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GARAGE FORCE Franchise Complaints

Garage Force franchise marketing claims its program provides all the tools for immediate success as a business owner.  Some franchisees claim Garage Force is a deceptively marketed scam that preys on military veterans and illegally hides its many franchise failures.  Which is it?  Let’s dig in and find out.

(UnhappyFranchisee.Com) The Garage Force franchise investment is sold by Ilfrich Integrated Solutions, Inc. (f/k/a Garage Force International, Inc.) of Onalaska, WI.

According to its 2018 Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD), “Garage Force® Businesses provide products and services for residential garages, including the application and installation of coatings for concrete and concrete floors; the repair, maintenance and renovation of concrete and concrete floors; and the design and installation of cabinets and related storage accessories and organization systems.”

The FDD states that the total investment necessary to begin operation of a Garage Force® franchise is between $68,300 to $137,600, which includes $65,000 that must be paid to the Franchisor or an affiliate.

Garage Force Sells the American Dream of Business Ownership

According to the Garage Force franchise website:

We are looking for motivated entrepreneurs who are looking for a profitable franchise opportunity… We’ve spent years developing a strong business strategy and marketing plan that will enable you to operate your own Garage Force franchise and begin generating immediate revenue.

When you franchise with Garage Force, we will supply you with all the tools you need to be successful immediately. Be your own boss and build your own company while offering you the training and support you need to transition from working American to a business owner.

Garage Force Targets Military Veterans

Garage Force specifically advertises to and targets U.S. military veterans for it franchise investment.  Its promotional page on a military jobs website states:

Garage Force is dedicated to the men and women who are serving or have served our great Nation. We are looking to assist you in building a strong Franchise business, building legacy for you, your family and our country.

We don’t require tens of thousands of dollars down. We’ve developed a financing system designed for Veterans that will allow anyone, with minimal up-front costs, to get started immediately.

Franchisees Allege Garage Force is Deceptively Marketed, Hopelessly Flawed

Garage Force franchiseContrary to the professional, conscientious tone of its franchise marketing materials, some franchisees claim that Ilfrich Integrated Solutions, Inc. is deceptively marketing and selling franchisees a flawed, unsustainable business model, and is concealing its many franchise failures both from prospective franchise owners in violation of the FTC Franchise Rule and state franchise regulations.

We are reaching out to the principals of the Garage Force franchisor, which include Michael J. Peterson, President, Chief Executive Officer, Treasurer, Secretary and Director, and Patrick J. Ilfrey,  Director for clarification, comment or rebuttal on the allegations that follow.

We are also reaching out to attorney Ryan R. Palmer of Gray Plant Mooty who appears to have filed the state registrations for Garage Force and, perhaps, drafted the Garage Force FDD.

Michael J. Peterson swore, under penalty of law, that the representations in the FDD were truthful, complete and accurate, so the franchisee’s allegations that failures were not disclosed, one would assume, could have serious ramifications.

Allegation:  The Garage Force Franchise is a Scam

This comment was posted to the UnhappyFranchisee.Com website:

Beware of Garage Force out of La Crosse WI.  [They] charge you for a territory, a trailer full of junk, then mark up the materials so high you cannot compete, plus want 6% off the top.

Zero marketing help, zero business help.

Over 50% of their franchisees have failed, close up, went bankrupt or just quit.

They marketed to American Veterans as “be you own boss” then left them to fail as did others.

They never let new franchisees know the failure rates as the signed more up.
Its a total product pumping scam then the hard working families get screwed. Stay away! Run!
I can back up all this with a report that details the facts on each and every owners.
Total Scam!

Allegation: Garage Force Hides Franchisee Failures

A detailed report compiled in Fall 2018 by one of the Garage Force franchise owners alleges that the company and Mike Peterson blatantly lied about franchisee failures from early on:

…in late 2015 through 2016, there were several franchises that failed during that time, none of which were reported to other owners or incoming owners. In fact, owners purchasing franchises in 2017 related that Mike Peterson claimed the health of the company was great and no owners had left to that point. As of September, 2018, thirty (30) owners both listed and not listed on the company website are no longer operating and an additional eleven (11) are seeking options for exit, leaving twenty-three (23) either not unsatisfied or new.

Garage Force Complaint: No Established Business System

The franchisee’s report alleges that there is no established business system as would be provided to new business owners by a more established franchisor:

Garage Force is not and never was a proven business system. Specific detailed installation processes from the manufacturer do exist in their training manual, however, there remains to be no Garage Force Standard Operating Procedures to address all business systems necessary in the successful business operation of the franchise.  New owners, most of which have never run a business, are expected to plan and execute management processes, accounting processes, sales and marketing processes, human resource management processes in addition to the legal requirements of the business setup without any guidance or training.

Simply put, franchisees allege that Garage Force does not provide the necessary tools or training for new business owners to establish and grow their Garage Force businesses.

Garage Force Franchise Complaint:  Lack of Owner Support

The franchisee report claimed that it had gathered input from numerous franchise owners.

[Nearly every owner] expressed strong frustration over lacking owner support from the franchisor. Not one owner claimed the ability to reach Mike Peterson or Tim Trailer by phone directly at any attempt. Returned calls were latent if made at all.

[Technical Director] Roger Hackman received mixed reviews on reachability and mostly negative on reliability of information provided.

[Market Relations Manager] Sam Peterson received the most favorable comments and often cited as the only person regularly in the office.

Garage Force Complaint:  No Interest in Improvement, Just Selling Franchises

Franchisees have expressed the view that the franchisor, as a whole, has no real interest in their success… or even survival.  Selling new franchises and collecting new fees seems to be the greater priority.  The franchisee report states:

Garage Force as a business has remained relatively unchanged for the last three years…

…the franchisor promised an updated training manual branded with Garage Force in 2015, no such manual has ever come to fruition.

The latest promise included an updated website launching in September 2018 to replace the homemade disaster currently online. As per usual, no owner input was solicited. When an owner forum for real-time discussion was requested in order to address immediate issues when office personnel were unavailable, which occurs most of the time, a filtered static posting site was created and used by no one.

The general consensus among owners still operating is that the franchisor is not interested in owner success, but only in moving product and selling more franchises.

Garage Force Complaint:  Poor Owner Selection, Training, Responsiveness

The franchisee report does not claim that all franchisees are unhappy nor unsuccessful.  There are some who are content and doing fine.  However, the report claims that the majority are recruited with little selectivity, provided with inadequate training, a weak and poorly documented business model, and, for the most part, left to founder and fail on their own:

Garage Force sells franchises to whoever will buy them without regard to the fit of the owner to the business structure. Unfortunately, even the owners that seemed right for franchise were destined for failure due to lack of knowledge, training, support, and a stable business model that favored the [franchisor] owner.

Well over half of all the Garage Force owners to-date are no longer operating, although many are still listed on the company website. Many of these owners were contacted and shared their discontent with company management not trying harder to avoid franchise location failures. Two franchise owners, one recently removed from the website, still own the franchises although stopped payments over a year ago. Both have reached out through phone and email to discuss options and have received no response from Garage Force.

Other owners have identified specific areas where the business model is failing and have received no assistance from the franchisor to address the problems within the market. Most owner suggestions and requests have remained ignored for the last three years.



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TAGS: Garage Force, Garage Force franchise, floor coating franchise, Ilfrich Integrated Solutions, Michael J. Peterson, Patrick J. Ilfrey, Citadel Floor Finishing Systems, Rust-Oleum, Mike Ilfrey,  Garage Force International, attorney Ryan R. Palmer, Gray Plant Mooty, Roger Hackman, Sam Peterson, Garage Force franchise opportunity,

19 thoughts on “GARAGE FORCE Franchise Complaints

  • WithNo Vaseline

    As failed Garage Force franchisee owner, I can truly say that I felt conned from the beginning.

    Training was stretched to 5 days but was filled with so much fluff and wasted time. The company sells the overpriced materials and then takes 6% royalty on top of that. Charges $40k for a trailer full of equipment worth half of that. Charged the $65k franchise fee with 5% interest and of course allowed you to make monthly payments.

    We were spending over $1500 a month to Garage Force alone. This business model is not setup to make you successful!!! There is too much learning on the fly…trial and error with their products and even issues with certain floor products interacting with concrete! I ruined a floor using one of their products and all they could tell me was I had a bad batch of product. Had to spend $5k out of my pocket to cover the hideous floor with wood flooring.

    I could go on and on about these guys. Mike Peterson is only concerned with collecting fees and buying cars to store in his shop. I spent about 3 weeks asking him questions about the success of the franchises and he assured me all was great and that everybody was making money! What he didn’t tell me was that he was the only one.

    There were at least a half a million dollars worth of cars at the Garage Force headquarters. Run away from this opportunity as fast as you can.

  • Whistleblowers

    Comments above are quoted extremely true till this date. It does not matter how hard you work you will never make enough to keep up with high royalties equipment product employees customers damage floors on their behalf considering it’s lifetime warranty theirs your cash flow I can go on and on this whole industry is a joke and needs to be regulated close on every level. And as a owner you will be a direct installer not a supervisor u will be the driver installer so if your retired and want to work 18 hard hrs and break even or sometimes pullout cash advances until you close shop after 5 to 6 yrs of lies have at it

  • Williams Deon

    My Experience with Garage Force as a owner has been completely toxic. I recommend no to spend their time or money on this investment as you will fail and endure debt. As a franchise owner you will experience Beware of Garage Force out of La Crosse WI. [They] charge you for a territory, a trailer full of junk, then mark up the materials so high you cannot compete, plus want 6% off the top. Zero marketing help, zero business help. Over 50% of their franchisees have failed, close up, went bankrupt or just quit. They marketed to American Veterans as “be you own boss” then left them to fail as did others. They never let new franchisees know the failure rates as the signed more up. Its a total product pumping scam then the hard working families get screwed. Stay away! Run!
    I can back up all this with a report that details the facts on each and every owners. Most owners want speak up about the on going issues on this organization but eventually they will.

  • Franky Withers

    Garage Force is a complete hidden Failure organization. They will tell you its a good franchise purchase for residual income your better off doing herbal life and make more in residuals. They claim that they updated there Franchisees and weeded out the Lazy owners but truth be told owners have either failed or quit from 2015 to 2023 your looking at least 50 or greater franchisee owners have failed or quit over 70 percent and its getting worse every year. Garage Force organization are hiding failure rates, and negative post to protect their reputation. This organization is a example of pure scam 100 percent.

  • Brandon Thompson

    Beware this Franchisor is so shady that they had to change their names from Garage Force INT to Garage Force 2.0 to avoid from being sued. I can bet they will change their name again for the amount of scams they are committing from product failures and etc.

  • Here is one scam that will get you un notice garage force as we know it has private investers so tatic one is as follow starv you to death to the point you need to borrow from one of the private investors and now private invester will eventually own your company because its a never ending game you will make more revenue being an employee than to own this dump. DONT DO IT

  • Their products are complete scam it cures fasts it still fails and change changes yellow from time to time and don’t waist your time installing that water barrier crap waist of money and time. You would burn over 800 bucks a kit that covers maybe 400sqft if lucky and 2 days of busting your ass sanding every inch of that floor and it will still fail imagine that camper this franchise ruined my life and I’m still paying for it.

  • Detol Bryon

    The worst decision I ever made in my life never thought about suicide until I own one of these franchises don’t buy into one of these scams you will loose your family and most likely your life

  • Richard Holman

    As a purchaser of the product on my front entry and back patio I now have an issue and the owner has gone out of business and I have no recourse. The other provider in the area I’m sure doesn’t want to correct the issues as it comes out of his pocket to fix with no payment. I was recommending to friends. I have since told them to go elsewhere. I feel for those that bought into this scam. So much for my lifetime warranty.

  • Omni Zion

    My experience with this organization as a franchisee was the worst experience you can ever possibly imagine you will pretty much loose everything you have if you hang on to this dream. It’s a complete financial suicide and than some. Imagine working 6 to 7 day weeks outdoors 10 to 15 hours days dealing with resins that cures when it wants depending on the humidity and temperatures list goes on. I could not tell you how many times hand tools almost took out my face for just 2 dollars an hour as a business owner but with cost it’s like your making negative 10 dollars hour. Everyday I had to work for this franchise I literally wanted to fall off the face of this god green earth

  • This organization has a very bad reputation you will not find any customers unless it’s through the garage force head quarters and that is where the scams begin with pricing and etc. You can end up charging a customer 2500 for a particular garage floor design but if garage force purposely send you faulty bad products that don’t cure correctly or if customers aren’t happy with design you could easily be there for another week spend more money on products and this also gives customers a liability of not paying you so you probably loose over 6 to 7 grand just on that job and garage Force head quarters will not back you up are you ready for that? And this happens often . That is just one scenario there’s tons please stay away otherwise you are going to want to end yourself because of all the hard work you put in with no reward at and we’re talking OVER 5 YEARS

  • Your Brain

    First Let’s start by asking why did the whole AUSTRALIA DIVISION DISAPPEAR WITHIN A YEAR WHICH IS NO SURPRISE SEEN IT COMING. Hardly anyone is happy with this organization you will have a better chance jumping off a bridge they don’t care how good you are you can be the best of the best they will actually try to degrade you as if they are better than you I say fuck them all with my middle finger in air with ten toes down.

  • Ken Jameson


  • I would rather kill myself a millions times before I ever make such decisions to purchase a franchise from shitty organization I swear on my kids life

  • Kevin Satterfield

    By far the worst organization in the history of the United States their products are fraudulent. Do not purchase you will loose your home and your livelihood dealing with these guys. This is a pyramid scheme on steroids don’t let the branding fool you more than half of the franchisees aren’t even in business and the ones that are aren’t even fool time more like seasonal if they’re lucky. It’s extremely hard for you to make a profit as a owner you will pay a high market fee for your products not retail you are charge 3 times than your competitors which leaves you no room to charge customers a fair reasonable price to gain profits. Don’t believe go ahead and find out.

  • First let’s start off by saying they are RACIST less than 2 percent of their franchisee force are minorities? And the ones that are either push out with their intimidating tactics or force to quit. In the the near future I look forward into hiring crump the popular lawyer just like Johnny Crocren to
    Bring down this organization that is worse than a pyramid scheme. This so ironic how organizations like this don’t get put OUT OF BUSINESS FOR SCAMS towards veterans and the public

  • Never trust a franchise who lies about how many locations they have between 2020 and 2021 the whole Australia division quit, and to make matters worse the franchisee that’s on the website half are operating and out of that half there part time

  • Don’t do it. This organization will throw you in a giant blender ask the hundreds of franchisee failures they are hiding. All of their franchises aren’t even licensed to operate by their state or county so overtime they will all get a huge fined and garageforce int will not hep them all. Some locations are saying their open but not such as Myrtle Beach SC. Products are scam as well cheap quality but pay triple compared to your competitors

  • Tammy kissenger

    Garage Force Franchisees aren’t licensed or trained properly beware this organization is operating illegally and most franchisees are lied to saying they do not need an operating license.

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