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Franchise Horror Stories

When one purchases a franchise it is because they want to be business owners and taught by professional business owners (franchisor) who have proven business models that they follow step-by-step. 

Franchisors interview potential franchisee's period.  They know whether that person has experience or not and/or can follow their business model.  The purpose again is to "learn how-to".

Alot goes on behind closed doors after you're into a franchise.  Often too late to get out because of the capital invested.  That is when you find out whether there is a proven business model in place in all areas, especially for marketing, and whether the projected gross revenue is based on actuals or some other calculations.  You also find out if you raise too many questions you are treated like nothing by the franchisor for raising those questions and that you are always to blame for your business not working. 

So to those who again blame the franchisee for their business failure - not every case is based on the franchisee's failure.  Once you become disappointed in your franchisor it is very hard to continue the relationship in a productive manner on either side.  If franchisee's were well versed on starting and operating their own businesses they wouldn't need a franchisor, especially one that is not well known like McDonalds, Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken, etc.

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Paul Steinberg's picture

Post-termination royalties

Try reading Bruce Schaeffer's book, which discusses the topic, and/or contact him and see if he can refer you to proper counsel. Remember that litigation is probably going to be in the zor's hometown, but look at your franchise agreement.

123 fit closes more clubs

More on this loser. Brooksy Smith, president/owner of 123 fit along with Rick Schaden, has CLOSED his 2nd 123 fit club in Texas. He did it very quietly. Now hows that for franchise support. Even the owner of 123 fit CANT open a club and keep it running. So much for his "proven system"

DONT BUY 123 FIT or anything that has Brooksy SMith or Rick Schaden involved. They are CROOKS!!!

I'd sell my computer and get a proper bed

can't sleep on a keyboard.

Barbara Jorgensen's picture

Yes we were

taken advatange of. This is an American Tragedy.

Money Mailer Franshisee problems

Please provide additional info about the Money Mailer problems

Is this a bad franchise to own?

Money Mailer Questions

I was contemplating purchasing an existing Money Mailer franchise.

It this a very risky proposition.

I have been having trouble finding reliable information about Money Mailer franchises.

So its okay for you to violate the terms of your agreement?

I hope they do sue you, win and get paid.

FuwaFuwaUsagi's picture

 Revenge is buying a

Revenge is buying a person’s mortgage, allowing them a no-cost refinance on better interest rate terms, having them sign a new contract which slightly alters the foreclosure terms, insisting they have a lawyer review their mortgage, and then patiently waiting.  Once you end up with their house, and see the tears running down their wife’s face, and see their children put out with them on the street you explain to the jerk-off what his transgerression was in the sole presence of his wife(leave the kids out of it)… 

Or you give him his come-uppance in the parking lot at night… 

The above is revenge, the rest of what you people talk about is therapy.


What is best in life?  To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women! ...Conan the Barbarian

I am sorry

My name is Roberta and I am one of the first 123 fit owners in San Diego.." Scripts Ranch to be exact"...
I was partners with the one and only Ray Wilson...24 hour fitness...Brooksy Smith "co-founder of 123fit"is one of the nicest people you will ever meet...
You are right about watching your market and money...My club closed after my relationship with Rays nephew ended...
The circit is fantastic and I miss it VERY much...

If I had a chance to do it all again I still would "without the famly drama"...Do not look back at this as if you failed ...I learned alot and helped many troubled people that suffered from the vices of being out of shape and or over weight...I have many fond memories of it all and I hope you focus of the good of 123 fit and not just the bad...
Someday I know the dream of success for 123fit will be a strong name in every house from the west coast to the east coast...

Happy holidays my friend..

Be well always
Roberta Burger

I dont buy your crap

Sorry I cant buy your crap.123fit is garbage cicuit or business model or whatever may.....Period


Roberta -

How funny to find you on this website spouting about what a hero Brooksy Smith is. I was one of the first people to invest in the franchise due to the lies you used to "sell" the business. Yes, I remember the pictures you brought out about your "before self" compared to your "after self" and I am happy that you were able to lose weight and become healthy but that gave you no justification for doing what you did in having a hand in ruining so many people's lives. You lied to my face about the # of members you had, the cost it took you to maintain, and actually it probably didn't COST you anything because you were dating Ray Wilson's nephew at the time - although we only found that out later. Your club closed because just like the other clubs linked with crooks the likes of Ray Wilson, Joe, Ochoa, Brooksy Smith and Rick Schaden, there was no way to keep them open.It didn't matter if we worked 70 hours a week in our clubs, marketing our clubs, attending Chamber functions, whatever we could do because our lives were on the line. None of it mattered. We were just swindled - like all of the franchisees who have come into contact with this group. Many have taken their own lives - one man walked into a Quiznos that he had owned and blew his brains out. So, HOW DARE YOU pat Brooksy Smith on the back. You have a lot of nerve lady. You just stay in your little Idaho town and maintain your healthy lifestyle while the rest of grapple with court fees and arbitration and bankruptcy.

Roberta Burger

You a so full of it Roberta. You advertised for 123 fit and helped them sell based on lies about your club.

How can you even claim to have been a 123 fit when you did not even have the complete "exclusive" simbio workout at your club.

You also claimed to have about 1000 members! At least that is what you told us first waive of franchisees that had bought. You lied! How could you go from having that many members to a club that closed by early 2007. Did you lose so many members and that made you close so quickly? No you were already a losing club and said anything to get other people to buy a franchise. Because you thought the same as everyone else, the more clubs sold, the chances of finally being successful were better. Wrong.

Brooksy is a lying, cheating, and I do mean cheating on his wife, PIG. It is eventually going to get him in the end.

Lets see, most of Colorado had closed now. Now they are down to 21 clubs open and over 100 that are closed and WILL NEVER OPEN. Counting the days they will close for GOOD and not harm anyone else financially.

Barbara Jorgensen's picture

Amen, STOP hurting people

I cannot understand how they can sleep at night.  Down to 21 clubs.  That should be enough warning for people to stay away from 123 Fit. 
After all they are Quiznos people.  A fitness business ran by people who sell subs.  Even Quiznos is having their problems with many unhappy zees.  Anyone interested in 123 Fit after hearing of all the problems with Quiznos has to have serious problems in the head.  It only took reading all the horror stories here on BMM to raise a giant red flag.  Unfortunately it was too late for us but please people read and stop.  Get out as soon as possible.  Have enough money for your family to reorganize.  Do not trust your area directors or anyone associated with this franchise.   

Barbara Jorgensen's picture

At what cost?

Many people's lives have been destroyed. They did not battle test the system on their buck. Have you not read that Brooksey's clubs all went out of business? You are either a shill for 123 Fit or a personel friend of the CEO. Would you like to talk to the over 40 couples whose lives have been destroyed because they used us to battle test their system. The circuit is good but there are many good workouts out there.
I too have many fond memories of members in my club. You cannot convince me Brooksey is a real nice person. Nice people do not go around and hurt people. You can't be real.

MONEY MAILER failed to deliver the PROMISE

I would not purchase a Money Mailer Franchise....I would of course do my own research first, but I can tell you that the things that the Franchisor tells you prior to buying is not the case one they get your money....
The price at which they elude you can sell the envelope advertisements for is false in many cities. The support they offer is far below par. The Field support offered was the same person that was in the same training clas as I was in.....
Be vary careful in purchasing a MONEY MAILER faranchise.....

Re: MONEY MAILER failed to deliver the PROMISE

You are obviously an idiot and a moron. Seek help.

I'm thinking of buying into Money Mailer Please help

Please help me I have someone who wants to sell me this franchise in NJ. He has showed me that over the past 4 years he has a proffit of over 65k per year. he wants me to buy it because he is purchasing a grocery store and wont have time to give to his exsisting clients. Please help me if you can and tell me what went wrong.I don't want to make a mistake. Pat

Thinking of buying a Money Mailer

There is only one person to speak to if you are looking at the coupon mailer industry and that is Jim Coen. He has forgotten more about this market than you will ever learn and he is a frequent poster on BMM. He spent many years with SuperCoups and knows the industry inside out, he is also one of the franchise expert contributors on this site and is currently president of the Dunkin Donuts franchisee association

Thanks Austrailia ---In the Global economy, franchise slaves

Thanks Australia! It may be that in the global economy, franchise slaves and indenturing will be the norm.
I know our big American franchisors are spreading out all over the world and this ugly practice will spread, as well. Hasn't Quiznos also run into trouble in Australia and Canada.
Mayve, if people like us can talk on a free and uncensored Internet site like Blue Mau Mau, we can spread the word and stop the bastards in government who cooperate with the private interests from victimizing the public and the taxpayers to maximize the profits of big corporations.
You know that the Minister of Industry in the UK was too smart to join ranks with the ZORS and present a picture of government regulation of franchising to the citizens of the UK that would lull them into a false sense of security.
You know that media is also controlled by big money and big corporations and that they won't reveal any of this to the general public. Big money associates with other big money and our elected officials associate with the big money and the dirty secrets of franchising are hidden from the public.

Paul Steinberg's picture

Food franchise data / Australia

Buying a new concept is risky, though there can be advantages to being one of the early franchisees.

If you are willing to wait, there are trade publications which publish sales data on food franchisors. Looking at same-store saled data, there is not good news for the specialty ice cream franchisees, and now I notice that they are now offering pre-packs. Historically, that is not a positive sign for franchisees-- think Carvel, Baskin Robbins, Haagen Dazs.

The Baskin Robbins situation may turn out more upbeat for the franchisees who can convert to the multi-concept sites to capture more of the daypart and more cold weather traffic.

On Australia, there was a grant proposal submitted by Professor Buchan at Univ of NSW to study the impact of franchisor failure on franchisees. Her proposal did not make the final cut, but my understanding is that she continues to work on research into the issue, with a focus on Australia and New Zealand. An interesting side note is the sub-rosa effort by US franchisors and a certain major Washington-based franchisor trade lobby to undermine Minister Fran Bailey's efforts.

no it's your tragedy

franchising is the American success story!

franpro's picture

123 Quizno's


About 1.5 years ago, I was approached right here in Cleveland by a 123 Fit dude. When he told me that the folks "behind" Quizno's started this one, I got frightened...very frightened.


Barbara Jorgensen's picture

And many

Thousands of stories of burned zees.

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