My theory...it's all in the fine print of "Verified Fan" and my sincere belief that if we were assigned a presale group that meant we were verified.
In reading U2.com/help:
Can I register for other Verified Presales if I participate in the Verified Subscriber Presale, like Verified Citi and Verified Fan?
Yes, you may register for the other Presales in addition to the U2.com Verified Subscriber Presale. Please note, registration does not guarantee you will be verified, receive a code, or have the ability to purchase tickets through the other Presales. Note: "Does not guarantee you will be verified."
In reading http://help.ticketmaster.com/verified-fan/ Am I guaranteed tickets if I get a #VerifiedFan code? If you have been randomly selected to receive a code it will unlock the ability to access tickets. However, tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis and are not guaranteed.
Note: "If you have been randomly selected to receive a code...."
This is new to U2.com subscribers, and unless you actively researched this OCD-style (like I have), you wouldn't have connected the dots here that the Verified Fan system was a lottery. How is that lottery chosen? According to http://help.ticketmaster.com/verified-fan/:
Ticketmaster #VerifiedFan was designed to separate actual, human fans from bots and scalpers. The system aims to thwart bad actors who are in the business of taking away tickets from fans just so they can resell them. Our technology analyzes every registrant to make sure they are real people interested in going to the show.
Please note: Registering does NOT guarantee you will be verified, receive a code or have the ability to purchase tickets.
So, looking at this, it was an algorithm used by Ticketmaster that determined if "you've got the gifts to get me through the gates of that mansion." The algorithm apparently didn't take into account number of years of loyalty to U2.com, number of U2 concert tickets you've purchased through your TM account, if you've bought stuff through the U2.com fan shop, or the like. Not sure what the algorithm it was!
But good people, loyal to U2 for decades were shut out of the ticket buying for this tour. Is that how the band truly wants to reward it's loyal of loyals? Is this how the band wants their legacy to be remembered - by letting a computer algorithm determine the legitimacy of their fan base? This is absurd!
So, yeah - the fans who were shut out don't have a leg to stand on at the moment, and I can understand why the mods are having to dig out of a backlog longer than they've ever had to do before becuase it wasn't crystal clear to the fan club what it all meant - that we were entering a LOTTERY system through verification. That having an assigned presale group wasn't the confirmation...that setting up your account wasn't enough. That in some cases, being a member of the fanclub since its inception online wasn't enough. It's a tough pill to swallow and it's justified.
This is why people like myself kept asking questions - this is why @bigwave came on our ATU2 podcast to answer questions. This is why we questioned...everything....! And still, we're facing this situation which, quite frankly, is worse than 2005 because this time it wasn't the scalpers who kept the loyal fans out of the concert - it was Ticketmaster themselves with their algorithms. It's not a perfect system, but it shut out some very good, loyal people who have traveled the world to see this band - and who most likely will be forced to pay a scalper for their tickets. In this way, the statement of "U2 cares about their fans and they are committed to making every effort possible towards getting tickets into the hands of fans only." hurts more than ever to so many shut out of the process.