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FIB - Scams 101 - Ye Olde Archives
Posted By: Larry In Response To: Have anyone heard about Ameriplan? (Meri)
Friday, 6 January 2006, at 5:04 p.m.
In Response To: Have anyone heard about Ameriplan? (Meri)
We were looking for dental benefits for our employees and came across Ameriplan. Here is what I found out...Ameriplan is a discount fee-for-service membership plan that offers discounts to members (for a membership fee of $12-$20/month) through their limited network of providers in dental, vision, prescription and chiropractic services. At the time of my investigation, I believe they were 10 years old. The way it was described to me was that you pay the monthly membership fee and then are allowed discounted rates from the providers (UP TO 80%...they could not guarantee this on all services as you may save much less than that).
The problems I saw with it was that their network is only around large metro areas. Our employees live in and out of metro areas. I also found other similar membership plans that were much less per month (one was $10/month for your household). I attribute the difference to ameriplan having to pay commmissions to their sales people. While I did talk to members who were saving money with the plan and was shown actual receipts of the savings from pharmacies and vision providers, they also confided in me that on some things, they saved only a few dollars.
While talking with the rep, she asked me if I wanted to become a rep. I would have had to pay $100-$300(?) to "join" the company. The cost of 'joining' was to "start my own business" but when pressed for why the fee and who got it, most of the joining fees went to her as "bonus" money. She would then earn a 'residual' monthly income on the monthly membership fees.
I too found very little negative news on them (an x-rep had a website up for awhile complaining of their treatment of him....disgruntled rep maybe? You must sell to people and some people do not like this type of work. Also, being that their network of providers is so small, you would have to target certain limited areas to market the memberships. For those living in rural areas, this may prevent it from being a truly "home based" business. The rep said she got around that by marketing over the net BUT, being in business as long as I have, I have learned that you have to develop a long term relationship with your clients or they will leave for the smallest of reasons...I see the internet as a tool to gather potential business but not as a tool to keep business as some people treat it. I am sure that the net has been used to build large businesses but have always questioned whether it could build and KEEP long term businesses.
Just got back from dinner with my wife and I hear from her that the rep called prior to the holidays and said that Ameriplan is now offering medical memberships. We do not know the specifics but since selling medical insurance requires a license in all states that I know of, I would bet that these med benefits would be structured similar to the other membership services described above...as discounted and a fee-for-service plan.
In conclusion, I did not find them to be a scam but their limited network and the mlm 'tag' were a problem for me.
May I suggest that you look at what one of our forum member's, Dennis Bevers, offer at http://www.cuttingedgeadvertising.com/opportunity.html It involves sales so if you do not like that type of work, it may not be for you. He is one of their top reps and will assist you in gathering info. Independent sales jobs are usually a good way to take control of your time and offer the most money for the time spent (generally speaking) if you have a knack for selling.
If you are dead-set on working from home behind a computer and you need to work in businesses that will cost very little to start, you may want to look at affiliate programs; although your return on investment to start will be very low. As one example of an affiliate program (and I found this while looking in my archives regarding ameriplan), I came across the following affiliate program at DentalPlans.com
Good luck in your search.
> I went to this website and read the information and heard the testimonies.
> And it says that it was for free. And you get free dental, vision and
> medical for your whole family also 401k. It all sounded so good until I
> received the interview call. And the person ask me for $95 to get the
> package with brochures etc. I told the person I do not have $95 at this
> moment. But checking another website for Ameriplan besides the $95 they
> ask I think is $30 or $35 monthly for something else. But supposely they
> are with the BBB and a report came up in the wall street journal and on
> the news etc. They have a good reputation. Or at least all the information
> I read about them was all positive.
> But why charge $95 when you are supposely helping them to get clients?
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