Ironic, that Rich Tehrani (my boss) wrote in his Get Paid to VoIP entry today about how he is predicting that eventually people will be paid to talk using VoIP. Tsk tsk, Rich. You don't talk to me any more, because if you had, you would have known such a company already exists. Indeed, I am aware of one such company offering "cash back" to use their VoIP system. I've known about them for about a month, but have been too damn busy to give them a decent blog entry. I blame Rich - ya damn slave driver! ;)
Well, Rich, you have forced my hand with your blog entry talking about getting paid to VoIP. There is a company called CashBackVoices that offers you cash for talking to friends using their VoIP service. My contact there told me, "I am the only one who give cashback on the minutes (and that is patented)"
I then did a follow-up email last month asking him the following:
Is this truly "Cashback" or simply a discount coupon or rebate on the minutes used?
I interpret cashback as the user getting POSITIVE cash for using the VoIP system with NO "out of pocket" expenses. Otherwise it's simply a "discount" on the minutes used applied after the fact.
Of course, this business model would require advertising of some sort to recoup costs and make it a profitable VoIP business model.
For example, a true "cashback" VoIP system in my mind would be something like this:
User A talks for 5000 minutes per month. User A earns $0.01 cashback per minute and receives a check for $50.
I'll even allow "some" monthly fee in the equation, say $30/month paid by the user for the cashback VoIP service. Thus the user pays -$30/month. So $50/month - $30/month means the user earns +$20/month.
If this is not the case, perhaps you can explain further. An example scenario might be good.
He responded, "Yes this is a true cashback giving moneyback from minutes. They are going to pay my prices and they are receiving cashback on the usage (not a rebate or discount) They can create a network of friends who are calling outside (PSTN cell lines). The user is going to pay international rates but when he has a big network he earns it back :) "
So I guess in theory if your network is large enough you do truly earn "cash back". Cool! B) Anyone want to be part of my CashBackVoices network so I can earn some dough? Anyone? Hello? Anyone out there? Damn, I forgot I have no friends. Ah well.
Joking aside, at least you know about a VoIP service provider giving you money to talk using VoIP. You heard it here first. :D
p.s. This is similar to affiliate programs that Vonage, Packet8, and the other VoIP providers offer, but these VoIP providers only give their affiliates a one-time referral fee and not "recurring" revenue on customers you bring to them. That's the beauty of the CashBackVoices program which does give you recurring revenue. The site is run by a young 21-yr old entrepreneur, but that shouldn't give you too much pause since most great tech companies were started by young entrepreneurs.