• Report: #817136

Complaint Review: Pre Paid Legal

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  • Submitted: Tue, January 03, 2012
  • Updated: Wed, February 22, 2012

  • Reported By: Carl — Baltimore Maryland United States of America
Pre Paid Legal
Internet United States of America

Pre Paid Legal Total Pyramid Scam Religious Cult. You would have to be an idiot to do this Internet

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: JOIN MCA - Motor Club of america

*Consumer Comment: These people are the scum of the Earth.

*Consumer Comment: Join an MLM?

*Consumer Comment: Never, EVER, join an MLM

*General Comment: Great business opportunity...to stay away from

*General Comment: I totally disagree! I like PrePaid/Legal Shield

*UPDATE Employee: You, Sir, are a LIAR

*Consumer Comment: Legal Shield Services are GREAT!

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Poor Representations

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One of my friends asked me to attend a "private business seminar" but would not tell me what it was for. He just kept telling me it was a really good opportunity. 

I forget the speakers name but I would describe him as phony charismatic. He told us how he makes $50K per month and I saw him drive up in a 02 cavalier. He said things like "do you like to earn money for doing nothing" 

I saw right through this pyramid scam but one of my friends signed up. The service is $54.95/month and has very little value. All they do is write letters and I doubt you would ever get one of these lawyers to actually go to court. They don't even help you if you get a D.U.I

You have to sign up to spend the $54.95/month and pay another $200 to be able to get people to sign up. You then get paid every time you get someone to start selling this crap. The thing they don't tell you is that they will take the money back out of your account after someone you sell to realizes the service is BS and cancels. THis could lead to some serious overdraft charges. 

This is why they will only let you do DIRECT DEPOSIT and cant pay you in a check. You are signing a form allowing these people to pull money in and out of your bank account. This scam is better than some because the most you can really lose is the $200 + $54.99/month but I promise you will be disapointed.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/03/2012 07:52 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Pre-Paid-Legal/internet/Pre-Paid-Legal-Total-Pyramid-Scam-Religious-Cult-You-would-have-to-be-an-idiot-to-do-thi-817136. 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 8Consumer 1Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 REBUTTAL Individual responds

JOIN MCA - Motor Club of america

AUTHOR: HERO - ()

I know you are doing your research on MCA, Motor Club Of America Don't Join Motor Club Of America until you call me. 

I have all the Info you need about this business.

You are going to Love Me :-) 
Have a bless day  
 
My name Is Tyrell my Cell # 909-581-2779 call me anytime this is a real business and its free to become an a associate and sale your products. this is not a PAY to PLAY program.
click on my link below 
www.checkmca.com

alsoyou can find me on 
 
www.facebook.com/TeamMillionaire.com
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#2 Consumer Comment

These people are the scum of the Earth.

AUTHOR: MiracleDave - ()

First off, let me start off by saying I am an employee at a hotel in downtown Oklahoma City, otherwise known as Bricktown.  This is where Legal Shield has their annual conferences.  For 6 years I have seen these people come through and devour resources like no other group.   They are greedy selfish people with no regard for others.  They steal towels and take as many free things as they can get their hands on.  I've seen them jam 8 people in one room. They joined this scheme to try to make money doing as little work as possible or at least that's what they told me I could do if I were to join.  Here's the one I've heard a million times.  "Even just working part-time you can make between 30-50,000 a year!"  It's a load of crap.  If you want to find out about a company, look at their employees.  They are horrible people.  There are a few exceptions, but they are few and far between.  I'd say 95% of the people I've met make my skin crawl.  They are so fake that it's disturbing.  If any of you losers read this I hope you take this one thing.  Don't come into people's places of business and try to sell them your garbage.  We have real jobs and we don't have time for your trash.  Your conference is the most dreaded 3 days of the year for Bricktown hotels.  Thank God it's going to Vegas next year.  Good Riddance!
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#3 Consumer Comment

Join an MLM?

AUTHOR: Jmash11 - ()

There are some MLM's that you should definitely stay away from. I will give you that. Unless you have thoroughly researched each and every one, which I am sure you have not, you can't really make a claim like this. "You should never, ever join an MLM." I am sorry, for you, if you have had an experience that caused you to have this opinion. If you are just parroting something you heard someone else say, it would be wise to do your own research. I am not sure where the idea that "real opportunities will find you" came from, but that simply is not true. Most entrepreneurs aggressively seek people to buy into their vision, or did at one time, to get themselves started.

I don't know of many MLM's that have associates that are currently making a sizable income WITHOUT EVER RECRUITING A SINGLE PERSON, however there are many people doing just that with Legal Sheild. Many of them are making six figure incomes. They just sell the product. They don't recruit anyone. I would go so far as to say there are probably almost as many people just marketing the product and not recruiting others to do so, as there are people that are recruiting. 

It would be nearly impossible to make a living selling a product with no value. The large majority of the 1.4 million Legal Shield members just have the membership for its value, and are not associates. They don't sell it. Most people do not buy Legal Shield because they are sold some dream of getting rich.

Yes, there are some agents that have hyped up meetings and try to get people all excited and show them how they can get rich with Legal Shield (and many people have), but that is not what the company is about. Some people just feel that this is the best way to recruit others and they have the right to do that. It can be backed up. Anyone that will work hard at this can make a six figure income per year with time (and not just by selling hope to others).

I personally do not go to meetings like that, nor associate with people that put them on. I will offer anyone that wants it, the opportunity to start their own business and I will show them what has made me successful. I will teach them how to produce results if they desire to learn. Just like anything else, I work hard for what I make with this and I would not tell anyone else that they don't have to do the same to get what I am getting. I am not and do not pretend to be rich, but I make a lot more than $15.84 an hour (chargebacks included). This is what YOU make it.

There are many hard working people making a great living with this company, like me. We aren't "selling a dream". We are not having flashy meetings and showing of our BMW's to recruit other people. We are not paying back 48% of the money we make because we follow up with our members and make sure they are happy and understand how to use what they have, just like a good insurance agent would (though that is not what we are). 

Don't form your opinion from a complaint site. Don't form your opinion from what Legal Shield says about themselves. There are plenty of research based, unbiased, legitimate sites available that will tell you the truth about any company, or you can just buy the base plan for $17.00 for one month. Use it and form your own opinion.


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#4 Consumer Comment

Never, EVER, join an MLM

AUTHOR: Steve - (USA)

PPL is an MLM, and that is really all you need to know. Of course current members will come on here saying how great it is, because otherwise they have to admit they are being taken for a ride. MLM's are ALWAYS bad ideas; the particular company does not matter. 

Also, whenever somebody asks you to come to a presentation for a "business opportunity," you know it is a ripoff. Real opportunities have to be found; they will not come (aggressively) finding you.

MLM's across the board usually have only 1 or 2 percent making ANY money at all; the vast majority of people LOSE money when taking into account buying the overpriced products. Also, they tend to have over a 50% turnover rate, which is necessitated by the instant market saturation that MLMs induce. 

All of the above is dictated by simple math. 
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#5 General Comment

Great business opportunity...to stay away from

AUTHOR: Anonymous - (United States of America)

I'm going to do everyone a favor and lay down some numbers just to give everyone a good reason why this is NOT a good business opportunity.  The following is an extreme example (seemingly in favor of PPL) using one of the advance commission compensation plans found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfOpUPGNsGo&feature=related 
And if anyone wants to correct my math, please feel free to do so.

Lets say you are a Manager and you have three senior associates beneath you and each senior associate has three associates beneath them.
Managers make 172.84 advance commission (AC) for each membership sold. The same Manager will earn 69.14 in AC overrides for each membership their Sr. Associate sells.  Finally, the same Manager will earn 34.57 in AC overrides for each membership each associate sells IN ADDITION to 69.14 in AC overrides for that same transaction.  Now let's assume the whole team is incredibly good at sales and EACH member (the Manager, all 3 Sr associates, and all 12 Associates) signs up 50 new memberships EVERY month (this is highly unlikely btw). Let's do some math...the Manager will earn the following commissions each month:
Manager: 50 x 172.84 = 8642.00 (from memberships he, himself, sold)
Sr Assoc: 3 (three Sr assocs in team) x 50 (memberships sold) x 69.14 (AC overrides) = 10350.00
Assoc: 12  (twelve associates total in team) x 450 (total memberships sold between this branch) x 103.71 (34.57 override AC + 69.14 override AC) = 46,669.50

Adding all three advance commissions we get: 8642 + 10350 + 46669.50 = $65,661.00/month!!!  Wait a minute, this sounds great right? Oops...we forgot that these are ADVANCED COMMISSIONS (we'll assume one year advances).  So although the Manager will have $65,661 in his bank, how much does he  actually EARN per month?  $65,661/12 (months in a year) = $5471.75.  But wait, there's more!  If members cancel membership within a year, the Manager will be charged back for commissions unearned.  Straight out of PPL's 2001 Form 8-K (which can be found here: http://www.secinfo.com/d9gb6.49.htm), they report a 53.37% retention rate for the first year of service.  In other words, only 53.37% of members were still paying 1-year after those members purchased a membership.  Note that this retention rate, according to PPL's own 8-K report, is "...based on [PPL's] actual experience over the last 20 years..." 

So basically, 46.63% of that 5471.75/mo will have been unearned commissions, which will be charged back on future commissions and prior sales...try digging yourself out of that $30,617 hole.  So how much earned commissions does he truly make every month after all this hard work?  5471.75 x (1 - .5337) = $2551.47/mo.  This amounts to $15.94 an hour.  Wow, not bad...almost as much as a sign twirler on the corner of the street.  Notice i said "almost as much", because i didn't even factor in the expenses PPL associates must pay every month for bi/tri weekly meetings, company DVDs, and company books.

Still think you could make lots of money w/ PPL? Well, I hope you can do better than the extreme example above AND that PPL's retention rates on their 8-K (which is based on their 20 years of experience) are incorrect.
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#6 General Comment

I totally disagree! I like PrePaid/Legal Shield

AUTHOR: apisxv - (United States of America)

I have been a PrePaid Legal/Legal Shield member for close to a decade and I have nothing but good things to say about it. I've used it many times and the provider law firm always responded professionally and delivered EXACTLY what the company promised. It has saved me a bundle over the years! It is something I would not want to be without.

Additionally, I was an independent agent with them for a short time and, once again, they did everything as stated and I earned substantial commissions; I only got out because I started a trucking company.
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#7 UPDATE Employee

You, Sir, are a LIAR

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

You told (wrote) FOUR lies in your header and so many in the body of your rant that I'll have to list them as I go. ( First, a quick word of explanation:  All of the Sales Associates for Pre-Paid Legal (now LegalShield) are Independent Contractors, not Employees. Ripoff Report did not have a 'category' of Independent Contractors; the closest heading was 'I am an Employee'.  I am NOT.  I'm an Independent Contractor, called an Associate.)

Your lies, Carl: #1 'Pyramid'.  LegalShield (LS) is NOT a Pyramid, nor was Pre-Paid Legal at any time during its 40-year history.  I doubt you could give the definition of a Pyramid if your life depended on it. 
#2 'Scam'.  Neither of these great companies is a scam.  Pre-Paid Legal, which was purchased by a New York-based equity company a few months ago for $650,000,000.00 and renamed LegalShield (hereinafter LS) was started in 1972, was traded on the New York Stock Exchange for several years and was, at one time, the fastest-growing company on the NYSE, was bought for close to a BILLION dollars.  Not too many 'scams' sell for that amount.

#3 'Religious Cult'.  I can't tell you how ridiculous that statement is. I have been a member and Associate with this company for over 28 years and can state unequivocally there is no truth to that whatsoever!

#4 'You would have to be an idiot to do this'.  I assume you meant that YOU are an idiot for writing this drivel.  We have many members of our "Millionaires' Club" and I've NEVER heard one of them called an 'idiot'.  And, yes, the Millionaires' Club' members are just what they sound like they are.

#5. 'The speaker at the meeting told us how he makes $50K per month and I saw him drive up in a
02 cavalier (sic).  I personally know SEVERAL Associates in this company that make MORE than $50k a month and if they want to drive an '02 Cavalier, that's their business.  We GIVE AWAY two brand-new Mustang convertibles every year at our International Convention; maybe driving an '02 Cavalier was a nice break for him.  Maybe it was his high school senior's car; maybe the kid took Dad's Rolls on a date.

#6. He said thing "like" 'do you like to earn money for doing nothing?'.  You'll pardon me if I totally disbelieve that.  None of our $50,000.00 per month earners would say that. Once that level is achieved, most of one's time is spent traveling around the United States and Canada helping and encouraging your team, but it's still 'work'. So, no, he didn't say that or anything 'like' it.

#7. 'I saw right through this pyramid scheme'.  Please refer back to Lie #1.

#8.  'The service is $54.95 per month and has very little value. All they do is write letters and I doubt you would ever get one of these lawyers to ever go to court.  They don't even help you if you get a D.U.I.' Although that's FIVE lies, I'll treat it as one to save time and space. I've never heard of a $54.95 plan; our best family plan is just $35.95  monthly, with no contract and, as the name implies, covers the family. Although writing letters for our members is a big part of what we do--many times a letter from an attorney is all it takes to resolve an issue or keep a small issue from becoming a big problem--we do SO much more: review contracts up to 10 pages before you sign them; draw up a full standard will, with living medical power of attorney for member and spouse, at no charge; defend moving traffic violations for covered family members anywhere in the United States; defend our members against personal lawsuits; likewise if you're audited by the IRS. And, yes, Carl, our attorneys defend our members IN COURT every business day of the year.  And, since it seems to be a big deal for you, we DO defend members charged with D.U.I.  That's covered at a 25% discount off the attorney's regular hourly rate.  Most of the other things mentioned above are covered under the family plan at no additional charge.  There are certain conditions and exclusions and you need to see the membership agreement for full details.  We can't cover EVERYTHING for a $1.19 per day ($35.95 per month), but we cover a LOT for less per YEAR than some of our attorneys charge per HOUR.

#13. 'You have to sign up and spend the $54.95 per month' (no, no, Carl, you DON'T have to become a member in order to become an Associate (although most people do) 'and pay another $200.00 to be able to get people to sign up'.  No, no, Carl, it's only $149.00, one-time, lifetime and includes free basic supplies for life.  Not too bad for starting your own business, hmmm?  'You then get paid every time you get someone to start selling this crap'.  Carl, you weren't paying attention in the meeting, were you?  We don't get paid until a MEMBERSHIP is sold; no one is paid when someone signs up to sell; only when they sell a membership.  And, Carl, it's not 'crap'.  It's a wonderful, one-of-kind membership that has been approved by the Insurance Commissioner in the 16 states that consider this membership 'insurance'.  That's a long ways from 'crap'.  Although you may not recognize that fact.

#14 (or so)  'The thing they don't tell you is that they will take the money back out of your account after someone you sell to realizes the service is BS and cancels.  This could lead to some serious overdraft charges'.  I said earlier you 'were not paying attention'; I think you must have been ASLEEP! Here you go again with multiple lies.  You were told at the meeting that you are paid ADVANCE commissions. You send us $45.95 (first month's premium plus a one-time $10.00 enrollment fee) and, at our entry level, you're sent an ADVANCED commission of approximately $69.00. We do that because we want you to make some money right away. IF the new member cancels before the end of the first year (which some do), that money is 'charged back' to you. The company DOES NOT take the chargeback out of your bank account, which, were it true, COULD cause some serious overdraft charges.  They simply take it out of future earnings.  And, unless you happen to bank at 'Future Earnings, N.A.' you were wrong again, Carl.

#15.  'This is why they will only let you do DIRECT DEPOSIT and can't pay you in a check'.  Once again, Carl, not true.  You have the option to be paid by check.  All you have to do is select that option.  'You are signing a form allowing these people to pull money in and out of your bank account.'  NOT TRUE, CARL.  We can only put money INTO your bank account.  'This scam'--it's NOT a scam, Carl; will you NEVER learn?--is better than some because the most you can really lose is the $200 + $54.95 per month'--$149.00, Carl, + $35.95 per month (or even $17.00 per month, if you prefer--'but I promise you will be disappointed'. I think those last 7 words, Carl, are your biggest lie. 
The LegalShield business opportunity is one of--if not THE--best opportunities in America today.  It's a service everyone needs, virtually no one has and it's destined to be as common as auto liability in the coming years.

My recommendation to you would be to get back with the person who originally took you to the meeting and STAY AWAKE this time.  Talk to the person who does the presentation.  Let him or her explain how the MANY things you misunderstood REALLY work.  This is an uncommonly good business with virtually no competition.  Come join us.  We make a good living while making a big difference.
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#8 Consumer Comment

Legal Shield Services are GREAT!

AUTHOR: Anizguy - (United States of America)

I have been a customer of Pre Paid Legal, now known as Legal Shield for 5 years now.  It started when my girlfriend included me on her membership for now charge.  When you pay your subscription or premium I like to call it, it is like insurance, you are allowed to include a significant other and any children under a certain age.  Initially I did not think it was of any use, but after seeing that I can get a Will drawn up and unlimited phone consultation by a Lawyer and letters sent by a Lawyer to business or people of conflict I started to realize the benefit of this service.

I have had Three traffic tickets in those years and Pre Paid Legal got me out of every one!  They did not promise this, but they did send a lawyer to the courts for me and won my case or had it dropped! All of the tickets were out of my home state!  I would have paid them rather than take a day or two to fight it.  Total ticket fines would have been $500 about but the cost on my auto insurance would have been 8 times that over the years with having 3 traffic tickets on my record.  So as a customer I know it is worth it!  I also have evidence of this, so know what you are talking about if you claim something is a rip off!  It makes me made that someone does not have personal experience of a service and then makes claims it is a rip off!  Personally I think everyone would benifit having Legal Shield just like health insurance or Auto Insurance.  The service is good but people just hate to pay for insurance....until they need it!
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#9 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Poor Representations

AUTHOR: Joshjw - (United States of America)

I feel this as well as many other negative responses deserve a Rebuttal because any flaw with a multi-level marketing company will be the level of representation that these associates have when selling the membership.  Take a look at the hundreds of farmer insurance offices.  Some are immaculate while others should be condemned.  Before I digress however:

1) I used to be an Associate for a number of years, as well as other family members.  I did not enjoy the "weekly" meetings or other motivational events because it often did feel like a brainwash seminar. 

2) I am in the process of reinstating my membership and associate status to continue selling more since this business does offer my own hours and an ability to work out of my present location.

3) In terms of membership, when I was an associate the most it was per month for a member was 26.00 and some states were less.  In regards to becoming an associate, it did require a larger investment, but I was able to sustain myself by selling memberships for over a year without any other job.

4) In regard to ACH transactions, they never "Pulled" money out of my account due to a member dropping out.  What must be understood is that an associate can be paid in two different ways.  The first is being paid for three years advanced from a single membership sale and the second is to be paid as earned (ie, you're not advanced the money and make a smaller amount that is a consistent income month to month as long as the member retains their membership).  That being said, if you choose to be advanced the three years if a person were to drop their membership within the first year then your "balance" with Legal Shield would reflect that.  The impact this held was then if another membership was sold it would pay into that "balance" and once there was a 0 balance again you would earn the pay per usual.  If you opt to get paid as earned then you never have to worry about this because you never were advanced in the first place.

Honestly, this is necessary since Legal Shield is advancing an associate on the grounds that they have represented the company truthfully and sold the membership appropriately.  If you fail to have a good retention rate then of course you will be penalized.  (again, they never took money from my account "ever" especially without consent)

Finally, the bottom line is that if you are looking for a "get rich quick" opportunity then you're approaching it all the wrong way.  A great opportunity?  Yes, absolutely but be a better associate than the guy/girl you listened to at that meeting.

Before becoming an Associate I used the service a number of times.  The first time, my traffic ticket was dismissed from court and I was represented by an attorney at no additional cost.  And she was fantastic.  So for what its worth, the product is more than worth it even if only for the will which alone is easily over a 100.00 value.

Josh
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