CURVES FOR WOMEN: Franchisee a Victim of Fraud?

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An anonymous commenter wrote that they were induced to buy an existing Curves for Women franchise club with fraudulent member and sales numbers.  She claims that the Go figure software prevents her from checking historical member numbers.  Curves clubs have been closing in large numbers around her and they are losing money every month.  If she closes her club, Curves International will demand a $10,000 fee.  She has an interested buyer, but one that’s only willing to pay less than half what she and her husband paid for the Curves franchise.

Anonymous Curves Owner writes:

We bought our club on false pretenses from a previous owner who lied about member numbers.

Curves did not give us the correct figures either.

Go Figure software makes it impossible to go back and look up member numbers. We paid over $90,000.00 for our club and were possibly selling it for less than half that. We have to incur the rest of the business loan via credit cards.

We cannot sell the business or shut it down while the bank still holds the note cause there is a lien on our business assets. Clubs around us have been shutting down everywhere. When we tried to contact our area director, it has been hard to get a response. I have had to write several emails. Lately, since we have been talking about shutting it down, our area director has been telling us that Gary is now letting people out of their agreement and it will be easy to get rid of the equipment.

But Curves wants to charge us 10,000.00 to close our club! Who the hell has that kind of money just lying around? The last two years have been an absolute nightmare. My husband and I have many times made comments about Gary being this “CHRISTIAN” He tell franchisees it’s all on us and before pointing fingers at him, we should point two fingers at ourselves. We have resorted to putting out own personal monies from our full-time jobs into this albatross.

We are VERY interested in this class action suit and would like to know more. There is a sale pending so we would like to know as soon as possible. If we can get involved, then obviously we would back out of the sale. No paperwork has been signed yet.

We always thought there was a case against Curves but did not know how to go about it. Since we bought Curves two years ago, we have lost over $40,000.00.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?  ARE YOU A CURVES FRANCHISE OWNER, EMPLOYEE OR MEMBER?  SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.

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22 thoughts on “CURVES FOR WOMEN: Franchisee a Victim of Fraud?

  • October 11, 2008 at 10:03 pm
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    Curves Victim of Fraud… before buying ann existing club, you must do an audit before purchasing. You should match up member file, monthly deposit checks, attendance card. If you don’t have all 3 records you don’t know exactly what the membership is. Also, sometimes when an owner states they have 800 members, you have to ask how many of those are month-to-month and how many of those are prepaid? Subtract those numbers from what the owner states they have as membership 7 that is your true number of members. Also subtract members that may be on hold for medical or any other reason, etc…

  • October 11, 2008 at 10:06 pm
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    I was taken advantage of by so called christians too. The scammers always claim to be christians.

  • October 11, 2008 at 10:16 pm
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    Guest is correct. You must do an audit to make sure you know what you are getting in the purchase.

  • October 18, 2008 at 1:14 am
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    IS THIS ALL TRUE?
    I am about to buy a resale curves location and the owner is asking to be on the new franchise agreement as a co-owner till I have paid off the remaining balance in 4 years. I would like your comments on this so called gaurantee in case I fail he still has a franchise otherwise the curves management will not gaurantee the previous owner that he will get back the franchise. IS THIS ALL TRUE?
    Thanks Lou

  • October 18, 2008 at 2:11 am
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    Tell me more about what happened at the Curves National convention in Orlando Florida last week.

  • November 1, 2008 at 3:11 pm
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    Lou… yes this is true. I’ve come across several Curves franchisees that were selling their club & telling prospective buyers that they ahd for example 600 members but when I advised one of those prospective buyers to do the audit and verify everything the total number of TRUE membership was about 145 members. The others were prepays & month to month & members on hold for various reasons. So of course that prospective buyer did not purchase the club.

  • November 2, 2008 at 6:31 pm
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    I worked for Curves as a manager, ladies DO get bored with the program, its a lot of money to spend on a business that fails within 3 / 5 yrs .I have left curves the owner has sold the franchise they owned 8 curves franchises ,they have all been sold now, they had to sell the franchises for what they could get !!!!

  • November 3, 2008 at 6:02 pm
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    Diana… I don’t know what the owners of the Curves you worked at did re: membership, etc… but the franchise itself was only $20k which included equipment then you may have another $5,000 – $10,000 for deposits, etc.. to get open. I was an owner of 12 Curves back in 96′ – 99′ and I ALWAYS got my initial investment back within the first 2 months. I kept each club approximately 2-3 years & sold them each for over $275,000. So there is something wrong with what your previous employers were doing in my opinion.

  • November 20, 2008 at 1:55 pm
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    i WANT EVERYONE TO KNOW THAT THIS COMPANY CALLED CURVES IS BEING SUED. tHEY HAVE SCAMMED THEIR FRANCHISEES TO BELIEVES CURVESSMART WOULD HELP THERE CLUB. wHEN IN REALITY IT PUT MORE MONEY IN THEIR POCKETS. iTS JUNK AND DOES NOT WORK PROPERLY. wHEN YOU CALL THE COMPANY YOU NEVER RECIEVE A CALL BACK oN TOP OF THAT THEY WANT YOU TO BUY THEIR PRODUCTS AND GIVR THEM AWAY TO MEMBERS. iT DOENT TAKE A BRAIN SURGEON TO FIGURE OUT WHAT THEY ARE DOING. sTOP THE INSANITY AND CALL THE LAWYER IN FLORIDA HELL GIVE YOU THE FACTS AND GROUNDS FOR ALMOST 1000 SUIT POSTED AGAINST CURVES. THEY ARE THIEVES DONT FALL FOR IT

  • January 25, 2009 at 10:57 pm
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    Important message to all Curves owners.
    There is another site that all current owners of a curves franchise needs to be aware of. The site was set up by Curves using our advertising dollars so we all need to use it. It’s intent is to allow owners to converse with other owners and to share ideas. It is a good site if you are looking for ideas on how to save your club or just have questions for other owners. Here is the link http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/curvesowners/?v=1&t=search&ch=web&pub=groups&sec=group&slk=1

    Please go there to check it out and voice your opinion on the current posts and voice your concerns. This site is strictly for owners.

  • January 27, 2009 at 5:55 am
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    Close now! Do not respond to any certified mail from Wacko-in other words-refuse to sign for it. Curves will not pursue legal action outside of Texas thusly upsetting the position they have fought so hard for in our lawsuit. We have earned major victories as we are moving closer to our cases being heard-this will not be good for CI. THEY WILL PAY-one way or the other! This fad business is just another fraud perpetrated by born again Heavin with multiple family members (vendors) participating in insuring a stream of income when the owners have none-zero-zilch.
    Stay away, get out now, CLOSE!

  • October 9, 2009 at 2:03 pm
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    Dear Guest,

    Thank you for watching out for the buyers of those clubs. I wish someone would have been there for me when I bought my clubs 4 years ago. My story is a little different then the story above.

    http://www.bizzia.com/franchisepick/curves-franchise-resale-buyer-cries-fraud/

    With my story in mind, if you have read it, I have a question for whomever would like to respond. I am looking at a bank statement right now, from one of my previous members. She transfered to another club in August, and I forgot to stop her September draft, so she was double drafted. (This is the first time I have seen a bank statement with a draft from another club on it.) Needless to say, I am surprised. My draft shows up in the “Other Withdrawals” section, and states Curves(location) Member Fee. The other clubs draft is amongst the other checks she has written, and shows up as check # 0. There is a copy of the check too, but this was not the case in the past for many members. My question is, is this the way everyone drafts?

    If so, I wouldn’t have gotten involved with Curves. This goes against everything I believe in. You don’t do things like this. In life, you must be honest and upfront.

    Another thing I just found out. The previous owner of my clubs, is telling everyone we both know, that she doesn’t talk to my husband and I anymore because we ripped her off. She claims we continued to run our clubs in her company name and stole money from her. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think this is possible. Like Gary, she goes to church every Sunday, and lives in her big phat house that I paid for.

    If you respond, don’t be mean. I’m already in therapy.

  • October 10, 2009 at 1:45 am
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    Dear victim2,

    No this is not the standard way that most clubs operate although I have heard of it in some cases. I was sorry to read about all the problems you have been put through and that you are in therapy. Just because they go to church every Sunday does not mean they are christian by any means. I hope things get better for you real soon and I will add you to our prayer list. God Bless you and your family. Oh and try to remember the song The sun will come out tomorrow , because it will and I hope it shines on you!!!!

  • October 21, 2009 at 4:39 pm
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    Dear Unhappy,
    You made me smile.
    Thank you!!

  • October 22, 2009 at 11:19 am
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    I too bought two Curves based on the membership numbers given to me by the previous owner (which were filled with former members we found out). We went to court and got a small reduction in the purchase price (not nearly enough). We had to close one of them and Curves tried to charge the $10,000 closing fee. We negotiated it down to $1500, so don’t take the first offer. We are working to build the remaining business up so I don’t have to subsidize it each month. I’d love to sell it, but (as a Christian by the way), I will not lie with the numbers, so I don’t have buyers lining up at the door. It is a tough business in this economy, but the women we have are faithful members, workout at their own pace and love the social aspect. They are the reason I won’t close the doors.

  • October 22, 2009 at 5:25 pm
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    victim 3 you should have sued curves international as they helped to perpetuate the fraud also as you know by you sending in your monthly reports curves knew exactly how many members you had when you bought the club and had to ok the sale knowing you were being ripped off

  • October 25, 2009 at 4:10 pm
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    to Unhappy: Just for your information, in a recent case in Arkansas, where a franchisee won a lawsuit for fraud in the lower court against a franchised brokerage who sold them a couple of Subways and misrepresented facts to them, the Arkansas Appeals Court OVERRULED the lower court, and said the franchisees weren’t justified in RELYING on the misrepresentations because they were sophisticated and should have known better?

    The Arkansas Appeals Court Judge used his discretion to overturn the substantial award — and what do the defrauded franchisees do now? Who can afford to appeal to The Supreme Court and would they even hear it?

    Subway, of course, approved the sale and the new franchisees. The protection against fraud for franchisors and their “stranding and thriving” franchisees embodied in the FTC Rule and State FDD’s appears to extend to the sellers and their brokers when franchises are sold by franchisees directly or through a brokerage firm.

    Read the BLOG “It aint fraud in you know better — Arkansas Law & Business” for more details.

    http://thegreatfranchisingrobbery.blogspot.com/

  • October 28, 2009 at 10:44 pm
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    Curves 2009 national convention is the first weekend of November at Gaylord Opryland in Nashville. Hopefully, the Curves owners in Nashville and surrounding areas who have lost everything stage a nice, LOUD protest outside!

  • November 6, 2009 at 9:13 pm
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    Haven’t heard anything about the convention as of yet but I will let you know when I do. Have heard that Curves International has begun selling merchandise to Big Lots and many owners are quite upset over it.

  • November 12, 2009 at 6:18 pm
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    I own a Curves in California and Ive lost everything. So many lies.

  • November 13, 2009 at 11:21 pm
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    So sorry to hear about it Renee but you certainly aren’t alone. God bless you and your family.

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