Franchise Fracas

When Curtis B. Bean of Marshfield Hills, Mass., bought a dozen franchises in Car Checkers of America Inc. two years ago, he thought it was an ideal investment. If anybody should know, he figured, he should. Bean had spent more than 20 years in the franchise business, including four years as CEO of Howard Johnsons Franchise Systems Inc. Besides, he had heard glowing reports about New Jersey-based Car Checkers from franchisees. Bean especially liked the franchise because its mobile auto-inspection services were intended to prevent used-car buyers from getting ripped off.

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