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Prepaid Legal Reviews

Legit or Scam?

 

PrepaidLegal.com

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Prepaid Legal Services

 

Prepaid legal Services, aka LegalShield, is an innovative company that came up with a unique product and business opportunity. Prepaid legal is similar to an insurance company except that they have created a network of legal service providers.

Essentially people pay monthly fees, of generally under 30 dollars, in exchange for discounts and access to attorneys. Prepaid legal covers legal events such as letters, wills, buying a house or a car, problems with insurance companies, identity theft, and more.

The idea is that if an occasion arises in which you require legal assistance you can contact Prepaid Legal.  In regards to simple matters that need legal review this service can save you lots of money.  Generally most attorneys charge outrageous rates just for their time alone and prepaid legal services work to avoid that.

In addition, Prepaid Legal offers a business opportunity in which people can sell and recruit others to sell prepaid legal memberships.  It's a typical MLM structure and some people have reported solid earnings due to the demand of the product.  However, early on the prepaid legal program came under fire for misrepresenting retention rates of its members, an important factor in people's decisions to join.

With any prepaid legal service it is important to find out exactly what scenarios are covered in your plan.  For example, the majority to do not cover tort litigation, criminal cases, and are of little help in traffic cases.

Overall prepaid legal is recommended if you're expecting the need for legal services or advice on general matters and lack alternative resources.  If you seek specialized legal advice then Prepaid Legal services are most likely not going to work out for you.

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Customer Responses, Reviews, or Complaints for 'Prepaid Legal'

 

Average Rating is 3.48 out of 5 based on 634 reviews.

clinton   jefferson city

9:35am on September 24th, 2013 

Sorry to say but pre paid legal is 1000% BS WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY THEY DONT COVER ANYTHING YOU NEED THEM That 25% discount is BS because every other lawyer I'd 50% cheaper than them in day first place

al   ontario

3:25pm on April 26th, 2013

you would be better off calling Dr. Ruth


al   ontario

3:21pm on April 26th, 2013 

had an issue, they called back to the wrong number.I called them again but they cant put you through to lawyer. they said the wrong number was my eight hour response call, and i had to wait eight hours again. didn't call again than it was weekend...I ran out of time on a serious issue i had...they are totally useless

Dee   Location unknown

2:00am on February 1st, 2013 

I signed up for this service, was charged the wrong fee, tried to get the overpaid amount put back on my credit card, but they couldn't do this, they could only carry over the funds to the next month's bill. I went round and round just trying to correct a small overcharge and after a half hour run around on the phone, decided it was best just to cancel the policy, as I felt I needed legal services to deal with the company. It was another half hour on the phone, a fax to confirm cancellation, and now I was told I would have to wait 60 days to get the first months prepaid fees refunded. So I guess I will know in another 55 days if I am out of this mess. Stay clear of them as you need a lawyer just to get less than $10 credited back to your account.

jinny   ca.

5:56pm on December 19th, 2012 

total complete ripoff this site that is

Jim   Oakland Ca.

10:23am on December 15th, 2012 

I have been a member for 10 years and will never be without their services, simply the best bargain out there. Never a single complaint even after moving from Arizona to California and having to switch Law Firms.
Member for life!!

Steve   Sacramento

10:18am on December 15th, 2012 

I to have had two bad experiences with PPL. But I have had dozens of contacts with PPL's Parker- Stanbury, like said only two bad ones. In both cases I contacted customer service and attorney resources for complete satisfaction with an actual letter of apology from the firm. There are remedies for poor service and sites like this are not among them. If you read these posts thoroughly you will see there are no real complaints, as there are meany holes in all of the stories. People only tell part of the story to bolster their case.
If you buy a new Ford and it breaks down would you condemn all Fords?

Mike Hong   Hesperia

2:12pm on December 6th, 2012 

Prepaid Legal may not be a scam but it's useless!!! Customer service is efficient and prompt but the lawyer's are unprofessional and lack deep knowledge in their specialty.I have hired many lawyers in my 20 year career as an entrepreneur and have never come across such useless lawyer's that are associated with PPL. I only signed up for PPL because they are so inexpensive legal insurance....and thought what a peace of mind to have legal insurance. The last and my first experience I had with one lawyer at Parker Stanbury was on December 2012, so frustrating that I decided to cancel my business membership and cease my associate partnership. Parker Stanbury practically tried my case on the phone with no depth. Lawyers are not qualified to adjudicate cases and this particular "lawyer" makes me wonder about her qualifications. Receptionist and customer service was prompt and professional but stay away from this very bad law office affiliation business.

michael   golkiewicz

9:22pm on October 15th, 2012 

I am very disappointed with my prepaid legal service. I have been a member for 8 years and never used the service. I got into a legal situation this year that involved a small claims court case. When I contacted prepaid legal the first time they would not write a letter on my behalf as clearly stated in the contract, then after I won the suit and was trying to abtain employment information from the union in which the individual works, they will not make a phone call on my behalf. My attorney literally said I don't make phone calls. I have cancelled my service and highly recommend you save your money and don't waste your time with this scam. They promise the world but fail to deliver when you need it the most.

Darlene   Ca.

5:37pm on October 13th, 2012

Sean,
Everyone of your so called truths are so far from the real truth it's scary. It really sad that a web site such as this allows such biased and untrue statements as those.
The last time I looked at a calendar it was 2012 PPL has been bought and the name has been changed.
I ask you why private investors would purchase a company as bad as you say??
New company new leadership and they are doing just fine, dude you are retyping the old short sellers dribble.
You need to get a life, there is no stock to short sale anymore.

Miriam   Los Angeles

4:29am on October 13th, 2012 

I work at a major personal injury/mass tort law firm in Los Angeles and I can tell you this... You can actually contact the state bar and get a referral to a contingency based attorney or attorney to suit your needs, or contact a legal aid clinic that offer services for free for low income individuals. If you have a good case, great attorneys will work with you on a contingency basis. This whole organization sounds a little shady to me. Just my opinion.

Sean   San Francisco, ca

2:36pm on October 8th, 2012 

Top 10 Red Flags for Fraud at Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. (NYSE:PPD)

1. Pre-Paid Legal press releases and earnings calls consistently tout the “record” numbers that the company has achieved. This leaves the impression that the business is increasing in strength.

TRUTH: Every key metric for Pre-Paid Legal’s business was down in 2008, again demonstrating the weakness of the business. The metrics showing rates of decline include total members (down 1%), new memberships sold (down 10%), total sales associates (down 4%), new associates recruited (down 18%), and associates making at least one sale (down 9%).

2. Pre-Paid Legal executives tout efforts to increase recruiting by current associates. Randy Harp, COO, said during the company’s first quarter 2008 earnings conference call: “And as goes recruiting, so goes membership sales. So we are very focused. I will tell you the theme of our international convention at Oklahoma City was very much recruit, recruit, recruit, and don’t get it out of order.”

TRUTH: Recruitment of new associates, the key metric and lifeblood of the company, has been declining. Third quarter 2008 recruiting was down 13% from the prior year. Fourth quarter 2008 recruiting was down 10% from the prior year. The company has been on a consistent downslide as it relates to recruiting.

The earnings release for the fourth quarter touts: “16th Consecutive Year of Increased Membership Revenues,” yet buries in the text of the release the fact that recruiting is down double digits. As in the past, the press release makes it sound like things are better than ever at Pre-Paid Legal, when the fact is that the company is imploding because recruiting efforts are unsuccessful.

In fact, more associates quit Pre-Paid Legal in 2008 than were recruited. The company began 2008 with 442,361 Associates and recruited another 122,255 during the year for a total of 564,616 sales people. Yet at year end, it reported only 425,018 still enrolled. The result is that 139,598 associates quit during the year, 17,343 more than were recruited.

3. The latest press release on earnings was careful to highlight the numbers that are “up” for Pre-Paid Legal, touting the figures related to membership revenues, net income, and earnings per share.

TRUTH: The numbers are trending in the wrong direction. An increasing percentage of their membership revenue comes from personal memberships maintained by associates. Currently about one-third of total revenues come from the associates who maintain personal memberships and purchase marketing and training materials. Less than 20% of the Pre-Paid Legal associates sell one or more memberships to outside customers. None of these details suggests that Pre-Paid Legal is a growing business.

4. It is all about stock price, not a quality product or service, and not shareholder value. Continuing with the plan of repurchasing as many shares of Pre-Paid Legal stock as possible, management spent $44.7 million repurchasing stock in 2008 alone. As COO Randy Harp said during the most recent earnings conference call: “Again second best use that we’ve identified is to buyback our own shares and we’ve been doing that with a vengeance. As Steve said we’re now well under half of what the shares outstanding were when we began the product and so we certainly expect to continue.”

TRUTH: How desperate is Pre-Paid Legal to hold up a phony stock price for future insider dumping of shares? For the year 2008, $64.3 million in cash was provided by operations, and $44.7 million of that was spent on stock repurchases. At the same time, the company had $59.7 million in debt outstanding. The company is committed to repurchasing shares at any cost.

5. According to Pre-Paid Legal, fourth quarter earnings per share increased 36% from a year prior, and increased 30% for the entire year of 2008.

TRUTH: This time around management did mention in their conference call that the EPS numbers benefited from 9% fewer shares on the market thanks to their stock repurchase program. Without the repurchases, the EPS for the year would have been over 9% lower than reported.

Since 2006, the company has repurchased 4.3 million shares at a total price of $184.6 million. During the same period, company insiders sold share totaling a whopping $59 million. Pre-Paid Legal is borrowing money and using cash generated by associates to repurchase shares, and the company insiders are getting rich while more than 85% of the company’s associates are estimated to be quitting or making no sales. These failed business owners literally fund the repurchases of company insider shares.

6. Pre-Paid legal promises its associates residual compensation on their “personal and organizational membership sales for as long as they stay in effect.”

TRUTH: Unfortunately for those who become associates of Pre-Paid Legal, they can only receive residual commissions if they become “vested” by selling at least three new memberships per quarter (12 per year) or maintaining a personal membership.

By withholding residual commissions from associates who do not become vested in a quarter, Pre-Paid Legal has a potential windfall. According to regulatory reports, unearned advance commission balances totaled $62 million in 2008, $56 million in 2007, and $49 million in 2006. If the associates do not become “vested” to “earn” those commissions in the future, Pre-Paid Legal keeps the funds.

7. Pre-Paid Legal management always makes it appear that the company is looking out for the best interest of the associates.

TRUTH: Pre-Paid Legal has increased the fees to become an associate, raising the cost from $57 to $72 in 2008. This 26% increase in the joining fee netted the company almost $2 million. However it did nothing to increase the likelihood for success for the vested associated. It merely accomplished even further fleecing of the doomed by design business builder.

8. Pre-Paid Legal pretends to offer associate... read more »

Cindy G   Lake Worth FL

1:19pm on August 22nd, 2012 

Costs you $140.00 to sell these services. Can you believe they only have one law firm contracted for the Broward, Palm Beach & St. Lucie County.

The monthly payment is all you are supposedly having to pay only to find out that it is only a referral service and that a "local" law firm is located in the Plantation Florida are and refer you to a local attorney who may give a 25% discount on his services. Normally these fees are 4 times the going rate of the top rated lawyer in town. I wouldn't recommend this service to anyone, ever. For the money you could pick up the phone and call maybe 2 law firms and get the same results in about 10 minutes. I tried to call the person who sold me this service to clarify what was meant by no other cost and after 5 times I got no response. With the money most have invested in 20 years, could have possibly be spent finding a great lawyer. STAY FAR AWAY from this poor choice!

Anonymous   Location unknown

1:11pm on August 22nd, 2012

I never made use of Prepaid Legal's products but I eagerly entered the sales part of the business (not really knowing it was a sales job - the recruiter makes sure to leave you with as few details as possible, preferring to get you to attend the smoke, mirrors and laser presentation for more effective recruitment). The basic premise is: if you can show someone a DVD, you can earn money in this business. You show your friend or family member the DVD, then call your mentor and they unload a repertoire of sales tactics on the person. The only problem is, if your friend or family member is capable of critical thinking, they don't fall for the sales pitches. I showed the DVD to a hundred people and gave away at least two dozen of them to strangers around town but never made a single sale.

Mori   KS

9:58pm on August 21st, 2012 

I never got the product so I can't say its a scam or legit. My experience with the couple trying to get to sign up left a bad taste in my mouth.

I was at a garage when a well mannered lady started talking to me. You know the usual banner and then she starts talking about legal services. Which I listen because I had a bad roommate a year earlier and had to get legal advice. I thought something like that would come in handy so I took her business card and said I would think about it.

I saw a few ads for prepaid legal on tv and I even called my sister to see if she had even heard of it. She thought a fellow coworker used them but would have to get to me on it. Sure enough the coworker had wonderful things to say about them. So I setup an appointment. I had a few questions I wanted to ask before I made up my mind.

Instead of meeting at an office, they wanted to meet at the library. They had just gotten back into town and their house was a mess. No big deal I thought. I met them in one of the back rooms of the library and asked them my questions, only I wasn't happy with the answers I was getting. My gut was telling me to wait and do some more research. When I told the husband that, his whole attitude changed. He became rude and insistent. It was all I could to get out of there. A year after that someone handed me a prepaid legal business card at a function I was attending. It went straight into the trash can.

Tracy   San Pedro Ca.

9:55am on August 15th, 2012

Eddie
You are not telling the whole story truthfully. You have not read the coverage you signed up for carefully.
They are not attack dogs. How do you know the attorney is fresh out of law school. Did you call customer service??
In Ca. a dog bite is an open and shut case you need one of those ambulance chasing attorneys not a defense attorney.
Calling people names is the best way to show your ignorance and state of mind.

Eddie   Los Angeles

12:18pm on August 14th, 2012 

These lawyers are horrible! I got bitten in the face by a pitbull at a dog pound. I called the pre paid legal service attorney the same day. The IDIOT fresh out of law school attorney said I did not have a case. She was so ignorant of the law. Needless to say I got a REAL LAWYER and am now close to settling my legal case. For small cases they may give ok advice. However when I needed them most, they CLEARLY FAILED!!!

Darlene   Ca.

9:45am on August 13th, 2012

If you take everything as" pay as earned", there is NOT any charge-backs.
If you have to lie to sell the product, you do not know the service at all, more education is needed.
If you are looking for a way to make quick money you should look elsewhere.
The fact is this is a good company and you can make it, it's up to the individual.
Any business you start take time and investment, there are NO short cuts period.
Five plus years and doing fine, I only do direct selling not MLM.
Do not call it a scam simply because you fail.

Joe   San Diego

12:01am on August 10th, 2012 

Beware of this scam.The "charge back, time, gas money, tuesday briefings at 10 dollars each week, as well as travel expenses to "super Saturdays" are not worth the investment. For example, the money you will earn from one commission is divided by 12 months- such as a 26 dollars plan, if the client decided to cancelled within 3 months, you will only earn 3/12 of 26, which is 6.50$ and the rest is charge back to your account. You also to need to lie to the teeth and trick your friends and families onto this service. The service is terrible.

Dave   Reno

9:58am on August 3rd, 2012

After reading all the reviews on this site, I have come to an interesting conclusion.

1. People either love or hate it.
2. Those that love defend it vigorously.
3. Those that hate it all say the same thing,
which make me believe many of those post
are written by the people.
4. Those that hate it almost never give any
details or say if they tried to solve their
problems with company direct.

My conclusion is that there are people that have an axe to grind and in no way want their problems resolved.
Wish me luck I will try it.


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