UPDATE – The biggest Coolsmartphone giveaway


Three days ago we had a rather huge problem. Some very unexpected charges were added onto our monthly hosting costs for one of our servers. It seemed that we’d breached some “fair use” policy regarding “unlimited” bandwidth. Either way, we had until Friday to pay an unbelievable amount of cash or we’d be shut off.

I’m now glad to give you two pieces of news. Firstly, thanks to your HUGE SUPPORT we’ve now managed to pay the charges and we can stay online past today. Secondly, we’re getting out of our contract with the hosting provider, so this won’t happen again.

As I mentioned before, I’m shocked and amazed by your generosity. It’s so inspiring and has really given me and all the other guys who write for the site a real push. Our prize-pile has now reached epic proportions, and we’ll be using any extra cash to move and protect us from this occurring again, plus we’ll be supporting Cancer Research UK and Douglas Macmillan Hospice too. I’m currently setting up a full charity donation system where we can add Gift Aid but you can use the donation button below until it’s ready.

Now. I want you to have a look at this. These are just SOME of the handsets we’re giving away. We actually have 27 mobile phones to give away and two Vodafone Sure Signal devices. Those plain white boxes have HTC Mozarts in, and there’s several more behind !

Update – We had a strong response to the earlier rules and I’ve read all the comments posted in this story. As I mentioned, I want to try and ensure that everyone is happy and I really don’t want to annoy those who have helped us out, so I’ve made some changes and will be doing the following..

- Everyone who donated will be entered into a draw and we’ll announce the winners on Saturday, April 7th. The prizes for this will be…

3 HTC Explorer handsets – Courtesy of HTC and Nelson Bostock
4 HTC EVO 3D handsets – Courtesy of HTC and Nelson Bostock
4 HTC TITAN handsets – Courtesy of HTC and Nelson Bostock
3 HTC Sensation handsets – Courtesy of HTC and Nelson Bostock
2 Vodafone Sure Signals – Courtesy of Mike from Vodafone
Any phone from the O2 Range – You choose – Courtesy of O2
A T-Mobile Vivacity – Courtesy of T-Mobile
A Motorola DEFY MINI – Courtesy of unlocked-mobiles.com

- Over the next 10 weeks we’ll be giving away ..

10 HTC Mozart handsets – Courtesy of HTC and Nelson Bostock

For this…

- You get one entry by tweeting this and following us.
- You get two entries simply by donating at least £1.

Full terms and conditions are at the bottom here. You can enter as many times as you want via donation, but only once by following us obviously. We’ll announce each week which phone we’re giving away.

Terms and conditions (Prizes)

- The judge’s decision is final, no correspondence will be entered into.
- Worldwide postage is included with each prize, however the recipient will be responsible for any incurred custom fees.
- The competition is open until all prizes are won.
- The winners will be contacted via email and must respond within 7 days, otherwise an alternative winner will be drawn.

  • http://twitter.com/marionegroponzi marionegroponzi

    Full terms and conditions are at the bottom here ? 

  • Martyn

    They are under the photos at the bottom of the post

  • Annonymous

    You mentioned that competition would end on Friday April 6th. Now it will be carried out each week , which in my opinion is a way of getting more money and traffic (via twitter)  to your site. 

    Most of us donated with the purpose of helping you paying the extra charge for the bandwith (not charity, although that is a nice touch). Since you have achieved the main aim, why would you need further donation. If we want to donate to charity, we can do that on our own

    The sponsors donated the phones probably for the purpose of encouraging us to donate to help with the charges. Again, I doubt they would give out so many phones for other reasons

    Again, in my opinion, you are just trying using this opportunity to raise even more money for personal purposes ( please prove me wrong by posting the photo of you donating the money to charity)

    I donated before the prize was announced. I am sure many people did that as well. I don’t care about the prize at all. It was just a gesture of good will to help the website. 

    I am very dissapointed with the way you are doing it.

  • Highland

    so this competition will be running for about 29 weeks? People might see it as a lucky draw and donate ‘some money’ apart from tweeting it. I wonder how much you would earn.

    this must be joke. My initial impression was all the prize will be given out altogether after the competition ended (which was supposed to be today).

    I don’t care about winning or not winning. But now I regret donating the money.

  • http://twitter.com/tony_sutton Tony Sutton

    I have donated, but how do I link it up with my tweets so it’s being shown that I have entered?

  • Angryman

    I am so Angry…..
    This is a complete con – donated generously twice expecting the competition to end today. 
    Now it seems the competition will run for 6 months (by which time the handsets will be very dated)
    I wish I could cancel my donations – genuinely furious……
    Will now avoid this site. Honesty goes a long way when asking for donations – to change the rules when the competition is supposed to end makes be believe you are doing this for personal gain…

  • http://twitter.com/intertree Johnny Kelly

    I too feel this a time of need turned into an unfair money making scheme and feel that the competition should have ended today as originally stated.

    By all means set up a separate campaign not relating at all to the original issue but I feel like I’ve gone from being a supporter of a community to being a sucker.

  • http://twitter.com/finecitytom Tom Gleeson

    First off I really glad you’re getting the hosting bill paid and sorted for the future, it appears that regular visitors really came through for you.

    Secondly I didn’t get round to donating until you had told us the stuff you’d been given by your PR contacts. I thought it was great that they also came through for you when it really mattered.

    None of the stuff you’re giving away will change my life but I thought that winning something would be fun if I was lucky enough.

    However it seems to becoming a bit of a fail now.

    Six months of giveaways…
    Retweet to enter…
    Donate(pay?) to enter…

    All a bit cheap isn’t it?

    Hope the bandwidth situation really is sorted as the draw definitely seems to have turned into something designed to drive page views.

    I don’t regret donating as I love the site but just pay the bill, donate the excess and lets move on. 

  • Jianhong

    What a joke. Suddenly a felt a need to inform your sponsors about this. I wonder what would be their response.

  • Jianhong

    *i felt*

  • Angryman

    Follow up to previous comment.

    I feel so strongly about this, that if this is not changed I will contact Paypal, and have my payments reversed. This can be done, where the donation is not being used for the purpose listed and you have been conned out of your money.
    Lets see if the site owners change their minds, otherwise, I urge all who feel like I do, to get their money back and donate it directly to cancer research.

  • Jianhong

    “….we’ll be using any extra cash to move and protect us from this occurring again”
    Does the statement above mean you are using the extra donation (which were meant for the unexpected charges that hit the website + any leftover for charity) to move to a new service provider? 

    In my opinion, it means you are already using it for personal gain. We don’t pay money for you to set up this website. You set it up using your own money (which you will gain back indirectly from traffic, advertisement, sponsors, and some of the review handsets you get to keep). 

    Your dishonesty cast a doubt whether you would actually ‘give away’ the phone, or just basically name a few ‘ghost’ winner, then keep the phones for your own purposes. Additionally, in the event of similar thing happen again in the future, i doubt any reader would donate money again without thinking twice

    I agreed with one of the comments that you should just pay the charge, donate the leftover to the charity, give away the phones to the winners within the next few days, then move on.

    just my 2 cent

  • Jianhong

    The biggest coolsmartphone giveaway ever? !

    More like the biggest coolsmartphone con ever !!!

    what a joke !

  • Jianhong

    Totally agreed, someone should write up a template and we will use it to contact paypal !

  • Jon

    I may be being cynical but…
    https://twitter.com/gears/statuses/188014377352429568
    Thanks LloydsTSB. Charge me all day tomorrowfor being overdrawn, but don’t open any of your branches so I can put money in.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for all your comments. Following this response, I’ll be making some changes to the competition. I don’t want to change things around too much though as we’ll be moving the goal-posts around quite a bit. Pictured are the phones we’re giving away on a weekly basis.

    What I’ll do is giveaway the other prizes just to those who donated. Would this be agreeable ?

    Please note that we don’t need any extra money. If this was all for personal gain then I could stick all these on eBay and make a few grand, but I’ve spent the last few days securing these for YOU GUYS, because you’ve helped us out of a hole. My tweet merely concerned the fact that banks are closed over the Easter period and it’s been very difficult to do any banking.

  • Martyn

    Seems fair, I let’s not blow this out of context guys, we’ve helped out a good site and maybe win a phone.. That’s just a bonus surely?.

  • Anonymous

    Hey, I’ve got shoulders. If you guys help us out, great. If I can get some stuff for you guys to win, really great. If you guys are all pissed with me, then I’ve basically screwed up and need to look again at the way I’m doing things. It’s been an incredibly rough week.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve updated the rules now. Hopefully this will be fairer for more people.

  • Angryman

    Pleased with the changes.

  • Dave Samworth

    Will those that donated before there were any prizes announced still be entered twice?

  • Brister Midger

    While i may agree 27 weeks was a bit long to spread this over, I feel I should chuck my 2p in.
    Those saying this is a con should take their donations and stop trolling. Why donate in the first place if you didn’t think this was a good trustworthy site?

    I donated before any prizes were announced, because I don’t want to see a great side lost due to the bandwidth I was part of creating?. Why shouldn’t donators get more entries than someone who’s now just jumping on the RT bandwagon? I think its generous of CS for allowing non donators to enter!

    I know not everyone can afford to donate, so I’m not kicking off about it.

    I honesty believe CS never envisaged the amount of prizes they would end up with. Maybe a seperate giveaway for donators (at end of day, saviours of CS) would be an answer. But i really hope its the die hard followers that win the swag.

    As for the bank tweet, I read that as Leigh not having 2 ha’pennies to rub together. And going overdrawn due to the costs this site has cost him over the last week i.e. paying for the bandwidth.. Not that he’s using this for his own gains. Sure. Pay the balance with donations and get rid of the provider for the sake of the site, and our reading pleasure at the end of the day. I’ve no gripe with that. The provider obviously has an issue with the word unlimited..

    Give CS a break. We are here for phone news, and that’s what they provide. Well! Long live Coolsmartphone!

  • http://twitter.com/Cunninghamster Daniel Cunningham

    Guys… stop complaining. Gears doesn’t run this site to make Mega bucks…. if he did he wouldn’t have to come to us cap in hand asking for a hand in sorting out paying the bills for hosting this thing. I love reading the articles here ever since I had my o2 xda stellar… I’m not quite as old school as some around here… so I donated to keep the site going.

    The only problem I have seen here is Gears has been a victim of his own success. He has raised more money than he asked for. Has he pocketed it? No. Most would but he hasn’t. He has used some extra to secure the future of the site. WHICH IS WHAT WE DONATED FOR. Then he said any left over after this will go to charity.

    Gears runs this site voluntarily and does a sterling job and I enjoy what he writes. He is a top bloke and you should all be applauding him and being thankful that you have a chance to win a phone in the process! I’d be grateful if I won but that isn’t why I donated. I donated as I love reading this site and wanted to show Gears that I appreciate his hard work. You should too.

    Thanks Gears, you’re a top bloke.

  • Angryman’s Tortoise

    So what are the rules now?

  • Anonymous

    the nerve of some people!

    keep up the good work CS :D

  • Jianhong

    yes, I agreed with you he has been a victim of his own success. However, I felt there is no need to twist the rule from the initial post. If it is a give away, there is no need for the ‘donate £1′ to stand better chance of winning a HTC mozart. If it is a giveaway, just let it be a giveaway (tweeting, facebook etc is fine). 

    I know the extra money will be given to charity. But if we want to donate the charity, we can do that ourself. There is no need to go through third party (i.e. Coolsmartphone). 

    For your info, I donated before the prize was announced as well. 

  • http://twitter.com/Cunninghamster Daniel Cunningham

    For the sake of clarity I didn’t donate on the first day. I had worked a 13 hour shift and was too knackered to do anything bit sleep but did the second day after the competition had been announced. I was always planning on donating.

  • http://twitter.com/Chimpaudio Chimp Audio

    I’m glad you’ve had a rethink Gears. However, some of the responses were infantile and damn right rude in my opinion. I hope this site gets back to its roots of not just being a news blog but having the forums that were so helpful. Personally, I hate the retweet and like culture thats become so commercially acceptable for competition entry. I just want the site to remain, I didnt donate to win anything.

  • ItemSize

    Where the competition to win iPhones?  I know it’s more exclusive that this Android giveaway, but I feel I have the right to enter it.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/42WCWZMUPZZCAFC4BZR4IUYUEM Dale Wilks

     Eh?  There never was a competition to win an iPhone mate; the above text never mentioned one.

  • Lee Marshall

    It’s amazing how many people have winged about this competition. Personally I gave before I knew there was any prizes as I wanted to donate to the site.

  • http://twitter.com/intertree Johnny Kelly

    I gave before prizes announced. Just felt there was some feeling of bait and switch going on. A thing was decided on, a request for help was made, help was given a target was hit and then the thought of “hold on, we could extend this out and get some promotion and maybe some more money too” came into it and changed the original request for help into a launching platform for a marketing strategy.

    As I said before, 2 separate campaigns would not have been an issue at all. It just felt off changing things after what was requested was met.

  • Tiveyuk

    Gears just ignore those selfish people moaning about this. Anyone who has been following you and this site for any length of time will know that its not a con. The site wouldn’t even be here if it wasn’t for all the time you’ve spent on it over the years.

    You’ve got nothing but respect from me and I hope that small majority don’t put you off.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Tiveyuk

    *I’ve got nothing but respect for you…

  • Tiveyuk

    Just been reading some more comments! You can really tell who has made a donation because they love the site and who has made one simply to get a new phone.

  • Jianhong

    shall i show you a screenshot of donation i made before the prize was announced?

    I have a feeling most of the guys here that pretend to be innocent actually prefer the giveaway to end earlier rather than dragging on for weeks. 

    I am totally honest here, if this site shut down today, i will probably miss it for a week or so. After all, if you are looking for more gadget review/news, there are ‘better’ website like The Verge, Engadget, etc. 

  • John Wyelie

    who are the winners? Thought it was meant to be announced yesterday. Is this another way to get people to refresh the website and increase the traffic lol..

    just kidding..

  • Anonymous

    :) We’ve drawn the winners last night. I’m going to mail out everyone that’s won in the morning. To be bluntly honest, it’s Easter Sunday and I’m having a bit of down time. :)

  • Anonymous

    fill your boots with chocolate mate – you’ve earned it :-)

  • http://twitter.com/intertree Johnny Kelly

    Well, happy Easter anyway Sir and enjoy the down time.

    You were quick to address the issues after getting negative feedback from those who felt something not completely pure had happened here.

    It is kind of silly that it turned into what it did and I’m sorry you had to go through that on top of everything else that was happening.

    I am glad you didn’t rise to anyone’s bait nor did you completely agree with anyone’s condemnation of those who’d expressed their concerns.

    So many things aren’t so black and white and you are a top man for balancing all sides.

    May the site live long and prosper, and keep up the great work.

    Glad we were able to help :)

  • James Boggust

    Happy Easter! Enjoy some eggs – but don’t get any chocolate on the phones ;)
    Enjoy your time off if your luck enough to have any!

  • http://twitter.com/Cunninghamster Daniel Cunningham

    I know I’ve not won as I didn’t get an email but I’m just wondering will the winners be posted on here or not? I’m intrigued to see if any of the trolls won!

  • jianhong

    can we have the name of the winners please? 

  • Lee

    according to a tweet from earlier the winners will be announced later today. i have my fingers crossed. :) 

  • jianhong

    hopefully it is not another tomorrow. Thought we would have the winners last Saturday. 

  • ayban

    Crap..was too late to see this..can I still enter the HTC TITAN contest..I really want one so badly..please give me a chance ;)

  • Lokendrapun

    i still wana join this..

  • Punxphobia

    thank you sir.