I do not consider this complaint to be a contractual disagreement or misunderstanding. The business practices of Allied Systems Industries are fraudulent and misleading, meant to fleece the unsuspecting public of anywhere from $3,000 to $15,000.
Allied Systems Industries has clearly devised a contractual strategy with the intent of fraudulently depriving their customers of $3000 by not fulfilling their obligations as stated on the Purchasing Agreement. Because of Allied System Industries fraudulent business practices, I have suffered stress and anguish in dealing with them, plus, being deprived of my initial payment of $15,000. Also, I have also incurred many additional expenses in obtaining further business consultation to develop a professional business plan.
At this point, I just want my initial outlay of $15,000 returned to me immediately, as Allied Systems has done nothing to earn their money. I am very concerned about any positive outcome, after reading another complaint filed here on 2004, which is strikingly the same as my story. I wish I had known about Rip-Off prior to handing over my money to this company.
On May 23, 2007 I entered into an agreement with Allied Systems, whereby I signed a purchasing agreement that detailed their obligations to me. Those obligations included business consultation, location of retail site, negotiations for the lease, complete build out of the store, stocking of the merchandise, and operational/marketing training.
I was told time and time again that once the project was completed, Allied Systems would turn over to me a "turn key" operation. I was also assured by Mark Worthington, v.p. of sales, that any time I had a concern, questions, or complaints I could call him directly. He told me that this was great opportunity, and that since I entered into this agreement when I did, I should be open by September of 2007, a prime time for sales.
I paid Allied Systems the initial $15,000 by cashiers check on May 23, 2007, as required by them. From that date on, I have continuously addressed with Allied Systems the issue that they have done nothing to fulfill their obligations to me.
Their first obligation was to contact a local realtor in order to assist in procuring a location and to assist in the negotiations in any proposed lease. On May 23, 2007, I provided them with the name of the local realtor that I trusted. They assured me then that they would start immediately by contacting the identified realtor.
The very next day, it was me and not Allied Systems that located a prime location. I gave my realtor the information and also contacted Allied Systems.
I was surprised to find, that the local realtor had not been contacted by Allied Systems. I told both that I expected them to work together. That did not occur!!!! The local realtor did send all contact information to Allied and the requirements stipulated by the developer, but Allied did not follow up with her.
Allied was aware that the developer expected a "professional business plan with the financials. I knew this not from communications with Allied, but by communications with my realtor. It was not until I called Scott Abbott, Real Operations of Allied, on May 29th that it was affirmed that was the requirement. However, to that date nothing had been sent to the developer, as I was told that Allied needed a statement from me regarding my personal financial information and my resume, in order to incorporate my information into the business plan. This not something that I was aware of, until I contacted Allied Systems, as they had not contacted me.
I faxed the requested information to Allied on June 1, 2007. I subsequently learned that the raw data of my personal finances were attached to what Allied called a "Business Plan". It was not a Professional Business Plan, as it offered no operating plan, projections, or business financials. The best way to describe it is a typed promotional brochure in which they incorporated some of my personal information. Then Allied sent a lease proposal without prior consultation or approval with myself or realtor. Further, the realtor was never contacted or consulted during this time.
Again Allied was contacted regarding their need to work in cooperation with the realtor. They seemed to be very reluctant to do so, and I can only surmise at this point, that it was their intent to use the realtor's name and then to cut the realtor out altogether. Because, I contacted both the realtor and Allied, the realtor again followed up with Allied and the broker that represented the retail space. Again, there was lack of follow through with Allied.
It appeared that Allied was dragging out the process, as a couple of weeks went by without response. Again I complained about lack of follow up, not coordinating efforts with the local realtor, and the unprofessional business plan. Finally, Allied received a negative response from the broker of the Development, in which the developer indicated that they had no interest in a "Mom & Pop" store, and were looking for a National Franchise. I was upset with Allied because, I knew that much of the negative perception that the Developers had regarding the business, was directly related to Allied's lack of professionalism by not coordinating efforts with the local realtor and not presenting a professional business plan.
This time a conference call was made, and I talked to Tony Scott, Dir. of Merchandise & Finance; Scott Abbott; and John George, Vice President of Real Estate. I reiterated my complaints with Allied. At that time John George indicated that Allied has recently had similar issues with other developers (a fact I was not aware of until then), and he assured me that he would do anything possible to "turn things around".
During this time Allied did nothing in regards to locating alternative business sites. It was only my efforts of traveling through town to gather additional retail sites contact information. This information was always conveyed to both the realtor and Allied, but Allied did not follow up on any of the alternative sites. The realtor did, and she would e-mail and call Allied, but again no follow through on their behalf. I lodged further complaints to Allied regarding poor performance, this time directly to Fred Spindle, President. He assured me at that time that they would follow up appropriately, and if they could not perform all my money would be refunded.
Finally another conference call was scheduled between Allied, the developers, and myself. At that time, it did appear that the developers were being persuaded to take a second look at the project.
After the call, I again apprised Allied Systems, about another likely retail site that the realtor has been negotiating with. They asked me to have the realtor send them all contact information, so they could follow through. That was done by the realtor the next day, on July 19, 2007. That business site has never been contacted by Allied Systems.
On July 26, 2007, Scott Abbott, left a message on my voice mail stating that the developers have passed on the project, based solely on the information I provided on my "raw" personal financial information, rationalizing that I would not have enough to support the business venture down the line. My personal finances are very good, but when all they had to go on was raw personal finances, and no solid business financial projections, it is not surprising that they passed on the deal. The second part of the message was him inquiring about the second site (as Scott had neither contacted the realtor or the developer of the second site).
Consequently, on July 27, John George was contacted, in which I reiterated the fact that thus far Allied Systems has done nothing to earn their money. That it was myself and the realtor who identified all potential retail sites, and that the first site could have been obtained if they would have presented a solid professional business plan in cooperation with the realtor. I told Mr. George that I wanted a conference call with all principals of Allied by Monday, to address this concern and what assurances that Allied could give me in order to proceed. Mr. George indicated that I should receive a call by 9:30 or 10:00 a.m. on Monday.
Well past 10:00 a.m., Fred Spindle, President of Allied Systems, first contacted my house for the sole purpose of discontinuing our business relationship. Since I was not home, he told my friend, that he would return only $12, OOO of the $15,000 that I paid them. He went on to say that should I obtain an attorney, it would cost me another $5000 in attorney fees, which I suppose he said in an effort to dissuade me from taking any legal action. Further, he stated that I would not receive $12,000, unless I signed and certified a letter releasing Allied Systems of any further legal ramifications, in effect holding my money that is rightfully due me hostage.
Later, that same day, I contacted Fred Spindle, and left a voice mail message that I wanted my entire $15,000 sent to me within three business days, and that Allied Systems are in breach of contract, because of their failure to perform. He did call me back, and again reiterated that he was prepared only to return $12,000, and stated that he was doing so because no suitable location could be found.
I disputed that saying several locations are in negotiations, and that the realtor had contacted Scott Abbott the past few weeks about another strong location. However, to date, Scott had failed to contact that developer. Mr. Spindle, told me that he would investigate and call me within three days.
The next day, Mr. Spindle called me and asked about the other site, and I told him at this point I just wanted my money back as I was very dissatisfied with Allied Systems poor performance. Again, Mr. Spindle indicated that if I wanted my entire $15,000 back, I should go get a lawyer, and he would only give back $12,000, if I signed and certified a legal letter drafted by ASI.
So, well past two months from signing an agreement with Allied Systems, I still do not have a store, and I am out the entire $15,000 of my life savings. This is difficult for me, as I am 60 years old. I will however, seek every legal method available to me to fight them, and to help others not to fall prey to this nefarious company.