groupola

OFT reveals Groupola’s group buying scam, takes “action”

Transparency is so important in modern business. We live in an age where sketchy behaviour is not remotely tolerated, and where bad noise is quickly amplified via social media channels. 

You might remember an article we wrote about Groupola last summer. The group buying site had offered iPhone 4 handsets to gleeful shoppers for the very sexy price of £99 (usually £499). 

The demand was such that the website imploded and frustrated consumers took to the virtual streets of Twitter and Facebook, to complain about not being able to access the sale. 

Groupola’s £99 iPhone: a catalogue of major #FAIL

Last week, in a deal that sounded too-good-to-be true, group-buying website Groupola was offering the new iPhone 4 for a mere £99, sim-free. Users had to simply register interest on the Groupola website, where they would then be emailed a link to buy the new must-have iPhone on Friday. 

With such a tempting deal on offer, on Friday morning, the Groupola website faced major meltdown, and that’s essentially what happened.

A Groupola spokesman said 5m unique users tried to access the site between 9am and 9.30am. That number seems incredibly far-fetched to us but obviously the website fell apart as a result of the demand.

With thousands (if not millions) of users unable to access the site, it’s unsurprising that a wave of angry consumers took to social media channels to voice their outrage on Twitter and Facebook. 

The process was mismanaged from start to finish, resulting in a PR fiasco for the company. So what could Groupola have done to avoid such an unmitigated disaster?