UFG CEO Ray Titus: STOP Promoting the Failed Experimax Franchise!
Open letter from UnhappyFranchisee publisher Sean Kelly to United Franchise Group (UFG) CEO Ray Titus demanding that UFG stop promoting and selling the failed Experimac Experimax franchise opportunity IMMEDIATELY.
Open Letter to Ray Titus, CEO United Franchise Group (PDF)
Raymond Titus, CEO
United Franchise Group
2121 Vista Parkway
West Palm Beach, FL 33411
June 4, 2021
Dear Ray Titus:
In your video professing your Servant Leadership philosophy, you state:
“In 26 years in business, I’ve never lost a night of sleep.”
Unfortunately, a good night’s sleep is a foreign concept to those who trusted UFG’s finely crafted Experimac / Experimax marketing and sales presentations, the undisclosed paid endorsements of seemingly unbiased 3rd parties who sang its praises, and the presentations of your franchise sales staff and legions of brokers working from scripts reminiscent of those that earned you a permanent injunction from the FTC some 20 years ago.
More than 80% of those who put their trust in you and the sales numbers they allege you, Jim Muir, your regional Vice Presidents, Tim Phillips and your SBA loan wrangler Paul Bosley provided to them, the SBA and banks lie awake grappling with their recent bankruptcies, lost retirement savings, emptied college funds, dismal credit scores, unpaid family loans, and lost peace of mind. I have listed some of their names, bankruptcy filings and SBA loan default information with this letter.
Others are also grappling with the legal threats, lawsuits, and rising legal bills that UFG is imposing on them for having ceased operation of a deeply flawed and deceptively marketed franchise concept.
As you know, at least 169 Experimac / Experimax franchise agreements were signed and opened since 2015.
The Experimax website currently lists just 48 open locations.
Data from your Franchise Disclosure Documents and website indicate that of those 169 franchises (which include transfers), an estimated 142 (84%) have failed and lost their investments.
While it is apparent that most of those who open an Experimax store will almost certainly lose their investments – and just as apparent that your promises of $600,000 first-year gross sales and more than $1M each year thereafter bore no resemblance to actual franchise store sales – you continue to register, promote and pitch the Experimax franchise to trusting individuals and families.
Thanks to the inclusion of Experimac / Experimax and two other UFG brands in Senator Cortez Masto’s 87-page report on predatory franchise practices, Congress, the FTC, the franchise industry and the public are now watching for your next move.
If only for your own reputation and the survival of UFG, I urge you:
· Stop Promoting and Selling Experimax Franchises IMMEDIATELY
· Stop the bullying legal attack, lawsuits and pursuit of judgements against the franchisee-victims of your non-viable Experimac franchise concept
· Assure your franchisee/victims that they can openly share their experiences and opinions without fear of legal repercussions, a freedom the FTC intended when enacting The Franchise Rule
· Put your energy and UFG’s considerable resources into helping to ease the financial burdens of all those who were guilty of no more than trusting you, your staff, and your enablers
· Withdraw your concepts from the SBA Franchise Registry and stop draining taxpayer money with UFG’s high-turnover franchise concepts
There is no grey area here – Experimax is clearly not a viable franchise concept and, in my opinion, anyone who now sells an Experimax franchise as a safe investment is engaging in the worst kind of deceptive and illegal business practices.
I Am Urging Your Industry Supporters to Help You Do the Right Thing
I understand that a CEO accustomed to having his way, who has a staff of 200 and 1500 adults contractually required to do what he tells them might resist being publicly questioned, taken to task and told what to do – even if it is in his best interest.
For that reason, I am going to ask your friends and supporters in the franchise industry to help motivate you to do the right thing.
International Franchise Association (IFA)
I urge your friends and supporters at the IFA and at the IFE Franchise Expo to stop promoting, endorsing and advertising the Experimax franchise opportunity. I also urge them to remind you of the IFA Code of Ethics.
Small Business Administration (SBA)
I am asking the SBA to drop Experimax from the SBA Franchise Registry and to disallow it from receiving taxpayer-funded loan guarantees. I would also urge them to look into the documented allegations of fraud possibly involving UFG’s Tim Phillips and Business Finance Depot’s Paul Bosley.
Titus Center Advisory Board
I am urging to 60+ members of this advisory board to demand that you cease selling and promoting Experimax franchises and any other franchise with a turnover rate exceeding 25% for the past ten years.
Franchise Ad Portals:
I am urging every franchise advertising portal to cease advertising the Experimax franchise, unless it is positioned as a money-losing tax-write-off rather than an opportunity.
Franchise Brokers Organizations:
I’m urging each franchise broker group to drop Experimax from their roster, and teach them how to calculate franchise turnover for previous years before recommending a franchise. I am asking each broker to forward an amount equal to their commission to any client who bought an Experimac or Experimax franchise.
Franchise & Business Publications
I am urging each franchise publication and entrepreneurial magazine to issue a warning about the high turnover (failure) rates of Experimax and other UFG brands, including those that have closed or are in the process of quietly disappearing (like SuperGreen Solutions).
Federal Trade Commission (FTC):
I am urging the FTC to look into the many of Franchise Rule violations being reported in the marketing and sale of Experimac Experimax franchise opportunities as well as other UFG brands. I am urging the FTC to investigate whether you and your organization have been complying with the mandates of the 1998 Permanent Injunction. I am also urging the FTC to investigate the deceptive use of undisclosed paid endorsements by 3rd parties like John Hayes who receive financial compensation for endorsements positioned as unbiased expert recommendations.
There are Nearly 1500 UFG Franchisees Worldwide. Yet More than 1600 Franchises’ Agreements Terminated Early… in the U.S. Alone
I would also urge you to stop claiming that United Franchise Group (UFG) has “nearly 1500 franchisees in almost 80 countries” without also acknowledging that a greater number (an estimated 1600+) exited their franchise agreements prematurely through termination, ceased operations or ownership transfers… presumably with the loss of their investments.
Our analysis of publicly available Franchise Disclosure Documents for individual UFG brands going back ten or more year reflect that 1,620 franchises exited the systems prematurely through terminations, ceased operations, reacquisition or transfer to other owners.
TABLE 1: Premature Franchise Exits, Turnover (Failure) Rates & Investments Potentially Lost for UFG Brands 2009-2020.
|Turnover Rate||Initial Investments x Exits|
|Jon Smith Subs||9||37%||– $3M – $6M|
|Fully Promoted||470||71%||– $58M – $134.5M|
|Experimax||142||84%||– $21M – $50M|
|Signarama||655||65%||– $156M to $206M|
|Supergreen Solutions||59||81%||– $3M to $4.5M to $4M to $6M|
|Transworld Business Advisors||155||32%||– $12M to $15.5M|
|Venture X||2||5%||– $1M to $7.5M|
|Billboard Connection||45||38%/ 100%||– $1.5M to $3M to $3.5M to 8M|
|Paramount Tax||6||100%||– .5M to $1M|
|Plan Ahead Events||96||69%/100%||– $4.5M to $6.5M / – $6.5M to $9.5M|
|TOTAL||1,620||– $265M to $444M|
Absent accurate information to the contrary, and absent the communication from those who have left the system (some of whom are contractually prevented from sharing their experiences, or who fear reprisal from UFG), we believe it is fair to assume these early exits constitute failures and a loss of the franchise investment.
Ray, in 21 days UFG will be celebrating its “biggest and best” World Expo at the Palm Beach County Convention Center – June 26 – 30, 2021. You will also be celebrating 35 years in business for United Franchise Group.
It’s not too late to change the theme of the convention to Openness, Honesty & Transparency.
Imagine starting the next 35 years by committing to actually following the principles and living up to the honest and ethical image that you portray in your marketing. Imagine actually acting with the dedication and concern you so expertly communicate. A good place to start would be honoring your commitment to those listed in the pages that follow and showing them the concern expressed before their franchise fee was deposited.
The first step in launching that new era of Truth and Integrity would be to:
Stop selling Experimax franchises TODAY!
> Drop the legal terrorism against victims whose only mistake was trusting UFG
> Discontinue confidentiality agreements, NDAs and non-disparagement clauses except for TRUE trade secrets. Your franchisees are your customers and prospective franchisees have a right to hear their experiences and opinions
> Stop selling franchises with a turnover rate greater than 25% (see chart)
> Commit your organization and resources to succeeding on the unit level with stable, profitable franchisees rather than a revolving door that transforms the creditworthy into the destitute.
I look forward to your response – as do many others.
All the best,
Sean Kelly, Publisher
Relentless, Inc. P.O. Box 10232 Lancaster, PA 17605 UnhappyFranchisee@Gmail.Com
Experimac / Experimax Franchisees That Ceased Operation (Partial List)
|Abul Ahmed Carrollton TX
Samia Ahmed Carrollton TX
Bryce Avallone Boulder CO
Oscar Bautista Overland Park KS
James Bennett Arlington TX
Gustav Bone Greenville NC
Daniel Boisse Fayetteville NC
Kimberly Bottemiller Tacoma WA
Chris Burneko Bethesda MD
Rochelle Cavaretta N. Las Vegas NV
Atulanand Choudhary Coppell, TX
Leslie Clendenin Madison TN
Leslie Cole Highland Village TX
Chris Cole Highland Village TX
Matthew Davis Athens GA
Julie Davis Athens GA
Reynart De Beer Sandton South Africa
Aroon Desai Dallas TX
Vashka Desai Dallas TX
David Elliott St. George UT
Stacey Flowers Akron OH
Michelle Foley Garland TX
Colette Gabriel Chicago IL
Pedro Gamboa Houston TX
Roberto Garcia San Diego CA
Gordon Geddins Covington, WA
Georgie George San Jose CA
Sandra Gonzalez Pearland TX
C. Scott Higginbotham Tallahassee FL
Tim Holder Joplin MO
Travis Howe Cumming GA
Rebecca Howe Cumming GA
Stephen Hyde Longview TX
David Ifill, Jr. Indian Land SC
Bruce James Salt Lake City UT
Lori James Salt Lake City UT
Robert Jefferson Suwanee GA
Rene Jefferson Suwanee GA
Walid Kaakoush Chandler AZ
Priyanka Kalra Scottsdale AZ
Percy Kennedy Humble TX
Dean Kilton Pickerington OH
Andrew King Temecula CA
Chris Knight North Charleston SC
Rex Lallmang South Riding VA
Judy Lallmang South Riding VA
Timothy Larkins Longview TX
Janice Lee Santa Ana CA
George Leonis Highlands Ranch CO
|Juliano Lima Hialeah Gardens FL
Testi de Lima Hialeah Gardens FL
Lisa Little Edgewood PA
Diontay Little Edgewood PA
Gary Lundquist Orland Park IL
Satheesh Madhathil San Jose CA
Eliza Mallue Dayton OH
Jeffrey Mallue Dayton OH
David Mehalick North Pittsburgh PA
Scott Maulsby Mt. Juliet TN
Fonda McCarty Jacksonville FL
Leroy McCarty Jacksonville FL
David McCollister Gainesville FL
Amit Mehta Glen Ellyn IL
Bernadette Morales Pearland TX
Lee Morgenstein Fair Lawn NJ
Daniel Morgenstein Fair Lawn NJ
Matt Morrissey San Luis Obispo CA
Melissa Morrissey San Luis Obispo CA
Ronald Mosley Manassas VA
Benita Mosley Manassas VA
Syed Mustafa Anahiem CA
Kevin Myers Severna Park MD
Robert Newell Smithtown NY
Tony Ngugi Aurora CO
Julian Nieuwoudt &
William Nieuwoudt Cape Town South Africa
Okechukwu Nwanna West Hempstead NY
Gerald Odum Frisco TX
Mark Parent Livonia MI
Kurt Peterson Pueblo CO
Colleen Peterson Pueblo CO
Phuc “Henry” Pham Middleton MA
Amit Phillaura Addison, TX
Jana Phillaura Addison, TX
Lisa Piatt Huntersville NC
Jeffery Prainito Charlotte NC
Wesley Prince Magnolia TX
Deborah Puglielli Hialeah Gardens FL
Cody Ramsey Duluth MN
Taylor Rash Gilbert AZ Bismarck ND
Alicia Rash Gilbert AZ Bismarck ND
Lynette Ray Scottsdale AZ
Laetitia Rohfritsch Strasbourg France
Craig Ruzicki Guilford CT
Melissa Ruzicki Guilford CT
|Francis Rentz Tallahassee
Douglas Robinson St. Charles IL
Ricardo Salinas Arvada CO
Zachary Salinas Arvada CO
David Scarbrough Houston TX
Christophe Sevin Orlando FL
Hemanth Sehgal Dallas TX
Rina Sehgal Dallas TX
Athar Sheikh Arlington TX
Marc Shor Las Vegas NV
Mark Simmons Smyrna GA
Charles Small Fort Myers
Andrea Small Fort Myers
Michael Small Fort Myers
Michael Snell Southport QLD Australia
Eric Sosa Columbia SC
James Spisak Plano TX
Allison Stahl Akron OH
Charles Stuller, Jr. Spring TX
Eddie Sutton Saint Petersburg
Joe Tairi Brookfield WI
Michael Taylor Houston TX
Chris Thomas Chico CA
Jeff Thwing McKinney, TX
Brian Town East Lansing MI
Hollie Town East Lansing MI
Glenn Trommer Cherry Hill, NJ
Brian Troyk Brookfield WI
Adam Tuzza Bohemia, NY
Marie Umberger Suwanee GA
Jeff Van Horne Portland ME
Frank Vinyard Jr. Lafayette LA
Michael Voss San Antonio TX
Katherine Voss San Antonio TX
Karl Vrba Draper UT
James Wang Santa Ana CA
Patrick Wentland Colorado Springs CO
Travis Weaver & Ling Weaver Seattle WA
Matthew White Spring TX
Christine Witte Fenton MO
Gary Wolf Peoria IL
Kevin Wright Chicago IL
Natalie Young Duluth MN
Brando Younger North Las Vegas NV
Pamela Zama Bethesda MD
Experimac / Experimax Franchisees With SBA Loan Chargeoffs to Date
|Morrissey Enterprises,SAN LUIS OBISPO CA
Salinas Holdings Corp. ARVADA CO
CMR Consulting LLC GUILFORD CT
A Cord Of Three LLC TAMPA FL
WEB MERCHANTS, LLC. CLEARWATER FL
MCCOLLISTER MERCHANDISING INC. GAINESVILLE FL
A Cord Of Three LLC dba Experi TAMPA FL
FIDELITY CAPSTONE, LLC ATLANTA GA
Emumby, Inc. SUWANEE GA
Ramsey LLC dba Experimac Duluth DOUGLASVILLE GA
SRH Group, LLC SMYRNA GA
KC CYGNET LIMITED LIABILITY CO CHICAGO IL
Dixon Ventures Mechanic Inc. LEXINGTON KY
The Holder Group LLC JOPLIN MO
BEIJAFLOR LLC FAIR LAWN NJ
EMES TECHNOLOGIES LLC HENDERSON NV
YOUNGERLIFE LLC NORTH LAS VEGAS NV
OKEYAMERICA INTERNATIONAL Inc. WEST HEMPSTEAD NY
Amicus Technology Inc Amherst NY
|Wildmacflowers LLC dba Experim HEATH OH
ABBOTTAZ ENTERPRISES LLC BEND OR
Knightvision Productions, LLC NORTH CHARLESTON SC
DIFILL Repairs, Inc. INDIAN LAND SC
CHELLE Corporation MADISON TN
DFS FRANCHISE INC HOUSTON TX
PHILLTRONIX LLC ADDISON TX
Pinkie Toes Investments, LLC Highland Village TX
OWO Designs LLC GARLAND TX
ComPhablet LLC CARROLLTON TX
MarMor Investments LLC PEARLAND TX
WezPrin, LLC MAGNOLIA TX
Thwing Technology Group, Inc. MCKINNEY TX
QUALITY ELECTRONICS AND REPAIR WEST JORDAN UT
The Tech Store PWCN, LLC MANASSAS VA
KAB Enterprises, Inc. dba Expe FEDERAL WAY WA
G-TECH DIGITAL SERVICES, INC. FEDERAL WAY WA
T & L Enterprise SEATTLE WA
KAB Enterprises, Inc. FEDERAL WAY WA
Experimac / Experimac Franchisee Bankruptcy Filings (Partial)
Luminate Images, LLC and Bryce Avallone Boulder CO
Glenn Trommer & Avivah Digital Commerce Cherry Hill NJ
Roseann M. Mattocks Smyrna GA
Brian A. Troyk Wisconsin
Joseph J. Fiorentino and Stephanie J. Fiorentino, Amherst NY
Adam F Tuzza, Experimac Bohemia, Bohemia NY
Timothy Lee Holder, Experimac Joplin, Joplin, MO
Pedro Jesus Gamboa, Copperfield, TX
Donald Dean Dixon, Jr., Lexington, KY
Travis Chariff Weaver and Ling Yung Weaver, Seattle, WA
Jeffrey Thwing & Kimberly Thwing, McKinney, TX
Experimac Highland Village, Pinkie Toes Investments, LLC
Lundo Enterprises, Inc. IL
GYG Electronics, La Mesa, CA
Experimac NW Fields Enterprises, LLC South Carolina
Experimac NW Fields Enterprises, LLC South Carolina
Experimac of Addison Philltronix, LLC
FRANCHISE DISCUSSIONS by Company
EXPERIMAX EXPERIMAC Franchise Expose: Behind the Curtain Web Series
ARE YOU A UFG FRANCHISE OWNER OR FRANCHISEE? ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH EXPERIMAX, UNITED FRANCHISE GROUP OR RAY TITUS? SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.
Tags: Experimax, Experimax franchise, Experimac, Experimac franchise, UFG, United Franchise Group, UFG Expose, Ray titus expose, franchise expose, Ray Titus, John Hayes, SBA guaranteed loans, franchise loans, franchise funding, Paul Bosley, Business Finance Depot, Tim Phillips, Titus Center, Palm Beach Atlantic University, Catherine Cortez Masto, Cortez Masto Franchise Report, Unhappy Franchisee, Sean Kelly
10 thoughts on “UFG CEO Ray Titus: STOP Promoting the Failed Experimax Franchise!”
I would love to see a response from Ray Titus..and the rest of the group. He may not lose sleep but all of us on the list above have lost many, many nights of sleep by trusting Ray Titus and UFG.
Ray tightass as he is known in Australia
Ufg are lying pieces of #$_@
Leave it to the Aussies to come up with the best nicknames hahaha…
Are thing any better with UFG in Australia… or worse?
I’m sure Sean Cochrane would agree after moving to the U.S. from Australia, selling them Supergreen Solutions, agreeing to reduced payments, then getting stiffed.
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Looks like experimax is for sale now (which btw, is how I found your site): https://www.bizbuysell.com/Business-Opportunity/1m-royalty-stream-attention-peg-and-franchise-executives/1766332/?d=L2J1c2luZXNzZXMtZm9yLXNhbGUvMz9xPVkyWm1jbTl0UFRNd01EQXdNQ1pyUFdaeVlXNWphR2x6WlNac2REMHpNQ3cwTUN3NE1DWndkRzg5TWpVd01EQXdNQSUzRCUzRA==
This article is not credible when you list stores as closed that have not closed. The Cape Coral location owned by Kevin Lynn has been in business for six years and is a successful store. Are there other stores you have listed as closed that are not closed to make your point? I would suggest fixing the errors.
Thanks for your correction. We rely on the input of franchisees, employees and other readers to provide updates and corrections. For example, we have a list of closed Experimac / Experimax franchises that could use your (and others’) input. In 2019 there were 96 locations listed on the Experimac website. Today there are 48. That’s a loss of 50 stores – roughly half the chain.
Which franchise locations should we add to this list?
Also, Kevin L: Do you agree that UFG and Ray Titus should stop promoting the Experimax franchise opportunity?
What’s difficult is that the franchisor does not accurately put in the FDD the list of open stores. I know one that contacted me that he closed in November 2019, yet is still listed as a franchisee as of December 31, 2020 in their 2021 FDD. Maybe they’d argue they never terminated the franchisee, therefore they are still a franchisee. But in my opinion, that’s playing games and being deceptive in the FDD. I’m not sure if the commenter is trying to defend this brand that is well known for extremely high SBA default rates.
I professionally think UFG should do a better job of prequalifying potential candidates for all franchisees,I recently got a Signarama franchise that cost me my retirement. To discover it requires regulatory oversight that should have been brought up prior to signing on . When I mentioned it to them they claimed they were unaware, but speaking to other owners they were all in the same situation . I don’t believe UFG cares about their success but only getting as many hooked as possible. They should be made to buyout all those wishing to get out and inform new candidates of all that’s required before signing on.
We took on an existing Signarama franchise approximately 8 years ago as we thought it would enhance our retail client base for our trade based business.
We had it for approximately 4 years and I can honestly say it was the worst 4 years in business.
All the UFG care about is the numbers all covered by a slick promo and advertising system all set up to feed the beast back in Miami.
It’s just a number churning model where every facet of the business is disceted not to help you improve, but to ensure they are sucking every available dollar from your franchise.
Remember they are monitoring your every dollar entry with monthly sales figure downloads, franchise fees, marketing fees, out of hour meetings, etc.
Couple with this the “deals” they do for external suppliers to supply the Signarama stores and the never ending changing of quoting/estimating systems, no doubt because they screwed a new supplier into a cheaper deal for head office.
DO NOT BUY A SIGNARAMA FRANCHISE !!!!!
You’d be better off opening your own store and do the promotional leg work yourself without the fees, the bullshit franchise fee and the $50,000 training charge to take you to Miami for a child like course in the way UFG do it, and how you have to do it too !
It is just a rat race where you do ALL the leg work and UFG do FK ALL…..
Do your research on this groups other francisees and you can see the real intent behind the false smiles……………..