Josh Kosman of the New York Post reports that the CNBC documentary on franchising has one Scottsdale, Ariz., company ice-screaming mad.
Cold Stone Creamery and a franchisee group are threatening legal action against the business cable network, claiming this month’s documentary, “Behind the Counter: The Untold Story of Franchising,” incorrectly portrayed the company as a cold-hearted firm that charges franchisees hidden expenses, relies on kickbacks from vendors and requires franchisees to purchase equipment from a company it controls.
Lawyer Robert Zarco, who represents the Cold Stone franchisees, said the program unfairly put the big chill on their businesses by relying solely on a former Florida franchisee Cecil Rolle, who already lost a legal battle against the company making similar, if not identical, charges.
Rolle says he talked five franchisees out of committing suicide, Zarco said.
Both the company and CNBC agree Cold Stone was given a chance to participate in the one-hour program — but declined. Rauch, though, said he did not know that CNBC would be reporting the suicide angle.
A CNBC spokesman said: “After the initial airing, Cold Stone reached out to us. Despite having time to talk to the New York Post and others, they have not agreed to a time, date or place for an on-camera interview. Assuming they do, we will include their comments in all future airings in the coming years.”
Still, CNBC is responding to the pressure. First, the network edited the show to reflect Rolle had lost a lawsuit against Cold Stone. Then, CNBC, beginning Dec. 25, pulled the show from its documentary rotation.
Read more: New York Post