Chris Wyland, Grow Franchise Group, LLC, Sprout Healthy Vending LLC and Grow Healthy Incorporated are being sued by 1.800.Vending Inc. which also operates as HealthyYOU Vending.
(UnhappyFranchisee.Com) The suit was filed October 3, 2014 by attorney Richard D. Burbridge of Burbridge, Mitchell and Gross in The United States District Court for the District of Utah.
The lawsuit alleges that Chris Wyland posed as disgruntled customers of his competitor 1.800.VENDING and posted defamatory statements about the company and its principal, Jeff Marsh, on complaint sites such as PissedConsumer.Com.
You can read the full complaint by clicking on the link at the bottom of this post.
According to the lawsuit, Chris Wyland sells business opportunities that “weren’t properly registered in all states in which they do business. After their lack of registration became a competitive issue for Defendants, Wyland threatened to spread rumors critical of [1.800.VENDING] on the Internet.”
The suit alleges that defamatory statements regarding 1.800.VENDING and one of its owners, Jeff Marsh.
One such statement, posted on the complaint site PissedConsumer.Com, stated that 1.800.VENDING is run by “crooks and pedophiles” and that owner Jeff Marsh “has been indicted for lewd acts with children.”
Vending Wars: Chris Wyland Called Jeff Marsh a Pedophile?
The suit claims that after initiating a legal process, the comment was traced back to an IP address assigned to Dawna Wyland, Chris Wyland’s wife and an employee or agent of one or more of his companies.
The anonymous comment, allegedly posted by Chris Wyland, reads, in part:
[1.800.Vending] is a complete scam ran [sic] by crooks and pedophiles …
Their owner Jeff Marsh has been indicted for lewd acts with children and I am sure they are under investigation by the government for stealing money from people.
They took my money, sent me to some locating service company that promised good locations and a year later I still don’t have any and they won’t return my calls.
The suit alleges that Chris Wyland planted defamatory comments around the Internet, then encouraged his prospective healthy vending customers to seek out the online comments about Jeff Marsh, 1-800-Vending and HealthyYOU vending.
Wyland’s marketing materials allegedly state:
[Healthy YOU/1-800 Vending] is widely known for its heavy handed sales tactics and drastic discounts to get consumers to buy.
The machines are manufactured overseas …
Another quick search of the internet under the various rip off reports and complaint boards will find several negative postings regarding the equipment and services Healthy You/ 1800 Vending Operators have experienced.
Chris Wyland’s Honesty Has Been Questioned Before
UnhappyFranchisee.Com has encountered Chris Wyland before.
In 2011, when Chris Wyland was sales director of Fresh Healthy Vending, he assured the Administrator of UnhappyFranchisee.Com and prospective customers that Mark Trotter and Nick Yates were not connected to that company.
A prospective customer of Wyland’s provided what he claimed was an accidentally sent email from Chris Wyland that showed that he was making deceptive claims as to Yates’ and Trotters’ involvement.
Other 1.800.VENDING / HealthyYOU Vending Complaints May Be Valid
UnhappyFranchisee.Com has done a confidential audit of the comments left about 1.800.VENDING on our post 1-800-VENDING Complaints.
We flagged one comment that may have been posted by Chris Wyland posing as a disgruntled customer of HealthyYOU Vending.
However, an audit of more than 10 negative comments left regarding the company appear to be left by others from all over the country.
Commenters who left negative posts were posting from such states as Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, Virginia, Tennessee, Utah, California, Arizona and Texas.
So while the accusations that Chris Wyland seeded the Internet with some especially nasty and defamatory comments, that doesn’t mean that other complaints lack validity.
As with all franchise and business opportunities and especially with vending opportunities, conduct extensive, independent research and draw your own conclusions.
When in doubt, err on the side of caution. (In other words, grab your checkbook and run!)
ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH CHRIS WYLAND, GROW FRANCHISE GROUP, or SPROUT HEALTHY VENDING? WHAT ABOUT 1.800.VENDING, HealthyYOU VENDING OR JEFF MARSH? SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.
Tags: Chris Wyland, Grow Franchise Group, Sprout Healthy Vending, 1-800-VENDING, HealthyYOU Vending, Healthy you Vending, Jeff Marsh, Jeffrey Marsh, Chris Wyland Lawsuit, Online Defamation Lawsuit, Richard Burbridge, Burbridge Mitchell and Gross, Healthy Vending franchise, Healthy Vending machines