Super Expensive Internet Kiosk Business Not Just Stupid, But A Scam

from the in-case-you-were-wondering dept

Late last year, we wrote about our surprise at seeing companies using late night infomercials to pitch buying into WiFi access terminals. Everything about the idea seemed stupid. It was basically a copy of the independent ATM business, where you were supposed to buy a $13,000 terminal which would be placed in some area, and any time someone paid to access the WiFi on the terminal, you’d get some money out of it. Of course, for anyone who’s been following the WiFi business at all, this seemed like a bad business proposition. First off, there’s no way such equipment should cost $13,000, even with its “impact resistant LCD monitor [and] anti-vandal and waterproof industrial keyboard.” If you’re placing these kiosks in a place where you fear such things, perhaps that’s a suggestion that business might not be too strong for your internet access. We suggested at the time that it was unlikely that many would buy into such a deal, and were pretty sure that those who did were about to lose a lot of money. Well, it seems the FTC has agreed and has shut down the company involved as a scam. Not only were their infomercial promises bogus (unlimited income potential?), the company often just took the person’s money without actually delivering one of these spiffy kiosks. In cases where the kiosks were installed they were (surprise, surprise) rarely, if ever, used. While it’s pretty clear that this was a scam, you still have to wonder about those who got taken in by it. How hard would it be to do even the slightest amount of research to understand that this was a bad bet from the start?

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Comments on “Super Expensive Internet Kiosk Business Not Just Stupid, But A Scam”

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Dean says:

Re: Re: dvd rental

The DVD rental stuff is wildly popular in Japan (but then again, you can get darn near anything from vending machines in Japan…even live lobsters), and I imagine it would be more popular here too if you could actually find them in places like grocery stores or gas stations.

For the other poster that thought you’d be able to keep the DVD… They have your credit card number, and would probably charge you if you didn’t give it back. It might even charge you full price to begin with, and then offer most of it back (except two or three dollars, for the rental fee) when you returned it.

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