CURVES Franchise Owners React to Comments That They’re Being “Pruned”

Curves President Mike Raymond Says Widespread Franchise Closures Part of Plan to “Prune the System”; Franchisee Responses Invited

More than 1/3 of the domestic Curves fitness club franchises have closed in the past 3 years.

In 2009 alone, more than 1000 Curves franchise owners lost their dream businesses… along with their savings, retirement accounts and, in some cases, their homes.

But there’s no cause for alarm, according to Curves International President Mike Raymond.

According to Raymond’s comments in the Wall Street Journal, what may be the largest mass-closing in franchising history is all part of Curves International’s master strategic plan:

Franchisees and industry experts point to a failure to keep up with changing trends—including more flexible hours for busy working women—cheaper competition and the tough economy as major reasons for Curves’ decline.

The company disagrees with its critics, contending that much of the club closings were intended as part of a plan to “prune the system,” according to Curves President Mike Raymond. Some owners had bought into Curves for the wrong reasons, he says, “they were motivated primarily as investors rather than owners.”

No Cause for Concern. Corporate Profits are Up!

Sure, thousands of club owners may be devastated and their club members forsaken, but there is a silver lining:  Curves International actually increased earnings as a percentage of sales, with 2009 earnings of $16.4 million on revenue of $84.1 million.

So the story has a happy ending after all… unless, of course, you are one of the prunees.

Unless, of course, you are  one of the thousands of franchise owners who actually believed Curves International when they said that, as one of their franchisees, you’d be going into business for yourself but not by yourself.

To be fair, if Curves International had stated that their franchise would give owners the opportunity to be, say, superfluous twigs to be eventually pruned from their corporate money tree, Curves never would have become the fastest growing franchise in history…

Now would they?


Share your feelings, opinions and experiences with founder Gary Heavin,  President Mike Raymond and the board of Curves International, below.

Contact us at UnhappyFranchisee[at]

Also read:

CURVES: 1000 Franchise Clubs Failed Last Year (More on the WSJ article)

Robert Lay’s Story (Featuring 850+ Curves franchisee comments)

Curves Posts on UnhappyFranchisee.Com (Directory of posts & discussions about Curves)

photo credit:  stefano lubiana wines License:  creative commons

43 thoughts on “CURVES Franchise Owners React to Comments That They’re Being “Pruned”

  • July 11, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Mike Raymond and Gary Heavin: You are living in a DREAMWORLD. I bought my franchise as a resale last Fall. Maybe you could say the PREVIOUS owner was being ‘pruned’ as she didn’t participate anymore; but nothing could be further from the truth with myself and my husband. We worked INCREDIBLE AMOUNTS OF HOURS, and I was at my club EVERY SINGLE DAY. We poured over $40,000. into our club doing things “The Curves way” (i.e., we bought all the stuff CI wanted
    us to buy, t shirts, posters (? we can’t even get a POSTER?), advertising materials, you name it. We worked our butts off. We doubled our membership but with today’s economy that isn’t even enough to BREAK EVEN. We poured $3,000-$4,000. a MONTH into our club, had staff meetings to educate everyone, made innovations (that CI didn’t recognize, by the way), no one could’ve worked harder, I’m convinced of that. YOU CANNOT MAKE MONEY OWNING A CURVES FRANCHISE unless you are in a VERY highly populated area with a LARGE turnover. Women come, they stay a month, maybe 2, they get bored, and they LEAVE. PERIOD. The exercise system works….the rest does NOT. Curves does LITTLE to help, when’s the last time you saw a Curves commercial on TV?
    They depend on their (overworked) franchises to do EVERYTHING. Local advertising, running around to doctor’s offices (WHY? CI has the contacts!), buying and placing and checking on lead boxes, etc etc etc etc. The list of work is incredible and the amount of money they expect you to lay out on a monthly basis for all their ‘Curves products’ is ridiculous.
    You should be ashamed of yourselves. You’re not listening. Your ‘April Spring training’ was a DEBACLE. Get REAL, thousands of clubs hitting ENTER at the same time and you DIDN’T anticipate bandwidth problems? Come ON.
    The policies of Diane magazine ‘only’ rewarding those members with over 2,000 (while at the same time publishing SOME 1,000 or more) is ludicrous.
    Curves talks out of both sides of its mouth. I couldn’t even get accurate training info despite asking a thousand times and attending Club Camp and Convention.
    Your policies of asking members for buddy referrals is outmoded in today’s
    day and age of privacy and confidentiality concerns. You aren’t listening. You’re too defensive and NOT open to criticism. You don’t deserve to stay in business.

  • July 11, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    We did things the Curves way, so well in fact that we we had nearly 1,100 members and were named one of six franchisees of the year for 2004. Then Curves opened territory to our west, where half of our clients lived. Rather than lose half our membership to another owner, we bought the territory. Today, both clubs are gone and we’re financially ruined. We’d likely still be in business today had not Curves made that territory available.

    Little did we know that the Curves way including overexpanding the market, then allowing natural attrition to reduce our ranks and abandoning those clubs mortally wounded by oversaturization.

  • July 12, 2010 at 7:52 am

    I received this e-mail from my Curves Central Florida Association Coordinator to our Area director, cc Mike Raymond, and Curves Franchise association. I tried the number myself and put in the zip I live in, which the Curves closed there, it didn’t mention my club which is 9 miles away or the two other clubs that are about the same distance. Is this the ExLax way to Prunes?

    Hi Julie, (area director)

    I called 800-Curves-30 (800-287-8373) and used option 2 which allows the caller to enter the zip code to find the nearest Curves. The recording said, “We’re sorry. Currently there are no Curves clubs in your area”.

    In addition to the main Curves 800 number several other Curves numbers have the same message.


    I tried several other zip codes where active Curves clubs are located including my own club. I received the same erroneous message.

    This is very disheartening. We are all struggling to convince the public that we are all still around and open for business. Meanwhile, Curves 800 numbers are telling the world the opposite; that there are “no Curves left in your area”.

    The 800 numbers will discourage anyone from trying to find a Curves.

    A portion of the 3% advertising fees are spent maintaining these 800 numbers which are currently putting out erroneous and detrimental information.

    Julie, Please look into this matter as soon as possible. It is imperative that it be corrected.

  • July 12, 2010 at 11:52 am

    This is the response we got from Mike Raymond:

    Thanks. We’ll look into it right away.

  • July 12, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    “Pruning the System” seems to be the company line now. Here’s a quote from an article on 20 clubs closing in Indiana:

    Fitness company scaling back

    “Curves says the closings were simply about weeding out the poorly performing franchises and keeping profitable, well-run facilities.

    ‘Many of the club closings in 2009 were part of a plan to prune the system,”‘ said Kathy Carr, a spokeswoman for Curves, headquartered in Waco, Texas.”

  • July 13, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    Well if CI is weeding or whatever you want to call it, then why should we still be held to paying them anything when our clubs go down the toliet… No support, no nothing!! CI preaches women’s health number one priority, well, they sures as hell don’t give a damn about the owners. We are the ones who gave them their, rich lifestyle, sitting there like a fat pig, collecting our money, well we are unable to pay our own bills… PITYFUL!! I stated a comment yesterday and I did only have my club for a year, it was a resale, boy, oh boy what a freakin nightmare… Never would I ever by into a franchisee!! Could not afford it anyway, almost lost everything, including the most important thing, my husband… CI YOU SUCK!!

  • July 15, 2010 at 9:56 am

    It’s not just CI that sucks Howie is so full of himself and both he and Diane suck!!!!!

  • July 15, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    curves is actually sending out prunes as a promotion to some franchisee’s. What a slap in the face. How low can Howie go??????

  • July 20, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    Hey Howie is karma catching up to you and your family? Deaths usually come in threes same as accidents so are you next Howie?????

  • August 4, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    Gary and Diane Heavin will be featured in a one-hour prime time program on the ABC titled “Secret Millionaire”. Secret Millionaire is a one-hour alternative series that follows some of America’s wealthiest people for one week as they conceal their true identities while they live and volunteer in some of the most impoverished and dangerous communities in America. Surviving on welfare wages, their mission is to discover the unsung heroes of America—deserving individuals who continually sacrifice everything to help those in need. Throughout this incredible experience, the Secret Millionaires will attempt to remain undiscovered, coming face to face with extraordinary and amazing people battling the odds every day of their lives. On the final day, in an emotional and dramatic climax, they reveal their true identities. Ultimately, the millionaires will each give away at least $100,000 of their own money, changing lives forever.

    Gary and Diane’s episode has already been filmed. They spent a week in Houston’s Third Ward, living in a run-down row house with no air-conditioning. For 15 hours a day, they worked with social-service organizations helping AIDS patients, kids with incarcerated parents, and other at-risk groups. At the end of the week, they made a charitable donation that Diane says was “quite a bit more” than the $100,000 the show calls for.

  • August 18, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    Curves took the franchise world by storm in the 1990’s with their circuit training, but today they are failing all over and as a fitness professional I can tell you why. One reason their franchise development is failing is because as a franchise I believe Curves made the decision to accept any perspective franchisee with the funds to open a Curves rather than picking qualified franchisees. A truly successful franchisor picks franchisees who both have the funds and the ability to be successful within the business model. I think Curves can turn this around, but they need to change their franchise practices.

  • August 19, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    Bite me.

  • August 26, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Does anyone know the numbers? Out of all the clubs closing, how many are resales?


    You stated, “One reason their franchise development is failing is because as a franchise I believe Curves made the decision to accept any perspective franchisee with the funds to open a Curves rather than picking qualified franchisees.”

    What qualifications should a Curves owner have?

  • August 26, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    This is the problem. Curves International is responsible!

    Read at

    Story By Di
    36 days ago BE SCARED. DON’T BUY!
    I am an unhappy consumer. In 2001, I joined Curves and signed what was designated as a 12-month contract. I found that it wasn’t worthwhile for me, so I did not “renew.” The real problem is that it is now 2010 (almost 9 years later), and I just found out that I have been paying for my monthly membership all of this time as a result of new ownership!!!!! …

  • August 26, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    Curves Owner 2 states:

    ‘Curves International is responsible’

    How is Curves International more responsible for this happening than the other parties?

    Shouldn’t the old franchisee have called the member in say 2003 and asked them if they wanted to continue their membership?

    Maybe the member could’ve figured out what that check draft was for? If I had a continuing $30 charge coming out of my bank statement that I didn’t make, I’m pretty sure I would’ve been trying to figure out what it related to.

    But of course, no need to put any responsibility on them, it’s all corporates fault.

  • August 27, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Curves International should have been making sure the franchisees were following the policy and procedures. I don’t know about you, but when I managed a franchise, the corporation we represented would come into our facility and look over things. We had a relationship with our Area Director, and he/she visited our location at least once a month, or bi-monthly. Curves International didn’t have this. Area Director. What’s that? Now the AD’s tell us our businesses are failing because we don’t get enough buddy referrals. National Advertising wouldn’t help us, just buddy referrals and lead boxes.

    JD, do you ask your significant other where they spend every cent that comes out of your account each month? If you do, it’s great that you have the kind of relationship that allows you to ask these questions, but many people don’t. They would not track down a $30 check. Are you someone who sits down and spends a few hours each month reconciling your checking account, entering each check into a system, and looking over your statement with a fine tooth comb. If so, great again, but the average consumer doesn’t do this. This is why it was set up this way. Curves International set it up this way. This is why at club camp they tell you, “You want them to sign up as CD members.” Why is that? This is why Curves International was the only supplier franchisees where allowed to use for paper drafts. Any other type of drafting system was prohibited.

    It doesn’t show as a draft. It shows up as a check wriiten. Sometimes numbered 0000, like when the bank can’t read a number on a check. If you don’t receive copies of ypur checks, you have no idea it is from Curves. I can understand maybe 10 or 20 members missing it, but hundreds at one club. Obviously this is a problem that needs to be looked into by the Federal Trade Commission.

  • August 27, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    For your information, I don’t reconcile my bank statement, but in today’s day and age I look it up online once or twice/week to look at the transactions. If I don’t see something on there that looks right, I try and figure it out. I do the same thing with my 3 credit cards, and that’s why I was able to notify my credit card company of a fraudulent airline charge on my credit card within a couple of days of it happening.

    You make a big deal about CI and it showing up as a bank draft. Until last year, everytime I made a payment on my Best Buy credit card, I would have to put in a check number. When i looked it up online, I would look at it and it would show a check, but not the vendor. I would click on the screen capture and there it would tell me I was paying Best Buy. (Mind you my bank is a small town bank that has maybe 5 branches and they have screen captures, so I’m guessing most banks do)

    If you’ve given someone authorization to take the monthly draft and in the contract it stated ‘until cancelled’ that person has to take responsibility. Should CI take some blame, maybe, but the franchisee and the member deserve some too.

  • August 27, 2010 at 5:34 pm


    Yes, they signed a contract stating ‘until cancelled’, but assumed it cancelled after 12 months. They did not realize the draft continued past the 12 months, and would continue until the letter of cancellation was brought in. The previous owner of my location would not let her trainers tell the members this, or highlight this part of the contract, which we do now.

    Curves policy is to call members who are not coming in and working out. Do all the clubs do this? No, but they should, and as a franchisor Curves International should be/have been making sure the franchisees are/were following the policies and procedures. The reason these owners do not call them is because they do not want the member to know they are still paying (being drafted). Curves International shouldn’t let these clubs be sold if this is the case.

    How many resales have been put into this position? This new owner paid for members, assumed she would be able to pay off her investment, only to discover she doesn’t have the income to do so. Members will be calling her and cancelling by the dozens. She will be left with half of her membership if she’s lucky. More then likely, she will lose everything.

    Who is to blame? What did she do wrong? What could she have done that you would consider “due diligence” ?

    It’s great that you watch over everything as you do, but not everyone has/had access to online banking. You would be surprised, but many families do not have computers in their homes. Many of the elderly, which make up a huge percentage of Curves members, do not know how to access the internet.

    I’m curious. When you die, what do you think people will say about you? Will they say you were a wonderful person, with a kind heart who thought of others before yourself? Based on some of the comments you make at this site I think not. I think you’re a Narcissist. In case you don’t know what this is, the description is below.

    Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. Those with narcissistic personality disorder believe that they’re superior to others and have little regard for other people’s feelings. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem, vulnerable to the slightest criticism.

  • August 27, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    Call me what you want, but i can tell you that most people I know, know that for a friend, I’ll put them before myself. They also know that i will take responsibility when I screw up and won’t harp on the situation. You learn from it.

    The point is, you make it seem like every failed franchise in the Curves system was the franchisor’s fault. It’s not. People overspent on resales, based on the fact that they weren’t able to decipher what reports were important in their ‘due diligence’. The big piece of the puzzle would’ve been getting that report that showed when a member attended. If someone hadn’t been there for 9 years, you obviously wouldn’t count them as a member in your due diligence.

    Just out of curiousity, you say that Curves should follow their policies and enforce them, but what is your opinion when Unhappy made the comment that stores should stay open 24/7 or that they should sell the equipment when the agreement stated that Curves had the right of first refusal, or that the transfer fee in the agreement was illegal?

    There is an issue with this story where the franchisees want enforcement on issues that help them out, but on issues that would be on the franchisors’ side, they say to ignore it.

  • August 28, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    “People overspent on resales, based on the fact that they weren’t able to decipher what reports were important in their ‘due diligence’. The big piece of the puzzle would’ve been getting that report that showed when a member attended. If someone hadn’t been there for 9 years, you obviously wouldn’t count them as a member in your due diligence.”

    You would never think a Christian owned franchise, that does everything right in the eyes of the founder’s god, would set up a business to benefit financially at the expense of others. You assume as a new owner, that the draft is coming out as Curves.

    Calling members not working out is a Curves International policy. As an owner, we are supposed to send out “Miss You” cards to the members who are not working out. Curves International, as the franchisor, should have been/should be making sure the owners were/are doing this.

    The franchisor should be there for the buyer during the entire process. They should be looking over the documents, and making sure the establishment is being sold for what it is worth. They should be by your side because they want you to succeed. You not succeeding because you paid more for the franchise then it is worth, is not good for the franchise as a whole.

    Curves International is responsible for some of the failures. Not all. I never said all. The previous owners made a return on their investment. The resales will close their locations because they are not bringing in enough to pay their loans each month, and they will be paying off their investment in Curves for the rest of their lives.

    We can not sell our clubs, even profitable clubs, because Curves International has allowed the name to be tarnished. We can’t list everything that has caused all of us major headaches, heartache and pain over the last 6 years at this site. Gary blames us for the demise of our clubs, yet we are an establishment meant to strengthen women, and our founder supports anti-choice organizations. If he thinks his presence in Haiti with George Bush makes up for the sins he has committed, he is wrong.

    Unhappy made the comment that stores should stay open 24/7 or that they should sell the equipment when the agreement stated that Curves had the right of first refusal, or that the transfer fee in the agreement was illegal?

    We are about strengthening women and in today’s society women have jobs/children/responsibilities. 24/7 would give these women access to our facility so they could work out at their convenience. We would provide a trainer during certain hours, and they would have to work out with a trainer for at least a month so we we can make sure they are using the program correctly. If we want to truly strengthen women, we need to be there for them. Gary said it is not safe to have 24/7 access. This is ridiculous. A women can be rapped or mugged in broad daylight. Women are rapped in their own homes. It is a great idea and would increase our membership numbers.

    Gary thinks Zumba is a great idea. It’s going to save our clubs. Why is this a great idea? My facility is under 2,000 square feet. I do not have the space to have a Zumba class. I have looked at larger spaces and they will cost me twice as much each month.

    We should be able to sell the equipment. We paid for it, and we need every penny we can get out of our locations when we sell them. It is written in the franchise agreement, but it shouldn’t be. They have all the power and it shouldn’t be this way. When you sign the franchise agreement, you’re not thinking, “I am going to be out of business in less then 5 years and broke, so I really don’t want to give Curves International my equipment because I will need the money to cover payroll.”

    The transfer fee is another attempt by Curves International to get as much money as they can from their franchisees. Which is what they do all the time. Every change they make benefits them more then us. A franchisor should be focused on the franchisee and what would benefit the franchisee. This in turn will benefit the franchise as a whole. Curves International is not interested in this. Every change they make takes from our wallets and fills theirs.

  • September 5, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Where are you? I’m waiting for a response to the above post.

  • September 6, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    One of your first mistakes is including religion in your business purchasing process. Religion shouldn’t come in to play and if someone is using it, they are probably using it to ‘prey’ on others. I don’t think in any purchases/business dealings have I ever asked nor have I asked whether someone was a Christian or not. I’ve read about other ‘businesses’ that have been described as pyramid schemes where the founder talks about being a minister, yet, he’s making around half-million or more, because he is getting suckers to pay $50/month for websites.

    Your idea that the franchisor should be involved in the due diligence process is all about trying to bring your own failures on the shoulders of the franchisor. I’ve stated before, I never got involved as the franchisor in the purchase price or sales process. The only time I was ever asked anything was someone wanted to verify sales numbers with me. I told the potential buyer that I needed something in writing from the current franchisee for me to divulge that information. Either the potential buyer didn’t ask for the permission or didn’t get it from the selling franchisee. The last thing that you want to do is give out information that is not approved by the selling franchisee.

    As for 24/7 clubs and Zumba clubs, there is a standard that the clubs have to meet. You can’t just let clubs start doing there own thing, because then what happens when the club 3-5 miles down the road start to lose members to the club offering those things. If you’re the one getting the members, you’ll be happy, the losing club will be calling ‘foul’.

    You can think that the transfer fee is another way to get money out of franchisees, but it’s coming from the selling franchisee and they should have that considered in the sales price. It’s common in franchising. The franchisor has costs associated with the transfer of a club.

    I was looking at a lawsuit last week with a currently ‘hot’ franchise. It was a resale, in which the terms of the non-compete stated they couldn’t open a new store within 4 blocks (miles was scratched out). So what happens, the seller opens up a new store six months later about 5-6 blocks (looking at Google maps) and the buyers sales go down 10-15%. Because the buyer didn’t ask for a larger territory, the seller and the franchisor were able to take advantage of it.

  • September 13, 2010 at 2:10 pm


    I understand you. Finally! You are a franchisor, and someone who has made money at the expense of others. No wonder why you are always in support of Curves international. It all makes sense now. You think it is okay to manipulate people. You’re one of those rip off artist that feels you didn’t do anything wrong, because the person you ripped off was stupid and allowed themselves to be ripped off. Sickening.

    You stated, “One of your first mistakes is including religion in your business purchasing process. Religion shouldn’t come in to play and if someone is using it, they are probably using it to ‘prey’ on others…”

    I think you misunderstood when I said, “You would never think a Christian owned franchise, that does everything right in the eyes of the founder’s god, would set up a business to benefit financially at the expense of others.”

    I said this to be sarcastic. I didn’t buy because he was a Christian. Actually, that made me hesitate a bit.

    You also stated, “Your idea that the franchisor should be involved in the due diligence process is all about trying to bring your own failures on the shoulders of the franchisor.”

    What failures? I never said I failed. I paid more than the business was worth. I was lied to and manipulated. Members were lied to an manipulated. What was done to us was wrong. It’s deceptive and unethical.


    Pretend you are buying a Curves. Please tell us how you would keep something like this from happening to you. Don’t just say due diligence. Explain the due diligence. Explain what you would do to discover this problem before purchasing a Curves.

  • September 13, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    The answer to your question is simple. You ask what reports their system can generate, and then you request the ones that you want. If they won’t give you the listing they are hiding something. If they hand you a list that doesn’t include reports that could be run, you put a stipulation in the contract that would then be able to ‘recover’ some damages. Each franchise system has different reports that would be needed.

    As for me, I haven’t worked for a franchisor in nearly 5 years, and only worked in the industry for 18 months. Mind you, I’ve never hid from that fact. I should mention that there were people that we told that their location wasn’t viable and they wouldn’t listen, put their store there and it was closed in 2 years.

    The person in the example I used before in buying a resale is still in business, and that’s been 5+ years. They obviously did enough on their side that they didn’t feel that getting the information from me was necessary.

    You have no idea what our franchisor did, yet because of your distaste for the one you got involved in you decide that we were ‘ripping people off’.

    For each new store and resale in the company, someone from corporate would make it to their store at least 2 times/year to help out. There were some that got more visits if needed. Reports were given to the stores so that they could compare their sales with their peers and see how they were doing.

    We asked for the franchisees to send in their financials so that we could assist them in areas that they may be spending too much money in (and these would come in all formats and some were totally inaccurate, so we tried to help them with their accounting). We had people working with credit card companies to bring down the fees.

    So, while you say that we were ‘ripping people off’, you should realize that there was a lot going on too to help out the franchisees.

  • September 13, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    A report that shows the draft coming out as merchant is not available.

  • September 13, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    Your main report in buying a fitness franchise is to see the activity report on members, not how many were showing drafts coming out as merchants.

    If a member hasn’t shown up in 8 years, then you take that into consideration of the financial statements. So, if it’s $30/month, you take $360 off the profit/loss that the seller has.

    You take the report and maybe if someone hasn’t been in 2 months, you assign it a percentage that maybe that person will come back and figure that into the price. See you have to get into the details. You want to blame the merchant drafts, but it would’ve been much easier if you would’ve figured out to get the report that showed member activity.

  • September 14, 2010 at 6:50 pm


    “Your main report in buying a fitness franchise is to see the activity report on members, not how many were showing drafts coming out as merchants.”

    What are you talking about? We didn’t look at the bank statements of all her members and then count how many were coming out as merchant. This is silly.

    We knew she had members not working out. A member not working out for 3-6 months and then coming back is normal. You assume when you purchase the club that the women on your report know they are paying. You assume they are not coming in, but they see the payment coming out every month. Some of my members, who know they are being drafted because the draft comes out as Curves, keep paying as motivation to get back in.

    The purchase price was based on a percentage, deducting from those that were outside their 12 months drafts. We didn’t pay for any of the contents within the location, to offset the possibilty of members who could cancel. Seriously, you treat us like we’re idiots. Paying a lower percentage doesn’t really matter when members are not really members because they do not know they are paying.

  • October 2, 2010 at 10:38 am


  • November 19, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Get ready, I have heard a full on documentary is in the early stages of this scam – basically , how some hustlers under the name of God scammed a whole lot of people. Should be done by next summer. I have seen some of the initial treatments and interviews – wow this could be as big as Super Size me.

    I am sure they started out with good intentions. They quickly turned into old time preacher tent opportunists. If they could figure out how to sell snake oil they would. No question, the owners and president will pull their money out. And live in their nice houses in Waco .
    They live in an isolated thought bubble for innovation and have accepted they basically run a ponzi scheme.

    The sad thing is that they cloak themselves in christian values. Give me a break they have hustled thousands of small franchisees who are paying for the owners and management’s private compound (which is full of nuts living like the Beverly Hillbillies).

  • November 30, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Shawn, who is doing this documentary?

  • January 12, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    I am looking into purchasing an established CURVES but, after research, have decided against it.

    That being said, I would still love to own a similar business.

    Do I understand rightly that after you close, you are NOT allowed to sell your equipment?!! So you paid $30 plus thousand dollars and don’t own anything? That’s insane! If anyone is interested in bucking the system, I am interested in buying.


  • August 2, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Anyone out there interested that there can’t be more 24/7 clubs???? I am closing mine rather than give it up. PLEASE if you are out there reading this contact me.

  • October 19, 2011 at 5:06 am

    I have to close my club , they want 10 000$ instead of all monthly royalties during 9 years.Is there anyone who did not payed. Did you received any documents from court ? What can I do if I’m out of money ?????

  • October 20, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    Well the owner that I know that is “being pruned” really did give it her all.
    She is in the gym 8-10 hrs a day 6 days a week, when she had the children’s hospital fund raising event, she did 75 times around the circuit in 2 days to build publicity in her area. No one could possibly say she was not dedicated enough.

    So here is the sob story:
    Her husband passed away, leaving her with 2 kids just starting college, she decided, due to location and such that the Curves would be a good option for her, having been a business owner before. She invested the life insurance into this new business.

    The old owner mis represented the true income of the gym.
    She has never made more than $600 profit in a single month over the two years she has owned it. Many months she has gone negative to pay the fees and buy the promotional items that she is REQUIRED to buy.

    Her father takes a turn for the worse with major health issues, her mother gets cancer and needs surgery, her grandmother gets diagnosed with something terminal that I can’t spell. All need major assistance and care. She has to now pay someone to sit at her gym so it stays open while she cares for three sick relatives.

    If I was hearing/reading this I wouldn’t believe it and I would think this HAD to be made up but it is her life.

    Curves refuses to waive a single fee, has turned down multiple new buyers for her club because they don’t have good enough credit and they are threatening her with a lawsuit if she “abandons” her club.

    Is this “pruning”??

  • October 21, 2011 at 5:15 am

    I understand, but is here someone who went to court, won, lost, received a warning but did not pay, not paid and something happened … ???

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  • July 22, 2012 at 8:09 am

    WOW. I was a member of Curves a few years back and it actually worked. I lost 80 pounds in a year (I was also on a strict diet) and I felt great, so when I found out our local Curves was selling, I called right away and thought about buying it. I have changed my mind thanks to everyone airing the problems they have had in dealing with Curves. Thank you!!!!

  • February 24, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    I am so Grateful I found all this info tonite,Prior to reading all of this I filled out a request for info,,,DELETE.

  • February 6, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    thanks for the info ! I will now cancel my inquiry

  • August 28, 2017 at 1:53 am

    I’ve read so many of these horror stories about “owning” a franchise. In the end, it is about contract law. Franchise contracts are written in such a way that the franchisee (“zee”) takes on all of the financial risk and is at the complete mercy of the franchisor (“zor”). Paying fees and royalties off of gross instead of profit, buying supplies at fixed prices from fixed vendors, having little to no control over where new franchise locations are opened, subject to secret shoppers and surprise inspections, compulsory coupons and low price campaigns that slash margins but ensure royalties, continual remodels at zee expense, long contracts with high penalties, limited choices on leases, forced arbitration, and the list goes on.

    The problem is that when you sign one of these contracts, you are opening yourself up to a huge risk of abuse by the franchisor. Why willingly be at someone else’s mercy? Why throw away your ability to innovate and adapt to a changing market? When you read the comments on this site, you can feel the frustration from these hardworking people who are passionate about their business but have so little control over the outcome. And, they are desperate because they are risking and losing hundreds of thousands of dollars while the franchisor gets paid at every turn.

    Don’t sign one of these franchise contracts. Read these horror stories and realize that any franchise can go south at any time. Running your own business is going to be extremely hard and challenging; don’t do it with your hands tied behind your back by a franchise agreement.

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