MATCO TOOLS Franchise Complaints

MATCO TOOLS Franchise Complaints:  Have you had any dealings with MATCO Tools  or the MATCO Tools franchise?  Please share a comment about your experience – good or bad – below, as well as advice for those considering investing in a MATCO Tools franchise.

Also read: FRANCHISE LAWSUIT Alleges Matco Tools Scam, TD Bank Fraud

We received the following franchise warning about the MATCO TOOLS franchise opportunity.  According to commenter “TOMMY CHEUNG” :






Marks & Klein is a legitimate franchise law firm that often represents franchisees in lawsuits against their franchisors, but we haven’t verified with them whether a lawsuit against Matco Tools is in the works or not.


If you’ve had dealings with Matco Tools, please share a comment below.

Matco Tools Franchise Posts & Discussions

MATCO TOOLS Franchise Complaints  June 8, 2011 (1000+

MATCO TOOLS Franchise Defenders Speak Out December 7,
2011 (Comments defending Matco invited)

MATCO TOOLS Distributor Franchise December 7, 2011 (Overview with

MATCO TOOLS Franchise Report Alleges Distributor Churning  November 29,

MATCO TOOLS 2011 Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) & Other
  November 22, 2011

MATCO TOOLS Class Action Lawsuit, “Secret” Sales Projections  November
22, 2011

FRANCHISE LAWSUIT Alleges Matco Tools Scam, TD Bank Fraud  November 15,

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

Other Mobile Tool Franchise Posts:

MAC TOOLS Guilty of Franchise Fraud?  November 7, 2011

CORNWELL TOOLS Franchise Scam or No Scam?  November 17, 2011

4,849 thoughts on “MATCO TOOLS Franchise Complaints

  • November 26, 2011 at 10:02 am

    There seems to be a vicious cycle going on here………….A DBR comes forward and shares their story of destruction, then “Kevin and the Shill-ites” come to poor little Matco’s rescue.

    For comparison we could say the “Shill-ites” would argue “you were never a Wall Street investor so how could say it’s Bernie Madoff’s fault?.” “You knew investing was risky, it is YOUR FAULT you were swindled. Leave little Bernie alone, he was just trying to make a profit.”

    On the other hand their indifference is typical of a corporate policy and will only help distributors in the law suit. It kind of smacks of desperation the way they try to spin and wiggle out of EVERY SINGLE COMMENT POSTED. (Just as I am sure they will with this one)

    The next thing they will try to say is that Matco hardline tools are U.S. made, not Made in Taiwan (to Matco specifications)………………ooops ! Did I just say that out loud?

  • November 26, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Cool ! I found this old college video of “Kevin & The Shill-ites” online. Very well done boys…………………More importantly, listen VERY closely to the words, they ring so true !

  • November 26, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Jerry, not going to debate you until you admit who you are.

    Debbie, you seem to think that when someone questions you all of sudden they are scared…not sure what that is all about. Then if we respond to one of your comments all of the sudden the earth is shaking and things are happening.

    Gary, not sticking up for matco, just stating facts, the facts that Jerry and Debbie aren’t arguing.

    An interesting point to make is that after 8 years of college a law student is able to take the BAR exam. In Calfornia November 18, 2011 results, first time test takers, 26% failed, thats worse failure rate than owning a business for the first year and those people studied for 8 years. The problem with owning your own business is there isn’t a test. There should be!

  • November 26, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Jay- I agree with most everything you say here, except one thing- Guest being Jerry!! From Guest’s posts, being a lawyer is so far above his intellect that it’s not even conceivable. That’s an insult to even the slimyest lawyer. And Debbie calling him “brilliant” certainly confirms it. He’s got the lying part dowm pat, but the intellect just isn’t there. Sorry Guest, you’re as transparent as as Debbie’s windshield!

  • November 26, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Gary still not sure why you insist on calling me part of a good ol boys club. Started as a franchise, always have been one. Never met Kevin, he could walk up to me today at a store and I would not know who he is. I do recognize the name because of his sussess. I guess that’s how you get into the good ol boys club, YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL! So I guess I appreciate yours, Debbies, and Tommys jealousy of our success.

  • November 26, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    So Debbie, not going to be on here for a while, heading out to pick up a trade in toolbox, then going to do my warrany returns, just thought I would let you know, I am not scared, just have some work to do today. Yeah I know it’s Saturday, when I started my DM didn’t tell me I had to work Saturdays. I think I will call Jerry/Guest

  • November 26, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    “So Debbie, not going to be on here for a while, heading out to pick up a trade in toolbox, then going to do my warrany returns…”

    Thanks for keeping us posted, Jason. It would be great if you could post your to-do list a couple times per day just cuz you’re such a super-interesting guy!

    Debbie, I’ve got to duck out for a little bit, too. I’m having some of my security people move the gold bars from my “Snap-on Winnings” vault to my general treasury and relabel it “Matco/Danaher Winnings.” They are redecorating the exterior to look like a Matco Toolbox. My idea!

    Then I’ve got a meeting with my yacht-builder to finalize teak stain and porthole fittings for the lower deck for my new baby. I’ve also got to pick out the font for the wording: “Old Boy’s Club” and under it “Red Bank, NJ.”

    See you in a bit,

    Guest, Esq.

  • November 26, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Oh guys, everybody take a step back and breath, You ALL have gotten so far of the point with the name calling, the STFU’s ad etc!

    I guess since I’ve been “out” for a couple years I’ve learned to accept, NOT LIKE, what happend to a degree.

    BOTH sides have valid points. Again, knowing Kevin, I am sure he feels he is 100% right. As do those who got “lett down”. Even Kevin Admits that Matco “has some problems”. Point being, he has DIFFERENT problems some of did/do.

    It’s all about your point of view. My point is this, rather than spend time bitching at EACH OTHER and name calling, work togther!

    Kevin, I consideer you a good friend. BUT why is it that you have such a hard time even acknowledging the our experience and complaints are REAL. They DID happen. And to those of us that experienced “the bad”, can you not see Kevins side?

    Just because Kevin and others, did NOT expeience what we DID, it doesn’t mean it didn’t or doesn’t happen. And just because “we” had “probems” with Matco doesn’t mean Kevin and other didn’t.

    We would ALL benfit MORE by acknowledging each others issues. Jesus are we all 8 years old?

    It IS possible for 2, or 2,000, people to have 2, or 2,000 DIFFERNT experinces with THE SAME COMPANY!

    Maybe my pending divorce has made me see that there are TWO sides, sometimes many more, to each story.

    I think what Debbie, Tommy and others are saying is VERY similar to what MY arugue meant was and that is this. Yes, maybe I could have done things different, hind sight is ALWAYS 20/20. BUT NONE OF USE GOT WHAT ME PAID FOR!

    And before you all jump on me that I “didn’t BUY a franchise” becasue Matco doesn’t charge for that, I agree to that. BUT I did “buy into” a business plan, the figures I was given, the support I’d be given, the idea that my DM WOULD be there for me, that I would be helped as needed, etc.

    NO I did NOT “buy” a franchise, persay. I did buy into a LOT of “promises” about how “Matco would be there for me”. Matco WAS, as long as I was writing them check, buying tools and making them money. But as soon I I need help and wasn’t making them money- GONE!

    I don’t give a shit if you’re Matco, Wal-Mart or Subway! Part of being a team/FAMILY, and that’s the sales picth , that “Matco is a family that will be there for you”, means staying thru good and BAD!

    Matco is more of a “fair weather friend”. AS long as it’s “good”, like Kevin and others have expereinced, Matco IS there. BUT once you start to struggle, Matco bails on you quicker than you can say “terminate”.

    Business IS business! But, like with my expereince I got pumped so full of “one big happy family” that I didn’t see what was right in front of me.

    One more “example” of my DM’s “Matco first” attitude. I kept saying I “reaaly wanted to talk to an accountant AND a lawyer BEFORE I signed anything. My DM about flipped out! Instead of “you Tom that is a wise idea for anyone going into buisiness for themselves”, I got the “don’t do that! Thats; just “wasted money”. Money you could be using to buy tools and expand your business”.

    Bottom line is this- Kevin, Jason, etc. I have no hard feeling towards you guys, BUT do NOT tell me/us that what we experienced did NOT and does NOT happen! We LIVED it first hand!

    And I don’t question your expereinces. I KNOW that Kevin has a had a good experience, with a few speed bumps, with Matco. I GLAD that he has had such a great and successful experience, I really am. I wish that I had been what I had. That was my dream!

    BOTH sides need to stop telling the other side that their experience “didn’t happen”. I know what I experienced and it was WELL documented!

    Passion runs strong no matter what side you are on. And there shouldn’t be “sides”. Kevin and those are passionate about their company, as well they should be. And we are passionate about what Matco did to us!

    I don not know why it is so hard to believe each others experiences? The one thing I do find “funny” is that there are so many more that had “bad experiences” than good. AND most of us have never met or know each other, live on opposite sides of the country, had different DM’, RM’s, etc, YET our “experiences” are ALL damn near identical? There is NO WAY we could have “got together” ahead of time to “get our stories straight”!

    This is why I am so glad that Matco is in my “rearview mirror”.

  • November 26, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    I like your post that says”The idea that an attorney preparing a case would post anonymously either to recruit or influence opinion is ludicrous, as it would come out in discovery and be used against him. It would likely be a bar association violation” Wow certainly sounds like someone has studied law. So i get it, you work for Jerry as a para legal etc. That way it would not be illegal right??

    You are the one who keeps bringing up the windshield, not I. Oh, and by the way Matco cannot provide the”World Class Service” you expect if you dont pay your bill. No one will ship you tools if you dont pay.

    Guest/Jerry with his last posts that I showed above sure seems like he knows a lot about what a lawyer can and cannot do?????

    By the way, I know Jasons mother and he would not treat her that way, but she pays her bills and would not expect answers to questions that were given without her thinking it through.

    It does not matter who you are in this world, you need to look out for yourself. That is no matter what person or corporation you are dealing with. Thats all we expected to see. I do feel for the people who were mislead, but you have to read and know what you have signed. You need to have the competence to research things on your own. You need to have the will to overcome problems and persever. No matter what support you do or dont receive, does not matter if you dont know what you are getting into. Would be like buying a car without research or a test drive. I do feel for all DBRS who were economically impacted(including myself). But I have figuired out how to overcome and am better off more than ever. I am not a “charter” DBR, but a franchisee, just like the rest of everyone here(except guest/jerry the lawyer). I chose to succeed and went all in to make it happen. It is not easy, as no business is easy. I feel for anyone that fails at business but what I dont like is complaints or “whining” about things that the DBR could have controlled themselves and chose not to.

    Have a great morning at work, have to do my brokens some time this weekend also.

    I would like “good ol boys club” changed to “successful winning DBRS club”. Thanks

  • November 26, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Well I see the same thing is going on here as when I last visited. I hope this is helping everyone. I just don’t see the purpose of this site anymore. It sounds like a bunch of people that just don’t like each other not a site to resolve anything. I was wrong in the beginning to call anyone out (for that I apologize). But no matter what is said somebody comes back with some smart a** comment. I cant believe you people have so much time on your hands. I wish I did. I don’t know which side is worst but it’s clear that there is problems. I think everyone agrees. Maybe everyone doesn’t agree but they should be at least looked into and handled just like each of us do daily in our business. I can say I am really looking forward to expo this year. It is going to be so much fun tring to find all of you. I hope GUEST wheres a name tag. If he doesnt I will just to see the response from all of you. Good luck again to all of us.

  • November 26, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    ……………my bills were paid, and my tools still were not shipped – VALID ISSUE

    no point in defending anything more – it all falls on deaf ears

    HOWEVER; I would like to THANK TOM WILLIS, without whom – most of you would not be here. Meaning, I sent a FEW emails out to start a distributor association. Word spread, Tom Willis wasn’t happy…………… HE EMAILED EVERY DISTRIBUTOR AT MATCO AND TOLD THEM SOMEONE WANTED TO START A DISTRIBUTOR ASSOCIATION. Thank you Mr. Willis. I alone, could not get the word out. I received many replies after Mr. Willis sent his email, I also receive MANY more email lists.


    ………………think about it, would there really be a need for the President of a
    multi-million dollar company to spend his time and energy telling his people to ignore me?

    Guest – you’ve gotten under their skin, and yes, they still will debate you without your secret identity being revealed………… :)

    Gary – you too have gotten under their skin, ‘you still haven’t answered the question’ – they have repeated that so many times, I’ve forgotten the question LOL

    BOTTOM LINE – all the petty bickering didn’t work, THE PROBLEMS REMAIN, attention has not been diverted, the idea a Distributor Association is just collateral damage now………………………… instead of Unhappy Franchisees talking about problems and finding solutions……………….. you all basically have driven them to court. I think now, we should form an association called:
    D.A.M.N. Distributors Against Matco Now

  • November 26, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    D.A.M.N right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • November 26, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Kevin, a while back you called the PSA Dept the “Arm Pit of Matco” while I don’t agree with all of there policys and would question the legality of some. There are some hard working people there and to say that about the whole dept. because they did not tell you what you wanted to hear is in my opinion wrong.

    I have been around for a while and while I consider myself to be succssful, I am also troubled by the storys I am hearing on this site. Both as a distributor and a Danaher stockholder,the claims made in the suit that was filed in federal court are a lot more serious than attacking someone because she wanted to know if any one had a guy they used to get their winshield fixed.

    I am also a charter distributor which means for me I would be coming up on my second renewal. So my truck that is an 06 International and when people see it for the first time tell me that its the nicest tool truck they have ever been on…..Matco would want me to replace because it has 140k on it. I have seen several friends leave because of having difficulty renewing at 10 years. One who went to Cornwell is happier than he ever was and is turning outstanding numbers every week.

    Like Kevin, Jason I neither need or want Matco to hold my hand. But thats me it does appear that in several cases distributors did not recieve even minimal support from there DMs They were promised different there was one I believe it was Tom who had not even recieved a budget before he went to school. Had that been someone who I brought into the business I would have been very dissaponted. And in the case of the distributor who posted several weeks ago who was in the top 50 till they cut his route then was terminated… one even commented on that, that If I recall correctly

    Jerry Marks has made Millions in his cases against Snap-On alone do you guys really think he is posting on this board? Try reading the federal complaint I would be willing to bet that “Guest” is mentioned there and its not Mr Marks.

    I also find it strange that most of the distributors are from two regions. And we keep hearing the same DM RM names.

    You want to have a discussion lets talk about warranty, quality, price. But this will not be setteled on a message board it will be settled in a court of law

    So to answer the question if a prospective distributor came on this site and had about two hours to read through everything and was still here. Would I start with Matco today? Probably not the industy has changed two much. While I still do ok, I own everything. And I am also under a different contract that dispite what was said by Kevin in that regard is totally different than what a new distributor would have.

    Funny I like all charters only have that contract because of Jerry Marks, Matco did that because of a Snap-On lawsuit, and while I don’t recall the exact amout it was substantial.

    And for the record I have not currently retained either Mr Marks or any other attorney. I just don’t like some of what I am reading……

    Timothy A Sharkey

  • November 26, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    Interesting reading from Business Week


    Wives Against Snap-on vs. Snap-on Tools Inc.

    In 2005, automotive repair tools franchisor Snap-on was sued by four wives of Snap-on franchisees, who claimed the company falsely advertised income potential and customer bases, and extended precarious lines of credit to franchisees. The wives claimed financial and emotional debilitation to their own lives, and filed the case because of an arbitration provision in their husbands’ contracts that prevented them from suing their own franchisor.

    Outcome: The wives won the verdict and opened the door for a California Superior Court ruling that allowed dealers themselves to file a class action against Snap-on. In 2006 they did just that. The franchisor settled their suit for approximately $38 million in damages and attorney’s fees, forgave about $61.6 million in debt, and agreed to change some of its business practices, such as reducing the required investment for initial inventory.

  • November 26, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    Tim- My experience with the PSA dept is not relevent to this discussion, and you have no idea what those experiences were. You are wrong to assume that they simply “did not tell me what I wanted to hear”. At one time, I had the largest number of contracts, and the highest credit limit, of any distributor. I know this department inside and out, and it is the poorest managed department in Matco. I said nothing against the individuals working there, and get along fine with most of them. You are speaking of things you know nothing about.

    I also don’t agree that the charter agreement we are under is a result of a Snap-on lawsuit. If that were true, how could current franchisees be offered a different agreement? I did not have to sign the franchise agreement, and could still be under my original “Distributor Agreement” if that would have been my choice. I am aware of the differences between the “new” franchise and my Charter agreement, as I own one of each. The differences are minor, as discussed earlier.

  • November 26, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    Kevin,not to spend a lot of time on it but if your issue with PSA its not revelant…why did you bring it up?

    As for the charter agreement,yes you did not have to sign it, you could of keep you first agreement as a dealer. Matco offered the Charter franchise to us and the perks that went with it because Snap-On has lost the suit that stated that there dealer ageement was invalid and should have been a Franchise. Its very similar to the current suit that is in litagation with Mac.It was Matco Tools choice to do this and in their best interest. Matco could upon renewal change any franchise distributors contract for better or worse thats the way they are written.

    Mine and one of yours are different, One thing got typed wrong in my first post I meant to say “if I was a franchise “new agreement” I would be coming up on my second renewal. Charters are kinda like till death do us part as long as we are compliant, which I am.

    Kevin remember expo 98 in Orlando when Snap-On dropped a truck of for “there” expo a week early? Remember what a few distributors….who will remain anonymous LOL did. It was a lot more fun back then. And I won’t even get into the fruit incident in Maui in 99.

    Timothy A Sharkey

  • November 27, 2011 at 12:47 am

    Tim- Just brought up the PSA thing to illustrate that I’ve had problems with Matco also, not to start a new discussion.

    Those old expo’s were a lot of fun. The top 10 dinners were very educational- got paired up with the CEO of Danaher once. Didn’t even realize who he was until he told me. I think that was the same year as the “fruit incident”. Launching edibles off the suite balconys kinda became a tradition. They did seem to be more fun then, but I was younger, too….

  • November 27, 2011 at 1:30 am

    Yes it was a great time its not the same now. look you can and will do what you want..But lay off Debbie ganging up on her is making this company look worse than it already does with everything going on. And it really is not going to effect guys like you or me. Relax have some fun, before you wind up like Nick.

    I have that Maui thing on video maybe it will turn up on You-Tube someday.

    Tim Sharkey

  • November 27, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Why is it that no one has answered my question, if we all are distributors for matco, why must there be charters and franchises? We are on the same team correct? The veterans are no different from all of us. Does matco have a select few that they pamper? Sound like it. Call around different parts of the country, the same problems are everywhere, I have called and documented who I have spoken to and when.The problems are not regional, its Matco and its everywhere.The numbers speak for themselves. I enjoyed my time with Matco and I spoke Matco everywhere, but they have problems which will only be fixed in court.They should not have two different types of distributors, charters and franchises, we should all be treated the same.What about the guys who dont use MDBS, isnt that a violation of policy? Matco should have two divided teams, one being “GOLDEN BOYS’ and the other being ‘ THE TEMPORARY
    TEAM’. Like I said before, Keep Posting and ‘GO GET THEM JERRY’.

  • November 27, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Tom made a VERY EXCELLENT post yesterday at 2:45 p.m. I was into all the rivalry week stuff with college football yesterday. I had to scroll way back to read it but I am glad I did. If you missed it, please go back and check it out.

    Here is a man that has been out of Matco for a few years, he hired Jerry Marks and reached an agreement with Matco, He lost a lot, including his wife of 20 years, his dream of owning his own business, his self esteem. He puts the pieces back together and moves on with his life.

    Yet here he is, STILL telling the truth about aspects of the company many have no clue about. He doesn’t have to be here, but he felt passionate enough about it to voice his opinion years after the fact. That takes courage and guts.

    Good luck with the future Tom, and thank you !

  • November 27, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    Ran across this story on World Law Direct forums posted in Jan 2011:

    “I was/am a Matco Tools independent distributor here in California for over 22 years now and was recently terminated. I have a very old grandfathered basic contract that is bullet proof according to previous managers at the company as far as reasons for termination go. In the many years since I have been with the company Matco was bought by a Wall St. company (Danaher) and many policies have changed dramatically as well as skyrocketing prices for our products. The company started selling Franchises in the late 90’s and tried like hell to get all of us veterans to sign a Franchise Agreement (bribing us with a $4000 toolbox), many dealers took the bait and now many dealers are gone. I did not.

    I am one of the few holdouts and have been maliciously targeted for the last ten years for “termination” through intimidation, harassment, defamation and egregious and unfair/illegal business practices.

    Their goal is find a reason to push me out (they did and now I am depressed, can’t sleep and devastated to say the least) now they hope I would just go away so they can split my large “Geographical Territory” into smaller Franchises with what is called a customer “head count” area of responsibility. Matco has a “qualified prospect” to replace me. Then what typically happens is they lure these new unsuspecting Franchisees into business (if you call it that) with large up front inventory fees and loans knowing many of them will not survive due to the ridiculous costs associated this type of Franchise. The high costs of product from the Franchiser versus buying from an outside warehouse at substantial discounts are a large problem associated with many types of Franchises including this one. This is why the companies terminate the dealers within the first few years when their businesses start to fail, put the full blame on the franchisee then start the whole process over again with a new victim…this is “churning” or as I like to call “pump and dump”. This way the franchisor has a constant flow of fresh capital and the franchisee has no recourse against them due to the legal language in the contracts they signed.

    Well I do not have this language in my 22 year old contract, I also have a ton of paperwork supporting my legal position and stated that in an email to the company lawyer (no response) which was subsequently circulated at the headquarters in Stow Ohio, I asked for meetings with the higher ups, they told me it’s time for me to move on and proceeded with the separation process severing all my ties with the company including my distributor #, ordering, pay by phone, computer software etc …5 weeks go by and I am struggling now with no parent company behind me or name brand product to sell (solo independents do not make it in this business) so I let all my customers know that I was terminated by Matco and could no longer take care of their product purchases or warranty issues.

    By now I am having family member’s research business/contract lawyers as I am completely trashed.”

  • November 27, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Tommy- Just give Jerry another call. I’m sure it would take about five minutes for him to explain the legal issues behind the two types of agreements, far better than the hearsay on this thread.

  • November 27, 2011 at 3:12 pm


    I had read Bill’s post on World Law Direct months ago and forgotten about it (there are too many complaints to keep up with).

    Here is a veteran of 22 years forced out of business for the sole purpose of selling new franchises. It seems to happen on both ends of the spectrum. If you are struggling you are out, if you are doing too good…………your territory is broken up to be re-sold.

    It happened to Bill, Todd Peterson in Arkansas has 220 customers ripped from his route list to sell a new start. It is corporate crime, plain and simple.

    Remember the #1 DBR out of Chicago for what 3-4 years in a row ? Where is he now ? He was servicing O’Hare airport 4 days out of the week and was killing it. Good old “DBR driven” Matco goes in and starts an industrial account with O’Hare. So much for #1.

  • November 27, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    hope you all had a great thanksgiving day weekend if you could afford a turkey after what was we went through

  • November 27, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    why is a d.m.’s job description more top secret than a nuclear missile silo location?
    more than a few distributors in my district have asked for this. i would like to know if, when he tells me that’s not his job, if it is really not his job or is he just lazy? no way to tell. i thought all dm’s were supposed to help the distributor to their fullest capabilities. also why is it my job to fix a toolbox i did not even sell for free? put in four runners.i have no time to take off my route. and my time at home is to valuable to work for free. i make jamestown pay me. i have had my ups and downs over the years, and it seems like my d.m. can only be bothered to help during the up time, thats when i make him more money.

  • November 27, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    WOW, I am so sorry for guys like Bill, Todd, Tommy, Mike, and the list GOES ON! I have said it many times over…………………… TOM WILLIS himself would not have felt the need to email Every distributor at Matco and tell them NOT to talk to me or join a Distributor Association – IF THERE WAS NOTHING WRONG
    It is apparently obvious – even to a causal observer – there are MAJOR problems at Matco. Sorry Jason, even IF my little Distributor Association materialized it would not have been enough to effect significant change. It WAS an honest intention, at the time.

    We are not talking about fixing “A” policy or problem – we are talking about STOPPING ILLEGAL ACTIONS.

    I understand Kevin things are going OK for you – and of course – you don’t want to lose what you have. But, please, understand…………. MANY MANY MANY DISTRIBUTORS **HAVE** LOST – and sorry, NO, it wasn’t because they didn’t DO something right.

    WE NEED TO STOP ILLEGAL ACTIONS that are taking place at Matco on a daily basis at the cost of unsuspecting, hard working, good intention-ed, prospective distributors’ futures.

    It is not only UN FAIR to lure them into this abysmal financial trap – It IS illegal.

    Matco needs to be held accountable. The tide has turned – the business HAS changed, it is no longer the Tool Company it once was………………..

  • November 27, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    TWO weeks……….243 posts……..
    POSTS – how many MORE are reading??????????

  • November 27, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    I can’t comment on the O’Harre “industrial account”, BUT I can tell you, first hand, how they screw you on “vocational/college” accounts!

    I had a community college in my route that has VERY prominet auto AND John Deere programs. I was, as was the college (I had friends that were instructors) chomping at the bit. Matco TOO was DYING to “get into” that college.

    What a FUCKING FARCE! I was EXPECTED to give a a FULL DAY to attened “tool day” at the college, which I did!

    I was pumped so full of shit about “make sure you have your truck there, you will be introduced as “the Matco guy” and on and on!

    BULLSHIT! When I got there I was TOLD to “aprk my truck where it could NOT been seen”! Then I was the vocational salesmans BITCH for the day! I sat up HIS displays! I kept people “busy” while he sold!

    I kept asking why I couldn’t take students to my truck! Was told “absolutely not”.

    Now ask me about the “vocational purchse program”! According to what my DM AND people at STOW told me, the ONLY thing “vacational sales” could sell students was what was on the colleges “list of required tool” and to the school itself!

    HORSE SHIT! The “vocational salesmen” had a system all worked out. He had taught students that on top of their “regular discount” that tey got ALL THE TIME, on “tool day” they got an EXTRA discount!

    He “explained” to them that under “vocational rules” they were allowed only ONE “tool box purchase”. SO, to only buy a CART during school! THEN come to their last “tool day” and buy the biggest box they want at 60% of off LIST!

    I thought the whole fucking idea of “vocational” was to get students use to “my brand” and create “brand loyality”. That way when they needed a “bigger box” they would come to me! Why when Matco ALREADY sold them a “bigger box”?

    Now on to “list of required tools”! BULLSHIT! The vocational salesman, once again had the students ” trained”. I watched GRADUATING students come in with LIST of tools NOT ON REQUIRED LIST. The saleman had TOLD them to “go out and get loans or even a low interest credit card to make their LAST discounted purchase”!

    I listend to students discuss how long they had planned this! I watched MANY come in with page after page of “list”. He let them buy ANYTHING in the entire catalog AND even shit that MAtco got from OTHER VENDORS that was NOT in their catalog!

    I watched students buy (be it cash, check, credit card, loan or mom and dad money) buy 10’s of thousands of dollars in tools! Obe kid ALONE spent nearly $25K!!!! That was at his 60% “tool day” discount! FUCK DBR’s don;t get shit at 60% off! That would have been OVER $50k, FORM ONE KID, off my truck!

    The vocational guy would NOT let me see his sales numbers! But I bet I watched over $200k, at 60% off, worth of tools sold!

    He effectively “saturated” my “potential customers/market” BEFORE the kids even had jobs! How the fuck is that fair? TRUST ME, I crawled so far up Matcos ass on this one they knew this “new guy” by name!

    That college, and the potential customers it was sending out WAS HUGE reason I took that route! They backdoored me before the first graduation!

    Stow told me that “vocational ONLY sold the required tools” and thatthe saleman did NOT sell anything NOT in the “vocational catalog”. BULLSHIT!!! I spent 10 hours with him at “tool day” being his BITCH, FOR FREE!

    Try explaining to students/potential customers WHY they should wait and buy from me when they can buy ALL THEY WANT now CHEAPER than I can buy it!

    I know for a FACT that “vocational” is/was NOT popular with the DBR’s in my district! No fucking wonder! Several “flat refused” to waste their time on it. In hindsight I understand why and don’t blame them!

    If ALL I lost was a day on the route, BUT gained potenial customers by doing a “meet and greet” it could have been worth it! BUT since I was NOT allowed to even so much as pass out business cards stating who I was, I lost out way more.

    And YES I WAS TOLD I COULD and YES I DID TRY to pass out business cards. The “vocational saleman” quickly gathered up those cards and explained to be that was “his deal NOT mine”.

    Ok guys, spin that one!

  • November 27, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    i can agree with you on this one. i have seen it in a different way. other distributors were allowed to have customers, big spenders, in my area but we were told that we had an assigned area but i was told that we didnt have specific ares just a list of calls but i couldnt go in another distributors area to solicit from someone that he didnot go to, hello. there is too much greed and corruption going on here to even imagine for most people to comprehend. unless you have been there and done that then you dont know nor do you get the t-shirt. i have reported other distrubutors selling out from under me but it was okay because they were one of the good ol boys. you complain .they tell you to grow up. you try to play the way they play and its against the rules. its all bs. they wine and dine you to sucker you in and then its who are you on the way out.

  • November 27, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    Richard- got one better than that. When I “got out” I had a few customers that were taking new jobs in another DBR’s territory. I went OUT OF MY WAY to report there NEW employer to MDBS AND to let customer know that his “info” would be in Matco’s system for the new “tool guy” he’d have.

    One DBR, the DM’s pet, had a couple of these customers. Months later I found out her HAD BEEN collecting my “skips”, but NOT forwarding one my money, minus he % for collecting. I kept asking the DBR AND DM, as I knew EXACTLY where my customer was at. IT wasn’t until I talked to my customer that he told me he HAD been paying the other DBR, that I confronted my old DM. Of course they claimed he had NOT been collecting, even though I had receipts. Oddly enough when I threatened to call Stow, I got a check in the mail from the DBR who “had not” collected the money. My DM emailed to say that I should be “kissing that DBR’s ass”, he didn’t have to pay me anything!

    I KNOW of at least one other “washed out” DBR thatfound out our DM was teaching his “replacement” how to run 2 sets of books! The new DBR collected money for the old DBR and NEVER paid him! ALL an “under the table deal” that he made 100% profit on .

    DM’s, this one anyway, was/is SCUM! And ALL on Stow KNEW IT! BUT he was maing them money, so I blind eye was turned.

    I REALLY hope that some of this all coming to light, and the class actions suit, have A LOT to do with his “retirement”.

    My guess is when Matco’s feet are put to the flame, this DM will become their “scapegoat”.

    Ahhh, KARMA!!!!

  • November 27, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    i agree with you, i was allowed to change routes after 2 years of struggling, just to struggle some more. anyway i left 10,000.00 out on the street in my old route. i was told not to go back and try to get it as they had someone new coming in and that he would collect it and pay me. well i have yet to see a dime of it. this started before i was terminated. once you get on the shit list you are done. no one will help you. i feel like the choice was made way before i was told and there were protections put in place for them and not for me. they supposedly already have someone to replace me and i havent been gone 90 days yet and this guy is already out selling. it is a racket and they take advantage of people and throw them out the door.

  • November 28, 2011 at 8:36 am

    There are alot of sad stories with each and everyone of us. In my opinion, Matco makes alot of promises and keeps none.They want you to buy and buy and dont care how you pay your tool bill. Matco says it is your business, but they want to dictate everything to you. Listen to all of these complaints, they all have similarity and it points to Matco. We need to speak loud, clear and stste the facts to all of our personal dealings with Matco. We have people listening.’GO GET THEM JERRY.

  • November 28, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Things Matco should do;

    1. create new franchise agreements.No chater or dist agreements
    2.stay out of distributors business, if they fail there would be no one to blame.
    3.create distributor association, to resolve issues and better each other.
    4.make changes due to economic times, when necessary. d.m.’s salary, so they dont pressure distributors to buy,buy,buy.
    6.make every dist be on mdbs.
    7.make every dist who collects on a skip and dosent report it to the other dist,pay 100% to other dist.
    8.allow room for growth in distributor areas.
    9.stay out of colleges and schools, leave for distributor,it is their route.
    10.improve the credit dept, get rid of Mike Knox.
    11.have more d.m’s per area, not just one for about a 300 mile area.
    12.resolve customer problems in a timely manner.
    13.create a better looking, more impressive monthly flyer.
    14. profile a dist of the region in every flyer.
    15.create a new mdac rep every year, so different issues can be addressed by different dist.

    this is a list of things matco can do to improve.

    keep posting and call ‘JERRY’.

  • November 28, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Posted today on
    Former Distr said: 11/28/2011 2:24:40 PM (GMT)
    Matco isn’t out to get you… They already GOT you. When they are done with you, out you go…We’ll get Another! You don’t turn their numbers Out U Go! I separated last yr.-As of March, Less than 80% of Nat Avg, for the previous 9.5 yrs I was 110%. Be real..They DO NOT CARE ABOUT U! Still at it and doing better….should have left long ago.

  • November 28, 2011 at 11:49 am

    The Matco 2010-2011 FDDs contain lists of “Active Distributors” (Appendix B) and “Terminated Distributors” (Appendix C).
    As Kevin points out, the “Terminated” distributors may have left under a variety of circumstances, but it’s interesting from a DBR turnover standpoint… and for trying to figure out the extent of churnover of Matco DBRs.

    For example, it seems that there are 48 Active Distributors listed for NY. There are half as many (24) on the Terminated DBR list for NY. Add those together and divide (the extent of my math skills), that’s 33% turnover in NY.

    NY: 48 Active List, 24 Terminated List (33% of total)
    CA: 153 Active List, 26 Terminated List (15%)
    TX: 140 Active List, 38 Terminated List (21%)
    IL: 82 Active List, 21 Terminated List (20%)
    FL: 78 Active List, 29 Terminated List (27%)
    WI: 42 Active Lists, 14 Terminated List (25%)

    Again, these are Matco’s numbers and terminology, not mine.

  • November 28, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Maybe the real problem with Matco is structural, in that franchisees aren’t judged by how well they are following the system, but how much they buy. Yet if they are following the system and their sales aren’t enough, the fault is their route, not them, right? If you simply resell the customer list, the next guy will fail no matter how hard he works.

    Think about McDonald’s. McDonald’s franchisees are judged by QSC (quality, service, cleanliness). They can be terminated for not maintaining quality standards, not for their purchase level from corporate. If a franchisee follows the system to a T and is not succeeding, it is clear that they have a bad location. McDonald’s will help them move to a better location.

    If a Matco DBR follows the system, makes required calls, provides great customer service, but doesn’t make the minimum purchases, should he be subject to termination? Isn’t that an indication that he has an unviable route (equivalent to a “bad location”)? Shouldn’t failure to make minimums signal a problem with the list of calls, not the franchisee?

    In a good franchise company, the DM would be working with the franchisee and with corporate to figure out a way to improve sales and save that franchise. A bad franchise company simply terminates that franchisee as if it were his fault, or lets him fail, and recruits another “disposable” distributor for the “bad location.”

    Instead of shake and bake it’s churn and burn. Real change is probably going to require some big structural changes, and Matco/Danaher is unlikely to take that on out of the goodness of their hearts. They will only take on that challenge and expense if properly motivated in a big way.

    Just one Guest’s humble opinion…

  • November 28, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Debbie thanks for forwarding my post…

    I’ve read thru about 50% of these posts. Amazing.
    !0 yrs as a distributor, 6 yrs as the District MDAC Rep.
    MDAC was used as propaganda for the company. They would use it their advantage alone, maybe just to advertise it as ‘one of the features we offer’.

    My DM hated it when I came back from a MDAC Meeting and disclosed the truth to my district. That’s probably one reason I received no support from Matco.

    Is Matco involved with deception? Damn right! In my opinion, it comes down to morality. And too many on-board @ Matco lack decent morals.

    I served on MDAC in two different Regions, Damn right I ate Steak and drank their Beer. (didn’t get any Cigars though). How many meetings did I sit through w/exec’s confronted with the truth and simply kept their mouths shut because the issue couldn’t be morally defended.

    I’m not bitter @ Matco, I’m bitter towards all levels of Management that apparently condone deceiving and immoral practices.

  • November 28, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    This site is beginning to speak volume. This says it all, look at how many people got screwed by Matco.Its amazing as to the number of complaints that are coming in. Each one of us have been screwed by Matco in one way or the other. Look at all the key words describing how Matco changed our lives.


    The list goes on and on. Keep posting and Go get them Jerry.

  • November 28, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    @guest ….I hardly see your post as a Humble Opinion,
    It is totally accurate – I found it to be an Insightful

    @Former… You’re welcome. The secrets, the silence, the deceit –
    Is secret NO more! There Has to be accountability

  • November 28, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Make sure to tell everyone. We need to let everyone know about this wonderful site. Without Matco distributors, there would be no Matco. I think we have their attention by now. These practices they do is deceptive unfair trade practices, which is against the law. Lets go get them, standup and be loud.

  • November 28, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Another 10+ year veteran comes forward and speaks the truth. THANK YOU ! As Debbie said how many more are reading this? How many people have kept their finances, family, and general well being intact because of this forum? Hopefully quite a few.

    This can also help current DBR’s maybe stay on the road due to a slow down of new un-informed franchisees.

    A freight train is barreling down the tracks at 100 m.p.h. and is on the verge of coming off the tracks……………………………right into headquarters at Stow.

  • November 28, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    We need any and all distr to come forward, with any tenure and lets be heard. We are making progress against this deceitful morons.Let that freight train run right into Tom Willis office. Please continue to spread the word. The worst thing for a business , is word of mouth. GO GET THEM JERRY.

  • November 28, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Let me tell you my experience with PSA’s. HAHAHAHAHA! Armpit of Matco is being NICE!

    BUT, my DM had away around that, wink wink nudge nudge. We were ALL trained to fill out PSA apps. That is ALL we could go. WE weren’t the “lenders”, only the paperpushers.

    Here’s how I was TOLD to get around that! I would NOT be able to do it at first, BUT once I built up a hefty bank account, which I was told was inevitable, I “carry the loans myself” AND COLLECT the 22% interest for myself!!!!

    Can you say ILLEGAL! I was NOT a lending institution! I was told that as I grew, to do PSA’s like this-1)Hve customer fill out app” and sign (most guys don’t read the thing anyway”. 2) “Pretend” to call in app. 3) Tell customer he/she was “approved”. 4) Continue to stop in to collect “Matco’s payment”. 5) Put payment and 22% interest into MY bank account. NO ONE will be any wiser!

    This was straight from a DM’s MOUTH!

    Let the spin begin!

  • November 28, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Wow Tim Sharkey in the house!!!!!
    Its been a while, I did not know you were still with Matco!!
    Speaking of Expos in the good ole days, remeber when you were on stage at Expo with Tom Willis and you encouraged every distributor to get a lead to get to 2000 dbrs. Wow the good ole days, the only guy ever to get to speak on stage that was not a Matco employee.

  • November 28, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    My d.m was such a dumb azz , he didnt know how to write a psa.My first one , he told me to call another distr for help. What are the D.M.’s trained to do? I think Pritchet and Ramey are the biggest pieces of shit, i know. If you are in the southern states and are thinking of signing on , call me first. I will enlighten you on some things that will blow your mind. run,run and dont look back.

  • November 28, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    Illegal? Nails it! About the 2nd or 3rd PSA I wrote –
    Actually the PSA deal my DM made, was not
    only illegal, it took me Months to recover from
    First, tells the kid “I” would pay off Snap On for
    him, HUGE No No – PSA Dept Lectured me, said
    a trade in box HAD to be free of leins. Then the
    4 Thousand dollars I had to pay Snap On
    just about broke my “3 months in business”
    bank! THEN I find out – what I did was illegal!
    Too late for me, my DM brokered the whole deal!

    NOW, he emailed and wants to do a “ride a long”
    Hell, I can’t afford! EVERY time he rides with
    MY sales drop!

    I can tell him NO, right? He makes out like
    I have no choice

  • November 28, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Deb- Your DEAD ON! My DM was a disaster when it came to PSA’s! HE “dicked me” the EXACT same way! I paid off Snap-On and it EMPTIED my bank account! The DM didn’t even ASK ME before hand IF I could cover the pay-off! His ONLY concern was getting a box sold!

    Same as you, when I contacted Stow I got lectured for doing it tha way! Matt and Tracy, in training, BOTH had a “shit fit”! I got told “was that what we taught you”?

    That’s the problem! I truly believe that there are MANY good people like Tracy and Matt. I saw first hand the OUTRAGE Matt had with the things my DM had me doing! It got to point, in first few weeks, that I was calling or emailing Matt DAILY!

    Needless to say, Matt would go (as he should have) “further up the chain” to bring my “issues” to the attention of the powers to be. All it got was “the powers” calling my DM and telling him to “control me and quit letting me stir shit”! Then I’d get a call, no paper trail to calls, and get my ass ripped! Not for having a question, but for going over DM’s head and “telling on him”!

    Problem is when something “illegal” is done, it’s the DBR’s ass NOT the DM’s. Even though he SHOWED/TOLD us what to do!

    Someone asked what the DM’s job was? I can tell you! Cover his and and deny, deny, deny!

    GO GET EM JERRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • November 28, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Sounds like Matco has alot of problems with their employees giving misleading information and illegal information. Matco has a way with making promises and keeping nothing. This must be a practice that they teach their D.M’s.

    GET EM JERRY……..

  • November 28, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Tom, it is SO sad it happens to everyone! My DM sucked up his fat $1000 bonus for signing me THEN HAD THE NERVE TO BITCH THAT **OUT OF HIS POCKET** HE BOUGHT ME AN ANTRON BROWN SHIRT!
    Because I’m a drag racer myself – the “free” tickets to the National event in Denver was a big deal – I thought “they must really think I’ll do well” – how stupid was that?
    They only saw dollar signs, they saw I HAD stellar credit and could get financed.
    Yeah, now 2 1/2 years down the road – they are ready to kick me to the curb for not meeting National Average. Never mind I PAY MY BILLS – geez, I don’t ORDER enough – so really, what that is saying to me is…. I’m not paying my franchise fee!

  • November 28, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    I’d like to see Jerry drag a few of these “quality DM’s” in to see what they saw! Wonder how fast they would roll on the “top brass”?

    Makes me SICK! I spent YEARS looking into this business. I scouted ALL 3 of the big ones. I should have known something when my Snap-On guy, who was a DBR for 20 plus years, became a DM, then came back to truck, told me to “run and run fast”. He came back to truck from DM jon because “it made me sick hav ing to lie to guys like you”! YEP, an HONEST Snap-On guy, lol.

    Not to mention that I had been a steady and loyal Matco CUSTOMER for nearly 20 years. Hell they got my money twice! I liked Matco becuase of tools and the DBR’s I had, BOTH of which I think are “charter guys”?

    Wanted to touch earlier on someones comment on the “made in thialand to Matco specs”. LOL When my DM “helped” me stage the truck, we went to GREAT DETAIL to hide ALL signs of “Made in” unless it was USA! He carefully marked out ALL traces of anything marked other than USA.

    When I asked why I was told “what the customer don’t know won’t hurt him” or “why bring it up for custoner to question”!

    How about the plain RECKLASS first weeks out! My DM told ALL customers that ALL TOOLS they buy have an “uncontional lifetime warranty”! My trainer FLIPPED OUT!

    I was warrantying 15 year old torque wrenches, shit guys had saved for 10 years in 5 gallon bucket that you couldn’t even tell what it was!

    I had one customer who came on with THOUSANDS of dollars worth of broken tools. WAIT THIS IS GOOD! He had LONG since replaced the tools with other brands! HE WANTED TRUCK CREDIT! My fucking DM GAVE it to him!!!!!!!!!!

    Same guy also “claimed” to have given much more “broken stuff” to another DBR and never got new stuff. Guess what! My DM told me to “just take his word and give him truck credit”!

    With my DM’s “help” my “3 months reserve” was GONE in less than 30 DAYS! I bought no big boats, campers, motorcycles like Matt said would be our downfall IF we did. I did exactly what STOW told me to do, UNTIL Lord Vanderwall told me to listen to him, he new better than Stow!

    It was either do as he told me and hope he was right OR piss of my DM on day one. Guys like Kevin CAN piss of a DM or RM if they want, they are already successful and know the game. New DBR’s, although technically I guess could, but don’t really have that as an option at the begining!

    That tech got a grand worth of NEW tools of MY truck and I got FUCKED! Matco did NOT reimburse me for anything! I was told that I “was Matco” and “needed to stand behind my product”! How about MATCO standing behind their product?!

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