to stop paying the franchise fees, but heard if you stop paying, they will sue, or demand the entire amount due within 15 days.

A franchisee made the point that “Candy Bouquet” is a generic term, not a registered trademark:

MARGARET MCENTIRE LIED TO MANY FRANCHISES EVEN IN HER UFDD BY PUTTING REGISTERED TRADEMARKS BY CANDY BOUQUET ANY NUMEROUS OTHER “PRETEND” TRADEMARK PHRASES….Margaret only changed her UFDD of fake trademarks after the AAFD became involved and she became fearful of the Association of Candy Bouquet Franchisees who hired an Attorney to call her out on these.

Candy Bouquet Complaint:  Widespread & Devastating Failures

1/8/13 “Guest” wrote:

DO NOT SIGN anything!!!

Run away. Dont sign with CBI. I was a franchisee too and realized when I arrived for training, that it was the biggest mistake I ever made. Cost me $28 000. So glad I am done with it now!!!!

1/5/13 “Rick” wrote:

Done with CBI

Thank GOD its 2013 my contract runs out with CBI I made it i will not be renewing this was just one big Mistake…

5/25/13 “Visitor” wrote:

My Contract runs out in August cannot wait a huge burden lifted a bad mistake but i have learned

7/7/13 “ex franchisee” wrote:

The one thing Candy Bouquet International is BEST at is…CLOSURES of FRANCHISES! All those people investing and many losing everything including their homes. It’s all just so sad and Margaret just would not listen to her franchisees…just made a sucker of a professional couple [Wheelers] who are on the verge of losing it all.

Way to go CBI!!!

8/8/13 a commenter wrote:

I bought the franchise not as a hobby, but as a business venture. Why? Because it was sold as a business venture. This was in 2005. I researched for approximately 8 months. There were 800+ franchisees when I bought. My class was one of the biggest with 27 (I think) new franchisees in the training class. Classes were held twice a month back then, that is how fast it was growing. The reasons are many as to why this can not succeed… I have no idea how many people have bought into this franchise over the years, but you are talking over 2000+ I feel safe in guessing. Do you really think this number of people bought something based on good, solid information from the franchisor? No, we were taken just like people that fell for Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi schemes. Some people really are vultures and will prey on others…

9/9/13 a commenter wrote:

People did lose their home, savings and retirement…this was a business venture not a hobby for thousands of people who bought into Margaret McEntire’s southern (snake) charm.

9/27/13 a commenter wrote:

I closed my store two years ago. My store is still listed on Candy Bouquet’s home page. Isn’t that odd! I invested $25,000 and owed $20.000 when I closed the store. It’s sad and the dumbest thing I’ve ever done!!

1/13/14 a commenter wrote:

Out of Order!  Just tried to call 4 different stores that were listed on the locator and 3 of the numbers were out of service! Things never change!!!

10/29/13 a commenter wrote:

I know of 6 (yes SIX!) Franchises that are still listed on the locator, but have closed their doors. That makes it 77 (or less) active franchises. So sad …

Note:  We have corresponded with Candy Bouquet franchisor Jim Wheeler who was very gracious and agreed to address these and other issues.

ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE CANDY BOUQUET FRANCHISE OPPORTUNITY?  DO YOU KNOW ITS CURRENT STATUS OR THE REASON FOR ITS DECLINE? SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.

Contact UnhappyFranchisee.com

TAGS: Candy Bouquet, Candy Bouquet franchise, Candy Bouquet closures, Candy Bouquet complaints, Margaret McEntire, Dr. Jim Wheeler, Janet Wheeler, James Wheeler

CANDY BOUQUET Franchise Representations Questioned

May 5, 2014

Is the CANDY BOUQUET franchise a good – or even viable – opportunity?  Are the representations made on the Candy Bouquet franchise website accurate?

(UnhappyFranchisee.Com)  According to the company website, Candy Bouquet is a “delicious small business franchise opportunity” that is “ranked as one of the top franchises in the U.S.”

The Candy Bouquet website prominently features the “success story” of founder Margaret McEntire, its many (somewhat dated) industry awards and accolades, its low investment and low franchise fee (starting at $10,500).

But the Candy Bouquet website also includes some questionable, outdated, and/or possibly deceptive statements.

For this reason, we are reaching out to those familiar with the Candy Bouquet franchise to ask whether Candy Bouquet is a good, or even viable, franchise opportunity.

Are you familiar with the Candy Bouquet franchise opportunity?  What do you think?  Please share a comment below.

Are Candy Bouquet Franchise Claims Outdated or Deceptive?

Here are some of the statements on the Candy Bouquet website we find questionable.

The Candy Bouquet website states:  “Candy Bouquet consistently ranks in the Top 500 Franchises and Top 20 Home-Based Franchises as tracked by Entrepreneur Magazine.”

According to Entrepreneur.com, Candy Bouquet has not been ranked in the Franchise 500 since 2011.

 

Candy BouquetThe Candy Bouquet website states:  “Our Growing Candy Franchise… We continue to be one of the fastest-growing candy franchise companies in the United States.”

Candy Bouquet does not appear to be growing at all.

In fact, it appears to be in serious decline.

According to the company’s 2012 Franchise Disclosure Document, Candy Bouquet had 554 franchise locations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico at the beginning of 2009.  Despite having opened an additional 122 franchises, the number of open locations had declined to 228 by the end of 2011.

That’s a decrease of 59%.

Today, the Candy Bouquet website lists just 77 U.S. locations.

That’s a decline of 86% since 2009.

 

The Candy Bouquet website states:   “Today, Candy Bouquet International, Inc. has over 300 locations in all 50 states and in 31 countries around the world…Candy Bouquet International has over 300 locations throughout the United States, Canada, and around the globe.”

Candy Bouquet does not appear to have anywhere near 300 locations.

In fact, U.S. locations have declined at least 86% to just 77 U.S. locations.

Some unhappy franchisees commenting on BlueMauMau.org dispute that there are even 77 U.S. locations, alleging that many of the franchises listed on the website have since closed.

 

The Candy Bouquet website states:  “Candy Bouquet is the largest candy franchise in the world!”

This does not appear to be true.  At least one candy franchise, 300-unit Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, is larger.

 

An April 7, 2012 press release on The Candy Bouquet website states: 

Stepping into office as President and CEO of Candy Bouquet International in November 2011, Dr. Jim Wheeler was ready to dive in and communicate with the backbone of the company – the franchisees.

Dr. Wheeler personally contacted every franchisee, either by email or telephone, over the past few months… Dr. Wheeler reported many [franchisees] had minor problems… Several had major problems, e.g. marketing and business plan, for which he referred for major consultation with staff.

Dr. Wheeler has been taking strides to devote his time and energy to he and his wife’s (owner Janet Wheeler) new endeavor. He  is keeping records of franchisee feedback, which will be posted at a later date, once more emails and responses have been received by CBI.

That was pretty much the last of the “Tasty News” updates on the Candy Bouquet website.

Since 2012, the website gives no indication whether the Wheelers are still running the franchise company, whether Margaret McEntire has taken back over, or whether there’s no one at the wheel.

We are reaching out to franchisees, former franchisees, Jim Wheeler, Janet Wheeler and Margaret McEntire as to whether Candy Bouquet is still a viable franchise, or whether it’s our next addition to the Franchise Graveyard.

ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE CANDY BOUQUET FRANCHISE OPPORTUNITY?  DO YOU KNOW ITS CURRENT STATUS OR THE REASON FOR ITS DECLINE? SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.

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TAGS: Candy Bouquet, Candy Bouquet franchise, Candy Bouquet closures, Candy Bouquet complaints, Margaret McEntire, Dr. Jim Wheeler, Janet Wheeler, James Wheeler

Will 7-Eleven Help Terminate Donald Sterling’s NBA Franchise?

May 1, 2014

(UnhappyFranchisee.Com)  Millionaire attorney Richard Quick, Esq. has reached out to both NBA commissioner Adam Silver and 7-Eleven, Inc. CEO Joseph DePinto to propose a partnership that will expedite termination of Donald Sterling’s ownership of the LA Clippers franchise.

The NBA has banned franchise owner Donald Sterling from all league activities and seeks to terminate Sterling’s ownership of the NBA franchise due to Sterling’s racist comments that have been repeatedly broadcast to ever man, woman and child in the Western world.

However, the billionaire will likely wage an expensive and protracted court battle against the NBA.

In the letter to Adam Silver below, Richard Quick, Founding Partner of the law firm Quick, Duhk & Hyde and Franchisor Blogger at UnhappyFranchisee.Com, proposes that the NBA hire 7-Eleven’s elite franchisee termination team to dispatch Sterling with impunity.

QUICK, DUHK & HYDE

Attorneys at Law

Adam Silver

Commissioner

The National Basketball Association

645 Fifth Ave.

New York, NY 10022

May 1, 2014

Mr. Silver:

I know that you are communicating with the NBA owners’ advisory/finance committee with the goal of ousting Donald Sterling as an NBA franchise owner as soon as possible. As a powerful and wealthy man myself, and one who travels in the same circles as Mr. Sterling, I can assure you that the big man will not give up his franchise without a fight. He will battle you in Federal court. He will get injunctions. He will create as expensive, messy and protracted a battle as he can muster.

With all due respect, Mr. Silver, you have no experience in terminating franchise owners and are no match for Mr. Sterling. You are out of your depth.

For a job like this, you need highly trained specialists with a very particular set of skills. You need a team experienced in franchise terminations… a team that can strike fast with cold efficiency and precision… a team that can, in a single day, seize a franchise that took decades to build and leave the dazed owner wondering where his investment and livelihood just disappeared to…

Mr. Silver, you need the 7-Eleven Asset Protection Team.

7-Eleven is the largest convenience store chain and is owned by Tokyo-based Seven and I Holdings, the fifth largest retailer in the world. This company lops off franchise owners with the steely precision of a Hattori Hanso Samurai sword. Their domestic forces are headed by West Point graduates, with Joseph DePinto as their Commanding Officer. Their Centralized Investigations Team (CIT) and covert mobile surveillance crew are unrivalled in terminating franchise owners with extreme prejudice.

Please refer to the many successful termination accounts detailed on UnhappyFranchisee.Com. These badasses are seizing franchises from long-time owners around the country and not paying them a dime – sometimes seizing multiple stores at a time.

Pay special attention to the wonderful story of Dev, Dilip & Saroj Patel (“7-Eleven Stole Our Store”) whose franchise ownership was terminated in a single day. Heck, they didn’t need incriminating audio and racist remarks to take away the Patel’s franchise of 19 years. They took away their franchise in a single meeting over supposedly “fraudulent” Slurpee coupons! I mean, these guys are that GOOD.

While the 7-Eleven Asset Protection Team is primarily an internal unit, I am confident that I can negotiate the hiring of them for this special project. I will be happy to provide an introduction to CEO DePinto and negotiate the deployment of the Centralized Investigations Team (CIT) to oust Sterling.

My fee is 20% of the consulting and services package, payable by the NBA.

I look forward to receiving your call,

.

Richard Quick, Esq.

Founding Partner, Quick, Duhk & Hyde

Franchisor blogger at UnhappyFranchisee.Com

Quick, Duhk & Hyde is the oldest, largest and most respected fictional law firm specializing in franchise development, franchisee recruitment, franchisee termination and litigation in the world. All major credit cards accepted.

Simultaneously, Mr. Quick, Esq. proposed working with Joe DePinto to help 7-Eleven develop a lucrative franchisee-termination program using its elite Asset Protection team.

QUICK, DUHK & HYDE

Attorneys at Law

Joseph DePinto

President & Chief Executive Officer

7-Eleven, Inc.

One Arts Plaza

1722 Routh St., Suite 1000

Dallas, TX 75201

May 1, 2014

Dear Joe:

You’ve no doubt been following the NBA’s announcement that they are going to try to terminate the franchise of our pal Donald Sterling. We both know that the NBA has no experience terminating franchise owners, and are no match for the cantankerous billionaire and his legal team. The protracted battle Sterling will cause will take a heavy toll from both a financial and public relations standpoint. They have an expensive mess on their hands… which spells opportunity for you and I.

Quick Duhk and Hyde Law FirmThe NBA desperately needs a Winston Wolf… the tuxedoed fixer in Pulp Fiction. When the mob has a mess on its hands, they call Mr. Wolf and he calmly and professionally fixes the situation, no matter how bad.

Joe, you and the 7-Eleven Asset Protection team could be the NBA’s Winston Wolf. No one can terminate franchise owners with the speed and cold efficiency as you and your 7-Eleven team.

I have taken the liberty of reaching out to NBA commissioner Adam Silver (see attached letter) to propose that the NBA subcontract 7-Eleven Asset Protection to terminate Sterling’s franchise ownership with extreme prejudice. To erase any doubt as to 7-Eleven’s badass efficiency, I referred Mr. Silver to the first-hand accounts posted to that wailing wall of terminated franchisees, UnhappyFranchisee.Com. I directed him to pay special attention to the seizure of Dev, Dilip and Saroj Patel’s Riverside, CA franchise (“7-Eleven Stole Our Store”) . I think it’s your masterpiece!

You didn’t even have racist comments or a public outcry against the Patels to work with. In fact, their customers and community loved them. Yet the 7-Eleven Asset Protection Team was able to force them to sign away their franchise of 19 years in a single 8-hour interrogation session… Over fraudulent redemption of Slurpee coupons, no less! (Nice touch, by the way). If you can take away the franchise of the beloved and sympathetic Patel family in a single day, ousting Sterling should be a piece of cake!

With the success story of ousting Sterling under our belts, we can offer 7-Eleven’s franchise termination services to other sports leagues. After league owners learn that they can seize owner equity and goodwill and generate new franchise fees like 7-Eleven, Inc. does, there will be hundreds of millions to be made booting baseball owners, defranchising football owners, screwing soccer team owners, nuking NHL owners, retiring racing teams… the opportunities are endless.

My brokerage fee will be a modest 20%, payable by 7-Eleven, Inc.

Hopefully, bringing you this new profit stream will be enough to repair relations between Seven and I Holdings CEO Toshifumi Suzuki and myself, and restore the relationship between 7-Eleven, Inc. and Quick, Duhk & Hyde, the largest and most respected fictional law firm specializing in franchise development, franchisee recruitment, termination, collections and litigation. We worked well together, and it’s unfortunate to let a single slip of the tongue sever such a mutually profitable relationship.

To terminating lots of franchisees and making a killing…

.

Richard Quick, Esq.

Senior Partner, Quick, Duhk & Hyde

Franchisor blogger at UnhappyFranchisee.Com

.

P.S. Please express my apologies once again to Mr. Suzuki for my poor attempt at the Japanese language and the ill feelings it caused. If I had known that seppaku was not a form of sushi, I never would have suggested it for his family gathering.

Quick, Duhk & Hyde is the oldest, largest and most respected fictional law firm specializing in franchise development, franchisee recruitment, franchisee termination and litigation in the world. All major credit cards accepted.

Millionaire Richard Quick, Esq. is the founder of the law firm of Quick, Duhk & Hyde and conducts most of his business from his yacht in International Boundary Waters. 

Mr. Quick has joined UnhappyFranchisee.Com as a guest columnist satirically representing the opinions of predatory franchisors and IFA executives.

Also read:

7-ELEVEN on UnhappyFranchisee.Com

7-Eleven Franchise Complaints

7-ELEVEN Franchise Owner Claims Franchisees Are Being Bullied

 

WHAT DO YOU THINK? CAN 7-ELEVEN INC. SOLVE THE NBA’S STERLING-SILVER DISPUTE?

PLEASE SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.

Contact UnhappyFranchisee.com

TAGS: Donald Sterling, LA Clippers, NBA, Adam Silver, 7-Eleven, 7-Eleven franchise, 7-11 franchise, 7-11 Riverside CA, 7-Eleven litigation, 7-eleven franchise complaints, Dev Patel, Dilip Patel, Saroj Patel, Richard Quick Esq., Get Rich Quick

HEITS BUILDING SERVICES Franchise Complaints

April 29, 2014

(UnhappyFranchisee.Com) Heits Building Services franchise complaints include allegations of outrageous percentage and other fees, accounts too far away, forcing franchisees to accept inferior accounts, bullying and pushiness, coming after franchisee for money even after they’re broke, and making money even when franchisee fails.

Are you familiar with the Heits Building Services commercial cleaning franchise?  Please share your opinion with a comment below.

According to the 2013 Heits Building Services Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD), Heits has been sued before for similar allegations.

The Heits FDD states:

On January 7, 2005, HEITS® franchisee, Juliana Diniz, sought to cancel her franchise agreement for a Janitorial Business and recover her initial franchise fee.  Diniz alleged that Heits violated the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act and New Jersey franchising laws, alleging that she was tricked into purchasing the franchise and had unanticipated expenses, work locations, and time of work, due to her lack of knowledge of the English language.

.

Heits counterclaimed against Diniz, alleging that her substandard servicing of janitorial accounts assigned to her under her franchise agreement caused Heits to lose those accounts as clients of the HEITS® System.

.

The court ruled in favor of Diniz on her claim and on the counterclaim. The court awarded Diniz restitution of her franchise fee, and the costs and expenses of the litigation, totaling $17,500.   Heits appealed this result in Diniz v. Heits Building Services, Inc. (Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, Docket No. A-4554-04T24554-04T2). The Appellate Division upheld the trial court’s findings and judgment without issuing a published opinion, and the Court recorded Heits satisfaction of this judgment on June 22, 2006.

Read the Heits FDD here:  Heits Building Services 2013 Franchise Disclosure Document

HEITS BUILDING SERVICES Franchise Complaints

April 25, Rico of NJ posted this complaint about Heit Cleaning Services of Central and Northern New Jersey:

Heits Cleaning Services of Central and Northern New Jersey.  A nightmare of investment. Once you sign, you are a victim. I am speaking from my own bad experiences with these people, not just once, twice.  Call me stupid, but all i wanted is to work hard to make some money, not that much but enough for my family, even If I had to spend some to get it. Or so I thought.

I could not believe I even associated myself with these scammers. I have wasted my lifetime savings to pay for a franchise tag I never own, neither sell, for they will find any way to screw you over and over again. You are going to pay and still being asked to pay more for cleaning accounts you will never have control of, outrageous 25.28 % off your hard earned client’s payment, even them sending your check, you have to pay, not to mention more fees if you fail to clean at clients’ standards and the kind of accounts they will give you, you have to travel 17 to 30 miles one way to clean a meticulous account.

Do the math!  Obviously I didn’t, shame on me for being fooled twice by these scumbags.

These assholes are pushy (they will push you to accept an account otherwise it will be a lost account and that means if they owe you a certain amount of business, whatever the amount of that account that you refused to sign will be your lost.  They are bullies and most importantly, they will do anything to play you. Believe me you will never grow your business, I didn’t, despite of my hard work, the harder you work, the harder you fall, i guess that is my own saying I learned when I started dealing with Heit, for they will be the one thriving, always.

More accounts you signed for, More of so called “notes” to pay for either being multiplied by 3 or 5, depends on their mood but mostly 5, that means more money you need to put on their pockets, and there is no escaping it for the main guy main franchisor is a “master” with the degree on business. wise, bad people.

If you are weak, they will be feasting on you, whatever that means, stay away from Heits Cleaning Services.

HEITS Building ServicesApril 28, Rico of NJ added:

… I have no choice but to pay them whatever I signed for even though I did not make a single penny. it was a nightmare investing with Heits, a bad reality That i will be taking to my grave. I wish I could get out of this mafia of cleaning services, i don’t care anymore of the money that I have lost, It is long way gone!, but i refuse to pay up anymore!

…Is there anyone here who could help me to file a complaint about Heits Cleaning Services of Central and Northern NJ for at least getting away from them. I have lost my lifetime savings to them and they are still coming after me. I have paid them all my money and do not have anything more to hire a lawyer to protect me. I know it is so impossible to win this fight and i am very scared of them. I never made money working for them and just because I stupidly signed papers with them, without any counseling, they are using them against me, I never made money from my franchise. Is there any government agencies that could help me? Please help.

ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE HEITS BUILDING SERVICES FRANCHISE OPPORTUNITY?  SHARE A COMMENT – POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE – BELOW.

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TAGS: Heits Building Solutions franchise, Heits Building Solutions franchise complaints, Heits Building Solutions of Central and Northern New Jersey, janitorial franchise, commercial cleaning franchise, franchise scams, franchise complaints, unhappy franchisee

7-ELEVEN: Outspoken 7-11 Franchisee Hashim Syed Gets “Retaliatory” Visit and Warning

April 24, 2014

by Sean Kelly  7-Eleven franchise owner Hashim Syed shared his experience as a franchisee on National Public Radio.  One week later, Syed received a surprise visit from two corporate senior VPs from Dallas and an ominous “letter of notification” from the franchisor.

(UnhappyFranchisee.Com)   According to a follow-up report by WBEZ’s Chip Mitchell (see 7-Eleven warns Chicago franchisee who criticized company), 7-Eleven spokesperson Margaret Chabris claims that Chicago franchisee Hashim Syed has the right to speak out about his experiences and views.

“It’s freedom of speech,” Chabris is quoted as saying. “That’s fine.”

However, when asked whether a surprise inspection of Syed’s North Side Chicago franchise and subsequent “letter of notification” by two Dallas-based senior vice presidents was prompted by his interview with WBEZ, Chabris would not answer.

Jas Dhillon, vice chair of the National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees, was more direct, stating:

“This is nothing but retaliation.”

“Nothing but retaliation” by 7-Eleven, Inc. Claims Franchisee

Hashim Syed is one of a growing number of respected7-Eleven franchise owners who are speaking out publicly against the practices of 7-Eleven, Inc.

UnhappyFranchisee.Com is reporting on numerous protests and lawsuits waged by 7-Eleven franchisees throughout the U.S. who claim the Dallas-based, Japanese-owned franchisor has reduced them to “glorified managers” (Syed’s words) and takes away their valuable stores at will. (See links to the stories of Dev Patel, Karamjeet Sodhi, Tyrone Carr and others at  Has 7-ELEVEN Declared War on its Franchisees? (Index) )

According to the WBEZ story, Hashim Syed invited two WBEZ reporters to his Rogers Park store for an interview last month.

Syed told the reporters how the 7-Eleven, Inc., a subsidiary of Japan-based Seven & I Holdings Co., had “tightened rules for its franchisees over the years,” and was increasingly “dumping its employment responsibilities on the franchisees.”

The story was broadcast April 8, 2014 (NPR Reports on Franchising & Franchise Problems).

It didn’t take long for the company to send a clear and unsympathetic message to Syed.  According to the WBEZ:

One week later, 7-Eleven officials inspected his store. Syed said the inspection took place without notice. He identified the officials as Bill Engen and Ena Williams, both senior vice presidents based at the Dallas headquarters.

The next day, a 7-Eleven “letter of notification” accused Syed of violating his franchise agreement because some products were out of stock and because he allegedly was not using one of his hot-dog grills as required. The letter was accompanied by 17 photos showing spots on Syed’s shelves where products were sold out. The letter did not mention his statements to WBEZ.

Warning letters from franchisors are not uncommon. The franchisees usually have a chance to fix the problems. But a letter could also lead to trouble, even a 7-Eleven takeover of the store.

7-Eleven Franchisees Refuse to be Silenced

While it’s likely that 7-Eleven, Inc. intends to send a non-reconciliatory message (threat?) to would-be franchisee whistleblowers, it doesn’t seem to be working all that well.

7-Eleven franchisee Jas Dhillon publicly spoke in support of his fellow franchisee, claiming that 7-Eleven was trying to silence a franchisee who won a national award from the company for running “the best store in the country.”

And Hashim Syed does not show signs of going silent anytime soon.  This week, he is reportedly flying to Japan “where he will meet with other 7-Eleven franchisees. He said he is working to strengthen ties between 7-Eleven franchisees around the world so they have more power to stand up to the company.”

More and more franchisees are sharing their stories with UnhappyFranchisee.Com, and new lawsuits continue to be filed.

Dear 7-Eleven:  Here’s a Crazy Thought…

Dear 7-Eleven:  You no doubt have a venerable public relations team, and Ms. Chabris’ wields a “No comment” with deftness and aplomb, however…

One wonders whether the best response to criticism of heavy-handed bullying, intimidation and apparent disregard for the success of franchisees is, in fact, heavy-handed bullying, intimidation and apparent disregard for the success of franchisees.

If you wish to silence unhappy franchisees, perhaps you should give the Iron Fist approach a rest and try something new.

Something crazy.

Something unexpected.

Something like, maybe, acknowledging that 7-Eleven franchisees built your company and pay your paychecks.

Your franchisees have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars and many have invested decades of their lives to make 7-Eleven the largest convenience store chain in the world.

Perhaps you could at least pretend that you respect their investments, that you regard them as adults, and that you are willing to listen to and consider their grievances without threatening to take away their livelihoods and family businesses?

If you’d like to silence franchisees, try that.

They’ll never see it coming and will be struck, at least temporarily, speechless.

Related reading:

NPR Reports on Franchising & Franchise Problems

UnhappyFranchisee.com featured on NPR’s Franchising: Behind the Burgers

7-ELEVEN Franchise Owners are Glorified Managers, Franchisee Tells NPR

7-ELEVEN on UnhappyFranchisee.Com [UPDATED]

7-ELEVEN Stole Our Store – Dev Patel’s Story

WHAT DO YOU THINK? ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE 7-ELEVEN FRANCHISE & 7-ELEVEN INC.?

PLEASE SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.

Contact UnhappyFranchisee.com

TAGS: 7-Eleven, 7-Eleven franchise, 7-Eleven protest, 7-Eleven lawsuit, 7-Eleven franchisee, 7-11 franchise, 7-11 Chicago, 7-Eleven NPR, 7-eleven franchise complaints, Hashim Syed, 7-Eleven WBEZ, Seven & I Holdings Co., Bill Engen, Ena Williams

Are THE UPS STORE Franchise Owners Cheating UPS Customers? Franchisee Lawsuit Says Yes.

April 23, 2014

The UPS Store franchise owners in Manhattan claim they were targeted, terminated and ultimately sued because they blew the whistle on unethical and fraudulent practices of other The UPS Store franchisees.

(UnhappyFranchisee.Com) The UPS Store franchisees Robert Hagan, Thomas Hagan and their related entities, represented by the law firm of Stephen J. Savva, P.C. , have filed a countersuit against The UPS Store, Inc., United Parcel Service, Inc. and United Parcel Service of America, Inc. alleging that they were retaliated against by complaining that other The UPS Store franchisees:

  • Lie about the UPS Ground delivery guarantee
  • Misleading customers about guaranteed delivery dates
  • Upselling higher-price shipping options that offer no additional benefits to customers
  • Concealing the existence of cheaper cost shipping services when requested by customers
  • Add inches to the dimensions of boxes
  • Adding weight to boxes
  • Charge customers more than the maximum allowable UPS retail rate
  • Charging customers for “accessorial” charges they did not request.

Read the Answer with Counterclaims and Third Party Complaint here:  The UPS Store Franchise Lawsuit Counterclaims

Read the press release issued by the law firm of Stephen J. Savva, P.C. below:

Law Firm Files Counterclaims Against UPS and The UPS Store, Inc. on Behalf of 11-Store Franchise Owner; Allegations Include “Massive Fraud Perpetrated Upon the Public”

On April 16, 2014, the law firm of Stephen J. Savva, P.C. filed papers in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York alleging that UPS and its affiliates presided over a fraud

perpetrated upon the public that generated millions of dollars in additional revenues for UPS, royalties for The UPS Store, Inc. and incentives for those franchisees who willfully

participated.   UPS, Inc. et al. v. Hagan, et al. (U.S. District Court, SDNY)(14-cv-1210-WHP).
New York, NY (PRWEB) April 21, 2014 — According to recently filed court documents, the two owners of a 20% market share of “The UPS Store” franchise locations in Manhattan have responded to a lawsuit filed by

The UPS Store, Inc. (“TUPSS”), United Parcel Service, Inc. and United Parcel Service of America, Inc. (collectively “UPS”) with counterclaims and a third-party complaint seeking more than $50 Million in

damages, plus punitive damages, costs, attorneys’ fees and other relief. The papers were filed on April 16, 2014 in New York Federal Court in lower Manhattan in the action entitled, The UPS Store, Inc., et al. v. Robert Hagan, et al. (S.D.N.Y., 12-cv-1200-WHP).
The federal civil action was initially commenced by UPS on February 25, 2014. According to the complaint on file, UPS seeks money damages and other relief against Robert Hagan, Thomas Hagan and each of their jointly owned corporate entities. The Hagans’ responded last week by filing court documents denying all claims and asserting counterclaims against UPS and TUPSS for breach of contract, fraud, retaliation, tortious interference, unfair trade practices and multiple violations of consumer protection laws in New York and California. The court documents also include detailed allegations of alleged unethical business practices observed at other “The UPS Store” locations in Manhattan and California between October 2013 and January 2014.
According to the court-filed counterclaims, at the heart of the Hagans’ counterclaims is an alleged November 12, 2013 meeting at TUPSS’s corporate boardroom in San Diego.

Court records state that the Hagans allege they notified senior TUPSS executives about questionable business practices they discovered while trying to improve their own business operations. According to the pleadings, the business practices allegedly reported by the Hagans involved franchisees “lying about the UPS Ground delivery guarantee”; “misleading customers about guaranteed delivery dates”; “upselling higher-price shipping options that offer no additional benefits to customers”; “concealing the existence of cheaper cost shipping services when requested by customers”; “adding inches to the dimensions of boxes”; “adding weight to boxes”; “overcharging customers more than the maximum allowable UPS retail rate”; and “charging customers for accessorial charges they did not request.”
According to the Hagans’ lawsuit, they claim that in the weeks and months following the San Diego meeting, no action was taken by TUPSS or UPS to investigate and stop the questionable practices and instead, the

Hagans became the target of retaliation and selective enforcement, which they believe ultimately destroyed their business. According to the Court documents, on February 5, 2014, UPS terminated the Hagans’ franchise agreements and directed them to cease operations at each of their eleven locations.
According to the Hagans’ attorneys Mark L. McKew and Stephen J. Savva, “good faith attempts to avoid litigation were exhausted with UPS’s counsel prior to filing the counterclaims and third-party action.” The

attorneys further state that “because this is a matter of public concern with the potential to impact a large number of consumers, a press conference will be scheduled shorty to share additional details about the evidence collected by investigators.” Consumers are encouraged to confirm pricing and delivery guarantees online, keep detailed records of all shipping transactions and promptly report cases of potential consumer fraud to the appropriate agencies.

For further information please contact Mark L. McKew, Esq. or Stephen J. Savva, Esq.

Also read:

THE UPS STORE Franchise Complaints

THE UPS STORE: Overview

THE UPS STORE Franchise Warning: It’s a Scam Claims Franchisee

Are THE UPS STORE / MAIL BOXES ETC. Franchise Owners Happy?

THE UPS STORE: How Much Do UPS Store Franchise Owners Make?

THE UPS STORE Franchise Owners Lose MBE Lawsuit

UPS STORE, MAIL BOXES ETC. Franchisees File Class Action Suit

 

ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE UPS STORE FRANCHISE AND UPS STORE FRANCHISE OWNERS? ARE THEY CHEATING CUSTOMERS?  SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.

Contact UnhappyFranchisee.com

TAGS: The UPS Store, The UPS Store franchise, UPS franchise, UPS cheating, UPS rip-off, The UPS Store lawsuit, The UPS Store franchise lawsuit, The UPS Store complaints, The UPS Store problems, The UPS Store fraud, The UPS Store cheats, The UPS Store rip-off, The UPS Store scam, The UPS Store sucks, The UPS Store franchise complaints, Mark McKew, Stephen Savva, Robert Hagan, Thomas Hagan, UPS scandal

DICKEY’S BARBECUE PIT Makes an Unhappy Franchisee Happy

April 22, 2014

UnhappyFranchisee.Com believes in giving credit where credit is due, and Dickey’s Barbecue Pit deserves credit for stepping up to the “plate” and getting the Johnson City, TN franchise open.

We’re pleased to report that Dickey’s Barbecue Pit franchise owner James Neighbors is tired, but happy.

After UnhappyFranchisee.Com posted James Neighbors’ complaints about lack of corporate assistance in getting his Johnson City, TN Dickey’s Barbecue Pit franchise open (read  DICKEY’S BBQ Is Dickey’s Overselling its Franchise Opportunity?), we emailed top management at Dickey’s about his frustrations.

We’ve learned that Dickey’s management contacted James Neighbors, listened to his concerns and frustrations, and vowed to work with him to get his Dickey’s Barbecue Pit restaurant open.

As financing the new venture was a major concern, Dickey’s helped Neighbors negotiate more favorable payment terms with his contractor, Venator .

UnhappyFranchisee.Com Helps Franchisee Get Franchise Assistance

According to the Johnson City, TN Dickey’s Facebook page, James Neighbors’ store opened Thursday April 10, 2014 at 11:00 am.

Although there were some customer complaints regarding long lines, long wait times and some mistakes by the rookie staff, Neighbors characterizes the launch of his Dickey’s Barbecue Pit as a success.

The previously unhappy franchisee says that Dickeys is working with him to provide the support he needs.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit franchise owner James Neighbors writes:

Dear Sean,

I want to update you on my issues with Dickey’s and the Franchise itself.

I have had a few conversations with representatives from Dickey’s and they are working with me to resolve all of my issues that I have previously complained about.

When I made the post I reacted out of anger, fear and lack of professionalism on my part.  We have came to a mutual agreement and understanding and are working out the issues we have between us.

Our restaurant is open and we are doing Great!  Dickey’s has shown interest in us and has made genuine attempts to help us through our troubled times and make up for any misunderstanding or communication issues.

I would like to remove my post or have this letter added to the post and show that it is resolved.

Our restaurant is serving "The Best" barbecue in Johnson City, TN and our numbers prove it.  Our customers are happy and we are on our way to becoming very successful.

Dickey’s has shown support for us and is encouraging us in every way with training, advice and recommendations to help us reach our full potential.

I appreciate their response and hope we have a long lasting and successful relationship.

Sincerely,

James L. Neighbors

April 18, 2014

UnhappyFranchisee.Com does not remove comments, complaints or posts, but we have updated the prior post to reflect that the issue has been resolved with Dickey’s. 

Furthermore, we plan to keep in touch with Mr. Neighbors to chronicle the growth of his Dickey’s Barbecue Pit franchise in Johnson City, Tennessee.

Also read:

DICKEY’S BBQ Is Dickey’s Overselling its Franchise Opportunity?

DICKEY’S BARBECUE PIT Franchise Complaints

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TAGS: Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit franchise, Dickey’s franchise, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit franchise complaints, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit failures, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit closed, Dickey’s complaints, Jerrel Denton, Dickey’s Johnson City TN, James Neighbors

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