(false) Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

Is preying on a military  family’s post-service vulnerability the sign of insincerity per se?

From a New York Times classified ad:

Come join a network that has pioneered and led the industry for 30 years. The UPS Store is the #1 Business and Postal Services Franchise for the 20th consecutive year (2010 Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top 500 Franchise List). The UPS Store is the #1 most popular franchise with veterans in the IFA’s Vet-Fran Program (2008 International Franchise Association). With over 4300 The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. locations nationwide, our network continues to lead the market.

Baiting the Fish: Note how Cialdini’s “Weapons of Influence” are used to lure pensions and life savings capital:

  1. New York Times (authority of a traditional media outlet),
  2. Entrepreneur magazines’ Top 500 franchises (McMedia: authority for the unskilled and unaware),
  3. 30 years… (franchisor success means individual franchisees will succeed, see Dunning-Kruger above),
  4. Vet-Fran program (liking: acceptance, a member of the fraternity, endorsed/vetted by the “government”),
  5. International Franchise Association (expertise/authority, funded 100% by franchisors and their friends), and are especially
  6. vulnerable to the authority siren song from 2 directions: vivid, personal success born from supporting a strict command-control structure  while lacking the airy-fairy concept of discerning legitimate from illegitimate sources of authority.

Vets believe very strongly that people get what they deserve in this life (Just World fallacy) and would, therefore, strongly but heavily discount any non-authority based advice on a pre-sale basis. Going on “civvy street” is one of  life’s major transitions involving new/strange: work, employer, location, one/two incomes, schools, income levels, physical/mental challenges, diminished family/friend support.

Setting the Hook: The next marketing stage is an “exclusive” invitation to a very sophisticated, one-day seminar at head office (a “discovery day”). Just like in a gambling casino, these environments are very, very well thought-out, for one side’s benefit only. A real investigative journalist (John Lorinc) published an excellent description of this circus in a real media outlet (The Globe and Mail) in 2000. The Sure Thing describes the extremely effective individual and social psychology that allows predatory franchising to flourish in plain sight.

I’m glad to know great spirits like Peter Thomas or Carol Cross who, by making wise choices for their future, help me make mine.

Samuel Johnson 1709 – 1784

4 Responses to (false) Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

  1. Carol Cross says:

    Thanks, Les, for telling it like it is —for removing the lipstick from the pig and for demonstrating who provides the lipstick for “the beast” under cover of dishonest and ineffective government regulation!

    http://thegreatfranchisingrobbery.blgspot.com. Read “Franchise Regulation Realities – Deception or Patriotism” in a Google Search.


  2. Carol Cross says:

    I notice someone called Carey James is taking credit for my article “Franchise Regulation Realities – Deception or Patriotism” on Ezine Articles to promote himself. Apparently, this kind of theft of articles is routine! It is the first reference now under a Google Search “franchise fraud churning regulation.”

    Any suggestions!


  3. Les Stewart says:


    I don’t have any solution to this. I’m afraid it comes with the territory. Other than commenting wherever you see it, I’m at a loss.

    Anyone else with a solution?



  4. Carol Cross says:

    If you Google up “The UPS Store” there are over 100,000,000 entries –most of which are pushing the sale of this franchise to innocents –to our returning Veterans, especially because of the SBA Patriot Express Loan Initiative of the SBA and the Vet-Fran and FranData, IFA alliance!

    On theFIRST page of the first several pages the FIRST reference is a UTUBE commercial where some current franchisees of The UPS store tout the sale of this franchise to innocents who will not be informed of the churning and turning of units and the unprofitability of this franchise for the majority of franchisees.

    These franchisees talk about “fun”and “being your own boss” and how rewarding this is and they disengenuously suggest that it was their own great efforts that made this franchise successful for them. There is,of course, no talk about success and profits!

    These large corporations use inadequate regulation of advertised startup costs and dishonest regulation of the sale of franchises to put lipstick on their pigs and use the franchisees to paint the greedy lips of the pigs!

    For shame!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: