IT SEEMS that financial stress is the reason behind why two Rockhampton franchisees closed the doors on their communications businesses earlier this month.
Robert and Rich Ludwig shut their five Leading Edge Telecoms (LET) stores in Central Queensland without a word.
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The stores were cleaned out and employees received a text message saying they would no longer be needed.
But iAssist owner Jason Spence, who had contracts with LET, has since spoken to Rich and passed on his explanation of the businesses closure to The Morning Bulletin.
Mr Spence said that Rich claimed that prior to Christmas; the LET head office had increased franchise fees from 5% to 14%.
"That put stress on them because they were barely making it as it were," Mr Spence said.
"They said there was no way that they could continue and every week was eroding at what they had left."
Mr Spence says that the franchisees have paid all of their employees and creditors from the cash they had available.
When it comes to letting staff know they've lost their job through a text message, Mr Spence says the franchisees realised it wasn't a "smart move".
"When you're tired and trying to figure out how it's going to work and stressing that you're letting people down, you're bound to make a mistake," Mr Spence said.
"They are regretful for having to shut the stores, but the changes in the franchise fees weren't commercially viable.
"Rich said they have hundreds of messages on their phones and don't have the strength to face them."
The Morning Bulletin's attempts to contact LET head office on Friday were unsuccessful.
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