Minuteman Press International

Minuteman Press International Review

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Published: 10 June 2018

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Quotes from the slick and extremely well-rehearsed Minuteman Press International (MPI) marketing presentation to prospective franchisees: Quote 1: “You do not need any prior Print Industry experience to successfully operate a MPI franchise store.” Quote 2: “You do not need any business experience to successfully operate a MPI franchise store. Ninety seven percent of our franchisees had no prior Print Industry or business experience.” Quote 3: “A typical MPI store will do $30 000+ sales per month with only 2 people working in the business.” Quote 4: “As a typical MPI store you can expect your profit to be more than one third of the monthly sales.” Quote 5: “We will find your premises, negotiate your lease, supply your equipment, set-up your store and give you all the training you need. All you have to do is sign the Franchise Agreement, pay the money to MPI and we will take care of the rest.” Quote 6: “We will not allow you to open a business in a premises unless, we are confident that you will make it in the area.” Quote 7: “Experienced MPI representatives will work with you in your MPI store until such time as you are successful.” Quote 8: “MPI perfected its business model over a very long time. Very few, if any, of our stores fail or close. Our system works. You can rely on it.” Quote 9: “We have successfully set-up more than 900 stores in 5 countries all over the world. We know what we are doing. You are in good hands” Quote 10: “We have been doing Print Franchising successfully for more than 40 years.” (That is nowadays, during earlier years the figure was adjusted to whatever period was applicable at the time). Quote 11: “You can trust MPI, it has a proven track record with ethical and sound business practices.” Quote 12: “A typical MPI franchisee works business hours, Monday to Friday. As a MPI franchisee, you will have a great quality lifestyle.” Quote 13: “When you want to sell your MPI store we will take care of the sale of the business. The MPI store will sell for more than 30 times the monthly profit.” The harsh reality of MPI store owners: Over a period of more than 10 years, up to December 2011, twenty two franchisees invested their hard-earned lifesavings in MPI franchise stores in New South Wales and Queensland in Australia. They all relied on the MPI marketing representations before deciding to invest in a MPI franchise business. More than 73% MPI franchisees failed in their businesses in the Australian States of New South Wales and Queensland in Australia. MPI franchisee failures in the states of New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland (QLD), Australia: Blacktown, NSW – Business closed down; Owner liquidated business to avoid MPI claims for Royalties for remaining period of the 35 years of the Franchise Agreement. Parramatta, NSW – Business closed down; Owner liquidated business to avoid MPI claims for Royalties for remaining period of the 35 years of the Franchise Agreement. Sylvania Heights, NSW – Business closed down; Owner liquidated business to avoid MPI claims for Royalties for remaining period of the 35 years of the Franchise Agreement. Wollongong, NSW – Business closed down; Owner liquidated business to avoid MPI claims for Royalties for remaining period of the 35 years of the Franchise Agreement. Stanmore, NSW – Business closed down. Smithfield, NSW – Business closed down. Sydney Area, NSW – Business closed down, owner commenced legal action against MPI; MPI paid Settlement to Owner; MPI “Silenced” Owner with Confidentiality Agreement. Penrith, NSW – Business closed down; Owner liquidated / deregistered business to avoid MPI claims for Royalties for remaining period of the 35 years of the Franchise Agreement. Ingleburn, NSW – Business closed down; Owner liquidated business to avoid MPI claims for Royalties for remaining period of the 35 years of the Franchise Agreement. Artarmon, NSW – Business closed down. Albury, NSW – Business closed down. Caringbah, NSW – FIRST OWNER. MPI sold business at loss as owner could not sustain business losses and the Owner went broke. Slacks Creek, QLD – FIRST OWNER. Business closed down. MPI threatened owner that it would claim more than $500,000 for royalties for remaining period of Franchise Agreement. MPI forced Owner to re-open business. Shortly afterwards MPI sold business at a loss as the Owner could not sustain business losses. After sale of business the First Owner remained responsible and liable for the Premises Lease and the two Leases for Equipment. Owner had to pay many thousands of Dollars for subsequent monthly lease payments when the new store owners also struggled in the business and could not meet their lease obligations. Slacks Creek, QLD – SECOND OWNER. MPI sold business at loss as Second Owner also could not sustain business losses. Slacks Creek, QLD – THIRD OWNER. MPI sold business at loss as Third Owner also could not sustain business losses. Mooloolaba, QLD – FIRST OWNER. MPI sold business at loss as owner could not sustain business losses and First Owner went broke. Mooloolaba, QLD – SECOND OWNER. MPI sold business at loss as Second Owners also could not sustain business losses. Behind each one of the above franchisee failures is a tragic tale of human suffering. It is a story of sadness and blatant exploitation. Ordinary hardworking human beings who TRUSTED MPI with their lifesavings. They all had dreams of a better life. They were BETRAYED by the well-practised, unconscionable, unethical, immoral, greedy practices of the heartless management and business practices of MPI. The franchisees who failed in their businesses lost an estimated $4 500 000 of their personal wealth. MPI received an estimated $3 400 000 from these failed franchisees. The franchisees who failed in their businesses had to live through the emotional stress and the other related consequences of trying to survive in their struggling and ultimately failing businesses. In the end they lost their money and their dignity – all due to the gross inhumane conduct of MPI and its management. Conflicting quotes from MPI executives and representatives after franchisee invested in MPI franchise store: Quote 1: Bob Titus, President of MPI: “You made a poor business decision to open your MPI franchise and now you try to put the blame on us.” Quote 2: Bob Titus, President of MPI: “Why don’t you let us sell your business for you …….. You will not get much for it.” Quote 3: Bob Titus, President of MPI threatened: “Another franchisee also filed a dispute against MPI. He is no longer in business.” Quote 4: Bob Titus, President of MPI: “You have filed a dispute against MPI. We will not give you store support until such time as you withdraw the dispute…… You have to continue to pay your royalties although you get no store support. You have a contractual obligation to pay royalties.” Quote 5: Michael Jutt, Senior Executive Vice President of MPI: “You have to accept a MPI franchise store is not for everybody and some will fail. That is business.” Quote 6: Michael Jutt, Senior Executive Vice President of MPI: “When you buy a print business you should not pay any money up front to the seller of the business. Agree to pay a commission for the actual sales you achieve after you have taken over the business. That is all you should pay for a print business. Take the equipment for no payment.” Quote 7: David Koelmel, Regional Vice President of MPI: “Congratulations on achieving $30,000 monthly sales. Most MPI franchisees NEVER achieve that level of sales.” Quote 8: Chris Jutt, MPI Area Manager in Australia: “You can expect failures of MPI franchisees. The successes far out-number the failures.” Quote 9: Glen Coyle, MPI Area Manager in Australia: “I agree. A MPI Franchise Store is not everybody’s cup of tea. Franchisees do fail in their businesses.”

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