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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's public registers, which detail the Poolwerx notification of third line forcing, has recently been updated to include submissions from 4 franchisees. Anyone who might be considering purchasing a Poolwerx franchise would do well to read the anonymous submissions.
Ask yourself this question: Why have franchisees felt the need to remain anonymous whilst doing what other non franchised business owners take for granted as their right? To use any available means to protect their profits and their ability to compete?
One of the submissions sums it up well when it says:
" I have been advised of alleged bullying by Poolwerx against franchisees that have spoken out about Poolwerx in a lawful manner and am concerned that some form of action or retribution may be taken against me for lodging this objection..."
Another submission calls upon the ACCC to apply the same process and procedure in its determination when it refers to a notification lodged by Seal-A-Fridge franchisor which states the following was considered during the decision process:
"One Indication of the benefits of exclusive dealing in franchise supply arrangments, particularly the franchise reputation and price benefits outlined above is the level of franchisee support for the arrangments. If the arrangements genuinely deliver cost saving to franchisees or improve the reputation of the franchise, it could be expected that a large proportion of franchisees would support the arrangements. Conversely, where a large proportion of franhcisees object to the notified conduct, it may be that the cost savings or benefits of improved reputation are illusory or insufficient to outweigh the costs associated with exclusive dealing conduct."
This submission urges the ACCC to contact all franchisees and make them aware of the notification as part of its determination process.
Will the ACCC clones follow the Star Wars plot and come to the defense of the franchisee jedi or will they allow this third line forcing death star to become fully operational?
Franchisees wait somewhat nervously, to see how the franchisor empire will strike back.