GEEKS ON CALL: Beware of Geeks Baring Rifts

revengeofthegeeks Hell hath no fury like a geek scorned.  According to a post on Unhappy Franchisee (Geeks on Call Franchisees Sue Struggling Franchisor), 10 Geeks on Call franchisees have launched a salvo of lawsuits against their franchisor in federal court.

7 Geek plaintiffs are suing for $1 million for damages and the other three want $1.4 million, $4 million and $5 million, plus, assumedly, new tape for their glasses.

The franchisee Geeks allege that franchisor Geeks On Call America Inc. company breached its contracts and engaged in fraud.

Geeks Prepare for Battle

A news report by The Virginian-Pilot states the suits contends that “Geeks On Call took business away from franchisees by operating a competing online repair service. Meanwhile, the installation of a new system for routing customers to specific franchisees has hampered their customer service and ability to communicate with Geeks On Call, the plaintiffs said.”

Geeks Suing to Protect Their Brand Image.  Seriously.

The Geeks On Call franchisees also contend that the company abandoned its Geeks On Call trademark for the brand 1 800 905 GEEK, creating brand confusion and deflating the value of their franchises.

Yes, it’s true.  The Geeks are suing protect their ultra-cool image as Geeks on Call.

It’s all Geek to Me.

General counsel for defendant Geeks On Call Holdings Inc., Mark Baumgartner, denied the allegations and claimed the franchisees were blaming their own financial troubles on the franchisor.  He claims:

  • Some of those who have filed suit are in financial trouble & owe money to the franchisor
  • The company didn’t abandon the Geeks On Call brand, just expanded it
  • The company-owned repair service is only offered where there’re no franchisees, so is not a competitor
  • Concerns about call center cutbacks are unfounded, as there has been no reduction in the staff

A Classic Geek Tragedy in the Making?

Earlier this month, Geeks On Call Holdings Inc. reported a net loss of $4.96 million on revenue of $5.24 million for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31.  The company has reported it has enough working capital to sustain itself for another six months.  The question is:  Can it survive this attack from within?

What do you think about the Revenge of the Geeks? Share a comment below.


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