Arbitration not the answer for justice

I am writing to those zees who bought a franchise and were taken.  Many times fighters want to seek justice after buying into a bad franchise deal.  I personally spent 3,000 hours, 16 months of research to fight for justice.  Only to learn that there is a reason there is a binding arbitration clause in a franchise disclosure document. 

I live in the state of Washington that has FIPA.  (Franchise Investment Protection Act.)  I strongly believed because we had clear protection we had a good chance in arbitration.  I was wrong.

You are totally screwed in arbitration.  No matter what good laws your state has.  Deborah of the Coffee Beanery had good franchise protection laws in her state of Maryland.  Look what happened to them.

I decided not to go the distance with arbitration because I had contacted several zees who got more hurt in arbitration.  I had to decide to go the distance or take the lost of over $4,000 for arbitration.  Arbitration is no bargain.  It is expensive and why do you suppose a binding arbitration clause is in a franchise agreement?  It is because there is already a relationship with the zor and the American Arbitration Association.  A wise lawyer told me you are screwed in arbitration.  After discussing other people's experiences in arbitration I have to agree.

Many people who have decided to go to arbitration are now dealing with collection agencies.  Naimark who is the head of the American Arbitration Association testified before Congress that arbitration was affordable.  It is not affordable.  I dismissed my case because they asked for thousands of dollars to go the distance.  Now my claim is in collections and I am not able to pay them the money at this time.  I do plan to pay them as soon as the economy gets better.  In the mean time they are threating me with a lawsuit.

People do not even consider arbitration.  It will cause you more grief and sorrow.  I wanted to believe in our system.  Do not even think of going that route.  As soon as I am able to I will pay what I owe.  Don't make another mistake and think arbitration is the answer.  It is not. 

If there is a "Binding Arbitration Clause," in any contract be leary of signing on the dotted line. 

oh jeez

Give it a rest BJ.  You are NOT helping anyone, even though it gives you a purpose in life (in your own mind) to think you are doing everything for others.  You made a lousy deal and then started legal action over it but pulled out yada yada. You are NOT helping your image here.  Just more of the same, Hurt Zee, Hurt Zee wah wah wah.

Please get a life and move on.  How many threads have you started or added your continuing Hurt Zee lament to?  it has become your whole identity.  C'mon BJ, I have been 'taking it easy' on you as have many others here, but really too much is too much.

It took you 16 mos. and thousands of hours ofmresearch to figure out that your contract required binding arbitration?  You continue to impress us with how naive you were and likely still are, suggeting that this is a big part of the reason for your getting into a poor deal and failing at business.

Sorry honey, but the same old song is getting to be much too much..

on December 1st, 2009

Tell that to the thousands all over the world

My story is no different than many zees around the world.  This is not about me.  It is about those who have been hurt by the system.  I am sure you are smart enough to know this. 

on December 1st, 2009

No, it's ALL about you

You just like the attention.  You have an unfulfilled need to be heard and receive external validation.  It helps rationalize you self-image of the morally superior martyr if you SAY it is for others and none for yourself.

I would't have any problem with you if you merely said "hey I screwed up badly and signed a poor deal with a crappy franchise, don't do what I did".  Just that the constant boo hoo about "I was HURT", and "FAMILIES were hurt", it's gotten to  be a litle much.

Less about others and hiding behind others as either your motivation or your excuse for what you did, please.  YOU decided to abandon your litigation so say that, not hide behind that others said you should.  Etc. etc.

There are thousands of non-Zee businesses that have also failed, that is the nature of small buysiness.  Franchises do NOT have a lower failure rate than independant businesses, perhaps because they attract more people who are not really qualified to be in whatever business it is. They would never dare start an independant business but they are willing to buy a franchised business, and the result is still the same.

There are also thousands of people who run successful franchised businesses, just that they have no need to post here.  I just went to a Christmas party for dozens of fellow Zees, put on by some of our primary vendors in conjunction with our Zee co-op.  A few Zees are doing really, really well.  A couple are in distress and have gripes.  And most of os run our business and make our livings and would like to do better but aren't doing badly either.  That's just life.

You publicize the FAILURE end of the spectrum which does indeed exist.  And I'm now here to counterbalance you that the other side also exists.

Merry Christmas.

on December 11th, 2009

I am happy to hear there are successful zees

I have said it before that I know a few.  The key is finding a zor that will not gouge and are not a rogue zor.  Unfortunately this is the reality in the world at large.  You have even admitted there are scammers.  People need to be vigilant in everything you do.  I do believe we were purposely lead to failure.  If you think for a second we wanted to fail, you are wrong.  No one wants to loose their life work.  If you haven't read that 123 Fit failed period.  They failed to turn and churn because the good people who wrote their stories about Quiznos screwing thousands.  If we were the only one that got hurt than you have a logical argument.  Sorry Granville your stance doesn't hold water because each franchise is different.  Quiznos is bad. Rick Schaden is bad. 

on December 12th, 2009

still all about you

"I do believe we were purposely lead to failure."

No BJ, you were not that important,  there are and have been a number of Schaden "concepts" that appear to have been thrown at the wall to see if they will stick.  "Concepts" designed to be franchised.  Someone sets up a system that is designed to enrich them isn't necessarily the same as one actually intended to cause others to fail.  (After all, isn't EVERY business intended to make money for the Owner?)

How did it help 123 Fitness to have Zees fail?  It didn't, 123 wasn't succcesful as a chain either, because of all the failures.  Just that if a Zor makes more money from selling units than from royalties from existing units, well where do you think their incentive is?  I am no fan of Schaden but why would you sign on with a Schaden 'concept'?  If you had suceeded, in addition to your initial fee, you would have paid them royalties for years.  That would have been even better for them.  Not like they had a desire for you to fail as much as they don't much care if you did.

You approach of fixating on villains is reactive. How many Zees need to fail before you figure out their Zor is bad?  Have better knowledge going in, INDEPENDANTLY VERIFY verbal representations before you rely on them, and you are much less likely to become a Hurt Zee in the first place.

My main gripe with you is how you always hide behind OTHERS.  You did what others told you (and got screwed) but because it was due to others you have no fault.  You claim to do everything for others so therefore cannot be challenged. You set up straw men to knock down, if anyone questions you, you claim they are saying there are no such thing as scams.

Of course there are scams but there woulnd't be scams unless there were a ready supply of 'marks' to fall for them.  And I wouldn't say 123 was a "scam".  Bernie Madoff ran a real scam, elaborate fictitious scheme with fake account statements and no actual investment accounts.  123 really had gyms and Q really does have restaurants, and if a Zee does suceed (despite the system) they paid royalties.  Just that these were largely crappy systems, particularly Q where the flaws have been better publciized.

Somebody doesn't agree with you, you say they are a shill or a Zor.  No, maybe they just don't agree with you.  What systems did these people you accused of being shill Zors try to sell?  NONE.  They did not try to sell ANY units.  Just tried to tell you that it ISN'T JUST LUCK and its not just the Zor.  It seems to be a revelation for you that there is crappy stuff for sale.  Nope, nothing new. DON'T BUY CRAP.

Oh and buy the way, arbitration is a method of dispute resolution. You signed up for it (it was in your contract) and you thought it was about justice?  Where did it say that? Oh yeah and what's "justice"?  Usualy it means a different result than what the person got.  You could also go to trial and lose, but because it didn't go to trial, you blame the arbitration.

on December 14th, 2009

You know not what you write about

I still don't believe you are a zee.  I guess you do not know all the horror stories about what people go through or care.  There is too much evidence out there that arbitration is NOT a fair playing field for those who were told a bunch of lies.  I forgot unless it is written on the contract those rogue zors can misrepresent to their hearts delight.  You believe it is always the zee's fault.  Sorry I will never believe that misrepresentation in advertising and orally implied is right. 

on December 15th, 2009

Are you for real?

I'm also a franchisee that had a terrible experience and lost half of my life savings. But, despite the unethical nature of my franchisor, the fault ultimately lies with me in entering the franchise agreement. It was a one sided deal, like practically all FAs are, and i signed it. Shame on me.

Your emotionally drenched, grammatically incorrect rantings only give franchisees a bad name. We franchisees with bad experiences are not all 'tards but one could come to that conclusion if one read your posts.

Give it a rest.

Posted by Guest on December 15th, 2009

American Arbitration is trying to change things

They really need to as many on BMM know.  Arbitration needs to be a fair playing field for the common layman. 

My franchise experience has ended.  The American Arbitration has forgiven our debt.  I am grateful.  I was told they are trying to change things.  If this is the case it will be good for the thousands who have been screwed going the franchise route.

on December 12th, 2009