Arghandewal vs.Pot Belly Deli Inc sign now

Desired outcome: Were fighting the corrupt business practices of Pot Belly Deli Inc., a bay-area based corporation thats sold over a dozen failing businesses over the past 5 years alone to unsuspecting minorities who were targeted specifically for their unfamiliarity with the American business system. We hope you can join us in writing to the AAA, to force them to take action against biased arbitrators like Mr. Leonard Geyer. We hope to influence the Department of Corporations, so that PBD Inc. will lose their privilege to continue selling untested, unregistered franchises under false names. We also want to influence PBD Inc. so that they will return $200,000 back to the Arghandewal family, and stop their corrupt business practices.

PBD Inc. has sold unregistered franchises of Pot Belly Burger & Grill to at least two families. Theyve taken hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of life savings from people around the bay area by lying to them about the type of stores they were buying. One example is the Arghandewal family who came to the U.S. in 1997. Through hard work & by selling their home, they were able to put together enough money in hopes of investing it in a business that would give them financial freedom. Instead, Jelani, Marzila, & their 2 older daughters found themselves working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, nonstop just to make ends meet. PBD Inc. initially gave them an estimate of $75,000 for the cost of a Deli franchise that had over 27 years of experience. After the contract was signed & the $20,000 non-refundable deposit was received, PBD Inc. started demanding more money, threatening to leave the family without a restaurant. Shortly before the store was opened in Fairfield, Ca in March 2003, & over $100,000 was invested, the family was notified that a Burger & Grill restaurant would be opened instead. This was a new format that had not been tested, & would cost over $200,000. Not wanting to lose their hard-earned life money & feeling trapped in their contract, they decided to scrounge up the money & give the business a try. After taking out loans & borrowing money from relatives, they were finally able to get the money together. Over the next 8 months the family was confined to the restaurant, unable to afford to hire worker to take their place due to rising expenses which was a direct result of the companys poor business plan. After consulting with an attorney, Jelani closed the store in November 2003, at which point representatives for PBD Inc. took over. In May 2005 the case was brought to arbitration, where the arbitrator ruled in favor of PBD Inc. It was a biased decision, evident in the fact that the hearing was held at PBDs attorneys office. The arbitrator made several racist remarks towards Jelani, & refused to look over some incriminating documents that were presented to him. In his ruling, he explained the family failed to provide proof that there was a difference between a Pot Belly Deli & a Pot Belly Burger & Grill. Besides the fact that the familys attorney provided brochures & pictures from the 2 restaurants, establishing the obvious difference, it should take nothing more than common sense to realize that there is in fact a difference between a Deli & a Burger joint. Since common sense doesnt seem to be an issue, it can only be concluded that the arbitrators decision was biased. To add insult to injury, the family has been ordered to pay over $65,000 of PBDs legal fees. Not only has PBD embezzled over $200,000 then re-sold the business for a $50,000 profit without giving a dime back to the family, but now they have the audacity to demand an additional $65,000. The AAA has refused to hear this case again, despite the arbitrators misconduct, & the family is currently going through the court system to appeal the case. The justice system has failed, & something needs to be done. We call upon all those who care about the future of the justice system, civil rights, and anyone with compassion for a family who worked their entire lives in hope of the American Dream only to be robbed then denied justice by the AAA. We ask that you stand up with the Arghandewal family against corrupt companies like PBD Inc. & insist that justice be served so that the rights of future business owners are secured, and they are protected from fraud. If our demands are not met, we are prepared to boycott all PBD Inc. businesses, take our case to the media, & protest outside its corporate headquarters in San Ramon, Ca.

Any help is welcome. In addition to signing this petition, please also take the time to e-mail the AAA, the California Department of Corporations, and most importantly, Pot Belly Deli Inc. The contact infor is included below.

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Cindy ButlerBy:
Culture and SocietyIn:
Petition target:
American Arbitration Association, California Department of Corporations, Pot Belly Deli Inc.


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