• Report: #210370

Complaint Review: Bankers Life And Casualty Company

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  • Submitted: Mon, September 11, 2006
  • Updated: Tue, August 21, 2012

  • Reported By:Houston Texas
Bankers Life And Casualty Company
350 N Sam Houston Pkwy, Ste. 120 Houston, Texas U.S.A.

Bankers Life And Casualty Company Dishonest Recruitment 10K/yr Max on Average, Violations of Agent Contract, Lead, Call Problems, Earnings Payment Violations, Problematic Customer Application Processing, Inability to Adequately Provide Application Forms, etc. Ripoff Houston Texas

*UPDATE Employee: Depends on your Branch Manager

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Austin Office Similar to Houston Report Here

*Consumer Comment: Not the case everywhere!

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: In response to Rdg regarding chargebacks

*Consumer Comment: Just interviewed

*Consumer Comment: Just interviewed

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: New Agents- research your prospective office carefully!

*UPDATE Employee: Totally Opposite Experience

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: i agree

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The recruitment process is deceitfully crafted such that one would consider that a minimum first-year earning would be about four times that of reality, and they are fully aware of it.

Once employed, the agent contract is regularly violated by requiring attendance to make cold calls twice a week during hours/days of their choosing instead of a location/hours that are most productive to the agent.

You are specifically instructed not to add prospect phone numbers to the "do not call" list using their phone system even when the prospect specifically asks. The leads are recycled many times over. Numerous times I was told by prospects they told the last five agents that called them that they don't want to be harassed any more, yet they keep getting called. When purchasing outside leads of higher quality, they refuse to pay for them with your own money they withheld without your permission.

A percentage of the compensation is siphoned off the top without prior authorization, allegedly for lead expenses, yet there's no valid statement provided and external lead expenses have to be approved and are regularly denied even though it's not their money. Once the employment agreement is ended, your money is not refunded to you.

Processing of customer applications is problematic in that critical errors are frequently made, subsequent requests are not forwarded to the agent or made clear in any way, and processing takes much longer than it should, I'm told because of inadequate staff in the home office.

Very frequently there are no application forms which are of course required to do business, and they are kept behind lock and key so that someone has to make time to provide them to you. The sales packages are not preassembled, and it is very time consuming, wasteful and difficult to do so yourself because of the aforementioned as well as specific company package requirements.

Their credit rating is too low (it's a Conseco company), and agents are treated disrespectfully, spoken down to, and treated unequally.

Cj
Houston, Texas
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/11/2006 07:25 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Bankers-Life-And-Casualty-Company/Houston-Texas-77060/Bankers-Life-And-Casualty-Company-Dishonest-Recruitment-10Kyr-Max-on-Average-Violations-210370. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 9Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

Depends on your Branch Manager

AUTHOR: MST - (United States of America)

I too, am a contracted agent with Banker's and there are things that are apparently not clear to the individuals who wrote here.

First, the insurance business is tough!  No question there.  You have to work and work hard, especially the first year.  You hear "No" a lot.  It is discouraging.  Keep plugging because that's going to happen regardless of your office.

Second, of course they tell you what potential you have...that's a no brainer.  To the person who suggested it's a pyramid scheme, that's just silly talk.  You sound bruised which I understand, but I fail to see that as reason to trash a company.

Third, we are told to put callers on the DNC.  And we do if they ask us to.  But we can only do that for us, not for other solicitors.  The callers need to do that if they so choose.

Fourth, chargebacks suck.  I grant you that.  But as you were told, you are a 1099 contracted employee.  This is bound to happen when you start your own business.

Personally, as a new agent, I truly wish they offered a base commission the first year as many do. I think they lose a lot of potentially good agents because they won't offer that and that first year can be a killer.  However, and I have a big however.....perhaps if you had not been so negative, you would have been able to make a go of this business.  Just a thought.

Our Branch Manager is awesome!  I am writing from Alaska, but that is not my location.  I'll leave you to wonder about that.  :)

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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Austin Office Similar to Houston Report Here

AUTHOR: Anonymous - (United States of America)

They lie a lot to get your money and start you out dialing heavily farmed "non-responder" lists. There are some people making decent money, but they've been there a decade or more. I am guessing charge backs hit a lot of contractees pretty hard. They have access to your bank account so they can slam you with charge backs when the client finds a better deal on insurance.

I rode with a guy who is maybe pulling $2k this month and has to drive all over Texas and the gas alone, FICA taxes on contract work and car expenses alone mean he is making very little. Yes, he gets to write much of it off, but for the time he has spent there -- 9 months -- it's fairly pitiful pay.

Add that to the fact that you have to sit in a veal fattening pen (cubicle) at the office cold calling for up to 10 hours on every Monday, 8 hours on Thursday and then Saturday 9 am til noon for months until you write a certain amount of business.  You will spend more time making out internal paperwork than contacting clients and selling insurance. Never mind the health issues from sitting and calling for hours on end.

This is NOT legal contract work by TEC rules, so they need to be shut down for demanding this on-site hours compliance. Doesn't matter if you have to drive 30 miles to get there to sit and dial for dollars. You have to be on site at those times.

I got into trouble for putting people that asked for my name and asked to be put on the DNC list. We are told NOT to put people of the DNC list even if the people beg to be added.

Then if they do not have enough trainers to ride with you, since so many trainers walk away and leave 3-4 newbies with no one to be trained by, they'll unexpectedly ask you to wait in the waiting room, rifle through your stuff looking for your contracts and appointments and then bid you adieu. I was lucky. I got out before they had their hand deeper in my pockets.

The Banker's Life and Casualty trainer in Richardson, TX went on an angry rant against the government and medicare at my training. I should have gone home then. Odd for people whose total paycheck is sprung from medigap policies and the elderly. Stay the heck away from these people at all costs!
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#3 Consumer Comment

Not the case everywhere!

AUTHOR: Mad About It - (U.S.A.)

The experience you had with Bankers is not the case everywhere. In Michigan it is much different. First, Bankers has a specific phone system with a phone number to make sure you do not call someone on the "do not call" list. If someone asks to be put on the do not call list and an agent doesn't - he/she can be fined $11,000 for not doing it. Not the company, but the individual. Frankly, I wouldn't care who told me to do what. The liability lies with the individual, not the company.

Secondly, Bankers does have aggressive training. The do have very strict scrips that are to be followed. My wife works for Bankers and has rapidly moved up through the ranks. She did this by following their system exactly! She has put in some long hours and hard work, but it has been the most rewarding career of her life. Not just financially, but also rewarding in her sense of self worth, as she is helping people.

Third, you complain about how long the approval process takes. Well, show me a successful company that doesn't occasionally have back-up with paperwork. Unless you work for yourself digging ditches and are paid cash - paperwork can stack up. And remember, these are people's lives you are dealing with. Often the biggest hold up is waiting for a customer's doctor's office to send the medical records. They are suppose to do that within 30 day (legally), but my wife had one office that took about 3 months to send the records to underwriting. How is that Banker's fault?

Forth, your complaint about cold calls is odd to me. Given, no one wants to make cold calls, but that is part of the business model. I would bet that people in the same office you came from were very successful. Why did they do so well, when others don't. It is like any business or venture in life. Some people work hard and succeed, while others are more relaxed and how things just fall into place for them.
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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

In response to Rdg regarding chargebacks

AUTHOR: Aw2208 - (U.S.A.)

(Rdg wrote: On charge backs, your commission is based on a percentage on the first years annual premium. If for some reason the client decides not to keep the policy and cancels in the first year, any commission you earned is charged back to you, sometimes causing you to 'owe' the company money even after you have left and are no longer working for them, (This happened to me, to the tune of $2000).)

I have since been terminated from Bankers Life since April 4th, 2008 and just received a letter stating that I owe $727.29. According to my commission statements I have an outstanding balance. I haven't been contracted with them since April and didn't owe them anything then and they want me to pay them now. They also state in the agents contract that they will pay any pending claims that they owe the agent when the agent leaves. So they will pay you whats pending but then take it back 4 mths later????
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#5 Consumer Comment

Just interviewed

AUTHOR: Dan - (U.S.A.)

Just drove 45min to go to an "interview" for Bankers. From the e-mail I got my meeting was supposed to be with Helen, but wound up being a guy instead? It seemed fishy when I first got in there and saw an LCD screen with top earnings and a wall of plaques with those that earned $11000 their first months. On top of it there was a long table with chairs and a podium...which I knew i'd seen before on places that were on here. I was the only guy there, the rest were women. The speaker talked mostly about how much money you can make and how they go on all these wonderful trips and how rich you can be....I knew that sounded sooo familiar too.

I felt like such a sucker getting duped into another pyramid scam business and wasting the time sitting there and driving there. I shook the guys hand when I left and the way he looked at me seemed like he knew I wasn't buying what he was selling. Safe to say after double checking on here I won't be going back for the "second interview."
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#6 Consumer Comment

Just interviewed

AUTHOR: Dan - (U.S.A.)

Just drove 45min to go to an "interview" for Bankers. From the e-mail I got my meeting was supposed to be with Helen, but wound up being a guy instead? It seemed fishy when I first got in there and saw an LCD screen with top earnings and a wall of plaques with those that earned $11000 their first months. On top of it there was a long table with chairs and a podium...which I knew i'd seen before on places that were on here. I was the only guy there, the rest were women. The speaker talked mostly about how much money you can make and how they go on all these wonderful trips and how rich you can be....I knew that sounded sooo familiar too.

I felt like such a sucker getting duped into another pyramid scam business and wasting the time sitting there and driving there. I shook the guys hand when I left and the way he looked at me seemed like he knew I wasn't buying what he was selling. Safe to say after double checking on here I won't be going back for the "second interview."
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#7 UPDATE EX-employee responds

New Agents- research your prospective office carefully!

AUTHOR: Rdg - (U.S.A.)

I am also an ex-agent for Bankers Life & Casualty. My experiance was very similar to cj from Houston. I was reqiured to be in the office two days a week to call "leads" , the majority of were nothing more than list of " Non-responders" (People who were mailed information and did not respond to the mailing), most of which had already been called several times before. To recieve actual leads of people who had responded for more information you had pay a monthly fee.

After attending one week of "training", which consisted of product training and only minimal sales training. You are sent out into the field with a field trainer who is supposed to guide you through the learning process. When you do make a sale you have to split your commission with your trainer, and if you make a sale with a large commission your commission is capped to a small percentage to prevent a large charge back if the client cancels, (More on charge backs later).

You are working on 100% commision, no guarentee, no salary. Your trainer makes a commision on all your sales, the unit manager makes a commission on all the field trainers, the office managers makes commission on the unit managers ( sound familiar? aka pyramid/ ponzi)? You are required to service existing clients in your territory at your own expense, while a former or retired agent or the company makes the commission.

Processing of your applications is painfully slow, somtime up to 6 weeks with numerous requests for additional forms or information requiring more time and expense.

You can recieve help from "veteran agents", but they will do so only if you split your commission with them if they help you make sales.

On charge backs, your commission is based on a percentage on the first years annual premium. If for some reason the client decides not to keep the policy and cancels in the first year, any commission you earned is charged back to you, sometimes causing you to "owe" the company money even after you have left and are no longer working for them, (This happened to me, to the tune of $2000).

Some people become very successful selling for Bankers Life, but it is not typical and is Very difficult. The people who are successful would probably be successful in any occupation involving sales. So if you are considering becoming an agent for Bankers Life, be sure to talk to existing new and former agents and do your do diligence,
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#8 UPDATE Employee

Totally Opposite Experience

AUTHOR: Sg - (U.S.A.)

I've worked with Bankers for several months now and have had a totally opposite experience. One way that we contact leads is by calling them because they have sent in a direct mail response card for more information on a subject of interest to them. That is not a cold call. If they ask to not be contacted again we add them to our internal do not call list and an email is sent out to everyone in the office to let them know. Being responsive to our leads is crucial and we believe they deserve to have every opportunity to be educated thoroughly so sometimes people may in fact be called more than once and that could be because they sent in more than one request or because they did not ask to not be contacted again but it is not because we disrespect their wishes or disregard their requests. Contacting leads by phone is only one way we generate business for ourselves. Certain advertising may need approval because of state requirements and because we take great care to avoid deceptive sales practices and because we genuinely care about our consumer base. Any communication can be misconstrued, even mine here so proofreading is most definitely a good idea. We do our best to conduct ourselves honestly, ethically, morally, and always do the right thing for our clients. Our office has a very positive, upbeat, supportive atmosphere. We are independent contractors and not required to be anywhere at any time. It is merely recommended so that we establish good work habits and can be the most productive. Not everyone is cut out for sales or for being self-employed. To offset that possible disadvantage, our management team provides us with research-backed training and skill development, doing everything they can to help us to be successful. You are self-employed so you determine how much money you make and no one makes promises to you about how much that will be. We are mentored and trained extensively in the office, in the field, and online. Trainers accompany us in the field giving us extraordinary one-on-one training and we start earning money the first week. We are given every opportunity to be successful. Agents support and educate each other and veteran agents are an invaluable resource to new ones. No money is "siphoned off the top without prior authorization". Participation is voluntary. Sales packages are pre-assembled and auxilliary forms are sometimes necessary depending on the type of policy being applied for. If you are unsure of which extra forms you need there are checklists available or you can ask any agent in our office. They are all willing to help. They are locked away but we all have access to the room to get whatever supplies we need. We are kept apprised of all applications and/or claims being processed through our online network and can always call or email home office if we need clarification. I don't know anyone who actually enjoys paperwork and we agents invariably miss something when filling them out so if the processing is delayed at all it is usually due to our errors, not that of home office. I hate to hear that anyone had a bad experience with any company. Unfortunately, we hear those bad experiences about 11 times more often than we hear the good ones. No company and no individual is perfect, of course. I, however, cannot say enough good things about the company I am privileged to be a part of.
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#9 UPDATE EX-employee responds

i agree

AUTHOR: Michelle - (U.S.A.)

I completly agree with you on this! I worked with 4months and didnt make any money with this company. I put so much effort in to the sales and everything to only have my "trainer" take ALL my commisions and say that i didnt do anythign for the sales even tho i did all the work.
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