• Report: #26306

Complaint Review: Scott Smith- American Income Life Insurance Company

  • Submitted: Wed, August 07, 2002
  • Updated: Sat, February 12, 2005

  • Reported By:Oak Forest Il
Scott Smith- American Income Life Insurance Company
900 Frontage Rd., Bldg. 1, #105 Woodridge, Illinois U.S.A.

Scott Smith American Income Life Insurance Company ripoff cheated employees out of bonuses Woodridge Illinois

Rip-off Report Investigation: American Income Life / National Income Life join Rip-off Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program and submit to independent investigation. American Income Life / National Income Life pledges to resolve all legitimate complaints and address any issues from the past, present and in the future. Waco Texas, Nationwide

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: d**n AIL...

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: d**n it feels good to do the ripping off... =)

*Consumer Comment: in response to tim from rochester

*Consumer Comment: in response to tim from rochester

*Consumer Comment: in response to tim from rochester

*Consumer Comment: in response to tim from rochester

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: John, keep reading

*Consumer Comment: Posted a resume on Monster and was contacted by American Income.

*UPDATE Employee: Besides ripping off bonus checks and renewal checks, they regularly back date terminations so as not to pay as much health care insurance.

*UPDATE Employee: Sue them, it works. Who can't afford what?

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I began working for American Income Life in November of 2001. I trained as an insurance agent but was told there were management possibilities after 6 months. We were not paid while training and after training we were considered independant contractors.

By January, I was unable to meet my bills on my commission only income. I have a family to take care of and I needed a more consistant income. During the month of January I had made enough in sales to qualify for the bonus of $450.00. This was around the same time that I had talked to Jose Sanchez, my imediate manager, about not being able to pay my bills and needing to find a more dependable income.

Many times during my time there I was encouraged to hold out and try to make it work until the 6 month point, even encouraged to live off of my credit cards because after 6 months, when management was a possibility, I would be making a lot of money.

Our paychecks came out on Mondays but bonus checks were held until Fridays so they could be presented in front of the whole office at the Friday meetings. I had told Jose that I needed to leave before Friday so I could start a new job and then there wouldn't be a lapse in my income, but that if that meant I wouldn't get my bonus check that I would stay until Friday to get the check in hand. He assured me that the checks were already in and that mine would be mailed to me.

Friday came and went with no check. I tried contacting Jose and he was not answering his office or cell phone. Conveniantly they both have caller id on them.

I was finally able to get in touch with Jose and was told that he was going to have to talk to Scott Smith about it. All in all after a few phone calls and a few different stories as to why, I was told I wasn't going to receive my bonus because I no longer worked there. Even though I did at the time the checks were in.

I contacted a lawyer and was told it would be best to go through the labor board. I called Jose back and told him I had spoken to a lawyer and that what they had done was not legal. He told me to call Scott Smith directly since he handled the bonuses. I was told to call at 9am the next day.

Not surprisingly, when I called the next morning, Scott Smith was out of town for 3 days. I left a message which was of course, never returned.

I happened to receive a questionarre from AIL headquarters wanting to know about my experience with AIL. They had me as being employed until Feb. 22nd. The date of the bonus check in question was to be given out Feb. 8th. So Lisa LaValley, who had sent the questionarre, contacted me and said she was looking into the matter.

She sent a letter stating she had spoken to Scott Smith and that it is not in his agencies practice to give out bonus checks to TERMINATED agents. I was not terminated, I chose to leave. She also said that Scott Smith said I was told to contact him about it and he remembers no such contact. She told me to direct any further questions to Scott Smith. So corperate headquarters was willing to look the other way about their agencies stealing money from their agents.

So the next day, I again attempted to contact Scott Smith. This time I was able to reach him. He told me in no uncertain terms that the only reason I would not receive my bonus was because I no longer worked there. That if I chose to come back and work there ,I could get my bonus. He also told me I could contact the union that we belong to as agents because this kind of thing happens all the time. So they have apparently screwed a lot of ex agents out of their rightfully earned money! And sadly have been allowed to get away with it. We weren't compensated while training, we weren't reimbursed for gas or mileage, which was over 100 miles a day average, and we had to pay for using the phone room that I hardly ever used.

The labor board dismissed my claim because I was an independant contractor and not an employee, corperate headquarters has turned away, Scott Smith himself admitted that he just wasn't going to give it because I quit. So please if you read this and are an ex agent or have also been screwed by American Income Life in some way please respond or write a report too.

I have also contacted Channel 2 Problem Solvers, and Target 5 Reports. I know it is not a lot of money but that is wy they get away with it because it isn't enough to be worth hiring a lawyer over. It really is about the principle now not the money. I'm sure they have continued to do this to new agents, turn over is very high already.

And if they are willing to screw their own agents then what would stop them from screwing their clients too? I know their practice is to put people on a guilt trip about if they die then what will they be leaving their families and that they owe it to their families to protect them in the event of their untimely demise. I just wasn't able to pressure people into buying something they couldn't afford ,as was the case with many of the homes I was sent to.

Scott
Oak Forest, Illinois

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/07/2002 10:46 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Scott-Smith-American-Income-Life-Insurance-Company/Woodridge-Illinois-60517/Scott-Smith-American-Income-Life-Insurance-Company-ripoff-cheated-employees-out-of-bonuses-26306. 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 UPDATE EX-employee responds

d**n AIL...

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

d**n AIL. When I thought I was winning... I just did my taxes from AIL. I grossed $1500 during my time at AIL. I took a hit of -$500. I LOST MONEY!!! This includes milege on the car, leads, office supplies, and business cards. So in actuality...

$1500 (gross) - $2000 (expenses) = -$500(net)

I couldnt believe it. I was completely livid!!! Dont be the next to fall for their scheme.
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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

d**n it feels good to do the ripping off... =)

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

d**n these guys at AIL are some characters. After graduating college, I went and worked at a computer firm. I only made 30K a year and was on my way out anyways. So I began posting my resume on the internet... and I got calls from various computer firms offerning me mid-30s and I turned them all down because I thought I was valued more. Anyways I got a call from Manny P., big intimedating figure but overall pretty cool dude. I went in for an interview, first thing that should have told me this place sucked was, "everyone there was dressed in cheap clothes." Im not talking cheap cheap, but just cheap as in if you make alot of money... you should carry yourself in a more professional manner. I saw this guy with khakis and army boots.

Anyways the interview, Manny told me that the lowest earner last year was someone girl who made 50K. And I asked him why she quit if she made 50K, he said that she moved to another agency. Im like okay because at this poitn I dont know anything about the industry. Training was kind of wack because I never got paid for it. But I was looking at the big picture... 50K, kind of where I wanted to be at.

Then I start selling for AIL. I do really well selling actually... I sold 5800 worth of annuel life premiums. At 40%, they should give me roughly $2300 right? It doesnt work like that. You dont get $40% at all!!! Thats the trick, they only give you 65% of the 40%. So in essence, your only getting 20% of the $5800. So in one month, I made 1200, but I had to pay them $200 for leads. Kind of a rip off if you ask me (I know this now, but back then... I didnt know), AIL should have been helping me sell... instead they were taking money out of my pockets by having me pay for leads. So in one month I made before taxes and other deductions... $1000.

David W. (my General Agent) would continually tell us, "Where are you going to find a job that you make $250 for less than an hours work at?" But I had the nerve to ask him (Im 25 and just out of college so I have alot of balls), "Well its not one hour because I have to drive there, some days I dont make any sales and I work about 12 hours, so in actuality... If I work 50 hours and make 2 sales a week thats really only 2 or 300 dollars. And $100 in gas..." It was funny... I think everyone was shocked I said it, but I didnt care. I would always say things like that to try and see if they would fire me. I was selling for them, so I didnt think they would... if they did... I didnt really care.

Anyways my last week at AIL, by now I stopped going to my appointments because I got a job at the Merc (I got an offer for 45K + bonuses and took it). I was at $5800 of ALP (annual life premium). But the supervising agent and the general agent and everyone else who was making money off of me selling wanting me to make bonus. I had a feeling after reading Scott's ripoff report that when I quit... I probably was not going to get the bonus. If I see that AIL issued me a bonus but was never recieved by me... I will sue. ie They gave it to soemone else (one of the managers).

So the last night that we had to turn in our business to qualify for bonus... I didnt get a sale (nor was I trying). But my cell rings and my GA calls me up and saids meet me at Ohare... I got a couple of people to give you their business so that you can make bonus. I said thats cool... lets do that. So two people (who completely lied to me about everything in the business) gave me their business so that I can make bonus. I was supposed to pay them back... lol. So Tuesday comes, I pick up my check (really their checks). I told them that I would their money for them on Wednesday. I think they knew soemthing was up because they kept askign for the money. I told them to shut up and that I would pay them. I think now they are about to fire me because know one would look at me, but I didnt care... I already had a job in line.

Wednesday comes around... I dont show up. I dont return their calls. Then I call up one of my buddies there and tell him to tell them that I quit. And then... Muhahahaha!!!!!!!! My cell phone rings and rings and rings for weeks. I dont answer or return their calls. One guy came to my house and my dad told them that I wasnt home. lol. My rents didnt want me workign there and are happy I did what I did. It was only $200, if your so rich and making 50K... $200 would be nothing to you. Right now I make 45K, and I give my brother $300 a month because hes in school!!! Its more of the principle to me than it is about $200. They completely misled or better yet lied to me about how much I would make and what I would be doing. I could sell... just be straight with me.

The things that sucked most about AIL...

1. All of the lying... these guys cant tell the truth if their lives depended on it. About how much they make, to the customers, and etc.

2. The travel... REALLY sucked.

3. Protected areas... I was stuck on the southside of Chicago were people didnt value insurance. While my a*****e boss was in Glen Ellyn (a very posh area). Who do you think is going to be successful? I bitched alot about this and all I heard back in return was, "Hey you can sell anywhere if you can sell." I was like how about I sell in Glen Ellyn.

4. Having to pay for leads ($200 a month). Most companies help you get sales by paying leads for you (or contributing at least 50% for your leads)

5. Turnover... here today. Gone today! 90% turnover rate there.

6. Your interested in sellign life insurance... DO NOT go into AIL. Ill break it down. Say your at 50% commission (starting AIL agents start off at a measly 40%, my friend who works for Farmers insurance gets 55% commission starting and gets all of the 55% all at once!!!). Say you make a sale of 500. $250 is what a good company would give you, but AIL only gives you 65% of the 50% so your only going to be recieving $150 on that particular sale. Youll recieve the remaing $100 in 9 months!!! Most people dont last that long... so its doubtful that you will recieve the remaining money that is owed to you.

Say you stick if out for the 9 months, but your retention rate is 68%. You dont qualify to recieve of any the back end money (the money that is owed to you at the 9th month period) that was initually owed to you becuase your retention rate has to be at 70% or better. Kind of sucks eh? Thats why most of the agents that I worked with ONLY cared about the front end money (the money you initially recieved from AIL).

7. AIL is a pyramid scheme. Everyone is making money off of your hard work but you!!!

Lets say that I am an GA (General Agent) and I have 7 people working under me. And all together, they generate 28000 worth of ALP (annual life premium). I get 10% of that (15-20% if some of those agents have only been there for 3 months or less). I didnt lift a finger and made at least 2800 this month off of you... sucker! And if one of two of my agents made bonus... thats another $400 a piece that I made off of you!!!

Okay... you tell yourself, "Hey! Im going to work my butt off so that I can be on top makign money off of everyone." Ummmm... if you only knew. There was a guy at AIL who was there 2 years and was not even an SA (supervising agent). He kept telling me, "Im not quitting no matter what." Hes chasing a pipe dream, and so will you. The people who are on top... will stay on top. Your not going anywhere. The people who were on top were wives who promoted their husbands... best friends who promoted each other... and etc. You gotta have some type of MAJOR connection to get to the top... or else youll be just ANOTHER agent.

PS
Thanks Scott!
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#3 Consumer Comment

in response to tim from rochester

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

you're absolutely right, if you try to find an agent that has been there for more than two years and not gotten promoted to management you won't...because hey have very specific promotion requrements and most peple aren't classified as just an 'agent' after about two months because they got promoted...I didn't realize that a company where there was a lot of growth opportunity was something to shy away from.
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#4 Consumer Comment

in response to tim from rochester

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

you're absolutely right, if you try to find an agent that has been there for more than two years and not gotten promoted to management you won't...because hey have very specific promotion requrements and most peple aren't classified as just an 'agent' after about two months because they got promoted...I didn't realize that a company where there was a lot of growth opportunity was something to shy away from.
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#5 Consumer Comment

in response to tim from rochester

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

you're absolutely right, if you try to find an agent that has been there for more than two years and not gotten promoted to management you won't...because hey have very specific promotion requrements and most peple aren't classified as just an 'agent' after about two months because they got promoted...I didn't realize that a company where there was a lot of growth opportunity was something to shy away from.
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#6 Consumer Comment

in response to tim from rochester

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

you're absolutely right, if you try to find an agent that has been there for more than two years and not gotten promoted to management you won't...because hey have very specific promotion requrements and most peple aren't classified as just an 'agent' after about two months because they got promoted...I didn't realize that a company where there was a lot of growth opportunity was something to shy away from.
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#7 UPDATE EX-employee responds

John, keep reading

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

If you are not sure it means you have not read enough, post another monster resume with any type of experience and they will contact you on that one also. It is their full time job to recruit anyone dumb enough to come in for an interview, 5 minutes first interview then they ask you back for a second (interview) that is really a collection of how ever many gullable people (group interview)they could gather up that week and tell you what you want to hear, you may be perfect management material capable of starting at 60,000-80,000 per year. Lets guess they sucker 20 into that meeting and 17 realize it is a scam, they still have 3 potential suckers to ask back a third and final time. Ask what their national agent retention is for the first full year. 9%. Are you better than 91% of everyone? Why do you think they leave the word insurance out when they answer the phone American Income? It is one diception after another. Ask if the second interview is a group interview. Ask if there is a base pay or is it commision only plus the possiblity someday of adding partial health care benefits to you commision only job. If the person says they can't answer your specific questions on the phone remember that is also part of the script. Ask the supervisor to call you back with the answers to those questions, he will not. What are they hiding? Most of their recruits can earn more money delivering pizza. They also keep the pizza job longer. If you like being lied to carry a recorder with you. If you like fairy tails you can listen to this over and over.If they had any real hope that you had any possible chance ofearning a living they would at least pay you minimm wage while training and buy lunch. Remember the guys on the bottom are supposed to be earning at least 60-80K per year so they easily could afford to pay their new hires at least $5 per hour without a sweat. I watched about 150 agents come and go in one year and most never made 30,000 for working 7 days every week (80-90 hours) and spending $20-30 day in gas, wearing out their cars, driving 1000-1500 miles per week and paying their own motel bills. Most spend more than they earn. Why do you think they are constanty recruiting? Most don't last 3 months and many just about 2 weeks. If it sound to good to be true it probably is. Any real good job posts a job in the paper and waits for people to call them and send in resumes. Have you ever hear of a good company that spends all day calling people about jobs they never applied for? Does it seem odd that a dipatcher job sounds like a perfect match for a commision only sales job of life insurance? Like I said, keep reading. Been there, done that!
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#8 Consumer Comment

Posted a resume on Monster and was contacted by American Income.

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

About a month ago i posted a resume on Monster.com looking for a management/dispatching position. I have worked in the transportation business as a driver for almost 8 years...and from watching and paying attention to how my dispatchers have done things i thought it was time for me to move up...unfortunately the company i work for currently does not have a dispatching position open and will not hire its own ex-drivers as dispatchers...anyhow thats besides the point. I got a phone call today from a company that called itself JUST American Income. Not American Income Insurance. But from what they told me over the phone and what i am reading on here it seems to be the same company. They want me to come in for an interview for a management position...i asked the lady i spoke with on the phone if she READ my resume on Monster...and she said yes!!! So assuming she knew i had no experience in management in any other business besides transportation i asked her if she really wanted to consider me...and she said yes!!! So.....should i go to this interview and be leery of the situation? Or just not go at all and move on?
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#9 UPDATE Employee

Besides ripping off bonus checks and renewal checks, they regularly back date terminations so as not to pay as much health care insurance.

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

The managers get paid more for first year agents and after you complete your first year you get almost no leads until you quit or get fired because you can't make quota. Their answers vary but basically tell you to get referral leads while they continually hire new agents that are 1st year agents and collect the renewals on the business that was written by the ex- agents. 9% of the agents last one full year. Try to find an agent that has been there for 2 years or more that did not join the management full of liars, they are few and far between. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Their interview process sounds too good to be true and their job is for fools who want to work 7 days a week for about a year or less. Take it from a fool that learned the hard way.
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#10 UPDATE Employee

Sue them, it works. Who can't afford what?

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

I would recommend you sue in small claims court. Simply go down to court house, pay them $75 and give a brief explination to the charge. First fax your filing to Scott Smith, he will probably write you a check on the spot.

Otherwise, as long as you have your paperwork in order and can prove the money is owed, then take the sob to court...not the money, the principal, right?

As to selling to people who 'can't afford it'...so you're saying that they *can* afford a $10,000 funeral? They *can* afford to miss work because of an accident? Look around those homes; is that a 'Dish' on the roof? Is that a 48" TV in that trailer? Most anyone holding a union job can afford $1 a day for a basic plan...

I've seen some crumby homes, but there's usually some indication as to where the money is prioritised; bass boat, new truck, hunting equip., alchohol, furniture, sterio, ect...every family needs *some* life insurance and $1 a day is not much $ for the type of protection that everyone needs.
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