Home | I'm neutral on it | Radiators

Radiators

radiatorI stopped to read this press release because I’ve never heard of a retail radiator franchise before…1-800 Radiators looks interesting for those who enjoy autos and cold-calling sales. But, is it too narrow of a niche?

About Ryan Knoll

Attorney and advisor with an interest in franchising. Feel free to email me comments and questions on the "Contact Us" page.

504 comments

  1. the concept is good. there is a need for customer service

  2. These guys (1-800-Rad) are 80-90% WHOLESALE driven and do relatively little retail.

    Kind of cool concpet considering that cars are getting harder and harder to work on.

    Also, their sofware makes the marketing pretty easy to drum-up sales and eliminates the need for cold-calls

    Just an FYI

  3. I worked with these guys since Jan. 07. They promised workable territories and sold them out from under me. I like the concept and my pro forma shows very good potential. I talked to several franchisees and they all seemd to like the business. It is a lot of work. They make it sound like they do all of the work for you but you need to be constantly marketing. Always on the road visiting customers and always on the phone. The website makes it look like someone could start it by themself but you need a minimum of 3 employees just to get the doors open. You might even need some family to help the first couple of weeks because the BLITZ is quite effective but qucky tapers and you need to be marketing constantly. Good Luck!!! Do the research.

  4. This is a poor franchise concept and operation. Read more here:
    http://www.franchise-chat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1025

  5. Apparently there have been a lot of resales by the franchisor in after a year or two of operation.

  6. BUYING A 1800 FRANCHISE WAS THE WORST MISTAKE IN MY LIFE. PLEASE HAVE FULL DISCLOSURE REGARDING THE COMPETITION IN YOUR AREA BEFORE YOU TAKE THE LEAP.
    RADIATORS ARE A DIME A DOZEN AND YOU NEED TO BUY 10 POINTS LOWER THAN YOUR COMPETITION TO MAKE MARGIN ENOUGH TO STAY AFLOAT. THE 10% TO CORPORATE IS MORE THAN YOU WILL MAKE FOR YEARS IN MY OPINION.

    BODY PARTS PEOPLE GIVE RADIATORS AND CONDENSERS AWAY TO SELL BODY PARTS.
    LARGE COMPETITION WILL ALSO RUN RADIATORS AS LOSS LEADERS TO SELL OTHER PARTS.

  7. I would be extremely cautious when considering buying a 1-800-Radiator franchise. Not saying it can’t work but this is a very tough business depending on the territory. Radiators have been around for a long time. This is an old guard business. It’s very hard to come up with new bells and whistles to outsmart the competition. It doesn’t matter what you are told the BOTTOM LINE IS PRICE. Most customers (retail, wholesale, resale) consider price as the most important factor in purchasing a commodity such as a radiator. Just like buying milk, gas or new tires. Does it make sense to pay the same amount as your competitor for a product and then pay the franchisor an additional 10, 12, 15 or 18% of the sales price? If you ask about price and the answers are a little “fuzzy” then consider the implications. In a tough market, you will find it difficult to compete. Even if you are lucky enough to get a relatively virgin territory, you are only one good competitor away from being able to compete on price. Lots of turmoil with the franchisor and the industry in general. Many have come and gone. Take a good look at franchise agreement and notice all the language that requires you to use “Best Efforts” while the franchisor is only required to use “reasonable efforts.” Talk to a good franchise lawyer before getting into this. Also, look at arbitration provision of franchise agreement which eliminates litigation as forum for recourse. Get them to tell you if they have terminated other franchisees and why. Ask for the phone numbers of terminated franchisees. Don’t fall for the “used car salesman” approach used to sell this franchise.

  8. I am surprised to hear that there are so many problems
    I had such a nice interview……you are right; check with those who have left the system or are still in the system and you will get the truth out of them.
    Proper due diligence is required as always

    But I have to admit, their model makes sense on paper

    mrfranchiseman

  9. YOU ARE UNLIKELY TO GET THE TRUTH OUT OF EXISTING FRANCHISEES. MANY OF THEM ARE SCARED TO DEATH AND ARE AFRAID TO SAY ANYTHING NEGATIVE ABOUT THE FRANCHISOR. MANY OWE LARGE AMOUNTS TO THE FRANCHISOR AND/OR HAVE A SMALL BUSINESS LOAN TO REPAY. OTHERS HAVEN’T BEEN IN THE BUSINESS LONG ENOUGH AND HAVE YET TO DISCOVER THAT THE MORE THEY SELL THE MORE DEBT THEY INCUR. MORE PRODUCT PURCHASES, MORE WARRANTIES TO COVER, MORE PROBLEMS WITH PARTS, MORE DRIVERS AND WAREHOUSE PEOPLE TO PAY FOR, MORE MARKETING, MORE PROBLEMS WITH CUSTOMERS, ETC….ALL THESE THINGS ADD COST AND FINDING THE RIGHT BALANCE BETWEEN ADDITIONAL SALES AND THE INCURRED ADDITIONAL COSTS CAN BE CHALLENGING. OTHERS WANT TO GET OUT AND DO NOT WANT TO LESSEN THE VALUE OF THEIR BUSINESSES. INSIST ON GETTING PHONE NUMBERS FROM AT LEAST 10 PRIOR FRANCHISEES AND TALK TO THEM. OF COURSE, THIS DOESN’T INCLUDE EVERY TERRITORY AND EVERY SITUATION BUT IN MY OPINION THE PEOPLE THAT GOT OUT ARE MORE LIKELY TO OPEN UP THAN THOSE STILL IN IT.

    • Adam
      Im also a x franchise owner. This franchise was like
      Jones town they got 250 of us to drink the koolaid.
      I dont beleave there is one happy franshice owner out there, If we all look back and remeber what they told
      us 175000 to 250000 would brake you even, Well they were half right 175 to 250 will brake you.I have talk to many franchise owner that are doing over 1.5 m and still cant take a pay check. The rippey knows there problem and there still selling these dam thing. Now to me that just plan ass stealing

      • Also an ex-franchisee. WHAT A NIGHTMARE.

        Getting into this racket of a franchise was absolutely the worst business decision of my life. I hope others won’t make the same mistake.

      • I would love to gather all franchisees who’s business failed to talk about what went wrong.

        • Let’s make this happen Adam. get in touch with me, 615-512-5520. And this means anyone out there.

          • Samir, i admire your drive to correct a wrong doing. I admire your fortitude and uncompromising attitude. Whats right is right. No gray area here. Thanks Samir for the help, as a franchisee whom you have never met, please keep the energy up to fight this injustice.

          • Samir,

            I am a former franchisee of 1800 radiator from march of 2008 to march of 2009. I was trying to contact former franchisees that tank within a year. I would lkie to see if the corporate bought their inventories back at the purchase price including the inventories that were bought in addition to the initial inventories. In my case they bought some of my inventories at the best price and not at the price I bought it for. Any help?

        • what went wrong is the 2 immature young men running the show at the top….No one starts at the top, right after graduatiing college….what ever happened to statring at the bottom and working your way up so that you have an understanding of how the business!

    • You are wrong about that. Many will speak their mind just fine. Any small business is tough to keep open in a difficult economy. But our start up was only doing $75,000 in our territory per year in gross sales when we bought and now is almost at $1 million in gross sales. Yes, it is a lot of hard work and we went through a bad economy, a bad war, and currently a bad president, but still growing strong in sales. Go figure. None of us owe the franchisor, by the way. That all gets paid up front when you buy the franchise and get your loan or if you have enough cash to pay for the business. They are not holding a gun to our heads to say nice things. It’s tough, but worthwhile. And in another 5 or 10 years, our business will be worth a lot more than it is now, if the US economy doesn’t completely crash due to what our friends on capital hill are doing.

  10. the following leads to a discussion of this franchise: http://www.franchise-chat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1025&page=9

    looks like many were terminated by the franchisor and that there are problems with the UFOC. Some ex-franchisees are calling the FTC to report 1-800-radiator. with so many problems, why does the franchisor keep advertising this thing as the “perfect” business? Are they not disclosing the real fees they are charging? Do they misrepresent the opportunity? Do they act nice before you sign and then pressure you after you are in?

    Something seems wrong.

  11. [quote comment=”563496″]the following leads to a discussion of this franchise: http://www.franchise-chat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1025&page=9

    looks like many were terminated by the franchisor and that there are problems with the UFOC. Some ex-franchisees are calling the FTC to report 1-800-radiator. with so many problems, why does the franchisor keep advertising this thing as the “perfect” business? Are they not disclosing the real fees they are charging? Do they misrepresent the opportunity? Do they act nice before you sign and then pressure you after you are in?

    Something seems wrong.[/quote]
    Can you be more specific?

  12. There don’t seem to be any recent filings by the franchisor with the various state franchise regulators.

    Does anyone know if they are still offering franchises or are they finished and no longer required to register with state agencies?

  13. They list about 29 or so “existing” outlets for sale. These look like resale of existing locations probably mostly people wanting to leave the business.

    https://www.1800radiator.com/territories/listings/_available/index.html

  14. The only good source on the Internet for this franchise has recently shut down its discussion board. That’s a real shame as it was one of the very few places to get real information about this franchisor and the games they play. I hope anyone looking into buying one of these will insist on asking for names of prior owners. If you are told that noone has ever failed – DON’T BELIEVE IT. If you are told they get the best price – DON’T BELIEVE IT. If you are told that the business is simple and that if you follow the model you will succeed because everywhere that a franchise owner has followed the model they have succeeded – DON’T BELIEVE IT. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!

    • I was very active on the franchise-chat thread when it was open. I emailed the owner of the franchise-chat site and got no reply. When I was interviewed by Entrepreneur magazine regarding Internet communication and franchisee woes, my interviewer, Julie, knew the franchise-chat site owner personally and alluded to how he was overworked. Even though the site is based in Australia and under Aussie law, I can see 1-800-Radiator corporate threatening him with legal action. If he was truly overworked and didn’t want to deal with the situation, he might have just shut it down to avoid dealing with it. Or, there may have been money exchanged for shutting it down. Who knows, but with what I know about the zor and it’s business practices, I suspect foul play.

      I know the vbulletin-based software on which the site was based. I also know that all the information resides in a database. If that database is intact, the information is still available. Much of that information is mine. I posted my experience from pre-franchisee to post-franchisee on that site. If I would have known that the information would have been held hostage like this, I would have just made my own site.

  15. Does anyone know why the franchise discussion board was shut down? It was a real plus for anyone looking at the various franchises currently being marketed.

    • I suspect foul play by the zor in getting it shut down. The owner did not even reply to my inquiries. All the information of my experience lost in a database in Australia. I should have just made my own site.

  16. Things not getting better for 1-800-Radiator, aka Radiator Express. A few months back they settled litigation with one of their vendors for $1.4 Million with Mike Rippey, the founder and CEO of 1-800-Radiator, personally guaranteeing 500K of the judgment. You have to wonder what that implies about the financial condition of 1-800-Radiator.

    • I haven’t been following the litigation but that doesn’t make a lot of sense that the CEO is somehow required to guarantee part of a judgment. I’d have to read the ruling to see what is going on. Do you know the details?

      • Judge’s order and settlement agreement are available on Pacer. An individual might be asked to guarantee a corporation’s judgment if the corporation’s credit worthiness is questionable. For example, if you take out a business loan for a new business the bank might ask that you, as a stakeholder in the business, personally guarantee the loan. Same thing.

        • If the CEO/founder personally guaranteed the purchase orders or he was deceitful to the vendor, then I can see it happening. You are right about questioning the financial condition of 800-Radiator if the CEO had to personally guaranteed payments to a vendor.

          • 1-800-Radiator and it’s owner/CEO, Mike Rippey, were also recently hit a judgment confirming an arbitration award of almost $200,000.00 for violating the rights of one of its franchisees under Wisconson Fair Dealership Laws. There is language in the judgement that prevents 1-800-Radiator from just terminating this franchisee for any reason that they see fit. This may also cause them to think twice about terminating other franchisees – a common practice for them as it seems to be a way for them to avoid disclosing failed franchises.

            It would be nice if you could post the order – I believe it is publically available on PACER.

          • The 198k was awarded in Federal court not arbitration.

          • Ryan
            What happen if 1800 Radiator corp file bankruptcy are the franchise owner liable
            to these vender even if they have proof
            they paid 1800 corp

          • This is probably a question for a bankruptcy lawyer. Seems to me, however, that both the vendor and the franchisee could have claims against the bankruptcy estate.

  17. FEDERAL COURT ENJOINS TERMINATION OF DISTRIBUTOR
    In 1-800-Radiator of Wisconsin, LLC v. 1-800-Radiator Franchise, Inc., 2008 WL 4500682 (E.D. Wis. Oct. 1, 2008), the court considered a motion for a temporary restraining order to prevent the termination of its rights. The plaintiff was a distributor that was considered to be a “franchisee” under the 1-800-Radiator system, which took orders for the purchase of radiators made through the franchisor’s proprietary network. The franchisor advised the plaintiff that it planned to acquire one of the franchisor’s competitors, which would result in a large increase in business for the plaintiff. To meet that anticipated demand, the franchisor required the plaintiff to take certain steps, including increasing the size of its inventory and hiring additional employees. The franchisor gave the plaintiff less than 24 hours to agree to those requirements or face termination. When the plaintiff did not agree, the franchisor terminated its rights.
    The distributor sought an injunction from the court preventing the termination of its rights. The plaintiff argued that the franchisor had violated the Wisconsin Fair Dealership Law by failing to provide it with the notice and opportunity to cure required by the statute. The court agreed, and also found that the franchisor had breached the WFDL by demanding that the plaintiff make its required changes on very little notice. Finding that the plaintiff would suffer irreparable harm to its business if the proposed termination were permitted to stand, the court enjoined the franchisor from proceeding. The court, however, required that the plaintiff post a $25,000 bond and granted the franchisor’s request for a hearing to determine the sufficiency of the amount of this bond.

    • JUDGMENT IN A CIVIL CASE v.Case No. 08-C-362

      1-800-RADIATOR OF WISCONSIN, LLC.,
      Plaintiff,
      v.
      1-800-RADIATOR FRANCHISE, INC. and
      MICHAEL J. RIPPEY,
      Defendants.

      1. Defendants 1-800-Radiator Franchise, Inc. and Michael J. Rippey (collectively “RFI”) violated the rights of Plaintiff 1-800-Radiator of Wisconsin LLC (hereinafter “ROW”) under the Wisconsin Fair Dealership Law, Wis. Stat. §§ 135.03 and 135.04, and ROW is entitled to recover from RFI attorneys fees in the amount of $167,243.75 and costs in the amount of $31,621.94, for a total award of $198,865.69.
      2. All other claims are dismissed with prejudice.
      3. RFI is permanently enjoined from terminating, cancelling, or failing to renew the dealership of ROW for any reason other than the occurrence of an assignment for the benefit of creditors or bankruptcy, or nonpayment of sums due under the dealership, unless RFI provides ROW at least 90 days’ prior written notice of termination, cancellation, or non-renewal. The notice shall state all the reasons for termination, cancellation or non-renewal and shall provide that the dealer has 60 days in which to rectify any claimed deficiency. If the deficiency is rectified within 60 days the notice shall be void. If the reason for termination, cancellation, or nonrenewal is nonpayment of sums due under the dealership, RFI shall provide ROW written

  18. WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT BUY A 1800 RADIATOR START UP FRANCHISE OR ONE THAT CORP IS SELLING. DO NOT DO NOT…
    UNLESS YOU WANT TO BE BULLIED BY THE CRACKHEADS THAT RUN THE ORGANIZATION AND LOSE YOUR LIFE SAVINGS.

    I AM A FRANCHISEE AND THE CORPORATE OFFICES ARE NOTHING BUT TERRIBLE PEOPLE THAT USE COERCION TO RUN THEIR BUSINESS.

    DO NOT BUY THIS FRANCHISE. DONT DO IT.

    THERE ARE SOME THAT HAVE BEEN BUILT BY OWNERS THAT ARE GOOD, BUT DONT BUY FROM THE CORP OFFICES

  19. COERCION, INTIMIDATION, BULLYING, DISTORTION, MANIPULATION, ETC…

    THE LIST OF TACTICS USED BY THESE GUYS ONCE YOU BECOME A FRANCHISEE GOES ON AND ON……

    DON’T GET INVOLVED WITH THESE GUYS FOR ANY REASON WHATSOEVER.

  20. And they don’t pay their suppliers. One of the largest manufacturers of Radiators and Ac Condensors and one that I used regularly when I was a franchisee, Spectra Premium, sued 1-800-Radaitor aka Radiator Warehouse Express for non-payment of inventory bills. The amount mentioned in the case filings were 7-digits. Check out the link:
    http://dockets.justia.com/docket/court-caedce/case_no-2:2008cv03127/case_id-186115/

    Spectra no longer sells to 1-800-Radiator because they don’t pay. Spectra is a major supplier to every other parts distribution company like NAPA, Autozone, Advanced Auto, etc.

    In my experience as a franchisee: unethical–yes, coercion–yes, intimidation–yes, bullying–big yes, distortion–yes, manipulation–big yes, misrepresentation–yes.

    Summarized in one phrase–bad franchise. Stay away.

    • You need to read the Spectra law suit award to Spectra for 1.4 million and ALL OF THE 1800 RADIATOR assets signed over to SPECTRA by Mike Rippey.Makes you wonder what the other 1800 radiator vendors think about the money owed them.Its on Pacer

  21. Wow. This is a lot of negative info. For what it’s worth:

    This is a real business, with all the typical business risks and decisions that must be made. You must absolutely do your due diligence when purchasing any business, this is no exception. You must go into any endeavor with your eyes wide open. You have to put together pro-forma financials and be realistic with your revenues and costs. I’ve always been told that if you are starting a business, you should plan to lose money your first 3 years. Are you the kind of person that can analyze situations and make your own decisions, or do you want someone making all the decisions for you? If its the latter, you should think twice about starting any business, just get a job.

    With all that being said, I am a current franchise owner. I take pride in marketing my business to customers and working hard to ensure that I have the right product in the warehouse to meet demand. I try, like any business owner, to balance working ON my business, and working IN my business. Yes, you have to have employees, you have to hire the right ones and keep them. You have to have drivers for deliveries. You have to manage when to put on an additional driver or find ways to get part-time drivers. You have to determine when it’s time to add additional phone personnel. Aren’t these the same kind of decisions that all business owners have to make? Should I hire an outside salesperson? And, making the decisions doesn’t guarantee results. That’s why there’s risk in business. My franchise grossed over 1.5 million last year and I paid myself over 100k. Yes, and that’s after paying the franchisor 10%.

    I’ve worked with the franchisor and they’ve been very helpful and up-front. I have had to ask for small loans in the first 2 years and they granted them. I’ve paid them back as planned. We have expanded into air parts and the franchisor has put in special terms on the air parts purchases allowing us to pay for them over the course of the summer. The franchisor asked us to triple our air revenue this year and I asked them to help out. They sent over $1,500 of free marketing stuff, sent a person here (on their dime) for a week and we did a mini-blitz. They asked me to commit 2 full time salespeople to make 125 sales calls each for 2 weeks. Seems like a good commitment to make. Does any of this guarantee revenue?? No, but with hard work, effort, hiring the right people, marketing your customers, and running your franchise like a real business you should see the results (no guarantee).

    If you are interested, this is a good business, but you will need to do due diligence, prepare your pro-formas, understand your territory, your customers, your competition, make decisions…..just like you would need to do with any business.

    • Boy, you have to wonder who posted this. I guess it is either a franchisee trying to sell or one of the corporate guys (probably a Rippey) trying to combat what they perceive as negative. There is nothing negative about truth.

      The assumptions belying your comments are that you are told eveything you need to know to make a fair assessment of the business opportunity.

      • I posted it. My franchise is not for sale and I am not a Rippey.

        I believe it is up to the buyer to get as much information as possible before making any decision. The whole attitude of “being told everything you need to know” is utopian. If you don’t do your due diligence and believe everything you are told, then you deserve what you get.

        I think anyone interested in getting into any franchise, this one is no exception, should talk to existing franchisees, former franchisees and anyone else they can get ahold of.

        • I don’t know what benefit you’re getting for attempting to spreading positive pr about this company, but until you can provide the documents to prove your claims, you are a fraud, plain and simple.

          • I’m just posting factual information about the business I am running. I don’t think I’m running up a bunch of positive pr for the franchise, just giving out my experiences.

            Again, I am proud of the business that I am running. I’m having fun doing it and it’s providing a living for my family and the 5 other employees families.

          • Now I know this is bull. You are supporting 6 people, 1 of them at over 100K on 1.5M in sales. No way, no how!!!! I may have believed it if you were doing the work of 4 and you had 1 or 2 other employees running high margins. Again, if you want to convince readers on this forum, put up the evidence.

          • I’m with anonymous on this. If you are paying 5 employees at $30k/yr, that’s another $150k. So you’re making a net of $250k on $1.5m in sales if you had no hr expenses? That’s over 16% to the bottom line. No way, no how. We did good at a little over 10% to the bottom line on almost half your sales and NO EMPLOYEES.

            Post some documentation, or you’re just digging yourself in a hole.

    • over 100 grand a year and you need a small loan
      that tells me alot

      • Business cash flow and salaries can be two different things. The small loans were at times where I was increasing inventory while some of my net accounts were dragging out their payments to me. I still paid myself the salary while I was working the cash flow issues out.

        • Any real business shouldn’t have to take loans to cover what should be a small amount of net sales that is not translating to cash flow. If 90% if your sales aren’t making cash flow, that’s bad management. If that’s how you have to conduct business in order to stay in business, then there’s no real money in it because your customers are broke.

    • I was looking at my ufoc and they used Ellenwood GA as a sales cost analysis the warehouse was doing 934.437 a year in sales at a 44.67% margin with a cost of sales at
      516.999 the gross margin at 417.438 after taking rent phone and all the expenses listed there was 154.899 left over for the owner. If your doing 1.5 you should of made
      248.700. If there is one warehouse out there working on 16% margin
      at the end of the year I would like to hear from him

    • I’m calling your bluff. Post your business location, warehouse number, and federal tax returns showing your net profit and the taxes paid to the IRS. If you don’t want to post them publicly, then you shouldn’t make such claims publicly. Without this proof, I’m calling you a liar.

      You wrote your post with the assumption that EVERYONE who has not liked this business is either an idiot or a bad business person, or both. That is not the case. There have been very experienced business people that have gotten into this franchise and not been able to make it as profitable as you claim.

      From what I know about this franchise, and the zor’s counter-pr methods, I do not believe you. This post is almost word-for-word what was found on the old franchise-chat.com discussion thread. I don’t even know a single ‘William’ in the entire franchise system.

      Post the truth or post somewhere else…

    • I doubt seriously this guy is a real franchisee or that he made 100k on 1.5 million in sales. Bobby Bans was doing over 2 million and went broke on this thing. And he was one of the top sellers in the system. Ask the nice guys at 1-800-Radiator about that one. Better yet, ask them for Bobby’s phone number (or even better yet ask them for the numbers of the many other former franchisees).

      The statement “and that’s after paying the franchisor 10%” is completely disingenuous. You pay 10% for sales where the franchisee took the order. That means the customer called the warehouse and a person at the warehouse completed the transaction. That means $$ for a phone person and if that person is on the phone you either hire someone else or it will go through the corporate call center. The orders that go through the call center incur an additional 5% or 15% of the gross sale. If the order was taken by the call center and the customer used his/her credit card add another 3%. All in all, the amount paid to corporate ranges between 10% and 18% (plus any additional amounts you end up owing corporate such as, for example, corporate acquisitions, penalties, etc…).

      I remember when they told everyone you could break even on 5 parts a day, then it was 500K, then it was 1Million, etc… . Just total guess work trying to get franchisees to get off their backs as one milestone after another did not achieve the promised return. The last one was “don’t expect to make a profit for 3 years” – sound familiar?

      This is a very simple business to understand. Automotive cooling and AC is a commodity!! In most cases, you can’t compete (or make a decent profit) if you are paying 10-18% more for the product than your competitor. Don’t dring the coolaid.

      Notice how the post admits paying 150K to the franchisor while only making 100K in return. The former is probably a low estimate and the latter probably way too high.

      • I am a real franchisee and I do make OVER 100K on $1.5 million.

        • If you think 1800Radiator is such a good deal do what Samir said. The Rippeys will be proud of you. also that $1,500 of free marketing stuff was not free you paid for that many times over.

        • Prove it. See instructions above.

          You have 2 weeks to gather this information. If you do not post this information by then, you are deemed a fake and a fraud. The tax retuens should be easy. You just filed them, right?

          • Samir, you’re a bully. I’m just posting information that readers can read and make their own decisions. So if I post something that is contrary to your view, then I’m a liar and a fake. I can see why now that you and the franchisor had issues.
            FYI. My business is structured as a Corporation and I am a W2 employee. My payroll is therefore deducted in the tax return. I structure it so that the corporation does not owe any taxes.

      • I’m sorry if I come off as a bully William, but I’ve seen your type too many times. What is your vested interest in spreading sunshine about this zor? What are they giving you? When hundreds of franchisees are not making it and you supposedly are, you should just thank your stars and keep quietly doing what you are doing, not try to change the FACTS about this zor and the success and failure rates.

        That’s fine that you’re a w-2 based employee. I think any of us here that know business wouldn’t have assumed anything else. Since you are a Corporation, please post your Federal 1065. This will show the itemized expenses including your $100k in wages. Also, post the other requested information–warehouse number and physical location. If you want people to know about your supposed ‘truth’, why not be transparent about it? Unless it’s not the truth…

        • Again, I don’t think I’m spreading sunshine, just posting my experiences. I don’t think I’ve posted anything about the zor other than my experience.

          Now I’m a “Type”?? I’m simply posting some information and because that information happens to be contrary to your experience, you seem to have problems with it.

          I don’t think I’m trying to change any FACTS, just letting the readers know about my experiences.

          I don’t think I have to “thank the Stars”. For my situation, in my territory, the system is working. I can’t say about it working in other situations, as every location and territory will be unique.

          Since I have been relatively successful, I haven’t had to deal with the zor that much, but when I have had to deal with them, they have been up-front and honest. I have no idea if they have been that way with others. Again, I can only speak of my experience.

          • Okay, so you’re speaking from your experience.

            Please present documentation supporting your experience, because the rest of the ex-franchisees like myself have documentation to prove otherwise.

            If you cannot provide documentation, you are lying in support of this zor for some reason.

            Again–warehouse number, location, Federal 1065 please.

      • Doing 100K on 1.5M in sales is so contrary to the normal of experiences of many of the franchisees I have spoken to. Most are not making any $$ and are just trying to get out. Others are working deals out with the franchisor in order to avoid their wrath and thus, as long as they are quiet and don’t cause too much trouble, they are allowed to carry a balance.

        If you are a real franchisee, you should have no problems identifying yourself, providing your warehouse number and location. If you are one of the few locations where there is no competition and you are able to manage a high margin, then good for you. Of course, you are only 1 good competitor away from reversing your good fortune. For the rest, doing anything close to the examples in the UFOC will be a huge achievement.

        If the franchisor is so great, why are so many franchisees failing? Why did they need to factor their receiveables, ie World Capital Group or whatever, and have some franchisees send their payables directly to this third party factoring group? Why the Spectra lawsuit? Why the Performance lawsuit? Why the Wisconsin franchisee lawsuit?

        I understand that another franchisee has recently initiated arbitration against them.

        I also understand that there are efforts underway to establish a franchisee association. I hope that gets done and that some very nice people in very difficult situations who don’t know what to do finally have someone and something to turn to.

    • I doubt it. I would have to agree with every word that franchise owner said. I am also a franchise owner. Not making big money profits, but making a living and keeping people employed. Seems like you guys that post all these negative comments are just jealous losers who have never had the guts to get out and do the hard work that it takes to be a small business owner. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication

      • Then I will extend the same offer to you ‘Luana’–post your warehouse number and documentation to support your claims. I’ve got my proof handy.

        Personal insults like ‘jealous losers’ aren’t going to resolve this in a constructive manner, and any real, competent, businessperson would know this.

  22. I typed in “1-800 Radiator” to look up some information on them and the first suggestion google gave me is “1-800 Radiator Lawsuit.”

  23. In response to the person above doing 1.5 mill…

    How does it feel to take home 100k, while you give your corp offices 150k (10%)? I suppose nothing is wrong with that scenario….

    • “Give” is an interesting choice of words. I receive the following in return for the fees:

      Point of Sale System
      (parts lookup by application)
      Pricing System
      Pricing Analysis and Recommendations
      Purchasing System
      Inventory System
      Accts Rec System
      Sales Analysis System
      Customer Relationship System
      Warranty Tracking/DM System
      Sales Tax Reporting
      Customer Visit and Routing System

      If I were a stand alone business, I would have to pay money for these types of systems and/or services.
      Most all franchises have fees, so you must evaluate the value you believe you receive against the fees you are going to pay.

      • You also get the ability of them shutting you down at anytime for any reason they see fit. At an instant, they can disable your Wizmo password and reroute your phones.

        Everything you described can be achieved with Quickbooks, Mappoint and a commercially available parts lookup system. What they provide is not a convenience to you. It is their way of controlling your business.

        I did not see you say that they provide “the best pricing on parts” – very interesting.

        • You are absolutely correct. They could disable and reroute. I guess that’s another one of those risks of doing business. If you’re not comfortable with that risk, then stay away.

          I’m a systems person and the statement about quickbooks, mappoint and parts lookup system is inaccurate. It would take alot of setup and constant maintenance to make those things interact and do the same things.

          I guess I just see it different. You see it as controlling my business, and I see it as providing me services that I don’t have to worry about.

          Not sure I understand what you’re inferring about “best pricing”.

          • Didn’t they tell you that “they get the best pricing on parts” in the industry. That their pricing is “so good” you can pay them their royalties and still compete.

            Other than integration, what other tangible advantage does their software provide that could not be achieved (specially for 150K/yr) by other alternatives?

            If being part of the 1-800-radiator system does not result in far superior buying power, what real benefit are you receiving? Put another way, have you inadvertently bought yourself a job with long hours, lots of hard work and the priviliege of paying someone else much more than yourself, the guy doing all the work?

          • These two words BEST PRICING is what sold me It was a lie

          • It’s what sold everyone!!

          • It’s a cost of doing “their” business not YOUR business as you stated in your original post.

            By the way, if they buy out a competitor in your area (without your input, of course) and ask you to pay additional acquisitions fees without any substantiating documentation, are you in? What if this puts you in the red?

          • If you were a systems person, then you’d know that even maintaining other systems would be cheaper and allow more control than the zor’s systems. That’s lie number two…

          • Plus whatever you could not maintain, you would have the money to hire someone to do it…..Wizmo sucks anyway

        • Not sure where this guy gets his info, but you are not well informed. You don’t have a clue

      • And here’s the cost of third party equivalents:

        Point of Sale System – Quickbooks is better
        (parts lookup by application) – DPI Live – $40/month
        Pricing System – Part of DPI Live
        Pricing Analysis and Recommendations – BS that benefits the zor. The pricing recommendations surprisingly tell you to lower prices 90% of the time. You can figure this out with some calling around–cost: free
        Purchasing System – Not needed, just call the vendor and get what you need. Cost: free
        Inventory System – Junk. Quickbooks is better.
        Accts Rec System – Junk. Quickbooks is better.
        Sales Analysis System – Non-existant. They were just developing some stuff when I left the system, and it was light years behind third party systems. Quickbooks and some spreadsheet analysis is one way to get the same reports. Or third-party software can do it in real-time providing more reports than you could imagine for a one-time cost of $5k.
        Customer Relationship System – Junk, any off the shelf or open source CRM system is more flexible and robust. Cost: $100?
        Warranty Tracking/DM System – Cumbersome and does not work well at all. How many franchisees know how much they have outstanding in warranties at the touch of a button? None that I know of… Warranties can be tracked by any good inventory system.
        Sales Tax Reporting – Some credit is due here, but it’s not a miracle that Quickbooks can’t do. It’s important to note that the zor hasn’t paid proper city and county local sales taxes in Alabama for years now due to not knowing the tax laws.
        Customer Visit and Routing System – Microsoft Mapoint?!?! Are you kidding? Google maps works better than this and it’s free.

        So let’s see…I’ll add all this up with the time and labor involved to about $20k…no let’s buffer it…$30k. The actual cost of this is more like $10k if your labor is free.

        Your turn. What other ‘truth’ do you wish to dispel?

        • This will be my last post. Samir has effectively worn me down. I can’t continue to debate all these things infinitem (sp).

          So let’s see, I’m going to go to DPI and lookup parts, then switch to quickbooks and enter and maintain part numbers and prices on thousands of sku’s? I guess at night I am going to continually lookup new car applications, come up with new part numbers, enter them into quickbooks, setup pricing and that’s all free. Ridiculous.

          On purchasing, I’m going to call up 13 different vendors regularly, get their pricing on thousands of sku’s analyze which ones are best, compare to shipping minimums, cut po’s and all this is free.

          Inventory and A/R systems are not business differentiators therefore only need to do their job. Inventory system ties to purchasing to know how many parts are needed. A/R system needs only to track moneys and be able to send statements.

          CRM system tracks sales and visits on all customers and allows quick view of standings. Sales analysis shows daily, weekly, yearly sales by customer, customer type, and product. Sales visit reports show effectiveness of sales personnel before and after sales visits, mature calls and recent calls. Conversion reports show conversion (quotes to sales) percentages by counter salesperson. Inventory reports show stocking levels compared to suggested stocking levels and ties to reorder levels for changes.

          Anyway, this is just wearing me out. I’ll let Samir, Anonymous and RIP continue to be haters. You’ve effectively run me off and gotten me to shut up. I give. Have a nice day.

          • Then why debate? Post your proof and substantiate your claims. That would settle this.

            For someone who preaches on the merits of fully researching a business, you haven’t really done so yourself. Let me dispel some myths.

            Yes, you have to use one system for lookup and another to sell. But the reality is that this is quicker or just as quick as the Wizmo system.

            New parts announcements are made all the time by vendors. As a business owner, you should know if you need to stock these or not, no matter what system you use. You still have to set the pricing no matter what system you use, so that’s nothing new. And you can use whatever part number you want, although the DPI number is most common. (Most of the zor’s part numbers are based on DPI numbers.) If you’re not adjusting this for your local market and letting the zor ‘advise’ you on this, you’re definitely missing out.

            If you aren’t calling vendors already, you’re missing big bucks. There are errors in the purchasing system. If you have ever compared what your price should be on a part and what you actually paid, you will find discrepancies. The zor says this doesn’t happen too often. And 3% of the time isn’t much, but $40 is $40. Why would you want to throw this away?

            By contacting vendors directly, you can also pay them directly using your own credit line. You get the percentage discount that the zor gets, and depending on how you set up your credit line, you may be able to earn points or other incentives you could use for personal use.

            Inventory and AR are critical systems that can’t do what industry standard systems out there can do. No inventory forecasting, no part trending, nothing smart. I can’t believe I was asking for this 4 years ago and it’s still not there. Pathetic. The AR system was buggy as well, tying into their “valbot” system that pulled money out of your account erroneously on a regular basis.

            The CRM system is really overkill and very, very buggy. Tracking sales conversions in a business where 30 parts a day are sold by 2 people is overkill. Who sold more? Add it up if need be. Not to mention conversions are more based on who answered the phone than some sophisticated sales pitch. We’re not telemarketers, so why use such metrics? What’s more important is the customer relationship part of the system, which sadly the zor’s sucks at.

            I’m sorry that you feel we have treated you unfairly. But you don’t seem to realize that we’re not stupid or unsuccessful people. We have genuinely been cheated, and we feel strongly about this because it is wrong. A lot of this emotion should be directed towards the zor, but when a zor-like or pro-zor person shows up telling us how we’re just wrong or stupid, they become the target very quickly.

            I still am genuinely interested in knowing your warehouse number and location. I’ve never known a William in the system, but that doesn’t mean you don’t exist.

        • Heres the reality of what we are facing: I am a franchisee -existing. And what Samir has said and what William has said are both true. This is my first time posting.

          Our corporate offices has issues, Major issues. They dont know how to deal with franchisees on a professional level, they make decisions that affect us negatively on a whim, they are not concerned about owner profitability and equate sales to profit, they have had cash issues in the past (present cash issues are uncertain), we can achieve the same accounting practices…excuse me BETTER accounting practices with Quickbooks, and the list goes on…

          However, William may be happy making 100k busting his butt working 60-80 hours a week (believe me 1.5 mil is not easy to control and not a comfortable way of life.) He obviously is not concerned with the insides of the corp offices, how they perform, treat our vendors, treat other franchisees, or acquire businesses that are failing at high prices, and the list goes on. William could possibly be making more than 100k if our corp offices would learn to be in the franchise support business and not the dictatorship business. William also probably doesnt know that he may be getting cheated with pricing, warranties, and other things. William is obviously fine not knowing these things and would rather operate his franchise without looking around at what is really going on. If it doesnt affect William, then so be it. And thats fine. Theres nothing wrong with that….except if Corp goes out of business, William will be the last to know until his franchise closes…. Ignorance is sometimes bliss.

          For example, the Spectra lawsuit….in a nutshell….

          1800 sued Spectra for interfering with an acquistion and steering business to a competitor. Ironically 1800 Radiator owed Spectra money. 1.8 mill or around that. 1800 radiators claims were thrown out completely, and Spectra accepted 1.4 of the amount owed to just settle the case.

          Now…given this scenario, the franchisees paid 100% of the 1.8 mill to corp in product. 1800 settled for 1.4…The other 400k, where did that go? Back to the franchisees that paid it? Hell no! No one knows…..So 1800 technically got 400k for nothing. Money which was all paid by the franchisees, and maybe a small portion of corp product.. Now William, Is that not a problem? At least one that Corp should provide a VALID answer to? Never an explanation…in fact they lied to us about the whole thing.

          What was accomplished by this lawsuit? 1800 radiator profited from our buying, we are out an important vendor, we never got our money back, cant get stuff warrantied through Spectra, little access to gas tanks and other product….all over egos and a bogus lawsuit.

          William, my advice is to stay content and continue to look the other way, because what you may find, you may not like.

          PS. I profited decently last year and will this year too. I post this because I see the entire picture. Territories can be successful, just not all of them…some are just too small or have too much competition. For anyone considering this business, do your due diligence on a territory. It may be a good business if the territory you are buying is up and running and already successful. A startup is too risky.

          • I believe this to be an accurate and honest assessment of the situation.

            The 400K went to pay lawyers. And, of course, was paid by franchisees without their consent.

            In essence, the whims of two adolescents are effecting the fortunes of several hundred families. They don’t care. The laugh all the way to the bank.

          • I JUST WANT TO START OUT BY SAYING GOOD LUCK TO THE FRANCHISES
            THAT ARE LEFT MY HOPE FOR YOU IS THE FRANCHISE ASSOCITATION WILL
            HELP YOU IN BUSINESS

            NOW IT IF THINK THAT WERE BITTER ABOUT
            THE LIE THAT WERE TOLD TO US YOUR RIGHT IT WAS’NT MIKE RIPPEY KIDS THAT WENT TO BED HUNGRY IT WAS MINE MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON THEM

          • I agree that this is an accurate assessment of the current state of things.

            But what is not addressed here is one of the most important things I’ve learned in business–intent.

            If your partner intends to cheat you, no document will prevent them. If your employee intends to cheat you, no document will deter them. If your zor wants to abuse you and take advantage of your, no document, even if worded in your favor, will help you prevent such action.

            If a criminal signed a document, does that prevent them from doing anything prohibited in the document? No, the person signing that document must be willing to hold to the terms of the document. As franchisees we signed that document with good intentions. It is my sincere belief that the zor did not.

          • Samir you are about the only person I trust out there and the only one that had the balls to say openly what you think of the zor.
            Many of us have money coming that the zor has held back to keep us
            from saying anything.
            I believe There strenght in numbers
            is there anyway we can start are own group to see if we have any option
            I have to beleave if we put a group together with about 5 or 6 of us we could find 50 ex-franchises and then go from there

        • Samir, You are right about all of this. I know first hand as a franchisee

  24. Just curious.. How many franchisees would you guys say are left vs. number of corporate run territories?

    • Take a look at the mid west Wisconsin Iowa Minnesota there were 10 Franchise sold corp is Running 3 St Paul Minneapolis And Madison Wi.
      Waterloo Iowa Marshfield Wis Milwaukee Wis GONE and Appleton wis had a lawsuit This is a 70% Failure Rate

  25. I would not sell this company anything. Even with the CEO backing up the debt

    • Beware of strangely dressed men with grins on their face named “RIP”pey. Kind of reminds me of the guy who “MADE”off with everyone’s money. 🙂

      • So what are you saying?
        The only person that had balls to give there name is Samir

        • What are you saying? Is RIP your true name?

          • Anonymous says:
            April 17, 2010 at 9:24 am
            Beware of strangely dressed men with grins on their face named “RIP”pey. Kind of reminds me of the guy who “MADE”off with everyone’s money.

            Reply
            You posted this I felt that it was a warning about me. Im not the guy that made off with everyone’s money but I do need to be careful There holding back some cash

          • Dude – RIPpey refers to the owner of the company. Kinda like Madoff.

          • Didnt want you to think I was a cheerleader

    • May be time for a class action lawsuit if we all band together maby we will have a chance to at lease get somthing out of these crooks.

      • Banding together has always been the only way to win against these guys. It’s why they got rid of our internal email communication system, and it’s why they use ‘divide and conquer’ methods to keep franchisees wary of each other.

        If we all banded together, we could probably leave them in the dust and start our own company.

  26. Ripp ed off franchisee

    I just sold my franchise. I worked my ass off and had more than $750K in gross sales.My first screwing was the initial inventory. Zor moved in a load of crap that never sold. The same when I purchased air parts. Zor also knew that there was a regional player in my state that did more business then they did. There were 6 territories available. 3 failed and 1 never sold. How is that for never failing ? I knew as soon as I realized that they were rushing to open instead of working on profit of franchisee. How did the inventory system work for you guys ?

  27. Poor concept to open 200+ stores in a saturated market. Might have worked 20 years ago. People are selling radiators on every corner. Sales people from the big boxes to the small operators are at our door constantly.

    Just MHO.

    • I agree with you 100%. I really feel sorry for the people that were duped into this flim flam operation. All any one has to do is a simple web search about the company and you will have thousands of negative comments about them.
      Watch your back pocket with them becuse they will have their hand in your front pocket in no time.

  28. The Franchisor has no interest in seeing that it is profitable. They are only interested in receiving a revenue stream in order to create market value. This is their only way out of the business – to sell a revenue stream to someone else. It is their exit strategy. Their lack of concern with franchisee profitability, with lawsuits, with franchisee discontent, their lack of professionalism, their underhanded play, and the many other bad acts they have committed against their franchisees (current and prior) matters none if they can continue to create revenue.

    The problem has to do with the industry and parts business in general. Way too saturated and way too many competitors. Over the long haul, there is no room for royalties and other fees in this market. They do not get any apreciable better pricing over the competition and, as such, competitors will simply adjust their practices and squeeze 1-800 and their franchisees out of a marketplace that cannot absorb franchise fees. IT IS INEVITABLE.

    I can only imagine that many, if not all franchisees, are extremely nervous about their long term prospects in this business. Many put what they had into the coffers of shrewd and cunning franchise representative who had other agendas from the getgo. The negative but truthful press (such as the board) now coming to the forefront only diminishes the prospect for franchisees wanting to get out by sale. However, a sale only passes the problems on to another.

    It does not matter what a prospect is told. Unless they are assured significant cost savings over the competition in cost of goods, the franchisee will almost always be unsatisfied.

    THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF A BUSINESS THAT OFFERS NO REAL COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES. THEY SELL “PUFFERY” AND UNFULLFILLED PROMISES TO THOSE LOOKING FOR THE NEXT GREAT THING. JUST LIKE TELEVANGELIST, STOCKBROKERS, MCI, AND ENRON. STAY AWAY, STAY AWAY!!! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

  29. Like I said before is it worth putting a group together
    to see what we can do

  30. I agree with you But Im an Ex franchisee.

  31. How about that lifetime warranty on a/c parts. I thought warranties were given by the MFG not the Distrubitors of the products. This is considered a trend setting move on 1-800 radiator part. The franchisee that fall for this will never be able to sell their franchise in my opinion. If for some reason they were able to break away from 1-800 radiator( Franchisor ). Who would honor the warranty then?

  32. Most of the distributors we deal with offer lifetime warranties on what they sell. Nothing new here. If they have a decent product I doubt if it’s a big deal. Haven’t dealt with 1-800 so can’t comment on their quality or lack thereof.

  33. not true about lifetime warranties. Some radiators are guaranteed lifetime but the key word is some. most ac parts are not sold with a lifetime warranty.

  34. Another Ex 1-800 Franchisee

    Looks like 1-800 is attempting to interfere with the attempt of franchisees to form their own franchise association.

    Word on the street is that they are having their annual franchise convention in Dallas starting today. During the convention, a franchisee lawyer from Houston has arranged a meeting for existing franchisees to begin the process of forming a franchisee association. The corporate guys found out about this a week or so ago and immediately scheduled a couple of visits to local “vendors” in the DFW area. At first they were scheduled in the morning. Then they found out the franchisees were meeting in the afternoon so they changed the visits to conflict with the proposed franchisee meeting. In addition, they also have made the vendor visits “mandatory” !!!! These guys are pulling all the stops to make sure as many franchisees as possible will not attend the franchisee association meeting.

    If true, this is but another of the many examples showing how they intimidate franchisees on a routine basis. They know full well that interfering with or restricing the rights of franchisees to form an association is actionable, yet they do this to frighten people into thinking that if they don’t comply, they will be terminated. For those that do attend the assocation meeting, I can only suspect that there will be consequences. Any assistance they were receiving will be cut-off, there will be new enforcement of inventory level requirements, of visit requirements, of call-backs to customer, of incentive programs, coupons, etc.. In all likelihood, they have already made it clear to franchisees that attending this meeting will result in making a terrible situation even worse and, unfortunately, I suspect some franchisees will not have the nerve to fight back.

    They behave this way even after an arbitrator and federal judge have found them in violation of state franchisee laws, sanctioned them, imposed a significant financial sanction and prohibited them from terminating a franchisee for any but a few limited reasons.

    • Any News about the franchise convention and the franchise association In Dallas today. Hope they had a good turn out

      • The association had its first meeting. There are approximately 38 members. Only 20 or so were present as many could not afford to attend the conference.

        Richard Solomon, a franchise attorney of more than 40 years, will be representing the association. He is also representing another ex-franchisee in arbitration against 1-800-radiator. This ex-franchisee has actually been in the business for many years and only had problems after joining 1-800-radiator.

        During the meeting, it was brought out that there is no way to know how many franchisees are still in business. Estimates range from 150 to 250. Apparently many are close to bankruptcy and someone mentioned they believed 50 or so would probably go under during the next 12 months. The franchise is in severe decline and the pressures on the Rippeys to sell additional franchises may prove too much given the development of the association. They are mad as hell that franchisees are forming the association.

        Also, it was brought out that the parent organization for 1-800-radiator, Radiator Express, has been siphoning funds in the $11-12 million dollar range for the last couple of years. There may be IRS issue here. Franchisees were worried that vendors may come after them if the Rippeys keep diverting their payments to other endeavors.

        The most important thing for franchisees is to spread the word and continue to get members in order to grow the association. Ultimately, if 1-800-radiator can’t make it, it may be necessary for members to decide if they want to form their own buying coop and do business on their own.

        Of course, many franchisees did not attend the meeting and seemed to support corporate. Others mentioned they have had no problems with 1-800-radiator and only joined to help improve the business. All in all it seemed as if opinions on the franchise differed depending on their own persnal experiences with the Rippeys and others at corporate as well as the performance of their franchise. Seems to support the notion the market does not support 250 locations although a much smaller number is very feasible.

        There is no more talk about “BEST PRICING” and “BEST QUALITY.” It is abundently clear that 1-800 does not get the best pricing in the industry. Everyone now understands they are paying the same as their competitors for parts and then paying another 10-18% of the sale to corporate.

        Solomon is working on opening a Radiator Franchisee website were truthful information about the franchisor will be publically available. Since the franchisor no longer publishes contact information of its franchisees and monitors the e-mail system, franchise association members should get their personal email accounts.

        • Thank you for the update. This information isn’t shocking, but is alarming. I want my stolen money back!!!

          Obviously, you went to the convetion and association meeting and this is first-hand knowledge.

          If there is anything I can do to help the association, feel free to call anytime, 615-512-5520.

        • If you attended the franchise association meeting, dont disclose its content on the internet.

    • This is very interesting, yet not a very surprising move. This is the true nature of the zor. Prospective franchisees, do you want to deal with this type of drama?

      For those that attend the association meeting, I wish you all best. This was something I wanted to form while I was still even a zee. I’m so glad to see it finally forming!

      And as always, anything I can do to assist, call anytime, 615-512-5520.

    • First of all I was in Dallas and this is complete BS. Visiting with the vendors was not mandatory! Also the visits to local vendors is untrue. We had a golf tournament in the morning for whomever wanted to play and they had a field trip to a vendor during that and also had one after golf which was by total choice if you wanted to go. Samir you really need to quit knocking us just because you couldn’t run your business. I am a 24 year old owner on my third year and we are making money so don’t say it doesn’t work. Furthermore this franchise association is a complete joke with the lawyer they have doing it. What kind of lawyer’s office answers the phone hello and you ask is this the law office of Richard Soloman and they say yes so you say I would like to speak with him and he says this is him. Come on this is a joke. I have no idea who is all on here and reads this but you all failed for a reason yeah corporate might not have helped the best they could BUT you have to do most of it on your own! When I started I would get emails all the time about Samir complaining and there was never anything good. IF ANYONE WANTS TO GET INTO THIS BUSINESS I WOULD BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO TALK WITH THEM! DO NOT JUDGE OFF OF THIS SITE!!!!!!!!!!

      • Wow, this sounds just like a young guy named Jeff Mullins who was very active on the franchise-chat.com thread. I wonder which one of Ted or Joe told you to come post here. Your post is a perfect example of the 1-800-Radiator franchise company’s attempt to neutralize truthful, but negative information about their company.

        I’m glad you’re in your third year and making money. I’d also like to see the proof. So, I extend the same opportunity as I did William–post your warehouse location, number, and federal tax returns showing your profit and the taxes paid–put up or shut up.

        Solomon doesn’t need a large firm or the overhead to be good. I like the fact that you can talk to him directly rather than playing phone tag with assistants and wonder if the message got delivered. His no-nonsense style of business is also reflected in what he expects from the 1-800-radiator company. Get with the program. Excessive overhead never equals good business. Don’t you know that?

        For the record, I didn’t fail. I paid off my loans and was able to make things work out financially. Corporate stole money from me via their accounting ‘bug’s and effectively not honoring their buyback agreement. They did this to others as well. And all this is still being done, but it’s not going unnoticed.

        This stealing caused too much financial burden for some. I wouldn’t call these business owners failures as the cause of failure had to do with theft and deception from the hand that was supposed to be helping them. And this is one of the mind games corporate and corporate cheerleaders like yourself play. You make people think like they did something wrong when they can’t make things work when they were never intended to work. It’s like how raped women are made to believe they did something to encourage their attack. How dare you. Do you have any sense of decency or ethics?

        On the internal email list. I complained about things that corporate did that hurt franchisees. Corporate didn’t like this because others agreed with me. This caused pressure for them to correct an issue. And instead of correcting an issue, they just wanted me to shut up. That’s a great company for you. Forget trying to make things better. Just take care of those who speak up.

        You post up anonymously and want people to get in touch with you? This looks like 1-800-radiator corporate search engine public relations at its best. If you have something concrete to add to this discussion, post it. But otherwise, your argumentative fluff is going to been regarded as just that. — Samir, 615-512-5520.

      • I know who you are.

      • I am a member of the association and Richard Solomon has helped me more than I could ever thank him for. He is the real deal and you dont know crap! And I remember the emails of Samir complaining, and guess what….everything he was complaining about was true. Bad accounting – true. No pricing leverage – true. Corrupt people – true. Junk parts – true.

      • So how can I get a hold of you to talk to you?

  35. 1-800-RADIATOR FRANCHISE INFORMATION

    1-800-RADIATOR PROBLEMS

  36. Very good post. I didnt attend the convention heck with RIP. I also heard we can buy from other suppliers at a 20% savings. Im not sure about the truth in the matter but wordouton the street is SPI or Vistapro are considering taking over some of the assets Rad Express has. I suppose it is due to the money they owe or the past dues they cant pay. I hope this is true. For my self I hate the idea of being affilated to RIP or his son. Has anyone heard similar roumers?

  37. Several attendees commented that Joe Rippey looked like he was completely out of it at the conference. Kept sniffing his nose with chewing/teeth licking action in his mouth. Humm??? Wonder what that could be?

    Maybe time for a little rehab? Also, will someone please get that guy an iron or better yet buy him a shirt that isn’t torn or completely wrinkled?

  38. You guys really need to get your facts straight!!

  39. I agree What facts are you looking for Pal.

    • First of all I was in Dallas and this is complete BS. Visiting with the vendors was not mandatory! Also the visits to local vendors is untrue. We had a golf tournament in the morning for whomever wanted to play and they had a field trip to a vendor during that and also had one after golf which was by total choice if you wanted to go. Samir you really need to quit knocking us just because you couldn’t run your business. I am a 24 year old owner on my third year and we are making money so don’t say it doesn’t work. Furthermore this franchise association is a complete joke with the lawyer they have doing it. What kind of lawyer’s office answers the phone hello and you ask is this the law office of Richard Soloman and they say yes so you say I would like to speak with him and he says this is him. Come on this is a joke. I have no idea who is all on here and reads this but you all failed for a reason yeah corporate might not have helped the best they could BUT you have to do most of it on your own! When I started I would get emails all the time about Samir complaining and there was never anything good. IF ANYONE WANTS TO GET INTO THIS BUSINESS I WOULD BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO TALK WITH THEM! DO NOT JUDGE OFF OF THIS SITE!!!!!!!!!!

      • Then put your phone number down so people can call you

      • I suppose that this 24 year old is doing so well that he wouldnt mind posting his name……

        Look up Richard Solomon, he is only one of the best franchise attorneys in the United States. But then again I guess you know it all at 24. I bet your parents funded the business if not really own it, and you really dont have a clue how much your business makes. You only know what you take home as a paycheck. Deny it if you want.
        Richard Solomon is such a joke that he answers the phone “hello”and tells you “this is him” when you ask for him….because no one in the world does that . WTF do you do when you answer the phone jackass?

  40. To the 24 year old Kid try to make a living at this when you kids to feed and a house payment and kids going to college

    Are you living at home with your mom and dad

    Also These are some old e mails I saved. Samiar wasnt the only one that had complaints if you want to read more I have more Im sure some of you guys remember these from Dec of 2008

    Subject: FW: Payroll vs sale
    Owners Forum
    Subject: RE: Payroll vs Sales

    skeleton crew right now and barely surviving.

    Thanks!

    ——————————————————————————–
    Payroll vs Sales

    I am very interested in knowing who is making a profit and what that is. We are barely surviving and cutting staff and that’s at around 2 mil.Ive asked for input once before but got none.

    ——————————————————————————–
    : Payroll vs Sales

    Seriously is anybody out there actually showing a net profit????? If so 1% 5% 10% or are we all just surviving?

    ————————————————————-

    Payroll vs Sales

    Be careful with that because your going to pay the FICA and the matching FICA, so you loose 15%.

    Sent: Wed Dec 10 07:01:39 2008
    Subject: RE: Payroll vs Sales

    You should be paying yourself a reasonable salary, even if you have to turn around and redeposit it in your operating account as an investment in your business.

    ________________________________

    Franchise Owners Forum
    Subject: RE: Payroll vs Sales

    There is no way we can afford to pay vacation.

    ________________________________

    Sent: Tue 12/9/2008 12:34 PM
    To: Franchise Owners Forum
    Subject: RE: Payroll vs Sales

    We are at about 11% now that I’ve let one driver go. Of course that does not take into account the increased Unemployment taxes I’ll have to pay due to him filing for benefits. The only owner draw I get is in the form of cell phones, fuel, maintenance of my vehicle and an occasional meal. And speaking of the holidays, which if any do y’all pay your employees?

    • To be honest I just purchased a house last year so no I do not live at home. I own this business with a partner which he was pretty much the money guy and he has not taken any money out yet because we keep adding part lines with his money. I can say that I am not like most locations I have a total of 3 employees and we only deliver in a 20 mile radius due to small town. I honestly think that is what is helping me compared to other guys that drive 1hr 30min to deliver 1 part. My total sales are around 750,000.00. I take home 40K a year and my employees both get 30. I am in a different market. Maybe that’s why it works for me?

      • So you are making 40K and paying the franchisor at least 75K and probably more like 100K since fees range between 10 and 18%. How does that feel? In addition, look at your UFOC. Both examples show profits of over 13% (16% and 13%). If you were doing like they represented in the UFOC, you would be making between 100k and 120K. Even if you split that with your partner, you would still make 50k which is 10K more than you are doing now and for someone making 40k is a nice increase.

        But it really doesn’t matter. You may be lucky in your current location but you are also only 1 good competitor from your luck running out since those fees you are paying 1-800-radiator can be used by your competitor to drive you out of business. After all, your competitor gets the exact same price as you and pays no franchisee fees. Plus, your competitor probably has good vendor relations and can get even better pricing from vendors such as Spectra, the low price wide range leader. Since Spectra just took 1-800-Radiator to the courtroom cleaners, they can no longer provide you product.

        By the way, look at the amount of time you are putting into “Your” business. Assume 60 hours a week which is low for a typical franchisee. At 40k/yr., that’s about $13.00/hour before taxes.

  41. It would be nice if we could get a list of failed/closed franchise locations. This list should show if the franchise failed/closed due to non-payment or some other reason such as, the franchisor terminating the location just before it failed so they don’t have to report it on their UFOC, or the franchisor trying to get the location back, or the franchisor trying to get you out of the system for some other reason.

  42. Thank you very much to everyone who has posted their comments on this site. Specially to Samir. I was a prospective franchisee and after reading everything that was said about the franchisor I decided not to proceed further. I believe you saved me the headaches and nightmares that you all went through- not to mention my life savings. Once again, thank you all!

  43. Good move by not buying into this scam company. If you were serious in starting up a distribution busniess in the line of Heat transfer components you can do so easily without these guys. You will need some experianced staff (2) one for local market sales and one for purchasing. Then the same (2) can perform the warehouse duties in spare time. The two can also be drivers. The model will work with 3-4 staff @ $40k-$50K (2 staff) the other 2 $20K each. You saved the cost of payng RIP for the busniess and you will be saving 20% easy if you buy your peoduct at the best price.

    You will have plenty of money left over to stock the compay with good low cost product then you set out to market and lowball 1800 in your town. You would be able to run the local 1800 out of the market and have a solid cash busniess making money and you would be able to draw a salary for the efforts of usinf your funds and risk. What do you think I can do all this for you.

  44. I have a challenge for Mike Rippey the Elizabeth, NJ
    location is available. You put your three kids in this location
    have them finance 150 k for inventory and location put 10.000
    in there checking account and the only pay they get is what the location can afford to pay them. And no outside help

    Do they have what it takes Do you have what it takes

    • Why do that? There’s so much money to be made selling franchises and collecting fees while watching franchisees go broke. Once a franchisee goes broke, the franchise can be sold to another and the cycle begins all over again.

  45. My franchise owner turned me on to this blog, he said it would be a good source of comic releif and that it has been.
    I see a lot of belly aching and effort put into fighting the corperation. I have worked for both opposing sides. If you saw how much money goes into shutting a franchise owner down and taking it over you might think differently. Helping a warehouse survive and maximize sales is far more profitable. This is a business like anything else and its survival of the fittest. There is no big secret to it. Make money or get out before you destroy the market. If you want it you need to take it not talk about it.
    Mabye if all these great minds and union dreamers put their effort, time, and money into taking their market share, you might get your money w/out the frustration. Be creative. Do yourself a favor and fire the family. Bring on some cheap loyal ditch diggers. This is autoparts for crying out loud.
    As for fighting the corperation, I’ve personally seen “please and thank you” get a lot more done w/ them.
    If you lost your ass, im sorry this business was a business like any other. If your plan failed then you failed to plan.
    I can go on all day. I eat, breath, and shit autoparts. So does the rest of my crew including my owner. I get my rocks off by gaining market share and celebrating a stolen sale. Mabye one day I’ll make a little bit of money. This is the nature of the industry. We have consistant growth and look forward to those crazy mondays. We all have a common goal and its not all about the money. Enjoy what you do and the money will slowly come. Emphasis on slowly.

    When you start to question the spectra ordeal and the so-called leftover settlement money you think is owed…
    Think about when your customer needs to exchange a part for the correct one because he gave you the wrong motor size, year, prod date, etc.. The replacement part would normally cost less than the one you sent him but he dosent know that right? He just wants to make sure he can get it today and its not more expensive then the original. Integrity check here.. I know im not leaving money on the table, and you sure as hell wouldnt either. I think theres a saying about pots a kettles that applies to this.

    • This comment should be shared with every prospective franchisee. I never heard anything about “slowly” making money or about “survival of the fittest”. I heard “best pricing”, “no failures”, “big opportunity”, “low work hours”, etc… I certainly never heard that money will “slowly” come!! That’s a good one.

      What other “common” goal is there that’s not about making money? Are you stoned? Maybe not you, but your corporate buddies are only interested in $$$ and getting stoned.

      • If your pist cause you lost out and feel you were duped.. Shame on you. You should have done your research. Corp is in the business to make money. Just like any other business. Its like buying a car, if you take everything the salesman says to heart, shame on you. If your smart, you bought the car because you did the research and crunched the numbers. If you dont know what your doing admit so and get a professional opinion. I blame no one for my own mistakes.

        • You don’t even own one of these businesses according to your post above. How can you comment on what these people are going through? How could you understand “research” if you’ve never even been through the process?

          I’m not a franchise owner, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night….

          • I’ve been there hand in hand with franchise owners. Im on my 5th warehouse right now. I get in, get the sales up, and move on to the next challenge. Cant even remember the last time I filled out and application. I know what it takes to save a warehouse and it certainly wasnt moaning and groaning. But keep fighting the corperation if it makes you feel good. It certainly wont feed your kids. In the end game WILL loose. If you cant beat em join em.

          • The competition will beat them. No need for franchise owners to worry about that.

            Hopefully, noone else will join them. Joining them is not particularly good for anyone.

        • You really dont know what you are talking about. Dont comment if you dont own one of these warehouses and if you didnt put your own money on the line. Shut up because you really dont know a damn thing. Do the warranties come out of YOUR pocket, how about payroll, automobile expenses, or anything else? Answer is no.

          There are two sides: the first is the corporate side in which there are some owners that have failed because of their own lack of efforts or lack of funding

          the second is the franchisee that was sold a piece of crap territory that was never going to work, that had less customers than promised, that has experienced corp retaliation or false terminations, and bought into a company that is not or was not financially stable enough to pay one of its important vendors.

          Keep doing the sales side, because thats all you know.

          • Take into consideration the failing warehouses that allow the competition to stay strong. This, making it differcult for other franchisers to gain market share. Should they be allowed to destroy the market when the writing is on the wall? Being a strong warehouse, I know I have my competition by the fucking neck. But now theres this lingering owner with a territory right next to their headquarters thats allowing them to have a leg to stand on.

            Easy business, low warranties, best prices, minimal houres, low overhead.. Wow! Thats the same thing Subway, Meineke, Napa, and McDonalds told me! This must be the end all be all and im the only stupid ass that stumbled across this. KC has some oceanfront property for sale too..

            The ones that have the most to contribute, contribute the least.

            FYI, the biggest contributor to this site hasnt broken a 6k week in 5 months and is asking 4 times their warehouses worth and wont show the flash so they can find some schmuck to buy their diminished location. This owner also stands in the middle of a competitors territory who in the last year has double their facility size since the demise of a 3rd competitor! I guess its a nice selling point “Its priced accordingly, look at all this potential growth!”

            Another large contributor to this site spends his profits on cloud nine. This ones been in the game for years too..
            If it wasnt for the damn rock, this son of a bitch could own a state.

  46. I’ve followed this franchise since it first became a topic on the Franchise Forum. It appeared that the basic concept was to eliminate most if not all of the competition in the market. This is usually somewhat temporary because there are always people looking for markets that currently have limited competition.

    Also, the major auto parts chains (AutoZone, O’reillys, Advance, NAPA, Pep Boys, etc.) all sell cooling parts. They probably have 15 to 20K stores. If each store just sells 1 radiator per week that’s 60K+ radiators per month. I doubt if they are going anywhere.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

    • What the franchise offers is customer service. However, this has to be balanced against the higher prices a franchisee must charge in order to stay afloat. In a crowed competitive market the franchisee has to price match and this often means they go out of business and/or have to work like a dog to scrap together a modest living since they can’t afford the extra driver, extra salesperson, extra warehouse person, etc..

      Even in a good territory, a good competitor can always undercut the franchise model and drive the franchisee out of business. The franchisor, however, has nothing to worry about as individual franchisee failures do not equate to industry wide franchisor failure.

      A well financed individual who committed themselves to customer service could do much better than a franchisee paying 10-18% of their bottom line to this franchisor.

    • Exactly right Peavine.

  47. I think the franchisee is paying 10%+ of the sales price but maybe i’m mistaken. That’s OK of the franchisor is generating enough sales at to cover the cost–too high if the franchisee has to doing most of the selling.

    • 10% of gross sales.
      Plus 5% if call center made sale;
      Plus 3% is it is credit card;
      Plus some additional % if franchisor bought out a competitor and forces franchisee to take on additional sales (this tactic can be very detrimental as you are required to add inventory, people, service, products lines, etc… and you are not given solid financials that justify the additional effort – also if you don’t comply, you will be terminated).

      So at least up to 18% and maybe even more.

      • I take my own calls so there is rarely a 5% call center charge…the 5% comes in handy though afterhours and on weekends when I’m not at my warehouse….paying 5% to have my call answered rather than going to a voicemail is a no brainer, basically my phones always get answered
         
        Only retails (less than 10% of my total) are credit card sales so the 3% is few and far between – I’d be stuck paying for a merchant service account regardless though so the credit card fee is something we’re all stuck with.
         
        Doesn’t look like you know anything, maybe you should stop posting on this website until you know what you’re talking about.

        • Even the 10 percent is too much, and retail are not the only credit card sales. People need the call center because they cant afford to hire people to take all the calls because there is no money left after the 10percent

          • You think your competitor pays 5%? Or for that matter 10% on top of that? Rationalize it all you want, over the long haul the market will not support 10-18% additional for a commodity like a radiator.

          • You still have no idea what you’re talking about. What is it, 10% or 18%? Big difference.
            Also, 2009 I finished with rads making up less than 60% of my total revenue; I sell a ton of a/c and crash parts now.
            None of you have a leg to stand on, this is the funniest site ever.
            $100k says you’re a competitor of mine.

          • What an idiot. Why don’t you post your sales for 2009. Then calculate what you paid corporate and what you paid yourself. I bet it’s 2 to 1 in their favor. Maybe you’ll start to understand.

            You’re the perfect franchisee for this business. Going about dumbly making $$$ for the crackheads in Benecia and thinking it’s your business.

          • another closed 800

            the leg to stand on in those whole deal is
            1- how many stores have closed , resold or been taken over by corporate?
            2-How many stores are making money and arent living paycheck to paycheck?

            this franchise is a losing proposition
            exp. with the leadership it’s currently under the early sucess it had was direct result of the hard work of previous owner but guess what he’s no longer there!

  48. I’m the idiot, wow! I love how you and the rest of the inbreds on this site think that because Benicia is making money it’s a bad thing. As a franchisee we need them profitable, how do you see this thing working if they break-even every year? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one.
    You want my 2009 sales, no prob; more than a million. You want more specific, fine, just tell me who you are. Like I said before; $100k says you’re bogus.
    I have another bet, I’ll wire you another $100k gauranteed if you have an IQ over 90

    • If you think it can’t be done without corporate or that your $$ is being well spent, then I assume you feel you are getting some benefit in being part of this franchise. Why don’t you enlighten everyone with your IQ and list the many benefits of being part of the 1-800-radiator franchise system?

      By the way genius, I never received the previous 100K.

      • It’s all about the system. If you’ve ever actually used their system you’d know that it’s so far ahead of anything available in an off-the-shelf format or something an individual could ever program on their own.  
         
        I know first hand of many franchisees who never use(d) the system because of their own unfounded reasons, but the bottom line is if you did the due diligence into this business you saw the system is what you’re buying.
         
        At the conference this year they published the down time for 2009; 13 minutes for the whole year.  Do you have any idea how amazingly impressive that is?!
         
        Why the system is amazing;
        I can target competitors and non buying customers with laser guided accuracy, 
        I turn my inventory 8+ times a year,
        I can train a new phone rep in a day to sell parts even if they have zero automotive experience
         
        That’s just a small taste of the tools out there now not to mention all the new things they keep coming out with regards to reporting, accounting tools, marketing programs, ongoing training and the list doesn’t end. I’d pay 10% all day long for this.

        • There is NOT a single aspect of Wizmo that is not available in an off-the-shelf POS/CRM system. An example is Quickbooks Point of Sale System. In fact, you would have even better reporting and much more functionality using Quickbooks. Are you still getting those stupid PDF weekly statements that don’t integrate with Wizmo? Do you have a way of reconciling what you are doing on a daily basis with the weekly statement you are getting from corporate? How can you check that the statements are correct? The answers are “no” and “you can’t”. Quickbooks would give all of this and give you a transaction by transaction snapshot of how you are doing at any moment in time.

          None of this is provided by 1-800-radiator because their statements are riddled with mistakes and they really don’t care about that as it has nothing to do with their goal of controlling your business. After all if they can’t shut you down, change your password, keep you from orderiing products, or cut off your phones, they have no interest in it.

          Also, since Wizmo does not do payroll, nor pay expenses, nor keep track of your payables (except payments to them), nor do your other accounting, you are forced to use another program for these functions. Why is it that Wizmo does not integrate with Quickbooks or another accounting package to make this easier on you? How do you track returns to vendors, debits, scraps, etc.. Still using the paper system? How about vendor contacts? Ooops, sorry 1-800-radiator doesn’t want you to have vendor relationships. How about employment agreements, telephone expenses, shipping expenses? Ooops, those are nasty little surprises that somehow end up on your statements and you have no way to track them or understand where they come from.

          Also, do you have a way of controlling your yellow page expenses? How do you know they are legitimate? Are you getting the backup for that? Or are these just some other expenses that show up on your weekly statements and that you just pay dumbly.

          You want to continue paying 10% to 18% for that crap, be my guest?

          Why won’t corporate do things that help run your business? The answer: Has nothing to do with their bottom line.

          All of the rah, rah, rahh from you is particularly suspicious. Is this a Rippey posting? Give it up Joe or Ted! Go take a hit or something!!!!

          • By the way, for anybody reading this that is not familiar with WIZMO. It is the proprietary customer relatioship and parts point of sale system offered by this franchisor. It holds all your customer sales history information and provides a way for franchisees to sell parts. It is web-based.

            Unfortunately, it also provides the way for the franchisor to terminate franchisees for any reason it sees fit. They can lock you out of it so you have no ability to access your customers and sell parts. This is a vital means of control for this franchisor. Thus, if they are insisting you do something and you resist (such as taking on a new product line that you feel is not in your interest) they can simply turn off the system, send you a notice of default and you are out.

            Which of course leads to an essential aspect of how this franchisor operates. They will get their attorneys to send you default notices for any reason whatsoever. Suddenly things you have done from day 1 become reasons for default. They will make your life terrible and accuse you of every violation of the franchise agreement. You will not be able to comply with their demands and the end result will be the same: termination.

            Beware before you hand over that check!!!!

          • They just don’t do that. It is in corporates best interest to see the franchises suceed. Someone was mentioning about it’s cheaper to have your own accounting system and do your own inventory and ordering directly from the vendor. First of all. The price a negotiated based on volume within the sytem. The more warehouses ordering the better pricing. And do you really want to hold up your customer thumbing through catalogs trying to find them a part, give them a price. Now that we have A/C parts, you are lookin at several parts per customer. Look at how much time that takes. Customers do not want to wait for all that info.I think you are fishing for company secrets on this website. That’s the only reason I can see

          • If quickbooks is such a nobrainer why aren’t you and at least 1 other player in this industry jumping all over it?
              
            I can tell you haven’t been involved in this business since 2007.  Yellow pages are 100% in franchisee hands and have been since early 2008.  Same with your comments about the weekly statements and quickbooks not integrating with wizmo.  All this is happening now.

            Pretty surprised you think phone and shipping costs were a surprise to you.  How did you miss that in due diligence??

    • I GAURANTEE!!!! LOL

      I’LL GIVE YOU $100K IF YOUR IQ IS OVER 90!!!
      YOU CAN’T EVEN SPELL GUARANTEE!!!!!
      EITHER YOUR A CRACK HEAD RIPPI OR AN IDIOT THAT GAVE HIS MONEY TO THIS 1/2 ASS FRANCHISE SYSTEM. YOUR JUST STUPID
      ENOUGH TO HAVE BEEN TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF BY THEM!!!!!

    • You are an idiot. You trying to talk financials about an organization you dont own is like pushing carts at walmart and thinking you know their p/l (profit loss).

  49. The last thing you need to do is tell every how successful your operation has become. This will bring out competitors like stink on ………. I love the guys that get on tv & tell everyone how unique & profitalble their business is–usually they are gone within a relatively short period.

    • Just trying to get a balanced discussion going. No harm in that

      • What I have NOT seen in all successful owners I have operated for, was doubt in our system. We have all shared the belief that the better we do, the better corp does, and the better we all do. I have always utilized all aspects of our system and instilld that into any franchise I have stepped foot in. Doubt in our operation is a cancer and usually leads to the loss of precious time. Time that could be spent constructively doing outbounds, bagging candy, sweet talking that busy Firestone, or delivering a lunch to that Carstar. Fuck you could even be spending time collecting RGA’s. I may not be a franchise owner but I did generate the team effort and sales to send thier ass the the convention and NOT have to stay in a Holiday Inn express. I appreciate your input and support very much. This business is my life and I can’t stand to see non team players spread their cancer within a system that I will soon be fully immersed in.

  50. This is some of the funniest shit i’ve read in years!!!! Since day 1 the sinking of 1800 radiator was very predictable. The great RADIATOR PONZI SCHEME! They sold a bunch of franchise dreams then took that $$$$ and bought out some competition but as in all PONZI SCHEMES the $$$$ RUNS OUT!!! But guess what ? Joe and Ted Rippi have misused enough funds that they get to run around play “the boss” on cocaine!!!!!
    Hows it make you feel that you run around all day long to make 40-46% , pay out 10-18% royalty fees of that , rent, insurance , employees , salesman , car payments , salesman and candy (lol) just to go more in the red while the RIPPI’S mis-use funds and live the HIGH LIFE
    ITS GOTTA SUCK!!!!!!

  51. Don’t hate the player hate the game!!!! I’m rich!!!!!!

  52. no knowone is suprised about rent, ins., employees etc. but I know for a fact that after you pay that most franchises are bust and cant afford the 10-18% rippi cocaine fund!!!!

  53. This 10-18% range for fees you keep throwing out is just wrong and how do you know for a fact that all franchisees are going bust? Seems tough to believe given the big turn out at the conference this year.

    • The 10 to 18% is a conservative range as the franchisor charges additional if they buy out a competitor in your area. This is done without your input and has put alot of pressure on struggling franchisees.

      This is a COMMODITY business. They offer no pricing, technology or manufacturing advantage. Selling a commodity with a 10 to 18% expense disadvantage over your competition does not, in the end run, make sense.

    • You are just stupid. Do you OWN a warehouse? If not, you have no CLUE about the real expenses.

  54. I may have lost a bunch of money on my franchise but it sure tickles me to see those arrogant spoiled rippi kids getting what they deserve
    yon know what they say He who laughs last ….. laughs best!
    still waiting for joe to overdose so I can piss on his grave

    • At what point do you take responsibility for your own failed business ventures? Can you honestly say you work the franchise model to a T?

      • If they had not lied to everyone and told us that they got “BEST PRICING” in the industry and that “THERE WERE NO FAILURES” and that it “WAS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY” and that the work hours were “LOW” then I would not have gotten into the business. Their claim until recently has been “our pricing is so good that even with our royalties you will still have the best pricing in the industry”.

        Not true and many failed franchisees later, alot of people have lost alot of money.

        The market only cares about pricing!! Period.

  55. [comment deleted by Franchise Pundit — please keep the conversations respectful and intelligent. Do NOT talk about people’s family.]

  56. If this business was 100% price sensitive then why don’t repair shops wait 5 days to receive parts ordered on eBay or 2 months to be brought in by containers from China?  The reason is because AVALIABILTY (not price) is the #1 factor.  When a person takes their car to a shop to get fixed they want it same day and people pay more for that SERVICE so they can get to work, grocery store, etc..

    How about body shops; why don’t insurance companies always push for aftermarket parts (cheaper) instead of the OE quality parts?  The reason is insurance companies don’t want a part failing a 2nd and 3rd and 4th time on their dime – and risk the relationship with the insured – so here it’s QUALITY, not price, that determines who gets the business (body shops aren’t as concerned with availability as repair shops since the car owner is in a rental until the car is drivable again). 

    2 examples where price is trumped.  Blaming price for failing is too easy a cop-out.

    • At least their is admission in your post that 1-800-Radiator is more expensive than others. Now all you have to admit is that other competitors offer same day service. In fact, same day service is the norm not the exception. So if 2 competitors offer the same part at the same time but 1 is 10 to 18% more expensive, who do you think is going to get the sale.

      From the perspective of the franchisee, if he needs the sale to stay competitive what does that do to his bottom line.

      As to OE quality, give me a break. Now I know this is an insider posting to this board. 1-800-Radiator carries the same chinese crap.

      For you to blame the many franchise failures at 1-800-Radiator on lack of effort by well intentioned individuals who forked over their hard earned money to a bunch of crackheads is less than genuine. Price is the only thing that matters for a commodity like a radiator or condensor.

      • To say it’s “all price” is ridiculous.  When you buy tires for your family vehicle do you ALWAYS buy the cheapest set?  No.  Same with a cheeseburger; whenever you want one do you go to McDonalds?  Of course not.  The commodity argument doesn’t work here either.  There are many different quality manufactures (Chinese/cheap, oe/not cheap, mid-range guys, etc), even more shop types (junk yards, high end import shops, part shops, fleets, garages, collision, etc) and even more vehicle owners (you types, and everyone else).

        Price matters to some, quality to others and availability to the rest.  Just like any product.  Anyone who truly believes it’s always price is doomed for failure.  No surprise there.

        Also, “well intentioned” individuals do not equate to good business owners.  You need to follow the model.

        • Are you indicating the franchisor has not sold bad territories? In other words, is success guaranteed in this business if and only if the franchisor follows the “model”?

        • Give me a break! The 70-80 locations that have already closed or been taken over by corporate – none of them were good business owners? How about the 40-50 that are on the brink of closing now? All of them are bad business owners?

          All your double talk about pricing/quality, etc.. none of it is convincing. In most markets, the same quality (the same exact vendor and product) is readily available from other sources only at a substantially better price.

          • 100% untrue….please explain enlighten us how you’ve come to believe this….at the conference and in the ufoc you can see at the failed franchisees, it’s a small fraction of this #

          • I can’t understand your broken written English. What does “see at the failed” mean?

          • All not at

          • The don’t disclose failed franchises because they close them down before they “technically” fail to avoid disclosing the failure. In other words, they get you so into debt with them and then when you become a problem they close you down.

          • “they get you into debt”. Hilarious.  They also forced you to write the check to buy it, right?    What else do you have zero control over?

          • FRANCHISEES: If you are following this thread, there is a real lesson to be learned here. One trick used by this Franchisor that can quickly get you in trouble is getting into a situation where you owe them money. Be careful with your product purchases. Try to pay your weekly ACH as soon as possible and, if at all possible, when it is due. Avoid loans from this franchisor. Avoid anything that seems like they are doing you a favor.

            Your agreement allows termination for failure to pay.

  57. the fall of 1800 radiator was very predictable but it did’nt take Joe Rippey long at all! I guess that’s what happens when you start out on top and don’t work for anything.

    • What fall? 1800rad isn’t going anywhere? The purpose here should be to state facts with backup, otherwise you’re a fraud

  58. quick question is the radiator franchise this bad? I was considering the purchase of one but after finding this info i’m backing down. Does anyone have anything good to say or is it pretty much all bad news? How can these people still sell franchises and not get shut down by our govt.?

    • There are MANY franchisees that are doing very well. There are also many territories that are struggling, just as with most any franchise system out there. Always do your due diligence. Visit a couple of successful locations and a couple that are struggling. Understand your market as best you can. How will you make a difference? Can you get the volume necessary to get traction and momentum?
      As you can tell, some of the posters on this site have had serious issues to deal with and therefore can only see the negative. I’m sure that if I had experienced some of the issues that they have, I would have a different perspective, however, I haven’t. They tell me on here that I’m just stupid and naive or say that I’m not who I am.
      Again, if you are going to invest in any franchise, visit/meet with both successful and struggling locations and make your decision.

      • Visiting both sides of the spectrum? Are you crazy?! Then that would allow the prospective buyer to make a well researched decision like all the other successful owners did. Keep your good ideas to yourself..

    • I think there are territories that are doing well as every market is different. However, if a franchisee is doing well he/she is only 1 good competitor from a change in fortune. If you remain interested in thie business, I would open a competitive business in a successful 1-800 territory and compete with them straight-up. There is nothing special about the 1-800-Radiator model and you can always beat them on price. Instead of plunging 300k-500k into an existing location, find a rental space (about 2500 sq.ft that rents for 1500.00-2000.00/month), buy about 150k of inventory (any ex-franchisee can provide you with vendor contacts and part numbers and they are available directly from vendors anyways) and go out and tell the market “Don’t pay franchisee fees, pay the best price for the best part.” Since franchisees pays 10-15% more for their parts, in a few seasons you will have the lion’s share of the market and keep the 10-15% in your pocket.

      If you focus on service and marketing your business, you will not have to deal with these creaps and in the end run have a business that is truly your own. Also, since you won’t be limited by territories, you can choose and pick customers as you wish. Focus heavily on body shops that do insurance work and offer monthly rebates that undercut 1-800-radiator by 5% or more – most body shops don’t care about where they get the parts (they are the same parts anyway). They do care about bottom-line and they have no loyalties.

      In a couple of seasons you can start purchasing product by container and really take over a market. Since franchisees are so squeezed, most can only buy products by pallets. Another competitive advantage for the independent.

      By the way, when I say that franchisees pay 10-15% more for their products that is a conservative estimate. They actually pay more as the formula is: cost of part + 10-15% of the gross sale. For example, you buy a part for $50.00 and sell it for $100.00. As a franchisee you pay $60.00 to $68.00 for the part. As an independent you pay $50.00. That’s 20% to 36% less than a 1-800-radiator franchisee.

      They do not pay less for their parts and so independents always have the advantage. What they bring to the table is customer service and promises of lifetime warranties and candies, etc… The costs of lifetime warranties are born by the franchisee as they get the pleasure of paying for replacements and, in some instances, paying a labor claim. This does not effect the corporation at all – only franchisees. You can decide if you want such policies in your business as your success will depend on you and your motivation to service your customers. In territories with good competitors, 1-800 either buys the competitor out (and sticks its local franchisees with the price tag) or they do poorly.

      If you become a good competitor the market will filter out the 10-15% charged by the franchise model. Also, there are plenty of ex-franchisees who would probably be interested in consulting with an independent and you would have $$$ to pay them a good salary. Many that have failed like the business but hate the tactics of the franchisor and could not survive the additional expenses compared to their competition or were sold a poor territory. Look around.

      • This is a recipe for disaster.  If you were serious about this, why don’t you do it?  The 1800 system is light years ahead of anyone or anything else.  You can’t argue it, you can however make things up that aren’t true – you seem to be great at that.  
        Advice to anyone interested in this franchise; call current franchise owners, call ALL the x-franchisees, and do a lot of diligence into the model and what it requires.  Very simple.  As you call the current and past owners ask why they failed/succeeded.  You’ll see quickly what separates the good from the bad.  
        This business can work great if YOU work it, if you plan to buy something and have someone else do all the work for you (like the guys on this site planned on) then keep looking and email me when you find it, because I want one
        And you say 70-80 locations have closed. Where is the backup for that? 

        • not closed changed hands or been taken over by corporate forcefully.
          challenge post the name and #’s of every single original franchise owner so we can call them for there opinion
          original owners not current!!!!!
          then we can find out why they got rid of the franchise—-that’s supposed to be so profitable

        • So what is this great system that is light years ahead of anyone or anything else? Stop talking generalities and get specific.

          • read the previous 200 threads and you’ll see it’s nothing special just a way to get your 10-18%

        • Don’t be afraid of a little competition. After all, if they are light years ahead, no need to worry.

  59. He is corporate.

  60. What’s the deal with these $35 coupons I see everywhere? Who’s pocket does that come out of?

    • Why are you so curious? Losing customers because of them?

    • the $35.00 coupons are for NON BUYING 1800 customers only
      it’s 1/2 paid by corporate and 1/2 by the franchise. key here is take a $100.00 rad. but knowing the coupon is coming by flagged customer type jack the price up to $117.50 then the franchise cover most of his exspense other than the 10-18% on the $17.50 then corp pays the other 1/2 – the extra corp. profit on the royalty off of the extra $17.50 Basically the coupon is zero cost to knowone because corp. doesnt get the royaly as it’s a wash on there 1/2 the coupon but they don’t care because it’s for business they don’t have anyway so it’s royaltys they wouldn’t have recieved without the coupons. The franchise is charging an extraordinarily high price to cover there 1/2 the coupon at any rate. The down side for franchises of the coupons are 1-customers use the coupons but see the price of rad is too high without the coupon thus they won’t buy after the book is done
      2-each franchises good customer base that doesnt get the coupon book is pissed that he didnt recieve coupon books. So the end result 1800 gains a new temporary customer due to coupons but loses there loyal customers as a direct result of this wonderful coupon idea!

      • It is not half by corp and by franchisee. Its almost 100 percent by franchisee. Its a very vague formula that benefits corp. I know because I am a franchisee and have argued with them over it. I didnt participate in the program.

  61. Looks like someone is trying to get this tread shutdown.

    Now who in the world would want to do that?

    Stick to discussion of this franchise.

  62. Lets not talk this way. It makes all of us who really have complaints look bad. Not good….

  63. I agree clean it up this is someone daughter
    She didnt sell these franchises Mike Ted and Joe sold them

  64. Yes, by all means. Please keep the posting professional and focused on the franchise and issues related to the franchisor.

  65. bottom line is the franchise is a bad investment. It’s a sinking ship avoid at all costs!

  66. Is anyone still stupid enough to be buying these franchises? I mean really!!!!!

  67. if theres one born everyday name the new ones since march1st 2010

  68. i think it’s more realistic to say there’s one closing per week or if not closing being taken back by corporate!!!!

  69. he’s “the president” of the whole company which was given to him by his daddy. He knows zip about cars or radiators. He bully’s his franchises and puts such steep fees on us that we have to buy JUNK to try to stay afloat!!!!
    Who knows why he would post on here (maybe he did so cracked out) at any rate I noticed he won’t respond now!!!!!! Typical out of these idiots

  70. i doubt the joe rippey poster is actually joe rippey. you can put anyones name you want

  71. I also doubt it is the Owner. This is certainly bad press for these guys. If things are as bad as most say it is, well I would suppose they could go Bankrupt.

    What would happen if this did happen? What about the franchises? I doubt their would be any recourse for them. Would they be able to operate? Would another company buy them out of BK. Then close down to service their own distrubution networks? Looks pretty grim at the least. Even if the owners did go to jail for fraud their would be nothing left for the ones that invested their life savings. I sure it works out well for you guys.

  72. I deleted the irrelevant and vulgar posts. Please keep your comments substantive and factual.

    • Just curious: Did you get requests/pressure/threats from the franchisor to do this?

      • I did receive complaints from various people about some posted comments to this blog post, as I often do on other posts as well, but that had nothing to do with my determination to remove those containing silly personal insults. I welcome your insights about your experiences, good or bad, but please keep it civil.

        • Thank you Mr. Knoll for honoring your site and removing the vulgarity. The purpose here is to disclose RELEVANT information about the franchise for others.

          Thank you for paying attention to these things

          • Mr Knoll thanks for removing the vulgar posts but it doesnt change the fact that the people at 1800radiator (joe rippey and family) are dirty business boys and there con artists. but good info here i like them exposed!!!!!!

          • Mr Knoll–vulgar posts are still up. To preserve the integrity of this site you may want to take a closer look…

          • Nothing vulgar here. Just truthfull honest facts about this franchisor.

    • Why is the vulgar post still up?

  73. Not sure who this SPI company is but it looks like after the bank this SPI company would be next in line for any payouts if the bankruptcy is filed

    • at the conference it was brought up that the SPI lien was discharged last summer

      • So why did Mike Rippey pledge all of Radiator Express’ assets plus agree to a $500k guarantee in order to satisfy a $1.4Million judgement plus interest? Even at a conservative 10% royalty, the company should (based on published sales) be making $12 Million or so. They have very few employees, low overhead and run a real lean operation. That kind of doe will buy alot of grain!

        A few years back they were factoring their receivables with some outfit called “World Capital Group” or something. The CFE, Gabe Mendoza, sent out a letter to some franchisees on letterhead from this group asking them to send their weekly payments directly to this group. You wonder how Radiator Express was paying vendors for product purchases made by these franchises if, instead of paying Radiator Express, they sent their payments to World Capital. And what does Mr. Mendoza have to do with World Capital?

        Anyway, the big question: Where is the money going?

        Maybe Mr. IRS will be the only one that can answer that question?

        • I thought World Capital was funding 1800 Radiator when they did these acquisition
          not sure

          • Do a “Google” on World Capital – not really a big outfit are they? I mean they are not GE Capital or Bank of America.

            It would worry me that these guys can only get financing from a lender one step up from (or maybe equal to) the mob. Would hate to be late on a payment.

    • FIREBRANDS4TRUTH

      SPI IS A TOP MANUFACTOR OF RADIATORS GAS TANKS,INDUSTRIAL HD CORES AND OTHER COOLING SYSTEM PARTS. THEY SELL TO WD’S AND PARTS STORES.1800 RADIATOR LEVERAGE THEM BY NOT PAYING THE PARTS BILL OWED BY 1800 RADIATOR USING A SCHEME TOLD TO ALL THE 1800 RADIATOR FRANCHISE OWNERS THAT SPI BROKE UP A BUY OUT OF A COMPANY THEY WANTED TO PURCHASE.1800 RADIATOR LEADERSHIP DID NOT HAVE THE MONEY TO PAY VENDORS WITH IN TERMS AND TOOK ADVANTAGE OF THEM.1.9 MIL WAS THE PRICE ON THE LAWSUIT.THE SUIT SHOWS THE LEADERSHIP BOLDNESS TO RIPPOF ALL WHO STAND STRONG.MAKES YOU WONDER WHAT VENDOR IS NEXT TO THESE SCHEMES TO GET MONEY BY ANY MEANS.IF I WAS A VENDOR GUARDING MY INVENTORY ASSET BECOMES MY MAIN FOCUS AFTER I SEEN THE MISTREATMENT OF SPI .THE MAIN QUESTION IS HOW LONG WILL 1800 RADIATOR SUFFER ALL WHO ARE DOING BUSSINESS WITH THEM BY NOT PAYING IN TERM AND THE RISK OF LAWSUITS FROM 1800 RADIATOR IF THEY OFFEND 18OO RADIATOR LEADERSHIP AS TO PAYMENT OF PRODUCT .1800 LEADERSHIP LEVERAGE OF VENDORS WITH THE USE OF FEAR OF LOSS SALES CHEAPENS THEM.VENDORS KNOW PARTS HOUSES OUT SALE THEM EVERY DAY AT 20,000 STRONG WHAT CAN THEY DO? NOT A THING.VENDORS NEED TO BE AWARE TO THE TREATMENT OF FRANCHISE OWNERS AFTER ALL IF THEY ABUSE THEM WHAT MAKES YOU THINK YOUR ANY BETTER JUST LOOK AT SPI AS AN EXAMPLE.THEY BRAGED HOW THEY GOT OVER ON SPI WHAT A ZOR.

  74. FOR ALL THAT ARE SICK OF THIS CORPORATION, FRANCHISEE OR EX. LETS DO SOMETHING FOR THE GOOD OF THE PEOPLE. LETS STOP COMPLAINING AND STICK TOGETHER AND MAKE A CHANGE, FOR THE BETTER.

    I URGE YOU ALL, EMAIL RICHARD SOLOMON WITH YOUR STORY. WHETHER CURRENT FRANCHISEE, OR THOSE ALREADY OUT.

    HE IS THE CURRENT ASSOCIATION LEGAL COUNSEL AND NEEDS TO HEAR YOUR STORY.

    WE ALL NEED TO STICK TOGETHER AND MAKE THIS WRONG A RIGHT! EMAIL HIM YOUR EXPERIENCES. IT WILL NOT HURT, IT WILL ONLY HELP YOUR FELLOWS, BUT BE READY TO STAND BEHIND YOURSELF AND YOUR INTEGRITY. BE READY TO FOLLOW THROUGH. IF YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING IS RIGHT, THEN THERE IS NOTHING TO FEAR.

    RICHARD A. SOLOMON
    ATTORNEY
    11502 OVERBROOK
    HOUSTON, TEXAS 77077

    Telephone 281-584-0519
    Fax 281-597-8250
    Email: franchiseremedies@sbcglobal.net

    • firebrands4truth

      I URGE ALL 1800 RADIATOR FRANCHISE OWNERS TO READ THE HAND WRIGHTING ON THE WALL FROM ALL THE FAILED FRANCHISE OWNERS WHO ONCE WALKED IN THE SHOES YOU NOW WEAR TAKE NOTICE TO THE STORIES AND UNDERSTAND YOU VERY WELL MAY BE NEXT TO FALL.UNLIKE THOSE THAT FAILED BEFORE YOU TAKE THE STEP TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND CONTACT RICHARD SOLOMON AND JOIN THE FIGHT TO PROTECT YOUSELF AND YOUR FAMILY FROM THE LOSS THAT SO MANY OTHERS HAVE HAD.DON’T GAMBLE YOUR FUTURE TAKE CONTROL NOW AND JOIN THE ASSOCIATION BEFORE YOU END UP SPENDING AS MUCH MONEY TO DEFEND YOURSELF AS THE COST OF THE FRANCHISE INVESTMENT.EX FRANCHISE OWNERS PLEASE SEND YOUR INFORMATION TO RICHARD SOLOMON AND BY DOING SO YOU HELP OTHERS OVERCOME THIS TRAP AND SNARE THAT WE ALL BECAME A VICTIM OF.BUSSINESS MUST ALL WAYS HAVE THE CONSUMERS WELL BEING AT HEART. I CHALLENGE ALL TO NAME 10 EXAMPLES OF HOW 1800 RADIATOR HAS IMPACTED YOUR BUSSINESS LIFE AND FAMILY LIFE GOOD OR BAD AND POST IT HERE AND EMAIL IT TO RICHARD SOLOMON.1800 RADIATOR FRANCHISE OWNERS ARE LEVERAGED RIGHT OUT OF THE GATE AS OWNERS WITH THE CARDS STACKED AGAINST THEM THEY CAN NOT AFFORD TO DEFEND THEMSELVES IN LEGAL ACTION AS THEY FIND THE COST SO HIGH BY THE TIME THEY FAIL THE MONEY IS GONE.GARY YOUNG SPENT 400K TO STOP 1800 RADIATOR FROM KILLING HIS BUSSINESS INVESTMENT HOW MAYNY FRANCHISE OWNERS CAN AFFORD THAT KIND OF MONEY? THE ANSWER FEW OR NONE.1800 RADIATOR HAS PROFILED EVERY OWNER GOT BIG TIME LAWYERS JUST WAITING FOR THE CHANCE TO DO YOU IN BECAUSE THEY KNOW YOU CAN NOT BATTLE THEM IF YOUR BROKE AND POOR.THEN THEY TAKE OVER YOUR FRANCHISE BUY YOUR INVENTORY FOR PENNIES ON THE DOLLAR AND CYCLES BACK TO NEW FRANCHISE INVESTORS WHO HAVE NO IDEA AS TO WHAT SCHEME THEY HAVE FELL INTO.THE CURRENT FIANCIAL PROBLEMS FACED IN ALL MARKETS TODAY COMPOUNDS THIS MODEL AS NO REAL VALUE.OUTSOURCED COOLING SYSTEM PRODUCT VENDORS ON EVERY CORNER.DISTRIBUTION STREAMS THAT 1800 RADIATOR HAS MAY SUDDENLY VANISH AS 1800 RADIATOR DEMINISH THE FRANCHISE OWNER WITH GREED AS A TOOL TO DESTROY THE FRANCHISE OWNER .IT STANDS TO REASON THAT KEY PLAYERS THAT’S BEEN IN THE GAME FOR SO LONG GIVES NOTICE TO THE 1800 RADIATOR FRANCHISE ABUSE AS THEY BECOME WEAKER TO PRODUCE SOLVENT OWNERS THROUGH THE KNOWN FRAUDLENT ACTIONS TO NOT ONLY THE FRANCHISE OWNER MOREOVER THE VENDOR JUST LOOK AT THE SPI CASE .WHEN VENDORS GET RIPPED OFF ALL THERE BROTHER VENDORS SEE AND TAKE NOTE.1800 RADIATOR CAN BRAG HOW THEY RIPPED SPI OFF BUT IN THE END IT CAUGHT UP WITH THEM.FAILED VENDOR RELATIONS FROM SCHOOL GANG MENTALITY SCHEMES TO BEAT THEM OUT OF PAYMENT FOR PARTS DIRECTLY REFLECTS THE CHARACTER OF 1800 RADIATOR LEADERSHIP THAT FILTERS TO THE PERSONAL LIVES AND ADDICTION THAT THEY HAVE SUCCUMB TO.BOTTOM LINE THE SOONER FRANCHISE OWNERS UNDERSTAND THIS IS THE TRUE NATURE OF THE BEAST THE BETTER OFF THEY ARE.AT THAT POINT TRUTH OF THERE ACTIONS ENLIGHTENS ALL.I CHARGE ANYONE THINKING ABOUT BUYING ONE OF THESE LOCATIONS TO DO YOURSELF A KINDNESS AND SPARE YOURSELF THE GREIF AND STRESS THAT SO MANY BEFORE YOU HAVE GONE THROUGH. CALL RICHARD SOLOMON.

      • i agree whole heartidly with this post. is there not a govt. consumer protection dept. we can contact to step in and protect us? there big time lawyers wouldnt be much scare to the govt. There has to be strict franchise laws in place maybe we could get the ball rolling faster.
        also the govt. started offering rewards for informants to come forward with info of known tax evasion why doesnt everyone come together with there info on 1800 radiator joe, mike and ted rippey and become an informant.
        remember how they got al capone????? they couldnt get him with murder so they got him on TAX EVASION!!!!!! i challenge all to come forward if the govt. gets enough calls on 1800 and the rippeys they’ll take action and tear the company books to threads!!!! please come forward all with any info of known tax evasion and misuse of funds!!!! lets get em!!!!

        • You guys should focus on the “World Capital Group” thing. There is something not right with the way that was done. Perhaps that was a shell company used by the Rippeys to funnel funds away from Radiator Express and to the “World Capital Group” – who knows? It just never seemed right that payments from franchisees for royalties/products could be legally diverted to a third party. Also, why was Radiator Express’s CFE, Gabe Mendoza, signing letters with “World Capital Group” on the letterhead?

          Something really stinks about this whole mess.

        • The important thing here is to provide true unbiased information about this franchise opportunity. The franchisor will not and, due to their poor track record and desperate financial condition, they are likely to use all their tricks to continue selling franchise locations at any expense. It is their lifeblood and their inability to sell franchises will ultimately be their downfall. Remember, before entering the franchise arena, they tried and failed to run warehouses across the nation. They know they cannot operate this thing on their own so franchising is the best way to shift the many burdens of this business unto others while at the same time minimizing their own risks.

          Having said that, I am sure that some location are doing well and in that instance a franchisee should have the ability to sell their franchise for a fair asking price. However, even in this situation a prospective franchisee should know what they are getting into in terms of the treatment they are likely to be subjected to and the overall underhanded tactics of this franchisor. So it’s not just that many locations are unlikely to do well, it is also that locations doing well are still subject to the whims of this tyrant. Until the franchise association website is up and running, this site is the only source for this information.

          Remember, the next largest competitor of 1-800-Radiator, Performance Radiator, has about 40 warehouses nationwide. If they felt there was room in the market for 250 locations, I am quite positive they would have expanded. It was reckless, irresponsible, and downright wrong for 1-800-radiator to sell 250 locations in this market when they knew they themselves had a hard time competing in more that 40-50 locations and when they know they had no pricing advantage over their competition and would be putting a 10% disadvantage on their franchisees.

          • firebrands4truth

            THIS STATEMENT REFLECTS THE TRUTH OF HOW THE 1800 RADIATOR FRANCHISE MODEL PRODUCES THE FAILURE OF 1800 RADIATOR FRANCHISE OWNERS.1800 RADIATOR PLANNED THIS WHOLE CYCLE OF FAILING FRANCHISE OWNERS AND FLIP THEM FOR NEW FRANCHISE INVESTORS.

        • FIREBRANDS4TRUTH

          180K IN FRAUDULENT CHARGES TRIGGERS A FULL BLOWN FBI INVESTAGATION IF YOU HAVE ACH CHARGES THAT ‘S BEEN TAKEN FROM YOUR BANK ACCOUNT THAT CAN TOTAL BETWEEN ALL FRANCHISE OWNERS YOU HAVE A CASE AND THE US ATTORNEY UNDER THE NEW GUIDELINES WILL GO TO WORK FOR YOU.IF YOU DON’T THINK THATS A TRUE STATEMENT CALL THEM YOUSELF I DID.CHECK OUT IF MONEY IS REMOVED FROM YOUR BANK ACCOUNT AND TRANSFERED BY WIRE AND IF THE 180K MARK COMES IN BETWEEN ALL THE FRANCHISE OWNERS AND EX FRANCHISE OWNERSTHE FEDERAL FRAUD CHARGES CAN BE BROUGHT UP.I’M WILLING TO GET A WEB SITE AND GET THE INFORMATION FROM OWNERS AND EX OWNERS OF 1800 RADIATOR FRANCHISES.EVERYONE INVOLVED IN THIS SCHEME TO DEFRAUD CAN BE SUBJECT TO AN FBI INVESTAGATION.LOOK FOR YOURSELF AT HOW MUCH TIME YOU CAN GET FOR WIRE FRAUD LET ALONE RICO.THEM BOYS CAN’T SLEEP NOW JUST THINK WHAT A FEDERAL FRAUD CASE CAN DO TO THERE SLEEP.WHAT EFFECT CAN THAT HAVE ON YOUR CONTRACT?MAYBE NULL AND VOID.DON’T FORGET THERE IS MORE OF US AND LESS OF THEM.SO SHOW NO FEAR AND START WORKING TOGETHER YOU HAVE EVERYTHING TO GAIN MOREOVER PEACE OF MIND.THE CURRENT GOVT. NUMBER 1 DUTY IS TO STOP TERRORISM THATS WHY THE 180K MUST BE MEET.SO IF FALSE BILLING RESULTED IN AN ACH WIRE FROM YOUR BANK TO 1800 BANK WE NEED TO SEE THE PROOF FOR THE FEDS.EVERYONE WHO HAS BEEN CHEATED THROUGH THIS SCHEME TO FRAUD YOU STAND UP NOW AND BE COUNTED.REVIEW THE FACTS OF THE MONEY TAKEN FROM YOUR ACCOUNT AND SEE IF FRAUD OCCURED.

          • 1800radiator does not pay there bills owing millions to vendors if they fail what burdon is it going to be on franchise owners you are paying for parts to 1800 corp but they are not paying bills timely

          • How can you be sure they are not paying their bills? Aside from the SPI thing.

          • From what is being said here, its aparant that we continue to get product by not paying our bills.

          • How do you know for sure that they are not paying their bills? Aside from the SPI case.

          • How do you know that they are paying their bills? Is there any reason to suspect they have changed their ways?

            Lets not start looking for excuses for them. They have plenty themselves.

          • How do you know for sure they are not paying their bills? Sorry if this post shows up more than once,I’m just now trying to figure out how to post on this site.

          • This is sad, sad, sad. I hope noone else ever falls victim to this racket.

          • 1800isfinished

            Well it sure looks like their going to be finished real soon. Word out on the street is they are a terrable company and corp is falling apart st the seams as we speak.

            With a little luck SPI will pick up what is left of the company. Looks like a long slow death for this company.

            The good news is the Rippies will go to jail when the time is right.

          • What has happened?

          • “word out on the street”? Please!

            wouldn’t be surprised if you worked for a competitor–performance or SPI maybe?? ha. this site is a joke.

          • Maby maby not. But at least I offer my insight punk like you dont already k now. Dont think you would want to meet me out in the street. You should get your teeth fixed you crack head and a new shirt for pops but you both will be wearing prison barb soon anyway. I doubt you can not make the company any more of a mess then it already is before they come take you over.

  75. How long will this franchise be operating.

    • APDI will supply directly without corp under their wd program the first few orders need to be prepaid until credit history is established. This is at about 15% lower then corp pricing. So if you have cash for prepayment you can save a bundle and not have to deal with corp. If anyone needs the contact info at APDI ill post it if needed.

  76. I AM THINKING ABOUT BUYING A VERY PROFITABLE RESALE WITH THIS COMPANY, I WOULD INTEND TO DO MY DUE DILIGENCE BUT WOULD PRESENT FRANCHISEES OPEN UP AND TELL THE TRUTH OR FEAR TO DO SO

    • Which location are you looking at? Have the profits been certified by a CPA?

    • Remember this – no matter what you are told. Sales does not equal profits. There was a guy in this thing that had the second most sales in the system. Over 2Million. He went bust!!

      • well looks like their is still hope with APDI and CSF Cooling Systems suppling us directly. both with very quick turn around time.

        • I’m sure you could work out something with many of the other vendors as well. Someone in the franchise association should take a lead on this.

          • I would also think most any supplier would supply product without corps involvment. The suppliers see the writing on the wall they will be very happy to supply us.

            Look like RIP and Corp is on its last leg any way well I suppose they deserve it.

    • I would think they would be terrified to show you.

      • Who would be terrified? The franchisees?

        • Yes I would not think the numbers look very good for them to even try to get out of the busniess. Betterto buy from others for a while grab the extra 15% on the product cost. By doing this for a year then can show good books to be able to sell.

  77. who is this soloman guy?

  78. Another day another lost dollar.

  79. I also heard these guys are in serious trouble. Could be worst. Instead of a 1800 Radiator Fran. it could have been a Bennagins. Just tring to make some of you feel better. Good luck

    • from who? – because so far everything on this site has not been verified with anything substantive….no backup whatsoever. not saying its untrue, but without backup its not credible and should not be used to guage the health of this franchise.

  80. To Anonymous, I would rather not say at this time what location , but I have spoken to other profitable franchisees, as we all know there are good locations and bad ones in all franchises. I have been looking for some time and found many bad franchises, some auto some not but many No dont do it ones!! Can you say what state or west coast east coast midwest what area you had owned one and why you are out if you are, if not here I understand

    • This looks serious. I hope the IRS gets these guys.

    • Wow that is big news. Looks llike just about everyone is going to get the shaft big time. This will be good for the competitors im sure.

    • If there was ever a time for the franchise association to start preparing its members for a time after 1-800-radiator, then this is it.

  81. I agree this fourm should be a place express views not get lost in anger due to a poor busniess enviroment. From what I see about researching this companies track record I would be leary about them and the whole setup they have. For what it is worth I fould this websight very helpful in judging this company

  82. I questiioned their filings back on Sept 9, 2009–the last franchise renewal in CA was filed on March 28, 2008.

    That’s why I lost interest in this franchise–still looking………

  83. I had a franchise a few years ago. I lost everything…House, rental properties, cars, etc. I have to take over 50% of the blame for not properly looking into it enough to begin with. But the bottom line is that they mis-represented themselves as good ole boys that were there no matter what. They would NEVER allow a franchisee to go bankrupt! WRONG! once you owe them money you are toast. They bring in a new owner and new money! I enjoyed the business for the couple of years I stayed afloat, but there is just not enough rads being sold to sustain the business.

    • Feel bad for you. I knew the previous owners of Rad express long before RIP was even involved. Back then they were a good customer of mine. Then RIP bought the company, This is before franchising started. They burned me for about 100k. I never heard anything good about them since the old owners were involved like almost 15 years ago. Your right the market is not that big and they are crooks. The big issue is the misrepresentations. Most people in this busniess knows it inside out, like the back of their hands. Just 1800 has all these locations with other peoples money thinking it will be supported by a real company and depending on them was a mistake. You guys better start moving your purchases becuse I wouldnt depend on them. Cut your losses and do the work yourself or higher someone otherwise you will go down with them.

    • can i ask what state you were in

    • EX FRANCHISEE – take solice, you are not alone. These snake-oil salesmen can really make this thing sound like the best thing since sliced bread. Then when you look at the UFOC it seems like an easy business since it states that you can break even by selling as few as 5 parts a day. Then you look at it even closer and realize how easy it is to sell 5 parts a day and that you should be able to sell twice or 3-4 times that many. Then you fall for the “BEST PRICE” in the industry crap that they sell you on and next thing you know you find yourself signing on the bottom line and handing over a few hundred thousand of your hard earned dollars.

      You were never told that pricing is the same as any other competitor. You were never told the parts are the same. You were never told that 10-15% off the gross sale will absolutely destroy your profit margin. You were never told about all the problems with parts/vendors and customers. You were never told about their failures before franchising. You were never told about the extremely long work hours.

      And worst of all you now have to deal with a couple of crackhead kids who, when sober, don’t know anything about business or don’t know how to tell the truth. They manipulate you, lie to you, abuse you, confront you, and blame you for all the problems while laughing it up all the way to the bank.

      No you are not alone.

      • The end is near

        You are so right They dont even have a structure other then their customer list and software along whatever they promise you. In no way it this worth the greif and finiancial drain they will get you into. I doubt not too many locations can even get their money back even if they could sell them. I doubt the name (1800Radiator is really worth anything in its current state). So I would fully agree go save 15% or more start your own radiator busness for when they corp folds you are prepared to resume busniess with open accounts with the same suppliers you already have. This is the only way out that I can see untill a company like SPI takes them over.

  84. Well This is the email I got From Mr Marks after I spoke with him

    Please send me details of the 1 800 Radiator problem.

    Thank,

    Jerry Marks

    Marks & Klein, LLP
    63 Riverside Avenue
    Red Bank, NJ 07701
    Phone: (732) 747-7100
    Fax: (732) 219-0625
    jerry@marksklein.com
    http://www.marksklein.com

  85. WhereisMIKERIPPEY

    YES I also lost my home and investment too. How could I have been so stupid. Would have been better to buy a low cost maid cleaning service franchise.
    Good thing I have morals and have the lord in my life becuse it would be so easy to mess him and his famly up they would have to eat with straws for what they did to me and my loved ones. I hope they read this and consider hiding.

  86. Sooner or later the franchisor will have to meet the registration requirements or fold. If they file the necessary documents for registration it will be easier
    to determine their financial condition. Current info is a must if you are considering investing in any franchise.

    That’s my $ .02 worth.

  87. JUST WONDERING

    Could anyone tell me are you all present or past franchisees, or suppliers. Sounds like many are disgruntled with this company. I was considering buying a franchise. this company seems like a good one after I have looked at many others that are lousy. Who is the owner of this company, the father seems like the kids are running it or? Can this attorney be contacted to ask questions that you mention. Are the franchisees sueing the corporate company? How could I get more info other than from franchisees? Is the new FDD much different than the older ufoc. Can anyone comment professionally and honestly, thank you

  88. JUST WONDERING

    Anonymous ,can you say more? what exactly is going on with this company? Are you presently a franchisee or previous.Can you say here or e-m me some more info, thanks

    • Just read through these threads. That should give you a fairly good idea of what is and has been going on with this company. Take a look at the lawsuits.

    • No one on this site will answer you. Its a hand full of disgruntled owners and most likely competitors venting. If you read closely there is no backup provided. with sites like this only the bad owners post their stories. this is the same as any review site. If you are happy why bother posting? get the list of all current and former owners and call them-that is the only way to know the true story.

  89. Ryan;

    I recently wrote about the some of the concerns that I had with their financial disclosure documents:

    http://www.franchise-info.ca/supply_chain/2010/06/fdd-financial-disclosure.html

    Also, Richard Solomon who is representing the franchisee association, believes that the franchisor’s registration in California has lapsed.

    http://www.bluemaumau.org/1800radiator_franchising_fails_renew_its_franchise_registrations

  90. JUST WONDERING

    Is there more than 1 anonymous seems like 2 but it seems to be true that people here posting are disgruntled and probably franchisees who didnt make it, had a bad territory or what corporate would probably say they didnt follow our system but from previous business experience not everyone is cut out to run a successful business. Is there anyone here willing to speak via e-mail so I could get more info as I was looking into buying a franchise. I have looked at other franchises and found , naturally you will pay royalties anywhere from 4% up to about 13% and no matter what the owners do with their profits , whether gambling or drugs doesnt matter as long as you receive support from them when you need it. If they fail on their end they could threaten you all they want but a good businessman could stop them cold if they dont deliver. all you need to do is go to the attorney general in your state file a complaint or the similar department if not this one and you would not incur expensive attorney fees. For the franchisees that are starting this association I personally would like to get more info on this. If not purchasing this franchise at least the knowledge of whats being done wrong to the franchisees would give me great insight in another opportunity. I know from previous looking that franchise agreements are always towards the franchisors benefit, some are negotiable as I had negotiated one but this particular other company tried to slip something in on me at the last minute and I got my f/fee returned.

    • Just buy it. Trust everything they tell you. They do get the best price – their prices are so good that even after their 10-18% of sales, you will be way ahead of the competition. They can’t prove it, but trust them. In fact, they are the competition. You will work low work hours and have no risk. This is an excellent opportunity and they have not had any failures. Their technology is way ahead of the competition and makes it easy for you to succeed and you will instantly be number 1 in the industry. Also, they will make sure you get the right product mix for your territory. All the things in the franchise agreement that seem to favor them, don’t worry about that. You will have the best quality and the best price. Also, the number of customers they represent to you as being in your territory is accurate as they are excellent at generating excel spreadsheets. If they say 1500 PIDS, you better believe it and, if you trust them, you probably are getting many more than that as a huge part of your territory will be unexplored.

      Just follow the model and you will succeed as no one has ever failed that has followed the model. They always sell great territories and your failures, however unlikely, will be your own. They have been No. 1 in the business for many years and know what they are doing.

      They pay their vendors on time and their vendors are the best in the industry. They tell you everything you need to know to succeed. Ted and Joe are great to work with and they always have the best insight/advise and recommendations to ensure your success. They are straight shooters and standup young men. Remember, the more you sell the more you make and even if you have to cut your margins (not their royalties) just think that you are taking away a sale from your competition. When customers call for warranties, please smile and remember that your competition doesn’t have the privilege of paying for the warranty and their labor claim. When you get that lowball Ebay sale that you sell below your cost, don’t worry as your competition will be hurting because of it.

      Also, when they buy our one of your competitors and stick you with the bill don’t worry that you didn’t have any input and that they are not giving you the documentation behind the transaction. If they say they paid 1Million, just believe it and shut up and pay them. If they say AC parts are a winner and they will add 2 Million to your revenues, again don’t question them. If they forget to get non-competes from them, and then the competitor goes out and starts all over again, don’t worry they will sue on your behalf. They have your best interest at heart even if they can show no ducuments or jusitfy the decision in a rationale business form.

      You can’t go wrong. Good luck.

      Oh yea, and you better jump on it quickly as they are getting so many requests for territories that they can’t keep up.

      • Now that’s some funny stuff. The franchise owner that I worked for some time ago said he bought into all of it and been sorry ever since. Corporate has the store now along with another in the state and he has lost everything- such a shame.

  91. Ready to start over

    We should all invest together and buy a vending machine franchise or a curves. Those sound like fun. Little work is required. Anyone have experience in either these?

  92. Your way off topic, but hotels are the best investment. Forget the vending stuff and the fitness stuff, most women are fat forever so stay away from the all womens fitness stuff. Super 8 or days inn for sure. I could be talked into investing in another one of these. What state are you in?

  93. This website changes order every 5 days it seems like. it is impossible to keep up with whats going on. All of the posts are out of order. I do appreciate the space for information however.

  94. what happen to all the comments? I thought this was a place to share open views of 1800 Radiator. Looks like censership to me.

  95. Just got my 4th APDI order in only 50 units didnt need that much but saved 17% then buying from corp. Next i order from company called Silla. Yes things are looking better now that im not loosing as much money in a few more months i should be out of the red. Are these guys really drug addics?

    I agree Mr. Rippey looked like he was on coke or crack at the convention

    • I want in on this action. How can we get in touch?

      • ill give you a phone number you just call him and explain your situation this guy will help you As for anyone that wants to buy from apdi just call 630 806 6033. i am not affilated with the company but enjoy saving the 15%.

        • Called the 630-806-6033 number. Got Kevin O’Conner with APDI. He stated that he would never sell to anyone direct. So maybe you are not buying direct with the great savings. What say you?

  96. This site got quiet. What happened?

  97. As used in this chapter—
    (1) “racketeering activity” means (A) any act or threat involving murder, kidnapping, gambling, arson, robbery, bribery, extortion, dealing in obscene matter, or dealing in a controlled substance or listed chemical (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act), which is chargeable under State law and punishable by imprisonment for more than one year; (B) any act which is indictable under any of the following provisions of title 18, United States Code: Section 201 (relating to bribery), section 224 (relating to sports bribery), sections 471, 472, and 473 (relating to counterfeiting), section 659 (relating to theft from interstate shipment) if the act indictable under section 659 is felonious, section 664 (relating to embezzlement from pension and welfare funds), sections 891–894 (relating to extortionate credit transactions), section 1028 (relating to fraud and related activity in connection with identification documents), section 1029 (relating to fraud and related activity in connection with access devices), section 1084 (relating to the transmission of gambling information), section 1341 (relating to mail fraud), section 1343 (relating to wire fraud), section 1344 (relating to financial institution fraud), section 1425 (relating to the procurement of citizenship or nationalization unlawfully), section 1426 (relating to the reproduction of naturalization or citizenship papers), section 1427 (relating to the sale of naturalization or citizenship papers), sections 1461–1465 (relating to obscene matter), section 1503 (relating to obstruction of justice), section 1510 (relating to obstruction of criminal investigations), section 1511 (relating to the obstruction of State or local law enforcement), section 1512 (relating to tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant), section 1513 (relating to retaliating against a witness, victim, or an informant), section 1542 (relating to false statement in application and use of passport), section 1543 (relating to forgery or false use of passport), section 1544 (relating to misuse of passport), section 1546 (relating to fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents), sections 1581–1592 (relating to peonage, slavery, and trafficking in persons).,[1] section 1951 (relating to interference with commerce, robbery, or extortion), section 1952 (relating to racketeering), section 1953 (relating to interstate transportation of wagering paraphernalia), section 1954 (relating to unlawful welfare fund payments), section 1955 (relating to the prohibition of illegal gambling businesses), section 1956 (relating to the laundering of monetary instruments), section 1957 (relating to engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity), section 1958 (relating to use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire), section 1960 (relating to illegal money transmitters), sections 2251, 2251A, 2252, and 2260 (relating to sexual exploitation of children), sections 2312 and 2313 (relating to interstate transportation of stolen motor vehicles), sections 2314 and 2315 (relating to interstate transportation of stolen property), section 2318 (relating to trafficking in counterfeit labels for phonorecords, computer programs or computer program documentation or packaging and copies of motion pictures or other audiovisual works), section 2319 (relating to criminal infringement of a copyright), section 2319A (relating to unauthorized fixation of and trafficking in sound recordings and music videos of live musical performances), section 2320 (relating to trafficking in goods or services bearing counterfeit marks), section 2321 (relating to trafficking in certain motor vehicles or motor vehicle parts), sections 2341–2346 (relating to trafficking in contraband cigarettes), sections 2421–24 (relating to white slave traffic), sections 175–178 (relating to biological weapons), sections 229–229F (relating to chemical weapons), section 831 (relating to nuclear materials), (C) any act which is indictable under title 29, United States Code, section 186 (dealing with restrictions on payments and loans to labor organizations) or section 501 (c) (relating to embezzlement from union funds), (D) any offense involving fraud connected with a case under title 11 (except a case under section 157 of this title), fraud in the sale of securities, or the felonious manufacture, importation, receiving, concealment, buying, selling, or otherwise dealing in a controlled substance or listed chemical (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act), punishable under any law of the United States, (E) any act which is indictable under the Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act, (F) any act which is indictable under the Immigration and Nationality Act, section 274 (relating to bringing in and harboring certain aliens), section 277 (relating to aiding or assisting certain aliens to enter the United States), or section 278 (relating to importation of alien for immoral purpose) if the act indictable under such section of such Act was committed for the purpose of financial gain, or (G) any act that is indictable under any provision listed in section 2332b (g)(5)(B);
    (2) “State” means any State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, any territory or possession of the United States, any political subdivision, or any department, agency, or instrumentality thereof;
    (3) “person” includes any individual or entity capable of holding a legal or beneficial interest in property;
    (4) “enterprise” includes any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity, and any union or group of individuals associated in fact although not a legal entity;
    (5) “pattern of racketeering activity” requires at least two acts of racketeering activity, one of which occurred after the effective date of this chapter and the last of which occurred within ten years (excluding any period of imprisonment) after the commission of a prior act of racketeering activity;
    (6) “unlawful debt” means a debt
    (A) incurred or contracted in gambling activity which was in violation of the law of the United States, a State or political subdivision thereof, or which is unenforceable under State or Federal law in whole or in part as to principal or interest because of the laws relating to usury, and
    (B) which was incurred in connection with the business of gambling in violation of the law of the United States, a State or political subdivision thereof, or the business of lending money or a thing of value at a rate usurious under State or Federal law, where the usurious rate is at least twice the enforceable rate;
    (7) “racketeering investigator” means any attorney or investigator so designated by the Attorney General and charged with the duty of enforcing or carrying into effect this chapter;
    (8) “racketeering investigation” means any inquiry conducted by any racketeering investigator for the purpose of ascertaining whether any person has been involved in any violation of this chapter or of any final order, judgment, or decree of any court of the United States, duly entered in any case or proceeding arising under this chapter;
    (9) “documentary material” includes any book, paper, document, record, recording, or other material; and
    (10) “Attorney General” includes the Attorney General of the United States, the Deputy Attorney General of the United States, the Associate Attorney General of the United States, any Assistant Attorney General of the United States, or any employee of the Department of Justice or any employee of any department or agency of the United States so designated by the Attorney General to carry out the powers conferred on the Attorney General by this chapter. Any department or agency so designated may use in investigations authorized by this chapter either the investigative provisions of this chapter or the investigative power of such department or agency otherwise conferred by law.

    • Racketeering Activity – A RICO claim must be based on the defendant’s commission of criminal actions specified in 18 U.S.C. § 1961(1). The RICO Act refers to the specified criminal actions as “racketeering activity” or “acts of racketeering.” Sometimes these acts are called “predicate acts” because all RICO claims must be predicated on the commission of one or more of these crimes Open-ended Patterns – The Supreme Court has held that, under RICO, a pattern of racketeering must be sufficiently continuous. Wrongful acts that threaten to continue indefinitely give rise to open-ended patterns. For example, a mobster’s single extortionate threat to break the legs of a store owner unless the owner pays the mobster $1000 per month constitutes an open-ended pattern of racketeering. An open-ended pattern may also arise when criminal conduct becomes a regular way in which the defendant does business.

      • Sec. 1962. Prohibited activities

        (a) It shall be unlawful for any person who has received any income derived, directly or indirectly, from a pattern of racketeering activity or through collection of an unlawful debt in which such person has participated as a principal within the meaning of section 2, title 18, United States Code, to use or invest, directly or indirectly, any part of such income, or the proceeds of such income, in acquisition of any interest in, or the establishment or operation of, any enterprise which is engaged in, or the activities of which affect, interstate or foreign commerce. A purchase of securities on the open market for purposes of investment, and without the intention of controlling or participating in the control of the issuer, or of assisting another to do so, shall not be unlawful under this subsection if the securities of the issuer held by the purchaser, the members of his immediate family, and his or their accomplices in any pattern or racketerring activity or the collection of an unlawful debt after such purchase do not amount in the aggregate to one percent of the outstanding securities of any one class, and do not confer, either in law or in fact, the power to elect one or more directors of the issuer.

        (b) It shall be unlawful for any person through a pattern of racketeering activity or through collection of any unlawful debt to acquire or maintain, directly or indirectly, any interest in or control of any enterprise which is engaged in, or the activities of which affect, interstate or foreign commerce.

        (c) It shall be unlawful for any person employed by or associated with any enterprise engaged in, or the activities of which affect, interstate or foreign commerce, to conduct or participate, directly or indirectly, in the conduct of such enterprise’s affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity or collection of unlawful debt.

        (d) It shall be unlawful for any person to conspire to violate any of the provisions of subsection (a), (b), or (c) of this section.

        • Sec. 1963 . Criminal penalties.

          (a) Whoever violates any provision of section 1962 of this chapter shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years (or for life if the violation is based on a racketeering activity for which the maximum penalty includes life imprisonment), or both, and shall forfeit to the United States, irrespective of any provision of State law –

          any interest the person has acquired or maintained in violation of section 1962;

          any –
          (A) interest in;
          (B) security of;
          (C) claim against; or
          (D) property or contractual right of any kind affording a source of influence over any enterprise which the person has established, operated, controlled, conducted, or participated in the conduct of, in violation of section 1962; and

          any property constituting, or derived from, any proceeds which the person obtained, directly or indirectly, from racketeering activity or unlawful debt collection in violation of section 1962. The court, in imposing sentence on such person shall order, in addition to any other sentence imposed pursuant to this section, that the person forfeit to the United States all property described in this subsection. In lieu of a fine otherwise authorized by this section, a defendant who derives profits or other proceeds from an offense may be fined not more than twice the gross profits or other proceeds.

          (b) Property subject to criminal forfeiture under this section includes –

          real property, including things growing on, affixed to, and found in land; and

          tangible and intangible personal property, including rights, privileges, interests, claims and securities.

          (c) All right, title, and interest in property described in subsection (a) vests in the United States upon the commission of the act giving rise to forfeiture under this section. Any such property that is subsequently transferred to a person other than the defendant may be the subject of a special verdict of forfeiture and thereafter shall be ordered forfeited to the United States, unless the transferee establishes in a hearing pursuant to subsection (1) that he is a bona fide purchaser for value of such property who at the time of purchase was reasonable without cause to believe that the property was subject to forfeiture under this section.

          (d)

          Upon application of the United States, the court may enter a restraining order or injunction, require the execution of a satisfactory performance bond, or take any other action to preserve the availability of property described in subsection (a) for forfeiture under this section –
          (A) upon the filing of an indictment or information charging a violation of section 1962 of this chapter and alleging that the property with respect to which the order is sought would, in the event of conviction, be subject to forfeiture under this section; or
          (B) prior to the filing of such an indictment or information, if, after notice to persons appearing to have an interest in the property and opportunity for a hearing, the court determines that

          (i) there is a substantial probability that the United States will prevail on the issue of forfeiture and that failure to enter the order will result in the property being destroyed, removed form the jurisdiction of the court, or otherwise made unavailable for forfeiture; and
          (ii) the need to preserve the availability of the property through the entry of the requested order outweighs the hardship on any party against whom the order is to be entered: Provided, however, that an order entered pursuant to subparagraph (B) shall be effective for not more than ninety days, unless extended by the court for good cause shown or unless an indictment or information described in subparagraph (A) has been filed.

          A temporary restraining order under this subsection may be entered upon application of the United States without notice or opportunity for a hearing when an information or indictment has not yet been filed with respect to the property, if the United States demonstrates that there is probable cause to believe that the property with respect to which the order is sought would, in the event of conviction, be subject to forfeiture under this section and that provision of notice will jeopardize the availability of the property for forfeiture. Such a temporary order shall expire not more than ten days after the date on which it is entered, unless extended for a longer period. A hearing requested concerning an order entered under this paragraph shall be held at the earliest possible time, and prior to the expiration of the temporary order.

          The court may receive and consider, at a hearing held pursuant to this subsection, evidence and information that would be inadmissible under the Federal Rules of Evidence

          • HAS 1800 RADIATOR BROKE WIRE FRAUD AND RICO LAWS READ THE POSTED LAW AND CHECK IT OUT.

  98. Have they renewed their franchise licenses yet?

  99. There is a Higher Court check link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJlN9jdQFSc

  100. No dog in this fight, but most of the negative comments don’t pass the smell test. A vendor does not continually supply product to a customer who can’t pay the bills.
    Also, this franchisor, like any franchisor has royalty fees.
    To say that you are at a 10+% disadvantage because of royalties is in itself misleading. You are buying a turn-key operation. When you are an independent auto parts salesperson, who builds your Ordering, Purchasing, Inventory, and Accounting systems? What is the cost of doing so? When you are a parts chain, there is overhead for these types of systems that are a shared-cost across the network. These costs still exist, no matter the business. They just aren’t called “royalty”.
    There are over 300 comments on this forum, and most of them are posted with 3rd grade intellect.

    • You don’t know what you are talking about. You should buy a franchise and post 1-2 years after.

      • That person sure as hell doesnt know what they are talking about. This business is a terrible everyday migraine. Many vendors have cut 800 off. Some are scared too because they might not get paid for whats currently owed. The problems never end.

        We didnt buy into this franchise to cover the cost of their system. I dont remember reading that anywhere in our agreement.

        • name the vendors…

          • Not to mention the vendors that cut them off what about the ones that make them pay their past dues or you get what you pay for equell amount. Word out on the street is 1800 is tapped out with furthering any credit limits with just about every supplier they have becuse 1800 ows so much they tried to get everyone over the barrel but most suppliers will just cut their losses and deal with them as a cash basis only. The factories in China wont even deal with them

          • WORD ON THE STREET

            YES THEIR MUST BE SOME TRUTH TO THIS CREDIT STRAPPED COMPANY. TWO SALESMEN EACH FROM DIFFRENT SUPPLIERS OF 1800 ALSO CONFORMED THAT THEY ARE OWED BIG BUCKS AND ONLY SUPPLY THEM PRODUCT S THEY PAY FOR IT. I WOULD SUPPOSE THE SUPPLIERS ARE REALLY WORRIED ABOUT GETTING THEIR RECEIVABLE BACK. I REALLY FEEL FOR THE SUPPLIERS.

          • name the suppliers that cut them off–bet there aren’t any. Name the suppliers whose salesmen made those comments? bet comments were made to competitors to boost sales with them…w/o credible sources or naming vendors this information is useless.

          • WORD ON THE STREET

            look you jerk the 1800 locations know very well whos product they are not getting any more. I have nothing to prove to you you creep. I know several suppliers that have them on prepay. the point is that this is a scam company so you go buy one or even a few. I for one never intend to get paid the money owed to me. So get lost you stupid scumbag.

          • I am a 1 800 Radiator Franchisee. No vendors have us on prepay.

            You’re clueless.

          • Identify yourself.

          • CHAPTER 11 BY YEAR END

            I WOULD THINK THEIR IS A REAL CHANCE THE FILING WILL HAPPEN BY YEAR END. TOO BAD IF IT HAPPENS FOR ALL US SMALL GUYS. ALSO AFTERTHE FILING WILL THEIR BE ANYTHING REALLY LEFT FOR US? HOW CAN WE CONTINUE TO OPERATE WITH ANGR SUPPLIERS? BEEN TRING TO SELL MY LOCATION FOR 2 YEARS AND NO ONE IS EVEN INTERESTED. THIS SUCKS

          • Who is Ruby Rippey

            [vulgar comment deleted by Franchise Pundit — please keep the conversations respectful and intelligent]

          • Yes the same Ruby Rippey

            [vulgar comment deleted by Franchise Pundit — please keep the conversations respectful and intelligent]

          • Owned a location for six years. Never heard of vendor issues. We buy from who we want…never any major problems. We have been profitable every year. Granted we would all like more income. You get out of it what you put into it.

          • “never to get paid the money they owe me”…?? Are you a Vendor where 1800 owes you money? A franchisee? this makes no sense.

          • I guess the Spectra case isnt enough evidence that corporate doesnt pay their bills. I suppose more vendors have to cut corporate off or sue them in order to prove that corporate cant pay. If a company doesnt release an FDD/UFOC it is a strong indicator that they are indeed hiding something. No company would limit their marketability and sellability unless something else was priority…something not in the best interest of investors-something they dont want the public to know. It is unheard of for a franchise organization to not release disclosure documents if those documents are clean. In fact, if those documents were strong, they would be released with neon lights for their competitors and investors to view. The fact that no one knows ANYTHING should be a strong sign that this company is hiding something. Why would so many people have so many questions…including its own franchisees? Use common sense guys. If questions remain 5-6 years after franchising, then these people must be going to extents to hide something.

            Couple that with the character of the people that operate this franchise, and its a fail – fail situation

          • No I dont sell them and never will. Im not wasting my time and money to try to collect it, dont need it that bad. I pefer to sell their competitors and soon all the 1800 locations that alone will get me all my money and more back.

          • It makes perfect sence you retard yes they do owe me money for product I sold them and I never got paid. Im talking about corp. you stupid jerk What makes no sence? This is pretty simple you shitface creep

          • sorry but i find it hard to believe you are a vendor that 1800 owes money to and rather than go through a collection process spend time posting on this forum. If you truely are a vendor in the industry (highly doubtful given your threats, racial slurs, tone and general uneducated responses), do you still sell to them? If so why? Speak up, i’m sure others would like to know.

          • Are you 12 or 13 years old?

    • Ripp ed off franchisee

      EVERY COMPETITOR buys as cheap or cheaper than rad express.

      The additional 10% and depressed cash flow because of ACH payments is a huge nut to crack.

      I hope you are making money at your warehouse.

      • Things have really calmed down on this website. What is happening with this franchisor? Are they still having problems with franchise failures, lawsuits and vendors? What has happened with the franchisee association?

        • Sales in 2010 were much higher than 2009. Vendor relations couldn’t be better. All of the people posting negative comments above don’t know what they are talking about.

          2011 is going to be a very VERY good year.

  101. why would a franchisor not renew their documents? i heard that this is not common

    • if a franchisor is not actively recruiting and selling franchises there is no need to register. likewise, if there are no prospects to sell in the immediate future, there is no need to meet any prior registration deadline. unlike subways and mcdonalds this model does not rely on selling lots and lots of franchises forever. they are pretty maxed out now. it is however still a good thing to do to assist in the resale process and should be done. i have heard that all state registrations have been filed within the past 2 weeks so this whole issue of them not being able to register due to financial issues is just bogus.

      • Wrong! This franchisor has had franchise locations for sale all over the US for quite some time now. Just look at the listed resell opportunities on their website. And that doesn’t include many locations not listed because the franchisor does not want to give the impression that lots of them are for sale. The list hasn’t changed in quite a while – no one is apparently interested in buying these.

        • reread the email above: if there are no prospects for sales there is no need (and certainly no requirement) to reregister. i also don’t beleive the list on their website is 100% accurate-i think some of those have sold. they also list resales from existing owners there so they are not all open territories owned by zor.

          • If the franchisor is involved in negotiations for a resale they probably need to be registered in states that require registration. Not a lawyer here– just seems to be common sense.

            A new owner would probably be required to execute whatever documents the prior owner was required to provide to the franchisor.

          • If the corporate offices cannot sell anymore franchisees, then its really doubtful that any owner will be able to. That article by Webster really has me worried.

  102. I heard that Performance Radiator will be closing 15-20 locations.

    • No way Performance is one of the best companies out their. If anything they are expanding provide more info please do you have any back up?

    • This should be a warning to anyone considering buying this franchise. Performance is a wholly owned corporation that sells these products without royalties and call center charges and, etc…. If they can’t make it in some markets, what does that tell you about 1-800-radiator? Or more specifically, what does that tell you about franchisees of 1-800-radiator who must bear the additional expense to survive?

      These products are a dime a dozen and the influx of cheap Chinese parts available everywhere is the dominant factor making it tough for everyone, especially those charging an additional 10-18%.

      • Financial Disclosure
        By Michael Webster on June 3, 2010 11:16 PM | 0 Comments | 0 TrackBacks

        The franchisor is obligated to give a prospective franchisee financial disclosure of the franchisor’s business.

        One of my concerns is that this financial disclosure is less than what a shareholder gets in a public company.

        A shareholder can exist relatively quickly, but a franchisee is usually stuck for the term of the franchise contract – a situation that calls for more disclosure and not less.

        Here is the type of example that should be of concern, from the franchisor 1-800 Radiator’s 2009 filing.

        A number of questions spring to mind, especially since this is buried in the footnote of the financials.

        1. Is Radiator Express really the franchisor, if it is doing all the collection and operational functions? If so, where are its financials – it being the “parent company”?

        2. How much additional funds does the Parent need? Is it in danger of no longer being an going concern? What will happen to the franchisee operational support being provided?

        3. It is now the middle of 2010 and there has been nothing filed on Caleasi which answers question 1 or 2. Is Radiator Express insolvent, preparing a receivership, or preparing for bankruptcy. Franchisees really need to know this.

        4. Radiator Express, in this note, appears to be charging the franchisor a sum equal to most of the franchisor’s revenue. But where is the explanation of what forms the basis of these charges – we don’t have any information in the FDD about Radiator Express.

        I could be way off base on this questions, and maybe there is a simple answer. Does anyone from 1-800 Radiator have an explanation?

      • a 1-800 Franchise Owner

        This tells you that 1-800 Radiator is kicking butt and putting the competition out of business. Performance Radiator is losing business to 1-800 Radiator and we are running them out of town.
        Most of the 1-800 Radiator locations are run by hard working American families who give all their time, finances and hard work into these businesses. We have survived through a horrific depression and kept our doors open when other businesses have closed their doors. Sales continue to increase in our Franchise, as well as most other Franchises around the Country. This is a good solid Franchise and was a great investment. We are all under a corporate blanket, but most of the locations are family owned and operated.
        Our contract is for 20 years, so we have lots of time to renew.
        It sounds like someone is fishing for information in this blog and it is most likely a competitor of 1-800 Radiator. Performance Radiator is notorious for using marketing tactics like this to bad mouth our company, to make them look better. It would not surprise me if Performance Radiator was behind this. They are constantly pulling all kinds of stunts in our territory to try and make us look bad. They lie to our customers. Make up stuff about us, to try to take our business. If you ask me, they are grasping for straws.

      • Well, if Performance Radiator cant make it in some markets it means they are doing something wrong.

        What do you have against 1-800 Radiator? 1 in every 6 radiator sold n the United States is a 1-800 Radiator which means they are doing something right. They have very strict quality control, the best warranty in the business, top notch customer service.

  103. It’s funny how little is really known about this franchise. Nobody knows for sure how many franchise location are still open. Nobody knows how many have closed or been taken back by corporate. Nobody has a current franchise owner list.

    The corporate guys used to publish this information but then discovered it encouraged franchise owners to unite and resist the zor, so they stopped. Then they got rid of the franchise owner’s forum because too many were complaining about corporate abuse practices. They always monitored everyone’s email.

    Owning this franchise was like having big brother there with you.

    • I always thought it stange that there has never been a compilation of store locations either as a list or stars on a map.

      • This is such a scam company. You would have to be a retard to even consider buying into this company. I also heard from many reliable companies that they are burning through their cash for the cod payment terms their on.

        If anyone wanted to question their finacial abilities just spent $50 on a d and b statement and you will see they are not credit worthy to anyone.

        • just did…D&B report is platinum level with a high rating. I think that speaks volumes regarding the motives behind your post.

          • Could you please copy and paste the report to prove your point?

          • i can request the same thing from you.

          • I don’t have a report bud, I didn’t make the claim above, just another guy here… I guess that means you don’t have it though. If you did you’d just put it up considering it proves your point.

          • Yea paste some of the report you lier. Just a little.
            You are so full of it you smell like that rippey whore girls dirty snatch. Maby you are her crack head brother Joe or your the famous Give it to me Hard Daddy Rippey. Either way I smell a dirty Rippey around here. Just put up your info and prove your point. Cant do becuse you are a Lier

            ** EDIT BY FRANCHISEPUNDIT Aug-16-2011: Folks, please stop the name calling and insulting.

          • are you kidding me? is that really how you spell the word “LIAR”???? you did it twice too. please go to school then come back here retard

          • d&b reports mean very little. it will not show the amount they owe to vendors because the vendors have not reported ucc filings or anything official such as to credit bureaus. dont take that report as a means to describe a “healthy” business.

          • You don’t know what you are talking about. Any vendor who has extended credit to these guys, not been paid and had to turn the matter over to collection would show on a D&B report. The SPI case would show on D&B, the personal credit histories of the main players would be there. All other ligitation would be there. And if someone ran a BIR all would be exposed as this type of enterprise cannot hide too much if it is filing tax returns, reporting to city, state and federal agencies and issuing financial instruments of any kind.

          • Read the article about 13 posts up.

            1. Is Radiator Express really the franchisor, if it is doing all the collection and operational functions? If so, where are its financials – it being the “parent company”?

          • You dont know what you are talking about because there are plenty of vendors that 800 owes/owed that doesnt/wont show up on d&b such as frigette, ranshu, apdi, csf,vengard. and others. Spectra probably only showed up AFTER the UCC filings. Not while 800 owed them money and was behind. They were behind with Spectra since before 2006

          • For sale 4 years

            I have been tring to sell my location for 4 years. Once the few that were interested got a close look and reallized they would have to work 70 hours a week they ran away quickly. I even take half of what I paid just to get time off and do somthing else. So it is deal at half of my cost. If interested let me know and I an call.

          • this is definately a rippey. i can tell. Ted probably. he is a retard

          • a 1-800 Franchise Owner

            You have a potty mouth. Does your mother know?

        • I happen to work for one of these franchises. And I’m under paid, no vacations “without conflict and often discouraged”, over worked “doing the tasks of five diffrent employees” because we are understaffed.

          And to put the nail in the coffin no lunches no breaks with NO OVERTIME! Sometimes we are forced to work the day before holidays and after, so it makes vacationing irrelevant.

          I know there are others out there like me that work for greedy franchises, and one day they will all stand as one legion. I am but one of many educated people stuck in a workforce where there are no other jobs to turn to at the time.

          -CC

          • In your opinion how is the franchise system as a whole doing?

          • This place makes money…I move parts. Mass quantity’s of radiators, condensers, fan assembly’s, radiator caps, compressors, even gloves.

            If the franchise owners wernt so stingy and paid what their employees were worth then it would be more profitable for them.

            On a weekly basis I move anywhere between $10,000 to $20,000. And in return I have my job threatened, belittle’d, discouraged, and screamed at.

            Im asked to do too many tasks. Back office work, rack parts, sell parts, make outgoing calls, go on delivery’s at times using my own car.

            Im discouraged to take lunches or breaks or even go on vacations. Im forced to work weekends though its overtime I dont get paid for it at all!

            I guess it all depends on the operator. 1800-Radiator “FRANCHISE” is a great operation and can be good for employee’s if there were more staff and better pay for people that do deserve it.

          • Also an employee. Cant say i disagree with your view of your situation. While I cant say i get yelled at or recieve threats, I can say that im overworked and underpaid. But so is everyone in the 99%. I just wish my boss was here more then 5 hours per week lol

            Oh, btw, my location is making a fortune.

      • This is such a scam company. You would have to be a retard to even consider buying into this company. I also heard from many reliable companies that they are burning through their cash for the cod payment terms their on.

        If anyone wanted to question their finacial abilities just spent $50 on a d and b statement and you will see they are not credit worthy to anyone.

    • a 1-800 Franchise Owner

      I don’t know where you got your info, we have an owners forum.

  104. How come everyone stopped talking regarding this company? it’s like someone turned the lights out and left the room.

  105. I HEARD THEY R BUYING OUT SPI ANY TRUTH TO THAT

  106. Interesting. If we were to believe all the comments, we have probably heard from every existing and former franchisee on this forum. I don’t think so. Is this sinking ship the same one with double-digit growth in a rough economy?

  107. Ripp ed off franchisee

    It has almost been a year since we gave up on our 1-800 dream. Just prior to calling it quits, there were 2 vendors that had put us on credit hold. I will not mention the companies, but we had to call corp before placing orders.

    There was a local large vendor who also was crying that they were not getting paid.

    Rad express was getting 90 day terms and using the float to finance things. Great idea considering the credit crunch.

    I was forced to sign a waiver of any law suits. I wish that I could persue litigation now that I can afford to. We lossed about $250K including our retirement monies.

    There was a rush to set up the franchises and never any concern regarding profitibility of any one location. I was also placed in a territory with a very large regional competitor who flipped a switch and drove me out.

    Any decent law suits or all hot air here ?

    • This “regional competitor” is a real threat that all franchisee’s need to look out for as 1-800 can easily be out performed on the pricing issue. The corporate story talks about mom and pop companies along with the local parts store being the competition. The fact is that in many markets, some of the big players are just waiting for the right reason to “flip the switch” and 2011 may bring some pressure to bear on the 1-800 model.

      • That’s exactly right. The problem with this business is that each franchisee is basically working for themselves while large regional players can ship products on containers and spread costs among several locations while not paying any royalties/fees to a franchisor. Thus, it’s a hit or miss type of business: if you get a good territory, you get lucky until a good competitor moves in; if you get a saturated territory, you’re out of luck and, most likely, out of your initial investment. By the way, chances are the franchisor will tell you all territories are good and that they have never had any failures! Hah, hah.

        • Automotive parts are a commodity. Folks don’t pay a premium for service – they pay for the cheapest part they can get. The worst part is that everyone offers at least a 1 year warranty so the warranty thing isn’t that big a deal.

  108. Franchisor’s cash in bank per CA 6-24-10 filing:

    12-31-06 2,314,773
    12.31-07 1,101,592
    12-31-08 154,970
    12-31-09 853
    06-05-10 71-

    No details for parent company (Radiator Express) so actual cash is not disclosed.

    • This is based on 1-800-radiator’s misrepresentations about the number of PIDS in a given territory. They do this all the time. I know 1 guy that was told his territory had 1500 active pids. After buying the franchise, he and his regional went through the territory and could not find 200 pids. Needless to say he soon went out of business. This is a common ploy and any of you who have a similar story to tell should contact the plaintiff’s attorney in this case and let them know:

      Steve Garner
      Strong-Garner-Bauser
      415 E. Chestnut Expressway
      Springfield, MO 65802
      417-887-4300

    • It doesn’t matter. 1-800-radiator will get it into arbitration and the whole thing will be swept under the rug.

  109. http://radiatorfranchiseeassociation.com/Association_Bulletins.htm

    Very interesting reading – tells you everything you need to know about 1-800-radiator franchise.

  110. The ones I know of hire all their people through a temp agency, not direct hire. I costs the company $30/hr to send out salesman who don’t have product background and the training is minimal.

  111. Great concepts! I was having some porblems about what you already mentioned, Now I might be better!

  112. 7 more franchises failed!!

    “During September 2010 the Association received reports of seven franchisee warehouse closings.”

    Read all about it:

    http://radiatorfranchiseeassociation.com/October_2010_Association_Bulletins.htm

  113. I am a 1800Radiator Franchise owner. I would not recomend buying this franchise to anyone. The franchisor, Joe Rippey spends all his money on lawsuits against franchise owners, competitors, and vendors.

    As my employee stated the 1800Radiator Franchisor is like a pimp and you are his prostitute. He pushes you around, beats you up, takes your earnings until there is nothing left. That is the kind of relationship you will have with the Rippeys. They will take more in royalties a year then you will make! 10% royalties on your gross sales!

  114. This string reminds me of the prior emailing back and forth at 1-800-Rad. How all you guys doin?

  115. May be a good business for some. However, I got taken for a ride. Anyone interetsed in a class action. fishinguy@optonline.net

  116. Long Ago Ex-Owner

    I’ve been a former owner for quite some time and I find this site interesting. Perhaps someone can answer a few questions:

    1. What ever became of the attempt to form a franchise owners’ association? Did it even get off the ground? I can’t imagine corporate allowing that to happen without a big fight.
    2. A number of early 2010 posts suggest (hope?) that the corporation was nearly out of business. Is there any evidence of this? Does anyone have any idea how many warehouses opened or closed in 2010?
    3. What is the status of the lawsuit filed in Missouri, mentioned in an August post? Have any lawsuits been successful? Corporate appears to be pretty successful in the courts.

    Best of luck to all who remain! For all my fellow ex-owners, I feel your pain and understand your anger. Keep your heads up!

    Thanks.

  117. I have been out of the business since 1998, when I made a lot of money doing the right thing…..I delivered! It isn’t about 5% or 15%. it is about reputation and being FIRST to the front of the car! If you buy into a market too small to support the volume required to provide this kind of service, you are done before you start.

    If your “business plan” is to price compete, you won’t make money and vendors will recognize that you have no potential growth, and growth is necessary.

  118. interested in franchisee in so Cal

    Anyone have any updates on this franchisor?

  119. interested in franchisee in so Cal

    Was looking in to getting a 1800 in so cal. Anyone have any new info?

  120. Vito @ 1800 Radiator #278

    I am astonished by the things I have just read on this website. Honestly it should all be taken down because most of it is just utter nonsense and bullshit.

    Being a current, successful 1-800-Radiator franchise, I know that all these clowns pretending to be ‘ex 1800′ and so on, is all bullshit. You obviously don’t know what you are talking about.

    I worry about my bottom line, as any small business in America does. And my Corporate Headquarters does the same. I don’t know how much money they have in the bank, i don’t know if they pay bills late, or early! Not once have I been denied a part, a pallett, or anything from any of our listed suppliers and vendors.

    Our last Conference in Vegas in April of 2011 was full of Franchisees. Most who are happy, but definitely many that are not. We had our annual Vendor Show, which was in the biggest room so far, and was absolutely packed with Manufacturers’. Some very happy with 1-800-Radiators business, and some who have been trying to GAIN our business. They spent thousands of dollars to fly out to Vegas, set up a booth, give out free prizes to Franchisees, some even stayed the whole weekend interacted with Franchisee’s asking “what can we do better”. So ‘anonymous’ who wants to say differently – you are a joke. And unfortantely anyone can say whatever they want to say on this website, and make up silly names.

    I AM A CURRENT OWNER and I have been since October 27th 2007. I DID NOT MAKE ANY MONEY FOR ALMOST TWO YEARS!!! That’s right. I was broke, busting my ass for TWO DAMN YEARS, and didn’t make ANY MONEY! Why am I telling all you clowns? Because if I started any start up business I would expect not too. And when i started to make a little extra money along the way, I invested most back into my business to help grow to where I am today!

    2010 I grossed 1.2 million dollars. And as of today, July 29th 2011 I am up more than 35% of last year.

    So why believe me? My name is Vito Cirioni. My franchise number is #278. 1-800-Radiator & A/C of Westchester NY. I service Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester County NY and Fairfield County CT. My location address is 516 S. Fifth Ave, Mt. Vernon NY 10550. You can email me directly at vito@1800radiator.com or you are more than welcome to stop by my store and meet one of my many employees or see my 8,000 sq ft warehouse and my every day operation.

    If you are actually interested in a Franchise and not just defamation, slander, or libel — please email or simply stop by a local franchise in or around your neighborhood.

    • Vito, Just because you don’t agree with what is being said here… DOES NOT mean that it is bullshit… You live in a market that has 1000’s of PID’s.. some of us in the rural west… are lucky to have 100’s of PID’s…in parts of more than 1 state.. with a lot of nothing in between the towns.. SHipping is huge and when we would order parts from the vendors, some took over a week to get delivered.And for those of you on here questioning buying direct from the vendors..that won’t happen, the vendors are all afraid of being blocked by Corp. if they were to get caught,as they have been told that they are to bill 1-800 direct.
      You say your gross sales are over 1.2 million for 2010..that doesn’t mean that you are making any money. Once you get involved with this Franchise .. the only way out is bankrupty, when you show little to no income they are not re-sellable..You are stuck!

      • Im with you Ex Owner 2, A million dollars for 2011, 8000 sq ft for that big market is nothing. I bet he will never break even. If the guy is stupid enough to pay big bucks for that 800 location he is stupid enough to work 80 hours per month. I bet he is living in the warehouse since that is where all his money is. That guy sounds like a retarded Rippey for sure. This company is a scam, Old man Rippy is a fraud, Joe is a crack head and the sister Ruby is a known whore. They were all inbread and developed a life incest from Daddy. EDIT BY FRANCHISEPUNDIT on Aug-16-2011: Please stop the name calling and personal insults.

        • This company is a complete scam… they take 2% of ALL gross sales for marketing..WHERE the hell do they market? Have you ever seen any T.V time?? Magazines?? If you ask them where it is spent, you get the standard “Logos, Trademarks, websites.”.. REALLY… they should have to show each and every warehouse just where they spend that money..The franchisee’s pay for Phone Book ads.
          ALL disputes have to be settled in Arbitration.. that way anyone looking to get into this company doesn’t have a clue how many territories have been closed, bankrupt, sold to a neighboring territory, at a profit for the Rippey’s.

    • Vito is doing sooooo well that his franchise has been listed for sale on their corporate site for over a year (https://www.1800radiator.com/territories/listings/_available/index.html).

      Too funny. Spin that one Vito.

      Roughly 20% of the franchises are listed for sale on their very own site. This does not include those that want to get out, but are doing it more discreetly, and not listing it there.

      Imagine any truly successful franchise that has 20+% of their outlets for sale at any one time. There aren’t any.

  121. So if a current frachise owner wanted to sell me his business he couldn’t? Truthfully I wouldn’t be interested in there customer list. You can get a customer list very easily through the net. I just think you could get the inventory pretty cheap as well as get rid a little nat.

    • A franchisee owns all the inventory and equipment. The only one that legally has an interest in that would be the bank who has a UCC filing. The zor will pressure the zee into thinking they have an interest when they do not. A zee can work with the bank to liquidate these assets to anyone they want.

  122. Truthfully I wouldn’t be interested in their customer list. Anyone can get a customer list very easily through the net. I just think you could get the inventory pretty cheap as well as get rid a little nat.

  123. A Texas Franchisee

    There are lots of franchisees that are doing VERY WELL. Do your due diligence and actually visit a few to get the straight scoop. There is so many half truths on this site it’s rediculous. When you visit any existing franchise, you will get the truth….the great, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

    • ‘half truths’ is what Joe Rippey used to call my comments all the time. They’re only half truths if there isn’t proof. Where’s yours? You don’t even tell us your real name and a way to reach you…

      Some things have probably changed since early 2008, but I can tell that the core of the zor/zee relationship has not.

  124. “The vendors don’t want to sell direct to the franchisees because too many dead beats (like Samir and “Ex-Owner2? above) spoiled it for the rest of us”
    REALLY??? we were never sold parts directly. so how COULD we have spoiled it for the rest of you?!! HARDWORKING FRANCHISEE my ass! you are from Corp..and we all know it! $80-100K salary??!! NEVER happened.We were lucky to stay above water as long as we did!

  125. How many current or past 1-800 franchise owners (or competitors for that matter) have had legal action taken against them or received letters threatening action from 1-800 ? Any business that hides behind lawyers only does it for one reason, they know what they are doing is wrong. What really sucks, is that decent idea has been ruined by a franchisor [edited by Franchise Pundit – please, no name calling and limit your accusations to your personal experiences]

  126. How is this company doing as a whole? Any new updates??

  127. Any one interesting in buying 1/2 of a franchise?

  128. Hey guys, its now 01/04/2017 and 1-800-Radiator & A/C is still up and running. As of 2015 Driven Brands have purchased the franchise and have added it to their long list of automotive only franchises. This list includes Meineke, Maaco, Econo Lube and many many more that you may or may not of heard of.

    As of the last 1-800-Radiator conference in Las Vegas, the owners have declined, a lot, but 1-800 has more locations than ever. The peak of selling franchises, there were over 230 owners, and approx 250 locations. From what I understand, there are less than 190 owners, but locations are close to 300. The company in 2016 grossed approximately 300 million dollars in Radiators, A/C Parts, Fuel Parts and the big announcement in Vegas was the new pilot program of Catalytic Converters. 20 locations have already launched, but 1800 Corp tested first with two corp owned locations.

    All the upset, and unhappy Franchisee’s are gone. It appears that almost all the single owner locations have been eaten up by the larger, more financially secure multi-store locations. Cummins Radiator has 3 or 4 locations now, The Radiator Store is now a Franchise with over 12 locations and approx 30 million in sales. Radiator Depot is part of the 1-800 network and has 5 or 6 new stores.

    I don’t know how much a typical Franchisee makes, but they all seemed to be doing well, exchanging stories, etc. It was nice going to the conference and talking to so many people. I definitely think that a few franchisee’s are struggling, and or willing to sell, but the vast majority does seem profitable and growing.

    A lot of the things posted on here seem to be really far off. From what I understand 1-800 was selling franchise’s to pretty much any one who would buy one, and it looks like that was definitely a mistake from this forum. It seems like a lot of those mistakes are now no longer with the company. It also seems like Joe Rippey was a great owner in the fact that he grew this company so fast, but obviously made a lot of mistakes as well, but in the long run he sold the company for a lot of money and to the benefit of the Franchisee’s they now have a very strong ownership and tons of Capital with Driven Brands.

    A lot of the guys who were at 1-800 with the Rippey’s are now in charge and running the company for Driven Brands. The morale seems to be “how to continue to strive, and continue to grow when you reached the top. What new products can be brought to our current customers? What can we do better? How do we corner the ecommerce market with so many other competitors?”

    After reading thru some of the comments some ex owners said so much about other competitors taking you out, or Performance Radiator being so profitable, also read about SPI (spectra radiators). I think Performance is down to less than 30 warehouses. SPI sold their distributorships to Keystone/LKQ. The new competition seems to be the general parts stores.

    And to touch on someone else’s comments on vendors not getting paid. I don’t know if that holds any water, if that was ever a case, but I’ll tell you, the vendor show was a 5000 sq foot ball room with more than 100 tents/displays set up begging for business from these guys.

    • Seriously. I can’t believe these PR posts are still a thing.

      Our former location has been sold two times since we got out of it. And at one point one of the owners were asking me if I wanted it back.

      The only way these large multi-owners are succeeding is via deals the regular franchisee does not get. This is the same strategy that was done in the beginning, and some SEC filings I ran across a few years ago showed exactly what was promised to whom in exchange for deferred or non-assessed royalties. It explained a lot about the attitude of the corporate cheerleaders locations as they were getting a deal. When you don’t have to pay the royalties, you do have enough leftover to pay yourself. But the normal franchisee doesn’t get this deal so you end up working for nothing if you do it their way.

      There are court documents that show the results of the lawsuit between SPI and radiator express dba 1-800-radiator. The very fact that you try to say this didn’t happen reveals how much of a corporate stooge post this is. When everyone else has forgotten about this and you need to bring it up, that reveals that it’s still an issue.

      This is a franchise to run from. It doesn’t make money for the franchisee, and you can actually do the same thing without a franchise and make money if you choose to do so. Anyone considering the investment into a franchise should consider other investment vehicles that will produce a much higher return with less risk and less work.

      As always, the best advice on researching any franchise is to just learn it all first hand by working at a franchisee location for a year–the truth will be revealed. And to avoid a lifelong mistake, it may be the best year you’ve ever spent. Good luck everyone.

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