Is GARAGE FORCE Hiding Franchise Failures?

Garage Force CEO Michael Peterson swore, under penalty of law, that only four Garage Force franchises ceased operation between January, 2014 to January, 2018.  Franchisees contend that many Garage Force franchisees failed during that time, and that by September, 2018 30 had gone out of business.  Somebody’s not telling the truth.  Let’s find out who.

(UnhappyFranchisee.Com) Yesterday, we posted Garage Force franchise complaints and allegations about the Onalaska, WI-based franchisor.

Garage Force franchiseGarage Force franchise owners are making some serious accusations, claiming that more than half of Garage Force franchises are no longer operating.  There have been some allegations that Garage Force CEO Michael Peterson intentionally hid franchise failures in order to trick prospective franchisees into investing in the Garage force franchise.

We invite company officials, franchisees, employees and others familiar with the situation to share what they know about the Garage Force franchise and the success rate of its franchisees. You can post your comments below or email us in confidence at UnhappyFranchisee[at]gmail.com.

Franchisees Allege Half of Garage Force Franchises Have Ceased Operation

According to a comment posted at Unhappy Franchisee:

Over 50% of their franchisees have failed, close up, went bankrupt or just quit.

They marketed to American Veterans as “be you own boss” then left them to fail as did others.

They never let new franchisees know the failure rates as the signed more up.

A detailed report compiled by a Garage Force franchise owner states:

…in late 2015 through 2016, there were several franchises that failed during that time, none of which were reported to other owners or incoming owners. In fact, owners purchasing franchises in 2017 related that Mike Peterson claimed the health of the company was great and no owners had left to that point. As of September, 2018, thirty (30) owners both listed and not listed on the company website are no longer operating and an additional eleven (11) are seeking options for exit…

03/14/2019 filed a lawsuit against its Denver franchisee Garage Force of Denver South, LLC (Ilfrich Integrated Solutions, Inc. et al v. Garage Force of Denver South, LLC et al).  The franchisee filed a counter claim and third party claim alleging concealment, misrepresentation, civil conspiracy and intentional interference against Mike Peterson, Patrick Ilfrey, and Ross Cravens.

The counterclaim states:

Mr. Fessenden… affirmatively states that, upon information and belief, approximately 60 percent of the Garage Force franchisees are defunct or no longer in operation.

Garage Force Claims Only Four Franchises Ceased Operation Between January 2015 – January 2018

In July, 2018, the company issued the Garage Force Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) in which it disclosed that in 2017, four Garage Force franchises had ceased operation.  Garage Force disclosed that 1 franchise had ceased operation in Arizona,  1 ceased operation in Nevada and 2 ceased operation in Pennsylvania.

Garage Force Franchise

When the company submitted the FDD to state franchise registration agencies, CEO Mike Peterson attested to its accuracy.  His signature appears on the statement “I certify and swear under penalty of law that I have read and know the contents of this application, including the Franchise Disclosure Document… and that all material facts stated in all those documents are accurate and those documents do not contain any material omissions…”

Read the entire Garage Force Franchise Disclosure Document here.  The franchise location openings and closing data is located in Item 20:

2018 Garage Force Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD)

Garage Force Failures are a Cause for Concern

It’s not exactly clear how many Garage Force franchises have ceased operation, nor whether Mike Peterson and Garage Force failed to disclose all of its franchise failures.

Chris Hall of Forney, TX and Greg Raney of Corpus Christi, TX were disclosed as franchisees in 2016, but disappeared from the list in 2017 (in the 2018 FDD).  Yet there are no Texas ceased operations or transfers disclosed for that year, and their locations still are posted on the website.

Wayne Gwyn of Elko, NV, Patrick McMenamy of Henderson, NV, and Dean Shouse of Pahrump, NV also were disclosed as franchisees in 2016 but disappeared from the list in 2017.  Only 1 Nevada franchise was disclosed as having ceased operation that year.

Franchisors are required to disclose a list the names and contact information for franchisees who left the system in the prior 12 months.  However, we saw no such list for any of the Garage Force FDDs from 2015-2018.

A number of Garage Force franchisees may have left the system in the time since the 2018 FDD was issued (July 13, 2018), either through transfers, ceased operations or other reasons.  We’ve marked their names in RED below.

We identified a number of franchisees who were listed as active franchisees in the 2018 FDD, but whose location no longer seems to be displayed on the company website.  We’ve marked their names in BLUE below.

There are Garage Force franchisees who are both listed in the 2018 FDD and have their locations listed as open on the website, but who are reportedly not active or have an unclear status.  Those owners we’ve marked in ORANGE.

Please help us determine the status of these and the other Garage Force franchisees we suspect have ceased operation or otherwise left the system*.



Franchisee Location 2016 FDD 2017 FDD 2018 FDD On website 4/17/19?
Wayne Gwyn Elko, NV Yes Yes No Yes Owner not in FDD but location is listed on website
Chris Hall Forney, TX No Yes No Yes Non-branded VM.  Owner not in FDD but location is listed on website
Greg Raney Corpus Christi, TX Yes Yes No Yes Owner not in FDD but location is listed on website
Patrick McMenamy Henderson, NV Yes Yes No No Owner not in FDD; Henderson, NV no longer on website
Deon Shouse Pahrump, NV Yes Yes No No Owner not in FDD; Pahrump, NV no longer on website
Jeffrey Coleman Fredonia, WI No Yes Yes No Owner listed in FDD, Fredonia, WI not on website
Lawrence Kana Smithville, TX No Yes Yes No Owner listed in FDD, Smithville, TX not on website
Joe Meeks Kempner, TX Yes Yes Yes No Owner listed in FDD; Kempner, TX not on website;

Joe Meeks Chapter 7 bankruptcy filed 04/30/2017

Chas Zech Rock Rapids, IA Yes Yes Yes Yes Phone number no longer working. Owner listed in FDD, Location on website
Jason Knight Autryville, NC Yes Yes Yes Yes Owner listed in FDD; Location on website, Reportedly Not operating but listed
Israel Jackson Fayetteville, NC Yes Yes Yes No Owner listed in FDD; Location not on website,

Israel Jackson Chapter 13 bankruptcy filed 03/14/2018

Scott Metzdorf Justin, TX No No Yes Yes Owner listed in FDD; Location on website, status unclear
Barry Urich Enola, PA Yes Yes Yes No Owner listed in FDD; Location not on website
Doug Verbsky Frisco, TX Yes Yes Yes No Owner listed in FDD; Location not on website
Matthew Martinez Harrah, OK No Yes Yes No Owner listed in FDD; Location not on website
David Whitten Ardmore, AL No No Yes No Owner listed in FDD; Location not on website

Yelp reports closed

Vincent Haro Goodyear, AZ Yes Yes Yes No Owner listed in FDD; Location not on website

Yelp reports closed

Patrick Faulkner Atlanta, GA No Yes Yes No Owner listed in FDD; Location not on website
Paul Williams Emmett, ID Yes Yes Yes No Owner listed in FDD; Location not on website
David Price /

Howard Barnett

Midwest City, OK No No Yes No Owner listed in FDD; Location not on website
Karl Hackman La Crosse, WI No No Yes No Owner listed in FDD; Location not on website
Dave Fessenden Parker, CO Yes Yes Yes No Owner listed in FDD; Parker, CO address not on website

Franchisee is currently in litigation with the franchisor

* This information is pieced together from public sources and private tips and is posted for discussion purposes.  Please independently verify.  Franchise businesses should be assumed to be open and operating.  Support Garage Force and other franchisees with your business!

ALSO READ:

FRANCHISE DISCUSSIONS by Company

GARAGE FORCE Franchise Complaints

GARAGE FORCE Franchise Posts

Posts on Franchise Brokers

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TAGS: Garage Force, Garage Force franchise, floor coating franchise, Ilfrich Integrated Solutions, Michael J. Peterson, Patrick J. Ilfrey, Citadel Floor Finishing Systems, Rust-Oleum, Mike Ilfrey,  Garage Force International, attorney Ryan R. Palmer, Gray Plant Mooty, Roger Hackman, Sam Peterson, Garage Force franchise opportunity

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