Ramblings & A Lesson

WOW!!!  It has probably been two years since I first stumbled across BMM.  I remember the excitement I felt over this relatively new site with SO MUCH potential.  I remember reading BMM’s stated objectives:

This website is designed for you -- to share insights, stories, comments, news and information on buying and running a franchise. Members help each other in all aspects of the business....We want to provide the information, community, and tools to help individual franchise owners run their business....

I saw it as a conduit for sharing information about all things related to franchising, good and bad.  At that point in time, I felt that the BMM community would quickly evolve into a major web portal allowing for the open exchange of information which would benefit existing and prospective franchisees and franchisors.  With a great deal of enthusiasm I jumped right in, and over the next year or so I became a regular participant, quickly racking up more than 1,000 BMM points.

My initial enthusiasm for BMM began to wan as the overall tone of the community seemed to remain redundantly focused on the destruction of franchising rather than the improvement of franchising.  I often found myself defending franchisors and franchising as a whole, when what I really wanted to do was to acquire and share knowledge about franchising and business operations.  I became labeled by some as ‘Pro-Franchisor’, which is not the case.  I am neither Pro-Franchisor nor Anti-Franchisor.  If anything, I was and I remain pro-franchising and supportive of a Free Enterprise System, and see franchising as a vital part of a Free Enterprise System.  Most importantly I support any person who is willing to invest their life savings and stick their neck on the line to own and operate a business (franchise or otherwise) as a means of achieving their personal and professional goals and objectives.

Approximately six months ago, I decided that it was time for me to reduce my participation on BMM.  Quite simply, I was tired of the nonstop anti franchise rhetoric and the constant trashing and bashing of franchisors, franchise organizations, and anyone remotely supportive of franchising.  At that time common topics (targets) included: Quiznos, UPS, Coffee Beanery, Cuppy’s, The Dwyer Group, Meineke, IFA, AAFD, Entrepreneur, Sona MedSpa, FranCorp, FranData, SBA, and the list goes on….

Periodically over the past month or so I’ve dropped into the BMM community to see what was going on, and to see what if anything had changed.  Well I can say that it’s almost like returning to a Soap Opera after 6-months of not watching, you can jump right back in and pick up where you left off.  Neither the cast nor the story lines have changed --- very much!

·         THE CAST:

o   Don Sniegowski, always a nice guy, but I’ve yet to decide if he’s a genius or just plain crazy; and his alter ego Mr. BlueMaumau who continues to try and keep the BMM machine running, and apologizing for the occasional snafu.

o   FranPro, it’s nice to see he’s back and participating in BMM once again.  His perspective from the Franchise Brokerage side is always insightful.

o   Michael Webster, the Counselor north of the border.  Although we’ve exchanged a few jabs and have some fundamental philosophical differences, I’ve found Mr. Webster to be very knowledgeable and acknowledge the value of his contribution to the BMM community.

o   Bob Frankman, a well grounded ZEE who brings humor and insight to almost every topic. 

o   Jim Coen, a gentleman who seldom finds himself in the midst of the more heated discussions, but often brings insight gained from his 25+ years of franchise experience to various topics.

o   Paul Steinberg, the Franchisee attorney from NYC, who I actually have a great deal of respect for, but we  

o   Janet Sparks, although I believe that Mrs. Sparks could and should bring a more balanced approach to her coverage of franchising, I readily admit that she makes a great overall contribution to BMM by constantly reporting on franchise news.

o   Richard Solomon, the attorney with personality and his alter ego Seamus Ignatius Muldoon.

o   FuwaFuwaUsagi, the man who questions the viability of franchising as an investment.

o   JD, the accountant.

o   Stan Turkel, the hotel consultant specializing in hotel franchising issues.  He does not participate in discussions here at BMM, but his monthly blog post is always insightful.

o   Millionaire Rich, BMM’s most beloved billionaire, wealth builder and Franchisor.

o   THE GUEST, some of whom make valuable contributions and others who simply make snide hit-and-run posts.  (I like many others support BMM’s decision to allow anonymity, however I do believe that all guest should be required to register and use an anonymous name so that specific posts can be connected to a specific poster.  This approach would protect the posters identity, improve communications and allow readers a better opportunity to determine the overall credibility of the poster).

·         THE STORY LINES remain much the same.  A few news worthy stories with informative opinions from the cast, intertwined with an over abundance of mudslinging on every conceivable topic that can be twisted into something derogatory about franchising or a franchisor.  The topics (targets) remain much the same: Quiznos, UPS, Coffee Beanery, Cuppy’s, The Dwyer Group, Meineke, IFA, AAFD, Entrepreneur, Sona MedSpa, FranCorp, FranData, SBA, and the list goes on….As I reflect back onto the original purpose of this website: “… to share insights, stories, comments, news and information on buying and running a franchise. Members help each other in all aspects of the business....We want to provide the information, community, and tools to help individual franchise owners run their business....”  I ask:

o   Is the current content intended to provide “information on buying…a franchise” (as stated) or is it intended to create so much doubt and fear in the mind of anyone and everyone considering becoming a franchisee, that no one in their right mind would do so?

o   Where are the shared insights, stories, comments, news and information on running a franchise (as stated)?

o   Where is the information, community and tools to help individual franchise owners run their business (as stated)?

When I first stumbled upon BMM I believed that it could easily become the single most valuable tool on the internet for assisting existing and prospective franchisees and franchisors.  I still believe my original assessment, but I do not believe that it has yet tapped into its full potential, nor do I believe that it will, until such time that it becomes significantly more ‘Fair and Balanced’. 

IF THERE IS A LESSON TO BE LEARNED:

Back in the day we used to say “…a happy customer tells a friend, but an unhappy customer tells ten”.  The times ---- they are a changing!  In today’s internet world, with social networking sites and blogs the saying must now be updated to: “…a happy customer tells a friend, and an unhappy customer tells everybody”.

A Tip for Franchisees AND franchisors:  Make it EASY for unhappy customers to complain….. TO YOU!  It is much better for you if your customer complains to you than to a few thousand of their closest MySpace friends.

Every Franchisor wants to have happy franchisees; however, this is not always possible.  Even happy franchisees can easily become unhappy franchisees. 

 

Profile picture for user FranSynergy

Comments

Just maybe

more good honest people are being hurt by bad franchisors. When I stumbled on this I was still running my business. I read everyday the comments. This sight made me see something was wrong in paradise. I loved the business. It was sad we closed.

The stories were consistant. Not only in our franchise but many other franchises. The ranting is out of anger for many believe we got scammed. You have to take the good with the bad.

If you want it to be just a zor sight or operating zees. You should make it known no body write here unless you are in business or are a franchisor.

Yet the reality there are bad people out there taking advantage of good people who wouldn't even think like them. This is a great web-site that will do some good in the world. Franchising will be about franchisors really wanting their zees to be successful. Then you will see many happy zees and zors getting along. In a perfect world it would be a reality.

Unfortunately it is not a reality.

This is a great place to let other suffering zees still struggling to make a go of it understand what they need to do. Do it and go on with their lives.

Dale writes: FuwaFuwaUsagi,

Dale writes:

FuwaFuwaUsagi, the man who questions the viability of franchising as an investment.

My reply:

You neglected to mention I have the cutest avatar of the aforementioned.  - LOL!!!

FuwaFuwaUsagi

It is too bad

I am in agreement that this site has so much potential.  But honestly, it has become more of an anti-franchisor rag than anything else.  It has been interesting to see the commentary from those who are actively attempting change in the franchise industry, be it attempts to refine franchising from within via the AAFD, or from litigation after the fact ala Solomon.

In a way, franchising is such an odd concept, a system designed to prosper to a large degree off of the sweat and labor of the zees - it is obviously easy to see the potential for abuse - but to go from a realization to this negative possibility to generalized declarations that franchising is an abusive business model is sensationalism at its worst.

To a degree, this type of site contributes to this sensationalism.  There is no accountability to anonymous posters, most of whom post things that would otherwise be considered libel in mainstream media.  Is there a newspaper besides the Enquirer and its ilk that would permit anonymous articles stating that "So and so is a crook/criminal/fondler of small farm animals?" Also, what realistic recourses are left to the people that are the subject of such diatribes - the current laws make pursuit of remedies realistically less than cost-effective.Much as I now hate to admit it, I view BMM with the same skepticism and humor that I view the tabloids at the register.  While I am certain that there are many legitimate grievances, I suppose I am too naive and old school to accept that this is the appropriate method of attempting resolution to the problems.  There is no oversight, no accountability, no balance, no responsibility.  Is it any wonder that franchisors likely avoid this site like the plague, knowing that any response to some of these legitimate complaints would be subject to instant and near total evisceration?  Given this, how can there ever be meaningful dialogue towards a productive and effective change if there is only one side, a side which is fueled nearly entirely by emotion borne from suffering and left to run unchecked?  Is it not, at least indirectly, a purpose behind this site to discuss franchising?  How is this possible when only one side can realistically ever have a say on this site?  Instead, here we have nonstop anonymous and potentially libelous rants against franchisor this and franchisor that.  We are left with a site that has so much potential but instead is being minimalized and almost trivialized by the ghosts that fuel the constant anonymous ranting and rambling.

I can accept that franchising has substantial flaws.  I agree that to a large degree that the AAFD's focus on changing the manner by which zor's approach their zees is a good step, albeit perhaps a daunting and perhaps unachievable goal.  I appreciate that those such as Solomon, Webster and Steinberg can share their legal perspectives on how to address the problems of franchising from their end.  But I do not get how the current state of the dialogue on this site is in anyway conducive to efficient and positive resolution to franchisee pain and suffering. 

Dale

Please let me add that in the case of Medina (Cuppy's) they are in the process of franchising two new companies out to the public.  People need to know about their issues.  This wasn't something manufactured by people here on BMM.  It started about a month and a half ago on franchisepick when Sean saw a couple of posting on Rip-off Report which reiterated the same things that they became known for.  Up until this point in time, there weren't bad posts about them.  They brought this on themselves by not being ethical (and that's probably the word I should've used in the beginning). 

Dale, you always advocated giving these guys a chance after the Java Jo'z situation.  Has your opinion changed since they've spent other people's money?  Haven't followed properly disclosure protocol?  Asking people to lie on their financing application?  Having multiple UFOC's out there for the same time period.   Letting registrations lapse in state (s), etc.  These have all been stated before, except for the last one, which I know for a fact because I did the research (unfortunately, I stated this earlier, but my post was considered spam and didn't get posted).

It is too bad

I am in agreement that this site has so much potential.  But honestly, it has become more of an anti-franchisor rag than anything else.  It has been interesting to see the commentary from those who are actively attempting change in the franchise industry, be it attempts to refine franchising from within via the AAFD, or from litigation after the fact ala Solomon.

In a way, franchising is such an odd concept, a system designed to prosper to a large degree off of the sweat and labor of the zees - it is obviously easy to see the potential for abuse - but to go from a realization to this negative possibility to generalized declarations that franchising is an abusive business model is sensationalism at its worst.

To a degree, this type of site contributes to this sensationalism.  There is no accountability to anonymous posters, most of whom post things that would otherwise be considered libel in mainstream media.  Is there a newspaper besides the Enquirer and its ilk that would permit anonymous articles stating that "So and so is a crook/criminal/fondler of small farm animals?" Also, what realistic recourses are left to the people that are the subject of such diatribes - the current laws make pursuit of remedies realistically less than cost-effective.Much as I now hate to admit it, I view BMM with the same skepticism and humor that I view the tabloids at the register.  While I am certain that there are many legitimate grievances, I suppose I am too naive and old school to accept that this is the appropriate method of attempting resolution to the problems.  There is no oversight, no accountability, no balance, no responsibility.  Is it any wonder that franchisors likely avoid this site like the plague, knowing that any response to some of these legitimate complaints would be subject to instant and near total evisceration?  Given this, how can there ever be meaningful dialogue towards a productive and effective change if there is only one side, a side which is fueled nearly entirely by emotion borne from suffering and left to run unchecked?  Is it not, at least indirectly, a purpose behind this site to discuss franchising?  How is this possible when only one side can realistically ever have a say on this site?  Instead, here we have nonstop anonymous and potentially libelous rants against franchisor this and franchisor that.  We are left with a site that has so much potential but instead is being minimalized and almost trivialized by the ghosts that fuel the constant anonymous ranting and rambling.

I can accept that franchising has substantial flaws.  I agree that to a large degree that the AAFD's focus on changing the manner by which zor's approach their zees is a good step, albeit perhaps a daunting and perhaps unachievable goal.  I appreciate that those such as Solomon, Webster and Steinberg can share their legal perspectives on how to address the problems of franchising from their end.  But I do not get how the current state of the dialogue on this site is in anyway conducive to efficient and positive resolution to franchisee pain and suffering. 

Every Franchisor?

Dale,

Good to see you back in the kitchen.

Thank you for referring to me as a gentlemen, hasn't happened much in my life, I do appreciate it.

Dale wrote:

"Every Franchisor wants to have happy franchisees; however, this is not always possible." 

In my gentlemanly opinion, there is no such thing as "every franchisor" they are all created differently.

The reality is that with one sided franchise agreements some franchisors just don't care. They hold all the cards, they foster the "don't like it, leave it" mentality.

The AAFD Accredited Franchise Agreement, is a way to identify those agreements that meet fair franchising standards.

It's obviously an evolving process. A worthy process that will get it’s due in time.

Jim Coen

877-469-3002Blog: Lets Talk Franchising

Jim Coen is the Executive Director of the New England Franchise Association

What Is Your Observation on Cuppys?

Dale,

You were a strong advocate for Cuppy's and Elite a year ago as ethical and good franchisors. Do you still feel that way?

Competent bunch?

Ramblings & Responses

Hmmm – I made a little post on my BMM blog and it got quite a response.  My initial posting had more to do with the overall feeding frenzy of BMM, and less to do with any real or perceived issue(s) that may or may not exist with any particular franchise system.  I intended my post to have two key points:

FIRST: The marketplace has changed and the customer has been empowered like never before to tell the world about his or her experience with a particular product or service whether positive or negative.  We all know that an unhappy customer will tell more people about their experience than a happy one.  Like it or not, today’s social media is not a fad, or a temporary inconvenience.  It is here and here to stay.  Every business must now strive harder than ever before to take care of their customer, or as the saying goes “If you don’t take care of the customer, someone else will”.  Today’s reality in business is quite simple; your business is only as good as your unhappiest customer.

SECOND: In my opinion, BMM will only live up to its full potential when it begins to attract more participants that:

1.       … participate prior to going into business,

2.       … participate prior to investing in a particular brand,

3.       … seek solutions to small problems before they become BIG problems,

4.       … remain open minded,

5.       … focus more on the solution and less on the problem,

6.       … understand the danger of misguided conclusions,

7.       … seek to build rather than destroy,

8.       … understand the philosophy of there’s usually 3-sides to every story,

9.       … understand that the Franchisor/Franchisee relationship is interdependent,

10.   … understand the differences between:

a.       FACTS: Statement of actuality or occurrence. Facts are based on direct evidence, actual experience or observation.

b.      OPINIONS: A statement of belief or Feeling.  An opinion shows one’s feelings about a subject.  Solid Opinions, while based on facts, are someone’s views on a subject and not the facts themselves.

c.       REASONED JUDGEMENTS: Conclusions by an individual based on premises which can be either facts or opinions.

As opposed to trying to answer, comment and respond to various individual questions, comments and statements, which resulted from my initial post, I will attempt to incorporate the bulk of them into a single response.

MICHAEL WEBSTER WRITES: I agree with Dale's overall observation that BMM's stated purposes are not being met.  …Look at the responses to Turkel's excellent article on hotel franchising, not a drop of useful commentary.  I would like to see a lot less whining and more doing. 

Thanks Michael for your agreement.  I certainly believe that BMM provides a valuable service in allowing others a place to vent.  I also believe that BMM will become even more valuable to the franchise community at the point in time when the venting, is balanced with more material designed to specifically help in the process of determining if one should be a franchisee, and if so of what franchise, and then more material on the day-to-day issues of owning and operating a franchise.

JD WRITES: Dale, you always advocated giving these guys a chance after the Java Jo'z situation.  Has your opinion changed since they've spent other people's money?  Haven't followed properly disclosure protocol?  Asking people to lie on their financing application?  Having multiple UFOC's out there for the same time period.   Letting registrations lapse in state (s), etc.  These have all been stated before, except for the last one, which I know for a fact because I did the research (unfortunately, I stated this earlier, but my post was considered spam and didn't get posted).

I do not know that I would have used the word ‘advocated’, but I certainly understood the challenges which resulted from the acquisition of certain assets associated with Java Jo’z.  I do not understand what you mean by “they’ve spent other people’s money’.  As for failing to follow proper disclosure protocol and asking people to lie on their finance applications, I’ve seen nothing which would substantiate such allegations.  If an individual has prematurely entered into an arrangement to purchase a building or construction services from Elite in advance of or in anticipation of executing a franchise agreement, I can see where this could create confusion, and if asked I would encourage Cuppy’s to discourage both the prospective Zee and Elite from this practice.  I would strongly discourage anyone from lying on a finance application, as I would discourage anyone from lying in general.  With that said, a reasonable person must recognize the difference between a lie, and an effort to package the truth in the most positive light possible.  A UFOC (FDD) is a snap shot of a franchisor at a particular point in time.  Slight variations of content can reasonably be anticipated depending upon when and where a UFOC/FDD was created and filed.  As stated in the Fundamentals of Franchising, “In some cases, a lapse in registration is unavoidable where, for example, the audited financial statements for the franchisor’s most recent fiscal year required with the renewal application cannot be completed by the automatic effectiveness filing deadline”.

PAUL STEINBERG WRITES: In the interest of full disclosure, a better question might be whether Mr. Nabors (or his company) has ever been retained by Cuppy's in any capacity. There is nothing wrong with that, but if he has been paid by Cuppy's or their associated entities, he should disclose that.

In my original post I wrote: The topics (targets) remain much the same: Quiznos, UPS, Coffee Beanery, Cuppy’s, The Dwyer Group, Meineke, IFA, AAFD, Entrepreneur, Sona MedSpa, FranCorp, FranData, SBA, and the list goes on….  I did not isolate out Cuppy’s, nor was my post about Cuppy’s.  But to the extent that Full Disclosure brings value to the discussion, I will gladly oblige.

I’ve eaten many a Quizno’s sandwich, most of which I’ve paid for but I must disclose the fact that I’ve had a few comp’d.   I’ve worked with many Q Zee’s and consider several to be personal friends.  FranSynergy has a UPS account and we ship many packages via UPS, on occasion there have been some shipping irregularities for which we’ve been given credits.   I know very little about Coffee Beanery outside of what I’ve read here on BMM.  I did visit Cuppy’s corporate offices a little over a year ago (at my own initiative and expense) to see firsthand what all the hoopla was about.  My short visit, which spanned 2-days, validated much of the Cuppy’s position, and the reasons for the confusion and PR challenges following the Java Jo’z acquisition.   Following my visit, I provided them with a management report of issues which needed to be addressed, and offered the services of my company (for a fee) to assist in the implementation of the suggestions which I’d made.  Although Cuppy’s DID NOT choose to retain my services or the services of my company, they did to their credit implement many of my recommendations on their own.  In September of last year, some 7 months after my initial visit, I did receive a call from Cuppy’s asking if I would assist them in designing, developing and implementing certain systems which would benefit the franchisee, and improve operational performance and profitability at the unit level.   I did subsequently accept the assignment, and believe that their current and future franchisees will see significant benefit from our efforts.  I was employed by The Dwyer Group for a little over 6 years, and can say without reservation they are a good company with good brands.  My automobiles have been serviced by Meineke.  I’ve attended many IFA events.  I’ve spoken with the AAFD and met Bob Purvin, and find them to be a good organization with a balanced approach to fulfilling their original mission of bringing “Fairness to Franchising”.  I’ve had an opportunity to meet Jim Amos and Donald Boroian.  I’ve purchased materials from FranData.  I’ve assisted many in securing SBA guaranteed financing, and often use SBA data and resources in my work in franchising.  Oh yeah, there are hundreds of other franchisors and thousands of franchisees with whom I’ve interacted over the years.

FUWAFUWAUSAGI WRITES: You neglected to mention I have the cutest avatar of the aforementioned.  - LOL!!!

H.H. Munro once wrote: “Confront a child, a puppy, and a kitten with a sudden danger, the child will turn instinctively for assistance, the puppy will grovel in abject submission, the kitten will brace its tiny body for a frantic resistance”.  Your avatar is equally as appropriate as it is ‘cute’.  Ogeden Nash however wrote: “The trouble with a kitten is that when it grows up, it’s always a cat.

CRAIG HSUEH WRITES: Dale, You were a strong advocate for Cuppy's and Elite a year ago as ethical and good franchisors. Do you still feel that way?  Pretty competent bunch?

Again, I would question the use of ‘Strong Advocate’, nor would I agree that a year ago I ever indicated that I thought they were either ethical or good franchisors.    That is not a position which I would have taken -- absent firsthand knowledge.  I would however agree that I encouraged all not to be too quick to condemn and to try to understand the unique challenges associated with the acquisition of assets associated with a licensing organization and its subsequent transition into a franchising organization.  Today, I still feel as though it is always wise to seek to understand, prior to trying to be understood.  Carpenters have a basic rule of ‘Measure twice, Cut once’.  The reasoning is self-explanatory, but certainly relevant to why one should not make unsubstantiated allegations against a brand.  It is one thing to have sympathy and empathy with the position of a person and their claims, and entirely different to feed what may only be true from that individual’s perspective.

As for competency, that is certainly subjective.  When I was 8 sitting in my grandfathers lap steering his ’63 Chevrolet pick-up truck through his hay field, I believed I was the king of the road.  When I was 13 and driving that same ’63 Chevrolet pick-up truck through those same hay fields I knew I was the king of the road.  At 16 with my newly acquired drivers’ license I had proof, at least in my mind, that I was a competent driver although my parents insurance company did not agree for another 10-years.  Today, I believe myself to be a competent driver, although my wife may disagree.  I’m sure that when I’m 93 and my children are attempting to have my driving privileges revoked that I’ll still believe myself to be a competent driver.  Yes, I do believe that Cuppy’s is a more competent franchisor than they were a year ago, no I do not believe that they are as competent as they will be a year from now.

If you’ve read many of the recent complaint post associated with Cuppy’s, you quickly realize that most of them, steam back to the days of Java Jo’z, as is the case with the Wallace’s.  As I read it and understand it, the Wallace’s were given the opportunity to open their coffee business under Java Jo’z or Cuppy’s.  I’m not sure which it was, but obviously they did, and the business ultimately failed.  Why did the coffee business owned by the Wallace’s fail?  I do not know.  Did Java Jo’z or Cuppy’s have any blame?  Maybe.  Must the Wallace’s also assume a certain amount of responsibility?  Absolutely.   Being in business for one’s self is often challenging whether you’re in business as a franchisee, franchisor, or independent.

I’ve yet to find a franchisor which I would say is 100% perfect -- 100% of the time, nor have I ever found the cruelly malicious franchisor that is involved in and/or devoted to the wickedness or crimes against innocent franchisees, as is often described here on BMM.

So I’ve rambled and hopefully provided adequate responses to the major questions.  With that said, May you all have a blessed EASTER Holiday!

Until Next Time…

Believe & Succeed,DaleFranSynergy, Inc.Synergizing Franchising!www.fransynergy.com

Ramblings & Responses

Hmmm – I made a little post on my BMM blog and it got quite a response.  My initial posting had more to do with the overall feeding frenzy of BMM, and less to do with any real or perceived issue(s) that may or may not exist with any particular franchise system.  I intended my post to have two key points:

FIRST: The marketplace has changed and the customer has been empowered like never before to tell the world about his or her experience with a particular product or service whether positive or negative.  We all know that an unhappy customer will tell more people about their experience than a happy one.  Like it or not, today’s social media is not a fad, or a temporary inconvenience.  It is here and here to stay.  Every business must now strive harder than ever before to take care of their customer, or as the saying goes “If you don’t take care of the customer, someone else will”.  Today’s reality in business is quite simple; your business is only as good as your unhappiest customer.

SECOND: In my opinion, BMM will only live up to its full potential when it begins to attract more participants that:

1.       … participate prior to going into business,

2.       … participate prior to investing in a particular brand,

3.       … seek solutions to small problems before they become BIG problems,

4.       … remain open minded,

5.       … focus more on the solution and less on the problem,

6.       … understand the danger of misguided conclusions,

7.       … seek to build rather than destroy,

8.       … understand the philosophy of there’s usually 3-sides to every story,

9.       … understand that the Franchisor/Franchisee relationship is interdependent,

10.   … understand the differences between:

a.       FACTS: Statement of actuality or occurrence. Facts are based on direct evidence, actual experience or observation.

b.      OPINIONS: A statement of belief or Feeling.  An opinion shows one’s feelings about a subject.  Solid Opinions, while based on facts, are someone’s views on a subject and not the facts themselves.

c.       REASONED JUDGEMENTS: Conclusions by an individual based on premises which can be either facts or opinions.

As opposed to trying to answer, comment and respond to various individual questions, comments and statements, which resulted from my initial post, I will attempt to incorporate the bulk of them into a single response.

MICHAEL WEBSTER WRITES: I agree with Dale's overall observation that BMM's stated purposes are not being met.  …Look at the responses to Turkel's excellent article on hotel franchising, not a drop of useful commentary.  I would like to see a lot less whining and more doing. 

Thanks Michael for your agreement.  I certainly believe that BMM provides a valuable service in allowing others a place to vent.  I also believe that BMM will become even more valuable to the franchise community at the point in time when the venting, is balanced with more material designed to specifically help in the process of determining if one should be a franchisee, and if so of what franchise, and then more material on the day-to-day issues of owning and operating a franchise.

JD WRITES: Dale, you always advocated giving these guys a chance after the Java Jo'z situation.  Has your opinion changed since they've spent other people's money?  Haven't followed properly disclosure protocol?  Asking people to lie on their financing application?  Having multiple UFOC's out there for the same time period.   Letting registrations lapse in state (s), etc.  These have all been stated before, except for the last one, which I know for a fact because I did the research (unfortunately, I stated this earlier, but my post was considered spam and didn't get posted).

I do not know that I would have used the word ‘advocated’, but I certainly understood the challenges which resulted from the acquisition of certain assets associated with Java Jo’z.  I do not understand what you mean by “they’ve spent other people’s money’.  As for failing to follow proper disclosure protocol and asking people to lie on their finance applications, I’ve seen nothing which would substantiate such allegations.  If an individual has prematurely entered into an arrangement to purchase a building or construction services from Elite in advance of or in anticipation of executing a franchise agreement, I can see where this could create confusion, and if asked I would encourage Cuppy’s to discourage both the prospective Zee and Elite from this practice.  I would strongly discourage anyone from lying on a finance application, as I would discourage anyone from lying in general.  With that said, a reasonable person must recognize the difference between a lie, and an effort to package the truth in the most positive light possible.  A UFOC (FDD) is a snap shot of a franchisor at a particular point in time.  Slight variations of content can reasonably be anticipated depending upon when and where a UFOC/FDD was created and filed.  As stated in the Fundamentals of Franchising, “In some cases, a lapse in registration is unavoidable where, for example, the audited financial statements for the franchisor’s most recent fiscal year required with the renewal application cannot be completed by the automatic effectiveness filing deadline”.

PAUL STEINBERG WRITES: In the interest of full disclosure, a better question might be whether Mr. Nabors (or his company) has ever been retained by Cuppy's in any capacity. There is nothing wrong with that, but if he has been paid by Cuppy's or their associated entities, he should disclose that.

In my original post I wrote: The topics (targets) remain much the same: Quiznos, UPS, Coffee Beanery, Cuppy’s, The Dwyer Group, Meineke, IFA, AAFD, Entrepreneur, Sona MedSpa, FranCorp, FranData, SBA, and the list goes on….  I did not isolate out Cuppy’s, nor was my post about Cuppy’s.  But to the extent that Full Disclosure brings value to the discussion, I will gladly oblige.

I’ve eaten many a Quizno’s sandwich, most of which I’ve paid for but I must disclose the fact that I’ve had a few comp’d.   I’ve worked with many Q Zee’s and consider several to be personal friends.  FranSynergy has a UPS account and we ship many packages via UPS, on occasion there have been some shipping irregularities for which we’ve been given credits.   I know very little about Coffee Beanery outside of what I’ve read here on BMM.  I did visit Cuppy’s corporate offices a little over a year ago (at my own initiative and expense) to see firsthand what all the hoopla was about.  My short visit, which spanned 2-days, validated much of the Cuppy’s position, and the reasons for the confusion and PR challenges following the Java Jo’z acquisition.   Following my visit, I provided them with a management report of issues which needed to be addressed, and offered the services of my company (for a fee) to assist in the implementation of the suggestions which I’d made.  Although Cuppy’s DID NOT choose to retain my services or the services of my company, they did to their credit implement many of my recommendations on their own.  In September of last year, some 7 months after my initial visit, I did receive a call from Cuppy’s asking if I would assist them in designing, developing and implementing certain systems which would benefit the franchisee, and improve operational performance and profitability at the unit level.   I did subsequently accept the assignment, and believe that their current and future franchisees will see significant benefit from our efforts.  I was employed by The Dwyer Group for a little over 6 years, and can say without reservation they are a good company with good brands.  My automobiles have been serviced by Meineke.  I’ve attended many IFA events.  I’ve spoken with the AAFD and met Bob Purvin, and find them to be a good organization with a balanced approach to fulfilling their original mission of bringing “Fairness to Franchising”.  I’ve had an opportunity to meet Jim Amos and Donald Boroian.  I’ve purchased materials from FranData.  I’ve assisted many in securing SBA guaranteed financing, and often use SBA data and resources in my work in franchising.  Oh yeah, there are hundreds of other franchisors and thousands of franchisees with whom I’ve interacted over the years.

FUWAFUWAUSAGI WRITES: You neglected to mention I have the cutest avatar of the aforementioned.  - LOL!!!

H.H. Munro once wrote: “Confront a child, a puppy, and a kitten with a sudden danger, the child will turn instinctively for assistance, the puppy will grovel in abject submission, the kitten will brace its tiny body for a frantic resistance”.  Your avatar is equally as appropriate as it is ‘cute’.  Ogeden Nash however wrote: “The trouble with a kitten is that when it grows up, it’s always a cat.

CRAIG HSUEH WRITES: Dale, You were a strong advocate for Cuppy's and Elite a year ago as ethical and good franchisors. Do you still feel that way?  Pretty competent bunch?

Again, I would question the use of ‘Strong Advocate’, nor would I agree that a year ago I ever indicated that I thought they were either ethical or good franchisors.    That is not a position which I would have taken -- absent firsthand knowledge.  I would however agree that I encouraged all not to be too quick to condemn and to try to understand the unique challenges associated with the acquisition of assets associated with a licensing organization and its subsequent transition into a franchising organization.  Today, I still feel as though it is always wise to seek to understand, prior to trying to be understood.  Carpenters have a basic rule of ‘Measure twice, Cut once’.  The reasoning is self-explanatory, but certainly relevant to why one should not make unsubstantiated allegations against a brand.  It is one thing to have sympathy and empathy with the position of a person and their claims, and entirely different to feed what may only be true from that individual’s perspective.

As for competency, that is certainly subjective.  When I was 8 sitting in my grandfathers lap steering his ’63 Chevrolet pick-up truck through his hay field, I believed I was the king of the road.  When I was 13 and driving that same ’63 Chevrolet pick-up truck through those same hay fields I knew I was the king of the road.  At 16 with my newly acquired drivers’ license I had proof, at least in my mind, that I was a competent driver although my parents insurance company did not agree for another 10-years.  Today, I believe myself to be a competent driver, although my wife may disagree.  I’m sure that when I’m 93 and my children are attempting to have my driving privileges revoked that I’ll still believe myself to be a competent driver.  Yes, I do believe that Cuppy’s is a more competent franchisor than they were a year ago, no I do not believe that they are as competent as they will be a year from now.

If you’ve read many of the recent complaint post associated with Cuppy’s, you quickly realize that most of them, steam back to the days of Java Jo’z, as is the case with the Wallace’s.  As I read it and understand it, the Wallace’s were given the opportunity to open their coffee business under Java Jo’z or Cuppy’s.  I’m not sure which it was, but obviously they did, and the business ultimately failed.  Why did the coffee business owned by the Wallace’s fail?  I do not know.  Did Java Jo’z or Cuppy’s have any blame?  Maybe.  Must the Wallace’s also assume a certain amount of responsibility?  Absolutely.   Being in business for one’s self is often challenging whether you’re in business as a franchisee, franchisor, or independent.

I’ve yet to find a franchisor which I would say is 100% perfect -- 100% of the time, nor have I ever found the cruelly malicious franchisor that is involved in and/or devoted to the wickedness or crimes against innocent franchisees, as is often described here on BMM.

So I’ve rambled and hopefully provided adequate responses to the major questions.  With that said, May you all have a blessed EASTER Holiday!

Until Next Time…

Believe & Succeed,DaleFranSynergy, Inc.Synergizing Franchising!www.fransynergy.com

To Dale

The Wallaces never claimed they had no responsibility, at least in anything that I read. The only vibe I get from them is that they were angry they were lied to and lost a bunch of money and want people to stop giving money to Cuppy's.

Franpro Chiming In

Hi Dale,

Thanx for the compliment...

I have been pretty much hanging back a little from BMM. When I think of BMM, My first thought is "Franchise Bashing." Business isn't good enough for me to justify reading the mostly negative ramblings that go on here, daily.

Don, I do not believe your intent was to have a franchise ragging blog/website, but it has turned out to be one in which wounded franchisees {Both current and past} share their versions of what happended to them, in their failed or failing franchise operations. Most post without name, or even city or country. Franchising certainly has it's problems, like any industry, and sometimes we all need to hear horror stories. But it is constant, and really old. I am not saying that there have not been situations in which innocent people were misled into a franchise opp that they were sold..and sold hard. But, I have learned that as an adult, things are never one way, and each party must assume some responsibilty.

As to my ramblings about my little corner of the industry:

Yes, there are way too many franchise consultants/brokers, and because of it, there are less and less prospecive franchise candidates for all of us consultant/brokers. I am sure that Jim Coen would agree! So what I try to do is seperate the ones who really care about their candidates, with the ones that don't. I am not shy, obviously. I think I am getting more and more like my 95 year old grandmother. She speaks her mind. Period. Self serving. Sometimes. Aren't we all? {A little?}

Am I pro-franchisor? Sometimes. Skeptical? Always. Franchisors, you must prove yourselves to me, or I will not even entertain the thought of presenting your concept to my limited amount of candidates.

Dale, You may not like this, but here is how I feel about you, and Cuppy's:

You are getting a fee from them. Your comments are totally irrelevant. {Not in a personal way, though. Just professionally}

I compare your commenting positively on Cuppy's to a little thing going on in the Democratic party, currently. Mrs. Clinton is pushing pretty damn hard to have a Michigan Primary redo. Is it because she is feeling especially American, and pro-democracy? Or is it because she wants to win, no matter what? If she can get some more votes from Michigan, she is in the race...Another words, we were not born yesterday.

Dale, I like what you wrote {Before the Cuppy's talk}, but if you really think you can be a paid consultant for Cuppy's and have a balanced view concerning the likely wrongdoings that have been going on there for awhile, then you need to take a day or two off, and reflect.

Anyway, ta ta for now.

Franpro

Franchise Selection Specialists Inc.

The Franchise King Blog

Franchise consulting,brokering,marketing, and yapping from Cleveland, Ohio

{The Rock and Roll Capital of The World!}

Franpro Chiming In

Hi Dale,

Thanx for the compliment...

I have been pretty much hanging back a little from BMM. When I think of BMM, My first thought is "Franchise Bashing." Business isn't good enough for me to justify reading the mostly negative ramblings that go on here, daily.

Don, I do not believe your intent was to have a franchise ragging blog/website, but it has turned out to be one in which wounded franchisees {Both current and past} share their versions of what happended to them, in their failed or failing franchise operations. Most post without name, or even city or country. Franchising certainly has it's problems, like any industry, and sometimes we all need to hear horror stories. But it is constant, and really old. I am not saying that there have not been situations in which innocent people were misled into a franchise opp that they were sold..and sold hard. But, I have learned that as an adult, things are never one way, and each party must assume some responsibilty.

As to my ramblings about my little corner of the industry:

Yes, there are way too many franchise consultants/brokers, and because of it, there are less and less prospecive franchise candidates for all of us consultant/brokers. I am sure that Jim Coen would agree! So what I try to do is seperate the ones who really care about their candidates, with the ones that don't. I am not shy, obviously. I think I am getting more and more like my 95 year old grandmother. She speaks her mind. Period. Self serving. Sometimes. Aren't we all? {A little?}

Am I pro-franchisor? Sometimes. Skeptical? Always. Franchisors, you must prove yourselves to me, or I will not even entertain the thought of presenting your concept to my limited amount of candidates.

Dale, You may not like this, but here is how I feel about you, and Cuppy's:

You are getting a fee from them. Your comments are totally irrelevant. {Not in a personal way, though. Just professionally}

I compare your commenting positively on Cuppy's to a little thing going on in the Democratic party, currently. Mrs. Clinton is pushing pretty damn hard to have a Michigan Primary redo. Is it because she is feeling especially American, and pro-democracy? Or is it because she wants to win, no matter what? If she can get some more votes from Michigan, she is in the race...Another words, we were not born yesterday.

Dale, I like what you wrote {Before the Cuppy's talk}, but if you really think you can be a paid consultant for Cuppy's and have a balanced view concerning the likely wrongdoings that have been going on there for awhile, then you need to take a day or two off, and reflect.

Anyway, ta ta for now.

Franpro

Franchise Selection Specialists Inc.

The Franchise King Blog

Franchise consulting,brokering,marketing, and yapping from Cleveland, Ohio

{The Rock and Roll Capital of The World!}

Can all these people be wrong?

I know there are good zors out there. And the zees who have been hurt want to warn people of the bad zors. I am not anti-franchising. I just would like more laws to protect zees from bad zors. I still believe in capitalism. Yet in the greatest country in the world the bad zors are a disgrace to our country. In business we need to go back to basics. The golden rule.

The fact many people are being hurt is a reality. Warning people of what they need to do to protect them from signing a franchise agreement is a positive thing. Perhaps the good zors will get the bad ones out of business and the franchise world would have a better reputation. And the people don't have to worry about getting robbed. Look how many people are complaining not only on BMM but everywhere on the internet. This is escalating rapidly. I would think you would want to protect the world of franchising from getting a bad name. Like a guest wrote, "Soon franchises will be known a scam." The only way is to stop the bad ones and protect the good.

Blowing hard and no substance

Just what have you contributed, Bubba, in terms of making franchising less abusive and fairer to those who make franchising possible with their labor and their capital. Why are you so opposed to the disclossure of past and present performance statistics of past and present franchisees to new buyers of the franchise. Just what is your solution to the problem of ineffective disclosure and the weighted contractual relationship that invites the franchisor to exploit franchisees to maximize their profits.

You know that franchisees only contribute and sign the unilateral contract because they believe there will be profits and because they mistakenly believe that the franchisor cannot prosper unless they prosper? Where are all of the happy franchisees and where are their testimonials as to their happy experiences? How about getting out here with some testimonials from franchisees who are satisfied and happy and who have completed their long-term contracts and recovered their investments.

The voices of happy franchisees should drown out the voices of destroyed franchisees. You, who so admire franchising, should be able to recommend at least 50 good franchises other than McDonald's that have been successful for the first owners of the franchise.

In my opinion, the AAFD, because of their compromise with the truth does little to clean up franchising and survives to the best of its ability within the ugly status quo to perpetuate itself as a trade association that can serve both the interests of the franchisor and the franchisee --but can they? What is the good of a fair contract on a pig in a poke?

You ignore the truth of 20 Year Zee and others because you can't dispute it. You ignore the great imbalance of power in the relationship and in the courts. You like the status quo and want no change.

Why? You say you "do not get how the current state of the dialogue on this site is in anyway conducive to efficient and positive resolution to franchisee pain and suffering. You apparently don't understand that I and "Do Diligence" and D&R of Coffee Beanery, and Coady of Sona Med Spa and those from Cuppy are trying to WARN others to prevent franchisee pain and suffering and to effect change and better regulation of franchising.

Blue Mau Mau has readers from both sides of the fence ---probably more readers than posters. But those who read Blue Mau Mau realize that it is a forum where the truth about franchising from both sides of the fence is not censored. Franchisors are not anxious to make it to the Blue Mau Mau forum where they have to show their face to defend themselves. The President of Cuppy's bravely responded to the charges of irate buyers of the franchise and he is respected for his response. He was both protected and attacked by posters and this is "free speech" in its best tradition.

Perhaps, what is needed, is a moderator who will pose actual questions that could be answered by both sides. How can anyone make this an anti-franchise rag if the pro-franchisors respond with truth and refute the negatives against franchising with positives that serve both the franchisor and the franchisee.

Or, are you unable to do this? Kind of like "how do you make a silk purse out of a sow's ear?"

Bubba you are my hero!

No truer words have been spoken. 

I will now return to my BMM vacation. 

The Truth Shall Set You Free!

TIF

Is all this not going on or

can you not see there is a reason people are writing their stories? Pretty sad stories and it has been the world of franchising for too long.

I have to admit I admired all the men and women standing up for all the people who got ripped off by Cuppys.

If I were a frachisor I would want this to stop. It gives franchising a bad name.

Are you even human enough to feel for those that have been hurt by the system? I assure you if it were you, you would not be compliant. But joining us to fix the problem out there.

A better question

"JD" writes: Dale, you always advocated giving these guys a chance after the Java Jo'z situation. Has your opinion changed since they've spent other people's money?

In the interest of full disclosure, a better question might be whether Mr. Nabors (or his company) has ever been retained by Cuppy's in any capacity. There is nothing wrong with that, but if he has been paid by Cuppy's or their associated entities, he should disclose that.

Paul SteinbergFranchisee Attorney, New York City, Ph: 212-529-5400

See what I mean

JD you were an inspiration to me. You were standing up for what is right. You are another man I respect here. So much wrong going on out there in the world of franchising. The way it is set up just invites crooks to hurt people.

Bubba you are my hero!

No truer words have been spoken. 

I will now return to my BMM vacation. 

The Truth Shall Set You Free!

TIF

Welcome to the internet.

If anything this site and others that have a anti-franchising/whistleblowing theme merely attempt to offset the message put out by much larger for-profit franchising sites such as Entrepreneur et al... Given the quality and nature of the content here, its only natural that those humiliated by their personal catastrophe in a franchise system -- whether that 'catastrophe' was inflicted upon the individual by the franchisor or was actually self-inflicted -- find comfort in seeing first-hand from this site that they are not alone.

Sorry if the current discourse here doesn't do it for you.

Sleep Tight.

Agreement with Dale

I agree with Dale's overall observation that BMM's stated purposes are not being met.

Why?

Bubba asks:  "But I do not get how the current state of the dialogue on this site is in anyway conducive to efficient and positive resolution to franchisee pain and suffering. "

I didn't see that listed as any one of BMM's stated purposes.  

Look at the responses to Turkel's excellent article on hotel franchising, not a drop of useful commentary.

I would like to see a lot less whining and more doing. 

Michael Webster PhD LLBFranchise News

Jim

I hope the reality of the Franchise Agreement being fair will happen. The sooner the better. When it does I am sure there will be many posting here that is happy. The horror stories will stop and people will look at franchising as a positive thing. It has to be a win, win situation for everyone to be happy.

You are so

right and I wish more people like you would post and we'd eventually overcome the thumb suckers who take up most of the time and space on the site. It's so simple. If you don't like or appreciate franchising, find something else to do and to complain about. If you want to build franchising and make it better and help franchisors and franchisees realize they have tremendous opportunities to build America and to generate wealth for each other, then this could be a great site. As it is, with all the nonsense that gets posted here, and often the libelous statements about individuals, this site is destined to be forgotten, overlooked by the people who are serious about building successful franchising. Most of the contributors are serious about bashing franchising and/or people in franchising, selling their services (God knows we need more inept franchise attorneys--those who are competent are too busy to post here), and spilling their poor miserable guts about their pitiful lives as poor, picked on, maligned, franchisee slaves.

I'll explain it Dale:

Dale states:

'I do not understand what you mean by “they’ve spent other people’s money’.'

my response:  They took these refundable deposits and spent that money.  When they were asked to refund the money, they didn't have it.  Seems like a problem to me with cash flow issues.

Dale states:

'As for failing to follow proper disclosure protocol and asking people to lie on their finance applications, I’ve seen nothing which would substantiate such allegations.'

My response:  When you ask people to send you money for a franchise/build-out prior to ever disclosing people, that's a problem.  Thankfully, a person on franchisepick made a comment on this and we were able to convince them that they shouldn't send any money in until after being disclosed and when asking Elite to clarify the refundability of the money (ie escrow), they were told that they needed to trust them and that they were starting on a negative foot.

Dale states:

'A UFOC (FDD) is a snap shot of a franchisor at a particular point in time.  Slight variations of content can reasonably be anticipated depending upon when and where a UFOC/FDD was created and filed.'

My response:  All of this data is as of 12/31/06:  The UFOC with CA stated 107 franchise agreements signed not opened.  Another UFOC stated 100.  The audited financial statements said 37.  Which is right?   It's a snapshot, so they knew this answer as of Jan 1, 2007.   

Dale states:

'“In some cases, a lapse in registration is unavoidable where, for example, the audited financial statements for the franchisor’s most recent fiscal year required with the renewal application cannot be completed by the automatic effectiveness filing deadline”.'

The audited financial statements were done on April 25th, 2007.  Don't know why that would let their registration lapse considering it was due in 4th quarter 2007.  Also, why did they let their CA registration lapse between 4/20-8/29/07?  I hope they didn't sell any stores during that time in CA.

Dale, most of the comments made were made by people that put refundable deposits down with the company that were pending financing.  I believe that the Wallaces are the only ones (maybe one other) that was an original Java Jo'z licensee.  Everyone else is trying to get their money back.  

These people were given a second chance.  They are blowing it.  Maybe you could counsel them on the rules with franchising (although Morg has been involved in franchising before), but maybe you should ask for a retainer first.  I'll be interested to see the new UFOC, assuming that it's filed on-time. 

FranPro ...

FranPro…  Thank you for “Chiming In”, and for sharing your viewpoint on the topic(s) without the personal attacks.  I would like to clarify a couple of points associated with your post.

Please re-read my original post and subsequent response, it WAS NOT about any particular franchise organization.  Nothing in my post promoted or defended any franchise group.

You write: “I compare your commenting positively on Cuppy’s ….” To which I respond: Nowhere in my original post or subsequent response did I comment on Cuppy’s either positively or negatively.

You write: …but if you really think you can be a paid consultant for (insert any franchisor) and have a balanced view….then you need to take a day or two off, and reflect.   To which I respond: Thus the reason I’ve made very few comments, if any, directly related to the topic.  Not because I do not believe that I can remain balanced, but because of the perception that I may not.  Franchisor clients do not retain my services, or the services of my company, because things are perfect – but because they’d like to see things improve.  Absent evidence to the contrary, I do not believe that it is fair to say that I cannot be balanced in my commentary.  To say otherwise would be akin to saying that franchise consultants/brokers or real estate brokers cannot bring value to a buyer simply because their fees are paid by the seller.  Nor do I think that the claims of an unhappy customer should be discredited simply because they might benefit from vocalizing their claims.  In general, I think anytime we hear someone speak, or blog, we should try to understand the position from which they speak or blog.   

You write: “…concerning the likely wrongdoings…”.  I believe that your statement would be much more ‘fair and balanced’ by replacing the word ‘likely’ with ‘alleged’.  Even then, in my opinion, one should not be so quick to leap to the conclusion that ‘wrongdoing’ is the equivalent of what may very well turn out to be: nothing at all, a bad business practice, a situation with poor cash-flow, or something else.

IN GENERAL:

It has been said that ‘Facts are stubborn’ and ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’.  We should embrace facts while maintaining a healthy skepticism.  We should always be prepared to reevaluate our opinions, interpretations, beliefs, and conclusions as new information, evidence, or analysis becomes available or is better understood.  It is important that we distinguish between undisputed fact, widely accepted fact, theory, expert opinion, hypothesis, minority opinion, filtered information, assumptions, disingenuous statements, biased information, dogma, faith, propaganda, and speculation when reading and interpreting information.  

Both opinions and evidence can often be ambiguous and conflicting and should always be evaluated, analyzed, and interpreted.  Much of the information which we are exposed to is irrelevant, distracting, distorting, and not suitable for consideration.  Here are a few examples:

  •  From ignorance (Ad Ignorantiam).  Claiming a statement is either true or false without having evidence or any valid reason supporting the claim.
  • Appeal to Authority (Ad vericundium)  –.  Appealing to the power, position, or fame of the person making a claim rather than to their expertise.
  • After This, therefore because of this (Post hoc ergo propter hoc).  Concluding that because one event follows another, the first caused the second.
  • Appeal to the People (Ad Populum).  Accepting something as fact simply because many other people believe it to be true.
  • Appeal to Force (Ad baculum).  The belief that “Might makes Right”.
  • Appeal to Pity (Ad Misericodiam).  Accepting a point-of-view or opinion because the deserve or solicit our pity.
  • Argument Against the Man (Ad Hominem).  When the character of an expert is attacked (or praised) as an attempt to discredit (or establish) the information they provide.
  • Drawing Hasty Conclusions – (Accident & Converse Accident).  Interring that each member of a group share the characteristics of the group, or that the group is characterized by the attributes of one particular member.

Don’t be persuaded by a person, who persists in obscuring evidence with these fallacies, they are being careless, ignorant, biased or malicious.  Even if and when evidence is accurate and relevant, it can be used to create invalid arguments, misdirect, and to draw wrong conclusions, for example:

  • Arguments based on Circular Logic:  Explaining that “Joe is not here because he does not go to parties” provides no information.  It is equivalent to saying “Joe is not at this party because Joe does not go to parties.”
  • Arguments based on unproven assumptions, i.e. A parent who asks their child “Would you like to be a good boy and go to bed now?”  Coupling “Being a good boy” with the request to “go to bed now” establishes an unproven contingency because a bad boy might choose to got to bed now or a good boy might choose to stay up longer.
  • Exploitation of Ambiguous Language.  i.e. Mom to teenage daughter leaving on a date: “Now be good dear.”  Boyfriend remarking to his girlfriend after a steamy date: “Wow, you really were good!”
  • Two in a Lump.  i.e. A sign stating “No Smoking Permitted” can be interpreted to mean that it is permissible to not smoke, but it is also permissible to smoke, since smoking is not specifically prohibited by the ambiguous language. 

Believe & Succeed,DaleFranSynergy, Inc.Synergizing Franchising!www.fransynergy.com

FranPro ...

FranPro…  Thank you for “Chiming In”, and for sharing your viewpoint on the topic(s) without the personal attacks.  I would like to clarify a couple of points associated with your post.

Please re-read my original post and subsequent response, it WAS NOT about any particular franchise organization.  Nothing in my post promoted or defended any franchise group.

You write: “I compare your commenting positively on Cuppy’s ….” To which I respond: Nowhere in my original post or subsequent response did I comment on Cuppy’s either positively or negatively.

You write: …but if you really think you can be a paid consultant for (insert any franchisor) and have a balanced view….then you need to take a day or two off, and reflect.   To which I respond: Thus the reason I’ve made very few comments, if any, directly related to the topic.  Not because I do not believe that I can remain balanced, but because of the perception that I may not.  Franchisor clients do not retain my services, or the services of my company, because things are perfect – but because they’d like to see things improve.  Absent evidence to the contrary, I do not believe that it is fair to say that I cannot be balanced in my commentary.  To say otherwise would be akin to saying that franchise consultants/brokers or real estate brokers cannot bring value to a buyer simply because their fees are paid by the seller.  Nor do I think that the claims of an unhappy customer should be discredited simply because they might benefit from vocalizing their claims.  In general, I think anytime we hear someone speak, or blog, we should try to understand the position from which they speak or blog.   

You write: “…concerning the likely wrongdoings…”.  I believe that your statement would be much more ‘fair and balanced’ by replacing the word ‘likely’ with ‘alleged’.  Even then, in my opinion, one should not be so quick to leap to the conclusion that ‘wrongdoing’ is the equivalent of what may very well turn out to be: nothing at all, a bad business practice, a situation with poor cash-flow, or something else.

IN GENERAL:

It has been said that ‘Facts are stubborn’ and ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’.  We should embrace facts while maintaining a healthy skepticism.  We should always be prepared to reevaluate our opinions, interpretations, beliefs, and conclusions as new information, evidence, or analysis becomes available or is better understood.  It is important that we distinguish between undisputed fact, widely accepted fact, theory, expert opinion, hypothesis, minority opinion, filtered information, assumptions, disingenuous statements, biased information, dogma, faith, propaganda, and speculation when reading and interpreting information.  

Both opinions and evidence can often be ambiguous and conflicting and should always be evaluated, analyzed, and interpreted.  Much of the information which we are exposed to is irrelevant, distracting, distorting, and not suitable for consideration.  Here are a few examples:

  •  From ignorance (Ad Ignorantiam).  Claiming a statement is either true or false without having evidence or any valid reason supporting the claim.
  • Appeal to Authority (Ad vericundium)  –.  Appealing to the power, position, or fame of the person making a claim rather than to their expertise.
  • After This, therefore because of this (Post hoc ergo propter hoc).  Concluding that because one event follows another, the first caused the second.
  • Appeal to the People (Ad Populum).  Accepting something as fact simply because many other people believe it to be true.
  • Appeal to Force (Ad baculum).  The belief that “Might makes Right”.
  • Appeal to Pity (Ad Misericodiam).  Accepting a point-of-view or opinion because the deserve or solicit our pity.
  • Argument Against the Man (Ad Hominem).  When the character of an expert is attacked (or praised) as an attempt to discredit (or establish) the information they provide.
  • Drawing Hasty Conclusions – (Accident & Converse Accident).  Interring that each member of a group share the characteristics of the group, or that the group is characterized by the attributes of one particular member.

Don’t be persuaded by a person, who persists in obscuring evidence with these fallacies, they are being careless, ignorant, biased or malicious.  Even if and when evidence is accurate and relevant, it can be used to create invalid arguments, misdirect, and to draw wrong conclusions, for example:

  • Arguments based on Circular Logic:  Explaining that “Joe is not here because he does not go to parties” provides no information.  It is equivalent to saying “Joe is not at this party because Joe does not go to parties.”
  • Arguments based on unproven assumptions, i.e. A parent who asks their child “Would you like to be a good boy and go to bed now?”  Coupling “Being a good boy” with the request to “go to bed now” establishes an unproven contingency because a bad boy might choose to got to bed now or a good boy might choose to stay up longer.
  • Exploitation of Ambiguous Language.  i.e. Mom to teenage daughter leaving on a date: “Now be good dear.”  Boyfriend remarking to his girlfriend after a steamy date: “Wow, you really were good!”
  • Two in a Lump.  i.e. A sign stating “No Smoking Permitted” can be interpreted to mean that it is permissible to not smoke, but it is also permissible to smoke, since smoking is not specifically prohibited by the ambiguous language. 

Believe & Succeed,DaleFranSynergy, Inc.Synergizing Franchising!www.fransynergy.com

Feel free to vote...

...with your feet, gentlemen.

It is indeed a brave new wwworld. 

Les Stewart MBA Understanding Franchising

Welcome back

We missed you! Don't worry I have to start working hard again so I'll leave you. Besides my ranting has calmed down. I learned what I needed to. Thanks to very wise men here I understand what happened.

Good luck

You will need it. TIF and you will go at it again. But that is what makes BMM so special. People on both sides of the fence voicing our opinions. Good, bad or ugly. Right?

You are right

"Just what have you contributed, Bubba, in terms of making franchising less abusive and fairer to those who make franchising possible with their labor and their capital."

Indeed.  But what can I, but a simple redneck electrician as my nomme de guerre suggests, do to fix what ails franchising?  I have already talked to my leprechaun allies, but honestly, all they want to talk about is their lucky charms.  And do not even get me started on the pink unicorns.

If you accept as reality the belief that what circulates primarily on BMM is the truth (and I am not talking about editorials from Janet Sparks, etc based upon some semblence of objectivity - I am talking about the anonymous monologues about how franchising is the scourge of the earth and their franchisor is the spawn of the devil), then we are so far on opposite sides of the spectrum to make meaningful discourse realistically effective.  I believe it to be opinion.  Opinion weighted by suffering - most have given their houses and lives to fund their dreams, and it would be inhumane of anyone not to take into account that factor when reading their posts.  I am not discounting or otherwise attempting to diminish anyone's suffering.  All I am saying, is that once you filter through the emotional barrage, what are you left with? 

I do feel for these posters.  When people state that this is just "business" and not personal, this is unbelievably disingenuous.  It is personal to these people.  But I temper my emotional reaction to their stories with the realities of what they are saying.  I read that so and so is basically little more than a whore, so and so is a crook, that the system is a scam, that they will take your money, etc.  Not to make this into a form over substance argument, but other than poor business practices, and morally vacuous zor officers, what in what you are posting entitles you to legal relief?  Bottom line, why do you win in court?  And this is a hard thing for most people to grasp and end with.  What occured may be absolutely horrible, marginally ethical, etc, but how does this translate into compensable injury? 

That is our system.  Perhaps it is fundamentally flawed, perhaps it needs fixing.  But I just do not see how "So and so is a crook/criminal/whore and system X will take everything and destroy your dreams," by itself, helps their case.  And I do not think it is acceptable that this is permitted to run unchecked when it would not be the case in other forms of media.

Re: See what I mean

I respect your words, but I don't do this to get any satisfaction from one side or another.  I've been critical on franchisees (R&D) and on franchisors (Cuppy's/Elite) alike.  I like to get that truth out there, and that's why I'll typically ask the tough questions.

Earlier this week, I received a response on a private message stating that I was a coward for not saying who I was.  I don't think it matters who I am.  I look at these items from a neutral standpoint (I make no money from franchising and haven't for 2+years).  I didn't start this 'fire' known as Cuppy's on the public forum.  I did have private conversations concerning it, but I didn't state anything until something new came up.   At that point, I added more to it.  It's not my fault, it's not the prospective franchisees fault, it's Cuppy's/Medina/Elite that made this happen.  If they would've taken care of business, then none of this would've happened and the last week on here wouldn't have been almost all Cuppy's. 

As i said I've been critical of R&D, but I respect them for what they are doing, because they believe they are right.  Do I think they'll get anything out of it, personally no.  But it's their choice/money.  I don't agree with the majority of their complaints, but I asked them for their transcript and they sent it to me.  They earn a lot more respect than Mr. Hibbing who said it would all be dealt with privately (and requiring a confidentiality agreement). 

Re: A better question

I second that.  I'll state right now that I have not been paid or paid any affiliates associated with this website that I know of (I may have bought a book at some point written by someone here).

Maybe the list of member names should be edited to disclose anybody that's received money from companies that they are discussing.   

Feel free to vote...

...with your feet, gentlemen.

It is indeed a brave new wwworld. 

Les Stewart MBA Understanding Franchising

You are right

"Just what have you contributed, Bubba, in terms of making franchising less abusive and fairer to those who make franchising possible with their labor and their capital."

Indeed.  But what can I, but a simple redneck electrician as my nomme de guerre suggests, do to fix what ails franchising?  I have already talked to my leprechaun allies, but honestly, all they want to talk about is their lucky charms.  And do not even get me started on the pink unicorns.

If you accept as reality the belief that what circulates primarily on BMM is the truth (and I am not talking about editorials from Janet Sparks, etc based upon some semblence of objectivity - I am talking about the anonymous monologues about how franchising is the scourge of the earth and their franchisor is the spawn of the devil), then we are so far on opposite sides of the spectrum to make meaningful discourse realistically effective.  I believe it to be opinion.  Opinion weighted by suffering - most have given their houses and lives to fund their dreams, and it would be inhumane of anyone not to take into account that factor when reading their posts.  I am not discounting or otherwise attempting to diminish anyone's suffering.  All I am saying, is that once you filter through the emotional barrage, what are you left with? 

I do feel for these posters.  When people state that this is just "business" and not personal, this is unbelievably disingenuous.  It is personal to these people.  But I temper my emotional reaction to their stories with the realities of what they are saying.  I read that so and so is basically little more than a whore, so and so is a crook, that the system is a scam, that they will take your money, etc.  Not to make this into a form over substance argument, but other than poor business practices, and morally vacuous zor officers, what in what you are posting entitles you to legal relief?  Bottom line, why do you win in court?  And this is a hard thing for most people to grasp and end with.  What occured may be absolutely horrible, marginally ethical, etc, but how does this translate into compensable injury? 

That is our system.  Perhaps it is fundamentally flawed, perhaps it needs fixing.  But I just do not see how "So and so is a crook/criminal/whore and system X will take everything and destroy your dreams," by itself, helps their case.  And I do not think it is acceptable that this is permitted to run unchecked when it would not be the case in other forms of media.

I am for fair business

practices. I agree franchising has been tarnished by unethical franchisors. Franchising doesn't have to be this way if there were more laws to protect the one who is using their money and taking the risk with their self gurarantee signatures. It looks to me the zees are viewed as nothing and disposable. I don't understand how zors can be so cold and take no responsibility for anything going wrong.

If they are selling a so called, "Proven System," why are so many failing? You have done alot of research and it shows. Yet no one gives us credit for what we have learned. No one really acknowleges what we see. The only one that listens are the hurt zees. I guess in the business world you have to have the killer instinct to survive. I can't do it. Hurt people to become rich.

It seems unless you are a lawyer, have mutiple degrees ,people here give you no credit. (but the exeptional few.) Doesn't living life hold no credence? It has been written that gray hair was a sign of wisdom. Yet many children today think their older parents know nothing. Living life is the biggest college one can go to. Lincoln was self educated. But he goes down in history as one of the greatest Presidents. Maybe we need a President like Lincoln to stop the bad zors from creating what I call something worst than slavery. Using the hard working people's money to work free and build their empire. That President may go down as the greatest President ever.

Ramblings

Thanks to BMM, Janet Sparks, Richard Solomon, Paul, Michael and JD, this site gives a more realistic view of Franchising as a whole.

Like DD, I first took great offense to some of the post when our story (CB) starting unfolding on BMM.

If anything, it's too bad that more main stream media does not pay closer attention.

There is a need for the information, as well as the advice, the attorneys post here. You live in a world where it is a known fact that there are good zors and very,very, very bad zors.

The guy right off the street thinks that his attorney is right for the DD needed to make an informed view of the UFOC.

We all know that most Judges don't understand Franchise Law, so why would any attorney not specializing in Franchising, be any better qualified?

As for all the negativity, what are you bringing to the table?

Our story has it all. Corruption starts at the top and just keeps rolling. D. Cantone, who is so respected, knowingly registered a UFOC that had no required Item 20 info for terminated zee's. He was made aware of this, because he asked us to check this 2005 UFOC, prior to registration.

There are so many pit falls and so many out's for the zors people are unaware of.

I have always said that there is far too much regulation now. Regulation creates an industry that is ripe for corruption. We know that better then anyone else. Why do you think the IFA is very powerful.

Before you start trying to blow SunShine up my skirt, start with the building blocks of to counter this hostile enviroment of Franchising.

You are right, there are good zors. This seems to be a topic you are well schooled in, so give me 10.

R & D...........

Does Morg have history with the AAFD?

Dale says that "In some cases, a lapse in registration is unavoidable..."
It seems to be more unaviodable to some than others. Like Robert "Morg" Morgans previous franchise success story, Slender Lady.

http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/stories/2003/08/11/story2.html
www.corp.ca.gov/ENF/pdf/s/SlenderLadyDRamended.pdf
http://www.corp.ca.gov/ENF/list/s/sl.asp
http://www.corp.ca.gov/press/pdf/2005/nr0505.pdf

Franchisee lawsuits seem to follow some people around, too. So do hundreds of franchises sold but never opened. Did that also happen with Morg Morgan's Slender Lady?

Maybe the AAFD can shed some light on it. Don't they have history with Slender Lady? If so, do they have history with Morg Morgan and his "unavoidable" situations? Did they ask their Slender Lady franchisee chapter for a character reference for Mr. Morgan before putting him on a pedestal?

If a franchisee was wrong

I would stand up for the franchisor. In the case of Q, 123 fit and Cuppy's I have to side with the zee. I am not a lawyer but I know what is right and wrong. It is just my values and I will not sway from them.

If a franchisee was wrong

I would stand up for the franchisor. In the case of Q, 123 fit and Cuppy's I have to side with the zee. I am not a lawyer but I know what is right and wrong. It is just my values and I will not sway from them.

Upside of confidentiality

--I'm not a fan of confidentiality agreements in franchising, but they do have their place in dispute resolution. Sometimes the parties need to be gagged to let go of their fight and part company. On a serious note, just look at the Gov. McGreevy circus--a settlement and confidentiality clause would have saved a lot of pain and deprived late night comics of a lot of material.

I would have less of a problem with a franchisor where the confidentiality agreement was used in such a manner. It is a whole different story where a confidentiality agreement is used to enable continuance of bad behavior. But I am not going to rush to judgment on a specific system and I have confidence in Mr. Webster and his fellow committee members' ability to determine the motive for particular clauses in the settlement agreements.

Paul SteinbergFranchisee Attorney, New York City, Ph: 212-529-5400

Believe & Succeed

I am certain that Mr. Nabors is completely impartial in this matter.
His promotion of the Cuppy's Coffee franchise is altruistic, pro bono, and for the good of the hard working Americans who believe in the power of being in business by themselves and for someone else.
http://www.fransynergyinc.com/community.asp
He may have been paid by Elite, Medina or Java Jos, but those are entirely different cos.

I believe

I personally have benefited from many people here. I hope others will too. I have laughed even cried to face the reality of what happened. When I first posted I was very angry but not anymore. Since some of the loose ends haven't been settled I'm sure I will get angry again. I can 't change what has happened. If I can be of help to anyone who is just starting to go through a similar situation I will try to console them because I know the pain they feel. If I can pervent another from buying intoa crappy franchise I have done what I have set out to do. Again I am not anti-franchising. I am for ethical business practices so there will be no more pain and agony from loosing their life savings, homes or spouses.

Careful with the hyperbole....

Worst (sic) than slavery?????

I think that's a bit much.......

You can find lists

of "good" franchisors in many locations including this site . . . but so what? What does it matter what any site or "expert" says about a franchise other than you might find it interesting or educational or informational -- but of course until you know the quality of the information, regardless of who provides it, you have nothing to go on.

If you don't think there are any good franchisors there's no reason to argue with you, just as there's no reason to argue with the person who thinks most franchisors are good, whatever good may mean. Who cares? What does it matter?

Now if you're asking for a good franchisor because you want to invest in one, well, unfortunately once again you're barking up the wrong tree. What's good for me may not be good for you, and so on.

The point is that it only matters what YOU decide if YOU are the one who's going to put up the money and invest the time to build the business.

YOU tell us what is a good franchisor for YOU. Doesn't matter if I think it's good, or if anyone else does. May not be good for any of us. But if it's good for you, then good for YOU!

YOU have to do your homework. If you are one of the many defeatists on this site who prefers to whine rather than to look for opportunity and success, then you're lost already. You'll find what you set out to find. But if you're open minded, reasonably intelligent, and willing to invest time to do the homework, I have no doubt that you will find several (at least) good franchise opportunities . . . and then you may join the ranks of successful franchisees -- few of whom appear to be posting on this site.

The Answer Will Surprise You!

An anonymous Guest wrote:  Maybe the AAFD can shed some light on it. Don't they have history with Slender Lady? If so, do they have history with Morg Morgan and his "unavoidable" situations? Did they ask their Slender Lady franchisee chapter for a character reference for Mr. Morgan before putting him on a pedestal?

I generally refrain from responding to individual blog charges, especially from anonymous posters whom I believe do not deserve attention and often endanger our first amendment right to freedom of expression.  I feel this post deserves a response, and the answer will surely surprise (and disappoint) Mr. Morgan's detractors:

First, the AAFD's persona is to identify franchisor's who are embracing our standards and not to police wrongdoers.  Except when supporting one of our chapters, we do not serve as an attack dog for violators because our goal is to entice franchisors to embrace our standards in their contracts.

That said, the AAFD did support a Slender Lady Franchisees Chapter, made up exclusively of scores of failed franchises.  We helped our members establish a legal fund and retain common legal counsel, and we were instrumental in getting Slender Lady barred from selling franchises in California.  With our help, our members tried to promote the sale of the chain which might provide funding to settle member claims.  In fact, this is what ultimately happened, and most of our members received acceptable (although not ideal) settlements.

It was during the Slender Lady fiasco that we first encountered Robert (Morg) Morgan, who had sold many of the Slender Lady franchises.  Mr. Morgan himself was battling Slender Lady management, and he provided substantial support to our chapter members to address their grievances--both with financial, emotional and evidentiary support! 

When the Java Jo'z problems first surfaced, we visited with about 20 licensees to help address their common problems and only one of whom saw the benefit of combining their resources to prosecute their claims.  It was two months later that Mr. Morgan (whom I had never met or talked to personally at that time) contacted the AAFD to help address and solve the Java Jo'z mess.  Consistent with our advice, Morgan (Medina Management)and Cuppy's (through its President, Doug Hibbing) adopted a plan to resolve the Java Jo'z licensees issues, and Cuppy's agreed to modify its own franchise agreement to meet AAFD Standards.  (It should be noted that we had advised the Java Jo'z licensees NOT to accept the Cuppy's original conversion offer, which did not meet the AAFD Standards).

It should also be noted that Mr. Morgan has fully embraced the AAFD Standards, including a commitment to a collaborative franchise culture, a negotiated agreement, and a commitment for the AAFD to form and manage an independent franchisee association with a promise to subsidize the dues paid by the franchisee members.

As an aside, the AAFD is still investigating and evaluating the ALLEGATIONS aired on BMM, and we will soon report our initial findings.  However, thus far I have personally not seen evidence that Cuppy's (or its affiliate, Elite Construction) has breached its agreements to justify the AAFD withdrawing or suspending Cuppy's Accreditation by the AAFD. 

The Elite contract promises a refund if a prospect is turned down for financing.  Elite and Cuppy's have both acknowledged that refunds are due.  The argument is over acceptable terms for the refunds--the contract does not specify such terms.  The AAFD has offered to mediate these disputes, and Cuppy's has agreed.  None of the complainants have replied yet to our offer.    (Parenthetically, we have also offered mediation to the Wallaces, who have a very different dispute, and they and Cuppy's have indicated their willingness to mediate through the AAFD).

Finally, we see no value in helping to put Cuppy's out of business.  There are almost 300 Cuppy's franchisees open or in the process of getting open, and 125 employees whose livelihoods depend on Cuppy's and its affiliates recovering from its nightmare.  If the company is destroyed, the 12 complainants chances of recovery are substantially diminished, and many others would be destroyed as well.

The system of justice in the United States holds dear the promise of a presumption of innocence until proven guilty, the right to face one's accusers (not anonymous bloggers), and the right to due process of law before being subjected to punishment.  Vigilante and lynch mob justice all to often results in egregious injustice.

I fully recognize that the AAFD's credibility and relevance will be affected by our actions.  If the AAFD is too succeed in its mission, it must earn and keep the confidence of both franchisors and franchisees.  Standing by our own standards and legal principles is the only path that I will support.

Bob PurvinChairmanAmerican Association of Franchisees and Franchise Dealers

The Answer Will Surprise You!

An anonymous Guest wrote:  Maybe the AAFD can shed some light on it. Don't they have history with Slender Lady? If so, do they have history with Morg Morgan and his "unavoidable" situations? Did they ask their Slender Lady franchisee chapter for a character reference for Mr. Morgan before putting him on a pedestal?

I generally refrain from responding to individual blog charges, especially from anonymous posters whom I believe do not deserve attention and often endanger our first amendment right to freedom of expression.  I feel this post deserves a response, and the answer will surely surprise (and disappoint) Mr. Morgan's detractors:

First, the AAFD's persona is to identify franchisor's who are embracing our standards and not to police wrongdoers.  Except when supporting one of our chapters, we do not serve as an attack dog for violators because our goal is to entice franchisors to embrace our standards in their contracts.

That said, the AAFD did support a Slender Lady Franchisees Chapter, made up exclusively of scores of failed franchises.  We helped our members establish a legal fund and retain common legal counsel, and we were instrumental in getting Slender Lady barred from selling franchises in California.  With our help, our members tried to promote the sale of the chain which might provide funding to settle member claims.  In fact, this is what ultimately happened, and most of our members received acceptable (although not ideal) settlements.

It was during the Slender Lady fiasco that we first encountered Robert (Morg) Morgan, who had sold many of the Slender Lady franchises.  Mr. Morgan himself was battling Slender Lady management, and he provided substantial support to our chapter members to address their grievances--both with financial, emotional and evidentiary support! 

When the Java Jo'z problems first surfaced, we visited with about 20 licensees to help address their common problems and only one of whom saw the benefit of combining their resources to prosecute their claims.  It was two months later that Mr. Morgan (whom I had never met or talked to personally at that time) contacted the AAFD to help address and solve the Java Jo'z mess.  Consistent with our advice, Morgan (Medina Management)and Cuppy's (through its President, Doug Hibbing) adopted a plan to resolve the Java Jo'z licensees issues, and Cuppy's agreed to modify its own franchise agreement to meet AAFD Standards.  (It should be noted that we had advised the Java Jo'z licensees NOT to accept the Cuppy's original conversion offer, which did not meet the AAFD Standards).

It should also be noted that Mr. Morgan has fully embraced the AAFD Standards, including a commitment to a collaborative franchise culture, a negotiated agreement, and a commitment for the AAFD to form and manage an independent franchisee association with a promise to subsidize the dues paid by the franchisee members.

As an aside, the AAFD is still investigating and evaluating the ALLEGATIONS aired on BMM, and we will soon report our initial findings.  However, thus far I have personally not seen evidence that Cuppy's (or its affiliate, Elite Construction) has breached its agreements to justify the AAFD withdrawing or suspending Cuppy's Accreditation by the AAFD. 

The Elite contract promises a refund if a prospect is turned down for financing.  Elite and Cuppy's have both acknowledged that refunds are due.  The argument is over acceptable terms for the refunds--the contract does not specify such terms.  The AAFD has offered to mediate these disputes, and Cuppy's has agreed.  None of the complainants have replied yet to our offer.    (Parenthetically, we have also offered mediation to the Wallaces, who have a very different dispute, and they and Cuppy's have indicated their willingness to mediate through the AAFD).

Finally, we see no value in helping to put Cuppy's out of business.  There are almost 300 Cuppy's franchisees open or in the process of getting open, and 125 employees whose livelihoods depend on Cuppy's and its affiliates recovering from its nightmare.  If the company is destroyed, the 12 complainants chances of recovery are substantially diminished, and many others would be destroyed as well.

The system of justice in the United States holds dear the promise of a presumption of innocence until proven guilty, the right to face one's accusers (not anonymous bloggers), and the right to due process of law before being subjected to punishment.  Vigilante and lynch mob justice all to often results in egregious injustice.

I fully recognize that the AAFD's credibility and relevance will be affected by our actions.  If the AAFD is too succeed in its mission, it must earn and keep the confidence of both franchisors and franchisees.  Standing by our own standards and legal principles is the only path that I will support.

Bob PurvinChairmanAmerican Association of Franchisees and Franchise Dealers

Re: Upside of Confidentiality

I have no problem with this, as long as they abide by the contract as well after the contract has been signed.  With that being said, a fair settlement should be signed with an appropriate interest rate for these people.  Maybe an acceleration clause based on the company's financial status (which they would have verified by an independent auditor (assigned by the AAFD or an unaffiliated party assigned by that party but paid by Medina, within 90 days of year end) that could get these people paid back earlier.  Personal or affiliate guarantees should also be included, so that there isn't another transfer of assets.

Now, if they go into default on the agreement (miss payment by x days), then the confidentiality agreement is void.  These people need to be compensated fairly for the breach of contract that Elite/Cuppy's/Medina have inflicted on them.  

Again, there is a simple solution that I've suggested calling for Hibbing/Morgan/Elite Pres. to loan to money to pay these people off and get them off of their backs.  Then I see a 'Full' confidentiality agreement fine, with the exception of questions arisen by any investigation brought about by someone.  

 

Is this a joke?

'He may have been paid by Elite, Medina or Java Jos, but those are entirely different cos.'

Let's see Elite is owned by Medina, and Java Jo'z assets were bought by Medina (Morg Morgan).  Doug Hibbing was CFO of Snowden Holdings, which I imagine owned Java Jo'z.  These are all of the same people.

The person who wrote this 'Do you work for Cuppy's?'

If he's getting paid by any of these entities he's not impartial.  That's why the question is being asked, and you aren't the appropriate person to answer this questions.

And if this a Dale supporter only and this is all pro bono, how do you feel if you find out that Cuppy's/Elite/Medina broke franchising regulations?  I'm sure that'd be a good reference if you kept them as a client. 

Just open you eyes

Zee's using their own money sometimes working 80 hours a week to run the zor's business. Not making a pay check, no benefits. Not making money to buy the basics for living. Loosing everything they have. Yes I believe it worst than slavery because at least the masters fed the slaves and took care of them. Nothing is new under the sun. It just goes on and on.

Good zors would never do this. They would want their zees to be successful. And not use the first generation of zees for their capital and labor. You can't see that?