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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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More Snap Fitness for sale - HORROR STORIES ABOUND!

Check out this link of Snaps for sale!

http://www.maincloud.com/news-Snap-Fitness

Territories available cheap! Original franchisee could not even open and are selling at a loss. Other franchisees are drowning and realizing its time to get out before its too late. DON'T BE THE NEXT VICTIM!

Response to post below

RE: Right...just like the (coporate arrogance alive and well)
We will see with the first unnecessary death (and lawsuit) that occurs in a 24 hour club breaking the law due to required staff, AED or CPR certified staff or tanning operators. Arrogance and ignorance will contribute to the limitations of this business model. You are a perfect example.

RESPONSE: any lawsuit won't affect us...we operate completely within the law :) As for the limitations of this business, I haven't seen any...we continue to climb in memberships and profits...and I know you are well aware of the lack of limits of the corporate success...what is it 5,000% growth!!

RE: Response to post below (corporate shill speaks again)

Readers move over to "Anytime Fitness or Snap Fitness" here on Bluemaumau to read about multiple lawsuits with corporate and Snap Fitness clubs for sale. This "corporate shill" wants you to believe this is a GREAT opportunity but in reality it is a HUGE and RISKY investment, tons of hard work and could easily turn out to be the worst 2-3 years of your life!!! BUYER BEWARE! (Anyone quoting the 5,000% growth of corporate fitness is corporate or a shill.)

Who buys a business thinking it isnt a lot if work?

Answer. A naive fool who deserves a lesson in ignorance.

RE: Response to post below (successful franchisee speaks again)

No corporate or shill here...just thought I'd throw that stat in for being called arrogant and ignorant.

Mark my words...there will be 4500-5000 24 hour fitness centers in the U.S. in 10 years...your blumaumau blog won't put a dent in that.

Seems another loser guy from

Seems another loser guy from the management masquerading as a zealot franchisee and wishing 10K in 10 years.Give us a break up.Dont insult our intelligence on this forum.

Maybe

Maybe there will be 4500-5000 clubs in 10 years..they will be the only ones left after 10,000 opened..the rest will be leading a staggering trail of shattered dreams and bankruptcy...Not very good odds in my book..STAY AWAY!

E-Mail to All States - 24 Hour Fitness Clubs - Brace Yourself

Former 24 Hour Club Franchisees: Feel free to copy, paste and send to your state legislators and management of health department and environmental department.

Dear State Legislator, Environmental or Health Department Supervisor,

It has come to the attention of thousands of legitimate nationwide health club owners and health club members that franchised 24 hours clubs are offering amenities and availability that are not consistent with state, county and city laws and regulations.

Please check your current state laws and regulations. We have already researched this extensively and know a high percentage of states are not properly enforcing their laws and regulations in regards to 24 hour clubs.

SEVERAL STATES REQUIRE AN AED AND/OR CERTIFIED CPR STAFF ON DUTY AT A HEALTH CLUB AT ALL TIMES.

NEARLY ALL STATES REQUIRE A TRAINED OPERATOR FOR TANNING AT HEALTH CLUBS AT ALL TIMES TANNING IS AVAILABLE AND BEING USED.

NUMEROUS STATES REQUIRE STAFFING AT ALL TIMES A HEALTH CLUB IS OPEN OR AVAILABLE.

The risk for a person to have an emergency medical condition during exercise is ten times higher for those with heart disease risk factors.

Here are a few scenarios that could easily occur in a 24 hour club. Who would be liable with the current laws and regulations on the books?

1. A 24 hour club member has a heart attack in the middle of the night with no one else around. There is an AED on the wall but no one to use it. If the law states there is always to be an employee on the premises at all times for a health club, who is liable?

2. A 24 hour club member has a heart attack in the middle of the night with no one else around. There is an AED on the wall but no one to use it. If the law states there is always to be an AED/CPR certified employee on staff at all times, who is liable?

3. A 24 hour club member has a heart attack in the middle of the night and the only other person in the club is tanning. There is an AED on the wall but no one to use it. If the law states there is always to be an employee on staff at all times while tanning is being operated, who is liable?

This not only puts the 24 hour clubs at risk for liability, but also the state, couty and city entities requiring and enforcing these laws and regulations.

I personally witnessed a club member death at a health club that was totally unnecessary. The person was provided with excellent emergency treatment but the club did not have an AED on site. The AED was used later on the way to the hospital and they were revived but too much time had passed without oxygen to their brain.

I encourage you to go to the website www.bluemaumau.com and to the "Anytime Fitness or Snap Fitness" forum to read the feedback from the community in regards to these issues. It would be prudent to address these before situations occur to solicit lawsuits.

THE 24 HOURS CLUBS HAVE ADOPTED AN UNFAIR ADVANTAGE OVER STAFFED CLUBS DUE TO THEIR CIRCUMVENTING LAWS AND REGULATIONS THAT SHOULD BE INFORCED FOR THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF THE CONSUMERS.

I would only ask that you research this issue in regards to your state laws and regulations. Thank you for the courtesy.

Yours in health,

A Concerned Fitness Educator

PS. I am not a health club owner, investor, franchisee or employee. I am a concerned citizen who understands the risk of exercise, liability and cost of litigation.

Are you a Lawyer looking for an Ambulance to Chase?

You sound like one. BTW, how did that letter work out for you. Get any "takers"?

Why would I do that

I love my 24 hour access club. I would never get a chance to workout otherwise. You must be some fat loser who ran out of chips and is mad at the world. Get a life A**Hole.

response

Are you just some kind of Nazi then? Don't you think it's people freedom of choice to work out in the middle of the night if they want to? Many people who are overweight are embarrassed to go to a gym during regular hours when other people are there. Think about it! Or I suppose you'd rather they don't get a chance to work on their health on their own terms and make their own decisions...can you say socialism?

Seems like you are

Seems like you are cheerleader of the franchisor.Now we know your true colors.Anytime or Snap these are bad business models run by elite mafia and nothing else.All the franchisees are dancing on the deck of the titanic......

NAME ONE

"Unlawful operation" You can't name one sing location that was sold that hasn't been allowed to open or one that was shut down. Name one. I dare you. My guess is that you will come back and say, "you are a corporate shill" or "you must work for the franchisor". What an idiot you are. Do you really think people will listen to some anonymous, ranting lunatic? Name one!

REPLY TO: response (corporate shill back at it)

The NAZIS, if there are any, would be the corporate entities who disregard the laws and offer to sell business models contrary to the laws. Too bad many of the franchisees did not get this memo or they may not have invested $250,000 in each location and $15,000 in each license. Freedom of choice for members has no bearing in this discussion. I suppose you also think people injured or killed driving Toyotas with accelerator issues had choices and should just suck it up and accept the outcome. The first unnecessary death in an unstaffed 24 hour club will change everything.

NICE TRY! BUYER BEWARE!

Right...just like the

Right...just like the hundreds of deaths across the country and over the years in regular staffed gyms have shut down those gyms...not!

You are living in a dream world...these thousands and thousands of 24 hour fitness centers are here to stay. Some will survive and some will not. Some will have member injuries and some will not.

I'll bet you anything in 10 years there will be more 24 hour fitness centers than there are today...a lot more.

You are fighting a losing battle.

RE: Right...just like the (coporate arrogance alive and well)

We will see with the first unnecessary death (and lawsuit) that occurs in a 24 hour club breaking the law due to required staff, AED or CPR certified staff or tanning operators. Arrogance and ignorance will contribute to the limitations of this business model. You are a perfect example.

BUYER BEWARE!

24 HOUR CLUBS, APRIL FOOLS! NO LETTER GOING OUT!

IT WILL BE AN EMAIL! After evaluatiing whether to send a letter to state departments versus an email, the email has been chosen as a safer and more effective alternative. With the potential for "sabotage" of a letter or envelope, this information will now be sent via email to each state's health and environmental department and to an influential person in the legislative branch. It could take a few days to collect all the correct email addresses and will be sent out in the next couple weeks. Advice to franchisees, GET IT RIGHT!

The email will contain the following:
1. Overview of state laws in regards to 24 hour club business models
2. Information outlining the higher risk of emergency medical situations during exercise
3. Account of a medical emergency with an "unnecessary" negative outcome
4. Medical emergency scenarios that could be played out in 24 hour clubs where club owners and management are disregarding the prevailing laws
5. Exposure to liability issues for all parties "joint liability", including the state, county or city if laws were not being enforced as written

SNAP FITNESS & ANYTIME FITNESS FRANCHISEES - BRACE YOURSELF

10 DAYS UNTIL THE LETTER IS RECEIVED BY ALL STATE GOVERNMENT ENTITIES. READ THE "24 HOUR CLUBS - BRACE YOURSELF" POST BELOW FOR THE DETAILS OF THIS LETTER OUTLINING 24 HOUR STAFFING, AED/CPR STAFF AND TANNING STAFF LAW AND REGULATION REQUIREMENTS.

I JUST HOPE ALL YOU FRANCHISEES DON'T OWN A 2007 - 2010 TOYOTA!

OMG what happened.. Did your

OMG what happened.. Did your little letter work???? aahahahaaa I might open up a McDonald's and you can come and work as my clown.

24 HOUR CLUBS.......IMPORTANT.........WHAT IS WORSE?

What is worse than buying a franchise license, opening a 24 hour club and finding out AFTER you are open you are BREAKING THE LAW? Can it happen? IT APPEARS IT HAS! Several states also require an AED Certified Employee on staff at all times!

WHICH STATES REQUIRE AN OPERATOR AT ALL TIMES TANNING IS BEING USED?

http://www.tanningtraining.com/reginfo/state.html
There are updates and additions to these within the states' statutes. Proposed regulations currently in process may not be listed.

Below are the states that absolutely REQUIRE OPERATOR when tanning is being used. Coming soon, AED/CPR staffing requirements for states!

California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, MINNESOTA, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

Bear in mind that the above anonmyous posted

probably a franchise lawyer, has tried to no avail to shut down the 24 house industry so they can make a fortune bilking franchisees out of retainers to make a fast buck. Just as the Curves owners who sued corporate. The lawyers took them (franchsiees) to the bank.

This is True

I know an owner of an anytime in Mississippi and a Snap owner in Ohio who were fined for improper operation of tanning beds. You must check you local laws and they change from time to time.

RE: Tanning

I am looking to open a fitness club in Michigan.

I followed the above posted link. The link is for radiation machines. I do not see anything that states tanning machines have to be staffed during operation.

I did however find this very useful list of regulations for Michigan. Again, no where do I see a requirement that it must legally be staffed.

Have you taken no consideration of the automatic limitations in place by the use of the Member ID card that is required to turn the tanner on? Don't you think this automatically improves the safety of the individual over that of some teenaged minimum wage operator at stand alone tanning salon who's business model is 100% dependent upon people tanning as much as possible?

http://www.michigan.gov/mdch/0,1607,7-132-27417_35791-69404--,00.html

Have you also given no consideration to the thousands upon thousands of fitness rooms in hotels with no staff? These rooms are much more dangerous since there is no safeguards in place to provide orientation to anyone who enters, and no way to prevent underage children from exercising in the room.

It is critical to be careful, but I think your claims have more holes than Swiss Cheese.

these are lawyers here

Trying to generate legal actions. They can never win. They look for the people who feel like victims and manipulate them into recruiting just like the zarco and curves lawsuits. They went through 3 years of help and ended up getting countered and settled for next to nothing. All lost but zarco.

Peter Taunton with tips on "TOP SALES TECHNIQUES"

Great read for former, current and potential Snap Fitness franchisees.

http://www.hfpn.com/shop/article.aspx?atid=2184
Original article with excerpts below and COMMENTS SPECIFIC TO FRANCHISE SALES.

Showcase future results.

Typically people have very high expectations when they first join a gym. Whether it’s to lose weight, gain muscle or just feel better, they expect to get results. That means that we can’t just sell the immediate advantages of our product. We need to be able to showcase how we will continue to support our customer and build a long-term plan, as opposed to just giving them the tools. –Peter Taunton, owner, Snap Fitness
(Can't sell immediate advantages? Showcase how we will continue to support? Any franchisees out there now wondering where this support is he's talking about?)

Build trust.

One of the keys to being a successful sales person is trust. If you don’t have that trust with your salesperson, then you aren’t going to place as much stock into what they are telling you about the benefits of the product, regardless as to whether or not they are valid. –Peter Taunton, owner, Snap Fitness
(Kumbaya! Hand holding, "spiritual" references, etc. He's got this down pat!)

Demonstrate the value, in person.

Try to get the person to come in and see the product for themselves. If they can be in that setting and see that it is possible to achieve results, they’ll be far more likely to buy. Don’t divulge all of the details over the phone or email, because you want to be able to demonstrate the value of your product. By providing all of the facts, you don’t give the customer any reason to come in and learn more details. –Peter Taunton, owner, Snap Fitness
(Don't divulge all of the details? Demonstrate the value? By providing all the facts, you don't give the customer any reason to come in and learn more details? Did this happen to any franchisees???)

Don’t sell false pretenses.

Make sure that your customer sees the advantages of your product and how it can help them to reach their goals, but don’t set unrealistic expectations simply for the purpose of closing the sale. Promise what you know you can deliver. –Peter Taunton, owner, Snap Fitness
(Don't set unrealistic expectations "SIMPLY FOR THE PURPOSE OF CLOSING THE SALE". Possible examples: "Absentee ownership, only a manager needed for 15-20 hours a week, 220 members to break even, 1900 stores, no contract memberships, works in a variety of markets, recession proof, clubs work in communities with as few as 3,000 people and guaranteeing 40 percent of a franchisee’s bank loan to put some of our skin in the game." I wonder if the LEGAL REQUIREMENTS FOR TANNING STAFF, AED/CPR CERTIFIED EMPLOYEES AND 24/7 STAFFING are being given the attention, definition and clarification they deserve? Peter, please grace us with strategies of how you and others at corporate "overcome objections" for staffing issues in your next interview. This way franchisees can use these same techniques with potential member objections. Obviously they have worked extremely well for you!)

Snap Fitness - Horror Stories for Potential Franchisees

For up to date information and straight talk from numerous current and former owners and employees of Snap Fitness, go to "Anytime Fitness or Snap Fitness" forum right here on Blue MauMau. You will need to sift through the "propoganda" being posted by Snap Fitness corporation and their representatives but it will be well worth the effort.

i'll check on that

i'll check on that

Self seving Anytime Blog

Nice effort on the mud- slinging tactics Anytime Fitness or should I say "Guest"... I get it now, by dedicating someone to fuel this propaganda you just might keep your prospects distrated from looking at your model in detail…

Bottom line, Snap Fitness beats Anytime Fitness in every category…Don't think so? Snap Fitness has over 1100 open locations and has never had a law suit filed by one of its franchisee's.

Hmmm, something’s not adding up Anytime…

this is not anytime

Probably zarco.

DOES SNAP BEAT ANYTIME WITH LAWSUITS

THESE ARE THE PENDING LEGAL ISSUES SNAP HAS HAD WITH DISGRUNTLED FRANCHISEES!

Michael Fields v. Snap Fitness, Inc., in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Santa
Clara (Case Number: 1-09-CV-132226). In January 2009, our former franchisee filed suit against us
claiming that he had rescinded his franchise agreement and demanding return of his initial franchise fee.
Our motion to compel arbitration pursuant to the terms of the Franchise Agreement was granted on April
7, 2009. We filed a motion to set an arbitration completion date and as of the date of this Disclosure
Document have not received an arbitration request from the franchisee.
Meredith Tuntland v. Snap Fitness, Inc., American Arbitration Association, Case No. 65 114 Y 00088 10,
Minneapolis, MN. On February 9, 2010, Meredith Tuntland, a franchisee, filed a demand for arbitration
(“Demand”) against us seeking damages of $514,244 and other unspecified relief. In the Demand, Ms.
Tuntland alleges claims for fraudulent misrepresentation, breach of contract, interference with contractual
and prospective contractual relations, fraud, and violation of the Minnesota Franchises Act, all in
connection with a dispute over the designated area of a franchise she purchased from previous owners.
We deny the allegations and intend to vigorously defend against them. As of the date of this Disclosure
Document, the American Arbitration Association has not yet appointed a panel of arbitrators, or taken any
other substantive action with respect to the Demand.

FRANCHISEE FLEECING | ROUND TWO "Falling off the Turnip Truck

AGAIN!

The Zor fleeces or puffs (depending on one's perspective) prior to you signing the agreement and the franchise lawyer puffs and fleeces after you sign the franchise agreement. It's just that simple. You can trust an attorney before the agreement is signed and not after, unless you want to pay 15k-20k over two years (isn't it nice the attorneys finance in house to spread the fleecing out so it doesn't hit you all at once?) Your odds of winning anything will be the equivalent of getting struck by lightening while you are holding the winning power ball ticket, while walking in the bank to make the deposit. Like those odds? Bottom line is once you have been taken you have been taken. Anything else will continue to add insult to industry.

They both fleece the very people that they are supposed to help. The franchisor may mislead or misrepresent, and that is wrong, but the fact of the matter is that consumers are not covered in TORTS. Partnerships and the like are. Consumer Law and Tort Law are very different. People like you feel fleeced by con men. And that is certainly fair to feel that way, but the fact of the matter, you have no legal recourse. Perhaps the law should require a licensed professional (regulation) to consult with any prospective franchisee and give counsel on finances or information which instructs Consumer minded people who are engaging in partnership level legal agreements.

Curves owners felt they were not supported by Curves, or Duncan Donuts to name a couple and the list goes on and on. Curves Franchisees and Duncan Donuts Franchisees were countersued successfully! What did they all have in common? They could not understand the complexities of the franchise agreement or the law. They were stuck in that Consumer Minded mode of thinking.

The power of denial runs high and one way, we as humans try to mitigate our pain is to continue to play the consumer in the realm of business partnerships (aka TORTS). There are many successful attorneys out there who will not tell you this, because it is your $4,000 per month and $750.00 per month that you are being fleeced of that pays for the boats, cars, planes, etc.

Some people have trouble wrapping their mind around this and it is those who seek legal counsel a day late will indeed find themselves another dollar short. Barbara, for once in you life you should feel lucky that you didn't have the money to buy that ticked of misery. You are such an advocate for the Consumer. You should get a Curves FDD adn start calling the people on the settlement list. California should have the most recent one with the glut of the December settlements. Call these people. See if they will talk to you. My guess is that the attorneys have pervented these poor souls from ever speaking about anything. They have fsold their right to free speech, adn silence was paid for. If you had sued your zor and settled you would never be able to be an advocate like you are here, as you would have just een gagged. Encourage people to be advocates not suckers!
.

If they feel like fools now wait until the lose the arbitration.

Franchisees with a beef cannot win against a franchisor. It's the equivalent of winning the lottery. Franchisees often end up hating the attorney who misleads them, giving false home so they can build a class action for their own personal gain.

SNAP FITNESS LAWSUITS - GREAT POST!

THERE WILL BE MANY MORE IN THE NEAR FUTURE! ALI, YOU AND YOUR TEAM READY FOR THIS BARRAGE?

You sound like a salavating attorney.

Licking his chops. Getting ready to give false hopes and take a retainer? I don't know whose worse. The ly1ng cr00ks or the ly1ng lawyers

Not Self Serving

I don't think you get it..the thread is heavily against Snap because as former franchisees that is the company we have experience with. Anytime Fitness will be in the same boat as Snap when the states realize they have been operating unstaffed 24/7 in violation of state laws and regulations.

24 HOUR CLUBS - BRACE YOURSELF

A letter is being drafted and will be sent to all state governments with excerpts from Blue Mau Mau forums as well as additional information beneficial to evaluate possible violations occurring in their state. Based on the feedback posted here and at other websites from both franchisors and franchisees, it appears the health and environmental departments are not aware of these circumstances. This will allow each state to deal with the situation according to their own laws, regulations and statutes.

The purpose for announcing this is to allow franchisees lead time to get everything in order in case the states decide to begin placing fines on clubs in violation. I do not believe the franchisees are to blame in all cases, but given the circumstances, they will be the ones who are penalized for it.

The letters are scheduled to be mailed at the end of March. Duplicate letters will go to each state Health Department, Environmental Protection Agency and a high level person in the legislative branch. This should give the issues full attention and provide the best opportunity for thorough research and investigation. Again, approx. 150 letters will be mailed to the state offices near the end of March and should arrive to all the proper state entities by April 1st.

Scroll down to "AED - CPR - STAFFING FOR 24 HOUR CLUBS" and read the press release excerpts from the St. Paul Snap Fitness club fined in April, 2008. They were finally able have the "24 hour employee staffing" language changed in their favor November, 2008 which made for a tenuous 7 month process. Below is taken from this press release.

"Snap Fitness, Chanhassen, MN, plans to open its first three clubs in St. Paul under the ownership of franchisee Ben Cowan, who chose not to open the clubs until the ordinance was changed."

It is quite interesting city counsels in the "backyard" of the two 24 hour fitness giants are making allowances (changing laws and regulations) for these companies. I wonder if the rest of the country is willing to be this accommodating?

PS. If you would like to contribute to this cause, please do so by selecting a legitimate Haiti or Chile relief organization and donate the money to them. Sorry, we want this one all to ourselves! All funding will only be provided by former Snap Fitness employees. :)

Letter

Can't wait for this letter to go out!

How do you get a copy of this

How do you get a copy of this letter

LEGAL SOLUTIONS: 24 HOUR CLUBS HAVE OPTIONS

The information below may be helpful to owners and former owners of 24 hour clubs who may feel they have just cause to pursue legal avenues. Representation in this type of case is possible on a contingency basis.

The procedure for filing a class action is to file suit with one or several named plaintiffs on behalf of a proposed class. The proposed class must consist of a group of individuals or business entities that have suffered a common injury or injuries. Typically these cases result from an action on the part of a business or a particular product defect or policy that applied to all proposed class members in a uniform manner.

Typically, federal courts are thought to be more favorable for defendants, and state courts more favorable for plaintiffs. Many class action cases are filed initially in state court. The defendant will frequently try to remove the case to federal court.

Nationwide plaintiff classes are possible, but such suits must have a commonality of issues across state lines. This may be difficult if the civil law in the various states have significant differences.

Advantages of Class Action Lawsuits:
First, aggregation can increase the efficiency of the legal process, and lower the costs of litigation. Second, a class action may overcome "the problem that small recoveries do not provide the incentive for any individual to bring a solo action prosecuting his or her rights." Third, in "limited fund" cases, a class action ensures that all plaintiffs receive relief and that early-filing plaintiffs do not raid the fund of all its assets before other plaintiffs may be compensated. A class action in such a situation centralizes all claims into one venue where a court can equitably divide the assets amongst all the plaintiffs if they win the case.
reply

Crazy Train All ABOARD!!! Attorney is your new Captain

There are many horror stories out there in the franchise world. People are often oversold by hungry sales people. Often franchise systems will employ 3rd party sales groups to help with the sales function,while the franchise system focuses on operations and support and pay heavy fees and encourage "multi packs" or "master territories". Urgency may be used is the sales technique "fear of loss" or the "takeaway". Do not fall for these tactics. If you feel these tactics are being used, run. If you are reading this and it's too late for that advice, keep reading there's more.

While there are many different levels of support among franchisees, it is the intersection of a franchisee's expectations and actual support that leads to franchisee satisfaction. Naturally every franchisee wants to be financially successful. After all, we all want to make a good return on our investment. So when we buy a franchise and what we were sold isn't what we were delivered, we naturally look to the franchisor for answers.

I have talked with franchisees who feel they were oversold, even misrepresented. If you read this blog there is no doubt that you have seen ads for franchise attorneys and post by them. If you haven't purchased a franchise and are looking into one now; then this would be the time to contact them to review the franchise offering. You will see many aggressive post around this site, anonymously. Many of these are posted by trial lawyers, failed franchisees, and competitors attempting to smear one another and their brands, even their names. People claim you are destined for failure or sure to succeed. People here anonymously attack one another, it get's unprofessional even ugly.

If you are here because you have suffered financial ruin and think that contacting an attorney, not so fast, have you read your franchise agreement to find a clause that says something to the effect that you have "not relied on any information provided by any verbal representation" something to that effect"? You might be SOL. Federal law is so much in favor of the franchise system that the system itself as a whole is see more valuable than your individual rights. Attorneys will lead you to believe that you have a chance, encourage you to recruit for a class action. Don't fall for this. You are about to get on the 2nd Sucker Train. Ask the attorney to provide you with a specific case study as it related to your complaint and your FRANCHISE AGREEMENT. You are likely to be sold your next bottle of snake oil.

Utilize the attorney when he can actually help you and catch a bad agreement or system before you take the plunge. Once you've made the mistake there is very little an attorney can do for you except cost you more money. Recently a major case against Curves International was settled after plaintiffs paid thousands of dollars to their attorney over 2 years and many didn't get enough to recover their damages and instead were counter sued by the franchisor and incurred even more legal fees. The franchise horror stories usually end with the franchise lawyers.

PETER TAUNTON - SNAP FITNESS FOUNDER/CEO

PETER TAUNTON = Case # 24040055, Court File # K598001371, Disposition Date 3/18/1999, Minnesota Attorney General's Office St. Paul, Kaniyohi District Court, Theft-by Swindle-Artifice/Trick/Device or Other, Statute # 609.52.2.4., CONVICTED, Probation Sentence - 2 Years

Case in 1995 Misdemeaner Involving Membership Refunds

totaling $3500.00. Most people in business get sued eventually. This had to do with wording in a membership agreement.

Snap Fitness Due Diligence - Never Enough!

FYI. Anyone notice when you put in "Snap Fitness" for a search "Anytime Fitness or Snap Fitness" from Blue MauMau and Snap Fitness @ pissed consumer come up ahead of the mysnapfitness website used by their members? KEEP THAT TRAFFIC COMING! More views = optimization = more due diligence.

AED - CPR - STAFFING FOR 24 HOUR CLUBS

It took approx. 7 months for the St. Paul City Counsel to change the language in their city regulations to allow for un-staffed 24 hours clubs. This is in the backyard of the two 24 hour franchise corporate offices! Franchisees should check with their state on required staffing at all times, AED/CPR certified staff at all times and tanning regulations requiring staff to monitor usage.

Anytime Fitness Challenges Ruling of St. Paul Law
Apr 21, 2008 12:19 PM, By Stuart Goldman, managing editor
ST. PAUL, MN -- Despite a Minnesota judge’s ruling to uphold the city of St. Paul’s decision to fine two Anytime Fitness franchisees for violating a city safety standard, Anytime Fitness is working with the St. Paul mayor’s office to change the language of the standard. Earlier this year, two St. Paul Anytime Fitness franchisees were each fined $500 because they did not have CPR-trained staff members on the premises around the clock at the 24-hour key-card clubs. The franchise owners argued that they met the city’s standard, saying they have workers who can be reached by phone at all times. The clubs also have panic buttons and cameras capable of being monitored remotely.

City Council in St. Paul, MN, Changes Ordinance
Nov 1, 2008 12:00 PM St. Paul, MN — The St. Paul (MN) City Council voted unanimously last month to allow 24-hour key-card clubs, such as Anytime Fitness and Snap Fitness, to operate without an employee present in the club at all times.

From IHRSA Article:
Issue #1: Staffing requirements
Some laws that mandate AEDs in health clubs also require a person trained in its use to be on staff. Because of these laws, if a cardiac arrest occurs at a club that has an AED but no one is on duty that is trained to use it, the club could be found liable for negligence. This requirement becomes problematic for 24-hour health clubs, which are unstaffed during certain hours.

From theeagle.com New York state law requires health clubs with more than 500 members to have a defibrillator and an employee or volunteer who is certified to operate it and administer CPR during business hours. In recent years, other states, such as Indiana and Arkansas, have made exemptions in their laws to allow card-key gyms outside of hotels and apartments.

In Rhode Island the state mandated all health clubs registered with its Department of the Attorney General to have at least one AED on the premises and be easily accessible to the staff, members and guests. The law also stipulates that at least one employee properly trained in the use of AEDs be on hand at all times.

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