ACTIONCOACH, BRAD SUGARS:Deleted Discussion

In the past week, the website UnhappyFranchisee.com was hacked and dozens of posts and hundreds of comments critical of some specific franchise companies were deleted.  All posts related to Brad Sugars and ActionCOACH (except one positive one) and all of the hundreds of critical comments related to that company were the first deleted.

Here is a nearly complete copy of the UnhappyFranchisee.com post ACTIONCOACH, BRAD SUGARS: Overview & Discussion that was originally published April 14, 2009.  Also included below are the 269 comments the post generated through September 2, 2009.  actioncoach

It’s quite long, but serves as a message to those who consider dirty tricks to squash free speech:  Hacking sites might provide a temporary relief, but when the content comes back – and it will come back – it will be stronger and more widespread than it was in the first place.

Enjoy.

ACTIONCOACH, BRAD SUGARS: Overview & Discussion

Few franchisors have inspired such angry comments (either in volume or veracity) as the Australian entrepreneur and founder of ActionCoach, Brad Sugars.  (Search Rip-offReport.com for “Brad Sugars” and 9 separate reports come up).

But is ActionCoach a great franchise, or is it a scam sold to enthusiastic “coaches,” most of whom will never survive?

On Rip-off Report on ActionCOACH Business Coaching And Brad Sugars, Anonymous wrote:

…I have seen time and again Actioncoach convince people to buy this franchise who are clearly not well suited to do this. Being successful in this takes a very unique personality, level of confidence, work ethic, and background. I just spoke to a gentleman about 2 weeks ago who bought into this franchise then was sold into the idea of buying a ‘firm’- a model that actioncoach has yet to see work profitably on anything resembling a consistent basis. He has now spent $300,000 from his retirement savings and is broke.

The turn over rate for this franchise is alarming. I went to training with about 30 or 40 people and to my knowledge most of them are now gone- not one having successfully resold their franchise, most of them just run out of money…

I will say there are many very, very good and talented people within action who are very, very good at helping business owners grow their companies. I consider myself one of them. But most who fall into this category I believe would be very successful without being part of actioncoach…

…I do regret buying my franchise because of the culture brad promotes and because it is clear brad and the other leaders don’t really care about people- they care about money….

Former Franchisee wrote:

As a former franchisee, I agree with many of the comments of the previous poster….

I estimate that about 2/3 to 3/4 of the coaches I went through initial training with had abandoned their coaching and given up their franchises within 2-3 years. I don’t think they left because they were making too much money and having too much fun. (Be aware that there are ways for franchisors to deal with these failed franchisees so that these don’t show up as unfavorable stats in the UFOC).

So, if you are looking at an Action Coaching franchise, or any franchise for that matter, I would say caveat emptor – accept no statement at face value, don’t buy any sales hype and do take the time and get the help to carry out a thorough and complete due diligence BEFORE you invest.

Not all ActionCoach comments were negative.  Franchise Owner stated:

We have never been mislead by anyone at ActionCOACH… Anyone that wants to know about ActionCOACH should contact any of its 1,000 franchises, dozens of Master Licensees or read the UFOC. ActionCOACH has hardly any litigation on record as the UFOC shows.

People who fail as coaches only have to blame themselves for their incompentence. Its called being responsible as opposed to blaming others.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF ACTIONCOACH & BRAD SUGARS?  SHARE YOUR OPINION BELOW.

Written by ADMIN · Filed Under ALL POSTS, ActionCoach, Coaching Franchises

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269 Responses to “ACTIONCOACH, BRAD SUGARS: Overview & Discussion

  1. Nichole on April 15th, 2009 6:35 pmThis post seems pretty one-sided, inviting discussion yet pushing people towards the negative in one way. Immediate references to rip-off report, saying few have made others more angry. I know the site is unhappyfranchisee.com but good grief!
  2. John on April 16th, 2009 10:58 amThey’re on meetup.com under various guises or aliases offering “free” events to attend supposedly on starting a business or being an entrepreneur. Glad I read your post.
  3. ADMIN on April 17th, 2009 5:58 pmNichole writes: This post seems pretty one-sided, inviting discussion yet pushing people towards the negative in one way. Immediate references to rip-off report, saying few have made others more angry. I know the site is unhappyfranchisee.com but good grief!Nichole: The Internet has plenty of ActionCoach press releases and positively spun stories. We’re admittedly encouraging insights not found everywhere else. But the commenters dictate whether the feedback is positive or negative.

    The post contains 2 negative comments and one positive. You are free to even it up with a positive comment about ActionCoach and praise for Brad Sugars. All viewpoints are encouraged. The comments are much more useful here than the posts.

    If you have had a positive experience, please share it.

  4. Abe on April 27th, 2009 12:26 pmHi Nichole. If you think it’s negative here I suggest you have a look at the following site: http://www.soulcast.com/post/show/71156/Brad-Sugars-Action-CoachThe thread exists for almost two years and as there are posts from both sides of the argument you can make your own mind…
  5. Abe on April 29th, 2009 2:35 pmHi again Nichole. Someone who doesn’t seem to like the content on:http://www.soulcast.com/post/show/71156/Brad-Sugars-Action-Coach

    has just done a load of posts full of little sequences of code which look like they are designed to scrare people off.

    I know that a lot of the posts on that site don’t come from raving fans but if you had nothing to hide, why resort to such means to shut down the discussion?

  6. searching on May 1st, 2009 9:45 amI was researching Actioncoach as well and this is my feedback, which I also posted on Soulcast above:1. 99% of online info about Actioncoach is positive, BUT the sources can be traced back directly to action itself, this thread and the blog on soulcast are the few sources of insider info.

    2. I said ‘insider info’ because filtering off the negative bitching, there were in fact a lot of details about their inner culture as opposed to their marketing.

    3. The fact that they didn’t engage the posters on soulcast in a positive manner, posing as neutral observers, clients and even franchise attorneys does not induce confidence at all.

    4. Questions posted on soulcast seem fair enough to me or any prospective franchisees… success rates, earnings average, etc… none were given straight answers. Instead, they started flooding the thread with empty codes, garbage and obscene words…

    My conclusion, I will stay away from them. And as I said on soulcast, I am not staying away because of the negativity on soulcast, I am staying away because of the way Actioncoach choose to address the postings… it is a reflection of the management team there.

  7. bobsyeruncle on May 1st, 2009 1:18 pmThey really have a mess on their hands. As noted above the discussion on Soulcast was lively and for the most part; civil. It was an important way for the many powerless who got sucked in to the Actioncoach scheme to get the word out and warn others. The issues started a few days ago when people on the Action side of the argument started posting blank space and gibberish to make the entire thread unreadable and shut down further conversation. This was just a new tactic in a series of attempt to stop the conversation.There is a BIG problem there – everything they espouse about coaching is not followed by their own leaders. If you get involved with these people you’ll surely be sorry. Few people have been successful at it and I now question their ethics from reading soulcast. Most owners fell to the claims and vaporware that is franchise system and lost a bundle.

    Actioncoach corporate people are fools and it will come back to haunt them. It supposed to be a franchised system to help people run a business. And these are the tactics they use. It’s incredible that they are taking this tact. As the posted above said, it’s about the way they are addressing the situation. not just the fact that it’s a scam.

    Read the Soulcast link as far as you can, there were over 30,000 words written before the antics started

  8. Soulcast on May 2nd, 2009 8:09 amWhat ActionCoach did on SoulCast was as low as you can get and clearly demonstrates the very ugly side of their business model. All the independant evidence shows that the failure rate for ActionCoach franchisees is extremely high with only a small minority of very talented people making something out of their (very high) investment.
    Basically Action front loads the costs – license fee, training fee and fixed monthly royalties whether you are making any money or not. Since the franchisee also has to invest in getting the business off the ground – typically hiring either a sales assistant or using an external telemarketer, the franchisee has often blown 150k within a year, often for absolutely nothing.
    To give some feel for the churn rate here is a list of the U.S. franchisees who left the system just over the last couple of months – 20 people oit of a total of around 300 ! No wonder they preferred gagging the discussion on Soulcast rather than simply answering the questions.

    Name M.L. State
    Kathleen Nitti B.Weisman New Jersey
    Andre Bourgeacq Craig Hohnberger Kansas
    David Benigni Craig Hohnberger Indiana
    Steve Mieritz Craig Hohnberger Indiana
    David Carter D.Schin Pennsylvania
    Tony Daniele D.Schin Pennsylvania
    Jim Waters D.Schin Pennsylvania
    Teresa Elkholy J.Weisman Arizona
    Knut Schroeder J.Weston California
    Mike Morin James Malski Connecticut
    Marc Peters K.Alft S.Texas
    Fred May K.Alft S.Texas
    Dominick F Mills, Esq. K.Alft California
    Jason Romrell K.Alft Idaho
    Lori LeBlanc K.Alft S.Texas
    Kyle Mott K.Alft Utat
    Patrice Lynn Rafael Maymi Washington
    Todd Tambling Steve Brock N.Carolina
    Doug Stevenson Steve Brock N.Carolina

  9. Soulcast on May 2nd, 2009 8:22 amSorry, one mistake in the above post which went out before I had time to finish it (must have hit the submit button by mistake..) I missed out on Patsy Foxwood from S.Texas (M.L. K.Alft) who seems to be having a blinder….You wonder what Kevin tells his franchise prospects?
    I can prove this without any problem and if you have a little curiousity you can probably find plenty of traces of these people yourselves either on the net and/or on phone directories.
  10. Soulcast on May 2nd, 2009 8:31 amComment to the site administrator. Congratulations on providing this very necessary forum. Too many franchisors get away with presenting a far too rosy picture of their product and in many cases the behaviour is close to blatant fraud. Problem is franchisees are mostly very isolated and don’t know how to make their case known. Maybe with this sort of site people can get together to defend their interests.
    Anyway keep up the good work and if people from ActionCoach get up to the same sorts of tricks as they got up to on Soulcast, please show them the door. However, they are welcome to state their case, preferably with hard facts about average earnings, success/failure rates etc..
  11. Craig on May 2nd, 2009 9:48 amJust to show that some of us are for open debate here is a post done on Soulcast by Craig Hohnberger, one of ActionCoach’s longest serving Master Lincensees in the U.S. Following this post Craig did get a few questions which he declined to answer but since these questions refuse to go away maybe he will accept to do it here.“My name is Craig Hohnberger and I own a master franchise with ActionCOACH. I can honestly say that it is the best decision I have ever made in business and has changed my life and the lives of my family for the better, as it has for many of our franchise owners and their clients. I have found the culture, the values, the team and the opportunity to be everything I imagined and more. It has been a very good experience for me. I have found Brad to be fair, a tough business-man to be sure, but very fair. In fact, we currently have 2 local existing clients of our franchise owners (and there are many around the world like this) who loved the coaching programs and results they achieved so much in their current businesses that they wish to invest in their own ActionCOACH franchise. Just yesterday I was at a large client event with a number of our local franchise owners, and the clients were all overjoyed by the experience and what they’ve learned and applied so far. That certainly would not happen if this were a scam. Unfortunately, as in any business or any industry, there will be some people who do not succeed. But, that is not a comment as to Brad Sugars or ActionCOACH or whatever specific business an individual person did not succeed in. The key is to analyze yourself, speak openly with franchisees (and ideally clients) to determine if you are someone who will do well in this type of business or not. If so, this is an incredibly rewarding business that is based on fundamental principals that work and truly help people achieve their goals. But it is business ownership and requires a commitment to personal success. Feel free to contact me personally if you wish. I am in Ohio. Craig Hohnberger 614-833-3211 (b) “
  12. Craig on May 2nd, 2009 9:55 amThese are the type of pretty basic questions that were referred to ActionCoach and that they refused to answer. Since more and more people were asking the questions and the blog was scoring very high on Google for anyone entering the words ActionCoach or Brad Sugars, they preferred to sabotage the blog. To use some of Action’s own terminology, “Isn’t that interesting?”“There are a lot of affirmations on this blog coming from people who present themselves as former Action employees. If this were the case they should have learnt that “The Answers are in the Questions…”
    Well for those of you who are considering purchase of an Action franchise, here are a few questions you might like to ask whoever you’re talking to:

    1) What percentage of the franchisees make it to the end of their 1st contract?

    2) Of this percentage, how many sign on again?

    3) What percentage of the M.L.’s team is grossing more than 12k$/month?

    4) What percentage is grossing less than 6k$/month?

    5) How long has the M.L. been with Action?

    6) Over that period how many franchisees has he/she recruited and how many are still operating?

    7) Overall, since Action has been operating in the U.S. since the year 2000, how come so many of the franchisees have been in the system for less than 2 years?

    If you don’t get straight answers to these questions maybe you should start asking yourself a few questions….

    P.S. Guys like Pat Coan, Craig Hohnberger, Kevin Alft, Jeff Weisman, Michael Feinner, Don Schin & Lee Huffman have been around for long enough to really know the story.”

  13. Jason on May 2nd, 2009 10:04 amThis was one of Action Coach’s more comical attempts to deflect the questions being asked on Soucast. It got the sort of reactions it deserved…“As a franchise attorney, I was doing some research on the company for a client who is looking at this franchise and my client wanted my honest opinion of this site and other research I could dig up, and I thought I might as well add a few comments here for anyone who may be looking.

    I personally find the owner to be a bit egocentric, however, as some of the posts above suggest, maybe he deserves to be. I do know that there are many an attorney who are more egocentric than he is. And, most if not all of the big-name success experts (Tony Robbins and the like) are as well.

    I find the FDD and legal history to actually be rather clean for a franchise like this. I did the research (that is what I am paid to do) and can’t find anything that is not documented as it should be.

    The business model appears to be quite sound and I even have some attorney friends in another state who actually received CPE credits for participation in a program they did and they were extremely impressed.

    The Canadian situation is dis-heartening as it appears the former ML’s from Canada started a competing business by selling off the future royalty stream to fund that business start-up and got away with not violating their non-competes by starting in the U.S., not Canada. Smart and shrewd on their end, but very unethical to say the least. If I were representing a Canadian franchise owner, I would suggest starting a class-action against their former ML’s.

    The accusations of alleged stealing of other people’s information is as some of the posters suggest, not an issue. I’ve reviewed the material thoroughly and yest there is overlap, but it is packaged in his own way with his own unique stuff as well. No different than, again as mentioned by some posters, any of the other great success experts who borrow from each other all the time.

    The interesting thing about this system is it actually works. I researched the other coaching organizations and most if not all have little to no infrastructure; many were started by an author who is now trying to build a franchise around it whereas Sugars started as a coach then franchised, and only then became an author. Several current coaching systems are re-started from the ashes of former organizations that already failed. Chances are they will fail too.

    It is true that many new franchise systems struggle in the early years and many go out of business. The poster who suggests that before the first unit is sold it should be perfected is living in a dream world. Franchise systems first perfect a unit then they have to perfect the duplicatability of that unit (which means trailing it on thier first franchise owners) and then perfect the recruitment, training and support to be able to support the growth of many many more units over time. That is a tough process and many who have a good business to start with really don’t have something that can be duplicated, especially in a service-based organization like this one. In fact, in a service-based (non-commodity) type business like this one, I would venture to guess it takes hundreds of franchise owners to start getting some true duplicatability. To think that Sugars has buit something that has proven to be able to do that is quite remarkable actually.

    The agreements seem to be fairly boilerplate and the support adn training offered is quite a bit more robust than I have seen in other franchise systems. Probably because they’ve learned over the years what it really takes and they obviously have some deep pockets to fund it and the infrastructure to deliver it.

    I sum, I find it to be a good system and am raising no big red flags in regards to his pending purchase. I have also advised him that, as in any franchise system, the system cannot guarantee success, it is his own business and he has to use and follwo the prescribed process and work hard. Especially in a service based business like this one.

    Good luck to all who are considering this business.

    BTW – don’t let people like the few who are trying to spread hatred like above scare you away. Actual due diligence with clients and franchise owners (and former franchise owners) will give you real information and a real sense of the culture which seems very unique in this case. As you do your due diligence determine in your own mind who you are most like, those that have succeeded or those who have failed. If you are most like those who have succeeded, then go ahead and continue with the investment. In my experience, in all successful franchise systems, those that fail either would have failed in any business or just didn’t follow their systems. In newer franchise systems many more will fail early on that would not otherwise have failed later.”

  14. ADMIN on May 2nd, 2009 10:51 am
  15. Prospect on May 2nd, 2009 11:05 amI was a prospective coach who went all the way to the due diligence stage.During due diligence, I stumble upon Soulcast, where there was a poster by the name of “bloglatest”, seemingly neutral and claimed to have friends who were successful coaches. The poster challenged all to contact coaches and speak to them rather than listening to the ‘rubbish’ on soulcast.

    I asked this “bloglatest” whether it was possible to let me have the names/contacts of his/her two friends. He/she responded by attacking me for being a phoney and he/she also attacked a lot of other posters and maintained that he/she was neutral and the readers of soulcast were fools for reading that blog. I then shot back I was just responding to his/her post of having friends willing to speak to others. Bloglatest then responded by saying not only can he/she provide the names, he/she can do even better than that… and proceeded to post links to Actioncoach YouTube videos of testimonial which I’ve already seen in Action’s marketing materials!

    When I informed bloglatest I shall get back to the Master Licensee concerned and state that I was no longer interested in the franchise because I find the attempt at posing as neutral to coax me and other potential franchisees to be totally disgusting. He/she then backpedalled furiously, belittled me further by saying I was a loser to base my decision on what was written in a blog (he/she completely or deliberately missed the point it wasn’t about the blog, it was about what he/she attempted to do on the blog) and ended the post with perhaps I should speak to Brad Sugars the founder of Actioncoach the next time he is in my area and that was the last post of this ‘neutral’ poster. For a neutral he/she sure spend a lot of energy on an anonymous blog defending Actioncoach to the point of asking me to speak to Brad Sugars.

    I was very angry when I found out later from the very ML trying to sign me up that Action do plant ‘independent’ parties to rave about them in forums and networking functions and that ‘perhaps’ I’ve encountered an overzealous one. And she actually told me I shouldn’t let that distract me from the values of the franchise!

    In the due diligence process, I was also given a list of 5 questions to ask the franchisees whose numbers I was given and it was positioned as an assignment I have to do in the due diligence process. Coaches I called were reluctant to answer more than those 5 questions and the questions do not really say much about the franchise, for example “What was your greatest challenge in your first 3 months as a coach?”

    When I was reading soulcast, I wasn’t even paying much attention to the negativity. I posted because I thought I saw someone who can point me to coaches who are not part of the organized and scripted due diligence.

  16. ADMIN on May 2nd, 2009 11:08 amCraig:
    I’m new to this situation and just getting up to speed. Thanks to all for your comments and your participation.
    I did want to point out that ActionCoach can’t legally answer some of your questions (at least in a public forum where prospective franchisees can view them). Franchisors are forbidden from providing sales and earnings information (good or bad) outside of the Item 19 Earnings Claim section of the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) using one of the accepted formats. Franchisees, however, have no such restriction on sharing earnings info as long as they’re not participating in the sales process.
    Legally ActionCoach can’t respond publicly to such questions as “What percentage of the M.L.’s team is grossing more than 12k$/month?” and “What percentage is grossing less than 6k$/month?”
  17. Jodie on May 2nd, 2009 11:14 amAmong the different reponses to Action’s “Franchise Attorney” post, this one was probably the most complete….“Former Employee here again. I just HAD to respond. Of all the posts on here defending the system, there are 2 I find the most amusing. First, the Jackass that used the word “accolades”, and the supposed ” attorney” posting. First, to the Jackass. To start, “accolades” is a word that is RARELY used here in America, if ever, which suggests that you are most likely from Australia, or some region close to that. Which ALSO suggest that you are either an employee, or a franchisee somewhere across the globe defending Brad because he’s one of your buddies. If not, then why dont you buy your own Master Territory? For a mere high 6 figure investment you get a box of air and 100 dollars worth of books that Brad already plagerized. 2nd, To suggest that most franchises have a large number of failures when they get started is not only ignorant, its insulting. The very point of buying a franchise is to buy into a PROVEN system. Not to be a beta test for franchisees to come. And Last, as far as the “accolades” or “awards” as we call them here in the states, Entrepreneur magazine does ZERO research into the success rate of the franchises it represents in it magazine. It merely speaks to the number of franchise units sold within a certain time period. Contrary to the success of the franchisees. They dont investigate the system or training or ANYTHING of actual use to a potential investor. They simply tell you which franchise systems are popular at the time. In fact, they should rename the section ” Current popular franchises”.. Now for the “attorney”.. at the time of your posting its in the middle of the afternoon on a Wednesday afternoon. Which suggest that an attorney has nothing better to do in the middle of the day than to hop online and write a sparkling review of a franchise that one of your “clients” asked you to review. And by the way, why did you post anonymously? If you put your name in there you might get another prospective franchisee to hire you to review the UFOC. That wasnt a smart business move if you ask me. Speaking of which, you claim that you “researched” the company and found the BUSINESS MODEL to be solid. You also state that you “reviewed the material thoroughly” and found no over lap ( that’s a joke )… First of all, A franchise attorney receives ONLY the UFOC and the Franchise Agreement to review. They do NOT provide you with the training materials or any other proprietary information to take to your attorney before you buy. That would be stupid. Then what would be the point of selling you the franchise? You already have everything you need to start your own business BEFORE signing the agreement. You sir, are a liar. Let just ONE person state that their potential franchisor provided them training materials to take to their attorney to review and I will humbly and regrettably withdraw that statement. You did NOT review the material. By the way, in your research, how many franchisees did you speak with? How many FORMER franchisees did you speak with? If you even called ONE then you did TWICE as much work as a normal attorney would do. An attorney’s job is simply to review the legal issues regarding the franchise. Not to do the research. That’s on the potential franchisee to do on their own. It must have taken you about 30 minutes to write this, so according to my math, that’s about 200-300 dollars that could be billed to an actual client that you were working for instead of wasting your time on the internet !!!!! You should feel a great deal of shame, however, as you stated, you are an “attorney” and most of them dont have a soul anyway!!!! This franchise is a scam. I challenge anyone to find even ONE of the original shareholders that is still with the company. Why? Because they were paid off and got out of the system. If you buy this franchise, your an idiot. Excluding of course Mr. “accolades”… as he clearly is an intelligent person who loves the system and has never even once read a single book on business development. This is almost funny, except its not. Peoples lives are at stake. Life savings are at stake. College funds for your children are at stake. This is not a joke, and I’m not just posting this because I hate Brad. I’m trying to prevent even ONE person from buying into the garbage that this company sells. “
  18. Craig on May 2nd, 2009 11:32 amComment to Administrator.
    Thanks for your input on some of the legal issues here. This is no doubt are real problem as it opens a huge space for franchisors to provide selective information to franchise prospects. All they need to do is direct prospects towards the few who are doing well which means the prospect doesn’t get to hear of those who are not doing well until it is too late. I happen to know for certain that in Action’s case most franchisees are not doing very well. So, what can franchisees do to get an honest picture of what’s going on?
  19. Craig on May 2nd, 2009 12:04 pmTo the Administrator
    Hi again. I have just done a Google search on Item 19 Earnings Claim section of the FFD and found some very good material, including examples, at the following site: http://ufocs.com/articles/earnings_claim.php

    Among other things I discovered that the FFD replaced the UFOC in 2008 which explains why I was not familiar with the content. I don’t know what Action does today but if they provide the sort of information that I saw in the examples on the site above, that would already be pretty good. Not sure they’s sell many franchises though…

  20. ADMIN on May 2nd, 2009 12:06 pmFranchisors are legally required to include the names and contact information of ALL franchisees (including those who recently left the system) to prospective franchisees as part of the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD).For example, here are the ActionCoach Franchisees listed in the FDD dated 7/10/08:
    http://www.unhappyfranchisee.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/acfranchisees2007.pdf

    For example, here are the ActionCoach Ex-Franchisees (who left the system) listed in the FDD dated 7/10/08:
    http://www.unhappyfranchisee.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/acexfranchisees2007.pdf

    Common complaints from franchisees about FDD (formerly UFOC) lists are that they are dated, & sometimes intentionally include outdated or incomplete information. Common complaints from franchisors is that they provide all this information but few prospects use it to do thorough due diligence until after they buy and are disgruntled… and few, in fact, even read the disclosure documents or hire an attorney to read though it with them.

  21. Craig on May 2nd, 2009 12:15 pmJust picked up on this statement while reading the content of the site referenced above;Earnings Claims Availability

    Because publication of an earnings claims statement is at the sole discretion of franchisors, only about 15-20% provide this information. In the vast majority of cases, a franchisor will simply leave Item 19 blank.

    I also checked the list of the franchisors who had made their Earnings Claims Statements available to the site and…., big surprise, ActionCoach was not among them.

    ActionCoach is always boasting about it’s ratings on Entrepreneur.com which are pretty meaningless, at best an indication on how good a sales process Action has. It would be far more telling if they provided the sort of data I saw in the examples on http://ufocs.com/articles/earnings_claim.php

  22. ADMIN on May 2nd, 2009 12:19 pmThe FDD contains a lot of the same info as the UFOC, and Earnings Claims are Item 19 in both.If a franchisor is registered to sell franchises in California, you can use the Corporations California Electronic Access to Securities Information (Cal-EASI) Website, which includes securities and franchise filings. You can access their filing info and current FDD for free using the Caleasi database online.

    Go here: http://www.corp.ca.gov/CalEASI/caleasi.asp

    I believe the “F-Post-Effective Amendments” dated 07/01/08 contain the latest docs. There’s also a Master Franchise FDD.

  23. Craig on May 2nd, 2009 12:36 pmTo the adminstrator.
    Thanks for the excellent input. Very interesting indeed! Can you also get a copy of acexfranchisees2008.pdf ie. a list of those who left in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2008?
  24. Carol Cross on May 2nd, 2009 12:41 pmThe better question is WHY prospective franchisees should have to do their do their due dilligence on references provided from the SELLER instead of being provided proprietary historical UNIT performance statistics by the SELLER himself, who profits from the sale. Under the Uniform Commercial Code and Securities Law, it is the SELLER who has the duty to disclose all material facts to the buyer that would bear on the assessment of the risks and rewards of the purchase.Obviously, any due diligence done with the references has no LEGAL significance and is an artifice to protect the franchisor, the seller, from being required to make any success or profit claims within the written Franchise Disclosure Document and the Contract that are packaged together. The Seller is then protected from claims of fraudulent inducement from franchisees who FAIL to thrive and who believe the franchise was misrepresented in the sales process – protected, because the franchisor has promised no profits or success in writing and the buyer has acknowledged in writing that he/she hasn’t relied on any terms or promises that are not within the written contract.

    Must be that Robert Purvin’s assessment in his personal letter to the FTC (Comment #79) in 1997 is correct. Franchising IS regulated under the FTC Rule for the purpose of protecting the franchisors from claims of fraudulent inducement to contract by franchisees who will fail.

    Is the FDD just a red herring that obscures the risks and rewards of the franchise and disarms prospective buyers who believe that the contract is NOT negotiable anyway? Is this why so many prospective franchisees don’t read it?

  25. ADMIN on May 2nd, 2009 12:47 pmI was very angry when I found out later from the very ML trying to sign me up that Action do plant ‘independent’ parties to rave about them in forums and networking functions…
    Prospect:
    There’s a classic cartoon showing a dog sitting at a computer, captioned “On the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog.”
    While funny, it’s not true. They know. In my 2.5 years franchise blogging, I’ve seen commenter “shills” of all shapes, sizes and attitudes. They include franchisees, ex-franchisees, ex-employees and competitors. They all share a deep belief in their own cleverness and everyone else’s stupidity. Few of them realize how obvious they are.
    The best approach for those being discussed is to join the conversation and to be open and honest, as it seems corporate did at the beginning of the SoulCast thread. The truth is generally in the middle – between too-aggressive salespeople and franchise prospects who were not-aggressive-enough with their due diligence. It’s typically a matter of degree. But those who shill always look like schmucks.
    No one should take any anonymous commenter (or Administrator) at face value. The real value here is being able to identify the issues worth looking into, and learning which questions to ask. If you see numerous comments that the stated investment is too low, or that the promised support is non-existent once the check clears, you know that those are issues to take a hard look at.
    Getting access to franchisees is not that hard – they’re in the “phone book” as well as the FDD. Ask the hard questions beforehand, because that fat legal document was not written to create a level playing field once you’ve signed.
  26. Nathan on May 2nd, 2009 2:37 pmI constantly receive promotional e-mails from ActionCoach like this one I received beginning April‘On April 14, Brad Sugars the Founder and CEO of ActionCOACH – the world’s leading business coaching firm invites you to join him on a very special webinar. Now, more than ever, his company is looking for driven and passionate business people and leaders to join his team of business coaches. ActionCOACH has been helping businesses thrive in any economic climate for more than 15 years. Thanks to the recession – more and more businesses need the help of a coach.
    In this sixty minute Q & A call – Brad will be answering live and in person some of the more commonly posed questions from the hundreds already registered to attend.
    Tue, Apr 14, 2009 8:00 am – 9:00 am USA – PST time https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/298968839

    Tue, Apr 14, 2009 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm USA – PST time https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/665555267

    For international time conversion click here …
    Every single working business day – someone joins the ActionCOACH team. This is your chance to see whether you have the qualities to be our next successful business coach.
    Regards,
    Jodie Shaw
    Director of Sales & Marketing (Franchising)
    ActionCOACH
    The World’s #1 Business Coaching Firm
    5781 S. Fort Apache Road
    Las Vegas, NV 89148
    Main: +1 702 795 3188′

    Now there is one phrase in this message which really stands out:

    “Every single working business day (Interesting concept that…) – someone joins the ActionCOACH team.”

    That means about 250 new people join ActionCoach every year.

    However, looking at the presentation of this franchise on the site :

    http://www.entrepreneur.com/franchises/actioncoach/282069-0.html

    you immediately see that franchise numbers from one year to the next don’t increase at anything like this rate -> only 62 new franchisees between 2007 and 2008.

    This can only mean one of two things. Either Jodie Shaw is lying in the above message or almost as many people are leaving this franchise as are joining it. Based on other reports I have seen here I guess a lot of people really are leaving at a very high rate and that makes you wonder why?

    A comment from Action corporate would be much appreciated.

  27. bobsyeruncle on May 2nd, 2009 3:37 pmADMIN: While I follow most of you argument I’m not sure what your point is. There will be wild accusations on either side of an argument when you can walk away from it. With regards to Action and the Soulcast thread the existence of a forum that allowed complete anonymity drew the powerless people out to speak their minds without fear of retribution. The golden rule in this case is the one with the gold makes the rules. Legal remedies and lawsuit success are a function of who can throw the most cash at a defense or complaint. The truth and justice are often secondary. If you are an isolated franchisee that feels wronged you are virtually powerless unless you can find a way to pool your resources. Brad Sugars is a rich man; made rich by what many are seeing as fraudulent behavior in selling franchises. Isn’t it ironic that the former action franchisees have to fight against their own money?
    Now there is a degree of responsibility in due diligence – what’s at fault here is the evidence of success or failure is deliberately being withheld by the franchisor. They know what the success failure rates are but they won’t disclose it. Furthermore disclosure of the licensed systems effectiveness and mere existence is also cause for a case against Actioncoach.
    Agreed; anonymous posters need to be taken with a “grain of salt” but given the recent outpouring of what seem to be pent up complaints, that provides a degree of credibility. The lawsuits by Actioncoach have been documented and referred to at Soulcast. In the face of such a perverse opponent, expect anonymity.
    In the case of shills for corporate, the evidence on Soulcast and the antics to try and shut down the conversation support your point. They should be representing themselves as model corporate citizens and solve the problem, when instead they choose to “get this thing buried”. Childish fools.
  28. Craig on May 2nd, 2009 6:34 pmI did a little checking on the document you posted above:ActionCoach Ex-Franchisees (who left the system) listed in the FDD dated 7/10/08:

    Interesting to note that all those who are listed as transfers (from one territory to another?) have since left the franchise. This is 12 people, so it’s far from neutral in the total count.

    When I have a little time I will also check on what has become of all those listed in the other document:: ActionCoach Franchisees listed in the FDD dated 7/10/08:

    Actually one of the reasons I am looking at all of this is because I had looked at an Action franchise in the past and got very suspicious when the people I spoke to avoided answering any direct questions on earnings, failure rates and stuff like that.

    Since then I get regular e-mails from Action and this one I received beginning April really caught my attention.

    ‘On April 14, Brad Sugars the Founder and CEO of ActionCOACH – the world’s leading business coaching firm invites you to join him on a very special webinar. Now, more than ever, his company is looking for driven and passionate business people and leaders to join his team of business coaches. ActionCOACH has been helping businesses thrive in any economic climate for more than 15 years. Thanks to the recession – more and more businesses need the help of a coach.
    In this sixty minute Q & A call – Brad will be answering live and in person some of the more commonly posed questions from the hundreds already registered to attend.
    Tue, Apr 14, 2009 8:00 am – 9:00 am USA– PST time https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/298968839

    Tue, Apr 14, 2009 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm USA – PST time https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/665555267

    For international time conversion click here …
    Every single working business day – someone joins the ActionCOACH team. This is your chance to see whether you have the qualities to be our next successful business coach.
    Regards,
    Jodie Shaw
    Director of Sales & Marketing (Franchising)
    ActionCOACH
    The World’s #1 Business Coaching Firm
    5781 S. Fort Apache Road
    Las Vegas, NV 89148
    Main: +1 702 795 3188′

    Now there is one phrase in this message which really stands out: :

    “Every single working business day (Interesting concept that…!) – someone joins the ActionCOACH team. “

    That means about 250 new people join Action every year.

    However , looking at the presentation of the ActionCoach franchise on the site http://www.entrepreneur.com/franchises/actioncoach/282069-0.html) you immediately see that franchise numbers from one year to the next don’t increase at anything like this rate -> only 62 more franchisees between 2007 and 2008. This can only mean one of two things. Either Jodie Shaw is lying in the above message or almost as many people are leaving this franchise as are joining it. Based on other reports I have seen here I guess a lot of people really are leaving and that makes you wonder why.

    Maybe someone from Action corporate would like to provide some answers?

  29. Monday blues on May 4th, 2009 8:38 amVery interesting discussion here and I offer my appreciation to the site administrator for providing such a quality forum for exchange.Some of the questions raised about the information provided by franchisors to franchise prospects are really intriguing and I would like your opinion on the following. If you are selling a franchise which has a massive level of failure as appears to be the case with Action and this level of failure is not reflected in your communication to prospects, when does fraud become an issue?

    I will add a second question to that. If most of your existing franchisee’s revenues are at a level where they can’t conceivably make a living from the business, this latter point probably explaining the former, and you don’t communicate this to franchise prospects, wouldn’t fraud be an even more obvious issue? Just to make my question even clearer, if a franchisees discovers after joining a franchise that the franchisor knowingly withheld vital business information (on average earnings for example) which would have led any mentally sane person to walk away from the proposition, wouldn’t it be fraud?

  30. ADMIN on May 4th, 2009 9:13 amMonday blues asks If you are selling a franchise which has a massive level of failure… and this level of failure is not reflected in your communication to prospects, when does fraud become an issue?Check out the conversation taking place next door on the Play N Trade thread. PnT’s California registration has been suspended due to (in addition to other things) PnT’s allegedly not including some franchise failures in the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) as required.
    See: http://www.unhappyfranchisee.com/play-n-trade-ca-revokes-pnt-franchise-registration/

    If Play N Trade loses on appeal, they may have to pay fines, refund franchise fees and let the 53 CA franchisees out of their agreements.

  31. ADMIN on May 4th, 2009 9:36 amCraig:
    Experienced franchise copywriters choose their words very carefully, and often imply one thing while being able to justify it with the literal meaning if scrutinized in court. Franchise copy is usually reviewed by attorneys prior to release.
    For example, yesterday I was reading a franchise press release that said the particular franchisor had “opened 250 stores from coast to coast.” It was odd for them to say they opened instead of have 250 stores. But… if 75 of their stores have closed, the statement is still true – they did OPEN that many.
    The statement Every single working business day – someone joins the ActionCOACH team. has that CYA feel. Note that they did not say a new franchisee signs up (though in context it implies it) but that someone “joins the team.”
    A coach hired even as an independent contractor – or a new secretary for that matter – technically constitutes someone joining the team. You should go by the numbers stated in the FDD or supplied directly as franchise sales figures in press releases, directory listings, etc.
  32. Carol Cross on May 4th, 2009 11:06 amCraig! Putting it another way. All the franchisor has to do is be in compliance with the mandated State Franchise Disclosure Document which is in compliance with the FTC Rule governing franchising.Unfortunately, unprofitable franchises with high failure rates are being sold under cover of regulation. All the presale hype, written or oral, is erased once the actual contract is signed by the buyer and these statements are not “actionable” in the courts. Remember, it is AGAINST the law of the FTC Rule and the State FDD’s to make “earnings statements” OUTSIDE of the FDD but a franchisor is NOT mandated to make earnings statements, and most frasnchisors promise nothing in the actual contract that is signed by the buyer.

    It is possible for franchisors to obscure the unprofitability/failure rate of the units in the system and still be in compliance with the law because Item 19, “earnings” is an OPTION for franchisors, and most franchisors opt NOT to include an “earnings claim” in Item 19. Item 20 is imprecise and doesn’t reflect “profitability” or failure of units that are transferered in a Fire Sale to another franchisee; therefore “churning’ is not visible to the regulators or the new buyers of the franchises.

    Generally, the regulators don’t really look at the franchisor’s paper work unless there is a complaint. How would anyone know whether or not the franchisor is including all “terminations” and “transfers” in Item 19, until there is an investigation.

    As Sean explains, the FDD and the Contract are carefully worded in order to avoid accusations of misrepresentation and all advertisements and Press Releases OUTSIDE of the contract are considered by the Courts generally to be mere puffery and are not actionable as fraud.

    It was said by Robert Purvin of the AAFD, in Public Comment #79 to the FTC in 1997 re the FTC Rule, that franchising “was regulated” for the purpose of protecting franchisors from claims by failed and failing franchisees that they had been fraudulently induced to contract. This appears to be the truth!

  33. Prospect on May 4th, 2009 3:58 pmHi Admin,Thanks for your feedback above, you are right about the ’shills’ part.

    And its kinda funny in hindsight how silly the team in Action was. I am not even a disgruntled ex-franchisee or ex-employee, just a prospect evaluating options for myself and totally neutral.

    Now I am pissed off and actively participating in forums such as this one.

    I wonder how many such cases they’ve created for themselves with the kind of approach they take, I supposed it must be profitable despite all the negativity.

  34. NeilSc on May 6th, 2009 10:46 amInteresting that today, on soulcast, a new thread was started linked to the old one with the following text:“Does anyone have any questions or comments about Action Coach formerly Action International, Brad Sugars its’ CEO, the business coaching industry or coaching franchises in general? As administrator of this thread, I will keep comments on topic and even approach coaches past and present executives and Brad Sugars himself for their answers and comments.”

    Reading the last line, it is obvious that it is another effort at killing the previous thread and moving the discussion to one controlled by Action. I mean, c’mon, who can ‘approach coaches past & present & even Brad Sugars himself’ and why as an anonymous blogger.

    They still don’t get it, do they? Despite the many attempts at planting ‘neutral’ 3rd parties and the many times they get caught out, they still try, sheesh…

  35. Prospect on May 6th, 2009 11:01 amSpeaking of ’shills’, something interesting going on in soulcast, there’s now a “related thread” underneath the original thread, beneath all the junk action posted. It’s a dead giveaway as “SCBlogger”; the thread starter said the following:“As administrator of this thread, I will keep comments on topic and even approach coaches past and present executives and Brad Sugars himself for their answers and comments.”

    Why would anyone have access to the management team of ActionCoach, including the founder, unless he’s part of them?

    I suggest everyone take what is posted there with a pinch of salt, I am speaking from experience having dealt with one of their ‘neutral’ poster just recently.

    Seems like their tactic now is to bury the original thread and hoodwink readers into believing the new thread is a continuation of the old one… and with them in control of what is being posted.

    Now I DEFINITELY AM GLAD I said no to them!!

  36. jodisaw on May 7th, 2009 4:29 amHow low is low? I just saw thread pointed out by NeilSc & Prospect.Its ridiculous how lowly Action think of their target market.

    “I will keep comments on topic.”

    You mean you will only allow posts from friendly parties? Most comments were on topic in the initial thread anyway, until some jokers, most likely on behalf of Action, started posting html codes, foreign language gibberish and even obscene words to interrupt discussions.

    Unfortunately, legally there’s nothing that can be done these antics. Potential franchisees only have legal protection in the franchise documents and franchise act. All other antics such as the one we are observing, though it’s pretty obvious, cannot be used against them. Only hope for potential investors is to read through everything carefully and judge for themselves what sort of people they are really dealing with.

  37. Mark on May 30th, 2009 6:41 pmI bought a franchise and attended training in Oct of ‘07 with 16 others. 12 of the 17 have left the system. I spent $115,000 on the franchise, marketing, telemarketing, etc and made $30 k in 8 months, which I put back into the business. Break-even for me was about $5,000 per month and I never made more than $5,500. I was more successful than most of the 12 that dropped out. I worked a tremendous number of hours and spent a lot on marketing, doing “the right things”. My problem was that I was not a master at selling and wasn’t willing to lie. I despised the Action 12 step sales process, which amounts to a lot of manipulation. When you buy an Action franchise, you’re buying a sales job. Unfortunately I was lied to before I bought the franchise, as so many Action franchisees are: I was told that coaching sells itself; I was told that whatever amount I thought I could make, I should add a zero to that amount; I provided a projected P&L to my ML and was told that I wasn’t thinking big enough; I was told the attrition rate is 6%; and was coached to ask vague questions in my due dilligence (I called 12 franchisees). There are over 100 franchisees that are making good money, however, it appears that the vast majority don’t.
  38. John on May 30th, 2009 9:44 pmMark – What go you mean you were “was coached to ask vague questions in my due diligence”? Who coached you?
  39. Mark on May 31st, 2009 5:00 pmJohn, the local Master Licensee (ML) works with prospective coaches to buy the franchise. My ML gave me a list of coaches to call and stated that some are successful and some aren’t. He wanted me to ask them several questions, which he provided. I modified some of the questions, although they were still too vague. You need to ask: What is your gross revenue? What is your net profit after all expenses? How many clients do you have and how many have you had since beginning the business? How long does it take to get a client to sign up? What is the average length of time a client stays with you? What is the ROI on your initial investment? How many hours do you work per week and how has that changed since you bought the franchise? How many franchisees from your training class are still in the system? Were you a master at sales before you bought the franchise and how do you feel about sales now? These questions will be much more effective in understanding what you’re buying than the questions the ML will give you.
  40. John on May 31st, 2009 6:19 pmHow were you misled?
  41. Mark on June 2nd, 2009 10:49 pmJohn, just reference my first e-mail. Here are the comments and statements that were misleading:
    In regards to getting clients – “coaching sells itself”
    In regards to earnings potential – I was told that whatever amount I thought I could make, I should add a zero to that amount; I provided a projected P&L to my ML and was told that I wasn’t thinking big enough
    In regards to how many people leave the system – I was told the attrition rate is 6% – over 3,000 coaches have been trained and there are about 800 in the system. 12 out of 17 of my training class have left the system, therefore, the attrition rate is considerably higher
    In regards to due diligence questions – I was coached to ask vague questions in my due dilligence (I called 12 franchisees) – see my post above on what questions to ask.
  42. John on June 3rd, 2009 11:13 amYou may feel misled, you may have bought a crappy franchise or one not suited for you, but that’s about it.
  43. ADMIN on June 4th, 2009 2:50 pmLatest ActionCoach press release:
    http://www.pr.com/press-release/156290
    The ActionCOACH Franchise is a Great Opportunity for Corporate People Looking for Business Ownership
    “Brad Sugars’ ActionCOACH franchise holds an allure for such people from the corporate world who are better suited to a white-collar business and are looking to invest in a well established franchise…Haddon is happy to leave corporate life behind in order to enjoy his new role as an ActionCOACH franchisee.

    “With ActionCOACH, there will be no corporate issues, and I will have a real opportunity to reap rewards directly related to my own efforts and input – and, most importantly, get to meet new people and grow my skills and experience in all sorts of interesting new ways” he said.

    “ActionCOACH is the world’s number one business coaching and executive coaching firm, with more than 1,000 offices in 26 countries. To learn more, go to actioncoach.com.”

  44. jodisaw on June 6th, 2009 11:22 am“Latest ActionCoach press release: http://www.pr.com/press-release/156290”Since they make a press release for every coach who joined, someone doing research on Actioncoach simply have to check how many coaches’ sites are still active and contactable every 6 months, that will give a clear idea of how many % actually make it.
  45. craig on June 7th, 2009 4:18 amHi Jodisaw.
    I followed up on the suggestion made by the adminstrator in his post 2nd May and downloaded the 2006 & 2007 UFOC’s from the site. I also got hold of a copy of the 2008 UFOC so with all of that I guess a pretty clear picture emerges.

    June 30th 2006 there were 233 franchisees listed in their UFOC of whom 127 have since left (no longer listed on their sites). That’s a 54% attrition rate in just under 3 years.

    June 30th 2007 there were 101 new franchisees listed compared with the June 30th 2006 list and of these 101 new people, 48 are no longer listed today. That’s a 47% attrition rate in just under 2 years.

    June 30th 2008 there were 96 new franchisees listed compared with the June 30th 2007 list and of these 96 new people, 28 are no longer listed today. That’s a 29% attrition rate in just under 1 year

    Putting all of this together that’s 197 new franchisees in the 2 years between June 30th 2006 and June 30th 2008 and in the 3 years since June 30th 2006 it looks like there have been 203 exits from the system. That would seem to indicate that about a third of the Action franchisees actually make something out of this but that about two thirds fail, most during the first 2 years of activity and smaller numbers after that. That sort of failure rate is very similar to the failure rate observed for independant businesses so it really makes you wonder about the quality of the franchise package. Maybe the Adminstrator who has lots of experiences with franchises would like to comment?

    Actions claim that they operate in 26 different countries also looks very strange. Looking at their own sites it is possible to find coachs listed in only the following countries:

    Canada
    U.S.
    Mexico
    Brazil
    Australia
    New Zealand
    Indonesia
    Malaysia
    Singapore
    South Africa
    Ireland
    U.K
    France
    Spain
    Portugal

    That’s 15 countries which is a long way from the 26 claimed. There are a couple of other places like the Dominican Republic where they have a Master Licensee but where there are no active coaching franchises. You can only wonder why they feel it necessary to lie about such stuff!

  46. craig on June 9th, 2009 1:42 amThe analysis the ACTIONCOACH UFOC’s for the last 3 years (2006,2007 & 2008) plus a look at the coaches presently listed on their site throws up another detail which is also worth taking note of especially when you take account of the fact that this franchise has been operating in the U.S. since 1999 and that franchise contracts are signed for at least 5 years (7 years in the present contracts).Of the the 303 franchisees presently operating in the U.S.:

    79 have been with the franchise for less than 1 year.
    68 have been with the franchise for between 1 & 2 years.
    53 have been with the franchise for between 2 & 3 years
    103 have been with the franchise for 3 years or more.

    -> In a franchise business that has been around for 10 years, operating with 5 or 7 year contracts and which already had 233 franchisees listed end June 2006, almost 50% of the franchisees have been in the system for less than 2 years!

    It is also worth noting that those who survive a couple of years in the system will have left at least 118k with Action (upfront payment of 75k + 1.8k/month after training) plus their operating expenses which can easily reach 1.5 – 2k/month which means the total loss for the many who do not succeed in this business easily reaches 150k.

    I sincerely hope that people looking at this franchise see this sort of data before they make a decision.

  47. ADMIN on June 9th, 2009 9:43 amCraig’s breakdown has been made into a standalone post:
    http://www.unhappyfranchisee.com/actioncoach-franchise-unit-breakdown/

    Input, comments welcome.

    Thanks, Craig

  48. coach2003 on June 9th, 2009 12:23 pmI believe Craig’s figures are actually conservative.I was a coach back in 2002/3, had my training in Australia and like most other former franchisees, my story is pretty similar: in a class of 14, there were only 2 of us left in the system within the first 6 months. So many former coaches are reporting similar figures I suspect it’s much higher, plus my source, a coach who just left the system this year, told me the actual number of coaches remaining in the system today stands at 700++. She was able to tell because Action publishes internal rankings based on income level, which was why she could also work out based on her income level and her ranking, 30-40% of the coaches make less than their admin fees. (Interestingly, Action later discovered the boo-boo and immediately removed the ranking info from their intranet, must be a lot of coaches looked at those numbers and came to the same conclusion.)

    To be honest, I did make money from the business and when I left, I was net positive from my investment.

    I left because I couldn’t stand the hypocrisy of the culture. The business was sold to ‘corporate refugees’ who end up finding out it was worst then the worst of their corporate jobs… at least you get paid a salary in the corporate world.

    The majority of Master Licensees I’ve met during my time, I can only describe as mercenaries who are only after the money and the sales.

    I have no idea whether Brad is aware of this, but one thing I can share is Brad absolutely hate what he calls ‘gossip’, which others would call feedback from the ground. He only listen to his MLs and his top money making coaches… those at the bottom are automatically ‘not accountable’ and ‘playing below the line’ and ‘bitching’, he never heard from them… he has a process called a ‘wifle’ where you are supposed to express yourself and then be done with it, don’t bring it up again.

    When he does surveys, it’s never anonymous and it is always forwarded to the ML concerned and the coaches already knew upfront he’s going to do that…

    I’ll give you an analogy: Imagine you are a salesman in a corporation. Your sales manager takes all your credit and put you down in front of the sales director and warns you will lose your job if you ever try to talk to the director. The director on the other hand trusts the sales manager and doesn’t bother to get feedback from the ground, never mind that turnover of salespeople is huge and no one seems to be happy.

    That is but one of the hypocrisy of the culture. I said hypocrisy because as coaches, one of the strategies action advice clients is to employ “mystery shoppers” to find out what is going on in their business and then make the necessary changes.

    Brad Sugars, if he’s sincere about creating the culture he preach, can easily practise what he preaches and employ mystery shoppers in every territory to gain feedback on his MLs as to whether they are overselling and misrepresenting the business.

    He can as easily do surveys that guarantees anonymity to prevent backlash on his coaches instead of brushing off anonymous feedback as ‘gossip’ and running a ‘no news means good news’ culture.

    I can safely say that in my territory, more than ½ the coaches who left the system were actually perfectly capable of sustaining themselves, they left in disgust because no one did anything about the ML.

    But then, I am assuming Brad Sugars want the business to be congruent and built on a solid base… maybe he chose those MLs precisely because they fit his actual culture… say whatever it takes to get the sale, deal with the coaches ability to survive later, after all, the franchise is so frontloaded and involve so little capital investment on the ML/Franchisor’s behalf.

    Food for thought. I am sure Brad Sugars is monitoring this thread just like he does others. Well, he can either brush it off as anonymous ‘gossip’ or he can take a real hard look at what is being said here.

  49. Mark on June 9th, 2009 10:00 pmI did speak to Brad a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to communicate that: 1. They are targeting people with the wrong skill sets
    2. Not ensuring that people have enough capital
    3. Action is lieing about the attrition rate
    4. The ML’s and former Dir of Franchising implied earnings

    Brad wanted to talk about my “Key Performance Indicators” and didn’t seem interested in having a discussion on how to make the franchise stronger. It was a disappointing discussion.

  50. craig on June 10th, 2009 3:43 amHi Coach2003
    The figures I gave came from looking at all the coaches listed in the ACTIONCOACH UFOC for the years 2006, 2007 & 2008 and checking on who was still in the system (which took quite a bit of time by the way….) so I guess the analysis provides a pretty accurate picture of the situation.

    As it happens, just after doing my last post I realized that there was something of a mismatch between the numbers of franchisees who have left the system and the attrition rate declared by Action in their documents. In the UFOC’s, they announce 44 exits for the year 2006-07 and 48 for the year 2007-2008. However if you count the names of those who departed (provided in a separate document – Exhibit M) the numbers are respectively 47 and 55. The difference, 10, is not huge but is nevertheless significant. Maybe the person who prepared these documents just didn’t know how to count…

    However this does not completely explain the mismatch. Looking at the data, name by name, I have found a total of 203 exits from the system since June 30th 2006. ACTIONCOACH declared 92 exits over the period June 30th 2006 and June 30th 2008 which means that there have either been 111 exits of franchisees over the last 12 months or that the numbers were underestimated in the previous years. If this can be confirmed it will raise some very interesting questions and maybe even some opportunities for those who want to get out of a very lopsided contract.

    To finish with this subject, Action declared 318 active franchisees on June 30th 2008. Again counting names I found a slightly smaller figure, 311. Far more significant is the fact that last week, I could only find 303. This means there are now more people leaving Action than joining. Given everything I know about this organization, organized by and almost exclusively for Brad Sugars, I can only wonder why it took so long.

  51. ADMIN on June 10th, 2009 5:38 amCraig:
    The numbers they submit should jibe. Is it possible that single owners owning multiple franchises could account for the disparity? For example, if a coach buys two additional territories, or buys out a fellow coach’s agreement, then closes all, could it show up as 3 fewer franchises but 1 fewer owner?

    Just a thought. You should post any other discoveries on the post with your comment, too. http://www.unhappyfranchisee.com/actioncoach-franchise-unit-breakdown/

  52. coach2007 on June 10th, 2009 11:19 amHi All,I think Coach2003 is referring to Action’s claim of total number of coaches worldwide of 1000+… the figure is nearer to 700+.

    Coach2003 was also right about the ranking thing: when I left I was making only USD1.5K and my global ranking was 500++(!!), which shows either there’s very few coaches left in the system or worst, more than half of them were making less than USD1.5K, barely enough to cover their admin fees. Action can call these ‘malicious anonymous lies’ like they always do, but if they are ever investigated; the figures are there for all to see.

    I also agree 100% with Coach2003 you cannot just “wifle” away issues with the ML. Here’s my experience with mine:

    1. ML who is supposed to help new coaches and instead of helping, work on new coaches’ prospects. My ML ‘kindly’ allow me to use her seminar room when I first came back from training and ‘taught’ me to work on my friends first, bring them to a seminar, she will help me with my prospects she said. Turned out she and her team were working on my friends during breaks to seek coach as well as coaching prospects and they all end up on her mailing list which she only removed after a direct confrontation. She was also trying to sell coaching by telling my friends as the ML she ‘only coach 2 person’ per year.

    2. For big corporate accounts, she used her position as ML to dig info on the progress and went in with lower competing quotes.

    In both cases, coaches found out because friends and prospects inform them in disgust. We never get to bring it to higher up except to ‘Wifle’ with the ML, who will play victim, claim we misunderstood her and go all emotional & teary… then she do it again the next time to someone else and the whole cycle repeat itself.

    In my case, I was immediately warned when I came back from training not to send email or communicate with anyone above the ML without first informing her, or else I will be seen as a rebel and Brad will be very upset with me. That was what I was told.

    I was young and naive and enthusiastic, I didn’t realize then as I realize now it’s all corporate politics and gamesmanship on the ML’s side… by the time I was pissed off enough to leave, I realize another thing: there really was no point to bring it up to someone higher even if I had the guys then; since so long as she bring in enough new coaches to cover those who left, all is well in the action world and she is untouchable.

    I would also like to touch a bit on Action’s twisted perception of teamwork. Every year, they make it compulsory for a coach to attend a regional conference at USD600 per pax. Since attendance was low, Brad decided to give ‘incentive’ to coaches to attend conferences… the incentive was… get your fellow coaches to attend, if all attend, get a discount, if some don’t attend, those attending were penalized by having to pay full fees as there’s no ‘teamwork’ in the territory.

    They fail to realize that each franchisee sign a franchise agreement with the ML to run a practise or firm, there is absolutely no legal basis for Brad to unilaterally decide what another franchisee do in a territory should affect others financially. Brad’s justification was he ran a survey and most agree it was a ‘great’ idea, while only a few ‘negative’ coaches disagreed. Interesting how he got to that conclusion based on the conference attendance after the ‘incentive’ was introduced. If he really wanted to create teamwork, he would know it was stupid to create peer pressure and resentment between those who went and those who didn’t.

    They then threatened to send breach letters to coaches who refuse to attend because they are ‘not following the system’ but they couldn’t answer which clause coaches were actually breaching.

    True, learning’s are important for coaches but you have to ask them whether they are realistic or care about their coaches’ finances – 50% are barely earning enough to cover admin fees based on the coach ranking system, instead of flying trainers or using the online medium or other methods available to train people, Brad came to the conclusion that to get coaches barely breaking even from all over the world to spend a few extra Ks per year on plane tickets, accommodation & conference fees to fly over to be trained was the best solution. Some common sense will be good here, but common sense is not profitable to Action. Since all speakers are coaches themselves and you pay for your own lodging and dinner, one can wonder at the true intention… whether it was about doing it for the coach or were they profiting from it, from my estimation, they should be making USD350 per pax, do the maths.

    The latest agreement had a clause that prevents coaches from participating in class action lawsuits and disallows coaches from testifying in lawsuits against Action or Brad Sugars. I believe it is just scare tactics and there is no way they can stop a person from testifying should they be subpoenaed. Or can they? Admin might be able to advice here.

    Thank you.

  53. Insider on June 11th, 2009 10:45 amThe figures provided by Craig go a long way towards confirming what many of us thought for a long time, the ActionCoach franchise is very far from guaranteeing a path to success. Actually the only thing that is guaranteed is that no matter what happens, the franchisor always wins – the initial payments (75k) are gone forever and so are the monthly royalties, 1.8k fixed monthly royalty starting as soon as the franchisees get back from their initial training.
    Since the franchise contract also contains the following clause:

    17.4 If Master Licensee terminates this Agreement based on your default, you must pay Master Licensee liquidated damages, calculated as follows: (a) the average of your monthly Royalty Fees and Marketing and Advertising Fees due for the last 12 months before termination (not including the months before the Royalty Fee and Marketing and Advertising Fee obligations begin under Sections 4.1 and 4.2); (b) multiplied by the lesser of 24 or the number of months
    remaining in the then-current term under Section 2, (c) discounted to present value using the then-current prime rate of interest quoted by Master Licensee’s principal commercial bank; (d) minus the present value (determined using the same period as in (b) and the same discount rate as in (c)) of the expenses of performance avoided by Master Licensee as a result of termination of this Agreement.

    where default includes “voluntarily abandon of the franchise relationship” it is clear that you can only walk away from the agreement on the franchisors terms. Among other things, this means that a lot of people probably stay in the franchise for longer than they should based on the losses they are taking month after month.

    Looking at all of this you can only wonder why anyone would sign on to start with and that’s where all the marketing hype and the sales process click in.
    Actions business concept is intrinsically appealing, “leverage your business experience and our proven systems to help small business owners reach their professional and personal objectives” . Wow, that’s a really gratifying idea for managers who have either been restructured out of their jobs or who are simply fed up with the constraints of corporate life. Because of this Action attracts people who, from the outset, have a really positive attitude. There are also enough people who succeed with Action to insure that franchise prospects doing their due diligence are preferentially directed towards the minority who succeed rather than the majority who clearly don’t. The fact that Action prefers not to publish any figures on average earnings by franchisee makes this pretty easy to get away with.

    However, in spite of the so called “proven systems” and the high quality of most of the people who join there are still visibly far more losers than winners in this game. To understand why, here are a few thoughts from a person who knows Action from the inside :

    1) The initial training for which you pay 25k lasts 11 days, gives you a good overview of the Action concept and really gets you enthusiastic so that you get back home full of energy. A good comparison is the way you come away from a sales convention or somthing similar. However, as it only skims over the subjects treated, it is not nearly enough to teach you all you need to know to either sell coaching or to coach. This takes a massive on-going effort learning how to teleprospect, learning how to present, how to really ask questions and simply how to coach. Other coaching schools typically take months to train people (for considerably less money) because there is simply a lot to learn. With Action you learn the hard way, by trial and error, and while all of this learning is going on you are paying 1.8k per month to the franchisor to which you must add your own business expenses and your living expenses. At the end of the day, this can add up to a lot more than most people estimated when they set out on the adventure and they run out of cash well before getting where they need to be.

    2) I guess the average age of the Action franchisees must be in the 45 – 50 range, possibly even higher, and many if not most of these people come from relatively structured organizations where they have been mostly focused on only part of the business activity whether it be finance, I.T., sales, marketing or operations…All of a sudden these people have to learn how to market, how to sell and acquire a minimum level of knowledge in all aspects business management plus the interpersonal skills necessary to coach. This is a massive challenge and it can come as no surprise that so few people come through successfully even when cash is not their biggest problem.

    3) The market is much tougher than most people probably realize. Sure, practically all small business owners would benefit from having a business coach. However getting them to understand that is the first challenge and, since most are only barely surviving, getting them to make a monthly investment of 1.5k or more in a coaching program is the second challenge.

    My own conclusion from all of this is that the Action concept is very seductive (I even fell for it myself..), that the franchise provides an interesting framework to operate from (that’s it as far as a proven system goes) I, that it attracts mostly very decent, high caliber people but that it takes far too much money up-front compared to the value it provides and the time it takes most people to master all the different dimensions of the activity.
    Also the on-going training provided by Action basically stays at the same level very superficial level as that provided in the initial training which means that to develop the necessary skills you have to look elsewhere. For example the Action system has borrowed a lot of principles from NLP but having heard of a principle like building rapport by “Matching & Mirroring” does not mean you actually have the skills to do that in a real life situation etc. etc.. Against this you are pressured to attend regional conferences as described in the previous post where you are served up the same B.Sugars soup over and over again.

    If you have a very good general business background , excellent interpersonal skills, lots of perseverence, a very high level of autonomy, excellent presenting skills, love learning and a budget of at least 120k to start up your business, Action could be right for you. However if you have all of those attributes, maybe you don’t really need Action.

    As for anyone who doesn’t have all of these qualities, best option would probably be to look at doing something else.

  54. Mickelson on June 11th, 2009 12:29 pmGood afternoon,I try to stay away from the negative banter that populates many blogs and posts BUT unfortunately can’t sit here and not speak my mind.

    ACTION COACH has NEVER published, said or inferred the correct number of franchisees in their system, EVER! Even if you go back to the beginning of the franchise they were lying about franchisee numbers. Not once have I ever seen ANYONE from the Action head office speak the truth on this.

    Anyone who has done any research on the numbers or the filing of their UFOC and FDD knows that it has had holes in it from day one. Every single franchise they have sold in the United States could be contested based on the misinformation provided by way of UFOC and FDD.

    Simply put… beware. There are some good franchise owners in their system, some good people. That being said, Action will not last, you can’t do things wrong continually and not have it blow up on you one day.

    Mr. Sugars, Karma is a wonderful reality and you’ll get yours.

    Comments Welcome.

  55. Mickelson on June 11th, 2009 12:37 pmPs. I thank those that are helping other not make the same mistakes we have.Pps. Back in 2005 the bomb squad was called to the Sugars household in Australia. I don’t have the official notification but did speak first hand to a nearby neighbor who viewed their arrival and departure. under no circumstance would I condone any physical harm to Mr. Sugars or his family. Brad should think more about things other than squeezing people for money. Coincidence that he moved out of the country (to the U.S.) not long after? you decide.
  56. another former coach on June 11th, 2009 2:54 pmBack when I was a coach circa 2004, one thing that really pisses me off was Brad Sugars spam everyone in my mailing list with emails directly from bradsugars.com soliciting participants for his 10 day bootcamp.These were done without coaches’ knowledge or permission; and without our clients’ permission as well. Everyone who was subscribing to our newsletter through coaches PRIVATE list managed by action’s intranet was spammed. When this was highlighted, our ML brushed aside our protests as not abundant.

    How could we be considered not abundant and Brad Sugars doing the right thing when bradsugars.com is Brad’s private domain and not part of Action International? Like Coach2007 said above about the teamwork pressure, they do not respect their franchise agreements with coaches, hiding everything they do under culture to justify their actions. In the conference pressure case, it was ‘no teamwork’, never mind that it might not be legal as Coach2007 said and in the spamming case, it is ‘not abundant’, never mind that it is unethical. It was unbelievable that my ML then was actually okay with the fact.

    A lot of us got blasted by clients when they received those email blasts; they thought we were the ones who put them in Brad Sugars mailing list! How do we explain that Brad Sugars, the founder of Action, spam them without our knowledge? How stupid will we look if we said that?

    Today, 3-4 years later, apparently bradsugars.com is active again and is actively spamming up to 3 messages daily, supposedly blog update by Brad Sugars, which are just marketing messages.

    One of the more interesting posts was this one:

    http://www.bradsugars.com/the-good-the-bad-and-the-internet/

    Which I suspect was a reaction to how active soulcast and ripoff was.

    Here’s the more “interesting part” of the post which I want to address here.

    +++++++++++++++++++
    From personal experience, I have had things posted about my family, about me privately, even my home address and phone number, people called me a fraud, a conman, a ripoff guy and so much more … ALL ANONYMOUSLY and I cannot get it taken down …

    If you think it gets me mad, it used to … not anymore … because while it seems you cannot fight back, you can …

    Here’s what do you do if you are attacked on the Internet … ?

    5 things that are vital …

    1. Answer EVERY allegation with total transparency but only do it on a site that YOU CONTROL … never answer on their site, put a link from their site to a site you control …

    +++++++++++++++

    This post was hilarious for several reasons:

    1. Of the hundreds of posts on soulcast & the various ripoff reports, there were only 1-2 personal attacks on him which is of a private nature; and HUNDREDS of other posts on his unethical business practises and yet he expertly, as always, play the victim and highlighted the 1-2 posts with righteous indignation to gain sympathy votes instead of addressing the tons of allegations about his practises… probably where ‘the ML who went all teary’ when caught trying to sell her coaches’ prospects learn from. I believe I know which particular ML Coach2007 was referring to, she’s notorious among her coaches yet like Coach2007 said, as long as the number of coaches coming in matches those going out, she meets her KPI and nothing will be done.

    2. His advice of how to handle attacks on the internet is totally hypocritical and is totally unlike how he handled soulcast (http://www.soulcast.com/post/show/71156/Brad-Sugars-Action-Coach). Those who visited soulcast will know by now… junk posts, codes, and obscenities, fake ‘neutral parties’, fake clients, franchise attorneys… ANYTHING BUT OPEN AND TRANSPARENT. Look here, soulcast was unmoderated, which means they can respond as strongly wanted to with ‘total transparency’ as preached by Brad above… they chose not to and instead bury the blog with the junk mentioned above. And oh, they did try to ‘put a link from their site to a site they control’ also as Brad advised … but no one fell for it as a few posters here noted (jodisaw & prospect highlighted this) and guess what, the post has been removed.

    3. If you check out the comments on the post Brad did on his own blog, you will notice the comments are obviously 100% positive by coaches, ML and probably some clients. Herein lay the other sneaky part about Brad Sugars & Action. Whenever they are attacked about their franchise practises, they will distract the issue with positive feedback from coaching clients. It is sneaky because the issue has always been between Action/Brad Sugars and their franchisees and NOT between Action and their coaching clients. An inexperienced person evaluating their franchise might see all the positive feedback about coaches as endorsement for the franchise system and equate it with positive feedback about how Action is treating their franchisees. I hope for their sakes they can differentiate the two.

    To conclude my first and only post on this topic, I would ask any rational individual to consider this:

    1. Is a controlled blog operated by the very people wanting to sell you something carrying hundreds of positive reviews about themselves and nothing negative more believable than let’s say a blog like soulcast where everyone including Action could post freely thereby showing their true colors?

    2. Would anyone believe everything written on Brad Sugar’s site, given that he has openly declared he control what is being said?

    By the way, the reason why I addressed the posting here instead of on bradsugars.com should be obvious :-)

  57. Mark on June 11th, 2009 9:40 pmIn response to Insider, I’d recommend having quite a bit more than $120 k – I put in $145 k to the business, plus living expenses for a year. I’d also add to the necessary skills – you need to be a master sales person and absolutely love it. You’re buying a sales job with Action… you’ll do a lot more selling than coaching!!
  58. ADMIN on June 12th, 2009 9:48 amYour input needed here. Please read and comment:Top 10 Ways to Keep Franchisees Happy? Share your Thoughts
  59. Unhappy Franchisee: 10 Hottest Topics : Franchise Pick – Picking the Perfect Franchise on June 13th, 2009 9:20 am[…] ActionCoach:  Brad Sugars is battling his detractors on the search engines.  He hates it when people link to negative stuff using his name, Brad Sugars. […]
  60. jodisaw on June 14th, 2009 2:14 amI went to Brad Sugar’s blog (colour scheme & everything is ActionCOACH standard by the way, it’s not even a personal blog, just an extension of ActionCOACH marketing.) pointed out by Another Former Coach.I saw Brad Sugars mentioned on that same blog, “…ALL ANONYMOUSLY and I cannot get it taken down.”

    Something doesn’t jive. I would believe a man with his financial resources, should he have nothing to hide as he and his MLs claimed he could have:

    – Contacted the administrator and threaten legal action
    – Demand for the list of IPs of posters
    – Issue press releases after their lawyers file the case

    Truly innocent parties will usually do so even if they knew they are not going to win their case because it allows them to put on record their declaration of innocence.

    Could it be that Brad Sugars/ActionCOACH is fully aware that if they go the legal path and really have their day in court, the exposes will become facts rather than ‘negative bitching’ which they can play victim to and brush off?

    The more I look at their chosen response to date, the more suspicious it becomes, just to recap on what I’ve seen so far:

    – Spam from bradsugars.com
    – Link from soulcast to a thread they can control
    – Fake neutral parties
    – Preach ‘total transparency’ but practise something else
    – Search engine optimization to push down ranking of negative blogs
    – As someone else mentioned above, make use of client testimonials for coaches to divert attention

    It is highly unusual for someone like Brad Sugars who sued others for the most frivolous reasons not to do so in this case; where he decided to go on drowning the noise offensive rather than legal offensive.

    Ps: Something else is interesting: Almost every comment on every blog entry, if you check the nicks, it tallies with the name of an ActionCOACH or a staff member. So much for addressing issues openly and transparently.

    Enough said.

  61. NZex on June 14th, 2009 3:39 amCoach2003 & Coach 2007 were both right about the internal ranking:When I left I was making NZD3000 – NZD3500 per month. I was consistently ranked from 250 to 300 globally.

    There was massive internal hype when the ranking information was first published. A couple of internal emails went out teaching coaches how to check their own and others’ rankings.

    Recently it all went quiet abruptly.

    Not only that, they also abruptly removed another field from coach profiles which denote the number of years each coach has been in ActionCOACH.

    It was done without warning, internal forum postings regarding this topic were deleted as soon as it’s posted.

    I gather from what others have posted and my own internal ranking, assuming they really had 1000 coaches at the time I left:

    Earning below NZD3000 – NZD3500 per month: about 150 to 200 coaches.

    Earning below than USD1500 (or NZD2300) per month: about 500 coaches.

    What is appalling is the total lack of transparency in addressing these issues and the massive cover up.

    Brad Sugars and ActionCOACH failed to realize coaches internally do see these things happening and can draw their own conclusions.

  62. ADMIN on June 14th, 2009 3:48 pmjodisaw wrote:
    It is highly unusual for someone like Brad Sugars who sued others for the most frivolous reasons not to do so in this case; where he decided to go on drowning the noise offensive rather than legal offensive.
    It’s not that unusual, especially if he’s getting good advice.
    Suing bloggers or going after their commenters is a sure way of amplifying the dispute by about 1000 times. Bloggers are fiercely opposed to anyone trying to subvert the freedom of speech that currently exists and they’d make sure the issue at hand spreads like wildfire as soon as the first shot was fired. Sites like this one, SoulCast and Rip-offreport.com might be annoyances, but smarter advisors would go the “white hat” route and try to battle placement on the search engines, and hope most don’t dig too far on the Internet.
    Plus, it’s pretty pointless to try to sue sites like Ripoff report, which are completely geared for it.
  63. NZex on June 15th, 2009 3:10 amjodisaw wrote:
    It is highly unusual for someone like Brad Sugars who sued others for the most frivolous reasons not to do so in this case; where he decided to go on drowning the noise offensive rather than legal offensive.

    The truth is probably somewhere in between what jodisaw & admin wrote:

    Brad Sugars has better advisors now as compared to a few months ago when they went around posting junk & posing as all sorts of characters… so ActionCOACH are more subtle now, blanketing the net with ‘positive news’ & pushing down the rankings of blogs such as this and other “scam alert” sites.

    On the other hand, lawsuits might reveal publicly a large portion of what is written is actually true.

    Let me add on a few more points as an ex insider:

    1. I can truly say ActionCOACH is not a scam no matter how much I dislike Brad Sugars and his mercenary tag team.

    2. It is only suitable for certain personalities. In my own training in Australia, there were clearly unsuitable individuals. in fact, I overheard Martin, one of the trainer, let slip during a meal break in his conversation with another trainer how he doubt a few trainees in the room will ever sign a client. Which goes to show that they are capable of filtering these individuals out during the selection phase if they had really wanted to. They simply do not care so long as the person can pay.

    3. You will hardly hear any complaints about ActionCOACH from clients, which shows that Coaches are dedicated to their craft and getting results for clients. Unfortunately, as someone noted above, ActionCOACH use this to sidetrack the issue with regards to the integrity of the franchise where franchisor-franchisee relationship is concerned.

  64. ADMIN on June 15th, 2009 12:15 pmIs there more to this story? ActionCoach CEO headed back to Australia:
    http://www.unhappyfranchisee.com/actioncoach-ceo-vic-ciuffetelli-steps-down/
  65. OhReally on June 16th, 2009 5:38 pm“You will hardly hear any complaints about ActionCOACH from clients, which shows that Coaches are dedicated to their craft and getting results for clients.”
    A franchisee coached a printing business into the ground to buy it out at rock-bottom, so he could be considered as a preferred supplier for action coach.
  66. jodisaw on June 17th, 2009 8:02 am“A franchisee coached a printing business into the ground to buy it out at rock-bottom, so he could be considered as a preferred supplier for action coach.”Hi OhReally,

    Hate Action & Brad Sugars all you like, most here do, but your claim is simply unbelivable because coaching agreement is not like franchise agreement, it can be terminated anytime. Its ridiculous for someone in business to be stupid enough to be coached to the ground to be bought over by the person coaching him/her. I have yet to meet any sane person allowing himself/herself being coached in that manner, no matter who the coach is or which organization he/she come from.

  67. OhReally on June 18th, 2009 12:59 pmThey will be happy to read that comment, surely, since they know the “claim” is true. Believe what you like.
  68. NZex on June 20th, 2009 9:56 amLOL… OhReally… Oh, really?Why not ask them to post here and describe how is it that they allow a coach to work with them long enough to drive their business under without taking action to terminate the contract and when they realize it was done with the intention of Action getting a cheap printer… LOL… either the coach is Godlike in stature or he pointed a loaded gun at their heads and threaten to pull the trigger or Jodisaw was right or you are simply…

    ps: Notice the responses you are getting…. in a forum where Brad Sugars/ActionCoach have few fans…

  69. author on June 20th, 2009 5:34 pmI’m sure I’ll get branded as a shill for asking these questions, but I’m just asking what many are thinking. After all, Actioncoach & Brad Sugars keep selling franchises despite your protestations, so many must be dismissing the negativity. So:If Brad Sugars is so bad, why does he keep getting nominated and winning so many awards? He’s frontrunner for a coveted Chairman’s Award by people who have nothing to gain and lots of people are cheering for him to win:

    http://www.bradsugars.com/chairman-of-the-year-finalist-wow/

    Bruce Frame wrote “Congratulations Brad, interesting that there are no other franchises represented! I guess it’s still true that most franchisees HATE the franchisor – it’s good to be in a company whewre the opposite is true.”

    If ActionCoach is such a scam, why does is keep getting awards & accolades? Is this an International conspiracy?

    http://www.actioncoach.com/press-room/awards/index.php

    #1 Business Coaching Franchise in the World
    Entrepreneur Magazine, 2008-2005

    #76 Franchise in the World
    Entrepreneur Magazine, 2008 (Ranked #96 in 2007)

    Best Overall Company in North America
    Stevie Winner 2007-2006

    Best of the Best-Top Franchise Award
    Indonesia Info Franchise Magazine 2008

    Rank #1 Top Franchise Award
    Indonesia Info Franchise Magazine 2008

    Franchise 500 rank:
    #76 (2008); #96 (2007); #80 (2006); #98 (2005); #69 (2004);

    Fastest-Growing Franchises:
    #46 (2008); #55 (2006); #16 (2004);

    Top Home Based Franchises:
    #17 (2008); #25 (2007); #15 (2006); #18 (2005); #13 (2004);

    America’s Top Global Franchises:
    #49 (2008); #43 (2007); #49 (2006); #53 (2005); #39 (2004);

    Are people just to take your word for it because you say so?
    All the people griping seem to be anonymous. You could be competitors, for all we know. It just seems like what legitimate sources are saying does not support your anonymous gripes.

  70. coach2007 on June 21st, 2009 1:54 amHi Author,No you are not a shill and your questions are valid.

    Here is my response:

    1. Check the criterias for those rankings you’ve mentioned, EVERY SINGLE ONE measure the units of franchise sales, NOT attrition rate, NOT average earnings per franchisee, NOT the culture of the franchise… you get the idea. I think the one thing everyone here agree on is how ‘good’ their marketing is.

    2. NO ONE here dispute ActionCoach’s ability to sell their franchises… you would notice if you read them carefully, it’s about the almost 2/3 attrition, it’s about the fact that they have 700+ franchisees today as opposed to the 1000+ they always claimed, it is about the fact that 60-70% of their franchisees barely cover their admin fees and operating expenses.

    3. A for the chairman of the year finalist, do take the time to read the fineprint about how to get nominated… enough said.

    4. The ‘griping’ here, if you read carefully, again, are quite clear that people do make it and what sort of people will make it… they give a choice to potential franchisees to walk in with their eyes open. As opposed to Actioncoach’s marketing which claimed no matter who you are, what your background is, etc, you will make it. You’ve also seen the reaction here when someone make claims about Actioncoach they perceive as ridiculous even though they are not too happy about their own experience with the franchise. (See reactions to ohreally.) So believe what you will.

    5. Bruce Frame is a Master Licensee, so are most of the internal ‘coaches’ praising and congratulating Brad Sugars… Even the most unhappy Master Licensee if there is one, will NOT say something negative in public about Brad Sugars, as that is like spitting in their own faces and affecting their own franchise sales… again, it is up to you what to believe, as someone else said above whether they find more credibility in an anonymous, unmoderated forum… or on a moderated, franchisor controlled marketing releases.

    6. No people should not take what is written here just because ‘we’ say so, neither should they take Actioncoach’s word just because a bunch of SALES rankings say so… they can make up their own minds… for instance, you can always get a franchise and tell us your experience 6 months from now, if you last that long.

    So Author, it is up to you, I am sure you are not a shill because what shill would take the time to do research, cut & paste Action marketing info & links here, just like what franchise attorney would write pages long articles on anonymous forums… you probably have the info at your fingertips already… :-)

  71. NZex on June 21st, 2009 6:09 amIf Brad Sugars is so bad, why does he keep getting nominated and winning so many awards? He’s frontrunner for a coveted Chairman’s Award by people who have nothing to gain and lots of people are cheering for him to win:Author:

    1. Search for Bruce Frame and others on bradsugars.com on the link you provided… coaches, MLs… in what way do these people ‘have nothing to gain’?

    2. Check out the selection criteria for Stevie award and the rest…

    All the people griping seem to be anonymous. You could be competitors, for all we know.

    Not a shill….? All those praising ActionCoach like yourself is anonymous too… hmm… isn’t that interesting?

    I always wonder why ActionCOACH believe their target audience is devoid of common sense and rational thinking ability. I believe potential franchisees will be more put off by these attempts at insulting their intelligence much more than by the negativity of anonymous posters. Ask anyone who read soulcast. Now they are going to repeat exactly the same mistake here. Interesting. I believe it will be the same here as in soulcast. People will be more disgusted by the ‘clever attempts’ to counter the negativity, rather than the actual negativity itself.

  72. Not-a-Shill on June 21st, 2009 10:36 amGee Author,but I’m just asking what many are thinking.

    You could be competitors, for all we know.

    Who are the ‘many are thinking’ and who are the ‘we’ you are referring to?

    So franchise attorney failed, neutral party failed, independant 3rd party failed, bogus client failed, junk codes failed, obscenities failed, fake forum administrator failed…. here comes the latest incarnation: righteous indignition!

    Of all the quotes on bradsugars.com, trust you to pick Bruce Frame, ActionCoach team member to illustrate your point of plenty of support from people who have nothing to do with Action :-p

    By the way, providing those links and statistics the way you did? You’ve just moved this page up google rankings. Congratulations. Another own goal scored. Another reflection of how Action view their prospects & target market. Another sign of how much they believe in their own cleverness.

    I read with amusement in soulcast how one of your ‘neutral’ shill desperately backpedalled when he/she realized he/she was dealing with a genuine prospect who went back to the ML and gave her a piece of his mind about the unprofessional way they tried to get him to sign up. They just never learn.

  73. author on June 21st, 2009 11:23 amcoach2007:
    Thanks for your excellent response. Lots of good points to consider.

    1. Good point. And Entrepreneur rankings are certainly designed to gain ad sales. Though there are no awards that I know based on unit economics.

    2. Being good at selling franchises is not necessarily a negative, especially when your Master franchisees rely on you to teach them. I wonder how much of the overselling is by Master franchisees?

    3. Point taken. I’d add that with nominees like Nu-Skin and others it seems like it may be a bid for top pirate. Definitely suspect.

    4. “The ‘griping’ here, if you read carefully, again, are quite clear that people do make it and what sort of people will make it…”
    I agree that the discussions of the negatives and sites like this are useful in balancing the corporate hype. I also realize that some of the “gripers” may have legit points, followed the system & still struggled/failed. At the same time, some of the “gripers” are looking for someone to blame & would have failed with any system. The existence of the latter doesn’t negate the former. It’s just tough finding the truth.

    5. Comments like Frame’s are obvious kiss-ass comments. But your point about Master’s is interesting. Doesn’t it go both ways? Can the franchisor really reign in Master’s who oversell the opportunity… since they need to recoup their investments? How much of this is due to the Master structure?

    6. I think this is an excellent point. The “gripers” point out the issues that prospectives should pay attention to and look for red flags. The biggest seems to be that ActionCoach is billed as something anyone can succeed with, when it may be that only super-sales types in the right market can make a go of it.

  74. author on June 21st, 2009 11:24 amNZex & Not-a-Shill: I don’t give a damn if I drive up the search engine rankings. Notice I don’t avoid using keywords like ActionCOACH & Brad Sugars. You look kind of foolish by making a claim when it’s blatantly wrong. I have no doubt Brad Sugars is a raving egomaniac living the good life off the many franchise fees and royalties ya’ll have sent his way. Still sound like a shill?If you want to get your point across, do what coach2007 did. Even if you suspect a shill, answer coherently and rationally. You’re not just speaking to the other commenter, but to the thousands of prospective zees reading this thread. Attacking others makes you look petty and like whiners out to blame others.
  75. Not-a-Shill on June 21st, 2009 12:23 pmLOL Author, what did I say about “righteous indignation” being the latest incarnation?NZex made 2 posts, both were factual. One about internal rankings and the other was about ActionCoach is NOT a scam in his opinion, just not meant for everyone. So… in what way was he ‘petty and whiners out to blame others’ unless you really are a representative of ActionCoach and made a freudian slip when you get upset about what he said about YOU :-)

    You are right there could be thousands reading this so they can judge.

    ps: Interesting how you praised Coach2007 and at the same time not-so-subtly deflect the blame from Brad Sugars to Master Licensees.

  76. Crocodile Dundee on June 21st, 2009 1:44 pmExcellent blog running here and great to see people who seem to know Action from the inside letting people aware of what it really takes to succeed with this very demanding concept;
    I did my induction training with ActionCoach in fall 2005 and there were 23 in total on my course. Of those 23, only 10 are now left including two guys who are M.L.’s
    Like NZex, I don’t know if you can really say the ActionCoach franchise is a scam but it is definitely far harder to succeed in this business than you are lead to believe during the sales process and I totally agree with those who say that you really have to be a great salesman to make it.
    I can also still remember being very surprised by some of the people I trained with, their youth, their obvious lack of business experience and even their lack of basic schooling. Unsurprisingly, none of these people are still franchisees and you can only wonder about the ethics of those who allowed them sign on in the first place.
    Overall, I have done OK but believe Action recruits far too many people who have little or no chance of making it with such a complex concept.
  77. author on June 21st, 2009 2:09 pm“Interesting how you praised Coach2007 and at the same time not-so-subtly deflect the blame from Brad Sugars to Master Licensees.”I’m not deflecting blame. To the contrary. Increasingly, I suspect that Master Franchising itself is a big con. The Master buys the right to sell franchises. Like Coach2007 said, once he’s in, criticizing the franchisor is suicide, even if he realizes the concept doesn’t work and the franchisor is a scumbag. The Master has to either bite the bullet and get out, or sell his soul and become a co-scumbag to try to sell his way out of the trap he got himself into.

    Two wolves inviting a sheep to dinner are still two wolves.

    Does anyone know a Master Franchise system that actually works for all involved?

    And what are these Masters paying up front?

  78. M.L. Viewpoint on June 22nd, 2009 10:04 amInteresting to see people asking questions about the M.L.’s role in the ActionCoach set-up. Since it is mostly they who recruit franchisees they are obviously key players however they are also franchisees themselves. The message below, sent out to all the M.L.’s about a year ago by Actions legal counsel shows that Action openly forbids it’s M.L.’s from giving M.L. prospects any information which would allow these guys to know if they would be operating under the same rules as those who joined before them. BTW, does anyone know if this is actually legal?In practice Action constantly tries to shift the economic terms to its advantage even if it means putting a new M.L. in a financial position where he can only succeed by cutting corners on the quality of the people he recruits. For example the performance targets mentioned below require M.L.’s to recruit a certain number of franchisees every year and pay a minimum monthly royalty which increases over time. Even if they fail to meet this target they still have to pay the corresponding monthly royalty to Action. Since the coaches are also on fixed monthly royalties this system really does start to look like a pretty classical pyramid scheme.

    In all cases Action gets most of its money upfront, both from the new M.L. and from the franchisees recruited by the M.L. The M.L. also has to deal with the fall-out from all of this but it is either that or he/she has to walk away from what is generally a very big investment. Big dilemma for the people concerned which was very well summarized by Author in the previous post.

    Dear All,

    It has recently come to our attention that prospects for our Master License opportunity (particularly throughout Europe) are engaging some of you on discussions regarding the confidential terms of your Master License Agreement. We take this opportunity to remind you that the terms including, but not limited to, Master License Fee, Royalty Splits, Marketing Fund contributions, Renewal periods, vendor finance terms (if any), Performance Requirement, Renewal fee, or any other economic or non-economic terms (“Terms”) of your Master license Agreements are confidential. That is, the Terms, are strictly between ActionCOACH and you. We do not consent to Master Licensees discussing the Terms of their Master License Agreement with third parties (other than your lawyers and financial/ business advisors).

    Please be mindful that the Terms of your Master License Agreement are commercially sensitive. If we discover any breaches of the confidentiality provisions related to unauthorized disclosure of the Terms (including between Master Licensees) we will have no other alternative than to seek the appropriate remedies for the breach. We suggest that if a prospect or another Master Licensee (regardless of which country the Master Licensee or prospect resides) requests you to disclose confidential information related to your agreement that you simply inform them that such Terms are confidential and that you would be required to obtain written consent from the Franchisor to disclose that information and let us know that a request has been made for you to disclose confidential and commercially sensitive information.

    If you have any questions in relation to the above, please call me to discuss.

    NB. Also posted in this week’s ML Update on Members.

    Jason M. Cooksey
    General Counsel-Global
    ActionCOACH
    The World’s #1 Business Coaching Firm
    5781 S. Fort Apache Rd.
    Las Vegas, NV 89148
    Phone: (702) 795-3188
    Fax: (702) 795-3183
    Cell: 702-374 4554

  79. guest on June 22nd, 2009 11:49 amIt would be interesting to ask Mr. Cooksey how legal documents and business deals that are made publicly available are also deemed confidential? Don’t those franchise listings in Entrepreneur and elsewhere contain the fees and terms? You can purchase documents on UFOC.com or getthem for free at CaleasiSearch ActionCoach here: http://134.186.208.228/caleasi/pub/exsearch.htm

    It seems unlikely that it would be “actionable” if they sent the same documents out to many franchise prospects. It also seems to be an attempt to circumvent the FTC regulations, which require access to current franchisees by franchise prospects. Perhaps a franchise attorney can clarify if it’s legal to restrict this info as a trade secret… someone other than Cooksey.

  80. Coach2007 on June 22nd, 2009 12:42 pmInteresting that even MLs are coming out of the woodwork to share their side of the story.I can’t share the ML side of the story since I was a Coach but judging from the ML communication shared above, I can take a stab at what they are trying to avoid.

    In Coaches agreement, they included a clause that says we cannot testify in lawsuits against them… when I asked them (ML and her attorney) what if I get subpoenaed, they refuse to answer me and just repeatedly warn me I will be breaching the agreement.

    The internal communication above seems to be another attempt to ‘divide and rule’ and prevent both coaches and MLs from comparing notes with each other.

    My lawyer told me in the country I was operating in; franchise agreements need to be standard across the board, if any coach get hold of proof (I.e., another Coach’s agreement) that shows clauses are not the same, I can get the entire agreement repudiated due to misrepresentation. That is probably what they are fearful of. Just my theory.

    Personally, I got out during the renewal process as the new agreement was much more lopsided than the old one. One of the new clauses specified that in case something happens to me, my estate needs to take over payment of admin fees while alternative arrangements are made. I found it ridiculous as I owned a Primary Practise Coach License which clearly specifies I am the only person authorized to coach unless I nominate someone else, subject to Action’s approval (& additional payment to get the person trained), at which point I can no longer be involved in coaching.

    My lawyer advised usually franchises such as Action where there are no assets and the person owning the business is running a private practise, the license simply cease to exist upon franchisee’s demise. Not Action apparently. I can’t imagine if something were to happen to me in the next 7 years, my unemployed wife and kids will be saddled with paying Action admin fees!

  81. M.L. Viewpoint on June 23rd, 2009 8:11 amCoach2007. I have recent copy of the U.S. franchise contract and this is what it says regarding what happens if you die;” If you die (or any owner dies, if this Agreement has been transferred to an entity), the executor may terminate this Agreement without paying a termination fee by signing a termination agreement and release satisfactory to Master Licensee and Franchisor.
    Upon executing and submitting the appropriate termination documents, the estate and its representatives will have no further obligation under this Agreement except for any matters that exist as of the date of such termination.”

    If you have something different would you like to do a copy paste of the relevant clause in one of your posts. Could you also provide a copy of the clause where it says you can’t testify in lawsuits.

    The contract I have does exclude class action – “Arbitration will be conducted solely on an individual, not a class-wide basis, unless all parties so agree.” but I haven’t picked up on any clause where it forbids you from testifying.

    Regarding the comments from Guest, there is indeed a generic M.L. contract which is posted on the site you mentioned but the figures for minimum monthly royalties are not filled in. This allows Action a lot of scope for adjustment on a case by case basis.

  82. The Art of Transparency on June 23rd, 2009 10:02 amOn his blog http://www.bradsugars.com/the-good-the-bad-and-the-internet
    Brad Sugars provides some advice on making the best use of the internet, specifically what to do if you start getting adverse publicity:

    “Here’s what do you do if you are attacked on the Internet … ?

    5 things that are vital …

    1. Answer EVERY allegation with total transparency but only do it on a site that YOU CONTROL … never answer on their site, put a link from their site to a site you control …”

    Now most of the negative allegations about ActionCoach concern concealment of attrition rates, average earnings per coach and other such subjects but I have yet to see Action practice what Brad preaches above in these particular areas. On the contraryn, all of the Action controlled sites contain nothing but praise for Brad, Action etc..and the above blog was no exception with lots of Action groupies providing ringing endorsements. The fact that they received an e-mail from Head Office on the 22nd May explaining that it might be a good idea to go and make a post obviously had nothing to do with it. This was simply a spontaneous outpouring of praise at a level which would make pretty well any of the worlds remaining autocrats green with envy. Neil Sinclair was yet again in the front line with this contribution

    Neil Sinclair says: 2009/05/25 at 14:20

    I have been with ActionCOACH since 2001. This has been a fantastic business for me and an absolutely amazing experience – long may it continue. The ActionCOACH Business, the people in it, the culture, the clients and the suppliers and supporters of ActionCOACH has been phenominal. Through the ActionCOACH business I have stepped onto the Entreprenuerial Ladder, I have coached dozens and dozens business owners, changing their lives for the better, as part of this I have massively grown both professionally and personally and an even more amazing side-effect of being part of ActionCOACH is the transformation of my whole family, including my wife and my two daughters. All of my immediate family have worked in the ActionCOACH business at some stage and they all have been exposed to the success principles we adopt and teach – what more could a husband and father offer his family…the knowledge and wisdom how to succeed in life.
    In addition to these experiences, the Global travel that we have been exposed to as part of our own training and development to regional and global conferences have been real family adventures that we have all loved.
    We love this business – Thank You to Brad Sugars for starting the company and ‘Thank You’ to all the people in the ActionCOACH Business on a Global level whom collectively make this business the amazing journey it is.

    Neil, who has been with Action since 2001, is an M.L. in the U.K. which means he is very much a stakeholder in all of this. He presently has a team of 34 franchisees which includes 6 firm owners for which no earnings data is available. For the others the breakdown in earnings performance at the end of May was :

    Bronze level – 16 (Gross monthly earnings < 6000)
    Silver level – 9 (6000 < Gross monthly earnings < 12000)
    Gold – 3 (12000 < Gross monthly earnings < 25000 )

    Neil has lost 7 franchisees since the beginning of the year and has recruited 3 new people..

    Getting closer to home here is the story for Kevin Alft, another veteran ActionCoach M.L. At the end of May he had a team of 25 coachs and 7 Firm owners based in California, New Mexico, Utah, Southern Texas, Idaho & Hawaii.

    23 of the 25 coaches listed were Bronze level which means they were grossing less than 6k per month out of which they have to pay a 1.8k monthly royalty, a 5% marketing fee and their business expenses. The remaining two were silver level which is pretty well the minimum necessary for survival.

    Confirming the comments already posted here, this means that the vast majority of these guys (and gals) are losing money every month they stay with Action. Incidentally Kevin has lost 6 franchisees from his team since the beginning of the year but as he must be an excellent salesman he has found 7 new people, mostly in California, to replace those he lost elsewhere.

    This sort of data is what I call transparency and supposing there are people from Action reading these posts I would like to ask them a couple of questions.

    1) How many prospects would sign on if they were aware of these figures up front?

    2) Are these guys rogue M.L.’s or is this just business as usual?

    Last thing, any Action franchisee reading this can get this performance data by going onto ActionMembers.com going to Homerun/Directory and looking up the M.L. they are interested in. To get a feel for the attrition rate you just need to do it from time to time.

  83. Coach2007 on June 23rd, 2009 10:32 amHi ML Viewpoint,I am sorry I am not willing to post it here because I am not from the States and if I do, I can probably be traced if the clauses are country specific. Sorry. (Which again raise interesting questions because one of the thing I was told was the agreement was drafted by HQ in Europe, it is non-negotiable because it is standard, even clauses that don’t apply where we are still cannot be removed because of the possibility of ‘future enforcability’.)

    The clause I have in terms of demise is DEFINITELY different from what you’ve posted here, I would have considered renewing the agreement otherwise! And I did not misinterpret it, it was confirmed by both my attorney and the ML’s attorney.

    Ditto for the clause on not being allowed to testify in lawsuits against Action.

    Unfortunately, I do not think my ex-colleagues would be able to use the information you provided to repudiate their agreements since you are also posting anom :-(

  84. Coach2007 on June 23rd, 2009 11:36 pm“Incidentally Kevin has lost 6 franchisees from his team since the beginning of the year but as he must be an excellent salesman he has found 7 new people,”He’d be making as much as a silver coach just from the initial license fees from 7 sales if they are primary coaches… therein lies the problem that a lot has posted here… MLs can afford to be mercenaries so long as they replace what they lose, nevermind success rate.
  85. NZeX on June 24th, 2009 11:57 pmHe’d be making as much as a silver coach just from the initial license feesI believe you meant he will be making what a silver coach make in a YEAR from just the initial fees of the 7 sales. That is why support is secondary. My ML double as “Coaches’ Coach” supposedly to help us be accountable and grow… ask any coach in my territory whether the ML has even read any of Brad Sugar’s 14 books and understand what “the system” is. Unfortunately, no audit on MLs except on sales and as mentioned here countless times by many others and myself, so long as incoming coaches equal or exceed outgoing ones, it is ok as far as Brad Sugars is concerned because of how much they make from initial sales.
  86. The Art of Transparency on June 27th, 2009 8:08 amAnother amusing little thing I have just noticed in Brad Sugars internet strategy is the use of key words like scam and fraud in his own sites. These words figure “innocently” in articles he writes and are even included in the tags on his own blog. That way someone who does a Google search using the words Brad Sugars or ActionCoach Scam/Fraud will almost certainly run into one of his own sites. Since Action already goes out of it’s way to saturate the web with it’s own material this further attempt to prevent anyone ever finding anything in any way critical of ActionCoach simply further highlights the efforts this organisation puts into preventing any sort of transparency about its operations and business practises.
    Coming on top of all the restrictions on disclosure imposed on existing members of the franchise discussed in previous posts this starts to look very very ugly and one can only wonder how much more these people have to hide.
  87. Well … on June 27th, 2009 5:21 pmDoesn’t it make sense for them to ignore or not discuss topics that their agitators focus on? Even if they gave you the answers, wouldn’t their detractors just spin it into more of a negative – fairly or unfairly?
  88. yeah on June 28th, 2009 3:14 am“Doesn’t it make sense for them to ignore or not discuss topics that their agitators focus on? Even if they gave you the answers, wouldn’t their detractors just spin it into more of a negative – fairly or unfairly?”Yeah you are right, ignoring is much better than what they did on soulcast, so is subtle questioning :-)

    As for spinning… let the rational public decide.

  89. The Art of Transparency on June 28th, 2009 6:48 amTo the extent that Action wishes to avoid any honest/open discussion on the subjects the “agitators” focus on like attrition rates and average earnings by coach yes it probably does make sense to try drown all of this out. However if they had nothing to hide, wouldn’t it be far simpler for Action to publish figures that would shut the “agitators” up for once and for all?
    The obvious conclusion here is that ActionCoach probably does have a lot to hide and since their franchise model seems to be fatally flawed, at least for a very large majority of the people who sign on, a massive amount of this organisations effort goes into insuring that there is nowhere people can go to get some objective input.
    Fortunately sites like this exist but unfortunately most people probably don’t see them until it is too late.
  90. Craig on June 28th, 2009 10:31 am“Doesn’t it make sense for them to ignore or not discuss topics that their agitators focus on? ”Love the use of the word “agitators” in the above post. While you are at it you could also use the word “terrorists” . For your information , an agitator is defined as ” a person who tries to stir up people in support of a cause, often used in an unfavorable sense”.

    So those of use who are trying to let unsuspecting people have some objective information on what they are geting themselves into before the commit tens of thousands of dollars to a business venture in which there is a very high proabability that they will get badly burned are “agitators”? Wow, what planet do you come from poster?

    Rather than calling us agitators maybe you would like to comment on some of the facts that has been posted here, for example the information derived from Actions own FDD (my post dated 7th June) or the post dated June 23rd with some info on average earnings.

    BTW, I am now pretty certain that Action also seriously misrepresented the attrition rate between 2006 and 2008 in the 2008 FDD. A little more verification to do and I’ll be back with more info on this subject.

  91. ML Viewpoint on June 28th, 2009 2:28 pmBy using this link you can download a copy of the ActionCoach franchise contract as it stood in January 2007http://134.186.208.228/caleasi/PDFDocs/004727065.PDF

    If you go to page 27 of the document you will find the following list of payments which franchisees had to make at that point in time.

    ATTACHMENT 1
    TO
    BUSINESS COACH FRANCHISE AGREEMENT
    (January 2007)

    1. Master Licensee’s Territory: [Describe Territory]

    2. Franchise Fee: $50,000.00

    3. Royalty Fee: $1,500/mo

    The Royalty Fee is due on the 1st day of each calendar month, except that no Royalty Fee is due for the month in which you complete the initial training program or for the following two months.

    4. Marketing and Advertising Fee: 5% of preceding month’s Gross Revenues.

    The Marketing and Advertising Fee is due on the 5th day of each calendar month, except that no Marketing and Advertising Fee is due with respect to Gross Revenues in the month in which you complete the induction training program or the following month.

    5. Training Fee: $25,000

    6. Renewal Fee: $5,000

    7. Transfer Fee: $5,000

    8. Relocation Fee: $10, 000

    9. Termination Fee: $10,000

    10. Technology Fee: $1,250

    In a more recent version of the contract (09/08) these payments have evolved a bit. The monthly royalty has been increased from 1.5k to 1.8k/month (that’s a 20% increase), the monthly royalty is due immediately after training rather than in the 3rd month following training and a 1.25k “Technolgy Fee” has also been added without any obvious extra service for the franchisees compared to the prior situation. Result, almost another 5k in up-front payments for the franchisees.

    No doubt some people will think, “OK what’s the problem with that if the Action can get away with it?” Well I guess the real issue is how these changes were brought in. The franchisor, ActionCoach is the only beneficiary from the changes which were initially justified on the basis that these new fees would finance a new 3 day “Refresher Course” offered to franchisees between 3 and 6 months after their initial training. These (very expensive) refresher courses did take place for about 12 months but since very few people attended (because no one saw much benefit in going) they have since been abandoned. However the new fees remain.

    Brad Sugars unconditional admires will no doubt yet again approve the mans brilliant business acumen, after all he did get his M.L.’s to accept this new scam. He gets a lot more money up front for every new franchisee signed on, no one else gets anything!

    Those of us who have long understood that this mans only objective is to get as much money as possible as quickly as possible out of those unfortunate enough to trust him will see just another example of his unlimited greed. Since most people don’t get anywhere near the end of their contracts, constantly finding new ways to increase the initial payments is a key element of the ActionCoach business model.

    ATTACHMENT 1
    TO
    BUSINESS COACH FRANCHISE AGREEMENT
    (September 2008)

    1. Master Licensee’s Territory: [Describe Territory]

    2. Franchise Fee: $50,000.00

    3. Royalty Fee: $1,800/mo

    The Royalty Fee is due on the 1st day of each calendar month, except that no Royalty Fee is due for the month in which you complete the induction training program.

    4. Marketing and Advertising Fee: 5% of preceding month’s Gross Revenues.

    The Marketing and Advertising Fee is due on the 5th day of each calendar month, except that no Marketing and Advertising Fee is due with respect to Gross Revenues in the month in which you complete the induction training program or the following month.

    5. Training Fee: $25,000

    6. Renewal Fee: $2,500

    7. Transfer Fee: $2,500

    8. Relocation Fee: $5,000

    9. Termination Fee: $10,000

    10. Technology Fee: $1,250

  92. ML Viewpoint on June 28th, 2009 2:31 pmSmall error in the post above. There was no technolgy fee (item 10) in the Jan 2007 contract.
  93. Well … on June 29th, 2009 2:12 amI don’t have the ability to answer the questions you have posed about the attrition rates and average earnings by actioncoach coaches, just doing some reading on this site. It seems to me that most of the complaints are about things that would just turn into more problems if actioncoach addressed them at all. Wouldn’t it be worse if they did post this information? Wouldn’t it just get picked apart? How could they send warnings to franchisors/MLs about discussing those topics and then do the same thing?
  94. Cialdini on June 29th, 2009 2:17 pmAnyone wondering how Brad Sugars and ActionCoach can hoodwink so many intelligent people would be well advised to take note of the Bernard Madoff story and this quote attributed to Josef Goebbels :“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

    Brad Sugars and ActionCoach obviously don’t have the same powers to repress dissent as Hitler and Goebbels did but they try pretty hard using all the means that have been discussed in many of the previous posts including very restrictive confidentiality clauses, denial of the right to participate in a class action suit and total saturation of the internet with their own materials.

    They have probably also read Robert Cialdinis book “Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion” particularly chapter 2, “Commitment & Consistency”. The key ideas in this chapter are presented below and I think these concepts go a long way towards explaining how a system that objectively creates so many losers still finds people to defend it. I would recommend that anyone thinking about buying an ActionCoach franchise read this book before signing on and those who are still being milked would probably also have a few BFO’s if they took the time to read it, no matter how painful the experience…

    Commitment and Consistency
    People have a desire to look consistent through their words, beliefs, attitudes and deeds and this tendency is supported or fed from three sources:

    1. Good personal consistency is highly valued by society.
    2. Consistent conduct provides a beneficial approach to daily life.
    3. A consistent orientation affords a valuable shortcut through the complexity of modern existence. That is– by being consistent with earlier decisions we can reduce the need to process all the relevant information in future similar situations. Instead, one merely needs to recall the earlier decision and respond consistently.

    The key to using the principles of Commitment and Consistency to manipulate people is held within the initial commitment. That is–after making a commitment, taking a stand or position, people are more willing to agree to requests that are consistent with their prior commitment. Many compliance professionals will try to induce others to take an initial position that is consistent with a behavior they will later request.

    Commitments are most effective when they are active, public, effortful, and viewed as internally motivated and not coerced. Once a stand is taken, there is a natural tendency to behave in ways that are stubbornly consistent with the stand. The drive to be and look consistent constitutes a highly potent tool of social influence, often causing people to act in ways that are clearly contrary to their own best interests.

    Commitment decisions, even erroneous ones, have a tendency to be self-perpetuating–they often “grow their own legs.” That is–those involved may add new reasons and justifications to support the wisdom of commitments they have already made. As a consequence, some commitments remain in effect long after the conditions that spurred them have changed. This phenomenon explains the effectiveness of certain deceptive compliance practices.

    To recognize and resist the undue influence of consistency pressures upon our compliance decisions–we can listen for signals coming from two places within us–our stomach or “gut reaction” and our heart.

    • A bad feeling in the pit of the stomach may appear when we realize that we are being pushed by commitment and consistency pressures to agree to requests we know we don’t want to perform.

    • Our heart may bother us when it is not clear that an initial commitment was right.

    At such points it is meaningful to ask a crucial question, “Knowing what I know now, if I could go back, would I have made the same commitment?”

  95. NZeX on June 30th, 2009 12:08 amIt seems to me that most of the complaints are about things that would just turn into more problems if actioncoach addressed them at all. Wouldn’t it be worse if they did post this information? Wouldn’t it just get picked apart?If the actual figures are as impressive as the figures they are trying to hoodwink the public with, no one will pick it apart and discussions like this would not exist. It will be worst ONLY IF they have something to hide.
  96. Former Prospect on June 30th, 2009 11:19 amHi ML Viewpoint,Thank you for sharing the agreement.

    When I was evaluating the franchise, something the ML told me came across as odd to me, perhaps you can shed some light…

    I was informed if I sign a client on for a year contract, even if the client drop out of the coaching program, 5% M&S is still due for the entire contract. I told the ML that didn’t seem fair to the coaches. She told me it was a system designed to ensure coaches are able to deliver and only sign quality clients.

    Any comments?

  97. coach2007 on July 1st, 2009 11:58 amHi Former Prospect,I can answer on behalf of ML Viewpoint: what the ML told you are absolute BS and another example of Brad Sugars either not aware (or pretending he’s not) of what his MLs are doing to extract extra cash from unsuspecting franchisees. You only pay marketing fund for collected revenue, not projected revenue.

    There are good MLs in the network. No doubt. But do thorough due diligence before you sign on the dotted line. See what Coach2003 wrote above regarding his ML. His story is not unique. Many others have expressed similar stories regarding their MLs in my time there.

    Also very important for corporate ‘refugees’ who think Action is an escape from corporate politics into entrepreneurship as ActionCoach’s marketing materials are fond of promotion. You are NOT getting away from corporate politics; instead, you are probably getting into something much worst. Brad Sugars love hyperboles. Anyone, especially MLs, who speak the lingo and write the lingo in the internal forums, can get away with murder regardless how they behave outside of the ‘official’ functions and forums.

  98. NewCoach on July 2nd, 2009 10:10 amI agree 110% with what Coach2007 wrote. I am still an active coach, doing okay for the past 1+ year but money aside; I find it difficult to accept some of the hypocrisy and cover-up going on in the system.For example, it is true what coach 2007 said, that regardless of how ‘nasty’ an ML is to his/her coaches or his/her team, it doesn’t matter so long as he/she make the right noises when around Brad at conferences and in the forums. Brad just wants to hear what he wants to hear, everything else is below the line. For example, if an ML abuse his/her position to get business at the expense of his/her coach, we are supposed to ‘wifle’ it out, i.e., talk it out in a meeting and leave things there, considered settled once everyone has expressed their views, regardless of the actual damage done to a coach.

    In more professional organizations, they resolve such disputes through Domestic Inquiry where evidence and witnesses are looked at and guilty parties are punished or even terminated. NO CHANCE of that ever happening to an ML no matter what they do since the ’system’ says resolve through ‘wifle’ and leave things in the room when the wifle is over. Plus, the ML chairs the wifle. Can you see how ridiculous the situation is for a coach?

    I can also confirm what others wrote here regarding the internal rankings, it did reveal how unhealthy the franchise is in terms of franchisee income and people are talking internally. They realized the mistake and pulled the ranking info abruptly without warning when an ML innocently asked in the forum how come his new coach without any sales to his name was ranked 700+ when we were supposed to have 1000+ coaches. That was a couple of months ago.

    Recently, after pretending it never happened, they sent an amusing message to explain the ranking removal: supposedly there were mistakes in the KPI system which lead to wrong rankings therefore they had to pull it out while rectifying it. This is interesting because every single coach know their own KPI and know there was no mistake and furthermore, coach levels (Gold, Silver Bronze, etc) which is based on the same KPI is still actively displayed… knowing the coach level does not allow one to see where one stand in the system unlike the global ranking which shows exactly how much a coach earn and where he/she stands, which made it easy to gauge the health of the franchise. Instead of acknowledging and rectifying, Brad and his management team tell one lie after another to cover up previous lies.

  99. NewCoach on July 2nd, 2009 10:20 amMLViewpoint:The agreement you attached was the one I had. I did have a big argument with my ML at that time on the Conference Attendance Clause where it specifies conferences are compulsory and there will be a fee imposed. I felt (and still feel) the clause is way too general and the fee could be anything, Action doesn’t have to justify at all how much they charge for conferences and yet coaches are forced to attend or risk breaching their agreements.

    Coach2007:

    I just read what you wrote above how Brad forces coaches to attend conferences via peer pressure prior to the 2007 agreement. Peer pressure didn’t work I suppose…

  100. Coach on July 3rd, 2009 11:54 pmML Viewpoint:I believe the new “technology fee” is imposed for 2 purposes, one is to make more money upfront but the other is also to prevent refunding coaches who paid for the CRM earlier.

    If you remember, Brad Sugars unilaterally imposed a new in-house developed CRM on coaches on subscription basis and a lot, under pressure, paid the initial registration fee and a couple of months of subscription fees before the pressure got to Brad Sugars and they have to stop the project. By right, they should be refunding coaches. Instead, Brad Sugars brilliantly thought of a scheme to avoid doing so, in an email to congratulate those who paid as having paid for future technology investment in advance. He got away with it as usual. Supposedly those who choose not to use the new crm can continue using what they have, but no refunds were due to them.

    NewCoach:

    Speaking of unilateral decision making and conferences, I am sure you have received an email recently informing coaches about a new 50% cancellation fees for global conference, which will be charged to your credit card even if you haven’t paid. So long as you have indicated your intention to go earlier, you will be charged. There was never such a condition at the point of registration. It came now just before the actual event, which I am sure due to the global meltdown, many coaches are still recovering and chose to conserve their cash. They just got a nasty shock from Brad Sugars: “Hey, just to let you guys know I am charging you 50% fee regardless of your attendance, never mind that I didn’t tell you this before, never mind that it might not be legal if you fight it, never mind that you have not paid a single cent to date, never mind that I didn’t even tell you what the fee is, I have your credit card details and you can’t stop me.”

  101. Crocodile Dundee on July 4th, 2009 1:52 pmTo NewCoach
    The terms and conditions for Global Conf included a 50% cancellation fee for any cancellation made between 60 and 30 days of the event. I guess people need to read this sort of stuff before signing up….
    See below –

    Accept Terms & Conditions

    The terms are as follows:

    1. ML Conference-(Reception+ 5 Days+ Cultural Event+ Awards) AUD $1,745

    2 .FIRM Conference-(Reception + 4 Days + Cultural Event + Awards) AUD$1,595

    3. Coach Conference-(Reception + 3 Days + Cultural Event + Awards) AUD $1,395

    4. Spouse/Guest Conference-(All above) AUD $1,395

    5. Awards Dinner ONLY – Spouse/Guest/Family Member (Adult) AUD $ 125

    6. Awards Dinner ONLY – (Child) AUD $ 75

    7. Spouse/Guest Social – (Reception + Cultural Event + Awards) AUD $ 300

    There is no separate pricing for just the Reception or just the Cultural Event – these must be part of package.

    If your spouse / guest would like to attend the presentations of our guest speakers, they must purchase a conference package.

    Payments:
    All payments are in Australian Dollars. GST will be applied where applicable.

    Refunds:
    100% 60 days prior to event*
    50% 60 – 30 days prior to event*
    0% within 30 days of event*

    *ALL REFUNDS are subject to a $50 cancellation fee that will be deducted from the total refunded.
    *50% cancellation fee within 30 days of event.
    Request for refund must be submitted by email to: conferences@actioncoach.com

  102. ML Viewpoint on July 4th, 2009 2:29 pmGreat to see so much sharing of information going on here. Does not necessarily do much to improve the situation of those who already realise they have made a mistake but at minimum it should help people who are looking at this franchise to ask better questions before signing on.Again looking at some contractual stuff here is what is stated in the M.L. contracts regarding reporting.

    F. Reporting. Master Licensee must submit the following reports:
    1) Action Plan. A report entitled, “Action Plan,” which outlines the goals, strategies, and actions to be set by Master Licensee for his/her franchise development. This report shall be completed and delivered to Franchisor within 10 business days of Franchisor’s request.

    2) Key Performance Indicators. A report entitled, “Key Performance Indicators,” which summarizes the activities of Master Licensee and its Licensed Coaches for the previous calendar month. This report shall be completed for each month of active operation and delivered to Franchisor by 5:00 pm Pacific Time on the 7th of each month.

    3) Financial Statements. Annual financial statements must be completed and delivered to Franchisor within 90 business days after the end of Master Licensee’s fiscal year.

    4) Other Reports. Such other weekly, monthly, and general reports as Franchisor may specify from time to time in the Manuals.

    Master Licensee acknowledges and agrees that the completion of the abovementioned reports is mandatory and a primary responsibility of Master Licensee. Franchisor may, at its discretion, change the form and substance of the reports at any time.

    Looks innocent enough but in Nov 2008 Brad Sugars decided that this is what he wanted in practise.

    ActionCOACH ML Reporting Requirements …

    ActionCOACH ML Reporting Requirements …

    DAILY REPORTS
    Who What When
    Bronze & Silver ML’s Activity Tracker COB Daily
    Bronze and Silver ML’s Daily Action Lists COB Daily

    WEEKLY REPORTS
    Gold and Above ML’s Activity Tracker COB Friday
    All Webinar Homework COB Monday

    MONTHLY REPORTS
    All Online KPI’s 15th Follow Month
    All Sales & Marketing COB Monthly
    All Team Newsletter COB Monthly
    All KPI’s rankings etc to Coaches 15th Follow Month
    All New Coach Reference Checks COB Monthly
    All Coach R,A,G Report COB Monthly
    ML’s with Orphan Coaches Activity and Growth Report COB Monthly
    All Non-Compete Breach Suspects COB Monthly
    All Copyright Breach Suspects COB Monthly
    All Coaches only using approved suppliers

    QUARTERLY REPORTS
    All 90 Day Plan 15 Day pre EOQ
    All Marketing Plan 15 Day pre EOQ
    All Marketing Budget 15 Day pre EOQ
    All Firm and Completion Rates 15 Day Post EOQ
    All Copies of all Marketing 15 Day Post EOQ
    All List of BOTM Sent out 15 Day Post EOQ
    All Coach Contact Listings 15 Day Post EOQ
    All Disclosure/FDD Receipts 15 Day Post EOQ
    All P&L and Balance Sheet 15 Day Post EOQ
    All Business Bank A/c Statement 15 Day Post EOQ
    All Marketing Bank A/c Statements 15 Day Post EOQ
    All Marketing Fund Report 15 Day Post EOQ
    All Exit Release Agreements 15 Day Post EOQ

    HALF YEARLY Reports
    All Team Lists and Captains 15 Days Post EOHY
    All Coach Audits 15 Days Post EOHY
    All ML Audit 15 Days Post EOHY

    ANNUAL REPORTS
    All Business License / Registration Annual Renewal
    All Insurance Certificates Annual Renewal
    All Phone Change Paperwork January
    All Vision & Mission January
    All Business Plan January
    All Territory Map Updated January
    All 1, 3 and 5 year goals Updated January
    All Coach Support Agreements Updated January
    All Team Common Goal Updated January
    All Office Pictures Updated January
    All Organization Chart Updated January
    All Legal Agreement Templates Annual Renewal
    All P&L and BS for Year Annual Renewal
    All Debtors and Ceditors Annual Renewal
    All Annual Budget Annual Renewal
    All Taxation Returns Annual Renewal
    All Royalty Audit Updated January
    All FDD / Disclosure Documents Sept 30th

    ONCE OFF REPORTS
    All Certificate of Incorporation Once off and if updated
    All Share Certificate Once off (If approved for change)
    All ML and Senior Team DiSC Once off and if updated
    All ML and Senior Team VAK Once off and if updated
    All ML and Senior Team CV Once off and if updated
    All Franchise Agreements Once off and if updated

    Moral of the story. Once you are in the system ,Brad Sugars and ActionCoach consider that they can change the rules of the game any time they like….

  103. NZex on July 4th, 2009 3:15 pmHi Crocodile Dundee,Me think u confused “Coach” with “New Coach”.

    “Coach” raised the refund issue.

    “New Coach” wrote about conference attendance clause in his/her franchise agreement as posted by ML Viewpoint, where the clause say “compulsory & fee applicable” which in his/her opinion was too open a clause.

    ps: In my time there, global conf reg is offered during regional conference with ’special incentive’ for on-the-spot-way-in-advance reg, where NO terms & conditions were given at that point of reg… perhaps “Coach” was referring to that (assuming the practise remain the same, where t&c plus agenda is released way later after the early reg offer)…?

  104. Well … on July 4th, 2009 5:46 pmHow is everyone doing those bold quotes? Anyhow …“… a new 50% cancellation fees for global conference, which will be charged to your credit card even if you haven’t paid. So long as you have indicated your intention to go earlier, you will be charged. ”

    That’s amazing!!

    “An inexperienced person evaluating their franchise might see all the positive feedback about coaches as endorsement for the franchise system and equate it with positive feedback about how Action is treating their franchisees. I hope for their sakes they can differentiate the two.”

    Well, some coaches have endorsed the franchise system. There are many videos on you tube to this effect. Even if the channel is managed by action coach, that many people must have said something positive for a reason.

  105. Coach on July 5th, 2009 1:21 amThere are many videos on you tube to this effect.Hi Well… u can use tags… :-)

    Anyway, regarding those YouTube videos… started at one conference then became standard in franchise training… it was positioned to the coaches as new ‘innovation’ for coaches to promote themselves(i.e., coaches, not the franchise, sneaky sneaky…) online and done during the conference or training when everyone is still high… they start by asking questions on why a prospect should choose them as their coaches and dovetail into questions on why they are part of the franchise and why others should join the franchise… as I said, sneaky and not a true reflection of what an experienced franchisee felt… it is a reflection of how a franchisee felt in the midst of his/her training or the midst of an ongoing conference.

    So… ya really wanna talk about those videos… call up coaches on those videos will ya or see how many are actually still around for ya to call :-)

    Just like NZeX’s response to Croc Dundee, there’s always 2 sides to every story… one side unfortunately is seldom seen until the existence of such threads.

    many people must have said something positive for a reason. ?

    ’nuff said mate!

  106. Coach on July 5th, 2009 1:25 amps: The YouTube filming was done as one interview and then split into two to look like one testmonial video for ActionCoach and one intro video for the Coach…
  107. Researcher on July 6th, 2009 12:59 pmG’day mates,Coach prospect here doing due dilligence on ActionCoach. The ML warned me I would find a small group of disturbed people online who are disgruntled employees trying to sabotage their business. I was shown a personal letter written by Brad Sugars claiming his family is attacked, his dignity is attacked and yet he will remain calm as the truth will prevail. He said those who believe what they read online are losers and he is sure winners will ignore them.

    Honestly, I was actually keen on the franchise until they brought up the subject and shown me the personal letter. It made me curious, so I did a search online.

    I found soulcast first, read as much as I can before what looked like clear attempts to stop the thread made it too tedious to scroll further. But I personally conclude that it is more than a few disgruntled employees and ActionCoach has a lot to hide otherwise they did not need to stop the thread using underhanded tactics. It was easy to draw that conclusion.

    Then I found the ripoff reports. One in particular was highly suspicious to me, the poster was initially negative but balanced. Subsequently, he retracted his own post, but this time it was completely opposite and ‘apologetic’ of his earlier post. It is suspicious because it came across like the poster is under legal pressure to retract what he wrote. I can’t remember the url but those interested can do a seach on ripoff.com.

    Then finally I found a copy of the franchise agreement on this thread and this help me made up my mind; better be safe than sorry.

    Sorry ActionCoach, you are just too slick and manipulative for my taste.

  108. Researcher on July 6th, 2009 1:05 pmWent back to ripoff to get the report link:http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/0/383/RipOff0383890.htm

    notice the ‘before’ and ‘after’ tone…

  109. guest on July 6th, 2009 4:12 pmResearcher:
    That’s common on Rip-offReport.com. Some poor bloke vents his spleen on there, then gets a threatening letter from an attorney and finds out he can’t get it taken down. He posts a retraction saying he was wrong and the company is wonderful.

    The other thing that happens there is some companies pay off ROR to “review” the situation and ROR comes back saying all is wonderful with the company everyone maligned. It allegedly costs tens of thousands to buy the pos rating, and a monthly “monitoring” fee to keep from getting slammed in the future.

    Quite a racket on both sides.

  110. Well … on July 6th, 2009 10:59 pmWhy would a business coaching firm, that presumably teaches about proper business and team building, have so many “disgruntled employees”?
  111. Just Wondering on July 7th, 2009 7:38 pmI would like to know if anyone has any inside information on the lawsuit Actioncoach filed against their previous sales manager Richard Bernstein. I would like to also know if a good part of these complaints were generated out of his conduct and the fact that Brad Sugars was in another country leaving Rich Bernstein to run things
  112. Mark on July 7th, 2009 10:45 pmI do not know anything about the lawsuit. Rich was one of the people that lied to me, although I was also lied to by my Master Licensee. I don’t believe that this has anything to do with Brad’s location at the time.
  113. Coach2003 on July 8th, 2009 4:55 amHi Just Wondering,I was in Action a couple of years before they move to the US under a ‘rebranding’ exercise.

    The troubles discussed here and elsewhere regarding MLs, number of coaches dropping & not making profit, etc, started long before Brad Sugars enter the US market.

  114. Coach2003 on July 8th, 2009 4:57 amps: Brad’s troubles with Richard Bernstein gave him a convenient excuse to lay it all on someone else. Trust me, as a coach, I’ve never heard of Richard Bernstein until I read about him on soulcast, he wasn’t around long enough to make any impact.
  115. AskBradSugars on July 9th, 2009 5:19 pmHas anyone tried askbradsugars.com to get their questions answered?
  116. Mark on July 9th, 2009 8:14 pmIn response to Well, perhaps for the same reason that Bernie Madoff has so many disgruntled investors… sometimes things are well hidden enough that it takes years for the truth to be revealed.
  117. Mark on July 9th, 2009 8:17 pmI tried to foward this link several times to an ActionCOACH yesterday, and it would not go into her Action e-mail box. As soon as I sent it to her personal in-box, it went through right away. Looks like Brad is now filtering e-mails that the coaches receive. Isn’t that interesting?
  118. Crocodile Dundee on July 10th, 2009 7:37 amMark.
    You should read the first part of Cialdinis recent post above or even read what Brad himself says on his blog http://www.bradsugars.com/the-good-the-bad-and-the-internet

    His whole system is based on doing everthing possible to insure that people can only see information he has total control over and given all the other tricks he gets up to, it should come as no surprise that he is also filtering his franchisees e-mail.

    The poor souls need to be protected from agitators and other such people who raise awkward questions that might just challenge him a bit.

    nteresting indeed!

  119. Response from Global Office on July 10th, 2009 4:46 pmBrad has a Q&A type blog http://www.askbradsugars.com dedicated to answering questions you may have.In fact he has already addressed many of the issues raised here.

    Anyone who has a question for Brad – please feel free to contact him yourself, he is openly answering any and all questions.

  120. clark on July 10th, 2009 9:51 pmThere is a new post started on soulcast:http://www.soulcast.com/post/show/221264/Actioncoach-is-a-Scam

    Let’s see how these assholes react to having another soulcast page take off like wildfire.

  121. Response from Global Office on July 11th, 2009 1:02 amPS: All you people get a life
  122. Craig on July 11th, 2009 10:28 amI don’t know if the posts from « Global Office » really do represent ActionCoach but I did have a look at the http://www.askbradsugars.com site and only found one Q/A which was directly related to the subjects on this forum. I have copied the question and the answer below but since there is no date I can’t be sure if this question was posted before or after my own posts in early June.These posts were based on information available in Actions own UFOC/FDD’s from June 2006, June 2007 and June 2008 and present a very different picture to the one presented by Brad Sugars on his own site. Contrary to what Mr Sugars says, what the data says is the real reason so many of the franchisees have been in the system for less than 2 years is because so many leave well before they reach the end of their 1st contract. This also explains why, after an initial period of rapid growth, between 2004 and 2007, the overall numbers of franchisees are now stagnating or even declining.

    Also, while ActionCoach declared 92 departures from their network between June 2006 and June 2008, it looks like the real figure is somewhat higher. The following table gives the names of people who were either listed in the ActionCoach June 2006 or June 2007 FDD or who were listed in other places in between these dates. However in June 2008 the names of these people appeared neither in the list of active Franchisees nor in the list of those of had left the system. There are 25 names in this list that should apparently be added to the 92 departures officially declared by ActionCoach for the period between June 30th 2006 and June 30th 2008.

    Maybe “Global Office” would like to provide some clarifications…?

    Name Territory 1st Date listed
    Ted Clifton Central & SW Florida June 2006
    Mike Kohler Kansas June 2006
    Michael Cody Michigan June 2006
    Ben Fahndrich Pennsylvania June 2006
    Donald Kennedy Ohio June 2006
    Tod Millard Texas June 2006
    Terrence Devlin New Jersey Sept 2006
    Alan Abrams Pennsylvania Sept 2006
    Phil Raub Pennsylvania Sept 2006
    David Krecklow Colorado June 2007
    Dan Lugar Illinois March 2007
    Terriann Hansen Nevada March 2007
    Amir Avitzar New York March 2007
    Michael Crouse Pennsylvania June 2007
    Chris Mazzei Texas March 2007
    Aimee LePage Washington June 2007
    Dawn Heartwell Georgia June 2007
    Jerry Rogers Idaho June 2007
    Paul Lindenberg Idaho June 2007
    Ted Dellas Ohio June 2007
    James Skinner Georgia August 2007
    Joanne Brenckle New Jersey August 2007
    Tim Henderson Nebraska August 2007
    Michael Redy Massachusetts August 2007
    Rodney Schutt Tennessee August 2007

  123. Craig on July 11th, 2009 10:30 amHere is the Q/A from Brad Sugars site.Q. Overall, since Action has been operating in the US since the year 2000, how come so many of the franchisees have been in the system for less than 2 years?

    A. Part of our system of training is build around the idea of “critical mass,” and I think the numbers are more a result of us reaching a stage of critical mass in our business versus anything else.

    Look, when we first came to the U.S., we had zero brand recognition, versus a 12% brand recognition number among business owners in Australia. We were really able to brand ourselves in Oz because we could buy a three network ad campaign and cover the entire country (with a population of about 20 million).
    If we were to do that here, we would be buying L.A. or Orange County to reach the same amount of people, so we had to build the U.S. literally from zero.

    If you look at what was essentially a “start-up” in terms of numbers of coaches and clients, I think we’ve done pretty well, especially in the last two and three years. The idea of coaching is not so foreign and is more widely accepted as an alternative to consulting, more white collar executives and professionals are looking at us as an option versus a retail or quick service franchise, and we’ve done a much better job in recruiting well-qualified people to be part of our franchise.

    That all takes time. That we were able to do it over a period of six years in a country the size of the U.S, in what some would term as an economy that is more mature than developing – I see as a positive, not a negative.

  124. ACTIONCOACH: Brad Sugars Answers Criticism | Unhappy Franchisee on July 11th, 2009 11:30 am[…] the target of much criticism on the web (see 100+ comments on ACTIONCOACH, BRAD SUGARS: Overview & Discussion), so ActionCoach founder & CEO Brad Sugars is promoting his Q&A format blog  “Ask […]
  125. ADMIN on July 11th, 2009 11:31 amACTIONCOACH: Brad Sugars Answers Criticism
    http://www.unhappyfranchisee.com/actioncoach-brad-sugars-answers-criticism/
  126. AskBrad on July 11th, 2009 11:54 amGlobal office posted at 4:46pm and 1.:02am and yet telling off others to get a life? Huh?I have read the ‘responses’ in askbradsugars.com, as someone who’s been a coach as well as an outsider, let me add a few words to Brad’s responses:

    1. On moving to US from Australia, yup agreed. Brad was not under threat from anyone, it was a planned rebranding move, those who were around since Action International days will know.

    2. Change of name from Action International to ActionCoach. Yup, it wasn’t because Brad need to ‘clean up’ Action and start afresh, it was also part of the rebranding move, there were lots of dispute among the coaches community about the names we wanted.

    3. How happy were his franchisees overall?

    He said based on Franchise Business Review, an ‘independent body’, ActionCoach ranking is higher now as a justification for his franchisees being happy… impressive… but notice this about Franchise Business Review(http://www.franchisebusinessreview.com/tour/why.php):

    i ) Their tagline is “We measure success by the return of investment we deliver to our clients.” clients being the franchisors using their service.

    ii) They say “Everything that we do is focused on driving bottom line results for your company. That means growing franchisee satisfaction and unit performance. That means building customer satisfaction and loyalty to drive same-store sales and overall system revenues. That means improving candidate satisfaction and helping you successfully award more franchises to the right people. We measure our success by the return on investment we deliver for our clients.”

    So in what way can FBR’s so called independant satisfaction survey be taken at face value since they have stated outright their business objectives and whose interest they are serving?

    4. Brad’s response to why so many franchisees & ex-employees started competing firm.

    “Look, we operate in a spirit of “co-opetition” with those who believe they are in competition with us, so I wish those people the best.”

    Ha ha! He sue people for even claiming to be a coach after leaving Action.

    5. On how come so many franchisees since 2000 has been with Action less than 2 years?

    Brad’s answer was he was working towards “critical mass” , which is totally misleading and I really hope those who read what he wrote will read what others have written here as well. Brad is trying to distort the truth and deliberately mislead the reader as the real question was “how come so many franchisees couldn’t survive more than 2 years?”

    6. Is Action’s materials a complete rip-off of other people’s stuff?

    Answer is no, I agree with Brad here.

    7. Brad must have pissed off a lot of people to have these nasty things written about him online?

    His answer was as expected, he took the moral highground by claiming it is because of jealousy. Well, there could be some who were actually jealous but I suspect the majority of ex-franchisees were not jealous of him, rather they were pissed off by how the franchise promised the sky and delivered so little. How the ‘rules of the game’ keep changing in his favor.

    8. On whether it’s beneficial for everyone to have a Business Coach, Brad’s answer is interesting:

    “There’s one other place where coaching isn’t really beneficial – and that’s an organization that is ruled by politics and patronage. Typically, that kind of culture is un-coachable, simply because people are so entrenched in cliques and internal politics they are unwilling to give up their power or control to make any changes for a more effective, team-oriented and merit-based system. ”

    But that literally describe a lot of the MLs in the system. A lot have been written above by others. Let me add one more: how is it that an ML is allowed to do strategic alliance with a coach in his/her territory to market for coaching clients? How can Brad expect other coaches within that territory to accept the ML as impartial when he/she clearly will favor the one he/she is in business with? Why is it allowed and is Brad even aware of it happening? Doesn’t this fit “entrenched in cliques and internal politics’.

    askbradsugars.com is just a continuation of Action’s marketing juggernaut.

  127. guest on July 11th, 2009 12:44 pmThis Unhappy Franchisee blog was posted on April 14, 2009 and started gathering some steam in May, 2009.In May, a slew of domains with “Brad Sugars” name were privately registered:

    ASKBRADSUGARS.COM registered 06-may-2009
    ABOUTBRADSUGARS.COM 15-may-2009
    BRADSUGARSFRANCHISING.COM 15-may-2009
    BRADSUGARSFRANCHISEE.COM 15-may-2009
    BRADSUGARSFRANCHISE.COM 15-may-2009
    BRADSUGARS.NET 25-may-2009

    In June, more were registered:
    BRADSUGARSSTORE.COM registered 03-jun-2009
    BRADSUGARSSITE.COM 03-jun-2009
    BRADSUGARSSHOP.COM 03-jun-2009
    BRADSUGARSONLINE.COM 03-jun-2009

    For someone who claims he doesn’t care about criticism, it sure looks like he’s trying to flood the Internet and search engines with positive sites that use his name.

    PS When did the comment spam on Soulcast start? There were also a slew of domains registered in January, 2009. Think that was the beginning of the race to control the name “Brad Sugars” in the search engines?

    BRADSUGARSVIDEO.COM registered 22-jan-2009
    BRADSUGARSTOURING.COM 22-jan-2009
    BRADSUGARSCOACHING.COM 22-jan-2009
    BRADSUGARSBLOG.COM 22-jan-2009
    BRADSUGARSARTICLES.COM 22-jan-2009
    BRADSUGARSACTIONCOACH.COM 22-jan-2009

  128. Response from Global Office on July 11th, 2009 9:02 pmIf they are privately registered, how would you know?
  129. guest on July 11th, 2009 9:23 pmGlobal Office wrote: “If they are privately registered, how would you know?”
    Registration info is still available, just some of the details were blocked on some of the domains thru private registration. Why? You tell us.
    Domain Name: BRADSUGARS.NET
    Registrar: GODADDY.COM, INC.
    Whois Server: whois.godaddy.com
    Referral URL: http://registrar.godaddy.com
    Name Server: NS1.BLUEHOST.COM
    Name Server: NS2.BLUEHOST.COM
    Status: ok
    Updated Date: 27-may-2009
    Creation Date: 25-may-2009
    Expiration Date: 25-may-2010

    Registrant:
    Domains by Proxy, Inc.
    DomainsByProxy.com
    15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353
    Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
    United States

  130. guest on July 11th, 2009 9:28 pmThe ActionCoach FFD for 2006 and 2007 can be downloaded directly from http://www.corp.ca.gov/CalEASI/caleasi.asp However as the 2008 FFD issued 30th June 2008 has not yet been made available you can download it using the following link………..
    This is a complete document including a recent version of the ActionCoach franchise contract.
    It’s a big .pdf file so it may take a minute or two to open:

    ActionCOACH 2008 FDD (.pdf)
  131. ADMIN on July 11th, 2009 9:38 pmHelp support us by visiting our sponsors:
  132. Coach2003 on July 12th, 2009 12:38 amAskBrad is right about ‘Global Office’, posting here at 4:46 pm, 1:02 am and 9:02 pm, ie, round-the-clock but he/she saw it fit to tell others to get a life… didn’t know Action’s global office staff are supposed to work round the clock :-)It actually remind me of a poster on soulcast goes by ‘bloglatest’, who claimed no relation to Action but posted round-the-clock in defence of Action and finally pissed off a genuine prospect by posting link to Action Corporate Videos who were supposed to be his friends.

    So if you really are from Global Office, then a word of advice for you – the way you are going about posting here is no different from what you and your team did on soulcast, it is going to reflect badly on Action and the people who read this thread will judge Action based on what you wrote as much as from what others wrote.

    “If they are privately registered, how would you know?”

    As I understand it from insiders, Action sent an internal mail out a couple of months ago, where they told all their coaches and staff not to visit links like these in order not to give it a ranking boost. It also said Action will pull all marketing resources from other activities for 6 months to do nothing but counter these threads and the list of strategies include buying up brad sugars domain, setting up askbradsugars.com and paying massively for ranking and links from friendly parties in order to bury these threads. It also said instead of ActionCoach, they will now go back to promoting Brad Sugars instead which they’ve stopped earlier to give prominence to ActionCoach.

    Which is interesting and Brad admirers will marvel at how he is taking advantage of this. Previously, back when they were Action International and I was a Coach, a major complain was that Coaches like us were just tools to help build the Brad Sugars brand. For example, prospects on our private emailing list hosted on actionmembers receive regular mailers from bradsugars.com WITHOUT our knowledge and consent. It is usually to promote Brad Sugars own entreprenuer bootcamp. Coaches only realize it when clients and even prospects start to inform they receive emails from Brad directly. A big hoo-haa plus dissatisfaction over this and the prominence given to Brad Sugars rather than Action International caused some positive changes in favor of coaches… seems like now it’s reversed again.

    I would advise existing coaches still in the system to monitor their mailing lists and perhaps register themselves on their list to see whether they are getting spammed by Brad from outside domains.

    ps: I would also advise coaches to be cautious about their emails, they are probably monitored, I remember I used to get mysterious calls asking probing questions from my ML; each time within days after communicating via email with a new big prospect… I always wonder how she did that when the prospects were approached via my own marketing activities and in my own list and the prospects did not know the ML. And yet, I get calls like “Do you know [Company X]? Have you been in touch with them recently? Do you plan to do anything with them”

  133. Craig on July 12th, 2009 4:47 pmI am really intrigued by an item I picked up on today. I had a look at ActionCoach’s latest listing on Entrepreneur.com and they claim the number of franchisees in the U.S. has increased from 377 in 2008 to a massive 496 in 2009!Now I have spent quite a bit of time looking at both the data in their FDD and looking at the coaches listed on their sites and I really don’t know how they arrive at a figure of 496.

    In the June 2008 FDD they claimed 318 Franchisees and 38 Master Franchisees for a total of 356 which is already lower than the figure posted on Entrepreneur.com

    Where it gets really interesting is that of the 313 identifiable Franchisees in list attached to the FDD , 113 are no longer listed on their sites. That means that only 200 out of 313 listed a year ago are still in the system which means that to get to a figure of 496 they would need to have recruited 296 new people over the last 12 months.

    No doubt this is possible but when I count the Franchisees listed on their sites today, I arrive at a total of less than 300.

    The next FDD should make for interesting reading or maybe Global Office can explain the difference?

  134. Well … on July 13th, 2009 12:54 amI would also advise coaches to be cautious about their emails, they are probably monitored,Wasn’t that also the implication of the following:

    I tried to foward this link several times to an ActionCOACH yesterday, and it would not go into her Action e-mail box. As soon as I sent it to her personal in-box, it went through right away. Looks like Brad is now filtering e-mails that the coaches receive. Isn’t that interesting?

  135. insider on July 13th, 2009 2:50 amNo doubt this is possible but when I count the Franchisees listed on their sites today, I arrive at a total of less than 300.Unfortunately Craig, today even insiders cannot tell you much. As of the final month where global rankings were still published internally, we are aware we have 700+ coaches and more than 2/3 make less than USD2000 per month.

    Today, not only global rankings are removed, the “Coach since” column was also removed, ie, you can’t even see how long you’ve been a coach AND they also no longer send out “welcome emails” to the coaches community after each training with the names/photos/territory of each new coach.

    So much for transparency. NONE except Brad himself and his few insiders will know the actual figures. MLs will only know figures in their own territories. Coaches are totally off the loop.

  136. Coach2007 on July 13th, 2009 7:56 amBrad Sugars/ActionCoach intent to take money from you even when you are dead.This was ML Viewpoint’s reply to me on the topic of what happen in case of franchisee death:

    Coach2007. I have recent copy of the U.S. franchise contract and this is what it says regarding what happens if you die;

    ” If you die (or any owner dies, if this Agreement has been transferred to an entity), the executor may terminate this Agreement without paying a termination fee by signing a termination agreement and release satisfactory to Master Licensee and Franchisor.
    Upon executing and submitting the appropriate termination documents, the estate and its representatives will have no further obligation under this Agreement except for any matters that exist as of the date of such termination.”

    However, upon reading the actual franchise agreement for 2007 which ML Viewpoint posted after replying me and the FDD for 2008 posted by Guest 2 days ago, the actual clause is consistent with what I had in my agreement which my attorney is correct in his interpretation, which is:

    Even in the case of a Practise License and an Associate License, i.e., licenses which become valueless when the holder dies, the estate or executor of the deceased is required to pay USD10K to terminate the license and/or to continue paying Admin Fees. That is the actual clause.

    This particular clause, according to my attorney, is fair for Firm licenses but not fair for individual practise licenses as no one else is permitted to operate the business except for the licensee.

    So how can they morally and legally demand a termination fee from the next-of-kin who have nothing to do with the business?

    Not only is this greedy, it goes totally against the so called values and culture of “abundance” which Brad Sugars love to preach.

    Actioncoach’s attorney agreed that was the correct interpretation of the term and it was non-negotiable, which was why I decided not to renew my agreement even though I was doing okay. I cannot imagine something happening to me and my next-of-kin get burdened with demand for money from ActionCoach’s attorner just to get out of a business agreement which I signed and which has nothing whatsoever to do with them!

    So potential franchisees looking at the practise model or associate coach model, beware.

    ps: The ML where I was always encouraged her coaches and coach prospects to use her attorney as she said her attorney is ‘familiar with the terms and can explain better’ and also offer a bulk discount to her coaches. I wonder how many actually fell for that. I hope everyone will get their own attorney when dealing with agreements like these and not get tempted by offer of discounts. The legal fees are nothing as compared to what you are investing in the franchise.

  137. Well … on July 13th, 2009 11:08 amIf any of you could fix action coach, how would you want it to run?
  138. guest on July 13th, 2009 1:33 pm“If any of you could fix action coach, how would you want it to run?”Excellent question.
    For starters, be honest and upfront about the success rate of Actioncoach franchises.
    If only supersalesmen are successful, just say that.
    If only super markets support successful Actioncoach franchises, say that too.
    Actioncoach has been doing this long enough to have a good idea what types of people and what types of markets are needed to be successful.
    Lots of businesses fail and maybe Actioncoach is no different. It seems like most of the angry complaints is that the expectations of success & support were oversold when the franchise agreement was signed.
    Would Actioncoach still be able to sell franchises if the true success rate was known? That’s the critical question, in my opinion.
  139. ACTIONCOACH: Brad Sugars Battles Bloggers : Franchise Pick – Picking the Perfect Franchise on July 13th, 2009 5:01 pm[…] “Con Man extrordinaire” or “extraordinary business man and visionary”? ActionCOACH franchise: “Scam,” “Rip-off,” “Fraud” or a franchise opportunity that […]
  140. ADMIN on July 13th, 2009 7:13 pmBlog post on FranchisePick.com:ACTIONCOACH: Brad Sugars Battles Bloggers

    Blog post on UnhappyFranchisee.com:
    BRAD SUGARS, ActionCOACH: The Battle of the Blogs

  141. Johnny on July 20th, 2009 3:19 am“If any of you could fix action coach, how would you want it to run?”Read this latest very interesting exchange between someone claiming to be a current ML and someone claiming to be an ex-coach in soulcast’s new thread, that will give you an idea of what to fix.

    Current ML

    I normally don’t post online as I’m not real computer savvy, but I just can’t believe what I am reading. I am an ML for ActionCOACH, and I have nothing but good things to say about this company. I’ve gotten great support from global, I see great performance from the coaches and the ActionCOACH systems work great. Plus the businesses our coaches are helping are performing better than ever. I think it’s disgusting that all these people who just couldn’t cut it are on here giving Action a bad name. Despite all the negativity here on soulcast, I have continued to see growth. If all these rumors were true, this company wouldn’t be around. The few coaches that can’t make it fail only because they can’t perform. In the beginning stages, it requires a lot of work and effort to be a coach. I know because I started off as a coach. From my experiences, it’s easy to make it as a coach if you just follow the systems. On top of all that, I think Brad Sugars is a great man. He might seem a little full of himself, but you have to remember that he’s using his own success as a selling point and for motivation for franchisees to generate their own success. You have to consider the fact that Mr. Sugars just won a Stevie award for ActionCOACH being best international business. Please explain how these rumors could be true… And in response to the illegal activities, I know that at one point there was a scandal (as some people have already mentioned in another post on this site) which has long been addressed, and the people involved were sued and fired. Every large company has to worry about people stealing from them. But Action went on and put it behind them. I think that the growth says enough about the company. While every other company is losing money and filing bankruptcy, ActionCOACH continues to grow. And as ActionCOACH grows (with their help), other businesses grow as well.

    ex-coach

    So ml-who-used-to-be-a-coach, as an ml,

    •How many in your batch remained? Mine, I am the only one, 11 of us, two years later. Many other batches the same.
    •So am I to understand that I am a ‘winner’ and everyone else in my batch are ‘losers’ who didn’t make the cut and didn’t follow the system, based on your logic above? Is that what you are calling your batch mates?
    •Do you tell the absolute truth to all your franchise prospects or do you stretch it or leave out certain info and hope they don’t find out till they are in? Let’s face it, you’ve been around long enough to be able to tell who will not make the cut at the point of selling and can always err on the side of caution. Do you? Doubt it, money speaks, especially frontloaded the way it is.
    •’Great performances’ equals to a coach making barely USD1.2K ranked between 450 to 500 out of supposedly 1000+ coaches? This is the prior to the global ranking info being pulled. This figure is factual which can’t be spinned.
    •’Growing’ means 700+ coaches left in the system as opposed to 1000+ being promoted in the marketing materials? Again, this is factual as of April/May this year, the time they pulled the global ranking info. But then, you already know that, don’t you?
    •People sued and fired? How about the many lawsuits against Action for misrepresentation where Action loses every single case or settle every single case out of court? People you are referring to are NOT coaches. People those posting here are referring to are coaches being oversold.
    Quote facts and figures, don’t spin like a politician.

    Current ML

    You asked me how many were in my batch. I was in training initially with 15 other people. Of those 16 only 2 remained. The two that remained were the only two that followed the systems – myself and one other person.

    Do I tell the truth to prospects? Of course I do. Are you implying that YOU don’t? Most of the people who fail come into the business excited, then when it comes time generate leads, market yourself and sell, they don’t follow the systems. You of all people should know that it’s not easy being a coach. Just like any business, if you sit back and do nothing, your business will fail.

    You said “money speaks” as if you have never tried to make a sale. Its business, and making money is the name of the game.

    The lawsuits you’re referring to were from nuts who either stalked Mr. Sugars or made ridiculous claims against the kind folks at global office.

    Lastly, I think that if you are really an ML as you claim to be, you wouldn’t be on here posting negative comments about Action that would effect your franchise! Surely you’re not that stupid because that would hurt your own sales! So come on and get a life, and stop pretending to be an ML. The fact is that I have been with Action for a long time, and I think it’s a great company, and it was the best investment I’ve ever made. Everyone who says bad things about Action are either lazy and can’t run their own business, or they are jealous of those who can. If you don’t want to purchase a franchise, then don’t. It’s simple, and stop spreading lies and trying to hurt our business.

    Ex-Coach

    So ml-who-used-to-be-a-coach, as an ml,

    Firstly, I never said in the post I was an ML :-) I was a coach.

    You said “money speaks” as if you have never tried to make a sale. Its business, and making money is the name of the game.

    Yup, that is exactly the attitude I was refering to, Brad would be proud of you, sell and make money, if people don’t make it too bad, screw them. You are doing a fine job of confirming what others said here without any help, keep it up.

    Brad Sugars, the Marketing Team(Lead by Jodie Shaw) and the ML Team are fond of blaming coaches for not playing above the line and not doing what it takes to be successful.

    In actual fact, anyone of them, with a bit of experience and especially those who became MLs after being a coach would be able to tell at the point of selection whether a prospect is going to make it as a coach. They will be LYING if they said they don’t. So the question is: why do they still take them in?

    They should stop living in denial about their own greed and stop using jargons and rhetorics to justify greed.

    If they are reading this, they will know what I am talking about. Stop taking people in, take their money and justify them dropping out after you’ve taken all their money. Action’s team selection process works, I know because when I was a coach, I taught that to my clients. It was the same system that we use for our own recruitment. The only explanation for it not to work for Action is greed.

    Furthermore, we always teach clients the ’stink starts from the top’, fix the business owner and the business fix itself… when it comes to practise however, whithin Action, the fault always lies with coaches no matter how high the turnover is. That is what we call inconsistent and not practising what is preached.

    Do I tell the truth to prospects? Of course I do…. Most of the people who fail come into the business excited, then when it comes time generate leads, market yourself and sell, they don’t follow the systems. You of all people should know that it’s not easy being a coach.

    Really? So you told everyone “it’s not easy being a coach” as you mentioned above? You tell them about the lead generation process and the amount of activity required to get there? If you do, congratulations, you sure are a rare ML in Action and deserve your success. In the territory where I was a coach, I was told the ‘market is ready’, the ‘coaches before you laid great foundation and the market is about to explode’, ‘getting appointments is a piece of cake’… you get the drift.

    Interesting that some if not most of the ‘nuts who stalked Brad Sugars’ mostly win their cases of misrepresentation or settle out of court.

    So earlier you said coaches who fail are losers who don’t follow the system, now they are nuts. At the same time, you admit 14 out of 16 in your batch fail but you cannot see any misrepresentation or overselling, you see them all as losers which in other words, the stink of the organization didn’t start from the top unlike what you coach clients to take ownership. And after admitting that 14 out of 16 are gone, your previous post spin Action as ‘growing’.

    Gee….

    Enuf said.

  142. How To Fight Back on July 20th, 2009 3:45 amActionCOACH CEO Brad Sugars explains how to turn around unhappy customers
    actioncoach.com/bradsugars/actioncoach-ceo-brad-sugars-explains-how-to-turn-around-unhappy-customers.php

    Putting out the Fires in the Web 2.0 World: How to Combat Negative Comments about your Company

    actioncoach.com/bradsugars/how-to-combat-negative-comments-about-your-company.php

    “Remember that if you post to site that is ran by the person who is upset, you are putting your voice in to their control. What they post becomes their choice instead of yours. An alternate way to address the concerns may be to send a private e-mail asking if you or one of your customer service representatives could contact the person by phone to address their concerns …You shouldn’t engage people who are obviously venting or have a proverbial “ax to grind,” or who are logging truly illegitimate complaints, because all your logical arguments and responses have little effect on purely emotional public outbursts … Knowing when and how respond can be the difference between deepening the wound or resolution.”

  143. ML Defense on July 20th, 2009 12:11 pmAs a successful ML of ActionCoach, I am disgusted by the negative bitching I see here and on soulcast, let me address some of the issues raised:MLs are allowed to coach clients and to sign on coaching clients. That is in the agreement. Those that bitch about their MLs stealing clients from them should ask themselves why their own friends choose others over them instead of complaining. We are also allowed and encouraged to work on our own unique positioning, so there’s absolutely nothing wrong with an ML telling a prospect “I only coach 5 clients per year and I can only reserve a slot for you if you are serious.” Coaches should get a life or leave Action if they do not agree with this. They signed an agreement!

    MLs are supposed to sell Coach Licenses for a profit; I don’t know what the coaches here are bitching about. Are we supposed to run charities while coaches make profit? Get real, business is about profit as another ML above noted. If you choose not to do what it takes, don’t blame the ML for misleading you. It is your choice. I sell according to the system and the marketing materials provided to me. The statistics are provided by HQ and I have no reason to doubt their authenticity as I have met Brad, Jodie and the rest; the team is awesome. It is sad a few losers are making so much fuss out of it.

    As for MLs having businesses with certain coaches within their territory, there’s no clause in ML or Coach Agreement which says they are not allowed to do that. Those who bitch that an ML will be less partial just because they have business arrangements are simply jealous that they are not given the opportunity to be part of the alliance. Instead of making allegations, they should instead reflect on themselves why they are not included… could it be that they are not good enough to be included?

    Coaches are given 12 weeks academy and all kind of support by HQ and they have their Coaches’ Coach yet everyone here point their fingers at their MLs as though MLs are the source of their misery.

    It is sad that, as the ML above noted, a few sore losers are trying their best to destroy the good name of Brad Sugars and ActionCoach simply because they were not good enough; and they run MLs who are doing well down as though we are not entitled to do well and make money just because they didn’t make the grade!

  144. Coach 2003 on July 20th, 2009 12:26 pmThe “Current ML” posting on soulcast will be in a lot of trouble with Brad if he ever found out who he is :-)How he responded to the ex-coach totally expose the mercenary mindset of the MLs Brad recruited. They are totally unrepentant and unapologetic about the fact that they couldn’t care less about who they sell licenses to.
  145. Mark on July 20th, 2009 10:33 pmPerhaps Action should change their recruiting methods and training, in order to help coaches “make the grade”. With drop out rates as high as they are in Action, this is clearly a franchise that is broken. My Oct ‘07 training class had 17 coaches in it, with 5 left in the system. My ML had 9 coaches and now he has 2!
  146. Amazing! on July 21st, 2009 12:43 amMark said: Perhaps Action should change their recruiting methods and training, in order to help coaches “make the grade”. Someone above made an interesting observation regarding this point:

    Brad Sugars, the Marketing Team(Lead by Jodie Shaw) and the ML Team are fond of blaming coaches for not playing above the line and not doing what it takes to be successful.

    In actual fact, anyone of them, with a bit of experience and especially those who became MLs after being a coach would be able to tell at the point of selection whether a prospect is going to make it as a coach. They will be LYING if they said they don’t. So the question is: why do they still take them in?

  147. Speechless on July 21st, 2009 4:38 amI am…. speechless….
    You said “money speaks” as if you have never tried to make a sale. Its business, and making money is the name of the game.

    The lawsuits you’re referring to were from nuts who either stalked Mr. Sugars or made ridiculous claims against the kind folks at global office.

    Everyone who says bad things about Action are either lazy and can’t run their own business, or they are jealous of those who can. If you don’t want to purchase a franchise, then don’t. It’s simple, and stop spreading lies and trying to hurt our business.

    Coaches should get a life or leave Action if they do not agree with this.

  148. Just Wondering on July 21st, 2009 12:51 pmThe lawsuits filed against Brad Sugars and Actioncoach are for fraud, racketeering, failing to pay bills, and sexual harassment just to name a few. Several he has lost, or paid off to go away. These lawsuits many nowhere to be found in his disclosure documents are public record. I don’t think these lawsuits were filed by nuts or people stalking Brad Sugars as said above. They were obviously filed by hard working honest individuals that were not intimidated by Brad Sugars or his legal goons and stood up for their rights. I’m no marketing guru but I can tell you Brad’s new strategy to shut down the truth by using money he has stolen to flood the internet with hog wash will only back fire. His victims have now realized they are not alone and are so much more powerful and are coming out in droves.
  149. Hmmm on July 21st, 2009 10:59 pmWhat’s interesting is that defense of Actioncoach seems to follow this pattern: if someone had a problem within action, then the only real problem is that person. Conversely, if Actioncoach has problems (like the complaints about it spanning several sites), the logic reverses as if the problem couldn’t be actioncoach. How can that possibly work?
  150. ML Defense 2 on July 22nd, 2009 12:02 am[Editor’s note: There is some question as to the authenticity of this apology and retraction. The commenter is invited to contact me at unhappyfranchisee(at)gmail.com to authenticate]
    Dear All,

    I would like to apologize for my earlier emotional rantings, I have since seen the errors of my views and would like to retract my statements:

    1. As MLs, we help and support our coaches in getting clients. It is highly unethical for us to attempt to approach our coaches’ prospect list, especially new coaches who depend on us to learn the ropes. I have personally not done so before but I know my fellow MLs are frustrated by all the accusations against them for what we see as a fair business practise.

    2. MLs are supposed to sell licenses for a profit, that part is true as in any business. However, our roles are to tell the truth at all times and ensure potential franchisees make an informed decision. Subsequently upon them signing an agreement, they become our ‘babies’ to nurture and support until they become successful. I apologize if I gave the wrong perception. MLs are not mercenaries.

    3. While our agreements do not bar us from having business alliances with our coaches, I now realize it is very unethical for us to have alliance with coaches in the coaching business as we not only need to act fair but need to be seen to be fair. I will now stop practising joint promotions with coaches unless I can include all coaches in my territory. I also realize it is against our franchise agreement to set up a 3rd party company with coaches to act as a collection firm.

    4. While HQ provide the 12 weeks academy and a lot of support material, coaches’ primary point of contact and support is their ML. I am sorry if I sound like I was trying to avoid my responsibility as an ML to my coaches.

    I hope coaches who are here and on other forums to consider giving us your feedback directly instead of posting on external forums.

    We promise we will listen and act on your feedback from now on.

    Thank you.

  151. Repent… on July 22nd, 2009 12:05 pmWow ML Defense,Did you just repent within 48 hours… or were you forced to retract your earlier rantings…?
  152. Hmmm on July 22nd, 2009 3:15 pmI think it may be neither? Any person on this forum can use the name of anyone else on here and leave a comment. Names aren’t exclusive to individual e-mail addresses or IPs.
  153. ADMIN on July 22nd, 2009 6:11 pmHmmm wrote: I think it may be neither? Any person on this forum can use the name of anyone else on here and leave a comment. Names aren’t exclusive to individual e-mail addresses or IPs.It looks like Hmmm may be correct. There is some question as to the authenticity of this apology and retraction. The commenter is invited to contact me at unhappyfranchisee(at)gmail.com to authenticate by giving the 2 different email addresses used for the original comment and the retraction. Until then, the suspected imposter will be “ML Defense 2″

    Folks: You don’t have to use your own identities, but please don’t hijack the identities of others. Thanks.

    The Management

  154. Coach2003 on July 22nd, 2009 9:45 pmAdmin wrote: Until then, the suspected imposter will be “ML Defense 2″So… are we to assume there’s more ’shills’ around and it is part of the new internet strategy to conquer cyberspace?
  155. DN on July 23rd, 2009 4:36 pmCoach2003, I think you have to assume that no one here is who they say they are. That’s kind of the point of anonymity.
  156. Researcher on July 25th, 2009 11:23 amGidday Mates,After reading the ML posts here, I am doubly glad I didn’t take up the license. Bad as Brad Sugars is supposed to be, most of the time I’ll be dealing with MLs and these MLs… what I read here (Whether ML Defense 1 or 2, quite obvious 2 is connected to ActionCoach in some way even if they are not the same person.) … holy…

    I think nothing much more need to be said or discussed here… hope every prospective coach researching Action will find this thread.

    I also downloaded the agreements here and ask a lawyer friend for an opinion. Her opinion is consistent with the rest here regarding death. She said franchises which cease to provide an income to the franchisee should cease to charge fees immediately upon franchisees’ death (Which applies to their practise license model.).

    One last thing before I move on to other stuff, I am just curious: as I mentioned above, the ML I spoke to warn me there’s a small group of disturbed individuals creating all these threads and posts, she also said from ActionCoach’s analysis, there’s a maximum of 5-6 individuals creating all the posts. Over at soulcast’s latest post, one poster mentioned there’s about 20+ ex-coaches and employees that he know of doing so. Hmm… how do they come out with the figures since everything is anonymous…

  157. Hmmm on July 25th, 2009 11:59 pmMaybe they just know who the most pissed off people are. Not hard to figure out. Nevertheless “the one with the most opinions often has the fewest facts.”
  158. DN on July 27th, 2009 1:48 pmTrue! And that coupled with anonymity makes accountability nearly impossible.
  159. guest on July 27th, 2009 2:07 pmHmmm wrote “Maybe they just know who the most pissed off people are. Not hard to figure out.”Really? Over 1000 Actioncoaches worldwide and it’s not hard to figure out?

    This is an example of another sad tactic that won’t work. Brad Sugars latest tactic is to try to imply that he can tell who is posting comments by using his “forensic internet experts” He claims many of the comments are coming from the same house and many others from the same building as his competitors.

    In my humble opinion, this tactic indicates 1) how little BS knows about the Internet and 2) how little he values honesty.

    First, unless his “forensic internet experts” are using illegal tactics such as hacking or planting phishing viruses, they cannot gain access to user information on 3rd party sites like this one unless they have the owner’s cooperation or they have subpoened server logs. So, odds are, this is a bluff to try to intimidate people from sharing opposing views.

    Second, his statement that his “internet experts” can identify which house or building people are commenting from is laughable. That’s not how it works. Even if he had access to the IP addresses of the commenters, it would give very limited and general information such as the general area of the ISP, at best a city or a region.

    Perhaps Brad has watched too many Law & Order episodes where law enforcement experts can track the actual computer IP address to a house. That requires very sophisticated and restricted access that’s far beyond the abilities of a motivational speaker and his blogging lackies. And, if you notice, it requires access to the server logs of 3rd parties, which even Jack McCoy needs a subpoena to get.

    Nice try, though, mates. But be careful. If Brad ever reads “Internet Privacy for Dummies” you’re gonna be out of a job.

  160. guest on July 27th, 2009 2:10 pmHmmm writes “Nevertheless ‘the one with the most opinions often has the fewest facts.’”Who are you quoting with this bit of genius? Brad Sugars?

    He would know!

  161. BrokeBlokes on July 27th, 2009 2:43 pmThink you’ll make money as an action coach? The franchisees can’t afford to buy clothes, apparently.Newsletter Week of July 13th 2009 :
    Global Conference…
    Gentlemen of ActionCOACH!!!
    Suit Rental for the Awards dinner will again be available for you.
    Chorley’s Menswear and Formal Hire is our supplier.
    Fittings will be conducted at the hotel on Monday, 3rd August.
    Pricing is at AUD$170 (including cufflinks and other accessories)
  162. Hmmm on July 27th, 2009 2:44 pmWhere did the threat about forensic internet experts come from? Blog?
  163. CSI on July 27th, 2009 3:23 pmI am curious where Brad Sugars or his team made the comments abt internet forensic, etc… is it on his intranet to coaches or on his blog?Well, for Mr BS’s info, someone so inclined can spoof his own MAC address & IP, run through proxies, vpns, etc…
  164. Ex-Coach on July 27th, 2009 3:24 pmMy 5 years in Action have been less than ordinary … as it has been for well over 50% of the people involved in my ML during that period (in my opinion of course … however the churn from the group .. ie: people’s actions says it all) … but it won the “firm of the year” two years running, laughable.The ML has not once in 5 years actually asked me how I was going, not once, never called and asked, never emailed, never taken 5 mins before/after an ML meeting, never. And he is in the Action Hall of Fame – well at least money talks if he doesn’t. Action falls well short of what the market expects and the diversity of coaches lets it down and damages the brand, anyone with a wallet and a pulse is not the way to build a brand, goodwill and reputation.

    From what I have experienced, very few people seem to want to step up to the plate and actually put the effort in … one percenters just don’t exist.

  165. CSI on July 27th, 2009 3:28 pmBrokeblokes,The rental is a prime example of Brad’s idea of Average Dollar Sale strategy on his captive client base, ie, MLs and Coaches. He prolly make USD100 out of every rental and the supplier USD70 in return for “bragging rights” as ActionCoach’s supplier.

    If there are too few takers, the following year he will amend the agreement to make rental compulsory, just like he tried with his Online CRM (Monthly charges were paid to an outside company owned by Brad Sugars, compulsory, until a massive revolt took place).

    I am not joking.

  166. guest on July 27th, 2009 4:05 pmOn the blog post linked to below, Brad Sugars claims “Our forensic internet specialists have tracked the IP addresses and it’s amazing how many of these “different” people all live in the same house.”In my opinion, this shows that Brad Sugars and/or his Internet lackeys either don’t have a clue about how Internet tracking works and are straight out liars, or they are using illegal and/or highly unethical means to gain information about their detractors. My money is 100% on the former (clueless and lying).

    Brad, I am looking to become a business coach with ActionCOACH … I stumbled on some negative postings about you and your business and some real attacks on you personally. Can you go through and explain yourself against all of these allegations?

    Brad’s reply (excerpt:)
    “…Finally, I think it’s important to gauge any negative comments in context, you can see that the majority of these comments are being made by a very small – but vocal – minority.

    “Ask yourself: Is it possible that the conversation happening in a blog could be between a few people with different “user names” in an attempt to ruin our reputation? Our forensic internet specialists have tracked the IP addresses and it’s amazing how many of these “different” people all live in the same house. Or ask yourself if it could be a competitor faced with harder economic times trying to turn people away from our franchise? Again, our forensic people have helped us find amazingly that someone attacking us has an office in the same building as a competitor.”

    First, how would Brad Sugars “forensic internet specialists” have access to IP addresses logged on 3rd party sites? Secondly, did Brad’s specialists explain to Mr. Sugars that those IP addresses reveal general info about the ISP and don’t indicate a house or building?

    Either Brad’s making this up as he goes or his forensic internet specialists are named Moe, Larry & Curly. :)

  167. Coach2003 on July 27th, 2009 9:40 pmHi Guest,Thanks for the link. I think Brad Sugars is not trying to intimidate anyone, he’s a profit minded business person.

    My guess is he know very well what he’s writing is BS and his intention is to impress prospects and discredit blogs such as this… and hope prospects don’t dig too deep on the internet.

    The entire bunch of Q&A on his blog are carefully scripted, BOTH the questions and the answers.

    He’s probably getting better advise today than from the likes of Jodie Shaw & Nathan Smith :-)

  168. Another ex coach.. on July 29th, 2009 5:07 amHow does 819 coaches…including ML’s and Firms in the system currently sound? A bit off from over 1000…..with 50% of them making bronze or less. Anyone want to prove me wrong step on up with proof. Would love to know why and how they can keep saying 1000+ …that must include the coaches and their families?!
  169. Transparency on July 29th, 2009 7:55 amAs already mentioned in a few of the previous posts, Brad Sugars recently posted on one of his own sites http://www.askbradsugars.com a long rebuttal of the information presented here. Along with a lot of other stuff, he said that the figures on franchisee attrition rates posted here were wrong and said that the real figures could be found in Actions FDD and on http://www.entrepreneur.com He even said all of this data was audited which sure is mightily impressive. To complete the picture he might just have told us who was doing the auditing. Hope it wasn’t the same guys as those who audited Bernard Madoffs business. Here is what Brad Sugars says:“Coach attrition
    Some of the negative comments seem to be oriented around claims of coach attrition and success of our franchisees. Like any organization, we have many franchisees stay and some leave. This is no different to other companies.
    When I look at some of the allegations cited and the numbers of people they say are leaving etc., I am amazed … as all the numbers for ActionCOACH as a franchise are audited once a year by outside, independent and objective auditors who have no skin in our game, so to speak, and those numbers are reported to only two outside entities for our franchise disclosure documents and to Entrepreneur.com.
    In addition, those reported figures are audited every 12-months during the middle of the year.
    All of the other guesstimates by some anonymous person about the total number of our franchisees/coaches leaving the system are just not true.
    In fact, my financial team is going through the audit process right now, and any new and/or revised numbers will be part of our next FDD that will be available in the next several months.
    By the way, there is no argument around these numbers as they are independently verified and objectively audited numbers that are available from the auditors – so there is no argument.
    I have also seen and read some interesting “proof” out there that certain coaches have simply disappeared from our system, as if they have been abducted by UFOs or aliens.”

    I don’t have the time or the inclination to redo the sort of analysis that was presented in some of the other posts on this site but apparently this analysis was done using the information presented in Actions FDD’s from 2006 through to 2008. Since everyone can now download these FDD’s I guess anyone who wants to go to the trouble can have a look at the figures themselves.

    I did however have a look at the figures on http://www.entrepreneur.com and, on this site that Brad Sugars cites as a reference, Action claims it presently has 496 franchisees in the U.S., up from 377 in 2008.

    I then went to http://www.actioncoach.com and using the “Find a Coach” link I looked up all the coaches listed by state. The results are provided below, but to keep it simple, the total comes to 296. So the post is not too long I have just provided the numbers but the names are available on the site.

    To make it complete you probably need to add somewhere between 30 and 40 other names for the M.L.’s (depends on how you count couples :-) ) which all adds up to a total somewhere around the 330 mark. That’s a very long way from the 496 cited on http://www.entrepreneur.com and really does invite a question about where the missing 160+ franchisees are. Abducted by UFOs or aliens maybe?

    Arkansas – 1
    California – 30
    Colorado – 13
    Connecticut – 9
    Florida – 11
    Georgia – 23
    Hawaii – 1
    Idaho – 3
    Illinois – 3
    Indiana – 5
    Iowa – 8
    Kansas – 1
    Kentucky – 4
    Louisiana – 4
    Maine – 1
    Maryland – 6
    Massachusetts – 5
    Michigan – 2
    Minnesota – 11
    Mississippi – 1
    Montana – 1
    N.Carolina – 11
    Nebraska – 2
    Nevada – 4
    New Mexico – 3
    New-Jersey – 15
    New-York – 6
    Ohio – 23
    Oklahoma – 1
    Oregon – 7
    Pennsylvania – 23
    Tennessee – 6
    Texas – 23
    Utah – 5
    Virginia – 7
    Washington – 7
    Wisconsin – 10

    TOTAL 296

  170. CSI on July 29th, 2009 2:26 pmI think Brad Sugar’s “rebuttal” on his blog is having a negative effect on his own coaches even as he attempt to stop prospects from turning away, he’s really caught between a rock and a hard place and he fully deserve it.No matter how Brad twist the facts around coaches attrition, the FACT remains that ALL insiders will know:

    1. They abruptly removed global ranking figures from the intranet, now no one really know where they stand so they can no longer gauge how many earn more/less than them.

    2. They abruptly stopped welcoming new coaches in internal newsletter which used to give a short profile of each new coach; which allow everyone in the system to know how many new coaches are coming in each training.

    3. EVERY coach know how many in their batch remain in the system after 1-2 years.

    So it is pretty obvious they have something to hide even from their own Coaches and MLs.

    Since Brad Sugars also spam his own coaches everytime he make a new entry in his blog, they will all be reading his rebuttals… imagine how they feel about the bullshit he’s writing on his blog and his very public display of utter disrespect for them that instead of fixing the system and acknowledging the issues, he is more concerned about getting new people in and letting his existing coaches rot.

    He must have done his maths and reach the conclusion that it is more profitable to have people continuously joining rather than building his current coaches; that is probably why he doesn’t give a damm that those on the inside reading his blog know how much of his writing are pure BS.

    I am interested and looking forward to him rebutting what has been written here regarding agreement clauses… I am sure someone can post scans of various versions of the agreement.

  171. Amusing on July 31st, 2009 3:09 amWhen you buy actioncoach, you’re buying for “brand recognition,” right? You’re buying the rights of being associated with a “world-renowned” entrepreneur and his “number one business coaching firm.” Look at the reasons both were removed from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Brad_Sugars What was the reason (other than blatant self-promotion)? Count how many times people said he or the company was not noteworthy! Also note http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ActionCOACH.By the way coaches, you paid hundreds of dollars for an elance writer to create those pieces, to no avail. You’re buying a franchise to learn about business and marketing, yet everything they do backfires on them. Now people who previously never heard of actioncoach have a negative impression of him and the company that you’re paying for.

    Hilarious gems from the delete page:

    “Everything about the article looks liked a biased advertisement by his P.R. firm—all the way down to that splendid 14.1 megapixel Brad Sugars.jpg portrait of him (you can count the whiskers in his mustache that could have been shaved closer), which was “kindly” released under a Creative Commons license. Be sure to delete the photo along with the article. And ban any articles on this guy for the next three years, even if they are unbiased; he’s simply not notable enough … Move to an article titled Brad Sugars – Wikipedia controversy and revise accordingly so that it properly conveys a notable story about a “business coach” running afoul with Wikipedia and its policies about treating an online encyclopedia like it is a personal print shop. Now that would be interesting reading. But a story only about yet another guy who builds trust and bonding amongst managers by having them fall backwards into his peers’ arms, or chant “I’m unique, and—gosh darn it—I add value to my team”, or whatever else this guy does, is not encyclopedic in the least. Greg L (talk) 03:13, 16 June 2009 (UTC)”

    “Delete, although “I’ve not heard of him” is not a valid reason”

    ” It’s now being reported that the “Stevies” are paid for as well. Suggest that we get rid of this mess entirely, since it is still based on COI reporting. 14 June 2009 (UTC)”

    “If some of the other awards are legitimately valuable and not “some magazine’s own award scheme that shows little more than that magazine’s opinion”, then I would say ActionCoach would probably be notable as a business. “

  172. Amusing on July 31st, 2009 3:19 amWhen you talk to someone about buying a franchise, part of their script is to say they don’t just accept someone with “a check and a heartbeat.” They say they “attract” some of the best minds in business. Really?Take a look at what the new business coaching experts did before joining actioncoach. Hint: it may be part of why they fail.

    Former Georgia theme park manager
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjY2mX8vCQg

    Former clinical nurse turned business coach
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUncpycv7ow

    Former teacher makes it big in business:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZIMntCv-ok

    Former publishing industry insider
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDPFChttQNU

    Former naval officer
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GimwvAqwZ-Q

  173. Man-in-Action on July 31st, 2009 12:49 pmHow many Coaches are there in ActionCOACH…?Although laborious, this can be calculated from their own web-site’s “Find-a-Coach” function. You would have to add up every territory in every country – but I am sure one of the posters in this Blog will have the time to do so – if only for the USA.
    When I check my own territory is it exactly up to date with one exception – which I can’t reveal without giving away where I work. It has to be correct – new coaches expect to be there on the list, and if you leave you are erased from Action’s systems straightaway. So – are there more than 1000 Coaches worldwide or not….?

    If everyone who had ever signed up as a coach in my territory was still with the Franchise there would be 3 times as many Coaches as there are now ! And All this churn is within a 2 year period. The Business Coaching marketplace in my territory can probably support half the current numbers in the harsh economic climate we are now in.

  174. CSI on July 31st, 2009 1:24 pmHi Amusing,Some of these individuals do make it if they follow everything Action teach AND add on much more on their own initiatives… and they ARE such individuals with the background you mentioned. So while you have a point, I think it is not fair for you to belittle these individuals and their backgrounds as part of your criticism of ActionCoach’s marketing by linking them here.

    The wikipedia link though, that is a classic… it is not anonymous and it is a very credible site which Brad Sugars cannot brush off the way he did ripoff and soulcast. The best part is, he can blame no one but himself. He and his team of internet gurus really thought they can take on and beat the ‘net in 6 months :-)

  175. Amusing on July 31st, 2009 4:32 pmHi CSI,I’m not belittling the coaches. I’m noting that they’re taking people who have no business experience and charging them tons of fees to be part of a system in which they go teach other people how to run a business. The practice is what I find amusing, not the coaches themselves.

    Also, there is no team of internet gurus. The marketing director has taken a group of people who knew nothing about Google search and given them a list of tasks that actioncoach expects to work, from what I’ve been told. They’re all guessing as they go.

    From what I’ve been told, that’s pretty much how things work there: Take a kid who knows close to nothing about graphic design, tell him to design the whole brand for executive coaching then complain about how ugly it is while still selling the related materials to your coaches at a premium. Take a guy with no professional programming experience – just a home hobbyist – and have him start building a bunch of things. Then only use half of the projects, complain about all of them internally, all the while hyping them to coaches as the next big important tool.

  176. Amusing on July 31st, 2009 4:46 pmhttp://www.elance.com/jobs/wikipedia_article/web_content_online_writing/16933583
    “We would like a quote to create a wikipedia article about our CEO Brad Sugars – similar to the following …”
  177. Amusing on July 31st, 2009 4:51 pmAs of yesterday, they’re hiring for a link building project. You can see how much money they’re spending on these pointless projects (and what they are), here: http://www.elance.com/php/profile/main/eolbuyerprofile.php?view_person=ActionCoachFunny thing about them outsourcing this is that the marketing director preaches to know all from her article that states “Okay if you want to be an SEO expert – here are the keys to the magical kingdom” in her link building article to coaches (http://www.actioncoach.com/newsletters/weekly/fullpage_preview.php?weekly_id=117#2)

    I guess coaches should be wary of the advice if action does not trust it, themselves??

  178. Another ex coach.. on July 31st, 2009 7:50 pmTo “Man-in-Action” …there are approx 824ish coaches currently in the system..
  179. Transparency on August 2nd, 2009 12:01 pmFirst, many thanks to “Amusing” for a very amusing contribution. The post about Brad’s efforts to get himself listed on Wilkepedia was brilliant.Apart from that, amazing to see how the questions asked on http://www.askbradsugars.com are always phrased in Action speak with no indication of who asked the question. A cynic might just think that Brad Sugars was asking himself questions so that he could set things up nicely for a reply. Naah…. we all know he would never do anything as sly as that..:-)

    In spite of that, in his long rebuttal of the allegations posted here and other places –

    http://askbradsugars.com/answers-from-brad-sugars/i-stumbled-on-some-negative-postings-about-brad-sugars-and-your-business-can-you-explain-yourself-against-these-allegations/

    he really answers nothing. We’re all still waiting to see how he explains the difference between the franchisee numbers published on http://www.entrepreneur.com and the numbers available on http://www.actioncoach.com and while we’re waiting let’s have a look at what he has to say about franchisee earnings.

    “Earnings

    It seems that some of the statements are about the income of our franchisees. First and foremost, what our franchisees make is private information and is never disclosed by us at any point in time to anyone.
    Second of all, we simply do not and more to the point, cannot legally make a global earnings claim. We are a franchise and all franchise laws are entirely different in different countries and here in the USA, even different in different states. It seems someone who cannot know the truth is spreading mis-information about earnings of our franchisees, which again has to be a guess as this information is just simply not published outside this building.
    Third, the bottom-line here is that we don’t operate by a cash register, and rely on our system of coaches entering their KPI information (Key Performance Indicator information) every month.
    Thus even we have trouble getting them to enter all the data, I have no idea how someone else believes they have it completely.”

    Several of the affirmations in this section are pure BS. Whatever about global figures, absolutely nothing prohibits Action from making an earnings claim for its U.S. franchisees. It just has to be done in the FDD, item 19 to be precise. There were several posts here on this subject early May, and examples of the sort of information provided by other franchisors can be found using this link:
    http://ufocs.com/articles/earnings_claim.php

    Regarding coach KPI data, we all know that this is the basis for invoicing the monthly marketing fee and because of this most coaches do update their data even if it this sometimes requires a little reminder from their M.L.

    What’s interesting is that until recently, anyone could see when the data was last updated, for example in Monte Wyatts user profile copied below you see World Ranking (Coach) for Mar 2009: 62 and he was also classed 63 in the Top 100 Coaches for that month so in spite of the small difference that looks pretty coherent and the story is the same for all the other franchisees listed in the top 100. There was pretty well a perfect correspondence between the data in their user profile and their ranking in the Top 100 Coaches of the month table.

    So, if this is true for the Top 100 ranking why should any of us believe it was any less true for everyone else?

    However when you look at Montes user profile now the date and ranking have disappeared. He was however ranked 40th in the June Top 100 Coaches table, presumably due to his Platinum performance level.

    One can only wonder about Actions motives for making this very important change. Obviously there was the issue of avoiding the sort of awkward questions many have already asked here like “What conclusion should I draw from the fact that I am a Bronze level coach, only barely surviving, and I am ranked 400th in a company which boasts more than a 1000 franchisees ?

    It is also quite likely that Action simply wants to make sure that nobody can put together an accurate picture of the average earnings performance by coach . Without a date it is easy for Action to say that the data hasn’t been updated etc, etc…

    Yet another example of Brad Sugars dedication to transparency?

    In any case he should not believe he is fooling too many people. If he thinks about it a bit I think even he can find the solution to the following enigma he raised in his rebuttal.

    “Yet, when an anonymous person with no rules about reporting the truth gives their opinion online, people seem to think it’s true, just because it’s negative.”

    One little hint to make it easier for him. It’s not just because it’s negative that people think that much of the stuff posted here is true.

    User profile

    Monte Wyatt
    Coach
    Territories: Iowa

    Highest achieved level: Platinum
    Current level: Platinum

    World Ranking (Coach) for
    Mar 2009: 62

    ML: David Drewelow

    Contact information

    Business address
    4117 Walnut Street
    West Des Moines
    Iowa
    50265
    United States

    Phone numbers
    Office: 515-222-9193
    Fax: 888-331-0485
    Cell/Mobile: 515-480-0288

    E-Mail: montewyatt@actioncoach.com
    Skype: coachmonte

    Latest update of Montes profile.

    User profile

    Monte Wyatt
    Coach
    Territories: Iowa

    Highest achieved level: Platinum
    Current level: Platinum

    ML: David Drewelow

    Contact information
    Business address
    4117 Walnut Street
    West Des Moines
    Iowa
    50265
    United States

    Phone numbers
    Office: 515-222-9193
    Fax: 888-331-0485
    Cell/Mobile: 515-480-0288

    E-Mail: montewyatt@actioncoach.com
    Skype: coachmonte

  180. CSI on August 2nd, 2009 2:06 pmaskbradsugars.com is actually a liability to Brad Sugars and ActionCoach.Imagine you are a coach on the inside comparing what you know and what Brad is trying to spin…

    Enough said.

  181. Coach2003 on August 4th, 2009 4:39 amAgree with you 100% CSI.Some of his ‘defence’ is extremely laughable and downright patronizing to those already on the inside.

    While he claim not to be bothered, he’s quoting details like time of posting, user name, etc in his posts, which shows he’s paying much more attention that he claimed.

    His defence is mostly FUD. And he even claim now his team did not bury soulcast but can offer no explanation as to why that is the only thread buried in the entire site.

    He also claim posters use variations of his team’s name, as if Neil Sinclair and the rest never really posted and they are all imposters :-)

    One thing I do notice though, he is still up to his old tricks – lumping happy clients together with coaches and trying to muddle things in the process. “Speak to our clients.” is one of his favourite defence.

    Let me say it once again even though it has already been said before:

    Clients happy with coaches’ services has got NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with whether coaches are happy being a franchisee of ActionCoach.

    It is like saying if the public love eating McDonald’s stuff or love Starbuck’s coffee, by extension every McDonald & Starbuck franchisee must be happy with their franchisor.

    Utter rubbish & twisted. Typical Brad Sugars spin.

  182. Guest on August 4th, 2009 10:31 amBack in May, 2009 Brad allegedly provided a letter to MLs that they could send to clients who had read some of the negative things about him and/or ActionCoach.
    In the letter (from him) BS stated clearly and forcefully (using his pseudo-folksy Mom & Dad quotes he thinks makes him sound like a regular guy) that his philosophy was to ignore all negative comments. He had come to this conclusion with input from his advisors, and that those who were on his team (and were “cut from the same cloth” as him) would agree with him and do nothing.

    IN THE SAME POSTING Brad Sugars allegedly told his MLs that he was launching an aggressive campaign against online criticism, that he “will be on the offensive with this trash from now on, and in a few weeks I will ask you, your team and your clients to join me in protecting, promoting and speaking up for who we are and what we do … our brand …”

    While he simultaneously is telling some that he’s following Daddy’s advice not to become a snake to not get bitten by one, he laid out his 13-point strategy. He allegedly told his MLs “For the remainder of the quarter the entire Marketing and IT team have been pulled from all projects and travels to work on this, that is how seriously we are treating it, one lost sale from information that you and I know is not accurate is too many …”

    What message does Brad Sugars think he has sent to all his MLs and coaches by blatantly speaking out of both sides of his mouth in a single posting? How much regard for truth does he display? After this, does he really believe any of his team takes what he says without a huge grain of salt and skeptical eye?

    It seems Action speaks louder than words in Brad’s case.

  183. CSI on August 5th, 2009 11:26 amHas anybody seen a copy of alleged letter?Its existence will prove a lot of things,including the suspicion that MLs are in on it.
  184. Man-in-Action on August 5th, 2009 11:54 amWhy are we all Anonymous on this website…I know I am one of you at the moment – but what is it that prevents all of the negative posters on this from declaring who they are? The ML’s I can understand – they are between a rock and a hard place – but what about the rest of you? What are you afraid of ? Even ex-coaches seem to be reluctant to stand up and be counted.

    The annual ActionCOACH Global conference is happening as I write – if anyone who reads this blog is attending maybe you can let us know what new Tablets of Stone are being handed down…. OK Brad – you might as well let us know yourself – since I know you read this !

  185. Subscriber on August 5th, 2009 12:23 pmWOW! I’m a potential franchisee of this or another coaching or consulting franchise. I am trying to figure out what you all think is wrong with the ActionCOACH business model. Please help me understand your (collective) problem with ActionCOACH.The bottomline is that you seem to be saying that not everyone has what it takes to be a business coach, period, and AC will sell to anyone, right?. Obviously, you’ve got to be a strong salesperson who can build a continuous business relationship with paying clients.

    If someone has those skills and is adequately capitalized, would this be a profitable franchise to own?

  186. Man-in-Action on August 5th, 2009 1:07 pmIn answer to SubscriberAssuming you are genuine – the best balanced answer to your question was posted by “Insider” in June – copied here for ease of viewing:

    ■Insider on June 11th, 2009 10:45 am
    The figures provided by Craig go a long way towards confirming what many of us thought for a long time, the ActionCoach franchise is very far from guaranteeing a path to success. Actually the only thing that is guaranteed is that no matter what happens, the franchisor always wins – the initial payments (75k) are gone forever and so are the monthly royalties, 1.8k fixed monthly royalty starting as soon as the franchisees get back from their initial training.
    Since the franchise contract also contains the following clause:

    17.4 If Master Licensee terminates this Agreement based on your default, you must pay Master Licensee liquidated damages, calculated as follows: (a) the average of your monthly Royalty Fees and Marketing and Advertising Fees due for the last 12 months before termination (not including the months before the Royalty Fee and Marketing and Advertising Fee obligations begin under Sections 4.1 and 4.2); (b) multiplied by the lesser of 24 or the number of months
    remaining in the then-current term under Section 2, (c) discounted to present value using the then-current prime rate of interest quoted by Master Licensee’s principal commercial bank; (d) minus the present value (determined using the same period as in (b) and the same discount rate as in (c)) of the expenses of performance avoided by Master Licensee as a result of termination of this Agreement.

    where default includes “voluntarily abandon of the franchise relationship” it is clear that you can only walk away from the agreement on the franchisors terms. Among other things, this means that a lot of people probably stay in the franchise for longer than they should based on the losses they are taking month after month.

    Looking at all of this you can only wonder why anyone would sign on to start with and that’s where all the marketing hype and the sales process click in.
    Actions business concept is intrinsically appealing, “leverage your business experience and our proven systems to help small business owners reach their professional and personal objectives” . Wow, that’s a really gratifying idea for managers who have either been restructured out of their jobs or who are simply fed up with the constraints of corporate life. Because of this Action attracts people who, from the outset, have a really positive attitude. There are also enough people who succeed with Action to insure that franchise prospects doing their due diligence are preferentially directed towards the minority who succeed rather than the majority who clearly don’t. The fact that Action prefers not to publish any figures on average earnings by franchisee makes this pretty easy to get away with.

    However, in spite of the so called “proven systems” and the high quality of most of the people who join there are still visibly far more losers than winners in this game. To understand why, here are a few thoughts from a person who knows Action from the inside :

    1) The initial training for which you pay 25k lasts 11 days, gives you a good overview of the Action concept and really gets you enthusiastic so that you get back home full of energy. A good comparison is the way you come away from a sales convention or somthing similar. However, as it only skims over the subjects treated, it is not nearly enough to teach you all you need to know to either sell coaching or to coach. This takes a massive on-going effort learning how to teleprospect, learning how to present, how to really ask questions and simply how to coach. Other coaching schools typically take months to train people (for considerably less money) because there is simply a lot to learn. With Action you learn the hard way, by trial and error, and while all of this learning is going on you are paying 1.8k per month to the franchisor to which you must add your own business expenses and your living expenses. At the end of the day, this can add up to a lot more than most people estimated when they set out on the adventure and they run out of cash well before getting where they need to be.

    2) I guess the average age of the Action franchisees must be in the 45 – 50 range, possibly even higher, and many if not most of these people come from relatively structured organizations where they have been mostly focused on only part of the business activity whether it be finance, I.T., sales, marketing or operations…All of a sudden these people have to learn how to market, how to sell and acquire a minimum level of knowledge in all aspects business management plus the interpersonal skills necessary to coach. This is a massive challenge and it can come as no surprise that so few people come through successfully even when cash is not their biggest problem.

    3) The market is much tougher than most people probably realize. Sure, practically all small business owners would benefit from having a business coach. However getting them to understand that is the first challenge and, since most are only barely surviving, getting them to make a monthly investment of 1.5k or more in a coaching program is the second challenge.

    My own conclusion from all of this is that the Action concept is very seductive (I even fell for it myself..), that the franchise provides an interesting framework to operate from (that’s it as far as a proven system goes) I, that it attracts mostly very decent, high caliber people but that it takes far too much money up-front compared to the value it provides and the time it takes most people to master all the different dimensions of the activity.
    Also the on-going training provided by Action basically stays at the same level very superficial level as that provided in the initial training which means that to develop the necessary skills you have to look elsewhere. For example the Action system has borrowed a lot of principles from NLP but having heard of a principle like building rapport by “Matching & Mirroring” does not mean you actually have the skills to do that in a real life situation etc. etc.. Against this you are pressured to attend regional conferences as described in the previous post where you are served up the same B.Sugars soup over and over again.

    If you have a very good general business background , excellent interpersonal skills, lots of perseverence, a very high level of autonomy, excellent presenting skills, love learning and a budget of at least 120k to start up your business, Action could be right for you. However if you have all of those attributes, maybe you don’t really need Action.

    As for anyone who doesn’t have all of these qualities, best option would probably be to look at doing something else.
    ==============================

    My own painful experience has been that unless you are a natural and experienced Salesperson – of highly intangible professional services – you will fail and lose over $150,000 in the process along with all your self-esteem.

    I have started a new Blog on Soulcast to publish my ongoing saga with them:

    http://www.soulcast.com/post/show/245798/ActionCOACH-Blog—First-Posting—Day-1

    And see Twitter – look for user BrokeCOACH.

    CAVEAT EMPTOR !!!

  187. Guest on August 5th, 2009 5:41 pmYes, subscriber, definitely, listen to “Insider”! BTW, what happened to “Insider”?He wrote on Soulcast: “Watch this space as the story unfolds over the next 40 days.

    “Day 1: I now have zero clients and zero money and I owe ActionCOACH just under $2000 – this month’s franchise fees.

    “I will also post a summary of this diary on Twitter: search for “BrokeCoach”

    “If you are a prospective coach going thorugh “due diligence” – wait until Day 40….and you find out what happens to me.”

    Guess what happened his first 40 days? NOTHING. He never got past that first post on Soulcast. He never got a single follower on Twitter nor posted a Tweet.

    Wonder why his coaching biz failed? Hmmm… Think follow-thru may have been an issue?

    How stupid do you have to be to quote a guy who set out with the goal of chronicling his own failure? Seriously!

    At least when Brad Sugars launches a blog, he follows through and actually posts to it. At least Brad Sugars set out to be successful… and achieved it.

    Maybe you should reconsider who you should be bashing and who you should be praising. Subscriber, if your goal is to fail and be able to blame others for it on the Internet, you’re definitely in the right place! Man-in-Action and Insider can give you the guidance you need!

  188. Man-in-Action on August 5th, 2009 6:00 pmResponse to “Guest”I accept that maybe I should have been clearer in the way I laid out the above post – but the last few paragraphs after the line….

    ===========================

    were posted by me today – not “Insider” in June….. (apologies to he or she), so this is still only Day 1 and believe me, I will be “following thru” over the next 39 days. So if I were you I would keep watching Twitter and the Soulcast Blog.

    And who are you “Guest” – and what qualifies you to hold any views on ActionCOACH and their relationship with their franchisees ?

  189. Guest on August 5th, 2009 6:18 pmMan-in-Action:What qualifications are required to poke fun at someone who proudly boasts that he is going to chronicle his own failure and descent into debt over the next 40 days?

    What credentials do I need to be worthy of discussing business coaching with a failed business coach? Is there a negative net worth requirement for me to be deemed “qualified” to speak in your presence?

    Please enlighten me. I must be missing something, because to me you just seem like a guy who is eager to spend lots of time and effort documenting his own failure when he could be applying the same effort into building a successful practice.

  190. Man-in-Action on August 5th, 2009 6:41 pmResponse to “Guest”I’m already in debt – as far as I intend to go – and the primary purpose of this “chronicle” as you call it is intended to prevent others ill-equiped to be successful in the ActionCOACH system from joinng this franchise – or at least to think very very hard before investing $150,000 of their usually hard earned cash.

    If you are indeed a ActionCOACH coach (and I assume a successsful one in your view) then start posting under your own name.

    Most of the (few) successful ActionCOACH’s I have encountered probably already had what it takes to make it anyway – a point made by “Insider” – and would have little time or inclination to be contributing to Blogs like this. So why do you?

  191. Guest on August 5th, 2009 7:07 pmMan-in-Action:If you had yourself as a coaching client, what would be your advice?

    Would you say “Let’s see… you spent countless hours deciding and training to be a business coach… you have signed a binding franchise agreement… you are deep in debt… I think your priority should be starting a 40 day diary chronicling your demise! Add to that a minimum of 3 hours of negative blogging per day. Your 120 hours will be much better spent this way rather than, say, generating income.”

    Sorry, but I just don’t get it.

    You’d be better off working at McDonald’s for 40 days. At least you’d get a paycheck and a few delicious meals.

  192. Another ex coach.. on August 5th, 2009 7:28 pmCSI …I have the letter in .pdf that they sent out ..an ML sent it to me when i was researching becoming a firm. Here’s the contents of that letter.actioncoach.com
    5781 S. Fort Apache Rd
    Las Vegas, NV 89148
    phone: 702-795-3188
    fax: 702-795-3183
    toll-free 888-483-2828
    ActionCOACH USA Inc.
    From: ActionCOACH Founder and CEO, Brad Sugars
    For the past 15 years, I have built my company into a world leading brand. One thing I have learned is being number one has many pluses and – unfortunately – a few minuses. My nature, and the nature of my company’s culture, is not to be negative or partake in any type of pessimism or negativity. But being number one also means you blaze the trail for others to follow. Unfortunately, a very small percentage of people in our category believe the best way to gain a superior
    position for themselves is to publish anonymous posts about me, my family and my company which are extremely negative and totally untrue. Here is my dilemma. I have a company with a strongly ingrained culture of being both passionate and positive in business. All of my focus – and that of my team of more than 1,000 Business Coaches around the world – is on
    affirmative business change and helping others make real and impactful long-term differences in their companies and their lives. Yet, I have this distraction – one which you have also stumbled across. So here’s a question: If it were you who had lies printed about you by an anonymous person or persons
    (ex-employees you fired for theft or your competitors)– who sometimes stooped so low as to involve your own family – what would you do?
    Take a moment to think about this before you read on – and let’s see whether or not we are cut from the same cloth. If your immediate answer is: “Do Nothing” – then I want you on my team right now …
    … and it is unnecessary for you to read the rest of this letter – welcome onboard!
    But if you had another answer, don’t worry. It took me some time, a lot of money and some good coaching for me to arrive at the right answer – which is ultimately – “Do Nothing.” Here’s why: Firstly, it’s impossible to interpret why people do what they do, and I do not propose to give meaning to – or to interpret – negative and “below the line” communication, especially when it’s
    anonymous and faceless. However, like most people in my position (and some tend to forget, I am still human, especially when hurtful things are said about my loved ones) – a father’s natural reaction is to fight. Indeed, that is what I initially set out to do. So I hired the best attorneys money could buy (as well as
    the best investigators and IT consultants I could find) to track down whoever was responsible for these hurtful posts. I quickly discovered that perhaps this path was not the right road for me to take – especially after I consulted with my own mentors (yes, as the pioneer Business Coach in the world’s number one business coaching team, I do have my own coaches and mentors – for the better I may add!) – and here is what they asked me … Would you want to do business with anyone who believes in an anonymous internet post? Are the lies better than the thousands of positive testimonials you have received over the years – including many from the highest profile and most renowned thought and business leaders in the world? Is investing any more of your time and money to identify anonymous lies the best use of your time? In the end, my answer to each of these questions was a simple “No.” By the way, if you answered “Yes” to any of the questions above, I suggest you do some more research and come back to see us when you can confidently answer “No” for yourself. But if you now agree that the best option is simply “Do Nothing” – then I also welcome you whole-heartedly to our team.
    All the best,
    Brad Sugars
    P.S. My dad used to teach me that you don’t need to “become a snake to not get bitten by one.” I’ll take the tens of thousands of people who do like me and my team and what we do each day over the handful of people who don’t.
  193. Another ex coach.. on August 5th, 2009 7:30 pmThere’s the proof of the letter that was sent to ML’s for them to give to prospects if they come across the internet reviews. Also…like i said before ..there is only 820 coaches worldwide. But Brad Still advertises over 1000.
  194. Guest on August 5th, 2009 8:23 pmWhat’s so bad about this letter? This doesn’t seem like a smoking gun to me… just a guy trying to spin criticism and protect his franchisees. You wouldn’t?What’s the big deal with the # of coaches? So what? You would have bought the franchise if there were 1000 but not if there were 820? A salesman who overstates the size of his company is news?

    I’m still searching for the big deal here. You act like this guy’s a scam artist but your actual complaints are pretty petty.

    Where’s the beef?

  195. Mark on August 5th, 2009 8:35 pmIf you haven’t read all of the previous posts, I would recommend that. I believe you will see some significant themes. For me, the “big deal” is that 12 out of 17 of my training class (Oct ‘07) have left the system, due to the inability to make money at a rate anywhere close to what was implied for earnings. I was lied to on a number of issues. I spent $115 k on the business during the year I was in the system, as well as putting the $30 k I made back into my business. This does not count for the money I spent for living expenses. In my first year, my loss was $200 k with a return of $30 k – not a good investment! During a typical month of making $5 k, I was ranked around 380 out of ~ 800 coaches. There are a handful of coaches that make money in this business. A successful franchise will typically have less than a 10% drop out rate, which is radically less than Action’s drop out rate.
  196. coach2003 on August 6th, 2009 12:00 amIs there 2 “Guest” around just like there were 2 “ML Insider” around?I assume “ML Insider 2″ has not responded to Admin thus far?

    It doesn’t bother me which side of the fence you sit on regarding BS & ActionCoach, let readers decide…

    To Man-in-Action, though I did lose all my money with ActionCoach and is bitter about the whole experience, particularly my ML who became a completely different person from the one who sold me the franchise the moment I came back from training… I can’t help but agree with “guest” in this case.

    Rather than setting your RAS to failure and re-affirming it daily, do something more productive. Take legal action if you feel you have a case, especially of misrepresentation or alternatively, do what is necessary to be successful.

    You ask why a lot of ex-coaches do not post using their real names, again, seems funny coming from you who is also anonymous. But I can tell you why some others are anonymous. Most out-of-court settlement requires signing strict confidentiality agreements. As soon as someone said something in the open, ActionCoach has the right to pursue further action which no longer has anything to do with the coaching business. I am one of those. Then there are those who are silent because they simply do not have the financial muscle to respond to legal intimidation.

    So maybe there is a third alternative for you. If you can find an attorney who is confident about winning a class action suit and willing to go on contingent basis. Then enrol others.

    Goodluck.

  197. Another ex coach.. on August 6th, 2009 12:06 amThe exit rate is about equal to the incoming coach rate..for example..110 coaches have exited the system from nov. 08 to july 09…and another example for you of the failure rate is…June 2008 ..in the USA there were 296 total coaches.. then you skip to June 2009 there are 295 total coaches in the USA. Globally …June 08 there was 800 total….june 09..828… so it looks like they come and go at the same rate.
  198. Another ex coach.. on August 6th, 2009 12:13 amI know in the U.S. approx 82% are silver and less… which highest you can be silver is making 12k a month.. which isn’t a lot after the 1.8k royalty, 5% marketing fee, and other business expenses, Not including if you hire a telemarketer, rent an office space and other misc. marketing advertising expenses. Add up what you’re yearly take home will be. Oh..don’t forget the 50k up front for training. It’s tough to make it with action. Definitely not a good investment unless you can really sell.
  199. Another ex coach.. on August 6th, 2009 12:14 amOh yeah..the big deal about the letter is about him being a hypocrite about the internet postings…claiming he’ll just do nothing..but yet diverts 6 months of everyones marketing fund to try and squash the posts.
  200. Observer on August 6th, 2009 5:28 am“claiming he’ll just do nothing..but yet diverts 6 months of everyones marketing fund to try and squash the posts.”For someone who seems obsessed with his public image, that does seem to be a pretty blatantly phony. Wonder why he makes it so easy for his critics.
  201. Coach2003 on August 6th, 2009 10:23 amLet’s address some of the “question & answer” from askbradsugars.com…Question:

    There are some serious allegations that you tried to hide comments on blog sites by spamming (uploading lots of irrelevant content) to dissuade people from reading negative posts?

    Brad said:

    “I run a global business and keep internet browsing history reports at global headquarters. Apparently – the times these spam attacks were posted were during business hours.

    Some of the people fingered as being the instigators of this attack were actually at work that day – so I think my IT team would know if this was the case.

    Another post swore they had inside information it was another member of my executive team. Funny because they were actually on a leg of an international plane trip tens of thousands of feet in the air at the very same time they were supposedly making these posts.”

    My response:

    Let’s see… the ‘allegation’ was Brad Sugars got his team to spam negative post sites… and his reply is it can’t be true because it happened during office hours.

    Huh? Why not especially since you pull them back from all travel and marketing activities just to sit in office to counter negative posts.

    Brad said:

    “Then there is the time of posting. Lots of activity on certain days by “multiple bloggers” with names strangely the same as people who work with me – within minutes of each other. Also the posters were claiming to be from all four corners of the globe.

    Now, if you checked out the visits for the page within the site – it would mean all these supposed unhappy people convened at one moment of time to post a conversation using the same naming conventions.”

    My response:

    Hey Brad/Jodie Shaw/Nathan,

    Since you guys are ‘internet gurus’ surely you are aware that people can subscribe to this site and others? And they can come in and response when they receive an interesting update?

    Duh??

    Brad Said:

    “I hope this sheds some light on things. To be truthful, many big corporations get this type of unwanted attention from time to time. Myself or my team are not shying away from these issues. We just choose to answer these allegations on our site.

    At the end of the day, the business speaks for itself. Like I mentioned, the amazing positives about our brand drowns out any manifested negatives and frankly that is what I prefer to focus on.

    I am confident that if you interact with our coaches and their clients – you will see that, too.”

    My response:

    Many big corporations? Why don’t you name some of them to prove your point? Afraid of lawsuits?

    Amazing positives? Like your miserable attempt to get on Wikipedia? Where most said you are a hack, insignificant and trying desperately to market yourself with a bloody 14.1MB jpeg of your face? Btw, I believe you can’t lump the feedback on wikipedia as ‘negative posters’ can you? Let’s see how you spin this :-) By the way, a search of “actioncoach” on google lead to pages and pages of marketing spin with hardly any independent review unless it is a negative one.

    “Coaches and clients.” Again an attempt to link client satisfaction with coaches as coaches satisfaction with you. Same spin. Same reply. Just because consumers love McDonald doesn’t mean the franchisees love their franchisor. Give up.

  202. Another ex coach.. on August 10th, 2009 11:37 pmTest.
  203. Year of 2000 on August 11th, 2009 12:46 pmI joined Action International back in 2000 and within 18 months out of 12 trainees here were 5 left. I was the only one to survive the 5 years and at times it was tough and at times it was a breeze.A poster early on said something like nobody ever sells their licence. Well I did and for 10K more than I bought it for.

    I have alot of inside information which does back up statements put on this site. Nobody has mentioned how many coaches have NEVER paid for a licence. Yes, there are some out there – and they pay NO monthly royalty. Some of the GURUs in Action strut their stuff at conferences and coach other coaches and DO NOT pay monthly fees or marketing levies. They coach others and show empathy when the going gets tough knowing they are alright jack as they don’ t have any outgoings other than phone, broadband connection and petrol.

    They know who they are – and if they read this no doubt we’ll see some responses.

    I know of many coaches who had to declare themselves bankrupt. Some MLs are good and others are ruthless. Money is all they care about.

    As for the latest Global Conference – How can the ML of the Year globally get that award when they themselves have breach notices from Brad? Interesting as they say in Action.

    Action does work for some – and only for those who are prepared to work hard for 2 years, are good at selling themselves, have cashflow behind them, have a partner whose wages covers all the bills and yes it will work for them. There are some who join thinking it is a lifestyle business – stupid. It’s a business and in startup mode – so be prepared to work hard. I had a great time in Action, and I worked hard and achieved alot. However, I saw loads fall off the cliff. And they haven’t mentioned the poor guy who ended his life due to the debt. You won’t see that anywhere either.

    MLs will protect the brand – and so they should they paid loads to start their busiiness.

    Client testimonialls – loads of clients are happy with their coach. There are great coaches in Action , there system works and they work with their clients to help them achieve otherwise the client will get rid of their coach.

    I think some people forget pain quickly. Craig Hohnberger and his wife Annette were on the bones of their arse and wanted out of action some years ago. They have faith and stuck to their plan, gave up alot and seem to be doing okay now. Good on them it was a close shave.

    Do what is right for you. Join and work damn hard or walk away and do something else. Nobody will make you sign a contract – and if you got into a high when in due diligence well you can only blame yourself really.

  204. Mark on August 11th, 2009 10:44 pmUnfortunately part of that high comes from pure lies delivered by my former ML and Rich Bernstein. I guess I was foolish enough to believe the things I was told!Buyer beware – the drop out statistics speak for themselves.
  205. coach2003 on August 12th, 2009 12:26 am“Nobody has mentioned how many coaches have NEVER paid for a licence.”I know for a fact the Coaches’ Coach in my territory pays NOTHING as you said, he only paid to attend training. In return for coaching coaches, he get a free ride. And he’s the most arrogant SOB I’ve ever met. He actually went around telling coaches “tapes of the month” etc are for coaches, not for coaches’ coach, that is why it is ok for him not to listen to them. In seminars, we do our best to prevent his attendance (supposedly to ‘monitor’ our quality) when in fact he was working the room to get clients for himself. We know because our attendees told us!

    So I am aware of the Coaches’ Coach arrangement, if there are even more coaches not paying loyalties, that I am not aware.

    Is anybody aware of how to go about reporting this to authorities to initiate an investigation into their business practises? I hope we can do something concrete instead of ranting here.

    It is about bloody time Brad Sugars and his bunch of crooks get taken down!

    “MLs will protect the brand – and so they should they paid loads to start their busiiness.”

    Not all MLs paid loads. Some territories which Brad is desperate to get into, the MLs are practically just his representative on work-for-hire scheme. Of course, that is not what they say in their marketing. Again, I know this to be true for my ML.

  206. coach2003 on August 12th, 2009 12:29 amps: perhaps that is why the an earlier ML poster mentioned the strict non-disclosure imposed on MLs with regards to talking to other MLs or ML prospects regarding their financial arrangements?
  207. coach2003 on August 12th, 2009 12:35 am“There are some who join thinking it is a lifestyle business – stupid.”I agree with most things you said but the above… it is what they are SOLD, the entire franchise selection process is geared towards giving that impression.

    When prospects do their due dilligence calls, I always tell them they have to work their butts off regardless of what they were told and if they are willing to, this will be a great business to be involved in. Strangely, I stop getting due dilligence calls in my last 2 years in Action, so did the rest who told the prospects this.

    Now IF they actually do their “Test & Measure” the way they were supposed to, they would realize that pospects who spoke to us and still join were the ones who survive the longest :-)

  208. Another Ex Coach on August 12th, 2009 2:33 amUndoubtedly, the sale of any franchise usually means that the prospective purchaser has many questions about the businesses viability. This usually includes performing Due Diligence by the buyer and seeking documentation and assurances about the franchise opportunity they are considering. The danger is that the franchise seller will try to seal the deal by making assertions related to the business and its potential earnings. This often results in franchise seller overstating earnings potential. This is not allowed by franchise regulatory law and is often the basis for franchise litigation claims.The danger is great since the UFOC Guidelines do not clearly define what an earnings statement may be. Even the most innocuous statements may be considered an earning claim for which a franchisor may be subjected to liability. Even the following:

    * “Our stores generally produce a 7% return on your investment within two years.”
    * “Gross profits may be expected exceed 25% of your sales.”
    * ’We have never had a store produce less than a $50,000 a year profit.”
    * “You should be able to break within the first two years.”
    * ”
    The numbers you are considering sound realistic to me.”

    Because of this potential liability, it is important that in selling a franchise, the franchisor and its agents should avoid advertisements, promotional literature or statements that are communicated to potential buyers regarding the earning potential of the new franchise.

    If earnings statements are made, they must be based on a supported earnings claim. In other words, the representations must have a reasonable basis in fact. That may mean providing documentation in the form of average gross sales for the existing locations in the system and/or profit and loss statements. Any financial statements provided to a prospective franchise buyer should be include with supporting documentation in the Uniform Franchise Offering Circular (UFOC).

    Any earnings statement must be based on other similarly situated franchise units. They must be reasonably similar with regard to the size and nature of the store being sold. The earnings statement must also reflect the current financial production. In other words the documentation should be based on production in a proximate time period and not based on production that predate the proposed purchase by a number of years.

  209. Franchise Lawyer on August 12th, 2009 2:36 amOverstating franchise numbers during the sales process is illegal..For example:
    stating over 1000 coaches when in fact there are roughly 820.

    I highly suggest all you ex-coaches who have lost a lot file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. If not for anything else, then at least about their franchise numbers misrepresentation. Also look into how you were sold the franchise, esp if actioncoach gave told you how much you could be making.

    To file your complaint please visit:

    https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/

    It only takes around 5 minutes.

  210. Franchise Lawyer on August 12th, 2009 2:39 amAlso, for more info about this you should check out an interesting, yet true post made by “anotherEXcoach” at soulcast:http://www.soulcast.com/post/show/221264/Actioncoach-is-a-Scam
  211. Action speaks louder than words on August 12th, 2009 7:46 amTo Coach2003 and others.
    At minimum all the “ranting” here serves to warn others that an ActionCoach franchise is far more likely to leave them with at least 150k less in their pockets than the lifestyle of their dreams presented during the sales process. That alone makes all the contributions here worthwhile and all of this might even lead Action to clean up their act a bit.
    Brad Sugars recent posts on http://www.askbradsugars.com point to this being unlikely but I expect that both he and the M.L’s will have to deal with much tougher questions from any franchise prospects who see this site before making a decision. It is also very satisfying to see that all of Brad Sugars efforts to swamp the web with his own material have so far completely failed. The Google ranking of this and other sites which tell the other side of the story continue to improve day after day.
    For those already trapped in an ActionCoach franchise who are looking for a way out before they lose everything the info here should also be useful. There is more than enough stuff here to present a good case for misrepresentation and all it wil take to set the ball rolling is for someone to contact an attorney, ask him to have a look and take it from there. Actually I believe some of the stuff Brad says on http://www.askbradsugars.com makes this even easier. By taking a stand on so many issues with such obvious disregard for the truth he has really strengthened the case of those who believe he is driving force behind a very deliberate policy of misrepresentation.
    However because of the restrictions in the franchise contract a class action suit looks very difficult. Again an opinion from an attorney would be well worth getting.
  212. NZEx on August 12th, 2009 8:39 amThank you for the link, Franchise Lawyer, unfortunately, I am in NZ (where the ML blatantly breach agreement by letting his wife conduct action seminars without owning a licence), hope all those in the States will lodge a complaint, whether you are current or former coach.
  213. Year of 2000 on August 12th, 2009 4:27 pmIn reply to Coach 2003You’re right some MLs have not paid loads for the territory/ies. It’s value is based on population – supposedly.

    I’m pleased these forums are in place as those who know how to do proper due diligence and have a lawyer who checks the internet can then make their own minds up from what they read. Yep, lots of us sound negative, but it’s all about saying what you think and feel. So good on those who’ve contributed and if like me you’ve just read these on and off over the last few years and it’s made you feel better – good too.

    On the Coaches Coach statements I understand that a ML can have one as part of their team and they don’t have to own a licence it’s part of the ML Agreement. They are limited to only a small amount of clients and are paid a fee by their ML. I know some do sell, sell, sell at coaches at conferences – they are not the sort of coach I’d want to have. The good ones get results for the people in their own territory and are happy with that. Some are self centred. The world is full of INTERESTING people.

    Keep up the rants guys and gals – helps those in DD with sorting out what they want to believe and if they have read these and other sites info and join Action they can’t complain later that they weren’t informed.

  214. coach2003 on August 13th, 2009 1:08 am“It’s value is based on population – supposedly.Nope, it’s based on what they can get away with, hence the secrecy :-) Some I believe are financed by Action with a back-to-back agreement not reflected in the franchise agreement to protect the value of the ML license.

    They are limited to only a small amount of clients and are paid a fee by their ML.

    That is exactly why no one can work with their Coaches’ Coach in my territory. We expect a Coaches’ Coach to be someone who’s “been there, done that”. But no, what we get is a stream of individuals who couldn’t afford the coach license being offered to become the Coaches’ Coach. Can you see the irony in that? We know for a fact that these individuals, if they are a coach like us, with the same financial commitments, probably would not make it. Instead, they were given a fee and a ‘big title’ and lord over the coaches. Every single one in my territory doesn’t last 6 months, in the end, they give up. And the most scary thing is, they set the Coaches’ Coach loose on new coaches just back from training who didn’t know any better that the person put to ’support’ them does not know the system, does not read any of the system materials and is after their prospect list!

    I am sure Brad and his team are monitoring this site and others. Rather than scripting patronizing aad FAKE Q&A on askbradsugars.com which no one will believe (and sound stupid to anyone on the inside), let’s hope they take this as customer feedback and do something about it.

  215. ADMIN on August 13th, 2009 6:49 amcoach2003 wrote: That is exactly why no one can work with their Coaches’ Coach in my territory. We expect a Coaches’ Coach to be someone who’s “been there, done that”. But no, what we get is a stream of individuals who couldn’t afford the coach license being offered to become the Coaches’ Coach.What’s a “Coaches’ Coach”?
    What’s their relationship to the MLs?
    How are they paid? How’s it supposed to work?

    Are these just informal mentors, or more? Isn’t that the MLs role?

  216. coach2003 on August 13th, 2009 8:18 amWhat’s a “Coaches’ Coach”?Coaches’ Coach is the person who is supposed to mentor coaches. In smaller territories, the ML is also the Coaches’ Coach.

    How are they related to the MLs? How are they paid? How’s it supposed to work?

    Many different arrangements.

    In some territories, as mentioned above, ML offer prospects who couldn’t afford to pay for the license to join his team as the Coaches’ Coach. Imagine, as said above, the politics resulting from such a move. This person is no better than any other coach in terms of knowledge and experience but he join with the impression he is above coaches. At the same time, he’s also paid a fee, he doesn’t need to pay admin fee and is also allowed to compete with coaches for clients, though in limited numbers. So in some territory, for example, mine, the coaches’ coach goes around positioning himself as ‘better than a coach’ to the very people he’s supposed to help the coach with.

    Recently, I heard coaches who reached a certain level are allowed to offer their services coaching other coaches in the system who’re lower ranked, for a fee, Maybe those still in the business can share. Based on what Year of 2000 shared, I suspect nothing much have changed.

    So imagine yourself as a coach now. You are assigned a Coaches’ Coach whom you know is not more experienced than you, who does not put effort into learning the system, who has his basic expenses covered unlike a coach and who is also openly positioning himself as better than you in public… and you are supposed to be “held accountable” by this person to get results else you are “playing below the line” and if you fail in the business, it’s your fault.

    Having said that, there ARE great coaches’ coach in Action, just like there are great MLs. You need to do your DD carefully and not be taken in by the hype. Always call a few more coaches than the names you are recommended to call and don’t fall for the ‘assignment’ trick they used to practise. Ie, they position your due dilligence as an assignment to find out how you can make it as a great coach and give you a list of tailored questions… read above posts.

  217. ADMIN on August 13th, 2009 9:22 amcoach2003:
    Thanks
  218. OC on August 13th, 2009 11:03 amFor those of you with insider information:Can you imagine how would ActionCOACH brand value be impacted if Brad Sugars was to forgo control of the company for whatever reason? E.g. he sells his share in it and goes into retirement or a piano falls on his head or whatever?

    Thank you for your comments. As a prospective coach it looks to me very much as a one-show man company, thereby my concern…

  219. Wow OC on August 14th, 2009 12:56 amWow OC,If that is your main concern after doing yr due dilligence and nothing else fazes you, I suggest you join :-)

    As for me as a current active coach, Brad’s notorious reputation is more of a concern. Especially in Australia, half the people I spoke to which remember Brad from his property seminar days say ‘no’ immediately…

  220. Stan the Man on August 14th, 2009 9:18 pmI thank “Franchise Lawyer” for posting that hyperlink. I just filed a complaint and I strongly recommend that everyone on here file a complaint with them. I also posted this on soulcast.https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/
  221. Wow OC on August 14th, 2009 11:58 pmADMIN: How are they related to the MLs? How are they paid? How’s it supposed to work?I remember one of these so-called Coaches’ Coach was laughed off my territory never to return. He was paid like Coach2003 said. What Coach2003 and the poster before him missed was that Coaches’ Coach share coaching revenue 50-50 with the ML in their territory.

    His first ’session’ with the coaches was “IF you are accountable, YOU will call me every week at the time I give you, if you don’t call, you are not accountable and not serious about your business, you can jump off a cliff for all I care. I will report back to the ML that you avoided your coaching session and you better not complain about lack of support after that. Any questions?”

    Seems like he can’t even afford his phone bills :-) On top of that, new coaches are required by the ML to pass him a list of prospects to call and do ‘reference check’ on.

    Knowing that the Coaches’ Coach split 50-50 coaching revenue with the ML, do you think that he only do reference check?

    Which is why in some territories with locally employed coaches’ coach, the turnover of coaches are even higher, the ML and Coaches’ Coach run a pretty profitable scheme together at the expense of coaches, especially newer ones.

    As many posters said in much earlier posts, coaches frustrations around these areas NEVER reach the corporate office for obvious reasons.

    What I find most interesting is from reading askbradsugars.com, Brad Sugars is obviously getting updates on the posts here. But he seem more interested in addressing the so-called personal attacks against him rather than the many other valid posts here regarding the way the business is operated. The entire focus is on ‘clearing’ his name, using the 5% marketing fund that coaches contribute every month. Maybe someone should remind Brad Sugars he should clear his name using his own funds and use ActionCoach’s funds and resources for ActionCoach.

  222. Wow OC on August 15th, 2009 12:33 amWell said: If any of you could fix action coach, how would you want it to run?For a start, I will eliminate MLs from the system and immediately reduce admin fees by 30-50% (which, by the way, still allow Global to make more since MLs get more than 50%). That will reduce operational costs for coaches massively while taking away very little from their businesses in terms of support. Most MLs are nothing more than glorified administrators and salespeople anyway. So just hire a sales rep in each country to report direct to global, where the rep does not deal with coaches.

    Use the additional profits from not having MLs to invest in technology to provide support for coaches. As of now, most real ’support’ already take place in the forum and through webinars and conference calls. Again, MLs are nothing more than “email forwarders” for these stuff, hardly justify what they are earning.

    How about it, Brad Sugars? Coaches AND you will both make more money in the process by cutting off the redundant, interfering and political middle-men in the form of MLs.

  223. So true… on August 15th, 2009 9:02 amAgain, MLs are nothing more than “email forwarders” for these stuff, hardly justify what they are earning.I couldn’t agree more with you, Woc OC. I frequently receive forwarded emails from my ML, with the entire message intact, including the “Please inform your coaches…” part. Why the f#ck am I paying so much to the ML? Why not just include everyone in the original emails since the ML adds absolutely nothing to the communication besides “FYI” ?!

    The ML is just a redundant postman. A corporate sales rep operating from a serviced office to sell licenses will do.

    Those who are active coaches do support Wow OC’s suggestion the next round we get an internal survey.

    Besides lowering costs for us and increasing income for both coaches (and Brad of course), it also take away the frustration of having to deal with MLs abusing their position to compete unfairly for business.

  224. nonotme on August 16th, 2009 8:34 amAlmost any neutral reader will agree ActionCoach launched a very childish “Denial of Service” attack on his detractors by flooding soulcast with junk posts and even vulgar statements. Insider sources and former employees claimed it was lead by Ms Jodie Shaw, who even bragged about it in their office.However, predictably Brad denied it by posting on askbradsugars.com the following:

    Some of the people fingered as being the instigators of this attack were actually at work that day – so I think my IT team would know if this was the case.

    Another post swore they had inside information it was another member of my executive team. Funny because they were actually on a leg of an international plane trip tens of thousands of feet in the air at the very same time they were supposedly making these posts.”

    Now Brad Sugars, I have a suggestion for you. To prove that you are better than your detractors, why don’t you post (On your website, not here, it is okay.) scans the plane ticket stubs AND the date/time of the junk postings on soulcast. I am curious what destination require you to be on a plane nonstop for 6-7 days.

    C’mon Brad, you claim others spin but you are not much better are you? As one poster above noted, what can you prove by “the posts are done during office hours” or “they are on a flight”? Unless… you are trying to distant YOURSELF from your team’s actions and more interested in protecting YOURSELF than Actioncoach and your team… you are trying to say “Even if my team did what you claim, I am not aware and I didn’t instruct them.”

    Jodie and gang, can you read between the lines… or are you just birds of the same feathers?

  225. Another pissed off ex-coach on August 16th, 2009 3:42 pmI really don’t know what Brad Sugars sees in Jodie Shaw… it’s very interesting, in that either he is a complete idiot and truly believes that she was once a creative director and that she is doing her best for his company, or he knows everything that’s going on and has helped her lie about her past, supports her spamming these forums and pushing them to number one on google, and supports her policies of breaching every coach she can for the smallest things she can so that he can maximise the failure rates of his franchises. But, why are we surprised? We’re talking about the same man who said that “business is about taking advantage of those in less fortunate situations.” This is the same man who bragged about his Lamborghini and his Rolls in internal company newsletters just to rub in the fact that the employees will never be able to afford one. We’re talking about the same man who parties at the Hefner suite at the Palms hotel in Las Vegas [Deletion] while his wife is at home with the kids and without inviting one member of his employees. So why are we surprised at any of these allegations? I’m posting a complaint, and I’m reposting the link:https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/

    I highly recommend that everyone on here posts a complaint as well. Maybe we can send these assholes back to Australia, so they can stop ripping off hard working Americans.

  226. ADMIN on August 16th, 2009 5:39 pmFor everyone’s sake (especially the commenter’s) and for the credibility of your argument, please focus your comments on the pros & cons of the ACTIONCoach franchise program & refrain from personal attacks, especially on employees. Thanks.
  227. Wow OC on August 16th, 2009 11:02 pmAdmin wrote: “For everyone’s sake (especially the commenter’s) and for the credibility of your argument, please focus your comments on the pros & cons of the ACTIONCoach franchise program & refrain from personal attacks, especially on employees. Thanks.”Hi Admin,

    While I understand your point, I also understand the points raised by the rest.

    Yes, I believe everyone should refrain from personal attacks such as “So & so is a womanizer..”, etc which has got nothing to do with the franchise and take away the commenter’s credibility.

    On the other hand, the credibility of the leaders make or break a franchise. In ActionCOACH’s case, being a franchise which more than most other franchises require tons of interactions across the board, it is equally if not more important for prospective franchisees to understand the people behind the franchise.

    I believe readers are smart enough to seperate personal attacks from genuine feedback on the conduct of the team.

    For example, in the last few posts, I would probably see

    “I really don’t know what Brad Sugars sees in Jodie Shaw” and the rest of the comments as personal attack. So as a reader, I will see that commenter hate the team and it might or might not be relevant to me as a prospective licensee.

    On the other hand, the post above addressing Brad’s retorts on askbradsugars.com, sarcasm of the commenter aside, I see it as a valid illustration of inconsistency on ActionCoach’s part in addressing issues, which will be a reflection of how they deal with issues if I am part of the team. This is definitely relevant to me as a prospective licensee.

  228. guest on August 17th, 2009 1:40 pmI agree with Admin in that the personal stuff gets ugly and isn’t even necessary.There’s plenty in the professional hype that could be scrutinized. Take a look, for instance, at some of the widespread claims Brad Sugars makes on his websites that he is a “A best-selling author of 14 highly acclaimed business books”

    Are all 14 highly acclaimed?

    I assume “best-selling” means that he’s made a major bestseller list, such as the NYT. Is this true? Which of his books have made legitimate best-seller lists?

    I assume that by “author” that means that he writes books. Yet his website so much as states that his books are written for him by someone else:

    “Brad Sugars has been criticized for having his books written by ghost writers. You just have to read Brad’s blog and social Media sites to see that the books are written very true to Brad’s style. Whether ghost written or not, many well known and popular writers employ the services of ghost writers to help edit, do research or fill in gaps in the copy. Brad Sugars did not create the ghost writing industry!” (from the AboutBradSugars dot com website)

    He didn’t create the ghost writing industry? Is that code for “I use franchisee advertising money to pay people to write books I can claim that I wrote?”

    Search “Brad Sugars best-selling author”on Google to see how widespread his claim is. It’s even in the title of one website.

  229. Wow OC on August 18th, 2009 7:17 amFact is, Brad is right about ghost writing. It is work-for-hire and acceptable.
  230. guest on August 18th, 2009 8:00 am“Fact is, Brad is right about ghost writing. It is work-for-hire and acceptable.”Just because it’s work-for-hire or even common practice doesn’t make it (in my opinion) acceptable. It’s considered OK for celebrity biographies, but ghostwriting isn’t acceptable in academic circles. It’s considered entirely unethical in medical publishing. I doubt people would consider it acceptable if Stephen King admitted he didn’t write his books but just paid people to do it.

    It’s one thing if an actress or even a CEO has a book written when their fame rests on being an actress or CEO and not an author. However, if someone’s claim to fame is being a bestselling author and he is not authoring nor are his ghostwritten books best-selling, this is acceptable?

    Revealing, maybe.

  231. Wow OC on August 18th, 2009 11:31 amIf you can grab hold of a copy of Brad Sugar’s original editions/self-published versions of his books and McGrawHill’s, you’ll notive a hell lot of cleaning up in terms of language, spelling & grammar… which probably prove that Brad wrote the books himself :-)
  232. guest on August 18th, 2009 12:16 pmHis website says “the books are written very true to Brad’s style.” I don’t think that it’s in doubt that at the very least the later books were ghostwritten. Not copyedited, but ghostwritten with his name stamped on it.Paid for by company advertising funds, most likely, wouldn’t you say?
    What about the statement ““A best-selling author of 14 highly acclaimed business books”

    Which of these were bestsellers? Did any appear on a recognized bestseller list?

    Are all 14 highly acclaimed?

  233. Mark on August 18th, 2009 9:38 pmWhat’s really funny is that the ML’s are allowed to put book covers on The Business Coach, stating that they are co-authors with Brad. Imagine how impressed I was during due diligence, when I found out that my future ML was an author, only to find out that they had nothing to do with the book. This came to light during my training, when we were encouraged to do the same thing! Nick Rucker, Director of Training at the time, suggested that we copy his testimonials and put them on our websites! Wow, where does that fall into the 14 points of culture?
  234. Wow OC on August 19th, 2009 12:39 amWow Mark, in other words, they said“We conned you but nevermind, now we will teach you how to con others the same way.”

    Amazing!

    guest, I am not really bothered whether his books are ghost written, but your points are valid. What I am more bothered with is that all the 5 stars review on amazon.com is written by their coaches, including 2 feedbacks on the same book by one Jodie Shaw.

    Which is why, earlier I said, I agree with admin to a certain extend regarding personal attacks… but the fact is, even if a franchise system look perfect on paper, if it is run by a bunch of unethical people, it will still be a lousy business to get involved in, so it is very difficult not to highlight the antics of the people involved.

    Another hilarious example on Brad gave on askbradsugars.com to paint the comments here as done by a “few disturbed individuals” is by claiming the posts are all done within the same short timeframe, therefore, according to him, it should be the work of one or a few individuals making multiple posts. As someone who runs a blog himself, he should notice there’s a little button at the bottom of the page which says “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail.”

    Even if this sound like a personal attack by some, it should still be highlighted because it is a very devious attempt to hoodwink those with less experience on the web and a reflection of someone bankrupt of ideas on how to tackle serious credibility issues in a credible manner.

  235. nonotme on August 19th, 2009 4:08 amWow Oc said: “sarcasm of the commenter aside”Let me clarify my ’sarcasm’ in my post above.

    Most of us know Brad Sugars and his team will NEVER address the issues of coach attrition, misrepresentation and earnings claim openly, whether here or on their own blogs and sites. To do so is to invite a class action suit.

    However, in terms of refuting allegations such as drowning soulcast with spam, he can easily provide solid proof if he has any since it does not in any way invite lawsuits as above since there’s really no law against his team posting junk on soulcast.

    Therefore if he has to spin to cover their tracks rather than provide irrefutable proof such as ticket stubs, etc to back his claim, then one can infer from it he is spinning and by extension, if he has to spin on something ‘minor’ like this, what else could he be spinning?

    Interesting question to ponder for potential investors in the franchise…

  236. guest on August 19th, 2009 9:24 amWow OC wrote “I am not really bothered whether his books are ghost written…”
    By itself, it’s not a huge deal. In this particular case, it’s just one of many examples of the corporate attitude toward the concept of honesty – that it’s expendable and that truth is just something to dance around when spinning whatever yarn is being spun at the moment.
    Mark’s examples of the book covers and testimonials are great examples.
    Brad’s ludicrous claim that his Internet flunkies can track IP addresses to houses when they neither have the IP addresses nor the ability to track beyond a general ISP is still live on his site – despite the fact it’s been disproven here – shows a blatant disregard for even seeming to be plausible.

    nonot me is probably right that the serious issues will never be candidly addressed as Truth is just something to be stretched and pulled like taffy. And there’s probably always going to be people who disregard warning sites like this and buy anyway.

  237. Mark on August 19th, 2009 10:19 pmCoaches were asked to comment on Brad’s books, but to also comment on other books, so it didn’t look so staged!!! Sad, but true!
  238. Wow OC on August 20th, 2009 12:22 am“And there’s probably always going to be people who disregard warning sites like this and buy anyway.”Sad but true. I hope readers will at least ask tougher questions and observe carefully the manner in which those questions are answered in their interactions with the franchise sales team and MLs.

    People do make it in the franchise and make good money but the success rate is much lower than claimed. They should ask all the questions raised here, take note of what is being said about the MLs by many former coaches here and go in with their eyes fully opened.

  239. Guest on August 20th, 2009 8:27 amWhat about other coaching franchises? Are there others that are better?
  240. Subscriber on August 20th, 2009 12:38 pmGrowthCoach is a top 100 franchise. ActionCoach is not.
    http://www.100topfranchises.com/companies/growth-coach.html
  241. Stan the Man on August 20th, 2009 9:26 pmI hate this company, but I have to say that site is not accredited; and a google search for top 100 franchises yields different results for each site claiming to list the “top 100″ franchises.Unfortunately, Entrepreneur Magazine does place them within the top 100, but they base their numbers off the fraudulent numbers provided by ActionCoach themselves.

    I think the larger issue should be their franchise numbers (which are fraudulently reported) and their claim, that as a coach, you can make $XXX amount. In the US, franchised companies are not allowed to lay claim to any dollar amount that you COULD be making; especially in conjunction with fake franchise numbers and blatantly mis-represented growth and turn around rates.

    I do wonder why they haven’t been in trouble with the law yet… Maybe we should all file complaints with the Federal Trade Commission (thanks again “Franchise Lawyer” for pointing that out).

    Once again, click the link:
    https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/

    Let’s see how many complaints we can file. The more people who file complaints, the more likely we are to save some poor old sap from ruining his life and spending his life savings so Brad Sugars can buy another ridiculous car with it.

  242. Wow OC on August 20th, 2009 11:49 pmNone of the so-called “Top Franchise” rating sites/magazines ever do an exhaustive list of every franchise available. So it is hard to get the real facts.
  243. coach2003 on August 21st, 2009 1:58 amHere is my suggestion to all those evaluating the franchise in ‘de-selecting’ a Master Licensee:1. If you already own another business, sign up for coaching for 3 months with the Master Licensee, evaluate the quality of the coaching. This person is supposed to be your mentor when you are a coach. This will remove the hype and over-promises.

    2. If you do not have a business, sign up for coaching anyway, say you want to startup a business. Same as above.

    Sign up for the lowest package for 1-to-1 coaching, at most you will lose 4-5K in any currency, better than paying 100+ plus and get stuck in an agreement.

  244. Coachman on August 22nd, 2009 1:07 pmAs a new coach, I see that there could be quite a bit of potential with ActionCOACH under the right conditions. I am on here, however, because I am frustrated about two things. Which are:1. The 5% marketing fee. That’s right, as a coach we have to pay an additional amount for marketing. So we buy the franchise for the branding, and once us coaches spend a lot of money on buying a franchise, we are required to pay 5% of our earnings for “marketing?” What the hell! The whole point of purchasing this franchise is for the marketing. Hell, looking back I realise that it would have been better to simply start my own business since 99% of business owners have never heard of ActionCOACH, they steal 5% of all my profits, and I have to pay for leads. I could have bought leads and payed someone to give me marketing material without ActionCOACH, which leads me wondering “what did I pay for?”

    2. Leads…. So you have to pay to get leads, which most of them aren’t really leads. So they think that we are spamming them. I had one guy threaten to report me to the police for sending him an email! It makes me wonder where ActionCOACH got these “leads.” So despite buying leads from ActionCOACH, I have to go out and generate my own leads, which would be fine if I would have known that the “leads” you buy are not really leads at all. The real problem is that after many hours of hard work marketing my business to attract new leads, my ML keeps stealing my real leads from me! I am currently coaching at Bronze level as a new coach, and I have collected quite a few leads on my own. And somehow ALL of my top potential clients have just recently signed deals with my ML! And when I complained to Global Office, I was told that they are allowed to do that, and that I would be in breach of contract if I did not make my leads available for him to steal. What the hell!

    “Franchise Lawyer,” what do you have to say about that?

  245. Coach2003 on August 22nd, 2009 1:36 pmHi Coachman,MLs stealing leads and coaches being forced to hand over leads on the pretext of reference checks have been an ongoing scam since the time I was a coach.

    Also be careful if you have a local coaches’ coach. This individual is most likely someone who didn’t have money to pay for a license but is now given a marketing advantage over you by virtue of the title given to him. He also share coaching revenues 50-50 with his ML and is usually the person assigned to do reference checks on the leads you are forced to handover.

    These are all ‘legal’ according to Jodie Shaw and you are the one who are in breached if you don’t comply.

    In my old territory, coaches get together and threaten to collectively take legal action.

  246. anonymous on August 22nd, 2009 1:39 pmCoachman writes “The whole point of purchasing this franchise is for the marketing.”Unfortunately your 5% marketing fee is being used to protect and promote Brad Sugars name and reputation on the Internet. Does he really think no one notices that he is promoting his own name, not ActionCOACH? That he’s making himself the hero, not his coach’s?

    Does he really think we’re so stupid we don’t notice that we’re paying to promote his (and probably create) his books, his seminars, etc. but we share in $0 of the revenue. Why is he even battling for his own name with 20 blogs and all the franchisee’s resources. Our clients are buying the ActionCOACH brand and service – not Brad Sugars.

    I just read an interesting debate on FranchisePick.com about the same issue:
    http://www.bizzia.com/franchisepick/actioncoach-brad-sugars/comment-page-1/#comment-29387

    Somebody remind Brad that franchisees are paying to promote ActionCOACH coaching services, not Brad Sugars.

  247. Coach2003 on August 22nd, 2009 1:43 pmHere is something else you can try, coachman.If you can’t gather coaches in your territory together, the next option open to you is to continuously post it on the intranet forums for other coaches to give their opinions on, ie, checks and balances, especially if you have solid proof.

    Be careful NOT to submit your proof to Jodie Shaw or anyone else in corporate, keep the originals. One coach that I knew unfortunately trusted them to ‘review’ the evidence, which was swiftly forwarded to the ML for the ML to take action… against the coach!!!

    As for the M&S contribution, unfortunately the agreement said you cannot question how it is used, so my old ML actually used her 3% to pay for her admin costs. We have proof but again, the corporate team said we cannot question it!

  248. Franchise Lawyer on August 22nd, 2009 7:14 pm“Coachman” – That’s interesting about having to turn over your leads to your ML to review. I would recommend that you review your contract and make sure this is a requirement. This seems like a good way for the ML or Coaches Coach to steal leads. If it is in the contract , maybe get a lawyer to come up with a contract agreement to give to the ML’s or whoever has to review your leads. Have the contract say something along the lines that they can review the leads but are not allowed to sign deals with any of the leads as they are your prospective clients.
  249. Franchise Lawyer on August 22nd, 2009 7:46 pmBy the way. Do you Give them the leads, or do the ML’s get them via. access to your emails and whatnot? What’s the process of turning over the leads?
  250. coach2003 on August 23rd, 2009 2:27 amCoachman, have you read this thread?http://www.unhappyfranchisee.com/actioncoach-ml-says-detractors-are-losers/
  251. Coachman on August 23rd, 2009 6:11 pmI have read that thread, and that is the very same attitude they have at Global Office…
  252. AngryMan! on August 24th, 2009 1:26 amActionCOACH and Soulcast have formed an alignment. Apparently ActionCOACH paid soulcast to remove the high-ranking google thread from their site. It looks like what they’ve done is removed the old thread to kill its google ranking, then re-posted the entire thread within a new thread so that it will no longer show up in a google search. This is the same one that Jodie Shaw from their corporate office spammed.The old link (which is posted way way up above) no longer works.
    http://www.soulcast.com/post/show/71156/Brad-Sugars-Action-Coach

    The new link is as follows.
    http://www.soulcast.com/post/show/248750/Brad-Action-Coach

    As you can see the post number is greatly increased, and what they’ve done is removed the word “Sugars” from the address. They removed all the spam as well. It seems pretty shady that they would resort to something like this. Another failed attempt for them to quash the truth.

  253. Franchise Lawyer on August 24th, 2009 1:37 amThe old soulcast thread has been deleted… hm. Isn’t that interesting, as Action would say.
    http://www.soulcast.com/post/show/71156/Brad-Sugars-Action-Coach

    It appears that actioncoach had soulcast deleted the old one because it was ranked so high.

    Then, soulcast just copied the contents to a new thread which can be found here
    http://www.soulcast.com/post/show/248750/Brad-Action-Coach

    Same contents…new thread….got rid of “Sugars” in the title…and the new thread has zero traffic so therefor no ranking.

    see the thread number.. 248750 vs. the old which shows its a brand new thread. I can’t wait to see how this develops.

  254. coach2003 on August 24th, 2009 6:59 amTo be fair, it seems like the admin is just responding to requests to remove the junk postings…If the admin is in collusion with Action, he/she can simply remove the thread rather than reposting it, with the tags intact. The thrad number could simply be a reflection of the number of new threads created since the original thread started 2-3 years ago.

    Brad Sugars is mentioned literally hundreds of times in the postings, removing sugars from the title doesn’t change much in terms of ranking.

    Maybe the discussion should continue on the new thread instead to push the rankings up…

  255. coach2003 on August 24th, 2009 7:03 amMy opinion on soulcast will be different if the ’shills’ postings like “Franchise Attorney”, “bloglatest” and the rest are removed along with the junk…
  256. Ryan G Malcom on August 25th, 2009 1:17 pmI have closely worked with Action Franchisees in Australia. My role was to generate leads via phone. In the begining, I found this job interesting thinking I am helping business owners who really need help. I was extremely happy to get my incentive when my first lead got convered into a client.After three months I called up the business owner to find how were things and if our coach could add value to his business. To my suprise, business owner was furious and threatened to sure Action. I apologised and hung up. I shared this with my telemarketing team and found, they had many business owners who felt cheated and are ready for a legal Action but this industry is not regulated.

    I left the job as we were never paid on time and joined another market research company. GUES WHAT??? I found two coaches who were with Action were in my team and was appointed their team leader. One of them immediately left when he saw me and other shared his experience of how be got carried away and invested $ 100K and was working 14 hrs a day to pay the loan.

    I really feel bad for him as he sold his car and lost his confidence. I think Brad should only sell franchisee to deserving and elligible NOT EVERYONE.

    Majority of Action Franchisee are unhappy but scared to come forward. I don’t want to bad mouth Action but thought I should share my experience.

    Ryan

  257. Marcus Maclean on August 29th, 2009 4:05 amInstead of wasting time and energy being negative against Brad Sugars and ActionCOACH, why not just leave them to their endeavours and pursue something else?If ActionCOACH isn’t for you, here’s something that might be: the Art Hamel Business Buying System.

    The Art Hamel Business Buying System can teach you, regardless of your background or net worth, how to buy a multi-million dollar company that runs without you with none of your own money and without using traditional financing methods.

    Art Hamel has been buying businesses for over 50 years, without using banks or any of his own money. Art Hamel is very successful and has owned over 200 companies. He teaches that you should NOT buy small or medium businesses or “turnarounds” and then grow and flip them as many other gurus (including Brad) do, but to buy well established , multi-million dollar manufacturing businesses, since they are easier to run, have less competition, are more consistent, already have management in place and have more than enough assets to finance 100%.

    Anybody can buy a large business using Art’s system. In the 30+ years Art and his associates have been marketing and selling this system, they’ve received 0 complaints from students, have never been sued, and have never ripped anybody off.

    Instead of wasting time and energy berating Brad Sugars and ActionCOACH, do yourself a favour and buy this system. It will most likely change your life.

    You can get Art’s business buying system at Michael Senoff’s Hard To Find Seminars.com. Just Google search it.

    And no, I am not an affiliate who is going to be paid a commission for promoting the system. I am simply a happy, successful student – one of many thousands – tired of seeing people failing in business.

    Marcus Maclean
    Auckland
    New Zealand

  258. Coach2003 on August 29th, 2009 8:33 amMarcus,If you want to pimp your products, go ask admin to start a new thread for you.

    “I am not an affliate” is a dead giveaway. I can point to tons of info of internet marketers proudly proclaiming how their marketing system help market thousands of copies of Art Hamel system.

    Putting your “full name” doesn’t make you more legit than anyone else, after all, I can call myself Charles X Xavier, Timbuktu, does that make me more legit in an anom forum?

    If you have bothered reading anything here, you will find both positive and negative discussion about ActionCoach but no one tried to pimp something here until now.

  259. The Title on August 29th, 2009 8:39 amHi Marcus,In case you didn’t notice, the title of this thread is

    “ActionCoach, Brad Sugars: Overview & Discussion”

    Which means you can be positive and negative about ActionCoach.

    I don’t see anyway in the title saying “Promote other products” or “Alternative to Actioncoach”… did you?

  260. Unbelievable on August 29th, 2009 2:43 pmWhat a CLOWN you are Marcus.How many other business opportunity threads, forums or blogs have you invaded with your template sales pitch?

    Btw folks, Coach2003 is right. The ’system’ he is referring to is one of those “info products”, where they sell the product as well as the pitch to sell the product… a much bigger and worst con than ActionCoach.

    However, the right forum to discuss it is on an Unhappy Internet Scams Victims forum, not an Unhappy Franchisee forum.

  261. Marcus Maclean on August 29th, 2009 8:57 pmWow, I didn’t expect that response!The fact that I said I am not an affiliate is 100% the truth. I guess there’s no way to prove it either way so it’s my word against yours. But, as I understand it, affiliates get paid commissions when somebody clicks a link provided by the affiliate and then buys a product or mentioning an affiliate when purchasing a product. I did not provide a link or ask anybody to mention me when purchasing the system, so how could I be an affiliate? I asked interested people to Google search the system…how on earth would I receive an affiliate commission that way?

    I did bother to read the majority of the comments, and my comment wasn’t directed to the positive’s…obviously. I was just amazed that so many people have negative things to say about Brad and ActionCOACH, so my comment was simply intended to draw a positive from the negatives by offering an alternative.

    No, I did not see “Promote other products” or “Alternative to Actioncoach”… I guess I went out on a limb to promote an info product that works very well in the hopes that the poor, unfortunate people who have not succeeded in their ActionCOACH franchises can succeed using another system.

    Guess I made a mistake.

    And I agree that info products are generally speaking cons…but not the Art Hamel Business Buying System. If you speak to ANYONE who has bought the system (you may be able to find past students through Michael’s site), you will find 0 complaints, 0 lawsuits, 0 unhappy people, but many, many success stories.

    All the best. If I have offended anyone by promoting a system proven to work and with many success stories and 0 complaints and 0 lawsuits with a 30 year history I am truly sorry. I realise it wasn’t the smartest thing to do, but I genuinely felt sorry for all the people who had been ripped off.

    Marcus

  262. Unbelievable on August 30th, 2009 12:59 amRighteous indignation. How predictable and expected. Contribute to the discussion on Actioncoach, positive or negative. There’s many ways one can get paid without listing links as affliliates, for example, if they own most of the top domains in goggle as most internet marketers selling info products do (or if ‘Marcus’ = ‘Michael’) but you know that already don’t you…
  263. Amazing! on August 30th, 2009 8:23 amIt is amazing that so much of the discussion here debated the merits of Brad Sugars/Actioncoach fighting their detractors online… and the many amusing ’strategies’ which backfired…… then all of a sudden comes someone peddling his infoware in the midst of it all…

    Marcus’s next posting will probably say “serves all you losers right, yadda, yadda, yadda, you don’t know good stuff when you see it, I am sorry I spend my time here with you losers, yadda. yadda, yadda…” standard infoware marketing script where they…

    – Start with “I am sorry to hear what happened to you, here, let me show you something better[peddle infoware]…”

    – If get objection, get all righteous, play victim and say “but really, I am doing it all for you, no hidden agenda, I am sorry to hear you don’t believe me…”

    – If still get objection, cut lost & get even more righteous “I will leave you losers alone and let you rot, I am already rich & successful I don’t need to waste time with you losers.”

    They then flood the net with positive news about themselves and put multiple ‘testimonials’ from satisfied clients using their infoware. Most of the time these clients are dubious at best since infowares are mostly online downloads, it can be easily faked. There was one internet marketing bootcamp where they got everyone to come out with their products/websites during the bootcamp and go around shooting photos/writing testimonials for each other on-the-spot! So everyone gets 30-40 instant testimonials about their products/services.

    Be especially careful when they are as eager to sell the infoware as they are to peddle the marketing strategy behind it. Ie, they are selling 2 sets of infowares. For those who actually do what the gentleman here ask and do a search on the product he mentioned, you will find sites boasting “we sold XXX numbers of [product] using our strategy and we can teach you to do the same.”

    What has this to do with ActionCoach? They seem to have adopted some of these strategies, especially in terms of flooding the net with their sites. You will find pages after pages of positive reviews and sites which are self-generated and the very few independant sites not drowned out usually are negative.

  264. Frachisee in SA on August 31st, 2009 9:43 amIf you log on to actioncoach.com , select South Australia, you’ll find nine franchisee. The truth is; only four franchisees (Mark Carn, George K.oritsa, Avonna Bennet and Shayne Jaenish)are physically present in SA. Others are in Queensland and Victoria.Many franchisee in SA could not pay their montly fee and had to give up their license. ML’s (Bruce Doyle and Stan Jordan) have put their name to make Actioncoach web page of SA look good.

    Web says their are nine coaches but in reality there are only four……………….

    Is this marketing or misleading people??? There are many names which are repeated in different states.

  265. Coach2003 on September 1st, 2009 2:41 amHi Franchisee in SA,In my region, they kept active websites of coaches who’ve already left the system and redirect the inquiries to the ML. When questioned on misrepresentation, they defended themselves with the story that the websites are Actioncoach property, just like emails are and it is their right to use as they see fit.

    Unfortunately, coaches in my region are easily intimidated and do not have the guts to get together to take legal action. I supposed the threats do work.

  266. A prospect that got away! on September 1st, 2009 4:08 amhi this a great forum for those interested in ActionCoach. I too looked at ActionCoach, but luckly walked away from it. The main reason is that I could not get me head around people paying $1500 a month, every month for telephone advice. I also read all of Brad’s books and it is just fluff and puff information he puts it together with a folky style but it has no substance to back up what he says. I also got sucked in to thinking if 1000 people around the world are doing it then surely they have all done their research and came to the conculsion that it was a good business and perhaps with those numbers its a safe bet. What got me in the end was when I met with the ML all he wanted to do was talk about how good he was and how much money he made via action. he then put the hard word on me to sign then and there, I said no I wanted to think about it, After that the meeting finished very quickly as he did not have a sale, I also thought I was going to meet other coaches and havea good look at the IP. he did show it to me, but it was so quick he might as well have not bothered. the other thing that made me stop and think was the on going fees, and also the fact that not one person in my state signed on for another five years. so I thought this is not worth the money in the end. I feel for those who have bought in, I think I would have been like the others, I would have blown my life savings of $150K and then would have thought how do I get out of this mess?
    Keep up the good work on this and other blogs, I hope those who are not happy can band together and get there money back or at least break the 5 year agreement.
  267. Eldar – Telemarketer – Bruce Doyle (ML) VIC, Australia—- TERRIBLE EXPERIENCE AT ACTIONCOACH!! on September 1st, 2009 11:48 pmMy name is Eldar. I worked for Bruce Doyle re his phone room re his seminars which were targeted at businesses. The whole idea was to get as many businesses to attend as possible in order to stroke Bruce’s massive ego.I was always shocked and taken back when I knew first hand that the 99% of the coaches in Bruce’s employ did not have the ability or credentials to actually coach businesses even if they wanted to. The only factor that a coach needed to become a coach was to be able to have the money upfront.

    I found the whole framework very dated and backward. I was expected to run a successful telemarketing room with staff who were never given rewards for good work. There was no functioning data base and there was no way that the data could be handled in accordance with privacy laws on in any way that was in accordance with any sort of organization.

    Bruce would tell businesses that they needed to have a customer data base when he did not have one himself.

    My job was to overhaul a telemarketing room and bring it up to the times but was not given the tools to be able to do it. I was promised things but they never ever eventuated.

    The overall way with which a so called coaching company was run was in short a joke. There were staff on the books who were semi literate who in fact were not capable of producing any sort of quality work. Many of the coaches were also semi literate and when I pointed it out to the then ceo of the company that these people are representing a company that is supposed to at least look professional he replied, ”blokes don’t need to know how to spell”.

    During my stay at Action there were many instance of sexual harassment, the ceo referred to the younger telemarketing staff as ”eye candy” and thought nothing of inappropriate touching. Female staff including myself were called, ‘’sweetie”, ”honey” and ”darling”. I was told that any objection to that was ridiculous. The ceo also talked about how he was a ”tactile person”. This information was brought to the attention of the owner of the company but he chose to ignore it.

    I was expected to hold about 8 seminars a month with about 6 telemarketers, no real data except from what could be garnered from phone books etc. and one admin assistant. Bruce expected about 40 decent business owners to attend these seminars which started at 7am and finished at 10 am. Anything less was considered not good enough.

    Many businesses realized they were not getting value for money when they signed up for coaching. I spoke to several businesses who could ill afford coaching fees, $2, 000 for nothing and they were expected to pay regardless of the lack of quality of coaching.

    I have read the false resumes of some of the coaches. I read with interest that one coach puts himself down as having worked as an IT consultant when he in fact worked for Amway. I know that a lot of the claims some of the coaches are putting on their coaching resumes are false.

    The sad truth I found out about Bruce Doyle’s coaching company was that he was taught by Brad Sugars and they understand one thing and one thing only, money. Ethics, professionalism and any understanding of process etc. is lost on them. The frameworks that Action use are cobbled from the 1970’s and earlier and not relevant in today’s climate but that is not relevant re the way the company is modeled.

    I personally am not proud that I was part of such a company. I feel very sorry for people who have paid money to Action Coach or Action International as both coaches or as clients who are not getting what they paid for.

    To this day I find it interesting that the likes of Brad Sugars profile themselves as being success stories. If my millions were dependent on the suffering and misery of many people then all I can think is that he is a morally bankrupt individual who will eventually fall.

  268. Misleading info on Bruce, I can relate to Eldar on September 2nd, 2009 12:23 amHi Eldar,I know what you mean. I own a marketing and promotions business in Australia, VIC. I met Bruce Doyle couple of years back. The only reason I agreed was to find out – How good they are at pressurising people to buy on the spot. One of my friend has burnt his fingers with Action Coach so I did not sign up.

    Now I have started receiving e-invitation to attend Bruce Doyle’s seminars on how to use your website to generate leads. His new business name is bloomtools.com . If you log on to the web http://www.bloomtools.com/process/franchisee/details-page.html?sellerId=59&wtf=franchisee

    It states Bruce has run more that 30 businesses but in the e-invitation I got (below) it states Bruce has run more than 20 businesses. THIS IS A CLEAR EXAMPLE OF A ML MISLEADING BUSINESS OWNERS. I sent the above e-mail to Samantha and haven’t recd any reply yet…..

    Bruce Doyle is one of Australia’s most successful businessmen and is renowned around the world for his business systems and achievements. Bruce has owned and operated 30 DIFFERENT BUSINESSES, including the largest ActionCOACH business coaching team in the world.

    ??? What should we believe your web or e-mail? I guess both are misleading……

  269. Coach2003 on September 2nd, 2009 9:55 amHi Eldar,Many here have issues with ActionCoach as former or current licensees due to misrepresentation and flaws with the system.

    But you seem to have something very personal against Bruce Doyle and have been posting everywhere, including soulcast & ripoff. I also saw that your claim of sexual harassment which seems to me like it’s just a case of sensitivity on your part, or extreme dislike of Bruce… if they touch or use more sexually suggestive terms, then you have a case.

    To get as many attendees as possible has got nothing to do with stroking ego, it is about getting as much business as possible. Any business hiring salespeople will expect the same. Bruce Doyle might have been an extreme case and a clone of Brad Sugars where making money is concerned. But that still is an issue of unrealistic sales target or lack of support, not ego…

    … And I am saying this as a person who has no love for Brad Sugars & ActionCoach as my many posts here show.

    Are you really telling the whole story about the source of your anger with Bruce Doyle because you sound much bitterer than all coaches who’ve lost their live savings… in fact, you sound like you just want to get back at Bruce Doyle so much so that you don’t care much about putting everyone else involved with Actioncoach down, like there’s not a single decent soul in the organization…

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