LADY BUG PEST CONTROL Franchise Warning: A single comment appeared on UnhappyFranchisee.Com from a disgruntled Lady Bug franchise owner.
As we like to encourage free and open discussion spanning both sides of each issue, we invited Lady Bug Pest Control President Lisa Miller to provide a response, rebuttal or clarification of the comment and our post.
On 12/13/12, we sent this email to LadyBug@LadyBugCorp.com
UnhappyFranchisee.Com is a franchise discussion site that tries to highlight both sides of franchise issues and complaints so that our readers, many of them prospective franchisees, can make up their own minds and make more informed decisions.
We have received a complaint from a Lady Bug franchisee which we have posted here:
We invite you and your company to provide further information, clarification and/or rebuttal. You may do so either in the comments section at the bottom of the post, or by providing a rebuttal statement to this email address for possible publication as a solo post. You are also encouraged to invite your other franchisees to leave comments on the post to provide a more balanced view of your franchise opportunity.
After visiting your website, we also shared our criticism of your franchise structure as well as your positioning your franchise as a path to making a fortune. We deal with franchise disputes every day on our site, and find that overpromising (make a fortune!) and Area Development structures such as yours frequently add to the likelihood of franchisee disputes.
As I said, though, we are a discussion site so we welcome and respect differing viewpoints from our own.
We thought it was a rather nice offer, but we never got a response from Ms. Miller.
Instead, on January 3, 2013 we received this nasty, threatening letter from Lady Bug Corp.’s high-powered law firm, Gordon & Rees:
SEAN M. CARROLL
ATTORNEYS AT LAW
111 W.MONROE STREET, SUITE 1600
PHOENIX, AZ 85003
December 28, 2012
VIA EMAIL ONLY
Re: Lady Bug Pest Control
This firm represents Lady Bug Pest Control (“Lady Bug”) with respect to the referenced matter. This letter demands that you remove all reference to Lady Bug on your website or face immediate legal action.
On December 13, 2012, we were advised of a posting made by Ms. Lisa Alfaro regarding Lady Bug’s business on your website, Unhappyfranchisee.com. The postings are patently false and defamatory, including, without limitation, those that imply her business model is illegal and that her employees are not covered by insurance. Many of the defamatory comments are made from the poster, Lisa Alfaro. However, the editorial comments made by Unhappyfranchisee.com are equally false and defamatory, and give rise to liability on the part of Unhappyfranchisee.com.
In addition to the obvious reasons that such postings have already damaged a franchisor like Lady Bug, by deterring potential franchisees, Arizona law provides for presumptive
damages when defamation involves one business. If the posting regarding Lady Bug is not removed from your site by close of business, January 4, 2013, we will pursue legal action against
Unhappyfranchisee.com and Lisa Alfaro to recoup these presumptive damages, in addition to all other damages sustained as a result of the defamatory postings. We will also seek an award of attorney’s fees and costs incurred in bringing this matter, as well as punitive damages.
We appreciate your cooperation. Please direct any correspondence to the undersigned.
Very truly yours,
GORDON & REES LLP
Sean M. Carroll
We believe that you can tell a lot about a company by how they respond to criticism.
In our experience, companies that have nothing to hide are comfortable in engaging in open dialogue, addressing complaints, acknowledging their shortcomings when warranted, and disproving unfair allegations, when necessary.
We are suspicious of companies that hide behind big law firms and try to suppress free speech through fear and heavy-handed (and expensive) threats… and suggest that prospective franchisees be suspicious, too.
In our opinion, Lady Bug Pest Control is deploying heavy artillery to kill a gnat.
It makes us wonder why…
It makes us wonder: What is Lady Bug Pest Control so afraid of?
Why so defensive?
See UnhappyFranchisee.Com’s response to Lady Bug’s threat here: LADY BUG PEST CONTROL Attacks UnhappyFranchisee.Com, Fails
ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE LADY BUG PEST CONTROL FRANCHISE OPPORTUNITY? SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.
tags: Lady Bug Pest Control, Lady Bug Pest Control franchise, Lady Bug Pest Control complaints, Lady Bug Pest Control franchise complaints, pest control franchise, Lisa Miller, Gordon Rees, Sean Carroll, Attorney Sean M. Carroll, franchise complaints