Over on my consumer awareness site, Pink Truth, I have put together a few articles about Primerica Financial Services.
Like Mary Kay, Usana, and Mannatech, Primerica is a multi-level marketing company (MLM). The big difference, however, is that these other companies have a tangible product for sale, and many of the abuses come from loading participants with inventory they won’t ever be able to sell.
Primerica sells insurance (mostly life insurance), mutual funds, mortgages, and debt consolidation services. It appears that “debt consolidation” is the cash cow for the company, and it’s questionable whether consumers are really better off with the Primerica products than without. (i.e. The representatives are incentivized to push these products, even if it may actually cost the consumer more money!)
Primerica is a subsidiary of Citigroup, so many think this gives them instant credibility. Not for me. All it means is that Citigroup executives figured out how lucrative MLM is for the owners of the scam.
Here’s where Primerica enters the territory of being a scam:
- Overpriced products pushed to low- and middle-income people who probably have little to no experience with these financial services. They won’t realize the products are overpriced.
- Most of the sales are made by unlicensed representatives, meaning they aren’t well-trained about the things they’re selling.
- The representatives are generally paid lower commissions than at other companies. This is because Primerica is paying up to six levels of people about the salesperson. This is a hallmark of multi-level marketing. The seller gets a small payday so that many in the upline can get paid too.
You can find more information about Primerica on Pink Truth.