CORNWELL TOOLS Franchise is a Scam Claims Franchisee

Cornwell Tools sold its franchise opportunity as an “exciting adventure,” claims a former Cornwell Tools dealer.

(UnhappyFranchisee.Com) After the company ran him into tens of thousands of dollars in debt, he says, Cornwell Tools abandoned him to fail.

Now that the franchise has made him physically sick and destroyed his family, he claims, Cornwell Tools calls him relentlessly for money, and is trying to put a lien on his home.

The Cornwell Tools franchisee is telling his story on YouTube and his website in order to warn others not make the same mistake he did in trusting Cornwell.

The franchisee, who has posted on our site as “Toby Warner” has put up a website here:

My Cornwell Tools Story

He has also started posting his story on videos on YouTube.

Here is a heart-wrenching account of the financial and emotional toll the Cornwell Tools franchise has had on his life and his family, along with a warning to those considering a Cornwell Tools franchise:


Here are some of the allegations this franchisee is making regarding his Cornwell Tools experience.  The excerpts are taken from a letter he published on his YouTube channel.


Cornwell Tools Promised Him Wealth & Adventure

Cornwell Tools franchisee wrote:

It had always been a dream of mine since I was little helping my dad work on cars to own my own business and if it could be in the tool industry even better. I love all things mechanical. So I set up a meeting with a district manager and at this meeting they tell you everything you ever wanted to hear, from all the money you will be making and the stuff you can have.


They really sell the lifestyle of tool man as an amazing adventure, along with the trips you get to take to conventions where you get to see the latest in tool innovation, and who doesn’t love technology? So needless to say I was hooked on the idea.

Cornwell Tools Franchisee Plunged into Debt

Cornwell Tools franchisee wrote:

All I needed was a little money a truck and they will take care of the rest. So I said yes I wanted to join the family because that is what the company is supposed to be: a family. I am not a rich man (far from it) so I pulled every string that I had to come up with the $10,000.00 that you had to have to even get into the business even asking my mother-in-law for help which no man ever wants to have to do.

Then I leased a truck from a finance company that ended up being another $14,000.00 and keep in mind I was trying to keep my cost down. I wasn’t making any money at this point and didn’t have the money in the bank to be throwing around. So I went with a cheap used truck and I was already into things for $24,000.00 so far and wasn’t even working for the company yet.

The next step was training I went to Wadsworth OH for a one week training class. I left this one week of training lost without a clear view of what I was going to be doing, but I kept a positive attitude. Then they sold me tools to sale on my truck another $35,000.00. So at this point now I am $59,000.00 dollars in plus another $15,000.00 to start a customer base for me to sale too. So I end up in $74,000.00 dollars, $50,000.00 of which I owe back to Cornwell.

To put it in perspective for you starting this business cost me almost $20,000.00 more than my home did so I was feeling well in over my head.

Cornwell Tools Provided Inadequate Training & Support

Cornwell Tools franchisee wrote:

Long story short 3 weeks later we hit the road with a manager to teach me the ropes. After only 2 weeks I was left on my own… no manager in sight, and I felt as though I was thrown to the wolves…


I learned quickly that Cornwell didn’t care what the situation was, they wanted their money no matter what. They didn’t teach me half of what I need to know to take care of customers. They didn’t teach me the tricks to ordering tools and what I should keep stocked on the truck. Most of the tools they stocked my truck with the customers didn’t even want so I was constantly ordering more tools to try to keep the customer happy so they would get what they wanted and so they would want to do business with me. Rookie mistake overextending my self financially and mentally.

I would call trying to get help and guidance. I called everyone I could think of trying to get help, but I only saw the district manager once every other month. I was told that I would have help and guidance getting started… I could never get ahead. I just kept handing money over left and right. My sells were not adding up to stay ahead of the bills that I had incurred getting into the business.

Cornwell Tools Product Backlogs Hastened Failure

Cornwell Tools franchisee wrote:

Cornwell would send you sales flyers with stuff for customers to buy. Customers would put in orders for things they saw in the flyer and then they were left waiting months for the product because Cornwell didn’t have it in stock or it was on back order. Eventually customers get fed up when you can’t provided them with what they want and what do you think they do? They go to another dealer to get what they want and put a stop order on the product they wanted from you, so now your left with a product that you have already paid for, but no one to buy it. Mechanics can’t wait weeks for tools they have cars they have to get done to make money for themselves and there families.

In no time the customers were coming fewer and far between. So the sales were in the gutter and the few people that were hanging in there with me and still ordering from me got a huge let down when the orders I placed didn’t get filled. I felt abandoned by Cornwell. I wasn’t making enough money to satisfy the weekly payment they wanted from me and if you miss a payment to them even by a few days you get cut off, period. So you end up owing them money that you cant even try to get to them because you cant get the tools for the customer that wanted to buy them. No money equals no product no product equals no money to give to Cornwell.

Cornwell Tools Franchise Took Physical, Emotional, Financial Toll

Cornwell Tools franchisee wrote:

…In the end I was so stressed mentally and physically I began having panic attacks and dreading having to get out of bed every morning. The alarm clock would go off and the panic would set in the instant roll of the stomach the worry of how am I going to make it through this day. By the time my feet hit the floor, the nausea would take over the need to purge myself of this unwanted soul blackening cloud hanging over my head.

I struggled through like this for months puking every morning before going to work not eating because food at this point would just prolong the life span and who in there right mind wants this life? Not me. Not like this, broke, barely keeping my head above water. I had to get out after is was all over with I was broke. Now I had a truck payment I couldn’t afford a family that was in ruins and Cornwell calling every day wanting money threatening to sue me.

“Cornwell scammed me…”

Cornwell Tools franchisee wrote:

In my opinion Cornwell scammed me out of what money I had with empty promises and smoke and mirrors. I have a wife and kid that have been let down and I have been destroyed financially and mentally. This whole endeavor has had a serious impact on my health. So in my opinion if you were ever thinking of becoming a Cornwell dealer this is the worst thing you could ever do….

So if after watching this and reading this letter you still want to go a head with becoming a dealer for Cornwell don’t, but if you do Good Luck. You’re going to need it.

Also read:

CORNWELL TOOLS Franchise Scam or No Scam?

Mobile Tool Franchise Guide

Mobile Tool Franchise Guide: List of Calls (LOC)

Mobile Tool Franchise Guide: Franchise Resales





TAGS: Cornwell Tools, Cornwell Tools franchise, Cornwell Tools franchise opportunity, Cornwell Tools dealer program, Cornwell Tools franchise complaints, Tool truck franchise, tool truck franchise opportunity, tool truck franchise complaints, My Cornwell Tools Story, unhappy franchisee

3 thoughts on “CORNWELL TOOLS Franchise is a Scam Claims Franchisee

  • May 16, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    I bought a $25000.00 dollar tool box from Cornwell in 2015. Now some of the drawers open and close very hard. I contacted Cornwells area rep. and was told that Waterloo had built Cornwells tool boxes for them and that they had a falling out and no longer do business with Waterloo and they will not honor any warranty to Cornwell for the boxes they built. So basically I am screwed because Cornwell won’t stand behind it either. Stay away from Cornwell tools. They are a bad company to deal with and treat their dealers very bad also. I am going to replace all my Cornwell tools with someone elses. I will never do business with them again. Pass on the word. Cornwell rips people off.

  • August 18, 2019 at 10:45 pm

    I’m having a issue with a rep named fritz spour working in colerain township. I’m looking for resolution on my claim he owes me $320.00 for junk tools that he lied about. Also my bank won’t send my money back until I contact corporate. I’ve talked to corporate an they won’t help me an they are very rude they even 3 way called the rep I was dealing with an started yelling an threating me the rep fritz came to my home an threating me an my family. We filed a police report an find out everybody that deals with him needs to file a blame I’m contacting BBB an taking him back to court…

  • April 10, 2020 at 1:26 pm

    My husband started his franchise in 2002 with a choice of 2 routes, he chose the route that was cold, believing that with hard work, a great attitude, and genuine care for what he was doing would pay off. In time within oh a year or so it had. He was #1 Iron man, #2 district, and he continued to work his ass off! he worked sick, through blizzards, family problems and more this man put it all into servicing his sales route.

    He was a former mechanic, and had no experience running a business, but he did it, and he did it well. Until our district manager (newly assigned) ramped up on new recruits and promised Larrys route to a new dealer without our knowledge, not knowing how to deal with this situation we tried to talk to the dealer personally. He offered to buy out his accounts, no dice we said the time and money to develop a good non transient sales route was priceless.

    Rolling right along. Our DM was a fast talker, slick type who would backdoor us at every turn. My husband sometimes worked til 3 in the morning servicing the techs and shops no one else wanted to visit ie” late night shops airports, etc..long story short they poached and stole his customers with corporate doing nothing, eventually he broke his business rules he signed for blue ribbon accounts, took a shit deal to leave his own territory.

    We didnt have the money and he had nothing left mentally, emotionally, professionally, and financially spent we eventually just gave up. Now they have a 60k lien on our home. CRAZY! he had paid them off in full on the original loan, he paid his bills weekly and sent in warranty on a regular basis. This company and the management (that we worked with) are for shit. He was in the diamond dealers circle or whatever for 3 out of the 4 years he ran the route, what a sham they had different dealers in everybodies shops, no communication, no…..just professional courtesy for us at all, and we were their biggest advocates.

    what jackasses.

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