Dear Liberty Tax®,
Please forward this to your Community Relations Dept. I am glad you are in business and I am sure you provide a very reliable, affordable service to many.
Last year, as I drove past your location almost daily, I felt the advertising approach – having employees dressed up as for Halloween, in all kinds of tough winter weather, holding signs to encourage customers to come in – was horrible.
I am an every day, man on the street kind of _________________, and in this day and age, especially in a college town kind of atmosphere, I am sure others felt the same way. I would never go to Liberty Tax® if it had that kind of immature approach to the community. And I felt sorry that folks who needed the job, had to be out there in the wind and the cold just to get the basic pay check.
I am sure there is no reason that Liberty Tax® cannot join all the other establishments in the area in its advertising approach. Yes advertising is important; it is essential to your staying open on some levels.
Please consider just advertising in the ways of the businesses in this area, and see if it hurts your bottom line. You will certainly make a lot of people happy if you do.
Dear Ms. __________,
Thank you for your letter expressing your concerns. It is completely true that Liberty Tax® is a different company, and that’s the main reason I bought the franchise. Before I address your concerns, I was hoping to give you some background on Liberty Corporate as well as Liberty Tax® Amherst.
Liberty Tax® is committed to serving the community in which we work. In fact, as an example, we are hosting a Free Electronics Recycling event this Saturday from 9am to 2pm, at which people can bring their old electronics, appliances, etc. and dispose of them for free. We are giving away a free tax return in a raffle, food, beverages and are hosting some activities for children. (We hope you will attend to get to know us better.) Liberty Corporate partners with several charity organizations such as: Cell Phones for Soldiers, American Red Cross, March of Dimes, MADD, Relay for Life and Wounded Wear to name a few and our Amherst location intends on hosting fund-raisers for many of these charities both during and after this tax season. Our office did approximately 15 free tax returns for Red Cross blood donors last tax season; gave away over 25 free returns to disabled veterans through Soldier On at the VA Hospital in Northampton ( a great event we hosted at their location to make filing taxes easier on the vets); as well as sponsoring free return weeks for Police, Fire-Fighters, Nursing Homes and many more. In total, this office gave away over 250 free returns last tax year that are minimally valued at $175. Each, so I’m sure you can see that our commitment to our community is very important to us.
Although there are many great businesses in the Amherst area, I think it’s safe to say that we are on the cutting edge when it comes to serving our community. I’ve been a resident of Amherst since 1978 when I attended the University of Massachusetts and as owner of this establishment I take pride in being a member of the Amherst Chamber of Commerce (they love our wavers), the Lions Club and the Rotary Club – all organizations that are committed to giving back to our community… and here at Liberty Tax® in Amherst we are just beginning our second season.
But, I do want to directly address your comments about our wavers because it is important and your concerns are actually well received. We always pay our wavers a great wage to do what they do and we actually pay even more if they stay with us for the entire season. They are offered ten-minute warm-up breaks every hour and are limited to four hour shifts. They also know that if the weather is severe, that they can come in any time to warm up and grab a warm drink sitting in a waver dressing area which we had constructed especially for them. They have access to hot coffee, water, soda and a microwave and are free to help themselves whenever they want. Our wavers are the most important employees we have and although I respect your opinion that they are doing us harm, I need to tell you that over 90% of our customers last year said they came into this office specifically because of our wavers. One additional point on that – if you ask any of our wavers if they like their job, I can say with confidence they will all reply yes. In fact, I only hire wavers who show a great enthusiasm about what they do. The other thing I know you will hear from them is that at most points during their shifts they are actually hot.
I’m hoping you will take me up on my offer to join us this weekend. I could show you the tax office, the great training room that we loan out to local organizations like the Lions Club to use free of charge and most importantly, the great accommodations we have for our wavers.
I love my employees and I’m proud to be the owner of this franchise that embodies everything I have looked for in my 25 years as a self-employed entrepreneur. I hope you haven’t read this letter in any manner except that of a clarification. My intent was not to correct anyone’s opinion, but just to shed some light using the facts that are not as well advertised as they probably should be.
I have also included a coupon for a free tax return should you choose to come by and meet us.
Ralph P. Guisti
President – Liberty Tax Service® #16979