ALL POSTSCatherine MonsonDr. John HayesFAKE FRANCHISE SUCCESS STORIESInternational Franchise Association (IFA)

Franchise Fraud Complaint Submitted to International Franchise Association (IFA)

A co-chair of the International Franchise Association (IFA), several members of the IFA Supplier forum, and 23 franchise companies are suspected of working together to intentionally mislead and deceive potential franchise investors.  UnhappyFranchisee.Com has submitted a detailed, 20+ page report to the IFA requesting comment and disciplinary action.

(  The International Franchise Association Guiding Principles include this statement on transparency::

Clarity and transparency is essential for establishing and maintaining positive franchise relationships and for the goal of continuous improvements in the franchising environment.

Catherine Monson FastsignsThe International Franchise Association Code of ethics contains these statements:

Honesty embodies openness, candor, and truthfulness… IFA members will be sincere in word, act, and character — reputable and without deception…

The public image and reputation of the franchise system is one of its most valuable and enduring assets…  This can only be achieved with trust, truth, and honesty between franchisors and franchisees…


IFA’s members enthusiastically support full compliance with, and vigorous enforcement of, all applicable federal and state franchise regulations.

Will the IFA be True to its Guiding Principles & Code of Ethics?

So here’s what we believe to be true to this point.

Gary Findley Restoration 1Neither Dr. John Hayes, BizCom Associates, nor any of the participating franchisor companies have denied the allegations.

  1. IFA members Dr. John Hayes & BizCom Associates publish an “Amazing Franchise Opportunities” book series that is marketed as expert Dr. John Hayes’ objective, merit-based selection and analysis of praiseworthy franchise opportunities.
  2. Featured franchisors, most of whom are IFA members,  promoted the false idea that their franchise opportunities were selected based on merit alone by Dr. Hayes, who had written about them in his book.
  3. In fact, the chapters readers would assume were written about the franchise companies were written by the franchise companies. IFA member BizCom has admitted that featured franchisors provided their own chapters.
  4. Dr. John Hayes, BizCom, and 23 franchise companies failed to disclose the paid endorsement and the material relationship between them.
  5. Dr. John Hayes, BizCom Associates and at least one franchisor (FASTSIGNS CEO and IFA co-chair Catherine Monson) deceptively manipulated Amazon sales rankings & reviews through false statements, shill purchasers and fake reviewers.

So, it seems likely that a big gang of IFA members got together with a plan to intentionally mislead and deceive prospective franchise investors.

We have compiled a 23+ page report on the alleged misconduct, which we have sent to numerous IFA officials.

How committed is the IFA to its Guiding Principles and its Code of Ethics?

We’re about to find out.

Read the Full Report submitted to the IFA (PDF):

John Hayes Deceptive Marketing Program (PDF 23 pp.)

Appendix A: BizCom sell sheet

Appendix B: Dr. John Hayes How Franchisors Can Generate More Leads (WORD Doc)

Appendix C: Dr. John Hayes Helping You Sell More Franchises By Building Credibility For Your Brand! (PDF)

Appendix D: FASTSIGNS International initial press release (PDF)

Appendix E: BizCom Damage Control Blog Post (After UF Expose) (PDF)


READ The Series “Dr. John Hayes’ Franchise Fraud School & Pay-For-Praise Emporium!”:

Series Index & Overview: Dr. John Hayes’ Franchise Fraud School

Dr. John Hayes & His 12 Amazingly Deceptive Franchises

6 AMAZING Franchise Deceptions of Dr. John HayesDr. John Hayes’ Book Reviews Given an “F” for Fraudulent

Dr. John P. Hayes Franchise Books Pulled From Amazon


Featured “Amazing Franchise” Participants:

FASTSIGNS CEO Catherine Monson named Valedictorian, Franchise Fraud School

FASTSIGNS Franchise Deception Seems, Well, Amazing. Comments?

RESTORATION 1 Franchise Deception: Gary Findley Doubles Down

DICKEY’S BARBECUE Franchise Reveals Deceptive Pay-for-Praise Tactics

DENTAL FIX RX Franchise Complaints

The Amazing Franchise That Vaporized: Palm Beach Vapors

United Franchise Group (UFG) Franchise Complaints

LIME PAINTING Franchise Integrity Questioned

BIZCOM ASSOCIATES: Franchise PR Firm or Troll Farm?







TAGS: FASTSIGNS, FASTSIGNS franchise, Catherine Monson, Mark Jameson, BizCom Associates, BizCom Press, Dr. John Hayes, Dr. John Hayes franchise expert, International Franchise Association, IFA, Titus Center, Titus Chair, 12 Amazing Franchise Opportunities, Palm Beach Atlantic University Franchise Program, IFE, Expert Endorsements, Expert Endorsements, franchise marketing, unhappy franchisee

6 thoughts on “Franchise Fraud Complaint Submitted to International Franchise Association (IFA)

  • anonymous

    Fantastic action Thank you

  • I own a successful multi-unit fitness chain, that is technically part of a franchise, but due to a number of circumstances I was able to negotiate terms that make it a really good situation for me (all a story for another day). However, I have seen first hand whats occured with the other unit owners who don’t have the addendums that I do, and its been an education. Outright marketing lies of the type Fastsigns and Catherine Monsoon engaged in, bad vendor relationships, false economic projections including in the FDD, deception about how many units are being developed, lies about the support to be had, the list goes on.
    My view on franchising has changed dramatically since my involvement with this company (almost 4 years now) I think its actually a massive drain on the economy for 2 reasons:
    -first, the shear number of bad concepts a la dickeys bbq that may work occasionally, but generally just suck resources out of middle class wanna be business people leaving banckruptcy where there was once home equity, IRA, 401Ks, college funds, good credit, etc. Certainly the wanna be business people deserve significant blame for not doing proper cash flow analysis, demographic research, ensuring good site selection, negotiating a good lease, etc, but thats also another issue, and part of the problem thats relevant to this topic is that most of these folks should never have been business owners in the first place, and likely would not of been without a franchise promising to do much of the leg work for them.
    -second, bad concepts and locations that should of been closed up long ago end up staying in business for sometimes many years thru a succession of owners as the franchisor finds new suckers to flip a structural loser to. This actually distorts the marketplace by driving up commercial real estate prices, limiting availability, and draining just enough revenue away from the real viable players to potentially limit expansion financing opportunities, market share, etc.
    Franchising (in probably 85% to 90% of franchise companies, there are some exceptions) and multi level marketing companies to me are highly suspect, ranging from outright scams that are criminal like cuppys coffee to incompetently run enterprises that cost large sums to be involved with but bring no value to the table, and in fact often impede success by denying local operators the ability to adjust to market demands. These companies may have good basic intentions, but the result ends up being the same as the frauds. Lots of capital exhausted for nothing in return.

  • How do you go about submitting a complaint with the IFA on a Franchisor?

  • Howard Calvin Rothschild

    IFA accepts complaints and files them under “We Don’t Do Franchise Complaints” otherwise known as “We feel your pain and you are not paying us to be an IFA member thank you for playing”.

  • anonymous

    Did the IFA respond to the complaint filed in April2018?


    Nope. No response.

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