A Former Primerica Representative’s Story

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This woman says that Primerica Financial Services representatives lie and misrepresent the business opportunity to others  in order to get them to join and stay an active part of the plan (even if they’re not making any money).

Hi. My name is Anne and I was a Primerica representative (full time) for about 7 months (from May ’07 to December ’07).  I ended up in a multi-level marketing job in Primerica as a young adult.

I like what the company stands for and stuff (as far as helping families with their products), but it’s such a difficult position to be in.  A lot of your success is based upon how many people you know.  I knew the products backwards and forwards, became a decent sales person, was able to conquer most objections, but because I didn’t have a big warm market to start out with, I sucked.

When I first joined into the company, I was promised that everything was easy and I’d be making as much if not more than I was at my full time steady desk job… so I quit my regular job because at the time when the opportunity was presented to me, it was a “regular” paying job just with very flexible hours.

When I wasn’t making sales left and right, it was my fault.  Always my fault.  I didn’t try hard enough.  I wasn’t pushy enough.  I couldn’t be relentless enough to tire out the client and just make them give into me.  It wasn’t enough that I was always in the office from 9 to 12 making phone calls trying to recruit people.  Always trying to get on appointments.  Always at training.  Went to Atlanta, GA for their big convention weekend because “it was what I needed to see to jump start my business”.

When I wasn’t at appointments or training or conventions and huge meetings, I was making calls.  My life became Primerica… I lost friends, lost my self-esteem and dignity, lost sight of my passions because God forbid I spent time doing anything else other than PFS, and that still wasn’t enough.  I was still “lazy” in the eyes of other reps because I kept barely missing my marks to get my promotions.  (And when I wanted to leave to pursue my dream to become a veterinarian, I was a HUGE dumb loser who gave up too easily.)

In the 7 months that I actually was an active representative, I only made a total of about $700… which is $800 LESS than what I made in ONE month at my old desk job… $10,500 LESS than what I would have made in those 7 months!!  Thanks a lot, direct upline manager who told me I’d be making MORE than what I was with my steady job!  He sold me the dream, alright, but it turned into a damn nightmare.

I tried to keep holding on because all my hard work was about to pay off, but instead I got into so much debt because of this company it’s ridiculous.  I just now again found a steady job, but I’m still months behind on credit card payments, behind on my car payments, behind on student loan payments and on top of that I owe my grandma money I had borrowed from her just to try to keep somewhat current (I’m just glad that during this time I was living with my mom because otherwise I know that on top of all of that if I had rent to pay or a mortgage, I’d be homeless, too).

Really, I have never met so many liars in one company before… Everyone’s always lying about how well they’re doing (the most common lie which I am even guilty of because “everything is perfect and going great” when you’re in front of part-timers, new recruits, and complete outsiders) when in reality the only people in the company who are actually doing decently are the Regional Vice Presidents and those who are higher up than them (Senior Vice President, National Sales Director, Senior National Sales Director).

Multi-level marketing can work for some people (like those who have loads of money and time set aside so when they constantly fail to get a paycheck they can still make ends meet by rationing their saved up money until they actually con enough people into joining their cult to be able to live off of them and replace said money that they originally lost), but most of us are not cut out to be hard sales people (and even more so recruiters) because we care too much about others.

I hate the actual marketing job position, but I do like their products and what they stand for… They are good, quality products and I’m not just saying that because I was in the company, but because I have done my own comparisons to other companies’ products and still own a life insurance policy from Primerica.  The representatives lied to each other about their productivity, but I never knew of anyone lying to clients/customers.

54 thoughts on “A Former Primerica Representative’s Story

  1. DaveK

    >”The representatives lied to each other about their productivity, but I never knew of anyone lying to clients/customers.”

    She still doesn’t quite get it. As with every other MLM scam, the representatives/recruits *are* the primary clients/customers; selling the actual product to ‘civilians’ is purely incidental, not the main point of the business.

  2. JOE

    Thank-you Davek, I just ran into a guy pitching Primerica. They talked like marketers so it was nothing new.
    But buying a job (even if its only$99) raised big red flags. I read the silicon implant chick in 2 seconds and
    knew the place was sparse on integrity. This office has an entire family in on the deal. Wife, Dad, sons and daughter in-laws plus more. No matter what job you do now, if it actually creates value for others and pays not so good, it is still infinitely better than this place. There is nothing anyone has on this earth to sell to me that
    is worth being a scumbag. The big fancy boat, car, vacation just aren’t worth being completely false and phony. I would go home knowing there is good reason to hate myself.

  3. eddy maldonado

    Who thanks just came from an “interview ” i felt pyramid scheme since i met him but i need money for my future child
    I work hard and make my money
    And they tell me i can make more and all these beautiful lies but it dosnt fit
    I want to be ontop of the pyramid not the bottom supporting block

  4. I feel so bad, a friend of mine referred me told me she was getting no money and when I got there I didn’t think it was okay to put down 99, but they made it seem like I would win it back in a month, j also said im not willing to call friends and family to get them to be my clients. Im not sure what to do now. Is it really a bad job? I also don’t want to put 25 per month to become certified, they said they pay all of that and I will get the money back but what if I don’t? I don’t get their goals?

  5. Crystal M

    I’ve been a victim to a whole boat load of jobs like these, and left within the first day/week. It’s about knowing the right trigger words, and the fact that you would have to pay to be employed is a huge red flag. They prey on those who are in need of work and the integrity goes out of the toilet. I had just gotten a call for a Primerica representative a couple hours ago actually and that’s why I was searching reviews. Everything he said triggered all of the red flags and it was very similar to the other scamming calls I had recieved recently. I also like to work hard for my money, but the deception is far too much for me to handle. The guy on the phone just mentioned that they were partnering with Citibank and expanding and blah blah blah, and I didn’t buy into it. I asked him more questions and he duck and rolled at every one, telling me to wait until the information session. Just like the others, I do not reccomend such a job or career choice, there are many other jobs out there that are more legitmate and do not feed off of nameless representatives. I hope this helps if the other comments didn’t sway you the other way already.

  6. Bill Bartholomew

    This web page was made by a competing company to slander Primerica. Defamation is illegal.

  7. Jim K

    I just want one of these people to explain how a scam company can be on the stock exchange, how many people would have to be paid off for this to happen, this has to be a competitors page. They hate us because companies who truly investigated us have proven we are honest and ethical. Do some real research if you want the truth. 38 years in business give me a break. Saying something online doesn’t make it true.

  8. Tracy Coenen

    Jim – That’s easy! Remember Enron? It was also on the NYSE, and it was running a huge financial fraud. The products Primerica sells are legitimate, although mostly overpriced. The “scam” is the “business opportunity.” In my opinion, multi-level marketing is a huge scam. You can read more about that on this blog.

  9. Nick

    Primerica should simply ask would you like to pay 99$ to join a company that you have to have monthly service fees, try to sell your friends and family members Primerica product. Work out of your own pocket? Not make any money while the managers make it all and the sales people make squat? Well Primerica is the perfect company for you!

  10. Quaisha Thornton

    The Company itself is a pyramid scheme and there are plenty of shady franchises/base shops.I just started with this company and within 35 days, I already have conned someone else into joining me. I do have to lie even though numbers don’t. I started with -$0.09 in my bank account after giving my $99, I wish I wouldn’t have ever tried this nonsense.

  11. Dede

    Well you are all wrong and lazy. HARD WORK = FINANCIAL FREEDOM

    Most of you didn’t even put forth half the effort. I mean you slave away pay check to pay check. But when given the chance to MAXIMIZE your income with that same “slave” work. You mess it up with your negative thoughts. You control what happens. Overcoming objections is some you have to do That’s just life. You have to believe in the product and be using the products as well. Call it what you want. But the truth is YOU have to make it work for YOU. If you don’t well then that’s on you. Other reps only serve as a means of support.
    The sky is the limit

    You create your own destiny and perhaps this wasn’t for you or your desire to be financially free wasn’t strong enough…

  12. Tracy Coenen

    Dede – Hard work in a real job or a real business can lead to financial freedom. Unfortunately, MLM is not a real business. Nearly everyone involved in MLM loses money because it is a rigged system that guarantees failure.

  13. toolbelt

    In researching this company for a friend who is considering employment (well not really employment) there, Ive noticed that in the 100’s of Pro-Primerican posts, there appears to be repetitive use of well scripted arguments used over and over and over, almost like they come out of a Primerican truth slaying manual? The truth is, based on official Primerican website info itself, they recruit almost 250,000 new reps each year, yet their sales force remains in the 90-100k range. Would anyone take a job knowing that the position in question was filled 4 times in the last year, and previous years?

  14. Tracy Coenen

    Toolbelt – Except for a few items very specific to Primerica (we’re traded on the NYSE… used to be part of Citigroup…), you wlll find about 30 to 40 catch phrases that could apply to any MLM. They scam has become very well developed over the years.

    You didnt want to work,
    X works when you do!
    There’s nothing else like it on the market.
    We prefer to sell person to person so we can educate the consumer.
    You’re a dream stealer.
    Just because you failed doesn’t mean others will.
    I don’t sell, I share!
    Do you have a few hours a week?
    You can make a great income just from selling the product!

  15. toolbelt

    According to their own 2014 Annual report, avg monthly sales by licensed rep was 0.19 (or 2.28 policies per year). That pretty much says it all……its purely a numbers game to recruit their 200,000 new reps annually, sell them a policy maybe, and get a couple off their warm market before they figure it out and quit!! Thank god their entry and exit doors are the same size otherwise the “lobby” could pose a fire hazzard!

  16. Alan

    I was about to join today, when this site steered me away. Thank you. There is an office in Boca raton, Florida. Beware

  17. toolbelt

    I know that Primerica likes to brag about having the most 6 digit income earners, however they forget to mention its a cumulative, not annual figure. So a guy 20 yrs ago could have a career 12 month sales period, and sell nothing since, and he’s still counted. Read the 2nd last page fine print. Bending the truth to the point of lies!;
    http://www.foxunited.net/company-destiny_us.pdf

  18. Tracy Coenen

    Toolbelt – Many MLMs make claims like that… most millionaires made, etc. They’re all lies. First, they don’t factor in all the expenses. Second, no company fully discloses all earners, so no one could possibly know if a company has “more ____ earners” than any other.

  19. pmk37

    Hello Ann, I know exactly what you mean. I tried Primerica back around 2004. It sounded like a good deal. I went to all the “rah rah rah” BS sessions, training, weekend seminars, etc. Fortunately, I never wrote a policy for anyone (thank God). Then I started asking questions, such as, why does PFS do a cookie-cutter “one-size-fits-all” plan for every family, no matter who they are, or what stage of life they are in? I was told to keep quiet and keep making phone calls. Fortunately, not long after that I came to my senses and quit.

  20. Couch potato Head

    So yeah I would like to watch Undercover Boss Primerica edition. Have the CFO infiltrate a couple base shop and see what’s going on. Will we ever get to see the elusive training or just recruiting spiel. I can’t be the only one interested in seeing this.

  21. Ann, I too follow you. I ‘enrolled’ in their insurance-licensing program Jan 2015, with the clincher interest of learning more about the sales end. Wasn’t able to follow through with the course however, due heavy schoolwork. But did attend several weekly ‘sales team’ meetings. Was unimpressed with the whole camaraderie. A room full of newbies all on their phones, cold-calling potentials, reading from the scripts provided blahblahblah. The immediate “drill for skill” sales pitch portion was laughable. Copies could not be taken home for practicing. It was all strictly in-house. I left and never looked back.

  22. Curtis Riley

    TRACY said remember ENRON, well let’s not forget “Arthur Andersen LLC” one of the BIG FIVE accounting firms. the firm voluntarily surrendered its licenses to practice as Certified Public Accountants in the United States after being found guilty of criminal charges relating to the firm’s handling of the auditing of Enron. That scandal also brought into question the accounting practices and activities of many corporations in the United States and was a factor in the enactment of the Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002. TRACY, your industry has its share of crooks, so does that mean we should trust or readers should put their confidence your every word concerning a company you don’t like? I don’t think you’re even big enough to have made an accurate or factual assessment of Primerica. But who am I kidding, some people need a sounding board and you have provided them with one, legitimate actual people or competitors?.

  23. Tracy Coenen

    Curtis – Nice try, but you have failed. MLM is a complete scam. There is no “good” MLM company. Comparing me to bad actors in the field of accounting doesn’t change that.

  24. Betina

    You guys are morons. You apparently want to be slaved by all other business people who employ you. Go ahead, there is nothing wrong with that. Primerica is for every body but not every one is for PRIMERICA. If you are tough and strong you will make it , if you don’t make it, then you know what you are only capable of. Its not easy but it is SIMPLE. It takes a person with a huge heart who has a purpose to serve people and do the right thing to last in PRIMERICA.

  25. Tracy Coenen

    Betina – Multi-level marketing is not a business. More than 99% of people lose money in MLM. In other words, people have almost no chance of succeeding. That’s the sad truth.

  26. Randy Bolton

    READ!…. As a VERY experienced life insurance agent, the problem I have with Primerica is that they are captive, or at least 99% captive. Agents with Primerica sell Primerica products such as term life and annuities. The term policies are among the absolute most expensive term policies in the market and the same goes for the annuities. I have met with over a dozen clients and CANCELLED their Primerica (outrageously over-priced) term policy and replaced it with a higher death benefit, lower priced, better riders policy. A better life policy all the way around! More coverage, more riders, better riders, BETTER rated companies and at a MUCH lower price. No reputable EXPERIENCED life agent would ever work for Primerica, because the point of life insurance is to put the client first!

  27. Josh Taylor

    Please read this if you’re considering Primerica. I decided to check out Primerica on the side from the recommendation of another fellow teacher that I worked with. I met with the “RVP” who showed up in a corvette, looking like the biggest and cheesiest douche in the world. Turns out I was right on the money. This guy sat down and gave me all the BS about how I would make 60K-100K guaranteed in my first year. Why would you ever guarantee someone that on your first meeting without knowing who they are and expect them to take you seriously? They prey on desperate and naive people which is awful. I went to one of their “team meetings” and it was a very awkward cult like experience full of immigrants screaming they were free from a job, thinking they are their own bosses. Their numbers they preach at the intro meeting don’t add up and are made to sound great to people who don’t know any better. The guy looked like he was wearing his dad’s suit jacket and literally was saying things like “What sounds better to you, 50K or 2.4 million?!” as his sales pitch. They have Walmart greeters and druggies in there thinking they’re going to be millionaires. If Primerica employees were doing so well everyone would make huge salaries. Fact is the common employee makes about 5K per year! The only guy making some money is the RVP who is taking a huge cut of everyone below him. That is how you make money there, duping and conning desperate people into thinking they just got a lifetime opportunity. All they do is push you to recruit and sucker your family and friends. Look at the facts of this company and it’s laughable. I’m a teacher and my wife is a registered nurse and the RVP wanted us to both walk away from our careers to be fully dedicated to Primerica. What a huge, humorous joke! Can you imagine. Run from these people at all cost. Thank God I never pursued this and immediately spotted all the red flags. Ask for pay stubs from these guys, you will never see them because they are all liars who will tell you you’re just lazy and couldn’t make it. LOL!

  28. VR Owens

    I myself am a life insurance agent. I picked up a Primerica Rep’s card the other day from a store and gave her a call. Found out she just moved back to Ohio from Ca. a couple weeks ago. I really felt sorry for her after talking to her because she didn’t understand insurance at all. I hope she’ll start thinking for herself before she wastes too much time.

  29. MARIA E PADILLA

    In 2005 i lost my best friend to Primerica . My friend of 25 yrs. It was heartbreaking. Her husband joined and left his secured job for Primerica. I asked her to please not talk to me about Primerica. No way was i going to leave my job of 16 yrs to work at a pyramid scamming company. Well, needless to say i lost their friendship. Now years later i hear he had to quit Primerica and get a real job. I feel horrible for them because they truly are great people and they were only doing this for their family. They really believed in it. Primerica even got them to change religion. It saddens me. I miss them dearly. Never got to see my godson again. But, i wish them the best.

  30. Rita

    That is so funny when Network Marketers keep calling people “slaves” because someone happens to work in a regular job. It’s not the even the MLM industry itself……it’s the people who work inside this industry who are RUDE and NARCISSISTIC as hell and they always try to insult others because the rest of us aren’t doing what their doing! Ever notice that?? The typical MLM’ers happen to have very nasty ass personalities! They’ve been “trained” to be ultra aggressive and even stalkerish to some degree in order to attract new recruits.

    “You’re a SLAVE in a job!”

    “You didn’t make it because you were LAZY!”

    A new one as of lately: “Education or College is a SCAM!”

    I would imagine that someone would still have to go to college if they want to be a lawyer, doctor, engineer, accountant, registered nurse, teacher, biologist, historian…..well, you get the drift.

  31. Ljanderson

    I am so confused right now I found out about this company at a job fair. I have been to a couple of meeting they make everything sound so promising. I am really skeptical about this, I want pursue my nursing career, but all i hear at the meeting are people talking about getting money not an education and moving up higher in the company.

  32. ellen pratt

    What a scam. You get hooked in after 70 yrs old,you get charged to stay alive. These people are ruthless.

  33. Mikecamil

    Primerica is Pyramid Scheme. To legitimize it, they use their Term Life Insurance, Which is overpriced compared to others. Primerica is MLM similar to Herbalife or Anway. If you decide to join them, do not give them list of your family and friends. You can sell to them later on when you get your license. Otherwise your upline can take over your warm market. That is the reason they insist so much and actually have forms ready to be filled for names of family and friends. Every year they collect over 30 Million just in Primerica Online Web fees. A service that is free with other Insurance companies. Don’t fall for it

  34. Brett

    Guys, thank you all for your input. Some great stuff.
    I have a meeting with a rep today that i will use much of thi sinformation for my questions to them.
    it started like a scam as soon as i heard with people on top only making real money.
    My lady is a hard worker and they are trying to get her involved to get at her network of friends to recruit and sell to them. she will end up making nothing but they will still gain from her friends investments
    Josh Taylor, you summed it up real good, thiose meeting says it all.thank you.
    Tool belt you are right. it is a numbers game.
    they try to get at your social network and get their investments. when you leave they still retain them.
    if they can recruit 200k a year and each one of them can get them 4 friends, thats over 800k in potential sales.
    year after year. thats a great mlm scheme.

    thanks again for all your info and stories. my decission is made but i still must attend this meeting to question the facts and their cause

  35. Tyler Adams

    Primerica grew out of the old AL Williams insurance company which preached buy term, and invest the difference in a separate investment vehicle. This was a vast improvement over the whole life insurance plans that the traditional insurance industry had sold for years and still sells to this day. The biggest problem with Primerica besides the multi level aspect which is geared for the guys at the top, is that Primerica’s term is very pricey and can be purchased for far less from many competitors. In effect they are now selling a product that is equally as bad as the whole life they used to rail about in the 70’s and 80′ Their clients are left underinsured and could have way more coverage with other companies for the same money that the client is spending at Primerica. Their guidelines for promotion are not strictly enforced and favored agents can be moved up the ladder at the discretion of the regional vice-presidents. There are far more reputable companies out there to service the publics financial service needs.

  36. Ford

    You sound like a scorned lover. Every job or opportunity isn’t for everyone. You have to be committed to it just like your committed to complaining about your current jobs or lack their of finances. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a business.

  37. SmarterthananMLM

    OH Ford, You are just affirming what all the other ‘scorned lovers’ on this page are talking about. When you can’t get people to drink the Primera and Premier Financial Alliance Kool-Aid, you try to insult them. Typical tactics of a Pro MLMhead…..That’s you…

  38. I don’t understand how you can NOT make money. I have been in insurance for over 10 years. If you sell a life insurance policy you get paid a commission. It is this way with any insurance company. In any insurance company you can fail if you do not sell enough. It’s not just Primerica. It’s with any business. I know Allstate agencies that close their doors. I focus on the products and look at recruiting as really building a team, so I am looking for people who want to be an entrepreneur or have insurance experience already. Just like any business, not everyone is a prospect. You have to qualify them. If someone likes to work a 9-5 job and does not really want to be an entrepreneur, they are not a prospect. Hope this helps.

  39. Tracy Coenen

    Stephen – Remember that Primerica pays smaller commissions to the person selling the policy than normal insurance companies because they have to pay so many levels of the pyramid. Also, the focus is on recruiting new reps, so the current reps naturally sell fewer policies than your typical agent (who is actually focused on selling the product, rather than recruiting). Then of course you have your expenses. If those exceed your commissions, you’ve lost money!

  40. Great Gatsby

    The reps representing this company prey on those with the promise of a dream. They know there is enough gullible people around to keep the scheme going

  41. Vinny

    They sell an over inflated priced term policy and no other life insurance product. So you would go into an ice cream store and buy overpriced vanilla ice cream if that’s all they sold?

  42. All you need to do is look at their financial reports. Among 117,000 licensed reps the sold just about 70,000 policies (1q 2017). Not even one policy per agent!!!

  43. Nevagain

    Sorry about your ordeal. I was about to consider Primerica, but once I found out that it was a job selling life insurance, I declined it. I worked at lousey cold calling insurance selling jobs, and even the ultra scammy Vector Marketing. Iies, hardly any money, and an utter waste of time.

    Lastly, the so called ‘coach’ I spoke with over the phone became mad when I turned the position. I suppose one good thing came from working multilevel jobs: I now know how to identify them quickly. Thank u Jesus.

  44. Araceli

    This company is a pure scam for ignorant people. They target people with no experience desperate to do something with their life’s. I am a single mom who trust in one of these representatives. I spend about $500, between driving to their training and paying for bills in between. Yes they act that they are doing so well, when in reality they are dying to find some one to work for them. You literally work for free until you brainwashed some one else to work under you. I once in a while still so mad for being so full, and trust when I was in need. I almost quit my job, that now I am so grateful to have. I have no words to describe these cult with a bunch of liars.

  45. toolbelt

    Lets review some annual report numbers;

    Policies in force at 2015 year end…….2,403,713
    Policy sales during 2016………………… 298,244
    Policy claims during 2016……………….. 14,600
    Policies in force at 2016 year end……. 2,489,493

    Would anybody care to do the math as to how many policies are now missing?

  46. Jedidiah Pettitt

    I don’t know everyone’s methods. All I know are the methods of my team and I. We do what’s right 100% of the time. I will have been with the company for a full year this November. I’ve made $30,000 so far and the year is not even over yet. I would like to also mention that I am a part timer. I have a just above minimum wage job. “journey of the broke” making $25,000 I don’t plan to go full time until another year. I have to make sure I have consistent first. I really didn’t know a lot of people when I started but i made it work I figured it out. Primerica is a great company. We really just want to see everyone succeed financially. I would like to personally apologize to any of you who may have had a bad experience with an un experienced agent. You can do anything you set your mind to. #WORK #BuyTermInvestTheDifference #DON’T QUIT #NeverGiveUp #YOUR FAMILY IS WORTH IT
    #FINANCIAL FREEDOM!!!

    VISALIA CALIFORNIA PRIDE

    PLAN TO WIN
    RECRUIT TO BUILD
    IMPACT LIVES
    DOMINATE
    EMPOWER OTHERS

    Love you guys see you at the top!

  47. Tracy Coenen

    Jedidiah – Your chances of making a living in an MLM like Primerica are almost zero. You’d be much better off putting your time and effort into finding a way to advance at your current job, or looking for a different job that gives you better pay and better advancement opportunities. Sorry, but that’s the reality of it.

  48. 381MEDALLION

    I joined this sham (term life ins. only) insurance company over 16+ years ago. In hind sight, I wish I had listened to my mom’s advice. She told me it would be a waste of my time. I should of spent more time pursuing my passions not theirs. All that money and time was wasted on attending Opp night meetings, training meetings, and going to big conventions which are always over a 200 miles away. Josh Taylor your honest comments about this company are so true, much love bro! Their reps lie all the time about the money their making, to create this illusion of success,its really a nightmare not a dream for these reps,because nobody’s making any money except the ones at the top! How is that not a pyramid?? And when they wake up and realize the cold hard truth, their best friend Oops….. I mean their pimp the RVP is going to tell them they are lazy and they are not talking to enough of their guillable family members and friends about Primerica Financial every day. Think about that for a few seconds. How many true blue friends do most of us have in our inner circle? If you are honest its 5 people or less. It was’nt easy but I quit recently, I’m done and I won’t refer any of my family or friends to them!! The only goof proof way to make more money in America is to work hard for it with your own hands folks and go back to school

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