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RVers “had” by Nomad Internet’s mobile internet scheme


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"Social media “influencers,” YouTube channelers, even seemingly trusted internet “experts” spent a lot of time touting Nomad Internet. The company promises to deliver high speed wireless internet service with no limits, no throttling, to RVers and other customers. And with the promise of “no contract, no cancellation fees,” apparently thousands have signed up for the ride. Sadly, like a carnival ride, the end can come very quickly, and has for many who say they’ve “been had by Nomad.” Now the Texas Attorney General agrees—and on April 14, a judge slapped a restraining order on the company and its owners."

https://www.rvtravel.com/rvers-had-by-nomad-internets-mobile-internet-scheme-rvt-1102b/

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Something to remember is any third party provider is at the mercy of the carrier actually providing the service.  Putting aside any claims of impropriety, cell carriers have a long history of abruptly cutting off third party providers, usually when they become too successful and start using more data than the carrier anticipated.   When this happens the third party company is SOL and unless they can line up another carrier they are unable to provide service to their customers.   It happened to me 10 years ago before I retired - we were using Milennicom to provide data service to a dozen or so remote transmitter sites and had to find another source on short notice when Verizon cancelled Milennicom's master contract.  (we wound up getting an educational discount package directly from Verizon since the station was owned by a college).   

As Chris Dunphy of Technomadia puts it, any third party plan works until it doesn't.

As far as Nomad Internet's ad still appearing here, I think it's just another indication of the relative lack of attention Escapees gives to this forum.

Edited by Lou Schneider
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6 hours ago, Pat & Pete said:

Have to wonder if they are the same folks offering Nomad insurance . 

They're not, and takes just a couple of seconds to find that out.  And it's probably a lot fairer to Nomad Insurance to do that than to "wonder" and put it in people's minds.

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15 hours ago, Blues said:

They're not, and takes just a couple of seconds to find that out.  And it's probably a lot fairer to Nomad Insurance to do that than to "wonder" and put it in people's minds.

IF it was of any real concern , a search would be the first thing done .

I'm sure I am the only person that wondered . Oh , maybe you were the second . At least enough that you did a search  .

Thanks for that . Now , the folks reading this thread know . ;)

 

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And people wonder why I have trust issues. A 3rd party seller has their contract "revised", and it affects their customers. A forum reader questions if the 3rd party vendor is also responsible for a 3rd party insurance sales. They are sniped at, then back up their findings. Sniping continues. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Yahoo Ramblers said:

Sorry, but my few clicks show they are one and the same.

What clicks are you referencing? I found no connection between New Braunfels, Texas based Nomad Internet and fulltime RV'er Kyle Hensen's Nomad Insurance agency that uses an Escapees Livingston, TX mail service address.

Edited by Dutch_12078
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9 minutes ago, Dutch_12078 said:

What clicks are you referencing? I found no connection between New Braunfels, Texas based Nomad Internet and fulltime RV'er Kyle Hensen's Nomad Insurance agency that uses an Escapees Livingston, TX mail service address.

Agree.....Kyle has been a participating member on this forum for a long time - not just ads.

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44 minutes ago, Darryl&Rita said:

And people wonder why I have trust issues. A 3rd party seller has their contract "revised", and it affects their customers. A forum reader questions if the 3rd party vendor is also responsible for a 3rd party insurance sales. They are sniped at, then back up their findings. Sniping continues. 

Backed up his claim with what?

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On 4/30/2023 at 11:45 AM, Lou Schneider said:

As far as Nomad Internet's ad still appearing here, I think it's just another indication of the relative lack of attention Escapees gives to this forum.

You might want to look again.   

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On 4/30/2023 at 11:05 AM, Pat & Pete said:

Have to wonder if they are the same folks offering Nomad insurance . 

Sorry, I read the above post incorrectly.
No affiliation.

I was stating the ad at the top for Nomad Internet and the one in the article were the same.

My bad.

I notice the ad is now gone.

Edited by Yahoo Ramblers
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23 hours ago, Darryl&Rita said:

And people wonder why I have trust issues. A 3rd party seller has their contract "revised", and it affects their customers.

Did you read the story linked to?  Nomad Internet did not have its contract revised--that was Lou Schneider talking about what can happen to third party providers, and what did happen to a different third party provider he dealt with.

But it's not what happened to Nomad Internet.  They were engaged in fraud from the get-go.  From the article:

Quote

Nomad approached mobile internet service providers like Verizon, “masquerading as legitimate entities requiring wireless data and equipment.” Nomad didn’t tell these wireless companies they were planning on leasing out the wireless companies’ SIM cards—which is illegal under the terms they agreed to.

Here's the original petition filed by the Attorney General.  It's interesting reading, and describes how Nomad initially engaged in one type of fraud, and when that was found out, pivoted to another type of fraud.  It also talks about how Verizon did an undercover operation to determine if their SIM cards were being acquired and leased by Nomad without Verizon's authorization.

https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/sites/default/files/images/press/Nomad Internet Lawsuit.pdf

 

23 hours ago, Darryl&Rita said:

A forum reader questions if the 3rd party vendor is also responsible for a 3rd party insurance sales. They are sniped at, then back up their findings.

The forum reader who wondered if Nomad was also engaged in insurance sales did not back up anything.  A different reader misunderstood what was being discussed and backed up findings that were never even at issue (i.e., whether the company behind the Nomad Internet ad is the same as the Nomad Internet being sued).  All of which would have been avoided if instead of throwing out baseless innuendo, Pat & Pete had taken a couple of seconds to see if what they were "wondering" about was factual, realized it wasn't, and not even put out in the universe that the people behind Nomad Insurance are the same as the fraudsters behind Nomad Internet.

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3 hours ago, Blues said:

  All of which would have been avoided if instead of throwing out baseless innuendo, Pat & Pete had taken a couple of seconds to see if what they were "wondering" about was factual, realized it wasn't, and not even put out in the universe that the people behind Nomad Insurance are the same as the fraudsters behind Nomad Internet.

 Here's hoping tomorrow is a better day . ;)

 

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Completely agree with Lou.

Third party vendors are a waste if you need reliability. I went through 2 unexpected stoppages with 3rd parties. Now have 100GB TMobile & ATT hotspots plus Starlink Roaming. 

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2 hours ago, sheldons65 said:

Completely agree with Lou.

Third party vendors are a waste if you need reliability. I went through 2 unexpected stoppages with 3rd parties. Now have 100GB TMobile & ATT hotspots plus Starlink Roaming. 

I agree 3rd party vendors can be problematic. As long as they'll have me, I'll stick with our grandfathered AT&T unlimited data service and our Visible/Verizon unlimited data service. All for a bit less than $50/month total.

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Thanks again Dutch for letting us know about NOMAD and Garza's fraudulent enterprises.

It is established that:

1. They are under lawsuit by the Texas AG for defrauding consumers and Verizon. Not for changing a non-existent agreement with Verizon, facts below. Verizon can't change an agreement that never existed. This is a first I have heard of faking being an MVNO.

2.Nomad Insurance has nothing to do with the cell company and is an established trustworthy Insurance vendor that advertises on this forum and elsewhere.

This thread is about Nomad cell services as a fraud. It has nothing to do with other Mobile Virtual Network Operators, or MVNOs, using Verizon TMobile or ATT towers/equipment. They are called MVNOs good or bad. It has nothing to do with Verizon changing the terms with any MVNO although that can result in prices being raised but not fraud in not providing services at all. I did not say the big three could not make changes but with a legitimate company an announcement would be made if any changes. Yes MVNOs have failed or majors like Cingular gone and were either bought out or bankrupt. But many are as good or better as the majors if you get a good one and get grandfathered. I am not saying anyone who does not trust MVNOs should use one. Just that that the NOMAD cell services has been busted by the Texas AG! Warn all the folks you know whether they have them or not to start looking for another provider pending the results of the AG suit, or not to sign up with them in the first place. My provider is not that great a deal now for High data users above 70GB/Month and not for folks that tether other devices for Internet. But for my use no other comes close as long as I don't make changes to my plans or account.

Excerpt:

"It seems Nomad Internet customers weren’t the only ones to feel the burn. In a lawsuit filed at the end of March against Nomad by the Texas Attorney General, some ugly allegations surfaced. Here are the key points.

Nomad Internet, says the suit, “perpetuated a $75 million deceptive scheme against major internet service providers and individual consumers alike.” How did they do it? Nomad approached mobile internet service providers like Verizon, “masquerading as legitimate entities requiring wireless data and equipment.” Nomad didn’t tell these wireless companies they were planning on leasing out the wireless companies’ SIM cards—which is illegal under the terms they agreed to. Since Nomad isn’t “an authorized internet service reseller,” their acts, says the Texas AG, were illegal.

Felt markers used to fleece

To make the scam work, Nomad used black felt markers to black out the name of the SIM card provider before sending them out to their “customers.” The users would jump onto the internet and begin using the service they bought and paid for in good faith. But each SIM card has its own individual identifying signature. It didn’t take long for the wireless companies to spot high levels of broadband usage, often in areas where the SIM card should not have been used. The reaction was swift—throttle the device, or shut it down completely.

When that part of the scheme failed, Nomad, says the lawsuit, took a different approach. Nomad tried an end run by applying “for thousands of individual data lines using fictional identities.” With the ill-gotten SIM cards in hand, Nomad would send them on to unsuspecting customers. Of course, the supplying wireless carriers didn’t take long to “cotton on” to the matter, and then simply shut down the line of service, “leaving consumers without internet access for which they were paying.” Even after their customer’s wireless equipment was useless, Nomad kept billing for the non-existent service.

All the while, says the lawsuit, Nomad “explicitly claimed an affiliation with traditional service providers when no such partnership existed.” This affiliation showed up in advertisements promoted by Nomad. The company was pretty brazen, even publishing photos of huge numbers of Verizon SIM cards on its social media pages.

Consumers hit the fan

As the outages caused by outraged service providers began hitting customers, the customers began hitting the fan. After contacting Nomad to complain about service cutoffs, Nomad would sometimes send a new router and SIM card. “Oftentimes,” says the suit, “the SIM card sent to a complaining consumer was a SIM card that had already been throttled, resulting in equally poor speeds.” If the customer demanded their account be canceled, they were told they’d have to send back their equipment first. In some cases, customers had never received that equipment to begin with. Others were told their account was canceled, “only to be later charged by [Nomad] again.”

On April 14, a Comal County, Texas, District Court judge signed off on a temporary injunction. While hearing the actual suit against Nomad is still off in the distance, the court order may go some way toward helping consumers see some justice. The judge ordered an asset freeze on not only the company’s bank accounts, but those also held by Nomad’s officers, Jessica Garza, Joshua Garza, and Alan Harmon. They won’t be able to freely dip into the Nomad accounts, nor even their own. Since it has been established these folks had multiple businesses where funds could be transferred and hidden, the banks may only transfer funds at the order of the court. If and when the suit is handled, there may still be some money to refund to consumers, should the court so order.

Living the “high life”

The Texas AG made it a point, in a brief to the court, that the Garzas and Harmon may have a propensity to “live the high life.” “Defendants have formed numerous limited liability companies in Texas and throughout the United States which they use, at least in part, to wire transfer money between accounts in an effort to launder proceeds derived from their online scam. Defendants spend funds as quickly as funds are being deposited into their business banking accounts, including for personal purposes such as plastic surgery, jewelry, and luxury cars.”

Included in the restraining order are other seeming protections. The defendants can’t hide, destroy, or move business records. They’re also prohibited from “selling or offering for sale any telecommunications services, including but not limited to high-speed wired or wireless internet, and cellular plans without authorization or contractual agreement with a network or service provider.

Here’s our advice. If you need mobile internet service to take with you in your RV, look up a major, recognized carrier. Don’t join the thousands who feel they’ve been had by Nomad. And if you are one of those thousands, don’t hesitate. File a complaint with the Texas Attorney General’s Consumer Protection division. You can call for help at 800-621-0508, or file online.”

Source:

https://www.rvtravel.com/rvers-had-by-nomad-internets-mobile-internet-scheme-rvt-1102b/

 

So this guy Garza was taking Sim cards from other suppliers and using markers covered up the original Verizon logo on the cards. For folks who want a good MVNO I'll provide a great article at the bottom.

Established and legal Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) or third party vendors can be as reliable as the majors. I had a very bad experience moving from Verizon to T-Mobile which could not get the Samsung A20 or A30 I forget, to even work at all - not even voice or calls in or out! Verizon et al have become "higher than a cats back" again in prices. So I went looking for an MVNO using Straight talk until we found one.

Last year I went with a new MVNO and have had great service at prices I have not seen anywhere then or now. I have three unlimited data/talk/text lines two in phones and one in our Surface LTE tablets. They have never done free tethering but other than that we have three lines at $25 each and a Perk with the third line of $14 to pay for Hulu. So our monthly bill is $61 bucks a month for three unlimited lines. Customer service is excellent with accents but better understanding on both ends of the accents. They have raised prices to close to Verizon, but ours is grandfathered.  However still could be a price advantage for the Perks.

They started out with no throttling and no data limits and Verizon did switch up on them so we had a change in lieu of a price increase to being Throttled (slowed down) at 70GBs of data. Other than that they have been as good as Straight talk on Verizon towers fast 5G (yes we have it here and soon Google Fiber too. I get live customer service in less than a minute and resolutions or answers. Very happy with them and do not think they are any different than the other reliable MVNOs. And of course that could change at any time.

So let's not paint all MVNOs with a broad brush.

The thread topic is Nomad alone is a fraud, so much so the Texas Attorney general took action.

There is more in the article.

Safe Travels and reliable comm!

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A good informative post, Derek. Thank you.

Just a note on your mention of Straight Talk for those that don't know: Straight Talk is a Tracfone Wireless, Inc. brand, and Tracfone is a wholly owned subsidiary of Verizon, not a third-party MVNO.

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1 hour ago, Dutch_12078 said:

A good informative post, Derek. Thank you.

Just a note on your mention of Straight Talk for those that don't know: Straight Talk is a Tracfone Wireless, Inc. brand, and Tracfone is a wholly owned subsidiary of Verizon, not a third-party MVNO.

YW Dutch. Wow! I did not know that about Straight Talk. I only used them as an emergency system when neither of our T-Mobile phones worked. We had zero service at our house in town with T Mobile or in their offices. Here we get a strong 5G signal and 4 G signal with all the providers. And others have it here but I think I just got a dud in their storefront we bought from. And their office we bought from is just up the street from us. Atraight Talk gave me a month to research MVNOs.

Here is a current article about 12 Best Verizon MVNOs (Complete List and Ranking) - Last updated on February 7, 2023.

Excerpt:

"If we talk about a mobile service that covers most of the United States, Verizon would come out as the top choice. Its 70% nationwide 4G coverage would just cement Verizon’s place among subscribers who plan to stay for a long haul. Of course, good things don’t come without a trade-in, and for Verizon, it’s the premium mobile plans that they offer. Thankfully, Verizon MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators) exist that allow mobile users to take advantage of Verizon’s wide coverage without burning a hole in their pocket.

However, with the number of options, how exactly would you go about choosing the best Verizon MVNO for you? Which one would suit your needs? Which one offers the best deals for calls, texts, and data? If you are shopping around, you have come to the right place! In this article, we will outline the best MVNO deals offered by Verizon, their pros and cons, and package inclusions.

 

What Is an MVNO?

Mobile virtual network operators or MVNOs are wireless communications service providers operating without owning the wireless network infrastructure to provide services to their customers. It is a business model that offers mutually exclusive benefits to both parties; the parent company can expand its network, while the other network can operate as a name of its own but at a lower cost. Despite being cheap, MVNOs surprisingly have the best unlimited data plan or even family cell phone plan offers.

 

Best Verizon MVNOs to Choose

1. Red Pocket Mobile 7. US Mobile
2. Page Plus Cellular 8. GreatCall
3. Xfinity Mobile 9. Total Wireless
4. Net10 Wireless 10. Straight Talk Wireless
5. TracFone 11. CREDO Mobile
6. Affinity Cellular 12. Visible

In this section, we are listing down the best Verizon MVNOs and their package inclusions. We also ranked them to help you make the best choice of carrier. We have ranked them from the cheapest that offers the best value plan down to the plan that costs a little extra. Here’s what made it to our list."

The rest is in the article here:

https://cellularnews.com/cellular-network/verizon-mvnos-ranking/#credomobile

May the fourth be with you!

 

 

 

Edited by RV_
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Posted (edited)

It's interesting that out of the twelve brands listed above, six are either directly or indirectly owned by Verizon. Visible and Total are direct Verizon subsidiaries, as is Tracfone Wireless that owns the PagePlus, Net10, Tracfone, and Straight Talk brands.

Edited by Dutch_12078
typo, clarity
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Interesting. I didn't know that either. I learn something every time we interact. If they started and had financial issues it would make sense if Verizon bought them for their respective customer bases but that is just conjecture on my part.

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