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Report: #136894

Complaint Review: Primerica, Citigroup - Oakdale New York

  • Submitted: Wed, March 30, 2005
  • Updated: Mon, April 04, 2005
  • Reported By: Boooo New York
  • Primerica, Citigroup

    Oakdale, New York

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This is an email I wrote to a friend who tried to get me into primerica. I did this because I care.. and it is based on my expierence from doing research and speaking with my prospective VP... Please excuse any grammar/spelling errors, as I did check them, but I'm at work and don't have all the time in the world to do this. Some personal elements have been edited/deleted. References to Pat is the VP's name,. Keep in mind that this letter is informal as it is written to a friend. and to you Primerica Scum that will reply... [ insert nasty phrase] you. If you find this usefull feel free to reply to it. Good luck to you all


Before you call me crazy please read the entire email.

I have decided not to go through with primerica, hope your not insulted. A few things I kept in mind regarding my decision were the following:

Primerica has a 50% employee turnover rate (as per Pat) with to me means AT LEAST 50%

Primerica makes most of its money using a warm market approach meaning it markets to friends and family, which is why there is more of a focus on recruiting than sales. I will not sell something or try to recruit someone from my own flesh and blood, (or close friends whom I love) until I am 100% sure of what I am offering them. How could I possibly be sure of what I am offering them in the short time span of 3 months.

A warm market approach also makes it possible to sell products at less competitive rates because 'warm' people do not mind paying a little more to help a family member "start a business." So Primerica can only guarantee its warm market by having a constant stream of new recruits.

With a 50% turnover rate there is a high probability that Primerica representatives to not have the best reputation within the market.

Pat makes 300K bux (as per him telling me in our interview) a year, but between himself and all underneath him are responsible for generating 1 Billion Dollars in Revenue (revenue numbers came from him as well). That really is not a lot of money, infact its peanuts at a rate of a .3 % commission.

If I took any job at which the rate of sale was .3% commission, where I also had to pay for my marketing, people would say I'm nuts!!!!, how could I possibly generate enough volume to make a living? Hmm ok I'll recruit people to be stuck in the same boat as me, who are then forced to recruit others. Oh and btw sales are generally 3 per month per Primerica Agent (as per Pat). Here-in lies the pyamid. While the direct sellers do make more, this number is still very significant. Plus for those who refuse to recruit their friends/family, the commission on their DIRCECT sales suffers becase your salse generate a higher commission only when you have people under you.

As far as insurance sales please be aware that you can be charged a "charge-back" if your customer cancels the policy. With the great possibility of Primerica agents having a not so good reputation (sometimes even referred to as "unprofessional agents who seemed more concerned about recruiting me," the possibility of a customer not keeping their policy is increased. If you were then paid up front for your sale, you will then be charged a "charge back" which if you cannot pay, you may be charged intrest (This goes for the insurance sales industry in general, not just Primerica, and Pat did inform me that there are payment plans available so an agent never gets a charge back (ie. they get there commission monthly when the customer pays their premiums))

Now lets look at the insurance classes: We pay 200bux for everything and Citigroup pays 400 for a total of 600 (again as per Pat). How many employees does Primerica have?? I think the number was about 100,000 (easily), ok so at a turnover of 50% thats

500,000 employees trained at 400$ of company money (providing pat was truthful, and if he wasn't then thats the end anyway) for a grand total of

200 MILLION DOLLARS WASTED on lost employees!

Now I would much more prefer to work for a company that is wasting 200 million per year training people that will leave.. So look at this, is also give an idea of just how much money this company is making from us selling to our family and friends. And getting other suckers to do the same. Then instead getting more than .3 % commission (which seems inconsistent with the numbers they you/class showed me but is consistent with Pats salary), would pay a higher commission and focus on sales (ie BUSINESS) rather then finding other people to come in so that they can sell an unknown product to their flesh and blood.

With Primerica you are not even close to working for yourself! You are working for the people higher in the pyramid. That is what a pyramid is, and the only way to get the $$ is to get higher up (keep in mind pat is making 1/3 of 1% on all his revenue even at his level) and get the volume, and in many cases screw the people below you, ie the people that you are trying to give an opportunity to make money.

Oh and keep in mind, that if you want to generate sales you have to spend money on your own marketing promos (mailing lists, phone minutes, travel time, gas, wear and tear on the car to make your money)

Events that raised a red flag in the process so far:

1. Focus on recruitment as compared to business

2."Bring your family and friends" -- f*** that I'm not bringing someone else my own flesh and blood nor selling them a product I could not possibly know as the best... in a 3 month period

3. Dont give them details?? *** very important! Why because like the people that put commercials on TV, the Primerica Peps (for Pep-ralley) are professionals at selling the dream, while your just a grunt trying to make an honest buck, but dont know your could really be hurting people and damaging important relationships in the long run. [Personal Deletion]

4. Pay to get a job (not such a bad one, bc there is a license to get), but, I paid for my BA degree to get me a job.

5. Not once was I asked my job qualifications. Why (as per pat) the money spent on training (remember the 200 million wasted above) is far outweighed by the money profited by the company (or fat cats at the top of the food chain)

6. There is more I could write but I am frankly sick of being so disgusted at a company. I did about 8 hrs of research on this, found someone that used to work for Primerica

7. Would you hire someone that showed up in shorts? (I was curious if they would want me if I did that)

8 *** When I met with him as soon as I started sounding skeptical, Pat right away tried to sell me on my military association (reservist). Stating how they have a great policy that is affective even during times of war, and how they donated all this money to the USO, (which I already knew b/c I did some homework). Why the hell are you trying to sell me??? Just answer my ******* questions.

9. And as far as consumer prices on the actual products I could not get a direct answer except that "each product is tailor made to the consumer" Ok fine, how competitive are they with the rest of the market,. b/c if I am selling something I want it to be competitive so that I can say its better than what's out there, and be successful with the sale. I could not get an answer b/c each product is "tailor made".

10. I could not get a clear answer on a syllabus for the course I would be taking... WTF, Im paying for a course I want a syllabus. Ever take a college course and not get one?? I havn't and I spent 4 yrs of my life taking college courses.

11. Half of recruits fail the licensing exam (as per pat). So how effective can this training be??? Ok lets assume all these guys bullshit their way through it because they are lazy?? Well then I would still prefer a company with a better employee screening policy b/c that 200 million wasted on training indirectly as a new guy comes out of MY PAY, as you can be certain that it doesnt come from the $$ made by the higher ups.

So anyways you have my reasons now... I know I'm doing everything that Primerica guys say will happen and that your not supposed to listen to... Gee wonder why they say that?

This is a pyrmaid scheme, just like the knife selling people that knock on your door, just like the big catelog that convinces you to buy for yourself. The only winners are the fat cats, (and at .3% commission thats lame) and the REALLLY fat cats. The pyramid crap is hidden within the term Multi-Level-Marketing, and legal because of the fact that you do indeed have a product to sell. The is that Primerica is selling the dream to new recruits so that the big boys have a perpetual warm maket to sell to. Its ingenious by the people at the top, but its is unethical, immoral, and BARELY legal. Actaully there are many groups fighting to get the laws changed and outlaw such business tactics (my research was limited in this respect).

[ 3 lines with personal information deleted ],

Aside from that, I see these business practices as grossly un-ethical. I know that in class and stuff, I am not one to run off at the mouth, but thats b/c I generally try not to unless there is something meaningful to be said.. well guess what here is something meaningful. Have you ran this idea past anyone who's input may be meaningful?? I did and thats what sparked my research.

Anyways.. nothing personal, hope you still want to workout saturdays (not the first sat of the month though. And to reiterate, I felt it was my obligation to share what I have learned on the Primerica shannanagan. I think your talents could be better used... much better.

[Personal salutation deleted]

Boooo, New York

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#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

RE: Rebuttle Know your facts

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

Thank you for your response and the oppurtunity to further explain what you were not able to understand in the above post.

Turnover: You stated an industry average of 89% in 4 years, and I will not debate you. I however have stated that company turn is 50% IN ONE YEAR. Of 100,000 people thats roughly 21,000 per year industry avarage as compared

That is 50% in one year!!! As read above when talking about how much money is wasted, "...that is wasting 200 million per year training people..." Please pay attention to detail.

Regarding the $199: I realize 199 is cheap to obtain liscensing and considered staying onboard just for that purpose. However as stated above 50% of testakers fail. So this begs to ask 1. How effective is the class, or 2. Why is Primerica hiring (recruiting) so many lazy idiots? In either case its still 200Million dollars wasted annually, and even if you were immoral and recruited people to this pyramid, you are doomed to failure because half the people you actually get to show up (which will be considerably lower than the ammount of people you speak to) will fail. This wastes your time and your money. I would much rather be soliciting sales, but since thats really not the job of primerica agents once they are finished selling to their warm marked, it doesnt pay (unless you find a ton of recruits) This class btw is the only formal training you will ever get from Primerica, which receive many complaints that their agents suck (sometimes they simply try to recruit and don't do an FNA b/c the time is not worth it) Gee I wonder why the suck.

Lawsuit "role" model. Well there is a pretty simple reason why your not getting suits files. Because Primerica sells to a perpetually warm market who is 1. more likely to pay inflated prices and 2. Less likey to make a stink about it.
Read the following pdf and do a search within it for primerica (this is a canadian court case)$File/ADBCLASSACTIONS.PDF?OpenElement

...especially page 9 of the pdf.

You will see how Primerica's mandatory arbitration laws (which you didn't happen to talk about in your rebuttal :) )are unfair and are written to have the ability to squash any real action taken against them. So is Primerica a lawsuit "role" model? Sure it is if your a fat cat at the top of the pyramid.

Next: Going out and helping people "earn" 500 to 1000 dollars. What do you mean earn? Do you mean 'save' as far as cost of living per month? Or do you mean recruit to Primerica as to fatten your own pockets. If you mean saving, be aware that the "savings" come at a huge expense. For example Primerica offers a life insurance policy for slightly over 350 per month. The same policy offered by Travelers for under 200. Incase you didn't know, Travelers is also owned by citigroup... This was discovered by a "whistleblower" who worked for primerica for 19 years. Do a google search for it and you'll find it. I was going to post the site, but figured you would prefer to do your own "real" research (as indicated by your rebuttal) As an agent how can I be sucessful if I do not have competitive products to sell??? Especially after I already put time and marketing into it? Well I can either do my best to rip people off, or I can recruit other so they unknowingly rip off their own family (ie' warm market). This is not an acceptable nor moral way to conduct business, and it does not promote innovation nor creativity.

As far as not caring about what your manager makes? Well you should b/c you can bet your pay will be similar if you get to that position. Which in the former example is peanuts compared to the revenue he is directly and indirectly responsible for bringing in.

Commenting your 1993 magazine further, it was 1993, or 12 years ago. If thats the most recent praise you can find. I either pity your ability to do research or that very point makes a statement against the business practices of primerica. Ok well I'm done ripping the company apart for now...

As far as chargebacks... I did indicate that chargebacks are an industry standard and that Primerica offers payment plans to their agents to avoid ever being charged back. However they do not ever speak of this possibility of "losing" a sale you already made until its already too late. I had to specifically ask about it, and the surprise I saw on this guys face was priceless. So again, please make an effort to pay some attention to detail.

I will move on to your last series of comments..

As far as my shortcommings, I obviously don't have any otherwise you would not have listened to what I had to say (which you obviously did as indicated by the fact that you posted a response) Well thanks for the compliment :) but its just too much.

As far as the rest of your insults towards people who don't like primerica... well they are petty at best, and indicate ignorance on your part at best.


Can you make money with Primerica?? Yes you can, you can make a lot of money. If you are willing to do the dirty work of ripping off friends family and unsepecting new rectruits... Eventually MLM companies like Primerica will be put under by law and "real" business. But until that day comes if you have the blackness of a soul to do their biddings. With lots of hard work and many hours you CAN make money? However statistics say that you will not, and the money you will make will be at the expense of others, so you may in the end, consider you hard work wasted.

For you hard workers out there.. go into a business for youself and don't make the Fat cats fatter. BTW IAN I'm quite sucessful in my IT career, and am in the midst of opening my own business on the side... so don't talk to me about not working hard when the reason why you (and most others) probably signed up for Primerica is that they sold you on the dream that eventually you would not have to work b/c there would be those working under you.

Anyway, thanks for the compliment and take care.
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#2 UPDATE Employee

Know your facts

AUTHOR: Ian - (Canada)

i read this and had to laugh,why dont you do some real research. You said primerica has a 50% turnover rate,if thats true i am really excited about that, because if you did some real research, ie:insurance journal or any other industry publication, the industry four year average is 89% turnover and the industry average to train an agent is $114,000,look it up in any industry far as a pyramid goes any brokerage works on a commission split,and the $199 is for licencing,in alberta it costs about $1000 to get a licence through the local colledge and province if you were to do it on your own and its the same licence everyond has to have.and also when i can go out and help a family and earn $500 to $1000 by myself in an evening,i really dont care what my manager far as the charge back goes,that is standard in the life insurance industry,maybe you should check out Bests review,that is an industry publication,in 1993 they called us a role model for our lawsuit weary rivals because every other insurance company in the industry was in class action lawsuits except us,and january of this year we were on the cover and had a four page article on our company. that all being said i am thankful for this site,for it keeps me from wasting my time on the people that would rather listen to a bunch of people that have no clue about what they are talking about and would rather blame others for thier shortcomings, rather than do some real research.thanks again
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