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Solavei Offering BlackBerry Z10 for $999

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They say it's not technically a pyramid scheme!

by Globhead    Feb 11, 2013, 3:25 PM

Their head dude says they obey all of the laws for multi-level marketing. I'll assume that they do.

Well, just because something is legal does not mean it is not a pyramid scheme in the functional sense (in fact, pyramid schemes are not illegal by their nature, and specific laws have to be written to try to define what is naturally just a bad idea).

So is it? I don't know, but this option looks suspicious:

A Social Member Without Service chooses to participate ONLY in the Compensation Plan and does not use Solavei Mobile Service. Social Members Without Service must pay an annual fee of $149 to participate in the Compensation Plan. »

One of these "without service" members can apparently sign up new wireless service members to get paid, but it all hinges on one critical fact which is not made clear: can the person who signed them up count them as new signups for their commission, or do only wireless users count as new signups to benefit the upper level?

If so, this can be a pyramid scheme. You can pay money for no other reason than to "participate", and you can get paid more money back by signing up new "members" whose only motivation is to sign up more people. That's what a pyramid scheme is. All money shuffling, no product wanted. Most pyramid schemes are made legal by attaching a product which few/none of the joiners actually want. Cheap phone service is a product many probably DO want, but then Solavei is offering a chance to join the pyramid without buying it.

If Solavei is not paying people to signup new "without service" members, they should clearly state this in the linked document. As it is, a person just might think this to be a pyramid scheme. OF A LEGAL VARIETY, OF COURSE! We wouldn't want to accidentally accuse them of doing something illegal just because their system looks so much like it.

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