• Report: #110421

Complaint Review: Primerica Financial

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  • Submitted: Mon, September 27, 2004
  • Updated: Mon, April 18, 2005

  • Reported By:Centennial Colorado
Primerica Financial
7955 East Arapahoe Road Suite 2500 Centennial, Colorado U.S.A.

Primerica Financial - Citigroup - Smith Barney's Advertising Group Ripoff Deceptive employment practice Abusive individual when questioned Centennial Colorado
*UPDATE: Primerica recognized by Rip-off Report a business opportunity well worth considering - it's not for everyone but many representatives make solid commission incomes. Primerica takes appropriate action against representatives conducting themselves improperly, pledges 100% commitment to customer service.

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Another Citigroup update.. The Federal Reserve Orders Citigroup to Refrain From Making Acquisitions Until It Fixes Compliance Rules-WSJ

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: 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

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Update regarding Citigroup (Smith Barney Citigroup to Pay $20 Million to Settle SEC

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Update regarding Citigroup (Smith Barney Citigroup to Pay $20 Million to Settle SEC

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Update regarding Citigroup (Smith Barney Citigroup to Pay $20 Million to Settle SEC

*Consumer Suggestion: Employment fraud is not that hard to spot, people! It's a simple matter of time and money.

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Cullen from Oxford Mass. you are right on the money, I really wish I had found this site before hand.

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: David, don't base any decision on what one book or one person says

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Rebutting Janet (Garland) I happen to work for Smith Barney

*UPDATE Employee: Smith Barney has nothing to do with this

*Consumer Comment: Same Person, Same situation, Different thought & Opinion

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I was contacted by Aaron Wands from Primerica about a possible position. He told me that I had the qualifications that the company was looking for. He and I setup a "Informal Appointment" time in the evening at 7:30 pm. He never mentioned what type of position this was for. I arrived at about 7:27pm to find that this was a group meeting with approximately 25 to 30 other people. There was a slide presentation where each of their representatives spoke about the company.

They stated that they would talk about the jobs at the end of the presentation. Aaron during his portion mentioned that the company was called a MLM and He proudly stated that "He didn't care because it works". They stated that for a small fee of $300 they would get you licensed to sell Term Life Insurance. They also stated that "They were in the business of making dreams come true" I think this maybe only for themselves. I left disgusted as this was not what I expected. I left a message for Aaron that night stating that I was not interested and to leave me alone. He called me on Sunday to "Follow up" on the presentation. I asked him how he found me He stated "using the same methods that a Professional Headhunter would use".

I then attempted to ask him if he even looked at a resume that I might have submitted. He became abusive and stated "I guess you don't want to improve your life or want to be employed" and hung up on me. I proceeded to e-mail the marketing division of the company in GA and left a message with a Regional Director about how upset I was. I have received a call from the manager but I refuse to deal with them anymore as I do not like "AMWAY" type of companies.

Doug
Centennial, Colorado
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/27/2004 05:20 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Primerica-Financial/Centennial-Colorado-80112-6841/Primerica-Financial-Citigroup-Smith-Barneys-Advertising-Group-Ripoff-Deceptive-emplo-110421. 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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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Another Citigroup update.. The Federal Reserve Orders Citigroup to Refrain From Making Acquisitions Until It Fixes Compliance Rules-WSJ

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

As many are aware, Citigroup is the parent of
Primerica. I've been posting material on Citigroup to make visitors aware as to what Primerica and its current parent are really about so in that spirit, I contribute information and give the source. 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

The articles:

The Federal Reserve Orders Citigroup to Refrain From Making Acquisitions Until It Fixes Compliance Rules-WSJ

March 18, 2005

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Federal Reserve has barred Citigroup from making major acquisitions until the Company fixes regulatory problems. Citing recent "adverse compliance events" at Citigroup and its recently unveiled plan to address them, the Fed said it "expects that management at all levels will devote the necessary attention to implementing its plan fully and effectively and will not undertake significant expansion during the implementation period. The Board believes it important that management's attention not be diverted from these efforts by the demand that mergers and acquisitions place on management resources." The order does not define what kinds of acquisitions would qualify as a "significant," nor put a timetable on the restriction. The Fed also did not specify how it would regard potential foreign acquisitions, some of which will not require Fed approval.

Citigroup Reaches Settlement On Global Crossing Class Action Litigation For $75 Million
March 02, 2005
Citigroup announced that it has settled class action litigation brought on behalf of purchasers of Global Crossing securities which was pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York as In re Global Crossing Ltd. Securities Litigation, No. 02 Civ. 910 (GEL). Under the terms of the settlement, the Company will make a payment of $75 million pre-tax, approximately $46 million after tax, to the settlement class, which consists of all investors in publicly traded securities of Global Crossing or Asia Global Crossing during the period from February 1, 1999, through and including December 8, 2003. The plaintiffs currently contemplate allocating two-thirds of the settlement amount to investors in underwritten public offerings of Global Crossing securities and one third to other investors in Global Crossing securities; the terms of the settlement and the final plan of allocation will be subject to review by the Court. Plaintiffs' attorneys' fees will be determined by the Court and paid out of the settlement amount. In the settlement agreement, the Company specifically denied any violation of law and stated that it was entering into the settlement solely to eliminate the uncertainties, burden and expense of further protracted litigation.
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In case another troll proudly says how Primerica is part of Citigroup, the following annoucement would be of major interest (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

Here's the announcement:

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.
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#3 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Update regarding Citigroup (Smith Barney Citigroup to Pay $20 Million to Settle SEC

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

The link is: http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/
ticker/sigdev.asp?Symbol=C

Here's the excerpt:

"Citigroup to Pay $20 Million to Settle SEC Charges-Reuters
March 23, 2005
Reuters reported that Citigroup will pay $20 million to settle charges that it failed to provide customers with important information about mutual fund shares, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said. The settlement, which comes out of a broader SEC investigation into mutual fund sales practices, involved two disclosure failures at Citigroup, which offered its retail brokerage services under the Smith Barney trade name. The first disclosure failure involved Citigroup's revenue sharing program, known as the Tier Program, in which about 75 mutual fund complexes made revenue-sharing payments to Citigroup in exchange for "shelf space" within Citigroup's retail brokerage network. The SEC said the practice represented a conflict of interest that Citigroup failed to adequately disclose to its clients. The second disclosure issue related to Citigroup financial consultants recommending and selling Class B shares of mutual fund shares to customers in amounts totaling $50,000 or more. The SEC said Citigroup received greater commissions selling Class B shares than it would have selling Class A shares of the mutual funds, and did not properly disclose that Class B shares were subject to higher annual fees and that Class A shares could yield a higher return at certain investment levels. The Company settled without admitting or denying the SEC findings."
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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Update regarding Citigroup (Smith Barney Citigroup to Pay $20 Million to Settle SEC

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

The link is: http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/
ticker/sigdev.asp?Symbol=C

Here's the excerpt:

"Citigroup to Pay $20 Million to Settle SEC Charges-Reuters
March 23, 2005
Reuters reported that Citigroup will pay $20 million to settle charges that it failed to provide customers with important information about mutual fund shares, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said. The settlement, which comes out of a broader SEC investigation into mutual fund sales practices, involved two disclosure failures at Citigroup, which offered its retail brokerage services under the Smith Barney trade name. The first disclosure failure involved Citigroup's revenue sharing program, known as the Tier Program, in which about 75 mutual fund complexes made revenue-sharing payments to Citigroup in exchange for "shelf space" within Citigroup's retail brokerage network. The SEC said the practice represented a conflict of interest that Citigroup failed to adequately disclose to its clients. The second disclosure issue related to Citigroup financial consultants recommending and selling Class B shares of mutual fund shares to customers in amounts totaling $50,000 or more. The SEC said Citigroup received greater commissions selling Class B shares than it would have selling Class A shares of the mutual funds, and did not properly disclose that Class B shares were subject to higher annual fees and that Class A shares could yield a higher return at certain investment levels. The Company settled without admitting or denying the SEC findings."
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#5 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Update regarding Citigroup (Smith Barney Citigroup to Pay $20 Million to Settle SEC

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

The link is: http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/
ticker/sigdev.asp?Symbol=C

Here's the excerpt:

"Citigroup to Pay $20 Million to Settle SEC Charges-Reuters
March 23, 2005
Reuters reported that Citigroup will pay $20 million to settle charges that it failed to provide customers with important information about mutual fund shares, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said. The settlement, which comes out of a broader SEC investigation into mutual fund sales practices, involved two disclosure failures at Citigroup, which offered its retail brokerage services under the Smith Barney trade name. The first disclosure failure involved Citigroup's revenue sharing program, known as the Tier Program, in which about 75 mutual fund complexes made revenue-sharing payments to Citigroup in exchange for "shelf space" within Citigroup's retail brokerage network. The SEC said the practice represented a conflict of interest that Citigroup failed to adequately disclose to its clients. The second disclosure issue related to Citigroup financial consultants recommending and selling Class B shares of mutual fund shares to customers in amounts totaling $50,000 or more. The SEC said Citigroup received greater commissions selling Class B shares than it would have selling Class A shares of the mutual funds, and did not properly disclose that Class B shares were subject to higher annual fees and that Class A shares could yield a higher return at certain investment levels. The Company settled without admitting or denying the SEC findings."
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#6 Consumer Suggestion

Employment fraud is not that hard to spot, people! It's a simple matter of time and money.

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

You'd have to be a complete idiot to spend more than a week at a fraudulent job. It's that simple!

All you have to do is look at how much time you put in, and how much money you have to show for it.

Did you spend 100 hours on your primerica nonsense? How much you got to show for it? Maybe $100 bucks, tops! There you go. You made a dollar an hour!

Does that sound like getting rich?

There are a million con artists all running some kind of employment scam. They all say the same thing. Work hard, and you'll get rich.

The people that do work hard end up with little or nothing to show for it.

Once they see that, the smart ones leave and never look back. The idiots stay and complain about the income.

The only question you need to ask yourself is which group do you fall into?
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#7 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Cullen from Oxford Mass. you are right on the money, I really wish I had found this site before hand.

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

I also got sucked into this pyramid thinking it would be a good stepping stone for me. I really wish I had found this site before hand.

You are 100% right you really don't see the real deal till you have been there for a while there is almost no financial training, and what little if any "training" you do get is shaky at best it's all about pumpping bodies into the pyramid hoping that some will stay and do good so you can leach off of thier efforts.

I to wanted to get my CFP license, but was told that "all a CFP is, is a glorified life insurance salesman, and why waste the time when I could be building a bussiness".

The truth of the fact is that 90% of Primerica reps. are incompetent, and know little about finances all they are taught to do is throw vague salepitches at you and hope you take the bait. Some rep. (i.e. the other 10%) have taken the time and effort to educate themselves, but they are so few and far that I wouldn't take the chance.

I wish I had never come into contact with that awful company.

One more thing they are also taught to throw Citigrougs name around to look impressive, but the only thing Primerica has to do with Citigroup is that Citigroup owns them, and that they are forced to sell only Citigroup products.
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#8 UPDATE EX-employee responds

David, don't base any decision on what one book or one person says

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

I'll preface my comments as always by saying that I was a PFS rep for more than 2 years. I know the company, its policies and practices.

When I was a PFS rep, I was encouraged not to pursue a CFP designation or any other education outside of what PFS did for that matter. Most other financial services companies will recommend more education. So I did what most PFS reps didn't do. I read books on financial planning, insurance and investing. I found some serious flaws in the PFS philosophy and could no longer tell my customers that I was doing the best for them. Please get info from other sources besides PFS when you are making a decision about the company. Talk to a financial planner and other professionals, read books other than what PFS recommends and then make an informed decision.

Let me address your points.

1)PFS offers solutions and the ABC's of Making Money.

The solution PFS offers is a one size fits all program does not allow for much flexibility. The client is made to fit the program instead of having the program fit the client. And PFS sells some of the most eapensive products on the market. Wouldn't you be doing a better service if you offered comparable if not superior products at a better value so your clients could save even more?

The ABC book is just one source and the common sense strategies they recommend have been around for years. Anyone with any motivation could pick up a book on Amazon that would do have the same info. Don't you find it odd that a book that recommends a financial services business does not mention traning in finances as a pre-requisite to being a good financial services company? The 15 points they site are in reference to the PFS Network MArketing structure of the company and not in reference to their stated function of financial services.

2) Citigroup's assets.

Citi owns PFS but PFS is responsible for its own business obligations. If PFS got into trouble financially, Citigroups assets would not be a factor. Reasearch the assets of PFS not Citi. And there is much speculation as to whether or not Citi is getting out of the insurance business altogether so PFS might not be owned by Citi in the future.

3)The rule of 72

This has been around for a lot longer than PFS. Just because they use it in their sales pitch does not give them any claim on it.

4)They tell you everyone doesn't succeed.

Most people don't succeed at most things. Only a few in any profession excel. But realize that PFS is a network marketing company first and a financial services company second. You are in the recruiting business. You'll see that almoost no training is given in finances and the most is on how to recruit. If you want to be a recruiter stay in PFS.

5) You don't have to recruit to make money.

This is absolutely true IF you want to stay at the bottom commission level of 25%. In order to get 35% you MUST recruit 3 people. To Get 50% you must have 6 people under you in the right proportion and sell $2500 in insurance in one month etc. Promotions are based on recruiting first and insurance sales second. You MUST recruit in order to get promoted.

And there are many other things you won't find out abou until you are in PFS for a while. Such as they tell you that you own your business. You don't. You can qualify for what they call ownership when you are at about the SVP level. Even then, if you want to leave, you cant take your organization with you because the comapny owns your clients and sales team, you don't.

In order to get an RVP contract, I was told that I had to give my 2 best legs to my upline. Again I ask whose business is it if I can't even keep the people I train? And why should I give up my best people and enhance my RVP's business while my bsiness takes a hit because my best producers are taken away?

Please do your research ans if you find that the recruiting business is for you, then by all means stay with PFS but if you want to be a financial services professional, learn the ropes somewhere else. Study many different sources. I have found that the best way to do anything is a blending if different methods and philosophies and not the blind adherence to one.
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#9 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Rebutting Janet (Garland) I happen to work for Smith Barney

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

Quoting:

"I happen to work for Smith Barney, who is in no way affiliated with "Primerica"" Not true Janet as both are subsidiaries of Citigroup. In fact if you go to Smith Barney's website, www.smithbarney.com, you'll see Citigroup with the umbrella in the upper left-hand corner of the main page.
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#10 UPDATE Employee

Smith Barney has nothing to do with this

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

Sorry you had this happen, I have heard this before - first hand from a friend who had the same thing happen. People like this "Aaron" person, and the companies they work for, suck and should be put away.

I happen to work for Smith Barney, who is in no way affiliated with "Primerica" I searched for Smith Barney out of curiosity and this complaint came up. I just want to note that the two are in no way associated

Primerica is under the "Travelers Umbrella" - Travelers is no longer associated with Smith Barney either.
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#11 Consumer Comment

Same Person, Same situation, Different thought & Opinion

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

I was in the Denver area on vacation in the beginning of September and also met the individual, Aaron Wands from Primerica. I met him at a resort where there was a conference on this particular company. He spoke to me very openly and very professionally. I too was invited to hear the information on the company and the positions available. After seeing the presentation and sitting down to speak with Aaron on an one-on-one basis, I found that the company isn't really a MLM, but it does have similar trademarks of the aforemention "Amway". True, there is marketing and the proceeds from said marketing are derived from "recruiting" others, but here is where the big difference, as I saw it, lays. 1)Primerica does in fact offer solutions to families and individuals to obtain more financial freedom if they abide by the parameters set forth. My reference for this is from the book "The A,B,C's of Making Money" (an ubiased report of the principles of financial freedom outside from any influence of Primerica, but it must also be noted, that maybe the reason I gave my time and attention to finding out more was that, in that particular book, this particular company was recommended as the ONLY company that fits the 15 criteria set forth by the authors). 2)I researched their assets from a company stand point and those claims are true. 3)The rule of 72 is located on the net, outside of their influence, and is a true equation. 3)You can make money through the company without having to "recruit" anyone. 4)They do in fact warn you that, if you don't have the desire to perform these functions or the ability to ensure that you do then, you will not succeed in their type of business. (as an aside note: I have related this to any business.) 5)The last difference that came to my mind was: Unlike Amway or other MLM you didn't have to have hundreds of people "recruited" to make bonus income. Why would this company be appealing to me or anyone else? I found that the opportunity to make more money through this *MSI (Multiple Sources of Income, *aforemention book recommends MSI for becoming wealthy, I'm sorry if that offends you, but I do want to be wealthy) was not only easier to obtain, but also in the course of obtaining more of an income, that my current job will never be able to provide for me, that I would be helping families with REAL debt get out of debt quicker and be more educated on how money works and can work for them. Although the fact I live in Florida was a hamper and the offer to be contacted by one of their local offices there was offered, I have yet to decide on if this is something I would be compatible with. Compatibility is a big thing if you're going to be doing it for a while. Aaron Wands did offer me his home and cell numbers in the case I had further questions and has been polite and not offensive at all through the times that I have called him with my concerns and questions about the company. Maybe you could chalk it up to what we have all had, me very much included, as a bad day? I know my wife could go and on about how I can be, lol. I am saying I wouldn't dismiss someone on just a phone call convo. I also wouldn't discount a possible opportunity just because I had a bad interlude with one representative. What you decide to do in relation to your experience is your business and I respect that, although I would advise maybe just hearing what is said, weighing the facts, asking questions and doing research. I do offer my research for review if you'd like to see it, but as I've said, I'm not convinced one way or the other and have yet to be spoken to in the maner you have expressed with Mr. Wands. Best of luck to you in all of your endeavors.
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