- Report: #395414
Report - Rebuttal - Arbitrate
Complaint Review: World Financial Group WFG
World Financial Group WFG201 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
A businesses first
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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.
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.
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