Winner of OnePlus One in contest claims to have been ripped off

Winner of OnePlus One in contest claims to have been ripped off
Easy come, easy go? One of our loyal readers had apparently won a free OnePlus One handset upon its launch this coming Wednesday. But mere days later, he was stripped of the prize. The story stars with a contest being run by OnePlus. The company was giving away an official mug to the person writing post number 50, and every 50th post after that. A free OnePlus One was promised to those writing posts 5,001, 10,000, and 50,000. And this is where our reader comes in.

Named Alvaro B., our loyal reader uses the handle JinRoh online. He was lucky enough to have published the 5001st post on the OnePlus forum (see the slideshow). This happened on April 16th. After winning the phone, Alvaro went and told every relative and friend about his lucky post and talking about the OnePlus One he had won. But then, something funny took place.

On Saturday morning, Alvaro checked the forum and found that his post had been renumbered 5072, meaning that he no longer was the winner of the phone. This happened because of a problem OnePlus had deciding who wrote the 50,000th post. So the company re-numbered all off the previous messages and added back deleted posts that they had removed previously. This also affected the winner of the phone who had authored post 10,000. The original winner of that OnePlus One has also lost his free handset.

Will OnePlus take the high road and give the promised handsets to the displaced posters? Stay tuned.


Thanks, Alvaro

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41 Comments

41. spliffNwessun

Posts: 2; Member since: Apr 20, 2014

Update: OnePlus has issued a public apology to all, and has confirmed they will be honoring the phones to all winners (total of 10 phones will be given away). Good for OnePlus for resolving the situation fairly.

39. spliffNwessun

Posts: 2; Member since: Apr 20, 2014

I briefly participated in this contest and didn't squat, but I still need to add my two cents. OnePlus should have handled this differently. As soon as they were aware of people deleting posts, they should have locked the thread, added the posts back in, disabled the feature to delete posts in that thread, edited the OP to explain what happened, then re-open the thread/contest with revised rules (ie. anyone who deleted posts will be disqualified). I just looked at the thread now, and there is still no mention of what happened in the OP. I completely see why the original winners are upset. They were posting and timing their posts based on the numbers showing (as everyone else was). They were the displayed winners for 2 days (the OP says post 5001, 10,000, 50,000 are phone winners, and the winner's posts (5001 & 10,000) were clearly marked with the matching/winning numbers for 2 days). The fact that OnePlus left the thread open without mentioning what happened caused a lot of confusion, frustration (more in the end), and questions regarding how the contest was being held and how the winners would be chosen. Forum members were commenting in the thread that it gives the appearance of being rigged. If everyone was aware that the posts would be re-indexed, and that the displayed post numbers are not correct, these winners (and other forum members) most likely would have participated differently. I didn't even win anything, but if I would have known, I would have spam posted to get as many posts in the thread as possible, hoping that when the thread is re-indexed, my post would land on 5,001, 10,000 or 50,000. After all, that method would give you the best odds of winning. Winner from Post 10,000 even stated he didn't try posting for 50,000 because he thought he was already a winner. OnePlus may be able to push the blame for the actual bug/network/software issue, but they are 100% responsible for how it was handled. This looks very unprofessional for a company, even a new one. I hope they honor the 2 phones to the original post winners (5,001 & 10,000) as well, it is morally and ethically the right thing to do.

37. housry23

Posts: 136; Member since: Jun 03, 2012

I agree Taters. What had happened is people tried to cheat. They went back and deleted their previous posts to try to make their post 5000. So, 1+ went back and restored those posts and this guy lost out on the phone. I would be upset too. I would, but I'm not sure I would go all over the internet and flame them. People are now looking for a reason not to trust 1+. He is trying to guilt them into giving him a free phone, which at this point, they should do, just to keep the bad pr away. I had actually won a T-shirt that got taken from me, but I'm not thinking it was malicious or deceitful in any way. The only people being deceitful are the ones that tried to cheat to win.

38. Ashoaib

Posts: 3309; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

So it means they are not capable to manage forums properly

40. superguy

Posts: 480; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

If they can't manage their forums properly, then they never should have launched a half-baked contest that was doomed to cause ill-will. They would have been much better picking posters at random for prizes. No one would complain then. Of course, now you have the original people that won getting upset because they didn't manipulate the system, and having a prize taken from them because of others who did. It's punishing people who played by the rules. Not cool. To those that say no one got ripped off, answer me this: if you comply with the rules and therefore win something and you have it taken away on a technicality, are you going to be ok with it? Maybe for something small like a t-shirt or something, but if it were something big? Would you REALLY be ok with it? That's like buying magazines from publisher's clearing house and winning only to lose it because you find out you didn't buy a mystery magazine was never mentioned in the rules. It's not about being entitled. It's about those who make a promise living up to it. If they can't manage their contest properly, it's not the participant's fault.

34. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Rules are rules. Someone is getting the free phones which technically means no one is getting cheated or ripped off..... Yes the employees running the forums screwed up but yeah...s**t happens. The sense of entitlement these days is ridiculous. I blame the parents. The other side of the spectrum would be to be like Apple. Charge the customer for 3 phones so that you can give them a replacement phone no questions asked and still have 1 phone worth of profits and spare parts from the defective phone they returned. These guys are charging you $399, which probably means no profits if you factor in they can't get things for nearly as cheap as Samsung and Apple. I think people should forgive them for having crappy forum administrators.

32. morozsean

Posts: 13; Member since: Oct 04, 2013

Happened to me. I won a pen at post #53,801, but later I found out that my post was replaced by another person.

31. zeus1

Posts: 8; Member since: Apr 17, 2014

How come a new phone from a relatively new & unknown company is making such a big fuss?

28. JinRoh

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 20, 2014

Hello I'm Alvaro aka JinRoh the "original winner" at #5001 Just wanted to make an update saying that the only contact from OnePlus to us has been that I shouldn't have posted this online (reddit, phonearena...), and they have deleted the original thread discussing the issue in their forums. Of course we will not get the phones anymore, but at least people will know about how a company deals with its customers (both the 10.000 winner and I were going to buy an additional phone)

30. AppleHateBoy unregistered

There goes another Samsung wannabe. Thanks for replying, sir.

25. Killua

Posts: 270; Member since: Nov 25, 2013

Whoa, it's getting more bad publication. That can't be good for business.

12. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

that's what you call getting "ONE UPPED" from 5001 to 5002, 5001 + 1. you've been one-upped so you no longer qualify for the prize. can't blame them. they're just living up to their name and slogan.

10. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

Cheating = 1 |+| Dishonest = 1 1+1 = OnePlus One. Please don't be like this, OnePlus.

22. aksa123

Posts: 368; Member since: Jan 30, 2014

And what else? Surely not just those two. Really, why bother with this company? I can't imagine how bad their costumer service will be.

7. Ubi2447

Posts: 131; Member since: Feb 14, 2012

Just give the thing to the people who had the original numbers and to the people with the new numbers. At the end of the day, a company wants their product in peoples hands. What would you rather hear: "I won the phone, they messed it up, but they went out of their way to still give me the handset!" or... "I won the phone, they messed it up, but still didn't give me the device." One of those creates a customer and possibly creates more. The other, loses a customer and possibly loses more. In the grand scheme of things, a couple handsets are not that large of a loss.

11. rns122112 unregistered

i totally agree with you. either you gain 6 customers or lose 3. working as cricket manager for 2 1/2 yrs i would take the 6 new customers than losing 3 to metropcs anyday. bad example i know but the same point.

13. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

they'll not lose just 3 customers after the bad publicity. they'll lose thousands.

26. Ubi2447

Posts: 131; Member since: Feb 14, 2012

It's a good example.. A real life example. Basic business... Your product in their hands for free vs them paying for someone else's product and becoming their customer. A customer is a customer is a customer.

35. Jommick

Posts: 221; Member since: Sep 10, 2013

Great example actually - more people like you should have ownership of companies, not simply be in a managerial position. It's a shame that people who have been in higher management have difficulty in understanding this concept, yet those on the front lines intrinsically understand it.

36. rns122112 unregistered

yeah. im too good at my job. i was doing my boss's job of ordering phones and filling out paperwork for him. promoted to manager in less than 6 months all thanks to phonearena cnet engadget the verge gsmarena xda etc. i live on these websites cause i would rather know what i'm talking about then a customer come in and and me be like um um um idk ANYTHING about that phone sir/ma'am

6. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

This is just all a big c0ck-up. I really don't think anything was done with any malicious or deceitful intent. Something went wrong, they tried to fix it, not realizing that "fixing" one thing meant screwing something else up. Forum software is iffy when you start deleting/moviing/merging/restoring posts, and often the moderators of the forums aren't all that knowledgeable about the software involved. After all, there's still a 5001th post, and a 10000th post, so at least somebody is getting a free phone, so it's not like they're trying to weasel out of giving away phones. When the dust settles from this, I'd be surprised if 5 free phones weren't given away instead of the original 3.

15. Run.n.Gun

Posts: 45; Member since: Nov 06, 2013

5001th?? See post #9

18. AppleHateBoy unregistered

9. Planterz (Posts: 237; Member since: 30 Apr 2012) Whut? Literate much?

5. alrightihatepickingusernames

Posts: 474; Member since: Dec 29, 2013

REALLY bad start for you guys. If you're going to do a giveaway you have to be able to manage it fairly.

4. Adrian38

Posts: 142; Member since: Nov 05, 2012

If they do screw these people over, that's definitely not the way you wanna start off your venture into the mobile business.

3. ckoch125

Posts: 193; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

They seem to just be digging themselves deeper and deeper into a hole. 1st the invite system to buy and now this. I guess it's a good thing it won't be coming to Verizon anyway

2. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

#nevertoolatetofail

20. Johnnokia

Posts: 1158; Member since: May 27, 2012

Thank you Alan F. for this story They are bunch of liars. First, they claimed that the OnePlus One is compact and smaller than the Xperia Z1. But today, the alleged phone specs showed the dimensions of that phone are much bigger than the previously mentioned ones. Second, they started that silly misleading invite system for phone selling. Later, cheating on the winners of the prizes protocol that they already placed. I was so enthusiastic about this newborn company and their team. Sorry, I've lost that faith

23. Manti123

Posts: 207; Member since: Apr 10, 2014

100% agree. I don't trust them anymore, and I guess their gadget is crappy as their cheating. They are simply destroying their reputation

24. Manti123

Posts: 207; Member since: Apr 10, 2014

Go to their Facebook page and post anything criticizes them or refer to the prize system problem, you will be banned at once .

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