Tuesday, September 28, 2021

MENU

50 business owners file complaint against Camping World’s Lemonis over treatment on “The Profit”

CNBC’s reality show “The Profit” portrays Camping World Chairman and CEO Marcus Lemonis as a financial savior for struggling small businesses. The cable TV show usually portrays Lemonis coming to the rescue of a struggling business, using his “Midas touch” to quickly turn things around.

But the network’s “Golden Boy” took on a little tarnish this week when 50 business owners who had appeared on “The Profit” banded together to file an amended complaint in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The complaint alleges that Lemonis, NBCUniversal and a production company ironically named “Machete” employed mob-like tactics against the companies that have appeared on “The Profit” in order to defraud business owners and take their companies.

“Marcus Lemonis is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and a false prophet who uses his fame and fortune to steal small businesses from everyday Americans,” states the proposed amended complaint. “Through NBC’s television show, The Profit, Lemonis presents himself as a savior of struggling small business owners, all the while preying on the business he purports to be saving.”

The filing says that an eight-month investigation revealed that at least 51 companies that have appeared on the show suffered a similar “hellish nightmare” and pattern of humiliation, fraud, extortion and other charges.

“Lemonis strategically and deliberately drowns these businesses in debt to him and his entities in order to foreclose on them and take their assets and intellectual property to expand his own empire,” the filing states.

The show is now in its 8th season on CNBC. In the reality show, Lemonis supposedly uses the same skills and tactics that brought him to the top of the Camping World empire to help struggling businesses turn things around.

Business owners named in the complaint allege that Lemonis invests in the struggling firms, often requiring them to give him full control over company finances.

The U.S. District Court filing caught the attention of none other than editors at Forbes.com. The website did a very complete story on the claims whirling around Lemonis, including statements he made in his defense.

Lemonis denied he did anything wrong and suggested that the claims made by the 50 business owners were no more than a “grand shake down” made by “people who are not entitled to anything.”

NBCUniversal and CNBC declined to comment for the Forbes.com story.

To read the full story on Forbes.com, click here.

##RVT1015b

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

29 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Paul Breitag
27 days ago

Since he stated he didn’t want a certain class of people doing business with his company, I have accommodated and have not set foot in the place. A** H***!!!!

SEABEETOM
29 days ago

I call Camping World for information on a satellite dish for my motor home. The person on the phone had no idea how were in stock even with a computer in front of them. They would have to check with the person in the warehouse and call me back. That was four years ago, I am still waiting for a return call. I did go to a local RV dealer and got one for $50 cheaper.

Barry T
30 days ago

For the life of me, I cannot understand how Camping World is still in business. The majority of its customers must be new to RVing and know no better.

John
30 days ago

Camping world sucks. I will NEVER buy an rv from them again. Almost had to sue them but got my camper back and compensation for 8 months worth of payments after a year long battle with the gm. Scandalous company for sure. I am a small business owner and would never dream of treating my customers like they have. Sooo many bad things people are going threw with this company still to this day across the country. They sell new campers that have to be brought back in to fix after buying. What a horrible business! That’s like me building a pool that the customer can’t use for the first year because I’m back fixing all the problems. Doesn’t make sense.

Leo
30 days ago

CW products and services are not high….they are {bleeped} HIGH! I will sell my RV before I ever go to them again!

David Freidell
30 days ago

BUYER BEWARE! LEMONIS IS A SNAKE. SO SORRY FOR YOU FOLKS WHO BELIEVE HIS BS. BUT IF YOU DONT CHECK INTO THE MAN YOU ARE DOING BUSINESS WITH, WELL THEN YOU GET WHAT YOU DESERVE.

Sink Jaxon
30 days ago

Sounds like his MO, but looking forward to the result!

Jeff Evans
30 days ago

This is sad and really has nothing to do with RVing. All of the business owners on The Profit eagerly took his money. Their businesses were failing at the time. Without his money they would have failed sooner. Amazing how many want to point the finger at others and never at themselves. Take some personal responsibility.

I know a lot of people have had problems with Camping World. Most of my experiences have overall been very positive, but I’ve never bought an RV from them, just had some service work done.

Tom Horn
30 days ago
Reply to  Jeff Evans

So go ahead and tell everyone that you Trust the Lemonis while your at it.

Jeff Evans
29 days ago
Reply to  Tom Horn

I trust no one.

I understand people have had bad experiences, I’m just not one of them. We’ve had two different Camping Worlds install base plates and tow bars on two different vehicles. Both were installed properly, on time, and at a reasonable cost.

A couple years ago we had a blowout in our 2016 American Coach that caused over $18,000 in damage. Our electrical bay was destroyed as was our generator exhaust. The front end cap and severe damage and there were other issues. Camping World Las Vegas fixed everything. All worked properly and looked like new. You couldn’t tell any damage was done.

We’ve had some shoddy work too – like miswired day and night shades – but overall 80-90% of what we’ve had done has been excellent

Marcus Lemonis is a lightning rod for people. Definitely. But geez for RV travel to bash him for something completely unrelated to RVing seems more like character assassination than the purpose of the newsletter. IMHO

SEABEETOM
29 days ago
Reply to  Tom Horn

Nice one.

John
29 days ago
Reply to  Jeff Evans

People don’t deserve to be blamed for unethical business people. Fraud Is illegal.

Silas Longshot
30 days ago

Thousands of CW customers have found out the hard way on many levels of shady workings just what a scumbag he is. https://www.victimsofmarcuslemonis.com/

Bob M
30 days ago

Maybe if enough of RV Travel readers buy Camping World Stock. We could put pressure on Marcus Lemonis to change Camping World and its Board of Directors to operate and treat customers with respect, honesty and good customer service and support.

SEABEETOM
29 days ago
Reply to  Bob M

That is funny.

Cheri Sicard
30 days ago

Camping World is nothing but a rip off (got a $1500 estimate from them for repairs that were done for $350 at another shop), so I would not expect its CEO to be anything better. I hope these businesses win and give this crook a little of his own medicine. I have not gone near a Camping World in over a decade and never will again after that experience.

Member
Karel Carnohan DVM (@karel-carnohan)
30 days ago

Is there a list of the businesses, especially the smaller RV dealerships, this crook has bought? I make it a point to NOT buy from crooks.

CLeeNick
30 days ago

I suppose the first mistake for many of the small business owners involved was thinking that “Reality TV” is real. There is no “magic formula” for starting, running, and growing a small business. One has to have a knack for dealing with people, providing customer service (even when you know the customer is wrong), and keeping track of everything. Often, the people who merely “buy in” end up destroying it all…maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but eventually. Think Eddie Lampert, Sears, and Kmart.

Steve
30 days ago

Is this about CW or Walmart? Really the same, big business pushing out the small guy and dictating how business is done. CW’s rep. on after the sale tells it all. Take your business to the small guy.

Dick Carlson
30 days ago

I only watched a few of these, and found them repetitive and sad. He forced these struggling small businesses to make a bunch of un-tested, expensive changes in their operation. Financed, surprisingly, by money from him. I often wondered when the wolf returned to the door.

The Lazy Q
30 days ago

I wish I would of bought CW stock in March 2020.

Tom Horn
30 days ago
Reply to  The Lazy Q

I wish I would have bought Bitcoin in 2009 for $2.00. Camping World is not to be trusted for anything.

Irl Sell
30 days ago

Too many horror stories about CW service fails from friends and others to allow them to service my 5th wheel. I do purchase RV products like toilet paper from them. I personally feel Lemonis doesn’t give a $..t about customer service.

Bill
30 days ago

LOL… love reading the hate on Camping World. Never bought an RV through them but have had campers serviced through them and have bought a lot of camping gear and RV parts through them. Never had a problem and on hitches and GPS units (nor any other item), they beat prices of others when I showed them I could get it cheaper.

I hear these “horror” stories and think gee, that sounds like quite a few other RV dealerships, too. CW is not unique given the number of stores they have nation-wide.

Gman
30 days ago

As the saying goes, “if it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t”. Giving an outsider full control of your finances? Maybe why your business is struggling. Did you read the contract before signing, agreeing? Marcus has deep pockets, 50 businesses, already struggling, don’t! Just playing devils advocate.

Tom Horn
30 days ago
Reply to  Gman

Probably some laziness in the crowd and over spending on personal Items when they though they had a winning business. Keeping up with the Joneses to early in there start up.

Last edited 30 days ago by Tom Horn
Bill N Stacey
30 days ago

Camping World Will Never Get ONE Dollar From My Family!

Follow us!

31,714FansLike
26,479FollowersFollow
66,000SubscribersSubscribe