What do you think about Pre-Paid Legal Services?

"Buy 1 for yourself and get the chance to sell your friends and family 5 and get your downline started!" We examine the multi-level marketing industry, where only the people who come up with the ideas make any money, and everybody else is left unhappy, broke, and tired of reading scripts and selling overpriced vitamins and similarly worthless products. Includes Global Prosperity, Pinnacle Quest International, IRS Codebusters, Stratia, and other new Global Prosperity scams.

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hartley

What do you think about Pre-Paid Legal Services?

Postby hartley » Tue Aug 14, 2007 7:07 pm

I haven't ever seen anyone mention them here, so I figured I would, since I was involved with them for a while.

Are they legit? Are they an MLM? If they are an MLM, does that mean they're automatically a scam?

In case you've never heard of them, here goes:

They have an actual product to sell, it's a form on insurance. For a monthly premium, you get access to several legal benefits, of which I took part of several while I was involved with them. The product works as advertised.

Their basic plan, for $26/month you get:
- free will prep
- free legal phone consultation with an actual lawyer in your town or state
- free legal contract review and advice
- free letter-writing
- free traffic-related criminal defense (from as small as a speeding ticket all the way up to vehicular homicide, the company's founder started the company because of an accident he was involved in in which someone died - or at least that's the story); the only exception is DUI, which falls under the "other assistance" category.
- 75 billable hours of criminal defense (except for alcohol or drug-related offenses)
- 50 billable hours of IRS audit assistance
- 25% off the firm's hourly rate for other assistance

-At least in TN, their sales reps must have Insurance broker's licenses from the State of TN Department of Commerce and Insurance; that's not a lie, because they made me get one when I signed up. In most states, the same is true, they gave us a list of which states required licenses and which did not, and were careful to warn us we could not operate in other states without getting that state's license as well.

Not bad, really. Here's where the MLM comes in:

- Their sales reps get paid commision off of plan sales, and if they recruit a new sales rep, they get a fraction of that rep's commisions, too, a descending amount up to 4 or 5 levels down the line (However, even after commisions, around half of the money goes to the company). All sales reps must be plan customers. Their sales training and sales brochures focus almost as much on the business opportunity as the product itself.

- To become a sales rep, you have to purchase their training class, which is around $150, all of which goes into your upline's pockets, none of which goes to the company.

Their website is http://www.prepaidlegal.com/

So, what do you think?

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webhick
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Postby webhick » Tue Aug 14, 2007 7:54 pm

It was a pyramid scheme when a client of mine signed up 6- 8 years ago (can't remember exactly when). There was a securities fraud thing around 2002. I remember something about hidden fees. I can't remember exactly how that worked. It may have been something close to you calling up for legal services and them saying they needed an additional retainer to work with you. I also remember hearing rumors of blatant violations of professionalism.

Damn. I'm gonna have to look this one up.
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hartley

Postby hartley » Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:56 pm

webhick wrote:It was a pyramid scheme when a client of mine signed up 6- 8 years ago (can't remember exactly when). There was a securities fraud thing around 2002. I remember something about hidden fees. I can't remember exactly how that worked. It may have been something close to you calling up for legal services and them saying they needed an additional retainer to work with you. I also remember hearing rumors of blatant violations of professionalism.

Damn. I'm gonna have to look this one up.


I never had a problem with the product, and I used the service several times over the 2 years I had it. I was never charged a dime over my premium for the legal service itself.

It was just that the sales scheme seemed vaguely pyramid-like, which always bothered me. I never really made as much in commission as they promised, though I never devoted myself to it full-time.

And yeah, bugging your friends and random strangers into becoming insurance salesmen also never seemed quite right.

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Postby Judge Roy Bean » Wed Aug 15, 2007 2:12 am

I've never come across a pre-paid legal service that had the skills and knowledge to take on a serious consumer issue. Most (perhaps not all, but definitely most) of their staff aren't trial lawyers. I've seen some who don't have even a fundamental understanding of RESPA or their state's foreclosure law other than what they just barely read up on. Worse, almost universally they are non-confrontational in their approach to protecting their client's rights and financial well being.

My experience has been that when the going gets tough the PPL camp simply folds their tent.
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soapboxmom
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Postby soapboxmom » Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:28 pm



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