The Puck Stops Here

Peter Fry, the man behind Puckmasters, says his company can help franchisees make money operating hockey training centres for kids. But dozens of investors who bought in say Fry doesn’t deliver on his promises, and left them with nothing but broken dreams and crippling debts.

Global News
October 19, 2011

The Puck Stops Here

BC based “Puckmasters” has been offering hockey lovers the chance to gain financial independence for the past 18 years. Peter Fry, the man behind Puckmasters, says his company can help franchisees make money operating hockey training centres for kids. But dozens of investors who bought in say Fry doesn’t deliver on his promises, and left them with nothing but broken dreams and crippling debts.

“He’s not an honest person, he takes money and doesn’t deliver the product or the promises that he took the money for,” said Jack Van Dongen, who started a Puckmasters franchise in 2009.

Encouraged by Fry’s positive personality and the promise of a proven business plan, the Chilliwack, BC man bought in for $30,000. But he says Fry provided him with no training, no marketing or administrative support, and failed to deliver the promised equipment, leaving him on the hook for thousands of dollars in extra expenses.

After two years, Van Dongen’s business is up for sale, and he’s not alone. In a 16x9 investigation, we uncovered 36 franchise locations across North America, now only nine are still operating under the Puckmasters name. The rest either changed their name or appear to have gone out of business.

James and Lori Klassen are among those who went out of business. The couple from Mission, BC is about to lose their home after filing for bankruptcy in July.

“I’ve gone to university, I’ve got several degrees and masters degrees,” said James Klassen. “But I didn’t pay as much for those as I did for this one.”

The Puckmasters franchisees who spoke to 16x9 blamed Fry for their money woes.

16x9 caught up with him to ask why he has been telling franchisees he could help them make over $100,000 dollars a year when so many franchisees told 16x9 they lost money on the Puckmasters investment.

“Well, threre’s two sides to every story. Number one is, we’re not perfect,” said Fry. “I would say my biggest downfall is being too optimistic and being too optimistic with people that we have allowed to become franchises.”

Fry admits many of his franchises have failed, and says he’s made mistakes.

“Okay, it was a failure. Okay? You can air that, you can put that on there, okay? I’m saying we had some issues, we dealt with them, right?”

Fry now admits the original business model that called for small rinks with synthetic ice surfaces was a failure because many kids prefer to play on real ice. But he says the new model, with real ice, will be much easier to sell.

“I’ve made mistakes, I think we’ve fixed the foundation in order to make it very successful long term,” he said.

“But time will tell.”

But already, franchisees who bought into the new, real ice model have told 16x9 nothing has changed.

Montreal native Shawn Snyder also bought in for $30,000, but cut ties with Puckmasters in May, citing a lack of support and a litany of broken promises.

“I was trying to live my passion and my dreams like he says on his website, so it hurt me more than it pissed me off,” said Snyder.

Watch 16x9 Saturday at 7pm when Sean O’Shea catches up with the man behind the broken dreams, and reveals a trail of shocking complaints.

© Shaw Media Inc., 2011. All rights reserved.

http://www.globalnews.ca/the+puck+stops+here/6442504418/story.html


Risks: Bankruptcy was inevitable the moment the contract was signed, Blame the victim, Bullshit baffles brains, Business model had never created adequate investor returns, Debt traps, Deceptive marketing practices, Honesty, Misrepresentations, No franchisor support, Canada, 20111019 The puck

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