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Report: #248708

Complaint Review: Cold Stone Creamery - Scottsdale Arizona

  • Submitted: Mon, May 14, 2007
  • Updated: Mon, July 23, 2007
  • Reported By: Houston Texas
  • Cold Stone Creamery
    9311 E. Via De Ventura
    Scottsdale, Arizona

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Cold Stone Creamery has systematically gone around the country, lied to potential franchisees about what a great business opportunity they have, stolen their life savings, and set them up in businesses that are almost certainly doomed to failure. Only a very small percentage of owners are happy. Most are going broke, headed to, or already in bankruptcy, fending off divorce, suicide, and other tragic consequences of this failed concept.

That doesn't stop Cold Stone from trying to sell more franchises, however, or from selling you dog stores at fire-sale prices. These failing transfer stores may seem cheap to a new, potential franchisee, but they will end up costing you a fortune in a short period of time. Only a handful of franchisees are making money, and they are working such long hours to make that money, that they are basically earning minimum wages or less.

So if you don't want to become a 7 day a week, 365 day a year slave to a company that is going to steal your life savings and drive you into the dirt, run away from this franchise opportunity as fast as you can.

Houston, Texas

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/14/2007 11:38 PM and is a permanent record located here: 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. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Unfortunate business Decisions

AUTHOR: Nesst - (U.S.A.)

As a former employee at CSC, I was able to see the tide of franchisees flooding the training sessions offered by Coldstone, (Ice Cream U). Each individual was enthusiastic about the opportunity to be part of one of the highest ranked franchises in America. I knew then, by my simple junior high school math, one could merely realize a one-store profit net of around $40,000 annual, for the AVERAGE store. Not exactly a survival income for a family...

I also was privy to the frenzied enthusiasm injected into the entirety of Coldstone's conglomerate. I'm no Harvard grad, but it seemed to me the focus was to give the franchisee an OPPORTUNITY to own several stores, having busted their collective rumps proving success. I saw successful owners having more and more free time as they increased their investment position, (more stores), by managing their business, rather than running it. I won't deny there is favoritism, nor that it's hard, laborious, and quite taxing to one's personal life, though the fact remains, nothing good is ever simple, particularly in the food business.

It was apparent, the magic number for success was set at a goal of 5 franchises, and when this was achieved, Mr. Ducey had no reservations as to where his bread was buttered. One would have to have committed heinous crimes at that point to be considered a "problem", and thus received preferential treatment from the Creamery, unfortunate, but true, and true in any business.
I cannot speak for Franchise Relations regarding disclosure of potential income, but I also cannot fathom investing a small fortune, time, and emotion, into an endeavor I have not researched the bottom line.

At the time I was there, it cost around $400K to open a store. So just breaking even means about 200-300K serves, after employees, rent, Sysco, etc... That's a lot of traffic.

So, it seems you feel betrayed by CSC, when in fact there may have been a few major oversights when you began this journey, easy to do when the CSC enthusiasm train rolls in. The network provided internally, as well as with your Area Developer, are often times overlooked by many, but are proven invaluable for even the savvy. And trust me, I know some AD's are less than constructive, but that's why you have always had Mr. Ducey's phone number. They don't want you to fail, just achieve.

If you feel like you're not getting the attention you need, keep knocking on that door. Someone will eventually have to answer, and I know they want you to be successful, for both of your sakes.
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

why does Cold Stone Creamery go to court so MANY TIMES?

AUTHOR: Stick - (U.S.A.)

why does Cold Stone Creamery go to court so MANY TIMES?
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

why does Cold Stone Creamery go to court so MANY TIMES?

AUTHOR: Stick - (U.S.A.)

why does Cold Stone Creamery go to court so MANY TIMES?
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

why does Cold Stone Creamery go to court so MANY TIMES?

AUTHOR: Stick - (U.S.A.)

why does Cold Stone Creamery go to court so MANY TIMES?
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#5 Consumer Comment

Codstone is a rip

AUTHOR: Lee Ving - (U.S.A.)

It certainly wouldn't surprise me if the brunt of Coldstone's revenue is generated simply by ripping off their franchise owners. It certainly doesn't look like they sell much ice cream.

My local Coldstone has changed owners 3 times in 3 years. The store always seemd empty, and I attributed it to the fact that maybe my neighborhood just couldn't support an ice cream store. But then, a Baskin Robbins opened, and it enjoys a brisk business. It's no wonder, as their prices are significantly less than Coldstone. Most likely the Coldstone owners are forced into charging $7.00 for a scoop of ice cream to cover their outrageous costs.

I know someone who had a friend that bought a Coldstone franchise, and unfortunately, they got completely wiped out.
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#6 Consumer Suggestion

That Sounds About Right

AUTHOR: Cory - (U.S.A.)

That sounds about right for most franchises. Been in business for 23 years. Have had my own shop for the last thirteen and a half years. Work six days a week. Last vacation I took was in 2003. Maybe I'll take one this year, maybe not.

I love what I do. I'm 50 and I can see myself doing this for the next 25 years. MY experiences with most francises are, they ARE a ripoff. IF you're thinking of getting into that type of business, go to work FOR SOMEONE ELSE, for a time, say 6 months to a year, in that business. You'll learn a heck of alot more, get paid to do it and it won't cost you your life saving.

I know a couple of people that found out they didn't like; food places, copy places, oil places, mail places and frame shops. The best example I ever saw was one franchise that set you up as a jewelry repair place. They wanted OVER $100,000, PLUS, YOU had to sign the lease and buy the equipment AND pay them a percentage of the GROSS for years to come.

I set one guy up for under $40,000, in a full store, and he doesn't have to pay anyone a dime. I know of one mail box franchise that got sold to three different guys. None of them could make any money at it. It was just a matter of watching how long they lasted until they went through all their savings before they closed it down.
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