This business boss claimed that his company was performing 'embarrassingly well' during the coronavirus crisis. His franchisees aren’t feeling the same joy.
This business boss claimed that his company was performing 'embarrassingly well' during the coronavirus crisis. His franchisees aren’t feeling the same joy.

‘Ropeable’: Franchisee anger over company’s COVID brag

POOLWERX boss John O'Brien's recent declaration that business was booming despite COVID-19 has made a splash among some less than happy franchisees.

O'Brien told The Courier-Mail in late April that Poolwerx was performing "embarrassingly well" during the COVID-19 pandemic as isolated homeowners upgraded their outdoor areas.

His promotion of the group however has drawn the ire of at least half-a-dozen struggling franchisees, who have contacted City Beat to reveal times are actually tough.

"We're doing average but we are not doing real good," one franchisee said.

"When I saw those comments I was ropeable."

City Beat understands a handful of head office liaison workers, who are employed using franchise fees, have had their hours cut - leaving some Poolwerx owners struggling to get business support and left them questioning why their franchise payments to head office have remained the same.

However, O'Brien stands by his comments, noting the Poolwerx business was "committed to helping our franchise partners flourish".

He says total revenue growth for Queensland for the financial year up to May 31 was up 8 per cent on last year.

"Our June figures show that we are continuing to see growth this month despite the current economic climate," he says.

Poolwerx has maintained its support team who are available to all franchise partners, he says.

Originally published as 'Ropeable': Franchisee anger over company's COVID brag


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