• Report: #395414

Complaint Review: World Financial Group WFG

Thank You

Read how Ripoff Report saves consumers millions.

  • Submitted: Wed, November 26, 2008
  • Updated: Wed, March 04, 2009

  • Reported By:Lynwood California
World Financial Group WFG
201 Continental Blvd Suite 200 El Segundo, California U.S.A.

World Financial Group WFG Life Insurance Scam Pyramid El Segundo California

*UPDATE Employee: NOT A SCAM

*Consumer Comment: Check mate lol lol,

*Author of original report: I'm sorry you feel that way... But I'm right.

*UPDATE Employee: I'm sorry you feel that way...but you're wrong.

*Author of original report: RESPONSE TO QUESTION: DO I THINK LIFE INSURANCE IS A WASTE OF MONEY?

*Consumer Comment: Just one question

What's this?
What's this?
What's this?
Is this
Ripoff Report
About you?
Ripoff Report
A business' first
line of defense
on the Internet.
If your business is
willing to make a
commitment to
customer satisfaction
Click here now..

Does your business have a bad reputation?
Fix it the right way.
Corporate Advocacy Program™

SEO Reputation Management at its best!

Don't fall for this scam like I did. It's very easy to fall in because they usually use one of your friends to get you to join. I've never written one of these reports, but I felt compelled after these people exploited the trust I have with my friend.

I know my report is very long, but I wanted to share many things especially since I got fooled into joining their team.

Everything they say is from a script they have to memorize (I know because they fooled me into joining and they wanted me to read scripts to my friends and loved ones). They had my friend tell me that she had joined a financial services firm and asked if I could help her out with her training. Of course, I said yes. Why wouldn't I, right? By the way, she was reading a script to me.

A little about my friend... She's pretty much my best friend and she's an engineer so I trust she's a smart person. In my mind, she a credible person so I go with it.

So she sets up an appointment with me and wants to meet at my house. She gives me meeting time choices and it's more convenient to meet near work so I meet her at Starbucks.

Before meeting, I'm not really sure what to expect which is part of their plan. They don't let your friend give you any information because they want an experienced salesman to fool you into becoming a client or joining their team.

So I meet, and the trainer tells me my friend is only going to observe and take notes (because she's in training). He starts with a little chit-chat and talks about how my friend said really good things about me (Now, I don't know if she really did, but it's part of their script so he has to say it regardless).

He asks me about my dreams and I am honest about what I want to do. Then he asks me if I can ever achieve my dreams at my current job. I respond "no". On a side note, I am pretty dissatisfied with my job (the kind of people they look for) which made me more vulnerable. After this, he goes through a presentation about what they do (a pretty vague overview), and throughout he asks a few carefully worded questions. Something like "Wouldn't it be nice if you could help families and be compensated in return?". 100% of the responses will be "yes". They word things so that you would seem stupid to say "no" (remember, he's a salesman).

I trust my friend so I go with it. I sign up for $100. They tell me it's to cover a background check.

I show up to one of their Tuesday meetings in El Segundo. They meet every Tuesday at 7PM and every Saturday at 10AM. They meet to do a bunch of motivational stuff. Everybody has these big smiles (maybe they're thinking about all the money they're going to make off of you).

They have a nice office which makes them appear very professional. In addition, everyone there and anyone you invite has to show up preferably in a suit (or at least in a dress shirt and tie).

I show up and meet dozens of people. I'm labeled as a guest so I get tons of attention the first time. They all ask me three things: (1) What I do? (2) Who brought me here? (3) Where I know her from?. I'm an engineer so they start telling me about all these ex-engineers that joined and are very successful in the business. I meet at least 5 people who claim to be engineers and I regret not asking them geeky questions to validate that.

By the way, I show up to a second meeting on Saturday plus a "Fast Start" school. I run into many of the people I met on Tuesday, but they act like they don't remember me. I guess it's because they've already recruited me and don't care. They're structured like a pyramid so it's only the people that are in my branch (people that recruited me) that talk to me and are encouraging about the business. It makes sense, there's no point in being nice to me if you can't make money off me.

At "fast start school", they explain how you get paid ridiculously high commissions. If you fool a family to save $500 a month ($6000 bucks a year). Then the guy that makes the deal gets a 25%-50% of the yearly contribution (that's $1500-$3000 for getting someone to sign the deal). Here's another thing I learned at fast start, my friend who recruited me gets $0 because she's in training. She has to get 3 people to be in training before she can even get promoted to get that 25% commission.

They get this guy Andre Hawkins (a very motivational guy) explain the rules of the business. About how to trust and help each other grow the business which is all good stuff. However, in between he talks about how you've got to work to promote the guy above you. If you do that, then you should expect the same from those people below you. He says that these are the kind of people they're looking for and if you can't do that then you aren't the right person for this business.

He talks about how he went on 50 training appointments with his trainer (I'm sure his trainer made a lot of money from these). He said his trainer did such a good job that people started referring him to other people and he's been successful since. They tell you that they'll do such a good job with your friends that you'll be able to get tons of clients from referrals. When he says all this, he hypes you up feeling like you can do it too.

At the beginning, they tell this is a business to help other people. I went to two meetings and this "fast start" school, but I honestly don't know the least bit of how they exactly help people. Their main focus is on motivating you to be successful (e.g. bring them clients).

There's two really rotten things about this business that I should've probably brought up first, but I wanted to talk about my experience first.

1) They make you build this list of 100 people you know. Then you filter out some people and build a Top 25 list. You create this Top 25 by giving each person points and picking the people with the most amount of points.

You give a person a point for each of the following: one point if they're over 25 years old (these tend to have more money than younger people). One point if they have high income (enough said). My trainer said look for people making of $40,000 a year.

They get one point if they're married. Another point if they have kids. Another point if they have a house. These are the people they can fool into getting life insurance. You tell them to think about their spouse & their kids if they were to die. How would they pay the mortgage if something we're to happen to you. Basically, they want to big commission after signing them up for a life insurance policy among other things.

Not only are they looking to screw people, but they're also looking to recruit people they can fool. You give them a point if a person is "ambitious". You give them another point if they're "dissatisfied". And another point if they are "entrepreneurial-minded". I felt sick after I realized this. They make you point out which of your friends are vulnerable. Sadly, it was then I realized why they recruited me.

2) They have an outstanding sales training program. They show you how to sell anything. They have these scripts that you memorize. If you do everything right, you'll be able to sell financial services very easily (especially if you sell to people who trust you).

The first thing they teach to is how to make an appointment. To ask someone something like , "Hey, what are you doing Friday night?" before they even know anything. If they're your friends, they open up their schedule and think you want to hang out or something. Then you "assertively" tell them your in training and need their help. Followed by "You'll help me out, right?". If they ask if they have to buy anything, you tell them they won't be pressured to buy anything, you just want them to see what you're doing.

They train you how to "assertively" respond to any question they may have. Your GOAL is to make an APPOINTMENT and that's it.

After that, you show up, preferably to their house. You sit down in the living room and it's your job to get them to the kitchen table. You sit your friend (and wife if any) facing a wall (away from any distractions). You don't want your friends to be facing a TV or something.

You must sit next to your trainer and introduce him like he's some kind of superstar, expert, etc. From there, you let the salesman (aka trainer) take over.

They wanted me to introduce someone I had known for less than a week using this method (which is why I quit). Obviously, my loyalty is with my friend on the other side of the table.

It's just phony and unethical. My friend (who brought me into this) truly believes that she is helping people. I know she is a good person, but I realized she's not "street smart". Her intentions are good; however, she's just brain-washed.

I called my friend and told her I'm not the kind of person to do this. I told her it felt wrong and didn't want to loose my friendship with her over this. So I felt free and clear after that.

The next day (yesterday) she calls me saying that they want to talk to me that same day. I'm on vacation and don't want to be bothered so I say I can't meet. I'm pretty upset so I decide to surprise the guy and call him that same afternoon. I call him and use the same sales strategies they use on people to sell him the idea that this isn't good for me. I'm confident, I'm assertive, I control the conversation and it goes very well.

I almost feel bad about it then he has the nerve to ask if I will give him my top 25 list and if it's okay for them to contact people. I pretty much tell him I'd only trust my friend with that list (and I mention it wouldn't be now). He asks me why, I said because my friend is in training and I would only refer her once she was doing things on her own.

This guy is only trying to get my list and take advantage of my friends. He's trying to sell product and collect his commission. If he really cared about my friend, she would be compensated for her work so far.

This question actually threw me off guard, but now that I think about it. It's wrong to give any information out to people like this regardless of whether they're your friends or not. PLEASE DO NOT give any phone numbers or information to these people because they will follow through and call people. I'd hate to have a friend or loved one suckered into buying something from them.

I feel horrible about this. I still love my friend and I know she really is a good person, but I wanted to write this report because I don't want anyone else to go through what I've gone through.

Be aware of WFG and be careful even if it's someone you trust.

Benjamin
Lynwood, California
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/26/2008 03:55 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/World-Financial-Group-WFG/El-Segundo-California/World-Financial-Group-WFG-Life-Insurance-Scam-Pyramid-El-Segundo-California-395414. 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.

Click Here to read other Ripoff Reports on World Financial Group WFG

Search for additional reports

If you would like to see more Rip-off Reports on this company/individual, search here:

Search Tips
Report & Rebuttal
Respond to this report!
What's this?
Also a victim?
What's this?
Repair Your Reputation!
What's this?
REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 6Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

NOT A SCAM

AUTHOR: John4108 - (U.S.A.)

These are licensed professionals working in a 1099 income opportunity just like a real estate broker would. You get with a broker, you get an agents license, you pay the broker office fees in most cases and you sell a house and make money for you and the broker, (up to 50% in many cases). You don't hear many, most of the currently licensed real estate agents calling their agency a scam, right? The fact is most do it full time and most fail, it is the simple truth. With WFG, you start part time, you don't have to do it full time in the beginning, which is what they encourage. You get a chance to see if you have the right stuff. Sure you spend money getting things started, same with any business. In many cases these expenses can be tax write offs. See how much it costs to open up a restaurant franchise some time. It's tens of thousands and many times you don't make money for years. Many of these WFG whiners are crying about spending a few $$ and they give up before they make anything. The fact is they are usually not entrepreneurs, they did not listen to their business mentors or act immediately when trained, and they are quitters and not in it for the long haul. WFG is in the Financial Services Business, an industry heavily scrutinized by State, Federal and self regulating bodies. You could not survive as a scam in this industry. WFG simply takes a different approach in the marketing and distribution of Financial Services which encourages those with a true entrepreneurial spirit to succeed.if you quit thats it you then blame eveyone if its not for you its not for you so please dont cry.
Respond to this report!
What's this?

#2 Consumer Comment

Check mate lol lol,

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


Ben he is NOT going to respond,

Because you're right, I am a series 7 license broker, I have work for some of the shadiest firms on Wall Street. And the tactics are all the same in any Boiler Room. 1st thing taught is conviction is confidence; if you can't convince them confuse them. Primerica, World Financial Group, all of these companies are the same. They prey on those who have a little and don't know much. So good for you for having ethics and standing up
Respond to this report!
What's this?

#3 Author of original report

I'm sorry you feel that way... But I'm right.

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

First off, you're comparing apples to oranges. Selling cookies or answering an office phone is a whole different ballpark. You are just trying to justify your use of scripts by pointing your finger elsewhere.

Personally, I really don't care about anyone using sales scripts to sell cookies. Any impact they have on my pocketbook is minimal compared to dealing with a WFG agent. Please understand that your products all come with huge commitments (e.g. being required to invest for a long period of time otherwise a surrender charge will surely take all your money).

The point I was trying to make was: When I make a decision of this magnitude, I don't want a salesperson to omit details, be assertive, or give me a prepared spiel. I want tell me all the details and let me think it through.

A WFG agent will never meet with you and then ask you to think about it. They will ask you what you want to do immediately after they finish their one sided spiel and they wait for your response. The last thing they want is for you to ask questions, their goal is to avoid the "Scenario of Disaster".

Secondly, you stated "saving money is neither stupid nor foolish." You're absolutely right and I won't argue with you. I'll add to that statement and say "where you save your money matters a lot too."

Now remember, you said " We have access to some of the largest and best companies in the world to pull from, giving us the ability to mold plans to the CLIENT'S best interest."

Well that's very noble of you; however, it's all talk. Why don't you back that up in writting? I've read the fine print on the World Group Securities order tickets and disclosure forms and it indicates the opposite. The fine print "makes it seem" like WFG agents mold plans to increase the size of their own bank accounts.

The first thing on a VUL Order Ticket form is "Did your WGS registered representative recommend this strategy?" with yes/no checkboxes and the response is always "No". This is why they wait for your response after they ask you what you want to do. They pin all responsibility on you.

On page two of the form, they make statements regarding the agent's compensation. Verbatim it states "Additionally, some investments whether they are issued by a Preferred Provider or not, may pay higher rates of compensation than others, which may create a financial incentive on the part of your registered representative to recommend one fund family, variable annuity, variable universal life or other variable insurance product (variable annuities, variable universal life contracts and other variable insurance contracts are collectively referred to as 'Variable Insurance Products') over another."

Let me paraphrase this into simple words, the form states "The WFG agent will not back up your decision although they clearly persuaded you in that direction. Additionally, you may be buying a inferior financial product that gives your agent a high commission."

That sounds like a pretty awful disclaimer coming from a company that claims to help people. Answer this, why would anyone want to do business with WFG after reading this?

David, I won't bother replying to the rest of your rebuttal. It's not worth my time.

While I was at WFG El Segundo, I soon realized that they push the same WRL VUL on "every" client. If you read WFG complaints on this site and others, you can see that they recommend this same VUL everywhere. I guarantee this is not the best product and I know that it pays very high commissions to its agents.

David and/or anyone else at WFG: Please explain the fine print. What happened to win-win?

The truth is that all WFG agents want to be "coachable" (a word that WFG uses a lot). They don't think for themselves because they are told that they won't be successful unless they follow WFG's system. They sell what they are told is the best product, not what is actually the best product available.

David, why don't you read the fine print on your own order tickets? Maybe it's because you're coachable and believe everything WFG tells you. If you would have taken the time to read the fine print, then you wouldn't of posted your rebuttal.

Please reply, I'm interested in your response.
Respond to this report!
What's this?

#4 UPDATE Employee

I'm sorry you feel that way...but you're wrong.

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

Hello, I would like to start by introducing myself. I am an associate with WFG at the moment along with my wife, and I can start by saying it is no scam. I would like to address your post on a number of points.

First off, you attack the use of scripting, let us be clear that almost every company and salesperson uses them. There is no reason to approach someone and not know what you are going to say. Even minimum wage jobs use it, I was employed with a number of these jobs in my younger years, and I had a script for selling cookies, another for answering the phone, another if they asked for a certain item. It is foolish to say this is an unusual or even "unjust" strategy in any form of sales.

Next I would like to address the way we make money. You said that if we "fooled" someone into saving money, we get a check. I would like to point out that saving money is neither stupid nor foolish. We have access to some of the largest and best companies in the world to pull from, giving us the ability to mold plans to the CLIENT'S best interest. (At least that is what we are supposed to do).

I would also like to point out a couple errors in the next part, you do not need 3 training appointments to make money, you need to be licenced, period. It is illegal to get paid without one, and WFG makes no limitations on you after that. The second error is your speaking about how people make money off you. This is true, people make money off you, however they don't make anything until you do. They get no bonus or check for bringing you in. You don't push yourself to promote those above you either, the system is build so you have to promote people BELOW you to move up in the ranks. This almost forces people to work with those under them for THEIR best interest.

Also I would like to point out that they do not call people on that list to exploit them, this business takes families and teaches them how to work with the money they have to reach their goals. Why is it so wrong that you believe people shouldn't be paid for that?

Lastly, all companies work where the people at the top make money off people at the bottom. This is not a Network Marketing only thing. EVERY business in the world works that way. Do you really thing that the president of a company like Met-life or Pacific Life EVER closes any business?

P.S. You mention that your friend hasn't been compensated yet, this is because she doesn't have a licence, that is not WFG trying to hold her back, that is her own choice, so stop trying to blame this company for her. If you want to look at real facts about this company, check these out www.worldfinacialgroup.com; www.wfg-online.com; or if you want to know about the $280 billion dollar worldwide corporation that owns WFG go to www.aegonins.com.
Respond to this report!
What's this?

#5 Author of original report

RESPONSE TO QUESTION: DO I THINK LIFE INSURANCE IS A WASTE OF MONEY?

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

Mr. Mack, I honestly don't think life insurance is a waste of money. However, I don't believe it's a great investment (just my opinion). People can formulate all kinds of opinions about it (good or bad). It depends on the person, their situation, & the policy. Some people like it and some don't. We simply have respect the fact that we have different opinions.

It's like the abortion issue. Some people are for abortion and some are against it. However, it's only two conflicting opinions. You can be on the "safe side" and be against abortion. You could also be for abortion and that is perfectly fine too because everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

Mr. Mack, how would you feel if you knew a girl who did not want to get an abortion and had people pressuring her to get an abortion (or vice-versa, depending on your opinion)? I'm absolutely sure you would feel it's unjust to have a biased opinion presented to a person before making a big decision.

That's the same way I feel about life insurance. People should form their own opinion and not have a salesman influence their decisionmaking.

If you've read my positing and like life insurance, then don't let my opinion affect yours. Make your own choice, but don't let anyone pressure you into anything.

My big problem with WFG is their sales strategies. It's unjust when you are presented a biased opinion from a salesperson and then expected to make a big monetary decision. You can always say "no"; however, they're assertiveness is what I hate. I hate it because it causes people to make an uninformed choice.

At WFG, they frequently refer to a situation called "The Scenario of Disaster". It's when a client starts to ask too many questions. It signifies that the client is becoming skeptical and therefore the probability of making a sale significantly diminishes. This is what I hate most about WFG because in my opinion questions are good. If the products were truly good for people then there shouldn't be anything to hide, right?

They avoid the Scenario of Disaster by memorizing sales scripts and using them to manipulate people (a.k.a. being assertive). While at WFG, I listened to some Ed Milet audio training CD's where he practices these sales scripts. Ed talks about how you have to be at elevated state (excited) and assertive. I'm paraphrasing here, but by "assertive" he means "be pushy."

I just don't think this is right to be assertive in these kinds of situations. And don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that everybody at WFG is a bad person. From what I've seen, most people at WFG truly believe that they are helping people and being compensated in return.

My suggestion: If you are approached by WFG, be respectful. They are not bad people. They just have formulated an opinion and believe they are creating a win-win situation for them and you by selling their products. Ask a lot of questions because they won't give you all the information you need. Be aware of their assertiveness. Do not sign anything and do not pay anything until you are absolutely sure you want to sign up and know all of the terms (and fees) of the agreement. Formulate your own opinion and don't let their assertiveness skew you in any direction. If after getting all the facts you truly think their products are good for you, then buy, otherwise say "NO".

Lastly (not related to the question), I have received many voice mail messages from WFG El Segundo regarding my posting. I have not replied because it's pointless to argue. By having a discussion, I won't change my opinion and I'm sure they won't change theirs so why waist our time. I just want to say, "do not call me anymore." Reply to this posting if you have anything to say regarding my opinions.
Respond to this report!
What's this?

#6 Consumer Comment

Just one question

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

I was just wondering, do you really think Life insurance is a waste of money?

I work part time for a company that in many ways just like WFG. We as well look for people willing to build a business and not just have a J.O.B. It's sad though with WFG and my company each person is self employed and the companies main goal of helping families get lost in the idea of bring in as many people as they can to over ride them.

The other thing I'm kind of unclear of is you said your friend wouldn't be out of training till she got 3 other people into training before she could start making anything. Which in the company i work part time with or any other company needing a licenses for the products you sell, you have to get that licenses before you could get any commission, even 1%.

The only reason to go on a "training appointment" is to see the "sales" presentation in action. Yet if the sales person is doing what they should be doing, it's an education presentation.

Though I can't speak for WFG, only the company that I work out of...(((redacted)))
Respond to this report!
What's this?
Report & Rebuttal
Respond to this report!
What's this?
Also a victim?
What's this?
Repair Your Reputation!
What's this?

Advertisers above have met our
strict standards for business conduct.