The Problems

The many problems that the company had up too and after the “launch” of the service.

In summary the service was supposed to be launched in July 09, the company then claimed that due to the resounding success of the reps signing up 40,000 people it overloaded the system and forced the merchant processor to tell them to find someone else.

Global Verge then tried to get their reps to sign up by ACH but a lot of information came to light regarding the company they were using so how many people actually did that remains to be seen.

Now the phones themselves, originally it was explained that there were phones ready to go and that those at the top of the chain “Triple Diamonds” would be given theirs first, then a gradual roll-out down the lines. Well July 1st came and went and no one got a phone, I believe they were then told that it would be the 10th and there were 400 phones, then it became 130 and finally it was revealed there are 10 in the field and 2 more Sim cards of course no one has actually seen or used a phone but plenty of people know someone who has!.

As of writing on the 2nd of Aug there is still no phone or service on offer to ” triple Diamonds”, e-Associates or customers.

11 Comments

  • 1. wheresmybuzzirk  |  August 2, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Email Sent July 1st

    Xennsoft has been made aware of the current issues that many of you have been experiencing, and they are working on getting them fixed.

    Many of you have not been able to login into the Team Office application (Back Office) after you personally enrolled. Xennsoft has identified the problem and will have it corrected very soon.

    New enrollments cannot get past entering a username at this time. This problem is connected to the problem mentioned above and will be resolved at the same time.

    Some of you have not been able to create a second replicated website. This issue is also related to the previous two problems and will also be corrected.

    If you have not been able to login to the Team Office application (Back Office) because of an invalid password, the “forgot your password?” link is now working. You will receive a new password via email that will allow you to log in.

    When these problems have been taken care of you will be notified again by email. Thank you for your patience during this time. We apologize for the inconvenience.

    Sincerely,

    Global Verge and Xennsoft

  • 2. wheresmybuzzirk  |  August 2, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    Then their Merchant Processors dumped them so an demail was sent asking for peopel to submit bank details.

    Hello Global Verge member-

    This is a message from Universal Account Servicing (UAS) expanding with additional details to an email you previously received from Global Verge stating UAS will process a refund to those members who recently had a charge from UAS. Global Verge has selected a merchant processor for credit card payments that can better fit their growing needs and has selected UAS to process only ACH payments. A refund to your credit card has taken place for your June orders and a credit has already posted. To help reduce member’s costs and bring a more efficient payment method to their members, Global Verge encourages their members to utilize this new ACH payment option. For selecting this option, Global Verge will offer a $5.00 discount for Basic and Pro members and a $2.00 discount for Intro members.

    Please be prepared to provide the info needed to process the ACH transaction from a checking or savings account of your choice using the online form by clicking this link

  • 3. wheresmybuzzirk  |  August 2, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    Email sent 4th July

    Hello Global Verge e-Associates!

    This correspondence is to help clarify information that some of you received in an email yesterday from Universal Account Servicing (UAS):

    Please take note of the following updates:

    1) We are in the process of migrating our merchant processor to a new platform that better suits our tremendous growth. This platform will be supported by multiple processors, at the minimum two processors.

    2) Xennsoft is in the process of installing updates to support this new platform, as a result we are pleased to announce that we will be able to offer an automated bank withdrawal option in addition to credit card processing. Therefore, the sign up page is also being modified to include this new option. Current associates will also be able to change their credit card autoship to the automated bank withdrawal option. Every associate who chooses the automated bank withdrawal option will enjoy a monthly discount on their autoship. The discount will be $5 for Basic and Pro members and $2 for Intro members. A ?secure? ACH signup page is being installed immediately to accommodate this option and encourage new and existing members to take advantage of this great monthly discount!

    3) Additionally, because of the timing of our transfer to the new platform some of you will be receiving refunds to your credit cards and will have to resubmit your payment.

    In the next 72 hours we will be forwarding you specific details of how to handle the refunds that UAS will be issuing to some of you.

    4) We ask for your patience as the Xennsoft Team is implementing these changes now.

    5) Please rest assured that none of these changes will affect the upcoming commission run or your position earned this last month for all valid accounts.

    6) On the last day of June there were many people that tried to signup as a Global Verge e-Associate and some people encounters signup errors. We can assure you that if you do not have a valid login with a User ID, then your credit card was not charged.

    7) Last week we announced the ability in your back office to enter multiple payment profiles and this is only part of this update that we are currently experiencing which will be one of the strongest back office platforms ever seen.

    8) One of the reasons we are migrating toward this direction of ACH and adding to the functionality of these robust payment options because is in the end we would like to have a fully seamless payment in and payment out for all of our e-Associates all over the world. Each update gets us closer and closer toward this goal.

    We will continue to work together with you in support of the phenomenal success that you are all enjoying,

    We wish all of you and your families a fabulous 4th of July Celebration!

    Global Verge Support

  • 4. wheresmybuzzirk  |  August 2, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    Still desperate to sign you up to ACH on the 10th of July

    Hello Global Verge Member,

    Please click the link below to fill out the ACH Request Form Online.

    For selecting this option, Global Verge will offer a $5.00 discount for Basic and Pro members and a $2.00 discount for Intro members.

    To help reduce member’s costs and bring a more efficient payment method to their members, Global Verge encourages their members to utilize this new ACH payment option. Please be prepared to provide the info needed to process the ACH transaction from a checking or savings account of your choice using the online form by clicking the link above.

    Your prompt attention to this matter will prevent any interruption in your membership benefits.

  • 5. wheresmybuzzirk  |  August 2, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    The Compliance begins July 21st

    Dear Everyone,

    First, let me introduce myself. My name is Craig Perry and I have joined Global Verge as the new Chief Operating Officer. Along with that, until we fill out the full management team, because of my legal background, I will also be acting as the compliance department at the request of the company until further notice.

    As you know, GlobalVerge and Buzzirk Mobile have not really produced enough videos and marketing websites for all of you to use. To that end, many of you have created videos and websites, some good, some bad, some factual and some false that originate from I-don’t-know-where.

    At this point, I am going to lay down guidelines, most of which are already in the Policies and Procedures version 1.2 (all of you should have a copy and read carefully) and some which are not, but will be added shortly. Buzzirk Mobile and GlobalVerge should have their new updated websites up and fully functional within 30 to 60 days. Until such time, we will allow websites (and these include Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to use the name Buzzirk Mobile, GlobalVerge and “Powered by Zer01” if they send me an email with the site link and attach in PDF or JPG format all of the pages of the site, which will be put on file. Until approved all of these sites must come down. If approved, you will receive a temporary compliance number from the company that needs to be posted on the bottom of each page of the website. It should read, “GV Compliance No. [number].” Any substantive changes to the site needs to receive a new compliance number, and a new copy of your site must be submitted. Changes such as your email address, phone number or page layout is not considered substantive, however, content is substantive.

    One of the main problems on the Internet is that too many distributors are selling Zer01 and not Buzzirk Mobile. We are “powered by Zer01” and those are the only words we need to use. We do not sell Ben Piilani, or Lance or even Zer01, we are selling Buzzirk Mobile. Zer01 is having major issues with the way they are being portrayed. Zer01 sells NOTHING retail. Ben Piilani has NOTHING to do with our company, so please take all references and videos off of your sites and use only the phrase “Powered By Zer01.”

    Next, the name Buzzirk, Buzzirk Mobile, Global Verge and Zer01 are all trademarked and are not to be used in any fashion on any website or url. I know a lot of you put that as your url in your back office and on websites, they unfortunately must come off. This rule is basic because of trademark laws, but I see that we will have to state this into the Policies and Procedures as well. Sorry guys, it will be retroactive so even if you got your url before this rule, it will still be a no-no!

    And last, but definitely not least is the people who are creating and selling replicated websites to everyone using the name Buzzirk, Buzzirk Mobile, Global Verge and Zer01. This is a definite no-no and is listed in the Policies and Procedures, Section 3.10. This is not the kind of letter where I am going to quote that to you, just know that you need to take care of it quickly because you don’t want to get an email from me this week about this issue.

    Please remember that compliance is not about being nasty and stopping marketing efforts, it is about us presenting a united, truthful and meaningful message to everyone about how great our company and products are so we can all benefit financially in the long run. The products are truly great and do not require any hype. Hype actually turns people off instead of having them standing in line to get our services.

    In closing, we plan on communicating regularly with you throughout the week through other emails, probably daily. We appreciate all of your efforts and we look forward to tremendous success together.

    Cordially,

    Craig Perry
    Chief Operating Officer
    Globalverge Inc.

  • 6. wheresmybuzzirk  |  August 2, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    At the same time the lawyer is on board addressing the compliance issues peopel get the opportunity to cancel

    All e-Associates:

    Last week we sent you a notification stating that our commission run has been delayed for seven to ten days. Once again, this is a result of the phenomenal volumes generated by the almost 30,000 people that you (as a team) brought into the business in one month. We are working feverishly to get everything aligned so that you are all paid appropriately.

    That said, we want to assure that everyone understands that the actual charge that you authorized to your credit card from June 5th to today has not yet been processed. We have a new processor who has committed to start to process your cards after July 22nd. After July 22nd these charges will start processing as originally authorized. Please be aware that your July autoship charges will ALSO be processed. Therefore, many of you will see both June and July charges being placed on your card. Consequently, it is important that we clarify in detail so that you know what to expect. See below as a reminder of the actual charges that will be placed on your credit card for both June and July based on your original authorization upon joining.

    ACTIVATION MONTHLY JUNE JULY
    PACKAGE FEE AUTOSHIP TOTAL AUTOSHIP
    PRO PACK $50 $99.95 $149.95 $99.95
    BASIC PACK $30 $39.95 $69.95 $39.95
    INTRO PACK $ 5 $14.95 $19.95 $14.95

    Also, note that if you have subsequently submitted an ACH authorization for automatic monthly checking account withdrawal (which will save you $2 per month on the Intro Package and $5 per month on the Basic and Pro package) those authorizations will supersede the credit card authorization and will replace those charges. Therefore, the credit card charges will not occur.

    We understand the ramifications of this rapid growth have created confusion for many of you and we certainly do not want to place any undo hardship on anyone as a result of this. We also as a company want to have good communication with everyone realizing there have been with issues with the following:

    1) Product launch delays: The mobile phone product has not launched yet and we have not been given a date from Zer01 Mobile for shipments of phones, SIM Cards and availability of service. No credit cards have been charged for any phones, service or SIM card and they will not until we have word from Zer01 Mobile that the service is complete and we are ready to ship. Zer01 Mobile has stated that we will be receiving limited amount of SIM cards this month, but we do not have exact available amounts nor do we have definitive ship dates from them. We realize that many people have joined Global Verge to Market this product and want to assure you are becoming part of our team for the right reasons and you have all of the information we have. As we receive additional information regarding deliveries and lead times for phones, SIM cards and service from Zer01 and our suppliers, we will let all e-Associates know via e-mail.

    2) Signups: On 2 separate occasions last month, some people had the inability to sign up. Many of these people were able to sign up, but some of the orders were placed after the first of the month. We would like to offer below the opportunity for everyone to let us know if we need to place a July order for June commissions period. Please use the following link which will be active until midnight on July 22nd.

    https://www.gvsecure.com/orderbackdateform.html

    3) Purchase levels: Many people have submitted support tickets stating that they joined at the incorrect level and have requested to an upgrade. We would like to offer ( in the link below) the opportunity for everyone to let us know if they intended to upgrade in June. For anyone wanting to upgrade for June please use the following link which will be active until midnight on July 22nd:

    https://www.gvsecure.com/juneupgradeform.html

    4) Credit cards: We have been working on attaining merchant solutions with higher limits allowing us to grow our business at the speed that it is growing.

    Because we have not yet delivered phones, SIM cards, or service, and because we have not yet paid commissions we want assure all of you have options to either stay with us or opt out as an e-Associate. Please see the following 3 options you have:

    a) You can continue to buy your package and your autoship each month getting commissions as usual. If you placed an order in June/July or had your autoship setup for June/July, the system will charge your card (if not charged if you pay via ACH). In other words, stay with us as you were. However, please MAKE SURE that you go into your back office under ?My Business Center?, ?Membership?, ?My Account? and select ?Payment Methods?. Review your credit card information to assure that everything, (including name and billing address) is correct on your charge card information. This will assure that there are no delays or refusals in our credit card processing.

    b) You can cancel your position until such time as you feel more comfortable. If you want to come back in, we will waive your 6 month waiting period requirement. Please note that if you choose this option you will lose your place in the matrix. In this option your credit card will not be charged, your position will be cancelled and no commissions will be paid for June or July. To cancel your position, please log into your Team Office (back office) account, select menus ?My Business Center?, ?Membership?, and ?My Account?. This page now has a button that shows at the top of it called ?Terminate My Subscription Now?. Select this button, confirm that choice, and your position is immediately flagged as terminated, your back office access is revoked, autoship information is cancelled, and you are logged out.

    c) You can cancel your autoship and your purchase of your Basic or Professional package in June or July and we will hold your position in the matrix. To cancel your autoship, please log into your Team Office (back office) account, select menus ?My Business Center?, ?Manage Autoship? and ?Manage Autoship? hyperlink. This page now has a link in the bottom left of the page to cancel your autoship. Of course you will only get commissions for the month that you joined and bought your distributorship package.

    Also, with the continued great support from Xennsoft, multiple Credit Card profile capabilities are available in everyone?s back office. We are asking that everyone please verify their credit card profile for accuracy, if you are paying with Credit Card. To access this feature, please log into your Team Office (back office) account, select menus ?My Business Center?, ?Membership?, ?My Account? and Payment Methods tab. This page now has an Edit link to modify existing profile or a New link to create a new or backup profile.

    In addition to the above information we have more exciting news from Xennsoft. As of this morning there is a new ACH option integrated in your back office. Everyone that desires to be on ACH needs to do the following. Please log into your Team Office (back office) account, select menus “My Business Center”, “Manage Autoship”, “Manage Autoship” link, when your autoship screen comes up click the edit link just to the right of the wording “Payment Information”. Once you are on this screen you can press the “Edit” link and “Delete” out your existing credit card option, then create a new ACH profile as your primary option.

    We are grateful that you have joined our team. As you know there are products and services other than the Zer01 Mobile phone service that you have signed up for and that you are now receiving benefits from. These products and services are valuable to you and we hope you are taking full advantage of them.

    Finally, we thank you for your patience.

    Sincerely,

    Global Verge Staff

  • 7. wheresmybuzzirk  |  August 2, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    Here comes the Big Guns

    Our attorney Mr. Gerald Nehra has permitted us to post the following message from him:

    “I have been retained by Global Verge and have begun my review. Permission to post this message granted. Phone calls to my office about Global Verge should only be from corporate officers, not distributors or prospective distributors.

    Gerald Nehra
    Nehra & Waak, Attorneys at Law”

    We ask that you please honor his request.

    Craig Perry, Esq.
    Chief Operating Officer
    Global Verge

  • 8. wheresmybuzzirk  |  August 2, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    Credit card Processing begins, however to many peoples surprise it is being done offshore

    All e-Associates:

    We are pleased to announce our merchant processing integration is completed and charges are starting to process now under out larger expanded accounts.

    What this will mean for everyone is that you will see charges on your credit card for any original June/July order or autoship starting from June 5th. In some cases you will see both June and July charged to your card.

    Everyone that has chosen ACH as the default payment option in your back office will continue to be charged through ACH and will not have duplicated credit card charges. Your back office will look at your profile setting you have set and will charge you according to your desired preferences.

    You can edit a saved payment profile by selecting the desired nickname from the dropdown selector and clicking the Edit link to the right. Once you have opened the details you can change your State/Providence accordingly.

    We would also like to comment that there was an email which was sent yesterday instructing people to fill out the CVV number in your back office. We do not store the CVV number and this is only required to process and original order, thus it is not needed at this time.

    In addition we have an exciting update for all of our Canadian e-Associates. Xennsoft has just finished the ability to edit your billing profile state/province. This means that for everyone that lives is British Columbia, but a billing card in Quebec can now change the billing profile to the correct Province. This is VERY important and we really need all of your help for anyone that has a billing province which is different than the joining province options. If you help us by changing your billing province this will assure your card gets processed correctly. Please follow the procedure below to change your billing province. Log into your back office and click ?My Business Center?, ?Membership?, ?My Account”, ?Payment Methods? and select “Edit”. Change your province and click save. Also, review your credit card information to assure that everything, (including name and billing address) is correct. We will not process any of the Canadian accounts until 12:00 Mountain time July 28th.

    Thank you for your continued support.

    Global Verge

  • 9. wheresmybuzzirk  |  August 2, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    “Currently, we have in the field about 10 working phones in our network using Zer01 and their awesome technology. These have been functioning for some time. We know the technology works.

    On Monday of this week we received —two more updated SIM chips. They also work on Zer01’s system and have been used over the past four days. In the next few days we will have SIMs that will boot up showing the Buzzirk Mobile logo, and several of these will be given out. At that point we can begin to tout the phones publicly * SHOW THEM OFF TO THE WORLD.

    After that, a larger rollout is planned. Firm dates cannot be given or quantities until next week. Please understand that we are not the carrier and we do not produce the SIM cards and we do not control the date of availability. You will see announcements made next week explaining firm dates from the carrier.

    Let’s remind ourselves that we have an incredible opportunity in front of us. For those who have been frustrated by the current delays, we understand. This email is to tell you THE PRODUCT IS REAL and that time frames will be laid out next week.

    We are aware of the insidious motives on the part of some individuals and companies trying to take us down. They wish they were in our shoes and want us out of the way to take our place. Many of the people behind the attacks stand to gain financially in their organizations if they can get rid of us, so they malign us. We know what they are saying publicly as well as some of the things they are saying behind closed doors. They have only one goal: to kill our opportunity in order to obtain and market this technology themselves.

    We are stronger in our resolve and ability to provide this technology to the masses than ever. We hope you will stand with us, or watch from the sidelines if you choose. We are moving forward with our game plan.

    The Globalverge Team‘

  • 10. wheresmybuzzirk  |  August 5, 2009 at 1:57 am

    http://blog.laptopmag.com/laptop-rescinds-best-of-ctia-award-for-zer01-mobile

    In LAPTOP’s 18-year history, we’ve given out hundreds of awards, each chosen to educate our readers about best-in-class products with great potential to change their lives for the better. These awards range from our Editors’ Choice Award, which appears on reviews for our highest-rated products to special sections like our Best Notebooks of the Year to tradeshow awards like those we give at CTIA Wireless. We’re proud of the many innovative products we’ve highlighted, and we’ve never had to rescind an award, until now.

    Effective immediately, we are rescinding the Best of CTIA Award given to Zer01 Mobile at April’s CTIA Wireless 2009. We’re taking this extraordinary step, because of serious ethical questions that have arisen about the company. We can no longer endorse its service and therefore are compelled to warn our readers to avoid it.

    Trade shows such as CTIA Wireless are all about potential, as vendors announce and demonstrate new products that have yet to hit the market. We meet with the most interesting of these vendors to get a sense of what they have to offer our readers, and we choose Best of Show award recipients based on our best effort to determine the potential of products that have yet to be released. However, in the case of Zer01 Mobile, it appears that the information the company provided was inaccurate and incomplete.

    The company claimed that it would offer unlimited voice and data for $69.95 per month and use VoIP technology to let users make calls. We were informed at CTIA that Zer01 would launch its service by July 1. However, the company has since broken its promises both to consumers and to us.

    Serious questions have also been raised about Zer01’s network and whether it can offer the coverage it promises. The company says it has interconnect arrangements with GSM providers yet refuses to tell us who they are. AT&T denied to us that they have any agreements with Zer01, and T-Mobile declined to comment. As we’ve reported, Zer01’s coverage map is identical to that of AT&T’s, which raises even more doubts.

    We also take issue with the fact that Zer01 changed its business plan after CTIA Wireless 2009. Initially, the company claimed it would offer its service directly to consumers. Then in May, Zer01 said it would provide its unlimited voice and data service to Buzzirk Mobile subscribers, a chosen distributor whose parent is a multi-level marketing company called Global Verge. A report from Network World recently revealed that Global Verge’s CEO, Mark Petschel,has plead guilty to securities fraud. When we asked Zer01’s CEO Ben Piilani about it, he told us that Petschel had resigned, though we have no independent confirmation of that.

    As of July 1, according to Network World, Zer01 changed the content of its Web site and began calling itself a mobile virtual network enabler. Even more unsettling is the fact that sales associates for Buzzirk Mobile, which is the public face of Zer01, have deceived the public by claiming that Zer01 owns 2100 MHz spectrum when it does not.

    When we interviewed Zer01 CEO Ben Piilani on July 22nd and confronted him about our concerns, he promised to deliver a phone for us to test by the following week. However, to date we have yet to receive an evaluation unit. In addition, an e-mail message sent to Zer01’s public relations firm last week, which warned that we may rescind our Best of CTIA Award, was not answered.

    At this time we can only urge extreme caution to those interested in using or selling Zer01’s service.

  • 11. wheresmybuzzirk  |  August 10, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    Original Post at PC World
    Monday, August 10, 2009 7:40 AM PDT

    http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/169920/zer01_service_still_vapor_distributors_emptyhanded.html#recommend

    Further delays and leadership changes have pushed out the launch of Zer01’s “unlimited everything” mobile phone service, casting further doubt about whether it will see the light of day.

    IDG News Service recently questioned whether the unlimited mobile voice and data service that Zer01 had advertised could actually be delivered as described. The service, originally targeted for a July 1 launch, is not available yet.

    Zer01’s service is being marketed through a multilevel marketing program run by a company called Global Verge. That company has had its own share of problems in the wake of CEO Mark Petschel stepping down after it was revealed he is on probation for a securities fraud conviction. He remains chairman of Global Verge.

    Now there are more leadership changes. A month after saying they had been put in charge, some other Global Verge executives said last week that they have been dismissed. Each has a history of working with marketing companies that have come under fire for questionable practices.

    In recent weeks the executives had delivered sometimes conflicting reasons for why the service has yet to launch. One now says he doubts that sales people will receive commissions or that the service will launch at all.

    Even before the most recent changes, some onlookers began having second thoughts about the mobile service, despite the early accolades it won.

    Last Tuesday, for instance, Laptop magazine rescinded an award it offered to Zer01 earlier this year for having the best product at the CTIA wireless conference. “We’re taking this extraordinary step because of serious ethical questions that have arisen about the company. We can no longer endorse its service and therefore are compelled to warn our readers to avoid it,” the magazine wrote in a blog post.

    Zer01, the supplier of the service that would cost end users $70 per month for true unlimited mobile voice and data services, is still touting the award on its Web site.

    Gartner analyst Tole Hart, who was once keen on Zer01’s concept, is now suspicious about whether the company can do what it promises. That’s partly because while Zer01 claims to have partnerships that give it nationwide coverage using GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) technology, neither of the nationwide GSM operators say they are working with Zer01.

    In addition, he wonders, “why would they let someone come on their network and undercut them?” Zer01’s unlimited offering would cost less than that of many of the operators, which also typically impose a cap on data usage.

    Some observers allow that Zer01 may have developed a new type of technology that could enable its unlimited offering. Zer01 claims to have applied for a patent that “allows each smart phone user to make voice calls or transmit data by sending voice communications through a VoIP system.” The patent number is in the format of a provisional application and those are not publically available, according to the patent office.

    When the phone service did not launch on July 1 as planned, executives from Zer01 and Global Verge began offering a variety of explanations for the delay.

    The most recent is a problem with the SIM (subscriber identity module) cards. Steve Lewis, who served as interim CEO for Global Verge for about a month, recently said the cards are being “defragged” so that they can be used in any phone. Warren Hanchey, whom Lewis described as an international businessman and scientist and who was expected to take over as CEO, said via e-mail that a “cab software” program was being installed on the cards.

    An expert from SIM card maker Gemalto said he’d never heard of defragging a SIM card. However, mobile virtual network operators such as Zer01 sometimes install Java applets called .cap programs on the cards, said Jean-Louis Carrara, vice president of business development for Gemalto’s telecommunications business unit.

    Beyond the technology, there have been problems with the marketing program. Global Verge claims that more than 40,000 people have signed onto its marketing program to sell the Zer01 phone service under the Buzzirk brand.

    Sales associates pay at least $70 to get into the program and at least $40 each month thereafter for back-office support. They hope to earn commissions by enlisting other sales people and, eventually, $10 per month for each customer they sign up.

    On a July 30 conference call, Global Verge told its sales associates that the phones would start shipping on Aug. 10. That was also to be the first week that sales people would earn commission checks after a credit card processing glitch hampered the process, Lewis said on the call. Cards are now being processed in Antigua because Global Verge’s U.S. merchant bank cancelled its account for heavy usage, he said.

    Global Verge recently offered associates the opportunity to quit the program due to the delays. In an online forum and in the comments left after other stories, several people said they have opted out and their credit cards continue to be charged.

    Experts say that the marketing set-up sounds suspicious. The fact that many people appear to be joining the program even though no product is available is a red flag, said Robert FitzPatrick, a respected multilevel marketing expert and president of Pyramid Scheme Alert.

    “This indicates the business proposition is as important, and perhaps more so, as the products themselves. It is so compelling that this many people would invest money and recruit friends and not do due diligence on the product. In a recession, a company claiming that new salespeople — without education or training — can earn $29,000 a month through a ‘unique’ compensation plan will obviously get a lot of people’s attention,” he said.

    Others said the Global Verge and Buzzirk sales recruitment process has some of the telltale signs of illegal marketing schemes. “Any time someone says, ‘You pay me money for the opportunity to make money just from recruiting new people,’ that’s violation of law,” James Toma, deputy attorney general for California, said.

    “Often you see them talk about a product and they’re saying it’s ready to launch at a certain period. Then they’re always ready to launch and it never happens,” Toma said.

    “Or, what also happens is certain products will be used to get excitement and as they have the sense that people are wisening up or saturating the market or word gets out that people aren’t making any money, they’ll switch to a different product,” he said. Global Verge executives have recently begun discussing other products beyond the mobile service that sales associates can sell.

    It’s unclear what will happen to the whole program now that the newest leaders have stepped down. On a conference call with sales associates last Thursday, a recording of which is posted online, Lewis said he had been fired from Global Verge and that Petschel and his associate Ted Robbins remain in charge of the company.

    Lewis said on the call that he had planned to step down before he was fired. He also warned the sales associates: “My opinion is, if they pay commission checks next week it’ll be a miracle.”

    Lewis, Hanchey and Teresa Curtis, who served as CFO for Global Verge for a few weeks, all have been involved with multilevel marketing programs that have had legal troubles in the past. Hanchey founded a multilevel marketing company called Lifewave that sells a variety of health products. He’s named as a defendant in a lawsuit in the Superior Court for Gwinnett County in Georgia, related to the program, which is the subject of criticism online from people who suggest that the products don’t work.

    In a 2003 bankruptcy filing, Hanchey owed over $941,000 as part of a settlement dispute with Transamerica Financial Resources. That dispute was arbitrated by the National Association of Securities Dealers, now the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which does not have records of the settlement, possibly because it dates back to 1997.

    At the time of the bankruptcy filing, he was listed as being employed as a construction manager by the Philly Franchise Co.

    Curtis was CEO of the HBO Tax Academy, a company that has been the subject of much criticism online. It is also one of a few groups used by a Texas man who was charged for promoting fraudulent tax schemes.

    Curtis also sold products for Your Travel Business (YTB), which was sued by the state of California for running a gigantic pyramid scheme.

    Curtis declared bankruptcy in 2005, owing $45,000 to a variety of sources, including, ironically, AT&T Wireless, Cingular, Sprint and Lightyear, as well as a casino and Moneytree. Lewis recently said that Curtis is a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) and has a master’s degree in computer technology, though she is not listed as a licensed CPA on the Nevada State Board of Accountancy. In Nevada, CPAs who reside in the state or work for an employer in the state must be licensed with the board, said Viki Windfeldt, executive director of the Nevada State Board of Accountancy. Global Verge is registered as a corporation in Nevada.

    Lewis, whose address is sometimes the same as Curtis’ in various documents online, also sold products through YTB and was involved with HBO Tax Academy. He says the tax business closed not because of the disputes surrounding it but because he had a heart attack and needed time to recuperate. He also is the founder of the Keerthi Foundation, which sells a low cost phone service.

    Zer01 declined to be interviewed for this report unless the story was in a question-and-answer format. Petschel has not replied to a request for comment. Despite claims from Lewis that Global Verge had hired a public relations representative, that person’s contact details have not been disclosed. Global Verge has no contact information on its Web site. Prior to the most recent leadership change, Hanchey offered some information via e-mail and said he’d call to respond to further questions but did not.

    While the discussion about Global Verge on sites like scam.com continues, fewer people who say they are claiming to be sales associates in the program seem to be defending it. Those still paying into the program are likely awaiting the Monday deadline when they are supposed to start getting their commission checks. But the skeptics are awaiting the same date to hear a new reason for why those checks won’t be issued.

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