I've read just a little of the Primerica complaints and some of them are really out there. I am a Primerica rep (actually a District Leader), I do this part-time and I've been with the company for almost a year. This is what has been my experience so far.
I went to an "opp meeting" also described here as a ra ra meeting and I liked what I heard. They talked about helping people and gave stats about the debt crisis and about the difference between cash value vs term. They gave an example of what they did for a particular client and what you would be paid for those services if it were you doing it. I liked what I saw and I decided to try it.
I have been a police officer for almost 10 years. When I started, I was making $36,000 and now I'm at $53,000. It's not a lot, but it's pretty decent here where I live, especially if you consider that I don't have a college degree. Still, as a police officer, the most I'll ever make is about $75,000, unless I became the chief of police, which would get me close to $100,000, but I don't want to be chief. So, it's not a lot of money just like most other salary jobs.
So when I found out that I could get started with Primerica for roughly $300, I thought, "I spent more than that on my XBOX 360 Elite," and I still spend at least $100 a month on movies and games. I say $300 because it's $99 for your application and pre-licensing (with study materials for the life insurance exam). It's about another $100 for the exam and fingerprint fees, which get reimbursed if you pass your exam, and it's another $99 for your mortgage license. I also pay $25 a month for my online access, which is how I submit my life and mortgage applications (paperless baby, yeah!!).
So I signed up in September of last year and by November, I was life and mortgage licensed. In less than a month after that, I made my money back almost three times, so no scam there. Nobody withholds commissions. You can't get paid until you're licensed, but once you are, you can make money.
I was never told or guaranteed that I would make any certain amount of money. I don't believe and was never told that we have the cheapest term life insurance. I dont believe and was never told that our mortgages were the best out there. I do believe, however, that we help put people in a better situation than the one they are currently in. That's all we try to do. We try to give people information that they didn't have before so they can make better choices. We try to get them out of debt as soon as possible. We encourage our clients to get rid of their credit cards altogether. Are there better companies out there? Maybe there are. Are there better products out there than ours? Maybe there are. I don't know about everything that's out there. But I believe in our concepts and I share them with my clients: Buy Term and Invest the Difference, The Theory of Decreasing Responsibility, The Rule of 72. That's all. We try to help. I am happy to say that I've had nothing but satisfied clients so far.
Recruiting: Yes, we recruit people. You don't have to recruit if you don't want to, but if you want to promote yourself, you HAVE to recruit. Promotions give you a bigger commission percentage, meaning more money. I want more money. Also, if you recruit people, you make a small commission from their sales as well. That is why we offer the Primerica opportunity to everybody. Also, extra income would solve a lot of people's financial problems (the main reason I joined).
Unfortunately, people use all kinds of tactics to get people to come to the meetings and to get them to join, which in many cases, turns people off and leaves then with a bad taste in their mouth about Primerica, but not all Primerica agents are the same. Actually, Primerica agents are VERY diverse. I personally recruit people only when they ask about it, usually after I did a loan or a life insurance application. They know I am a police officer so they are curious as to why I do this and how much I make for it. When I explain, they usually think the same think I did when I joined, which is "not bad" or "why not give it a try?"
Don't get me wrong. This is not for everybody. Out of 100 people that join, 80 will not even get licensed and drop out. Why? There's many reasons. The biggest one is that it's not easy. It is hard. It takes work. It takes time. A LOT of people don't make it here because of 2 MAJOR things, fear of failure and fear of rejection. They are worried about people will think if they fail. They will get discouraged at the first "No" or "Not interested" and they will take it personally and that will be the end of that. It's hard. But I believe it's worth it. Also, if everybody did it and was successful, it wouldn't be an opportunity. This is definitely not for sensitive people, people that don't like people, and definitely not for whiners.
Finally, this is a business opportunity. It is NOT A JOB. You don't get benefits, medical, dental, health insurance. You don't get sick leave and vacation hours either. This is not a job. You are an independent financial services agent and you work on 100% commission.
So far, I've made about $12,000 doing this since last November. It's not a lot, but it's very good extra income if you factor in what I am doing for it.
Finally, Primerica is not a scam. Yes, the compensation IS MLM. MLM is not illegal. Pyramid schemes are illegal. What's the difference? The only difference is that in a pyramid scheme, there is no product or service involved. We market financial products and services. We are not required to buy Primerica products ourselves. People, common sense. The financial services industry is highly regulated. Primerica would not be around for 30 years if it were a scam. And if it is a scam, I guess the joke is on Primerica cause so far I have scammed them out of like $11,700!
Hope this helps.