Dore Achievement Centres

Nine Things Wynford Dore Should Be Telling His Customers

Over on the Dore Talk forum there is some heated discussion about the collapse and Dore Australia. To be fair, most of the anti-Dore people such as PsyDuck, Gimpy and Podblack have been making useful and positive comments. It is the pro-Dore parents who are being rude and reactionary though there are exceptions on both sides.

The reason for much of this heated discussion is simply because Wynford Dore is not giving out any information. As the very public face of his company, he should have a made clear statement back on Friday when this all kicked off. The situation can be improved if he could answer these nine questions. I know staff at Dore read this and I suspect you have a list of questions very similar to this one so please let Wynford and the senior managers know about this post.

  • 1) Why did Dore Australia close so suddenly?

    The statement given out on the Dore Talk forum said that Dore Austrialia went into voluntary receivership so that the management could “evaluate different options for setting up a sustainable model for the delivery of the Dore Program”. This makes it sound like a carefully planned business move rather than something forced on the company. If the situation was not serious and urgent, why are clients being turned away and staff laid off?

  • 2) Will clients get their money back?

    If Dore Australia’s collapse was planned and not a financial crisis, will you, either personally or via the Dore companies around the world, refund Australian clients who have lost money?

  • 3) When, if ever, do you expect the Australian clinic to reopen?

  • 4) What impact will this have on other clinics around the world?

    There has been speculation that the New Zealand clinics will also close. What other closures can we expect?

  • 5) How secure financially is the whole organisation?

  • 6) Is it true that you subsidize each client by £1000?

    If this is true, how many more clients can you afford?

  • 7) Why is the Dore Australia web site still trying to recruit new customers?

    If the company has closed down, shouldn’t the web site be informing people of this fact?

  • 8) Why have you and the company failed to make a clear statement answering these issues before now?

    There is no mention of the Dore Australia bankruptcy on the Dore UK web page or on your own blog.

  • 9) Where does Dore the company and Dore the man go from here?

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17 Comments

  1. Thanks.

    Point 4 – there’s a parent on the DORE forums who have said that their appointment in NZ is going ahead tomorrow. It appears to be only Australia that’s been hit for now. More info when I have it.

    5 – previously discussed on Gimpy’s blog.

    8 – staff on forums have said there will be a press release. Haven’t seen one yet.

    9 – http://www.iii.co.uk/news/?type=afxnews&articleid=6715992&action=article

    I would also be interested to know what is planned with the American trial?

  2. Chris C

    With regard to the New Zealand Dore. I have just searched the New Zealand companies register. (http://www.companies.govt.nz then search for dore group(nz) ) It is owned by DORE ACHIEVEMENT CENTRE PTY which, according to the australian securities commision, is a former name of DORE GROUP (AUSTRALASIA) LIMITED. This suggests that the NZ company 100% owned by the company in administration.

  3. Thanks Chris – the only info on NZ so far is the one post by a parent on the DORE forums, I’d originally assumed that ‘Australasia’ would have included at least NZ too. Anyone live in NZ and can give them a call to let people know what the situation really is?

  4. Bob Clarke

    I am the former CEO of Dore Uk.

    Next week after 12 months of legal red tape i get the chance to defend my name.

    On 29th May i have an industrial tribunal case listed for 11 days, in which i will provide evidence that proves (i believe) that i was wrongly dismissed.

    It will also give me an opportunity to provide evidence as to the real reasons i was dismissed. This evidence has been supressed for 12 months, until next week.

    I feel truely sorry for clients and staff in Australia and hope against hope that someone does the right thing by them.

  5. Former Dore Employee

    I worked under Bob Clarke as a Dore employee and can honestly say that the guy is not fit to tie Wynfords laces. I have yet to meet a more honourable boss than Wynford Dore. Wynford has invested millions of pounds of his own money to help others. If he was going to make a tidy profit then so what; a businesman of Wynfords calibre could find a far easier and less risky way of making money, so why set up Dore? Because he cares passionately for people with learning difficulties, thats why. For all Bob Clarkes hot air about being a caring guy, myself and my colleagues saw little of it! I left the company of my own accord and as such feel that i can talk from a pretty neutral stand point.
    Those of us who know Bob Clarke wouldn’t believe a word he says and if he thinks he can bluff the experienced members of a tribunal then he is more naive and immature than i originally thought.
    He is one of those people who blunders through life blaming everyone but himself for the upset and emotional scars that his thoughtless actions leave in its wake.
    I’m not prepared to give my name as i wouldn’t put much past him in the way of revenge for these views.

  6. Via

    Why am I not surprised that Mr Bob Clarke is yet again involved in an Employment Tribunal!
    He seems to make a career out of the tribunal system.
    I won’t go too much into details of Mr Clarke’s last appearance at a Employment Tribunal, this has previously been highlighted on this website.
    For those who might be interested check this out: http://www.out-law.com/page-3270
    Or just google search on “Bob Clarke Employment tribunal”
    Mr Clarke has also be named in Employment tribunal involving Sexual discrimination and disability discrimination with a ex-employee named Sue Foss, again google this and you can read for yourself.
    Don’t really believe in Karma Bob but what kind of previous life did you lead?
    A bit of a cliche but what goes round comes round eh?
    I looked forward to next week Bob to see what kind of story you spin. What attracts you to all of this? Cult of the Celebrity or what?
    I was considering taking Dore to an employment tribunal. And you know why? The threats, bullying and intimidation that I experienced that was sanctioned by Mr Bob Clarke himself. But, I decided not too. Why not you might ask? Because I knew that in time someone else or something else would do the job for me and guess what Mr Clarke you did.
    I just hope that your underlings have also gone with you as well. Herr Friel and Co.
    Well they probably have now!
    Do I sound bitter? Don’t really care if I do.

    To the previous poster Former Dore Employee, Mr Clarke has experience bluffing employment tribunals. So don’t be surprised if he wins it. But I don’t think there’ll be much left in the pot.

    I’m looking forward Bob to your account of your time with Dore.
    You concern for clients and staff in Australia sticks in my gullet. No doubt you are aware of the development of Dore UK?
    Don’t think there’s going to be much tribunal pay out this time eh?
    Wind been taken out of your sail or what?

    Love to chat with you next week but you clearly will be quite busy.

    Regards

  7. Ex Dore Employee

    Doesn’t anyone else think its strange this should happen the week before Bob’s tribunal, what is Wynford frightened of, was he so sure Bob would win he put the company in the hands of advisors to avoid paying Bob, if so has everything Bob has been saying true. All those who attack Bob should take note. I loved my job as a PA & was one of the longest serving PA’s before being made redundant last year, am I bitter no – I got another job with better pay & less hours but I would give that up to go back to Dore because I felt what I was doing was worthwhile. All the same I wasn’t blind to what was going on everyone blamed Bob, Mark & Zoe for the pressure we were under to sell, but where did that pressure come from – everyone kept saying Wynford couldn’t possibly know what was going on as he wasn’t that kind of person – you don’t become the highly successful business man he was by being nice of course he knew what was going on. Whatever the truth is what we must remember is this program helped a lot of people & a lot of people have been left high & dry by what has happened. So while you spend your time attacking Bob to satisfy your own petty grievances try thinking about them.

  8. Via

    I have written elsewhere on this site that I think Wynford was prepared to put his blinkers on as to what was going on at Dore. Equally, those on the Sales Management also conveniently donned their blinkers with clear focus and self interest.
    Rarely do matters of this kind happen in isolation.
    I too, at one time thought that the attacks on Bob Clarke seemed over the top, as someone has previously wrote. “he’s a likeable chap”.
    However, Bob is big enough and ugly enough to look after himself.
    (To Ex Dore Employee) – I would also suggest that you too had blinkers on at some point. As you state the pressure that Friel and his cohort placed upon Programme Advisors. That pressure ultimately passed down and transmuted into various bad practices. Some which would have definitely been considered fraudulent. Some practices ethically unacceptable.
    Not to mention the threats, bullying and intimidation, mainly amongst employees.
    I witnessed the latter three and the coercion to act in fraudulent ways. Woe betide anyone that questioned any of the latter behaviours. I wouldn’t head any of these under “petty grievances”.
    Furthermore, to quote you “a lot of people have been left high and dry by what has happened”. Many people had the same experience whilst Dore was apparently solvent. All for various reason, taking out loans they could ill afford; Dore programme not really suitable for them in more ways and than. The list could grow bigger.
    Given your long service you must have witnessed the desperate sales culture, and the anything goes?
    You must have been aware of the struggle with monies to materialise? I worked at Dore for s short time and I was given insight to the borrowing off Peter to pay Paul, together with creative accounting when it came the timing of sales, etc. There seems to have been many people who were prepared to put the blinkers on.
    There was also lots of waste of money that surely you must have noticed. The housekeeping was poorly handled.
    I think you’ve been insightful into the suggestion that there has been a calculated decision made on the timing of the closure and the employment tribunal.
    The comment about the closure and the employment tribunal tells me that you know the management team and their questionable style better than you’re prepared to openly admit?

    I also think that if Dore would have continued with the same sales/marketing vein that I witnessed and experienced, they would eventually become subject to the 31 new rules on Sales and Consumer Protectiion, which I believe came into force on May 26th 2008.
    These changes in consumer laws are the biggest and the most significant in the last 40 years and the ramifications for many industries will be threatening the viability of many companies sales/marketing practices.
    So I think the Dore closure was if you like sound business practice?
    A good sales management team doesn’t pass the pressure down the hierachy, they absorb the pressure.
    Should Bob Clarke win the employment tribunal, the cupboard will be bare. But no doubt there will be media deals of much the same nature. What’s the saying “keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer”.
    Looking forward to hearing Bob Clarke’s story. I think he fancies himself as a celebrity?

  9. Mr Ex-Dore

    Bob? What about Angus? Worst manager I have EVER had. Huge staff turnover based soley on him personally and his money-making before all else ethos. Totally at odds with the companys idea of integrity. There were some amazing people slaving away behind the scenes at Dore in Au, I wish the luck in the future.

  10. Nobody has mentioned Dore South Africa yet. As a current employee I feel the need to mention that all the previous problems have not affected Dore SA. This might be because we are a separate franchise and are managed differently, but all politics aside, we all offer the same program. A program that works!! We have a huge success rate with our clients. We are really making a great impact within our country. It is so unfortunate that nobody displays the positive side that the Dore program brings.

  11. Via

    The British Media to date have been on the whole Pro-Dore and supportive. The Media have given lots of ‘free coverage’ on the programme.
    The Media coverage on the whole hasn’t been critical of the claims Dore make. The whole Dore issue would benefit from someone kind of critical journalism from the British Media alongside the Academic reports.
    If the SA business model works then what does that say about the Dore UK management team.
    In reference to “A program that works!!”. What does ‘work’ mean?
    It fairly common knowledge that most people would benefit from doing the Dore programme, even if it’s just for the improvements gained in motor co-ordination and sensory integration.
    However, there are other ways of getting much the same benefit, for a lot less money.
    As to the claims of singularly eradicating the said learning difficulties, that is another story yet to be explored.
    I’ve seen ‘negative’ reports in the SA press, shown on the internet regarding Dore.
    Only time will tell.

  12. frazzledazzle

    SA: Thanks for checking in, it seems the smaller countries were run on the franchises as well as SA? No word really came out on the countries Dore is in besides UK, AU, and US. Glad to know SA is going strong as ever. I’m assuming the other areas are franchises as well and doing alright too?

  13. The UK administrator’s report said that other franchises were struggling a bit due to Wynford withdrawing subsidies, but since most of the money they owed was to Dore UK & that’s basically being written off they may well be OK.

  14. ex employee

    I am an ex employee and would say that this was bound to happen .The management was not strong enough and knew that their boss was into too many things . The price of the program and the selling techniques did not help.It is a shame because the product works. The business model was flawed and now people will not get the traetment.This product was about the client but turning it into a business ruined it because of ego and greed.The exercises became too complicated and unnecessarily so. when they were simpe to follow in the early days they still got results.

  15. Joesmum

    Low and behold, Dore Group NZ Ltd placed itself in voluntary liquidation on 23rd March, 2009. My son had been in the program barely 3 months. We paid $NZ5500 upfront.

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