Angela Derringer-Donnell, a survivor of the JDog Junk Removal franchise scheme, shares how their American Dream of business ownership became a nightmare at the hands of predatory franchise sellers.
Angela Derringer-Donnell has been severely victimized by the predatory JDog franchise scheme… but she refuses to be a victim.
Her husband, a 22-year Coast Guard veteran, was victimized as well, and suffered a stress-induced stroke.
The entire Donnell family has been torn apart by a franchise company that purports to have veteran empowerment as their main objective.
As her family continues its long process of healing and recovery, Angela Derringer-Donnell has decided to share her story so that other veterans and military families know the truth about the JDog Junk Removal & Hauling franchise opportunity.
She hopes sharing her story will motivate other JDog franchise survivors to share their stories as well.
Here is Angela’s story, posted on Facebook September 6, 2023.
Angela Derringer-Donnell: JDog Franchise Survivor
Over the past three years since we bought into a JDog franchise, there have been many opportunities to feel like a victim.
Truth be told there were many situations where we were victimized severely.
In the winter of 2019, we attended an informational session at the JDog headquarters.
After researching many different opportunities, we decided to move forward with JDog because of their Veteran outreach, as they only sell to Veterans and their family members.
In March of 2020, we attended a weeklong training at headquarters during the horrid week Covid shut everything down. It was utter chaos.
During this training session, we decided to purchase one territory at $35,000 and put a first right of refusal on a second territory at $2000, with the remaining balance of $23k that would be due in a year if we chose to buy.
We were encouraged to lease all brand new vehicles, and were also encouraged to obtain an SBA loan.
We followed suit with everything they encouraged, retired from the Coast Guard in the summer of 2020, and moved our family from Virginia to Texas to open our JDog franchise.
We were passionate, we were excited, and we believed in the brand. We had dreams and aspirations to open an antique store and give back to the community as much as possible.
Although we were able to put thousands of dollars worth of items back into our community, recycle thousands of pounds of paper, cardboard, metal, and electronics, dispose of hazardous materials properly, and support a foster care/adoption ministry, our local church, and several VSO organizations with our volunteer time…
the business model failed us miserably.
On several occasions, I attempted to contact corporate to ask for assistance with understanding why the model was not working, pleading for my husband’s sanity back.
He really had lost sight of what was important. It became very disturbing.
Corporate’s suggestion was to spend more money on marketing, on top of our monthly royalty fees that were already draining our bank account.
And, so we did.
As we began to enter our second year of business in the summer of 2021, the long awaited and anticipated
JDog Operation Hidden Treasures TV show was premiering in the fall. This was corporate’s main focus, and it was a complete and utter flop. So many promises of increased business and opportunities gone by the wayside.
In August, 2021, we had to make the decision whether or not to purchase the second territory that we held a first right of refusal on and begin paying outrageous monthly royalty fees on it… or consider the $2000 a loss.
A few weeks before we had to finalize the decision, corporate sent out a mass email stating that they were raising the franchise fees $10,000 beginning October 2021 because of all the interest in the TV show and people wanting to buy franchises.
Corporate contacted Ryan and persuaded him to move forward with the purchase and pay the $23,000 on a monthly payment plan of $4000 a month.
We were already barely surviving our first year of business.
I was unaware of the purchase until a month later when Ryan quit paying us a salary. We started living on credit cards so he could manage the $4000 a month on top of the $800 a month royalty for this one territory (and $1200 a month on the original… as they graduated).
A few months later we ended up finding out the franchise fee was never raised and they stated the proposal was going to be the fall of 2022.
Again it never happened. We were then told January 2023…
The official date?
Who knows? I lost track.
Once the purchase was shared with me, we began to trying everything possible to get on top of the debt, working 60-70 hours a week, and homeschooling three of four children.
Once again, it was futile.
We worked with corporate on our P&L’s again and were told once again to spend more money on marketing.
We continued to follow their advice and dug ourselves into even more debt.
The financial toll began to affect every aspect of our life. The stress had already laid a thick cloak over us and we were both spent. We began arguing constantly, and the tension was thick.
It became a very toxic environment for everyone in the home, even our dogs.
In November 2022 my very close, uncle lost his battle to cancer. We drove to Canyon, Texas to attend the funeral, and immediately following the funeral, Ryan suffered an ischemic stroke on his m1 branch.
Our world was already turned upside down and this was the landslide that brought us completely down.
At this point our debt from the business was $250,000, with only a little over two years in.
I told Ryan that he needed to shut it down, and I told him I would only support an exit strategy.
I expressed my disdain and set my boundary, that I could no longer support the brand and run the operations and the resale of the business.
He told me he could not shut it down.
I told him if wanted to continue running it, he would have to leave.
I wasn’t going to watch him kill himself over this business.
And so he left.
Ryan went to his dad’s house for three months and tried to continue running the business with our son Garrick, unsuccessfully, as the toxicity continued to rise.
Finally, on March 31, when there was nothing left, he decided to shut it down with thousands more added to our debt.
His mental health was rocked.
He was not the same man I knew.
Something switched in him.
He was angry and isolated.
He became a shell of himself… incapable of any feelings or emotions.
We were and still are both battling depression and PTSD from all the trauma.
Some thing I found interesting was corporate did not withdraw our royalty payments for the month of December and January following Ryan’s stroke.
We did not ask for this… they just provided it for us. When Ryan finally decided to shut down, they told him he had to pay the $4000 arrears in order to shut down.
Well…that never happened.
Shortly after Ryan’s stroke, I began calling other JDog franchisees that had shut down to find out their stories.
My heart was in pieces and these connections carried me through those initial months after his stroke. They were the most heartbreaking yet comforting conversations and as I listened to each one, I began to see the truth.
There was a thread of deceit that ran through each one of our stories.
A truth that painfully destroyed our family and severely affected both of our mental and physical health.
My heart hurts for those the sun is setting harshly on now.
We are on the other side of the nightmare with the fragments scattered from our financial,marital, and family devastation left to clean up.
It has been a learning lesson of trust, integrity, and respect. These are the supposed values of JDog Corporate, values I never genuinely saw displayed.
I have hesitated for nine months to share my story out of fear that the franchisees’ business would be affected.
It has become evident to me that the truth is more important.
I truly believe that most, if not all franchisees operate their business with Trust, Integrity and Respect and the lack of integrity is an issue at the corporate level, not with the individual franchisees.
JDog Corporate has learned how to manipulate Veterans, and their individual situations to squeeze the most out of each of them, and use each business partner as a tool to manipulate things.
I am a living example.
Two days before we opened our franchise, on August 1, 2020, I wrote a one page prayer over our business.
It included everything from legal actions, lawsuits, finances, as well as praying for other franchisees and corporate daily.
God knew, and I prayed this prayer for 2 1/2 years, not really understanding why.
I believe that He will make all things right in his time and each and every person victimized will see retribution.
As for Ryan and I, we are better.
We are learning to take ownership and responsibility for the things that we have caused in our own lives, and we are learning to be friends and better parents to our children.
I’m hoping that by releasing this victim mentality and sharing my story, others will come forward and share their story as well, without fear.
And, I pray by releasing this I am able to heal fully as well.
Sean Kelly, owner of unhappyfanchisee.com, has been following many stories, very closely while gathering information to assist in understanding the entire scope of JDog Corporate.
His article gives detailed facts and numbers regarding the amount of closures in the past several years, here:
I have been told not to speak.
I’m to the point that I really do not care anymore.
The truth needs to come out and others need to feel safe enough to come forward and share.
I am available for any franchisee or spouse who is struggling and is seeking advice.
Thank you for allowing me to share and my continued prayers.
Wife of U.S. Coast Guard Veteran Ryan Donnell
JDog Franchise Survivor
If you are among the veterans or military family members whose JDog franchise(s ) closed before reaching the end of the contract term, please accept our condolences.Please share your experience and insights so fellow veterans can make informed investment decisions regarding the JDog franchise.
All JDog Franchise Posts (Most Recent First)Franchise Warning: JDog Junk Hauling for Veterans (Index) Letter to JDog Franchises LLC President Kevin Kopa OPEN INVITATION: Unhappy Franchisee extends an open invitation to all those discussed to provide corrections, explanations, clarifications and/or rebuttals. We will correct factual errors & alternative views fairly. Anonymous or signed comments are welcome below or can be emailed in confidence to UnhappyFranchisee[at]Gmail[dot]com. Sean Kelly is an independent investigative journalist with 35 years of franchise industry experience. Since founding UnhappyFranchisee.Com in 2006, his reporting has exposed & shut down several predatory franchise & investment schemes. Sean Kelly is a franchise watchdog who prompted and aided the FBI investigation that shut down the 165-victim multi-million-dollar NY Bagel franchise scam and landed perpetrators Dennis Mason & Joseph Smith in federal prison. Sean was featured in the ABC Four Corners expose of 7-Eleven wage theft in Australia and has served as an advisor to Dateline NBC. He has withstood bullying, intimidation & frivolous lawsuits as high as $35M and never lost. His crack editorial staff and fact checkers include Chick, Gem, Red, Pru & Joanie the Rescue Chicken.Contact the author at UnhappyFranchisee[at]Gmail[dot]com
TAGS: JDog, JDog Junk Removal franchise, JDog Carpet Cleaning franchise, JDog failure rate, veterans franchise, franchise for veterans, Kevin Kopa, Jerry Flanagan, Julip Run Capital, Chris Debbas, Tom Spadea, franchise failures, franchise scam, vetfran, Spadea Lignana law firm, Terry Corkery, JDog Foundation