This week, Dev Patel, the son of Riverside, CA 7-Eleven franchise owners Dilip & Saroj Patel, were guests on the John & Ken Show on Los Angeles talk radio station KFI AM 640 to discuss the recent seizure of their 7-Eleven franchise by 7-Eleven.
In the interview, Patel says last December, 7-Eleven called his parents and requested a sit-down meeting with the franchise owners the following day to discuss financials. Two men from 7-Eleven Asset Protection team sat them in a room and told the couple they had several options:
1. Sign over the store, lose the store, money, investment, equity, etc. or
2. Not give it back and 7-Eleven will sue and take everything any way.
What a deal! 7-Eleven gave them until the end of the day to decide. The corporation claimed the Patel’s were involved in “excessive couponing,” specifically, using 7-Eleven’s Slurpee coupons in a fraudulent manner, paying themselves $1.50 on every Slurpee the Patel’s gave away free via the coupons.
The evidence? A few pages of transactions and 10-15 seconds of video of the franchisees working behind the counter. (7-eleven installs their own camera in franchise locations to keep an eye on things.) According to Patel’s parents, the tape wasn’t clear and they asked to see it again, 7-Eleven denied their request. Patel says he and his family were not given ample time to consult with a qualified franchise attorney to protect their assets.
You can listen to excerpts from the show here at Unhappy Franchisee.