• Report: #189215

Complaint Review: Primerica

  • Submitted: Sat, April 29, 2006
  • Updated: Thu, October 05, 2006

  • Reported By:I Hate Primerica Alabama
Primerica
Birmingham, Alabama U.S.A.

Primerica dishonest, manipulative, liars, cheats, fraud Birmingham Alabama
*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.

*UPDATE Employee: I am a REP and HAPPY I made the decision

*UPDATE Employee: Not ALL bad

*UPDATE Employee: Not ALL bad

*UPDATE Employee: Not ALL bad

*UPDATE Employee: Not ALL bad

*Consumer Suggestion: Thank you

*Consumer Comment: Pyramids

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Anna - you don't have a clue

*Consumer Suggestion: I AM NOT A PRIMERICA REP!!!

*Consumer Comment: Thank God For Preceptive People

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Responding to Anna (Birmingham)

*Consumer Comment: How were you ripped off, exactly?

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If someone asks you to do anything with Primerica, run, don't walk, away from them as fast as you can.

Here's my story: I met a very nice older gentlemen last week. During our first conversation he asked if I would like to learn about saving money and getting out of debt. I said sure. He explained a little about it and invited me to a financial seminar to educate me further.

I figured he was a nice guy and I certainly am no expert on money, so I show up to the meeting. This financial seminar proved to be nothing more than a cheap recruiting session in a slum of an office (with no handle on the bathroom door) with the most pathetic group of sleazy and uneducated men I've ever seen.

If I could use one term to describe these men it would be: used car salesmen. I spoke with some of them before the meeting started. They all told me how they had just been laid off or how their job at The Home Depot wasn't working out so well. They were poorly dressed and needing a shave and a shower. I almost expected to see their Will work for food sign. I felt so dirty I wanted to run home and take a hot shower.

I recently received my Master's degree and none of these men even finished their undergraduate education; some never went. I'm not saying education is everything, but I'm an intellectual and could sense that I was not in equal company. During the meeting when I learned that these men had no college degrees I was not surprised.

The man I met earlier starts the proceedings with what was clearly a corporate-made PowerPoint presentation. He talks about the state of America, its citizens and their finances. After he (attempts to) earn your trust he then grossly exaggerates information about how rich Primerica can make you while criticizing every other type of way you can make a living.

He makes weak comparisons how Primerica is the next McDonalds or Microsoft and how we have an opportunity to get in on the ground floor.

He also says how we can get rich quick working only part time for them.

Yep, this is just another get rich quick scheme.

Basically, Primerica works like this: Before you can make a dime you have to work through 50 hours of training and make a handful of presentations. You have to shadow a higher-up Primerica member to learn from them. During all of this time you make no money.

You still won't make any money until you harass some poor American into buying life insurance from you.

That's right, you're a non-paid insurance salesman!

As if being an insurance salesman wasn't the worst job in the world already (along with used car salesman), now you're an unpaid one.

Primerica really knows how to screw people.

Oh, and I forgot to mention to even begin the pleasure of training you have to pay a $199 application fee.

That's right, you have to pay THEM to work. They're supposed to pay YOU to work.

If this doesn't scream RIP OFF then I don't know what does.

(Maybe that's why Google's # 2 search result for Primerica is the Rip Off Report).

If that wasn't enough, you also have to recruit eight of your friends. EIGHT! Not only are they contempt enough bringing you in (dishonestly, I might add) but you'll also have to con eight of your friends to join this group of hell as well.

I wouldn't even invite my worst enemy to this horrendous gathering of creeps and crooks.

Primerica is a pyramid scheme, nothing more. In case you don't know much about pyramid schemes, they're ILLEGAL.

Let's see $199 (application fee) x 9 (you and your 8 friends) = $1,791. Now you can see why it's illegal.

Or you could classify Primerica as mutli-level marketing. Basically, agents in the company make money off of each new recruit that ponies up the $199 fee and becomes a member.

No wonder this guy was so nice to me. To him I was just another dollar sign waiting to be cashed in.

Primerica uses dishonest recruiting practices targeted at unemployed and uneducated people who have to pay to work and won't even see any money in return until after 40 hours with the company. Even then, they are still guaranteed no money until they con hard working Americans (with real jobs) into buying insurance from you.

I am amazed that the government has not destroyed Primerica and put those responsible in prison. This is the biggest group of crooks I've ever heard of.

Don't fall into the same trap I did.

Stay away.

Stay far away.

P.S. I'm positive that some sleaze ball near the top of Primerica's pyramid scheme will tell one of his unpaid henchman to post some spin to try and debunk my comments. Just like the creep who tried to recruit me, you shouldn't believe a word they say.

Primerica Sucks
I Hate Primerica, Alabama
U.S.A.

Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Primerica

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/29/2006 03:45 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Primerica/Birmingham-Alabama-35209/Primerica-dishonest-manipulative-liars-cheats-fraud-Birmingham-AlabamaUPDATE-Primeri-189215. 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.

Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report.

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#1 UPDATE Employee

I am a REP and HAPPY I made the decision

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

I first heard about Primerica 11/2005 researched it and ran across this site back then.

There are several threads/complaints on this site about Primerica. The ranting and raving about it being a pyramid. Then that it is a rip-off. Then the all they want is your "list". How it's a "cult", the reps work 60-80 hours a week...etc.

Despite what I read I got involved with company. I figured it was a winning situation for me. I've always wanted to venture off into my own biz and to have professional licenses to back me up couldn't be all bad.

My experience so far has been GREAT. I make a few hundred extra dollars a week part-time. That's going on ONLY 1 or 2 appointments a week(approx 2-4 hrs). I am currently considering going full-time(The freedom of working when I want).

It does appear that skeptical people that run into the "shady" reps have a bad experience. But that could be what they are attracting.

As far as the policies being over-priced my clients have found that Primerica's policies are actually cheaper than the policies they replace. Some choose to increase the face value because they are comfortable with their current policies premium others go for the savings.

I haven't taken my securites exam so I can't do investment products.

I know this won't do anything for those that just HATE Primerica. But hopefully it will give a realistic perspective from a real Primerica Rep part-timer.

My background...
B.S. Electrical Engineering
A.S. Computer Science Engineering
Day-Job Engineering for major Telecommunications Company
since some of these supposedly educated haters try to insenuate education has something to do with it.
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#2 UPDATE Employee

Not ALL bad

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

First off...my husband and I have only been involved with the company for a couple of weeks. I just wanted to make sure everyone realizes that everyone in Primerica are INDEPENDANT representatives. That means they can run their particular organization however they want to. Some people will try to take advantage of others, but not all people will. The organization that we have come to work for all seem genuinly interested in helping others whether it's through giving us this business opportunity or through the financial services that they can offer.

We can't wait to help some of our friends and family the way we were helped from friends in the organization. Before I end this, I would like to clear up a few things. The $199 is for your insurance license. They do not make any money off of recruiting people. You also are not required to recruit anyone at all. new recruits mean you get a promotion and earn more commissions when you make a sale. Also the structure of the company rewards you for helping the people who work under you become more successful.

You get money you make from your sales as soon as you have recieved your license. There is NO minimum of hours worked. It is recommended that you go to training, but that is also not required. But like I said, all the people are independant. They are their own boss. So just because you run into one bad apple does not make the company itself wrong. It is the individual and the way they teach their recruits. I love my team!
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#3 UPDATE Employee

Not ALL bad

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

First off...my husband and I have only been involved with the company for a couple of weeks. I just wanted to make sure everyone realizes that everyone in Primerica are INDEPENDANT representatives. That means they can run their particular organization however they want to. Some people will try to take advantage of others, but not all people will. The organization that we have come to work for all seem genuinly interested in helping others whether it's through giving us this business opportunity or through the financial services that they can offer.

We can't wait to help some of our friends and family the way we were helped from friends in the organization. Before I end this, I would like to clear up a few things. The $199 is for your insurance license. They do not make any money off of recruiting people. You also are not required to recruit anyone at all. new recruits mean you get a promotion and earn more commissions when you make a sale. Also the structure of the company rewards you for helping the people who work under you become more successful.

You get money you make from your sales as soon as you have recieved your license. There is NO minimum of hours worked. It is recommended that you go to training, but that is also not required. But like I said, all the people are independant. They are their own boss. So just because you run into one bad apple does not make the company itself wrong. It is the individual and the way they teach their recruits. I love my team!
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#4 UPDATE Employee

Not ALL bad

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

First off...my husband and I have only been involved with the company for a couple of weeks. I just wanted to make sure everyone realizes that everyone in Primerica are INDEPENDANT representatives. That means they can run their particular organization however they want to. Some people will try to take advantage of others, but not all people will. The organization that we have come to work for all seem genuinly interested in helping others whether it's through giving us this business opportunity or through the financial services that they can offer.

We can't wait to help some of our friends and family the way we were helped from friends in the organization. Before I end this, I would like to clear up a few things. The $199 is for your insurance license. They do not make any money off of recruiting people. You also are not required to recruit anyone at all. new recruits mean you get a promotion and earn more commissions when you make a sale. Also the structure of the company rewards you for helping the people who work under you become more successful.

You get money you make from your sales as soon as you have recieved your license. There is NO minimum of hours worked. It is recommended that you go to training, but that is also not required. But like I said, all the people are independant. They are their own boss. So just because you run into one bad apple does not make the company itself wrong. It is the individual and the way they teach their recruits. I love my team!
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#5 UPDATE Employee

Not ALL bad

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

First off...my husband and I have only been involved with the company for a couple of weeks. I just wanted to make sure everyone realizes that everyone in Primerica are INDEPENDANT representatives. That means they can run their particular organization however they want to. Some people will try to take advantage of others, but not all people will. The organization that we have come to work for all seem genuinly interested in helping others whether it's through giving us this business opportunity or through the financial services that they can offer.

We can't wait to help some of our friends and family the way we were helped from friends in the organization. Before I end this, I would like to clear up a few things. The $199 is for your insurance license. They do not make any money off of recruiting people. You also are not required to recruit anyone at all. new recruits mean you get a promotion and earn more commissions when you make a sale. Also the structure of the company rewards you for helping the people who work under you become more successful.

You get money you make from your sales as soon as you have recieved your license. There is NO minimum of hours worked. It is recommended that you go to training, but that is also not required. But like I said, all the people are independant. They are their own boss. So just because you run into one bad apple does not make the company itself wrong. It is the individual and the way they teach their recruits. I love my team!
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#6 Consumer Suggestion

Thank you

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

Elisabeth- Yes, I am sure that I'm a creative director and am neither a part-time Primerica rep nor a Crimerican on the side. I have better things to do with my spare time than scam people into buying term life insurance by telling them it's whole life OR promising someone a 30% annual return when in all likelihood they will lose money. Especially if I'm not going to be paid very handsomely for it. And I'm pretty sure this site is for exposing ripoffs and not for complaining about being insulted.

Jeremy- thank you for saying what I was obviously not articulate enough to say.
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#7 Consumer Comment

Pyramids

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

Network marketting is not a pyrimid scheme though they do seem similar.

In many fields of work you must pay for certifications. You have to pay to get your realestate license, insurance license, securities, AAA car repare on and on goes the list. Even to take the bar examinations for Law.

Secondly every field of work is a pyrimid scheme. You make one sallary the person above you is paid more and on and on untill the CEO is payed hundreds of millions a year compaired to your 30,000.

Selling realestate is a pyramid as is insurance. You are hired after getting your realestate license and you get hired onto a firm then you don't get paid unless you sell and when you sell you split your comission with the agency you work with.

Most of all sales is a pyrimid of you being paid one thing and more going to your supervisor and even more going to the company. We except this in every other industry except direct sales without question.

Over and over in this report I've read "you shouldn't have to pay to get a job". You don't if that is what you want is a JOB. But you do have to pay if you want a buisiness of your own. And even with franchises you pay your franchise company, you pay them a varying amount of your profits every month plus advertising costs. Any where from 4% of profits to 20%.

I have not joined primerica I came here because I am looking into it however. But most of what i've read here are rantings and very little information.

I've read here that only 5% of people will be successfull. That's better than the lottery or banking on becoming an NBA star. Only five-10 percent of people are super succesfull in any field. Right now there are PHD's who face a job market where for every opening in universities there are 125 applicants so whatever success in that field they have paid so much more than $199 dollars for they are not successfull they have to go to another field of work.

You cannot base all of your decision in life on the probabilities of success. If every one did that there would be no one who stood out from the pack in any arena of life.

Entrepreneaurship is not about the probabilities but the possabilities. I read in Entreprenure magazine about a man who began a succesfull beverage company that has taken off quite will. But he said, "Beverages is a mature market and we knew going in that less than 3% of new beverages find a market." They did it any way and 3% is less than 5%. The editor of this website would not have invested and he would not have gained. They are left to study the financials in hindsight which is always tewenty-twenty and kick themselves for having no vision.

Sam Walton went bankrupt 6 times before founding Sam's club. He was a failure untill he wasn't.

If you want a job don't look towards entreprenurial type ventures. This I agree with many recruiters for direct sales companies in their zeal often do poor qualifying of leads.
I have found one thing to be fairely consistent. Those who excell in direct marketing companies tend to be those that excell in other areas of life. If you are not a leader at your job you probably won't be a leader in direct sales. If you fail in managing your own life than you will most likely fail in managing your buisiness.

I will probably not join primerica but I so far see nothing worthy of vilifying the company itself. I would have not qualms about putting my money in any of their vehicles I believe the products are sound it is probably the quality of representatives that varies vastly. A few bad apples and all that jazz.

And you wanna hear about high pressure. I know a financial advisor who works at my bank who said off Prudential. "If you didn't have any sales you weren't allowed to come to meetings. They don't care what you have to say unless you have sales numbers behind you."

Every one hates a car salesman except the person working on the line in that company's plant making an hourly wage turning rivets. Sales is the front line cuthroat ditch warefare that allows people to have comfortable safe and moral production or service jobs. Where would those risk adverse number crunchers in the home office be without people selling accounts for them to value? No where. Secondly it isn't as though the LEGITIMATE financial planning industry hasn't suffered with unethical scandles is it? With all of their specialized education and nice offices? It isn't as though there are people who give bad advice to customers just to push up the number of trades they do and increase there comissions is it?
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#8 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Anna - you don't have a clue

AUTHOR: Elisabeth - (Canada)

What do you think this site is for, Anna???? And you're a creative director? Sure you aren't a part-time Crimerican on the side? Here's an idea. Read Cleveland, Ohio's thread. You're on the wrong page.
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#9 Consumer Suggestion

I AM NOT A PRIMERICA REP!!!

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

For one I would NEVER do something as lame as sell insurance. I work as a creative director. Did I not mention people I personally know who have been scammed by Primerica? Did I not say that I would never have any dealings with them?

I'm just trying to be fair here! I am trying to explain to "Primerica Sucks" that he needs to reserve this forum for people who really have something helpful to share, and to use his blog for ranting.

I shall reiterate that I AM NOT A PRIMERICA REP!!!
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#10 Consumer Comment

Thank God For Preceptive People

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

I too was almost lured into this scam of a business. We must spread the word and encourage others to spread the word too, not just to a couple of people but to all those who will listen, that's why the Internet and sites like these are so wonderful.

My story is almost the same except I was one of those friends asked to attend a meeting. I thought I was going to a basic seminar on debt prevention tips. I was so angry when I got there and the pitch began. I am a very perceptive person like yourself and I knew right away it was a scam. First of all we met in a scummy building, nothing that screamed professional office environment. In fact, it seemed to me that they might have rented this place out just to hold their scummy recruiting session. It seemed like one of those scam and go businesses. They scam you when you come back their gone. It's amazing how so many peoples' stories are the same, this happened almost 10 years ago, and I felt so bad for my friend she was scammed into joining and she had called me a few times to get me to go, all along being very vague about what it was about. At 19 I hadn't heard about Primerica until her.

What broke my heart was like many of the stories am reading she was down and out at the time she joined them, we had worked together for about a few months that's how I met her. Luckily I worked through and employment agency. She worked directly for our employer. He had HIV/AIDS and really didn't care that much about his business and about the fact that it was about to fall under. He just stopped paying all the bills required to keep up the office, including her salary. I remember she went a month without pay. So I really felt bad for her so that's why I went.
To give her moral support because she said she needed to bring in recruits never explaining why.
They tried to work me but I ask too many questions am annoying when it comes to someone trying to skimp on the facts, but at the same time want me to join something. When they began to pass out a paper to write your name and address down I left. I felt bad but I left, and suffice to say I only spoke to her a few times after that but I can guarantee you she didn't get rich or even make a decent salary if she made one at all.

More recently I just met a young man were I work who also got scammed into believing Primerica's rhetoric. He's a nice young man and I have since emailed him this site. It amazes me how in talking with him he sounds robotic when trying to recruit. You can tell he doesn't have a lot of money he comes in and buys the cheapest cigars 3 for a $1. He talks about one day he's going to be like the top executives, he's been to one of the executives houses--which like ANNA (primerica rep) said in her rebuttal it's big and wonderful and this guys got it made.

I question why Primerica unlike many other reputable companies must emphasize the earnings and material things of their so-called big execs. If you have a well functioning honest company you wouldn't have to do that the results would speak for themselves. Am sure the execs at American Express, FedEx, or any other big reputable company would not and do not-- do that with their new employees. It seems like waving these materialistic ideals in the face of candidates and employees keeps the stars in their eyes. Just like the young man I met and again it breaks my heart, why--why--why is it that every time I meet someone who is working with, through (whatever you might call it) Primerica They are ALWAYS poor, down and out or struggling at the moment. Like my friend they got to her during a vulnerable period, and like the young man I just met he dresses very poorly and he's not even articulate. Why don't they recruit college graduates, or hang out at the universities. It seems like they single out the people with stars in their eyes, and not enough choices.
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#11 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Responding to Anna (Birmingham)

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

You're asking how the individual from Alabama was ripped off.

Although his report wasn't detailed enough, on the basis of many other reports here and other websites, just the fact that many were baited with promises of a salaried job is a ripoff because a jobseeker's time was wasted (Crimerica though has done far worse than this).

"Pyramid scheme? No." Here we disagree and you're also in disagreement with Crimerica because they say at their metamorphosis website that they're "pyramid-like."
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#12 Consumer Comment

How were you ripped off, exactly?

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

So you were invited to a group presentation for a company, you attended, and you were unimpressed, maybe even a little insulted that you were invited in the first place. How were you ripped off?

Now, Primerica does have the makings of a ripoff. I have heard from people who worked as reps for Primerica for years and have become among the best salespeople in their respective offices, yet still didn't make enough money to even get by, going into substantial debt. Sales is, for some, a very high-income field, and a person who is good in sales should make a fabulous amount of money, so yes, this is a ripoff.

In addition, I once met a couple who invested $3000 in a mutual fund with Primerica after being promised a 30% annual return. Two months later their investment was worth $800. I advised them to file a report with the Alabama Department of Insurance. I also met another couple who were sold a term life policy by Primerica and told it was whole life. When their policies expired, they were in too poor health to renew them. Yes, that is a ripoff.

On the flip side, I have also met a manager who claimed to make a six figure income with Primerica. (I have seen his house, and unless he married well I don't think he was lying.) I also have a close friend who has made all of her high-risk investments (about $250k) with Primerica, and she does not have any complaints.

Like every other large insurance company or brokerage firm, Primerica has good agents and bad agents, good offices and bad offices. With all fairness, I have heard more bad news about Primerica than good, and therefore would never have any dealings with them. But that's just me.

Pyramid scheme? No. To sell insurance in Alabama, you need a license- which costs about $200 to get and is usually handled by the hiring company. I would be willing to bet that is what the fee is for. It is also common for companies to offer recruitment bonuses.

Many large and respectable sales-based companies do not require college degrees for employment, though many of their employees have them. This brings in many intelligent and motivated agents who merely want to be given a chance to prove themselves.

I
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