Unhappy Franchisee reader Lederhos left this comment recounting an all-too-familiar story regarding the CCA / Red Bull Vending business opportunity:
“My husband and I wanted to find a way to bring in a little more money each month and a way for me to quit my job that stressed me out to no end. We looked at Franchises and thought we found the perfect one…Red Bull vending machines. Red Bull had started becoming really popular and we thought they were a reputable company so we pursued our investigation into a Red Bull Vending Franchise.
“Creative Concepts of America (CCA) along with Red Bull North America (RBNA) provided false and ambiguous information that lured us into buying their vending business franchise opportunity with protected territories. We purchased 10 Red Bull branded machines for $42085.00 from (CCA) using our savings and were told we would own a franchise and have protected territories. The only reason we entered into this agreement was because Red Bull North America (RBNA) assured us when we called their consumer affairs department in March of 2006 at 310.393.4647 (to verify the agreement between Creative Concepts and RBNA), that everything was legit and CCA was the “only Red Bull Machine Representative” and they had an “exclusive agreement”.
If we wanted to buy Red Bull machines, we had to do so through CCA. They not only confirmed everything but also encouraged us to buy the franchise because Red Bull was the most popular energy drink and we would definitely make money. There is also a letter from RBNA to Andrew Kennedy of CCA, dated 1/1/06 (cc Gary Smith and Robert Sorensen) and it stated, “You can inform your potential distributors that we have entered into a formal “buy/sell” agreement with your company.” It also stated, “Allow this letter to serve as confirmation of the relationship between Red Bull North America, Inc, and Creative Concepts of America, Inc.” Had RBNA, not told us what they did and also provided it in writing, we would’ve never done business with CCA. We were ripped off by RBNA and CCA!! Not only did we believe Red Bull North America, we were also given references to call. These people all were making crazy money and were going to buy more machines! LIES.
“Apparently on April 24, 2006, CCA would no longer be distributing Red Bull vending machines….we received our machines in mid May of 2006…..after ties were supposedly severed between RBNA and CCA.
“We received a letter from Red Bull North America and in the letter here is what it states about placement:
“Placement – Red Bull distributors understand the local market and can help direct you to key locations, in some cases using their relationships to help you place your equipment.”
We also received information from Mr. Jim Murphy, Director, Non-traditional On-Premise, Red Bull North America, Inc; and he is aware of all the details regarding Creative Concepts (and the Red Bull vendors that were dealing with CC) and advised us to reach out to our distributor. We never received ANY help from our distributor…just more stress and heartache from dealing with a bunch of liars.
We were promised locations at colleges, airports, convention centers, etc.
“CCA made empty promises and this Red Bull was aware of all of this information. Now CCA is no longer here to adhere to their part of the deal so Red Bull should do something about it but they have done nothing to right this wrong.
“Red Bull North America mentioned a buy-back program to most of the other vendors but this was never officially offered to us. I still have the saved website pages CCA and Red Bull advertised this “Franchise Opportunity”. Hopefully one day we will get some restitution from Red Bull.
We were able to place a few machines at locations but none profitable. One machine was smashed and another machine has been broken into several times but there was no one to help replace the parts (for our one year warranty). The other half of the machines are sitting in our garage taking up space.
“How can Red Bull being the billion dollar company they are just ignore all of us American people that were robbed and lied to? Having such a huge name, you would think more research would have been conducted by RBNA before going into business with CCA. However, I guess they are equally as deceptive.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK? HAVE YOU BEEN A VICTIM OF A VENDING SCAM? SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.