Pre Paid Nothing!

I while ago I had the unfortunate experience of dealing with people associated with the Pre-Paid Legal market. It was a miserable, long run experience.

I was at my house one day hanging out with my roommate when he gets a call from an acquaintance. The person on the calling end of the line invites him and all his friends to a barbeque at their place. Who’s going to pass up a free barbeque?

We showed up at the house as planned and we all just talked and mingled for a while waiting for the food to start cooking. By the time people stopped showing up there were about 20 of us gathered in this little house waiting for our food. It was a good time though. We played video games and watched T.V. on one of the many TV’s in the room.

After about a half an hour, the host comes in and asks if all want to watch a movie. We said sure and he proceeded to put in the DVD. The opening title comes on with the sound of triumphant music and then came the title, “Prepaid Legal”. We thought it was a joke but the host just said, “Watch it for a few…it’s good.” Sooooo, we watched it for a few, 30 few minutes to be exact. Over the course of this entire movie clip were several people giving testimonials about how rich they are and how rich we can be too if we join the prepaid legal team. It was ridiculous! Not once in this entire presentation did it explain what pre-paid legal is, how it works, and what it takes for us to get involved. It just wanted to make the point that we were all going to be millionaires by joining and paying an enrollment fee of $300. I don’t know about you but I don’t normally have to pay my employers to get a job.

The host walked into the room and started passing out information papers that we needed to fill out to become a part of his “Legal Team”. He started getting angry with those that weren’t interested in the program saying we were stupid and that we were missing out on a chance of a lifetime. After about ten minutes, most of us had gotten up and left the house with the host screaming behind us “how am I going to pay for all this food I got for you guys?!” I didn’t remember anything in the invite that said “come over and buy my barbeque food from me.”

Two days later, the harassment phone calls begin. Somehow this guy had gotten my phone number and most of the other people present that day. He continues his bully tactics and says sometime I’m going to need prepaid legal and that I’m going to regret it.

In reading an article “Is prepaid legal a good idea?” my assumptions about the prepaid way are seconded by the author. Throughout the ‘recruiting’ process, the guy kept telling me that there’s no way to make it in this world without legal advice from a lawyer. I’m twenty three years old and have had to consult a lawyer once.

My one experience cost my about 100 dollars. Pre-paid Legal usually costs anywhere between 18 – 25 bucks a month……let’s do the math. By not going with pre-paid legal, I’ve saved myself nearly 5,000 dollars.

Dave, the author of the comment on “Is prepaid legal a good idea?” says that it costs nearly “$25 a month is $300 per year. Over ten years, that's $3,000. My contention is that the typical Joe and Suzy American will not have $3,000 worth of legal needs or average expenses in a given ten-year period. If they did prepaid legal would be losing money, there would be no profit in it. And I don't think they are in the business of losing money.”

My need for such an expense just isn’t there. And, as I found out later, the guy would have gotten a pretty nice amount of money for signing my friends and I with the company. No wonder he was so persistent and nasty.

As a final note to this over-lengthy blog, I saw this guy last week. It’s the first time I’ve seen him in 2 years. When I saw him, he was handing me my hamburger through the drive up window. I guess the prepaid legal idea wasn’t such a lucrative idea after all!


Dr. Tufte said...

Three thoughts on this one.

First, there is a good solid financial argument in the post about choosing a monthly legal plan vs. paying all at once when the need arises. This is a financial issue related to discounting that I touched on in the above post entitled "Rich Get Richer - Financial Fantasy".

Second, this is also similar to my comments on the earlier post entitled "Penguins". The penguins were engaging in a reciprocal gift exchange, and so is the host of the barbecue here. He is giving something away, but is expecting something in return. Of course, it isn't a gift if it comes with heavy pressure, is it?

Lastly, this is also multi-level marketing. There is a lot of this in Utah, which does not say good things about society here. Multi-level marketing is on the border of legality, with pyramid schemes on the other. Pyramid schemes operate by having people make their money by signing up new people for the service, who must sign up further new people to make their money. The legal borderline is very gray here, and usually involves some distinction about whether the product was being offered at a reasonable price. If it is too good to be true it is usually illegal, if it is too good to by a good purchase but could still be true it is probably legal.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry that you got a bad experience with the guy.
Prepaid Legal Services have help me and my sisters many times on winning legal cases. They have 30 day money back warranty so your satisfaction is guaranteed or your money back. And the membership is month to month, no one will force you to keep your membership for years :)

I signed up online when I joined so I don't have to meet any person. I used them since 1997 on and off, after I have my own business I signed up with them every month since I can save a lot of money rather than having to pay $170/hour to consult on the phone with an attorney.

For more information on Prepaid Legal Services visit:
PrePaid Legal Services

Anonymous said...

It is unfortunate that you had a bad experience. I believe if you have a job or start a business that you will come across people that are "less than desirable". Personally, I have saved a large amount of money with the service. If you want to learn more about the service call this recorded message: 1.800.479.5651


Benedict Yoon said...


I am not going to direct you to anyone, but I have a membership as well, and I have nothing but good things to say.

I'll be honest and tell you that I am an Associate as well. It just sounds like your "friend" was a little anxious.

The opportunity is for real. The company is for real, and I can definitely say the service is real.

One thought comes to mind. You are 23 as of the date of the post. When you are 43, I think you will be in a different place.

From now till then, you will come across a lot of things. If you are lucky, you will not NEED an attorney, but the question should be "If I had access to an attorney without thinking about how much it was going to cost me, would I be in a position to make better decisions in my life?"

Good luck to you. I'll leave my email if you care to let me know what your logic tells you. I'm very busy, but I appreciate positive thoughts.


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Anonymous said...

My biggest issue with the whole prepaid legal thing is that you have absolutely no clue who is representing you. In my opinion, if I have to have an attorney (once in my life at 26, if I need one again, it won't be for another 7 years)I think it'd be worth spending cash out of pocket to sit face to face with the person representing you rather than run the risk of some snot nosed punk on a power trip right out of law school. The thing that really stinks is the fact that hardly anything is included for $300 per year. Yeah, they'll look over a document, but anything else you just get a 25% discount on services...what a waste. I just filed bankruptcy...cost me $900, for $300 a year I could save $225 on my bankruptcy....It doesn't add up....But for those who have lots of legal issues or own a business, I guess it's a good thing, it just isn't for me.

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Albert Rasch said...

Regarding prepaid legal and that the average Joe would not need $3,000 of legal services in a 10 year period therefore, PrePaid is a bad idea. Following that logic why not drop all your insurance coverage on house, car etc. The average Joe will not make a claim agaist any of these polices either. AJR Attorney who supports Prepaid

Alex said...

I have had this service since 2001 and had helped me with bankruptcy, contracts. I have bought a house and I had a lawyer to help me in person with when I bought my house. I have will prepared with it and my wife has one too. I am in the army and never though of beaming a marketer, but a gave a try. I do full time Army and I am an associate part time. I go to school, Army full time, and an associate with prepaidlegal part time. To me prepaidlegal is having some extra cash when I need it and having a peace of mind knowing that I am propected and family are too. Not only that knowing that Identity Theft is everywhere now I am also protected with that. We have associates in every states in the US, Canda, and Hawaii. We don't sell this product, instead we provide you with the opportunity to protect you and family and have the freedom knowing that one day you will have the freedom of debt. Is up too you whether you want it or not, is not for everyone. For that one guy that you had an experience with prepaidlegal, he was desperate and that is not the way to do business, this is why he didn't have success. Like I said I am a soldier full time and an associate for 1 month had the membership sine 2001, but being an associate for 1 month, all that I can say is that so far I had success with this business. When I retired from the army in 8 years I have a peace of mind that I won't have to work anymore for anybody else, but for my self and help my 10 associates team that I have recruited so far.
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We are not here to sell you anything, we arehere to help you by presenting you with an opportunity of a life time is up to you to receive this opportunity with an open mind and some common sence.

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