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Ray Borradale's picture

Re: government does not want you to know

I just added the 123 Fit zees comment to an article I wrote today on just what you mention. It's a secret.

Barbara Jorgensen's picture

Re: BMM megaphone

BMM is alittle over 3 years old.  I know people are starting to get educated about franchising.  It is beyond comprehension that this has been going on for over 30 years.  People are ignorant to what is going on in the world.  Sometimes I believe the government does not want you to know.  

I understand in the land of Oz you do not have freedom of speech.  I hope our government will allow sites like BMM to give people the right to tell others the truth about what goes on in the business world.  I never thought in my wildest dreams that this injustice in the franchise world is legal.  I call it legal organized crime.  Hurting the hard working people of our country is mean and the bad guys should be punished. 

Ray Borradale's picture

BMM megaphone

"The internet has handed a megaphone to disaffected customers and business partners, and put them on a platform from which to broadcast their tales of woe to a mass audience."

Smart Company

Barbara Jorgensen's picture

Comment Moved

This comment is off topic and has been moved here.

Ray Borradale's picture

Bottom Line

BMM:  "That is something sorely lacking in the franchise world 5 years ago."

But it is here now and people are getting educated before they sign a contract.  It is here to stay; this medium is here to stay because it is effective.   I have already congratulated Don, Janet and Mufflerman for their enormous work.  I would also thank Richard and Michael and Paul and every contributor including the occassional annoying 'guest' whose self-interested silliness helps and does not hinder what this site is all about.  We should not forget that without differences of opinion, debate, argument, truth and whinning this site would not be as attractive, entertaining or educational.

I have been trying to 'help' the industry and the government in Australia to see into the future and where the internet will have a great and growing influence in damaging the reputation of franchising if they don't clean it up.  Bottom line; it will cost if they persist in doing nothing about what can and should be fixed and what can and should be supported [real education not the bullsiht they support now]. But they are blind and some of us know what causes that. 

RichardSolomon's picture

The worthless piece of trash is the AAFD. I'm happy and I

respect what D&G are doing. On the other hand, I see a situation where we have a frnachisor who sold a so called "proven system" But the system wasn't proven for the length of the franchise contract term.

The brand is failing and franchises have been going broke in droves. The franchise contract, because of the liquidated damages clause, makes that failure an automatic failure of the franchisees, not of the franchisor that didn't provide a brand concept with the durability to match the contract term.

As of this past mointh this franchisor is still threatening franchisees who have to close their doors after holding down other jobs to try to subsidize their Curves "business" with claims that they still owe royalties to end of term.

If this franchisor accepted responsibility and acknowledged that the franchisees are not at fault for the brand failure, I wouldn't be posting on here about this. But this franchisor is still threatening over something that the association should - in my opinion - have thwarted when the brand started to fail and the franchisor started threatening people with liquidated damages claims.

To me that represents serious abuse. It does not get awards when it is attacking/threatening to attack people who are already victims of their own brand's failure. It is of the same level of absurdity as it was when the AAFD gave its "coveted" award to Cuppy's. Awards to abusers are not the acts of a "real" franchisee supporter.

Whatever else D&G may be accomplishing for Curves franchisees, Curves oppressing down and out people with claims that are the product of the franchisor's own failings is something that ought to be hounded out of town. Giving Curves an award because it may have lightened up on other abuses doesn't cut it in my book so long as this is going on.


Richard Solomon,,  has over 45 years experience with franchise litigation and crisis management. He is a graduate of The Citadel and The University of Michigan Law School

Nick Bibby's picture

Couldn't happen to two more deserving folks...

Congratulations, Janet and Don. I know you both as trustworthy friends, and respect you for your honesty, intelligence, fearless reporting, and wonderful contributions to the world of franchising.

My only regret is that I had to turn down my invitation this year.

All the best and keep up the good work.

(And just so that those who don't know, are put 'in the know', Don had to travel under some pretty dire circumstances to make this trip and be a part of the work he loves.)

You both have my continued support.

michael webster's picture

The Curves Association

Richard writes: "Curves recognized the association for being too weak to do something like that. That is the reality of this AAFD award to Curves - impotence and failure to do anything that would be materially helpful to the franchisees' position in the Curves system."

This is false.  The Curves Association is growing from a volunteer board to a self funded professional organization, complete with vendor programs.  The AAFD recognized this improvement.

Richard's favourite law firm, Dady and Garner, had this to say about Curves:

"In the 15 years that I have been representing franchisee associations, my experience with Curves International has been utterly unique,” said Ron Gardner, the attorney for Circuit Fitness Association (CFA).

“The company has supported a completely independent association, both financially and through open and continuous access to Curves’ senior management and have embraced the CFA as a valuable source of information.

That’s contributed to noticeable improvements in the system for both the franchisees and the franchiser—exactly how a healthy franchiser/franchisee relationship should work.”

Richard, so are  Dady and Garner also supporting a "worthless piece of trash"?

Michael Webster, a franchisee attorney in Toronto, Ontario, publishes a website on business opportunities and franchises called "The BizOp News"

I am both a franchisee and frequent reader

Congratulations Don and Janet. Please never stop bringing the truth to light it is so important to so many.
I truly enjoy reading this website. All of BMM deserves a lot of credit and thanks.

Paul Steinberg's picture


While I do agree that Richard's timing is in poor taste, it does confirm the validity of recognizing BMM and Janet Sparks for their efforts.

What Richard illustrates is that a diversity of viewpoints (rude though they may occasionally be) is welcome here on BMM. That is something sorely lacking in the franchise world 5 years ago.

Moreover, it was after the very last dinner that Don himself authored a blistering attack on Purvin and the AAFD.That Purvin can not only accept criticism but see that Don is providing a valuable service to franchising is something which speaks well of Purvin and the AAFD; indeed the AAFD had Don give a presentation yesterday about the "new media" and how franchisee associations can use it to their advantage.

Congrats to Don and to Janet on their well-deserved award.

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

Barbara Jorgensen's picture

I strongly believe if a system is flawed

and there is proof with all the failing clubs the zee's should have an easier way out.  Instead the zees get the the worst of everything. 

Barbara Jorgensen's picture

Congrats to Mufflerman too

It is interesting to know how  the people look behind the writing.

Darnelle White's picture

Re: Don & Janet deserve a real award, not this AAFD foolishness.

Congratulations to Don, Janet and Mufflerman for an award well deserved. I look forward to reading Janet and Don's investigative franchise stories. At least someone has the courage to report the truth for franchise owners without holding back, while at the same time having the discipline to meticulously check and triple check the facts.

There was no need ...


There was no need to crap all over a nice moment for Don and Janet. If you wanted to deride the AAFD then you should have done it on your own thread, not link it to their receiving this award. Why must you extol your self-importance, by suppressing others' accomplishments?

In short, your email was myopic, self-serving and mean-spirited. That is to say that you were the best person I know to have written it.

Barbara Jorgensen's picture

Congratulations Don & Janet

I love Bob Frankman's applause from you tube.  You funny guy. 

Janet and Don thanks for all your informative news articles on franchising. 

RichardSolomon's picture

Don & Janet deserve a real award, not this AAFD foolishness.

What Don has created - along with his colleagues - is a very much needed open forum - fresh air let in to a fetid room called franchising. They deserve better than the AAFD trash award that is given out to - as Paul Steinberg once wrote here - "pay the rent".

This probably deserves a reasoned explanation so you don't think I'm just an old nut - hell, you may think that anyway.

The AAFD trash award is obvious from the fact that - like the Cuppy's award - it is bestowed upon a trashed franchisor. The Curves system/concept is in collapse. Do a search on "Curves resales" and you will find hundreds of stores available for anything you feel like signing up for. This trashed franchisor is still threatening failed/broke franchisees with enforcement of the so called liquidated damages clause - royalties to the end of contract term because you are in breach of contract - so it says - because of the failure of the concept to have durability.

Curves recognized the franchisee association because it isn't moving the ball down the field for its members. It is a recognition award for impotence - fits the AFFD profile to a tee.

What the franchisee association should have done - were it competently led - was to have financed a declaratory judgment lawsuit to seek declaration that in conditions of system weakness, franchisees are not in breach of the contract when the brand fails and they go broke. That would have taken the liquidated damages clause bargaining/threatening chip out of the franchisor's pocket and made exiting a failing system a lot easier - maybe saving a lot of people from bankruptcy, but at least saving years of trying to get blood out of stones to avoid the penalty clause enforcement threat.

That one action would have changed the game for Curves franchisees. Curves recognized the association for being too weak to do something like that. That is the reality of this AAFD award to Curves - impotence and failure to do anything that would be materially helpful to the franchisees' position in the Curves system.

One would think that, after the Cuppy's fiasco, no one would even accept an AAFD award. It is just a worthless piece of trash from an organization with no credibility that praises weakness and mislabels it as strength. Don and Janet deserve better.


Richard Solomon,,  has over 45 years experience with franchise litigation and crisis management. He is a graduate of The Citadel and The University of Michigan Law School

Franchise Central and Navigator's picture

Telling the Truth!

Now how hard is that? Just ask Don and Janet. They will tell you the truth is what it is all about and they have done a remarkable job of letting people know the facts and not just the fantasy. I personally have known Janet for many years and have and will continue to support her in her endeavor of revealing and communicating the truth.

Generally, what we see and hear, on the surface is obvious, but what dwells below the surface will ultimately become her prey. She will seek the truth. And, unfortunately, in the world of franchising there is a great deal of activity below the surface.

Congratulations to both of them and to the AAFD for supporting the truth in franchising.

Craig Slavin
Franchise Architects
Franchise Navigator

Bob Frankman's picture
Jim Coen's picture

Congratulations Janet & Don

Both of you have worked hard to cover franchising from the franchise owners perspective.

As we all know you can't have franchising with franchise owners.

Thank you both, for all your work, you deserve the awards!

Jim Coen

Blog: Lets Talk Franchising

Executive Director of the New England Franchise Association

President, Dunkin Donuts Independent Franchise Owners (DDIFO, Inc.)

Ray Borradale's picture

Congratulations to each of you

This is greatly deserved and very impressive.

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