• Report: #22815

Complaint Review: Primerica Financial Services

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  • Submitted: Sun, June 16, 2002
  • Updated: Fri, September 14, 2012

  • Reported By:biloxi MS
Primerica Financial Services
110 S. 37th Avenue, Suite A, Hattiesburg, MS 39402 Hattiesburg, Mississippi United States of America

Primerica Financial Services; My so-called friend (works for primerica), just conned me out of $199 dollars. I posed as a undercover agent, come and see what i've discovered dirty SOB's Hattiesburg Mississippi
*UPDATE: Primerica recognized by Rip-off Report a business opportunity well worth considering - it's not for everyone but many representatives make solid commission incomes. Primerica takes appropriate action against representatives conducting themselves improperly, pledges 100% commitment to customer service.

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: What's Your Motivation

*UPDATE Employee: Undercover Agent?

*UPDATE Employee: response to the original report

*Consumer Comment: Captive Caveat emptor

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Response to Tim Valparaiso Primerica is splitting hairs

*Consumer Comment: One more example of Primerica's lack of integrity

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Primerica is a SCAM with a big "S"

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Correction to earlier posting under duress

*Consumer Comment: Well my friend almost got sucked into PFS.

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Lots of HBW agents are ex PFSers ..look on line 810 of your contract. That is the hidden fee.

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: I left Primerica for WLG, Primerica has horrible (unethical)training for their agents

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: PFS is legit, but terrible. PFS tactics borderline unethical.

*Consumer Suggestion: The $199.00 is refundable

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: For Primerica the "opportunity" offered recruits is to capitalize on their warm market

*Consumer Comment: Kudos to those unwilling to capitalize on personal relationships. Primerica is not the largest company of its kind

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Responding to Aaron (West Allis)

*UPDATE Employee: Of course you were a failure, THEY HAVE OVER 1 TRILLION DOLLARS IN ASSETS. THEY ARE PUBLICLY TRADED ON THE NYSE AND FULLY LISCENSED TO DO BUSINESS

*Consumer Comment: It seems to me that the old saying that history repeats itself must be true.

*UPDATE Employee: Understanding What You're Doing

*Consumer Comment: Possible New Representative

*Consumer Comment: Possible New Representative

*Consumer Comment: Possible New Representative

*Consumer Comment: Possible New Representative

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: seek for your self and you shall find the truth

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I was confronted by so-called friend who talked to me about primerica. i've never heard of them, so I listened to him, and believed him.

i went to that boring a** opportunity meeting, they talked about how money works over time, it was a total joke. However at the time, my ex-buddy brainwashed the hell out of me, therefore making me go into primerica head-first.

I've had the privilege to go behind the scenes in the primerica office as well as their workers. Guess what people! All of the posters on the wall showed pictures of rings that you recieve if you make $100,000 a year and above. That was all that the primerica associates were concerned with.

Next, my buddy and this bi*** named Diane came out, with paperwork, informed me that the class was $199, i should have known this was strange, because when i informed Diane and my-ex buddy that I didn't have the money.

They had a damn cow, then they given me the top 100 list, i played dumb. When I didnt put dowm my family and friends addresses and contact numbers. They got very hostile with me (after the $199).

Later, in the day (After I paid the $199) the red flags started apperaring. I remember Diane (ASVP) was rushing to see my family.

i became suspicious, because they were in a rush, and plus my ex-buddy knew that i know lots of people. Thats why I became a Prime Target.

IN MLM the more people you get on the bottom the faster you move towards the peak of the pyramid, matter of fact Primerica has a poster of that damn pyramid in their office.

My ex-buddy was more furious at me because i wouldnt provide them with names of people i know. He said very statement that was made famous by amway, "in order to grow, you must get out of your comfort zone." That was the flag on the 18th hole.

I drove home frustrated, p-off, and wanting to call Osama Bin Laden to launch an attack on Primerica. However, i had a plan, I was going to be an investigator for Session one of that class. I've only stayed for 50 minutes of that class.

I ve learned that primerica are training people to defend the negatives of what people say, the state tests are very easy, and the people who are involved in Primerica can't control their own finances, how in the hell can they can control your finances.

The packages they are trying to sell you are very overpriced and have lots of loopholes.

THEY ARE NOT LEGALLY ABLE TO SELL YOU FINANCIAL PACKAGES, AND THEY HAVE A LONG HISTORY OF FRAUD AND RACKETEERING.

All of this bs for me wasting $199 dollars and a so-called friend who was trying to use me to help himself, evil motherf***er

Michael Hattiesburg, Mississippi

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/16/2002 07:52 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Primerica-Financial-Services/Hattiesburg-Mississippi-39402/Primerica-Financial-Services-My-so-called-friend-works-for-primerica-just-conned-me-ou-22815. 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 22Consumer 2Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 REBUTTAL Individual responds

What's Your Motivation

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

Primerica is not for everyone. I was introduced to this company in 1992 by a coworker at the University I was employed by. After completing my undergraduate degrees in Engineering Technology and Information Technology, I began working for a large corporation that went through major reorganization. I joined the company in May, 2005 after searching for a business that would provide with the the stability of an industry leader, but control of my future career opportunities. We are about opportunity.

Some people are cut out to work a traditional job. Not everyone can be a part of Primerica. We still need Doctors, Lawyers, Teachers, Computer Specialist, Food Servers...the list go on. If your open to the "possibility of becoming financially independent" (whatever you consider that to be) our company is definately something you should consider. If you are willing to work hard building up other people which in term will build you up, come and join us. If you have a negative attitude and are not open to self-development, you'll hate us because that is what we are all about.

I do want to comment on contacting your friends and family when you begin at Primerica. I was reluctant to do this for the first two months or so because I really didn't want to "bother" the people I knew. I have learned, from experience by doing it my way, that your "warm market", friends and family, want to support you and need our services or know of someone else who does. After a few months I felt somewhat guilty about NOT trying to help my family because I knew they were not well protected.

Whatever work you do, you should be happy doing it. If Primerica doesn't make you happy, then don't do it. Nobody can "force" you to do anything, not even in Primerica. And if the $199 is important to you because you need it, (although most people waste that much in a month) make sure you understand from the beginning how to get a refund IF you become uncomfortable.

Side comment: I met my Regional Vice President in the healthfood store about two weeks after I received a flyer on the Primerica Opportunity at the career services office at one of the colleges I attended. She was nice but I didn't completely trust her at the begininng. However, I understood what makes Network Marketing work so I new this was for me. I attending the opportunity and was very turned off. I read a lot of negative press about the company and was very suspicious. My upline did not make a sale from me before I receive my license. I made sure I got that immediately. (If you have not taken a state test and passed successfully you cannot comment on that.) But you know what, although I'm licensed now I still come to her for help while I'm learning my job. When she helps me with a client because I'm learning the ropes(being trained is what they call it in corporate america) whe gets a commission of the work I've done because she spent her time making that happen. Tell me, how much of a training bonus have you received over the years from helping fellow employees on your job?
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#2 UPDATE Employee

Undercover Agent?

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

Michael: "I was confronted by so-called friend who talked to me about primerica. i've never heard of them, so I listened to him, and believed him."

Jim: Why was he a "so-called friend?" If he was a friend, then why the undercover stuff? Why do this if you believed him? If he was a friend, I would think that you would have been upfront and honest with him. It's really hard to believe you on anything because of your upfront attempt to be deceptive to a friend.

Michael: "I went to that boring a** opportunity meeting, they talked about how money works over time, it was a total joke. However at the time, my ex-buddy brainwashed the hell out of me, therefore making me go into primerica head-first."

Money working over time is a sound mathematical principal found in College Algebra as a binomial expansion equation curve. All investment firms associated with the NASD, as Primerica is, uses this formula. The Rule of 72, is a simplified approach to this equation. It was developed by Benjamin Franklin, if you even know who that is.
I thougt you went undercover? Then, how were you brainwashed??? Did your friend keep you locked up for months on end brainwashing you every minute of the day using brainwashing techniques??? I doubt it so lose the brainwashing nonsense. You were undercover so you weren't mad to go into Primerica head-first. Who do you think you are fooling? What company do you work for??? Prudential???

Michael: "I've had the privilege to go behind the scenes in the primerica office as well as their workers. Guess what people! All of the posters on the wall showed pictures of rings that you recieve if you make $100,000 a year and above. That was all that the primerica associates were concerned with."

Did you tell your friend you were excited about making $100,000? If you did, then he showed you that with hard work and coachability you could have the opportunity to attain it. At no time were you promised that you would do it. And, any employee of any company is concerned with what they earn. But, they must also learn the job in order to make the money. If they don't, they are fired. At Primerica, you fire yourself. You quit. Thus, it is absolutely required to learn to market the products and know how to do so. You spent 50 minutes and think you know everything about what people think is important in Primerica. Who do you think you are fooling here?

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What is overpriced? In our state, to get an insurance, mortgage license and both security licenses, you would spend $2,000 if you tried on your own. $199 to get started and receive the life and mortgage licenses sounds pretty great to me! And, if you complete your training, you get it back plus earn money on mortgages sold during your training.
Primerica agents are not employees.
they are independent licensed agents and self-employed. It's up to each agent to find their own leads. That means to start with friends and family, if you have any. If you are paranoid with this one friend, I doubt you have any friends. And, your family probably stays far away from you as well.

Michael: "THEY ARE NOT LEGALLY ABLE TO SELL YOU FINANCIAL PACKAGES, AND THEY HAVE A LONG HISTORY OF FRAUD AND RACKETEERING."

What is a financial package??? We do a financial needs analysis and then use the companies of Citigroup or affiliates to fund each part of the program. And, please let us in on what state Primerica has been found GUILTY of Fraud and Racketeering? Should someone file a slander suit against you if you can't back up your slander? How could anyone take you seriousely if you lie to your friends, make fraudulent statements and accuse a company of unlawful practices without proof?

No one forced you to quit your job, if you had one. You were brought on to an opportunity that you would have to make yourself as a self-employed person. Your trainers were willing to do what they had to do to teach you everything you needed to succeed. But, you went undercover. What a nut!
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#3 UPDATE Employee

response to the original report

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

My name is Sarah, and I am an agent of Primerica. I find it very disconcerting that your friend was so angry with you for not cooperating. he should have asked you to leave the company if he felt you were uncoachable.

No-one should be required to give any particular contacts. However, I don't think Primerica preys on a recruit's warm market. I feel I am doing what is right for all of my clients, and I stand behind my company firmly. To any would-be representatives, please, research what we do, look at all the facts, be a sponge and soak up all the information you can. If you are not convinced that what we do for people is the right thing, if after seeing what we do you don't think your friends and family absolutely need our services, dont , i repeat DONT JOIN!!
My trainer and I went to see my family because I knew they needed to hear what I had to say, not because I was pressured to. Not all Primericans are spineless crooks looking to recruit anyone with a pulse. the person who recruited me was, sadly. He was later kicked out of the company. But I didn't care what he was like, because I saw an opportunity for myself and my family, so I didn't let his attitudes impede my success. If you dont feel comfortable with your upline, then I would suggest you see if the opportunity is right for you, and if it is, then find someone else to work with. And if its not, then tell your upline to f... off and leave. It sickens me when i hear about reps being total jerks to their recruits and I wish that wasn't happening within the company, especially to so many people. Hopefully all those who wish to join Primerica can find an upline like mine who respects me, my time, and my opinions. If anyone in Primerica harasses you, then for gods sake please report them to the home office. I dont kow about the rest of the country, buy in NJ i know that reps with complaints against them aren't in the company much longer. So please, post your experiences here, but also report these people as I would really love to see them out of the company. Sorry for the long post, thank you for reading.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Captive Caveat emptor

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

This whole thread has been an excellent read.
Of the multiple gripes available here at Rip off Report, choosing this one group has been quite refreshing.

The clarification of various issues has allowed me to digest some of my own experiences in my brief mortgage business experience. Not that I was unqualified in temperament and apptitude ,but because the nature of my experience was as a captive loan originator who knew better than to believe the the junk corporate was professing as valuable and pertinent to the customer segment they had me working thru internet leads.

Imagine a business pieced together thru corporate acquisitions of predatory lenders in bankruptcies being renamed and repackaged now told to market to A credit as if they are Alt A or less. A market group that has been conditioned to revulse at the idea of paying discount or origination points, and trying to convince them that they need to pay 2.5 points to get the same rate they are offered at A paper direct lenders for 0 or maybe 1 point max. You would have to have had experience in mortgages to understand the details, but suffice it to say that what business I did originate was from true Alt A customers or below that somehow got thru the filtering process.

Most of the hires that I saw were inexperienced and naieve youngsters that came for the base salary and didnt know how much that salary actually cost them in commissions. I was there just as many are because it was the only way I could survive the lag time for the loans to close and be paid.

So the only benefit a person can count on in a captive situation is that its a foothold into the particular business, a starting point.

At this very time we are seeing automated underwriting programs that process the application and will shortly see automated application process' that will be manned by upgraded telemarketers. The less the representative knows is the better for the bottom line income each loan will provide the company.
They dont want educated reps. nor educated consumers. They want pliable puppets that are controllable and focused on what the corporation wants the consumer to believe.

With the proliferation of borrowers thru expanded risk management ,the novice borrowers are still prey to these predatory practices in the interest rate they recieve. As aware and in touch with the whole process as I thought I was, unless you know that your middle credit score is above 720 or can afford to offset any blemishes with a true discount point or two, you still need to find an honest and knowledgable experienced loan advocate. Broker or Originator, You probably want at least 15 years experience and references to insure your dealing with someone who can actually guide and truthfully work to your best interest.

The shear increase in those who can now place a loan for you has decreased the level of professionalism and training. So dont expect a recomendation that benefits you or even properly address' such things as with or without prepayment penalties. The consumer is even more at risk and therefor more in need of self education from reliable sources.

The reliance on and manipulation of warm market contacts by PrimeAmerica may work for them but only reinforces my opinion that service levels will suffer even if the consumer is ignorant to the suffering. Not only are the programs being written to reduce the human interaction and the pay to those humans still involved but the training is being downgraded to simple scripts that you follow in the interview to obtain the application.

The turnover in PA associates also creates a lack of history that can be discussed openly because those making the 100k or more per year have probably become captive by fear of loss of that income. Captivity and the age old pay plan changes that the top producers must endure.

Velvet handcuffs keeping the sales force in control. Not a one of the current big earners dare discuss the culling and manipulated RIFS that occurred as they Citi-fied the look of their sales force a few years back to better represent the demographics corporate wanted to represent them. Maybe not maybe so? But the essence of what I believe to be true is that the company will go to any length it deems fit to quantify and reduce expenses it can control and that will include the amount of commisions and to whom it gets paid to.

Boards of directors are only responsible to the stock holders, aint that the publicly traded american way?
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#5 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Response to Tim Valparaiso Primerica is splitting hairs

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

I'm 100% behind what Tim says about Primerica as
Tonya clearly wasn't libeling Primerica, yet
Primerica is splitting hairs.

The question in my mind is why Primerica is singling out Tonya to do a retraction on Ripoff Report and a possible answer may be that Primerica is retaliating against her for relating on Ripoff Report how she found a company (HBW) that isn't a scam company like Primerica where her new company offers their frontline agents a real opportunity to make a decent living from sale of product and is superior to Primerica in other ways (by the way I already know that the fat cats at the top of this pyramid-schemed company are spineless when it comes to defending their company on Ripoff Report).
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#6 Consumer Comment

One more example of Primerica's lack of integrity

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

As a student of the law, I have yet to be "tainted" and hold fast to a very simple principle of legal ethics: members of the bar should not smear the reputation of their own profession by abusing the power of the title "attorney."

When a lawyer uses the threat of a civil or criminal action that would, in all reality, be in direct opposition to well settled law to force a person to perform or abstain from a certain act, he has abused the title of his noble profession. Beyond that, he (or she) is committing an act that is offensive to society and contributes to the poor reputation of lawyers.

When an attorney, under threat of legal action, coerces one of our rebuttalists to retract statements that were only a negligible deviation from the verifiable truth, where no evidence of a reckless disregard for the truth has been shown or is even slightly evident, an abuse of profession of the highest order has been committed. The actions of this attorney are an affront to the intelligent discourse and debate that make this country what it is, and are directly offensive to the First Amendment.

Can it be shown that Tonya posted her comments with an intentional or reckless disregard for the truth when her comments were mere (and almost accurate) approximations of verifiable truth? No. Can it be shown that Tonya had a duty to assure that her numbers were dead on? No. Can it be shown that Primerica had no opportunity to refute the claims made against it? Certainly not. In fact, Primerica has an equal opportunity to refute the claims in the exact same forum, to the exact same audience.

With a knowledge of finance acquired AFTER Tonya left Primerica she was able to recognize that she got a bad deal. What's worse, in her former capacity as a Primerica agent, a position that entailed the sales of insurance policies and securities and the marketing of various loans, she should have been knowledgeable enough to recognize that she wasn't getting a very good deal. Unfortunately, she wasn't. What does it say for this company that one of its own agents wasn't even able to tell what was best for her? THIS was the crux of her statements, the numbers were mere surplusage.

So, instead of posting a rebuttal of its own explaining the erroneous numbers and perhaps even refuting the claim that this wasn't the best deal for Tonya, Primerica decided to make legal threats that have no basis in the law.

Add this to the many examples of Primerica's complete lack of integrity and respect. Where this attorney, or any executive, could have posted his own rebuttal and thus contribute to this discussion, they have instead decided to intimidate a former employee in an attempt to silence her. Shame on Primerica and shame on this attorney. Instead of taking the time to defend the company that you claim is so great, you leave that to the poor saps who, with nothing more than blind faith, continue to support the very enterprise that is exploiting them to no end.

We have many questions we would like to see answered. Get a spine and come defend your organization.
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#7 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Primerica is a SCAM with a big "S"

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

Tonya,

I commend you on your courage to correct an honest mistake and at the same time stick to your guns in stating Primerica's "unethical" business practice.

I am on the same boat. I signed up with their SMART loan. And if I knew then what i know now, I never would have done it. The only reason why I did it was because I personally knew the PFS agent.

The problem with PFS agents is that they do not know what they do not know. But once they realize what PFS really is, they either quit or switch over to become independent agents with HBW and other better companies.

It has been a year since I refinanced with PFS, two more years and i will be able to shop around and hopefully get a better and legitimate deal with other mortgage company. But by then PFS will have sucked most of my hard-earned money. Shame on Primerica.

On a different note, the top Primerica execs are worried because HBW is taking away from their business. Well, it serves Primerica right to lose business because of their scams.
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#8 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Correction to earlier posting under duress

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

I tried to post this last week, and waited to see if it posted and it didn't. Could have been a computer glitch, anyway, I received a letter dated Oct 15, 2004, stating Primerica Financial Services, Inc. and its affiliates request that you immediately issue of retraction of your September posting which was due to the fact that there were some inaccuracies in my posting that I made on September 28th. I would like to correct those. In the letter they stated, Please review the HUD-1 form(settlement statement) so I found my copy of the HUD-1 and the numbers I used in my posting were inaccurate, they were approximate to the best of my recollection, not exact, so I humbly apologize.

My first error was that they didn't charge 3% in origination points; the lender charged me a 3% loan discount. And they didn't get a 2% yield spread premium, they received 2.5% in Mortgage Broker Fee paid by lender to PFSHM P.O.C. (which is the same as a yield spread premium paid to the broker by the lender out side of the closing). I wasn't charged $6000 to complete my loan with them; I was charged $7,602.79 (just to be clear, this included the 3% discount charged to me and standard loan fees; this did not include any pre-paid items such as insurance or tax escrows). The $4,832.68 Mortgage Broker Fee Paid by Lender to PFSHM P.O.C. (line 810) was paid outside of closing as normally yield spread premiums are. However, in their letter to me, they stated, Yield Spread Premiums are fees that some lenders rebate to mortgage brokers in exchange for pacing borrowers in a higher interest loan than that which the borrower is actually qualified. There are no yield spread premiums involved in the mortgage loans that are marketed through PFSHMI. However, ask someone in the business, outside of PFS, what line 810 is for on a HUD-1 form.

In my posting, I erroneously stated 10 K, because I added the loan origination fees and the yield spread premium together (since I didn't have my HUD-1 Settlement statement in front of me, I estimated). Again, I apologize for my numbers and terminology not being accurate, as you can see from above, I have corrected that. I estimated low.

In the letter they referred to my comment in the posting about my opinion that their training is horrible (unethical) and they don't educate their agents on lending practices and I quote them as replying, as well as the false statements referenced above are both malicious and libelous. Yes, my numbers were wrong, as you can see from my correction above, they were off a bit, and the terminology I used was not the same terminology as on the HUD-1 form. However, for those who are educated on lending practices, when a client has excellent credit, like myself, they have no need for a loan discount and if the yield spread premium is high, then typically, the interest rate is too. (Obviously, lenders pay more for higher interest loans because they make more money, or they are taking on higher risk, in my case, there was no risk because my credit was excellent).

As for myself, something I didn't mention in my first posting is that I am locked into this loan for three years with a pre-payment penalty of 6% and if I knew then what I know now, I would have never done it. Educated loan originators know these things, obviously I didn't have the training to recognize the things that I do now or I wouldn't be going to ripoffreport to comment to a posting or retracting (restating) part of my statement because I feel I have been threatened by PFS for my posting. I admit to not having accurate numbers in my first posting which I have corrected and I don't want them to take legal action against me.

Like most people, I trusted the person helping me, just as most do, because most of the time you are working with friends or family, or a great reference from friends and family (in my opinion, of course). I don't think the agent that recruited me did anything wrong, I believe that they were poorly trained or they never would have encouraged me to take a loan with such high fee's and penalties. PFS stated in their letter to me that they do not want me to harm or injure PFS agents whose livelihoods can be devastated by false internet statements such as the one you have posted. I want to make it perfectly clear that my intent was never to harm anyone, but to warn those who are looking into refinancing their home or going to work for PFS by reading these many postings with others experiences and use this information to make their own decision. In this site there are many different opinions, including ones that are positive, however, that was not my experience and I feel I have the right to share my experience. It is my opinion that PFS, based on my own experience, did a terrible job of training, and I wouldn't feel like I was stuck in a high interest loan with a pre-payment penalty of 3 years had I received decent ethical training.

In conclusion, they ended the letter with the statement, We will be monitoring the website to ensure that your retraction has been posted on or before October 27, 2004. It was signed by a Legal Administrator who didn't know the difference between the terminology I used and the terminology used on the HUD-1 and in my opinion, has threatening overtones. They didn't explain in their letter what will happen if I don't make a retraction, which is very mafia-like in my opinion, and I don't want to risk the unwritten consequences so I hope whoever is monitoring this website and reads this accepts my apology and can clearly see that I have corrected the errors from my earlier posting. Also, they should note that this web site is set allows anyone to go into the site and make a rebuttal themselves, defending their position and making corrections to errors such as mine. Instead of that, they chose to send me a (in my opinion, threatening) letter demanding a retraction.
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#9 Consumer Comment

Well my friend almost got sucked into PFS.

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

He called me and told me that he was given a card by a person that told him "hey you totally have what it takes to make a 6 figure income". I gave him a little background on the "pyramid" aspect of it, but told him if he was interested go to the meeting. I armed him with some questions to ask the person handling him, and when i talked to him afterward he told me that not only did the recruiter not give him a direct answer to any of the questions, neither did any of the "VP's" in attendance at the meeting. They all seemed to dodge around the "what types of products" or "what exactly does the job entail" questions. Finally he just said fuck it and left. My opinion is he made the right idea.

They tried to snare me about a year ago. I asked the recruiter all these questions and he was incredibly general, but very specific that i would be making a 6 figure income in less than a year. I've learned that any job that uses the old 6 figures in a year is a load of crap from the get go. As is any job where they start pulling out paychecks of other employees at the meeting to make their point.

To those who make money doing it, more power to them. I personally don't want some MCI plan (friends and family) to make me money. I don't like the idea of whoring out my loved ones.

Besides buy term and invest the rest. Talk about a load of shit! There is no one cookie-cutter approach to finances. Besides perm insurance (of which there are many types) can be the best tax shelter of all. If you are totally invested when you die, chances are you'll be giving a nice hunk to uncle sam.

Needless to say i found a great job at a private financial firm, where i make sound recomendations to clients based on their needs and situations, not on my commission percentage. When you do that and the client comes out on top, they will continue the relationship with you. Show them you will do right by them and your reward ($$) will come from repeat business and referals. That is the easiest, and most ethical way to do business.

As for my friend, he actually thanked my for the insight.
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#10 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Lots of HBW agents are ex PFSers ..look on line 810 of your contract. That is the hidden fee.

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

Tonya,

LOL!!

That's funny you mentioned HBW. That is the company I switched to. Lots of HBW agents are ex PFSers (well for obvius reasons). It's better to be noncaptive all the way.

Speaking of the SMART load, I was victimized as well. If you get a chance, look on line 810 of your contract. That is the hidden fee. Mine is close to 4 grand. Typically it should only be a couple of hundred. I am so disgusted with PFS. I will recruit as many PFSers into HBW. I know it will create an uproar with my former upline. I will show them the light. We have that obligation, you know?
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#11 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I left Primerica for WLG, Primerica has horrible (unethical)training for their agents

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

I agree that Primerica has horrible (unethical)training for their agents...for example, you implement a home refinance: (I'll use mine as an example) The yield spread premium was 2%, (thats what the loan originator would typically make from the lender for placing the loan), then there were 3 points loaded on the front as origination fees, which would typically go to the loan originator as well). A typical mortgage broker will pay the loan originator about 20-30% of that. Primerica earned a total of 5%...not the industry standard of 2%. On my home, $200,000 refi (1st and 2nd) loan, Primerica made $10,000. They charged me, one of thier own, $6000 to refinance my home (the other 4000 was the YSP paid by the lender). They don't educate you on lending practices so you are not aware of all of these charges..."it's rolled into the loan" is what they keep telling you...you will save thousands in the long run and pay off your home early .... Anyway, my cut was $600. Pathetic. I found another company that was founded by top leaders in Primerca who quit...its call Helping Build Wealth, HBW, and they are backed by huge companies as well, and you get respectable compensation. Not 1% (of the YSP plus Origination Fees)... really, more like 25% on home loans, and you can earn up to 100% on your insurance contracts depending on your level of experience, and you own your book! The financial planning business is very good and profitable, you just have to find the right company and get really good solid training. Anyway, check them out if you want high commissions and great training. I'm in Oklahoma (www.SCFbiz.com) and we are very happy with the training and success we have had.
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#12 UPDATE EX-employee responds

PFS is legit, but terrible. PFS tactics borderline unethical.

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

I was with Primerica for 6 months. I attained District Leader. I am leaving to join another company that truly does the right thing. Primerica is a lefit company. But the problem is that PFS agents are captive. Also, PFS tactics borderline unethical. Recruiting anyone with a pulse knowing that the recruit has less than 1 percent of success rate is just not right.

If you truly want to help families, you are better off as a non-captive agent. Besides, PFS commissions are poor and the services are terribly overpriced. PFS agents do not know what they do not know.
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#13 Consumer Suggestion

The $199.00 is refundable

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

A very personable man came to my home to speak to me about Primerica. He had seen my picture and quote in a local newspaper that covered a recent job fair. I can not say whether the company is reputable or not, I don't have enough first hand knowledge. I can say this gentleman seemed to honestly believe in the company and its products. He was selling the idea of teaching financial planning and debt management not the idea of trying to recruit more representatives... but I'm still skeptical. One thing he pointed out, that I took note of, and that may help your situation, was a clause in the contract that you signed (Form PFS-BA-4 Part III, 23) that states the $199 fee is refundable (minus $40 for processing fees). Quote "The $199 IBA fee you have paid is refundable upon your written request to: Licensing - Refunds, Primerica Home Office, 3100 Breckinridge Boulevard, Building 400, Duluth, GA 30099-0001, within one hundred and twenty (120) days of the date of you Independent Business Application, except that (i) $40, which is a processing fee for processing both the Independent Business Application and your state licensing application(s), is NON REFUNDABLE, (ii) if any amounts have been paid on your behalf to a state insurance department, other state agency or testing service, those amounts will be deducted from any amount otherwise refundable, and (iii) if you attend an insurance pre-licensing class, you will not be entitled to a refund. Primerica may grant exceptions to this refund policy upon a timely showing, in writing, that extenuating circumstances exist justifying a refund."
Hopefully, you or someone else may use this information to have their money refunded should they choose not to go into business with Primerica. I would really encourage people to research the pros and cons about this company. I have read about many poor business practices but I also know some people in the business that seem like reasonable individuals. I don't know I know that it is not for me because I'm not a sales person but perhaps with the right leaders it may be right for someone else??
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#14 UPDATE EX-employee responds

For Primerica the "opportunity" offered recruits is to capitalize on their warm market

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

Tim,

You've summed up very eloquently what I have came to believe after my own Primerica experience. However, I want to add one more observation about unqualified recruits.

An unqualified recruit can be just as lucrative to a Primerica agent as a qualified one. Why? Because that unqualified recruit brings with them the names of their friends, family, et. al. Agents in training hand over 50% of their commission to their upline. And since approximately 99 percent of recruits quit in less than a year, the upline, by recruiting ANYONE, can build a nice clientele off any type of warm body.

Once I realized that, I quit. I honestly went into the situation as one of those people that truly thought I was helping people. So many of my friends were drowning in debt. Program aside (there is some good and some bad to the financial program Primerica offers), I just found it unethical to use people as a means of getting leads. But Primerica trainers will tell you that it's not your position to determine a recruit's ability. That's bull. Some people are no more adept at sales than I am at brain surgery, and often it is easy to determine with a short interview --if one is willing to put forth the effort.
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#15 Consumer Comment

Kudos to those unwilling to capitalize on personal relationships. Primerica is not the largest company of its kind

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

Aaron, although your last statement is correct in its conclusion, it is factually incorrect. Primerica is not the largest company of its kind in the world. You should have said "Citigroup" instead of "Primerica." Primerica is not the largest of its kind, nor does it have a trillion dollars in assets. These statistics refer to Citigroup, Primerica's parent company.

But you are correct in that Primerica is a legitimate outfit and is legally authorized to do what it does.

You are also right on the money in saying that achieving success in any endeavor may require someone to step outside of their "comfort zone." The problem as I see it, however, is not so much that people are unwilling to do that, but rather that recruiters don't put forth the effort to ensure that the people they bring in will.

When your goal is mass recruiting, the practical approach is to bring in as many people as possible with the knowledge that very few of them will have what it takes. There would be no problem with this if it didn't result in thousands of unqualified recruits investing hundreds of hours and dollars in an endeavor that will never pan out for them.

There is no problem ethically with giving masses of people an "opportunity," but there is a problem when people with no aptitude are conned into wasting time and money when there is no reason to think that they will ever reap the benefits of said opportunity.

In simpler terms, if recruiters want a solid defense against complaints like the one above, they should invest some time into ensuring that the people they bring in will be able to do the job. If you were able to say "we do everything we can to ensure that the people we bring in aren't wasting their time and money" I would be persuaded. As it stands, all you can say is that the failures were just too lazy to succeed, and that is a very poor defense indeed.

So why don't Primerica recruiters "qualify" their recruits? McDonalds tries to make sure that people they hire will be able to flip a burger, Wal Mart makes sure you can stock a shelf, in fact, virtually every industry outside of MLM makes sure that the people they bring in will probably be able to do the job. So why not Primerica? It's simple, really, and it takes me to your next flawed premise.

You say that people don't want to give a list of their friends and relatives, and then pitch the product to those people, because they are lazy and unwilling to step out of their "comfort zone." This may be true some of the time, but it is by no means the rule.

The ethical reasons behind such unwillingness are far stronger than sheer laziness or discomfort. If people are uncomfortable with capitalizing on social and familial relationships, I think that is a trait to be admired. Primerica says that they do this because it is an easy way for the recruit to learn how to do the job because he is comfortable with those people. Basic psychology says this is a flawed premise. People are much more averse to the idea of embarrassing themselves in front of people whom they know and will have frequent future dealings with than strangers.

Getting back to my point on why Primerica doesn't qualify its recruits. Primerica is capitalizing on the "warm market" of friends and family. Primerica realizes that the success rate of sales pitches given to friends and family members is higher than the overall. Friends and relatives are more likely to purchase either out of symapthy, a desire to help a friend, or on the trust of their acquaintace. When basic principles of psychology say that it is better done another way, one looks to the business principles at hand, and finds a highly unethical exploitation of social relationships.

So, then, to Primerica it doesn't matter whether the recruuit is capable of doing the job, because his first few pitches will be to people who may purchase for reasons separate from his ability to sell the product. If somebody doesn't want to give up the names of acquaintances as a precursor of employment then I say good for them. It's nice to see that some people value their friends and family enough not to let them get caught up in this debacle.

Aaron, if you want to know the real reason why people leave your organization you have to abandon the whole laziness notion. The United States boasts the most productive ecomony in the world because Americans are willing to work very hard at endeavors which may bring them success. If this were not the case then our average annual income would be far below the current 40k. Most people are very willing to put forth the effort to succeed. Fortunately, most people are also very adept at realizing when the chances for success are too small to waste time on.
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#16 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Responding to Aaron (West Allis)

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

Let me quote and rebutt:

(1) ""They had a damn cow, then they given me the top 100 list, i played dumb. When I didnt put dowm my family and friends addresses and contact numbers. They got very hostile with me (after the $199)." Really, this is no supprise. These should be the easiest people to get a Kitchen Table with and by not putting any effort into this did you really expect it to work. When someone signs up and refuses to do any actual work of course your trainers are going to get a little peeved by the behavior. They are putting their personal time into your success and you are refusing to work......time they could be spending making money and working with customers."

The sole reason why Primerica is interested in your family and friends is that your upline makes the money on anything sold to them. You, as a frontline agent, make nothing and that's specified by contract.

(2) ""IN MLM the more people you get on the bottom the faster you move towards the peak of the pyramid, matter of fact Primerica has a poster of that damn pyramid in their office. " Yes this is true. Whats wrong with that??? Any business can be considered a Pyramid. Im sure that the CEO's and people above you in McDonalds are making quite a bit more than you.... welcome to reality."

Aaron, you're dealing with a finite market so how
much real opportunity is there to move up the
ladder? You're also comparing apples with oranges
as Primerica is commission based while McDonalds
is salary based so no MLM with McDonalds and many
other places (since you brought up McDonalds it's
worthwhile pointing out your chances of making
money doing burger flippin are greater than making
money as a frontline agent with Primerica). At
least you're being honest when you're indicating
that Primerica is a pyramid scheme as many at
Primerica are afraid to hear that descriptive term
used (as opposed to MLM or network marketing).

(3) ""My ex-buddy was more furious at me because i wouldnt provide them with names of people i know. He said very statement that was made famous by amway, "in order to grow, you must get out of your comfort zone." That was the flag on the 18th hole." Refer to my first comments about your being lazy in reference to the first part of the quote."

Aaron, I don't equate unwillingness to cooperate
with laziness (see my first rebuttal above to see
the real reason why upline Primerica agents are
eager to get ahold of your family and friends).

(4) "PRIMERICA IS THE LARGEST COMPANY OF ITS TYPE IN THE WORLD. THEY HAVE OVER 1 TRILLION DOLLARS IN ASSETS. THEY ARE PUBLICLY TRADED ON THE NYSE AND FULLY LISCENSED TO DO BUSINESS AS ARE ALL THE REPS. you have to pass a state test to sell life ins, you have to have a morgators liscense to sell home loans, you have to have your Series 6 and 62 to sell investments.... Before you start calling names and slandering a legit company make sure your complaints can hold water."

Aaron, there's the old saying that the bigger you
are, the harder you fall (Enron and others). Size
means nothing by itself. Real opportunity to grow does. The licenses you need to get is no big deal as that's a requirement in the insurance industry to work as an agent. There's much more training than that if you really want to call yourself an insurance agent. As far as Primerica being a legit company, not in my book. I know directly that lies, misrepresentation and deception is rampant throughout this company which is evident on this
website with the hundreds of reports filed against
Primerica plus other websites as well so I can
fairly say that Primerica is a fraudulent company
as the fat cats at the top of this pyramid-scheme
company are doing nothing about cutting out the
fraud along with other measures that need to be
taken.
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#17 UPDATE Employee

Of course you were a failure, THEY HAVE OVER 1 TRILLION DOLLARS IN ASSETS. THEY ARE PUBLICLY TRADED ON THE NYSE AND FULLY LISCENSED TO DO BUSINESS

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

"They had a damn cow, then they given me the top 100 list, i played dumb. When I didnt put dowm my family and friends addresses and contact numbers. They got very hostile with me (after the $199)." Really, this is no supprise. These should be the easiest people to get a Kitchen Table with and by not putting any effort into this did you really expect it to work. When someone signs up and refuses to do any actual work of course your trainers are going to get a little peeved by the behavior. They are putting their personal time into your success and you are refusing to work......time they could be spending making money and working with customers.

"IN MLM the more people you get on the bottom the faster you move towards the peak of the pyramid, matter of fact Primerica has a poster of that damn pyramid in their office. " Yes this is true. Whats wrong with that??? Any business can be considered a Pyramid. Im sure that the CEO's and people above you in McDonalds are making quite a bit more than you.... welcome to reality.

"My ex-buddy was more furious at me because i wouldnt provide them with names of people i know. He said very statement that was made famous by amway, "in order to grow, you must get out of your comfort zone." That was the flag on the 18th hole." Refer to my first comments about your being lazy in reference to the first part of the quote.

"in order to grow, you must get out of your comfort zone." - This statement is true regardless of the source. At some point you are going to have to do things in Primerica that you might not be totally at ease with.. like talking to people that might not be your best friends or actually working which appears to be a phobia of yours.

"The packages they are trying to sell you are very overpriced and have lots of loopholes.
THEY ARE NOT LEGALLY ABLE TO SELL YOU FINANCIAL PACKAGES, AND THEY HAVE A LONG HISTORY OF FRAUD AND RACKETEERING.

All of this bs for me wasting $199 dollars and a so-called friend who was trying to use me to help himself, evil motherfucker " - This statement does not really deserve a response but the tuth needs to be told.

PRIMERICA IS THE LARGEST COMPANY OF ITS TYPE IN THE WORLD. THEY HAVE OVER 1 TRILLION DOLLARS IN ASSETS. THEY ARE PUBLICLY TRADED ON THE NYSE AND FULLY LISCENSED TO DO BUSINESS AS ARE ALL THE REPS. you have to pass a state test to sell life ins, you have to have a morgators liscense to sell home loans, you have to have your Series 6 and 62 to sell investments.... Before you start calling names and slandering a legit company make sure your complaints can hold water.
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#18 Consumer Comment

It seems to me that the old saying that history repeats itself must be true.

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

The debate concerning the pros and cons of Primerica has been going on for many years. It originally began I believe back in the 70's.

I am not sure of all the twists and turns over the years, but I believe that if you really research this you will find it all began with the A.L. Williams company that had the philosophy of buy term life insurance nad invest the difference. (That in itself is another interesting topic.)

Anyway, the company had the same reputation at that time and generated the same discussions that have been seen previously from both sides. They got many peopled invloved in the insurance and financial services industry but the emphasis always seemed to be more on buidling the number of recruits as opposed to actually helping people. Although I do beleive that there were many fine people who were truly interested in helping people with their insurance and financial needs. The imporatnt thing though always seemed to be that of a typical MLM approach of bringing in people rather than actually selling product.

While I am not really familiar with what products they might be able to sell today, back then the appoach while was based on fact finding and reccomendation, it always revovled around buy term and invest the difference. It was my experience though since they were recruiting people part time that individuals got their life insurance license, very few actually got a securities license. So in many instances the difference was invested in a fixed annuity, or maybe the trainer sold the securities or many, many times, no investment of the funds was ever made. Thus the client just spent the money and really never improved their long term financial situation.

Today some of this may be different, but it seems to me that what hasn't changed is the misleading tactics of getting people involved in the company. Instead of recruiting, hiring and traing in a real professional manner they seem to want to stick with taditional MLM practices. As far as I know, Citigroup is a fine, organization overall. Maybe they just need to re-evaulate their approach to the isnurance and financial services area.

Bottom line, it seems that nothing but the name has changed since the 70's.
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#19 UPDATE Employee

Understanding What You're Doing

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

I can see why this person was feeling overwhelmed and angry. They did not pause long enough to ask questions, get all the information available to know what Primerica is about before passing over $199.00 of their money.

I, on the other hand, did. So that when I wrote out my check, I knew what I was doing and knew what steps I needed to accomplish in my training to have my $199.00 re-imbursed to me (yes, you can get your $199.00 back and it's very easy to do).

The names of family and friends that you are asked for are for your own benefit. They are names of prospective clients for you and your trainer to go on practice FNA's (financial needs analysis). These are practice training for you and yes, they may benefit your trainer during your training time but with six of these completed you receive your $199.00 back. I did this within 30 days with the help of my trainer. (Of course, if you just quit, your $199.00 is non-refundable just like anywhere else.)

And yes, there is an upline and they do benefit when the downline is successful but it is not like a pyramid plan because the companies you serve through Primerica are paying YOU, your upline and your downline but it is not coming out of the earnings of the people under you. They still get every penny of earnings that they earned and they have every opportunity of raising their level of earnings. It's like any other job---the higher the level you are the more you receive in earnings--in any company does the new guy get the same pay as the President of the company? But in Primerica those earnings are very possible for you to achieve if you work towards it.
Your trainer will also encourage you to get your state insurance license as soon as possible so that you can become successful quicker. And to help you get your state insurance license (which is done through your state and their licensing laws, not anything to do with the Primerica co.) Primerica does supply you with "free" classes to increase your chances of passing your state exam. And once you are state licensed, Primerica even refunds your fees you paid to your state for taking the test and license fees. Now how much more can a company do to help you succeed? And yet, they still do more.

They have weekly training meetings that are free. Your upline is there to aid you if you have any questions or any problems come up. I don't know what else to say except that I am a relative new-comer to Primerica but I have received nothing but support, good training, friendly people who want to help other people, opportunities to hear highly motivated successful people tell me how I can get there too, and training tools such as tapes and cd's to help me learn. I have not spoken with anyone in this company from this state or any other state who were immoral, in fact, our leadership meetings were started with prayers.

This is a company for motivated people who have goals and are willing to work hard to achieve them. They don't just take your money and hope you will go away. But they can't do your work for you. To be successful in this business as in any other you must work for it. Quitters never win, anywhere.
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#20 Consumer Comment

Possible New Representative

AUTHOR: Gayle - (Canada)

Hello,
I could tell the young man was very angry at his impossible position into which his frieind put him. But I must ask, as I really need to know, did he think money would fall into his hands; did he question what the $199 fee was specifically for; could the company not defer the fee (as he did not have the $) until a time when it could be proven that he would represent the company in its best light. If this fee is causing so much consternation; perhaps it should be submitted at the time of taking the registration for the test/license and not before. I don't know the solution, but as a financial company I am certain that Primerica can recognize it has a Public Relations problem with its fee - unless accusations are true - that Primerica collects people - not better financial solutions for people.
Thank you, G.
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#21 Consumer Comment

Possible New Representative

AUTHOR: Gayle - (Canada)

Hello,
I could tell the young man was very angry at his impossible position into which his frieind put him. But I must ask, as I really need to know, did he think money would fall into his hands; did he question what the $199 fee was specifically for; could the company not defer the fee (as he did not have the $) until a time when it could be proven that he would represent the company in its best light. If this fee is causing so much consternation; perhaps it should be submitted at the time of taking the registration for the test/license and not before. I don't know the solution, but as a financial company I am certain that Primerica can recognize it has a Public Relations problem with its fee - unless accusations are true - that Primerica collects people - not better financial solutions for people.
Thank you, G.
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#22 Consumer Comment

Possible New Representative

AUTHOR: Gayle - (Canada)

Hello,
I could tell the young man was very angry at his impossible position into which his frieind put him. But I must ask, as I really need to know, did he think money would fall into his hands; did he question what the $199 fee was specifically for; could the company not defer the fee (as he did not have the $) until a time when it could be proven that he would represent the company in its best light. If this fee is causing so much consternation; perhaps it should be submitted at the time of taking the registration for the test/license and not before. I don't know the solution, but as a financial company I am certain that Primerica can recognize it has a Public Relations problem with its fee - unless accusations are true - that Primerica collects people - not better financial solutions for people.
Thank you, G.
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#23 Consumer Comment

Possible New Representative

AUTHOR: Gayle - (Canada)

Hello,
I could tell the young man was very angry at his impossible position into which his frieind put him. But I must ask, as I really need to know, did he think money would fall into his hands; did he question what the $199 fee was specifically for; could the company not defer the fee (as he did not have the $) until a time when it could be proven that he would represent the company in its best light. If this fee is causing so much consternation; perhaps it should be submitted at the time of taking the registration for the test/license and not before. I don't know the solution, but as a financial company I am certain that Primerica can recognize it has a Public Relations problem with its fee - unless accusations are true - that Primerica collects people - not better financial solutions for people.
Thank you, G.
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#24 REBUTTAL Owner of company

seek for your self and you shall find the truth

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

Hello my fellow American's, today is a great day to be alive, now the reason why I have decided to write to you all is to provide some real info. I am a sailor in the U.S Navy, and I also work part time with Primerica, as I've seen In my experience,Primerica has been quite positve, with my back ground in the military I realized the power and value in time, being on time is # 1, and utilizing your time is # 2,if you do not have these common traits, and have issues with accountabiliy, self doubt, and have made up your mind that you can not change these feelings of insecurity then I would say that Primerica is no place for you. On the other hand, if you have all your ducks in a row, spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and you have a burning desire to be some body, you can do it here @ Primerica, you must be self motivated, a person of your word, one of integrity, now the reason why people have either had bad things to say about my company or others company I should say, is because someone that fit into the negative catagory tried it, and thought that it was hard, or even impossible but I tell you what, Citi Group would never have merged with a company that was impossibe, I am doing very well, and I would challenge anyone to try it first before listening to some other source, because most likely they are broke themselves. listen to people who have had a good oppinon on the business and you will go to the top. I have a wife and baby to take care of and if this business was any way other than honest than I would have ran long time ago. peace to you all, and God bless.
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