FCA steps up in Jump! Swim Schools saga

By Sarah Stowe | 18 Feb 2019 View comments

The Franchise Council of Australia last week urged the ACCC to initiate an investigation into the Jump! Swim Schools franchise in response to escalating complaints.

The FCA has had growing concerns about the number of franchisees publicly alleging breaches of the franchising code and consumer law.

This is a fresh approach from the association which has stepped up to back franchisee complaints against a franchisor.

Mary Aldred, CEO of the FCA, said “Such breaches impact on the reputation of all franchise businesses and the FCA has made it clear that it will not tolerate behaviour that breaches the law, from either franchisor or franchisee, whether an FCA member or not.”

As Jump! Swim Schools is not a Franchise Council of Australia member the peak body is unable to initiate its member complaints process. Instead the association has turned to the ACCC for further action.

“To encourage the ACCC to fully investigate these complaints, and respond to the franchisees in a timely manner, I have also written to the ACCC asking them to promptly investigate the claims made against Jump! Swim School,” Aldred said.

Since that first intervention last week 18 Jump! Swim Schools franchisees have directly approached the FCA and have been provided advice and assistance to help them resolve their situation including assisting them with lodgement with the ACCC.

Aldred also contacted the office of the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman and as a result, a dedicated manager has been assigned to directly liaise with Jump! Swim Schools franchisees.

Aldred said the FCA remains highly concerned about the behaviour of Jump! Swim Schools and is actively assisting franchisees with information and support.

Ian Campbell, CEO and founder of Jump! Swim Schools, last month denied the allegations of franchisee exploitation.