When Sling Media finally released their iPhone app last week, they conveniently turned off access to older Slingbox devices in order to force customers to buy newer models. As a gesture—only a gesture, nothing more—of their gratitude toward existing customers who supported them by already buying Slingboxes, they offered a $50 credit toward the purchase of a newer model.
The only problem is, you have to use the discount on their online store, and it turns out their prices are considerably higher than retailers like Amazon.
Engadget compared both the SOLO and the PRO-HD models on the SlingMedia site with Amazon’s listings. If you apply your $50 credit to the SOLO model, you’ll ultimately save $10 more than if you bought it at Amazon. That’s pretty weak, but it gets a lot worse: if you go for the more expensive PRO-HD model, you’ll actually spend $10 more through SlingMedia ($249) than through Amazon ($239).
You might want to steer clear of Sling Media in general, considering how poorly they’re treating current customers with this whole iPhone forced-upgrade scheme. Commenters and bloggers have pointed out that the iPhone app worked fine on earlier Slingbox models back during beta testing, so the only reason to lock out early adopters (and beta testers) now is to squeeze them for an extra $130 or more, when the one they already bought works just fine. Or did, up until about a week ago.
“Sling’s $50 rebate on iPhone-compatible boxes rendered useless by stupid pricing” [Engadget] (Thanks to Jason!)
(Flames: Capture Queen)