“Revolutionary Decisions” happen only when franchisees persist

July 3, 2012

Canadian courts are willing to expand protections to the most vulnerable in franchising.

Very well-respected franchise journalist Janet Sparks reports at Bluemaumau.org: Revolutionary Decision against Dunkin’ Donuts Awards Owners $16 Million.

MONTREAL – In a harshly-worded ruling in favor of franchisees, a judge chided Dunkin’ Brands Canada Ltd for its incompetence, negligence, and lack of support to store owners. He then ordered the international sub-franchisor to pay the 21 former franchise owners, operating 32 Dunkin’ stores, C$16.4 million (US$16M) plus legal fees.

The lawyer for the franchisees is absolutely correct in emphasizing the need for persistence by franchisees:

Frédéric Gilbert of Fasken Martineau, who represented the franchisees, said the Tingley decision will have major repercussions on how franchisees are protected and how franchisors’ responsibilities are defined. “Justice Tingley has issued a rigorous judgment that has all the makings of a landmark franchising case in Canada. This decision will become a reference tool for setting the basic guidelines governing contractual relations between parties,” stated Gilbert.

Gilbert believes that the determination and solidarity of the group of franchisees suing Dunkin’ played a key role in this legal action. “These people courageously overcame the many negative repercussions of what has been a very long saga. They valiantly confronted the countless financial and human pressures that are often seen in battles pitting David against Goliath. Even at their weakest moment they never gave up the fight, which is all to their credit.”

While being appealed, this decision may become a landmark in franchising.

Resources

Advertisements

It is a great shock to find that in a world of Gary Coopers you are the Indian.

June 28, 2009

Who the hell ever thought they signed up to a faceless nobody loser cowpoke in a cheesy spaghetti western franchise system?GaryCooperI know I sure didn’t.

Franchisees enter into a type of shock when they realize they entered into relationships that put them as 2nd class citizen.

  • franchisee :: franchisor,
  • buyer :: supplier,
  • customer :: banker,
  • client :: solicitor, and
  • citizen :: politician.

Some never make it out; such as Bob Baber (2.5 years now). Janet Sparks

People who treat other people as less than human must not be surprised when the bread they have cast on the waters comes floating back to them, poisoned.

To act is to be committed, and to be committed is to be in danger.

Be careful what you set your heart upon – for it will surely be yours.

I want to be an honest man and a good writer.

James A. Baldwin


Bhupinder “Bob” Baber

November 27, 2008

bobbaberIt was two years ago today that Bob Baber, a franchisee entangled in what seemed like an impossible legal mess, went into a bathroom and shot himself.

Janet Sparks of Blue MauMau reminds us and discharges her duties in her usual dignified and professional manner.

Where I’m from, we say je me souviens (I remember) and we mean it.

My thoughts and prayers are with Rattie and her and Bob’s family and friends.


Ponzi scheme unwinds in Real Time on Blue MauMau

August 30, 2008

Interesting times over at Blue MauMau for franchisor Dale Nabors of Cuppy’s Coffee and More as he responds to allegations of running a Ponzi fraud (see Cuppy’s Speaks Out on Accusations, SBT, AAFD and More).

Janet Sparks is one of the most experienced and knowledgable franchise journalists there is. Period. She is a real professional that is not afraid of many of the things that go bump-in-the franchise night.

I think it is the best if Mr. Nabors speaks for himself and I would encourage everyone to read this whole story:

“I’m putting money into the company, and the company is putting money into the projects. In a roundabout way I guess it’s fair to say yes, I am putting money into the company to cover some of these projects. But these are very few projects.”

In a posting entitled Cuppy’s Fraud, Michael Webster (see Misleading Advertising Law) responds in a blunt and  thoroughly unCanadian fashion:

  • When Nabors says “he was having to put capital into the businesses to keep them moving forward, and some of those monies in turn are used for construction and build out. He said there had been projects that monies were paid on and those monies went into a general operating account and were not used specific for a project.” this is an admission of fraud.

Webster goes on:

You cannot take money borrowed by A to pay off building out B, although you can certainly count on the support of B when that happens or is promised to happen.

This is not a construction company pretending to be a franchise company.

This is a construction ponzi scheme
, taking funds from later investors, paying off earlier investors, pretending to be a franchise company.

These related entities are insolvent and the creditors need to shut this mess down immediately, appoint a receiver and come to an equitable solution.

Nabors call for more time is the typical whine of a ponzi operator. [my emphasis and format]

His allegations are numerous, serious and very interesting. Take a close look. I have worked with Michael Webster for several years. He is a very careful person, a skilled litigator and fraud investigator. The last guy I’d want to oppose in a biz op or franchise swindle, if I were so inclined.


Selling Poo-filled franchise systems likely 100% Legal

August 20, 2008

Michael Webster brings up a good point in his article Can You Sell an Unproven System as a Franchise? It is worthwhile looking at Janet Sparks’ original report in Franchising Times.

When discussing a pending Colorado lawsuit, I tend to agree with Michael’s prediction:

I believe that the law in this area will turn out to be, in essence, that you can franchise any piece of poo, as long as you “disclose” in tricky legal fashion that you are a piece of poo.

It is of course a stupid law that would protect investors in franchise systems [franchisors] by allowing any old piece of poo to float through the system – but such is the dedication to the power of disclosure laws, much like the efficient market hypothesis, our regulators and legislature will continue to allow indentured servitude as long as it properly disclosed.

This is the state-of-the-art of legal protection in the home of franchising. And they are very aggressive in advocating for this lack of accountability for franchisors around the world.

Michael again:

I think that Seid‘s position is legally correct, [franchisors have zero duty to provide a proven system] even though both immoral and absurd.

But that is the problem prospective franchisees face – any piece of poo wrapped in a franchise agreement, and FDD can be sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars to the unsuspecting public who believe that they are buying a “proven” system.

Disclosing you are a worthless piece of poo is all the protection that Big Franchising is willing to give you.

Go ahead and choose your Type of modern franchise [see Bristol Stool Chart, above]. Or…

  • For Mom and Pops, Franchising is Unsafe at any Brand.

If you knew how to separate the pepper from the fly poo, you’d start your own business and not share an industry rife with “proven” psychopaths. [social predators: lack of conscience & empathy, glib, bullying, violence]


%d bloggers like this: