The FTC franchising division purports their law enforcement experience in a recent report on franchising. Yet they are so busy attacking companies without solving the real issues. The entire franchise division seems to be a ploy for consumer confidence using our courts and some media headline grabbers is about all? If so fine, we can use high consumer confidence levels, turn it into a government public relations department, but please spare us the BS in claiming that the FTC has any law enforcement experience? Do you carry guns? Do you carry badges? Do you have ten-year background checks? Doubtful, if you have 26-year old prosecuting attorneys working there, then have you checked their backgrounds thru puberty? Yet these employees of yours have enough power to go and attack the companies, which create, build and employ the rest of America? Ouch.
Speaking of government employees and their work ethic, I would like to point to an article in October 4, 2004 issue of Federal Computer Week Magazine, were a lady was working for six months, looked busy all the time, but was really just screwing around surfing the net, visiting 7600 websites, sent and/or received 13,000 emails during that time and in one day alone visited 599 sites? Is this the reason why the Federal Trade Commission has not done anything with the franchising rule in 10 years? Is this the type of law enforcement experience you are talking about in your report? Well? Is it? How can we be sure that the FTC is not kicking their dog? They seem to believe that there is a lot of fraud out their in franchising, even though their report to Congress admits franchising has no complaints to speak of?
Folks, the Federal Trade Commission does not have in my opinion any real or relevant law enforcement experience at all in the franchising sector. I believe I personally have more law enforcement experience than they do;
The Federal Trade Commission is in my personal opinion; especially the franchising section for which I have first hand knowledge is an agency run amuck, much like many other agencies we often read about. It is at best a completely fascinating and interesting waste of taxpayer's money. How can we cut taxes and lower the deficit? Well, perhaps by cutting out the fat at the FTC. The franchising department in particular is a fraud in my opinion, a complete misrepresentation to the public and the consumers they pretend to protect. In our company's case with the Federal Trade Commission, which was cited in this report. They received complaints from 4-5 franchisees, who had been refused private attorney representation because they had no case and no attorney would take it. Two franchisees who complained to the Federal Trade Commission about our company had paid only two franchisee royalty payments, they defrauded our company. Additionally these two franchises coaxed a couple of others who had paid no franchisee royalty payments to make duplicate or very similar complaints so they got together their stories and submitted complaints to the FTC.
By then these former franchisees had turned into competitors refusing to honor the franchise agreement, yet still used our methods and proprietary equipment, knowledge and know-how. The Federal Trade Commission case-worker (prosecutor) decided to promise these franchisees monetary compensation and told them to embellish the complaint in formal declarations (lie under oath and penalty of perjury). The Federal Trade Commission then took a complaint from a commission only sales person in GA, which fired for giving unsubstantiated earnings claims and allowed him to file a complaint. In the franchise rule this is against the law yet the Federal Trade Commission saw no problem with this and took his complaint anyway. His wife just happened to work for the State of Georgia Consumer Rights Agency (do not remember the exact name of that agency). We even recovered a copy of an email correspondence between the entire set of complaintants, to show collusion, yet the Federal Trade Commission balked at settling or reversing their mistake.
Taking this information along with the embellished complaints former franchisees (competitors) and the FTC went forward? But why? Why move cases which are bogus forward? Is this to add to the "Law Enforcement Experience" add to the list of important law enforcement actions of the commission? Why continue such an obviously fraudulent case? Is it because I have been critical of the FTC, I am a citizen? Does that mean that the FTC has to lie to keep up its facade? Unable to do it's law enforcement actions legitimately, misrepresenting its abilities with unsubstantiated record of law enforcement? Is this all we get as consumers? Is this what is expected of those critical of dishonesty in our government?
I have observed bad legislation, abuses of power and ridiculous barriers to entry through over regulation and had stated so in the comments on the FTC's franchise rule in 1997? Equally telling that my concerns in 1997 were not addressed in this report as were all the lawyers and attorneys. Entrepreneurs who produce everything we have come to enjoy in our civilization somehow are less important than those who manipulate the intent and letter of the law, rules and regulations. What a sad commentary of the greatest nation in the world.
The FTC targeted me, personally slandering my name and went after my company causing serious issue with our brand name, which had taken decades to build. Then using this they attempted to profile myself as a fraudster, money launderer and bring my wife into the loop who was not even an officer of the company. No kidding and it gets worse. After profiling me and filing some 1300 pages of declarations and so called proof of guilt and profiling, they filed the paper work in a secret Federal Court. The Federal Trade Commission then went all out on this one, even convinced the judge, with their overwhelming evidence (1300 pages of misrepresentation), that they must immediately seize all assets since I might flea the country?
That is insane, I run a company I have built up since I was 12 years old, one they were trying to destroy, why would I leave my country; a country I love? www.carwashguys.com . This of course one of those typical slander jobs you hear about, but never really believe. What kind of law enforcement experience is that? Who is watching the Federal Trade Commission. To make things worse we had tracked the last name of one of the case-workers to another huge company with 5000 franchisees in a similar service business which competes in some of our markets. Incidentally the first complaint came from a franchisee use to work for that same fortune 500 company in one of their franchise service divisions. Then we find that a caseworker at the FTC who was involved in our case went to college with other competitors in the car washing industry.
We also discovered that a person of the exact same name living in the same area (an uncommon name) and also going to school in the same area who had worked on our case had written gay porn on the Internet (yes we have documentation back-up). And the caseworker is also gay, I assume to this day as he was seen on TV bad mouthing our President in a protest over gay marriage? You know sodomy is still illegal. If you do not like it change the law, isn't that what you tell entrepreneurs? To hell with your agency; hypocrisy has never been greater and my apology from the agency never so over do. How wonderful to know such a person might still be working in the computer consumer fraud division at the Federal Trade Commission. I certainly hope everyone is on top of these things and there is some internal affairs division, because if this is the Federal Trade Commission's idea of law enforcement in the Franchise Field, well then, perhaps we are better off without rules or regulations in the franchising industry at all. After all no fraud exists. The only fraud I have observed first hand is that which resides inside the very agency, which is suppose to be watching all of us. If the FTC is watching franchising, then who is watching the FTC's franchising group? And when are we going to start investigating them?
I would not even believe the story myself as it sounds like a conspiracy novel, except that it happened to our company and to me personally. I have proved my innocence and that the company did nothing wrong in 2200 pages of rebuttal and it was settled out of court, yet a black mark remains on our company and my name. And due to the actions or "Law Enforcement Experience" of the FTC and the seizing of assets for over a year we were unable to help our franchisees and 30 of them had failed, not all, but 30 consumers lost everything due to this action. If attempting to destroy businesses on behalf of competitors is what the FTC is up to, then we need to destroy and terminate the Federal Trade Commission's Franchising efforts by cutting off all funding and laying off all employees associated as this would be the best for all concerned. I think we in the franchising arena need a timeline of when this will end and when that division will be completely cut.
No apology has been given to our company and the case against us still remains as an example of the Federal Trade Commission's Law Enforcement Actions and now is cited in this 400 plus page report as part of their law enforcement experience. I believe that it is not right for the Federal Trade Commission to purport any law enforcement action until it comes clean itself. Simply filing cases against companies is not "law enforcement experience."
I am certain that the FTC has shredded our proof of innocence on our part, but we still have copies of all of it, incase they have. I believe this should be looked into further as it shows why there is a growing distrust of government in our country, which is highly unhealthy. I cannot accept this, not in the greatest country in the world, not in a country my ancestors, twelve of them came here on to start a new, a little boat, you may have heard of it; The Mayflower. You son's of bitches, you have disgraced all we are and all we have built here. What a pathetic example you set; in the name of helping the consumer? Think about it.
"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs