My company purchased a Mr. Build remodeling franchise in January 1983. I am chairman of the Sacramento Mr. Build Contractors Association. Speaking for myself and the 10 other franchisees in our area, the Mr. Build program was misrepresented to you. We are all dropping our association with Mr. Build, and are seeking financial restitution.
In your cover story on Mr. Build ("The Conversion of Skip Kelly," February), there were some quotes from people related to the remodeling industry. Their concerns and impressions have proven to be reality.
"Too ambitious," "real estate people interested in selling franchises," and "making promises sells franchises sums up our complaints Art Bartlett, the "King of Franchise," should have investigated his proposed product before he tried to reshape the industry. We were sold franchises based on concepts and promises. None were delivered. What little advertising we had ceased four months ago. Our region was without a regional director or a business development manager for over six months -- six months in which we continued to pay our franchise and promotion fees. We are now stuck with an investment in a company unable to deliver on its promises, unable to develop a cohesive business plan, and now trying to sell "Total Property Services" franchises in order to recoup its losses.
The concept was great -- improving the consumers' opinion of the home improvement contractor -- yet the management is inept and lacking in construction expertise. I would strongly urge any potential franchisee to contact us or one of the other franchises prior to signing an agreement. Unfortunately for us, the King of Franchise has told us to eat cake.