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What the ? Another Home Based Business Opportunity in the Telecommunications Industry? Give It A Rest Already!

A friend of mine recently emailed me to ask if I would look at a home based business opportunity in the telecommunications industry.

So, being the open person that I try to be, I went and checked it out for him.

At first glance, I could tell right away that it was not only a home based business, but yet another opportunity to join a telecommunications network marketing company, and one marketing VOIP services.

I have no problem with network marketing as an industry. In fact, there are some very good companies within the networking industry, and ultimately, it's how we all buy products and services anyway.

(Last time I went to Sam's Club, I got a jar of pickles that was so big that...)

So basically, with the idea that this company is a network marketing model, you could hypothetically get paid on the calls you make, as well as on the calls made by the people you refer. Those people can get paid on the calls their referrals make, and on and on, etc.

But, because it's a computer based dialer, it's not like you're making money from the airtime usage (which is one of the ways the now defunct Excel communications made their money, (from home based phone lines) and paid their distributors).

But here's how this works.

You, as an end user, download the dialer to your computer, and it lets you make free calls to anyone via VOIP from your home or business computer to any Land Line (or to another computer which has the software on it).

The company (which will remain nameless for purposes of this article), generates their revenue by running ads in their player while you're on your call.

There was a program on the Internet that used to be very similar to this called AllAdvantage, which (some people will remember) paid you according to how much time you surfed the web, and how many ads you saw while surfing.

In this case, the distributors and the company get paid paid by advertisers, by the minutes or seconds that their ad displays on your computer. They likely also charge the advertisers by clicks (meaning) you have the ad on your screen while you're on your call, and you decide to click to see what the ad is about. The company then pays that click (let's say through 5-10 levels) to people who recruited people who recruited people, etc.

If the call quality is good, it might be worth it. It just depends on the end user.

I just signed up for Skype though, which only cost me $30/year to have unlimited (and ad-free) calling from my computer to anywhere in the US.

But, for the people who don't mind ads, this particular program appears to be free, and free is generally worth it.

But then, on further investigation of the site, it appeared that you could buy in at higher levels in the compensation plan. When it comes to network marketing, this usually means that they're taking some of what you pay to buy in at those levels, and using it to pay the person who convinced you to sign up at a higher level. This is something I'm never really comfortable with, because people should get paid when products and services are marketed, not when someone pays money to join the business.

"You mean I pay $500 to buy in, and $250 of that goes to the person who convinced me to buy in?"

Oh yeah.

The moral of the story, be careful, and really think, before deciding that the next presentation you attend is going to turn into "the next big thing." Telcom is great, and there are a lot of people making a lot of money by marketing Telecommunications products, but really make sure you know what you're looking at.

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