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Over at UnhappyFranchisee.com, a site that this bird watches to get the inside scoop on problems within specific chains, Unhappy asks how many franchises does USA Mobile Drug Testing actually have? The answer seems to be — psst, what published number does it take to get you excited about our concept?
"We can't seem to get a straight answer as to how many franchises USAMDT has up and operating," declares Unhappy.
USA Mobile's original listing on Entrepreneur.com showed USAMDT's franchised units dropped from 77 in 2011 to just 52 in 2012, a decline of 25 franchises. What follows shows how media and franchisors work together in getting out what looks to us like bogus numbers for buyers to grab.
This is what Unhappy reports happened next.
CEO Joe Strom then told us that our data was incorrect, and directed us back to the same page on Entrepreneur.Com which suddenly states that USAMDT has 93 franchises – a gain of 16 franchises over 2011. So we went to the USAMDT website and manually added up the locations listed. There are 51 locations listed on the USA Mobile Drug Testing website. Of those 51 locations, 8 locations list the corporate phone number (855-USA-TEST), not a local number, indicating that there may be as few as 43 franchises.
Confidential sources indicate that number may be dropping soon, as a numerous franchisees are planning to either close or leave the system in the coming months. Additionally, USAMDT's own Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) seems to contradict Joe Strom's assertion that there were 77 franchises at the end of 2011. The FDD states there were 40 USAMDT franchises at the end of 2011, not 77.
One can't help but wonder if USA Mobile got a whiff of second-hand ganja smoke from its drug testing when it declared its numbers. Read the full story at UnhappyFranchisee.com