• Report: #448186

Complaint Review: Prepaid Legal Services

  • Submitted: Fri, May 01, 2009
  • Updated: Mon, July 23, 2012

  • Reported By:Roseville California
Prepaid Legal Services
www.prepaidlegal.com Roseville, California U.S.A.

Prepaid Legal Services Destroying Lives One Victim at a Time! Sacramento / Roseville California

*Consumer Comment: I used the %25 discount rate you are talking about!

*Consumer Comment: I have the service and it has worked for me.

*Consumer Comment: If it look, walk and talk like a duck

*Consumer Comment: I am a PPL member and just got ripped off - the entire package is deceitful!

*Consumer Comment: Clearly, you didn't do adequate due dilligence yourself!

*UPDATE Employee: Makes me wonder about you as a "boss"

*Author of original report: Thanx Cory!

*Consumer Suggestion: Just Give It Time

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Do Not....I repeat, Do Not; let a Prepaid Legal Services Representative anywhere near your business, family or associates. I was a senior partner in a thriving and well established professional firm here in the Sacramento area. Several of our employees and one of our partners were approached by Prepaid Legal Services, under the pretense of helping our firm "comply" with some alleged, recently established, Federal Regulations regarding "Identity Theft."

Rather than helping our firm and our employees "comply" with the alleged Identity Theft Federal Regulations, ( the ones that they claimed their business mission was all about); they virtually gutted the entire firm by recruiting first a senior partner, and then with his help, several key managers and multiple employees of our firm. This was done by inviting our employees to first attend "compliance meetings" in order to sell them their useless Prepaid Legal products, and then coaxing them to attend "opportunity meetings" in an attempt to recruit them to sell Prepaid Legal products.

Soon, a number of our managers and employees started going to weekend "trainings" and week night "opportunity meetings." Within 60 days of Prepaid Legal Services being introduced to our firm, our employees and our managers; Prepaid Legal managed to recruit away a number of our key people who had fallen for all of the multi-level marketing hype and lies.

Within 120 days of Prepaid Legal showing up at our front door under the PRETENSE of selling a product and assisting our firm with some form of newly mandated "government compliance," we had three of our primary departments virtualy destroyed by the disruption caused at the hand of Prepaid Legal. Additionally, we endured the loss of numerous key people who left the firm for the Prepaid Legal "business opportunity."

Due to the sudden and unforseeable loss of multiple people from the firm, we then started to lose clients in large numbers. This was specifically due to the firm's inability to service many client's needs with our staff having left to become "multi-level marketing millionaires" and because almost all of OUR CLIENTS were now being called by our former employees and other Prepaid Legal sales people. Yes, OUR CLIENTS were now being solicited by Prepaid Legal and our former employees, being asked to sign up for "Legal Insurance" that would direct their legal needs to another firm. Additionally, client's that we took years to build a professional relationship with, were now being recruited to sell this garbage that the proport to be "legal insurance."

I personally am a member of the Bar Association and have a keen understanding of the legal remedies available to those of us that remain with our firm. We will in fact be pursuing those remedies against the offending parties. Notwithstanding, if this company can do this kind of damage to business people who are legally knowledgeable, just imagine to the damage that they could be doing to your business and the employees, managers and partners that you once trusted your office and company to.

Federal Trade Commission, shut these scumbags down before they destroy more lives and company's like ours.

Roseville, California

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/01/2009 09:42 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Prepaid-Legal-Services/Roseville-California-95678/Prepaid-Legal-Services-Destroying-Lives-One-Victim-at-a-Time-Sacramento-Roseville-Calif-448186. 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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#1 Consumer Comment

I used the %25 discount rate you are talking about!

AUTHOR: Kimberly Paris - (United States of America)

Not sure why I am taking the time to share my personal experiences with Prepaid Legal but I am.   I've used this company only once for a family matter with the %25 discount.  I was never charged for letters, phone calls or consultations.  My retainer was 1/2 what most attorneys in San Diego charge, and I am going off past experience on this as well.  My past attorneys charged me for everything little minute, even leaving a message on my voice mail. Heck, before having the service (membership?) I was even charged to leave messages with the office secretary.

Letters and phone calls are covered in the membership, I believe, at least they were for me.  My rep is an elderly lady named Patricia Santos and I met her at a job fair at Cuyamaca College.  I know that the membership does not include initiating a law suit in the membership. I shared some other ways that I used the attorneys in another post.  For law suits, the service is more a protection for car accidents or if you get sued.  It works great if you get a bogus speeding ticket in another state but that's my friend's experience so no details on that.  I was also made aware that the service is not intended for illegal acts.  Were you told that too? Things like drug crimes, robbing banks, shooting someone or even driving under the influence (DUI).  I think MADD appreciates that. You will still get an attorney that will help you and your family with these types of cases with the discount.
Whether I had Prepaid Legal or not, if I was treated the way you were by an attorney, I would look for another attorney.  Same with the law firm here in California, Parker Stanbury, if one of the company's attorneys are rude to me I would call Prepaid Legal and ask if they could find me a different attorney. I have done that before too.   Dealing with legal crap sucks.  The last thing you need is a bad or rude attorney.  Prepaid Legal representatives, not sure if this is fact or how to prove this, say that Parker Stanbury is paid over 1 million dollars a month (now that's a big retainer) to represent it's service here in California. These monies are generated by the amount of people who have the service.  I think there are over 200,000 members in California and we are not all calling for help every month.  That's how insurance works.  Seriously, these attorneys should be very nice.  
Finally, anytime you are treated badly by an attorney you should complain.  I'd take the time to complain about the attorney, maybe even buy the Ripoff Revenge, and let people know how terrible and money hungry the attorney was.     
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#2 Consumer Comment

I have the service and it has worked for me.

AUTHOR: Kimberly Paris - (United States of America)

I have the cheapest plan that Prepaid Legal sells ($17/mo.) and I have used it a couple of times with great success.  I used it once when my windshield was busted by a baseball while driving home.  The coach of the players told me it was not their responsibility, the police officer that came to my house and took a report told me it was nothing more than a road hazard and not their responsibility and the school's risk management department told me it was not their responsibility.  I had a $500 deductible on my car insurance at the time so I was pretty upset.  I used the service.  An attorney called back within the hour (yes, that fast) and he wasn't pleasant or anything like that but he did take the information and said he would follow up.  The next day in my mail box was a letter from the school district with instructions and a claim form for me to file and get reimbursed for the repair.  I also used it for a contract that I was about to sign.  It was an online company promoting "free" CRM software to the first 1000 business owners who used it.  Normally I would have just quickly scrolled through it and checked the box "agree" at the bottom and moved on.  After talking with the attorney, it was a good thing that I didn't set this up for our business.  Oh, and even more impressive was that the contract was written out of New York so my law firm here in California sent it to a law firm in New York to review it with me.  I paid nothing extra for this help and advice.  In my opinion, it is a good company and a great service.  I don't use it all the time, but I know if I needed an attorney it is easy enough to call the 800 number and get an attorney to help me out.  I refer people to my Prepaid Legal rep all the time and haven't had anyone complain back to me.  My friends have used it too, but I won't speak for them here.  Only giving my personal experience with Prepaid Legal.   
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#3 Consumer Comment

If it look, walk and talk like a duck

AUTHOR: Tra Lisbon - (U.S.A.)


However, this is for SPUD

I noticed that you have responded to a lot of complaints with the same response. I mean word from word, it so clear that you must be in charge of PR.
However, some of us get paid to research. Like you said if you are going to state the fact you must state the good and the bad. You keep talking about all these magazines, which track what companies SAY they are worth. There are many ways to boost ones net worth. Just ask Donald Trump who was exposed for exaggerating about how much he is worth, and he has also been in these same magazines for years now. If I bought most of my own stocks, so investors would invest its fraud.
Lets do the math on this one ok..and believe me it isn't rocket science.
If membership is declining as well as the number of people that actually stay with the plan, how are they making money? However, they make so much money. Not to mention things that one might need a lawyer for isn't covered, but of course one will get a 25% discount for legal matters that may take months to prepare or win. Why prepay for something that is going to let you down when you really need them to have your back. This is something to just pray on low income families, just like insurance companies. People pay and pay but when you need them they are never around.
Now I will mention that on their very own website they don't even list the terms and conditions. Why would I need to sign up before I can see them, unless there is something to hide? Remind me of those gifting scams that was going around a few years back, and by the way they are still around also with people still falling for them. The reason I bring this up is in their own fine print other than how they do not cover most things that you would need to hire a lawyer for, is the fact if anyone cancels their membership within that first year the rep (the person who sold it) has to repay the money they received from the sale with interest. Could it be that most people don't stay member after they realize that they really don't need the service.
Maybe you need to state the praises and shortfalls of a company before you talk about research. As you see there is always two sides of a story anyway.
By the way, has anyone Googled the company, there are over 100 suckers trying to push this service. Majority are sitting at home with their webcams, they are very unprofessional. Why would anyone want to buy anything on them?
If anyone wants a good review of this company go to Wallstrip website they give you the truth as well as survey people on the streets about the services, so Spud why don't you check it out I would love what you have to say about the product service you so love to defend.

P.S. this is a Pyramid/Ponzi scheme try researching that Spud. A True MLM has a product to offer, not a service.

Word of thought for everyone: How much do these lawyers get paid to provide free service to an individuals for the small amount of things they do cover. It just a way to get you to pay for a lawyer, because of course they are going to pass you on for a big case.
I mean isn't the whole point is for them to be there when you need them most. Think about it I can find what I need for free when it comes to a minor traffic stop. 9 out of 10, if you show up for court they will drop the ticket or reduce the fine. However, if I was to lets say receive a dui, most likely I will need a lawyer (depending on the number of dui). This is not covered in the prepaid legal service, you are going to have to come out of pocket, minus the 25%. They don't even cover chapter 10 for who might think this is covered.

My prepaid visa is more reliable.....maybe thats what people can do, buy a prepaid visa, and put your monthy fee on there. then you know that your legal services are paid for.
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#4 Consumer Comment

I am a PPL member and just got ripped off - the entire package is deceitful!

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

I have been an associate for 18 months and sent many referrals to PPL. NOW I am trying to utilize the service and have just discovered how PPL sells their product to the law firms! The law firm has the right to consider the case a "Title V" (which is a one line sentence in the provider manual) which allows them to refer the case so that you can get a 25% discount! Read Title III, #7 under exclusions - they only have to take it if they think they can win! This is a very important part to the "Contract" that PPL provides - naturally the booklet tells you everything they will do - down to the very hours spent on the case ----and at the end at the bottom of the page is this exclusion. The law firm that referred me - told me 6 months ago when this first started that the company was definitely in violation of the landlord tenant laws and they would be happy to send them a letter regarding the matter! Now that time is of essence, they want to refer it!
I'm looking for anyone with info regarding these activities of PPL. If you would like further info, please respond to this.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Clearly, you didn't do adequate due dilligence yourself!

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

Law School taught me all that I need to know about the "research," that you claim that I failed to do. I've read the articles in the magazines that you reference as well as a recent one in Money Magazine, indicating that a consumer who purchases a Prepaid Legal product for "identity theft" purposes, is essentially wasting their hard earned money.

Perhaps you also missed the fact that nearly 50% of the consumers who purchase Prepaid Legal products cancel within the first 12 months. Perhaps you also missed how corporate purchases of large blocks of their own Prepaid Legal stock are all that is holding up the declining share value of Prepaid Legal stock.

Had you looked a little deeper into all of their hype, you would also discover that 90% plus of their new sales associates never break the 10 sale level before they terminate their relationship with the company. If you failed to discover that point, you also missed the fact that over 75% of their new sales associates never make even ONE sale, after paying the company for the "right" to become a sales associate.

Have you missed the fact that their recruiting efforts so far this year are down over 25% where they were during the same period last year? Did you also miss that their 2009 Q-1 sales are far below last year's as well. Not to mention the fact that the entire 2008 calendar year for Prepaid Legal was well off their stated targets and well below their 2006 & 2007 recruiting and sales levels?

Did you also miss the fact that the FTC just enacted new regulations that allow most of the businesses that fall under the Federal FACTA Regulations, to download a complete, FACTA Compliance Package from the FTC web site; showing step by step how to become compliant WITHOUT third party assistance? This FREE FTC download completely eliminates the need for Prepaid Legal's "Identity Shield" business product that is presently the backbone of what their sales associates are being trained to push. In fact, Money Magazine essentially blows the entire Prepaid Legal FACTA Compliance program, developed by Atlanta attorney John Gardner, right out of the picture due to the new FTC regulations.

It would seem to me that perhaps you need to do a little more "research" before you go attacking other people like myself, who live in a professional environment that revolves around, research, due diligence, compliance and disclosure.

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#6 UPDATE Employee

Makes me wonder about you as a "boss"

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

One of the major things I learned in college. When you do your research properly, you will find negative and positive about everything. Let's talk PPL specifically. Did you read what these magazines said about PPL: Money, Forbes, Black Enterprise, Fortune, just to name a few? Do you trust these magazines research? We certainly don't advertise with them. There is no money under the table.

Can you name another company that is endorsed by the President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the President of the Black Chamber of Commerce, a former president of the American Bar Association, four former Attorney Generals. Do you really think they would risk their reputation?

Did you read the article in the USA Today, Section B (Money), August 22, 2007. If you believe in research, look it up. Mr Stonecipher's picture is on the front page between Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of amazon.com and John Sperling, CEO and founder of Apollo Group, which operates Phoenix University. Find out why.

Do you even know who Robert Kiasaki is? He made the statement that PPL has the best compensation plan he has ever seen. Do you really think he is going to risk his reputation if PPL is a scam?

So, please, absolutely, DO YOUR RESEARCH! Go to our website. We tell you the good and the bad. There is just so much more to our story as a company. Every company is going to have a disgruntled employee or a customer that is not happy.

I'm not here to convince you that we are what we say we are. 37 years old. I would call that established. Traded on the NYSE. I would call that credible and an open book to our finances and practices.

Absolutely, do your research.
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#7 Author of original report

Thanx Cory!

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

Cory: While I appreciate your input and support regarding Prepaid Legal, I wish to make clear that the "Regulatory Matters" that Prepaid Legal is touting was not the same "regulations" that you reference. What they are attempting to address, is recent federal legislation resulting from the Fair & Accurate Credit Reporting Act, (FACTA), and the burden now placed upon many businesses with regard to the prevention of identity theft.

Under FACTA, almost any business entity that manages people's "private" or "personal" information, in the performance of their business services, must take specific steps to assure the protection of such information. Additionally, they are required to implement a company plan to mitigate "damages" to their clients, should such information fall into the wrong hands. Also, the company must designate a specific FACTA "compliance officer" for the company and ultimately train their employees with regard to the new FACTA legislation.

Prepaid Legal Services reps have now been trained to solicit business owners under the pretense of assiting them in becoming "FACTA compliant," as now required by Federal law. When the Prepaid Legal sales people perform this "service," they then ask the business owner(s) for the names and contact information for their clients and other vendors that they do business with. Their intent here is clearly to use the company's clients and vendors as sales leads AND to begin the Prepaid Legal recruiting process on EVERYONE that they come in contact with through such referrals.

Under the false pretense of bringing your company into FACTA "compliance" they immediately breach that trust and take your company's FACTA "protected" information, in order to solicit those same "protected" people for Prepaid Legal products. Additionally, they attempt to recruit those same company employees and clients for the wonderful Prepaid Legal "opportunity." These liars, cheats and theives; will then use whatever tactic that they can, in order to recruit YOUR STAFF for the specific purpose of leaving YOUR COMPANY, in order to become part of Prepaid Legal.

Sadly, the statistics are very disturbing. Over 70% of the people recruited by Prepaid Legal are never even able to sell a single Prepaid Legal membership. Over 90% of those brainwashed people are unable to sell more than 10 Prepaid Legal memberships once they become a sales associate for Prepaid Legal. Many of these people end up leaving their legitimate employers to pursue this bogus opportunity. Additionally, they end up defaulting on their own financial obligations, destroying their family and personal relationships and damaging their own employment history and references, all because they fell hook, line and sinker, for the Prepaid Legal hype. YOUR COMPANY also suffers the damages created by Prepaid Legal's attempts to recruit YOUR OWN PEOPLE away from your firm.

If you want to keep your employees, managers, partners, shareholders, investors, vendors, or anyone else doing business and working with you and your company; DO NOT let these Prepaid Legal "cult members" anywhere near your company. Your company can become FACTA compliant simply by going to the Federal Trade Commission website and following their directions on FACTA compliance related matters. Additionally, there are many other "Identity Theft" products that are far superior and cheaper than the Prepaid Legal "Identity Shield Plen" being sold at YOUR expense.

If there was ever a reason for a network marketing company to be shut down by regulatory authorities, this one takes the cake. The level of deception and the amount of damage created by Prepaid Legal's actions is unprecedented in this situation.

Disturbed in California,

Tony, The Legal Eagle
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#8 Consumer Suggestion

Just Give It Time

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

Say in 30 to 60 days most if not all of those employees/partners will come crawling back after they realize that they have made a major mistake by buying into that PPL line of BS. Had to laugh, the other night my wife and I went to a what-a-burger. What do I see? Some old guy pitching PPL to some 20 year old girl. He had all that PPL paperwork all layed out on the table along with PPL placards glued to the side of his beat up, old SUV. Years ago, a gal I knew got me to sign up with PPL for a year. After joining, I read all the paperwork. Didn't amount to anything. When I mentioned it to my attorney he just laughed. He thought it was funny. What I can't understand is why your "firm" allowed anyone to approach ANY of your employees under the guise of some trumped up federal regulations. I get ads for all that federal regulation paperwork your suppose to display all the time at vastly inflated prices. You can buy them for next to nothing at just about any office supply store. I think I bought them for $20 and one company wanted $250. Their letter told me I could be in violation and could be fined up to $10,000 for each employee, IF I wasn't displaying them properly. What a line of crap.
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