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CURVES: Curves Posts on Unhappy Franchisee

April 25, 2012

Unhappy Franchisee has been following Curves International and the issues facing Curves franchise owners since 2008.  Prior to that we published Curves news and hosted discussions on FranchisePick.com (now archived at EveryJoe.com).

NEWS FLASH: North Castle Partners annouces the acquisition of Jenny Craig.

Read the announcement to Curves franchisees.

Please share a farewell message with Gary Heavin, below, and let him know what impact he has had on your life, your finances, your credit, and the well being of your family.

CURVES: Say Goodbye to Gary Heavin!

Curves Franchise ComplaintsWe have also followed and written extensively on other franchised fitness concepts, including Contours Express, Butterfly Life, Cuts Fitness for Men, Diversified Health & Fitness, and more.  You may contact us at UnhappyFranchisee[at]gmail.com.

[updated March 5, 2011]

Most Commented Curves Posts

CURVES: Robert Lay’s Story March 10, 2009  (1300+ Comments)

CURVES: Negotiating the $10,000 Closing Fee October 12, 2009  (149 Comments)

CURVES FOR WOMEN: Business Broker Slams Curves Franchise and Franchisor November 15, 2008  (129 Comments)

CURVES DISCUSSION: Benefits of a Franchisee Lawsuit? August 18, 2008  (78 Comments)

Curves Founder on Secret Millionaire2013 Curves Posts

CURVES Monty Sharma’s WTF? Email to Curves Franchisees about Jenny Craig Acquisition

CURVES: North Castle Partners Press Release on Jenny Craig Acquisition

CURVES Owner North Castle Partners Acquires Jenny Craig

 

2012 Curves Posts

CURVES: The Rise & Painful Fall of the Curves Franchise Chain    June 19, 2012

CURVES Sold? Gary Heavin Out?  July 27, 2012

CURVES: Say Goodbye to Gary Heavin!  August 8, 2012

 CURVES Franchise: Curves Still Bullying Failed Franchise Owners  September 18, 2012

CURVES AUSTRALIA Franchise Complaints  February 22, 2012

Did CURVES PresidentMikeRaymond Get Pruned?  February 16, 2012

CURVES: Why Did the Curves Franchisee Association Fail? (Part 1)  February 2, 2012

 

2011 Curves Posts

Gary Heavin on ABC Secret Millionaire: What do CURVES Franchisees Think?  March 1, 2011

2010 Curves Posts

Gary Heavin on ABC Secret Millionaire: What do CURVES Franchisees Think?  March 1, 2011

Has CURVES Become the “Trailer Park of Gyms”?  November 30, 2010

CURVES Franchise Lawsuit Settlements  September 30, 2010

CURVES International 2010 Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD)  September 29, 2010

CURVES Franchise Owners React to Comments That They’re Being “Pruned” July 10, 2010 (33 Comments)

CURVES: 1000 Franchise Clubs Failed Last Year July 8, 2010

Failure Rates of the 10 Most Popular Franchises April 26, 2010

CURVES: 5 West Virginia Curves Close Abruptly February 22, 2010 (3 Comments)

CURVES: Should Failed Franchises be Resold? March 31, 2010 (33 Comments)

CURVES: Can Indie Clubs Thrive Where Curves Failed? January 19, 2010 (64 Comments)

CURVES Franchisee Regrets Not Sticking It to Others January 7, 2010 (39 Comments)

2009 Curves Posts

CURVES: Complaints of Unauthorized Membership Charges November 18, 2009  (7 Comments)

CURVES: “Another Curves nightmare. Please advise!” November 10, 2009 (7 Comments)

CURVES: Franchise Resale Complaints, Comments October 31, 2009  (1 Comments)

CURVES: Franchise Resale Buyer Alleges Fraud October 31, 2009  (1 Comments)

CURVES: In Oregon, Curves Franchises Die Alone October 18, 2009 (1 Comments)

CURVES FOR WOMEN: Advice on Buying a Franchise Resale February 24, 2009  (15 Comments)

2008 Curves Posts

Curves Franchisee Blames Economy for Closing December 21, 2008  (1 Comments)

CURVES FOR WOMEN: Nearly Half The Palm Beach Clubs Have Closed November 15, 2008  (17 Comments)

CURVES FOR WOMEN: Franchisee a Victim of Fraud? September 14, 2008   (22 Comments)

CURVES FOR WOMEN: Is McCord Brokers Required for Resales? August 13, 2008 (3 Comments)

CURVES FOR WOMEN: An Unhappy Franchisee Tale August 13, 2008 (6 Comments)

CURVES FOR WOMEN: UFOC dated March, 2008 June 23, 2008  (0 Comments)

Another Curves Shuts Down Abruptly June 14, 2008  (1 Comments)

Cape Girardeau Curves Franchise Closes June 10, 2008  (0 Comments)

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF UNHAPPY FRANCHISEE’S COVERAGE?  IS IT USEFUL?  FEEL FREE TO SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.

Comments

39 Responses to “CURVES: Curves Posts on Unhappy Franchisee”

  1. [...] Curves Posts on UnhappyFranchisee.Com (Directory of posts & discussions about Curves) [...]

  2. Kathy Lambert says:

    How about changing bank accts so Royalty/Ad fees can’t be taken by CI? I’m tired of investing my money for CI’s benefit. Treat your club(s) as your own and do what you need to do. If CI took their name off of our clubs we would all be better off.

  3. unhappy says:

    Kathy,

    You are so right in that the brand name Curves is worthless at this point in time. You can’t even give the clubs away in most cases. I know of several clubs that have changed the name to Kurves and just stayed in business and quit paying franchise and add fees. They are now in the black for the first time in years and actually growing membership.

  4. unhappy says:

    thank goodness for this site as it has helped many people become informed as to what is happening in the world of franchising…..

  5. unhappy says:

    If you are new to this site you need to check out the original posts on EveryJoe.com.
    Very interesting and informative for anyone thinking of buying a curves franchise!!!

  6. Marian says:

    Please forward a list of attorneys participating in the new Curves class action lawsuit. I’m definitely interested in pursuing this. You mentioned there were lawyers who are taking clients on a contingency basis. These would be the ones I’m interested in as I don’t have any money to pay a lawyer upfront .

  7. unhappy says:

    Marian,

    Please send an email to admin at unhappyfrachisee.com and request him to forward it to me and include your phone number and I will contact you asap about the attorneys.

  8. Bonnie says:

    How do clubs change their name to Kurves? Interesting. Kathy’s comment on 7/13/10..

  9. Geoff says:

    hello,
    I and my wife have managed the local curves for 3 years and assumed complete responsibility for its financial survival. (the prior owner would have closed if we had not done this, and curves international would not accept our purchase offer).

    the good news.. we are doing well and have steadily grown from our initial opening membership of 25 to around 210 in the last 3 years.

    for us, since curves will not have us because of my contracting business debt, being a franchise beyond the current contract term (which will be up in april) is simply not an option.

    my questions..

    has anybody reopened an independent ladies gym under a new name while continuing to use the curves equipment and curves smart?

    what names are people using for their new business?

    how does curves intl respond to such facilities?

    as additional background, we bought our current set of equipment from a failed club as well as the curves smart, so the equipment is ours. any insight on these questions would be appreciated. thanks

  10. Curves Owner 2 says:

    I don’t think this is possible, being that you are a CurvesSmart club and Mytrak has a contract with Curves. At least I thought so, but I could be wrong. You could get rid of CurvesSmart and then maybe use the macines, but not any of the other Curves materials. It really is a shame that you have been running the business, it is doing well, and now you cannot buy it.

    Ask the current owner to sign for another year, and maybe by this time you can pay down some more of your debt. Maybe you can pay he/she something each month to make it worth their while. Just an idea, but at least it would give you some more time to figure out a solution.

  11. HELP ! I am about to close my club due to health ,stress no money I have not had a pay check as of June,2010 and it was just small change. I tried to stick it out and the economy and Curves have failed me. I lost my partner to breast cancer and than Curves made me sign another contract for a longer length of time in order to return the club back into my name as it was in the first place for my partner joined me after I had purchased it. Oh God I am going through a Divorce,I am bankrupt, I am loosing my club I have no money ,no job,
    No husband. Only bills and waiting on a divorce. And many health problems my stress level has me on meds for the past few years I have a doctor telling me my back needs to be fused to stop the pain and dis problem I am wearing a brace. I also my right 3 toes have had surgery twice and I have still been loyal to the club CURVES in pain and in poorness and in stress and penniless with fear of what Curves claims they will do to me! Closing on Oct29th and will pay back my prepays and that will leave me flat BROKE!!!!!!!!

  12. Curves Owner 2 says:

    Thelma,
    I am speechless. I wish we had a solution to all our problems, but we don’t. So many lives have been destroyed, but we have to keep reminding ourselves that things could be so much worse. Many have said that closing their club was the best thing. They are moving on and healing, which is good. I am sorry you are dealing with so much at one time. Keep in touch. Remember, we care and you’re not alone.

  13. [...] Curves franchisees, many of whom were “stripped of all luxuries” long ago, have voiced their discontent in more than a thousand comments on UnhappyFranchisee.com (Read CURVES: Robert Lay’s Story and  CURVES: Curves Posts on Unhappy Franchisee). [...]

  14. [...] comments, ranging from sad to scathing, have been posted at CURVES: Robert Lay’s Story, on the CURVES: Curves Posts on Unhappy Franchisee and on other Curves franchise [...]

  15. aussie z says:

    Have just had my tax return done and recorded a loss of $19000 for the last financial year. Its great to be at Curves.

  16. aussie z says:

    Whats the deal with Curves wanting all the curves smart equipment back if you close your club. We all paid good money for that and some of us took out loans, and when we bought our franchises didn’t we pay for the 8 pieces of equipment, and then have to purchase the rest out of our own pocket, Over my dead body will they get it back for nothing, so they can sell it again to someone else. Is this even legal.

  17. aussie z says:

    Well its been over a month now since I closed the doors of my club. Had one email from CI telling me I owed x amount of money, I asked them to review that figure and have not heard anything back. Hopefully I wont. I have also heard that Gary has sold Curves can anyone tell me if this is true. Another 5 clubs in 3 state of australia closed or closing. They are dropping like flies over here. I still stick to my prediction there wont be any clubs left within a couple of years. (Well not in Australia anyway). Still would like to find out how the legal action against curves is going. How many people do you need for a class action?
    For anyone thinking of closing their club JUST DO IT do be intimidated by CI, there is a life after Curves and many of us are in the same boat we owe thousands of dollars but after all it is just money, (Cant believe I just said that) but I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders and can now get on with living.

  18. ADMIN says:

    It’s official!  Gary & Diane Heavin have sold Curves to North Castle Partners.

    Read his announcement message to Curves franchisees.

    Please share a farewell message with Gary, below, and let him know what impact he has had on your life, your finances, your credit, and the well being of your family.

    CURVES: Say Goodbye to Gary Heavin!

  19. R, Stafford says:

    After being forced into a new operating system so that Curves HQ can keep closer tabs on us or we wouldn’t get Wellness payments now being told if we don’t use scanner (ours is not compatible with this new program and having many issues with computer since they (Curves) updated we will have to pay the maximum royalty & ad fees & penalty. My contract is up in just a few months & it is not being renewed as I am not going to do the continuing credits/classes being mandated and so was told to put it up for sale. I have not denied them a penny they have coming. I have all the financials correct – I just use the old system for employee and member scan in and then transfer the info to the OS system. I believe I am being forced into closing and want to know what to do. Since this new ‘partnership’ has anyone heard how things are going for owners closing clubs early? I don’t want to but truly believe being forced there. I can’t afford another 3 or 4 hundred dollars in fees and penalties.

  20. Patti says:

    New resale owner since March 2012. Very angry and discouraged also. Same thing happening to me as the persons comments above..R. Stafford……..Tired of the threats, lies, and the NAZI attitude these people have. I don’t se me keeping this very long. I won’t make myself sick over it, i refuse to but i see how it can. I feel so bad for everybody on here and all of you are in my prayers. It is comforting to know that others are out there we can talk with that are or have gone thru the same thing. I would really like to know how to get info about the lawyers handling these class action lawsuits because im very interested in that. Something needs to be done. Too many good people being scammed!!

  21. Janet Palmer says:

    I have been struggling for quite sometime working too jobs and now I am at the end of my franchise agreement and I still dont feel like I can breathe. what to do try to go independent or just close. I guess I have felt burned ever since I purhased CurvesSmart and could not purchase CurvesSmart products until I had a an installation date which was in July but no one told me that come August they would no longer have a supply of products to help advertise the CurvesSmart system and by the end of the year everything would be about Zumba instead of our state of the art CurvesSmart that by the way cost me around 13000. dollars because I had all 14 machines. Really? I feel they should have had to disclose this when I made my purchase. CurvesSmart was suppose to help turn the clubs around and seperate us from the other clubs, but nstead it’s purchase sent our club down the tubes. what do we know about the class action suits and cant they help us?

  22. guest2 says:

    If you are switching to Zumba, what happens with the members that may be too old for Zumba or just not interested? Is the membership fee dictated to you or can you have your own membership ‘specials’?

  23. Patti says:

    Auzzie z. How do i get in contact with you?? You asked me too after i posted on October 30th. You said to do it via admin of this website?? Im very amateur when it comes to computer stuff. Could you send me the steps. Or you can contact me at my email address……[redacted]. Thank you so much. Looking forward to speaking with you.

  24. lorraine says:

    I feel if they showed you how to use and set up the curves smart and mytrak it would be easier. I have with my mother purchase curves from the previous owner who was going to file bankrupcy. Now I wish we had not purchase it. They are making all kinds of changes that we have already done, except painting and the windows. We can not do the windows on an rental building the land lord says NO! We do not have the money for the rest. So it will be interesting on what happens?

  25. Curves Franchisee says:

    I am a Curves owner – which makes me a local, independent business owner. I chose to open Curves clubs based upon my membership experience, my desire to bring a healthier environment to our community, provide jobs, and for personal goals and dreams.
    It’s NEVER easy to close your OWN business – you have invested in inventory, supplies, equipment, hardware, and so many other things needed to have your own store. But the greatest investment is your own time and resources which often well exceed 40 hours each week. Most businesses don’t make a profit for several years while they build a client base.
    I have also closed one Curves club in our rural town as we weren’t able to build enough clientele. Many of our members merged into our 2nd location in the same region.
    Honesty, I haven’t followed all the Curves International suggestions and haven’t been as aggressive about making my club absolutely the best it can be. I complain a lot, but am not surprised that complaining and bashing my brand hasn’t helped me to be more successful. Curves International is not responsible for my success. They don’t own my business, and they haven’t left me without training and support – when I USE them.
    Any business requires a LOT of research and planning prior to opening. I think many women have purchased a Curves club blind to what is needed and expected.
    There are many Curves that have NOT made it and join the ranks of many more small businesses that aren’t prepared to operate a succesful business during a difficult economy. There are many MORE Curves that have done well and continue to do so. We need to quit blaming someone ELSE when we fail. It’s still hard. I know.

  26. Hope says:

    I see several of you are asking about class action suit and attorney, I have posted a few times asking for the same info and still havent gotten any info….soooo Im with you guys in the same boat, please if anyone has a connection regarding getting together for a lawsuit please post the info or contact me through the admin. and email me!!!
    I recently contacted an attorney and sent my info to them, he is looking it over and will get back to me…if he says we have a case I can let you all know who he is. I wish I had known all the requirements, so I could have made an INFORMED decision….I WOULD NOT HAVE PURCHASED THIS! To the above owner, we dont own our own business, they own us, they tell us what to do and we pay them to tell us what to do!!!! At least if you have a job you can collect a paycheck!

  27. Penny says:

    @Curves Franchisee It is true that every individual is responsible for their own success. You may technically ‘own’ your business but in reality you are ‘owned’ by Curves. The franchisor basically imprisons owners. Franchisees are routinely punished for ‘failing’ to profit. Because a club owner who cannot make a decent profit from their hard work has two choices: close early and pay Curves for closing early (what is it now? $42,000?) OR keep on working for free or at a loss for the remainder of their ‘agreement’ with Curves.

    For most, the Curves business is a low profit business. The Curves brand is weak (as in it doesn’t attract a lot of customers). The majority of owners work a minimum of 40+ hours a week with little/no take home pay. And if they don’t like it – tough – they’re stuck. Sell it to some one else (pass the buck) or close before the end of the FA and pay Curves a ransom. “You can have your life back if you pay us a tidy sum.”

    Consider that the Curves model is failing more than succeeding. You can’t make the case that it’s only the fault of the individual. A few years ago Curves had over 7,000 USA Curves and they’re now down to a little over 2,800 franchises in the USA. That number continues to fall. It is not entirely the fault of the independent business owner. The brand is weak and still synonymous a workout place for ‘old, fat, out of shape women’.

    If anyone has the heart to help people lose weight there are cheaper ways for you to do that without becoming an indentured servant of the Curves franchise system. If you truly want to help ‘save women’s lives’ do some research about other avenues that won’t enslave you to Curves. Become a certified nutritionist and a Zumba instructor. Combine the two and you’ll have a nice little business that you can walk away from anytime you want to without paying a penatly. And BTW, all the other diet giants (Jenny, WW, Nutrisystem) are already advertising on TV. Has anyone seen a Curves commercial?

  28. Qb1 says:

    Basically nothing about the Curves franchise has changed from 2008 now 2012 and about to be 2013. I was so excited and enthusiastic when I bought my franchise to ownership Nov 2011, I had what I thought was enough funding to carry me through any shortage. Well unfortunately that is not the case and as a result of monthly shortages between revenue and expenses I am financially bankrupt both personally and business. My retirement was invested in paying cash for the business from anothe owner. Having said this I do believe Curves serves a great purpose regardless of age or size of women. But Curves Int’l has no assistance when an owners business starts bleeding red ink month after month. So I dont’ know what the answer is but I know I didn’t have it.

  29. Barbara says:

    I was the owner of 3 Curves franchises. Closed one June,2012. My 5 years were up. Closed #2, Nov 2012. Now they want $64,000 I only have 2 years, left on that contract. I originally opened 2005. Third Curves, I turned over to another Curves owner, Feb 2013. My husband was also a partner. He developed stage 4 lung cancer and passed away June 17/2012. We went thru our life savings, trying to do the right thing, by staying open. I now live off social security.and have a mortgage on my house. Curves claim to be Christian based. Gary Heavin, even is often seen on tv, bragging to be a Christian. Well, he certaining doesn’t act like one, when it comes to helping a Curves BROKE owner. I am financially and physcially broken.

  30. Sue says:

    I had to close my curves business down end of last year as not only had I not taken a wage for over a year but my health was suffering. I started having anxiety attacks and still have them to this day. Curves are now phoning me for the $60,000 they say I owe them but I say what about all the fees I paid them for advertising and never saw any.

  31. ADMIN says:

    Thanks Carol.

    I did three quick posts on North Castle’s acquisition of Jenny Craig.

    Very confusing.  They’re merging Curves and Jenny Craig AND they’re remaining separate?

    I hope franchisees will chime in.


    CURVES Monty Sharma’s WTF? Email to Curves Franchisees about Jenny Craig Acquisition

    CURVES: North Castle Partners Press Release on Jenny Craig Acquisition

    CURVES Owner North Castle Partners Acquires Jenny Craig

  32. Carol Joyce says:

    And I have also heard that Jillian Michaels is also a new spokesperson.

  33. Hanna s says:

    It’s insanity, rather than forcusing on doing one thing right, CI is trying to do it all at once at the expense of franchise owners.

    It will be interesting to see what CI wants us to purchase now.

    I’m so done, closing end of January

  34. Hanna s says:

    Curves complete didn’t work for them, the bars that no ones wants to buy, they asked us no forced us to removed weights and elliptical from the clubs because now they are going to ask us to buy and free weight kit…just wait.

    Has anyone attended this weeks meetings where CI is announcing all the the new initiatives that are going to make us all millionaires….NOT

  35. Hope says:

    I have heard we will have to buy tv monitors and have dvds running all day, and the diet plan will be linked into the curves smart system, dont know what that entails. The hole just gets deeper and deeper, and they demand more and more!

  36. Mzee Otivo says:

    Hi guys!

    I read an (old) article on ClubIndustry.com that quoted a former president of CI, Mike Raymond, stating that “We made it easy for them to decide to leave by announcing a policy that removed any penalties for closing.” (See http://clubindustry.com/blog/examining-state-curves)

    Does anyone know what the *new* policy for closing down franchises allows?

    Any formal changes in Franchise Agreements beyond 2011 that indicate this policy specifically?

    Thanks much!

  37. Hello, Mzee,

    I don’t have any specifics on the “new” policy for closing a Curves franchise, but my firm, Bridge Management Consulting, helps franchisees in your position.

    If you have closed your franchise (or, are thinking of it) and you’re worried about future fees & royalties, dealing with the CI hierarchy, we can help.

    We successfully helped many franchisees when dealing with corporate HQ and banks on all financial issues.

    You can learn more @http://www.bridgemgt.com/working-out-a-franchine-business/.

    Or, call me @401-390-3801 or visit our web site @ http://www.bridgemgt.com. We offer a free consultation to all franchisees.

    Nancy

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