Groupola manhunt fails, but proof of iPhone 4 buyers revealed!

13 July 2010

24 hours ago, we launched our manhunt to find one of the 200 customers who bought an iPhone 4 for £99 from Groupola. Up until that point, we'd sifted through Groupola's own Facebook page (with nearly 3,000 members) and all the blogs that have commented on the story. Groupola themselves claimed "a number of winners" were talking to the media, but we could only find one who did - Dean O'Brien.  In all, we found just four individuals claiming to have bought the handset at Groupola's bargain price.

What's new? So far, only one person has come forward to comment to Bitterwallet - the same individual put forward by Groupola's PR agency to other blogs and news outlets, and so one of the four names already on our list; Dean O'Brien.

We've had a good chat with Dean, and we've no doubt he's a genuine customer who bought the £99 iPhone 4. He was contacted by Groupola shortly after the company was criticised by frustrated customers, and asked whether he'd be prepared to comment to the media. He found Bitterwallet because he's being keeping a close eye on the story through Google News - he says he's acutely aware that he's the only customer so far to speak to the media.

The other the names on our list - Laura 'Bungle' Borro, Rick 'Rikity' Mackenzie and Luke Nevill-Bond - all posted on Groupola's Facebook page to say they'd bought one of the special price handsets.

Bitterwallet - buying an iPhone 4 from GroupolaLuke posted a full screenshot of the confirmation page to Facebook, to prove to the dozens of frustrated customers that he'd bought an iPhone 4:

Bitterwallet - Groupola screengrab

At first glance, a couple of details don't quite make sense about Luke's screenshot (click here to see the full size version); the clock on it reads 11:16, a full 20 minutes after Groupola announced all stock had been sold. Luke also appears to have completed an unsecured transaction:

Bitterwallet - unsecure purchase from Groupola

It's a little odd for even a purchase confirmation to be unsecured, so a couple of Groupola customers have made purchases for us and took screenshots of the URL bars from their confirmation pages:

Bitterwallet -Groupola order confirmation (secure)

Bitterwallet - Groupola purchase (secure) #2

Two different browsers were used, and in both instances the transaction was completed securely (https). It's possible that Luke didn't take the screenshot until 20 minutes after his purchase, and maybe the browser's implementation of SSL was broken, or a fault meant that all transactions were unsecure on the morning in question. Hopefully Luke can follow Dean's example and get in touch with Bitterwallet.

TOPICS:   Social Media   Mobile


  • Andrew R.
    I would doubt the shot was taken 20 minutes after purchase, as it looks like the page is still loading according to the status bar!
  • Timbo1234
    Yes, we should trust the guy who spends all his time on I think not!
  • PokeHerPete
    MODERATORS AND THINKG - please don't publish the last comment. Just delete it.
  • Karan
    surely this is truly, honestly, an EPIC FAIL
  • Nobby
    Is this manhunt why all those police were running around the countryside? Or isn't it roualmoatly connected?* *Joke stolen from sickipedia.
  • kfcws I see that someone is a naughty boy :D
  • The B.
    warez-bb, I'm still waiting for an R5 of Toy Story 3.
  • The B.
    Brian here. WTF is dis for real?
  • Roger
    Another bunch of nonsense from the astroturfing spin-mongers, what a ridiculous firm this MarkcoMedia are, who can say for sure that these 4 names aren't Groupola staff posing as succesful purchasers? I mean, it's not unheard of in this outfit is it?
  • Codify
    FAKE AND GAY Leaving aside the obvious giveaways such as the HTTP/HTTPS issue and the time discrepancy, you should never trust a "warez" kiddie.
  • Wood B.
    Brian it's good to see you are here, i like your comments. Are you really real?

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