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Is Primerica a Scam?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by wikus, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. macrumors 68000


    I've recently finished studies, a second program to add to my already existing skill set and have been sending out resumes and looking for work online through websites like Workopolis, Monster, Indeed, etc.

    I got a phone call a few days ago about a guy from Primerica saying he got my resume on Monster and would like me to come in for a chat about potential employment at Primerica. I immediately thought 'I don't remember sending in a resume for Primerica.... but it probably went through one of the staffing agencies, so great!'

    It all went very suspicious from that point forward;

    1) The interview time was setup for 6:10pm, quite unconventional since most interviews for job applicants are done between morning and 4pm, you know, during the standard 9-5 shift.

    2) Searching for the office location revealed it to be out in the boonies next to manufacturing locales for gas companyes, carpeting, and other type installations. Weird area for what I thought would be a corporate locale.

    3) Upon arrival for my interview it was in a small building with no cars parked outside. It looked deserted.

    4) Entering the office was where things got real sketchy. Walking through the main door revealed no front desk and an empty pseudo-classroom room with a whiteboard and a bunch of cheap chairs in a quite run down room. It looked very depressing but more especially cheap and unprofessional like in a portable classroom unit from elementary school.

    5) One of the guys sitting in another room greeted me and asked if I needed help. I mentioned I was looking for <anonymous name>. Was told to have a seat and he'd be out in a minute.

    6) I waited a few and my interviewer turned out to be someone who looked a lot like Peter Gibbons from Office Space except without the cool attitude.

    7) After a brief introduction between us he finally laid it on me that he was looking for individuals to expand his 'office' (I use that term loosely since nothing from what I saw looked at all professional) and basically needed more salesman.

    At this point I was pretty pissed off thinking, my resume is NOT catered to anything in sales, its for IT and Development and I'm having my time wasted on this bollocks?

    I wasnt going to be a prick so I decided to let him talk to me about what he had to say. The whole time though I was thinking; 'Why is he speaking to me in a tone and manner that he's trying to sell me something that I don't need where its supposed to be a job interview?'

    I listened to a lot of the stuff he told me about the company, gave me a sob story about the founder and himself which further fueled my skepticism towards the company making me think 'this seems like a scam.....'

    Anyway, I left about 30-45 minutes into the meeting and drove off home thinking I should make my resume on monster private and send out some more to relevant places.

    Has anyone been approached by Primerica or considered employment with these guys? Something just doesnt add up with them and it all stinks with of some kind of scam.
  2. macrumors 68040


    They just sell insurance right? Pretty sure I went on one of these interviews.
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Uhm, yeah, you should have just googled Primerica.

    Look at the Wiki entry. It starts with

    "Primerica, Inc. (NYSE: PRI ) is a multi-level marketing company.."

    This is where I would have stopped reading and stopped wasting my time.

  4. macrumors 68000


    Yeah, insurance and investments. Pretty disrespectful for these guys to lead on individuals for a real job.
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Reminds me of an "internship" interview I did last year. I'm in college and got an email about doing an internship at a successful company. I went to the "interview," and it turned out it was being a summer manager at a company that employs illegal immigrants to paint houses. Additionally, it was a group type of setting, and like 4 other people were invited.

    Indeed, it sounded like he was trying to sell something to me, and made heavy use of telling me how much money I would make and how great it would look on a resume. In reality, they're just looking for cheap labor so they don't have to put competent grown men in the positions.

    I don't think it would be that great for employers, though. If they're begging people to take the positions, I don't see it being a very impressive accomplishment to many people. Luckily, I found a much better opportunity a few months later.
  6. macrumors demi-god


    Multi level marketing...effectively a pyramid scheme.
  7. macrumors 68020


    My friend tried to get into this a few years ago. Basically you're "hired" by someone to sell insurance and gather clients. You get commission from your sales but your "boss" gets more money, and so does his boss. In your position you're pretty much doing bitch work to make money for the branch.

    The reason why the "office" looked unprofessional is because it's on the branch manager to get his own business space and start his branch and he probably got your resume because they try to take anyone.

    I do know someone who's higher up on the pyramid and I guess he's making decent money as he has people working for him etc.

    You're better off finding a real job.
  8. macrumors 68000


    Man that sounds really shady.

    I have no intention of switching career paths when IT and Development pays a guaranteed rate and much better. I'm kind of annoyed that I'd be lead on by the dude calling me about my resume and asking me to come in for an interview. My resume *clearly* states what field I'm in.
  9. macrumors 604


    I'm sure this has been answered but YES ITS A SCAM!

    I got suckered into it from a friend when I was 18. I was stupid not to listen to my own instinct. (ok not really suckered since I left when they wanted money and I saw what was going on but still).

    Basically all it is is a pyramid scheme and they will charge you for an "insurance license" then they'll charge you for "insurance classes" and then make you cold call people to sell them insurance. They'll also give out peoples paychecks in front of everyone saying how much commission was made. This is to keep newcomers interested.

    Don't do it, cut your ties, run and never look back.

    Oh and its funny you mention the "looking to expand their office" because thats what they kept telling people in our area.

    The Primerica people where I lived would just walk around the mall looking for people to hire. No legit company does that. Ever.
  10. macrumors 68020


    I didn't mean a job outside of your field or what you want to do, I meant a job outside of primerica :p best of luck with your search
  11. macrumors 68000


    Oh, lol. Yeah, well to be honest if they did offer me a corporate job within my field at an hourly rate, I'd probably take it. I don't think they could weasel their way out of paying anyone on an hourly basis unless they wanted to be in a world of ***** with the labour board.
  12. macrumors 603

    Use it as a learning experience.

    The first thing I would have done upon getting a cold call for an interview is a little research on the company. A trivial google search shows "multi level marketing", so unless I was specifically interested in working for such a company, I would have immediately cancelled the interview.

    If it seemed plausible that an MLM company had an IT department, or was hiring IT freelancers or contractors, I'd still consider whether I wanted to work for such a company. If so, then when the interview begins, the first thing I'd do is ask if this is for an IT position. If I got an evasive answer or an MLM sales pitch, I'd simply pick up and walk out, saying "Sorry, this isn't what I thought it was." There's no point in wasting my time with a talkative salesdroid if it has no bearing on what I'm looking for. Again, a learning experience.
  13. macrumors 65816


    I have been contacted by them several times over the past few years since graduation in 2009. I Google'd them the first time and called right back and told them to cancel the interview.

    Then, I had a friend of a friend get involved with them. My friend let him know that I was looking for work and gave him my number. He called about 5 times over the course of a month or two. He was incessant that it was a great company to work for and I'd be making a ton of money, that once I came in for an "interview" I'd be sold.

    Short answer, yes, I'd consider it a scam.
  14. macrumors 68030


  15. macrumors newbie


    Let me tell you my experience with Primerica. My husband (now ex) had an insurance policy with Primerica. When we got married he wanted to change the beneficiary to me. The agent came to our home, I really liked her, and she started recruiting me. . . 13 months later, after spending $1,800 to get various certifications and licenses (Series 6, Series 63, Life and Health, P&C), I got my first commission check for a mutual fund sale - of $9.00. Now even I was able to see that this gig wasn't exactly paying off. Luckily - and I really don't know how I avoided this - I resisted getting her in front of any of my friends or family. For the few that she did meet with and stick into annuities, I was able to rectify the situation later. Oh, this was a part time job, that I did after my full-time job. You had to attend weekly rah-rah meetings. The typical payout (commission) on a mutual fund is anywhere from 4% to 5% of the total investment. With Primerica I got .25% because all the rest went to the uplines. I kept asking her why wouldn't I be able to go with a company that actually paid me and I always got "Because they assign territories and you wouldn't be able to get in." I ended up getting hired at Merrill Lynch, got the rest of my securities licenses and, 15 years later, am still in the business - as a Registered Sales Assistant. Love my job, love the clients - and I don't work on commission or have to do any kind of sales. Primerica is a pyramid (multi-level) marketing. Their products have very high expenses, which diminishes returns. But the worse part, to me, is that their recruits get no training whatsoever in asset allocation, analyzing mutual funds, determining suitability. They have one or two things they push and are familiar with, and everyone goes into those products. I wouldn't exactly say Primerica is a scam, but it's not the professional organization they purport to be. Very rinky-dink and will recruit and hire ANYBODY that will sit in the chair.

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