September 12, 2012
HUMAN Healthy Vending CEO and “Chief Humanist” Sean Kelly took us up on our offer to provide a rebuttal to our post questioning the accuracy and honesty of the HUMAN Healthy Vending Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD).
HUMAN’s Chief Humanist responded here: HUMAN HEALTHY VENDING: CEO Kelly Responds to UnhappyFranchisee.Com
Normally, we would simply post Mr. Kelly’s rebuttal without a response.
However, there are some factual errors in Mr. Kelly’s response letter to UnhappyFranchisee.Com that bear correction.
More importantly, in defending HUMAN VP Bill Wotochek, Chief Humanist Kelly fails to address our main point, which is that franchise companies don’t get to pick and choose which of the required information to provide in their disclosure documents, and which to leave out.
So, Kelly defends Bill Wotochek, but fails to defend HUMAN Healthy Vending’s apparent efforts to hide Wotochek’s past from prospective franchisees.
Bill Wotochek “has our full confidence and we fully support him.” – CEO Kelly
HUMAN CEO Kelly wrote: “We have recently become aware of a posting on “UnhappyFranchisee.Com” which refers to our company, HUMAN Healthy Vending (“HUMAN”), but is primarily about Revive Franchising, LLC (“Revive”), Sito Marketing, LLC (“Sito”) and Dalbey Educational Institute, LLLP (“Dalbey”).
Any claim or insinuation that HUMAN has any relationship whatsoever to any of these companies is ABSOLUTELY FALSE.”
UnhappyFranchisee.Com writes: We did not make any claim or insinuation that HUMAN has any relationship with those companies.
The claim that we are making is that it appears that HUMAN Healthy Vending has (either inadvertently or vertantly) left out key, required information regarding HUMAN Senior Vice President Bill Wotochek’s professional history.
Item 2 of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA”) guidelines for Franchise Disclosure Documents (FDDs) requires a franchisor to “disclose by name and position directors . . . and any other individual who will have management responsibility relating to the sale or operation of franchises offered by [the FDD].” For each of these individuals, Item 2 of the NASAA guidelines also requires the franchisor to disclose “his or her principal positions and employers during the past five years, including each position’s starting date, ending date, and location.”
As we pointed out in our earlier post (HUMAN Healthy Vending: the Next Revive Energy Mints Scam?), the HUMAN Franchise Disclosure Document fails to list that “From 2007 to 2008, Mr. Wotochek worked at the Dalbey Educational Institute, LLLP, as Senior Director of Business Development… In January, 2009, Mr. Wotochek was promoted to Vice President of Expansion for Sito Marketing, LLC. In October 2010, Mr. Wotochek was promoted to President of Revive Franchising, LLC.” (Source: Revive Franchising, LLC FDD, 2011)
HUMAN CEO Kelly wrote: “It is true that Bill Wotochek currently works for HUMAN. It is also true that Bill has worked for a number of companies in the past with great success.”
UnhappyFranchisee.Com writes: Mr. Kelly, feel free to tout Bill Wotochek’s past successes in the HUMAN marketing brochure. However, the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) is not a marketing piece. It’s a required legal disclosure document, and you are required to honestly disclose the good, the bad and the ugly. You aren’t allowed to leave out things that might make closing a sale more difficult.
HUMAN CEO Kelly wrote: “One of the companies he worked for was Sito which became Revive.”
UnhappyFranchisee.Com writes: Wrong. Sito did not “become” Revive. There are three separate corporate entities: Rylo Products, LLC (which supposedly “manufactured” the mints), Sito Marketing, LLC (which was the entity that sold Revive as a “business opportunity”) and Revive Franchising, LLC ( formed March 26, 2009 to sell Revive Energy Mints franchises).
Sito Marketing, LLC still exists, as evidenced by their agreement to a recent permanent injunction (REVIVE ENERGY MINTS Vending Franchise Hit With Permanent Injunction)
HUMAN CEO Kelly wrote: “Prior to this he briefly worked at Dalbey. His work at those companies was limited to sales.”
UnhappyFranchisee.Com writes: The Revive FDD states “From 2007 to 2008, Mr. Wotochek worked at the Dalbey Educational Institute, LLLP, as Senior Director of Business Development…” According to the Federal Trade Commission and the Colorado Attorney General, Dalbey’s business promoting an infomercial scam called “Winning in the Cash Flow Business” during the time Mr. Wotochek Senior Director of Business Development.
It’s not much comfort if Mr. Wotochek’s “work” was “limited to sales,” as these controversies all involved sales practices.
HUMAN CEO Kelly wrote: “As a HUMAN team member, Bill has our full confidence and we fully support him.”
UnhappyFranchisee.Com writes: Wonderful. Please fully support your prospective franchisee’s right to receive full disclosure as mandated by the FTC Franchise Rule as well.
HUMAN CEO Kelly wrote: “Out of an excess of caution, we are reviewing the HUMAN FDD to ensure that we are in full compliance with our registration requirements, which I also have full confidence in.”
UnhappyFranchisee.Com writes: Seriously? You characterize compliance with state and federally mandated requirements as being “exceedingly cautious”?
“I applaud Bill” – HUMAN CEO on former Revive Franchising President Bill Wotochek
HUMAN CEO Kelly wrote: “I, and all decent people, feel great sympathy for those harmed by the deplorable judgment and business decisions made exclusively by the owners of Sito/Revive AFTER Bill resigned from the organization.
I applaud Bill for having the foresight to leave Sito/Revive when the company’s new management and ownership began pursuing a path with which he did not agree (Chris Robertson and Mike Kelty became the new owners of Revive in early 2011).”
UnhappyFranchisee.Com writes: When did Mr. Wotochek resign as President of Revive Franchising, LLC? July, 2011? If he has convinced you that all the objectionable and questionable practices started after July, 2011 then Bill Wotochek IS a great salesman.
[Pictured, left, Bill Wotochek, Senior Vice President, HUMAN Healthy Vending]
If Bill Wotochek would like to explain his reasons for resigning as President, if he would like to share what business direction he didn’t agree with or, in fact, ANYTHING in regard to what happened, we’d love to post it and Revive Energy Mints distributors and franchisees would love to hear it.
Most of them tell us that they never heard a WORD from Bill Wotochek after the checks they gave to his company cleared. Even after he took over as President, they never heard a word.
All they know is that the company abandoned them without the courtesy of an email, without the support they paid for, without a way to reorder product. And now Revive Franchising, LLC and Sito Marketing LLC got hit with a permanent injunction, everything Bill Wotochek sold the Revive franchisees is worthless.
HUMAN CEO Kelly wrote: “I would strongly encourage all of the readers out there to learn more about HUMAN and the noble mission we are so passionately dedicated to, and invite all to reach out to us directly with any questions or concerns regarding any point raised in this posting.”
We would strongly encourage HUMAN CEO Sean Kelly to demonstrate that his noble mission includes honesty and integrity by openly admitting that he made a mistake in not including a full and honest disclosure in the HUMAN FDD.
We would suggest that Chief Humanist Kelly reach out to anyone who signed the faulty Franchise Disclosure Document, and offer them rescission of the franchise agreement and return of any and all fees and expenses they paid… if they elect to accept rescission.
And we suggest that Human Healthy Vending immediately notify each of the states where they have registered their franchise opportunity and file an amended registration with a Franchise Disclosure Document that includes the full and accurate biographical text for Mr. Wotochek included above.
And we humbly suggest that they copy us on their submission to these state agencies so we know that we won’t have to squeal on them.
Whether he was to blame or not, the ultimate outcome of Bill Wotochek’s aggressive sales efforts seems to be dozens, if not hundreds, of lost investments, broken dreams and shattered lives. Whether Chief Humanist Kelly thinks that prospective franchisees deserve to know that or not, the Federal Trade Commission says they do.
ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH HUMAN HEALTHY VENDING, BILL WOTOCHEK, OR REVIVE ENERGY MINTS? PLEASE SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.
September 11, 2012
HUMAN Healthy Vending CEO Sean Kelly Responds to UnhappyFranchisee.Com.
Readers of UnhappyFranchisee.Com know that we have written extensively about the hard-sell tactics and subsequent abandonment of their franchisees and distributors of Sito Marketing, LLC and Revive Franchising, LLC and Revive Energy Mints.
Recently, we learned that Bill Wotochek, former Vice President of Expansion for Sito Marketing, LLC and former President of Revive Franchising, LLC is now Senior Vice President for HUMAN Healthy Vending.
We were shocked when we read the HUMAN Healthy Vending Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) and saw that Wotochek’s bio did not include his position as VP at Sito Marketing, LLC, did not disclose that he was President at Revive Franchising, LLC or that he had previously worked for a company the FTC exposed as an infomercial scam.
This revelation prompted two UnhappyFranchisee.com posts:
We invited HUMAN Healthy Vending CEO & “Chief Humanist” Sean Kelly to provide a clarification, rebuttal or explanation.
Here is Mr. Kelly’s response.
September 10, 2012
To Whom It May Concern:
We have recently become aware of a posting on “UnhappyFranchisee.Com” which refers to our company, HUMAN Healthy Vending (“HUMAN”), but is primarily about Revive Franchising, LLC (“Revive”), Sito Marketing, LLC (“Sito”) and Dalbey Educational Institute, LLLP (“Dalbey”).
Any claim or insinuation that HUMAN has any relationship whatsoever to any of these companies is ABSOLUTELY FALSE. I have set forth below the true facts so that people can honestly weigh the charges made in the post against the actual facts and draw their own conclusions.
[Pictured, left, HUMAN CEO & "Chief Humanist" Sean Kelly. Photo: HUMAN Healthy Vending]
It is true that Bill Wotochek currently works for HUMAN. It is also true that Bill has worked for a number of companies in the past with great success. One of the companies he worked for was Sito which became Revive. Prior to this he briefly worked at Dalbey. His work at those companies was limited to sales. As a HUMAN team member, Bill has our full confidence and we fully support him.
Out of an excess of caution, we are reviewing the HUMAN FDD to ensure that we are in full compliance with our registration requirements, which I also have full confidence in.
I, and all decent people, feel great sympathy for those harmed by the deplorable judgment and business decisions made exclusively by the owners of Sito/Revive AFTER Bill resigned from the organization. I applaud Bill for having the foresight to leave Sito/Revive when the company’s new management and ownership began pursuing a path with which he did not agree (Chris Robertson and Mike Kelty became the new owners of Revive in early 2011).
I would strongly encourage all of the readers out there to learn more about HUMAN and the noble mission we are so passionately dedicated to, and invite all to reach out to us directly with any questions or concerns regarding any point raised in this posting.
Very truly yours,
CEO and Chief Humanist
HUMAN Healthy Vending
ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE REVIVE ENERGY MINTS, SITO MARKETING, BILL WOTOCHEK OR HUMAN HEALTHY VENDING?
PLEASE SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.
September 7, 2012
(UnhappyFranchisee.Com) Yes, Revive Franchising, LLC Sito Marketing, LLC and the rest of the Revive Energy Mints gang have been sued by The FRS Company for infringing on the FRS trademark for HEALTHY ENERGY.
The lawsuit has resulted in a permanent injunction requiring anyone using the Revive Energy Mints to cease using the words “healthy energy” on their vending machines, product packaging, marketing materials, business cards, websites… or anywhere else… effective August 30, 2012.
To our knowledge, neither Revive Franchising, LLC, Sito Marketing, LLC, Christopher Robertson, Michael Kelty, Bill Wotochek (now with Human Healthy Vending) nor their attorneys have even made the effort to even notify the distributors and franchisees who have been unable to communicate with the company since last year.
What’s more, Revive Energy Mints franchisees and distributors can no longer use, display or sell anything that has the words “Healthy Energy” on it. That means just about everything.
Revive Franchising, LLC Sito Marketing, LLC Sued for Trademark Infringement
Here’s an excerpt from the Final Consent Judgment and Permanent Injunction document.
You can read the full lawsuit complaint and Injunction by clicking the links at the bottom of this post.
Case No. 3:12-cv-02420-RS
Plaintiff THE FRS COMPANY (“Plaintiff”) filed the Complaint in this action charging REVIVE FRANCHISING, LLC; RYLO PRODUCTS, LLC; SITO MARKETING, LLC d/b/a Revive Energy Mints; CHRISTOPHER ROBERTSON; and MICHAEL KELTY; (collectively referred to as “Defendants”) with federal trademark infringement in violation of section 32(1) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1114; false designation of origin and unfair competition in violation of section 43(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125; trademark infringement under the common law of the state of California; and unfair competition under California statutory law.
The parties have agreed to a settlement of the matters at issue before them and to the entry of this Consent Judgment and Permanent Injunction, by which it is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECREED that:
1. This Court has jurisdiction over the parties and over the causes of action asserted in this action. Venue is proper in this judicial district.
2. Defendants do not contest Plaintiff’s claims that Plaintiff has continuously and extensively used the mark HEALTHY ENERGY in interstate commerce in connection with its goods since at least as early as January 2007, and has obtained extensive common law trademark rights in such mark (hereinafter the “Plaintiff’s HEALTHY ENERGY Mark”).
3. Defendants do not contest Plaintiff’s claims that, based on this widespread use, Plaintiff has established substantial goodwill in Plaintiff’s HEALTHY ENERGY Mark, and Plaintiff’s HEALTHY ENERGY Mark has acquired and continues to have secondary meaning.
4. Defendants do not contest Plaintiff’s claims that Plaintiff has valid and enforceable rights in Plaintiff’s HEALTHY ENERGY Mark.
5. Defendants do not contest that Plaintiff’s U.S. Trademark Registration No. 3,544,234 for its mark HEALTHY ENERGY is valid and enforceable.
6. Defendants have sold nutritional products using the name or mark HEALTHY ENERGY MINTS.
* * * * *
Effective as of August 30, 2012, the following who receive actual notice of this Judgment and Permanent Injunction by personal service or otherwise are hereby enjoined: Defendants, its officers, agents, servants, employees, franchisees, distributors, and attorneys, and all other persons in active concert or participation with them.
This injunction prohibits the following acts at any and all present and future locations owned, operated, affiliated, or controlled by Defendants, its officers, agents, servants, employees, franchisees, distributors, and attorneys, and all other persons in active concert or participation with them:
a. Using, copying, simulating, or in any other way infringing Plaintiff’s HEALTHY ENERGY Mark or any confusingly similar variations thereof, including but not limited to, “HEALTHY ENERGY” or “HEALTHY ENERGY MINTS,” or any other confusingly similar marks which include variations of the words “healthy” and “energy” next to each other, alone or in combination with other words or letters, regardless of any unique capitalization, in connection with any food products, candy, mints, beverages, supplements, nutritional products, diet products or services, health-related products or services, or exercise-related products or services, or from using, copying, simulating, or in any other way infringing Plaintiff’s HEALTHY ENERGY Mark (hereinafter collectively referred to as the “Prohibited Marks”);
b. Using the Prohibited Marks in connection with any food products, candy, mints, beverages, supplements, nutritional products, diet products or services, healthrelated products or services, or exercise-related products or services, in any manner whatsoever, including, but not limited to, the following: on any packaging, boxes, vending machines, websites, franchise materials, purchase orders, flyers, company brochures, business cards, advertising, or any other business identifiers, such as building signs, directional signs, monument signs, computer templates, banners, and advertising media, or as part or all of any business or corporate name; and
c. Passing off, or actively and knowingly assisting any third party in passing off, its products as being affiliated or associated with, or endorsed or sponsored by, Plaintiff.
Read the lawsuit here: Revive Franchising LLC Trademark Infrigement Complaint
Read the injunction order here: Revive Franchising LLC Permanent Injunction
ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE REVIVE ENERGY MINTS, SITO MARKETING, CHRIS ROBERTSON, MIKE KELTY, OR BILL WOTOCHEK? SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.
September 4, 2012
HUMAN Healthy Vending: Letter to Sean Kelly, CEO, Chief Humanist from UnhappyFranchisee.com regarding the honesty of the company’s franchise disclosure document.
HUMAN Healthy Vending touts itself as a proponent of “social entrepreneurship.”
A key component of social entrepreneurship is transparency and honesty.
A HUMAN Healthy Vending blog posts suggests: “Employ Transparency and Authenticity. It is extremely important to be open and honest with everything you do in your business… There shouldn’t be any guessing games. Be real with those you interact with; people appreciate honesty and realness…”
UnhappyFranchisee.com recently gave HUMAN Healthy Vending CEO Sean Kelly (not to be confused with franchise writer Sean Kelly) a chance to demonstrate HUMAN’s commitment to Transparency and Authenticity.
Here’s the letter we emailed to Mr. Kelly, and copied to his partner Andy Mackensen and Senior Vice President Bill Wotocheck, former President of Revive Franchising, LLC.
CEO, Chief Humanist
HUMAN Healthy Vending
As you know, the FTC Franchise Rule requires franchise sellers to provide to prospective purchasers with a Franchise Disclosure Document. In Item 2 of the FDD The franchisor must include employment history for the last five years for directors, principal officers, general partners, trustees and other executives who will have management responsibility in connection with the sale or operation of the franchise.
We at UnhappyFranchisee.com have reviewed the 2012 Human Healthy Vending FDD that you have submitted to state registration agencies along with your sworn, notarized statement that everything in the FDD was true and accurate.
We compared the professional history you included in your 2012 FDD for your VP of Sales Bill Wotochek with his professional history included in the Revive Franchising 2011 FDD and found some striking differences.
Revive Franchising FDD: “Mr. Wotochek worked as a consultant for Y-Development, LLC, from 2004-2005, in Denver, Colorado. In 2006, Mr. Wotochek worked in sales and business development for Key Financial, Inc. and General Steel corporation in Denver, Colorado. From 2007 to 2008, Mr. Wotochek worked at the Dalbey Educational Institute, LLLP, as Senior Director of Business Development. In September, 2008, Mr. Wotochek was hired to work in business development with Sito Marketing, LLC, our affiliate, in Denver. In January, 2009, Mr. Wotochek was promoted to Vice President of Expansion for Sito Marketing, LLC. In October 2010, Mr. Wotochek was promoted to President of Revive Franchising, LLC.”
Human Healthy Vending FDD: “Mr. Wotochek has been Our Vice President of Sales since We were formed in November 2011. He has served as Vice President of Sales of NWBL since July 2011. He was a sales representative for Sito Marketing, Inc. from January 2008 through July 2011. Mr. Wotochek was the owner of Wotochek, LLC from August 2006 through December 2007.”
It is our opinion that the background of Mr. Wotochek that appears in the HUMAN Healthy Vending is deliberately inaccurate and untruthful, and is written in such a way as to hide Mr. Wotochek’s true involvement with two controversial companies. The HUMAN FDD fails to disclose that Mr. Wotochek was in fact a VP at Sito Marketing LLC (not Inc.) and that he was President of Revive Franchising LLC – companies that abandoned their distributors and franchisees – left them unable to restock their machines or receive the “unlimited support” Mr. Wotochek’s sales team allegedly promised – and doomed them to failure without a word of explanation.
Additionally, HUMAN Healthy Vending has failed to disclose Mr. Wotochek’s involvement with the Dalbey company that was sued by the FTC and the Colorado AG for fraud.
Mr. Kelly, we have exercised our legal right to shared our opinions about these matters in two recent posts on our website, which you are invited to read and respond to here:
We also invite you to peruse our posts on Revive Energy Mints: http://www.unhappyfranchisee.com/revive-energy-mints-vending-scam/
We invite opposing opinions, as well as clarifications, corrections and rebuttals from individuals and companies we discuss on our site. You and your associates are invited to share via participation in the comments section of each post, by providing a statement or rebuttal for us to publish, or both. Feel free to invite your distributors, franchisees, employees and associates to share comments about your company in our comment section as well.
On a final note, I recently read a HUMAN blog post on social entrepreneurship that read: “Employ Transparency and Authenticity. It is extremely important to be open and honest with everything you do in your business… There shouldn’t be any guessing games. Be real with those you interact with; people appreciate honesty and realness…”
We at UnhappyFranchisee.com invite you to practice what you preach, and be authentic and transparent in your response to the serious concerns raised in our posts. We hope that you’ll agree with the Federal Trade Commission and state franchise regulators that prospective franchisees should be provided with honest and accurate disclosures so that they can make informed investment decisions that impact their families and finances.
Your prompt and constructive response is appreciated.
ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH HUMAN HEALTHY VENDING, BILL WOTOCHEK, OR REVIVE ENERGY MINTS? PLEASE SHARE AN OPINION OR INSIGHT BELOW.
September 3, 2012
REVIVE ENERGY MINTS Vending Scam Information: UnhappyFranchisee.com has created this page to provide an information source, discussion forum and call to action for Revive Energy Mints distributors, franchisees, associates, vendors, attorneys, government agencies and law enforcement. Please check back regularly as this page and its links are actively being updated.
If you are a victim of Revive Franchising LLC, Sito Marketing LLC, and/or RyLo Products LLC, or have information about these companies, please email us at UnhappyFranchisee[at]gmail.com. Help us allocate time to this project by making a donation and/or visiting the sponsored ads on the site.
Revive Energy Mints Posts
REVIVE ENERGY MINT Franchise Complaints June 5, 2011 – 2 months before the aggressive Revive Energy Mints franchisor disappeared, UnhappyFranchisee.com started reporting on complaints and warning signs.
REVIVE ENERGY MINTS Vending Franchise: What Happened? September 12, 2011 – In August, 2011, franchisees could no longer get in touch with Revive to reorder, receive the services or machines they paid for. Phones were disconnected. The corporation addresses were changed to a P.O. Box and no physical address.
REVIVE ENERGY MINTS: Where’s Paul Haverstick? September 28, 2011 – The main contact for many franchisees was Paul Haverstick, Business Coach & Marketing Manager of Revive Franchising LLC. Turns out, Paul had previously worked for a scam vending operation whose principals are now in federal prison and owe $10 Million in Restitution.
REVIVE ENERGY MINTS Telemarketing Script October 2, 2011 The alleged telemarketing script used to sell the Revive vending business opportunity offers a revealing inside look into the deceptive hard-sell process of the Revive boilerroom.
REVIVE ENERGY MINTS 15 Action Steps for Victims October 2, 2011 UnhappyFranchisee.com has compiled a list of 15 ways you can take action. We have have put together contact information where you can file complaints and an overview page where you can refer law enforcement and/or the media to get the full story.
Remember: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
If you have any information regarding these individuals or companies, email us in confidence at UnhappyFranchisee[at]gmail.com.
Please leave a comment below.
September 2, 2012
HUMAN Healthy Vending: the Next Revive Energy Mints Scam?
HUMAN Healthy Vending claims it’s both helping entrepreneurs start their own lucrative vending businesses and helping to fight American obesity.
However, if HUMAN Healthy Vending turns out like the Revive Energy Mints vending franchise, the only thing American consumers will be losing is their life savings, credit ratings, and peace of mind.
Through a sales program allegedly run by William Wotochek, hundreds of Revive Energy Mints vending opportunities were sold to individuals who invested $12,000 to $25,000 or more.
In or around July or August, 2011, Revive Energy Mints disconnected its phone lines, abandoned its offices and disappeared without a single word of explanation.
Revive franchisees were left with no way to reorder product, with garages and basements filled with worthless machines, and without the “lifetime support” promised by Chierotti, Russo, Wotochek and others.
Many investors, several of whom are physically disabled, were left penniless. Savings gone, one Revive franchisee battles Lou Gehrig’s disease with the anguish of possibly leaving his loved ones saddled with debt. Some declared bankruptcy. One couple had their truck repossessed from their driveway at night, while they slept.
The Revive Energy Mints victims never received a single word of explanation or apology from Bill Wotochek or anyone of the others who persuaded them to put their trust in Revive franchising.
HUMAN Healthy Vending: Red Flags are Flying
The similarities between HUMAN Healthy Vending and Revive Energy Mints are frightening:
Both vending franchises were founded by two clean-cut 20-somethings with polished stories and inspired business “visions.”
HUMAN Healthy Vending was founded by Sean Kelly (not to be confused with the franchise writer Sean Kelly) and Andy Mackensen.
Revive Energy Mints was founded by Logan Chierotti & Ryan Russo.
Both vending opportunities started as business opportunities and were converted to franchise opportunities.
Both vending opportunities have or had slick, colorful brands and professed to be combining the benefits of vending with innovative, healthier options.
And, perhaps most strikingly, both opportunities had/have the same hard-sell artist closing their franchise deals: Bill Wotochek.
William Wotochek: President of Revive Franchising, LLC
While the other similarities might be superficial, the fact that franchisee and distributor recruitment efforts for both companies are spearheaded by Bill Wotochek is anything but.
In our interviews with Revive Energy Mints victims, Bill Wotochek’s name came up repeatedly as the man instrumental in convincing them to invest in the doomed vending scheme.
The 2011 Revive Energy Mints Franchise Disclosure Document lists William “Bill” Wotochek as having a leading role in both Sito Marketing and Revive Franchising:
President: William Wotochek
Mr. Wotochek worked as a consultant for Y-Development, LLC, from 2004-2005, in Denver, Colorado. In 2006, Mr. Wotochek worked in sales and business development for Key Financial, Inc. and General Steel corporation in Denver, Colorado. From 2007 to 2008, Mr. Wotochek worked at the Dalbey Educational Institute, LLLP, as Senior Director of Business Development. In September, 2008, Mr. Wotochek was hired to work in business development with Sito Marketing, LLC, our affiliate, in Denver. In January, 2009, Mr. Wotochek was promoted to Vice President of Expansion for Sito Marketing, LLC. In October 2010, Mr. Wotochek was promoted to President of Revive Franchising, LLC.
Bill Wotochek: Vice President of Sales, HUMAN Healthy Vending LLC
The 2012 HUMAN Healthy Vending Franchise Disclosure Document lists Bill Wotochek as Vice President of Sales since it was founded in November, 2011 and Vice President of Sales of its predecessor NWBL since July 2011, right around the time Sito Marketing and Revive Energy Mints Franchising LLC left its franchisees high and dry.
The current HUMAN Healthy Vending Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) reads:
Vice President of Sales: Bill Wotochek
Mr. Wotochek has been Our Vice President of Sales since We were formed in November 2011. He has served as Vice President of Sales of NWBL since July 2011. He was a sales representative for Sito Marketing, Inc. from January 2008 through July 2011. Mr. Wotochek was the owner of Wotochek, LLC from august 2006 through December 2007.
HUMAN Healthy Vending’s FDD Appears to Contain False and Misleading Statements
The HUMAN Healthy Vending Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) is a FTC mandated disclosure document that is registered with the State of California and State of Minnesota is required to be provided to each prospective HUMAN Healthy Vending franchise owner.
HUMAN Healthy Vending FDDs are sent to registration states with a sworn, signed and notarized statement from HUMAN CEO Sean Kelly that all statements and representations in the FDD are factual and truthful.
Here’s Human CEO Sean Kelly’s sworn statement from a 2012 franchise registration application:
However, the HUMAN Healthy Vending 2012 FDD appears to intentionally misrepresent the role Mr. Wotochek played in the Sito Marketing LLC and Revive Franchising.
The HUMAN Healthy Vending FDD downplays Mr. Wotochek’s role in the vending franchise disaster by stating only “He was a sales representative for Sito Marketing, Inc. from January 2008 through July 2011.”
Why does HUMAN Healthy Vending not disclose that Bill Wotochek was, in fact, Vice President of Expansion for Sito Marketing, LLC and that in October 2010, Mr. Wotochek was promoted to President of Revive Franchising, LLC?
What else isn’t HUMAN Healthy Vending telling the registration state franchise examiners and its prospective franchise owners?
ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH HUMAN HEALTHY VENDING, BILL WOTOCHEK, OR REVIVE ENERGY MINTS?
PLEASE SHARE AN OPINION OR INSIGHT BELOW.
October 31, 2011
Vending scams and fraudulent business opportunities like Revive Energy Mints vending opportunity can dash the entrepreneurial dreams of individuals of all ages.
Jerry, after a long career as a hotel manager, was hoping to retire when he invested $23,000 into the Revive Energy Mints franchise. (Read: REVIVE ENERGY MINTS Katrina Survivor Devastated by Vending Scam)
Liz, on leave recovering from surgery, was still employed but wanted to supplement her income when she invested her savings of nearly $16,000 (Read: REVIVE ENERGY MINTS Vending Fraud Victim Liz Speaks Out)
Kevin* is a young, ambitious business school graduate who dreamed of owning his own business. Now he’s unemployed, depressed and out $18,250.
[For more information on Revive, check out: REVIVE ENERGY MINTS Vending Scam Information]
Kevin’s Vending Scam Story
In his early 20’s, Kevin’s career was off to a promising start. Shortly after earning his degree in Marketing, Kevin landed a job as a sales rep with one of the nation’s best known companies. He excelled at the job, managing to save nearly $20,000 for his dream of starting and building his own business.
Like others Unhappy Franchisee interviewed, Kevin ran across an enticing ad on the franchise opportunity website FranchiseGator.com. The ad was for a vending opportunity for Revive Energy Mints. It promised continued access to a proprietary energy-boosting product that contained multiple, popular anti-oxidents. It promised branded retail displays and gumball-type vending machines for selling the Revive Energy Mints products. And it promised both initial training and lifetime support and coaching to help ensure the success of the business.
Kevin did his homework, searching extensively online for info on the company. There were no red flags. The company had a positive rating from the Better Business Bureau. It was a member of the International Franchise Association, and had been named distributor opportunity of the year by what looked like a legitimate trade magazine. All of the reviews and articles that showed up on Google were positive.
After multiple phone conversations with the very polished and effective Revive Energy Mints sales representatives, Kevin was hooked. In April, 2011, Kevin became a Revive Energy Mints franchise owner. He sent the company $18,250 for 25 vending machines and a supply of mints. He was so dedicated to making his new Revive Energy Mints business a success, he quit his job so he could focus on the new venture full-time.
Despite the fact that placing machines was nowhere near as easy as the company had said, Kevin got his business off to a decent start. He received his initial training and coaching calls from Paul Haverstick. He got three machines placed, and multiple non-vending retail displays secured. 5 months after sending his initial check, he could no longer reach anyone at the company. Suddenly, he had no way to replenish his vending machines or his retail displays, as the company was his only source of inventory.
He searched the Internet once again and this time found Unhappy Franchisee, and the stories of others who had lost their investments with Revive Energy Mints as well.
He joined up with other abandoned Revive Energy Mints franchisees as part of the Revive Victims Coalition to tell his story and seek justice and restitution (for more info on the RVC email UnhappyFranchisee[at]gmail.com)
Business Opportunity Fraud Takes a Personal Toll
Business opportunity fraud takes a personal, as well as a financial, toll on its victims.
One of Kevin’s motivations for quitting his job and starting his own business was to gain the flexibility to help care for and support his mother, who has severe health problems.
As a result of the trust Kevin put into Revive Energy Mints, he has less flexibility than ever. He now must devote his time to seeking employment that will start as soon as possible. He no longer has the $18,250 he had saved, just a garage full of machines he can’t place because he no longer has access to inventory.
Despite this major setback, Kevin hasn’t given up on the idea of owning his own business some day; he’ll just be more diligent on not rely on a vending or franchise company.
Kevin’s also refusing to go away quietly. The Revive Victims Coalition has documented their stories and complaints, which are being submitted to governmental and law enforcement agencies with the hope of bringing those responsible to justice. If you’ve been the victim of Revive Energy Mints or other business opportunity fraud, email UnhappyFranchisee[at]gmail.com for info on what you can do.
WERE YOU A VICTIM OF REVIVE ENERGY MINTS OR OTHER FRAUDULENT BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY? SHARE A COMMENT BELOW OR EMAIL US AT UNHAPPYFRANCHISEE[AT]GMAIL.COM.
October 29, 2011
Jerry* lost his home to the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history: Hurricane Katrina.
But the latest devastation Jerry and his family have suffered was entirely man-made: the Revive Energy Mints vending fraud.
Jerry searched for a franchise opportunity that would enable him to retire from the 12-14 hour days he was putting in as a hotel manager. Instead, he lost his $23,000 savings to a group of individuals who disappeared without providing the services they promised, or providing access to the products he needs to run business.
Jerry’s Vending Scam Story
Jerry feels blessed that his family escaped the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, even though they lost their family home in New Orleans.
Jerry redoubled his effort to rebuild his life and achieve retirement by working 12-15 hours in the hospitality industry and running an Internet business on the side. Like most of the other victims, Jerry ran across an ad on a franchise opportunity website for an exciting new vending opportunity: Revive Energy Mints.
As soon as Jerry responded to the Internet advertisement, he was drawn into the slick, aggressive and highly effective sales process used by the sales representatives of Revive Franchising LLC and Sito Marketing LLC. They used the hard-sell techniques and the polished, manipulative telemarketing sales script that had literally hooked hundreds of other victims.
Pretty soon, the slick salespeople of Revive Energy Mints had convinced Jerry to send them his $23,000 savings in exchange for 30 gumball-type vending machines, an initial supply of mints, lifetime support and coaching and access to their proprietary products as needed.
At first, the company seemed responsive. Says Jerry: “At first, I got many calls from them. I spoke with [Revive business coach] Paul Haverstick 2 or 3 times. Then I was told that Emma Burns would assist me with any questions I had and if she could not answer them she would have Paul Haverstick call me.” Soon after that, neither phone calls or emails were answered.
Jerry is stuck with 30 gumball machines and bags of energy mints. He has not received the training and coaching he contracted for. Even if he could place his machines, he’d have no way to restock them as the company is not responding to reorder requests.
However, Jerry is not willing to take this scam lying down. He is part of a group of Revive Energy Mints vending fraud victims that have formed the Revive Victim’s Coalition. They are speaking out, naming names and telling their stories to both UnhappyFranchisee.com and to law enforcement.
What would Jerry like to see happen? “I’m out of $23,000 and I would like to see all of those guy in prison and some type of restitution,” he says.
“I would’ve like to retire, but that’s out of the question now.”
WERE YOU A VICTIM OF REVIVE ENERGY MINTS OR OTHER FRAUDULENT BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY? SHARE A COMMENT BELOW OR EMAIL US AT UNHAPPYFRANCHISEE[AT]GMAIL.COM.
* Jerry is not his real name
October 29, 2011
Business opportunity fraud victims often go away quietly, allowing the perpetrators to freely move on to their next scam and future victims.
However, a group of Revive Energy Mints vending fraud victims have formed the Revive Victim’s Coalition. They are speaking out, naming names and telling their stories to both UnhappyFranchisee.com and to law enforcement.
(Read more about the Revive Energy Mints vending fraud at Revive Energy Mints Franchise Information Center. To join the Revive Victims Coalition, email us at UnhappyFranchisee[at]gmail.com)
Here is the story of Liz (not her real name), a software industry professional who invested her savings of nearly $16,000 with the Revive Energy Mints company that promised her ongoing support, coaching and access to proprietary mints to restock her machines. In August, 2011, the people who took Liz’ savings disappeared without a trace, leaving her without the services she paid for and no way to restock her vending machines.
Liz’s Vending Scam Story
For quite a while, Liz had dreamed of owning her own business. When Liz was off of work recovering from surgery, she started to search the Internet for different business opportunities. The franchise opportunity that caught her eye was a vending opportunity called Revive Energy Mints. Here’s her story, in her own words:
“I was searching the internet for business opportunities. I found Revive and I asked for some info…
“Well, after I sent a request for information, I got a phone call. I guess they were checking how interested I was. I talked with Gerry Porter and he said he was going to talk to his colleagues and get back to me. It took a couple of weeks to get another call. Then they asked me if I was still interested in getting samples and a business outline. I said yes to go ahead and send them. We also set up an appointment for a Q & A.”
A common technique of scam artists is what’s called the “negative sell,” where the salesperson skillfully manipulates the “mark” into thinking that there’s is a very exclusive offer with a rigorous application process. Skillful salespeople manipulate buyers into trying to selling themselves and almost begging the scammer to take their money. Says Liz:
“I was told to look everything over and make a list of questions to ask Mr. Wotocek when he called back. I then spent about an hour on the phone with him asking questions I thought pertinent. He asked for 3 character references. A man named Richard Gates called my friends to ask questions about me. Then I was told that he would call me back at a prearranged time about a day and a half later after he discussed me with his colleagues.”
Hard-sell salespeople skillfully create a “sense of urgency” to pressure the prospective buyer into making a decision to purchase. In this case, they built up the importance of the call with Mr. Wotocek, then gave Liz the ultimatum that if she didn’t buy now, she couldn’t reapply in the future. Liz recounts:
“He called me at the pre-arranged time and said they were still discussing it and he would call me back in a few minutes. He then called back and said ‘Congratulations we have decided to let you buy a franchise.’ I forgot to mentioned that during our Q & A he asked me some interview like questions as well about my character and such. As well I forgot that during this process they told me that I would only have one chance to buy a franchise. If I decided to not buy one this time I wouldn’t likely be invited to invest in the future. It was like now or never. I wish I had Never!!”
Liz sent Revive Energy Mints Franchising LLC $15,800 for 25 vending machines and an initial supply of mints. The vending machines were gumball machines worth less than $50. However, Liz paid approximately $600 per machine because she was to receive unlimited support, coaching for life, and ongoing access to proprietary mints. Says Liz:
“…at first it was good. The evening all the paperwork went through, Paul Haverstick called to introduce himself. We talked about my expectations and he sent me a business plan to fill out and email back to him. Then we discussed it and so on. I had a couple of other meetings with him to discuss vending machine placement. Then we had one meeting to discuss retail. After that I did not contact him for a couple of weeks. In the middle of August, I tried to call and book an appointment with him to discuss retail and I received no answer. No one ever called me back.
“My coaching call was scheduled, but the appointment was missed. I followed up with calls and emails but never got any calls in return.
“I’ve tried to reach Paul Haverstick and the company several times, but cannot reach anyone.”
In August, 2011, Revive Energy Mints abandoned their offices, changed their address to a P.O. box and disconnected their phones. Tt appears they took the investments of 400+ individuals and disappeared without providing the services contracted for or supplying the mints needed to operate the businesses.
According to Liz and other victims, the damage is both financial as well as psychological:
“The emotional effects have been worse than the financial ones. I am embarrassed and do not want to tell my family and friends. I am mentally kicking myself daily for having gotten involved with them. It is like I took $16,000.00 and threw it away.”
However, Liz and others are refusing to be victims. About joining the Revive Victims Coalition, she says:
“I am now feeling a bit better for taking some action. I just that I hope it is not too late to get them for something. ”
WERE YOU A VICTIM OF REVIVE ENERGY MINTS OR OTHER FRAUDULENT BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY? SHARE A COMMENT BELOW OR EMAIL US AT UNHAPPYFRANCHISEE[AT]GMAIL.COM.
October 17, 2011
Revive Energy Mints, packaged for vending & retail, for sale by owners at below-wholesale pricing. Read more