Thursday, November 1 2012, 11:53 PM MDT
Traveling Salesman Accused of Lies to Make Sales
By Matt Gephardt and Cindy St. Clair
(KUTV) In July, 2News first reported the complaints of business owners Amy Rich and Kari Thompson. These women own separate small businesses in Davis County and were looking for ways to advertise. Each says they were approached by a salesman named Jonathon Frank who works for a California company, Menu's To Go.
Menu's To Go prints take out menu's for restaurants with paid advertisement’s inside but both Amy and Kari say they were sold because Jonathan Frank made a promise.
“He promised that there would be mass mailings to all of the surrounding areas,” Amy said.
"It would be mailed out quarterly 120,000 homes,” Kari says.
There were never any mailings. Each business owner says she called Menu's To Go and was told there were no mailings and there never would be any mailings. Still, Menu's To Go demanded payment pointing out that the contract doesn't say anything about mailings. Menu’s To Go even went so far as to send threatening collection notices from a law firm.
“I feel frustrated,” Amy said. “I feel like I have been taken advantage of.”
Before the July report, 2News tried to reach Jonathan Frank with the only lead we had: his business card. Frank never called back.
2News also called Menu's to go on behalf of Amy and Kari but that didn't do any good. The company says they are continuing to demand payment, and again referred to what is spelled out in the contract. Menus To Go also defended their salesman insinuating Amy and Kari liars by calling their allegations, “False.”
2News reported that story to warn other business owners, one of whom saw it and is glad he did. Nicolas Godoy owns Peak Carpet Cleaning. He too was contacted by Jonathan Frank and was promised mailings if Peak advertised with Menu's To Go.
Nicolas had seen 2News’ original story. He invited Frank to a meeting in his home and he invited Matt Gephardt to tag along.
At meeting time, 2News hid in a back room and listened to Frank's sales pitch, which again came with that familiar lie.
“I mail them out to the residents of the area, to the people's mailboxes,” Frank told Nicolas.
2News emerged from the back room to ask Mr. Frank about the promise considering Menu’s To Go says they don’t do mailings, period. He refused to answer any questions and instead fled out the door to his car and drove away.
After Frank sped away from 2News’ cameras, 2News again contacted Menu’s To Go and told them what happened. This time, Menu's To Go has completely changed their tune.
In an email, Menu's To Go agent Alex Tarkian writes that "Mr. Frank was terminated as one of MTG’s independent contractors," after the first story aired.
And he writes, "We suspect that Mr. Frank may not have disposed of all of his MTG blank contracts and that he is traveling around the neighborhood, pocketing the down deposit payments from new customers."
Tarkian also writes that they are considering criminal charges against Frank.
We asked Menu's To Go about all the business owners that signed up for contracts under false pretenses. Again, Menu's To Go has changed their tune. No longer are they calling Amy and Kari liars. Instead, Menus To Go urged them to contact the company so refunds can be considered on a "case by case basis.”
That goes for anyone who had dealings with Jonathan Frank.
(Copyright 2012 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)