RED BULL Vending Scam Alleged

nullWould beverage giant Red Bull really risk its good name and valuable reputation by becoming involved with a sleazy vending business opportunity scandal?

Apparently so…

Reader Larry posted a disturbing account of how and why buyers of the Red Bull vending “franchise” were allegedly scammed by one of the world’s richest men.

Are you familiar with Red Bull, CCA and/or their vending business opportunity? Please share your insight with a comment below.

Based on evidence we have gathered from all over the country, it is our belief that when we the machines owners, began receiving the machines we purchased, Red Bull’s distribution network, which is made up entirely of independent distributors, revolted.

Red Bull distributors had signed agreements for exclusive territories with Red Bull, long before we were sold our machines. They considered that when Red Bull sold those same territories to us for the placement of machines, it was a violation of those exclusive territory agreements they already had in place with Red Bull. I would suspect that their claims may have had merit.

Red Bull was clearly aware that they were far more dependent on their distributors then they would ever be on us, because they didn’t have a network of their own, and that they also had a potential legal problem if they were seen to have breached a portion of their agreement with the distributors that spelled out the exclusive territories.

Red Bull then made the corporate decision to pull the plug on CCA, to stop the sales of the machines, and to try the shift the blame of the duplicate territories onto CCA. Red Bull then adopted the most devious and downright criminal portion of their plan to extricate themselves from this matter, by actively siding with the distributors to keep us out of the market, or drive us out if we were already there. Red Bull and the distributors at this time were pretending that they were trying to help us place the machines, when in actuality, they were treacherously working to get rid of us.

Red Bull during that time told us, in writing, that they were working with the distributors to help us place the machines. But let me ask does it make sense that this Multi-Billion Dollar Company, with all the assets at their disposal, they didn’t succeed in helping anyone place any of our machines?

After CCA folded, we weren’t aware that our local distributor resented the idea that we might place a machine in “their” territory, and that they worked with Red Bull to make sure that didn’t happen.

As far as we know, Red Bull did not succeed in helping any of us place even one machine. But instead of Red Bull just taking the financial hit and buying the machines back from us when they realized the problem created with their distributors, this greedy foreign company chose to allow us to be financially destroyed, rather than just pay us back for this mistake.

They waited until the financial strain of not generating any profit from our investment grew so oppressive, that they then “offered” to buy back the machines at 25-40% of the value we paid. Many of us had no other option but to sell them back at a loss.

But funnily enough, right after the machines were sold back to Red Bull, those machines that Red Bull said they couldn’t help us place, were placed almost immediately by the distributors. We have plenty of documented evidence to this effect.

So ask yourself, should we feel as if Red Bull did us a favor when they bought back those machines back from us at 25% of what we paid for them? Or do you believe, as we believe, that Red Bull sold us a franchise, and then worked to make sure we couldn’t establish our franchise?

You may not know what law this violates, but your gut tells you they broke some sort of law, doesn’t it? Well that is why we are staying in this fight. We’re doing it for our families, as a warning for others and for society’s need to punish huge corporations who willfully violate the law.

And one last thought to keep in mind: According to Forbes Magazine, the 49% owner of Red Bull, Dietrich Mateschitz, has increased his net worth from 2.4 Billion to 4.0 Billion since the sale of the machines began in 2005!

That is a gain of $1.6 BILLION dollars to his net worth since his company scammed our families out of their savings.

According to Forbes, in 2006 Mr. Mateschitz was the 317th richest person in the world; this year he is listed as the 260th richest person in the world.

When asked for his help in this matter, Mr. Mateschitz, after some hesitation, finally told us he was not interested in our problems. I think he probably needed to spend his time counting his ever growing pile of Euros, all the while laughing at how easy it was to scam hundreds of hard working Americans out of their money, and in their own country, right under the noses of their own government.

Companies like Red Bull need to hear the message that in American business, you need to play by the rules or you will be held accountable. Help us spread the word, to send a message to this company, and to pressure our government to act. Thank you for your help. – LARRY

WHAT DO YOU THINK? SHARE A COMMENT?

36 thoughts on “RED BULL Vending Scam Alleged

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  • July 16, 2008 at 1:48 pm
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    I agree with Larry 100%. And as he said we have documented evidence from all over the US to prove our case.

    We did do our “homework” before purchasing our Red Bull vending machine franchise. And yes, we were told it was a franchise. I contacted the BBB, state and local officials in Florida, and could not find anything derogatory about CCA. I phoned Red Bull North America and was told they had an exclusive agreement with CCA to sell these vending machines. I was told by RBNA this was a legitimate business venture. I was presented with a letter from RBNA confirming their business relationship with CCA. I would never have thought in a million years, with such a big name and strong corporation, RB would be part of a scam like this one.

    We bought 3 machines and had no help from RBNA. Although I had 5 people from the local distributor come to my home and make a lot of empty promises.

    We placed one of them after sitting in the garage for 7 months. A year later we placed the second one. It was stolen a few days after placing it. The machine, the money inside, and all the product in it, gone. Now we were suppose to have a theft and vandalism policy that would replace that machine but of course with the bankruptcy of CCA and the denial from Red Bull that they are in no way responsibile, we are out money and pay on a loan each and every month for something we no longer have. Our third machine we placed has sold 2 cans in 6 months. Far cry from the $7,000 a month profit we were told we would make.

    And the buy back program. What a joke that was. We were offered $1,000 for each of our machines. Some did sell their machines back to CCA and never got paid. CCA then sold those machines to other unsuspecting individuals. Well then RB came along and did a buy back program. RB did not follow the chain of custody on those machines so some of the machines they bought are now considered stolen. This is all documented through law enforcement.

    I must say it seems we lost “peanuts” compared to what other victims have lost and my heart goes out to them. I spoke with a victim in NY yesterday who’s home is now in foreclosure due to this scam. Many have already lost their homes, retirements, savings, inheritances, and some divorces due to this scam. We estimated a total loss to all victims of approximately 25 million dollars.

    How can a billion-dollar company like Red Bull allow this to happen? I bet this would never happen in Austria where Red Bull originated from, so how and why did this happen in AMERICA?

    You would think that the owner of Red Bull, with all his billions would step up to the plate and pay each victim of this scam. It would be pennies to him.

    Just go to http://www.ripoffreport and put Red Bull, redbull, or Creative Concepts of America in the search bar and you can read the tragic stories of the victims and what they have lost.

  • July 16, 2008 at 2:22 pm
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    There comes a time when corporations need to step up and reconcile poor business decisions and poor choices in business partners. Right is right, and Red Bull North America (RBNA) is just plain wrong.

    I purchased 10 Red Bull vending Machines via Creative Concepts of America (CCA) for approximately $44,000 dollars. The machines arrived, with the initial stock of Red Bull product shortly thereafter. Along with the purchase of the machines and product, I was also purchasing a protected territory and a relationship with RBNA. This is all clearly stated in the purchase contract that I signed.

    Shortly after entering this venture, it was announced via letter from RBNA that they had severed their relationship with CCA, and would no longer be supporting CCA as a business partner. This was shocking and of great concern to me, as my reason for making this investment was Red Bull brand recognition, and RBNA’s own first-hand confirmation to me that they did, in fact, have an ongoing relationship with CCA.

    This business opportunity had been marketed as a Red Bull opportunity by CCA, with RBNA’s full blessing and knowledge.

    Upon learning of the dissolution of the RBNA/CCA partnership, I attempted to contact RBNA several times to gain some clarity as to the nature of their abrupt suspension of activities with CCA. I never received a call-back from any Red Bull representative once I purchased the machines and product.

    I then contacted CCA in hopes that they would address my concerns. After a very long and tedious negotiation, CCA agreed to buy back my machines at $3,000 per machine. A contract was signed to that affect. Payment was to be made by CCA upon receipt of the machines. The machines were removed from their working locations and put into storage with those that were never placed at all.

    A moving company, hired by CCA, eventually picked up the machines and shipped them to Florida. I confirmed receipt of the machines at the warehouse that they were shipped to. I received proof of delivery from the carrier as well. This was something I requested…not offered by CCA or the warehouse.

    I instructed the warehouse, which was obviously in some sort of arrangement with CCA, to NOT release the machines to CCA without my authorization, as they did not belong to CCA until payment was made to me. The warehouse agreed to follow my instructions.

    After not receiving any payment or communication from CCA or the warehouse for two weeks (and several unreturned calls), I again contacted RBNA. They FINALLY agreed that they might be able to offer me some sort of settlement/buy back. The RBNA representative called the warehouse where the machines had been stored, only to discover that the machines were no longer there. They had been RESOLD to another party. So, basically, an agent of RBNA, CCA, stole my property and sold it to some other poor schmuck.

    Not only was I now out $44K plus all the other expenses, but the machines were gone as well.

    RBNA is responsible for putting their name on this venture, and authorizing such a sleazy, fly-by-night scam artist like CCA to represent them. None of this would have happened to me, or to anyone else, had Red Bull either been more discriminating in its choice of business partner/agent.

    Red Bull could have done the right thing when they found out about CCA’s practices. They could have been proactive in giving me and others the opportunity to opt out of this program without severe financial damage. Instead, the battened down the hatched and simply ignored the enormous mess that they created.

    Red Bull North America needs to be held accountable for allowing its agents to defraud so many investors who had believed in the Red Bull brand and had been excited and proud to be a part of such a success story as Red Bull. RBNA’s reaction and lack of ownership of this terrible outcome tarnishes a once brilliant name.

  • July 16, 2008 at 2:31 pm
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    Thank you for the story. I know that there are many of us out there. We all have our own story of how we were scammed. My husband and I have two little girls… now ages 4 and 6. When we bought the machines, we were hoping they would help fund their college savings. We used $15,000 of our savings… and lost it all. I know that $15,000 may not seem like much, but it is a huge hit for us. Here is our story:
    ———————————————————-
    In November of 2005, my husband and I made a decision to start up our own business and buy 3 Red Bull Vending Machines through Creative Concepts of America, which was a“Red Bull Vending Machine Franchise Company”.
    As we, ourselves, enjoy the Red Bull product, we thought that purchasing 3 Red Bull Vending machines was a very safe and smart decision… especially considering that this was a Red Bull FRANCHISE.

    After doing our homework and speaking with a Red Bull / Creative Concepts representative – Jeffrey Youngbauer—we decided to purchase 3 machines at a cost of $4, 210.00 each. On 11/08/2005, a check in the amount of $12,630.00 was cashed. We received a business packet and 3 Red Bull vending machines shortly thereafter. Creative Concepts / Red bull referred us to a locating service whereby they found (very “shady”) locations for our 3 machines for a fee of approximately $1,200.

    The machines failed horribly. Red Bull / Creative Concepts estimated selling an average of 27.6 cans a day (Gross profit of $.75 per can. 3 machines = $62.10/day, $434.70/week). It ended up that we were selling approximately 5 cans per week per machine.

    In April of 2006, we received a call from Red Bull / Creative Concepts stating that they would like to extend the offer of buying back the machines because they had “upgraded their machines” to offering 3 products instead of 1. Of course, the buy back included a loss, which was expected. However, after much thought, my husband and I determined that the loss we would suffer if we sold our machines back would be much less than if we decided to keep them. So, we went ahead and agreed to sell back all 3 machines. A contract was signed and all seemed legitimate.

    We upheld our end of the bargain and had all 3 machines moved to our garage. We contacted Red Bull / Creative Concepts, who had a moving company come and retrieve them from our garage. The agreement stated that Red Bull / Creative Concepts would buy back 3 vending machines at $2,800.00 per machine. A check for $3,000.00 would be issued once they had the machines in their possession and determined there was no damage. The remaining balance of $5,400.00 would be paid in equal payments within 6 months starting June 1, 2006 (to be automatically deposited).

    The $3,000 never materialized. Rather, we received an email from Creative Concepts, declaring that they were in the 1st stages of bankruptcy. As Creative Concepts was a “Red Bull” franchise, we contacted Red Bull directly and let them know what happened. Red Bull admitted to having a relationship with Creative Concepts, but indicated that the relationship was severed once bankruptcy was declared. Red Bull disregarded our losses and completely ignored our continuous complaints and inquiries into the entire situation.

    Red Bull is an unethical company, with very unethical business practices.

    Sincerely,
    Michele and Vincent Wallace

  • July 16, 2008 at 2:36 pm
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    Thanks, Larry for getting this story out there. Red Bull arrogantly insists that they had no part in this matter. One distributor offered to pay a guy $150.00 each for his machines….What an insult.

    Also, thanks Sean for this site!

    Deborah

  • July 16, 2008 at 2:47 pm
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    I fell for the Red Bull Scam to. We purchased the so-called “Red Bull Franchise” from Creative Concepts of America. There was a letter given to us from Red Bull North America to CCA confirming their relationship. We called RBNA and was told this was a good company and if we wanted machines to get them through CCA. This cemented the deal. Big name how could we go wrong.

    With our purchase we were given protected territories, warranties, a theft and vandalism policy, and placement of our Red Bull vending machines in high traffic areas. Oh and lets not forget the money. Oh the money we were told we would make in this venture. My thoughts were this would be a great way to pay for the rest of my college expenses.

    This whole business venture has been a joke. Who would ever think such a well-known company would ever allow this to happen.

    The owner of Red Bull worth 4 billion dollars. Us Americans are out about 25 million. Red Bull needs to take responsibility for what has happened.

    Jennifer

  • July 16, 2008 at 4:53 pm
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    I am one of the many that was scammed by Red Bull and CCA and can confirm that these reports are totally on the mark. I was a young college student at the time and was looking for vending opportunities with a reputable company. I would not have felt so confident, but I knew Red Bull was a huge world wide corporation and a very popular drink. Of course, we all confirmed with Red Bull that Creative Concepts of America was their representative for vending machines. Red Bull sang their praises and the person I spoke with before finalizing my purchase of 10 machines, assured me that Red Bull Vending would prove to be a lucrative investment. Like others, this turned into the biggest nightmare of my life and and I will continue to pay off a debt for many years to come due to the lies and misrepresentation of this multi-billion dollar corporation. I’m amazed that people like this can continue to live and function knowing how many people’s lives have been destroyed due to their actions. Some day, hopefully soon, justice will be served.

  • July 16, 2008 at 6:23 pm
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    To Whom It May Concern:
    My name is Ismael Halidou, and I’m from Alexandria VA. I recently entered into an agreement with a company called Creative Concepts of America (CCA) to purchase three Red Bull Vending machines and start a vending route franchise. I entered into this agreement on April 3rd 2006 at which time I paid CCA $14,555 for three Red Bull vending machines and 1000 cans of Red Bull that were to be shipped within forty five days of my purchase date. I have not received my machines and every attempt I have made to get my money back has failed. CCA claimed to be Red Bull’s exclusive vending distributor, and Red Bull led me to believe that indeed CCA was the only company I could purchase Red Bull (RB) vending machines from to start a RB vending route franchise. I have asked RB for help and their response to me is that I should make complaints to the Attorney General of Florida. I have been defrauded by big business people who have taken my money and refuse to give me what I paid for. Is this legal? If I did this to people I would justifiably go to jail. Please help me get my money back. I have already filed a police report with Broward county sheriff’s office. My case number is 06072465. I have also successfully sued CCA and was given a judgment in the amount of $14,555.

  • July 16, 2008 at 6:56 pm
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    I was also scammed by CCA and REDBULL.
    In 2005 I began looking for a Franchise opportunity. When I saw Redbull, I was excited because I knew Redbull was a leading product in the energy drink sector. CCA was in charge of distributing franchises for Redbull in my area.
    I invested $27,000.00 to buy area rights, 5 vending machines & Redbull product to start my business.
    I recieved my machines & product. Thats when I began to have problems. I had trouble locating my machines, contacting CCA, or getting any help that was promised by them, to promote my business.
    It has been over 2 years, I have placed 3 of 5 machines MYSELF and have made about $1000.00 in profit. That is $500.00 a year. So I should recoup my investment in about 54 years!
    2 machines are in my garage. I refuse to sell them back to Redbull, so that they can again profit from my loss.
    I was lead to believe this was a lucrative business and that I would be supported and lead to success by CCA & Redbull. Instead, I have lost money and time. CCA is no longer supporting Redbull, or me, as was promised. I was mislead and then dropped by CCA and Redbull. I have lost a substantial amount of money & time because of this, what I believe to be a scam, by CCA and Redbull.
    Sincerely
    Frank
    Burbank, California
    USA

  • July 16, 2008 at 8:32 pm
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    A lot of people lost a little, some lost a lot. RBNA and CCA should have come up with some sort of plan to reimburse us.

  • July 16, 2008 at 9:22 pm
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    Yo tambien fui timado por RBNA y CCA. En marzo de 2005 compré un paquete de 3 maquinas “vending machines” por la cual pagué $14,600, nunca recibí las maquinas. Lo mas que pude recibir fueron promesas de devolucion de dinero pero nunca paso nada de eso. Ni un solo centavo, ni las maquinas, ni productos. Cuando RBNA decide retirar su apoyo a CCA ya hacia un mes que CCA habia cobrado mi dinero y supuestamente habia enviado mis maquinas a P.R. Eso nunca fue cierto. Yo espero que estas personas paguen por lo que hicieron y yo junto a las demas personas envueltas en este problema recuperemos nuestro dinero.

  • July 16, 2008 at 10:13 pm
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    I too was looking for a part time business to help with my bills and i invested 42,080.00 and lost it all everything in the stories you are reading are true!! I have lost my house and had to file for bankruptcy .I am a single dad raising 2 boys and this has not been easy try to work 2 jobs and raise my boys.RED BULL should stand up and do what is right!!!
    Larry W. Rhode Island

  • July 16, 2008 at 11:37 pm
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    I purchased 5 machines from Creative Concepts in early January 2006 at the total price of $19,943. I received them in early February intact. I was told that I had exclusive rights to my territory in Tucson, only to find out that no one has a territory, everyone is placed in Tucson and has to fight it out for locations. I was led to believe that I was purchasing a franchise and had every right to what I wished with regards to Red Bull and its logos. It was only later that I found that I was not able to use Red Bull logos on any of my advertisements, business cards, etc. I was given very misleading information regarding the amount of cans one would sell in a day. I was told that a machine should sell no less than 20 cans a day and many sell so many that you make your money back in less than a year.

    After waiting 4-5 months for a locating company recommended by CCA to find locations for me, I have found that I barely can make the loan payment on my 5 machines and continue to put my own money into this failing ‘franchise’. I feel like I was mislead by CCA and that Red Bull was complicit in this sham as they did not do their homework on this ‘shady’ company. After almost two years, I received a call from a Red Bull representative offering to buy my machines for $1,500 if they were in pristine condition. If I had followed through on this offer, I would have lost close to $12,000 just so Red Bull North America would have less independent competition when they placed their own machines in town.

    Attempts to reach Red Bull for comment have been denied and all contact with them has been even more difficult after the US Secret Service asked me to complete an affidavit regarding Creative Concepts deceptive business practices. Red Bull is just as culpable as they allowed Creative Concepts to sell their brand.

  • July 17, 2008 at 1:28 am
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    I purchased the Red Bull vending package in April 2006. I soon discovered that the Red Bull Rep in my territory thought it was amazing that Creative Concepts(on behalf of their affiliation with Red Bull) was selling Red Bull machines that would be nearly impossible to place to generate any revenue. WHY was Red Bull affiliated with a company to sell their machines that are destined to be storage fodder? The explanation for this is very murky but what is for certain was that Red Bull acted very irresponsibly, fraudulenty and with conduct unbecoming a million dollar corporation. They should be required to make restitution to their victims!

  • July 17, 2008 at 7:09 am
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    Gary, N Y Flushing I bought 30 machines borrow $130,000 .I called RBNA before I bought They said CCA is a good company .I belive RBNA becouse they are big company.Now I am paying my loan every month without any income from this vending business.that is no way I can payoff my loan.hopefuly we win the case over RBNA.

  • July 17, 2008 at 11:21 am
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    Yes, there has been a lot of deceptive business practices here. I stopped drinking Red Bull long ago and believe me I drank a lot. If everyone else did Red Bull’s profits would go down the toilet. AMERICA BOYCOTT RED BULL!!

  • July 17, 2008 at 12:31 pm
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    I too was scammed! A couple of years ago, my wife temporarily quit work to go back to school so I was looking for a way to make some additional income. I came across an ad for Red Bull vending frachises from Creative Concepts of America. I contacted the company and they sent me some info.

    Within the information they stated that they would find me guaranteed high traffic locations and that the average machines already in service were vending 20-30 cans a day. I was also told that I would have a protected territory.

    A rep at Creative Concepts gave me references of people that were already making a lot of money with the Red Bull machines. They told us that everything was safe and that we would even get a theft and vandalism warranty on our machines. Everything they were telling me sounded really good so I decided I would give it a try.

    Before I sent my money to Creative Concepts, I called Red Bull North America. They told me that Creative Concepts was legitimate and that they were the only company authorized to sell Red Bull vending machines. I was told not to hesitate to do business with them because they were a very reputable company.

    After Red Bull told me this, I decided to buy 5 machines for close to $25,000. I took out a second mortgage on my home to do so. I sent my money to Creative Concepts and received my machines a couple of months later.

    When I received my machines, Creative Concepts connected me with a locating service as promised. The service though ended up not being able to find me ANY high traffic locations. I was then told that all high traffic locations already had exclusive contracts with Coke or Pepsi and would therefore be impossible to get in to. The locating service finally secured one location for me. This location averaged sales of 1 can per week.

    I called Creative Concepts to complain about the location and request that new locations be found for me. The number was disconnected. In talking to other Red Bull vendors online, I found out that Creative Concepts had just disappeared overnight. I was left alone without the help I was promised.

    I ended up having to find locations for my machines myself. After a while I was able to secure a couple of low traffic locations. While my machines were there, they were robbed several times. Sometimes the locks were broken, sometimes they weren’t. This is when I found out that EVERY SINGLE Red Bull vending machine in the US was sent out with the exact same lock and key. Therefore, every Red Bull vendor had access to every Red Bull machine. I quickly changed the locks and then both machines were completely stolen without a trace.

    I was unable to recover any money using my theft and vandalism warranty because Creative Concepts was gone. Red Bull said there was nothing they could do because Creative Concepts was their own company and was not affiliated with Red Bull in any way.

    Red Bull finally offered to buy back my remaining three machines for pennies on the dollar. I have lost a lot of money in not only the machines, but repair costs, transportation costs and general business costs.

    This was in no way the business opportunity that Creative Concepts and Red Bull promised. Similar situations happened across America and Red Bull did nothing to help them except to offer them pennies on the dollar for their machines so they could give them to their local Red Bull distributors. Shame on Red Bull for hiring a crook company like Creative Concepts to swindle a lot of hard working people out of their money.


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  • July 17, 2008 at 2:55 pm
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    I won’t drink Red Bull again. This is how big corporations take advantage of the little people. Oh and they were all Americans, how come? I hope you all get your money back.

  • July 17, 2008 at 3:07 pm
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    In October 2005, my husband saw an advertisement by a company named Creative Concepts of America, offering a business opportunity to purchase Red Bull vending machines. He very carefully checked out this opportunity and even conversed with Robert Sorensen, the legal counsel for Red Bull, who told him that the only way to get Red Bull Vending machines was to go through Creative Concepts of America who had sole rights to sell the vending machines.

    My husband used his teacher retirement to purchase five (5) machines. After many delays, he did finally receive the machines in January 2006. Although CCA had positive encouragement that the machines would be easy to place and that they should vend 20-25 vends a day on average. My husband has been in vending for over 10 years and understands that this is in no way a guarantee of how many vends a machine would give. He ran into obstacle after obstacle trying to place the machines ‘we have a sole agreement with Coke, Pepsi’, etc. He was able to place the machines at some hotels, a bowling alley, a commercial college, etc. However, the machines only averaged about 1 vend a day. In April of 2006, Red Bull canceled their contract with CCA. CCA then offered to buy back the machines at a great loss. My husband arranged to ship the machines back to CCA (CCA was to pay for half of the shipping, but they were paying the shipping up front). CCA was to issue him a check for $5000.00 payable within 24 hours from the receipt and inspection of the machines. The remaining balance was to be paid in equal payments of $200.00 per month per machine. The machines were received by CCA by the May 12, 2006 deadline that was called for in the buy back agreement. Red Bull had sent a letter saying that they ‘would entertain a buy back’ but they would not commit to anything until after the May 12 deadline that CCA had given on their buy back. After many phone calls and a runaround, CCA finally wired $3000.00 to our bank account on or about June 8 or June 9, 2006. This was nearly a month after they were supposed to send us $5000.00. Shortly after this, we were not able to reach anyone at CCA by phone. On June 22, 2006 we finally faxed a letter to them asking what was going on…no calls returned, could not even get a ‘live’ operator.

    On June 29, 2006 we received an email from CCA stating that they were in the first stage of bankruptcy!!! There were hundreds of people all across the USA who had purchased these machines and a lot who ‘sold’ them back to CCA and now they were going to file bankruptcy six weeks after they received the machines back? We along with hundreds of others filed police reports with the Ft Lauderdale Police Department (where CCA was located). The police report states this was ‘theft by deception’. The FBI, the Secret Service and numerous other government agencies have been involved in this case.

    Red Bull is denying all responsibility for this situation. They told the BBB that they had a ‘hands off relationship’ with CCA. I have a copy of their redacted contract with CCA and it looks to me like they were supposed to have a pretty tight reign on CCA. I received an email this evening from Ilene Eskenazi, Esq who states she is general counsel for Red Bull still denying any responsibility for
    the deception that Red Bull gave in telling prospective vendors that CCA was reputable and that to get Red Bull vendors, one had to go through CCA as they had sole rights to sell the machines. In this email, she refers to the vendors as
    ‘Creative Concepts Vending Machines’. The machines have the name of Red Bull on them, not Creative Concepts.

    Hundreds of people have lost their life savings due to being mislead by Red Bull North America. One lady was a young widow who’s husband had died suddenly leaving her with 4-5 children. She used life insurance money to purchase machines thinking she would be able to support her family. She did not even receive all the machines that she paid for.

    I would think any reputable company would want to do whatever to keep their good name in the business world. Red Bull refuses to reach any type of amicable
    conclusion to this matter.

    Deborah

  • July 17, 2008 at 5:19 pm
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    Thank you for the opportunity to share our story about the Red Bull/Creative Concepts of America Vending Machine Scam. My son purchased 10 machines while still a college student. He had worked summers his whole life and used all of his savings to buy these machines. He brought all the information to his Dad and they very carefully researched this opportunity and after a confirmation from Red Bull, felt confident that this could be a very lucrative investment. We soon came to realize that Red Bull had authorized a company (Creative Concepts of America) that was comprised of con-artists, thieves, and liars, to represent them in the vending industry. They obviously made a huge mistake, therefore severing all their ties with CCA. The sad part of this is that they could have cared less about all the “little” people whose lives were destroyed by their negligent actions. Truly, this has been a nightmare for our son and for us. Fortunately, we have kept a file with names, memos, contracts, promises, phone numbers, logos, cancelled checks, etc. to document our story. We are so prepared to fight this to the end. . . to think that a company of this magnitude can get away with these kind of business practices is more than disturbing. At some point, Red Bull will have to answer for what they have done to so many innocent Americans.

  • July 17, 2008 at 7:22 pm
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    I was one of the people ripe-off from Creative Concepts and Red Bull. I did a lot of research before I purchased my machines from Creative Concepts and I knew I was paying a primium for my machines, however I was paying it because I was promised a territory. I was told no one could sell Red Bull in my territory. I was told that the average machine sold 28 to 32 cans a day. They gave me the mame of a person that verified the amount. I called Red Bull the day before I sent the check to Creative Concepts to see if I could buy my machines direct from them and they said I had to go through Creative Concepts. The day they told me that I had to go through Creative Concepts is the day they said they cutt them off. (as if they decided that day) I tried 3 defferent companied to place my machines in Phoenix Arizona and none could even get my machines out. Phoenix Arizona has the largest number of call centers in the US. My son spent 3 weeks getting address and phone numbers of all the centers. I gave this info to a placement service and they could not get my in one center. Red Bull had to have known what was going on when Creative Concepts promised everything. The people at ENRON said the same thing.

  • July 17, 2008 at 10:46 pm
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    Hi;

    I purchased 3 Red Bull Vending Machines with the entente to purchase more machines and create a lucrative business. Creative Concepts sold me 3 Red Bull Vending Machines and the territory rights of Los Angles County for the price of 15,000.00. Creative Concepts claimed that I would have the rights to sale Red Bull in Los Angles County along with 11 other Vendors. I was told 12 is the Max and that 9 have already purchased the vending rights. Creative Concepts told me that the vending rights for LA County was selling out very fast and that I needed to make a decision quickly.

    The month passed, I received my Red Bull Vending Machines with no help form Location Locators that Creative Concepts ensured would locate 3 good spots for my Business. They were out of the picture after trying to sell me a Location Locator upgrade package. I then received a letter for Red Bull stating that Red Bull North America is no longer in Business with Creative Concepts.

    I received no response from Red Bull or Creative Concepts regarding my 3 Red Bull Vending Machines that are still sitting in my garage collecting dust since April 2005. This is a big loss for a young person who was a fan of Red Bull and wanted to create a lucrative business with them.

    I know information regarding Red Bull North America giving Red Bull Vending Machines to Red Bull distributors in San Jose CA. M.E. FOX Co. is the distributor that is receiving FREE Red Bull Vending Machines to place in the San Francisco Bay Area. This is very wrong. I have had problems placing my machines and now I have to compete against professionals.

    Red Bull gave Creative Concepts the right to take our money and now Red Bull need to take claim in help us find locations, not compete against us.

  • July 19, 2008 at 7:13 am
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    I was duked out of my saving so I had to do a home equity lone to pay for my bills and all that money was supposed to go to the kids to help them SAY NO TO DRUGS a non profit that was no able to materialize because of what RED BULL AND CCA did to all of us now ,not only will i not be able to start the non- profit company for the kids but I may be loosing my house in the near future. The kids that my non-profit could of keep from drugs can be blamed on RED BULL and their lies.,.,… lies lies lies………… The Kids thanks red bull for nothing…

  • July 19, 2008 at 10:41 am
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    I too, was looking for way to make extra money.I came across an ad for Red Bull vending franchises from Creative Concepts of America.I contacted the company and they {Paul}sent me information.

    They guaranteed high traffic locations and that the average machine in service were vending 20-30 cans a day.Also I was told I would have protected territory.

    A rep at creative concept{Paul} gave me references of people that were already making a lot of money with these machines.They told us that everything was safe and that we would even get a theft and vandalism warranty on our machines.Everything they told me sounded reallygood so gave it a try.

    Before sending any money,I called red bull.They told me that creative concept was legitimate and that were the only company authorized to sell red bull vending machines.I was told not to hesitate to do business with them because they were a very reputable company.

    So after hearing this I decided to buy 5 machines for close to $25,000.I took out a second mortgage on my home to do so.Isent my money to Creative Concepts and received my machines a couple months later.

    After receiving my machines CCA connected me with a locating service as promise.The service was not able to find me ANY high traffic locations.I was then told that all high traffic locations already had exclusive contracts with Coke and Pepsi and would therefore be impossible to get in to.The locating service finally secured 3 locations for me .These locations averaged 2 cans per week.

    I called Creative Conceptsto complain about the location and request that new locations be found for me.The number was disconnected.In talking to other Red Bull vendors online,found out that creative concepts had just disappeared overnight.I didnt have the help I was promised.

    I ended up looking for my own locations which werent any better.Each time I moved a machine it would cost me $125.00.Then I after talking to a local vender all the machines had the same keys.This after having a couple times robbed of the little money inside.

    I was unable to recover to recover any money using my warranty since Creative Concepts was gone.Red Bull said there was nothing they can do because Creative Concepts was their own company and was not affiliated with Red Bull in any way.

    Red Bull finally offered to buy back my machines for pennies on the dollar.I have lost lots of money in not the machines,transportation and general business costs.

    This was in no way the business that both CCA and Red Bull promised.All across America similar situations happened and Red Bull did nothing to help,only offer pennies on the dollars for there machines.Shame on Red Bull because they wanted the machines for there distributors.Bottom line hard working people were swindled out of a lot of money.

    Jesus
    Homestead, Florida
    U.S.A.

  • July 20, 2008 at 10:51 pm
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    I purchased 5 machines from Creative Concepts in early January 2006 at the total price of $19,943. I received them in early February intact. I was told that I had exclusive rights to my territory in Tucson, only to find out that no one has a territory, everyone is placed in Tucson and has to fight it out for locations. I was led to believe that I was purchasing a franchise and had every right to what I wished with regards to Red Bull and its logos. It was only later that I found that I was not able to use Red Bull logos on any of my advertisements, business cards, etc. I was given very misleading information regarding the amount of cans one would sell in a day. I was told that a machine should sell no less than 20 cans a day and many sell so many that you make your money back in less than a year.

    After waiting 4-5 months for a locating company recommended by CCA to find locations for me, I have found that I barely can make the loan payment on my 5 machines and continue to put my own money into this failing ‘franchise’. I feel like I was mislead by CCA and that Red Bull was complicit in this sham as they did not do their homework on this ‘shady’ company. After almost two years, I received a call from a Red Bull representative offering to buy my machines for $1,500 if they were in pristine condition. If I had followed through on this offer, I would have lost close to $12,000 just so Red Bull North America would have less independent competition when they placed their own machines in town.

    Attempts to reach Red Bull for comment have been denied and all contact with them has been even more difficult after the US Secret Service asked me to complete an affidavit regarding Creative Concepts deceptive business practices. Red Bull is just as culpable as they allowed Creative Concepts to sell their brand.

    Wes Taylor

  • July 21, 2008 at 12:05 am
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    Actually Red Bull was being less than honest when they stated that Creative Concepts was the only company one could buy these vending machines from. Their contract with CCA ( I was provided with a copy this contract by Red Bull, go figure) stated that Red Bull and Royal Vendors (the manufacturer of the machines) could sell the machines at any time with the approval of Red Bull.

    Their lawyer, Ilene Eskenazi, told another victim that she had not been in contact with anyone about this matter, even though I have emails to and from her and a letter from her on Red Bull letter.

    Something is just not right with this picture.

  • July 21, 2008 at 8:37 am
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    This nightmare continues to unfold and the picture is becoming even clearer . . .Red Bull knows they made a huge mistake when they authorized CCA to represent them in the vending market. I think they realized it almost immediately but instead of addressing it, they just decided to ride it out at all of our expense. They are just as liable as CCA. And regarding the use of Red Bull logos, of which I have several, Ron Armstrong encouraged me to make up flyers and stationery and even sent me glossy signs to use to promote the vending machines. Red Bull, who guards their precious logos with their lives, surely gave them these to use. Maybe I should consider selling them back to Red Bull at the same premium price I paid for my “scam” vending machines.

  • July 21, 2008 at 11:13 am
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    Like many others I was looking for a business to start to supplement my income. On October 2005 I came across CCA who claimed was the only company offering exclusive rights to sell Red Bull through their exclusive vending machines.

    Jeff Youngbauer,CCA’s representative, quickly sent me out a distributorship package explaining all the details, who also stated that this was such a ground floor opportunity. Because of the $23,000 investment that was needed to start this ground floor opportunity I gave it some thought.

    I contacted Red Bull and inquired about CCA. Red Bull told me that CCA was the only authorized distributor of Red Bull vending machines. I grew with excitement because I trusted a multi million dollar company that endorsed their sole distributor of vending machines.

    On April 2006, I refinanced my home to finance this disaster that Red Bull and CCA created. On April 17,2006, I placed my order for 5 machines and 1800 cans of Red Bull and quickly wire transfered to CCA $23,000.

    On April 24,2006 I received an email from CCA stating that, as of April 14,2006, CCA would no longer be distributing Red Bull vending machines. On April 17,2006, when I purchased my machines, CCA never told me this information. I contacted Jeff Youngbauer to get an explanation. He proceeded to tell me that, according to Red Bull, CCA had sold enough vending machines, but that my order was ok.

    Feeling uneasy about this situation, on May 22, 2006, I sent a letter to CCA wishing to cancel my order with a full refund. Suni Perez(Customer Support) with CCA contacted me stating that CCA would honor my cancellation with a full refund made in three equal payments.

    I NEVER RECEIVED MY REFUND FROM CCA!!!!!!!

    Red Bull North America should be held responsible for the deceitful business practices that CCA was participating in. After all, Red Bull did endorse CCA as the only authorized distributor of Red Bull vending.

    Tony Porrata

  • July 21, 2008 at 12:37 pm
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    I continue to read the responses of how so many of us hard-working Americans were scammed and left out to dry after Red Bull North America allowed, via sales agreement, Creative Concepts of America to destroy so many lives.

    For sake of time, I will touch on the specifics of my disasterous loss with the Creative Concepts of America/Red Bull North America affiliation.

    Back in August 2005 I was looking for a franchise or business opportunity to add to my real estate business. After searching through franchise business opportunity sites such as franchise.com and franchisegator.com, I saw an opportunity to purchase Red Bull Vending Machines. I entered my contact information to one of the online inquiry forms and was soon contacted by an individual at a company called Creative Concepts of America. After a long conversation with a salesperson named Michael Biggs at the office, I decided to have some further due dilegence done. My business counselor called Red Bull North America and discussed the vending program and was told that it was a legitimate relationship that RBNA had with Creative Concepts of America. He was also told that they were the exclusive company to sell the Red Bull Branded Machines. On 9/21/05 I drove to Ft. Lauderdale to meet with Creative Concepts of America, I was given contracts to be 1 of 2 distributors in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Osceola Counties in Florida. I paid $6,584.00 USD on my American Express and wired the balance of $59,242.00 USD to have my 22 machines and product delivered to my predetermined locations (which I was later told by the shipping company that this was logistically impossible and they had to go to 1 central location). After I was provided with that information, I called Creative Concepts and was told they would reimburse me $75.00 USD for each machine for a total of $1650 plus my travel expenses to their office. To this day, I have not received any of those monies. I should have realized a problem when the company did not charge FL sales tax since I was a Florida business.

    I also paid an additional $5280.00 USD to Advance Placement Services out of Chicago to assist in placing my vending machines. Ironically none of the locations (schools, universities, sports complexes, etc) were as promised by the people at Creative Concepts due to Coke or Pepsi already having rights to these locations. I was the lucky recipient of absolutely terrible locations. I even had some locations refuse delivery of the machine due to the size! The business owners claimed that the placement company told them it was going to be a smaller machine or other lies. My frustration began to mount with this venture. Nothing was seamless or easy after I signed the contract.

    On 3/26/06 I had a Vending Machine broken into, damaged and all monies stolen. I called Creative Concepts for the correct process to follow since I allegedly had an included theft and vandalism warranty. I have emails saved from their support stating exactly what to do, I provided them with a police report, photos and the necessary paperwork. I was contacted by a Nick at tech support and given a timeframe when a tech would be out to review and get the machine repaired. The machine was never repaired, no one sent out and became a total loss.

    After none of the claims that Creative Concepts had made to me regarding the success of the venture even came close to reality, I began attempting to sell the machines. I have a filled in earnings estimate by Michael Biggs and Andrew Kennedy from CCA stating conservative earnings of $178K in my first year. I obviously did not believe the figure but did see an opportunity to fill an unsatisfied need by having an energy drink vending business. This was around the time I received a letter from RBNA dated 4/26/08 stating ‘the affiliation between Creative Concepts of America and Red bull North America, Inc, ended on April 8, 2006. The letter also claimed that the local distributor would help in placement of any machines. This DID NOT happen, even after discussing options with local distributor, Anchor Distribution. I was in contact with a gentleman, Chris Weatherford, the non-traditional account manager at RBNA to help me out of the situation. He put me in contact with Jeff Walls of Anchor distribution – the actual Red Bull Distributor in my area. Jeff agreed to purchase my machines for 1/2 of what I paid! I had no choice but to accept the offer due to the lack of revenue being generated by the machines.

    After CCA filed bankruptcy, all of the pieces of the puzzle began to fall into place. Andrew Kennedy was the GM of the office, although his mother was the actual front woman for CCA. They lived in a million dollar plus home, purchased with the monies rendered from people like myself and were neighbors with Dwayne Johnson (the Rock). The placement company they would recommend was operated by another one of their family members.

    I lost over $80,000 USD (after selling my machines to the local distributor)when you take the machines, placement costs, truck rental, truck payments to move the machines, storage unit charges and other miscellaneous expenses by trusting Red Bull North America did their due dilegence in selecting Creative Concepts of America to act as an agent for them by allowing them to sell Red Bull Branded Vending Machines in the United States to unsuspecting entrepreneurs such as myself and countless others that have been burned and lost everything. RBNA has sued many over potential infringements and claims that there was no knowledge of problems with CCA? I find it hard to believe a multi-billion dollar company had no idea that a small office in Ft. Lauderdale Florida was using the Red Bull name and tarnishing it by scamming and fraudulantly selling dreams to unsuspecting people.

    I’m not going to give my sob story, my hardships or my personal problems caused by this nightmare. I’m sure if you are reading this, you had the same ordeal as me and faced a challenging time in your life that you may or may not have recovered from. I’m not sitting with my hand out waiting for payment, I do believe that RBNA should make things right with those who bought into an idea to be an EXCLUSIVE RED BULL VENDING DISTRIBUTOR FOR SPECIFIC AREAS IN THE NATION. I have a contract stating I was ‘1 of 2’ exclusive distributors for Hillsborough, Pinellas and Osceola Counties in Florida. I also have the exact same contracts that were sold to other individuals in my ‘PROTECTED TERRITORY’ stating they are ‘1 of 9’ distributors in Hillsborough County Florida.

    The US Secret Service, the US Post Office, the Attorney General and countless agencies have been involved with this case. It has been going on for over 2 years. I’m tired of playing the ‘we didn’t know or we’re not responsible game.’ WE NEED TO GET THE MEDIA INVOLVED NOW!

    We may have lost 25 million in this venture but with the gaining profits and momentum of Red Bull, we have lost many more millions in future earnings.

  • July 23, 2008 at 2:31 am
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    well i guess my story won’t be any differnert than all the other nightmares on here about red bull. i also bought 5 machines investing over 27000.00 and more in intrest. i also was told i would have a protected territory and i have to keep buying more machines every six month in order to keep my protected terrritory. and i never got one of them located and i paid my share of locaters to place them. i all seem like a scam. and when they came for the machines with that joke of a buy back. i over heard the them talkikng about two of the machines i had and they said the could still sell them. and i had been ripped off in the whole thing and they were just tring to get this behind there company. and to we have no chance of getting anything from red bull . because they were a victim just like us. what a joke! I told them that the only victim in this is us and they said we should have know better. i wanted to take my sleghammer and beat the machinces to peices but it was not worth it. like i told them we well see what a judge and a jury says. and i hope we get our money back i’m not looking for anything more than what i lost. and be done with this all a move on to something else. i hate the fact that they can sponser a most stupid crap and for what they pay for one of those dumb ass events. they could make this right we all believed in red bull . and that is what sold us all we believed in there name as a leader and product. and we paid to be part of the red bull family and thought we would all be loading up machinces. as we speak but insted we are finding out we all wasted our time and most of all our money! and i want it back! just another example of big business screwing over the small people. alone nobody is hearing us but united we won’t be stopped. so lets all stick together and take them on. and i will never drink a red bull again!

  • August 11, 2008 at 3:52 pm
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    Well, Add me to the list of hard working folks that were scammed by Red Bull North America and CCA.

    We called RBNA before we ever called CCA to make sure this was a legit offer. RBNA told us that this was the only way to purchase the Red Bull vending machines and that they would offer full support. RBNA gave us the name of the salemen at CCA, ED. Ed gave us the all the info that has been posted, references to call and the promise of secure territories.

    Well, Like everyone else, this has turned into a scam not only by CCA but RBNA as well. The letter RBNA sent out, clearly stated they would offer support, product price and have the local distributors help with locations. As you know, the local distributors balked at this and won. The machines RBNA purchased back from you, went to the distributors and placed right away in good locations. Locations that we were promissed. For those that sold the machines back, funded RBNA’s vending program. Machines that cost us $3K-$4K each cost RBNA $1k to $1.5K. We lost and RBNA is walking away clean free.

    We need to call 60minutes, Anderson Cooper 360 or something to get this into the publics eye.

    The squeaky wheel gets the grease….

    Keep this blog going.

  • August 13, 2008 at 1:31 pm
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    My husband and I wanted to find a way to bring in a little more money each month and a way for me to quit my job that stressed me out to no end. We looked at Franchises and thought we found the perfect one…Red Bull vending machines. Red Bull had started becoming really popular and we thought they were a reputable company so we pursued our investigation into a Red Bull Vending Franchise.

    Creative Concepts of America (CCA) along with Red Bull North America (RBNA) provided false and ambiguous information that lured us into buying their vending business franchise opportunity with protected territories. We purchased 10 Red Bull branded machines for $42085.00 from (CCA) using our savings and were told we would own a franchise and have protected territories. The only reason we entered into this agreement was because Red Bull North America (RBNA) assured us when we called their consumer affairs department in March of 2006 at 310.393.4647 (to verify the agreement between Creative Concepts and RBNA), that everything was legit and CCA was the “only Red Bull Machine Representative” and they had an “exclusive agreement”. If we wanted to buy Red Bull machines, we had to do so through CCA. They not only confirmed everything but also encouraged us to buy the franchise because Red Bull was the most popular energy drink and we would definitely make money. There is also a letter from RBNA to Andrew Kennedy of CCA, dated 1/1/06 (cc Gary Smith and Robert Sorensen) and it stated, “You can inform your potential distributors that we have entered into a formal “buy/sell” agreement with your company.” It also stated, “Allow this letter to serve as confirmation of the relationship between Red Bull North America, Inc, and Creative Concepts of America, Inc.” Had RBNA, not told us what they did and also provided it in writing, we would’ve never done business with CCA. We were ripped off by RBNA and CCA!! Not only did we believe Red Bull North America, we were also given references to call. These people all were making crazy money and were going to buy more machines! LIES.

    Apparently on April 24, 2006, CCA would no longer be distributing Red Bull vending machines….we received our machines in mid May of 2006…..after ties were supposedly severed between RBNA and CCA.

    We received a letter from Red Bull North America and in the letter here is what it states about placement:
    “Placement – Red Bull distributors understand the local market and can help direct you to key locations, in some cases using their relationships to help you place your equipment.”
    We also received information from Mr. Jim Murphy, Director, Non-traditional On-Premise, Red Bull North America, Inc; and he is aware of all the details regarding Creative Concepts (and the Red Bull vendors that were dealing with CC) and advised us to reach out to our distributor. We never received ANY help from our distributor…just more stress and heartache from dealing with a bunch of liars.
    We were promised locations at colleges, airports, convention centers, etc.

    CCA made empty promises and this Red Bull was aware of all of this information. Now CCA is no longer here to adhere to their part of the deal so Red Bull should do something about it but they have done nothing to right this wrong.

    Red Bull North America mentioned a buy-back program to most of the other vendors but this was never officially offered to us. I still have the saved website pages CCA and Red Bull advertised this “Franchise Opportunity”. Hopefully one day we will get some restitution from Red Bull.
    We were able to place a few machines at locations but none profitable. One machine was smashed and another machine has been broken into several times but there was no one to help replace the parts (for our one year warranty). The other half of the machines are sitting in our garage taking up space.

    How can Red Bull being the billion dollar company they are just ignore all of us American people that were robbed and lied to? Having such a huge name, you would think more research would have been conducted by RBNA before going into business with CCA. However, I guess they are equally as deceptive.

  • October 1, 2008 at 11:10 pm
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    Red Bull will soon see their name in the papers and this will not be positive press for them. Everyone is going to know just what the Red Bull vending machine scam did to hundreds of Americans.

  • October 10, 2008 at 5:09 pm
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    My story is about the same as Michelle and Vincent Wallace…Except I was a 22 year old college student who spent my life savings to support my entrepreneurial spirit. I was actually in negotiations with CCA prior to their partnership agreement with RBNA and once CCA entered into the partnership with RBNA Mr. Jeffrey Youngbaur sold me on the opportunity to purchase 5 Red Bull machines with “exclusive distribution” rights (I would be “the 1st of 3 companies to have access to machines in San Diego County” according to Youngbaur), 0% interest expansion plans, and product purchases directly from RBNA at a consistent price. I based my business plan/model and loan repayments on the evidence provided by Mr. Youngbaur that the machines averaged 27.6 cans sold per day, and that I would be able to continuessly expand interest free. I took out a 2nd loan to purchase 5 machines rather than 3 as I has planned. I placed all 5 machines on my own and through doing so realized that I truly did not have exclusive distibution rights as stated in my contract with CCA. Mr. Youngbaur all of a sudden would not return my phone calls/messages. When RBNA offered the buyback opportunity I declined due to the fact that I was selling about 15 cans per day from each machine, which wasnt horrible, but also because I consider myself resiliant and had every intention of purchasing more machines through the 0 interest expansion program. That is when I started hearing the horror stories about people who had purchased “new machines” (although the expansion program was no longer available) and if they were lucky to even receive them, they actually got “used” machines that RBNA/CCA had bought back and resold as “new.” The next time I went to purchase more Red Bull for my machines I was re-directed to a local distributor who increased the prices!

    Yes, I still have all 5 machines in the same locations as I did 2 years ago but due to my misguided belief that the machines would sell almost 28 cans a day and without the help of the expansion program I have had to continue to invest personal money into the business simply to keep it afloat… Maybe 10 years from now I will finally get out of the red???

    Please keep adding your stories so we can all get our $ back and RBNA can get what the deserve!

  • October 10, 2008 at 5:37 pm
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    I can honestly say that I was one of the first to contact Creative Concepts of America, Inc. (CCA) back in July 05. I was very interested in what they had to offer but it was going to be my very first business venture and wanted to be very cautious in my decision making. They sent me their informative package and it impressed me. I began to deal with Andrew Kennedy. Andrew basically promised me the moon on a silver platter. He literally told me everything I wanted to hear. He (key word) quoted me the pricing I wanted on the brands I wanted (more than just Red Bull), offered exclusive distribution rights in San Diego County between myself and 2 others who were pretty distant from me, interest free expansion programs, warranty programs, insurance, even conversion kits so I could vend 16oz cans out of the machines I was purchasing. Negotiations quickly came to a stand still when he passed me on to Jeffrey Youngbauer. The guy had absolutely no idea what Andrew had promised me. He even tried to sell me his business cards.. literally! He wanted me to buy business cards with his name on it! After I spent 2 weeks asking every possible question, while holding off their payment ultimatums for as long as possible. I received all the information I needed to write a business plan and obtain a loan. I asked them for a few more days so I could get the loan, but I let them know that I was “in” based on the prior conversations. They emailed me the contract along with the purchase order and I faxed them my purchase order for 5 machines without locating services on August 7, 2005 for a total payment by credit card of $13, 695.00. The idiots lost my purchase order and I had to resend it again on August 12th. And the only reason I knew that was because I called.
    3 weeks passed as they said it would, no machines. 6 weeks…no machines, no returned phone calls. Then randomly one day I received a call from Andrew Kennedy telling me “It was my lucky day. They had just signed a contract with Red Bull North America (RBNA) and I am going to get brand new state of the art, custom signed Red Bull Vending machines.” They wouldn’t be able to give me any better pricing than the already negotiated $1.22 a can but “I would be getting the ‘Rolls Royce’ of vending machines instead of the ‘Peugeot’ I had paid for!!! But I had to pay them another $3,000!” They knew I had already obtained a loan based on the quoted “national average of 27 cans sold per day” and now I had to come up with another 3k!?!?! After a good amount of firm talking I was able to get the new machines for the price of the old ones. Not only that, but I was no longer able to purchase any energy drink from CCA, except for Red Bull. I had already told Andrew in our first weeks of talking that I would not limit myself to just Red Bull energy drinks and if that was the case I would take my money elsewhere.
    I even consulted a lawyer myself but was told that I did not have sufficient funds to take a company to court over something so small. I still loved the idea and was not going to let this hold me back. So I took what they gave me. They initial offer. Minus any other brands and conversion kits. I’m luckier than most, because I actually got my machines, but it wasn’t until November 10, 2005 that I accepted my 5 machines from the shipping company.
    While I was waiting for my machines I started looking for new distributors. I came across Crest Beverage. Mostly a beer distributor, they are also the only rep for Red Bull in San Diego County. They had no idea about the vending program and when I asked if they could match my pricing so I could make my purchasing easier and start our relationship quicker, they would not do it. Something seemed strange so I asked for a contact for someone who would know what was going on. I was directed to Brian Keen. Director of Non-Traditional Sales and Marketing for Red Bull. Southwest Business Unit. I called him numerous times on his cell phone and never received a response. About 5 months had passed and I was coming to my month to expand and I receive a letter from RBNA stating that they had severed ties with CCA and would have information on obtaining new machines by May 15, 2006. I never heard anything else. I wanted to expand but my expansion plan was no longer offered. I called Crest again for more information, Which created a large problem since I had calculated and saved money for new machines and loan repayments based on this expansion program. And of course who was I directed to??? Bryan Keen. The only thing they did (not even Mr. Keen, another Crest rep) was send me an email of people who wanted to sell their used machines. But they were unable to tell me if the warranties transferred or answer any other questions about what was going on. I also need to update the insurance on my machines, but they couldn’t point me in the right direction. The biggest problem was coming up with adequate funds throughout this process to pay back my loans. And now I also need more machines, preferably new ones. But RBNA and its distributors don’t seem to have a clue or even care about the hundreds of people who were committed to their vision

    ****I did not use any locating services or have any references.****

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