• Report: #283176
Complaint Review:

World Financial Group

  • Submitted: Mon, November 05, 2007
  • Updated: Sat, April 25, 2009

  • Reported By:Silver Spring Maryland
World Financial Group
2369 Bering Drive San Jose, California U.S.A.

World Financial Group look before you leap San Jose California

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: It's a little of everything said

*Consumer Comment: WFG is not a job

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Why WFG is not for me or any self respecting person

*Consumer Suggestion: File a dispute with your credit card company, if you want your money back

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: how do you get your money back?

*UPDATE Employee: WOW a real honest legit opinion in the midst of this site!

*UPDATE Employee: Yes, it is sales.

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Between the haters and the toe-the-line WFGers, the truth lies somewhere in between. Look at the local phone book here and you will see lots of offices for WFG. As their promotional material shows, they have a NASCAR driver. They sponsor the PAC 10. AEGON backs them. It's definitely not illegal what they are doing. I went to the Saturday morning presentation on the invitation of a rep who had gotten my name off of a resume board - I am looking for work (was anyway). So 4 gentleman one after the other spoke to a surprisingly large group of folks here.

What I got was that they want to be the Edward Jones of the middle class - no family left behind. The information in and of itself was terrific and valid - Suze Orman has made a killing dispensing this sort of stuff - get out of debt; understand how compound interest can help you and hurt you; understanding the value of life insurance, etc. ad nauseum. The speakers were all very slick and convincing. Lots of trendy catchphrases that make them seem hip and now. But the info was for the most part right on. Financial planning is needed by many there's no doubt. The savings account trend they point out (-2%), the massive credit card debt, etc., all need to be addressed.

WFG aims to do this. As sales conventions can be, it seemed a bit hyper, especially toward the end when the "big" guy started sweating/shouting/preaching about how WFG had made him what he is today - rich, happy, and a nice dresser. Rags to riches stories are always fun to hear. I politely sat through the presentation, wondering who exactly all these people were?? Potential clients? Potential recruits? Staged bodies - sorry, hey, if FEMA can do it...I also wondered, where does the money come in.

Well folks, this is a sales gig. First you convince a homeowner to turn over their mortgage over to WFG. Then, you work in sales of life insurance, then mutual funds, etc. Financial planning. The pay comes in selling these services to people. IT IS A SALES JOB! Ok, that said, WFG gives you reduced rates on the certification you will need to be legitimate to your potential customers. That means spending money. Just like you did for college, like you did for anything you did in the past to help you get a job. Though you are associated with WFG, you are essentially in business for yourself.

Please remember this. Expect to spend at least $1000 and expect to get 9 nos for every yes, or worse. THIS IS A SALES JOB! This is not a job for people who are broke - lots of meetings (gas expense-even part time or referral), lots of certification expenses, lots of free consultations (I would imagine on your dime until you get a sale), you get the picture. In the presentation, they tell us how people should have an emergency fund to get us through 3 months of not working, how we should be debt-free, how we should have some money in investments working for us while the bank makes money off of us on our mortgage payments.

I would suggest that you too have all these things in place before you consider working for WFG. Because if you, like me, are living on the edge of survival, this type of gig will end up pissing you off if you need to see a bank payment materialize in 2 or 4 or 6 weeks. It may happen, but more than likely it won't. That's not to say it will never happen. Obviously this business is successfully in business.

But again, have some stability before you sign on. Because, when you have your first face-to-face with a WFG rep, they ask for your credit card number information to the tune of $100. Just to get started. Many folks will tell you that people who want your money up front think automatically that it must be a scam. I went to the BBB online in San Jose and came up with 1 complaint. Not all local offices are certified, but that's a respectable number. However, the $100 is just a warmup. It seems that you'll be in $1000 or so before you're ready to really get going. Not including travel expenses, locally or to out-of-town events. Be prepared to sign an authorization for this charge from the get-go.

My advice is to go to a presentation, see if it is for you, get a business card, think about it, research it, then decide if you're willing to take the plunge. If you a born salesperson, this could be your ticket to riches. But it's not free. The presentation almost dares you to stop being a "sucker" to the Walmarts and the whatever-per-hour job you may have and "step up" to big money. My advice is to not be impulsive, but to step away from the 'energy/hype" and just think about it. There's no gun to your head. The idea is smart - helping homeowners help themselves. Just think about the steps first.

One last thing. I went to the presentation, met the rep who called me, filled out the application, and stupidly signed for the $100 authorization. I was told it would be for the initial online studies that would be part of the training once I was hired. After mulling it over the next day, I decided I was too broke to pursue WFG personally, though I still like the idea. However, I did sign for the $100. So that forced me to go in physically to the office and tell them I wasn't interested, and to ask for the authorization back so I wouldn't be charged. Initially I was told that it wasn't easily available to access - yeah right - so I promptly showed the rep a credit card dispute form I had downloaded from my bank and voila, the signed, original form appeared. I guess that's hardball, but hey $100 is $100, and I had taken nothing from WFG as of yet.

So look before you leap with these folks, It is an unconventional company in many ways, but I'm sure you could make some money selling financial planning with these folks if you put your will to do it. Just don't be broke while you're trying to make money with them. Good luck! Hope this helps.

Silver Spring, Maryland

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/05/2007 11:15 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/world-financial-group/san-jose-california-95131/world-financial-group-look-before-you-leap-san-jose-california-283176. 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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#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

It's a little of everything said

AUTHOR: Outkast24 - (U.S.A.)

I believe you are correct, it's nothing more then a sales gig in disguise. It would be ignorant to say "it's a scam!" and call it a pyramid scheme, but the real problem does lie in their methods. At least the crooked used car salesman only screws complete strangers. WFG customer base is their own employee's friends and family. 90% of the people who have had contact with them were referred by someone closer then an acquaintance. I had the misfortune of attending a seminar and it's a bunch of sales techniques and ploys in itself. There's being upbeat and excited about what you do and wanting others to feel the same way, and there's using it like it like a tool. After reading a lot about this company I've concluded it is probably in no way illegal, but they are not the company who is in the business of helping families like they claim is their only purpose. So for that I say **** em'. Also, I would love for some shred of evidence that shows they are as big as they say they are. Everyone involved claims they are one of the biggest companies in the world but I had never heard of them until I was dragged into their mediocre building. I've heard of Coca-Cola so they take the edge on bigger company in my book.
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#2 Consumer Comment

WFG is not a job

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

WFG is not a job, but you get and independent contract with them and all the investment and insurance companies to do business and help people. Bottom line is alot of people in WFG present it as a job not business.

Its a great company doing great things, but unfortunately some people misrepresent. Those that get licensed and follow a system really do well, but it's not for everyone, but beats working for someone else. Very low overhead and a person can start part time.
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#3 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Why WFG is not for me or any self respecting person

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

I walked out of my fast start interview with WFG today because the trainer was telling me to lie by omission. I suppose this is par for the course in any sales job where you want to be wildly successful -- leave out the details that you don't want the customer to know about just yet. I can go along with that to some degree --- the handyman I'm handing out flyers for suggests not mentioning that he is licensed or has lots of experience or that he can bid less than other contractors. The first two points tend to turn off the customer because they automatically think that he will charge lots of money. The customers seem to want just any young kid who can hold a paint brush or a screwdriver so that they don't have to pay as much. The latter point is left off the flyer so that other contractors don't get pissed off and start a bidding war. The flyers are getting a 3% response rate, which is good I suppose.

The problem I have with WFG is they go one step further than this in their lieing by omission. In my calls to my warm market (which I'm supposed to start making before I even know exactly how you get a guaranteed 1% return to 12% return on your non-investment in a life insurance policy) I'm not suppposed to mention that the company is named WFG because the word "financial" makes people think that you are after their money. (In the handyman flyer example that would be about as logical as leaving off the company name and phone number from the flyer! I guess then the customer would be stopping every young kid on the street asking them eagerly if they are the new fix it man in town. ) I have to say exactly what is in the 5 page script, no less and no more. If WFG had been up front with me about exactly how they get their "10% return for the last 80 years" in their non-investment (which according to my best info you get your money out of by using a tax free loan, not a taxable withdrawl) then maybe I would have stuck with them a little longer. But if they can't even volunteer the info on this to the insider (me) before he starts making sales calls, well that is just below par in my opinion. They should get a billboard in times square and publish the answer to this question if they really want to do business in a fair and transparent manner. I've looked for the answer to this question on the internet and it is nowhere to be found. If an insider knows the answer to this question, publish it here and I will read it.

Just to be clear, I'm not a quitter. I just don't see any point in putting effort into this lost cause. I have plenty of other irons in the fire and I don't really need to spend $500+ on this non-job. By the way, if you want to sell securities, which are an inevitable part of the VUL product, you need to get an S6 and S63 license and, according to an insurance agent from another company, spend $300 per month on insurance to cover your a*s in case you get sued by a customer who is smarter than you.
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

File a dispute with your credit card company, if you want your money back

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

Tustin, California

Let the credit card co. know that you were not satisfied with WFG's services they offered. Plus, since they did "run a background check" (which I highly doubt). they should have provided you with a copy of the background check according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
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#5 REBUTTAL Individual responds

how do you get your money back?

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

I paid $100 for a background check
But i decided that i no longer want to work there so i called them right away
and told them to cancel my background check.
but they said its already been processed and it's too late to cancel.
How did you get your money back?
did you file dispute through credit card company?
does anyone know how to get the money back?
please share your information!
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#6 UPDATE Employee

WOW a real honest legit opinion in the midst of this site!

AUTHOR: Frank Schoen - (U.S.A.)

I have been taken back! I have to admit after mireing through the muck and crud that has filled this site, it is refeshing to have read an honest legitimate opinion. The fact is this company is a sales company, unconventional, yes. multi level marketing, yes. Can you make lots of money? Maybe, if you cannot sell yourself, you had better be able to refer them to people who can! At least one honest and intelligent comment.
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#7 UPDATE Employee

Yes, it is sales.

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

Guess what --- WFG really is a sales job. For some reason, people seem to believe that they can have something for nothing. And, that something for nothing includes employment! If noone is willing to pay you a salary of 100k a year now, neither WFG or anyone else is going to pay you a salary of more than you currently earn. However, because WFG is a sales job there is an opportunity to do well. Every sales organization in the world is a ripoff to people who are unwilling to work. I've been with WFG for 15 years and there are two things I have never seen. First, I've never seen anyone ask somebody to refinance their mortgage so they could invest. Our compliance department would throw an absolute fit about that and they do check on it on a regular basis. Second, I've never seen anyone fail who worked. My definition of failing, by the way, is someone who earns less with WFG than they did on their previous full time job. I've known a lot of people who tried WFG and gave up. If you simply tried to work a few hours a week at a company and got fired, would you blame the company for your failure. As silly as that sounds most of the people who complain about WFG would do exactly that they would complain that there is something wrong with the company instead of realizing that there is something wrong with them. One last comment, in July 2006 my wife was diagnosed with cancer. Thank God I have WFG. I was able to go to every one of her chemo treatments and most of her radiation treatments. Try that with a non-sales job!
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