BUTTERFLY LIFE: Franchisees Mourn the Loss of Cynthia Holt

A sad note from Butterfly Life franchise owner Sunshine:

It is with much sadness and a heavy heart that I say this.

An ex- BFL franchisee from Atlanta, Georgia, Cynthia Holt, who lost her club, was in debt beyond repay, whose home was in foreclosure- has ended her life.  All of the details are uncertain at this time.

As sad as this is, it says a lot about what destruction and despair many are facing. No one ever thought anything like this would happen, but it has. You will be missed Cindy.

All of our thoughts and prayers are with the Holt family and Cynthia’s friends.

Feel free to share your thoughts below.

19 thoughts on “BUTTERFLY LIFE: Franchisees Mourn the Loss of Cynthia Holt

  • August 26, 2008 at 12:08 am
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    I would like to add my condolences to Cynthia;s friends and loved ones.
    This type of tragic situation needs to be stopped.
    States Attorney Generals need to get on the ball and start investigating these franchisors who have in essence bilked millions of dollars out people who’s only thought was to grab a part of the American dream.
    This is a tragedy that is needless and seriously needs to be addressed by every state these franchises are sold in-someone needs to be held responsible for these tragedies as they continue to happen to hundred and hundreds of famlies.
    The government has lost countless MILLLIONS of dollars due to default from faluty concepts and con men.
    This madness needs to be brought to a screeching halt
    CB
    CB

  • August 26, 2008 at 12:50 am
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    Cynthia,
    Please know that your passing has only turned up our fire.
    We are going to fight the fignt in your honor girl!
    You will always remain within our hearts and both you and
    your family in our daily prayers.

  • August 26, 2008 at 8:15 am
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    If you have never lived with on going depression, you can not understand. It is more than a sadness today. It is more than a few tears because you are unhappy. It is a medical condition that in some cases can be treated. That is if you have the money to see a doctor. Or insurance to provide you with therapy,. Many people who have invested everything into a venture hoping that it will provide them with a future-have lost everything. There are days when you don’t eat because there is no food. There are days you sit in the dark because the power has been turned off. There are days when you can not even get out of bed. Then the day comes when all your efforts make you feel like a failure. You have no fight left in you, you have no will left, you have nothing to keep you going. You ask “Why me?” “What did I do wrong?” You ask to go to sleep and never wake up again-but then your eyes open and you are still here. Another day to face the hell you live within. And then another day….until one day you believe you can not continue. The thoughts run rapidly-you push them away-they come back even stronger-you fight harder-until you have no fight left. You give up-the end comes. The pain and despair is over.
    A life is over.

  • August 26, 2008 at 11:14 pm
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    The FTC IS DIRECTLY AND ABSOLUTELY RESPONSIBLE for enforcing the rules they make to govern franchisors. The Department of Corporations in California and it’s equivalent in other states are suppose to provide protection for people in their state who are investing in franchises. The enforcement does not exist because they turn a blind eye to the real problems and unless they are publicly challenged, it seems no protection occurs. WE, THE PEOPLE, need to make a lot of noise in order to get their attention. I’m sure they don’t want to be bothered, but they can’t ignore us if we ALL join in this fight together.

  • August 27, 2008 at 1:15 am
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    Should WE, the franchisee’s all write seperate letters or could someone pen a letter that everyone could use as a template and then just add their story?
    I think a lot of people might send letters if they had a basic letter to start with.
    Is any one willing to write it? Not just BFL franchisees but all franchisees could send a letter to their state representatives and we would have a bigger voice!

  • August 27, 2008 at 7:12 am
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    Should WE, the franchisee’s all write seperate letters or could someone pen a letter that everyone could use as a template and then just add their story?
    So far, six franchisees have posted their stories here at UnhappyFranchisee.com on this page:
    http://www.unhappyfranchisee.com/2008/08/butterfly-life-franchise-discussion/
    Feel free to include this site and page in any correspondence with officials and/or media. Also feel free to add your story. Request the interview questionaire by emailing me at unhappyfranchisee[at]gmail.com.

  • August 27, 2008 at 7:58 pm
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    I think a template letter is a great idea. Do we have an Attorney that would be willing to guides us with verbiage for something like that pro-bono?
    If we could get a letter we could get to the interested folks our in respective groups of interest and email it to our Representatives, state & federal and our State’s Attorney G’s.

  • August 28, 2008 at 1:37 am
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    Yes we should all contact the appropriate officials. But do not ever write a letter thinking that suffices. Don’t let Denny ,Janet, Cathy, Mark, Susan (his wife) Tom,(Lisa, his wife) ever forget we are here. This is the crew that has been together scamming for years. They stay together because come on Denny, Janet who would hire you. You have two names on your resumes, Mark Golob and Tom Gergley, not stellar.
    And MARK MASTROV where are you . You bailed them out of Linda Evans, your sister is listed as a franchisee on the 04-05 UFOC but we can’t find record of a club. I believe she confided to a franchisee that the walls can talk. Supeonas may be the answer. MARK MASTROV WHERE ARE YOU?????
    Franchisees are dying literally, see franchise pick.com. These are your boys!!
    We will stay on them and YOU. Your name is all over this. IF you didn’t authorize it are you fighting it. Because we all bought, with your name and backing…..how could we go wrong!!!!
    MARK MASTROV WHERE ARE YOU?????

  • August 28, 2008 at 4:19 am
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    I think a template letter is a great idea. Do we have an Attorney that would be willing to guides us with verbiage for something like that pro-bono?
    If we could get a letter we could get to the interested folks our in respective groups of interest and email it to our Representatives, state & federal and our State’s Attorney G’s.

    Isn’t the AAFD supposed to be advocating for Butterfly Life franchisees? Bob Purvin is a franchise attorney with, I’d assume, all these agencies you mention on speed dial. He recently gave the head of the FTC an award for creating the level franchise playing field franchisees enjoy today. Perhaps the AAFD could provide a sharply worded letter notifying the appropriate agencies about what’s going on here… on their letterhead.

    How much has Butterfly Life paid the AAFD to date? Even if it’s not sent on their letterhead, think they might throw in the drafting of a letter pro bono?

    Has anyone asked Bob for such a letter? What was his response?

  • August 28, 2008 at 6:57 am
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    Admin,
    I know little to nothing about the AAFD. I had never heard of it even as a franchisee-I seriously doubt they are going to bite the hand that feeds them (the franchisors who pay dues is that correct?)
    What I do know is that if franchisees as a group a constituency band together and organize as a group regardless of industry affiliation then we have a chance of at least getting this huge problem in front of some politicians ear who MAY be willing to listen.
    I’m not some starry,dew eyed optimist that politicians and governemental agencies are going to care about us little people. I personally feel the government sticking it’s nose into business is what usually RUINS it. I have NO illusions that politicians or governemental agencies will do squat, but if we speak with one voice it will draw attention to what is going on, It may be that some brave soul in the exisiting franchisor community(one that is actually honest and has good business practices) will take an interest in the fact that shysters are ruining their community and reputation.. It’s a start.

  • August 28, 2008 at 1:48 pm
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    The AAFD group has made great strides toward getting restitution for those of us turned Bass Ackwards by BFL. Cindy Holt was a member of the AAFD group at one time and belived in what they stand for and are doing to help us out. ANYONE with questions and interests in getting involved in the suit should contact one of the AAFD/BFL Trustees. We will see this through and Ms. Holt will be there to guide us.

  • August 28, 2008 at 8:00 pm
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    I unfortunately got involved with Butterfly Life out of Ramon Ca and opened a club . Before all the warnings about them came out. I followed all there advice . Everything. Used all their vendors and did all the advertising etc they said to do. And I was broke before I opened. I was in a astronomical rent and costs and only lasted 4 months. I lost my house, car, life savings at age 50. It has almost been a year and I still rely on relatives to pay my housing and car payment. I just heard about Cynthia Holt. MY heart goes out to her family. When is the government going to step in and bring Butterfly Life down before they destroy any more lives. I have a friend still stuggling to keep her club going after a year in business and still doesnt break even and runs the club herself. She has put her entire retirement into it. And they keep draining her down with franchise fees and offer no support or advertising what so ever. Keep me posted on what is going on to stop this from happening to anyone else Jeannie e carrie

  • August 29, 2008 at 10:33 pm
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    Jeannie – there are hundreds of us out here! Stories are nearly identical.
    Sadly BFL owners drain you so dry that they know you can’t afford an attorney
    to fight them individually. However, together as a group, everyone putting in a much smaller amount – we have the finances needed to hire the best attorney to fight the battle of righteousness. Ask Sean to give your email address to one of
    our trustees and you can decide if this is affordable to you too! Its worth a try!

  • September 1, 2008 at 12:34 pm
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    I wonder how Mark and Tom feel about themselves now, knowing that they ended someones life. GREAT JOB BOYS! NOT! My condolences to Cynthia’s friends and loved one.

  • September 1, 2008 at 3:21 pm
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    Cynthia’s death will mean something if BFL franchisees can make some headway in preventing future prospective buyers of franchises from putting more at risk than they can afford to lose —–BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T UNDERSTAND THE RISK OF THE INVESTMENT AND THE TERRIBLE CONSEQUENCES OF FAILURE BEFORE THEY PUT THEIR SIGNATURE TO THE CONTRACT.

    It is the “constructive fraud” of the franchise agreement that is packaged with the government disclosure document that lulls franchise investors into a false sense of security. Franchises are marketed by the franchisors as a safe way to a job and profits, etc… because the concept is “proven” but the NEW concept is proven on the backs of the new franchisees.

    Franchisors of new concepts are ENCOURAGED under federal regulatory policy to OVERSEED new franchise networks in the process of TRYING TO PROVE THE CONCEPT and to rapidly grow branded units and system gross sales upon which franchisors realize their profits. Regulation, the FTC Rule and the State FDD/UFOC, was promulgated to protect franchisors from charges of common law fraud in the courts, in my opinion. Regulation, in my opinion, was promulgated to protect the franchisors from the “failures” that would be the result of OVERSEEDING.

    When you hire an attorney as a group, remember that the deck is stacked from 30 years of franchise case law that generally protects the franchisors. Attorneys generally will not take cases on contingency because they have families to feed and they know the deck is stacked. Generally, franchisee attorneys will not accept cases unless they know there is a possibility of recovering some kind of damages. If the franchisor declares bankruptcy, etc… of the corporation or there is otherwise no money to access, they won’t accept the case.

    Franchisors count on failed franchisees not having the financial resources to instigate a lawsuit and count on the “stacked deck” and the “public policy” as effected by the FTC Rule to protect them.

    KNOW the truth of what happened to you and what your options are for the future —and remember that there IS NO PRIVATE RIGHT OF ACTION for a violation of the Federal Rule governing franchising.

    Carol

  • September 1, 2008 at 3:54 pm
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    I’ve compiled a list of government agencies for
    you to email your complaints to:

    CA Dept of Corporations (DOC)
    http://www.corp.ca.gov/about/complaint.asp

    Governor Schwarzenegger
    http://gov.ca.gov/interact

    CA Attorney General
    http://ag.ca.gov/contact/complaint_form.php?cmplt=CL

    US Attorney General
    http://www.usdoj.gov/contact-us.html

    List of CA assemblyman
    http://www.assembly.ca.gov/acs/acsframeset7text.htm

    Federal Trade Commission
    https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/FTC_Wizard.aspx?Lang=en

    Better Business Bureau (No Complaints Currently Listed)
    https://odr.bbb.org/odrweb/public/complaintlink.aspx
    Name: Butterfly Life
    Phone: (800) 288-8373
    Fax: (925) 743-8820
    Address: 2440 San Ramon Valley Blvd Ste 155
    San Ramon, CA 94583-1602
    Principal: Mark Golob, CEO
    · http://www.butterflylife.com

    If you need an example of a letter already sent
    to these agencies about BFL ask Sean to give your email one of our Trustees & she’ll email you one. Email Sean: unhappyfranchisee[at]gmail.com

    Lets make as much noise as possible

  • September 4, 2008 at 8:41 pm
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    Anyone seriously interested in a class action lawsuit, please e-mail Dennis. Power in numbers!

  • September 5, 2008 at 2:01 am
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    As Sean Suggested, I emailed Bob Purvin of the AAFD tonight about the template letter. I’ll keep you posted!!

    Dennis Once again have Sean give your email info to our trustees – they
    are way ahead of ya! You’ll love all the ground work and research they’ve done!
    unhappyfranchisee[at]gmail.com
    is Sean’s email address. Glad to have you aboard and all fired up!

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