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Media slam Jump! Swim Schools over dissatisfied franchisees
Nine Entertainment media outlets A Current Affair and the Sydney Morning Herald have reported on Jump! Swim Schools franchisees being “left high and dry” and in debt as a result of being unable to open their planned businesses.
The reports focus on Juliet Sharpe, a swimming teacher who paid $165,000 for a Jump! Swim School franchise two years ago but has so far not been able to open her planned facility.
The report also highlights that Sharpe has also paid more than $100,000 in rent, Sharpe is still no closer to opening her swim school.
The report suggests that Sharpe says Jump! claimed the building was delayed and said there was trouble with the certification until she engaged a lawyer.
Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, Sharpe stated “my lawyer said 'Pay the money back or build the swim school' (but Jump!) said they could return the options only if they have another buyer. They've got our money and it looks like they are not going to build it unless I take them to court. It's not what I signed up for I can tell you that."
The Sydney Morning Herald also reported on another franchisee, who did not want to be identified, who said he also has not received the swim school he paid Jump! for.
The franchisee, who signed up after seeing an advertisement on Facebook, said there were structural issues with the premises selected for the swim school and so a different premises was selected but the development application was rejected for the premises.
He advised “they bamboozle you with everything but once they have all the money there is no way out.
"There are no time frames on the contracts. You are sort of locked in."
Jump! operates more than 60 swimming school franchises around Australia and has operations in New Zealand, Brazil and Singapore.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Jump! claims to have received $15 million in revenue for swimming lessons across its swimming schools in 2018 and claims Jump!'s headquarters turned over $9 million with the average turnover of Jump! swimming schools at $3.49 million.
Its website offers new franchises for sale and offers "turn-key fit out" which includes the construction of an above ground pool for $180,000 including GST.
The franchise is operated through the company Swim Loops which is owned by Ian Campbell, the founder of Jump!.
Campbell was awarded Australian Emerging Franchisor of the year in 2016 at the Franchise Council of Australia awards.
Franchisee Shaun Trumbull has brought proceedings in the District Court of NSW against Jump! parent Swim Loops.
Trumbull claims he paid more than $154,000 in fees to Jump! to establish two swim schools in Sydney's Northern Beaches.
Trumbull claims Jump! engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct and repudiated its contract with him by requiring payments when the swimming schools were not in existence.
The case has yet to be resolved.
In April last year, Justice Digby found in favour of franchisees Todd Delahunt and Jenelle Delahunt in proceedings brought against Swim Loops (trading as Jump!) in the Supreme Court of Victoria.
The court heard the Delahunts paid $138,000 to Jump! upon opening the swimming school which they financed through a loan secured over their family home.
However Jump! took possession of the Delahunt's swim school in Reservoir over a dispute over $30,753.
Justice Digby granted an injunction compelling Jump! to relinquish possession and operation of the swimming school.
According to A Current Affair, a spokesperson for Jump! would not comment on how many legal disputes Jump! is contesting.
The spokesperson said Jump! attempted to support franchisees by providing financial assistance should landlords require rental payments prior to approvals.
Click here to view the original Sydney Morning Herald article.
Images: An infant being taught at Jump! Swim Schools (top, used for illustrative purposes only) and Ian Campbell the founder of Jump! was awarded Australian Emerging Franchisor of the year in 2016 (below).
28th November 2017 - New south east Queensland Swim School to focus on infant swimming
27th January 2017 - JUMP! Swim Schools welcomes 15,000 young swimmers
2nd December 2016 - Australian swim school franchise opens first international site
18th November 2016 - Infants driving JUMP! Swim Schools summer enrolments
24th October 2016 - JUMP! Swim Schools named Emerging Franchisor of the Year
30th August 2016 - JUMP! Swim Schools to open more than 50 new franchises across Victoria
12th August 2016 - JUMP! Swim Schools a double finalist in national franchising awards
30th October 2014 - A Current Affair to focus on injuries at trampoline arenas
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