A USA Mobile Drug Testing franchise owner is challenging CEO Joe Strom’s recent email message to USAMDT franchise owners.
In a January 2, 2013 email, Strom told his remaining franchisees that he had terminated a group of 7 franchise groups for violating their franchise agreements.
[Read excerpts from Strom’s email here: USA MOBILE DRUG TESTING Strom Spins Franchisee Defection]
However, UnhappyFranchisee.Com had published a letter sent to Strom a week earlier stating that the same group of franchisees were initiating their departure due to fraud on the part of Strom and USAMDT.
The group, represented by franchisee attorney Mario Herman, also demanded $635,000 in combined damages.
UnhappyFranchisee.Com has invited CEO Strom for clarification or a rebuttal, but have not received a response.
We did, however, receive this letter from one of the Rebel Franchisees (DrugTestinistas?) challenging Joe Strom’s characterization of the defecting owners as the threat to the system.
The greater threat, according to the unnamed USAMDT franchise owner, is Mr. Strom’s leadership and business practices.
Here is the anonymous letter, received today via email:
There is not much to be surprised when reading the excerpts from Mr. Strom’s letter to the franchisees. It is nothing but same BS song in all his desperate letters released every time the stuff hits the fan in his house. Lately, the stuff hit the fan so many times that his lamentable messages are easily predictable. Since Mr. Strom has nothing of substance to say, he is always hiding behind “patriotic” phrases:
"Our job is to protect your franchised business"…"the terminated franchisees threatened the greater good of all your business and the USAMDT brand".
Hold on! This sounds familiar. Didn’t we hear similar calls to defend Motherland, Fatherland coming from similar characters? It is just a matter of time (next defection?) until Mr. Strom will demand the remaining franchisees to raise barricades, burn the fields, poison the water and arm themselves to the teeth (men, women and children) to protect "The Brandland".
Question: Mr. Strom, what kind of threat do you see in a group of frustrated franchisees who decided to part because they lost enough money by being associated with YOU?
There is a limit to what one can take when dealing with a deceptive, unethical and erratic Strom. If you are looking for someone who is threatening USAMDT’s brand, look no further, Mr. Strom: Just look in the mirror! Ask the people from the USAMDT management team who left your house or who barely spent a couple of weeks working with you in 2012. They had enough of your managing style, just like the “terminated franchisees”, as you call the group who decided to divorce you.
In his letter to the franchisees, Mr. Joe “The Terminator” Strom states that he will take legal action against the group of rebels:
“We are taking legal action to insure that these former franchisees do not entrench on any of your territories or your business both in your territory and the surrounding territories”.
(Oops… what’s that word? “entrench”? Someone else hit already that nail… It’s legalese, so, let’s move on.)
Question: Mr. Strom, if you take legal action against the rebel group, are you going to take legal action against Aron Galinovky, A&B Employer Solutions (aka "USAMDT Franchise Model") who, according to your website and the FDD, is the New Haven franchisee but operates happily without adorning the USAMDT brand?
In the aforementioned letter, a somehow humble Mr. Joe “The Terminator” Strom states some ridiculous facts. Read carefully the following fragment of his letter:
“Additionally, the Franchisee Advisory Board has been meeting every week on the phone for the last three weeks to discuss and work through some growing pains and concerns that some of you have brought up. We have concluded our meetings for 2012 and I will be releasing the notes on those meetings shortly. Those notes take a bit longer to put together since the meetings took place for over four hours.”
The number of meetings held in 2012 by Strom (yes, the whole year!) to deal with “some growing pains and concerns some of you have brought” equals 3 (three).
“Some” growing pains? Are you kidding us? In reality, essentially every day of the year your franchisees complained about the endless series of mistakes bordering crass incompetence made by Strom’s HQ: Unrealistic marketing materials, undisclosed costs in the background checking, after-hours/rush service hotline, test results management mistakes, etc. All these mistakes were costly and the complaints point straight to the poor level of support Strom’s HQ provides to the franchisees. One example, amongst so many others: USAMDT’s after-hours/rush service hotline 855-USA-TEST still doesn’t work! How many years since implemented by the HQ? Incredibly, USAMDT’s slogan proudly screams: “We are available 24/7. We come to you! Call us.” Call who? And who’s calling the franchisees?
The “notes” of the meetings held by Mr. “Terminator” to deal with the growing pains are to be released “shortly”. Umm, not exactly… because writing the notes “takes a bit longer” (Ahaaa!). The rest of the business world knows these notes by the correct name, “minutes”. And these minutes are usually taken by a meeting attendee who is knowledgeable in the matters discussed. By now, you, the reader already figured out who takes ”notes” at the growing-pains meetings: no one but Mr. Joe “The Terminator” Strom himself. This explains why the notes take “a bit longer” to be released. In reality, it takes few months to… never until released. (The hope is that the growing pains will eventually go away).
Question: Mr. Strom, are you going to post your biography on your own website to proudly show to the rest of us your level of expertise and experience in the drug and alcohol testing industry?
With the recent departure of Casey Neubert, Director of Education and Compliance (wonder why?) there is no one left in your HQ team with ANY experience and knowledge of the industry. The two consultants that you pay are not actually your employees. They are contractors, they do for you what they do for any other TPA, as long as they get paid. (One of the two consultants was not cautious enough and let you display his bio on your website. He may reconsider.) We all think it’s about time for you to post your biography under “About USAMDT”. Show us what you have, Mr. Strom as a credible leader of a drug testing company. After all, you sell your expertise and brand name to others.
It’s time to stop here. Unless one wants to have fun or is a first time reader of “letters to franchisees” lamentable series, it is really not worth paying attention to Strom’s rhetoric, Brandland patriotism and pathetic attempts to legalese.
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