The Power Plate Scammers part 2
The list of unethical things this company has done is long, and without a doubt every single one of them has hurt our industries reputation. All will be addressed in time in this series of articles. But this one goes to the heart of the kind of people they really are.
The background info...
Vibra-Train was doing so well in NZ , Power Plate decided it was a good idea to also set up branded studios throughout the country. They decided the best way to do this was to sell Franchises. The idea being that purchasing a Franchised area ( about 10 areas in NZ ) allowed you to be the "Master Studio " in your area. From there you could charge other people to set up other "authorized" studios under the Power Plate Trade Marked banner.
Note: Similar to what I had already done, but instead of using a stock standard Franchise packet off the shelf, I had gotten a License written from scratch and decided never to sell retail. For reasons that will be very apparent after reading this.
These Power Plate Franchise deals also gave you the "rights" to sell Power Plate equipment. Both Pro to home machines to anybody. Exclusive agreements that meant every machine sold or used in your area was somehow coming through you as the Franchise holder. You could also charge to train staff, sell qualifications and courses to trainers.
I have a copy of the franchise proposal and it is VERY clear about what it promises.
So overall not a bad idea on paper, and for the asking price of up to ONE MILLION dollars also got you some celebrity endorsement and business involvement, and a few plastic machines freshly from the new Chinese factory ( that were purchased for about $800 USD by Power Plate Global ) . The "next generation" machines that time proved were NOT commercial quality as claimed by Power Plate, but instead literally fell apart after a bit of hard work.
Now no-one has one million dollars in the bank. So this was all going to be financed somehow. Most participants put up everything like their house and borrowed more on top of that. In the economic climate of pre-recession lending to everyone and anyone, they didn't have too many issues getting the funds together.
This entire deal was authorized and pushed by "the powers that be" at Power Plate Global. The big guys were in charge of every move. One even had a family member involved in New Zealand itself.
One big problem....
They knew from day one it was impossible to control parallel imported machines from China being sold online. And even if you could the law does not cover second hand machines. It was always Power Plates plan to sell to anyone that moved, no matter what the cost to peoples lives or the industry. They had made that very clear to me through their unethical actions in the past, which is why I walked out as their Product Manager in the first place. But this was something else, this was a set up that no-one could win on except those at the very top.
When I approached Power Plate about what I saw as a time- bomb that could severely damage our industries business reputation, and definitely destroy people financially. I got told " its just business " by Power Plate and " you are just scared of competition" by others.
The proof is in the pudding.....
Was I just scare mongering or being anti-competitive ? I invite anyone to check for themselves ....
As predicted, a few weeks after the last Franchise was sold Power Plate machines magically appeared on TradeMe ( our version of EBay ) . And not just the home machines, the Pro models were also being sold cheaper than the Authorized Centers could buy them for from Head Office.
This essentially made the Franchises worthless overnight and dooming any business plan to pay back the massive loans to failure. Because part of that business plan was selling machines. I immediately got phone calls from panicked Franchisees ( some in tears ) that could not get any information from Power Plate. Me Power Plates #1 enemy getting calls from Power Plate reps. But by then there was nothing that could be done.
Now it is one thing to try at business and it not work out for whatever reason. Everyone will admit there are no guarantees in life. But to be totally set up by the people who call themselves "industry leaders". A company that routinely hire celebrities to create artificial goodwill only to one end, to con someone out of their money while giving nothing but cheap machines and cheap promises in return.
But there is such a thing as bad-will, and Power Plate will be made to face up to it.
What I have done so far to correct things ?
Power Plate are just a bad memory for our industry in New Zealand. The consumer has long since forgotten their celebrity endorsements. And together with like minded individuals globally we will do the same in your country. Please help us and do not give these people your money. There are plenty of other companies that do not have this mindset and history that deserve your sale.
Find them and deal with them. Knowing just by doing so, you have helped clean up our industry.