It appears that all of the cries of scam and vaporware about Zer01 Mobile have turned out to be true as the company has been ordered to pay $43 million to marketing firm Global Verge. Zer01 must pay for breach of contract, tortious interference with contractual relations and long-term profit losses.
Global Verge sued Zer01 and its CEO Ben Piilani late last year for breach of contract, claiming it had lent Zer01 over $170,000 to get the business going. Piilani has 20 days to respond with an appeal, but that seems unlikely as he has all but disappeared. Since Zer01 never really got off the ground, Global Verge doesn't believe they'll see much, if any, money from the judgment. The company may be able to collect on some assets, such as a patent that Piilani and Zer01 allegedly applied for, but it's unsure if the patent application was legitimate.
Zer01 had planned to provide unlimited VOIP talk time and web use for $70 per month through AT&T's network, similar to how an MVNO like Virgin Mobile operates. The service also allowed users to sell products and services to others, and users were charged $40 per month for "back-office support" to help sell the service. Many people claim that they signed up and paid for services and signed up others, but have yet to be compensated for their work. Global Verge's CEO Tim Robbins says that these claims are not true and that anyone who had signed up for Zer01 has already been given a refund. Still, there have been 24 customer complaints, most about pyramid scheme activities, filed with the Missouri attorney general, where Global Verge is located. Global Verge says its attorneys have responded to the claims, but the attorney general's site says the opposite.
As of now, Global Verge has moved on and has an agreement with Sprint to sell services under the brand GlobalMobile1. The services will be sold exclusively by Global Verge members. Also, it appears that someone has hacked the Zer01 website, so check it out here for a good laugh.
Via PC World