So I say to myself, why should some in the local business community be left thinking
I had misled them, when I had put my employment and the sale price of my business
on the line, trying to prevent it?
C21 Incident- What It Shows Is Critical - If you really look at the details! The
means by which Kempf deceived the C21 Owners in that contract matter should tell
a jury all they need to know (These Individual owners created the “group” so they
could buy advertising in bulk and get discount ad rates, C21 Corporate would reimburse
them some). They are otherwise 10+- individual owners of C21 franchises throughout
the Cape. Each successful and respected business leaders in their own right. Doug
A******* was President of the Mass Assoc of Realtors during this period. Jamie R*****
was president of the CC Board of Realtors during it. C21 B**** is among the oldest
of all C21 franchises. Each had been a friend and client of mine prior to the sale,
each has been advertising with the Cape Cod Times longer than that.
The details of how this group of intelligent business owners were tricked out of
$100,000+- should be important to my case is because the exact same method was used
in their deceptions to me- (“RealEstateMergerAnalysis”). Both cases show that CCT
willing to look the other way, or make up ‘facts” for the sake of profits, all the
way to Corporate.
They baffled C21 with absolutely baseless numbers, then throws in “Price Basis $.25/Search”.
The only thing they could understand and count on was “$.25/search” and “17,500/Searches”.
2-2 year contracts, $36,000 per year. My complaints quoted below resulted in a difficult
relationship my bosses going forward, but did manage to get $4,200 monthly rate down
to $3,000. That saved these businesses $50,000 over the 4 years and reduced by $15,000
the commission & Rev Share due me. But it was a win.
Look at the exchange! He’s going to lie, then say it’s an estimate, then say it’s
a shared risk, then say no refunds. May 20, 2003: They send me an email about “Integrity”:
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." In short, if we wouldn't consider
what's being done to us to be fair we ought not to do it to someone else”. They actually
had the audacity to remind me about integrity even as they enable Kempf to steal
from clients. And become “the problem”.
May 21, 2003 Kempf sends me C21 Advertising Proposal“VERY IMPORTANT: I need you
to support the 100k impressions/month baseline. Trust me, Bob, we will get there
and quickly”. ($100k, Baseline, Trust Me - sound like Familiar terms? It Should..
see Very End of Appellant’s Brief. He Goes on to write“no refunds or rebates they
are sharing the risk - if the average impressions over the term is below 100k, they
are actually paying more, but we believe it will be over.” (His opening clearly shows
that he knows that I know the 100k baseline is a farce. Yet uses his position to
add “but we believe it will be over”).
May 21, 2003 Fontaine’s Reply to His Boss Robert Kempf:“There were 6,800 Page views
on ccre index last week. I'm not too keen on on having my name on a document that
tells this company there will be 50,000 page view for the month”.(Actually tells
them 100,000, see below)
And so the argument went on...
May 22, 2003 Kempf to Me“They are locking at that number. It's a "basis" number,
an assumption if you will. It's a shared risk and makes them immune from price increases.
If reality differs, so be it.”May 22, 2003 Kempf to Me “Ah, I see what you mean about
the May figures. I will change the language to reflect "anticipated" June page impressions.”
June 19, 2003 Fontaine to Meyer“There is a situation relating to the C21 Group that
could potentially turn into a serious problem for the company.”
June 30, 2003 Fontaine to Ad Manager Evans “p.s. I respectfully disagree that his
overcharge of C21 was unintentional. And will prove same if need be.”.
Ultimately, in spite of dozen written notices from Fontaine to CC T that client was
not getting what they were paying for, Fontaine files Whistleblower Complaint with
the parent Corporation, Dow Jones.
It ended up costing C21 Group about $140,000 for advertising every other advertiser
would have paid about $40,000 for.
Below Proposal CCT gives C21 - “Currently Home page gets 50,000 impressions per month”
“C21 w/b charged $.25”
By 2006, when Kate McMahon is Manager and C21 starts asking for specific numbers,
I remind her as I had all along that the SMADS were oversold - for everybody, and
that C21 has been getting cheated for years.. She replies “we’re not concerned with
that, that isn’t how the contract is written”.
What should not be overlooked in this whole exchange is that he writes “Attached
is our SMAD offer to C21. I won't be able to make this meeting tomorrow so I'm going
to rely on you to present it. Give it a spin and see what you think. Then read my
notes in this email. I will have some limited time to discuss tomorrow but am on
deadline to produce a cost-cutting plan (that's right, you hear right, cost cutting!!)
for the boss by 5PM.”
He’s trying to get them to buy this $4,200/mo, $100,000+ 2 year deal, and he cant
make it? Worse than that, they are working on cutting costs just as I am telling
them 70 hour weeks, no advertising, no help?
So I will be the salesperson, my name is on the proposal, my name on the contract,
I go to each and have all 10 of them sign, and I have 20% interest via Revenue Share.
So when the Shit Hits The Fan... Who’s name was all over everything, who does it
look like had the most to gain by lying? Fontaine.
And sure enough, around the holidays in 05/06 I think, C21 owners start calling my
house, asking where is all the traffic we promised. Yet CCT was nowhere to be found
to answer that. Kempf long gone, Kate says something like (and we have in writing)
“You want to relive old matters...”.
The $.97 figure below is CCT accounting to C21 about what they paid in 2005. This
means that they paid $36,000 in 2005 for less than $10,000 in advertising. Dozens
of others were similarly overcharged on a smaller scale, every month, for years.
Paying thousands of dollars every single month for 17,500 units per month - but are
lucky to get 5,000 most months. Badditionally, CCT Management made their “estimates”
in May, Prime Cape Cod real estate season. So by winter your traffic is going to
be LESS not More! Hence December 2006 Below C21 Owners paid $2.41 per unit, while
everyone else was paying $.25. And nobody sees anything wrong with that?
2002 Kempf selling them (and me) the deal, writes “It’s a shared risk” -“Pricing
Basis Assumption $.25 Search”. Those two statements couldn’t have been further from
the truth. He knew it, I knew it, I told him, then I told Meyer, they I told Molly,
then I told Ottaway Corporate - who flies into town to meet me, but nothing is ever
done. Kempf gets promoted.
“I need you to support the 100k impressions/month baseline. Trust me, Bob, we will
get there and quickly”.
Below shows the stats for 2004 and 2005. The Average monthly click-thrus dont come
close to averaging 17,500.
Instead of “getting there quickly”, they actually got LESS in 2005 than in 2004.
I could obviously go on in vivid detail regarding other aspects of this C21 Matter.
Suffice is to say, they were willing to steal, $100,000+ is A LOT of money! Dozens
of others were overcharged as well.
Kempf’s “Trust me Bob, we’ll get there, and soon” was all smoke as I knew it was
the moment he said it. I sold them 85,000+ visitors a month, it has grown backwards
to some 10,000 they currently boast.
In a very tense meeting on this matter (I’m only calling my boss a thief) with Kempf
and Molly, two manager’s vs me, they promised they would advertise the hell out of
the websites to quickly reach the numbers he was stating. Never came close to happening.
They simply didn’t pay attention to advertising the site except to benefit print.
“VERY IMPORTANT: I need you to support the 100k impressions/month baseline” He was
REALLY saying “I expect you to go along with this lie”!!!!!!
Kempf knew that the group owners trusted me, and didn’t trust or like him, so he
was using me as the trust factor, if I liked it or not. The group will tell you that.
Below, the Advertising proposal they gave C21 (I never wrote a proposal for C21,
this was print and Kempf’s product, given to me to sell to them) -The are a couple
of blatant falsehoods here:
*c - Our stats were telling us half that amount. “We expect that to grow to 80,000
to 100,000 during the 2nd half of this year” That is nonsense. The only “we” who
had any clue at all regarding these numbers were Kempf and Me, and he knew I knew
his numbers were false. As far as expecting it to grow to 80k - 100k during the 2nd
half, nonsense again. It was OBVIOUS to us that we were measuring traffic in spring/summer
when it would be at it’s highest, the 2nd half of the year would rop like bricks.
And did, each and every year, naturally. But we wouldn’t want the truth to get in
the way of an important ad contract.
*d - 30%-40%? Look at chart above, ended up being perhaps 5%.
*e “C21 will be charged $.25/search” - 25 Cents per search had NOTHING to do with
This is simply another example of CCT deceiving C21 for money!