CompUSA PS3 Bundle Turns Out to Be A Scam

Here’s a shocker. Remember the CompUSA Sony 40″ HDTV and PS3 reservation bundle we warned you to stay the hell away from? Well, it was a scam. Reader Mary writes in with her predictably horrid experience. When she reserved her PS3 she was told that she needed to buy a more expensive model of Sony television than the one in the ad because, “the TV that was in the ad wasn’t available.” Sounds fishy, but Mary, being the trusting soul that she is, continued with the transaction. Says Mary:

“I showed up at the CompUSA store promptly as the store opened on Friday, November 17, 2006 as the store opened and request to pick up both my LCD TV and my PS3. The store personnel told me that PS3’s were IN stock, but my TV was not yet in. So I requested to pick up the PS3.”

Did Mary get her TV or her PS3? Nope. The staff told her there was a priority list for the PS3, but couldn’t tell her if she was on it. Then, after Mary left the store TV-less and PS3-less she got a telephone call from the store manager, who informed her:

“that they can’t give me a PS3 AND that my LCD TV wasn’t going to come in for another week at least… he thinks…”

Now Mary would like to know what to do. We say cancel the pre-order call your Better Business Bureau, and next time…listen to the Consumerist. —MEGHANN MARCO

The rest of Mary’s email inside.


Mary writes:

    “To whom it may concern,

    As per CompUSA’s ad, I purchased a Sony 40″ LCD TV for nearly $2000 the weekend the ad was effective. I also reserved the PS3 with my LCD TV purchase. The store personnel told me #1, the TV that was in the ad wasn’t available so I had to buy a higher model and #2, it would be available in 3 days.

    I showed up at the CompUSA store promptly as the store opened on Friday, November 17, 2006 as the store openedand request to pick up both my LCD TV and my PS3. The store personnel told me that PS3’s were IN stock, but my TV was not yet in. So I requested to pick up the PS3. They told me that I couldn’t pick up the TV because it was first come, first serve basis. Given that I was one of the first to have met their pre-qualifications (e.g.bought the HIGHER MODEL TV) and requested the PS3 which they told me was in stock, I was still denied the PS3. The store personnel told me that there was a priority list but they couldn’t tell me if I was on the list. This is despite the fact that a PS3 was confirmed to be in stock. THey also told me not to worry because at least my TV was going to arrive on November 18, 2006. They then told me I would have to wait for 2 hours for the store manager to return. I obviously left.

    I receive a call later in the day from their store manager who then tells me that they can’t give me a PS3 AND that my LCD TV wasn’t going to come in for another week at least… he thinks…

    Any opinions on what I can do would be greatly appreciated…”

Comments

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  1. acambras says:

    I don’t know where Mary lives, but the first thing I would do is call my state’s Attorney General.

    I live in Connecticut — Richard Blumenthal would eat these asshats for lunch.

  2. Falconfire says:

    Oooooooh I smell a firesale at CompUSA soon as they will be going out of buisness after Blumenthal’s done with them.

  3. Solo says:

    The only thing to do is to wait for PS3 to become regularily stocked in stores, so one day, after thinking about it, you can just drive to any electronic store and just buy one.

    And at that time, maybe a few more games will be available and this will make the purchase more emjoyable.

    I guarantee you that Sony is there to sell as many units as they can, and they won’t rest until everyone that wants one has one.

    The crazyness of the “first in line” people is not what the manufacturers want, this creates angry and resentful consumers. Unfortunately, they have to scale production for the long run, and that usually hinders the initial release when the product is popular.

    In any case, I would never buy anything from CompUsa ever again.

  4. infinitysnake says:

    “The crazyness of the “first in line” people is not what the manufacturers want”

    Oh, I’m pretty sure it’s exactly what they want- and every time, tyhey all fall for it. People fighting for a spot in line= all the free publicity one could hope for.

  5. bones says:

    Now Mary would like to know what to do. We say cancel the pre-order call your Better Business Bureau, and next time…listen to the Consumerist. -MEGHANN MARCO

    Yes do that AND file suit in small claims court for time lost from work, travel time to and from the store, gas, monies lost on credit cards or out of pocket cash due to interest charges. Or get really punitive and sue in open court for the above plus mental distress and attorney’s fees. Your attorney could even find others like you and get a class action suit going against the company.

  6. jwissick says:

    Call the consumer protection department of your local District Attorney. This is clearly a scam and they need to be made aware of it.

  7. I defended CompUSA last time this ad came up, but this is indefensible. I can only hope this is only the incompetant action of a single store and not some corporate mandate from upon high.

    Glad I don’t shop there. Also glad I didn’t buy one of those insanely overprices machines (and yet somehow Sony is loosing money on them?)

  8. Triteon says:

    Unlike other posts, this one does sound like a bait-and-switch situation. I think the advice on contacting the local DA and the state AG is very sound. (And stop doing business there.)
    And bones, let’s not sue over every little thing.

  9. Skeptic says:

    “And bones, let’s not sue over every little thing.’

    IANAL, but I get the impression it is not easy to get a small claims court to award compensation for “lost time” due traveling to the store. Unless you can sue under a specific statute, such as “Unfair Business Practices” in California, the judge would want to know how much un-refundable money you were out. If Comp USA refunded your money, you’d be hard pressed to make small claims case.

    You should still follow other lines of recourse, though.

    {This is not legal advice.}

  10. meloont says:

    I feel Mary’s pain. I fell for the same scam. I was told that I was number 6 on the waiting list at Compusa to get my PS3. I found out later that I was on a nationwide waiting list not a local list. Don’t bother calling Scamusa’s customer disservices phone number because they do not care and they will not help. Actually if enough people call and complained then maybe they would do something. Their number is 1 800 266 7872. Call just to harass them I really don’t care anymore