No 7-Eleven

Resisting Chain Stores and Corporate Control


7-Eleven Franchisees Fight Back

Dev Patel - 7-Eleven Stole Our StoreThe Patel family owned and operated this 7-Eleven franchise in Riverside, California for 19 years. Recently, 7-Eleven seized the location claiming “excessive couponing” and forced the Patels to sign over the store despite asking for time to hire a qualified lawyer to represent them.

Franchising Wars: Besieged Franchisor Fights Back Against Disgruntled Franchisees

Via Gaebler

More than a dozen franchisees are suing 7-Eleven, alleging that the franchisor overstepped its legal bounds and unfairly terminated their franchise contracts. 7-Eleven says it had the legal grounds to terminate the franchise contracts.

The convenience store industry relies on franchising as part of its core business model. And like any other franchised business, many convenience stores live and die according to the terms of their franchise contracts.

But what happens when the franchisor is alleged to be using the franchise contract to unfairly target its franchisees?

That’s a question that at least a dozen 7-Eleven storeowners want answered–and they have filed lawsuits to obtain legal remedies for what they believe are unfair business practices by the popular franchisor.

According to the Dallas Business Journal and other sources, Dallas-based 7-Eleven Inc. is the defendant in more than twelve lawsuits alleging that the company terminated franchise contracts without proper cause. Plaintiffs in the suits claim that 7-Eleven targeted stores in high-traffic locations, enabling the franchisor to offer the locations to new franchisees willing to pay higher fees.

Continue reading Franchising Wars: Besieged Franchisor Fights Back Against Disgruntled Franchisees [Gaebler]


Franchisees Allege Hardball Tactics, Store Seizures by 7-Eleven

Franchisees allege hardball tactics, store seizures by 7-ElevenVia LA Times

7-Eleven relies on thousands of franchisees to sell millions of Slurpees, Big Bite hot dogs and other snacks.

But in the last two years, at least a dozen franchisees have sued the company, alleging it stripped them of their stores for bogus reasons. Some plaintiffs say 7-Eleven targeted successful stores in high-traffic areas, then flipped them to new franchisees willing to pay the company higher fees.

Dilip Patel and his wife, Saroj, said the company used “storm trooper interrogation and isolation tactics” in such sessions. The couple, who sued in March, ultimately gave up their Riverside store, which they had run since 1995, with no compensation from 7-Eleven.

Continue reading Franchisees allege hardball tactics, store seizures by 7-Eleven at LA Times.

Related

Franchisees Allege 7-Eleven ‘Flipped’ Their Stores [CSPnet]
Franchisees sue 7-Eleven over loss of their stores [Dallas Business Journal]
Franchisees allege hardball tactics, store seizures by 7-Eleven [Columbia Daily Herald]


Former Corporate Supervisor: 7-Eleven Has A Covert Team To Eliminate “Pain In The Ass” Franchisees

7-ElevenKurt McCord , a former 7-Eleven Corporate Investigations Supervisor, says 7-Eleven has a covert team designed to to illegally seize franchisee stores for profit and to eliminate respected franchisee association leaders they deem to be a “pain in the ass.” The bombshell was recently dropped in the lawsuit of 7-Eleven, Inc. v. Karamjeet Sodhi. Read it here. [PDF]

Via Unhappy Franchisee:

Kurt McCord, who previously worked with Target and Burlington Coat Factory, is a loss prevention professional who served as 7-Eleven’s Corporate Investigations Supervisor in 2013.

According to Kurt McCord’s Certification, 7-Eleven has a covert department designed to implement its “unfair, illegal and predatory practices” against its own franchisees.

According to McCord:

7-Eleven, Inc. has designed and implemented a predatory program to increase corporate profits by unethically stealing the equity and goodwill of its franchisees. In some cases, these franchisees spent decades of hard work and financial investment building their businesses.

7-Eleven’s scheme was to use its superior financial, legal, and corporate strength to seize the stores of profitable franchisees without providing them fair compensation for the years of goodwill they accumulated. The 7-Eleven Corporation would then resell those stores at an enormous profit.

Using an internal team masquerading as an Asset Protection (Loss Prevention) Department, 7-Eleven set a yearly number of stores to take back, prioritizing locations in areas with the highest resale values or, in some cases, operated by respected franchisees who had spoken out about the corporate giant’s corrupt practices.

7-Eleven attempts to legitimize these teams and their activities by referring to them as an Asset Protection (Loss Prevention) department, going to far as to give them names like “Centralized Investigations Team” and “Profit Assurance Team.” In reality, they’re less military opps  and more like a scorned, stalkerish ex-girlfriend who drives by their former boyfriend’s house at all hours of the night, commonly profiled on the Investigative Discovery channel. The article, 7-ELEVEN Bombshell: Insider Accuses 7-11 of Predatory Franchise Practices, can be read in full at Unhappy Franchisee.

This isn’t the first time 7-Eleven has been accused of predatory tactics.

7-Eleven is harassing a franchisee in New Jersey, going so far as to turn off his lottery machine, his money order machine and preventing him from placing orders through the corporation.

Andy Kahn, a 7-Eleven franchisee of 34 years, is suing the company for stalking, harassment, intentional infliction of emotional distress and for running him down outside a CVS Pharmacy.

Franchisees Dilip and Saroj Patel are also suing 7-Eleven alleging the company the convenience store giant is using “storm trooper” tactics to illegally seize valuable franchise rights from its franchisees in order to resell them for millions of dollars.

Related

7-Eleven Whistleblower Alleges Predatory Practices, Franchise Churning & Personal Vendettas [Blue Maumau]


7-Eleven Retaliates Against Outspoken Franchise Owner

7-Eleven RelatiatesJust one week after 7-Eleven franchisee Hashim Syed told WBEZ the corporation treats their franchisees like “glorified managers,” 7-Eleven retaliates with a surprise visit and list of violations.

One week after his interview on WBEZ, two Senior Vice Presidents from 7-Eleven came unannounced for a surprise inspection of his franchise. The very next day, Syed received a letter stating he was violating his franchise agreement by not using a hot dog grill as required and for several items being out of stock.

In the past such letters and violations have lead to 7-Eleven swooping in and taking over the location.

Jas Dhillon, a 7-Eleven franchisee in Los Angeles and vice chair of the National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees says “This is nothing but retaliation. We carry over 2,500 items in our store, from soda pops to candies to hot dogs to magazines to lottery tickets. Being out of stock of 17 — that’s less than 1 percent. Any given day, not just at 7-Eleven, at any of the other stores, you’re going to have items that we run out of, especially when you just had a hot weekend.”

Dhillon said 7-Eleven was trying to silence Syed and pointed out that the Chicago franchisee once won a national award from the company because, Dhillon said, “he ran the best store in the country.”

When questioned about the incident, 7-Eleven spokesperson Margaret Chabris issued a written statement that said her company “does not discuss publicly matters concerning our relationships with individual 7-Eleven franchisees.” Asked whether the 7-Eleven letter to Syed came in response to his WBEZ interview, Chabris did not answer the question.

7-Eleven is known for intimidating their franchisees. Currently, 7-Eleven is harassing a franchisee in New Jersey, going so far as to turn off his lottery machine, his money order machine and preventing him from placing orders through the corporation.

Andy Kahn, a 7-Eleven franchisee of 34 years, is suing the company for stalking, harassment, intentional infliction of emotional distress and for running him down outside a CVS Pharmacy.

Franchisees Dilip and Saroj Patel are also suing 7-Eleven alleging the company the convenience store giant is using “storm trooper” tactics to illegally seize valuable franchise rights from its franchisees in order to resell them for millions of dollars.

Outspoken 7-Eleven Franchisee Gets “Retaliatory” Visit [Unhappy Franchisee]
7-Eleven warns Chicago franchisee who criticized company [WBEZ]

Previously

7-Eleven Franchisee Tells NPR, We Are “Glorified Managers” [No 7-Eleven]


Franchisee Lawsuit Alleges 7-Eleven “Storm Trooper” Tactics

Dev Patel - 7-Eleven Stole Our StoreVia Unhappy Franchisee

A lawsuit filed against 7-Eleven, Inc. yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California alleges that the convenience store giant is using “storm trooper” tactics to illegally seize valuable franchise rights from its franchisees in order to resell them for millions of dollars.

The lawsuit, filed by Marks & Klein, LLP of Red Bank, NJ and Schindler Law Group on behalf of long-time 7-Eleven franchisees Dilip and Saroj Patel, alleges that 7-Eleven’s aggressive Asset Protection/Loss Prevention team seized the Patel’s Riverside, CA franchise without warning as “part of a wider, nationwide 7-Eleven scheme to improperly intimidate and terminate long-term franchisees, with the goal of acquiring their successful stores.”

According to the lawsuit (Dilip Patel, Saroj Patel, and Saroj Patel, Inc., v. 7-Eleven, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Seven Eleven Japan Co. LTD, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Seven and I Holding Co., LTD.), “the sole purpose of acquiring these stores – albeit through illegal means – is to ‘take back’ the stores, at no cost, with the intent to ultimately re-sell the store, for a fee, to a third-party purchaser.”

“7-Eleven’s efforts to terminate franchisees and take-back stores have been tremendously profitable for 7-Eleven,” the suit alleges.

“…the amount received by 7-Eleven in reselling taken-back stores is in excess of ten million dollars.”

Continue reading 7-ELEVEN Patel Franchise Lawsuit Alleges 7-11 “Storm Trooper” Tactics [Unhappy Franchisee]


PETITION: Joe DePinto, Return Our 7-Eleven Or Pay For It!

Joe DePinto - 7-Eleven
There’s a new petition going around demanding 7-Eleven CEO Joe DePinto either return the Patel family’s 7-Eleven franchise or pay for it.

The Patel family have owned and operated the 7-Eleven franchise in Riverside, California for 19 years. Recently, 7-Eleven seized the location from them claiming “excessive couponing” and forced the Patels to sign over the store despite asking for time to hire a qualified lawyer to represent them. The store seizure has sparked outrage in the community prompting public protests, a Facebook page and an appearance on the John & Ken Show on Los Angeles talk radio station KFI AM 640.

The petition can be found on Unhappy Franchisee.


7-Eleven Franchisee Takes To The Airwaves For Help

Dev Patel - 7-Eleven Stole Our StoreThis 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.

Previously

7-Eleven Stole Our Store