Private Right of Action Debate, or is it?

Let’s review, shall we?

The International Franchise Association and leader Matthew Haller call this a “needless solution.”

With a track record of resisting ANY legislation that may benefit Prospective and Cherished Franchisees, the International Franchise Association and Matthew Haller have always been consistently opposed, as has the leadership before them for decades. Forget not that initially, the IFA didn’t even want Franchisees’ participation in their ranks. For the most part, Franchisees back then were considered “toxic.”

First, let’s call this what it is. Any “right” provided to a Franchisee that would allow him/her/them to oppose their franchisor is just unconscionable to them and their lawyers, whom they bring in by the busload to counter rights that “dare” be provided. So instead, they would rather tread on their merry way, spitting out templated agreements and FDDs, offering up tired old cliches, and talking about “Open for Opportunity” except where it might impact existing or Potential Franchisees positively.

I’m not one to bring politics into the fray but let’s call this. The International Franchise Association accepts “dark money” from opposing “Republican” sources to fight off change of any kind that again may benefit Franchisees. We find this to be particularly true when those in the Democrat party propose legislation or, for that matter, nominations. Let me repeat; these legislative proposals are NOT partisan.

Take it from this registered Republican, these are not partisan proposals, but Matthew Haller enjoys placing them into that bucket, given it’s where some of their money comes from. We find this true with almost anyone or any organization that donates, contributes, or is part of the IFA or its legislative lobbying effort. To be “smug” when defeating a proposal that might benefit Franchisees is the absolute opposite of what this organization pretends to be, franchising advocates.

Quoting from the article written by Beth Ewen of the Franchise Times, Jeff Haff, a Dady & Gardner attorney who represents franchisees, says,  “If you violate the FTC rule as the franchisor, you can walk right into court and say, ‘Yes, I admit it, I violated it,’ but the court would say there’s no private right of action.” Let that settle in for a moment. This is the kind of response that the International Franchise Association and Matthew Haller are perfectly content with. Tell us, Cherished Franchisees, are you?

In the same article, Matthew Haller says, “our friends at Franchise Business Review and their soon-to-be-released Franchise Industry Report 2022, where they measure franchisee satisfaction.” The report said 88 percent of franchisees surveyed enjoy operating their business, and 86 percent enjoy being part of their franchise organizations,” among other feelings. Franchise Business Review has surveyed over 1,100 franchise brands, hardly representative of all in franchising.

It is essential to point out that these Franchisees surveyed are part of a franchisor paid for survey and not simply solicited opinions. Moreover, on their website, they admit “The information is not intended to replace the franchise investigation process that all potential franchisees should engage in. It does, however, provide immediate feedback from existing franchisees about brands they may be interested in”. You may want to inquire about their methodology as well, as in “weighted sums.”

The International Franchise Association is against the bill, calling it “a needless solution that is redundant of state fraud statutes and has no support among major organizations that represent franchise owners.”

In clear and direct opposition to such a ridiculous statement, Keith Miller, principal at Franchisee Advocacy Consulting and a supporter of the bill, scoffed at the report cited by the IFA. “Funny, I never knew franchisees were happier than ever. I also laugh that it’s not needed because it’s already in state law. Not all states, including California, give you a private right of action,” he wrote via email.

“Finally, here are the organizations that had endorsed the bill prior to introduction, yet IFA said there was no major support from franchisees organizations,” he wrote, listing 17 organizations including franchisee associations for Dunkin’ Donuts, Massage Envy, Batteries Plus, Little Caesars, Tutor Doctors, Meineke, 7-Eleven, Subway and more.

Seems the International Franchise Association is so convinced of their own puffery that they no longer know the difference between facts and facts they make up on the fly.

Finally, and in conclusion, kudos to Janice Schakowsky, D-Ill. who said, the bill “gives a little teeth to the belief that you should get an accurate and well-made FDD.

If you take anything away from this proposed legislation and what has been written here, take this away. Why in the name of all that is RIGHT would the International Franchise Association and Matthew Haller be opposed to a simple piece of legislation, non-partisan, that would protect YOUR rights as a Prospective or Existing CHERISHED Franchisee?

The question is rhetorical because the answer is obvious. The IFA and Matthew Haller care little about what YOU think or how YOU ARE treated because it has no vested interest in providing YOU with the franchise advocacy they pretend to speak of.

Keith MillerAmerican Association of Franchisees and Dealers (AAFD)The Coalition of Franchisee AssociationsAAHOAFederal Trade CommissionMatthew Haller,