An Open Letter Of Testimony For Those Ex-Associate Publishers Facing Travelhost Magazine and James Buerger In Court…

September 29, 2011

For all the ex-AP’s who are facing court battles fighting Travelhost Magazine and Jim Buerger & John Price and their efforts to put innocent entrepreneurs out of business, I have been asked to summarize my thoughts about your valid complaints with Travelhost…my thoughts on your behalf are as follows:

To Whom It May Concern:

I was a defrauded Travelhost Magazine Associate Publisher (AP) that closed my business in 2010 after basically working for free for Travelhost (TH) for the better part of 5 years. Yes, I eked  a small wage, but would have done as well with less stress at my local McDonald’s…and would not have been out of pocket $65,000 for the “privilege” of doing so. However, I was a lucky one, as I got out only losing: my initial investment of $65K, 5 years of actual profitability, and the value of my business when I was ready to sell it.

So lets say I was only out about $350K or so…to start.

AP’s were all originally sold by TH, through express promises an “independent business” with “major marketing support at any time,” and up-to-date (namely, not straight out of the 1950’s) magazine format, a high-end quality of print and publication in a “national network of 135+ markets, including the majority of the large US cities.” We were promised that this national footprint would lend itself to highly profitable regional and national ad sales that would be a major cornerstone of success.

None of this was true, in fact, things turned out to be just the opposite.

Travelhost also promised “wholesale pricing” if an AP would pay $30,000 extra to become an “Associate Publisher” instead of a mere “distributor.”  This and the (so-called) highly valuable rights to sell regional and national ads are expressly stated in writing in the Associate Publisher agreement Travelhost Magazine and Mr John Price created.

I never sold one regional or national ad in 5 years, because there was no significant regional or national penetration of Travelhost Magazine to speak of in the New York Metro Area.

These were all blatant lies by Travelhost. Perhaps the most blatant lie was the fact that TH charged 2.5 times retail for printing as opposed to “wholesale,” resulting in a $50,000 per year overcharge (franchise fee?) on my business that barely grossed $100,000 per year before all expenses.  Also, through  breaching all these promises to other APs who quickly failed, (repeatedly in each city) there was a much smaller geographical publication footprint than repeatedly promised…not “135 large markets and growing to 300+ with a state of the art web channel.” Rather a 90 market publication that was rapidly contracting because Travelhost Magazine was in breach of all the above promises to all AP’s at the time of the sales pitch and thereafter.

Currently, Travelhost is in less than 50 markets and very few are large cities.  Everyone has gone broke repeatedly in these markets. The website is a total joke that has less hits than this blog by new queries.

I and the AP’s repeatedly asked Travelhost to live up to its end of the deal…to no avail. Travelhost promised: “wholesale pricing,” a marketing plan, including ongoing support that was not forthcoming, and an up-to-date magazine that was competitive in the market place.  (orally they promised this, and if they said they were not going to provide any marketing support as the contracts so state…why is Travelhost so intent on dictating the form and content of the magazine, including paper quality and layout?)

Having discovered that Travelhost Magazine was not in as many markets as they repeatedly claimed in all its sales materials, the sale of “national” or “regional” ads was and is totally impossible.  This “benefit” given to AP’s to induce the sale, valued at $70,000 by TH (at the time I was sold the region) was completely worthless, crippling the value of my (and each investor’s) business.

(Of course, Travelhost never tells prospects that selling regional or national ads virtually never happens and is more or less impossible)

The combination of all these TH lies led me to a $65,000 purchase of a business in a franchise sytem where 95% of the investors fail and were burdened with: no support, marketing or otherwise, no capability of selling important regional or national ads, and a cost to put magazines out that is about $50.000 per year higher than retail printing cost by any other vendor, let alone promised “wholesale” pricing. I and 90% of those defrauded by Travelhost were forced to work for free for Travelhost. Many unfortunates have had it worse, much worse…continuing to go out of pocket each month after years building up the business that was handicapped by all of TH’s breached promises. In many cases people have lost everything: 401K’s, life savings and their homes.

There are many others, some who have told their story on my blog (www.publishersadvocate.wordpress.com)

Having been repeatedly stalled by Travelhost after many complaints on all these extremely pressing issues, the APs, including me, were faced with two extremely difficult choices: 1) They could let their business fail because TH refused to rectify these false promises, or 2) they could seek another printer and stay alive in business in order to continue to feed their families.

In my case, I simply let my business fail out of fear that Travelhost Magazine would wrongfully sue me like it has done many times before to other entreprenuers.   However, I have spent hundreds of hours operating a blog that tells investors the truth about this scam. I’m hopefully saving a few people from suffering this same tragedy.

Others have taken a rightful path of getting the printing done elsewhere to survive. The costs are vastly reduced, the magazines are much higher quality and they survived…only to be suedwrongfully by Travelhost Magazine and James Buerger via John Price, Jim’s staff council.

These entrepreneurs should be allowed to continue publishing.

Since Travelhost claims it’s nothing but a “printer” and “publisher,” how can it be irreparably harmed pending trial for damages?  What a judge ought to be thinking about in these cases, rather than shutting down these surviving entrepreneurs, is how to refer the matter to the prosecuting attorney and how to shut the 43 year old TH scam down for good.

*The Publisher’s Advocate will not stop warning unsuspecting investors and collecting evidence on the Travelhost Magazine Business Opportunity SCAM until this has been accomplished.*

THE PUBLISHERS ADVOCATE

PS>

I’d be glad to testify about this at any time, in any state, by phone or otherwise…and also put this in affidavit form upon request.

***PPS>*** Looks like Travelhost Magazine has a new Vice President of Marketing…***

Is Travelhost Magazine Now GIVING Away FREE Markets? If So, Does Anyone Even Want One?

September 26, 2011

I hear through the grapevine that Travelhost Magazine has given away a market…FREE.

No $60K.  Nada.  Free.  Pro Bono…

Why?

I think I know why…but hey, I might be wrong:

It’s MY OLD MARKET.

That’s right, Westchester New York and The Hudson River Valley….Home of THE PUBLISHERS ADVOCATE!

I guess Jimbo wants me to have some competition should I decide to go out and start another magazine in February when my 2 year non-compete agreement expires.

I bet you dollars to donuts that Jimbo goes a step further…FREE PRINTING!

He’s done it before…he’ll do it again.

All to piss me off?  LOL, it’s OK by me!  Bring it on!

If I were a current Travelhost Magazine Associate Publisher, I’d be upset about this…really pissed…that’s for sure.

FREE?

Come on Jimbo…I thought Travelhost Magazine was a branded magazine, and that there was VALUE there.

If there’s value, it sure isn’t good to give it away for FREE!  

Is it?

I suppose that’s the only way to survive with Travelhost Magazine...SPECIAL DEALS.

See, apparently, some people get discounted pricing, while others pay the full boat.

That doesn’t seem all that fair, does it?

Actually, some Associate Publishers survived many years with their deeply discounted pricing…before they finally can’t even make it on that.

Then…POOF. They disappear. Never to be heard of again. (except for me, and a few others…but we’re gathering more support than you can imagine!!!)

Sad it has to be this way…but Travelhost…watch out!

THE PUBLISHERS ADVOCATE

PS> Maybe the person who I referenced in the previous post should call Travelhost Magazine, and ask for the SPECIAL DEEP DISCOUNTED PRICING that some of the other Associate Publishers are getting or have gotten in the past in order to stay afloat?

I bet our notorious friend in Washington Wine Country (Jeff Loudon) isn’t paying the full boat (2.5 times retail) to Travelhost for his printing?  Jeff, we’d love to hear from you out there…maybe it’s a good time to pipe in and guide some of the failing markets on how to survive the Travelhost Business Model????

I personally know of others who have gotten a deal…so if you’re a current Travehost Magazine Associate Publisher, maybe it’s worth giving it a try?

PPS> Maybe since the FTC, Attorney General(s), and other agencies are breathing down his neck, Jimbo and Price are trying to beef up the Travelhost Magazine network with FREE MARKETS in order to appear a success?

I mean, with the number of Associate Publishers dwindling, it might look better to the FTC (and general public) if there were a few more “markets” in existence?

With FREE PRINTING, there’s no WAY they can LOSE, right?

Plus, it would certainly make any attempts by Associate Publishers and Travelhost to sell national or regional ad space less fraudulent, no?

Then, maybe the FTC (et. al) will overlook the 98%+ FAILURE RATE and FRAUD of selling markets and ad space if they puff out their 43 year old “branded” chest a little?  That, coupled with their wonderful website with a fantastic alexa rating, should provide enough added value to pay 2.5 times RETAIL for printing…right?

LOL, I dont think so.

One thing I was wondering though…is how many Travelhost Associate Publishers (present and past) were actually shown files of previous publishers in their assigned territory prior to signing any agreements with Travelhost Magazine?  (not that Travelhost, Jim Buerger, or John Price go out of their way to show these files to you unless you demand them…I mean, how else can the slick sales process go on, if someone wanted proof of success? i think you’d be shown the door at that point…)

I sure wasn’t shown any files, and I’m sure most others weren’t either.

That sounds like FRAUD to me, doesn’t it?

Eh…they probably all got damaged in a flood anyway.  You know the weather in Texas, lol

THE PUBLISHERS ADVOCATE

ANOTHER Travelhost Magazine Associate Publisher Going Broke…Will They Be The Next To Throw In The Towel?

September 21, 2011

Dear Publishing Industry Practices Followers:  We are sorry for what may have resulted in a small gap in service here at THE PUBLISHERS ADVOCATE.  It seems that John Price, Travelhost’s attorney, thought he could suppress this blog (and MY first amendment right to free speech) by filing a bogus DMCA Copyright Infringement claim against THE PUBLISHERS ADVOCATE.  I filed a rebuttal this morning with WordPress and their claims people, and we are back up and running 100% as of this afternoon.  I guess these people take bogus claims very seriously, and have done the right thing.  I will post more on this in my next post, as Mr. Price has the opportunity to make this a Federal case.  I personally think it would be a good thing, I think most of my followers would agree…as we have MANY people that would like to follow me into a Federal Court to tell their story to a judge.  Now, without further ado…

——————————————————————————————–

A message recently went out to the entire network of Travelhost Associate Publishers (or “Travel Hosts” as Jimmy B likes to call them), take a look…unedited, name withheld:

“Hello my Associate Publisher friends,

I’m humbly asking your help this morning. October would be my 2 month publishing anniversary and yet I am pushing my magazine off to December. I am still finding myself hovering at around billing just barely enough to cover printing. With each issue, I’m going further into the hole with the other costs of running a business. I need to get a good $5-7,000 increase in billing for a Dec/Jan/Feb issue or I will no longer be able to continue.

While most of my magazine is local businesses, the larger chains usually use ad agencies and seem to “get” rate card and print costs and don’t normally argue the pricing as much. Does anyone have a chain restaurant with a corporate contact that they might share with me? I’m thinking if I could pick up a couple of these they may go a long way to helping save my magazine.

After spending all (my spouse’s) and my retirement monies and two years of so much hard work, I’m sad to think I may have to discontinue. Any help you can give us is so greatly appreciated!!!!

Thanks so much!”

THE PUBLISHERS ADVOCATE

PSNeed I even comment on this posting?

98% of Travelhost Associate Publishers go broke…period.  Many don’t even realize it’s because they’re being so grossly overcharged.  This person, I believe, was one of the Travelhost advocates, who emailed me a year ago to tell me I was wrong about Travelhost.  I wonder if that person still feels that way now?

Sad.

Time after time again, smart entrepreneurs blow their entire life savings and or retirement plans on a business model that doesn’t work 98% of the time.

And, they pay $60K for the privilege to do it.  I did it, this person did it, and many others have done it.  You’re not alone.

All the while, Travelhost Magazine and Jim Buerger lead these people to believe it’s their own fault, and has nothing to do with FRAUD.)

We know the truth here at THE PUBLISHERS ADVOCATE.

PPS…anyone know how many AP’s are actually left?

PPPS…for all those AP’s who are left, and who follow this blog, don’t forget about Cesario from Mexico.  He has print credit with Travelhost for sale at a 20% discount.  Get it while it’s HOT!

Straight From A Travelhost Magazine Associate Publisher…”I’m Done!”

September 14, 2011
Here’s a comment from a previous post…un-edited:You’ve just described the Travelhost business model to a tee. I’m a current Associate Publisher, or Travel Host, or whatever it is they call us these days who’s about to pull the plug on my lifelong dream of being in business for myself. It’s been a long and rocky road since I signed on with Travelhost and my losses are immeasurable at this point.

The amazing thing is that they know how much I’m struggling with this business yet they have made no attempt to help me in any way whatsoever. They keep telling me it’s my fault and that I just need to stay focused. This “issue” always comes up whenever it’s time to print another magazine edition and they want to make sure I print and pay them. But, once they get their money and ship my “cheap, low-quality, and out-dated merchandise” (i.e. my magazines) I don’t hear from them again for weeks or even months.

Of course, there’s really no one left there to hear from anyway. You’re right about there only being around 20 employees left at Travelhost. Down from over 100 a few years ago when their evil empire was at it’s peak. However most of those 20 employees left work out in the production plant and they only have 3 left in their so-called “marketing department” (which I understand is little more than a tiny closet/storage area adjacent to Buerger’s office which is larger than the entire first floor of my house).

3 people- that’s it. No wonder I never hear from them or that they don’t return calls. And they promised me a world of support and assistance when I was considering Travelhost initially. I did consider several other business opportunities along with Travelhost originally, but I was blind sided by Travelhost’s lies and misrepresentations.

All I can do now is cut my losses, pick up the pieces of my life, and move on. But I do plan on spreading the word. Thank you, Brian, for providing this information in the name of honesty and integrity. If you’re considering purchasing a Travelhost FRANCHISE, please do your research. Don’t be fooled. And don’t let what happened to me and countless others happen to you.

~I’m  Done!”~

THE PUBLISHERS ADVOCATE

PS>There are literally HUNDREDS of stories like this one out there…can all of these “hand-picked by Travelhost Magazine” people be wrong????

PPS> To file a legitimate complaint against Travelhost with the FTC, go here: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/


An Interesting Character Comparison: Two American Icons – Both Named Jimmy.

August 31, 2011

What single character trait best describes these two American icons: Jimmy Buerger of Travelhost Magazine and Jimmy Swaggart?

American Icon

Jim Buerger, American Icon

Jim Swaggart, American Icon

No it’s not the hair…but you have a point there.

They both like the ladies…yes, but not the point.

They both made a lot of money from “suckers.”

Close, but not the point.

The compelling similarity: They both epitomize hypocrisy to extremes rarely witnessed in the “annals” of American history!


Jimmy Swaggart chased anything wearing a skirt, and shouted from his bully pulpit the evils of adultery for decades.  He was the charismatic maestro of high-energy salvation. In the course of each sermon, the fired-up preacher would: rant, weep, thrust his Bible high in the air and strut the stage this way and that, whipping his followers and himself to a devotional frenzy!

An acute businessman as well as a spellbinding performer, he built an electronic empire with hundreds of millions of viewers worldwide and an income from contributions of $150 million a year.

I think we all know how and why his career ended…

Jimmy Buerger has spent 4 decades telling potential investors that the only obstacle to potential success and riches with Travelhost is their own ineptitude or laziness…all the while he cynically witnessed serial failures of hundreds of “Associate Publishers” over 4 decades because of the vast obstacles he put between the investors and their success.

These obstacles included: gross over-charges to his “Associates,” inferior inflexible magazine quality, and inflexible mandates that insured huge profits (MILLIONS) for Travelhost and James Buerger, while bleeding out hundreds of unsuspecting new investors every year.  Most ending up BROKE.

James Buerger has also been running a FRANCHISE for decades, without following FTC guidelines put in place to PROTECT people from business scams like his.  This has cost unsuspecting investors hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not MILLIONS, because Travelhost MISLEADS these people.

Travelhost convinces potential investors they have an EXCELLENT CHANCE OF SUCCESS, when in fact the FAILURE RATE IS 98%+

Two different Jimmys, same technique, similar downfalls???  It wont be much longer until we find out…the gig is up!

THE PUBLISHERS ADVOCATE

PS> Here’s the link to file a complaint on the FTC website. It costs you nothing, and you can file a report anonymously.  If we get a few more complaints filed, perhaps the FTC will take action:

www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov

Why Doesn’t Travelhost Magazine Have Any More Associate Publishers? Did They All Leave For A Better Business Opportunity?

August 24, 2011

ATTENTION READER:

THIS BLOG CONTAINS OVER 200 PAGES OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE TRAVELHOST MAGAZINE “BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY.”  FOR ALL NEW PUBLISHING INDUSTRY PRACTICES BLOG VISITORS, CLICK HERE TO BRING YOU TO THE BEGINNING OF THIS BLOG, SO THAT YOU MAY HAVE A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE INFORMATION AVAILABLE HERE.  YOU CAN ALSO SEARCH OLDER POSTINGS ON THE RIGHT HAND SIDE OF THIS BLOG UNDER “AREAS OF DUE DILIGENCE FOR TRAVELHOST.”  USE THE DROP DOWN MENU TO PICK A MONTH.  THE EARLIER POSTS FROM NOVEMBERJANUARY OF 2009 EXPLAIN THE BASICS, AND DETAILS ARE REVEALED IN THE LATER POSTS.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Evidently Travelhost doesn’t have ONE SINGLE Associate Publisher left.

Take a look:

http://love.travelhost.com/love/associate-publishers/

To quote, directly from the Travelhost Magazine website:

“Our independent business representatives, formally known as Associate Publishers, yet better known as Travel Hosts, are entrepreneurs who are the experts in their local communities on travel and tourism. They LOVE what they do and that is to introduce travelers to those businesses that they would recommend to their family and friends.”

Independent business representatives?  Travel “Hosts?”

Not Associate Publishers????

Why the change, after 43 years?

I wonder if the 40 or so “Travel Hosts” that Travelhost has left know about this change?

Better yet, I wonder when a new “Travel Host Independent Business Representative” agreement is coming down the pipeline?

I guess the old “associate publisher” agreement is so riddled with (less than helpful) language, that they just don’t feel like their hands are clean without restructuring the “business opportunity” to read better…better for Travelhost Magazine and Jim Buerger?

(Hardly what one would call an opportunity, with a 98% failure rate, by the way.)

I’d be worried, if I were a “Travel Host Independent Business Representative” right about now, especially if I saw a new agreement in my in-box.

I hear that people are looking closely at the old agreement…people like judges, the FTC, and even Associate Publishers and their legal councils.

Travelhost is on the brink of a whole heap of trouble…

And they know it.

~THE PUBLISHERS ADVOCATE~

PS> Has anyone out there ever heard of “Hidden Values” Magazine?  If not, take a look…it’s another interesting business opportunity.  It’s also run by a guy named Jim, out of Dallas:

http://www.hiddenvalues.com/become-a-publisher/

Funny how they have a similar record in the Dallas court system…

http://www.justia.com/search.py?cx=001017683474852908061%3Aoct7h3tcday&q=hidden+values&cof=FORID%3A11

I wonder if both “Jims” meet at the local Rotary Club to discuss their business model?

PPS…I know another similar “Jim.”

I’ll talk about him in my next post?

Travelhost Magazine and James Buerger Have Some Thinking To Do…

August 5, 2011

As I said in my earlier post, there’s something brewing in the Dallas, Tx court system…and I believe that this is big.

Bigger than Jim Buerger thinks it is, despite Mr. Price’s best efforts to explain it to him!

Jimbo has some thinking to do.

Some of his “Associate Publishers” have jumped ship, and started a new magazine.

They HAD to.

They had no other choice, because they were going BROKE publishing Travelhost Magazine, and they had to support their families.

It’s that simple.

And now Jim Buerger and Travelhost Magazine are trying to stop them!

Evidently, Mr. James Buerger thinks these people should have STAYED with Travelhost Magazine and went BROKE.

The hell with them and their families…they should have spent their last dime on a FRANCHISE with a 95%+ FAILURE RATE.

Is that insane, or what????

Can you even believe a man like that EXISTS on this planet?

OH, he does…and he’s been doing this to people for over 43 years.

And he’s won a few battles, and lost a few…lets not forget that he paid Mr. Barton over HALF A MILLION DOLLARS when he knew Travelhost would lose their case against him.

($588,000.00, to be exact)

And now he’s faced with a decision like this again….to pay, or not to pay?

That, is the question.

If he doesn’t pay, or otherwise coerce these publishers who were forced astray to survive…they’ll probably run a better magazine than he does.

That’s not good (for Jimbo).

And then ALL of the Travelhost Magazine Associate Publishers will want to leave…no?

I mean, if the non-compete agreement Travelhost forces everyone to sign is no good, then why would ANY of these people stay?  They’re being overcharged by at least 2-3 times, and lets face it…Travelhost is a sinking ship.

So, Jimbo faces losing his business to a model that might actually work.

After 43 years….not a bad run at such a deceptive SCAM.

OR, he can buy some time, by buying these people off…like he did with Mr. Barton.

How much will it cost him?

Who knows…

And, how long will it last?

Who knows…

All I know is that Mr. Buerger has some thinking to do…cause it’s not a good position to be in.

The shit is gonna hit the fan when the judge finds out how big of a SCAM Travelhost Magazine really is!

So, what do you think he’ll do?

THE PUBLISHERS ADVOCATE

PS> I don’t understand whether it’s Travelhost’s position that they DO, or DO NOT provide specific marketing and management help with their Associate Publishers?

When asked if they are a FRANCHISE, they say they DON’T…but when asked to substantiate a NON-COMPETE agreement…they say they DO?

Which one is it????

“Broke and Divorced.” A Recent Comment on THE PUBLISHERS ADVOCATE…Another Victim of Travelhost Magazine and James Buerger.

August 1, 2011
This comment from a recent post is just one AP’s story, about their experience with Travelhost Magazine.
While this is an exceptionally sad one…it’s not the ONLY one by far.
There are MANY stories like this out there, some of which are told here on this blog…and some that may NEVER be told.
Don’t forget, Travelhost Magazine has been doing this for 43 years…take a look: it’s in the poster’s own words.
Unedited.
Submitted on 2011/08/01 at 3:58 PM

Wow… things have not changed at all at Travelhost. I too am one of their many victims. I purchased the rights to my territory back in 2007 knowing that there had been several failed attempts in just the previous few years. I know, i know… why would I do such a fool hardy, stupid thing?? Well, I was taken in by the slick Travelhost presentation, the lies and the promise of success because I was evidently the right person for the job. I had always dreamed of being in business for myself, and this opportunity just seemed a perfect fit for me and my background.

There had been someone there previously who had terminated their relationship with Travelhost only a few months prior, but I was told he left the business due to personal reasons and that now was the perfect time for me to jump onboard because this was an already developed market with established advertisers and cash flow that, given my experience and background, I could surely capitalize on and that I could essentially pick off where the former owner left off. Besides, they said, they were going to be with me every step of the way to help me, assist me, and support me in every way possible to ensure my success.

Incidentally, I tried to no avail to locate and contact the former owner but the numbers were disconnected and I was told that he had left the market and that there was no current address, e-mail or phone number on file. Yet another red flag I chose to ignore.

So, I dove into my retirement savings and took out a home equity loan and sent in my check for $60k (using the pre-addressed, pre-paid overnight Fed Ex envelope they conveniently provided me with). $30k of that was for the franchise rights to my territory, and the other $30k was pre-paid printing which was to cover my first two editions.

Well, I quickly came to realize that there were a number of reasons why the former owner (and the owners before him) failed. I also came to realize that there was a lot of bad blood between him and Travelhost and that by the time he walked away the market was so tainted and the business and Travelhost brand were both so irreversibly negatively perceived by the local business community that success was impossible.

Oh sure, I might have been able to turn things around in a few years, but I didn’t have a few years! I needed to start making money soon and I was led to believe that given the recent activity in the market there should have been some cash flow in place already and all I would need to do is build upon that. Well, that simply wasn’t the case. I tried and tried and tried to make a go of it but within the first year I realized it was not going to happen and that continuing my efforts would be fruitless and ultimately wipe me out financially.

So, I terminated my contracts and asked for a refund of my $30k prepaid printing funds because, after all, I never put out a magazine edition and thus the funds were not used. I reluctantly accepted the fact that I would lose the original $30k, but I thought for sure I was entitled to a refund of the other $30k as it was specifically for prepayment towards my first two magazine editions which were never produced or printed. I was told by several Travelhost executives that the ENTIRE amount was non-refundable and that it would be entirely my loss if I decided to walk away.

I asked if I could resell the business since it was my understanding that it was mine to sell and was told that because I had not produced a magazine edition that I, in fact, did not have the right to sell it even though I had bought the business and paid $60k for it which they were going to keep. My mind was blown! How can this be?? How can this be legal, I asked myself. I contacted an attorney, threatened legal action, and the next think I know I’m receiving certified letters from their lawyers explaining to me that all of this was in the agreements and that I signed them and there was nothing I could do about it. But they’d be happy to take it to court if I so desired.

Wow! I was floored. Less than a year ago they were loving me and telling me how great I was and how perfect I was for this. Then once they had my money that love quickly began to dissipate and before I knew it they were threatening to terminate my agreements, steal my entire investment and were basically saying to me “screw you!” and that they’ll gladly see me in court.

We went back and forth with this, I retained an attorney, and finally Travelhost said to me they were willing to negotiate. They told me they would allow me to terminate my relationship with Travelhost and that they would actively search for and find a new sucker… ummmm, I mean buyer… and that once they resold my market (which they assured me would take no time at all) they would then refund me my $30k, but only after they sell it and collect their money from the new sucker first.

So what was the catch? Well, all I had to do was sign documents agreeing to not say anything bad about Travelhost to anyone (especially potential suckers) and to only say good things. I felt bad, creepy and shady agreeing to such a thing and basically agreeing to be a liar on their behalf, but that was the only was I was going to ever see a dime of my money, my unused prepaid printing money, again. And, frankly, I needed that $30k… and still do.

So, fast forward to 2011 and guess what? They have yet to sell my territory and I have yet to see a dime of my money. I’ve been quiet up until now in hopes that something good might happen, but it never did and still hasn’t. I started doing some research and, after coming across this blog (and the rip off reports mentioned by Mr. Hickey), and after speaking to several people it has become very apparent and crystal clear that (a) their little empire is quickly crumbling and consequently they are never going to resell my territory and (b) I’ve been had, robbed and will never, ever see my money again.

I literally robbed my retirement savings and took out a loan to put together $60k… then flushed the entire amount down the toilet. But, there’s nothing I can do. I signed the contracts initially knowing full well the history of failure in my territory and no one held a gun to my head. I got caught up in the glitz and glamour of how they portrayed owning my own Travelhost franchise would be and simply made a bad decision. Actually, the worst decision of my life. And, by signing their little “keep quiet / gag order” I’ve relinquished any and all rights to pursue any further legal action.

They won and they won big time. They found an unsuspecting, overly trusting fool like me and literally robbed me of $60k and threw me out to dry. And, the fact that $30k of the total amount was specifically to cover all of my printing costs for my first two editions yet they’ve refused to refund even a small portion of it even though I never, ever put out a single magazine simply reinforces the fact that they are liars, cheaters and thieves.

The only thing I can do now is try to warn others. If I can somehow prevent this from happening to others then, in a way, it’s almost worthwhile. It’s too late for me. Because of this, I’m in debt and divorced. The loss of our nest egg was just too much for my marriage to withstand and my wife has long since left me and, of course, took my kids. I sold my house at a huge loss and now live in a one bedroom apartment.

I’m legally still under “gag orders” and so I can’t be specific as to the territory to which I’ve been referring to, but be assured that mine is not an unusual story. There are many, many. many others like me out there, although Travelhost takes steps to pay people off to keep their mouths shut. In retrospect, I’m sure they paid the guy who owned my territory off as well. I’m actually quite surprised, Mr. Hickey, that they haven’t paid you off yet and that you’re still able to speak freely. My life is in shambles and the last thing I need is Travelhost’s lawyers coming after me as they tend to do.

But again, perhaps my story might help others and, if so, then maybe some good did come form this after all.

THE PUBLISHERS ADVOCATE

PS> Despite my lack of blogging lately, many people still contact THE PUBLISHERS ADVOCATE on a regular basis about the Travelhost Magazine “business opportunity”  I encourage others to post their experiences.

The people (and legal system) need to know.

Rip-Off Report: The Travelhost Magazine Complaints Continue…

July 31, 2011

Could all of the complaints be wrong?

Or, perhaps there’s a trend here?

Only the reader can decide…

http://www.ripoffreport.com/book-magazine-publishers/travelhost/travelhost-don-t-be-fooled-a96d6.htm

THE PUBLISHERS ADVOCATE

P.S.> There’s something brewing in the Dallas, TX court system…and guess who’s watching?

We’ll have full coverage of everything that transpires, right here, on THE PUBLISHERS ADVOCATE!

Is Travelhost Really “America’s Number 1 Travel Magazine?”

June 21, 2011

Hello Everyone,

It’s been quite some time since our last post…but it doesn’t mean we’re not still out here fighting the good fight….and watching.

Today’s post is more of a “question of the day,” for everyone who reads the blog to think about:

Is Travelhost really America’s “Number 1” Travel Magazine?

And, was it ever?

And, Why?

It still says so on the cover of the magazines…all that are left, that is…

THE PUBLISHER’S ADVOCATE

P.S.~ Where have all the Travelhost Associate Publishers gone?