• Report: #565964

Complaint Review: Dine and Discounts

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  • Submitted: Sun, February 07, 2010
  • Updated: Sun, August 26, 2012

  • Reported By: Mr. Ethical — California United States of America
Dine and Discounts
18636 Pheasant Ridge Rd. Prior Lake, Minnesota United States of America

Dine and Discounts Centermark promotions - Mike Gerken Lied, mislead, misleading, decieved, con, scam, fraud, sued and lost, sued by franchisee's Prior Lake , Minnesota

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Owner perspective of Dine and Discounts

*UPDATE Employee: To the satisfied territory owners

*UPDATE Employee: Stop looking for excuses for being Lazy

*General Comment: A proud supporter of Dine and Discounts of Minnesota!

*Consumer Comment: Bad Experience with Dine and Discounts

*Consumer Comment: Mike Gerken / dine and discounts breached my contract

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Response to disgruntled former DAD inc, Rep Brooke Cunningham

*Author of original report: Dine and Discounts

*Author of original report: Dine and Discounts, Mike Gerken

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This company has all kinds of issues that everyone should be aware of.
This company is using deceptive practices in every way possible. They are scamming Entrepreneurs , fund raising groups including schools, church's, & Youth Groups and customers who support the fundraisers.

First they convince people to buy a franchise ( Territory Owner ) in different cites and they claim to have 60,000 national offers included with an online coupon book. They convince you to sell advertising to businesses and then sell the offer through the fund raising groups. They have not closed a deal with the other company for all those national offers.


They have already been sued and lost from someone who bought in to this program. Many other people who also bought in to this program are looking to file a class action suit against this company as well. They do not feel they were told the truth when they bought in to this company. If anyone of the territory owners are selling this online book through the fund raising groups then they have deceived those groups in to believing they are entitled to all the offers and again they do not have a signed agreement with the company that offers those national offers. This means that anyone who bought a subscription through a group or direct from the company has been mislead and lied to.  They have an ad placed on Entrepreneur.com claiming to have 10 employee's in the office. Call the number and see if you get an answer. Google the address and look at Google maps and see if it's an office.

The website does not function the way it is supposed to for the territory owners.They have also made false claims that fund raising groups have used them and have made as much as $250,000. Then they convinced territory owners it was true and had them add this information to they're own fund raising pages. This is false information to convince groups to use them.
Many people have bought in to this and then walked away when they realized the truth and did not want to deceive the public.

Territory owners were told that they had many more customers already then what they really have to convince them that this program was growing leaps and bounds. In my opinion, anyone every contacted by Dine and Discounts SHOULD RUN TO THE NEAREST EXIT.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/07/2010 02:29 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Dine-and-Discounts/Prior-Lake-Minnesota-55372/Dine-and-Discounts-Centermark-promotions-Mike-Gerken-Lied-mislead-misleading-decieved-565964. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
2Author 5Consumer 2Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Owner perspective of Dine and Discounts

AUTHOR: dadfundraisers@gmail.com - (United States of America)

Greetings,

My name is Dan Brooks; a former secondary Special Education teacher and head wrestling coach from Colorado.  I recently perchased the Northern Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana territories for Dine and Discounts fundraisers. I am no longer a teacher and am now a small business owner for Dine and Disounts or dadfundraisers.

I humbly and proudly offer a "Non Ripoff Report" for my company, a subsidary of Dine and Discounts. There unfortunately is a posting that Dine and Discounts founder, Mike Gerken is a fraud and rip off. Because of this posting, it is my position it affects potential partners. Consider a request and offer of good business ethics, efforts, standing, and success below.

I work very hard to develop this business in my territory. Since March, I work two jobs; one being a part-time with Dine and Discounts. During this time, I have contacted more than 300 schools, preschools, youth groups, churches, performing arts organizations, and numerous sports groups. In conjunction with these mail, phone, and in person contacts, I conducted the similar marketing strategies to develop business partnerships in a win-win-win opportunity. A win for business to get a unique and effective advertising, a win for groups to get the best funding in the nation (a school of 500 students; each sell just 2 each raises $20,000). A win for youth to develop formal public speaking skills and experience and participate small business for a good cause. We are the best, easiest, most effective, and have the highest return for ones' fundraiser partnership.

This fun and challenging experience has achieved success and enlightenment as a fantastic way to generate and advertise business through a complementary way to raise funds for youth. When I sell myself and business...I am faced with a
range of thoughtful skeptics to full force supporters and really no outright critics from business nor educators nor youth administrators/coaches. So far, I have conducted and learned so much from small and humble fundraisers and consequently added over 50 offers in the Boulder-Longmont territory. I patiently await more opportunities to help others and prove myself in the quest towards a successful fundraiser company for Northern Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana.

I am proud of my modest efforts, experience, growth, and success currerntly as the sole employee for my territory. I am eager for the opportunities that await me and Dine and Discounts. I simply write this "Non Rip-Off" to refute untrue allegations of Dine and Discounts in another Ripoff report made and responded to over a year prior. Mike Gerken, numberous territory owners, and I all believe our service and partnerships are great and unique fundraiser for youth, business, and national and local economy. For those schools, groups, or businesses thank you for your time with consideration from a positive perspective in the American spirit of helping one another to achieve successful partnerships, community, and local and national economy development.

Humbled and Honest Regards,
Dan Brooks;
Dine and Discounts Territory Owner of Northern Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana
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#2 UPDATE Employee

To the satisfied territory owners

AUTHOR: Koober - (United States of America)

I bought the Chicago South Illiana territory long before most of you were involved we were the 4th territory to sign up. My partner and I signed up because when the business model is done correctly and the website is being maintained properly DAD has the potential to be a good fundraiser and business model. The problem is Mr Gerken we have a contract that clearly states it continually rolls over and he seems to feel he can interpret that he can take our territory away from us for non-performance. Our contract clearly gives him the right to come in and work our territory if he feels it needs to improve but does not give him the right to take our territory away, which he did by eliminating our ability to get into our back office on the site. I started growing my territory from the town I live in and when he continually struggled to make the site work properly and was extremely slow on paying $125 to a fundraising group, we paused because I didn't want to jeopardize my reputation by his non-performance, it was at this time the tear-off cards were introduced to make the fundraising sale go more smoothly (this was mine and my partners idea during a conference call with Gerken). When we paused to ensure company was being ethical and correct Gerken decided to TAKE!!! our territory. We have a lawsuit pending in Minnesota Court and I welcome any comments or emails to koober66@msn.com, I will be more than glad to be questioned and challenged as to what we did wrong to warrant Mr Gerken stealing our territory back from us. I also have a complaint on file with BBB of Minnesota. Read your contracts carefully I hope you didn't give him the right to take your territory for non-performance because we were smart enough to strike it from ours before signing.   
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#3 UPDATE Employee

Stop looking for excuses for being Lazy

AUTHOR: Fabulous1 - (United States of America)

As an employee of this company the orginal authors post  is very upsetting to read.  I have been working for this company for more than a month now and have nothing but positive things to say about this company and my boss Mike Gerken. I work remotely from Florida.  I am very happy at my job and happy to work for a company that cares about its employees and it's territory owners.

 

First of all, I don't understand why in the original report the author states they are "convinced" to sell advertising to businesses and they are complaining about having to do so. As I understand it, this is not a turnkey business.  This is not like a McDonald's franchise where you pay millions of dollars and the store and everything is given to you on a silver platter. You actually have to WORK & build the territory you own! Perhaps the author should have realized what they were getting into before signing the contract. If your not going to find advertisers for the territory you own how in the world are you going to be able to offer a card to fundraising groups to sell? There would be nothing to offer but national discounts. How do you you expect people to want to buy a discount card with no LOCALLY sponsored coupons? Sounds to me that this person didn't realize what they were getting into and were not willing to do the work to make it successful! Hit the pavement! Pound the Phone! I currently worked in the one midwestern territory to help find sponsors and in only one weeks time got more than 200+ coupons from local businesses (sponsors) just by simply calling them on the phone and asking them to offer a coupon. Just imagine if I owned the territory. I would dedicate all my time to finding advertisers each and every day to help my territory grown and be successful. These coupons are crucial to the success of this business and to rely only on national discounts would be an epic fail on the territory owners part. What is given to you is just to start out with you have to grow your business. Also,  just to let you know that is a flat out lie about the website. It  functions perfectly! It so easy a cave man can do it! You call a sponsor ask them to advertise. Within minutes your putting up their logo, putting in their offer and its live. The offers are also emailed to the subscribers (the people who purchased the cards). I just started with this company and I don't know all the ins and outs with contracts and what is between mike and the territory owners. Its not my job to know but I just want to throw and idea out there and say if i were a territory owner & wanted more national advertisers it would be very easy to sign up with a company like commission junction or something like that and become and affiliate to get national offers.  Keep in mind thought that these national offers are not going to get someone to buy the discount card. Its the local offers from businesses the people in the community actually frequent that are the most valuable. Local Pizza restaurants, tanning salons, beauty parlors are the types of coupons that would make the fundraiser successful.

 

Lastly, fundraising can be a hit and miss affair. Often, particularly in the smaller organizations, the fundraising tasks are given to people with little or no fundraising experience. Its very important for the owner of the territory to know how to motivate the manpower of the fundraising group he/she is trying to help. Every fundraiser is going to be different and the amount of money each group makes is going to vary based on how hard the volunteers work. This is the responsibility of the territory owner and the fundraising group not dine and discount.

 

I would advise anyone who is going to buy into this franchise that to succeed at it takes time and a prolonged effort but if your willing to put in the effort you will be successful! The original poster sounds to me like someone who either is a competitor or an ex-franchisee who is lazy and doesnt want to put in the work and just wants his money back.

 

Thanks for your time.

 

~Action is the foundational key to all success ~ Pablo Picasso

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#4 General Comment

A proud supporter of Dine and Discounts of Minnesota!

AUTHOR: bm6633 - (United States of America)

This is pretty amusing to read!  I live in Minnesota and have first hand seen the positive commitments, work ethic, and our community group raise about $60,000.00 through Dine and Discounts.

For you who have or are considering becoming a Territory Owner Maybe you should look into the company a bit more before becoming a part of the franchise!?  If they lied about having 60,000.00 National Discounts through Perkline / Abenity you should be able to take 2 seconds, look through the website and see if that is a false statement!?

I have been a member of Dine and Discounts since last year and they at one point did work with Perkline / Abenity.  To say that they had a contract I have no idea but they are working through a different National Discount site plus I believe their own national discounts.  In addition they have around 1300 Local Discounts in MPLS Alone!!!  Pretty great if you ask me!

I have seen these MPLS Territory Owners and their employees at work in our local community and they have done an amazing job and are very hard working.  I believe Correct me if Im wrong that if you Purchase a territory you have to build that means WORK your local communities for your groups to be successful! My community has about 140 local discounts in a 10 mile radius!

Now Im not saying every State or Community is build like mine but with people like this first guys email no wonder!  All some people are good at is complaining instead of getting the work done!

 

If I was any kind of group looking for a fundraiser I would RUN TO THIS COMPANY!

 

The Best of luck to everyone,

A proud supporter of Dine and Discounts!

 

P.S. I saw this comment on a different feedback site right before this one

 

06/09/10: 'Happy Baseball Mom'

I am not from Colorado, but we have a Dine And Discounts fundraiser franchise in Minnesota. Our school baseball team used it and raised $12,000 more than their best year ever. The team last year raised $8000 we some card thing. This year they raised around $20,000. The team was able to keep 80% of what they raised. This is the best fundraiser that I have ever heard about.
May

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#5 Consumer Comment

Bad Experience with Dine and Discounts

AUTHOR: ME - (United States of America)

We had some business dealings with Dine and Discounts corporate, and the Territory Owners. In our experiences with Mike Gerken, the CEO of Dine and Discounts, we found him to be an unethical, dishonest, and incompetent business person. 

Mr. Gerken negotiated agreements for services, then violated this agreement within a few weeks behind our backs. We were informed of this violation by one of the Territory Owners who had the decency to inform us about it, and to let us know Mike Gerken had no intention of honoring our agreement. Mr. Gerken didn't have the moral and business ethics to inform us himself. The other company that he formed a new agreement with regarding the same services, also had bad experiences with Mr. Gerken and withdrew their services within a matter of weeks, and they filed a lawsuit against Mr. Gerken and Dine and Discounts. Comically, Mr. Gerken then tried to re-engage our company to provide the same services we had originally forged and agreement to do. Due to our experience with Mr. Gerken, we declined to re-establish any sort of business arrangement with Dine and Discounts. 

Mr. Gerken also lied to Territory Owners about having a contract with Perkline / Abenity to provide their offers to the Dine and Discounts package. The CEO of Perkline / Abenity confirmed in a phone conversation that they had never entered into a contract with Dine and Discounts to provide their national discount offers as part of the Dine and Discounts offering and package. 

As part of the sales pitch, Territory Owners and prospects who were considering buying a territory were informed by Mr. Gerken that Dine and Discounts did have a contract with Perkline, which they did not. Some of the current Territory Owners at the time saw this as a very positive development, and thus purchased additional territories under the false premise propagated by Mr. Gerken that there was a contract with Perkline / Abenity. Potential new territory owners also purchased territories thinking there was a contract with Perkline / Abenity. 

Eventually, Mr. Gerken had to remove the Perkline / Abenity offers that were appearing on the Dine and Discounts website as part of their coupon discount offers because they were not valid, represented false advertising, and Perkline / Abentity's legal department demanded that this information be removed from the Dine and Discounts website and Territory Owners local market websites.

As part of the sales pitch, Mr. Gerken also provided Territory Owners and prospective Territory Owners with false data regarding dollar amounts raised in fundraisers by existing Territory Owners. For example, he had printed and digital (web) statements and testimonials that indicated a junior hockey team in Minnesota raised $250,000 in a fundraiser. This turned out to be a false statement, and had to be removed from the Territory Owner's websites and the corporate Dine and Discounts website, and all printed material.

Many of the current Territory Owners are attempting to get out of their territories and franchise agreements because this investment in a Dine and Discounts territory turned out to be a bad business decision. Mike Gerken has promised many of the Territory Owners that he will refund their investment because he misrepresented numerous things about the business, fundraising data, contracts with discount providers, etc. Mr. Gerken has promised to refund their investment when he "resells" these territories to someone else. However, no Territory Owners have recouped their investment to date.
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#6 Consumer Comment

Mike Gerken / dine and discounts breached my contract

AUTHOR: Koober - (United States of America)

Mr Gerken has not delivered a well functioning website to execute the electronic coupon book, nor does anyone make $250,000 a year, in fact most of the territory owners have made nothing because he has not provided a business plan that works. He constantly makes promises he does not keep and he recently locked me and my partner out of the administrative side of the website which left us unable to run our territory. If the business was ran the way he states in his rebuttal and in the numerous conversations I have had he would possibly have a descent business. For some reason he is such a poor business man that he isn't even smart enough to use the expertise of the territory owners and run the business ethically and proper. Due to his continual unethical business practices many owners don't run there territory because they are afraid to misrepresent or commit fraud publicly. If you look at his site you will see the majority of teritories have few or no discounts.
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#7 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Response to disgruntled former DAD inc, Rep Brooke Cunningham

AUTHOR: DAD President/CEO - (United States of America)

The author of this report "Mr Ethical" is Brooke Cunningham.  Brook Cunningham is a former representaive of DAD Sacramento and is obviously disgruntled.  We at DAD find it extremely disturbing that an individual can make false accusations on a site such as this only in an attempt to position themselves to get ahead in the fundraising industry and at the same time referring to himself as "Mr Ethical".  Brook Cunningham is currently working for another fundraising company and is trying to compete with DAD.  At this time we choose not to share the name of this fundraising company in order to protect the reputation of their other employees.  DAD is extremely proud of our fundraising company.  Our business was founded and based on an 80 percent return for the kids and it has been very successful for them. The kids sell a DAD online subscription (not a book) for $25.00 keeping $20.00 in return. The money that is recieved goes directly to the organization.  $5.00 of that return goes to the territory owner for there business expenses. Every subscriber is entitled to all of the local and national discounts that are offered.  We are a home based office with numerous employees operating out of the Twin Cities. Our employees and territory owners are proud to be part of DAD.  I would be happy to discuss any questions or concerns directly.  We would also be happy to provide testimonials. I can be contacted at (((ROR redacted)))


 

CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.
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#8 Author of original report

Dine and Discounts

AUTHOR: Mr. Ethical - (United States of America)

Centermark promotions is not the dine and discounts referred to in this report. The editor of the ripoff report has been asked to take the name out of the report as they are not the parent company.

A friend of mine has been contacted and accused of writing this story and I want to make it perfectly clear that the person in question is not the author. The story was told to me, I confirmed the story, and wrote the posting.
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#9 Author of original report

Dine and Discounts, Mike Gerken

AUTHOR: Mr. Ethical - (United States of America)

Original Report: This report is about Dine and Discounts Corp, not the franchisees. ( Territory Owners )

This company has all kinds of issues that
everyone should be aware of. This company is using deceptive practices
in every way possible. They are scamming Entrepreneurs , fund raising
groups including schools, church's, & Youth Groups and customers
who support the fundraisers. First they convince people to buy a
franchise ( Territory Owner ) in different cites and they claim to have
60,000 national offers included with an online coupon book. They
convince you to sell advertising to businesses and then sell the offer
through the fund raising groups. They have not closed a deal with the
other company for all those national offers. They have already been
sued and lost from someone who bought in to this program. Many other
people who also bought in to this program are looking to file a class
action suit against this company as well. They do not feel they were
told the truth when they bought in to this company. If anyone of the
territory owners are selling this online book through the fund raising
groups then they have deceived those groups in to believing they are
entitled to all the offers and again they do not have a signed
agreement with the company that offers those national offers. This
means that anyone who bought a subscription through a group or direct
from the company has been mislead and lied to.  They have an ad placed
on Entrepreneur.com claiming to have 10 employee's in the office. Call
the number and see if you get an answer. Google the address and look at
Google maps and see if it's an office. The website does not function
the way it is supposed to for the territory owners.They have also made
false claims that fund raising groups have used them and have made as
much as $250,000. Then they convinced territory owners it was true and
had them add this information to they're own fund raising pages. This
is false information to convince groups to use them. Many people have
bought in to this and then walked away when they realized the truth and
did not want to deceive the public. Territory owners were told that
they had many more customers already then what they really have to
convince them that this program was growing leaps and bounds. In my
opinion, anyone every contacted by Dine and Discounts SHOULD RUN TO THE
NEAREST EXIT.
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