Posted Sun, 2010/12/26 - 18:15 by Janet Sparks
CNBC films a Cold Stone ice cream mix being made, source/CNBC
SCOTTSDALE, AZ – CNBC unexpectedly pulled its documentary Behind the Counter: The Untold Story of Franchising after receiving a threatening letter from Kahala’s newly retained counsel Robert Zarco.
In an email bulletin sent out throughout the system on December 23, the franchisor executive team updated the Cold Stone Creamery franchise community on its strategy “to defend and protect” its brand against “inaccuracies” of the CNBC documentary, which the network has repeatedly aired since December 15. In addition to hiring Zarco, identified as "the leading franchise attorney in the country," to represent franchisees on Cold Stone’s behalf, they also retained Snell and Wilmer as franchisor counsel.Read it all: http://www.bluemaumau.org/9797/cnbc_shelves_franchise_story_after_zarco_attacks
Insight from a current franchisee about having Cold Stone as a Business partner:
By The Truth 2010-12-31 14:48
Anyone who has been a franchisee for the past 7 years knows that the CNBC report was misleading only in that it reported a 30.6% failure rate at Colstone Creamery. If we were to go through the records of the franchisees who bought Coldstone Creamery Stores as first time locations, the truth would come out that the actual failure rate is upwards of 75%. They have blown over as a house of cards in a cold wind one after the other through the entire country. Every store in the city of Chicago failed and was sold or given to a new franchisee for pennies on the dollar! All across our region I have known other franchisees who have been so devastated by losing hundreds of thousands of dollars and years of their lives, that by the time they collapse they are so happy to be done with the ordeal that they don’t have the strength to take action. There are many more who collapsed than those who are left in the system which is now totally dominated by bottom feeders. The corporate people at Coldstone are very sharp tongued and have never shied away from making insults about franchisees as they fail. Once they have failed, the franchisee gets to suffer the repercussions of bankruptcy and Coldstone moves on with a debt free new franchisee and considers the episode a TRANSFER! This is why you see the laughably low failure rate published by CNBC at 30.6%. The actual rate is so, so much higher.
Now to address the matter of our corporate president Dan Beem. It seems if Mr. Beem had studied at the collegiate level, he may have taken a course in ethics and we might be on an entirely different track here. In ethics class we learn the difference between right and wrong and how to apply that knowledge in our daily affairs and our business transactions. I really must say that all of our franchisees are at a considerable disadvantage having an uneducated corporate president. Anyone who has personally met with Mr. Beem can see clearly that he is none other than a slick salesman and a corporate figurehead who will never discuss anything that has not been pre approved for conversation by the legal staff. Now after years of horrible decision-making he has created his signature opus by hiring Robert Zarco to “represent the franchisees.” So now he is spending huge piles of our money defending the lies that have gotten him in so much trouble in the first place. Does he want to be the Macbeth of the franchise business world? Does he even know who Macbeth is?
In reading Mr. Zarco’s letter to CNBC, which caused the network to shut the program down, many things are very clear. First, Mr. Zarco doesn’t know anything about our business at Coldstone. He has no idea what it is like to run one of these operations, how there is no money in the stores, how difficult it is to manage your huge loan at Coldstone and how pitifully inept the entire corporate support staff is at aiding you in doing so. For Mr. Zarco to suggest it is outrageous that Cecil Rolle said in the interview that he had talked five franchisees out of suicide is way off base and inappropriate. It’s exactly the type of heartless, demonstrative treatment corporate has been involved in for so long that leads people to desperation and suicidal tendencies in the first place. Inherent in that statement is the notion that what people FEEL as the result of the evil actions of their business partners and financial ruin is irrelevant. I would like to see Mr. Zarco in the shape he is in, try to run one of our stores with the extremely labor intensive nature of our business. He would never make it and he is unqualified to open his mouth on the subject.
Mr. Zarco claims he is representing the National Independent Association of Coldstone Creamery Franchisees. The existence of such a group is news to me and I have been suffering through life at Coldstone for many years. I have never even heard of such a group. Perhaps they are a group of second-generation franchisee’s that got their stores for free and are looking to improve the reputation of the brand? Again I have never heard of this group.
For Robert Zarco to suggest Mr. Rolle is “neither indicative nor representative of the typical Coldstone franchisee” is categorically false and shows Mr. Zarco has not done any homework. Do your research Mr. Zarco and you will find that I am speaking the truth. The failure rate is upwards of 75%. You claim in your letter that CNBC’s irresponsible reporting “deprives consumers of the truth regarding the relationship that exists between Coldstone as the franchisor, and its franchisees.” If the chain of events that have unfolded over the past years at Coldstone weren’t tragic and criminally fraudulent I would be tempted to laugh at that statement. It seems the business of fraud is alive and well at Coldstone Corporate now that you are claiming to represent US!!! If anything you should thank CNBC that they published 30.6% as the failure rate.
And now to my brothers and sisters who have suffered through bankruptcy, poverty, wasted years, divorce, and insult at the hands of this company who willfully has done this to you. I say let us be one. Let us come out of the woodwork and stand for what is right. Contact Cecil and get to know your rights. As we come together we can defeat these people. Our suffering will eat the insides of our oppressors out and they will bend to our demands. Pray and be bold. Never surrender!