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Zer01 Parent Strips Web Site Following Report

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the get-out-of-dodge dept.

Businesses 95

alphadogg writes "Two days after a report cast doubt on Zer01 Mobile's business, its parent company has stripped its Web site down to only basic information. New details have also come to light suggesting a past connection between two of the involved companies, despite claims to the contrary. Earlier this week IDG News Service reported that it's unlikely that Zer01 could be technically able to offer the unlimited mobile voice and data service that it is advertising. The service, originally targeted for a July 1 launch, does not appear to be available yet. In addition, it's being marketed through a multilevel marketing program run by a company called Global Verge whose founder, Mark Petschel, in 2005 pleaded guilty to securities fraud. Petschel is currently on probation."

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01 post! (0)

FunkyRider (1128099) | more than 4 years ago | (#28793055)

First post! yayayayayayayayayayaya!!!!!!!!!!!!! I got the first post because I use Zer01 network! hahaha

Re:01 post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28794703)

Zero? This has something to do with Obama?

Buyer Beware (5, Interesting)

copiedright (1357445) | more than 4 years ago | (#28793063)

Wasn't this just another pyramid scheme?

Re:Buyer Beware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28793083)

So? No reason this (the pyramid scheme) won't work. If the past years have taught us something, it's that people handling large amounts of money aren't very bright and have the memory of a gold fish. At least it's good entertainment as long as you didn't invest :)

Re:Buyer Beware (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#28793585)

Was it still good entertainment when you got to bail them out?

Re:Buyer Beware (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#28804191)

Was it still good entertainment when you got to bail them out?

Not his call, that bill's being passed to his kids.

from a snide Australian who hasn't had to bail out any domestic banks and is currently looking at a 0.82 USD exch rate.

Re:Buyer Beware (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28793175)

I'm pretty sure there is a pyramid on our money, and and eye. The message should be obvious.

Re:Buyer Beware (2, Interesting)

soren202 (1477905) | more than 4 years ago | (#28793391)

Well, yes, but it's slightly more complex than that.

At the very least, they (supposedly) offer a service that works on a subscription basis, so if you're one of the poor shlups stuck at the bottom of the pyramid, you still get something out of your investment (that is, an unlimited voice/data mobile plan).

Still, $60 a month (once everything averages out) is nowhere near enough to pay for such a plan. Unlimited voice from TMobile is $99, same for att. No way in hell they'd manage to come out in the black with the plan they had laid out.

Re:Buyer Beware (5, Insightful)

am 2k (217885) | more than 4 years ago | (#28793481)

Uh, here in central Europe (Austria) I'm paying EUR 19.50 per month for virtually unlimited voice and data (1000min/month and 3GB/month, both of which I can never reach). Something is seriously wrong over there on your side.

Re:Buyer Beware (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28793541)

Believe me, we're not oblivious to that fact. :|

Re:Buyer Beware (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28793571)

Uh, here in central Europe (Austria) I'm paying EUR 19.50 per month for virtually unlimited voice and data (1000min/month and 3GB/month, both of which I can never reach). Something is seriously wrong over there on your side.

Unlimited data is not unusual, I have it now with my cellular company. What this company was claiming was the ability to download 5GB of data in under 5 minutes over a cell phone. The hardware restrictions alone make this physically impossible.
So they weren't advertising just unlimited data but virtually unlimited bandwidth. If you read up on these guys you will quickly see that this was all a scam from day one.

Re:Buyer Beware (1)

codeButcher (223668) | more than 4 years ago | (#28793633)

Companies ask what they can get away with.

(written from another place that has something seriously wrong with it.)

Re:Buyer Beware (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28793697)

While that would be amazing here, consider its for your population dense coverage area. (e.g. whats the roaming like?)

I would also never put the word "unlimited" near 1000 minutes or 3 GB/mo.

The 5GB limit (where huge overage starts) that many plans here have is not hard to reach at all with any kind of media use beyond web pages, considering that in good metro areas speeds are almost always in the megabits.

Re:Buyer Beware (1)

yacc143 (975862) | more than 4 years ago | (#28794969)

Well, actually the big chunk of Austria are thinly populated mountains.

According to the CIA factbook, ~15% of the land is arable (which probably includes also the mountain farmers that are basically surviving on EU subsidies).

Same source: urban population: 67% of total population (2008)

Now all GSM/UMTS licenses include a rule that forces the mobile carriers to offer service to over 90% (not sure about the exact values, they might even vary depending upon the license) of the population, so not offering the mountain population service is not an option.

That's probably more painful to some than others, e.g. 3 (drei.at) has no GSM license, so they have to fulfill their service requirements via UMTS that tend to need more base stations.

yacc

Re:Buyer Beware (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28795251)

so not offering the mountain population service is not an option.

The Austrian mountains are full of ski resorts, and ski resorts are full of skiers with mobile phones paying two lots of international roaming charges (one for the caller, one for the receiver) to phone each other up to ask "Where are you?".

I imagine base stations in the mountains are quite profitable.

Re:Buyer Beware (1)

_ivy_ivy_ (1081273) | more than 4 years ago | (#28817887)

Remember that in Europe, you only pay or outgoing calls. Assuming that your inbound and outbound calls are about the same, this works out to nearly 2000 minutes.

Re:Buyer Beware (1)

jabbathewocket (1601791) | more than 4 years ago | (#28794257)

Umm.. your not trying very hard if you cant hit 3GB a month.. having a "featurephone" that happens to have mild internet abilities, and a 3GB data plan.. is very different from having a SmartPhone with always on internet and heavy use of its you know.. features... such as maps, location awareness etc.

Re:Buyer Beware (1)

am 2k (217885) | more than 4 years ago | (#28794367)

I have an iPhone 2G which I use heavily, and I've yet to manage to get over 300MB in a single month...

Re:Buyer Beware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28794825)

You're not trying very hard. Between app downloads, streaming music, streaming movies and Skype, 3 gigs isn't hard at all.

Re:Buyer Beware (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#28804171)

I have an iPhone 2G

There's your problem.

2G, EDGE [wikipedia.org] can reach a maximum theoretical speed of 236.8 KBs compared to 3G HSDPA, with a maximum speed of 7.2 MBs although most providers in Australia cap it at 3 MBs. In order to use 3 GBs you must be hammering your phone for about 20 straight hours at maximum theoretical speed. seeing as you'll be lucky to get half of maximum theoretical speed on any cellular technology it makes it difficult to reach that limit. As I said in another post, on a 3G connection (3MBs) I dont go above 3-400 MB a month with my HTC dream with constant email use (exchange and Gmail) moderate internet use and occasional tethering.

That being said, in Australia I pay A$25 for calls/messaging plus A$20 for 1 GB of data, at the current exch rate that's 26-28 EUR.

Re:Buyer Beware (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#28804097)

Umm.. your not trying very hard if you cant hit 3GB a month.. having a "featurephone" that happens to have mild internet abilities, and a 3GB data plan.

With internet browsing on a desktop I don't hit 3GB on my own. I have to do some P2P or shock horror, legal downloads like Steam to hit it. On my HTC Dream I nearly hit 300 MB per month, I once hit 550 MB but I was tethering my phone to my PC because my wireless NIC broke. I use 3G for email every day and some measure of internet browsing.

Re:Buyer Beware (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#28794311)

As other posters have pointed out, 3GB is not very much. A single TV show on iPlayer, for example, is around 200MB. If you stream one TV show every two days, you've hit the limit. The Internet radio station I listen to streams at 192Kb/s; listen to that for one hour a day and you've almost hit your limit.

WRONG !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28794541)

192 kbps is 32 KB/s

1 MB is 1024 KB

1024/32 is 32, so 1 MB in 32 seconds, make it 30 seconds

2 MB/min
120 MB/hour

3000 MB (GB = 1000MB)

3000 MB / 120 MB/hr = 25 hours

You have 25 hours of play at 192 kbps after 3 GB

You are fined 0.015 CENTS per KB over. It matters.

Re:WRONG !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28794635)

You undercut the guy 2 seconds per MB. Factor that back in.

Just go with 32768 bytes per second. Divide 3 GB by that and you get

  3,000,000, 000 / 32768 = 91553 seconds. That's 25.43 hours. It matters/

I'm going with 3 GB ast 3 billiob bytes, because I don't know different and if the carriers can do it, they'll shortchange you.

If a full 4 GB (1K x 1K x 1K), 98304 seconds. That's 27.3 hours.

Factor in re-transmisions, overhead, and sleight-of-hand with the books, and you have MAYBE 22 or 34 hours.

Re:Buyer Beware (1)

Cyner (267154) | more than 4 years ago | (#28794987)

One huge factor in that price is that Europe averages 70 people per km2; the US averages 31. So just to have the necessary coverage area is going to cost double. Then consider that our government doesn't force operators to cooperate and you get propreitary ineffeciency (aka "Competitive Advantage" in biz speak).

Re:Buyer Beware (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#28796691)

EUR 19.50 = USD $27.78.

For $27.78 you get 1000 min/month and 3GB/month of data. For $50 USD, I get 300 min/month voice (much, much more than I ever would use), and unlimited data. And a nice iPhone to use it all with.

I listen to Internet radio on my phone every day-- at 3GB/month, I'd be capped in a week and a half or so. That's hardly "unlimited."

In short, pricing isn't nearly as far off as you imagine it is.

Re:Buyer Beware (1)

Have Brain Will Rent (1031664) | more than 4 years ago | (#28797917)

I certainly wouldn't use up 300 minutes per month. But lot s and lots and lots of people would use that up very quickly - so the fact that you are paying about 6 times as much for your vice time is a huge difference. As for data a lot of people wouldn't get anywhere near 3GB a month so for them 3GB for about half the price is again a huge difference.

Re:Buyer Beware (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#28797987)

But lot s and lots and lots of people would use that up very quickly - so the fact that you are paying about 6 times as much for your vice time is a huge difference.

The problem is that the voice and Internet time all comes in a single bill. Since unlimited Internet is apples, and 3 GB/month is oranges, you can't really compare them across the board and say "6 times as much."

As for data a lot of people wouldn't get anywhere near 3GB a month so for them 3GB for about half the price is again a huge difference.

Then those people should move to Austria. What's your point?

The point I was trying to make is that US plans *aren't* necessarily overpriced when you consider all factors. I think I made that point.

Re:Buyer Beware (1)

Have Brain Will Rent (1031664) | more than 4 years ago | (#28802215)

Then those people should move to Austria. What's your point?

My point is that the US plans are very overpriced for a lot of users. As for your other comment... <shakes head>.

The point I was trying to make is that US plans *aren't* necessarily overpriced when you consider all factors

I don't think the original poster was claiming that all US plans are a bad deal for all possible US users. To interpret it that way would be very pedantic. The only point you made is that you don't think they are overpriced for you. I suspect that comparatively they are badly overpriced for what I would guess is one of the largest, if not the largest, cell phone user demographic - teenagers - who seem mostly to have them pasted to their ears or are furiously texting away. But that's only my opinion.

Re:Buyer Beware (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 4 years ago | (#28796693)

Maybe, but I suspect that European businessmen are no more altruistic than American businessmen. So where is the catch? Is it just heavy population density? Is there any kind of price regulation in Austria? (For the record, 19.50 EUROS comes up to ~$27.75 per month. I'm paying $115 per month, after taxes and an 8% discount, for 750 minutes per month shared between me and my wife, 250 text messages each and a data plan that applies only to my phone. The data plan alone was $30 extra)

Re:Buyer Beware (1)

am 2k (217885) | more than 4 years ago | (#28797323)

The catch is probably that SMS cost EUR 0.25 each.

Another factor is that Austria is a very competitive market. We have 4 big competitors (each with a cheap discounter attached) for a country with a population of only 8 millions. With the requirement by law that you are able to keep your phone number when you switch to a different provider, it's a snap to do just that, and I don't know many people who haven't done this at least once in the last few years.

Re:Buyer Beware (1)

Eivind (15695) | more than 4 years ago | (#28803879)

Insane. My wife and I pay $0/month for 200 minutes and 200 text-messages a month.

Re:Buyer Beware (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#28804075)

Uh, here in central Europe (Austria) I'm paying EUR 19.50 per month for virtually unlimited voice and data (1000min/month and 3GB/month, both of which I can never reach). Something is seriously wrong over there on your side.

Austria has a land mass of 83,872 km2 and an population density of 99/km2. The US has a land mass of 9,826,630 km2 and a population density of 99/km2. At least if Wikipedia is to be believed.

In addition to this, Austria has a government that works in the best interests of its people, the United States has a government that follows it's parties ideological lines regardless of other considerations.

These two factors may have something to do with it.

Re:Buyer Beware (1)

Miseph (979059) | more than 4 years ago | (#28794179)

Unlimited voice from Virgin Mobile in the US is $49.99 per month. Unlimited* everything through Boost Mobile is $50 per month.

Some of the other comments have referred to other outrageous claims this company made, but given that other players in the market have unlimited* use plans for the same price, that one doesn't seem particularly implausible.

*supposedly

Re:Buyer Beware (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#28794875)

Boost mobile unlimited internet is slower than a dial up modem. No wonder it's unlimited.

Re:Buyer Beware (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 4 years ago | (#28795057)

Once again they are not just promising unlimited data but unlimited data at incredibly high speeds. Speeds higher than the phones could store if they were wired. Reading might help your issues.

Re:Buyer Beware (1)

Miseph (979059) | more than 4 years ago | (#28803531)

Seems you missed my second paragraph:

Some of the other comments have referred to other outrageous claims this company made, but given that other players in the market have unlimited* use plans for the same price, that one doesn't seem particularly implausible.

Reading comprehension isn't actually one of my issues, how about you?

Re:Buyer Beware (3, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#28797131)

Dude, they use multi-level marketing [wikipedia.org], which should just scream fraud to anybody with half a brain, not to mention the fact that owner got busted for pulling a similar scam already. I have a feeling we will be seeing a LOT more of these types of scams in the future, because the Rubs don't really understand squat about tech and thus makes it easier to sell BS. But anytime you see "multilevel marketing" you can be pretty damned sure it is a scam. I personally believe multilevel marketing should be banned as another type of pyramid scheme, because often that is exactly what it turns out to be.

Re:Buyer Beware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28794899)

really? you think that TMobile and AT&T and any other carriers in north america wouldn't, say, be charging too much for their services instead of having a modest markup on the cost of their service?

how naive.

Re:Buyer Beware (1)

gilgongo (57446) | more than 4 years ago | (#28799585)

Unlimited voice from TMobile is $99, same for att. No way in hell they'd manage to come out in the black with the plan they had laid out.

What?? Here in the UK, I get 500 voice minutes and 200 texts for about $US17 per month - and that's without trying to haggle a deal.

Re:Buyer Beware (3, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#28794043)

Well, TFS says "Earlier this week IDG News Service reported that it's unlikely that Zer01 could be technically able to offer the unlimited mobile voice and data service that it is advertising." Boost Mobile is doing this now; I'm using them as my carrier. $50 per month for unlimited calling, long distance, voicemail, text, and internet.

However, "Mark Petschel, in 2005 pleaded guilty to securities fraud."

I wouldn't touch his company with a ten foot pole.

Re:Buyer Beware (3)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#28794313)

Anytime the company you're dealing with is hard-selling you on ambitious investments, with business addresses that all point to rented P.O. boxes and non-existent offices, I'd say it's a sure thing. You should invest your life savings with them immediately.

Re:Buyer Beware (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 4 years ago | (#28795069)

and boost mobile is giving you data throughput of over 1GB per min? Nice. Can I live in your world or did you just not RTFA or TFC?

A proper con... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28794827)

...targets a fellow con artist. The theory is that a natural con artist is greedy and seeks to get the better of someone else, and so you play upon his greed and convince him that he is doing just that (sometimes to you, sometimes to a third party). The confidence he gains from feeling like he has an advantage over some weaker-minded victim motivates him to put up some money, which you then take and run.

However, there are variants of that theme, in which you try to convince the con artist that this shifty job is totally legit, but based on some sort of secret advantage or secret knowledge that will make it more profitable than other ventures.

I wonder if, in this case, Petschel himself is a victim of a technical con. Some developer sold him on impossible claims and is going to run off with the VC money while Petschel takes the fall. Since he is already a demonstrated con artist, and presumably not a technical expert, he is certainly vulnerable to such a con.

Not that I am expressing sympathy or anything mind you...I am just trying to understand why someone who has already done jail time for this sort of thing would do it again, in such a highly-visible way. He is obviously stupid to do so...but it may be that his stupidity is numbering him among the victims this time.

Not a pyramid... (3, Funny)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 4 years ago | (#28795055)

Wasn't this just another pyramid scheme?

It's a Sierpinski gasket which just looks like a pyramid, but requires less actual material...

Re:Buyer Beware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28796161)

Not really, in a true pyramid scheme the second or third tier will usually still make money. That's why they were able to sell 50,000 tier 2 level kits at $70. Now, if they close their operation after making S3.5 M against $3.51 of "marketing cost", the tier 2 in the pyramid are the ones taking the loss. This is straight selling of vaporware to people who thought they were getting in early on a pyramid scheme.

Re:Buyer Beware (4, Insightful)

humphrm (18130) | more than 4 years ago | (#28800481)

Yes. At least in the US, the legal differentiation of a Pyramid scheme and an MLM is whether or not the company has a product to sell. Even if all the analysis indicating that this type of service at this price is not technically feasible is correct, they do not yet offer the service, ergo it is a Pyramid scheme. The courts have been very clear on this. Offering a "future service" doesn't cut it, if you want to operate an MLM you must have a product, not vapor.

So yes, it's a pyramid scheme.

Re:Buyer Beware (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#28804033)

Wasn't this just another pyramid scheme?

No, of course not. Our shape is the rhomboid.

quelle surprise (0)

maudface (1313935) | more than 4 years ago | (#28793069)

A phone company that seriously wants to *not* utterly rape you that actually has the means to provide a service that works!?

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Lot's of push (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28793107)

I own a retail cell phone accessory site [cellup.com]. ( CellUp.com [cellup.com] ) and I've been receiving at least an email a day regarding becoming an authorized distributor. They claim to have lots of cool new HTC phones. When I looked into it a little further and with my knowledge of the industry I knew that there was no way this could be anything other than a scam. I avoid anything that looks like an MLM. I'm not going to talk people I know or legitimate customers of mine into something that over promises and under delivers.

Re:Lot's of push (2, Insightful)

inhuman_4 (1294516) | more than 4 years ago | (#28793247)

I'm not going to talk people I know or legitimate customers of mine into something that over promises and under delivers.

So I take it you don't operate in Canada then?

Cell phones with poor reception, expensive data plans, charging for received SMS messages. A proud part of our Canadian heritage (cue music).

Re:Lot's of push (1)

Zylogue (242235) | more than 4 years ago | (#28793305)

"something that over promises and under delivers."

That sounds A LOT like AT&T. The only promise they keep is to over charge you and deliver that bill.

Re:Lot's of push (1)

Steneub (1070216) | more than 4 years ago | (#28793833)

I avoid anything that looks like an MLM. I'm not going to talk people I know or legitimate customers of mine into something that over promises and under delivers.

How do you stay in business?~

Greasy definition of "unlimited" (5, Insightful)

indytx (825419) | more than 4 years ago | (#28793281)

Earlier this week IDG News Service reported that it's unlikely that Zer01 could be technically able to offer the unlimited mobile voice and data service that it is advertising.

If you mean unlimited in the sense that they wouldn't cap your usage, sure they could do this. If you mean unlimited, usable voice and data, that's another thing entirely. They could call it "unlimited" but not have the bandwidth to deliver a decent, or even functional, user experience.

Sure we need consumer protections, but a healthy dose of caveat emptor is never a bad thing. If the service contract says "unlimited," and it ends up being unlimited 2400 baud data, that's still unlimited. Chickens**t, but still unlimited.

Re:Greasy definition of "unlimited" (1)

thefear (1011449) | more than 4 years ago | (#28793429)

If you mean unlimited in the sense that they wouldn't cap your usage, sure they could do this. If you mean unlimited, usable voice and data, that's another thing entirely.

Ah, server colocation facilities do the same thing. There is a big difference between unlimited and unmetered and consumers should know that.

Re:Greasy definition of "unlimited" (3, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#28793437)

Providing unlimited calls and texts between cellphones is more than just a bandwidth issue, though. Carriers charge each other exorbitant fees when a text or call comes through from another network.* Zer01 would have to find that money somewhere.

*Naturally, every carrier charges every other carrier the same level of ridiculous fees, so it's a kind of de facto price fixing. Carrier A won't lower its call termination charges, and thus its rates, because it has to pay for Carrier B's call termination charges, while Carrier B won't lower its call termination charges, and thus its rates, because it has to pay for Carrier A's call termination charges. There are a few ways to force down prices: regulation is one option, or a daring loss-taking price-cutting end-run by one carrier may lead to the sort of insane price slashing that's happened in the UK. Three seems keen to issue a death blow to its rivals its free Skype: they want other carriers' customers to pick up Skype SIM cards, and call each other with those wherever possible, which cuts off their competitors' revenue from call termination charges. Three just has to pick up the tab with the bandwidth, which they have in spades.

Re:Greasy definition of "unlimited" (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#28794389)

Note that this situation with respect to termination is different in the USA. Over here, calls to mobiles cost the caller more, but in the USA the termination fee is (I believe) fixed for the caller and the callee pays extra if it's a mobile. This leads to some interesting economic problems. If you run a SIP client on your mobile, then you're only using something like 5MB/hour for a voice call, which is cheap on a data package, but the mobile operators want to charge a lot more if they provide the termination as well as the bandwidth. It's not a stable market situation and it's going to become even worse when they roll out all-IP networks like LTE.

Re:Greasy definition of "unlimited" (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 4 years ago | (#28794501)

Right now in the US the price for some carriers data plans is pretty much covered by the voice billing. If they lose that, either the data plan pricing will jump a bunch or they will just fold up. My guess is that the only way out for these folks, like T-Mobile, is for them to get sold and the rate plan is converted over. Say Verizon buys them. As T-Mobile contract holders age out of their contracts the prices go up to Verizon's levels.

So instead of $20 a month for a unlimited data plan you get 5MB for %45.

Nobody is going to like this, but what else are they going to do? The Verizon pricing is probably more realistic and self-sustaining whereas the T-Mobile plan assumes lots of voice billing to sustain operations. Of course, T-Mobile is also shooting themselves in the foot with UMA (unmetered access, using WiFi) over the long term. But it gets them lots of customers looking for a bargain. Too bad the bargain can't last.

Re:Greasy definition of "unlimited" (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#28795343)

Where are you sourcing your information?

Presumably both Virgin Mobile and Sprint (Virgin Mobile USA is partially owned by Sprint and uses their network) make money on these plans:

http://web.virginmobileusa.com/broadbandPlans [virginmobileusa.com]

I can see where Sprint has built out a certain capacity for voice service and is willing to sell data cheaply in order to increase utilization of that capacity, but it seems like you are overestimating the costs.

Re:Greasy definition of "unlimited" (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#28795835)

I know it's novel, but they could adopt a business model which involves selling the commodity that they control a lot of (mobile bandwidth), rather than some arbitrary related service (POTS bridging to their wireless network). Provide a low-cost VoIP service and sell data at a reasonable price. They already sell data-only services. These aren't subsidised by voice calls because the plans don't include any voice connection. Move everyone to this kind of billing, where you get charged separately for bandwidth and for POTS bridging.

Re:Greasy definition of "unlimited" (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#28796343)

I see, so ultimately termination fees are directly absorbed by the recipient in their bill, rather than indirectly by rate hikes. Still the same sort of problem for Zer01, mind you: if they provide unlimited calls, they have to foot an unlimited termination fee bill.

Re:Greasy definition of "unlimited" (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#28804211)

*Naturally, every carrier charges every other carrier the same level of ridiculous fees, so it's a kind of de facto price fixing.

That's why some countries have the government do the price fixing. With corporations they can price fix whatever they want without my knowledge or consent, the government relies on my co-operation, for at least one event in every four years so if someone's going to be price fixing, I can tell you who I prefer.

Yay telecom regulations.

I have to wonder what goes through peoples minds (2, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#28793285)

I am pretty sure I would strongly disagree with whatever goes through the minds of the implementers of MLMs. I have dealt with more than a couple in my time and they always leave a bad taste in my mouth so to speak. I can see what goes through the minds of the drones who participate in them -- greed. Some people are constantly searching for opportunities to get in on the first tier of MLMs as it is a pretty good way to get a lot of money without doing anything and also not being responsible for any wrong doing on the part of the implementers. (Makes me wonder how often tier one people are actually implementers from behind the scenes... probably a lot... it makes sense that they would try to protect themselves in that way.)

I don't know why the average person doesn't see it though -- MLMs are quite obviously scams most of the time.

Speaking of scams... anyone experience the latest in getting around the Do Not Call list? They now call and hang up after you answer only to have you confirm your willingness to care by calling back using the caller ID information. This is being used by telemarketers and collections people alike. I am not sure which is "after me" but so far, I have had three of these calls. I did not, of course, call the numbers back. Instead, I googled the phone numbers and found that there are already numerous complaints about the who, the what and the how. What are the odds that the same people behind the auto warranty scams are also behind or connected with this new one?

Re:I have to wonder what goes through peoples mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28793447)

I run an asterisk server and implement my own do not call list.

Re:I have to wonder what goes through peoples mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28793493)

same here. if you're not on my whitelist, you get screaming monkeys

Re:I have to wonder what goes through peoples mind (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#28793807)

I've been hit with this callback spam, too. The thing is, the one that hit me doesn't call you back until after you say hello twice. Pretty sure it's not a timed delay. Just one more incentive to expect that much more out of people on the phone - if I say hello, and you're taking a sip of your soda or something and don't answer in a timely fashion, expect to get hung up on. I ain't saying it twice.

Re:I have to wonder what goes through peoples mind (1)

Binestar (28861) | more than 4 years ago | (#28794021)

That's actually the robo calls. The automated dialer is designed to listen for a short spoken word, then a pause, then if it hears another short spoken word it connects you to the call center, if it hears nothing it will eventually hang up assuming it got an answering machine.

I *never* say hello twice unless I recognize the callerID.

Re:I have to wonder what goes through peoples mind (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 4 years ago | (#28795095)

Learn to speak a little known foreign language, and speak only using it to telemarketers. I guarantee you that they'll take you off their list.

The funniest one I did, was answered the phone, and pretended I'm deaf. Hilarious.

Re:I have to wonder what goes through peoples mind (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 4 years ago | (#28801847)

Why don't they just use these (http://www.sandstorm.net/products/phonesweep/). Amusingly enough, the company sells arms to both sides of the telemarketing conflict, with (http://www.sandstorm.net/products/sandtrap/).

Re:I have to wonder what goes through peoples mind (1)

dammy (131759) | more than 4 years ago | (#28794037)

I am pretty sure I would strongly disagree with whatever goes through the minds of the implementers of MLMs. I have dealt with more than a couple in my time and they always leave a bad taste in my mouth so to speak.

It really depends on the owners/executives of the MLM and the compensation plan. There are some really awful ones out there that are pure scams. There are ones out there that management is OK, just the compensation plan are awful. Trick is finding a MLM that has owners/management that have integrity that treat the distributors fairly for their work with a workable business plan to use.

Then you have people who think it's easy money (it's not, it requires real work) and fail to follow the business plan set up by people who are alot smarter then they are then cry about not being successful. Or they want to be babied by their sponsors and can not work without constant supervision. Like all sales, it's matter of falling through with commitment and dedication through the awful time of learning a new job. Those with fire in the belly will succeed if they are with the right product/management/compensation plan/business plan. It's hard work but it can be a whole lot of fun too.

For me, it allowed me to work from home to take care of family. I would never return carrying mail for USPS, I do not want someone else controlling me like that ever again.

Dammy

Re:I have to wonder what goes through peoples mind (3, Interesting)

Binestar (28861) | more than 4 years ago | (#28794335)

about 7 years back I was laid off looking for another job, had my resume on Monster and a couple of other resume sites and got an email saying they were opening a new office in my area and were holding interviews for someone to help run their network.

What they didn't say is that it was an MLM selling insurance, and the network wasn't a computer network, but rather a network of people. I drove an hour and a half for an interview which was just these scumbags hawking their insurance MLM to a bunch of unemployed people (There were about 50 people in the room).

As soon as I realized it was a pyramid scheme I said so in as many words and walked out. About 10 others followed.

Pissed me off, wasted a tank of gas and 4 hours of time I could have been using with my family.

Re:I have to wonder what goes through peoples mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28795165)

Similar story happened to me, though fortunately not as long a drive. About a year ago, I was in the job market, and I had my resume on the various computer job sites and my local paper's site powered by HotJobs (a spam site in itself, but that's another story). At some point I get called for an interview; an HR person for Ameriprise saw my resume and wanted to talk with me, or so they said. Now, at the mere mention of Ameriprise I'm sure you're all groaning and saying of course it's not a real job interview. For those who aren't, these are the financial advisers who love to put those fish bowls in the lobby of restaurants and have you put your business card into it for a chance at a free lunch. I knew that going in, but I figured they may need a computer guy too.

The interview was set for a Monday morning, and they called to confirm on Friday afternoon. The only problem is that they start telling me it's a presentation and some other preliminary; I don't remember the exact words they used. This took me a bit by surprise so I asked about the interview and they said it was a mass interview. Because I was led to believe it was relevant to my resume, I didn't ask anything else, but a little while later after their offices closed I had some red flags going off in my mind. Of course, I'd have to wait the whole weekend before I could ask anyone there.

Monday morning rolled around and I called to clarify, but the person didn't answer. At that point I figured it wasn't a long ride over, and even though my BS meter was blaring I still decided to check it out. I was raised not to bail on an appointment without notice, and I figured I had maybe a half hour of driving to lose if it was bull. Long story short, I walked in and asked clearly whether this was a computer-related job, was told it was a "financial adviser" position, and promptly walked out after explaining that I was led to believe otherwise. I was a little pissed, but I sort of expected it beforehand. Doesn't really hold a candle to your story, but I was just reminded of it. Plus, it's a good forum to spread the word on Ameriprise Financial... how they and Amway/Quixtar can still get prime-time commercial spots is beyond me.

Re:I have to wonder what goes through peoples mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28794481)

Yeah, when my wife and I tried one (Amway), we found it to just not be worth the effort (we made about $5 over the year, and had to pay $100/yr for the right to sell their stuff), needless to say, we just cut our losses.

I know some who are quite successful with this program, but it just isn't for the hermetic slashdotter.

Re:I have to wonder what goes through peoples mind (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 4 years ago | (#28795379)

I figured it wouldn't belong before a comment like this shows up. All pyramid schemes are scams. Of COURSE there is a potential to make money. But it is ONLY by scamming the people below you. As long as you're on top, you can make big money. If you're on the bottom, you're just one of the pawns. Eventually the market gets saturated. And that's when everybody jumps on some new MLM scheme.

Re:I have to wonder what goes through peoples mind (1)

Tweenk (1274968) | more than 4 years ago | (#28794373)

To me something like a Do Not Call list is bogus - it depends on the willingness of spammers to obey it, which is against their self interest. The proper thing to do is to have a list of telemarketing / spamming telephone numbers that would optionally be ignored on the client side.

We don't expect to put a sign "do not connect to this server" somewhere and then not receive any connections... we install a firewall.

Re:I have to wonder what goes through peoples mind (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#28794461)

That would be great except for those who have mobile phones... only. And being able to maintain such a list? Not sure it is being done. Finally, as you may or may not know, at times these DNC marketers also spoof CLID. These latest one I speak of, however, uses a valid number for CLID in hopes you will call them back.

Re:I have to wonder what goes through peoples mind (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#28795427)

I would say it works pretty well. The only calls I get at this point are from scammers (lately it has been the car warranty people, but that was months ago, nothing recent).

Hopefully the guy who complained that congress passing the law would kill the industry will be proven to be prescient (I really have no idea, as from my perspective, the legitimate industry appears dead).

I guess it did take me answering about 6 or 8 calls over Christmas to get companies with established business relationships to stop calling my mom's phone. "Do you have a courtesy do not call list?" was quite effective at getting the person on the other end of the line to shut up and edit the database. It probably helps that I am a crank and have no qualms whatsoever about talking over them as they start their pitch.

Re:I have to wonder what goes through peoples mind (1)

Renraku (518261) | more than 4 years ago | (#28795221)

I'm guessing some lawyer told them that if the call isn't answered by someone at the home, then it can't be prosecuted under the Do Not Call list provisions, and that if someone calls THEM, they're fair game and down on a list of 'known good' numbers.

This is false. Calling and hanging up is just the same as calling and staying on the line. When they trace the number back to a commercial entity that should have followed DNC rules, the company can and will still be held liable, assuming the consumer is savvy enough to get a lawyer.

Remember, you're entitled to money under DNC provisions if someone violates the DNC.

Re:I have to wonder what goes through peoples mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28799825)

I agree with that!
Todd DiRoberto
http://www.emediawire.com/releases/americansatellite/todddiroberto/emw2401714.htm

literallly (2, Funny)

gintoki (1439845) | more than 4 years ago | (#28793623)

Ok.......am I the only one who half-read the title as I scrolled down really fast and just imagined something quite different. I thought some hacker called Zer01 got stripped by his/her parent. Then I read the title properly. Oh yeah, to still be on topic......bad Zer01, very bad Zer01.

Don't panic yet (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 4 years ago | (#28793687)

Just because it looks like a huge Pump and Dump red flag doesn't mean we have to assume that Zer01 is just out to bilk out customers of their money with promises of service that just can't be delivered. Just look at the Phantom console from Infinium Labs, sure it took forever, but they delivered on the goods eventua- oh wait.

Re:Don't panic yet (3, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#28794241)

Just because it looks like a huge Pump and Dump red flag doesn't mean we have to assume that Zer01 is just out to bilk out customers of their money with promises of service that just can't be delivered.

If the fact that the guy running the show is on probation for fraud doesn't make you run like hell, I don't know what would. I'm willing to give anyone the benefit of the doubt, but there's little doubt to give him the benefit of. He shouldn't even be in the business with his record.

Re:Don't panic yet (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 4 years ago | (#28794405)

Pump and Dump refers to stock manipulation. I.e., the "invest in pink sheets company with stock ticker XYZ.BK before you miss the deal of a lifetime!" junk faxes and emails. Here, it's just fraud if deliberate and incompetence/foolishness if not.

I laugh, in your FACE I do, and when your mouth is (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28794293)

I laugh, in your FACE I do, and when your mouth is wide, I pour excrement in and laugh further at your look of bewildered satisfaction. You, to be screwed, must surely like claimed task. I fathom further suckers are to be in queue.

Common sense (4, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#28794381)

If it looks like a scam, walks like a scam, and quacks like a scam--then it probably *is* a duck. In that case, you should probably shoot it and cook it with orange sauce.

Re:Common sense (0, Offtopic)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 4 years ago | (#28795505)

"The duck lies shredded in a pancake,
soaking in the hoisine of your lies."
-Bill Bailey
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