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MATCO TOOLS: Veterans Against Matco Franchises Launches Facebook Page

VetFran or VetScam?  An unhappy franchisee claims that Matco Tools uses phony patriotism to sell its high-risk, high-failure franchise opportunity to trusting veterans.

According to IFA press releases, “more than 2,000 veterans have taken a path to business ownership through the International Franchise Association’s Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative, known as VetFran. According to IFA’s recently completed VetFran survey, 2,089 veterans have become small-business franchisees since 2002 by taking advantage of financial incentives.”

About 217 (about 10%) of those veterans were sold the Matco Tools franchise opportunity.  For an investment ranging between $82,000 and $191, these veterans were granted the right to drive around in a mobile tool store, peddling Matco Tools to a pre-approved list of customers (known as a “List of Calls” or “LOC”).  As an incentive, Matco Tools “gifted $5,000, at list price, in free hand tools to any honorably discharged veteran.”

Matco Tools aggressively promotes its franchise opportunity to veterans, and proudly publicizes that it signs up more veterans than any other company in the VetFran program.

Unhappy Franchisees Claim Matco Tools Defrauds Veterans.

Growing numbers of failed, failing and struggling Matco Tools franchise owners are claiming that Matco Tools is using deception to sell a franchise opportunity designed to fail.

More than 4000 comments have been left on our post MATCO TOOLS Franchise Complaints

The orchestrated protests against the Matco Tools franchise are documented here: MATCO TOOLS Distributor Franchise.

Now, veteran and former Matco Tools franchisee Todd Allen Peterson has launched a Facebook page specifically to protest Matco Tools recruitment of veterans.

Peterson write that the purpose of his Veterans Against Matco Franchises Facebook page is to publicize “ACCOUNTS of REAL soldiers who DEFENDED their Country and what Matco did for their Businesses.”

According to Peterson:

I have created this page to make Veterans aware that Matco is a Corporation of greed and destroys those who fall prey to their claims of success through support and partnership. Matco has no interest in creating a relationship with Franchisee’s but to take their money, ruin their credit and at any means terminate them is what they do best. Do not believe their lies! …My Matco graduation class in Stow, OH had 10 Distributors in it. Today there is only 1 left. I recently spoke to him and he told me that he has already been warned about Matco wanting to ditch him by his District Manager. I have been calling terminated Distributors and these reoccurring themes seem to be told. NO SUPPORT, BAD ECONOMIC CONDITIONS, UNVIABLE ROUTES, MATCO STOLE MY SHOPS AND THEY LIED TO ME.

Richard Brannies posted this warning on the page:

i too was a veteran that was misled into the matco franchise system.

it is not set up to build a profitable business.

they will lie to you, mislead you and dump you with all that they have stuck you with in the end.

In addition to the Veterans Against Matco Franchises Facebook page,  the Matco Tools Distributor Association facebook page was also launched recently to protest alleged fraudulent inducement and lack of support by franchisor Matco Tools.


Or contact Unhappy Franchisee.

11 thoughts on “MATCO TOOLS: Veterans Against Matco Franchises Launches Facebook Page

  • Pingback: MATCO TOOLS Distributor Franchise [UPDATED] : Unhappy Franchisee

  • Danny Gossett

    I have been a Matco Distributor for almost twelve years. I have seen many guys come and go. This is a hard business. If you have a strong, successful competitor, you will have to spend a lot of time earning your customers, or you will fail. If you feel that being self employed means you do not have to work, you will fail. If you have some success and then buy toys instead of more tools, you will fail. If you do not have a likable personality, you will fail. If you think that the Franchise owes you a successful route, you will fail. If you get up every day and have a plan and work the plan and know how to manage your business, and know that mechanics buy tools from the guy in the truck, not the name on the truck, and you are honest and care about your customers, you will succeed. I work in one of the most depressed areas of Atlanta. I succeed. To slander Matco and inflate their start up fees just shows that who ever wrote the above statements is not an honest person. Bottom line. The tool business is not for everyone, whether you are a veteran or not. For a guy like me that had very little when I started and a tremendous desire to make my business work, it was a perfect fit.

  • Danny, you just keep patting yourself on the back young man as you completely missed the point of the tool Franchise blogs here…

    Everything you said is true and EVERYONE ALREADY KNOWS IT…PAT PAT PAT

    Besides there is already a blog here for those who support Matco, which has very little participation…

    And if you are happy and satisfied with Matco, great job cool far out man, but don’t worry-you’ll get over it!!

  • Todd A. Peterson

    Danny Gossett,

    Evidently you have not read my experience with Matco.

    If you feel that I am the reason for failure after you read it then there is NO HOPE for you! You are destined to become ANOTHER victim of Matco Tools!


    Just in case someone is looking to buy a Matco franchise please read what Matco did for me as a United States citizen, Veteran and Owner of a Matco tools franchise!!!

    First the Distributor before me only worked 3 days on a Matco route and yes I bought it. I also bought his truck. I could have taken a route closer to where I lived but I liked the truck and established customers. Did not want the Isuzu Matco was cramming down my throat.

    So I went to this distributors house and I saw his financials. I cringed he was not doing well. Of course, he only had 3 days on route per week the other two and Saturday he was restoring vintage cars.

    I talked to DM who had told me this was a great business opportunity and explained to him I had my doubts about the route. I told him I didn’t think by looking at the financials and the amount of customers on the books I could be competitive with the 333 customers I was given which was largely made up of very few shops:

    Monday- 13 shops 68 customers (One shop had 5 customers and while I was riding around with Trainer the first week he informed trainer and myself that he had told DM he didn’t want a Matco truck on his property) So -5 equals 63

    Tuesday- 6 shops 73 customers (5 shops were part of 1 Auto Park) it was really two shops.

    Wednesday-3 shops 68 customers

    Thursday- 4 shops 76 customers

    Friday- 7 shops 48 customers

    Grand total of 33 shops and 328 customers.

    So I explain to DM that this is a very low number and I think that distributor I did ride with has a lot more customers and definitely a larger route.

    He tells me “that Matco usually gives Distributors a minimum head count and leaves it up to them to grow their own route.” That made sense to me. People who work hard succeed and those who start up a franchise and don’t work will fail. He assures me that I will pick up shops that need a Matco distributor because they will call me when they see my truck on the road and get the number off the back and side of truck. He also tells me to call him if I want to add a shop so that I don’t pick up shops that belong in someone elses area or on an open route.

    So i go to training come back load up my truck and start my franchise. Things were terribly slow in the begining. Learning the computer, talking about tools instead of turning them. But after two months I found myself going home early every day two days by 2:00 and 2 days by noon. The other day 7-5.

    I was hitting all the shift jobs during the daytime when other distributors serviced them and I got to thinking when I was a tech and how it made me feel when other tool guys would not come and service me on a third or second shift. So, I restructured my route and started working longer hours and as people called me and needed service I would add them to my route calling my DM for approval first.

    After about 6 months I was kicking ass! My customers loved and respected me. I would work late come on their shift and not in between shifts. My DM was plastering my walls with sales achievements plaques from meetings. Life was good.

    I filled the holes in my day with shops I added with DM approval.

    Things are going so well I was inventory rich. I was putting on my truck 3/4 in drive everything. I was stocking specialty tools out my butt. I was adding pliers and all kinds of tools I thought I would need when I turned wrenches. I was living the Matco dream.

    In June of 2005 I had a fire on my truck and found myself in a bit of a pickle on a tool truck. It seems that no companies(Not Matco’s Vendors) except for the manufacturer of my truck would take my truck in trade. So I did trade my truck in and got a bigger one because I had grown my inventory to over $200,000 my cost. I bought a 26′ Peterbilt.

    So although I was without an actual tool truck for 6 months I had acheived a top 50 ranking with Matco Tools in 2005. I worked out of a temp truck and it was such a piece of crap that I ended up working out of my Jeep Cherokee a bunch.

    So at Cancun, Mexico Expo in Feb. 2006 I receive an award from Matco being 41 out of over 1500 distributors from my new RM Tim Novak. I also received a GOLD sales excellence ring as well. Our whole District received awards for being a #1 District. Our DM was pumped. He was talking about growing our District and helping our Region become #1 in 2006. I purchased around $25,000 at Expo.
    I remember Tim Novak asking me to tell the other distributors in our Region what I did that made me so successful. I told them say hi and talk to every customer in the shop every week. Work longer hours than your competiton. Tote and promote Matco products.

    In less than 3 months after Expo my DM was fired. A fellow distributor would quit has franchise (I believe he was 45 out of 1500+) and I would be threatened by Tim Novak to surrender shops I had established with my Ex DM (of which I had PSA written and credit apps approved and denied.) or I could lose my franchise.

    Having Tim Novak in my home and knowing that I am heavily invested in tools and truck and with Tim threatening my franchise I caved. He left me with Rick Pena to decide what shops I would be surrendering and I did.

    Before Rick Pena came to me he and another DM surveyed our entire area and only found around 100 shops not getting service between me and another distributor Bud Cook. Rick explained to me that during his surveys he only found two shops that had negative things to say about me and that over 95% of my customers were happy to have me as their distributor. But he also explains to me that one of the reasons my DM had been terminated was because he had promised a new distributor Michael Johnson a Distributor Franchise but had not surveyed a route to put him in. Rick had been tasked with the duty of finding this Distributor a route. I suggested to Rick that there were at least three different routes available in Little Rock and I knew that there were others elsewhere but Rick said that this distributor was promised a route in NWA. I told him I didn’t care and that everything I had had been approved through my DM to call on. I even told him about shops I had picked up temporarily to help prep a route Kevin Hodges dad Gerald had taken so that TP would be established and customers broken tools would get serviced before Gerald got there.

    He showed me his survey sheets and I asked him if I could keep them. I DID!

    He showed me sheets with tacks on them in different colors showing shops with no service, shops with my “LOC”, shops I was calling on but had not been signed into my route list. I asked if I could keep them. I DID!

    I told him that I wasn’t giving up one shop and that I was servicing them all and he himself said my customers were happy. He said that is all true but this distributor was promised a route and my shops that I had added were not secured on my route list. I told him my DM gave me approval to call on them. He informed me according to my contract that they have to be in writing and signed by me and DM. I told him I didn’t care. I also told him maybe it was time to talk to a lawyer.

    Fact of the matter is I was still paying off tools ordered from Expo. I owed over 10,000 on deferred payments of inventory that was rolling in months after Expo. I couldn’t afford an attorney at that time.

    But soon Tim Novak flew in from Texas and threatened me with my franchise. Showed me the same tacks on a route maps (which I kept Yes I have Tim and Rick copies of the same goople map crap) I ask him point blank “Can I lose my franchise if I don’t surrender shops” he says “Yes”.

    So I surrender because although I was sure I was right and I new my fired DM gave me those shops it did say it had to be in writing. I felt it would be better to float in the boat than hire an attorney and maybe sink it.

    Tim left and I gave Rick enough customers to give Michael 338 customers on his “LOC”.

    So I am thinking it is a shitty deal but it is over. Not so. Rick comes back to my house and tells me that I gave Michael “JUNK SHOPS” and tells me “Michael deserves the same opportunity you had to become a successful distributor.” I tell him. Yeah he is right and that him being successful is going to destroy me. He tells me I am a good salesman and that I can build it agian but this time make sure your DM does his job. I tell him I am “but I have a large inventory and a new truck. How am I going to make it with the bills I have. He tells me I will manage. Then he tells me he has been authorized to give me 3 MB4725 for my trouble. I told him I could buy four in one month with the over $2000 a week in TP I was being forced to give up before I give up more customers. He tells me well you can take the boxes and surrender the shops or not take the boxes and surrender the shops either way Matco was going to give him more of my shops.

    So, I gave him every 2nd and 3rd shift shop I had. My thinking was if this guy wanted my success he was going to have to work the same way I did to get it. So Mike ends up with over 450 customers to call on. I am reduced to 350 and a lot of what I was given were shops that Bud Cook didn’t want to call on. Yeah I can say that too because I have Matco route sheets to prove it.

    One of the last things I asked Rick to do was when I found new shops that I would be allowed to call on them. He told me he wasn’t my DM and he thought that my new DM Anthony Kramer (who was a previous Snap-On distributor and had been in my District as a Distributor for less than a year) could help me establish new shops on my route list.

    So within two or three months of surrendering shops I have two brand new shops opening up on a street where Bud Cook and myself overlap on Moberly Lane in Bentonville. I call and ask Anthony about a month before they actually open if I can call on them and he says to get him an address when they open with the name of the shop and customer count and he will add them to my route list.

    So I swing by on Wednesday, the day I service that area , and they inform me they already have a Matco distributor and he came by the day before. So I call Anthony and ask him if he gave the shops to Bud Cook and he tells me “No”. I remind him that he told me I could call on them and he tells me to call Bud.

    So I call Bud Cook and ask him if he is calling on the new shops. He tells me “No. I gave those shops to Michael Johnson.” I say “Okay” and I call Anthony back. I ask Anthony “Since when do distributors assign shops to other distributors?” Anthony tells me “They can’t” and I tell Anthony “Then why did Bud tell me he gave the shops to Michael Johnson?” He tells me “He can’t do that.” I tell him “That’s your job. Right?” and he says “Yes”. So we hang up with the understanding that I will be calling on those shops. Then I get a call from Anthony telling me that “things are going to stay the way they are.” I can’t believe it.

    So I don’t give up I tell him I need to talk to him. He comes to my house and tallks with me and my wife. I tell him that is wrong to let a distributor call on shops when he doesn’t have any shops on that street already. Not to mention the fact that I put him in business and he already has more head count than I do. Anthony once again tells me those shops are mine and that I am right and this should never have happened.

    Two days later Anthony tells me that this decision is not his and that “It is out of my hands.”

    Over the course of the next two years I will lose a large percent of my customers due to an ailing economy. I will have multiple shops close and work reduction in every shop I have. Hardly no new businesses will open doors and many will open and close within a years time.

    Sometime in the Spring of 2009 I will tell Anthony I need a route resurvey done because I do not have anywhere near the minimum a new distributor has to start a new franchise. He tells me he is very busy but can get it done around the fall.

    In Nov. 2009 I will call Anthony and plead with him that I am fixing to lose an Important dealership who is closing their doors forever Bob Maloney Ford and that it is imperative that my route be resurveyed. I am told once again that it is the Holidays and in the New Year it will happen.

    Then in January of 2010 Anthony sends me an email stating I am at a YTD purchase average of $1,608.02 and that I am not at 80% of the National average. It also states that “Our end-user customers expect and deserve Matco products from their Matco Tools Distributor. Since I didn’t find this email until after I was terminated because Anthony knows I have never communicated by email. I ask you why would a DM who’s job is supposed to be supporting distributors not at least call me? Is it because I had already asked once and begged another time in the same year for a resurvey?

    So Anthony said resurvey in the new year. It never happened!

    On July 12, 2010 I get “THE LETTER” stating I have 90 days to cure a violation of my purchase average. Not being at 80% of the National Average. If I do not cure within 90 days Matco has good cause to separate. If I repeat same violation within a year Matco can terminate my franchise.

    As soon as I get the letter I come home and start raising hell with Tim. I told him that it was pretty shitty that He would separate me from Matco after I had been begging for a resurvey of my route Anthony said he would perform. I also told him that I had not received one shop added to my route list since he ruined my business in 2006.

    I felt like I was getting nowhere so I started calling corporate and gathering route list to prove I had a low head count to corporate.

    Thats when I received a letter from Anthony stating he had performed a survey of my route and found I was only servicing 67% of my of 328 customers. A totally fraudulent survey. There were shops on the survey that had not been open for over 9 months, there were shops I never heard of, there were shops that he asked me to call on but never added them to my route list. There were shops with inflated numbers.

    Again, I RAISE HELL. I try to talk with Tom Willis and Ernie Lauber but I am not getting any returned phone calls with messages I leave.

    Then, on July 28, 2010 I get a call from Anthony. He has good news and wants to meet me the next day. We set up a meeting at McDonalds because when he lied to my wife and I over those two shops on Moberly Lane my wife told him to never set foot on our property again.

    At the meeting he hands me a route list to sign which says I will have 405 customers to call on. I am overjoyed! I felt someone at Matco had heard of the fraud and made it right. I ask Anthony “Why did it have to come to this for them to take care of me.” He told me “I have more freedom than I did in the past and I deserved this opportunity.

    So I go right to work. I take a purchase average of 620 per week off the false survey performed on July 26, 2010 and turn it into a 1,472 per week purchase average by the end of the year. I was above the 13 wk National Purchase average at the end of the year.

    Yes, I did take three weeks off at the end of the year. One Thanksgiving week and Two Christmas into New Years. I have two kids who were 10 and 11 who were at home as well. The weather would not be kind in the new year having over two weeks of snow days in which I would have to take care of my kids because my wife has worked full time every since Tim cut my route in 06.

    On February 11, 2011 I would receive a conference call from Tim Novak with Anthony Kramer in attendance where Tim informed me that I was no longer a Matco Distributor. When I asked why he told me I had gone back to doing what I did before. I asked specifically and he told me I was not at 80% of the National Average. I told him what about the four feet of snow in my driveway. He told me its too late. I asked if I could start another route somewhere else where their wasn’t a distributor. He told me “I don’t care what you do you won’t be doing it with Matco.” I asked him what about moving to Kansas and selling tools for Matco their? He said “I don’t care what you do you won’t be doing it with Matco.” I asked him if I could at least service my customers till Matco found a replacement. Again he said “I don’t care what you do you won’t be doing it with Matco.”

    What really blew me away was sometime in late November 2010, after my cure period Anthony shows up out of the blue on my truck. I ask him “Oh No! What did I do now?” Anthony proceeds to tell that I am “doing great”. I ask him what about the letter and he tells me “forget the letter ever existed” “your doing great” “just keep doing what you been doing.” I ask him specifically about the one year clause in the letter and he tells me if anything is going to happen he will contact me first. Just like he always did he lied again. Noone ever called and asked if I had a Death in the family. Noone asked if I was sick. Noone called to tell me what a terrible distributor I am.

    Matco didn’t do a damn thing to help me and lied to me every chance they got.

    Did I mention again that Anthony Kramer and Tim Novak hired Robert Demers a long time Snap-On distributor who won a Harley Davidson and a BMW Mini-Cooper for his sales excellence with Snap-On to come on board with Matco as a District Manager in San Antonio Texas less than 6 months after he filed bankruptcy in Arkansas.

    Did I mention Bob told me personally that he hated being a Manager for Snap-On for the year he did it and he told me he would never do that agin.

    Did I mention that Bob was made a Distributor a few months after I received my Separation letter from Matco?

    Guess where Bob assumed his route where two failed distributors had ran a franchise?

    Yes. Bob is back in his home town in Michael Johnson’s old route.

    Please!!!!! Do yourself a favor! About face and run like hell! Franchising is a scam!!! The majority of franchisors are SCAMS!

  • Todd A. Peterson

    Danny Gossett,

    You are truly a SALESMAN!

    Danny Gossett
    I feel bad for brainwashed mechanics that pay a lot more for essentially the same tools as Matco. Snap-On has realized that they are losing their customers and are offering more and more Blue Point products, which they do not make and even have a WD catalog. A far as scanners, I will put the Matco Interceptor up against the Modis any day, any time. Keep your eyes open Snap-On lovers. They just spent millions to build plants in China and moved their air tool plant overseas years ago. Basically, buy from the toolman you like.

    It is conversations like this that made me want to puke as a tool salesman. I didn’t have to stoop this low to badgering people about who was cheaper and who had plants where. The facts are no tool company EXCEPT Snap-On has made anything in the United States. I sold my tools on service, dependability and price. I didn’t have to talk about my competition. I let him do all the talking.

  • Todd A. Peterson

    Danny Gossett,

    You sure do like talking bad about your competitor. Does that give you an edge over them!

    Danny Gossett
    Clay, you sound like an ex Snap -On Dealer that was run out of business by a Matco guy. The reason why Matco does not put made in USA on our boxes is because some components used in the box are from other countries, such as the slides for the drawers are manufactured in Mexico, because the slide company moved their plant there. Matco boxes are NOT more expensive than Snap-On and Snap-On is basically lying when they say that theirs are made entirely made in America. Also, on some of their lesser expensive boxes, they are outsourced and assembled in America. On top of all that, Snap-On has been making their air tools overseas for years and just invested 35 million on plants in China.

    Are you aware, Danny that a LARGE majority of Matco Distributors today are previous Snap-On Distributors?

    Do you realize, Danny, that Matco has not grown in 4 years but its competitor Snap-On has?

  • Todd A. Peterson

    By the way Danny,

    It just so happens to be that I outlasted a Snap-On competitor that had been with Snap-On for almost 15 years. By the way, he won Harley Davidson motorcycle and a BMW Mini Cooper for his sales performance with Snap-On when I was just starting my franchise. He had two routes at one time (Plus Truck) and eventually sold it to the guy he hired to run his plus truck. When I started in July of 2004 I ran up against both of them and only had two shops on my route where they were not present. In 2008 they both got out of Snap-On. Or should I say they were both ran out of town by Snap-On. You would think that a Matco franchisee who SUCCESSFULLY took out Matco’s competitor’s who had 20+ years experience to my 3+ would be a bit more appreciative for the job that I had done! But what happened to my Snap-On competitor? He brokered a deal with the management team that screwed me out of my route to begin with to get back in his old territory and service the same customers as a Matco distributor as he did a Snap-On distributor! Don’t point the finger at me unless you know my story! Don’t slander me calling me lazy and undetermined. You don’t have a clue what I am capable of. 41 in my first full year is probably better than you have done in your entire career!

  • Earl Frank

    I am a vet and now own a franchise with Matco tools, am doing well and do not see where i may have been misled in any way from Matco.

  • Jim Miller

    Earl Franks and Danny Gossett, I was thinking about being a Matco franchisee what can you tell me about it

  • Todd A. Peterson


    Speak your piece Danny! I have some text I saved in case you want to pop off on your Matco soap box! I don’t mind cut and copying some personal text to show what a phony you are.

    Earl Franks, I am sorry you made the choice you made! Understand this and if your smart you will do your work and see that NMTC dba Matco Tools is nothing more than a scam. They use a percentage of older Matco Distributors to churn franchisees out of their franchises. Before you start raving about what a GREAT opportunity this is for other Veterans to buy a Matco franchise why don’t you give a list of ALL the Veterans who own a franchise RIGHT NOW and are living the Matco dream. In fact name 10 Veterans who bought the same franchise contract you did and have been in business for 5 measly years. By the way, five years will not pay off a Matco franchise unless you put a lot of money down up front.

    Ask yourself, Am I a success if I still owe on my franchise? Ask yourself, Do I still owe Matco on a Lease truck? Ask yourself, How many years will I be a Matco franchisee? 5 years or less Earl! These are the FACTS! Don’t know what I am talking about?

    How does NMTC Inc. dba Matco Tools go through a economic collapse like the one in 2007 to 2009 and not skip a beat on CHURNING the same numbers of franchisees? Go way back to when Matco started selling franchises. When was this? It was when Danaher purchased MTC! You see! Danaher has investors. Investors want to make a profit. What better way to make a profit than to tell a certain amount of franchisee investors each year your done.

    The process by which Danaher makes money through NMTC INC. dba Matco Tools is CRIMINAL! They new what they were doing when they bought it and there are a lot of older managers who can tell you all about it. The proof however is in there UFOC and FDD paperwork being required by the false government agency created to protect Americans from fraud the FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION!

    I hope you succeed as a franchisee of Matco Tools but the probability of you lasting 10 years in a Matco franchise is less than 0%. This would be according to Matco Tools own FDD’s. You see if two hundred people lose their franchise every year in 10 years that would be 2000 franchisees. How many franchisees does Matco have right now? Less than 1450? Don’t be a statistic. If you have been in less than six months you can get out and I suggest you do so.

    Whatever dreams you have of succeeding as a business owner is going to fade away and the less people you convince of getting into this franchise business the better off you will be.

    While I am on here I would like to PUBLICLY apologize to BRAD FRENCH who is the ONLY one I convinced to start a Matco franchise. You see, I did the same thing as you. I convinced someone else to buy a Matco franchise before mine was paid off, before I paid off my truck, before I knew what Matco really was. He lasted less than a year. So did the guy before him and the guy before him and the guy after him. That is right! In six years 4 guys failed in that same route and over a year there was noone in the route.

    Matco is the biggest corporate scam going in the tool business.

    But ALL these tool franchises are doing things the same way and have the same control.

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