What’s your problem?
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has recently released its half-year report for the period of 1 July to 31 December 2011 in relation to franchising and small-business complaints. There were 365 franchising related complaints in this period – an 18% increase over the first half of the year – with small-business complaints increasing from 1439 to 2109 during the same period.
Contractual disputes (i.e. whether one party was failing to comply with their contractual obligations) was the dominant issue raised regarding franchising, followed by misleading conduct and disclosure related issues. Interestingly, complaints regarding unconscionable conduct were 50% lower than the previous period. For small-business complaints, misleading conduct/misrepresentation was by far the prominent issue.
When such issues arise, significant business relationships often break down and (rightly or wrongly) blame is laid under the strain. How the dispute is managed can make a huge difference in whether the relationship can be maintained or whether it will be irretrievably broken. Hence the right knowledge and approach in managing a dispute is a vital tool for all franchise and business owners.
What to do
Tackle your issues early – before they snowball into much bigger grievances that are harder to resolve. At redchip we understand that disputes take your time and focus away from what really matters – running and growing your business – and that any conflicts need to be managed with a view to a solution.
Franchisors, franchisees and other business owners are regularly referred to us to find quick and cost-effective solutions to franchising and business disputes, whether through negotiation, mediation or aggressive litigation. Our commercial mindset allows us to “think out-of-the-box” in relation to planning, running and resolving these matters.
redchip will work with you and your business in order to:
- Identify and understand your commercial objectives – not every dispute is about money alone – and search for commercial solutions
- Proactively plan a course of action before and during the dispute phase
- Explore cost-effective solutions such as negotiation and mediation, but will also aggressively litigate where needed
We welcome you to contact Peter McLaughlin or Helena Mrmos at our Brisbane office on +617 3223 6100 for an obligation free discussion about how we can assist you, or email Peter at PeterM@redchip.com.au.