At Jim’s ‘Almost Everything In Service Franchising’

Editor's note: This news clipping has turned into a long public discussion on Jim's franchising companies of Australia. As such, it has been converted into a public discussion forum, which are long-term discussions on big issues or franchise brands. - Mr. Blue MauMau

A year ago Jim’s franchising apparently consisted of 2,700 franchises in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Britain, with a turnover of $200 million. In just one year Jim Penman now reports 2950 franchises with an approximate turnover of $250 million.

Jim says his turnover is ‘a very small percentage but obviously it's a very large pie.’

Jim Penman, 57, began his original mowing operation in 1982 with a local leaflet drop. Times have changed and while Jim’s franchising has a remarkably small advertising budget with ‘about 29’ different franchise products under the Jim’s brand they are all out there on the road creating a huge public presence.

Jim’s franchising is said to involve a very small investment for franchisees compared to other brands of similar public profile. The franchisee complaints that have been reported have contained allegations that the investment level could not justify the cost of pursuing the franchisor in relation to profitability and support grievances.

Been there, done it.....and really regret it

Sorry... "Jim's" and Jim Penman is a real sore spot for me.

I would certainly classify myself as an extremely disgruntled ex franchisee, having experienced the 'dark side' of both "Jim's" and Jim Penman himself, and I can assure you it is not a pleasant experience.

Ray hits the nail on the head, in that the lower levels of investment required makes it very difficult to justify legally pursuing alleged or even admitted breaches of law, and leaves you predictably vulnerable to stalling tactics that are hiding just under the surface, to really take a financial toll.

From all the material I have read on "Jim's" before and after leaving, I would love to see more information and statistics on the franchisees that have left, given that so much is written on how many join?

As stated before, my experience was a true nightmare, but I am sure I am not alone!! 

Posted by Scorned Franchisee on August 11th, 2009

JIM PENMAN & THE UK- HOT NEWS

You will all be very interested to learn that Penman is now in litigation with the UK Divisional Franchisor .

He has illegally terminated ( last week) their contract, after 4 years of reasonable progress under difficult market conditions, and absolutely no support from Penman himself. The Franchisor's first telephone call from Penman in 4 years was to terminate the contract! 

He may have bullied some of you guys but this time the litigation will be heard in the UK and the claim against him is substantial, and includes strong evidence of conspiracy and dishonesty - and he hates flying.

I also have very strong evidence of Penman's dark side. Are there any suitable media sources in Australia who would be interested having sight of foul and abusive emails for instance?

Posted by Guest on August 19th, 2009

HERE'S TO HOPING JIM PENMAN GETS WHAT HE DESERVES

Ahhhh....the truth is out there!!!

Whilst I wish the franchisor all the success in the world taking on Jim, I suspect that "He has illegally terminated" is yet to be determined?       Jim will undoubtedly have a very colourful defence/counter claim, but I would suggest at this point that it should read that it is alleged that the franchisor has been illegally terminated

You can only hide behid the cost of the legal system and bold declarations of 'deep pockets' for so long, but I suppose that is what the e-mails you mention are about?          

Quite entertaining really, if only they weren't surrounding such a serious matter!       He has quite a temper doesn't he? 

Inviting litigation as an agressive defence has to backfire at some point, but unfortuately,  when it goes wrong it can hurt a lot of people.

Posted by Guest on August 19th, 2009

Litigation

Posted by Jim Penman on September 3rd, 2009

I will get back to you – it’s

I will get back to you – it’s just that I am flat out working on an urgent matter.

But please don’t tell me you take no responsibility for selection of master franchisees or franchisees or your approach to resolving problems that evolove from that and financial models.  They wear the Jim Penman brand.  You have at least two problems and one is THIS

Jim; If I were to review your business structure(s) would you want me to look from the top down or the bottom up? If your 'bottom' is your master franchisees then we should start at the top.  Because your bottom ain't mine. Do wou want to meet? No lawyers etc. 

Paul; ozfranchising@hotmail.com - Do you have a link to your action in the UK?

Posted by Ray Borradale on September 3rd, 2009

I clicked my heels and

The way I see it is we are basically dealing with four most probable groups of franchise networks.  I really cannot get over anyone suggesting the level of transparency of a franchise investment is anything but ranging from blurred to bullsiht.

If we consider the following 4 groups:

  • No due diligence and get scammed – morons.
  • Think they perform effective due diligence and cannot interpret a bloody thing – and get unlucky.
  • Think they perform effective due diligence and cannot interpret a bloody thing – but get lucky.
  • Those that perform effective due diligence or had someone that can and made sure they got into something that was not a scam – smart.

The problem is possibly that the population of franchising is in that order and something to the effect of 40% - 40% - 7% -3%.  Now those figures might be slightly out of whack but for the purposes of this exercise let’s look to Australia. We have the Melbourne Cup coming up.

A franchise investor would possibly be better off selling the family home and taking maybe a 100 to 1 long shot.  Or would it should be a 5 to 1 gamble?  Or maybe a 20 to 1 long shot? Or I could be totally wrong ….. and it should be a 40 or 50 to 1 long shot?. Who the hell knows how bad it is but I would suggest that there are many more bad investments than good and most people capable of scratching their ass know it..

But the biggest problem is that the 40 percenters and the 7% all think they are in the 3%.  And it happens something like that …

Now such creative statements and figures may be contradicted by both sides of the franchising fence but as long as I don’t upset anyone it will be OK.

But I am confused... I just don’t know why I posted this here?

Jim Penman: I read the attachments to your email.  Do you want to read what others have sent? Just refer to my previous question on whether you take reponsibility when your name is the brand?

I just made a call to an expert!!; Dandaad, according to a local is the best roughie that might not even get a chance to run and at it’s whopping 40/1 a month before he knows the condition of the track, whether the jockey is any good and whether it is even possibly fit for 2 miles. Ain't he amazing ...

Australia’s premier staying race takes a little more than 3 minutes.  In franchising we would call that a reasonable amount of time to allocate to due diligence. I’m thinking not of 3% but of the best case 97%? transparency that might still just be enough to justify the bet.

Or better still; don't take the gamble!  Either make doubly bloody sure you are on a winner investment or just keep your life moving forward with some security outside of a fixed term contract that controls everything.

Posted by Ray Borradale on September 4th, 2009

Jim – Paul

Jim, I am not going to waste my money on checking out a UK list you have sent me. I’ve already given my opinion on your responsibility to your brand.

I must admit that I am getting annoyed that you seem to be attempting to focus all this on the UK mess to distract from the brand damage here.

The majority of complaints that come to me cover 3 common threads. 1) Financial models that don’t work, 2) they don’t get anything of value from the brand and 3), you frighten the crap out of them with the promised weight of your financial power to screw them over if they even think about taking you on.

2,950 franchisees with low entry $ cannot individually justify taking you on and you know it and you apparently tell them you will drag them into debt if they try. They would be nuts if they took you on and they suggest the Jim’s brand(s) rely on that not uncommon franchisor strategy that in turn generates the consequential turnover of your low entry franchises.

I very much suspect you started out with reasonable intentions and then when you expanded into other divisions I suspect you found out that franchisees are hard work. Very hard work! So you shipped them out to who ever had enough bucks. You thought you passed the buck.

If you want to stop being so defensive and seriously look at your situation you would realise there are problems heading your way. Can you fix the problems? Big network/big job! But this is franchising so you can get away with the failure rates a little longer before your brand reputation shuts down. Or you can review from the basics now and make some hard decisions.

When you tell me you have master franchisees making $millions I have to wonder given what I have already received whether we are seeing a few sub-franchisors (for that is what they are) complicit in what may be tantamount to pyramid selling? It appears some don’t get anything much for their money.

Suggestion: you average about 120 zees per ‘brand’. But hang on; most are in mowing and that is the business you know and they are not experiencing the ranging level of conflict/failure as some of the others. So go to your problem divisions [brands] and direct the SubFs to gather the financial performance data for each of these Penman brands.

The average number of franchisees for the troubled brands is far, far less than 120. I suggest you then and for each of the troubled divisions exclude the top and the bottom 10% of that data and then work out from that financial model why they are not working. If you cannot make them work under the current structure then either change the structure or shut them down. Perhaps you should consider the ‘Penman’ brand as worthy protecting the ‘Jims’ brand from this new age of internet transparency.

Jim you talk about you taking a very small piece of a very large pie but what does that have to do with whether your divisional brands are worthwhile investments? You need to get off your ass and investigate whether it is just the model or whether your selection processes are also going to keep on screwing everyone and eventually you; at least to some degree.

I love a really great franchising strategy when it is not tainted. You know a hell of a lot of people have been badly burnt or bruised and this didn’t start yesterday. What are you really doing about it Jim? Saying you feel real bad is not winning you any supporters.

If you are still seriously prepared to meet; I cannot. Not until probably Thursday or Friday. I love Gambaro’s and no; you will have to pay for your own. You have my email address. If we do meet you will need to accept that I am awfully bloody shy in person.

Posted by Ray Borradale on September 4th, 2009

I have been following this thread with interest

but have become concerned after reading some of Jim's more recent posts that some of the 'expansion' brand models are not fully verified before they are handed over to a sub-franchisor and sold to franchisees.

This appears to be consistent with the levels of dispute currently attending some of the 'Jim's' brands, although maybe it is completely coincidental.

If the sub-franchisors are not doing their job properly - and if it is taking head office many months to find out - then that is an indictment against the management systems of head office.  I do not accept the comment that it can be difficult to get a non-performing sub-franchisor out of the picture.  A process is to be followed for sure, but it should not take months or years. 

Waiting for franchisees to complain before acting is management by crisis and I would not recommend any client of mine be involved in such a franchise system if that information was known during the due diligence phase (Jim, you may like to take that as a constructive criticism).

on September 4th, 2009

Simon; how many

How many franchise systems do you know of that have a ready to go 'Deed of Surrender of Franchise Agreement' in place. And presumably because they are used with regularity.

Obviously I cannot verify the authenticity of much of the dialogue between the franchisor and his franchisees, neither written nor verbal, but I would ask that if this following extract from just one sent to me were to be accurate would this management style and the knowledge that Jim is an extremely wealthy entrepreneur have anything to do with minimal Court challenge?

You are a pathetic, snivelling, miserable idiot. You stuffed up the business so badly that everyone hates you, yet what you seem to believe is that you've done everything right and some vast conspiracy is on foot to do you down. Let me tell you something, you obnoxious cretin. I was willing once to give you the benefit of the doubt and try and get you to succeed or, failing that, at least to get your money out. But now I hate your guts and I'm going to do everything possible to destroy you. I'll bankrupt you, wipe you from the map. Not only will you never have any involvement with Jim's Group, but I'll do my best to make sure that no reputable business will look at you without holding their nose.

Simon; I take it the guy with the camera wanted a photo of his fish ...

Posted by Ray Borradale on September 5th, 2009

Letter

Posted by Jim Penman on September 5th, 2009

Jim 2003

Actually Jim; you keep referring back to the UK mess and I’m referring you back to Australian problems. I haven’t struck a Deed of Surrender and I have read a hell of a lot of documents from a hell of a lot of disasters and not one has been included. Is that a good or bad sign? I do realise that the FCA legal associates advocate them.

A Deed of Release and Termination or Deed of Surrender must be entered into with the franchisor. In most cases franchisors require this document to be signed to release the franchisor from any claims which may be made against the franchisor whilst the franchisee was conducting the franchise business. It is suggested that legal advice is obtained in respect to such a document.

But I’ve just never seen an established one in use.

Jim 2003

I thought about this overnight, and it troubled me. The buyer had paid, in effect, for a certain level of income. I was not providing it. Whichever way you looked at it, this was not a ‘fair go’. So I phoned the guy back and told him all my clients had a six weeks’ guarantee, unless the cancellation was in some way his fault. And this applied also to replacement clients.

This is from the back cover of Jim Penman’s 2003 best seller.

In 1998 Jim wrote a book called ‘Surprised by Success’, giving an unusually frank and personal account of the inner workings of his business. Five years and three editions later, a lot has changed. The group has steadily grown to more than 2200 Franchisees.

Equally important has been the rise of the non-mowing divisions. Not only fencing, cleaning, antennas, paving, dog wash and the rest, but such as the Beach House Health Clubs with a quite different identity.

There have been major changes in internal structures and the role of Franchisors. And also moves into areas as diverse as Conference Centres, software development, and language instruction. In a field littered with business failures, Jim’s is one group that seems to have the magic formula.

Get it free HERE.

While disclosure purports to provide a franchisee with the necessary information about the nature of the investment and business commitment, however, all the information that is most needed is not always provided. Table 6.1 summarizes the disclosure requirements of the Code with comments on the relationship of the disclosure requirements to the contract and the utility of these provisions. page 304

For Australian investors, in reading table 6.1 they should also consider changes to the Disclosure provisions since and they are available at the ACCC web site.

Jim’s Group Values

Our first priority is to service Franchisees

We are also passionate about customer service

We work constantly to improve our service and lower our costs

We put performance before display

We sign only Franchisees and Franchisors we are convinced will succeed

We put the long-term welfare of the group before short-term profit

We treat staff well but require them to perform superbly

As far as practical, we treat people as equals.

Somewhere in the book it refers to Jim’s fear of becoming ‘soft or complacent’. So what went wrong? Why do your people contact me?

Posted by Ray Borradale on September 5th, 2009

By the way Jim

By the way Jim you really should do something with that national call service. That is a frustrating exercise and when I eventually spoke to someone they could only pass on my details and when I said I would prefer to give them to the franchisee we ran into a brick wall and I hung up. Try it!

But then I found the number for another Jim’s franchisee nearby through Telstra. As it turned out he wasn’t a franchisee any longer but was kind enough to give me the number I was wanting along with some wonderful anecdotes of his time with, and departure from, Jim’s.  Another silent BMM reader.

Posted by Ray Borradale on September 5th, 2009

Call Center

Posted by Jim Penman on September 6th, 2009

Fair Enuff

But I can tell you they should try the process themselves and make the call. I can see the saving in all divisions using one call centre but that was too long of a process for me.

I don't give out my full details while making an inquiry and I only give my mobile number .... I don't believe that is unusual?  I had hoped to be transferred but when that was not the way it happens I did specifically name the territory and I was prepared to give my mobile number.

I can see both sides; but in this instance I was a possible client and had I have been a legitimate potential new customer I would have called someone else.  It is a busy, busy world and I could have gotten an appointment at Wicham Tce in that time and with less hassle.

Posted by Ray Borradale on September 6th, 2009

Call Centre

Posted by Jim Penman on September 6th, 2009

What about your other franchisees?

What about your other franchisees Jim, the "forgotten ones" being regional and divisional franchisor's who you berate and punish daily, who you treat with utter contempt and disrespect on every issue and at every turn, who's service to them is deplorable, what about those franchisees Jim, are they worth a mention or has the cat rightly got your tounge?

Posted by Guest Jims Franchisor on October 8th, 2009

Could not agree more and have

Could not agree more and have good news for all, the truth about Jim web site is back in action with nearly 1000 hits on it, well done Mrs Jimbo in taking it to Penman as he deserves everything he gets!

http://www.jimpenmanthetruth2.com/

Posted by Guest Jims Franchisor on October 11th, 2009

Yep, the cats got his tounge

Yep, the cats got his tounge as not even he can defend his actions against the franchisors and divisionals!

Posted by Guest Jims Franchisor on October 15th, 2009

The majority

of the people the Jims system are franchisees. They are the ones on the ground doing the hard yards. The blokes that couldn't afford to become a franchisor. They have to do the work that ultimately makes the Jims name successful. In all the sabre rattling and bitching on these pages there seems to only be one person that cares enough about the franchisees and thats Jim. You other pricks haven't even mentioned them.
Jims is thriving in my area. The Franchisor is a good bloke and I know he's making money. The franchisees are all flat out and if they're not making money they should be. There's plenty of willing, successful people in the Jims system that can be called upon for help.

Methinks that the people throwing stones should get on the whipper snipper on a hot day and maybe hit a fresh one and cop it in the face. That'll bring you all back to earth. I can't believe you guys have got time for this crap. There's plenty of lawns to be mowed, plenty of money to be made, plenty of good times to be had.

Posted by Whatthe? on October 26th, 2009

From your comments its

From your comments its obvious that you're a mowing guy. One of Jims 'chosen ones' for 2 reasons .Summed up in 2 words 'Mowing Franchisee' one of the few divisions that don't have problems as the brand 'Jims'
is synonymous with mowing. However spare a thought for those who have brought into knew divisions unassociated with any advertising and exposure and are battling. Jim starts up knew divisions without thought as to wether they are able to survive. I think you'll find that most negative threads on this site are from the poor b's who became victims of Jim's failures . Incidently most new frachisors start out working as zees doing the hard yards as you put it and considering franchisees are given the tools to run their own businesses without the risk of having it all taken away from them I'd say you guys got the best end of the deal by a long shot,would'nt you?

Posted by Guest 4 on October 28th, 2009

MOWER ZEE NEEDS BETTER PERCEPTION!

The above is the truth of it, most franchisors work their arses off out on the tools and then have to work after hours lookin after their franchisees needs, yes they make extra for doin it but i know for a fact that if this above franchise owner stepped up to the plate (like i did) then he would see the real Jim and it aint pretty. Wake up for christ sake look around you properly. The franchisees are well looked after in Jims for the most part, it's the other franchisees as mentioned that are treated like shit, don't believe me still ,then become one and see for yourself, he HARD WAY!

Posted by Guest Jim on October 28th, 2009

Carpet cleaning zee

Jim looks after his zees by awarding a carpet cleaning job to the oposition for $70 odd dollars and even says that he gives work that his own zeez can do to outsiders when it comes to the national office.
He doesn't give them the chance to match all the other quotes he gets .
YEP JIM really helps and cares about his zees well fair and earnings,

Posted by Guest 6 on October 29th, 2009

Your point?

Posted by Jim Penman on September 6th, 2009

Jim; this had nothing to do with the UK

at the outset.  You are confused.  Paul found the BMM blog and I had never heard of Paul until then.

I don't research?  Wanna bet on that?  My 'home' pafe is AUSTLII.

You raise some realities in franchising performance that influence failure rates that I cannot dispute. But I am not convinced that the failure rate is acceptable or that the performance of Jim's structure is working effectively although it is convenient for you. 

You put your name on any concept and get yourself a sub-franchisor and if the franchise model doesn't work it's totally his fault. You have distanced yourself and attempted to throw all responsibility at the sub-franchisors.

You definatley don't react well to franchisees with complaints and I am not referring to the email you apparently sent Paul.  However; he was the only one that has given me such permission to post it here so I did as an insight into your understanding of your available weight to shut down franchisee complaints.

How did you go with the turnover numbers?

Posted by Ray Borradale on September 6th, 2009

Responsibility

Actually I do take responsibility and I definitely do NOT think our failure rate is acceptable. That's why I've taken a lot of steps recently to reduce it, such as.

Better induction training. For example, Computers and Cleaning have just put in place Division-specific induction, at my insistence.

Breaching of Franchisors who fail to make and record pro-active calls every month to Franchisees.

Termination of the absolute worst cases, such as Paul Carr.

My letter to Paul was in the context of several provocations, including his threat to break the legs of a Franchisee who complained about him. I've sent you the letters of three Franchisees who failed as a direct result of his neglect. No Franchisee ever has or could get me as angry as this.

Posted by Jim Penman on September 27th, 2009

UNPROFESSIONAL

Whatever way you look it Jim, your letter was completely unprofessional for someone of your supposed status, and can never be justified under any circumstances.

It does however give an insight into the real Jim!

Posted by Guest on October 3rd, 2009

Unproffessional is Jim!

Unproffessional is Jim!

Posted by Guest Jims Franchisor on October 8th, 2009

Responsibility

Jim- will you stop making libellous unsupported statements about me.
Save it until you are in the High Court when you can say what you like- but expect more back! You should have the legal claim papers by now, even though you told everyone that my lawyers woudn't let me get to this stage.
Wrong again- it's becoming a worrying habit isn't it?
Have a good read.
Interesting that I have made you so angry when the whole sorry and unnecessary situation was solely due to your conspiracy to terminate. The anger must come from being found out.
How angry will you be when you lose in Court for the 1st time?
You will need hundreds of happy pills.

Posted by PaulC on October 5th, 2009

WORST ZOR

YOU got it wrong again JIM you are the worst zor in the group.

Posted by Guest 6 on October 29th, 2009

All the above from my long

All the above from my long experience in Jims are a "pretense"

Posted by Guest on October 18th, 2009

Jim's memory

Posted by PaulC on September 7th, 2009

Anger

Posted by Jim Penman on September 10th, 2009

I have no idea wether there

I have no idea wether there is any justification for the way Jim slams Paul however from experience I'd say definately give Paul the benefit of the doubt as Jim is desperetly trying to score brownie points with the franchisees and we all know Jim has no problems with half truths and out and out lies.

Posted by Guest4 on November 5th, 2009

One has to love that Jim

One has to love that Jim refers to Divisional Franchisees and Regional Franchisees as Franchisors, when the fact is Jims is the Franchisor start and stop, as a Regional Franchisee I have never seen him as our supporter more of a "big stick" and ways to hit our back pocket and I have the misfortune to witness Jim attempting to coerce us RFs to vote out our DF time and time again he succeeded the last time and it was ugly that is why we wont support it now, Jims service to us is appalling that is why he puts up the sub-standard surveys and he refuses to have a survey done on himself or National office, he tries to include the DF in that survey to take the heat of him.
To burn and churn the RF or DF makes more sense and more money for Jim.
Since becoming a Regional I feel more vunerable and exposed than I did than a franchisee and my investment is much larger now.

Posted by Guest on September 20th, 2009

Professional Concuct

Posted by Guest on September 5th, 2009

Deed of Surrender of Franchise Agreement

Ray

Any agreement with this type of clause would have to shout out that the franchisor has no confidence in the system and that it will make no money. VIP did'nt have one and their option is to grind you down to bankruptcy or a financial impost after getting you into court if they can. As you know I have personal experience with that one. You have some vague references in the agreement that can give you some relief but you have to read closely. I am being purposely vague as I don't know if they read this site and give them any heads up. I have now doubt that since my experiences with them that they are have a look at how they can tighten up their agreement.

Regards

 

 

 

Posted by backspace on September 5th, 2009

VIP

Over the last 5 years I have only been contacted by 2 VIP franchisees and they were simply inquiries about a formal complaint process; dispute notice -> lawyer -> mediation -> barrister -> court -> gutter, process.  They both suggested there were network issues but I cannot remember what they were ... too many zees and zors under the bridge since then .....

Posted by Ray Borradale on September 6th, 2009

Deeds of Surrender

This should be part of the standard documentation of the franchisor, whether or not they expect to use it.  If it is not 'on tap' the franchisor should be working closely with their solicitors, who would almost invariably be recommending the use of such a document.

Jim is right in the sense that it is not a one size fits all style of document but is specific to the resolution of disputes.

I encourage my franchisors to get some sort of Deed finalising any franchise, so as to give certainty to both parties of the rights and obligations that have been satisfied, or that still continue, once the franchise agreement has ended.

And the fish was mine, thanks for noticing.  Some of its big brothers fell victim to the same lure too.

on September 8th, 2009

Dispute

Posted by Jim Penman on September 5th, 2009

Re: Dispute

find any service franchise of significant size (say, over 100 Franchisees) with better systems and lower levels of dispute.

You mentioned 1 franchisee attempted to take you on in Court and I'm having trouble finding that one. At BMM we have discussed at length the numerous problems franchisees have in litigating against a wealthy franchisor.  Especially the nasty ones with attitude.

Perhaps we should move on to franchisee [including sub-franchisors] complaint and turnover levels as I know you would have those figures as well.

Posted by Ray Borradale on September 5th, 2009

Figures

Posted by Jim Penman on September 6th, 2009

Nice try, Jim

I see no need to debate the merits or otherwise of the various "Jim's" brands and whether they are the best in Australia.  I do happen to know (and work for ) franchisors of size whose systems are at least equal to Jim's - however that is not to say that your systems are not better than most. 

Experienced lawyers in franchising have mixed feelings about Jim's - because experienced franchising lawyers such as myself have had occasion to advise clients that there is no point throwing good money after bad pursuing a Court action.

I simply do not agree that your dipsute resolution numbers are as low as you imply - and your later posts are contradictory in this regard anyway.  Every system has disputes, but whether disputes exist do not of themselves prove anything about the value of the system.

I perceive your best internal dispute resolution system is the one that highlights the reality of the costs of litigation and putting the disaffected franchisee to the choice of investing money in legals for an uncertain outcome.  I am not critical of this approach per se but it does tend to upset people who feel they are denied a fair resolution of their complaint - as this site demonstrates.

on September 8th, 2009

Litigation

Simon, I'm not saying lack of litigation means lack of discontent. We lose around 12% of our Franchisees each year and about half of those would be for reasons of poor income. Over the years that would amount to thousands of failed Franchisees, and a fair few of them would try to recover their money at law if it cost nothing.

But, as discussed elsewhere, this failure rate is only a fraction of what most people experience in small business, especially service businesses run by people without prior business experience.

The other point is that we don't just intimidate people through the prospect of high legal costs - we offer very reasonable terms. For example, we routinely write off fees owed when Franchisees walk away. I strongly recommend to Franchisors that they allow Franchisees to go independent if they wish - in fact, this was part of our contracts in the early years. And when someone is terminated, we routinely allow them to sell their business rather than just lose it (though this is easier for Franchisors than Franchisees). These are not terms offered as a result of legal action - they are offered up front.

I also act as a Franchisee advocate if a Franchisee has been treated unfairly. There are many occasions when I've 'persuaded' a Franchisor to refund money, for example when they've breached the law by not insisting the contract be held 14 days before signup. Or when they've made an offer of settlement but not kept it. These cost Franchisees nothing except the phone call. We also have unique 'safety valves', such as the right for a Franchisee to transfer to another Region or for the Franchisees to vote out their Franchisor.

Could we do better? Of course we could. We've been working hard to reduce our attrition rate through better induction training, stricter supervision of pro-active calls made by Franchisors, and attempts to improve selection (this is the hardest one). But you will NEVER have everyone happy.

Posted by Jim Penman on September 27th, 2009

Jim and the word "systems"

Jim and the word "systems" should never be used in the same sentance. He has no system he merely plays the law.

Posted by Guest on October 8th, 2009

Responsibility

Posted by Jim Penman on September 4th, 2009

Litigation

Posted by PaulC on September 5th, 2009

See mine as well under yours

See mine as well under yours Jim titled "lawyers"

Posted by Guest Jims Franchisor on October 8th, 2009

contact re UK

email me at ozfranchising@hotmail.com and I will send you a contact

Posted by Ray Borradale on August 19th, 2009

Oh dear....say it isn't so

Welcome to our friends from the UK!

Jim Penman - abusive e-mails?    NEVER

Dishonesty?    NEVER

"He may have bullied some of you guys?"    YOU BET

A further question I would like to pose to the infamous Mr Penman, is prompted by yet another statement posted on his own forum recently. In his latest effort, he has again conceded the profitability concerns surrounding a certain Division. The problems faced by the franchisees in this Division have been brought to Jim's attention for near three (3) years, and at times other than fiercely denying it, little more has been done than cast blame or rearrange chairs on the titanic

The worst decision I made was to join Jim's, but the best decision I made was to bail, and to some some extent avoid the caranage that is now unfolding - loss of businesses, homes and marriages etc (not to mention the termination of franchisors and franchisees)

Is this all part of your proven systems Jim?

Posted by Scorned Franchisee on August 20th, 2009

CARNAGE?

How exactly is the carnage unfolding?

Perhaps he will be too busy keeping the Ozzy ship afloat to bother defending himself against those Pommie Bastards!

Posted by Guest on August 21st, 2009