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Zer01 slapped with $43 million judgment

Yet questions remain about Global Verge, which brought the suit

By Nancy Gohring, IDG News Service
May 25, 2010 01:21 PM ET

Page 2 of 2

He said that anyone who felt they signed up to Global Verge's program to primarily sell Zer01 service has been offered and given refunds for their monthly fees. That offer still stands, he said, for anyone who still wants a refund. "I'm more than happy to clear up any issue out there," Robbins said.

Robbins seemed to be arguing that Global Verge did not recruit people expressly to sell the Zer01 service. "One of the misnomers out there is that with Zer01 that we were charging people to come into the company to sell the Zer01 service. We never charged any of our distributors one dime for any service or any phones or any of the ability to sell the phones or the service," he said.

Yet, Robbins himself spoke repeatedly on conference calls for associates last year that were almost exclusively about the Zer01 service and the potential benefits of becoming an associate in order to sell the service.

Robbins maintains that associates who signed up to become part of the marketing program last year did so in order to get other benefits of being part of Global Verge, such as national ID recovery, back-end management systems to manage their businesses, a video conferencing program and travel sites to save money on travel.

"Zer01 didn't charge anyone for phones and service, which I think saved our bacon," Robbins said. If Global Verge had presold the mobile services and failed to deliver them, the court may not have looked so kindly on the company, he said.

Still, 24 complaints from consumers have been filed about the company with the state attorney general in Missouri, where Global Verge is based, with most complaints in the pyramid scheme category. While Robbins said that the company's attorneys have responded to each of those complaints, the attorney general's Web site says that none has been resolved.

Global Verge now has an agreement with Sprint to sell mobile services under the GlobalMobile1 brand, Robbins said. The agreement with Sprint allows the service to be sold exclusively by Global Verge members, said Robbins.

Global Verge is involved in other legal actions. Its lawyers have sent a cease and desist order to an MLM blogger, Troy Dooly, asking him to remove what they say are defamatory statements about Global Verge from his Web site.

It has also recently filed a lawsuit against an individual and a handful of mobile services resellers for alleged fraudulent contracts and other fraud.

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