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SYSTEM4 Commercial Cleaning Franchise Complaints

Entrepreneur magazine ranks System4 cleaning as the #41 franchise in its top franchises list.  According to the System4 commercial cleaning franchise opportunity website, “Commercial cleaning is a $100 billion industry and System4 is the most innovative and fastest growing commercial cleaning business in the country.

“We’re made up of thousands of local entrepreneurs who have dreamt of having their own businesses. System4 makes these dreams possible by handling all the sales and administrative responsibilities while letting the franchisee focus on exceeding customer expectations…”

According to the System4 franchise website: “Master Franchise Owners operate a sales and management company that provides guaranteed cleaning contracts to Local Franchise Owners. They manage the relationship between the Local Franchisees and their customers and they provide administrative support to them. This allows the Local Franchisees to concentrate on servicing their individual customers, and when ready, building their business with additional accounts. With System4, Local Franchise Owners can generate supplemental income by servicing the accounts themselves or building their own full-time commercial cleaning business!”

However, one franchise owner raises complaints common to most other janitorial franchise opportunities, including underbid accounts and fraudulently taking accounts away from one franchise owner to give to new franchise owners. (READ:  Commercial Cleaning Franchise Complaints)

Is System4 a Commercial Cleaning Franchise Scam?

Franchisee ABBASI HUFF write on Thu 1 Jan, 2009:

it looks like all the cleaning company they are doing the same thing. I have bad experience with SYSTEM4 as franchise owner- I had to get out faster before it si too late.

The operation manager not trusted.

low bid contract – system 4 makes money and you work for nothing

System4 will tell you that you will make a lot money and be own boss in reality they are the ones making your money.

You will have no money to pay someone else to do the job unless you pay them less than 5 dollor and you make 5 dollars less expenses.





53 thoughts on “SYSTEM4 Commercial Cleaning Franchise Complaints

  • 1st Amendment

    I think there is a Lawsuit against this company I think it got filled a short while ago.

    Coverall LOST ! Franchisor Hit HARD !

    Cleaners WIN !

    Franchisor Hit HARD For Pretending Employees Are Franchisees.

    The Supreme court Smacks Coverall with huge bill forlabeling its employees as franchisees.

    Here is the link to the article article…re_franchisees

  • John Oppenheim

    I worked as a sub contractor for System 4.after 2 weeks I realized they were making the money so I quitI was to make $50 a week per tire store. I serviced 10 stores. Now they will only pay me 70% of $500. Im still waiting to see if they pay. Already over 30 days and counting……………Nothing but a scam……beware

  • larry elliott

    system four is a scam before i could get my foot in the door they scam me it waste no time it took two months before i got two one hundreds dollars once of week they told me they had 140 days to give me more accounts then two accounts they gave me was a problems accounts what somebody else gave up when i try to get my money back or ask for a refunds they have fullfill there obligation which was a lie they just gave me half of my investment and told me i can keep the equipment i took it you is right you work for for them you would make know i would like to start a class actions lawsuit if anyone was scam like me with system 4 i am glad i am out i lost money but i want be no fool for them and i did research on them with bbb i will advise anybody not to invest with system 4

  • John Oppenheim

    Well here it is Dec 11. I finally got paid for work done for the 1st week of Oct. Their bogus contract promised me $50/week for 10 tire stores….which is $500 /week. I got paid $245/week. They claimed I didnt do all the work. I cleaned the windows and store. I had skipped the spray and buff , an extra $50 in their pocket. as I said I quit after 2 weeks and so glad that I did. Beware of System 4 and their project manager.

  • larry elliott

    i let the better buiness bureau let them and they got know renponise there rating and accreditation will be suspension i would like to start class actions lawsuits againsts systems 4

  • roxanne shannon

    system 4 is not all bad, in northen ky.has a very good one,no problem there AAA rating with bbb.check for your self.been there 5 years. and love it.

  • larry elliott

    roxanne what is your jobs with systems 4 or is you brainwash have a good day

  • 1st Amendment

    roxane you can’t trust the better business bureu. There not a goverment agency. If they get paid they will say good things no mater how many complaints they get. The bbb was exposed on tv. They will not say bad things about business who pay them money. The bbb will ignore complaints about a company that is paying them. The bbb has no power to do anything they are just a private company with no power at all. You should instead file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission go to your District Attorney and file a complaint for FRAUD or file a lawsuit.

  • 16 years in commercial cleaning franchising

    I have been in the commercial cleaning franchise industry for many years. Every complaint I see/read from any organization is rarely the Franchisors fault. Yes, there are some bad people that do things that they shouldn’t, but overall, most franchisees that have complaints need to look in the mirror in addition to READING the franchise agreement prior to signing it.

    If an account is taken from you, it is because the quality of service you were providing was poor. In most cases, there needs to be a request from the client to take your account. As far as Payment, if you read your agreement, the offices are suppose to “assist” in the collections of money. Many Clients do not pay net 30 days, many pay 30-60 days out. Why would you expect to get your money before the check is received unless you are paying a specific fee that guarantees your money net 30.
    Last, dont complain about an underbid account. You have the right to reject any account offered to you and if you accept an account and find out after the fact that it is not right for you the request to turn the account back in. If it is in good standing, you should get full or at least partial credit against you initial business offerings.

  • larry elliott

    you need to look in the mirrior and wonders why you been a fool for sixteen years have a bless life

  • Yeah… I got my fourth call in a month and after telling “Jerry” I was not interested, he said, “Great Way to do business!” and hung up. I haven’t actually used them, but I do not tolerate fools; especially after telling “Jerry” we were not interested. If your business is in Northbrook or Deerfield, IL skip this guy.

  • roxanne shannon

    there is good and bad in all cleaning business.DONT let other folks ruin people business just becuse poeple cant clean right or dont care.there a lot of folks who love cleaning and do a good job. i am one of them.if any one in ky wants a great cleaner email me. also system 4 is best out there.WE CARE.

  • 1st Amendment

    System 4 is getting sued. Looks like there just like the rest of the other Ponzi Scheme cleaning Fake franchisors. “roxane” and the other person “16 years” are people who work for system 4 and are trying to do damage control. Why would anyone who is satisfied go on the internet and then type unhappy franchisees to look for a website so that they can post against people who got ripped-off. It just doesn’t make sense. What I tell everyone is start this business yourself don’t get ripped-off by these Ponzi Scheme’s

  • 16 years in commercial cleaning franchising

    The Franchisor can not control when the Client pays their bill. You get paid when the client gets paid…I don’t know what is so difficult to understand. Also to 1st amendment, I do not nor have I ever worked for System 4…I work for a traditional cleaning company as Director of Sales….I left the franchise cleaning world because I was tired of listening to Franchise Owners complain about what is PERFECTLY spelled out in their agreements but were too lazy to read them and complaining about money when it is the CLIENT that is paying late.

    I know many Franchise owners that have been doing this for a number of years making incredible money. Some doing $50,000 a month, some $20,000 and some much more….They know how to run their Business and view their Franchise as a BUSINESS, not a job. None of the above mentioned Franchise owners bought that much business. They started slow and built their way up to these levels after a few years of blood, sweat and tears. There is NO business where you can get rich Quick (that is legal). It takes time, alot of hard work, and pride in ownership. If you spent as much out trying to grow your business as you do complaining about Franchisors, you would be on your way……

  • roxanne shannon

    that right. amen to what u said.i know a few who make good money in all cleaning franhises.some people need to get a life and get a return job keep u broke just enough to keep your bills paid.if not lazy the cleaning business can make u money and your workers too.if u know how to treat them

  • The person who says I called 4 times in one month is correct. I kept calling because they kept telling me to. Making me think there was an opportunity to potentially gain their business. On the fourth call I was given a rude answer, and was treated as tho I was making up their request to call back. I understand the feelings that go with receiving a cold call from someone looking to gain business. However, that doesn’t give us the right to be unprofessional. (as this person was) and insulting. I would imagine that this attitude spills over into their dealings with their own customers as well. I am ALWAYS professional in my approach to gain an opportunity. I notice you withheld the name of your business…… I wonder what your customers think of you and your unprofessional approach to business???

  • To Whom It May Concern:

    We are currently researching claims against the System 4 franchise. If you currently own or have owned a System 4 franchise we would like to speak with you regarding your experiences. If you are interested, please call or email us.

    Thank you,

    Jonathan Fortman

  • miguel petalta

    Im considering investing with system4 in wayne pa I have no prior experience in comm cleaning will appreciate any info and advice

  • Tamica Wilson

    I’ve been with the north texas location for 2 yrs and they have been good to me i’m not sure about any other location but even in recesssion i’m still living comfortable it’s a fair deal I make money they make a little money Ive been givin good ratings and is happy them so lfar

  • 1st Amendment

    To someone who calls him self “16 years”

    Customers pay there bills weeks in advance and we have evidence that they just dont care about the cleaning person and they screw them.

    You say that you have never worked for system 4 but you sure are here defending them I wonder why ?

    You say that you left a traditional cleaning company because you were tired of complaints. Why were people complaining? Maybe because you were Ripping them off.

    The paper work they give you is Fraud and trikery. Even the best attorneys have a hard time understanding it.

    Another BIG LIE is that tell is that people can make $50,000 every month. People please don’t believe this, this is a scam. You will not make $50,000 a month cleaning for a franchisor. Please don’t fall for this LIE. Recently a Judge said that the way a cleaning franchisor was running business was like a Modified Ponzi Scheeme!

  • tammi ruble

    My husband and i are franchise owners and are pleased with how the company operates. If you do a good job and get high ratings you will do well. We are on track for the company to make $150,000 this year. We pay our employees $8/hr and still get to put $3,000 in the housembudget


    im planning to invest in system4 chicago,can somebody tell me any good or bad experiece from these people from chicago? are they honest people? is this good idea to invest with these company? PLEASE LET ME KNOW!!!!…..@TAMMI RUBLE: CAN YOU TELL ME YOUR FRANCHISOR NAME? maybe is better that the rest,thanks!!!

  • Max Gebbs

    @Tamica Wilson I am planning to start the business in the north Texas area. Can you give me more information on which area you are working? I am in Dallas Plano area. Ca you let me know which office are you working with in this area? email is [redacted].

  • Max Gebbs

    @Tamica Wilson Thanks for the help!!

  • chicagofranchise

    i have been with this chicago are company but most of the franchisees arent very happy due to the main sales man aka rich low balls for not saying any thing is wrong but that man just to get comission will low ball to the lowest so you can barely make proffit. please be wise if your just looking to make extra money or if your looking to make a franchise part time. bc if you looking to really invest beware of the way they bid contracts.

  • A sun contractor by the name of henry shorted me on the money he was suppose to pay me for working . This company is wrong and is not worth supporting in any way. There customers complain and so do there workers. Take any action you can against them I know I will.

  • charlotte man

    I lost 15000 to System4. Every place was under bid. I found out later everyone of my builings were way off on square footage .If the contract said it is 2000 sq. feet it turn out to be about double the size System4 said it was.. You are paid on a 60 day delay . You must run the numbers to see what your net profit is after you get your part from system4 on 1 account it was costing me to do the account way below min. wage I call it charity work. The federal Trade Commission told me they have been warning consumers about janitoral franchise companies for 20 years I told them I never heard any of their warnings.Don’t believe me call them for your self and see what The Federal Trade Commission has to say about these type companies.

  • New Investor

    @Tamica Wilson I am interested in opening a System4 Franchise in North TX. I am in the Desoto Area and would like to hear more about your experience with System4. Please contact me at [redacted]

  • I was considering a System 4 franchise in Fayetteville, NC. Can anyone share their experiences with this franchise in North Carolina.


  • Investment savvy

    This company provides a decent service generally depending on the independent contractor that picks up your contract… but don’t contract Henry Calvin. His business practices lack any morality. He hires people under the table and doesn’t pay his employees.

  • all the want is your money chrge you lots of fees get bad poeple how dont know how too clean do you know that with about 2000 grand you can get in nothing more there lazy too think they buy in and dont have too work have no money but hire help too but system 4 just hopes they dont make it so the can get 4-5 grand get rid of you and resale the acct too the next suckers the one here in phx az is a big scam the under bid acct then push them off on poeple that buy in after the take out there cuts you dont make much and one guy i know was passing bad ckecks too people that help him clean for had no money too hire poeple buy system 4 should be closed down for letting them hire poeple unless they can set up an acct that they can pay poeple from all i know is that guy mark is an asshole here in phx just wants too make a fast buck on you so dont get anything from here

  • Let’s all do something about his, they depend on the contracts that they give you, and in your agreement it states that you can’t take it form them right? Right, but there is a loop hole in every contract…. I found one and I’m still a Frinchanee and well for some reason my accounts keep getting dropped due to “Low Budgets” / Budget Cuts, just get in good with the company they put you in, and watch how fast you can take the account from them but you can’t use your name or anyone who is in your family to do so. Sell your contract to someone or sell the information you have to another company as a lead. yeah you may lose some but you will help shut down System4.

  • I am disappointed in system4. Located in schaumburg il. They under bid contracts, they also charge yu a 15% royalty fee for every account yu work so yu will never make any profit on your investment. They find accounts that are way off square footage of work that is within reason for you to work.system 4 also lied about keeping accounts within driving distance from where you live, and also from your other accounts that you have as a total. They want you to build them a book of business by low bidding accounts so that you are working more than your investment calls for. So when you decide to leave they dont care, because you have secured accounts for them and plus they made a bulk of the money off of you and the account anyway. System 4 is not a fair franchise and I will not be investing anymore money in their company. Im on my way out the door. They have taught me somethings to look for when looking into the franchise cleaning business. Beware people.

  • Tamica Wilson, I am in the Arlington area and planning to start a System4 franchise. Any advice and information you can share will be greatly appreciated, my e-mail is [redacted] thank you very much.

    Best of luck to everyone here on pursuit of their dreams.

  • I saw these comments. I am not with Systems4 but I am with CleanNet. These are very similar to CleanNet. For those that do not know CleanNet is a cleaning service franchise as well. CleanNet underbids contracts, and spreads them out with great distance. They take contracts from you, even if you are not doing a bad job. All they have to have is an excuse the customer could call and say I am out of toilet paper or paper towels. They say oh our customer is not satisfied we are taking the contract. Low bidding is hard to keep people. DON’T GET FOOLED WITH THAT REJECT A CONTRACT AND THEY WILL FIND YOU ANOTHER ONE. YOU GET ON THEIR S$!T LIST. Seriously. You stand up to a franchise about how they conduct this business and they will make you miserable. Systems4 sounds very similar to CleanNet. I was thinking about switching to Systems4 until I came here. I have the FDD for Systems4 I will not return their call. One last thing too. CleanNet gets 50% off the break of your contracts then an additional 15% for royalty, then charge you for billing, equipment, etc. Then on top of that if you finance that is also taken out. So you will be making pennies. NO TO CLEANNET AND NO TO SYSTEMS4.

  • Big Ron

    The best way to get in the business is to research and find info on how to do it.. you will have to spend some money on info but not as much as you will with system 4. I am a franchisee out of Chicago and I know they are not paying us what we are worth but I am learning the business and when I learn all that I can and make the money back that I invested I am out and starting my own cleaning business!!! I would not invest in them ever again.

    The key is to learn this business but they will not teach you anything. Again there are a lot of good cleaning business how to books out there.

  • Asanti Taylor

    Looking for info on System4 as a company compared to JanPro. I have considered both and want some honest opinions from actual franchisees. I know there are good and bad sides to the franchise business as a whole, but I would really like to hear from someone who has actually invested money and how their experience has been before I invest my hard earned dollars. Anyone willing to clarify their thoughts on either of these companies please contact me @Realdeal @Madashell @charlotte man @larry elliott @john oppenheim

  • System 4 it’s stiller, selfish , fake and more .tells everybody lots lies taking people’s money . Rode an and 16 are peoples fake people too. I don’t believe any franchiser worker are happy with system 4

  • System 4 will be sue , we are 10 franchiser worker that system 4 ruining our life ,now they are going to get paid the same the same actually . Worse they will face a lots court . Good buy system 4

  • Me , my brothers and mom have worked for system 4. We have had many accounts over the years, some we lost because we just didnt do the job, but there have been numerous times that system 4 removed an account from us, just before we were almost finished our last month inwhich they turn over full profits to us.They would always claim that the business was not satisfied with our work. But this just happeed again recently to us this month, and when we went to speak directly with the owner of the company, they told us it was because they were tired of the rude management.

  • Unsatisfied Biz owner

    I was a System4 franchisee for 2 years. During that time frame I worked with 4 diffferent Op. managers because the business model set forth by the master franchise owner was flawed. Frequently the master franchise owner would let the administrative duties for which I was paying a fee get behind and then tell me it was my responsibility to collect my own invoice payments. Secondly, they didn’t like the fact that I wouldn’t allow them to call me on short notice and tell me that they had scheduled a walk thru with a new account and needed me present to accept a new acct. Last but not least they tried to dictate the amount that I invoiced for floor care jobs which they didn’t help sell. All in all, System4 may have a strong corporate model but it’s being poorly executed @ the master franchise level.

  • Helenann Song

    I am looking into system 4 but after reading all the comments it looks suspect. I live in northern va

  • Doug Williams

    I was an operations manager for system4 charlotte for 7 years. I tried to help my franchise owners as best I could, but two things kept getting in my way. The first thing was the master franchisor would only allow me to do SOME things to help the franchise owners, and would not pay me enough to do all of the things I needed to do to help them. The second thing was that a lot of the franchise owners didn’t understand how the business works, had unrealistic expectations, or were simply not capable of running a business. The master is the key. If you can trust the master, you will have a good experience–but many of them are slick, and seem trustworthy, but they are not. I injured my back on the job, and right after I filed for worker’s comp, I was fired. I do not recommend starting a system4 franchise in North Carolina or South Carolina. I met the master from North Texas, and he seemed like a real good egg. Good Luck!

  • Here is the bottom line……CLEANING FRANCHISES are a RIP OFF! Everyone of them will have their “marquis” franchisees, who make good money, so that they can lure many others into their “ponzi scheme”. 1 or 2 out of a hundred franchisees will make good money, the other 98 out of hundred will be made into janitors. That’s right most cleaning franchisees will be the ones cleaning the buildings. With the way the mother company bids and after they deduct their fees, there won’t be enough left over (on most contracts) for the “franchisee” to actually hire and pay employee’s to do the actual cleaning. I don’t know how they sleep at night! I have built two cleaning companies from zero to six figures, each one in under two years. I am now starting my third one, have had it for 4 months and currently have 9000.00 per month in business with a 35% profit margin. I state this only to validate that I know the cleaning business and I know that cleaning franchises are a complete rip off! RUN….RUN VERY FAR AND FAST

  • Rico of NJ

    Is there anyone here who could help me to file a complaint about Heits Cleaning Services of Central and Northern NJ for at least getting away from them. I have lost my lifetime savings to them and they are still coming after me. I have paid them all my money and do not have anything more to hire a lawyer to protect me. I know it is so impossible to win this fight and i am very scared of them. I never made money working for them and just because I stupidly signed papers with them, without any counselling, they are using them against me, I never made money from my franchise. Is there any government agencies that could help me? Please help.

  • Rico of NJ

    sorry if i posted in the different franchise name forum, I just needed help from anybody. I have no choice but to pay them whatever I signed for eventhough I did not make a single penny. it was a nightmare investing with Heits, a bad reality That i will be taking to my grave. I wish I could get out of this mafia of cleaning services, i dont care anymore of the money that I have lost, It is long way gone!, but i refuse to pay up anymore!

  • nancy ferrazza

    Hello, Rico, (and all other unhappy System 4 folks…)

    Sorry to hear about your struggles with your franchise, and your debt problems.

    My firm, Bridge Management Consulting, helps small business owners, who who are struggling with overwhelming debt resulting from a failing or closed business.

    We’ve handled several franchisees who need to get out of their particular franchise hell, and we’ve successfully fought back on behalf of our clients. Don’t give into them!
    Feel free to contact:

    Ryan Lineham, Director of Client Services

  • system4 is fool of shit If you want to lose your money and work as a janitor go right ahead otherwise stay away nothing good will come out of it I guarantee that you will make bs money.

  • Sistem4 is good company

  • business owner worked as a sub contractor

    Where to start.. Unprofessional, treat subcontractors poorly, expect way more then what they are paying for contracts, they claim they give prior notice before switching they don’t!

    They claim you give the prices for bidding and reality they tell you what you’re getting paid for the job. Some prices are ridiculously low for the size and amount of work needed which causes to pay out of pocket. They cause conflict with sub contractors employees and try to recruit them.

    The way they talk to people after working with them is poorly (ex: using profanity) they try to make you feel stupid like you don’t know what you’re doing even with years of experience they always over talk you so they don’t have to listen to you.

    Spoke with former contractors and employees they all say the same thing their nice in the beginning but once you start working they are a**holes. They expect you to drop what you’re doing and run when they call you. They don’t have respect for peoples personal life or if they have other contracts/jobs.

    They also claim they listen to their customers but reality they don’t they do the opposite and do what they think is best not what the customer wants. I would never recommend them at all.

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