• Report: #79691

Complaint Review: Primerica

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  • Submitted: Sun, February 08, 2004
  • Updated: Sun, June 19, 2005

  • Reported By:Marietta GA
Primerica
3120 Breckinridge Blvd. Duluth, Georgia U.S.A.

Primerica ripoff Very important about your PC They are 20th century's MOBSTERS. Duluth Georgia
*UPDATE: Primerica gets a POSITIVE rating from Rip-off Report in customer support & satisfaction. Primerica pledges to resolve complaints from the past, present and in the future, and give 100% commitment to customer service-say Company Executives!

*Consumer Comment: Postscript on commissions - the fine print indicates that they're only out for themselves

*Consumer Comment: Kudos, Mike - Primerica has no interest in ensuring that it's recruits will ever meet with any level of sucess. this is a numbers game for them!

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: A liitle more information Michael (Wilmington) - What seems to make Primerica special is that there is no time limit as to when a chargeback can occur

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: A liitle more information Michael (Wilmington) - What seems to make Primerica special is that there is no time limit as to when a chargeback can occur

*Consumer Comment: Read the contract before signing; question everything

*Consumer Comment: Read the contract before signing; question everything

*Consumer Comment: Read the contract before signing; question everything

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Just Amazing. they think they're escaping corporate America

*Consumer Comment: Citigroup is not dropping Primerica, some of you misread statement!

*Consumer Suggestion: You assume primerica is legit just because the federal regulators don't object to it?

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Mobsters? You're kidding, right??

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: rebutting Kelly (Kansas City)

*UPDATE Employee: Every regulator in every state has approved Primerica AND its individuals just like every other company.

*UPDATE Employee: Open Your Eyes!

*Consumer Comment: Basic Reading Comprehension

*Consumer Comment: Basic Math

*Consumer Comment: Citigroup is corrupt and it trickles down to Primerica

*Consumer Comment: not true, Citigroup did not get rid of Primerica

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: christy, You are brain washed

*UPDATE Employee: Do you have all of your information????

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If you access these vebsites: primerica, citigroup, Solomon Smith Barney, travelers, PFS-canada, National Benefit life insurance company, callatlanta, American capital, or any sites related to those companies and their affiliated companies, YOUR PC will be INFECTED by their nasty SPYWEAR. I was told by an insider that they have a group of 12 or more people doing nothing but creating, enhancing, and upgrading the spywear. They are 20th century's MOBSTERS.

Ellen
Duluth, Georgia
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/08/2004 06:53 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Primerica/Duluth-Georgia-300990001/Primerica-ripoff-Very-important-about-your-PC-They-are-20th-centurys-MOBSTERS-Duluth-Geo-79691. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

Postscript on commissions - the fine print indicates that they're only out for themselves

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

Stuart - Thanks for your response. Clearly there was a lot that wasn't explained to me, for reasons which are obvious. I did notice a clause in one of the contracts that stated (roughly) that all commissions were subject to repayment at any time, which matches what you've said.

Timothy - Thank you, too, for reinforcement. In spite of what Primerica says about wanting to help people make a better life for themselves -- whether as clients or agents -- the fine print indicates that they're only out for themselves. I can't speak to your accuracy on the issue of debt and life insurance, but if you are challenged I wouldn't even bother trying to answer: I imagine some Primerica agents will quibble over details because they can't, won't, or aren't allowed to speak to the Big Picture.

I'm really glad to have found this thread/report because it was a huge help in avoiding a pitfall. While I probably would have noticed the contractual oddities on my own, this discussion helped me to put some of the puzzle pieces together -- and so realize which parts of the picture were missing!
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#2 Consumer Comment

Kudos, Mike - Primerica has no interest in ensuring that it's recruits will ever meet with any level of sucess. this is a numbers game for them!

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

Bravo, Micheael. You couldn't have hit the nail much harder on the head:

"Primerica benefits from every sale I make; if I fail miserably, I still owe Primerica. Either way, they win."

That is the very root of the problem. Primerica has no interest in ensuring that it's recruits will ever meet with any level of sucess. Primerica has a HUGE interest in bringing as many recruits in as possible. It's the basis of their whole marketing plan: quanitity, rather than quality, of sales agents.

Take a well-known competitor company (whose name I won't mention). If they hire you on, they pay for your training, set you up in a location of your own, and give you a base pay for a while. But, if you don't produce, you're out the door.

That's because this company, like most other financial services companies, looks for select, quality agents. They are willing to make personal investments because they realize that a good proportion of agents will succeed personally and thus the company will recoup its investments. But, if you aren't bringing in enough business to cover the costs (to the company) of your operation, the company simply can't keep you on board.

Primerica, on the other hand, invests NOTHING in new recruits. If the recruit fails, Primerica loses nothing. In fact, with the "loan" character of initial comissions, Primerica actually GAINS when you fail: they just made a few non-commissioned sales! If you succeed, they will actually have to pay you, but if you fail, they don't!

It's one hell of a business plan, but it results in deplorable exploitation. When there is no risk of loss involved with a new recruit, the company has NO motivation to ensure that it only brings in people who actually might succeed. The result is that the system brings in a lot of people who will never succeed, and those who actually are cut out for the job must compete for markets with the doomed, so their chances of success are greatly reduced as well.

But it makes no difference to the company. In fact, this system works out great for the company. They have created their own unnatural market of "recruits" and "warm leads." Within this market there is no assurance that the agents are at all capable of doing their jobs. Also, the products are not gauged for their true value, but rather are sold out of sympathy or trust because they are being hawked by loved ones.

Add to the fire the fact that Primerica agents are captive and can only offer certain lines of prducts, all with the same underlying financial philosophies: "term is always better than whole; no debt is always better than indebtedness." Neither of those statements are correct: there is little actual economic difference between term and whole, and many people are better off with whole (concededly, however, MOST people are better off with term).

A financial plan that includes well-managed debt on favorable terms is economically preferable to a financial plan that involves no debt.

The Primerica plans are easily hawked to the non-financially savvy, but they are also easily attacked by educated specialists. Thus, there is a good chance that a competitor agent will take your client out of his Primerica plan down the road. And, as has been stated, you're on the hook for the commission loss.

It all adds up to a bad deal for the vast majority of agents.

I'm sure I'll be challenged on my assertions per life insurance and debt. I can't wait. Arguing economics with Primerica agents is like shooting fish in a barrell.
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#3 UPDATE EX-employee responds

A liitle more information Michael (Wilmington) - What seems to make Primerica special is that there is no time limit as to when a chargeback can occur

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

Where Michael says:

"The alarming piece of the contract(s) had to do with the commissions earned during the training process -- that is, prior to a new rep having obtained her correct licenses. Until a person has the license, legally she can't sell Primerica products; and thus, legally, cannot earn commission on those products as such. This makes sense. But... if this is the case, what about the "commissions" earned by trainees?

Turns out those are "advances" -- loans, really -- which must be paid back to Primerica. It's not "pay" in the traditional you-get-to-keep-it sense. If you stay with the company and become a fully-licensed rep, presumably these loans are paid back out of your real commissions; if you leave the company, it appears that Primerica can collect on the entire outstanding loan balance. I don't know about you, but I've never had a job where I started off immediately by *owing* the company money."

Apparently it wasn't explained to you either that
your commission can be charged back for a policy cancellation. In sales chargebacks aren't unusual. What seems to make Primerica special is that there is no time limit as to when a chargeback can occur (from examining Primerica's website close to half of all policies get cancelled by the customer). It appears that Primerica doesn't want to take responsibility for servicing the customer after the sale is made preferring to take it out on its
agents.
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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

A liitle more information Michael (Wilmington) - What seems to make Primerica special is that there is no time limit as to when a chargeback can occur

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

Where Michael says:

"The alarming piece of the contract(s) had to do with the commissions earned during the training process -- that is, prior to a new rep having obtained her correct licenses. Until a person has the license, legally she can't sell Primerica products; and thus, legally, cannot earn commission on those products as such. This makes sense. But... if this is the case, what about the "commissions" earned by trainees?

Turns out those are "advances" -- loans, really -- which must be paid back to Primerica. It's not "pay" in the traditional you-get-to-keep-it sense. If you stay with the company and become a fully-licensed rep, presumably these loans are paid back out of your real commissions; if you leave the company, it appears that Primerica can collect on the entire outstanding loan balance. I don't know about you, but I've never had a job where I started off immediately by *owing* the company money."

Apparently it wasn't explained to you either that
your commission can be charged back for a policy cancellation. In sales chargebacks aren't unusual. What seems to make Primerica special is that there is no time limit as to when a chargeback can occur (from examining Primerica's website close to half of all policies get cancelled by the customer). It appears that Primerica doesn't want to take responsibility for servicing the customer after the sale is made preferring to take it out on its
agents.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Read the contract before signing; question everything

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

I'm posting this summary of my experiences with Primerica, in the event that this will be helpful to someone considering whether to join this company.

I was recently approached by a Primerica rep/recruiter about becoming an independent Primerica rep myself. After due consideration, I declined to get involved -- partly because some of the comments I've read in these rip-off reports rang true, but because mainly my own intuition warned me off: there was something they weren't telling me, and I figured out what it was.

I picked up the signs that something wasn't quite right from the beginning. The recruiter claimed to have seen my resume on-line; when I asked which version (I have several tailored to different types of jobs), I could almost hear his mind racing (stalling?) over the telephone... but in the spirit of "it never hurts me to learn something" (so long as I'm not signing anything!) I met with him over coffee. He described the basic set-up, and invited me to attend an informational seminar a few weeks later, which I did.

The seminar was interesting, but focussed far too much on the company structure and how reps could make money by moving up (or creating, as it were) the company ladder. It seemed that the primary purpose of the presentation was to appeal to my desire for more money, more income; little time was given to Primerica products and the types of clients Primerica seeks to serve. Since I was motivated by the desire to *help* people -- and since this *was* the main part of the job (wasn't it?) -- I would have liked to hear more about this aspect. I had also expected to learn more about the training and licensing process by which a "recruit" becomes a fully-licensed, independent rep. Sure, I asked questions, but after sitting through a 2-hr seminar that began at 7:30 PM -- about 20 min late, ostensibly because all the reps had been involved in signing a lease on a new office in the area -- I wasn't in a frame of mind to pursue too many lines of thought just then.

Curious thing about the presentation: a number of Primerica reps were there, and many of them made noises of surprise, awe and positive comments throughout the presentation -- AS IF none of them had ever heard this information before. But of course they had; some of them had just made part of the presentation. They weren't saying "Amen" at appointed moments (as someone else here, or in a related report, remarked) but they may as well have done. In retrospect, this is downright eerie.

I met with my recruiter the following week, and posed several questions about the training and licensing process. A key question was how much commission a trainee earns by accompanying another rep on a sales call. I assumed it would be less than an independent rep, but was surprised to learn that the trainee gets as much commission as the fully-licensed rep. I asked who pays this commission, and he told me that citigroup did; from here he launched into a description of the commission structure. (Notice the change of topic?) When we parted, I took with me a copy of the IBA (Independent Business Application) -- a combined application/contract to "get me started". I told the recruiter I'd be in touch once I'd had time to read it thoroughly (there's a lot of fine print).

Some of what I saw in that fine print concerned me; some of it alarmed me. The "Basic Agreement" contains references to other guidelines, policies, manuals and the like, none of which I had access to. Yet by signing I would be agreeing to abide by, and be governed by, those policies! Who in her right mind would agree to that? I mean, for all I know those policies state that 50% of my commissions must be used to purchase, or invest in, Primerica products; or that I am obligated to buy certain types of office equipment, business accessories, and so on. Furthermore, their ethical guidelines contain a non-discrimination clause, which is great; but it says nothing about non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. And *this* is a forward-thinking company of the 21st-century, a new business model? Hmmm.

The alarming piece of the contract(s) had to do with the commissions earned during the training process -- that is, prior to a new rep having obtained her correct licenses. Until a person has the license, legally she can't sell Primerica products; and thus, legally, cannot earn commission on those products as such. This makes sense. But... if this is the case, what about the "commissions" earned by trainees?

Turns out those are "advances" -- loans, really -- which must be paid back to Primerica. It's not "pay" in the traditional you-get-to-keep-it sense. If you stay with the company and become a fully-licensed rep, presumably these loans are paid back out of your real commissions; if you leave the company, it appears that Primerica can collect on the entire outstanding loan balance. I don't know about you, but I've never had a job where I started off immediately by *owing* the company money.

I'm not necessarily saying this is sinister. One could look at the initial "debt" incurred in becoming a rep as akin to the expense of starting a new business. What bothered me was that neither my recruiter, nor the other reps at the informational seminar, mentioned this fact. I was led to believe that I would be paid for training; I was not told that I would owe that "pay" to Primerica until I had established myself as an independent rep. What I object to is the deceit: I can only guess that the objection is to get me on the hook (owing them money) which is then supposed to motivate me to get out there and pound the pavement, exhausting every personal/warm contact I have in selling their products. Primerica benefits from every sale I make; if I fail miserably, I still owe Primerica. Either way, they win. If the company handles prospective reps this way, can I really believe that I would be expected to deal with clients less ruthlessly?

The bulk of the contracts focus on what I could/could not do if I should ever leave Primerica -- before or after becoming licensed. Some of these protective measure are understandable, but I was at a loss to discover what overall benefit there was to me in signing these contract(s). Yes, they promised to help me get your license, but the contract(s) were a bit fuzzy about exactly what their role was going to be in that.

It reminded me of a literary agent who approached me last summer: on the basis of reading only the first 10-20 pp of my novel, she offered representation. She also charged an annual "retainer", to the tune of $3200 -- and from the contract she sent me, I was hard-pressed to find out what exactly she did that was so extraordinary, as to warrant such a retainer (most reputable lit agents do not charge a retainer; they get paid when the work sells, just like a real estate agent). I didn't sign with her, either.

My overall point is this: before signing up with Primerica, read everything carefully. If you don't understand the fine print, ask a friend or some other person to help you sort it out. Ask the Primerica people questions; the only stupid questions are the ones you don't ask! Listen to their answers -- and listen to *how* they answer. Did they actually answer your question, or divert the discussion in another direction? Do you sense that there's a place they won't go -- something they avoid talking about? If your intuition says "yes", then there probably is.

Primerica may work for some people. Before you sign, be sure that you know how it's going to work for you -- or whether in the grand scheme of things there's any real benefit to you at all. If you really want to get into this kind of business, get your license on your own, then shop around for a company.

Thank you for your attention.
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#6 Consumer Comment

Read the contract before signing; question everything

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

I'm posting this summary of my experiences with Primerica, in the event that this will be helpful to someone considering whether to join this company.

I was recently approached by a Primerica rep/recruiter about becoming an independent Primerica rep myself. After due consideration, I declined to get involved -- partly because some of the comments I've read in these rip-off reports rang true, but because mainly my own intuition warned me off: there was something they weren't telling me, and I figured out what it was.

I picked up the signs that something wasn't quite right from the beginning. The recruiter claimed to have seen my resume on-line; when I asked which version (I have several tailored to different types of jobs), I could almost hear his mind racing (stalling?) over the telephone... but in the spirit of "it never hurts me to learn something" (so long as I'm not signing anything!) I met with him over coffee. He described the basic set-up, and invited me to attend an informational seminar a few weeks later, which I did.

The seminar was interesting, but focussed far too much on the company structure and how reps could make money by moving up (or creating, as it were) the company ladder. It seemed that the primary purpose of the presentation was to appeal to my desire for more money, more income; little time was given to Primerica products and the types of clients Primerica seeks to serve. Since I was motivated by the desire to *help* people -- and since this *was* the main part of the job (wasn't it?) -- I would have liked to hear more about this aspect. I had also expected to learn more about the training and licensing process by which a "recruit" becomes a fully-licensed, independent rep. Sure, I asked questions, but after sitting through a 2-hr seminar that began at 7:30 PM -- about 20 min late, ostensibly because all the reps had been involved in signing a lease on a new office in the area -- I wasn't in a frame of mind to pursue too many lines of thought just then.

Curious thing about the presentation: a number of Primerica reps were there, and many of them made noises of surprise, awe and positive comments throughout the presentation -- AS IF none of them had ever heard this information before. But of course they had; some of them had just made part of the presentation. They weren't saying "Amen" at appointed moments (as someone else here, or in a related report, remarked) but they may as well have done. In retrospect, this is downright eerie.

I met with my recruiter the following week, and posed several questions about the training and licensing process. A key question was how much commission a trainee earns by accompanying another rep on a sales call. I assumed it would be less than an independent rep, but was surprised to learn that the trainee gets as much commission as the fully-licensed rep. I asked who pays this commission, and he told me that citigroup did; from here he launched into a description of the commission structure. (Notice the change of topic?) When we parted, I took with me a copy of the IBA (Independent Business Application) -- a combined application/contract to "get me started". I told the recruiter I'd be in touch once I'd had time to read it thoroughly (there's a lot of fine print).

Some of what I saw in that fine print concerned me; some of it alarmed me. The "Basic Agreement" contains references to other guidelines, policies, manuals and the like, none of which I had access to. Yet by signing I would be agreeing to abide by, and be governed by, those policies! Who in her right mind would agree to that? I mean, for all I know those policies state that 50% of my commissions must be used to purchase, or invest in, Primerica products; or that I am obligated to buy certain types of office equipment, business accessories, and so on. Furthermore, their ethical guidelines contain a non-discrimination clause, which is great; but it says nothing about non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. And *this* is a forward-thinking company of the 21st-century, a new business model? Hmmm.

The alarming piece of the contract(s) had to do with the commissions earned during the training process -- that is, prior to a new rep having obtained her correct licenses. Until a person has the license, legally she can't sell Primerica products; and thus, legally, cannot earn commission on those products as such. This makes sense. But... if this is the case, what about the "commissions" earned by trainees?

Turns out those are "advances" -- loans, really -- which must be paid back to Primerica. It's not "pay" in the traditional you-get-to-keep-it sense. If you stay with the company and become a fully-licensed rep, presumably these loans are paid back out of your real commissions; if you leave the company, it appears that Primerica can collect on the entire outstanding loan balance. I don't know about you, but I've never had a job where I started off immediately by *owing* the company money.

I'm not necessarily saying this is sinister. One could look at the initial "debt" incurred in becoming a rep as akin to the expense of starting a new business. What bothered me was that neither my recruiter, nor the other reps at the informational seminar, mentioned this fact. I was led to believe that I would be paid for training; I was not told that I would owe that "pay" to Primerica until I had established myself as an independent rep. What I object to is the deceit: I can only guess that the objection is to get me on the hook (owing them money) which is then supposed to motivate me to get out there and pound the pavement, exhausting every personal/warm contact I have in selling their products. Primerica benefits from every sale I make; if I fail miserably, I still owe Primerica. Either way, they win. If the company handles prospective reps this way, can I really believe that I would be expected to deal with clients less ruthlessly?

The bulk of the contracts focus on what I could/could not do if I should ever leave Primerica -- before or after becoming licensed. Some of these protective measure are understandable, but I was at a loss to discover what overall benefit there was to me in signing these contract(s). Yes, they promised to help me get your license, but the contract(s) were a bit fuzzy about exactly what their role was going to be in that.

It reminded me of a literary agent who approached me last summer: on the basis of reading only the first 10-20 pp of my novel, she offered representation. She also charged an annual "retainer", to the tune of $3200 -- and from the contract she sent me, I was hard-pressed to find out what exactly she did that was so extraordinary, as to warrant such a retainer (most reputable lit agents do not charge a retainer; they get paid when the work sells, just like a real estate agent). I didn't sign with her, either.

My overall point is this: before signing up with Primerica, read everything carefully. If you don't understand the fine print, ask a friend or some other person to help you sort it out. Ask the Primerica people questions; the only stupid questions are the ones you don't ask! Listen to their answers -- and listen to *how* they answer. Did they actually answer your question, or divert the discussion in another direction? Do you sense that there's a place they won't go -- something they avoid talking about? If your intuition says "yes", then there probably is.

Primerica may work for some people. Before you sign, be sure that you know how it's going to work for you -- or whether in the grand scheme of things there's any real benefit to you at all. If you really want to get into this kind of business, get your license on your own, then shop around for a company.

Thank you for your attention.
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#7 Consumer Comment

Read the contract before signing; question everything

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

I'm posting this summary of my experiences with Primerica, in the event that this will be helpful to someone considering whether to join this company.

I was recently approached by a Primerica rep/recruiter about becoming an independent Primerica rep myself. After due consideration, I declined to get involved -- partly because some of the comments I've read in these rip-off reports rang true, but because mainly my own intuition warned me off: there was something they weren't telling me, and I figured out what it was.

I picked up the signs that something wasn't quite right from the beginning. The recruiter claimed to have seen my resume on-line; when I asked which version (I have several tailored to different types of jobs), I could almost hear his mind racing (stalling?) over the telephone... but in the spirit of "it never hurts me to learn something" (so long as I'm not signing anything!) I met with him over coffee. He described the basic set-up, and invited me to attend an informational seminar a few weeks later, which I did.

The seminar was interesting, but focussed far too much on the company structure and how reps could make money by moving up (or creating, as it were) the company ladder. It seemed that the primary purpose of the presentation was to appeal to my desire for more money, more income; little time was given to Primerica products and the types of clients Primerica seeks to serve. Since I was motivated by the desire to *help* people -- and since this *was* the main part of the job (wasn't it?) -- I would have liked to hear more about this aspect. I had also expected to learn more about the training and licensing process by which a "recruit" becomes a fully-licensed, independent rep. Sure, I asked questions, but after sitting through a 2-hr seminar that began at 7:30 PM -- about 20 min late, ostensibly because all the reps had been involved in signing a lease on a new office in the area -- I wasn't in a frame of mind to pursue too many lines of thought just then.

Curious thing about the presentation: a number of Primerica reps were there, and many of them made noises of surprise, awe and positive comments throughout the presentation -- AS IF none of them had ever heard this information before. But of course they had; some of them had just made part of the presentation. They weren't saying "Amen" at appointed moments (as someone else here, or in a related report, remarked) but they may as well have done. In retrospect, this is downright eerie.

I met with my recruiter the following week, and posed several questions about the training and licensing process. A key question was how much commission a trainee earns by accompanying another rep on a sales call. I assumed it would be less than an independent rep, but was surprised to learn that the trainee gets as much commission as the fully-licensed rep. I asked who pays this commission, and he told me that citigroup did; from here he launched into a description of the commission structure. (Notice the change of topic?) When we parted, I took with me a copy of the IBA (Independent Business Application) -- a combined application/contract to "get me started". I told the recruiter I'd be in touch once I'd had time to read it thoroughly (there's a lot of fine print).

Some of what I saw in that fine print concerned me; some of it alarmed me. The "Basic Agreement" contains references to other guidelines, policies, manuals and the like, none of which I had access to. Yet by signing I would be agreeing to abide by, and be governed by, those policies! Who in her right mind would agree to that? I mean, for all I know those policies state that 50% of my commissions must be used to purchase, or invest in, Primerica products; or that I am obligated to buy certain types of office equipment, business accessories, and so on. Furthermore, their ethical guidelines contain a non-discrimination clause, which is great; but it says nothing about non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. And *this* is a forward-thinking company of the 21st-century, a new business model? Hmmm.

The alarming piece of the contract(s) had to do with the commissions earned during the training process -- that is, prior to a new rep having obtained her correct licenses. Until a person has the license, legally she can't sell Primerica products; and thus, legally, cannot earn commission on those products as such. This makes sense. But... if this is the case, what about the "commissions" earned by trainees?

Turns out those are "advances" -- loans, really -- which must be paid back to Primerica. It's not "pay" in the traditional you-get-to-keep-it sense. If you stay with the company and become a fully-licensed rep, presumably these loans are paid back out of your real commissions; if you leave the company, it appears that Primerica can collect on the entire outstanding loan balance. I don't know about you, but I've never had a job where I started off immediately by *owing* the company money.

I'm not necessarily saying this is sinister. One could look at the initial "debt" incurred in becoming a rep as akin to the expense of starting a new business. What bothered me was that neither my recruiter, nor the other reps at the informational seminar, mentioned this fact. I was led to believe that I would be paid for training; I was not told that I would owe that "pay" to Primerica until I had established myself as an independent rep. What I object to is the deceit: I can only guess that the objection is to get me on the hook (owing them money) which is then supposed to motivate me to get out there and pound the pavement, exhausting every personal/warm contact I have in selling their products. Primerica benefits from every sale I make; if I fail miserably, I still owe Primerica. Either way, they win. If the company handles prospective reps this way, can I really believe that I would be expected to deal with clients less ruthlessly?

The bulk of the contracts focus on what I could/could not do if I should ever leave Primerica -- before or after becoming licensed. Some of these protective measure are understandable, but I was at a loss to discover what overall benefit there was to me in signing these contract(s). Yes, they promised to help me get your license, but the contract(s) were a bit fuzzy about exactly what their role was going to be in that.

It reminded me of a literary agent who approached me last summer: on the basis of reading only the first 10-20 pp of my novel, she offered representation. She also charged an annual "retainer", to the tune of $3200 -- and from the contract she sent me, I was hard-pressed to find out what exactly she did that was so extraordinary, as to warrant such a retainer (most reputable lit agents do not charge a retainer; they get paid when the work sells, just like a real estate agent). I didn't sign with her, either.

My overall point is this: before signing up with Primerica, read everything carefully. If you don't understand the fine print, ask a friend or some other person to help you sort it out. Ask the Primerica people questions; the only stupid questions are the ones you don't ask! Listen to their answers -- and listen to *how* they answer. Did they actually answer your question, or divert the discussion in another direction? Do you sense that there's a place they won't go -- something they avoid talking about? If your intuition says "yes", then there probably is.

Primerica may work for some people. Before you sign, be sure that you know how it's going to work for you -- or whether in the grand scheme of things there's any real benefit to you at all. If you really want to get into this kind of business, get your license on your own, then shop around for a company.

Thank you for your attention.
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#8 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Just Amazing. they think they're escaping corporate America

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

It's just amazing. It will be interesting to see just how this agreement between Citigroup and MetLife pans out and its implications for the Primerica sales force. As one can see by Jennifer's post they're already starting to spin this as a plus for primerican agents.

But this is the way PFS corporate operates. The PFS agents (mostly newbies) like to tout the fact that they are now in business for themselves (which they are) and how they own their own business (which they don't). Aside the fact the PFS home office owns their clients and their recruits, PFS corporate and Citigroup for that matter owns their purse strings and therefore their control.

And they think they're escaping corporate America. I wonder if Citigroup polled all the PFS (owners) and asked them for their input before making their decision. I don't think so, because to Citigroup and PFS corporate the agents are nothing more than cash cows. Metlife realizes this and figures to cash in on the exploitation.

So now all the PFS agents that saw MetLife as the enemy are they now your brothers? And how about all that cash value life insurance MetLife has ruined people's lives with? All is forgiven? Will PFS get to replace all of MetLife's cash value policies? (Fat Chance). If they do I'm sure the PFS corporate will make sure the agents are penalized or don't receive commissions. (It happened with Travelers) so remember PFS agents you heard it here first. How about all the MetLife agents? Are they now to be converted to termites? Will they just welcome he PFS agents with open arms? Will MetLife continue to sell Cash Value Life Insurance? (You Bet). And PFS agents once again will be convinced that this is for your own good. And that the crusade against "cash value" insurance is still intact, just look the other way when its part of our company. Just use the same reasoning that when you go out in the field and talk about the evils of credit card debt unless of course its Citigroup credit card debt. Citigroup debt is not evil its our parent company.

PFS corporate is excellent at spinning things because the masses want to believe they have their best interests involved when it's the exact opposite. PFS corporate will dangle carrots like new products, new commission or pay structures in front of the PFS sales force forever, just to keep you out there pounding the payment, taking rejection and taking all the risk one more night. The carrots are usually announced at some big event like the annual convention or over the private TV network. There will be some bold new announcement complete with brochures etc that will encourage the PFS agents to hit the field with new vigor. All, once again, designed to keep you in the business one more day. Standby, if the deal with MetLife goes through, we may be witnessing the biggest paradigm shift in history.

Regards,
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#9 Consumer Comment

Citigroup is not dropping Primerica, some of you misread statement!

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

Stuart

CITIGROUP ISNT DUMPING PRIMERICA!

You seem to have misread the article, including the title. It says

"MetLife to Acquire Travelers Life & Annuity from Citigroup For $11.5 Billion" (Travelers Life & Annuity is not primerica)

"Citigroup and MetLife, Inc. announced an agreement for the sale of Citigroup's Travelers Life & Annuity, and substantially all of Citigroup's international insurance businesses, to MetLife for $11.5 billion, subject to closing adjustments." (again primerica is not an international insurance business and is not being sold to met life)


"In connection with the transaction, Citigroup and MetLife have entered into ten-year agreements under which MetLife will greatly expand its distribution by making products available through certain Citigroup distribution channels, subject to appropriate suitability and other standards."

(In other words, this means that in addition to met life buying citigroups insurance businesses, met life will also make its products available to consumers through some of citigroups distribution chanels...this means metlife wants to use these chanels in order to make more money by makeing there products more avaiable, and then they go on to list these chanels)

"These channels include Smith Barney, Citibank branches, and Primerica in the U.S., as well as a number of international businesses. Under the terms of the transaction, Citigroup will receive $1.0 to $3.0 billion in MetLife equity securities and the balance in cash, which will result in an after-tax gain of approximately $2 billion, subject to closing adjustments."

(That means met life is paying citigroup so that they can also use primerica and other citi companies to distribute their products)


MetLife may finance the cash portion of the transaction through a combination of cash on hand, debt, mandatory convertible securities and selected asset sales. MetLife's financing plan will depend on market conditions, timing and valuation considerations and the relative attractiveness of funding alternatives. The transaction is expected to close this summer."

(This means met life might not even be able to afford to pay citigroup the 11.5 billion negotiated for the buy out of travelors life and the shared use of citigroups distibutors, ie primerica....but met life wants it so bad they might finance the deal!)

(the link is:http://64.233.161.104/search?q=
cache:6kcR8NGB4iwJ:news.moneycentral.msn.com/
ticker/sigdev.asp%3FSymbol%3DC+primerica
+fined&hl=en&lr=lang_en)

So stuart..Kelly was right...citigroup is not dumping Primerica like a sack of potatos. In fact primerica, along with citi's other distibution companies is sooo highly coveted and sucessfull that met lif is going to pay citi in order to use them. maybe you just wanted to believe primerica was so bad that you only ready the words "sell" and "Primerica".

Primerica may have strange recruiting practices...but how else would they be so sucessfull? they sell millions of insurance policies and are constantly funneling more and more money to be invested in cigroups banks. Yeah they want recruits..the more people selling policies and opening investment accounts, the more sucessful they are at their job...which is to distribute these financial and insurance products offered by citigroup. The only reason I am even on here was because my personal financial advisor is a primerica agent and has been for the last seven years, she told me when I first asked questions about the banks credibility and relationship with primerica that her word would be meaningless and that if I did some research I would find out how credible they were...she said, even if you go to rip off report.com you will find hundreds of negative postings about primerica, but nobody complaining has a sound claim. She was right, I have searched for hours on this site in particular and have found nothing credible from any of you complainers/bashers. As a new client of primerica, I have recieved a great financial plan which includes a retirement, education savings, and a money market account for my shortterm dreams and goals. In addition they showed me how I could get out of debt in 2 years in their "s****..
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#10 Consumer Suggestion

You assume primerica is legit just because the federal regulators don't object to it?

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

Scams like primerica go on right under their noses, year in and year out.

They either don't know. Don't care. Aren't smart enough to figure it out. Or, choose not to take on a giant like citi.

Pick one.

Back in the 80's a crook called Charles Keating started a savings and loan scam. Or rather, he bought an existing company called Lincoln Savings and Loan.

It didn't take him long to start stealing either. After all, that's what his whole career consisted of.

So, this d**n crook, who was an elderly man himself, went about stealing from other elderly people.

He convinced them to trade in federally insured bonds for his high-risk stock in his savings and loan company.

Then, to top it off, the stupid a*****e took millions of dollars and spent it making a trump tower hotel in the middle of the Arizona desert.

Finally, the whole mess collapsed. Billions of dollars were gone. People lost their life savings. There were suicides over it.

The d**n crook? He did a short time in a country club. Vowing he was innocent the whole time.

Where were these regulators then? A few spoke up while the problem was just getting started. But, they were told to shut the hell up and keep off Keating.

You see, Keating bought federal whores. John Glenn, the astronaut. A f**kin astronaut! Went into outer space. Made a name for himself. Did honorable things.

But, the minute he hooked up in the government that was all gone. He became a w***e. And, a cheap one at that. Keating bought his a*s for a lousy five grand.

So, you see, the government absolutely will not step in and stop a fraud. All the fraud has to do is spend a few bucks.

You think the SEC will keep your investments safe and sound? Boy, are you a babe in the woods!

You think the FDA will keep dangerous drugs off the market? You better go back and re-read that list of side effects again pal!

You think the DOT will keep unsafe trucking companies from killing you and your family out on the highways? Just ask some of the Parents against Tired Truckers who have had loved ones horribly maimed or killed how effective the government is.

I got news for everyone. You're on your own. It's up to you to spot and avoid the frauds like primerica. If you wait for the feds to save you, you'll die in the poorhouse. Dead broke.

I'll be honest with you. This site is the best chance you got. You better hope it stays up. This is about the only place I know where you can find out the truth before a crook like primerica gets their hands on your money.
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#11 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Mobsters? You're kidding, right??

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

I was involved with Primerica for a few years in the mid-to-late 90's. Though in the end it did not work for me, I saw overwhelming evidence that it did work well for others. I never met anyone successful that did not work hard to get to where they were in the company. As a former representative of the company, with no ax to grind, I feel I can effectively speak to this issue.

Ethics were a common discussion, and all of us had to pass the same exams to obtain the same licenses that agents for competing companys did. We were subject to the same regulations and laws as everyone else. Training on ethical procedures and standards was constant.

During my time with PFS I met many people from many walks of life, some with college degrees, others without - but I met no unintelligent, disreputable, dishonest or lazy people.

Primerica did not work for me because in the end I was not willing to leave a business that I loved, even though the financial potential was not as great. Eventually I found doing Primerica part time unfufilling, and a distraction from being my best at my chosen profession. Business philosiphies differ from company to company, just as in individuals. I am not maintaining that Primerica is superior to all other financial institutions. Primerica's philosiphies may not appeal to everyone.

Also, I have no doubt that there have been some individuals who have not represented the company and its many associates well. There have been decisions made, some at the very top, that should not have been made. However, Primerica is hardly alone in this.

This does not mean that Primerica and its associates are all unethical, and to call them "mobsters" is irresponsible. It is definitely a disservice to the many hard-working, well meaning individuals representing a company that is, by any objective standard, a quality company offering quality products. However, the real strength of PFS is not the products but its people. They are among some of the best I have ever worked with.
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#12 UPDATE EX-employee responds

rebutting Kelly (Kansas City)

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

Kelly says:

"not true, Citigroup did not get rid of Primerica..."

Sorry to wake you up Kelly. Please check out the
following post which I did on 4/17/2005 which
announces:

"MetLife to Acquire Travelers Life & Annuity from Citigroup For $11.5 Billion

January 31, 2005

Citigroup and MetLife, Inc. announced an agreement for the sale of Citigroup's Travelers Life & Annuity, and substantially all of Citigroup's international insurance businesses, to MetLife for $11.5 billion, subject to closing adjustments. In connection with the transaction, Citigroup and MetLife have entered into ten-year agreements under which MetLife will greatly expand its distribution by making products available through certain Citigroup distribution channels, subject to appropriate suitability and other standards. These channels include Smith Barney, Citibank branches, and Primerica in the U.S., as well as a number of international businesses. Under the terms of the transaction, Citigroup will receive $1.0 to $3.0 billion in MetLife equity securities and the balance in cash, which will result in an after-tax gain of approximately $2 billion, subject to closing adjustments. MetLife may finance the cash portion of the transaction through a combination of cash on hand, debt, mandatory convertible securities and selected asset sales. MetLife's financing plan will depend on market conditions, timing and valuation considerations and the relative attractiveness of funding alternatives. The transaction is expected to close this summer."

Citigroup is dumping Primerica like a sack of potatos which is expected to happen this summer.
(the link is:

http://64.233.161.104/search?q=
cache:6kcR8NGB4iwJ:news.moneycentral.msn.com/
ticker/sigdev.asp%3FSymbol%3DC+primerica
+fined&hl=en&lr=lang_en)

(unfortunately for Janet from Garland, Smith Barney is part of this transaction so maybe the
only positive thing I can say for Janet is that
you won't see an umbrella after the summertime and I hope a little more sunshine comes into your life).
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#13 UPDATE Employee

Every regulator in every state has approved Primerica AND its individuals just like every other company.

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

Let me tell you all a little story. There are 50 States in America. Each state has an Insurance, Mortgage and Ivestment REGULATORY body. Each of these Governmental Bodies has staff that work 8 hours per day, 5 days per week. There are also millions and millions of dollars spent every year to pay people who have ONLY one reason for their job -- to make sure that companies in the Financial Industry - PRIMERICA being one of them - have done what is right in the past, do what is right in the present and have systems in place to continue doing what is right in the future.

Every regulator in every state has approved Primerica AND its individuals just like every other company. ALSO there are Federal Regulators in addition to the state regulators which overlook and have approved PRIMERICA to do business. Again the employees only job is to make sure a company, Primerica being one, is upstanding and holding all best practices...for example the N.A.S.D. and the S.E.C. which all rigorously look after the practices of Primerica and approve their independent contractors....so my question is this as the story concludes.

What do all the POSTERS on this website and every other website know - that 3 regulating bodies multiplied by 50 states, all of their employees, who specialize in making sure Primerica is upstanding, the N.A.S.D, the S.E.C. and numerous other watchdog groups, and millions of dollars NOT know about?

Do you really think Primerica has all the regulators fooled? Do you think they have the N.A.S.D. fooled too? Do you think they have the S.E.C. fooled too? How about 50 state insurance comissioners? They are all fooled as well? AND 50 state mortgage regulators - they are fooled too I suppose? Every state approves Primerica and its people, year after year after year after year. These posts are ridiculous. America is wonderful for 'Freedom of Speech' - Opinion or FACT...but too many WRONG opinions on these sites.

Do your own research with those that know. Anything can be written on the internet...even this post so I challange you to check with those in the know. Take advice from people that are in positions you are trying to achieve...not those who have failed at their businesses and finances - it's funny who those who have lost at something are the ones offering all the advise. And then the advice turns into vindictive posts.

Do over 100,000 people work as a part of Primerica? Yes. Have a few of them done things that could have been handled better, even much better in some cases - YES! Things can always be better, however those people have been updated, educated or terminated if needed - and quickly.

1% of people in this world may not be doing what they should ---- YES EVEN IN YOUR COMPANY THAT YOU WORK AT NOW --- However I won't blanket 'you' into the 'bad apple bucket' AND your whole company because I'm sure the company would fix the issues. GET THE POINT?

Go ask compliance , go ask the regulators -- go check the facts, not my opinion or any other on this post - if you care too :-). The truth has, is and always will win and Primerica according the A.M. Best in their publication a few years back is, QUOTE, " A role model for the industry "...just keep looking at the source of your information. N.A.S.D, S.E.C. and 150 regulators should give you a good place to start.
You will see a CLEAN, respectable company making an impact in a differnt way than the normal corporate structure - it is supposed to be different, and Oh, it is working.
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#14 UPDATE Employee

Open Your Eyes!

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

Kristi - Kelly - Jeff:

OPEN YOUR EYES! Primerica is a ripoff, and I thank loved ones in my life for getting me out of this corrupt organization...
I am staying in the finacial sector, as I have begun working with a much better group of people doing the same type of work as Primerica, but with the company supplying the leads, and NOT taking advantage of my friends and family...
Wise Up - and do the right thing!!!

df
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#15 Consumer Comment

Basic Reading Comprehension

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

Dear Jeff,

There are 54 weeks in the year (at least in this current one). So, multiply 80 hrs x 54 wks = 4320 hrs. Divide that into 100,000.00 and you get 23.15. Let's round it off and go with your number and use $25.00 per hour. First of all, at least here in Southern California, that's less than what a school teacher makes. Second, I don't know where you learned how to read, but I did write "IF YOU ADD THE MONEY PEOPLE HAVE TO INVEST TO GET THOSE SIX FIGURES, and you factor in the 70 to 80 hours a week these peopole work, it comes out to about $15.00 an hour." You have to add to the equation the cost of running the business. They have to travel. They don't get paid vacation. They don't get healthcare. They have to attend and pay for seminars, buy books and tapes, and shinny leather cases with the Primerica logo on it (optional). Also, at the branch that I went to, the RVP's all had a "partner" (spouse or fiance) working with them. They called Primerica their "familiy business". If you factor in the hours of that other person, you'll even end up with even less than $15.00/hr.

Going back to the $25.00/hr, if a teacher got a second job and worked the same number of hours as a Primerica RVP, since the teacher doesn't have business expenses and gets benefits, the teacher would make considerably way more money NET than the Primerica RVP.

I understand that, in any business, you have to spend money to make money. My point is, Primarica agents are not making the fortunes they claim they are.

Thanks
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#16 Consumer Comment

Basic Math

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

Hey Manny,
I don't know where you went to school. But putting in 80 hours a week and making six figures would be roughly $25/hour. Just thought you would like to know.
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#17 Consumer Comment

Citigroup is corrupt and it trickles down to Primerica

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

I have attended Primerica meetins. Just like here, Primerica agents burst with pride regarding their relationship with Citigroup. As reported by all three major TV networks, late last summer, Citigroup was fined $120 million dollars by the SEC for their role in the Enron scandal. They helped Enron deceive investors about the economic state of the company.

I would like those Primerica agents who claim to be in Primerica because they want to help people to explain to the rest of us how all those investors who lost their life's savings were helped by your parent company? Obiously Citigroup is more interested in money than in people. This philosophy is shared by Primerica, otherwise Citigroup wouldn't waste time with it.

For those who claim there are people in Primerica making six figures, if you add the money people have to invest to get those six figures, and you factor in the 70 to 80 hours a week these peopole work, it comes out to abut $15.00 an hour.

Thank you for your time.
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#18 Consumer Comment

not true, Citigroup did not get rid of Primerica

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

Citigroup did not get rid of Primerica, they are the srongest marketing arm of the company in terms of cost to Citigroup. If you are going to make such statements, make sure they are true. They have saved my family tons of money
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#19 UPDATE EX-employee responds

christy, You are brain washed

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

PFS is indeed a big ripoff. Either you are one of their paid off goons or simply do not posses any functionning brain cells. Either way, I am very sorry for U. You and your ripoff pfs can shove that six figures up your a*s. If you are really making that much, you are definitly part of that mobsters organization. Primerica does not have stocks of it's own. citigroup last year dumped primerica. Please, stop telling lies. Thank U.
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#20 UPDATE Employee

Do you have all of your information????

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

I have read mnay of these post stating that Primerica is a rip off scam and their websites are carrying spyware. Where are you getting your information. i personally know that if you are contacted by ANY compnay with an offer to make six figures, that is the first thing that draws you in. Did any of these individuals get to know the products or underlining information needed to make those six figures??? I deal with the customers and Servicing representatives on a one on one basis. I see many happy shareholders who are provided with #1 customer service (ranked by Dlabar). Any company is going to have unhappy shareholder who may lose their investment BECAUSE of THE STOCK MARKET. Not Primerica. I know all the sales charger and costs are not primerica. Primerica offers people who are interested in becoming licenced representatives, (many who would not be considered by other companies). This is a chance to have a carreer. Anyone who thought that series 6 and 7 testing was free was greatly mistaken. I deal with Representaives who DO make six figures b/c they work their tails off, and train new recruits to do the same. Money doesn't grow from trees. You have to work for what you got. I see Representative who don't make six figures and use this as a part time job, but are also happy with the chance to be involved in such a great company. Of course people may get calls telling you what a great oppurtunity being a Primerica Representative is. What company doesn't make cold calls to expand their company. If Mutual funds, Life insurance, and superior customer service is not for you, then you are not going to make money. Sorry I had to write this b/c I was searching for another Primerica website and couldn't belive that people who may have lost money or a career oppurtunity was blaming on their lack of knowledge of the product and services provided by Primerica or Citigroup. Thank you for you time and attention.
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