ActionCoach Transparency

Trying, very hard…, to keep ActionCoach honest…

SoulCast Blog Part 1 June 07 to Dec 08

with 3 comments

January 2011

In my first post on this blog I explained how  ActionCoach had attempted to eliminate all independent info about the franchise from the web over the last couple of years. This is still going on and after JodieMShaw we now have Akaisha, Ackley, Sharman and others posting regular spam on the orignal Soulcast blog to finish off the job of making it totally inaccessible.  To make sure that people can still read this very interesting story  I am republishing the content in several parts. The first part starting in June 2007 through to end 2008 appears below.

Brad Action Coach 

Johnson posted on Jun 11, 2007 | views: 37695 | Tags: ActionCOACH, Brad Sugars, business coaching franchise, franchise, brad sugars action coach, scam artist, unhappy franchisee, AC, Action International, bloody hell, legals, Fraud, coaching franchise, business consulting, The truth about ActionCOACH, business coaching, rip off, nathan beam jodie shaw unhappy franchisee actioncoach review franchise review, look in the mirror, more brad sugars nonsence, AP, Franchising, unhappy, angry franchisee, Awards, franchisee, wwwanonymizercom, home based business, Nathan Smith and Jodie Shaw –, google, Open licenses, Hmmthe Social Media Coordinator, beware, grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, David Beam, Turnover, Neil Sinclair, The company defender, address, EOF, business seminars, Franchise Ownership, court, Warning, Well, TakeACTION, ideas, Marketing IT Director leaves Global HW, real estate seminars, I support ActionCOACH, From Brad Sugars Bio, sucks, Ripoff, unhappyfranchiseecom, YoungEntrepreneurSociety, we are successful, Free Seminar, look at the tags, Brad Sugars ActionCoach, coaching for a cause hours donation, Coaching, wow, you can see competitors trying to get actioncoach, The new IT guy Gerard, I lost over 100, Donated time, coaching fraud, attrition, BLAG BLAG BLAG, scam, 00000 on ActionCoach, actioncoach earning claims askbradsugarscom, Somebodyoutthere, To Join Or Not To Join – That Is The Question, Oh good grief, Rippoff, Dombach, illogically logic from the gullible, My expectations exactly, Linked-In connection, tv

Does anyone out there have any info on Brad Sugars or Action Coach?  The company used to be called Action International but changed their name after several folks posted complaints on I recently pulled their UFOC for their franchise online at in which their financial statements claim their US bank account is over drawn $25,000.00. These franchises cost a bundle but people seem to buy them according to their telemarketers. 

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   ACMarketing said on Nov 19, 2007….

Hi Johnson

Thanks for your inquiry. My name is Jodie Shaw and I am the Director of Marketing for the company …

Firstly, I can assure you that our change of name had nothing to do with the complaints on the Rip Off Report. It was a result of close to a year of brand research.

Secondly, the ROR is built on the anonymity of the poster so there is no way of telling whether the details are true. I can say that one of the main offenders (who actually posted under several different aliases) … resulted in the person going to jail for harassment.

I do not want to spend much time on the subject – however urge you to read this

Also maybe watch this as well … 

The challenge is that The ROR doesn’t check to make sure complaints are legitimate … and every time a company posts a rebuttal, you effectively add fuel to the fire in higher organic rankings in Google. So, we as a company, largely ignore posts on this site … and let the facts about our company speak for itself.

Yes, people do buy our franchise. We have over 1000 franchisees and operate in 26 countries. We are recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine as one the fastest growing franchises on the planet. We are ranked in the Franchise 50 – an independent and confidential survey of our franchisee satisfaction.

Also I would ask you to consider – as part of the due diligence process, interested parties get to speak privately with our franchisees about the worth of our franchise … On average, every single business day someone buys our franchise somewhere on the planet. And every single one of those astute business people has investigated our company, our people, our value. I think that has more credence than an anonymous post.

Thanks for your question. Please visit our website and leave your details and we would be happy to send you an information pack.


Jodie Shaw

Director of Marketing

   anonymous said on Dec 11, 2007….

Dear Ms Shaw,

You are correct when you state the Ripoff Report is based on the anonymity of the poster and no one knows this better than your company who has posted negative lies against competitors.
I urge consumers to go to:
to get the real truth about Action, not some far fetched comment that someone is in jail for spreading lies about your company.
The truth is available in court and public records and as the Ripoff Report states they have not verified the information posted on their site but the consumer can certainly use this information as a tool to uncover the truth.
I have viewed the information on ROR about Action and found based on public records much of it is true.
I viewed your UFOC financial records filed 10/04/2006 on line at: and found you settled lawsuits against your company in the amount of $440,900.00 and returned $1,723,408.00 in refunds & repurchase of territories to franchisees just before you changed your company name.
I also viewed the liens and judgments against Action Executive Richard Bernstein at:

By running his name in the official records which included a recent lien filed against him by the Nevada District Attorney’ Office.
In regards to the Action executive who served time I found his name on the Federal Bureau of Prisons website at: under inmate #81824012.
I advice consumers as part of their due diligence process to speak privately with those astute business people who sued Action or received refunds for the territories they sold back to Action totaling almost 2 million dollars in 2005 alone. By law Action was required to provide their names and phone numbers in their UFOC which can be obtained at the above website under franchisees who left the system.
Once again I suggest a review by you, Action and its leaders on the following points of culture you continue to push for it seems to have been forgotten.

   Ricky111 said on Jan 06, 2008….

Hi! I am glad to say that I am very much attrected by the site and designing of the site so that I have read all the blogs and forums on the site and I am in search of the new career since i am not intrested in the same thing I am starting a new project in which I need a few members sok those who are intrested can come for the job and I have got many details about my new project but i still want more details which you can get from so plz reach there and tell me all the details about it also can anyone give the answers to my silly quesions that have you heared about the Young Entrepreneur Society If you had then plz give me the information whatever you have so plz reply me fast ok ………….

   anonymous said on May 10, 2008….

BUYER BEWARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

   anonymous said on May 10, 2008….

I am one of the many individuals that lost their life savings after purchasing an ActionCoach Franchise. I was one of the lucky ones who didn’t have to continue paying $1,500.00 a month for franchise fees after my franchise went belly up so I guess I am one of the fortunate few. Many ActionCoach franchisees lost their homes, retirement funds and were forced into bankrupcy to avoid paying monthly franchise fees after their franchises were no longer operating. I am not listed in their UFOC as a franchise that left the system as so many others who walked away from their franchises after financial ruin. When I inquired with ActionCoach why…….. I was informed my franchise was resold therefore they were not required to disclose that my franchise was no longer operating. Although they claim they resold my fanchise I never was able to recoup any of my life savings. ActionCoach is in the business of selling training, franchises and marketing merchandise. Once they clean you out financially they have no use for you. There is little support other than a call here and there out of the blue usually to sell you something else. The coaching was a tough sell because most people in America have never heard of Brad Sugars and the ones that have can’t stand him. These people were turned off by negative posts on the web from farmers he stole from in Australia and his arrogant, self promoting antics. Hopefully my experience will save just one individual from the hardship Brad Sugars has inflicted on so many all so he can buy another fancy automobile to pose in front of and brag about how rich he is. Brad Sugars is interested in getting your hard earned dollars and offering nothing more than his tarnished reputation which is worthless in America. I would not recommend this franchise to anyone. 

   craighohnberger said on May 31, 2008….

My name is Craig Hohnberger and I own a master franchise with ActionCOACH. I can honestly say that it is the best decision I have ever made in business and has changed my life and the lives of my family for the better, as it has for many of our franchise owners and their clients. I have found the culture, the values, the team and the opportunity to be everything I imagined and more. It has been a very good experience for me. I have found Brad to be fair, a tough business-man to be sure, but very fair. In fact, we currently have 2 local existing clients of our franchise owners (and there are many around the world like this) who loved the coaching programs and results they achieved so much in their current businesses that they wish to invest in their own ActionCOACH franchise. Just yesterday I was at a large client event with a number of our local franchise owners, and the clients were all overjoyed by the experience and what they’ve learned and applied so far. That certainly would not happen if this were a scam. Unfortunately, as in any business or any industry, there will be some people who do not succeed. But, that is not a comment as to Brad Sugars or ActionCOACH or whatever specific business an individual person did not succeed in. The key is to analyze yourself, speak openly with franchisees (and ideally clients) to determine if you are someone who will do well in this type of business or not. If so, this is an incredibly rewarding business that is based on fundamental principals that work and truly help people achieve their goals. But it is business ownership and requires a commitment to personal success. Feel free to contact me personally if you wish. I am in Ohio. Craig Hohnberger 614-833-3211 (b)

   anonymous said on Jun 08, 2008….

Brad Sugars “King of turnover” he would like to tell you that turnover is about profit unfortunately its about his staff he cant keep any staff in any country he is in, his staff has turned over in the U.S. more than 10 times in seven years and its worse in his home country of Australia. The man is corrupt without morals and would take your last dime or sacrifice your family without conscience. The fact is he has no conscience the things they say about him are true check the facts as commented above they are a matter of public record. Check the one positive comment by Craig Honhberger struggling to save his own business by acting as a proxy for Brad because he is weak and intimidated. I personally know he hates the man, I know he loves the business and needs to protect his family so he will say anything. Call the other master licensees they will tell you the truth if you persist because if you buy and they lied about this they will have to face you for many years. Truth is anyone who actually really knows Brad either loathes or hates the man but they are stuck with their eggs in his basket and would tell you anything to protect their eggs. Ask for the names of all of the past Presidents of Action USA or Canada and call anyone of them you will get the truth and it won’t be pretty. I will venture to say they wont give you those names or they will try to discredit them all 5 Presidents in 7 Years, or ask Jodie Shaw who leads off this post attempting to throw the light off the facts and truth ask her how long she has been telling lies for Brad and ask her to provide the names of the four who preceded her and ask her why they all quit. Or ask Brad yourself he can be found many nights in Las Vegas with hookers on his lap at various night clubs while his wife and kids are at home waiting for him. Run far and run fast

   anonymous said on Jun 14, 2008….

It was just a matter of time until the truth about this guy surfaced.  I’m sure his legal goons are in action right now to shut this site/thread down!

Proverbs 26:24-26 A malicious man disguises himself with his lips, but in his heart he harbors deceit. Though his speech is charming, do not believe him, for seven abominations fill his heart. His malice may be concealed by deception, but his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.

Proverbs 6:15-19 Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant; he will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy. There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.

Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.

Proverbs 24:12 If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?

   anonymous said on Jun 20, 2008….

As a former franchise owner who was not successful, I have nothing but positives to say about Brad, the organization and the systems they teach.  The stuff works and works well, I simply did not follow the process and decided to go back to employment.  (I think I need a boss looking over my shoulder, as much as I hate to admit that).  But, many of my colleagues there did very well.  Brad is a brilliant man who built a great organization.  He was not involved in my day-to-day business or it’s success/failure.   

I think some of these comments are out of jealousy and/or fear of competition.

   anonymous said on Jun 20, 2008….

Started as a client, loved the results so much I became a franchise owner.  Brad has done nothing but add value to people’s lives with the concepts he teaches and the franchise company he built.  I have nothing but kudo’s to give him.

   anonymous said on Jun 24, 2008….

Came across this site while researching the business myself after being referred to it by a close friend who owns one of their franchises.  My friend absolutely loves it and says the support, the tools, the systems and the culture are true to what is pitched.  Said he loves his ML and the team around him is fabulous.  He had owwned franchises in other industries in the past and says the support offered is far better than anything he has ever seen.  That’s a strong statment. 

Being a bit of the skeptic that I am, I’ve watched from the sidelines (he wanted me to join him when he started) to see how things really go, and so far he is in love with this business even more than when he started.  That’s why I’m now seriously looking at it too.  I’ve even checked out the entire industry and found that every rock I turn over, these guys stand out as best in breed, hands down. 

btw… if there was validity to the comments here, the FTC would certainly have shut them down with how regulatory the franchise industry is, Entrepreneur Magazine would certainly not have Brad as a columnist and they would certainly not have won the awards or attracted the talent of people they have attracted.  I mean, I am thoroughly impressed with the caliber of people joining this company and they would not have joined if it were some kind of scam.  From my perspective it appears that they have something special and will cominate the landscape for years to come.  I even went to a client group meeting and the clients are all ecstatic about the impact their programs have. 

If you’re considering joining them, get to the inside, meet clients, meet franchise owners, etc.. They even encouraged me to meet ex-owners to understand why they didn’t make it to be sure I understoeed exactly what this takes… they all said the same thing as the guy/gal above… the systems really do work, if you work them.

   anonymous said on Jun 26, 2008….

It’s very cool that there is a forum like this that allows people to post anonymously! According to the site, they don’t collect IP’s, logs, etc so it is very useful for people who are researching. Because of this, it allows the former and disgruntled affiliates of Brad Sugars to feel comfortable, and that’s very useful when people are researching. Far too often buyers only get the opportunity to talk to the seller who has an agenda. In addition, I do like to see the people who are happy posting as well (but I don’t know why they would do so anonymously unless they are just being a shill, but…)

One thing that bothered me right away about Mr. Sugars and his company is his claim, which is stated in multiple areas of his website, that he stated the business coaching profession. That is clearly not the case, and was a huge turn-off for me. Does he think that people are idiots? Maybe he and Al Gore are buddies.

Another obvious turnoff is the turnover of the key people which was referenced above. Aren’t these guys supposed to know how to run a business if that’s what they are experts on?

One question I had that was never answered for me was “what pecentage of their franchisees who start with you renew after the five year period?” I asked several times, and got the run-around, so I am assuming it’s not very good. I am particularly interested in the US numbers, since I am American.

Since the head office is obviously monitoring this blog, I would really like the answer to that question, and I’m sure others would appreciate it as well.

   anonymous said on Jun 26, 2008….

Want to get involved in a great coaching franchise with respectable people. I recommend John Grays Mars Venus Coaching. Dr Gray’s franchise is built on the same foundation as his books which is honesty, integrity and family values. His name alone opens up doors worldwide and I have never heard anyone utter an unflattering comment about him or any of his top notch staff. Reputation is everything to them and they conduct themselves everyday with that as a first priority.  So if your looking for a company that is trusted and not only talks the talk but walks the walk than this franchise is for you. I have heard about Brad Sugars ActionCoach and I am familar with the lawsuits against him including one pending in Nevada now.  Ask yourself why the turn over in franchises, why all the lawsuits and why all the negative posts on the internet as far away as Australia. I think it is more than just jealousy. I have seen Brad Sugars ads in Entrepeneur Magazine which surely cost a small fortune to run. This tells you nothing about what his franchise’s are based on. I looked at their UFOC which states they were previosly shut down in California for awhile and have had problems in other states. We all know money talks and a team of good lawyers can put a spin on anything and tie it up in court for years. I’ve made up my mind and all I suggest is before being taken under Brad Sugar’s ether do your homework. When Tony Robbins needed a coach he didn’t call Sugars he called on Dr. John Gray. People want to do business with honest, caring and skilled individuals bottom line. That is exactly what Dr. Gray and his experieced dedicated staff offer. Check them out I can assure you because I did there are no skeletons in their closets. Dr. Gray stands behind his franchises and his staff and help individuals achieve their dreams .

   goodtrygumczar said on Jun 26, 2008….

Look at two things …

Mars Venus has 9 coaches … Action 1000

Everything MV does borrows from Action – even former staff.

When Dr Gray coached Anthony Robbins he coached him after his first failed marriage. If you need help in your relationship with your wife – maybe you should call MV. But given that their US President avoids child support then maybe not.

Dr Gray is not involved in the business day to day and gets a commission on sale of the franchise (obviously with 9 franchisees since 2004 he is not relying on this for his sole income!). I challenge anyone to turn up to any of the offices and listed and see Dr John Gray walking the halls.

Get a life!

   anonymous said on Jun 26, 2008….

Check out this lawsuit:

Deboragh Hardy v Actioncoach USA Inc

Case Number:  2:2008cv 00803

Filed: June 20, 2008

Court: Nevada District Court

Office: Las Vegas Office

County: Clark

Presiding Judge: Judge Lloyd D. George

Nature of Suit: Civil Rights- Racism

On top of all this I guess Brad Sugar’s is Racist 

   anonymous said on Jul 04, 2008….

If any of these rants were true he or his company wouldn’t be allowed to do business.  ALL the people I’ve met affiliated with them are top notch. 

It appears that either:

A) there are some very jealous, cowardly people resorting to anonymous comments trying to trash the reputation of a successful person.  Or,

B) competitors who have no real substance to compete on are resorting to these tactics.  

Get a life and make your own success.  Quit worrying about someone who is obviously way more successful than you.  And the guy who quoted the bible must have forgotten about the verses to love your enemies.

   anonymous said on Jul 05, 2008….

It was Rich Bernstein who built Action and he was responsible for selling

more franchises than anyone in the company history. Read your own press release Brad Sugars. It was Rich who decided to leave because of Sugars unscrupulous and unethical way of doing business once he came out of hiding after a 5 year sabbatical on the run. The lawsuits against Sugars which are public record are a true indication of who Sugars truely is.  Rich has aligned himself with Bob Beers the Senator of Nevada a hero in the community, he has aligned himself with John Gray one of the best selling authors of all time. These are caring responsible individuals that truely have the public’s best interest at heart. It is Sugars who has always been jealous of Rich Bernstein and can not get over the fact that integrity is far more important to Rich than a fast buck and that is why Rich refused to sink to Sugars level and left Action the company he spent years building. Get out of America Sugars we don’t want your type here. It’s time you rip up your green card and go back to Australia where you belong. 

   anonymous said on Jul 06, 2008….

It seems like the supporters of Mr Sugars’ only defense is that he is in business and therefore he must not have done all of these things since there are laws against them. With this line of reasoning, there would be no murderers, rapists or robbers since that is also against the law. Either these lawsuits exist or they don’t. Either there are a large number of former franchisees who were broken or there aren’t. Most of this info should be able to be found in the UFOC (although an earlier poster obviously hints to improprieties in UFOC reporting as well.)

   anonymous said on Jul 10, 2008….

More than 1,100 franchisees would disagree with the above post. Look at:

http://www. youtube. com/watch?v=D2ij_lzZCCU

http://www. youtube. com/watch?v=BkPrUmm8o1Y
http://www. youtube. com/watch?v=gqYRUqLiFiE
http://www. youtube. com/watch?v=i1hKSNs5Huk
http://www. youtube. com/watch?v=Q6GodAA8GOA
http://www. youtube. com/watch?v=RR8Y2kWlOmk
http://www. youtube. com/watch?v=2r5R_LBtdu0
http://www. youtube. com/watch?v=gKPB27QIsgU
http://www. youtube. com/watch?v=CBR8Va1sUUw
http://www. youtube. com/watch?v=9akVIFp8JIc

http://www. youtube. com/watch?v=qxEpRuI-43Y
http://www. youtube. com/watch?v=ZfFog0R3jGQ
http://www. youtube. com/watch?v=dU7gn_Ai1TM
http://www. youtube. com/watch?v=6i0V1nQKyvM
http://www. youtube. com/watch?v=PrcUYuMQ2uU
http://www. youtube. com/watch?v=rhKFY-gSy64
http://www. youtube. com/watch?v=Vv_9U1F5oMM
http://www. youtube. com/watch?v=ZZIfDEdji9w
http://www. youtube. com/watch?v=-sS5y0_Bpy0
http://www. youtube. com/watch?v=O6xzTBvNl3M
http://www. youtube. com/watch?v=F3PUMJB7EyQ
http://www. youtube. com/watch?v=FWJxSK5Vxi4
http://www. youtube. com/watch?v=WbkOZTEj8Ks

   anonymous said on Jul 10, 2008….

How about real some franchisees actually speaking for themselves? Search for “actioncoach” yourself on YouTube or Google Video. There are several videos on YouTube of ActionCOACH franchisees talking about the difference (and the money) they make.
Look at:

On that playlist, coaches from North America, Europe, South Africa and Australia explain how ActionCOACH has changed their lives and helped them change others.

Think everyone’s going broke? Then what about this video:

And racist? In that case, it’s pretty interesting that franchisees represent 26 countries all over the world. It’s pretty interesting that Brad Sugars is an associate, and did presentations for Rich Dad, Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki. It’s pretty interesting that employees of ActionCOACH are from all over the world – look at the company staff:


   anonymous said on Jul 10, 2008….

   anonymous said on Jul 10, 2008….

They post a bunch of videos of brand new coaches as proof that their coaches enjoy success. The one that they highlight is a guy saying that the only way to fail is to quit… not that’s proof! Here is a link of every coach who has made it to the five year point. It is their own press release  To make it look better, they even included the names of the ML’s (including their spouses) who made it. As for the franchisees themselves, there is a grand total of ten coaches listed on this press release.  Two of these aren’t listed any more as coaches on their website, and two of them never showed up as franchisees until the 2007 UFOC.  So it appears that there are six franchisees who are still in business five years after joining this wonderful franchise.  I would love to know what the success rate is, but I don’t know how many franchises they sold from the beginning of the franchise (1993?) through the end of 2007.  Maybe Ms Shaw can enlighten us, but so far there has only been spin rather than answers.

   JodieMShaw said on Jul 10, 2008….

   NeilSinclair said on Jul 11, 2008….

I have just come across this site and I am astonished to read what I am reading! I have been with ActionCOACH 7 years since 2001. I started as a Coach in New Zealand was very successful there and was given the opportunity to become a Master Licensee in the UK as part of our Global expansion . The ActionCOACH Business is an amazing and fantastic business to own, FOR THE RIGHT PEOPLE.  Please look at this Testimonial DVD that we recorded at our 2008 European Conference of actual coaches declaring their stories and incomes etc from their ActionCOACH Businesses;

I accept that there have been people come through Action whom haven’t been successful. There are many reasons why people don’t succeed in this business. In my own humble opinion this is mainly because of their own challenges and mindset around ‘Marketing and Sales’. Some people have real challenges around dealing with their own beliefs about ‘rejection’ from other Business Owners.  Some people for what ever reason…are simply not prepared to actually follow our Business Systems that do work very well, when the coach does! I feel genuinely sorrow for these people, we are about helping people achieve success in their life.

On a more positive note there are hundreds of ActionCOACHes and Thousands of Business Owners whom are doing very well through ActionCOACH and the testimonials on my YouTube site above clearly demonstrate this. This is a great business to be part for many reasons, not just the profit, but also the lifestyle, the personal and professional growth, the ActionCOACH Community, the travel and adventures on offer and so much more….

As for Brad Sugars – I admire, respect and love Brad immensely. He has helped me dramatically improve the lives of many people including myself, my wife and two daughters, my extended family, my clients, coaches and their families. ‘Yes’ Brad is demanding, yet anyone with high standards who expects the best is… I personally wouldn’t want him any other way. Through my dealings with Brad Sugars, I find him a ‘straight-up’ guy, he tells you how he sees it and holds no punches…some people do struggle to take that message that way at times.

I am willing to openly speak with anyone whom reads this site to find out more. My name is Neil Sinclair, I am in the UK you can e-mail me call me on +441234392804 or skype me on neil.sinclair.liberator in the UK.

   anonymous said on Jul 12, 2008….

Just was reading through this post, and wanted to add my two cents worth as well to this from a consumers point of view. I have just started my own business not long ago and have just joined action, in the last week i have been to a couple of networking meetings with other businesses and have meet 4 other business owners with established businesses that are using action and couldnt be happier with their assistance and coaching. Two of them wished that they had got them into their business from the very beginning. So really at the end of the day it is up to the individual who takes the knowledge that action share on board and apply it to their business, and if they dont succeed then its their problem (thats my way of thinking anyway).

   anonymous said on Jul 12, 2008….

Senator Bob Beers has started a franchise with self made millionaire Rich Bernstein called Beverage Plus Inc.  Beverage Plus puts out an energy drink called MC2 sure to be all the rage. Beverage Plus even sponsored the Nascar race car driven by DJ Kennington. Richard Bernstein is a leader in franchising and believes Beverage Plus Energy Drink will be the next phenomenon bigger than Red Bull. They are selling franchises across the United States including California and New York their biggest markets. They are also selling Master Licenses across the US. In regards to Brad Sugars lies about Rich if all these horrible things were true a Nevada State Senator would not get involved with Rich. The best selling author of all times John Gray would not get involved with Rich either. Brad Sugars is mad because when Bernstein walked everyone went  with him including Vic Ciuffetelli, Michael Brewton, James Taylor, Laura Stephenson and even Celeste Graham. Get over it Brad your washed up and its just a matter of time before your run out of town. 

   anonymous said on Jul 12, 2008….

Mike Nieman (aka anonymous of the last post)

Why don’t you look under

And do a search under inmate 81824012

Bernstein is a convicted felon who has served serious time in a US Federal Prison. He is a cheating, lying, thief and deadbeat … 

   anonymous said on Jul 17, 2008….

What a fascinating read!

I decided to research Brad Sugars because I was looking into business coaching and bought his book.  The Amazon ratings were very high so I figured it would be helpful.  The book was awful!  Since the ratings were so high, I went back and read the ratings themselves and learned that they were nearly all fake reviews by his company employees and franchisees.  In fact, Jody Shaw must have gotten lost in her fake reviews because she actually had two reviews for the book.

How unethical!  So I decided to do some more research.  A lot of what I found has been stated here, but there is more.  Did you know that they were sued by a couple in Oregon under a racketeering charge?  In the complaint, they also alleged that the intellectual property of the franchise was almost nil, and “could be obtained at little or no cost.”  Since the case is listed on the UFOC, they must have settled for a material amount, and I have to assume the allegations were true.

Then I find this conversation which begins with Jody Shaw defending Richard Bernstein and stating that the offender of the posting in the Ripoff Report was jailed for harassment.  As I read, I see that he has left, and now she emphatically states that he is a criminal.  If that isn’t talking out of both sides of your mouth, I don’t know what is!

I would imagine that most of the anonymous posts by “disinterested parties” are also Jody Shaw as this seems to be their standard operating procedure.

While I am not in favor of bringing someone’s personal life onto a forum like this in an earlier post, I do feel that I have seen into Brad Sugars pretty well by reading this.  He seems to be a man who is willing to lie, cheat and steal his way to riches, and he employs the same kind of people.

I also don’t doubt that his franchisees are good and honest people for the most part.  After all, they bought his words and culture, which are wonderful.  He just doesn’t appear to live by them himself.  It is no wonder that the franchisees don’t stay with the franchise as stated earlier.

I don’t know the truth, but I have learned in my 54 years on this earth that when there is smoke, there is usually fire.

There are a lot of other business coaching franchises out there, and I may join one of them or get training by one of the other hundreds of coaching schools.  But it definately will not be Mr Sugars franchise nor Mr Bernstein’s.  Yuck.

   Boots said on Sep 03, 2008….

It is truly amazing to me that all the negative attacks on Brad and ActionCOACH come from anonymous postings. If there was any validity to these negative smears, they would not be posted anonymously. The true information provided in this blog is clearly noted by each poster. If you actually have a fact about something negative about Brad or Action, why are you afraid to reveal yourself? I trust those posters who identify themselves and provide data to back their claims about how powerful Action really is. I challenge any of you who have something negative to say, to reveal yourself. Provide a means to contact you as other real Action Franchisees have done in this blog. I have seen the value Action brings to the market place and to the struggling small business owners of the world, and I commend Brad and all those associated with ActionCOACH to continue with this great work! -Micah

   Texansrule said on Sep 05, 2008….

I received calls from two different Action Coach recruiters in response to my resume being posted on a board.  I spend about 1 hour on the phone with 1 recruiter who then set up a phone call with the Master Franchiser.  When I started asking questions that did not relate to buying a franchise, but about how the franchise was operated I was told I was not a good fit.  Buyer Beware as it appears they only want your money.

   Texansrule said on Sep 05, 2008….

I received calls from two different Action Coach recruiters in response to my resume being posted on a board.  I spend about 1 hour on the phone with 1 recruiter who then set up a phone call with the Master Franchiser.  When I started asking questions that did not relate to buying a franchise, but about how the franchise was operated I was told I was not a good fit.  Buyer Beware as it appears they only want your money.  Oh yeah, then they wanted me to send back their materials on “my dime”.

   anonymous said on Sep 11, 2008….

Truth be told …

The rival company and the ex-employee Rich Bernstein & Mars Venus Coaching are now be sued for stealing an innocent victims business after providing business coaching.





Haakonstad, Joan


Bennion, Charles W.

Graeber, Rayner


Allf, Nancy L.


Adair, Valerie



Party Name

Party Type


Attorney Bar#

Attorney Name

Total Attorneys

Answer Date

Answer Type

Summons Filed

Summons Served



Haakonstad, Joan


ACTIVE as of 07/31/2008


Bennion, Charles W.


Graeber, Rayner


ACTIVE as of 07/31/2008


Allf, Nancy L.



Turn-Key Financial Group


ACTIVE as of 8/11/2008


Ales, Barney C.





Drewes, Bryan


ACTIVE as of 08/19/2008


Allf, Nancy L.





ACTIVE as of 08/19/2008


Allf, Nancy L.





Bernstein, Rich


ACTIVE as of 08/19/2008


Allf, Nancy L.





Mars Venus Coaching North America


ACTIVE as of 08/19/2008


Allf, Nancy L.





Mars Venus Coaching International


ACTIVE as of 08/19/2008


Allf, Nancy L.



This person has been to Federal Prison, been in court multiple times and has numerous court judgments against them and cases pending … so attacking Brad Sugars character online (albeit anonymously – is so ludicrous it is laughable … because we know who you are … just because you have a dubious character – don’t think everyone is like you …)

So … because he is bored and the phone is not ringing  – what does he do? He goes online and starts slandering the competition and its CEO to try to scare people away.

Writing horrendous stuff online about our CEO’s wife and children is nothing short of disgusting … and shows the character of the person (and this is for you – because we know you are bored and monitoring the thread – when you go home tonight and sit across from your wife and kids – how would you feel if what you said online was said about you and involved your wife and kids?

 Do unto others what you would expect done to you Rich Bernstein.

   anonymous said on Sep 11, 2008….

Truth be told …

The rival company and the ex-employee Rich Bernstein & Mars Venus Coaching are now be sued for stealing an innocent victims business after providing business coaching.

CASE 08-A-56864

Joan Haakonstad vs Rich Bernstein, Mars Venus Coaching North America, Mars Venus Coaching International

This person has been to Federal Prison, been in court multiple times and has numerous court judgments against them and cases pending … so attacking Brad Sugars character online (albeit anonymously – is so ludicrous it is laughable … because we know who you are … just because you have a dubious character – don’t think everyone is like you …)

So … because he is bored and the phone is not ringing  – what does he do? He goes online and starts slandering the competition and its CEO to try to scare people away.

Writing horrendous stuff online about our CEO’s wife and children is nothing short of disgusting … and shows the character of the person (and this is for you Rich Bernstein – because we know you are bored and monitoring the thread – when you go home tonight and sit across from your wife and kids – how would you feel if what you said online was said about you and involved your wife and kids?

Do unto others what you would expect done to you Rich Bernstein.

   anonymous said on Sep 29, 2008….

False accusations.

I am a former Senior Executive of ActionCoach / Action International and I can clearly state that all of Brad Sugars charges have no merrit whatsoever. These accusations were made out of spite by Action Internationals founder Brad Sugars and in the end these were summarily dismissed by the courts as they were frivolous and had no merrit. These facts were clearly stated in the judges ruling which found that Action International and Brad Sugars had no basis for a claim against them. Action International and Brad Sugars were actually penalized by the Judge in the case for bringing a frivolous action and so were charged with double court costs for bringing a case that had no substance. Brad took these actions to purposely cause harm to these individuals and there business to prevent competion in the industry that Brad would like to control.

Brads actions were malicious and meant to damage the reputation of these individuals and their staff. They were the best team in the Action World and they merely wanted to leave and to be no longer associated with Brad Sugars. They even offered to sell their Action territory at a loss back to Brad so that they could move on without retribution. Brad refused this option and blocked the sale to many others who would have wished to own the best Action Master License in the system. Time and time again these men and their staff showed that they lived and followed the principles and culture of Action International, principles that Brad had written but could not adhear to himself. I was purposely instructed to sandbag their results in an attempt to discredit them, including such actions as, taking away the Master Licencee of the year award and giving it to the second place finisher under false pretences. Ripoff reports and others were filed by Brad and his staff to further damage the reputation of these gentleman and I am aware of this as fact, and can tell you they are false.

I have now also left the employ of Action International / ActionCoach myself for many reasons including, that they are unethical and would do harm to anyone for financial gain under Brad Sugars leadership. As far as the Canadian Franchisees Brad purposly disrupted the support of the Franchisees and sale of Action Canada after also agreeing to the royalty sale, this caused direct harm to the Franchisees in Canada and was brought upon solely by Brad to cause harm to the Action Canada group, the result was a hardship on the Franchisees. Brad knew he was causing them direct harm but did not care as long as he could cause harm to the Action Canada team. Unfortunatly these men were made to be scapegoats for Brads actions and to those who do not have the facts.

I have since resigned from Action for this and many other reasons that have to do with how Brad Sugars unethically runs his business and abuses those who have invested their time, money and hearts in his companies. As far as the false reports put on this site by Brad I suggest you google all of the names mentioned, you will see that none of the names listed here have ever been listed negatively for anything other than these false reports that were filed by Brad and his associates.
Now for the true test… Google: Brad Sugars add the words (fraud) (ripoff) or various other negatives… you will see reports from Austalia, Canada, Asia, Europe, NewZealand, and the United States with accusations of frauds and ripoffs from people around the globe. Take it from me and all of the other Presidents and staff who have quit Brads companies, he is a walking fraud.

   anonymous said on Oct 02, 2008….

why all this frustration?

   bobalbin said on Oct 04, 2008….

The quote below is taken from Brad Sugars bio at
“My Dad decided I was going to be a businessman when he found me selling my Christmas presents to my brothers when I was only seven. The following year I’d become much smarter and worked out that if I just rented my toys to them for a day or two at a time, I got the money and the toys back afterwards.”
So much for the season of sharing and giving!
I used Action Coaching for my business. Generally my experience was good and I did learn some new methods. I did feel a bit of pressure to stay on longer than I cared to and longer than my business could afford at the time. Regardless of my experience I find the above quote both revealing and troubling as to the nature of Mr. Sugars. He is evidently all about the $$$$.

   anonymous said on Oct 06, 2008….

After hearing about this site from an ex co-worker I felt maybe my experience could shed some

light on what was going on behind the scene at Actioncoach formerly known as Action

International. Brad Sugar’s for some time was not in the company and living in Australia. I don’t

think he was truly aware of what was going on in Vegas with management. I have read the negative personal information posted about his family and found this the farthest thing from the

truth. Mr. Sugar’s always put his wife and children first and spoke of them with respect and

admiration. I never observed any inappropriate behavior from him and always found that although

a shrewd business man he was cordial and above all professional. Mr. Sugar’s greatest flaw was

that he obviously did not run a background check on his management which created a horrific

work environment especially for the females. Not only I but several women were sexually

harrassed by Rich Bernstein. We were forced to endure gross stories of his wife swapping

tales and fowl disgusting remarks on his sexuality. In addition we were required to intercept

phone calls and letters from debt collector’s, goverment agencies and a parade of women he

was carrying on with. It is actually comical  that he is now working with John Gray.  I think once

you become as successful as Mr. Sugars this kind of nonsense just comes with the territory but the

fact that it is coming from someone like Rich Bernstein is just laughable because anyone who knows

him can truely say there is not one ounce of integity in this mans 5’3 inch frame.

   Throwdown said on Oct 19, 2008….

I happen to know Rich is about 5’9″ and a much bigger man comparitively when it comes to integrity than is Brad Sugars.

   anonymous said on Nov 10, 2008….

I went to a Brad Sugars free seminar for business owners.
In the 2 hour presentation, he told about his golden rules for buying businsses. Rule 1 was to only buy from idiots. He then told us stories of how he managed to buy very profitable and good businesses for virtually nothing.
The seminar’s purpose was to invite people, at £4,000 a time, on a course for 2,000 people in America the following year. I drew a parallel between ripping off business owners that he bought businesses from, and those who signed up for the course. I declined his kind invitation.
Another part of the seminar explained how to retire in 10 years by paying £50,000 per year and buying and remortgaging a £250,000 house house every year. A strategy that if anyone at the seminar followed, would have caused them extreme hardship by now.
I thought that on balance, the seminar was worth about what I paid. Personally I am very wary of trading with people whom I consider unethical.

   womenadvocate said on Nov 24, 2008….

If you are a women don’t buy a franchise from ActionCoach.

If you are a female and own a business don’t hire a coach

from ActionCoach. Women should not support Brad Sugars

or his franchise ActionCoach for he is a greedy chauvinistic

pig who has no respect for women. There is a long overdue pending lawsuit against ActionCoach in the Nevada District Court. The lawsuit was filed against ActionCoach because

of Brad Sugars the CEO, insulting behavior and vicious humiliating attack against a female employee. Sugars

behavior is well documented in the victim’s lawsuit. I

commend this victim for having the strength to stand up

to this despicable man for her rights.  The victim was forced

to endure severe emotional distress, repeatedly informed all women were WHORES and cheated out of her commissions because she refused to give in to Brad Sugars sexual advances. The victim as part of her employment was required to accompany Brad Sugars on his US Tour but was abandoned

in Miami Florida and forced to fly home on her own dollar because the victim refused to participate in Brad Sugars

elicit behavior. Women need to stick together and not

support this behavior therefore I am requesting a boycott against Brad Sugars and ActionCoach by all women to

show our support for the victim. We don’t have to tolerate

men taking advantage of women in the work place and men like Brad Sugars have no right operating a business if they can’t obey the law.


Written by actransparency

January 24, 2011 at 11:16 pm

3 Responses

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  1. So where are the ActionCoach numbers now? The last I heard from a friend in the US was that AC were desperate to find anyone and do any deal to get territories back in operation.

    Ray Borradale

    January 25, 2011 at 12:12 pm

  2. Over the past week I’ve been looking into buying an ActionCoach franchise in Florida.
    As I’m doing my due diligence, I find that a stagering amount of bad or good threads about this ActionCoach are made by ” Anonymous”. I wonder about what the legitimacy of the threads and more importantly I wonder about the legitimatcy of this company.

    I would ask anyone with any helpful informaion to contact me at

    I’d really appreciate any honest opinion before making a $76K mistake.

    Thank you!

    Eric Bell

    June 15, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    • Hi Eric,
      Contrary to many people before you, you will at least have benefitted from hearing both sides of the story before making your investment and, BTW, that investment will be a lot more than the 76k$ you mention because you are also committing to fixed monthly royalties and a very hefty “get out of jail” fee, should things not work out OK. On that particular subject, have you already received and read a copy of the franchise contract?

      Apart from that, if you have read through some of the independent material on the web, including this blog, you should by now understand at least two things:

      – Over the years ActionCoach has acquired the habit of telling a lot of lies (about franchise numbers, average earnings, failure rates etc..) and, once acquired, that particular habit is very hard to shake off because to do so would mean admitting they have been lying all along thus invalidating several hundred franchise contracts.

      – There are some genuinely successful ActionCoach franchisees and I am sure you have spoken to a few but, with 25 to 30% turnover of franchisees per year, there are far more losers than winners. Typically those who leave do so between years 1 and 2 of their contract, anywhere between 150 and 200k$ poorer depending on what you count.

      Knowing all of that, what you do next is up to you, but at least you have been warned.

      Last detail, as ActionCoach is very litigious and most people prefer to avoid trouble, don’t expect too many ex-franchisees to contact you.


      June 17, 2011 at 2:09 pm

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