I had never heard of American Income Life until I had received an e-mail message stating interest in my online resume. The first message went disregarded. I don't have one bit of educational experience in marketing, sales, or business, so I was confused as to why they would want me. The second message came, and I thought I would give it a shot.
The interview process was highly inconvenient, as I had to commute over an hour and a half and take a day off of work to attend three separate occasions. The first was just a sit-down with my resume. The second was a group interview, and the third was a confirmation interview. At that confirmation interview, I was told of the unlimited income potential and I had dollar signs in my eyes. "Now, this job requires a little bit of driving," and I was okay with that. And basically, over the next week, I was to learn that the money would just make itself. These union families want the insurance, and we just have to sign them up and get some referrals.
Even my standards were low. I would have to average three sales a week to make about as much as I would make as a counselor. That was good enough for me, and it sounded like a cakewalk.
I stayed with my mom to save gas on the commute during training work, but I was still filling up once every few days. I spent a few days training with a field supervisor who "let me have" a couple of sales. And, really, the rest of the time was spent learning on-the-go. I was actually displeased with a lot of my early experience because I didn't feel prepared enough for it -- that includes people who already have policies, people who were clearly not interested in getting insurance, and people who didn't even remember hearing about the union insurance in the first place. I got more than enough irate responses.
But that wasn't enough for me. The money was there, and every Friday morning meeting would be an insistence that the money was there, despite having a faulty phone room or a misleading script or a baiting proposal before you sink 'em with the real plot. And I kept holding out for the money. The way feedback had been administered, it's my own fault if I make or break myself in this position. That's just not entirely true.
After reading about various accounts here, I realized that AIL does its best to "bait" you into staying. You'll get good, productive leads every few weeks. They're spaced that way so that, when you're on the verge of leaving, you have a good money day that makes you want to stay. Psychologically and economically, that's really taxing and painful and stressful as all get out.
Let me just summarize from here:
The interviewing team claims that you make a base (I repeat, BASE) salary of -- last I heard -- $60,000 to $75,000 a year, but you are solely paid on commission.
There is NO salary associated with this job. You have to make your earnings week to week, and you are not reimbursed for any expenses. Allegedly, you're entitled to reimbursement at tax time, but you still have to wait a full calendar year to take advantage of that.
You are not reimbursed for the licensing materials and preparation costs. Prepare to spend at least $75 for a home-study course and $260 for an insurance license, and that's if you pass the exams the first time. One former co-worker revealed that she failed the test three times before passing.
The interviewing team also claims that this job brings instant promotion potential, but you are only promoted if you recruit underlings. You move into management positions at THEIR expense.
You describe yourself as a Benefits Coordinator of the family member's union until you actually say you're a representative of American Income Life.
Sometimes, you say you're from Globe. What?! Yes. Contrary to AIL's claim that they do no advertising but have been in business for 80 years, they DO their mass mail advertising under the name Globe Life.
You collect canned goods for a Union Food Bank; however, all the food I've collected is still sitting in the back room of the agency among the office supplies.
AIL won't extend any good faith efforts to you if you're hospitalized because of sickness or the car breaks down or whatever. In fact, the agency will make an adamant refusal to reimburse for any unforeseen incidents that compromise your ability to work.
You're told to give feedback on your training experience. Feedback consists of a sheet only indicating all the things you didn't learn on the job.
Leads are free, but they are recycled from a database consisting of refusals, do not calls, former customers, lapsed customers, and so forth. If you want people to set your appointments, you have to pay $300 a month for the service in advance, even if you don't generate anything in sales revenue.
You HAVE to seek out some other way to earn money. You need a part-time job to supplement your nonexistent insurance income, and that's just hard to do with a 60- to 70-hour workweek.
Your managers insist that you call them should you have any problems or need to ask a question. They are NEVER available. I have two of them, and the many, many times I needed to ask a question -- right there in the home! -- they weren't around.
Furthermore, when I expressed having some difficulties with the job and that I was really stressed over not making any money, my manager blamed me for the problem. He said that I probably wasn't sticking to the script. Of course, if someone tells you that this is the FOURTH time they've been seen and they want to know if we're a legit operation, what CAN you say to that again? Finally, he let out some "inspirational" story about having a car, mortgage, wife, and three kids to support on the verge of bankruptcy and how this job saved his life. Come off it already!
Once you add up all the expenses you incur in gasoline, dining out on the road, car maintenance, office supplies, and so forth, you'll soon realize that you're making way less than you thought.
The sickening irony is that I thought I wasn't making anything waiting tables at a restaurant. Five nights a week, even with slow nights, I was making over 25% more income and NOT driving hundreds of miles a week.
Don't let the pipe dreams, the dollar signs, and the empty promises compel you to work for this company. I don't have any problem with the actual insurance products. To be honest, anything bad you could say about life or health insurance problems is probably applicable across the board.
I gave this job a fair shot. Not only am I not a fan of sales professions in general (yet I'm a waiter, go figure), but I really, really disliked the hiring procedures, the dishonesty, and the falsehoods being spewed out of this company. I got scammed. I just don't want to see anyone else waste their time or money on something that isn't as "surefire" as they would have you believe.
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