From: "FRANCES L. DIAZ, ESQ." <attyfld@SoCA.com>
Date: 3/22/97 2:25pm
Subject: DECEPTIVE ADVERTISING PRACTICES OF NATIONAL REAL ESTATE FRANCHISOR CENTURY 21
Please acknowledge receipt of my comments to be entered into the public record as related to what is, in my opinion, deceptive advertising practices of Century 21 Real Estate Corporation. My clients are senior citizen consumers who thought they "listed" their home for sale with the almighty company Century 21. They listed with Century 21 as a result of the national advertising on televsion and in local magazine, newspaper and journal ads stating:
"LEAN ON US" "WE'RE #1" PUT YOUR TRUST IN US. -- Century 21 always advertises as US, US, US and WE, WE, WE.
However, when my clients had a problem with the local rogue Century 21 agent, the headquarters office just condoned what the local guy did and then invited a lawsuit. During the litigation which Century 21 admits to having already incurred over $400,000 in attorney fees, Century 21 lawywer have written:
"CENTURY 21 IS NOT IN THE REAL ESTATE SERVICES BUSINESS!"
This franchisor has been allowed to get away with murder because of the franchising rules. Franchisors cannot self-regulate.
There is nobody out there in franchising land who really cares or protects the consumer. The franchising rules must give greater protections to the consumer who is fooled into a false sense of security when they deal with a local "franchised" company. The issue of a franchisor's liability for the tortious conduct of its franchisees needs a greater study. I have studied this issue for over three years! The internet has many articles confirming that franchisors are in fact liable for the tortious conduct of its franchisees -- however, there is no uniformity in the rulings.
PLEASE CALL ME AT (310) 246-9270 AND LET ME KNOW HOW TO PRESENT THE ISSUE IN A MORE MEANINGFUL MANNER TO ANY SUBCOMMITTEE.