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American Income Life - Ail


Deceptive recruiting practices

Complaint Rating:  93 % with 14 votes
93% 14
Contact information:
AIL - American Income Life
United States
I was interviewed by AIL. It was an interesting experience, to say the least.

When I arrived there were about 30 people waiting to get into a small office area, they had us all sign in on a clipboard and called us one by one into the interview. The interview lasted all of about 2 minutes. About half of the people were told "thank you" and escorted to the door, the other half were led to a boardroom with a big projector. I was one of the lucky boardroom people.

About 15 of us were waiting in this boardroom and the Regional Manager came in and started giving us his presentation. He was in his late 20's to early 30's and was a complete and total jackass. He kept talking about how much he hated being in our city and the only reason he was here was because he had to find a new manager for this branch and one of us was going to be that lucky manager. He said "we've got an MBA and a CPA in here, but that doesn't matter, all I care about is can you SELL!" He never pointed out or talked to the MBA or the CPA so I don't even know if they were real or if he was just hyping us up. He kept referring to them but never looked at a particular person. I think he made them up.

Anyways he goes through his schpiel and tells us about the job. This is on a Wednesday. He said that he was going to do final interviews with a "select few" of us the next day and the new person would start Monday. As he put it "I'm anxious to get the hell out of this town and go home so I've got to get this person trained!" He did keep telling us about how grueling the first 60 days would be. He said that we would be in the field almost every day (after our intial week long classroom training period) and would be trying to SELL, SELL, SELL to build up our clientelle. He said it will be typical to work 60 - 70 hours a week during the first 8 weeks.

There were definitely a few things I found interesting about his presentation. First off... This job is 100% commission, NO salary. He said that if you sold 5 policies a week (the minimum required) you would be making $48, 000/yr. However, most people sell more and make more. The average policy cost is $12/week so they are very easy to sell.

That made me do some quick math in my head. If you sell 5 policies a week for about $12 a policy that total dollar amount is only $3, 120. They are going to pay you a commission of 16 times your actual sales?!? BS. No way.

Another odd thing... He wasn't presenting this to us like we were a group of people and he was just giving us company facts. He was trying to sell US on a job with THEM. Now if you have ever been to an interview and the employer was trying to sell you on the company instead of the other way around, you probably know that there is something amiss.

Another odd thing... He said that he was hiring a branch manager and then he was going to hire that manager a group of employees after the manager was trained. But they already had people working there. Why would he need to hire a manager when he already had some people on staff? The people who already worked there weren't qualified to go into management so he is going to hire someone off the street with NO insurance experience? HUH? He said several times in the interview that he was only considering people with NO insurance experience.

Yet another odd thing... I was asked one single question when they interviewed me prior to going to the boardroom. It was "Do you see yourself as an individual or team player?" My reply... "I'm both." Two words. That's it. I know it wasn't a very good reply to an interview question, but my suspicion was so aroused by all of the red flags that I wasn't considering working at this place anymore, I was just trying to figure out what their game was.

Two more, then I'm done... Next odd thing... The girls that worked in the office were all knockouts. I mean they were drop dead gorgeous. They may be excellent insurance agents, but it made me think they might be more of a recruitment tool than salesmen (or saleswomen), especially when I looked around the room and saw that the potential employee pool was a man to woman 14:1 ratio.

Last odd thing... After we got done with the interview he gave us a single sheet of white paper and told us to write on the paper a short statement about why HE should hire US. So I took my pen and I wrote five words... "Because I'm hungry for success." I turned in my paper and shook hands with one of the managers and as I left I thought "well, I hope that wasn't the opportunity of a lifetime, cause I sure as heck blew that one."

About 3 hours later I got a call on my cellphone. "Hi (my name) this is (her name) at AIL. I just wanted to call and congratulate you on a job well done today. The Regional Manager was so impressed with you that he would like to invite you back tomorrow for a final interview. He said you were at the top of his list!" I was shocked. I was practically a smartass the whole time. I didn't make eye contact. It was clear that I knew there was something rotten in Denmark about the whole ordeal, and he wants ME? I told her thank you and we agreed on a time for the following day. I pondered as I drove home "why ME?"

When I got home I promptly Googled "AIL SCAM" and "AMERICAN INCOME LIFE SCAM" and I found hundreds of webpages about AIL and their deceptive recruiting practices.

So here is what I surmise...

AIL was not hiring a manager. They were looking for agents. What kind of manager is strictly 100% commission? If your job involves managing others you usually get some type of salary. But none-the-less.

Their game seems to be that he was going to call all 15 of us (or the vast majority) back for an interview the next day. Hire all of us and start all of us training on Monday. He would have told us that one of us would be selected as manager or that we are all managers in training or some nonsesnse like that. They would have worked us like dogs for 70 hours a week signing new clients non-stop that first 60 days, dangling a false opportunity out in front of us like a carrot in front of a turtle. Most of us would have given up during the 60 days and would quit. At the end AIL would have few (if any) agents remaining and have a whole host of new accounts we'd signed up during our tenure. Then they'd just rehire another group and go through the same thing over and over and over again.

What do they have to lose? They don't pay for our licensing and if you do not work there for a full 10 years you are not vested, so you lose all of your residuals. They walk away with a bunch of new clients and no agents to have to pay yearly commission on those accounts.

It is the perfect scam.
Complaint comments Comments (16)    Updated: Complaint country United States Complaint category Employment, Staffing, Recruiting Agencies


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N  13th of Jan, 2010 by    0 Votes
I should have been more descriptive on my math...

5 policies/wk @ $12/policy = $60/wk in polcies.

$60/wk x 52 weeks = $3, 120 in premiums per year.

$3, 120 in premiums and they're paying you $48, 000/yr? Come on.
N  20th of Jan, 2010 by    0 Votes
To gussy82:

Your math is a little off. Let me help you. What you missed is that jack ### is telling you that each policy is $12 per week or around $50 per month.

$50 per policy x 5 policies per week is $250 in monthly premium per week.

$250 x 4 weeks per month is $1000 in monthly premium.

Now, AIL pays (rather loans you your own sale) 45% of the annual premium upfront, except that they only advance you 65% of that commision and keep the remainder until the policy is in force for 9 months. If so, the remainder is paid to you. The fact that 50% of all business falls off the books withing the first 6 months anyway means you typically won't see the remainder balance. But that's a story for another time.

So, a $12k per week policy is about $600 in annual premium. If they tell you to do 5 of those a week, that's $3, 000 in annual premium or about $12, 000 total per month. Of that $12, 000, the agent actually sees $3510 ($12k x .45 x .65). Now at this point an AIL drone will say something lame like, "agent's contracts are at 50%..." Blah, Blah, Blah. That's true, but only after you write your fist $10k in annual premium.

So those numbers look like this $12, 000 in annual premium x 50% x .65%= $3900.

A monthly take home of $3900 x 12 months is $46, 800 per year. This is before expenses and taxes of course since the agent is responsible for all of that. Now at this point another AIl ### will say, "Agents still get bonuses and renewals and managers are on a higher contract..." Blah, Blah, Blah. The truth of the matter is, you have to be there a year to get a renewal. Approx 50% of the business you wrote the year before won't be on the books for that renewal period. They won't tell you this of course, but its true.

When it comes down to it, an new agent will work his or her butt off all year in the hopes of making $50k before expenses and taxes. This is why statistically 98% of all new agents leave after 6 months. They figured out that they could be making more money working at starbucks full time with paid benefits.

So you did the right thing by not going to the final interview. This company is a joke, the guy that did your interview is a joke and how they are still able to treat agents like this is beyond me.

All the best
N  18th of May, 2010 by    +1 Votes
I like this post. Both people are well educated and pretty well informed.

gussy82- all i can say is it sounded like that manager was a D-bag. I have no idea why he would lie about something like hiring just one manager. And I haven't the slightest clue why ANYONE would drone on about how much they hate a state, territory, region. It is quiet tactless and tasteless of him to say.

But AIlcansuckit, you're correct in a lot of respects except for when you state
N  18th of May, 2010 by    +1 Votes
whoooooops, I accidentally sent it... sorry.

You are correct in a lot of respects except for when you state that "Approx 50% of the business you wrote the year before won't be on the books for that renewal period. They won't tell you this of course, but its true."
If this were actually true then the agent wouldn't get paid, period. You need to hold at least 80% retention (net to gross for anyone under 8 months) so your bonuses and your advances are not affected. My first year with AIL I had 92% Net-to-gross and 3 years later (and going) I am sitting at a retention of 81%. If you want proof I can show you my AP&P reports and statements. All the agents in my office (Asheville North Carolina) are on full advances and bonuses. The lowest retention (or net to gross) in my office is 70%.

Though the reason that most agents do leave is for the reason that you stated. Because of the retention of business, or lack there-of. Which it's not because of the company or anything like that. In many cases it has to do with the agent specifically because the reason they have low retention really does matter. If they have low retention because they have a lot of DECLINES that's their fault. If it's low because they have a lot of NTO's (not taken offer) then that's the manager not doing his job on showing the importance of the sale isn't mad when you collect the check. It's when you deliver that policy in their hand (i deliver in person). And another reason is for WTH (withdrawn) which is mainly due to the fact that the sale made in the home wasn't completely cemented, or the person was not 100% sure that they absolutely wanted it and the agent collected the check already. It's very important to know those differences because if someone quits because they have 50 cancels then that agent should not have been writing up so many people who couldn't qualify. This is also usually due to the fact that the agent is selling just to sell even though he knows it may come back to haunt him.

With NTO's unfortunately in this industry most managers overlook making sure to train their new agents on ways to keep their retention high and more importantly because a lot of them have the mentality of "SELL, SELL, SELL, " and that will cure any problem. That is half true, if you sell enough it will generally cancel out the DCLs and the WTH, but it won't speed up the time it takes for you to start recieving renewals (unless you pretty much triple your production from the previous month to that current) NTO's are very avoidable but most agents are taught to realize that is an important aspect of our business. To not just collect the check, but to make sure that the policy is finished through underwriting and in hand. I would say it's more important to pay attention to the business you already wrote, as opposed to the business you WILL write, because you've already been paid on it. And the worst feeling is to get money taken away for work you already did. Especially when you've already spent 1 hour presenting, 30 minutes making sell, 2 hours finishing all the paperwork, 10 minutes cementing, not following up would be just silly. Again, it unfortunately is not trained on very often.

WTH- This is a major problem that has to do in home. you've made the sale too soon, before the member had really felt in their mind and heart that this is what their family NEEDS, not just wants or likes. Most people tend to forget that we sell an emotion, we don't sell tangible objects like cars, houses. The people we sell the benefits to will never be able to feel it, smell it, taste it, drive it, or wear it. So if you make the sell too soon without them feeling like their one hour is for their families benefit and for their protection and for them to have no doubt about that. Then you will have a lot of these, If you haven't built up enough importance after you collect that check, it's like a fire it will eventually burn out and all there will be left is smoke and ash and at that point they will say, no! I want to keep my 70 dollars a month for some extra beer!

My first year I mad $80, 000 and in that same year received my Balance of 1st year and Renewals. Not everyone will achieve this, in fact only some will. But that's how every job or career works. There are some people who won't even make it 2 whole weeks working at McDonalds, that doesn't mean McDonalds is a joke, it just means unless one has full faith in themselves to be able to get up early in the morning even when they don't want to, or have to and still be able to get their job done and do it to the fullest of their abilities.

I know this is quiet old and neither may respond, but also it's about 1am and i'm laying in bed and sleepy so i'm very sorry for any spelling errors. Good day all.
N  1st of Feb, 2012 by    0 Votes
i recently got an interview today with AIL they did send me for the final interview what do u think should i go or not? Is it really a scam?
N  9th of Oct, 2012 by    0 Votes
I've recently been asked to interview with AIL. They offered 2 positions they will be hiring in- Branch Manager and Benefits Representative. Were you offered two positions to be interviewed for? I have no interest in Branch Manager, even more so after your post. Was there any mention of Benefits Representative?
Did you observe anything along those lines. Your input is important to me.
Thank you.
N  14th of Feb, 2013 by    0 Votes
I too was called for an interview by an AIL rep who said she (Lady X) had my resume and was told by her director to set-up an interview with me. The next week, I arrived for my interview, if you can call it such, 15 minutes ahead of the appointed time. The process was impersonal--more like a cattle call (I was in a room with about 15 other "candidates", some of which were to be interviewed by the same Mr. X., and some to be interviewed by other staff (from an HR standpoint, I find this unprofessional to have candidates all "huddled" together. Anyway, after a 10 minute wait, my name was called and a Mr. Z (not Mr. X as indicated when I was first contacted) greeted me, and escorted me to his office. Mr. Z did not ask me the "typical" recruiter/HR questions, in fact, his approach was more like he was attempting to sell me a vacuum cleaner, or a used car. When he completed his "script", I asked exactly which position I am being considered for, but he too just like Lady X, never gave me a direct answer, but instead said, "well we'd like to see if everyone we talk to is a "good fit" for us, and if "AIL" is a "good fit" for every candidate, but then instantly he asked me, "how is your work ethic". Mr. Z then tells me that he is going to escort me to a conference room where he would like me to sit, interact, smile, take notes, and ask questions for AIL's overview of the company, and "try to be noticed". Mr Z said this overview is necessary to see "who is a good fit". At this point, my mind is turning on all cylinders. As Mr. Z and I walk to the conference room, he hands me a "personality profile form", and he tells me to complete this form in the conference room while I am waiting for the overview to begin. The profile is 4-5 pages. When I entered the conference room, there are at least 20 so-called "candidates" already seated, filling out their "profiles", and waiting for the overview to being. At this point, I asked Mr. Z to, "point me to the direction of the restroom before I get started with the profile and overview". Mr. Z walks me over to the restroom, and greets me good-bye with, "I'll see you after the overview and have a good day". I waited in the restroom for 5 minutes, then went back to the receptionist and told her, "I am unable to stay", and I left the building and drove away in my car. AIL, in my opinion, scams people to get them in the door to a "so-called" interview, but in reality, they are looking for telemarketers/sales people; however, they never disclosed this piece of information when they initially contacted me, or when they had me meet with Mr. Z. To ask "so-called candidates" to sit for a 1 hour overview of their company, fill-out paperwork, and "try to be noticed" is beyond comprehension from an HR perspective.
N  22nd of Feb, 2013 by    0 Votes
I left the interview when I realized it was a cattle call, and before filling out any of AIL's paperwork, and before listening to their overview. Didn't want to listen to their scam any further, and as I said I left and did not give AIL the opportunity to hire or not hire me. AIL, in my opinion, uses deceptive recruitment practices.
A  2nd of Jul, 2014 by    -1 Votes
All i can say is wasted 3 months of my life, i was brainwashed into performing over 100%, i was told to go lose weight, i was told to sleep 4 hours the most, and i got yelled at in front of my kid. I was accused of recruiting for another company and stealing leads. My managers did that to me, they tried to keep me but when i turned them down, they all turned against me (by the way, all 3 of them are related). They told the agency owners that i was trying to recruit them, just because i mentioned that i had seen another insurance agency's presentation. They were counting on me to get their GA contract, and open up their own office. I went weeks without making money, tired as hell working 7 days a week, no time for my family. At the end, i get accused, i get broken, I have never been so hurt in my life...I can't believe this just happened.
N  15th of Jul, 2014 by    -1 Votes
I worked for these guys for 3 months, I wouldnt recommend it. This is not the best place to work, but it will get you some experience in Sales.

In spite of the red flags, I gave this company a shot, having planned on getting my insurance license anyways I figured that this would be a decent stepping point. Being fair I made some alright scratch, I never worked 60-80 hours, at best maybe 50 hours. I was in the field 2 days in a nearby town (usually 2 hour drive) and Id work 2 days on local leads and spend 6 hours on the phone. Being completely honest, I played hooky on some days when I met my sales quota.

Ive never been told to lose weight, and Im pretty chunky, (especially since graduating highschool, Im no where near as physically active as I should be) furthermore my agency has hired way less attractive men than I lol.
In fact, more often than not the managers would compliment my appearance.

I suppose it depends on the agency, I liked the people I worked with.
Hitting target was never to hard for me, granted I have had nasty weeks.

I have really strong speaking and presentation skills, and Im also extremely honest and relaxed with clients, I never had major issues with sales with this company.

But I did quit because there were too many practices that I didn't feel comfortable with.

My reason for leaving :
1) plain and simple, AIL sells an inferior product and seemingly prays on the financially unprepared senior citizens.
Fair enough I guess, Everyone needs something to take care of their final expenses, but AIL has the some of the highest rates out there, so it never felt too great to make a sale honestly.

2) Your union leads, will be mostly retired ex union or association members. This baffled me, because I was under the impression that your union leads would be new recruits, having been a member of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters I know first hand that unions recruit in mass, on a monthly basis, mostly people between 18-35 will be new members. Why are my leads all 60-80 year retirees?

3) The union leads are low quality. Most of them have been called before and want very little to do with us or their union, they have long since retired.

4) Tax evasion - Managers will put sales in your name to "get you coded" or "put you at bonus" which may be sincere, but there is no denying the obvious benefit to the manager. During my first month my training manager put about 5000$ worth of commission in my name. Naturally he needed the actually money paid to him. In cash.
Im under the assumption he does this to/for every trainee so if he averages 4000$ a month, well thats 48, 000$ a year flying under the radar.

5) They hire too many people - Believe it or not, I was close to being promoted when I left, but I frankly didnt want my name attached to this company, by this point I had enough of the lies. They have no quality control whatsoever here, the last straw was when I saw an old highschool chum get on board. This woman has a criminal record, the worst work ethic ive ever seen, and one of the few people Ive ever known to get fired from McDonalds for poor hygiene.
THIS IS NO JOKE, I personally witnessed her manager threaten to fire her if she doesnt start taking regular showers.

Now could this person have changed over the past few years? Certainly, but I dont know if an Insurance company should be hiring people with theft and fraud charges, and who doesn't appear professional in anyway.
This same person was complaining on facebook just a few months ago about how even burger king wouldnt hire her (no offense to fast food workers)

They hire tonnes of people to pretty much encourage cannibalism, in other words you will fight with your co hirees for sales, you will call people theyve already called, etc. I would say the rentention rate in the agency I worked for was pretty good, but people still quit left right and center.

When I was hired, I think I was the luckiest of my group, my manager taught me everything I needed to know and I made sales, but a girl who was hired with me, she's struggling there to this day. Making maybe 200$ a week. Another guy who was hired before me barely makes anything, hes been there for 4 months.

I mean heres what I have to finish this with.

>Research the product AIL sells.

>KNOW that AIL doesnt give 2 ### about its customers.

>In the better Agencies you may get the help you need, But I'll tell you right now, the managers know if youre not built for this gig, They will use you to evade taxes and then cast you aside, they only seem to put any effort into sculpting the people who know how to sell.

>This is Commission, if you do not sell you do not get paid, Make this clear, if you arent certain of your sales skills, and have a family to feed, then I do not recommend this job.
D  28th of Oct, 2014 by    0 Votes
People do not get it. The whole process is system oriented. The cream rises to the top. The truth is, you can have all the managerial experience in the world, but it doesn't mean you can sell insurance, or more so, teach someone to sell insurance. Anyone is capable of doing this job, but it's about whether or not you are willing to develop yourself. No of those "jackass" managers know who has the work ethic needed to succeed in a 100% commission job. People show up, with the same clock in, clock out mentality and wonder why they fail. YOU ARE SELF EMPLOYED!! AIL is a vehicle for success... it's just 90% of Americans are too apathetic to themselves to get through any sort of adversity in life. They rather sit at a desk and get paid an hourly wage while they surf the web and verbally bash their boss. AIL pays you for exactly what you are worth. I am an economics undergrad and have been working at AIL for 5 months. I wish the entire economy was ran like AIL... maintenance men should be paid by how many toilets they scrub, McDonald's workers should get paid by burgers they flip. You should get paid for just showing up? No wonder America's math scores are plummeting. Just because you are to ignorant to jump and a chance of a life time, doesn't mean that opportunity disappears... it's only given to a hard working lower to middle class individual who refuses to settle for mediocrity.
N  15th of Apr, 2015 by    -1 Votes
Dan, You might be right.
In any sales gig, you need to treat it like your own business, and therefore take responsibility and action.
With that said, the AIL agency I worked for was a sub par sales environment. Having the experience and success I have now (albeit with a different company) I can say with absolute confidence that if you Dont have a strong work ethic you wont succeed in any business endeaver, and yet; AIL is still, in my opinion an environment where success is very unlikely.

So here is my question
Why does AIL seem to do their best to oversell the position?
Maybe not in your agency - but in the one I worked for, There is a substantial amount of fraud.
The biggest issue being that the SGA promises a salary, and if you dont believe me, check out jobbank.gc.ca. Go into more search options and set your options to Halifax, NS, Canada and if you search, you will see AIL ads clearly stating the position is salary.

Now I personally prefer commission- with that said why would AIL hire people who do not want to earn commission, they want their "just for showing up" pay? Clearly AIL is no good for those folks and vice versa.

The answer is obviously because they have hiring quotas, which I take issue with.
Why? Because AIL wouldnt have nearly as much negativity if they were generally more honest.
N  6th of May, 2015 by    0 Votes
AIL is the most selfish, money-oriented place I've EVER worked. They did not care about my home life in the slightest. All they care about is their grueling system. Yes, I have what it takes to succeed, that's why I was a top performer, but I left because they do not know how to treat any human being, let alone A TOP PERFORMER. I couldn't believe it. Everything and anything I said did not produce "grace" on their part. Their heartless, relentless demeaning management practices turned me off so bad, it gave me the shakes! Having said that, I will say that having endured that environment for the 5-6 months that I stayed, I can honestly say I got top notch training. Sales is the best, highest paid profession out there, and I definitely know how to get it done. They lost a jewel when they lost me...but they have lost MANY JEWELS, not just me. They don't care. If they did, this blog wouldn't be so full of disappointments... Shame on them. I don't think they are a SCAM, though. I just think that they find creative ways to get agents; that doesn't bother me (because that money is real good if you take the training and follow their system. To earn $2K (plus/minus)/wk is sweet!)...what bothered me is how they treat you, even after you are trainined. They stay on you like you're NOT TRAINED. They are rude, relentless, unforgiving, greedy, pushy ###. That's my story, and I'm sticking with it!
N  16th of Jun, 2016 by    0 Votes
Got an interview call for tomorrow. Will attend and let you know the output later.
N  9th of Apr, 2017 by    0 Votes
does any one of you have a copy of any of the contracts you signed with AIL, either agent, SA or GA?
A  12th of Jan, 2018 by    0 Votes
Same here, went in on January 11 2018 in San Bernardino for American Income Life (AIL) Job Interview for Administrative Assistant. It's a scam, it was a recruitment presentation for new agents. Despicable! They wasted MY valuable time.

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