Network World Uncovers More Dirt On Zer01

NetworkWorld published its findings on the suspicious histories of the men behind new cellphone company Zer01 just two days ago, but they clearly sent someone behind the scenes scrambling. This afternoon they reported that Zer01’s parent company “has stripped its Web site down to only basic information,” and that “new details have also come to light suggesting a past connection between two of the involved companies, despite claims to the contrary.”

Bob Piilani, CEO of Zer01’s parent company, told NetworkWorld he only met Mark Petschel, CEO of Global Verge (which is actually selling all Zer01 “services”) this past May and had no idea of Petschel’s current probationary status for securities fraud. But NetworkWorld found information that suggests that at least their companies knew each other, even if they allegedly didn’t:

Several Global Verge marketers have Web sites that include links to a Global Verge program for selling PC equipment. Prior to Wednesday, the URL for that program, nextdaypc.com [see note below. -Ed.], opened a Web site for Piilani Computers, described as a division of UTG. One of the marketer’s Web sites includes that link on a page dated Dec. 17, 2008. Piilani’s biography said that one of his former companies, I-Net, also sold the Piilani Computers line.

But by Wednesday, the “Piilani Computers” headline on the top of the nextdaypc.com page was replaced by the words “Your Smart Choice.” In some areas of the country, the Piilani Computers banner is still visible.

Looks like we need to modify that chart.

Update: NextDayPC contacted us to insist that they have had nothing to do with either Petschel or Piilani. They are an unrelated third party company and don’t want their name dragged into this mess:

Our company, NextDay Network, Inc., is a hardware, software and electronic products reseller since 1999. We operate through 2 web sites, NextDayPC.com, which is a customizable storefront so technology consultants and any other interested parties can join our independent sales force and benefit from their sales under our agency model. We also operate ResellersOnly.com which is our back office portal for our sales force.

As long as our Terms of Use for these 2 sites are followed, any individual or company can sign-up as a NextDayPC reseller at ResellersOnly.com and immediately receive a co-branded web site which they can customize with their own logo and contact information. All transactions are conducted strictly between NextDay and our end-customers and the only exchange of money between our company and our independent sales agents are through bi-monthly commission checks that are sent out on the agent’s sales for the previous month.

On October of 2008 Global Verge became one of our 12,000 affiliated sales companies. As of today, Global Verge and their partners have generate a total of $3,000 in sales, all of which has been processed and shipped. Furthermore, we have placed Global Verge on a cancellation notice and intend to contact their team members and explain our decision shortly.

As you can imagine, with the recent series of controversial articles on Global Verge and Zer01, it is extremely important for us to make sure that our companies good name will not be inaccurately associated with these 2 companies and your readers will not gain the wrong impression that NextDay Network has been involved in any wrongdoing.

PCWorld spoke with NextDay Network and found out more about their very limited relationship to Petschel’s company Global Verge. Says their CEO, Arthur Smaal, “If this thing blows up, I don’t want to be a part of this.”

“After report questions service, Zer01 parent strips Web site” [NetworkWorld]
“PC Reseller Distances Itself From Global Verge” [PCWorld]

RELATED
“Is ZER01 Mobile A Legit Cellphone Service?”