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A Sucker Born Every Minute

Rich Tehrani and Tom Keating have both published articles about getting paid to talk in the last couple of days.  Rich ridicules the idea as a throwback to the dot com days.  Tom reports on a company called CashBackVoices offering to pay you a percentage of all you talk, and all that your friends talk, and…

CashBackVoices is a pyramid scheme (sorry, multi-level marketing company) in the tradition of the grandest scams in the industry.  All calls must be 30 minutes to qualify.  You pay competitive rates for the calls you make. You enroll by paying a 1.75 euro one time fee, and then buy credits for your phone usage.  The cashback scheme looks like this:

  • First level (people you call directly): 10% 
  • Second level (people your directs call): 1%
  • Third level: 2%
  • Fourth level: 3%
  • Fifth level: 4%
  • Sixth level: 5%
  • Seventh level: 6%
  • Eight level: 7%
  • Nineth level: 8%
  • Tenth level: 9%

This scam is the same as the "bong tone" scams on prepaid phone cards.  Most people will never see a cent from this scheme.  That’s because most telephone calls are less than 10 minutes long. Most people will pay the sign up fee, buy some credit, discover that the service is really no cheaper than any other prepaid long distance service and drop it. And CashBackVoices will keep the unused balance and the 1.75 euro sign up fee… technically known as "breakage" in the prepaid phone card industry.

CashBackVoices couldn’t really afford to make the payout either.  Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you make 2 30 minute calls in a month, and everyone in your downline does the same.  Whipping out my handy copy of Excel reveals that for my $1.30 in phone calls made, CashBackVoices would owe me $106.32.  There’s a sucker born every minute, isn’t there?

I’m with Rich.  Value is going to be created by innovative new uses for VoIP. 

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Peter Skuta February 20, 2006, 8:21 am

    Dear Alec Saunders,

    Please check out the newest payplan: http://www.cashbackvoices.com/payplan.php

    I pay for every second, that you and your group makes. First of all your first level is your personal referrals and you receive a reward on their phonecalls 10%, plus you are going to recieve 1% back from your own personal usage and unlimited depth commission is 0.5% after the 10th level.

    As i said above if your downline only makes a 3 seconds phone call you are getting paid for it.

    The concept is patented.

    Please do your due dilligence and become a member and contact me before you make a bad reputation against CashBackVoices.

    It shows unfortunatelly incompetence on your side to name a multi level system in 2006 / which is using one of the most up-to-date unilevel compensation plan to reward the personal recommendation/ as a pyramid scheme, but I do not get upset :-)

    Please contact me on my email address, for further informations if needed.

    "A meaning has everybody, because it is for free."

    Thank you very much.
    Peter Skuta
    Founder of CashBackVoices.com

  • Daniel Vrabioiu March 20, 2006, 9:45 am

    I know cashbackvoices and I really trust in this concept.. Its not a totally new concept but an inovation of a very succesful schem merged with a very successful bussines model. So this is like a new breed: an old champion merged with a new era concept.

    Also, I have tested the system and it works great. I didnt have the chance to test the refferal thing because I am a sysadmin and have a bunch of things to take care of.. This concept targets simple, non technical home users, not the sysadmin/programmer/geek type.

    I hope my comment will help people create a real ideea about what cashbackvoices is. Here's the power of the internet.. I review, he reviews, you are informed!

  • Andrew June 22, 2007, 6:00 am

    Well, you can consider my teaching at http://www.mlmtraining.org

  • Corrisa Malone November 2, 2008, 2:00 am

    I just came across this article and had to throw in my two cents. By the way it looks like this company is no longer in existence…who's surprised?

    Anyway, when it comes to choosing a company the length of time the company has been in existence and quality of the product plays a huge role in choosing a viable company (along with other criteria)…

    And it seems when the math is done on the payout as mentioned in the article, it's evident the company is on a downward spiral.

    Common sense above else plays a huge role when choosing a company. It seems some people put it to the side when they're only interested in making a quick buck. What a shame.

    Good post Alec.


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