Janitorial franchises have created so many unhappy franchise owners, the FTC and the Maryland Attorney General’s Office issued the FTC Guide to Buying a Janitorial Services Franchise.
One company, Octoclean, claims to be transforming the contentious janitorial segment of franchising. OctoClean claims it currently has 150 unit franchise owners, and is dedicated to franchise owner success.
The OctoClean website claims:
OctoClean’s financial performance clearly demonstrates the viability of the business model and the services the Franchise Owners provide. Having doubled its gross sales between 2003 and 2008, OctoClean has positioned itself as an emerging leader in the janitorial services industry. OctoClean’s business plan calls for continued aggressive growth in both the number of active Franchise Owners and the markets in which OctoClean’s services are offered. Within the next five years, OctoClean will open Franchise Centers in the western United States. The total number of OctoClean Franchise Owners is slated to exceed 500 in California and Nevada.
It claims that “the heart of the company is its Charter which clearly defines OctoClean’s purpose, mission and core values…”
“OctoClean is an enterprise whose purpose is to transform the janitorial industry. We empower and enable people to be successful business owners. We create programs and services that thrill our customers. Our mission is to have the rewards and freedom of successful franchise ownership available to all people.”
However, an unhappy franchise owner (posting on complaint site RipoffReport) claims that OctoClean is guilty of the same tactics that have been levelled against many other companies offering low-cost “buy-a-job” janitorial franchises, including high fees, low profitability jobs and “churning” of janitorial accounts from one franchisee to another.
Commenter “Esmeralda (Fontana California)” left this comment on RipoffReport:
Octoclean starts to tell you about how much money its going to help you make, it talks about you starting with 2,000 dollars minimum a month. How much its going cost you, thats about 22,000 dollars for the franchise, they don’t make this clear, they tell you that you have 4 years to pay it off.
Then you have to buy cleaning supplies only with them, they also make money off of your orders, they say they will have your back and how much they are there to help you, now that a lie.
First chance they get they will come a take the building from you and sell it to the next person. Each and every building is sold at 2.80% for sales and marketing fees, sounds good you might say, ok for example they give you a building that pays 2,000 dollars a month now you pay them 5,600 in payment over the next 11 months and after its yours, still sound like the perfect deal, well once you think about that alot of income right, wrong you have to have employees, pay workers comp. ins.
You have to go on your days off to see your so called clients to see if they are satisfied with your job. You can get a call about a restroom missing hand soap at 9 a.m. after working until 3 a.m. the night before and have to drive to the building to put soap in the restroom that has two dispenser and only one is empty, or pay them a fee to take care of it, they will tell you that they will handle all the complaints, not true thats how they control you, they will never go out to your building to check them out they only go when there is a complaint, and sometimes the complaint is that nail has been behind that desk for a week and they take pictures of it so they have proof when they decide to threaten to (fire you) remove you they claim but its fire.
You pay for supplies, employees, insurances, and guess what 15% administration fee and a extra 10% fee, plus what the building cost you end up working for less than minimum wages, or cut clients short to make up the money somewhere. Don’t think they will not remove you from a building, they will not hesitate to remove you, they promise to bring you back and they wont, they will make mistakes on your invoices and then turn around and dock it from your pocket, because they didn’t know that they were over billing for a office that moved out over a year ago and you notified them. They will let you order supplies from them a day before the call you to tell you that you have been removed from the building and turn over keys, and charge you for the supplies when you have no use for them.
They will make promises to you but beware they will screw you and everybody over. Where they make there real money is selling the same building over and over again for sale and marketing fees . If you try to sue them its is nearly impossible because they have a discloser on the contract that is like 80 pages full of words that is not for you and I to understand that state that if you want litigation it has to takes place in Sacramento… Its is to costly for you to pursue this so you end up leaving it alone and they end up with your money anyways. SO BEFORE YOU BUY INTO OCTOCLEAN TAKE THIS INTO CONSIDERATION……………
Janitorial and cleaning franchises that, in essence, sell franchise owners commercial cleaning contracts are one of the most troublesome areas of the franchise industry. Before investing, be sure to read FTC Guide to Buying a Janitorial Services Franchise.
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