I was asked by a friend of mine about a career opportunity with Primerica Financial Services. He told me that someone had told him that it was a great opportunity to make money in Real Estate. Me being the person I am, I joined him to what I later found out, was a "Money and Business Seminar". I also found out that this company was not soley based in Real Estate, but it claimed to be in the financial services industry. Well, at this moment I felt that this was right up my alley because I graduated from my local state college with a degree in finance.
I arrived in a navy suit with a gold tie--looking like the professional I am, however when I walked into the place, the representative from the company (the first person I was introduced to) looked like she was getting ready for the club. She had all her cleavage hanging out, tongue ring, tattoos, the whole TEN yards. Don't get me wrong, that doesn't mean she can't be professional, but first impressions are everything.
Speaking of first impressions, the meeting was held in a local hotel, NOT the local office! Well, I was finally introduced to the "district manager" Dave Derbin. Everybody is telling me, "remain calm, don't be nervous when you speak, be on top of your game". I'm thinking to myself and speaking openly to my friend who invited me, "well I could care less, I'm just here to see what this is all about".
We sat in one of the conference rooms and had a 20 minute overview about my life and what I was trying to accomplish. He then let me know that there was going to be a seminar that started at 7:15pm, so after we spoke, I could go in the other meeting room and there is a chair already reserved for me. He spoke that he was very interested and intrigued by me from our first conversation.
Now, his collegue, who just happens to have the same last name as he, walked up to me and said, "You met with Dave Derbin, correct? Well Dave is leading the team here in Cleveland and is doing some exciting things and this will be a very dynamic opportunity for you, so listen and take notes." The thing I found that was weird about that comment is Dave Derbin turned to one of his collegue's recruits and said the same thing, verbatim! So who's leading the team in Cleveland?
Just as someone else commented during a similar report about Primerica, they initially started the meeting with 3 or more presenters. The first presenter gave the introduction in horrible fashion--very unprofessional and unprepared. The second, Dave's collegue, introduced us how they "help families" and the rule of 72, which they took a $100 investment (payments of 100/month) and turned it into over 100K. Then Dave comes up and shows us how much money we could make and emphasized, "this is not a get rich quick scheme".
I have to go back and say that, in our 20 min meeting prior to the seminar, Dave invited me to come back to a "more formal and traditional interview". At the interview he told me to bring a list of questions. I went to the interview and he asked me a couple of questions. It seemed like interview questions that you would print off of Microsoft.com's template website. He seemed to be writing down my responses and just nodding, his demeanor was very casual (although I presented a very professional demeanor). Well after the interview he told me to come back on Friday and bring the $199.00 dollars for insurance classes and the series 63 licensing and to make sure I had my phone.
I was cool with bringing the $199.00 because I applied for other jobs in the financial market and you do have to pay your up front cost of getting licensed. The only thing that I thought was weird was why did I have to make sure I had my phone? He made me fill out this form in which I had to write down my credit card information so that he could send it off, similar to the form that I was going to send off with the other company (which I can say is legitimate). The other company required a money order by the way. This definately made me feel uncomfortable, but nonetheless, I did it.
Anyway, at this meeting, he explained what the next couple of meetings would entail. At this particluar meeting I would have to list at least 25 people that I knew--names, phone numbers, everything. Because he felt that I was a very competitive person, he said that I should try and break the record of listing 50 people, I did! It took me around 45 minutes to do this, because he was relentless--he sat there and watched while I did it, he and his collegue, who happened to be taking notes.
After this exercise, he had me break the people down into a list of people who I thought would do me a favor. The catch was, these people had to have at least four of the following qualities: Married, Children, Over 30, Own a Home, Employed. My list included around 22 of these people, but I only had numbers for around 13 of them. In an expected turn of events, he told me to start calling people and he gave me this script to go by. He told me to say: "Hi_________, I just started with this company and I was wondering if you can do me a favor (then wait for response). Well I'll give the phone to my district manager and he will be able to explain further."
Well he goes into this script that he has for himself--talking about the company and scheduling meetings with them, telling them that I needed this field training to get my license. I knew this was untrue, but I began to tell people that myself, probably out of embarassment. At this point, I'm feeling a little uneasy. One, because I was put on the spot to do that and two, I really didn't feel comfortable lying to people like this.
After all of this, he scheduled me for my insurance classes and printed out a whole bunch of course information off of a website that I would not have access to (why I don't know). When I left, I was really feeling uneasy about this process and I really felt stupid for giving my credit card information like that with all the credit card fraud going around.
That Sunday I got a call from him and his "regional vice-president" (it's like 300 of those guys). This guy is talking about how excellent and exciting an opportunity this is; how this will be a dynamic opportunity for me; how I should feel fortunate that I met Dave; how this is my ONLY way to financial freedom, like I'm stupid or something. First off, this is Sunday and I don't work on Sunday, secondly, I found it weird that this guy was saying some of the same things everybody else was saying like this was a script or something.
More and more, I started feeling uneasy about this. A little note, the phone call from Dave and his RVP happened the Sunday before I had my meeting and was put on spot to call people I hadn't talked to in a while (which made me feel like a telemarketer). Well I just kept thinking about my credit card information and everything and the fact that if I go along with this insurance class stuff, I would end up losing my $199.00. I kept looking at my account only to notice that he had not processed the money yet. He also asked me if he could take an extra 65.00 off for fingerprinting. At this point I was like "WHAT THE F___".
Anyway it was a Tuesday when he said he was processing this, and it was a Monday or the Friday before when he took my credit card information and still no sign of it being on my account. So I did what any person would do in this situation, I cancelled the credit card, told them it was lost, and had them send another to me. Then, I made up some crazy story about how I couldn't make the meetings because of manadatory overtime at my current job.
Well I stumbled across this site and it is crazy to see people with the of the same suspicions as myself. Also a whole page dedicated to experiences people have had with this company and the few people that try to rebuttal.
My personal opinion of Primerica Financial is this could be one of two things: One, they prey on the less fortunate; they make them think that this is their golden opportunity, but unfortunately it IS just another get rich quick scheme that you end up paying more that you are getting. They make you call all of these people, because they plan on using them as clientele. The recruits that you bring in they teach you to play them the same way. Two, maybe we are all crazy and this is a good company, it's just a little unorthodox in its method. Well I believe number one and the reason is, he invited me to a seminar at the Hampton Inn; they don't even have a local office; when I asked him about health insurance, he said that he would find out and get back to me (he never did); and last but certainly not least, IT FELT LIKE A SCAM!
ALWAYS GO WITH YOUR GUT FEELING!
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