CHRIS WYLAND, GROW FRANCHISE GROUP, SPROUT HEALTHY VENDING Sued by 1.800.VENDING, HealthyYOU VENDING
Chris Wyland, Grow Franchise Group, LLC, Sprout Healthy Vending LLC and Grow Healthy Incorporated are being sued by 1.800.Vending Inc. which also operates as HealthyYOU Vending.
(UnhappyFranchisee.Com) The suit was filed October 3, 2014 by attorney Richard D. Burbridge of Burbridge, Mitchell and Gross in The United States District Court for the District of Utah.
The lawsuit alleges that Chris Wyland posed as disgruntled customers of his competitor 1.800.VENDING and posted defamatory statements about the company and its principal, Jeff Marsh, on complaint sites such as PissedConsumer.Com.
You can read the full complaint by clicking on the link at the bottom of this post.
According to the lawsuit, Chris Wyland sells business opportunities that “weren’t properly registered in all states in which they do business. After their lack of registration became a competitive issue for Defendants, Wyland threatened to spread rumors critical of [1.800.VENDING] on the Internet.”
The suit alleges that defamatory statements regarding 1.800.VENDING and one of its owners, Jeff Marsh.
One such statement, posted on the complaint site PissedConsumer.Com, stated that 1.800.VENDING is run by “crooks and pedophiles” and that owner Jeff Marsh “has been indicted for lewd acts with children.”
Vending Wars: Chris Wyland Called Jeff Marsh a Pedophile?
The suit claims that after initiating a legal process, the comment was traced back to an IP address assigned to Dawna Wyland, Chris Wyland’s wife and an employee or agent of one or more of his companies.
The anonymous comment, allegedly posted by Chris Wyland, reads, in part:
[1.800.Vending] is a complete scam ran [sic] by crooks and pedophiles …
Their owner Jeff Marsh has been indicted for lewd acts with children and I am sure they are under investigation by the government for stealing money from people.
They took my money, sent me to some locating service company that promised good locations and a year later I still don’t have any and they won’t return my calls.
The suit alleges that Chris Wyland planted defamatory comments around the Internet, then encouraged his prospective healthy vending customers to seek out the online comments about Jeff Marsh, 1-800-Vending and HealthyYOU vending.
Wyland’s marketing materials allegedly state:
[Healthy YOU/1-800 Vending] is widely known for its heavy handed sales tactics and drastic discounts to get consumers to buy.
The machines are manufactured overseas …
Another quick search of the internet under the various rip off reports and complaint boards will find several negative postings regarding the equipment and services Healthy You/ 1800 Vending Operators have experienced.
Chris Wyland’s Honesty Has Been Questioned Before
UnhappyFranchisee.Com has encountered Chris Wyland before.
In 2011, when Chris Wyland was sales director of Fresh Healthy Vending, he assured the Administrator of UnhappyFranchisee.Com and prospective customers that Mark Trotter and Nick Yates were not connected to that company.
A prospective customer of Wyland’s provided what he claimed was an accidentally sent email from Chris Wyland that showed that he was making deceptive claims as to Yates’ and Trotters’ involvement.
See FRESH HEALTHY VENDING Ties to Mark Trotter, Nick Yates Disclosed.
Other 1.800.VENDING / HealthyYOU Vending Complaints May Be Valid
UnhappyFranchisee.Com has done a confidential audit of the comments left about 1.800.VENDING on our post 1-800-VENDING Complaints.
We flagged one comment that may have been posted by Chris Wyland posing as a disgruntled customer of HealthyYOU Vending.
However, an audit of more than 10 negative comments left regarding the company appear to be left by others from all over the country.
Commenters who left negative posts were posting from such states as Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, Virginia, Tennessee, Utah, California, Arizona and Texas.
So while the accusations that Chris Wyland seeded the Internet with some especially nasty and defamatory comments, that doesn’t mean that other complaints lack validity.
As with all franchise and business opportunities and especially with vending opportunities, conduct extensive, independent research and draw your own conclusions.
When in doubt, err on the side of caution. (In other words, grab your checkbook and run!)
READ THE COMPLAINT HERE: 1.800.VENDING, Inc. v. CHRIS WYLAND, GROW FRANCHISE GROUP, LLC, SPROUT HEALTHY VENDING, LLC, GROW HEALTHY INCORPORATED, et al. (PDF)
FRESH HEALTHY VENDING Ties to Mark Trotter, Nick Yates Disclosed (Chris Wyland)
HEALTHY VENDING Unhealthy Lies
ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH CHRIS WYLAND, GROW FRANCHISE GROUP, or SPROUT HEALTHY VENDING? WHAT ABOUT 1.800.VENDING, HealthyYOU VENDING OR JEFF MARSH? SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.
Tags: Chris Wyland, Grow Franchise Group, Sprout Healthy Vending, 1-800-VENDING, HealthyYOU Vending, Healthy you Vending, Jeff Marsh, Jeffrey Marsh, Chris Wyland Lawsuit, Online Defamation Lawsuit, Richard Burbridge, Burbridge Mitchell and Gross, Healthy Vending franchise, Healthy Vending machines
5 thoughts on “CHRIS WYLAND, GROW FRANCHISE GROUP, SPROUT HEALTHY VENDING Sued by 1.800.VENDING, HealthyYOU VENDING”
I wanted to answer directly some of the claims and comments that you write in your recent posting regarding myself and company. I think it is important that the public understands the facts of the case as well as the pending lawsuit, which is currently being filed as a rebuttal against 1-800 Vending and Healthy You Vending.
First of all I do not deny that in the past I have made very specific comparisons to not only our business model and 1-800 Vending/Healthy You but also to other competitors in our industry. I do so because I believe these companies do not always tell the truth, they overcharge for inferior equipment, they use last minute discount offers to pressure prospective operators into doing business with them and ultimately their operators fail because of it. We run into equipment all the time offered at a steep discount from what the operators originally purchased them at because the equipment is of a much lower quality than they expected, they overpaid for it and then didn’t receive qualified locations to place machines.
You bring up a valid point of my time at Fresh Healthy Vending however you do not understand the complete facts. The fact is that I was hired as business development person with the company by the then CEO and Owner Jolly Backer. An employee of the company. It was my belief that he was in fact the only owner and manager of that company. It was only when I came to realize that this was not necessarily the case and after a disagreement regarding the business model that I left the company. You mention and list the post of a confidential email that I sent to a prospective customer the day before I left the company. To clarify, this email was sent as confirmation of what I believed to be true. In addition, I left the company the next day. If you check the Secretary of State website you will see that the company Sprout was formed a total of 3 days later. I did so because I felt I could build a business model that would not only be successful but could be done in a manner that would allow more success for the individual operator and ensure I slept better at night knowing I was doing the right thing. I believe 100% that I have accomplished this. You may find information from competitors out there regarding my company but I am proud of the fact that we have a great name in the industry and we have hundreds of successful operators around the country.
Our operators success is due to several very basic reasons and we have tried very hard to separate ourselves from other vending companies that have offered similar models.
1. We provide only very high quality vending equipment made 100% in the United States manufactured by one of the most trusted names in vending-USI
2. We help operators secure locations and they have the ability to “approve” each one PRIOR to actually purchasing their equipment in full.
3. We provide initial and ongoing training and support both at company and manufacturer level.
4. We do not make money on franchise fees, royalty fees, marketing fees, ongoing fees, product fees, etc..
5. If the locations do not work out we offer to help the Operator move their machines into a better location.
6. We do all of this at a reasonable mark up based on the equipment and services we provide.
Bottom line is that we not only provide better equipment and services but we do so at a lower cost than anyone else in our industry. I am unsure how this makes us bad people?
Because we are currently filing a lawsuit against 1800 Vending and Healthy You Vending I cannot necessarily discuss the case directly but I will say that at no time have I or anyone in my household made any comments regarding Jeff Marsh and 1-800 Vending. There would be no reason to as I believe if any potential operator actually does their research by comparing models, comparing machines, etc.. we easily come out on top. I do have private investigators looking into the use of our IP address to determine how this could occur, if it actually could.
I personally believe based on recent events and after speaking to some potential operators that 1-800 Vending/Healthy You Vending is only using this lawsuit as a way to steer prospective clients away from us and to them. I think it is the only ammunition they have. I have expressed more than once that I would compare our equipment and business model one on one against this company anywhere in the country. I also believe that they are simply lumping in all reviews ever written against them regarding poor equipment, poor locations, poor services as a way to distance themselves from their own past.
We have never stated anything that we do not believe to be 100% factual.
1. The 1800/Healthy You Vending Machine is manufactured by Seaga.
2. I have personally purchased machines from Seaga and visited their location in Franfort, IL. I did not see machines being manufactured there and have been told that this machine is actually made at their facility in INDIA. A company by the way that we are actually suing because of the poor equipment and services we received while doing business with them.
3. The machine has limitations when it comes to the type of product it can vend. It is a gravity fed system that vends only round bottles and round cans in the refrigerated section.
4. The snack coils are welded in so the snack portion cannot be re-configured. I believe this puts operators at a dis-advantage.
5. The machine has an “upper” snack portion which is not refrigerated and has a “lower” drink portion and does not have the ability to vend yogurts, smoothies, fresh fruit, vegetables, etc.. It is not health and safety rated.
6. The machine uses lexan plastic instead of glass. The machine in comparison to the Grow equipment uses a lower quality metal and compressor.
7. Operators who purchase machines from 1800/Healthy You Vending must pay 100% in advance for their equipment prior to securing locations.
8. The cost of this machine from the manufacture is I believe in the range of $2000. They routinely sell this machine for between $8000 -$9000 per machine. I personally believe this markup is ridiculous and takes advantage of new business owners.
9. This machine has less capacity and offers less variety than our standard G3 machine which is priced much less. In fact it costs us more money to purchase our machine from our factory and we sell it for less markup than any other company in our industry.
10. The 7 year “limited” warranty is exactly that. “Limited”. Essentially when an operator needs a part they must pay 50% of the “list” price of that part. The “list” price is created by the company, which is typically marked up to cover 100% of their cost.
I do not disagree that you provide a reasonable service with your website and I know that you believe that franchise models can work given the right circumstances. I think it is important that any prospective business owner be given as much information as possible in order to make an informed decision. I would be happy to put you in touch with Grow Operators from around the country that can give you firsthand experience and information regarding not only our business model but what they have found out regarding others along the way. I also do not doubt that there are unsavory characters in not only our industry but in franchising, however I do not believe I am one of them. I think I have always been fair and open in discussions with my customers regarding why I left the company I was with previous to this one. In our one conversation I did assure you what I believed to be the case and you can easily verify the dates that I subsequently left the company and started my own.
I believe that we have a great industry that operators can be very successful at if they receive high quality equipment and services that they do not overpay for. I will not apologize for attempting to build a model and protect our brand because I know that over the past 4 years we have always had the best interests of our operators at heart. We are not perfect but when issues arise we fix them quickly. As mentioned before I would be more than happy to make one on one comparison’s with any other company in our market and in fact I would be happy to do it in a public forum.
I do not take any pleasure in having to spend money on lawsuits that I believe are frivolous and designed to capture market share but I will defend my name and model as necessary. In the end, the truth about the two different models will come out in court and be documented as such.
Grow Healthy Vending
In order to recoup some of the money we paid Grow Healthy Vending up front for the purchase of a machine that we eventually decided not to take delivery of, we have come to a mutual agreement that, in part, requires retraction of any comments which may be deemed derogatory. Apparently they are willing to work on maintaining their standing with the Better Business Bureau. I hereby retract the post that I previously made stating my surprise at their joining the BBB in relation to their pending lawsuit.
I bought 30 machines from Grow Healthy Vending and they only found 10 locations after 2 1/2 years and still can’t find me locations in a very busy 70 mile radius in the Maryland/VIRGINIA DC area.
Chris Wyland kept $29,332 of my money and refuses to refund me. He wants me to give him $30,000 more and he will send me the 8 machines he owes me. I gave him 1/2 the money for 8 machines and he could not find me locations so I asked him to just send me 4 machines and I will find my own locations. He won’t send me the 4 machines I paid for, he wants me to pay for the rest of the 8 machines without finding locations for me. Do you think that is good business after I gave him $161,326 for 22 machines at only 10 locations? Only 3 of the 10 locations are good and he will not even relocate machines as promised in the contract because he said all my machines have to be placed before he will relocate any machines. He can’t and won’t place my new machines so he will not ever have to relocate any machines that were poor location placement.
He is as crooked as they come and if he cared about his operators and doing what is fair then he would just send me my 4 machines that are paid for and we can part ways.
I purchase only one vending machine from Grow Healty Vending Machine. I talked to Will Wyland who is the brother of Cris Wyland . He promised that they will find a location for me within two months. The moment I paid for the machine , Cris immediately signed the contract and that’s it. It’s been one year and I did not get a location . Cris did not even replied to my emails or replied to my phone calls for several months. His wife Dawna Wyland became the locator for the machine and she is been trying to find a location since last February When I asked for my money back , she said I need to talk to Cris or call their office. When I called the office several time, his daughter Kayla picked up the phone and said either Cris is on leave of absence or traveling. I said on either case at least he can reply to my emails . She said she will pass on the message to Cris. But I never received a call or reply to my emails in several months. I feel I got cheated for my money. Cris pass bad comments on other companies but do the same thing to his customers. They even stopped looking for the location for me now. My advise Do Not Buy any Machine from Grow Healthy Vending Co.
Chris Wyland is the biggest scumbag of all time; he is sleazy human being and if any is associated with him, I would run away as fast as you can. He worked for the LA Kings Hockey team back in 1996-1997 as an account executive and group manager and personally stolen $50,000 from the department with scams and overcharging group sales customers.
I can’t believe this slim ball has a job or career and is not in prison, it blows my mind. He lies about everything and even told people that he was the starting QB at Portland State University. The crap that comes out of his mouth is astounding.