Mountlake Terrace, Washington
16 comments

I am fascinated with complaints about Primerica. I am a Regional Vice President with Primerica in Seattle, Washington. I have been with Primerica since 1993 and run my own office. My wife is my office manager. Both of us are very thankful we joined Primerica. The company has one of the best financial and business training programs around.

Started Part Time

I made $2,000 a month as a part time financial rep with Primerica before quitting my government management job to join Primerica full time. Anyone can be successful in Primerica. But there is a catch. You must pass rigorous state and national financial exams and you must learn business, marketing and sales skills. Plus, you must work day to day, just like a job.

I challenge anyone who has written a complaint about Primerica to personally call me at my office at 206-525-9741 and convince me you did all these things and still didn't succeed. My guess is you didn't because you were hoping to get something for nothing. Success never happens by accident. It takes work.

My Background Prior to Primerica

I hold a Bachelors Degree from the University of Washington in Political Science. After getting my degree, I served as an Officer in the U.S. Army. After that I earned a Masters Degree from Seattle University in administration and spent the next 15 years working in high level positions in government, including being a Budget Analyst for the Mayor of Seattle's Office of Management and Budget. I later served as staff to the Seattle City Council's Finance Committee.

At the time I worked part time with Primerica I was a Division Manager for a property tax department for the King County Assesor's Office. In addition, I have served as a member of the Planning Commission for the City of Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

Is Primerica a Scam? Does it Work?

Is Primerica a scam. No.

Primerica is 30 years old. It is highly rated by independent financial rating organizations like Moody's and Standard and Poors. It is a division of Citigroup, the largest financial company in the world. It is a sister company of Citibank and Citicorp Trust Bank. By any independent assessment, Primerica is a respected financial services company.

Does Primerica work? Here's the catch that people who write in and complain don't seem to understand or don't want to understand. Yes, Primerica does work...but YOU must work.

Listen, if success in anything were easy, everyone would be successful. The truth is, success takes hard work. But if you dedicate time and really make an effort to get skilled and competent, the hard work is WORTH IT!

America needs more companies like Primerica.

Reminder to all of you complainers:

If you still have a desire to succeed, there are many of us who are willing to help you.

Sincerely,

Art Ceniza

Seattle, Washington

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Anonymous
#43520

I did post it just for kicks but it showed up on my thread, Primerica is an opportunity it is NOT A JOB, lol. Sorry.

GilbertRinTX
#42487

somehow, the name "GilbertRinTX" is automatically showing up as my name, but the field is not editable and I'm not Gil. LOL

Anyway, Gil, the fact that you've never heard of ANY of those companies should show you something. Check out how long those companies have been around on AMbest.com. If someone didn't pique your interest with the Primerica opportunity, you'd never heard of them either.

I respect that you're open minded, it's a lot more than most Primericans are. For kicks, tell us what a female is with the same age/non-smoker.

GilbertRinTX
#42482

Rachel, sorry, that was grmz13 at yahoo dot com.

Anonymous
#42476

Rachel, I want to tell you to check it out for yourself. I am in Primerica myself, and frankly, this is a bad place to get opinions as to whether you should move forward with Primerica. This is a website for pissed consumers, for complainers, so if you read enough of this stuff here, you will probably be discouraged.

1) Don't read anything by a guy named nextaxpro, he is not all there. Did u ever see the movie Contact with Jodie Foster? If so, he is the guy that blows up the machine the first time, the crazy religious guy.

2) Again, check it out. Find out what it entails and weigh the pros and cons. Like I said, LOTS of people here hate Primerica, for different reasons, but simply ask yourself what do you have to lose vs. what you have to gain. Financially, you'll be investing about $300 for you IBA application, your life insurance exam/fingerprints and your mortgage license. If you really want to do this, you can make that money back within a month of getting licensed (maybe less).

3) Lots of people here are gonna tell you not to work with Primerica because you will be a captive agent, which means you can sell ONLY Primerica products. According to them that's a bad thing. BUT you did go to a Primerica meeting and it DID interest you didn't it? So what is so bad about being a captive Primerica agent?

Me personally, the main reason I joined Primerica is that, like you, I went to a meeting and I liked what I saw and heard. I liked the fact that I can try this at my own pace, part-time, I don't have to quit my job and I can make a little extra money. Starting Primerica full-time is not a good idea beause it does take time and effort, but if my reasons for joining are similar to yours, I would say by all means go for it. Feel free to contact me at grmz13@yahoo.com if you have any questions. Good luck and take all the Primerica complaints here with a grain of salt.

Anonymous
#42324

Last evening, 10/14, I went to the 1st meeting of which I was impressed. However, being a born skeptic, I started doing some research and came accross this website.

The man that "recruited" me is from another country and was actually working at a restaurant prior to being himself "recruited". The man was just promoted to RVP and was telling us at the meeting, there were I believe 10 people there, that he will be making $400K now . Interestestingly enough, I actually met this man as there was an ad for employment on Craigslist, he was in need of a p.t. assistant, upon my interview he said that I was very professional and made people feel comfortable, it was then that he invitied me to the meeting.

He stated in the meeting that he still cannot read english that well but he managed to understand and read all the varied documents over the last 3 years. In reading all of the comments, which were good, bad and ugly..I am now asking whomever what is your take on this.

I have no experience in this what so ever and I am let's say hesitant in moving forward. Your comments please.

Anonymous
#42296

Gosh wrong thread, lol. Meant to post in my thread Primerica is an opportunity NOT A JOB.

Sorry.

PFS Truth, I will answer your questions. Respectfully.

Anonymous
#42294

Well thank you sir,

I'm ecstatic to report that I did check out the site term4sale.com (never heard of it). I requested a monthly premium comparison for a 32 year old non-smoker (regular/standard), 30 year term for $250,000. I got a quote from my palm device first, and the Primerica monthly premium for those terms is $39.90.

I requested a comparison between companies with a minimum A.M.Best rating of A+, which is the Primerica rating and the comparison generated 41 results.

If Primerica ($39.90) was on that comparison list, we would be ranked #7 out of 41 A+ companies. The cheapest is Savings Bank Life Insurance at $37.41, followed by Protective Life, West Coast Life, Western Reserve Life Assurance (these three at $38.72), Banner Life (38.94) and TransAmerica Life ($39.16). I have never heard of any of these companies ADVANTAGE: ME.

Sooooooo, 6 out of 41 A+ companies have better rates (3 of those have the same rate) than Primerica. That's pretty *** good! We're less than $3 more than the lowest price on that list! Doesn't sound like Primerica term rates are 50% higher, do they? Does that mean that Lincoln Benefit Life at $57.53 is over 100% higher than other companies? Massachussetts Mutual Life A++ at $70.69?

So, even though there ARE a few cheaper companies, there are A LOT that are more expensive (and lesser known). I've never seen or heard of them and I THINK that most people who buy term want to buy it from a person they know and trust, face to face, and not from a generic website like term4sale.com. Advantage: ME.

Thank you for re-enforcing my belief that Primerica term is extremely competitive, you gave me proof. I will show this spreadsheet at my next training. How do you like them apples?

Anonymous
#42283

When I said young, I meant young in the INDUSTRY ... not young in age.

Which is true because I understand you have been at Primerica for less than a year and it took 10 months for you to become a District.

What I am trying to point out to you is that you will have a lot to learn and as you learn those things it will take some of the luster off Primerica.

It seems like you might have a respectful debate about Primerica so I look forward to your responses.

By the way, I think nextpro is "not completely all there" ... A debate with him maybe "useless"

Anonymous
#42153

OMG!! PFS Truth I am so sorry. I replied to ALL your questions (or tried to) and when I submitted it gave me a wrong security code error message. AAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!! LOL

I spent over an hour and a half, they were lots of questions. I am so mad, lol. I will answer them again in a few hours.

Also, I didn't mean to insult you in any way. Nextaxpro used an excerpt from an article of yours and I was responding to him. I apologize, but I will answer your questions.

I am not that young (32), not brash and not a know-it-all either, lol. Again, I am sorry I upset you.

Anonymous
#41717

Gilbert I predict you will be out of Primerica within 6 months. Your making statements and you will do some research to verify some statements. Everything said about the PFS products and contract can be verified.

At a certain point it will come down to a business decision and you will look in the mirror and ask, who moved my cheese? From a business point of view the noncompete and ownership is a biggie. Being part-time and an independent contractor with no benefits form the company and being captive? Why the blind loyalty?

Answer: Because most new agents don't know what they don't know and no one else showed them the rule of 72.

Anonymous
#41711

Gilbert, Gilbert, Gilbert .....

Tsk, tsk, tsk ……

Hasn’t anyone ever taught you to leave well enough alone?

I was very content in reading the back and forth between everyone and never typing in another comment, but you had to use my screen name …. Too bad for you.

Honestly, that is what I would expect from a brash, young, new in the industry person, who just became a District Leader and just learned the Rule of 72 so he thinks he knows everything.

But let me clear up some things you stated incorrectly:

1. I was at Primerica 3 years

2. I was a Regional Leader.

3. I was number one in the state as a Regional Leader in all categories when I left, with a very large team, that ALL left with me when I left.

4. I had qualified for RVP already and turned it down to get larger (since I had to give a leg)

5. I was making great money when I left.

6. My complaint about "Everything was fine as long as we were making money" had to do with my RVP that was unwilling to help a person when they started and didn’t do very well, but once we became half his baseshop he was more than will to pretend to help. You see I believe that you should help a person no matter what but maybe Gilbert you believe you should only use people when you can make money off of them.

But since you have all the answers as an all powerful District Leader maybe you can answer all of these for me and for a new recruit BEFORE they sign an IBA.

Now remember do not use the typical new person responses because:

1. I know that Primerica is not a pyramid scheme

2. I know Primerica is not a illegal scam

3. I believe in working hard

4. I don’t like Corporate America

5. I don’t sell cash value insurance

So here you go answers these questions for me:

PRODUCTS:

1. It is way MORE expensive then most Term coverage outside of (State Farm and Allstate) … so if you are TRULY trying to save people money … why not find them the lowest instead of just what you have to offer. Remember you are trying to SAVE them money. Some Return of Premium Products are less expensive then Primerica Term. You are hurting your client. After knowing that how can you still sell it.

2. What would you do if your client is declined by Primerica. Tell them they don’t deserve life insurance then. You see this is what opened my eyes up, because my father was turned down by Primerica. Was I suppose to tell him “Oh, well .. too bad”…. No, I did what any good son would do, I started looking at other companies and found he could be covered with term insurance by them, for less then what Primerica was going to charge.

3. Term is the right product for 95% of people (sorry not 100%), the problem is you only sell Term which is great but what do you do when you run across a person that is in the Top 5% … Also think about it … aren’t you trying to get all your clients and yourself to that Top 5% … what do you get when you are there?

4. You are taught with your mortgages to say “Interest Rates do not matter” or “Ours are calculated differently” … If it doesn’t matter then why not give them a competitive one. I also dare you to put that in writing, Home Office Compliance would be down your throat quick because they know it is not true… so they don’t want it in writing.

5. With your investments … the market is down right now … am I suppose to sink money in an investment I know is going to go down right away …. That’s right Primerica has annuities now … even though just a couple of years ago annuities were “evil”.

6. Your Securities (investment) commission is HORRIBLE….. there is NO WAY you could live on it alone .. add it up.

7. A client’s money is sacred to them … why would they sink it into a company with so much negative press, it scares them …. Why do it …. When they can get the same thing for less with less negative remarks…. For all the agents who say that is just “some” agents that act like “that” …. They represent YOUR company and because the RVPs don’t care what type of people they are as long as they have $199 (now $99) so the RVP can win the next contest.

BUSINESS:

1. Primerica is NOT the largest seller of Term Life Insurance … AIG is … look it up.

2. How can you tell a new recruit that you can make a lot of money before you actually do it. Doesn’t that feel wrong to you?

3. The money you are spending for your IBA DOES NOT pay for your license… it pays for processing and your Licensing class …. Most states don’t require a class why does everyone have to pay for it.

4. Why can’t a new recruit go get your licenses BEFORE you sign your IBA?

5. Why can’t new recruit go see clients AFTER you are fully licensed and then sign ALL transactions? I know why this is the case …. Most agents are not making money so they need to sign it to make money and they are afraid the recruit will quit.

6. Why beat around the bush when saying the name Primerica ….. you are taught to say “Division of Citigroup” …. “Member of Citigroup” ….. “Largest Financial Services Distribution Hub” ….. “PFS” ….. anything but Primerica … it goes back to the bad rep .. and the fear that the new person will Google the name Primerica

7. People who leave Primerica are not quitters or couldn’t make it at Primerica … people making six figures have left Primerica for better opportunities .. and helping a lot of people … you just don’t know those other companies exist.

8. You would NEVER be able to recruit a person who is already licensed and knows what questions to ask.

9. Citigroup (not in the best financial shape right now and has Abu Dhabi is now the largest shareholder) is looking to sell Primerica …. FACT … check out the Wall Street Journal March 28th 2008 Section C … “Citigroup has a major retail presence in just a handful of major cities, including New York, Miami, Chicago and San Francisco. Primerica Financial Services, which sells life insurance and mutual-fund products, is up for sale but isn't attracting buyers, say people familiar with the matter.”

IBA:

1. You become a captive agent ….. not allowed to sell anything Primerica does not offer …. Hand cuffing you to fully help your client.

2. You only have one company to work with Citigroup…… why not allow you to use any company you want …. There are companies that do.

3. You have to give up a “leg” (your MOST productive team) to become an RVP …. Why not let them become an RVP AND keep their whole team ….. Other companies do it

4. Hear me when I say this!!!! YOU DO NOT OWN YOUR BUSINESS!!!!! Don’t believe me … ask your RVP if you move to a different company can you take your clients or team with you ….. you will find out real quick … read your IBA it says it in your IBA .. your RVP owns your business … you do not own your business until you are a Senior Vice President AND have had 5 years of at least 3% growth. … Until then your RVP owns your business … even after you become an RVP…… there are other companies that allow you to take your clients with you.

5. I will preface this comment …. I am a huge believer in recruiting ….. I love recruiting and I am good at it …. BUT you should not have to be forced to recruit to be promoted … you should have the choice to work yourself or recruit and have the same opportunity … America is about choice.

6. You IBA has a non-compete clause in it …. Which means try to leave for something better … see how nasty your old “friends” get.

7. You have to be full time to become RVP …. Do you forget some people like their job … pastors, teachers (I know the company was started by teachers … but you fail to realize A.L. Williams was a different company then Primerica) or anyone else that would like to keep their job.

8. As an RVP you are required to get an office … again I like having an office but some people do not want the overhead … why make them pay it?

9. You can be “Rolled Back” which means lose the promotions that you have received and the commission levels at your RVPs discretion …. Not enough production, illness, or because your RVP wants to teach you a lesson.

10. Some people do not like the risk of the market …. You can not sell a fixed / index annuities …. Most of you don’t know what that is … don’t worry I didn’t either when I was there … trust me your hurting some of your clients by not having access to it.

11. What happens when you have a recruit at your same commission level … you 2 are at the same level you get no override …. Doesn’t that make you want to keep people below you … not push them up…..Some companies will still reward you even when you are at the same level

12. A brand new person starts at 25% ……. They can do all the work (and you know as well as I do … getting a warm referral is most the work … so don’t tell me because you did a flip chart presentation you did most the work) and they only get 25% ….. the RVP get 95% …. So the RVP get 70% of something … they may not have been there for….. doesn’t sound fair … I thought Primerica did what was right “100% of the time”

13. Let’s say Primerica goes out of business (don’t believe it … check out ENRON, Bear Stearns, and Citigroup…. And read the Wall Street Journal article I reference above) ….. your contract and license is with Primerica … what do you then? … because I already explained to you … YOU DON’T OWN IT

14. Do you like paying for POL, Call Atlanta, marketing material, leadership school, and training (hype sessions) …. Most companies give that stuff out free

15. DO YOU LIKE CHARGEBACKS?????!!!!! …. Come on of all things I know you are tired of … we have to agree on chargebacks ….. for those that don’t know what a chargeback is: the agent turns in the paperwork to Primerica and is immediately paid …. But the policy is not issued which means if the client changes their mind, finds something cheaper, does not qualify, drags their feet on blood work, stops paying or for any reason does not get or continue the policy …. Primerica wants their money back ….. which means they take it out of the next check or the next one or the next one which means you are running up an escalator and YOU KNOW IT …. Sorry to give out the dirty little secret but you can not say you like the CHARGEBACK …. Again not all companies get those and NO company gives them out as much as Primerica

16. Most people become disable before they die …. You can’t sell disability insurance or you will be fired … hurting your clients again

17. What about health insurance … again .. try to sell it and you will be fired (by the way … does it make sense that you can be fired from your own business?)

18. Critical care …. What if you client gets cancer … or do have insurance for that …. Nope …. Fired Again … By the way before you say it …. Most life insurance has accelerated death benefit …. So Primerica not special with that.

19. Make sure you check with Primerica before you do ANYTHING if they don’t like it they can terminate you (read your IBA) … sounds like a JOB to me .. I’d rather be independent…… the sad part is most of you don’t know you can be ….

Good Luck with these ….. but knowing a typical Primerican … you will either not answer any of them or just a few ….. but refuse to answer all of them … because you have no real logical answers.

Anonymous
#41690

One more thing. PFS Truth was/were in Primerica for 2 years and got to Division Leader (that's slow by the way).

I think one sentence says it all about PFS Truth and I quote:

"Everything was fine as long as we were making money."

What does this mean? This means that they were fine with Primerica, but somewhere along the way, things got tough (which happens in any business), they weren't making money, and all of a sudden, Primerica having them speak at meetings, getting invited to someone's home for supper and being introduced to the family is all done so that you will let your guard down?

All this proves to me is that no matter what you do, YOU CAN'T TURN WHINERS INTO WINNERS.

Whiners will whine in Primerica, at McDonalds, at Wal-Mart, wherever.

Anonymous
#41688

Good stuff Art. I am also a District Leader with PFS and I hope to get to where you are one day.

I just wanted to tell you not to bother with nextaxpro, check out just a few of his links and you'll see why I say that.

RepentAmerica.com?

Really?

Sodomites are 2.3% or less of the population yet responsible for 56% of the child abuse and 99% of the murders of children!!!!!!!!!

I don't approve of sodomy but 99% of child murders? Come on nextaxpro? I mean I love Jesus, but get serious!

Anyways, to whoever asked if it's the mission or the commission? Well frankly, for me it's both. I mean, I consider myself a good guy but I don't work for free, I have bills to pay and a family to support. When I can afford to volunteer, I will, but at this point I can't.

Also, PFS Truth said they were a means for their upline to make more money for them. Uhhhhhh yeah, what's the problem there? Your upline CANNOT make money, unless YOU make money, right?

Let's review: If I make money, my upline makes money. If I don't make money, my upline makes no money off me. Unless of course, they are making money from personal sales or from OTHER recruit sales.

Where's the scam there? If I recruit and train, when my downline makes money, GUESS WHAT? I make money. If my downline doesn't make money, I don't make money off them.

The idea is basically this : A LOT OF PEOPLE DOING A LITTLE. You can succeed by getting a lot of people to do a little or a few people to do a lot. Get 100 recruits, and say just 10 make a sale in any given month, you still get a nice override commission check plus whatever you produce personally.

Anyway, Im getting off track. If you make money, upline makes money. Your downline makes money, you make money. What's so bad about that?

nextaxpro
#41598

Thou shalt not bear false witness. You who defend a pyramid bloodsucking scheme will burn forever if you do not repent! There are millions of testimonies vs. Primerica and other evil, fraudulent pyramid schemes, even on this board. And I will collect more and more on my website for ALL to peruse. Here's one. There are a multitude, even on this thread. Primerica used to have 200,000 reps. Now there are 100,000. The turnover, as in any pyramid scheme, is astronomical. So Primericans are trying to sell to Primericans, which is the exact same as the old envelope stuffing scheme:

"I am so glad that former Primerica reps are speaking up to the real truth of what Primerica really does to people. I especially like what PFS Truth had to say in April 2008. My husband and I joined the business about 2 years ago and slowly rose up the ranks as Divisional Leaders. We were asked to speak at meetings to motivate new people to come into the business. We followed what our RVP told us to do to the letter. Everything was fine as long as we were making money.

We were told that if we were going to become RVP's then we should like Chargebacks. We were told to tell people that term was the best policy to have. We weren't allowed to sell any other product outside of what Primerica had. We were not allowed to advertise (our) business because head office wouldn't allow it. We were told, "we were in business for ourselves but not by ourselves."

None of what they said to us was true. We were not running our own business. All we were was a means for our upline to make more money for them. If you are a new person showing up for a business opportunity then you really don't know things until you hang around long enough. The person who invited you in the meeting doesn't tell you anything until you get to the office and they show you a film. They most of the time come across as being your friend. Inviting you to their house introducing you to their other family. Giving you supper etc....

This is done to let your guard down. You think to yourself if this person invites me to their home then maybe I should trust them. They act like your friend because they have an invested interest in you because of your warm market.

I'm not bashing Primerica people, rather stating the truth. We didn't leave Primerica because we weren't making money either. We had a better offer! An offer that would enable us to tell people the truth from the beginning. As things were revealed to us we couldn't continue working for an organization who deceives people. There are alot of others who are working with Primerica who really believe they are doing the right thing.

All I can say to the Primerica supporters is that if there is smoke then there is fire. Primerica is not the victim here and doesn't not need people like you to shout out others who think there is something wrong with Primerica's methodologies.

I wonder how many current Primerica reps have read their IBA Agreement????? So my advice would be to read your IBA Agreement before you shoot your mouths off to others saying that their negative. TELLING THE TRUTH IS NOT NEGATIVE!!!!

Everything PSF Truth wrote is the Truth! I don't even know who this person is but I can tell that they know how Primerica doesn't business. By the way, CITI Group has not been in business for 30 years. Primerica has been formerly named A.L. Williams. So don't push the Citigroup stuff cause you all know that Citigroup is doing really terrible right now. Especially regarding the class action lawsuit against Citigroup for deceiving investors. Do your research people! As far as I can see anyone who disagrees with facts are just trying to be wrong and strong."

Anonymous
#41514

The system Primerica has in place does work. People who buy into it can make a very good income, but it's wrapped in the notion that the main goal is to help people.

The goal is to recruit as many people as possible and keep who sticks. It's recruit to sell at it's best.

Let me ask this. Your doing well at primerica, but why are you at Primerica? Is it the mission or the commission?

I understand this is a loaded question because if you say mission then you will be confronted with product comparisons, which you can't win. Then if you say commission you will be confronted with your contract, which you can't win.

Anonymous
#41492

Someone articulate that works for Primerica.

Anyone, no one doubts the business model "works" if you work the business. However, the new agent MUST understand a few facts prior to deciding to "work" with Primerica.

- Most people get annoyed at the new agents for constantly pestering them for business. Agents lose friends/family constantly and quit after they realize others are alienating them

- Most agents don't make much money at all

- The products sold by Primerica are unbelievably expensive and at times deceitful

- Most Primerica agents don't receive one bit of education outside Primerica after they're initially licensed. This leads to many of the false and misleading claims and accusations about other companies, their agents and commission structures.

- Most Primericans are never exposed to the obvious examples of when permanent life insurance is the ONLY way to go.

- Theoretically, Primerica's reps can be a McDonalds fry guy one day, and within a couple of weeks represent himself as a financial advisor for Citigroup---very misleading

- Uplines recruit to attain commission levels, will help or "force" place business to help the upline attain those levels and then throw most new agents out to the street for "experience" becuase their usefulness is gone. They've blown through their warm market on non-paid "training" appointments and now know nothing and have to recruit the next sucker.