Primerica wasted my time and theirs by misrepresentation San Diego California*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.
I will preface this entry by saying I knew nothing about Primerica until late last week and that I did not attend ANY meetings, so I will not pretend to claim firsthand knowledge of what goes on inside the company.
That said, I'll relate a little history... I was laid off in late July, 2002, from a struggling software company. I was making good money as the Director of Customer Care. Our parent company sold us, however, and most employees--including all management--were let go.
I received a generous severance and have been working periodically as a consultant to former customers. I was content to take some time off for two reasons. First, I've been working toward an MBA, and thought I'd take some time to concentrate on my studies. Also, my wife and I are expecting our first child and we thought it would be nice to do some things now (like travel) that we won't be able to do until much later once the baby arrives.
The economy continued to slow, however, so I decided I'd better get back into the job market. Three months ago I began looking in earnest for a position in management with a tech or consumer electronics organization. In addition to networking, I also placed resumes on two web-based job sites. One was a management search firm. The other was monster.com.
Last month I received a phone call from a woman who identified herself by first name only and said she was calling on behalf of Primerica, a Citigroup company and that she was setting appointments for management interviews.
I asked her right away why Primerica thought my computer programming and high-tech management experience would be a good fit with a financial company (again... at this point I knew nothing whatsoever about Primerica beyond the fact that she claimed it was affiliated with Citigroup, so I assumed it was finance-related). She told me, and I quote, My manager is a regional director and he is part of an advance team setting up offices in the San Diego area. Because of your management experience, he felt you were a candidate for a Director of Staff position in one of our new offices.
Of course I asked more about the position, but she was a bit vague and asked me either call her manager (she provided a phone number) or to bring my questions to the interview.
I made an appointment for the following week, but was unable to keep it; a customer needed some follow-up work done out of state and I agreed to do it. When I called to notify Primerica, nobody could connect me with the woman. When I asked to speak directly with her manager, I was asked, Which one? I was a little surprised when I provided the name I was given and was told that any of the managers could reschedule me. I passed on setting a date at that time and said I'd be in contact with them when I returned.
When I got back to San Diego two weeks later, I looked into Primerica on the Internet. The web site for Primerica AND for Citigroup was not very informative. I never did call back.
That was last month. Fast forward now to last week--Friday--when I was contacted by e-mail as follows:
>>Hello. I am contacting you about your resume.
>>I represent the marketing division of Citigroup known as >>Primerica Financial Services. We also represent Citibank, >>Travelers, Smith Barney and Citifinancial. I am holding >>interviews this week and would like to set up a time when we >>can meet.
>>Please contact me at your earliest convenience. If Im >>unavailable, you will be transferred to my voice mail, so >>please leave your number and the latest time that I may reach >>you and I will get back with you as soon as possible.
>>If this email has reached you in error, or if you are not >>interested, please email me and I will remove your name from >>our records.
>>Primerica Financial Services
On Saturday morning Mr. Barker called me at home and asked if I was interested in meeting with him. He didn't even know anything about me; he admitted he had not seen my resume, but told me if I had been referred to him then [...] I must have management experience Primerica is interested in.
Since the job market is still exceedingly tight here, I decided to schedule an interview, against my intuition. Before hanging up, however, I pressed Mr. Barker for information about the company. I explained that the web site was relatively uninformative and asked him about the product(s)/service(s), etc. He agreed that there was little information on webs site useful to job seekers, but repeated what I had heard twice before, namely that Primerica was looking for [...]managers, directors, leaders [...] that they could train in their products and services. No more detail than that.
Over the rest of this past weekend and during part of this morning, I looked all over the Internet for information about Primerica. I thought I was performing the typical due diligence a job-seeker should do prior to an interview. As I encountered more and more negative articles, reports, discussion forum entries, etc., my attitude has shifted from mild disappointment to anger. I have found scant positive commentary about Primerica, and what little I've seen has been found on the Primerica/Citigroup site, or in discussion boards like this one. Moreover, most that chime in to defend Primerica do so with passive-aggressive, defensive vitriol! To be fair, I have read a few comments from Primerica representatives who have not been abusive, but too many who support the company seem juvenile, negatively aggressive, and ill-spoken.
That Primerica is really offering an entry into a multilevel marketing business is one thing. I have friends and relatives that sold Amway and currently are affiliated with Quixtar. I don't believe that type of business is profitable for most that enter into it, but I also don't bear them any ill will.
That Primerica twice was able to get my resume and contact information from monster.com is an issue I'll address with monster.
That Primerica wasted my time, however, by misrepresenting its dubious business opportunity as an interview for a job, is something I will not forgive.
Had I not taken the time to investigate further, I would never have learned some of the details of their job offering, and I would have wasted even more of my time.
I took some of that valuable job search time to write this so that others in a similar situation might see what another average job-seeker thinks about Primerica so far.
For those of you that choose to rebut (or retort, or flame, or even insult me, etc.), I admit that I did not provide the Primerica reps additional opportunity to discuss the system with me. Nor will I be keeping my appointment tomorrow with Mr. Barker. That's because I'm not interested in a MULTILEVEL MARKETING SALES job! The summary statement on my resume says NOTHING about MLM or sales for a reason. Because nothing in my job search profile or resume matches with what I've discovered about Primerica, I can only consider their attempts to recruit me to be unsolicited, broadcast spam.
If Primerica's program is such a good deal, then why are the representatives so evasive about providing basic information to those they contact?
Regardless of whether Primerica offers legitimate opportunities or not, I will not be part of it. I don't like being misled, I don't have the time for games, and I tend to believe that while there is NOT ALWAYS fire where there's smoke. But when theres A LOT of smoke, I wont ignore it; something is probably smoldering, and I don't want to be there to get burned when the flames erupt.
La Mesa, CaliforniaU.S.A.
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