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Complaint / Review
Fleet Mobile Tyres Franchise Rip Off

Etyres Franchise AVOID unless you are content to earn 10k p.A. - 20k p.A. (absolute max) (after allocating start up capital costs)

As an ex franchisee who remains anonomous due to the franchise contract stupidly signed, which enables the Franchisor to cream into us ex franchisees for up to 7 years after closure! It is against the contract to tell the truth, so we have to use sites such as this and remain nameless to protect ourselves from further heavy financial losses.

What are the issues?
1 Overstated turnover figures for the group in my case it was suggested the t/o was in the region of 20 million, it is in fact sub 5 million, you might say why is t/o important? Well, divide t/o by number of franchisees gives you average t/o per franchisee (which is of interest no?) I calculated in 2009 average t/o in region of 80 - 150 K p.A. After expenses (and do include 5k p.A. For set up costs) this equated to sub 10k per annum, and the work is arduous, long hours and miserable due to the heavy handed way head office treats you like a bad employee.

2 5% of sales is deducted which is NOT made clear at start. This kills any cream that might have been available, talk to many existing franchisees (not one or two, and NOT the ones franchisor suggests!)

3 I have seen franchisees close down within 2 months of start up, I have seen franchisees take on extra loans after 12 months in order to attempt to continue, and regardless of what Bowman says, not many renew after 5 years, one 2 territory franchisee was refused renewal, there was a issue of a wheel not being tight and said wheel fell off, could this be something to do with training?

4 having never fitted a tyre, one man was "trained" in less than 8 hours, so customers were getting a fitter with practically no experience what so ever! I would suggest this was dangerous.

5 many franchisees are embarrassed to admit to themselves and their families that etyres has cost them money and time, they are in denial, and then the VAT and suppliers catch up and there is no hiding from reality, and forced close down is the only option, with personal liability, these poor men are burdened with serious debt and no income, loss of house, lifestyle even marriage and children, but old Bowman is OK, he has the franchise ready to resell for 30k

5 continued... I spoke to one franchisee, he had been trading for 6 months, using a bank a/c solely for etyres use, it had 18k in the a/c, the franchisee said this shows it was doing well, I asked him to take out the VAT due and credit due to suppliers, also the rebate (3k) he got on the van, a reasonable sum for the incremental payments on the cost of startup, and just 5k as 6 months salary for himself (he had been taking nothing OUT at all) this left a negative number!!! He was shocked, amazed, so OK, his business skills were not great, (the franchisees are generally not high flying business men,) the point is, even asking franchisees can lead to unclear or even incorrect answers.

The real easy thing you can do as a potential franchisee is to talk to as many existing franchisees as you can, try to get hold of past franchisees and talk to them, and try to suss out how much inter franchisee communication is present! No franchisee meetings in 8 years (apart from 2 unofficial ones), head office really tries to close down inter franchisee communications! (ask your self why!) ask franchisees how many other franchisees (and ex franchisees) they even know about!

I know you will not do this, but I have to say it: take contract to a solicitor, get suggested changes and propose these to Bowman.

There are 2 franchisees who have been taken into head office, I quote from memory from one of them (and have the conversation on tape!) I have worked for 4 years trying to build this business up, we have the highest t/o of any franchisees in Etyres, I estimate I am working for less than 20k p.A. And made nothing in the first 2 years at all. Remember, this is not a failed and complaining franchisee, it is the most successful one!

Every business sector, every franchise operation will have failures, location, competition, expertise, luck, effort and more all come into the equation, I have no sympathy for a lazy man who complains the business did not work, I have seen many Etyres franchisees working diligently, working long hours, and striving to make the 30k invested work for them, I have not seen or heard of any that made it work, I am sure no franchisee is making 30k I know most (over 50%) are earning less than 20k, and I am pretty sure 50% earn less than 10k p.A.

In anticipation of TB's response,:

Anonimity is due to the contract, I would L O V E to provide my name and contact details so I could help save other men from spending the last of savings / redundancy money on your franchise. The turnover figures are provided by YOU to the franchisees once a year (per contract) so this figure should be available, I encourage potential franchisees to get a copy of this.

The number of terrotories can be approximated, (there were about 30-40 in 2009) You (T.B.) were claiming closer to 100 with a similar number of vans, if I had to defend your numbers, perhaps claiming a man and wife were 2 franchisees might cover you some. But the larger the number of terrortories the smaller the average share of that t/o there is... And here is the nub, if Tony Bowman is proud of the business, and has nothing to hide, them come up with group t/o, number of terrortories, explain the 5%, and come clean on the failure rate of franchisees,

And finally finally, ask the reccomended suppliers if they are content to suppy to a limited company (not individual) so when it all goes to worms, the debt is not personal, and dies with the limited company, if 99% are successful, the tyre suppliers will be happy, if 50% fail the tyre company will not want the risk! So if you are still adamant on buyinmg in, buy in as a Ltd. Company!!! (and refuse to sign personal guarentees of financial or other contractual agreements) again, if the business works, why would T.B. Refuse?

I have worked hard all my life, not scared of work at all, and there is only 24 any day, in those 24 not one, even the golden boys from down South, have made reasonable returns out of this franchise, once my 7 years are over, if the business is still alive, I intend to become less anonymous, I owe it to all potential employees, I owe it to myself, and it is owed to T.B. Who quite simply rips people off, and clearly enjoys doing it. Fortunatley T.B. As far as I know rips a few people for a few thousand pounds, I am sure there are worse people about, but he is nearly up there with the best.

The BFA are no help, a toothless and inside policed organisation, your franchise contract restricts you from whistle blowing, so expect no help or light from these toothless but no doubt well meaning individuals, who rang T.B. To inform him one of his franchisees was starting to crteate waves... Which in turn caused further pressure from T.B. And he does have the ability to apply pressure, in THIS franchise you are not working for yourself,

You are working for the iron grip of Bowman, who is scared if the franchisees got together, he might loose "control" that is the ability to micro manage YOUR business, I accept franchises work due to a common front, clean, well presented, efficient, hard working, teams under one banner, problem is, there is NO team spirit what so ever, you are on your own, (with Bowman breathing down your neck) and no communication with other franchisees.

This is another report from anon. I have posted once before, just trying to keep this thread fresh, I encourage others to follow up.

Offender: Etyres

Country: USA   State: All USA

Category: Cars & Transport


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