I was one of the unfortunate souls to have been found by one of their Craigslist ads. Lucky for me, and I put lucky lightly, I was looking for an administrative assistant position and not a sales agent one.
I was recruited... and I have to say this was one of the most dysfunctional companies I ever worked for. First off, The Pena Financial Group or the Pena Agency is NOT a "business". It is a part of the group National Agents Alliance, or NAA.
NAA is another story in itself, with its cult mindset and HUGE MLM (multi-level marketing) which borderlines as an illegal pyramid scheme. Please look up further information on NAA and do NOT buy into it. It is NOTHING but a wormhole and failure waiting to happen and people have given up great jobs to wind up POOR.
They expected that their administrative assistant be EVERYTHING -- I was not only doing clerical work for THREE, yes, THREE agents including pending applications, but I was also their human resource department.
I had to hire new "recruits" or sales agents --- many of you might have seen the ads on Craigslist (which BREAKS Craigslist's terms of service as a company that is MLM or costs upfront fees is NOT supposed to post in the job section). These Craigslist ads often were looking for Athletes or Ex-Military people, claiming you could make up to 1k a week in income or over 100,000 a year.
I was often told to lie to recruits, tell them I knew absolutely nothing about the details of the job and attempt to get their personal information such as full name, address, phone number and social security number in order to FasTract them onto the NAA website.
I was also required to consistently call and harass people about getting signed up for expensive licensing classes, in which they were not told about having to pay upfront fees to get started until after they were signed up under NAA.
I was also told to lie about the job being commission only, once again pushed to tell them I had no idea and direct them to either Paul or Beiya or, worse, Shawn Meaike who was their upline. They never told the recruits ANYTHING of value. Only how much money could be made in which they did not tell the recruits the amount of money they would have to spend on leads (information that is collected from consumers and SOLD back to agents), the charge backs, the amount of gas spent traveling, the licensing and liability insurance.
I was also told that they would be able to "finance" recruits, which usually meant the recruit had to fill out a life insurance application so the recruiting agent could get the commission off of them.
Many of the people who applied for this sales agent position were people without jobs who could not afford the upfront fees that I knew about. It was absolutely detestable to hear the hopefulness in people's voices about getting a job call back and setting them up for an "interview" - in which it was NEVER an interview.
It was nothing but an informational meeting where they set-up MANY people from the same time slot. At this meeting, they only told you about how much money you could make.
In terms of working with clients and doing applications, I saw my bosses, Paul Gonsalves and Beiyanil Pena (along with two other agents who worked out of the office, Jenny Rojas and Iliana De La Rosa) forge and erase information on life insurance applications to get the people approved so they could get their commissions.
They usually told their clients not to list medical information that might get them declined by the life insurance companies. In which, the life insurance companies were legit - such as Mutual of Omaha, ING, Foresters, BUT there are much more cheaper options for many of the people who could NOT afford the premiums!
They often whited out information, told clients not to list certain medical procedures along with "guessing" at their annual incomes and jobs. There were quite a few times when many clients claimed they ONLY wanted information and did NOT want to be signed up for a policy at all. They only agreed to speak to someone to gather brochures and paper work.
I was usually left dealing with upset clientele who were wondering why an insurance company was contacting them for money when they only asked for information.
Please, please! If you are in the sales business, stay away from National Agents Alliance, the Pena Financial Group/Agency, there are better, legit businesses that give you better support and more for your time and energy. And if you are an administrative assistant, this not the job for you! Please, find someone who will value your time, work and effort.
I feel sorry for the poor person to work after me who I am sure had to go to their national conference in July, in which their conferences for NAA are nothing but expensive (they pay for NOTHING) lectures on how much money people have made. May he/she get out as quick as possible!